Life Before Death

By Rakesh K Mittal IAS on 25-06-2011

Human life is the most precious thing in this
universe. Also, it is so complex that many have been studying its various
facets since time immemorial. There is an ocean of wisdom dealing with human
life but still there is very little known about it. Perception about human life
differs from person to person and they live according to their individual
perception. In a way, this makes the world a beautiful place to live in by the
sheer variety of human beings. A truly wise person accepts this variety with
equanimity and considers it as a part of the evolution process.

One interesting aspect of life which is usually
debated is ‘what happens after death’. Hindu philosophy believes in the theory
of rebirth while there are some which do not believe in rebirth.  I
am not going into the merits of such a belief or disbelief but am touching upon
an allied aspect of this. Recently I read a book called Dewdrops on a
Lotus Leaf, a very interesting book written by a young professor of
English in Andhra Pradesh. The book consists of letters written by the author
to his loved ones on different occasions. Each letter is full of wisdom and
indicates the spiritual depth of the author. In one of the letters, the
question of life after death has been raised. The author has said nothing about
his belief in this matter but has seen the issue from a totally different
viewpoint. I greatly appreciated his approach and am sharing it here. The
author mentions that many people ask him the question, “Is there life after
death?” and instead of giving any reply, he poses a counter-question, “Is there
life before death?” Now the significance of such a response is to be understood
carefully. The issue here is which of the two, ‘life after death’ or ‘life
before death’, is more important. Naturally, the answer would be that ‘life
before death’ is more important and we should first live it well before we
think of ‘life after death’. The intention is not to curb the tendency to
question but to give a positive message about the life we already have.

In today’s world, most of us are not living even in
our present lives. We waste time on trivials without caring about the precious
nature of life.  For such persons, the question of whether there is
life after death is meaningless because they are dead even in their lives
before death. The relevant question, therefore, is how to live before death.
And if we really live well before death, perhaps, there will be no life after
death. Thus, in both the situations, the question ‘Is there life after death?’
becomes irrelevant. The only relevant question is whether our ‘Life before
Death’ is ‘living’ in the true sense as morally and spiritually enriched human
beings, well on the way to the goal of self-realisation and harmony with
oneself, other people and the universe.

About The Author

Rakesh K Mittal IAS

Sri Rakesh Kumar Mittal IAS (Retd.) had been an administrative officer in Uttar Pradesh state cadre for about 35 years. He is a spiritual man with high moral values and a selfless heart. He has founded 'Kabir Peace Mission'. He has also written several books on positive thinking.