CHAPTER – 29 WHAT IS DEATH?
After my third visit to U.S.A. in 1974, I have gone five times and spent four months a year in 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980 and 1981. After my return to India in October 1981, our Bombay Centre arranged for an Intensive Course of one week’s duration at Matheran. a hill station near Bombay. Toward the conclusion of the Course, a telegram was received conveying the news of my second wife Lakshmi’s demise at Guduvancheri. Our members assembled at Matheran were petrified on reading the telegram and it was with great trepidation that they handed over the message to me. I couldm surmise the depth of sorrow felt by our members from their faces and whispered words. I felt it was my primary duty then, to console our member friends who were in grief on receiving the telegram. I asked all of them to sit before me for a few minutes. What I told them on the occasion is reproduced below, as it would be useful to all: “My dear friends, I know how sad you are all feeling. I will tell you something. What we call problems are part of life and we get perturbed over them, only when we forget the Divine order.
“When a fruit is ripe on the tree, it automatically has to fall down to the Earth. That is the law of Nature-the Divine function. Simlarly when the time is ripe, man dies. Everyone born, is born only to die. Death is inevitable. The length of time between birth and death may vary from person to person for several reasons, but death is certain for all. My second wife was nearing sixt and she was not in good health. The time was ripe for her to leave the world and so the end has come about. We all have to accept it, because is the Divine providence. The feelings over the dead person are the same for all of us. The difference is only how quickly we are able to extricate ourselves from the sorrow. Now there is no use deepening the sadness as far as I am concerned, for I cannot do anything for the dead one. “But I have the duty to console my first wife Lokambal, who has lost her dear companion, sister and friend. Lokambal and Lakshmi were living as sisters for the past 37 years. One was never away from the other for more than two days at a stretch. We could imagine the feelings of Lokambal considerably at this time. Therefore I have to go as early as possible to Madras. Please be kind enough to send me to Madras by the next available flight. May the Almighty give sufficient courage to all to bear the sad occurrence”.