On Death - Auroville (16 December 1999) - Track 4

Because of the smallness we are incapable; because of the incapacity we have got desires – it is a chain: Because of the smallness of our formation we have got incapacities, all of us have got incapacities – it is because we are small; because of the incapacity we have desire. Why? Because we don't want any incapacity, we want to be capable, and there is therefore a desire to increase our capacities. Because of desire we go on, moving on and on and on – but how far? A point comes where you really feel exhausted because your incapacities remain; you cannot completely or quickly overcome your incapacities. To the extent to which you can go on increasing your capacities you can live, but sometimes this is no longer possible. To increase your capacity you need to change your circumstances. How will you change the circumstance? This is why the law of death has been introduced. Normally, a time comes in our lives when we need to change the circumstance, and that is a very difficult task. Normally we remain in the same circumstances; we go on learning, studying and increasing our capacities. Then a time comes where we want to increase our capacities, but we can increase them only if the circumstance changes. Even that is possible, the circumstances can also be changed, but in a very limited way. A time comes when you feel that your circumstance should be radically changed.
Let us say that I am jailed. I remain in a small cell; I do not have the possibility to talk to you, and my capacities can develop only if I meet you, but I am kept in jail, I am not allowed. I make a great effort even to write letters to you, communicate with you, but I don't get the satisfaction I can get by talking to you directly, face to face. And I want to do it, and I know that my capacities will develop if I can talk to you, if I can meet you. If I know this, then what will happen? I will have to pass away from that jail. How can I pass away from that jail? Of course, I can break out, that is one possibility, but supposing that possibility does not exist, then what? Then death intervenes. There must be death.
I am only trying to give an example of circumstances that you are obliged to change radically. Actually, if you study any example of death, you can be sure that this is the reason: The need to expand is felt very deeply, on the one hand, and on the other the circumstances are so rigid that that need cannot be fulfilled. It is at that stage that there is an inner decision to leave that body, to come out of it – to change the circumstance, and then enter into a circumstance in which your need can be fulfilled.
This is the true answer to why we should die. First we must die because the process of the fulfillment of the contract is very long. And we are limited and we do not have the strength to go on and on until the contract is fulfilled that is the necessity of dissolution. Secondly, I gave a deeper answer: That when the circumstances have to be radically changed and this cannot be done by normal methods, then death becomes inevitable. This is the reason why death and rebirth are inevitable until you reach the point where you can say, "Now I have fulfilled whatever role I have to play in the building of the temple of the Divine. I have done it." Then the law of death does not intervene; you are not obliged to be reborn, you go out of Sambhava ? that is the word in the Isha Upanishad. Sambhuti and asambhuti: Sambhuti means the process of birth and death; asambhuti is to come out of the entire process of death and birth.
Question: How do you build the will?
For every student and for every teacher, this should be the most important question: How do you build the will? Yesterday I explained to you the distinction between desire and will. Desire is a state in which you are inclined, you feel an urge to move forward and grasp something from outside, to receive something from outside – you want to possess something that you don't have. There are many kinds of desires. Will is a condition in which you have within you the fullness – you don't need anything to come from outside, you are full. But in that fullness there is a delight to manifest, to throw out from you, to pour out. This movement is the movement of will. There's no desire because there is nothing to grasp from the outside, but what you have, you just put forth and enjoy putting it forth. All movement of manifestation of delight is a mark of will.
But in between the desire and this will there are many intermediate stages. There is a mixed desire and will. This is some kind of will in you, a little bit of will in which you find some fullness that is manifesting; but there is also a lot which you don't have and that you want to grasp from outside, so it is mixed with desire. Therefore, we often don't distinguish between desire and will at all. Very often you say, "I want to do something", "I desired something", or "I willed it thus" – so in our expression also there is not much difference. Most of us are in this intermediate stage, and your question arises from this stage. How can you increase your will power?
Let us grant that we all have some will power, but mixed with a lot of desire. The greater the will element, the stronger the will, the lesser the element of desire in you, the greater the will. So one mark is the abolition of desire, which is a very difficult task. Normally we are filled with instincts, impulses, wishes and desires and ambitions of various kinds, attractions and repulsions of various kinds – this is the gamut of desire. There are long-standing attractions. You say, 'it will take twenty years, I don't mind, I want to achieve that." Somebody wants to be a film star from early childhood; he says, "It doesn't matter if I have to spend twenty years preparing, I want to be a famous film star." It's an attraction. Somebody wants to be a great pilot, a captain in the army, a great doctor, a hero – all kinds of desires are there, these are long-standing attractions, they take a long time. Even in this case, when the attractions and desires are great, you will find out very soon that merely desiring does not give you the satisfaction of your desire. If somebody says, "I want to become a great hero," he won't become it merely by desiring or saying so. If you want to be a pilot, what does it mean? You have to study a lot of Physics, a lot of science, many sciences; you have to be a good engineer, you have to learn the mechanics of airplanes – all this cannot be done as long as you go on saying, "I want to be, I want to be, I want to be..." A point comes when you say, "Stop desiring." There is a very interesting theory called the paradox of desire. Desire cannot be fulfilled unless desire is lost. That is a paradox. If you want to fulfill a desire, a point must come in your movement where desire is lost, and you get to the work to be done. And when you really do the work, at that time you have to be very steady. At that stage of steadiness there is will. You don't desire, you bring out steadfastly from yourself something that is there in you, manifest it.