The concept of death
I don't intend to frighten anybody by discussing such a grave and apparently grim subject,but since each and every being who is born in this world one day has to die, it becomes necessary to understand death, just as much as it is to understand life.Life and death are inseparable.Every living being undergoes this constant cycle of birth and death, the buddhists call it the ocean of suffering.The only escape from this cycle is enlightenment,becoming a buddha oneself.
According to buddhism our entire existence can be divided into four realities: life,dying and death,after death and rebirth.In tibetan it is classified as the four Bardos.The term "bardo"is a tibetan word which means a "transition" or a gap between the completion of one situation and the onset of another.
As they very well say :It is absolutely certain that we will die, although it is uncertain when or how we will die.Now,we face two causes of death:untimely death and death resulting from the exhaustion of our natural life span.We consider it very important to die a natural death, so that one can observe it coming, and identify each and every stage as calmly as possible.Although the level of realization varies according to the dying person's knowledge and practice of death.Untimely death occurs generally due to obstacles and it can be averted.
I suppose,if we atleast have a very basic idea of what actually we undergo,while we are in the process of dying, it would be less painful and frightening for the ordinary people.I think the fear roots not only in the rejection and pain of death itself,but also due to the ignorance of the whole process that it involves.
My perspective of death is very limited and incomplete.I have mainly consulted " the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying" written by Sogyal Rinpoche, who is also the author of "The Tibetan Book of the Dead".I would like to focus first on the process of dying followed by rebirth,mind and its nature,Karma and some other related topics.