Are you prepared to face death?

I am now nearly 57, being already in my 57th year since the beginning of the Burmese year 1371 on 17-Apr-2009 and will be in my 58th year of age coming 17-Apr-2010, the New Year Day of the Burmese year of 1372, I feel quite old and fear I might be beginning to get dotty, writing all these, even thinking about these threads in the first place

these threads began with sending forward mails (jokes) to a few friends some time back but got into reality when I wanted to write about my recent trip to Myitkyina even before I went on the trip and wrote a mail to “all” about going on the trip: Nyi Win KhaYee Twarr Nay Thi……, Hmyaw……

I wrote and distributed mails “Journey to the North” when I returned

this led to creating my blogsite nyiwin.wordpress.com to post the episodes of the journey

when the wordpress.com was blocked, I was back to sending the continuation of the “Journey to the North” by mail again but the connection was very bad in Yangon last month and I could not finish it

now, the connection is worse here in Mann and I cannot even send mails or use internet for more than a few minutes a day

I wonder when this mail will reach you ( today is 6-Feb-10); a mail I wrote to Zaw Tun Maung while I was in Yangon was not sent as the connection was bad and I found it in draft of gmail about 2 weeks later and had to send it with post script

my “journey to the north” episodes also were also sent in subepisodes from Yangon and sometimes in repeat mails as some already in draft were sent separately and then the draft resent later when I did not remember it had been sent already

this also shows my forgetfulness which is getting worse, another sign I am getting dotty, and well on the road to senile dementia

I just hope I do not have Alzheimer’s disease, but who knows?

and how can I have diagnosis here in Myanmar?

of what use if it can be diagnosed early?

even President Reagan’s downhill progress could not be stopped or reversed even in the USA

I am over the age of “life expectancy” of Myanmar and am living on bonus time

recently, I have been listening to 06:00 sermons on the mrtv-4, thanks to Pyone, and have come to understand more about Buddhism and the path to nirvana these few months more than I did during my previous 56 years

are you prepared to face death? I still have not even begun to prepare for it but now see the “roadmap to death” in the faintest view

we all must die one day; it is inevitable

we come alone and will return alone

dear Buddhists, prepare for your death while you can

while you are still young enough (even if old) to be able to do so

if you live long enough to get dementia, you will not be able to do so

I have seen and paid respects from afar (Phuu Khe. Ya. Dae) to the KonLon SayarDaw a few years before he passed away and his condition was quite different to what must have been in his prime

he would have done what needed to be done while there was time, yet, at the time of his death, was he of the state of mind to be able to die the correct way?

make hay while there is sun and hope for and pray that you will face death with a clear mind, having prepared for death adequately

there is a Burmese saying: Pa.Hta.Ma. AhYwe Hmar PyiNya Shar, Du.Ti.Ya. AhYweHmar.. Ok.Sar Shar.., Ta.Ti.Ya. AhYweHmar TaYarr Shar..

but it is wrong

one has to learn of the difficult theological teachings and concepts while the mind is still young enough to be able to understand and remember easily: that is before the age of 35, after which one’s mental faculties go downhill, very slowly and imperceptable at first, but later, at a more quicker rate

it is during the late Pa.Hta.Ma. AhYwe and the Du.Ti.Ya. AhYwe that one has to learn the way to nirvana and practice it

friends of other religions will also have their ways to prepare for death (I still have not reached the state unlike others who think that Buddhism is the only correct way, but have found out recently that Buddhism is a difficult concept with theories that are difficult to understand and follow with full understanding; I might be over age to do it properly with my forgetfulness and diminished mental faculties nowadays, a far cry from what I was in my 20s)

Christians about which I know the most apart from Buddhism will have to count for their deeds in their present life after their death and their way to Heaven or Hell will be decided by what they have done (dear Christian friends, please correct me if my understanding is wrong)

Muslims, I understand from what I have read (news, not religion), will also meet a crossroad after death, and whether they will meet Allah or not (dear Muslim friends, please correct me if my understanding is wrong) will be decided by what they have done in their lives.

Hinduism is the religion from which Buddhism is born and there are much in common and I was told by a Hindu friend that they do not have the concept of nirvana which was Buddha’s finding. They live in the perpetual cycle of lives in the 31 levels of existence as Buddhists do. The Hindus in Myanmar also accept Buddha as one of their many Hindu gods. The nephew of this friend attained Buddhist monkhood,  and their family regularly go to and worship at the Shwedagon pagoda and I saw Buddha statutes in Hindu temples in Yangon also with the signboards portraying “Hindu BuddhaBarThar PhaYar Kyaung” at their temples. Their afterlife will depend on what they have done in their lives too (dear Hindu friends, please correct me if my understanding is wrong).

while I was working as a Demonstrator, Department of Physiology, Institute of Medicine I, Rangoon from 1981 – 87, a friend, classmate, colleague and fellow demonstrator and office-roommate Ko Hla Shein / Shain (the others there were Ko Ye Tint Lwin and Ko Soe Lwin) pointedly told me during our discussions that I was not a Buddhist as I did not follow Buddha’s path to nirvana, on which he was well on his way

I still have not begun to practice WiPatThaNar, nor have tried to learn about the concepts of AhBi. DhaMar.. and PaDeikSa. ThaMokePat TaYarr, without the knowledge of which, practicing WiPatThaNar would not be as fruitful as it should with full knowledge of them

I was a skeptic (a DeikHti, one who could not see the truth because my view was obstructed by lack of knowledge), doubting how meditating Wi.Pat.ThaNar could lead to nirvana, and even the existence of nirvana

now, I can see faintly how with the knowledge of AhBi. Dha.Mar.. and PaDeikSa. ThaMokePat TaYarr, practicing WiPatThaNar can lead to nirvana and also what nirvana is

seeing the “roadmap to nirvana”, I will have to follow it to the goal, the “Nirvana”, through Buddha’s way

yes, Shain, I am now almost a Buddhist in your view, though not yet as I still am not following strictly the right path, the 8 Meggin (the Meggin ShitParr), including the most important path, the Wi.Pat.ThaNar… although I have always considered myself one since young

but will I be able to?

to prepare to face my death adequately and in time?

friends, I want to repeat:

prepare for your death while you can

while you are still young enough (even if old) to be able to do so

[while you mind is still alert and can grasp the theology concepts and your memory is good]

in whatever religion you believe and practice

and if you are an atheist

just do the good deeds and avoid the bad deeds

and not break the social prohibitions and criminal laws

nw

6-Feb-10

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4 Responses to “Are you prepared to face death?”

  1. Aung Htay Says:

    quite inspiring!!

  2. Nyunt Says:

    Interesting contemplation, I do that often too.

  3. Bee Eng Says:

    Here in US, you may prepare ahead of time for your own death as living trust & will in paper. For myself, I was done all that before I retired. My whole body will be willing to donate as use as people who needed and no funeral which cost so much times and money for others.

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