LIFE LESSONS from a person, who has seen more than 12000 deaths…Prakash Tewari
Hindus believe that if you breathe your last in Kashi (Varanasi) you attain what is popularly known as ‘Kashi Labh’ or ‘the fruit of Kashi’—moksh or “release from the cycle of rebirth impelled by the law of karma”.
Kashi Labh Mukti Bhawan in Varanasi is one of the three guesthouses in the city where people check in to die and Bhairav Nath Shukla has been the Manager of Mukti Bhawan for 44 years. He has seen the rich and the poor take refuge in the guesthouse in their final days as they await death and hope to find peace.
He shares some recurring life lessons from the thousands of deaths he has witnessed in his experience as the manager of Mukti Bhawan:
*Resolve all Conflicts before you Die *
People carry so much baggage, unnecessarily, all through their life only wanting to drop it at the very end of their journey. The trick lies not in not having conflicts but in resolving them as soon as one can.
*Simplicity is the Truth of Life *
The understanding that dawns on many people in their final days is that they should’ve lived a simple life. They regret this the most. We spend more to accumulate more and thus create more need. To find contentment in less is the secret to having more.
Filter out the Peoples bad Traits
Every person has shades of good and bad. But instead of dismissing “bad” people out-rightly, we must seek out their good qualities. Harboring bitterness for certain people comes from concentrating on their negatives. If you focus on the good qualities though, you spend that time getting to know them better or, maybe even, loving them.
Be willing to seek help from Others
To know and do everything by yourself might feel empowering but it limits one from absorbing what others have learnt. We must help others, but more importantly, have the courage to seek help when we’re in need. Every person in the world knows more than us in some respect. And their knowledge can help us, only if we’re open to it.
Find Beauty in Simple Things
People sometimes are too critical or too proud to find joy in small things because their minds are preoccupied with “seemingly” more important things. Stop and admire a note or the sound or the beauty of a flower. Pause to appreciate it and live that moment
Acceptance is Liberation
Most people shirk away from accepting what they are going through. This constant denial breeds in them emotions that are highly dangerous. Only once you accept your situation is when you become free to decide what to do about it. Without acceptance you are always in the grey space. Indifference, avoidance, and denial of a certain truth cause anxiety and you live in constant fear. Acceptance will liberate you and empower you.
Accepting Everyone as the same makes Service Easier
The day you treat everyone the same is the day you breathe light and worry less about who might feel offended or not. It makes your job easier.
You find your purpose do something about it.
A lot of people know their purpose but don’t do anything about realizing it and simply keep sitting on it for life. Take action on what truly matters while you have the time.
Habits become Values.
Till one doesn’t consistently work towards being just or kind or truthful or honest or compassionate, every single time he is challenged, one cannot expect to have attained that quality.
*Choose what you want to Learn *
Others might impose subjects and philosophies on you because it interests them and while you must acknowledge their suggestions, the wise thing to do is delve deeper into what rejoices your own heart and mind.
People often at the end of their lives start to remember the things that made their heart sing once. Keep that song going on while you live.
Dont break ties with people. *Break ties with the thoughts they produce *
You can seldom distance yourself from people you have truly loved or connected with in some way. However, in any relationship, along the way, certain mismatch of ideologies causes people to stop communicating. This never means you are no longer associated with that person. It simply means that you don’t associate with a dominant thought that person brings with him/her, and to avoid more conflict you move away. The divorce, is with the thought and never with the person. To understand that is to unburden yourself from being bitter and revengeful.
10 percent of what you earn should be kept for Dharma
Dharma is not something religious or spiritual. It is associated more with doing good for others and feeling responsible about that. Keep 10 percent of your income for goodwill. Those who have the companionship of loved ones, the blessings of unknown strangers, and an all-encompassing goodwill of people exit peacefully and gracefully. That is possible when you don’t cling on to everything you have, and leave some part of it for others.
Contributed by Col. Prakash Tewari