The Passing of the Day

Following is an account of how Shri Satya Narayan Goenka faced his last moments, on Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sometimes the end of life comes as peacefully as the passing of the day.

In the last months of his long life, Goenkaji was confined to a wheelchair and faced increasing pain, yet he strove to carry on with his daily routine. Often he had recalled how the Buddha served until his last moments. It was clear that Goenkaji intended to follow that great example. He continued to meet with visitors and to take a close interest in the Dhamma work.

On his last day, at breakfast time Goenkaji asked his son Shriprakash how work was proceeding at the Global Vipassana Pagoda. Shriprakash replied that he would be visiting the Global Pagoda that day and would make a full report on his return.

During the day, Goenkaji worked on a selection of 500 of his dohas (couplets) for possible future publication. As always, this was a labor of love for him.

At lunch, Goenkaji said, “I am relieved of the doctors.” Mataji attached no special significance to these words; she thought he was referring to a particular doctor who had recently visited him. However, it was obvious that Goenkaji wanted to spend the day quietly, undisturbed.

After teatime, Goenkaji reviewed major stories in the newspapers, as he was accustomed to do every day. He then meditated in a chair in his room. He came to the table for the evening meal but kept silent during it and returned directly to his room afterwards. 

He remained seated there for some time and then asked to be helped to bed. As soon as he was lying down, he started breathing faster. Noticing this when she entered the room, Mataji asked Shriprakash to come. Goenkaji opened his eyes and recognized his son but spoke no word. Shriprakash called the family doctor, and then a doctor who lived in the same building and was able to come at once. But events moved swiftly to their end. The breath came in, the breath went out and then ceased. The heart had stopped beating. There was no sign of pain or stress on Goenkaji’s face, and the atmosphere in the room was serene and peaceful. The time was 10:40 p.m.—the end of the day and a fitting close to a long life of Dhamma


Bài viết này được trích từ cuốn sách The Art of Dying – Thiền Sư S.N.Goenka và nhiều tác giả khác.

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Dhamma Nanda

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