Last Day In The World

Maharaj Kaul

I feel I must wear my favorite clothes and hold in my hand a single white lily
On the last day of my life in the world,
As I embark on my journey beyond it.
I want to be focused on future and let past settle by itself.

Last week I received intimation from God
That my sojourn on earth was ending in two weeks,
And I was to continue my life somewhere in the universe,
Closer to Him and His work.

I have just started rummaging through my papers
To pay my dues, close accounts, and to transfer assets,
But I am at a loss to find out how best to donate my bigger possessions
And how to preserve my writings.

I feel overwhelmed with the urge to thank the people
Who have given me love, friendship, practical help, and advice,
But I know even doing that will not satisfy me –
For human life is to remain indebted forever to man and nature.

I have been thinking about death since my childhood
But did not know my time was coming up so soon,
The mystery of life is that we do not know who controls it
And do not know where we came from and where we are going.

I cannot but think about the great experiences life gives us,
The great potential it carries,
The excruciating pains it puts us through,
The intricate drama it weaves around us.

All big institutions of man like governments, business, education, etc.
Look like toys when juxtaposed with death;
All wars, material lust, social strife, melt before death –
A lot of human life looks misconceived before the cosmic forces of life and death.

Even as I am busy ending my commercial ties
I am still unable to end some of my human connections.
I would like to say goodbye to some of my friends and relatives,
I would like to say goodbye to some of my favorite scenic places.

I wish I could have stayed a little longer
To finish my important work:
Helping human beings, philosophy, and literature.
I wish I could have lived longer to help my children become educated and independent.

It seems that in spite of my deep involvement with death
My preparations for it have been too meager;
I may have been insincere and irresponsible to life,
I may secretly have despised and been afraid of death.

But now I am all ready for it:
My unfinished work will take care of itself.
Nothing is more important than the journey of life,
All our projects close to our heart are only attempts – they never finish.

I have loved to read books
But I do not know if they will be available in my new world –
Maybe there will be no need for them there:
Knowledge and art may be unnecessary for a blessed life.

What about music, another of my passions?
But a fulfilled life may not have a place for it.
We live in the world with a continuous gap
Between existence and fullness.

At this time I cannot but help thinking that how much of the magic of life
Gets wasted in philistine pursuits, selfish chores and moribund state,
Unfounded insecurity and crass insanity,
Delusional purposelessness and plain blindness.

At this point I want to be forgiven and want to forgive others
For the inhuman acts and petty behavior made in the heat of the moment,
The supreme irony of life is that no one knows how to live it;
Life is passing through a dark tunnel, hoping there is light at the end.

I feel now ready to take the journey to the unknown,
Even though I have qualms about some of the things I did here
And feel bonds with some people, things, and scenes
But the scintillation of the future beckons me.

Suffern, New York, 9.7.10

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