On Death - Auroville (16 December 1999) - Track 3

Therefore human beings are very fortunate, they have remembered the contract. At a certain stage we understand why we are here on the earth. We have promised God. We want to participate in the building of the temple of the Divine on earth. We have here the Matrimandir, it is a very symbolic thing. We all need to build a huge Matrimandir, we are here to build a huge Matrimandir on the earth. Not a simple Matrimandir, but huge, multi-domed, beautiful. As I said, we architects and masons. If we go deep in our hearts we shall know what the architectural design is. When you become illumined you begin to find out what that architecture that you want to have is. And you are also a mason, not only an architect. We are many instruments. Our body, life and mind are instruments – tools of the mason. Very often, the architect may be very much illumined, but the mason and his tools are very often not responsive. Very often you have the experience: The architect goes to the mason and says, "Do this," and the mason doesn't understand very well and he makes a catastrophe. Sometimes, we are like that. The architect that is our soul tells us, "Look, design it this way." What is the design? It is very simple, actually. Matter, Life and Mind are to be so trained that they become happy in carrying out whatever is given to them by the architect. This is all that is to be done. Body, Life and Mind are to be so trained that they become absolutely transparent, absolutely obedient. This is what we call surrender. Our body, life and mind become so surrendered that whatever the architect says is immediately received and implemented.
When we reach the point of desperation it means that Body, Life and Mind, or at least Mind becomes desperate and says, "Please, enlighten me!" I have spoken of a burning sacrifice. The Mind sacrifices and says, "Please, give me the Light!" The Light is received and the mind begins to obey. Then the vital begins to obey, and then the body begins to obey. But there is a kind of a time lag. Very often you find that mind wants to do but the body doesn't want to do, very often this is what happens. There is a question coming up – why is it that what we want to do and we cannot? This is the reason: The Mind has become desperate, it wants Light, it has received the Light and knows what needs to be done, but the vital, which is the instrument of doing, the mason, he doesn't care. He is still lethargic.
Gradually the vital understands and becomes a great collaborator, like Hanuman. You know Hanuman is a great and true collaborator of the Divine. That is why it is said that in the vital you should become like Hanuman. The moment the Divine says something, it is immediately implemented; there is no refusal at all. The moment the Divine says something, the vital is ready, immediately it jumps; even if he wants it to cross the mountains and the seas it does it. That is the power of the vital, but normally it revolts. How often do you hear from people, "Oh don't talk to me about the Divine, I don't want to hear"? Very often you hear this – "Oh no-no, not too much of the Divine. I don't want to hear about the Divine. You are always talking about spirituality; I don't want to hear about spirituality." This, basically, is very often the answer of the vital. It wants to do what it wants to do. It likes all the ordinary joys and sufferings. Even if it has to have pain it doesn't matter, it says, "If there is some joy in it, then I will get that joy." It is like a brew that is bitter and sweet at the same time, and the vital is enjoying that brew. So to take that brew out of its hands and to say, "Look, there is a great, unmixed delight" – gradually, it agrees. The greater part of our life is taken up by this battle. We are holding the brew of bitter and sweet wine in our hands, and somebody says that there is a big jar full of delight, inextinguishable, inexhaustible. First of all, we don't even believe that there is such a thing; gradually the vital being says, "All right, I can have it." And once it knows it, like Hanuman it gives itself absolutely to the Divine. It's a great moment.
Then comes the turn of the body, the body is normally very difficult; it wants to sleep as much as possible. Even if it wants to wake up, it wants to go to sleep again. It forgets, or it wants to repeat the same thing as always, mechanically. When you are falling asleep, just look at how many thoughts keep on coming, the same thoughts. And most of our thoughts are very simple: "Where shall I eat tomorrow?" "What dress shall I put on tomorrow?" "Will there be butter on the table?" Very simple thoughts, but they go on repeating, repeating. Even if you answer, you are again asked the same questions. To make this body aware of the Divine Consciousness is a very difficult task. But ultimately, you can't escape. We have agreed, the contract is there, unless and until this contract is fulfilled, you cannot escape.
But since it takes a long time, you cannot do all this in one life. If it was a short work, you could do it in one life, but it's very long. In one life, it can't be done. So we pass through death and then we are obliged to be reborn, because the contract is still there, the work is not finished.
This is how we understand why we must die and we must be reborn. You cannot escape it until the work is done. The whole body has to become conscious. There has to be material conquest.
This is one answer as to why we must be born and why we must die. But it is still incomplete.
Why could our lives not be so long that, until the contract is over, we would not die – Why should it not be like that? That also could be. Why this process of death and rebirth at all? It also could be conceived that, if this is the contract, if this is the work to be done, it could be that everyone has thousands of years to live. Let them go on doing the work all the time for thousands of years, until it is done. Why is it not so?
The reason is that each one of us is partaking of the Inconscience. Each one of us. Since we are working in the mud, we always get mud on ourselves, no? We are working in the darkness, therefore darkness is upon us. Because of the darkness we don't know our own vastness. Actually, each one of us is vast, very vast. As architects, we are all vast; we have all the visions, deep visions, in our consciousness. But because we are working in the mud, the darkness, we have forgotten that we are vast, and we think ourselves to be limited. If someone asks you, "What are you?" then normally, if you want to give a biographical statement, your curriculum vita, you will say, "I was born on this date, my body is like this, I have got such and such tastes, I have studied such and such things, I want to do this, I want to do that..." That is all that is our whole account of ourselves.
In other words, in our consciousness we have made a very small formation of ourselves. This formation, by its very nature, is brittle. All formations, because they are full of darkness, because there is not vastness, are brittle, capable of being easily broken. Because this formation is brittle, there is this principle of dissolution. If you become vast the dissolution will not take place. It all depends upon this. Why must we die? We must die because the formations in which we are living are small; because of the smallness, they don't have the strength to hold out. There is therefore a possibility of breaking, dissolution.