WALKING DOWN THE straight road on a lovely morning, it was spring, and the sky was extraordinarily blue;

there wasn't a cloud in it, and the sun was just warm, not too hot. It felt nice. And the leaves were shining and a sparkle was in the air. It was really a most extraordinarily beautiful morning. The high mountain was there, impenetrable, and the hills below were green and lovely. And as you walked along quietly, without much thought, you saw a dead leaf, yellow and bright red, a leaf from the autumn. How beautiful that leaf was, so simple in its death, so lively, full of the beauty and vitality of the whole tree and the summer. Strange that it had not withered. Looking at it more closely, one saw all the veins and the stem and the shape of that leaf. That leaf was all the tree. Why do human beings die so miserably, so unhappily, with a disease, old age, senility, the body shrunk, ugly? Why can't they die naturally and as beautifully as this leaf? What is wrong with us? In spite of all the doctors, medicines and hospitals, operations and all the agony of life, and the pleasures too, we don't seem able to die with dignity, simplicity, and with a smile. Once, walking along a lane, one heard behind one a chant, melodious, rhythmic, with the ancient strength of Sanskrit. One stopped and looked round. An eldest son, naked to his waist, was carrying a terracotta pot with a fire burning in it. He was holding it in another vessel and behind him were two men carrying his dead father, covered with a white cloth, and they were all chanting. One knew what that chant was, one almost joined in. They went past and one followed them. They were going down the road chanting, and the eldest son was in tears. They carried the father to the beach where they had already collected a great pile of wood and they laid the body on top of that heap of wood and set it on fire. It was all so natural, so extraordinarily simple: there were no flowers, there was no hearse, there were no black carriages with black horses. It was all very quiet and utterly dignified. And one looked at that leaf, and a thousand leaves of the tree. The winter brought that leaf from its mother on to that path and it would presently dry out completely and wither, be gone, carried away by the winds and lost. As you teach children mathematics, writing, reading and all the business of acquiring knowledge, they should also be taught the great dignity of death, not as a morbid, unhappy thing that one has to face eventually, but as something of daily life - the daily life of looking at the blue sky and the grasshopper on a leaf. it is part of learning, as you grow teeth and have all the discomfort of childish illnesses.

killing a deer because that is the season.no. the extraordinary simplicity of dying . still lived on this earth how terrible it would be. or books. We kill so easily. There is no resurrection. the `me'. You kill in wars for so many romantic. how unhappy and how ugly they look. that is superstition. the child.not at the end of one's life after fifty. is not to be avoided. Everything on earth. for it is part of one's whole life. One thinks it can always be understood. but the intelligence of love and compassion with its sensitivity. with some joy and pleasure drinking.understands it not intellectually but deeply . that dying. sixty or ninety years. not of someone else dying but of each one of us. If all the human beings who have lived before us. If you see the nature of death. of loneliness. not the intelligence of thought. dies. how lost. And at the end of one's life one faces that thing called death and is frightened of it. the ending. Killing a deer is like killing your neighbour. work. having inevitably to face that thing. they waste away their life with incessant conflict which only exercises and gives strength to the self. actuality. however old or young. . so that as the student. One is very certain that if the educator understands the significance of death and the dignity of it. that's the wrong word . nationalistic.one would like in education to bring death into some kind of reality. The beginning is not the ending.Children have extraordinary curiosity. old age and some unexpected accident. but that the ending of every day is also the ending of oneself every day. but without any fear you explain it to them gently and make them feel that the living and the dying are one . the ego. And one would like to help .then he may be able to convey to the student. to the child. comes into being and withers away. It is not a sad affair of tears. a dogmatic belief. Is it because they have not really understood either the living or the dying? They have used life. dust to dust and so on. not only the animals for one's food but the vast unnecessary killing for amusement. work. We spend our days in such varieties of conflict and unhappiness. grows up he will never be frightened of the ending. called sport . To grasp this whole movement of life requires intelligence. is not something to be frightened of. lives. you don't explain that everything dies. smoking. how decrepit. Look at the old men and women. of separation. late nights and work. or knowledge. You kill animals because you have lost touch with nature. past generations upon generations. felt deeply. on this beautiful earth. but that death is like that leaf. The child with his curiosity can be helped to understand that death is not merely the wasting of the body through disease. with all the living things on this earth.

As one looked at that dead leaf with all its beauty and colour. be aware of. back to the parent page . ideologies. not at the very end but at the very beginning. something to be avoided. but rather something to be with day in and day out. Violence and killing go together. maybe one would very deeply comprehend.political. something to be postponed. Death isn't some horrific thing. And out of that comes an extraordinary sense of immensity. what one's own death must be. In the name of God you have killed people.

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