Law Mei Ling
The Importance at the Moment of Death


Life itself must have an ending to it. So, what does it mean, really, for the coming of the last moment of death? Does it mean an eternal ending, or the beginning of a new life, or the emergence of pain and suffering, or the starting point for happiness? During our lifetime, the natural energy of the "mind" is being captured in our physical body by the psychological hindrances of greed, hatred and ignorance, and so it can hardly be developed. However, with the coming of the last moment of death, when the last breath expires, the mind's energy, which has both clarity and strength, is suddenly released. If one can stabilize one's mind at the "goodness" of thought at this very moment, the energy of one's mind can direct and lead the dead person directly to the rebirth of the "three upper realms" - human, god and demigod. Conversely, if one's mind is attached to the "badness" of thought in the "three poisons" (greed, hatred and ignorance) at the very moment of death, the dead person will then be led to the rebirth of the "three lower realms" - hungry ghost, animal and hell.

The classic example of illustrating the importance at the moment of death is a real Chinese story on the origin of the "Prayer of Confession of Emperor Liang" It happened during the period of the Southern and Northern Dynasties, when there was an Emperor of the Liang Dynasty who had a wife, Empress Xi, on her death bed.

According to the Buddhist tradition, there will be a phenomenon of the "splitting-up of the four elements" (earth, water, fire and wind) and their dissociation at the moment of death. The order of sequence is as follows : (1) "earth element enters into water element" which is characterized by the losing of bodily functions and energy, just as in paralysis; (2) "water element enters into fire element" which is characterized by the losing of water in the body, and the mouth and noise become dried; (3) "fire element enters into wind element" which is characterized by the losing of heat in the body, and so the body becomes cold; (4) "wind element enters into the consciousness" which is characterized by the losing of the breath, and so there is no more breathing. In this process of the splitting-up and dissociation of the four elements, the sensations and feelings of the dying person will be in multiples of those of ordinary people. For example, -- CONTINUE --

CONTENT of Issue 3

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