What he would have eaten the night before or whether he was able to even eat something? What he might be feeling? How he would have reacted on seeing the noose? How much pain he would have experienced during his last moments? The recent hanging of the terrorists in India may have been celebrated by some and condemned by others - let us not get into the ethical aspect of death sentence. But one thing which everyone discussed and thought about was as how these people would have reacted during their last moments.
We feel for the person who is about to die and this is the human nature. But do we ever think that one day we too will be passively waiting for the inevitable death. The hangman’s noose is already prepared, the death sentence is already declared. The only solace is that we have not been told about the timeline.
Every moment we move one inch closer to the hangman’s noose. But we hardly think about it. When Yaksha asked Yudhishthira that what is the most surprising thing in this world then Yudhishthira replied, “Everyone sees others are dying everyday but they never think that one day they too would die.” Thinking about this inevitable reality does not imply pessimism. A student needs to constantly remind himself that he has to appear in the final exam and so he should study sincerely. Similarly being cognizant of the fact that one day we have to embrace death makes us serious about our life. Awareness of Janma (birth), mrtyu (death), jara (old age), vyadhi (disease), the 4 primary cause of suffering, is termed as true knowledge in Bhagavad – Gita (13.9).
When we introspect that one day we will lose everything forever – father, mother, wife, children, brothers, sisters, friends, neighbours, relatives, bank balance, house, job, degrees – we become very sober. We realize the temporary nature of this world. We then endeavour to search for something which is not temporary, not flickering and not painful. Thus our journey for self realization begins.