Funeral Address: Music
A talk given by Phiroz Mehta at 47 Lillian Road, Richmond, London on 6th May 1994
In the house of Life, is a door named Death. On the other side of it is Bliss. If the door claims you, the self, and ineluctably it will, you will never know that Bliss, but if you, unselfed, swing that portal fearlessly with pure hand and heart, you are at one with Bliss and you know Immortality.
Entering the stillness and the silence, Death is seen as the perfector, and the consummator. Seeing this peacefully and fearlessly, I am filled with the wonder of creative renewal. Free of psychological time and the sorrow it holds, timeless eternity is realised in every moving flicker of Time, as I die wholly to Time’s beat whilst alive in the body.
In this perfect rhythm is the dance of life, the experiencing of the deathless state. Death is not destruction nor annihilation, Death is the extinction of my illusion of continuity. So I see Death is other-life, the non-finite non-being, because of which there is no “me” to be repeated again, and I see that Death, Life’s immortal and inseparable twin, offers the hospitality of Life, incomprehensible, silent containment by the Absolute, in the unknown and unknowable eternity.
Austere? Then remember that for us who live as mortals there is only the way of love and understanding.
Heart speaks to heart noiselessly. Who loves hears. Who listens understands. So your tears can be wiped away ere they roll down. Even down here in feebleness to see and hear and understand the inconsolability of Death is to be made deathless by Life and realise its benediction.
This is Love. This is Freedom. This is Reality.
Deep in the womb of the timeless truth lies the certainty that we are not mere pawns of fate, but the bearers of a divine destiny, the destiny to be Man. It was there before the world was, hidden in the night of sleep till the dawn of awakening, and that golden daybreak glowed with sweet and silent laughter when the still mind spoke its wordless message, promising redemption through enlightenment by wisdom, peace through compassion, freedom through that beauty in which selfness is not. Such is the reality of Death. Let Death be. Power of transmutation! Restorer of union with life abundant! And the flow of this life is the stream of compassion, wisdom, truth, purity, goodness, beauty, virtue — religion in fulfilment in every moment of daily life and work.
Thus it is that Death establishes me in my aloneness even as Transcendence is the Alone, the Life which is the creative pulse. Life never stands static, nor does it move towards a goal. It writes on the edge of the Eternal Mind and laughingly erases the old word as it writes the new. The Eternal Mind itself is ever transparent, spacious, silent.
At various meetings we have considered together the identity of the one, primordial, undifferentiated creative energy and the one pure, absolute consciousness. As this creative energy differentiates and this pure consciousness proliferates, the cosmos emerges. Human beings, finite and mortal, are part of this cosmos and whilst alive can converse with each other.
Today your meeting with me is our last one, for the living person whom you knew bodily as Phiroz is dead. In due time all that made up Phiroz, the particular being, will be fully absorbed into the one universal non-being, which is nameless, infinite, eternal and immortal. That is the One Only, the Alone, the Transcendence which wholly subsumes every finite, temporal and mortal being.
Some of you may wish to preserve a memory of Phiroz. Then remember him as one who tried to live as your devoted servant for the sake of your happiness and of your fruition. So, at this last meeting please accept this message:
Even as he cared for you, do you love one another. Make each other happy and devote yourselves to bringing all creation to fruition.
When each separate being dies, Transcendence wholly subsumes that being into the deathless state, the Infinite, the Eternal, the Immortal. So, although this is our last meeting our true communion is of the deathless state. In the words of the poet Wordsworth:
…a sense sublime
Of something far more deeply interfused,
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
And the round ocean, and the living air,
And the blue sky, and in the mind of man:
A motion and a spirit, that impels
All thinking things, all objects of all thought,
And rolls through all things.
So, goodbye. God be with you. May you all keep going without flagging and fare on in good health, and peace, and love.
My father passed away last week, listening to the surmon really helped me cope with death. Thanks.
Kamal Phawa, 5th November 2008