"Remember that the nation lives in the cottage. But, alas! nobody ever did anything for them. Our modern reformers are very busy about widow remarriage. Of course, I am a sympathiser in every reform, but the fate of a nation does not depend upon the number of husbands their widows get, but upon the condition of the masses. Can you raise them? Can you give them back their lost individuality without making them lose their innate spiritual nature?" - Vivekananda
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VEDANTA MASS MEDIA The Imitation of Christ | Thoughts on Death  

 

 

         

 

 


                   

     The Twenty-Third Chapter

 

 

 

 

 

     

 

 

 

     VERY soon your life here will end; consider, then, what may be in store for you elsewhere. Today

we live; tomorrow we die and are quickly forgotten. Oh, the dullness and hardness of a heart which

looks only to the present instead of preparing for that which is to come!

 

     Therefore, in every deed and every thought, act as though you were to die this very day. If you

had a good conscience you would not fear death very much. It is better to avoid sin than to fear

death. If you are not prepared today, how will you be prepared tomorrow? Tomorrow is an uncertain

day; how do you know you will have a tomorrow?

 

     What good is it to live a long life when we amend that life so little? Indeed, a long life does not

always benefit us, but on the contrary, frequently adds to our guilt. Would that in this world we

had lived well throughout one single day. Many count up the years they have spent in religion but

find their lives made little holier. If it is so terrifying to die, it is nevertheless possible that to live

longer is more dangerous. Blessed is he who keeps the moment of death ever before his eyes and

prepares for it every day.

 

     If you have ever seen a man die, remember that you, too, must go the same way. In the morning

consider that you may not live till evening, and when evening comes do not dare to promise yourself

the dawn. Be always ready, therefore, and so live that death will never take you unprepared. Many

die suddenly and unexpectedly, for in the unexpected hour the Son of God will come. When that

last moment arrives you will begin to have a quite different opinion of the life that is now entirely

past and you will regret very much that you were so careless and remiss.

 

     How happy and prudent is he who tries now in life to be what he wants to be found in death.

Perfect contempt of the world, a lively desire to advance in virtue, a love for discipline, the works

of penance, readiness to obey, self-denial, and the endurance of every hardship for the love of

Christ, these will give a man great expectations of a happy death.

 

     You can do many good works when in good health; what can you do when you are ill? Few

are made better by sickness. Likewise they who undertake many pilgrimages seldom become holy.

 

     Do not put your trust in friends and relatives, and do not put off the care of your soul till later,

for men will forget you more quickly than you think. It is better to provide now, in time, and send

some good account ahead of you than to rely on the help of others. If you do not care for your own

welfare now, who will care when you are gone?

 

     The present is very precious; these are the days of salvation; now is the acceptable time. How

sad that you do not spend the time in which you might purchase everlasting life in a better way.

The time will come when you will want just one day, just one hour in which to make amends, and

do you know whether you will obtain it?

 

     See, then, dearly beloved, the great danger from which you can free yourself and the great fear

from which you can be saved, if only you will always be wary and mindful of death. Try to live

now in such a manner that at the moment of death you may be glad rather than fearful. Learn to

die to the world now, that then you may begin to live with Christ. Learn to spurn all things now,

that then you may freely go to Him. Chastise your body in penance now, that then you may have

the confidence born of certainty.

 

     Ah, foolish man, why do you plan to live long when you are not sure of living even a day? How

many have been deceived and suddenly snatched away! How often have you heard of persons being

killed by drownings, by fatal falls from high places, of persons dying at meals, at play, in fires, by

the sword, in pestilence, or at the hands of robbers! Death is the end of everyone and the life of

man quickly passes away like a shadow.

 

     Who will remember you when you are dead? Who will pray for you? Do now, beloved, what

you can, because you do not know when you will die, nor what your fate will be after death. Gather

for yourself the riches of immortality while you have time. Think of nothing but your salvation.

 

     Care only for the things of God. Make friends for yourself now by honoring the saints of God, by

imitating their actions, so that when you depart this life they may receive you into everlasting

dwellings.

 

     Keep yourself as a stranger here on earth, a pilgrim whom its affairs do not concern at all. Keep

your heart free and raise it up to God, for you have not here a lasting home. To Him direct your

daily prayers, your sighs and tears, that your soul may merit after death to pass in happiness to the

Lord.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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International Yoga Day 21 June 2015
International Yoga Day 21 June 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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