I visited a friend’s home over the weekend for the three months religious ceremonies after the death of her husband. He was 40 years old.
During the ‘bana’ ceremony, the priest compared the life of a person to that of a burning oil lamp.
The lamp can go out because the wick burns out; or else because it runs out of oil. Or it will go out because of a natural cause like rain or the wind.
In the same way, a peson’s life can end due to three key reasons.
Firstly because, like the oil in the lamp, his time on earth simply runs out. So his life ends.
Secondly, he could die because of the effects of karma he commited in past lives and also gathered in this lifetime. While good deeds may cancel out bad karma, you cannot entirely avoid the effects of bad things you do.
Thirdly, a person can die of an accident or an illness; just as a lamp may go off because of the wind or the rain.
If our life can be flushed out so easily, shouldn’t we live our lives while trying our best to improve our minds? This after all is the way to shorten the cycle of birth and death. What other way to ensure avoiding death, than through avoiding future births?
Think about it.