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He who comes has to go!

We all know that death is a certainty. But is the process of dying similar for everyone?

There are three classes of entities - God and His avatars, God-realized saints, and bound-by-Maya people like us. Common to all three is the fact that all leave the world.

Let us examine each category. We know that God and His avatars manifest from time to time for doing Their work. Sri Krishna, Lord Rama, Narasimha, Buddha, and Parasuram are only a few manifestations of God and His avatars. For instance, Lord Rama; He manifested in the Treta Yuga for 11,000 years.

Who decides the lifespan of a person? In our cases, our karmas and God's decision determines it.

This decides how long we will live in this birth, and no one can extend it or reduce it by one moment. In God's case? Since there is no one above God to sit in judgment, He decides it Himself. When God manifested as Lord Rama, He stayed in this mortal plane for 11,000 years and carried out His pastimes.

What happened when God's 11,000 years were up? Did Yama, the lord of death, force Him to leave? Force? This is God we are talking about. Even the mighty Yama trembles, shivers and quakes, at the thought of God. Yet, Yama is a humble servant of God, and it is the dharma of a servant to discharge his duties faithfully. At the end of 11,000 years, Yama respectfully approached God - Sire! I am Your worthless servant, and I am here to remind You of Your decision to end this avatar in 11,000 years. The time has come; whether it pleases You to stay or leave is none of my business; my job is to remind You.

What happens to God-realized saints? There are two types of saints: the first are those who were not Maya-bound at birth. They were in God's abode, God wanted them to do something in the world, and so He sent them as

special representatives. Maya did not compel them to be born; they did so at God's pleasure and command. With them, God decides their lifespans. The second were those in Maya's bondage when they were born, but because of whatever reasons realized God in their lifetimes. In the second case, while the machine that produces future karmas is destroyed forever, their present lives are still influenced by their past karmas. Their lifespans were already set at birth, before they attained God.