I know not the day when death will conquer me. Yet I cannot live with peace, if the knowledge of the day of my death were given me. I will die one day in body, I know, but help me my God, never to die in spirit. Teach me to live and teach me to die, O Thou dispenser of life and death. I am born good. If I turn evil, I am false to my own self and to thee. Help me, then, to die good, if not better.
Death is life asleep. It is the going to sleep at night without awaking in the morning. It is the sleep that knows no end. So it is with the lifeless body lying upon its dying bed. Death liberates the soul and it embarks upon its journey heavenward to make up its accounts with the heavenly judge.
Heaven’s happiness is not won with ease. The memory of having lived well sheds joy unto the righteous soul of one. Dismal death gives glimpses of ghastly future to the soul of another that has not lived well. His memory runs over the years of ill-spent life and he sighs and he weeps for the woeful future that stares him in the face. Now when the shadow of the coming calamity deepens, an excruciating agony tortures him, and standing on the brink of the dark abyss of death, he cries: “O that I had lived well, that I could have died well.”
Thy holy men and women of all times, Ahura Mazda, that have lived well and died well have feared not death. They have faced it with contempt. They have bravely gone to the scaffold, bared their necks to the guillotine and cheerfully faced death that their honor He saved. They have been willing to die over and over again for their good name. Death with honor is sweeter than life with shame. I will live my life well and nobly and honorably, that I may leave the world without a stigma on my name.
Unto death will I be faithful unto Thee, my Father Divine. So truly a Zoroastrian life will I live, that when the race of my life is run and work upon earth is done, when my solemn hour comes at last and I am face to face with death, death then will have no terror for me and its fear shall not shine in my eyes. I will face death with equanimity.
Then when I am charmed into lasting sleep, my last sleep will be the sleep of the innocent, with a smile on my face. Peacefully will I resign myself in Thy loving care and protection. Then will my soul wing its flight to Thee, Ahura Mazda and I and Thee will stand face to face together. May it then come to pass that Thy words of greeting me may be: “Hail Thee! Thou that hast died well, for thou hast lived well!”
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