“You shall get nothing from me until you die”, said the Sufi mystic. Kabir described the concept beautifully. “ye to ghar hai prem ka, khala ka ghar naahi; shish utare bhui dhare ta par under jaahi’ (This is the house of love, not one’s familiar house. Cut off your head and then alone can you enter).
They all speak of death, but this is not physical death. The death they speak of is the death of ego, death of the individual self. Because, till the ego remains, the dual identity remains and it will not be possible to be one with the divine. Ego is the barrier that stands in the way of acceptance and surrender. Therefore, the need to emphasise the concept of death.
Ego and the mind is the twin doubting Thomases, with logic and analysis their army. They raise doubts. They seek refuse in weighing pro and con and lead ultimately to a calculating wavering personality. “Sansyatma vinashyati”, said Lord Krishna, when he found Arjun’s mind waver and get into the web of logic ,which made him forget that he was in the battlefield to fight a decisive battle and not ponder over the consequences of the battle.
The battle did not come accidentally. It came after all alternatives had been exhausted. Then why did he suddenly develop cold feet? The reason is his ego trying to assert itself and use immature logic when action was required. And, when he unconditionally surrendered to the Lord, his doubts vanished. This is a classical case of “death’ of the ego and the quarrelsome mind.
Sanyasins wear ochre. This symbolises that the ego, the mind and the individual self have all been consigned to the flames, and what remains is the openness of the vast vista, which can be filled with the experience of the divine. A most noble “death” indeed. But only a genuine look within and sincere effort and humility can one get to that stage and be in bliss forever.