Longback , during a train journey, I met a person who told me that he was a devoted Anandmargi. For those who are unaware of Anand Marg Sect , I would like to tell that Anandmarg originated in Indian state of West Bengal in 1955. And very soon this sect became very well known across India because of their one strange practice. The followers of this sect would make a procession on road in full public view , while each follower wore a human skull in his neck like a garland. Later on that practice was stopped because of public hue and cry and Government intervention.
So, when I was told by my fellow passenger that he followed Anandmarg, I asked him about the philosophy behind wearing a human skull. His reply had an excellent piece of wisdom. He said that DEATH IS THE ONLY CERTAINTY IN THIS WORLD BUT HUMAN BEINGS ARE PROGRAMMED IN SUCH A WAY THAT ALL HUMAN BEINGS CONSIDER THEMSELVES IMMORTAL UNLESS A DOCTOR GIVES A TIMEFRAME OF DEATH.
This , according to him, was primary reason behind Aasakti आसक्ति or attachment to the world and consequent corruption of various nature. He further told me, that by wearing a human skull, the follower is constantly reminded of mortal nature of human life and therefore preventing him from committing a bad deed as sooner or later everybody has to reduce to a human skull , seeing which nobody can decided if it was a President or begger's skull.
I agreed with him but I asked whether they still wore it. He told me it was not compulsory and if you can reach that Anaasakti ( detachment) अनासक्ति without a skull , there is no need to wear it.
The fear of death can bring such positive changes in human life. And one really good contemporary example is of Steve Jobs , the founder of APPLE. Six year before his death in 2011, Jobs had talked about how a sense of his mortality was a major driver behind his vision of iphone. He was suffering the cancers of pancreas and liver and doctors had predicted a very short life for him.
“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life,” Jobs said during a Stanford commencement ceremony in 2005.
“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”
Imagine if our octogenarian rulers start wearing a skull , India would be a different country.....