339 – Death

National Integration Through Thirukkural And Sanskrit


People are very anxious about death. Although it is common knowledge that all living creatures die, many people do not accept their own mortality, preferring not to accept that death is inevitable, and that they will one day die.

The causes of anxiety are:

  • Life flow disruption for near and dear ones after one’s death
  • Incomplete aspirations of life
  • Lack of insight into what happens after death

Human reactions to death are complex, multifaceted and dynamic. Death has to be understood in both biological and spiritual perspectives. Age and Culture are major influences on one’s understanding of death. A mature understanding of the concept of death results in reduction of anxiety and the fear of death. Spiritual understanding of death mentally prepares one to accept death much more easily.

When death happens at one’s old age, it is much easily accepted. It is the death of near and dear ones and the premature and violent deaths, which are very difficult to reconcile with. Every individual requires a variable length of time, to come to terms with the pain. Closely knit families often deal with death better than when coping individually.  If the after effects of death of near and dear ones are not properly handled, it leads to negative emotions and negativity towards life.

Men seem to accept death and reconcile to it, much easily than women. Psychologists attribute this to the fact that, women, who are the child bearers and the ones who look after children, hold greater concerns about death.

There are different theologies on life after death. Research finds that, there is less anxiety about death among people who are more religious, because some religions associate death with another beginning.

Thiruvalluvar believed in the theology of cycle of births and deaths till the liberation of soul is attained. He advises in couplet 339, that, death is similar to one going to sleep and birth is similar to one getting up from sleep. It is as simple and routine and as inevitable as that.

உறங்கு வதுபோலும் சாக்காடு உறங்கி 
விழிப்பது போலும் பிறப்பு 

Urangu Vadhu-polum saak-kaadu Urangi
Vizhip-padhu Polum Pirappu

பரிமேலழகர் உரை:

சாக்காடு உறங்குவது போலும் – ஒருவனுக்குச் சாக்காடு வருதல் உறக்கம் வருதலோடு ஒக்கும், பிறப்பு உறங்கி விழிப்பது போலும் – அதன்பின் பிறப்பு வருதல் உறங்கி விழித்தல் வருதலோடு ஒக்கும். (உறங்குதலும் விழித்தலும் உயிர்கட்கு இயல்பாய்க் கடிதின் மாறிமாறி வருகின்றாற் போலச் சாக்காடும் பிறப்பும் இயல்பாய்க் கடிதின் மாறிமாறி வரும் என்பது கருத்து. நிலையாமையே நிலைபெற்றவாறு அறிவித்தற்குப் பிறப்பும் உடன் கூறப்பட்டது.).

Sanskrit Translation by Shri S.N. Srirama Desikan

ஜீவஸ்ய மரணம் லோகே நித்³ரயா ஸத்³ருஸ²ம் ப⁴வேத் |
பஸ்²சாத் ப்ரபோ³த⁴ துல்யம் ஸ்யாத் ஜீவஸ்ய ஜனனம் புன:||