Today is Vaikunta Ekadashi. On this day, most Vishnu temples have a doorway erected. Devotees walk through this doorway into Vaikunta. This doorway is called Vaikunta Dwaara. Seems funny! We all know that you just step through the doorway unto the other side and nothing has changed!
What then, is the purpose of Vaikunta Dwaara or the doorway to Vaikunta?
This is how our ancient seers saw it. We all are bound to exit this earthly plane someday. And we have seen people exit this earthly plane before. Even though death is inevitable, the end of life, seems to many, to be the scariest part. No one wants to die! And the ones who claim, are fearless about death, don’t want death to happen today.
Vaikunta Dwaara or the doorway to the other world is a stark reminder of the inevitable. However, Hindus have made it a divine adventure. Year after year, we are reminded that God is waiting on the other side to receive us. So, there is nothing to fear really. Isn’t it such a beautiful way to embrace death?
We have to prepare for Vaikunta every day. Else, the end of life will be a fearful experience.
How do we prepare for Vaikunta?
Before we prepare for Vaikunta, we need to know what happens to the body as we (the soul) begin to exit!
Our body is considered a contraption. This contraption is necessary because we need to burn our Karma. It’s a box in which you (the soul) are confined, without freedom. Here, on earth, you experience life only to wipe out Karma that you have earned from experiences in other lifetimes living in other physical bodies. When you are done with your karma, you have no more birth and death. You are then, free. That’s the objective of every life. To be free.
So, coming back to the exit moment, when we are about to exit the body, we need a thrust. That’s because, we, during the decades of existence in this body, believe the body to be us. We, on our own willing, won’t leave the body. So, a thrust builds up within, just like thrust builds up for a rocket to shoot into space. The sound of this thrust is like the white noise of a television. Just that it is a million times amplified.
With so much thrust, thinking doesn’t occur to us. Thinking is the most familiar part of our life. We are free to think and we think about everything. Mostly nonsense. So, when thinking doesn’t happen, you experience fright! It’s unbelievable. Just imagine, you want to get out of bed and your legs won’t move. You want to talk, but you don’t get words. You want to see, but your eyes don’t open. How would you feel? Frightened, isn’t it? This is just like that.. just that, it’s going to be sort of permanent.
This is the very reason we have to befriend the Vaikunta Dwaara. Every day, we must connect with Vaikunta Dwaara. The way to do this is through awareness. Get to the plane of inner silence. When you befriend this silence, you will come face to face with the white noise. It is silent, very silent, deep, empty, and full at the same time. If you are familiar with the practice of meditation, you’ll know what I am talking about.
When the time comes to leave the body, you come face to face with the same deep white noise you have been connecting to every day. At that time, you will know this deep white noise. You have been here day after day. You have befriended it. That doorway or Vaikunta Dwaara takes you to the real Vaikunta. You must practice every day until the doorway opens for you. Then, you will know no fear. You will, then, merge with God.
May all who walk through Vaikunta Dwaara today, be awakened and connect to the silence within, so that, they too can cross over beyond life and death, to merge with the eternal One.