We have many fears in this life. We fear that our wealth will be lost. We fear that our children will not amount to much.
We worry that we will not be looked after in old age. We are afraid that something might happen to hurt our reputation. But more than anything else, what we fear most is death. We all know that we have to leave this world one day; yet as we age, the fear of death becomes foremost. But if we learn to accept the fact of death and learn to maintain our equanimity, we can live our lives in peace. After all, why should we spend the days of our life in fear of what is unavoidable and which is bound to happen whether we fear it or not?
To fear death and worry about our departure will only make our lives miserable. To live fearlessly is to live happily, said Malayaman in a discourse.
Plants, trees, insects, animals and birds too have a fixed lifespan, and they too get erased from this earth one day. So why should we worry about death? Yasodhara Kaviyam, one of the minor epics of Tamil literature, says that not only the bodies of human beings but the bodies of celestials too will one day see death.
Kings may claim divine descent. They may rule over a huge territory. But they too will die one day. Many Tamil works talk about the impermanence of life.
Naladiyar says one sees the beautiful moon adorning the crest of a hill at night. It is a lovely sight to behold. A king too has above his head an umbrella signifying his royal status, and this umbrella resembles the moon that we see above the hill at night. And yet even this king, with all his status symbols, will pass away.
Narunthogai points out that it is not just human beings who depart from this world. Even the stately buildings which they build will one day disappear, and the land on which the buildings once stood will become grazing ground for donkeys.
Nalvazhi says the peepul tree on riverbanks will one day cease to exist. The lesson we have to take from all these happenings is that since life anyway is impermanent, we should not worry about dying.