A question about death

1001 Tales told by the Master

“This moment life is there – live it!”

dancing with a scull

How can one come to know that neither he nor anybody else dies?

There is no other way except to die.

One Zen Master was asked…

A great emperor came to enquire; he was afraid of death, as everybody is, and of course an emperor has more to lose than a beggar, so an emperor is bound to be more afraid of death than a beggar; death will take more from an emperor than from a beggar and so, of course, obviously he is more afraid.

He became old and he came to the Zen Master and he asked, “Tell me something about death, Master.”

The Master said, “How am I to know about it?”

The emperor said, “But you are an enlightened Master.”

He said, “Yes, but an alive one, not dead; how am I to know about it?”

This moment life is there – live it. That is the training for death. Otherwise when you are dead you will ask, “What is life?”

When you are asking, “what is death?” and whether the same continues to be after death or not, know that you are alive missing the possibility, the opportunity, to know what life is.

Osho, Tao: The Three Treasures – Talks on fragments from Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu, Vol 3, Ch 2, Q 5

Series compiled by Shanti
All excerpts of this series can be found in: 1001 Tales

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