In Chicago, immediately after a discourse by Swami Vivekananda, somebody got up and said, “Swami, I have a question.”
Vivekananda was a man of fire, a spiritual servant. He was not a slow coach. Spirituality was not passive to him; spirituality was not dullness; spirituality was not inertia. Spirituality is dynamism and enthusiasm, and he knew this well.
He said, “Why not? Welcome! What is your question?”
“What is it that we should remember throughout our life?”
Somebody thought Swami Vivekananda would say God or wisdom. But to their utter surprise, Vivekananda gave this answer.
I repeat the question: “What is to be remembered throughout life?”
The answer of Vivekananda was just this: “Death.”
What we should remember throughout life is death. Why?
I should remember this so that my actions will not be unrighteous; so that whatever I speak will be full of truth; so that I will love people more; so that I will understand that life is transient, that life is constantly changing. Nothing is worth dominating others for; nothing is worth cheating others for. It is not worth being egotistic about anything. Nothing is worth anything when nothing follows me at the end of my life. Therefore, it is a constant reminder of death that will make everyone simple and humble in the present, the now.