Since times immemorial we humans have been nursing a desire to become immoral. History is replete with stories of kings and rishis indulging in endless tapasya and worshipping Gods to seek blessings for being Immortal. Not being afraid of death was considered to be a position superior to the mortals. Demon king Hrinyakashpu had the blessings of Brahma for having a eternal life which couldn’t be ended by anyone on this earth and in the universe. Still he was killed by Lord Vishnu in the guise of Narsimh. Mighty king Ravan is said to have enslaved Death and had the blessings of Shiva for an eternal life, but he too was killed by Lord Ram.
In the present times too scientists are engaged in devising and experimenting techniques for long life, for retaining beauty and for remaining young, always. The tests and trials have even lead to horrifying and fatal results. But isn’t that all against the laws of nature?
When the great Greek ruler Alexander had won over a major part of India and wished to rule the entire earth he fell terribly ill and no riches could save him of his untimely death at a young age of only 33 years. Once in a triumphant mood he had expressed to his minister Aristotle, “Had there been no death on this earth, I would have ruled till eternity”. To this Aristotle had replied, “Sir, it is death that has given you this throne”.
At the time of death it is said that he had also expressed his desire that his bare hands be kept out of the coffin on way to the Cremation ground to show his countrymen and the world that even after having won over so many kingdoms and acquired worldly wealth, he was going empty handed from this earth. Yes. We all have to go back empty handed.
Can anyone be immortalised? Is it a concept of the mind for the body. But body cannot be immortal. Holy Bhagwat Geeta says that anyone who is born has to die and anyone who dies will be reborn. It is an endless cycle through which every soul keeps on travelling birth after birth according to one’s karma.
If being Immortal is linked to long life or living till eternity ask those for whom long life becomes a curse and they pray to end their lives. And those who seek mercy killing from court of law. The ones terminally ill, in a vegetative stage, or suffering acute mental disorder. Is that life to celebrate?
In Darmkshetra Abhimanyu is said to have been thankful to Dronacharya for killing him in the battlefield and making him immortal. Had Mahatma Gandhi not been killed by Godse in 1948 he may have faced greater humiliation at the hands of Independent India’s government upon being left alone. More than meted out on him by the britishers. Godse indeed immortalised Gandhi in death, for his contribution in the freedom movement of the country.
True being Immortal is not in living long but in living great. The deeds for the people and for the society make one great. Living for others alone makes one great like Mother Teresa. And a virtuous living that sets examples for others to follow make one great and immortal. Netaji Subhash Chander Bose, Dr Homi Jahangir Bhabha, Swami Vivekanand, Bhagat Singh and many of those who laid their lives for the nation are examples of living in the memory of everyone. “Babu moshai jindagi lambi nahin Badi honi chahiye” a life jise log Jane ke baad bhi yaad Karen.
Living beyond death is also in donating organs, so as to continue looking through the eyes of some one, beating in the chest of someone, flowing in the veins of someone, and what not.
True, we live in our deeds and not in years. Aayshmaan bhavah!