The contents of this document are copyright 1972, Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust, Pondicherry, India. You may make a digital copy or printout of this text for your personal, non-commercial use under the condition that you copy this document without modifications and in its entirety, including this copyright notice.
Many are those who are not aware that one day we all must die. And those who are aware of it appease their quarrels.
When you think you may die the next moment, immediately, automatically, there occurs in you a detachment from all material things; it is logical that from then on you think only of what does not depend upon this physical life and which is the only thing that will still belong to you once you have left this body, that is to say, the eternal existence. The Buddha did not use the word "Divine", but it is essentially the same thing.
To think that one might die the next moment was formerly, in the ancient initiations, a discipline that one had to follow for a certain time, for the reason I have just mentioned and also in order to overcome all fear of death and to accustom oneself to it. In that age and at the time when the Dhammapada was spoken by the Buddha, the possibility of an earthly immortality was never mentioned because this possibility belonged to such a far-off future that there would have been no point in speaking of it.
Today Sri Aurobindo tells us that this possibility is near at hand and that we have only to prepare for it. But the essential condition even to prepare for it is to completely abolish all fear of death.
You must neither fear it nor desire it.
Stand above it, in an absolute tranquillity, neither fear it nor desire it.
4 October 1957
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Last modified on Aug 11, 1995