“It is a secret that only angels and dead souls know”, the angel spoke. “And now that you are dead, I will reveal it to you.”
“After death, one’s soul must abandon one’s body and present itself before the Lord and be accountable for all the sins and positive deeds committed by it during its lifetime.”
“This is no secret, we all know about it!” his frustration got the better of him. After all, dying was new to him. And he had hardly asked for it.
“Yes,” the angel was calm, “but what you don’t know is that how quickly and effortlessly one’s soul abandons the body, depends on how many people cry at one’s funeral.”
“Yes, how many people cry at your funeral!”
“And you will not be judged until you shed your body.”
He was angry. He was sad. He was never told about this while he was alive. He had paid donations, visited temples, performed pujas, and did whatever that anyone and everyone told him would reserve his place in heaven. But will anyone cry at his funeral? He was not sure. And how should that matter? “This is unfair.” He protested.
The angel smiled. “The problem with humans is that you read the words but don’t care for their wisdom. Here, let me explain,” the angel volunteered.
“When the Lord created man and woman, he directed them to help each other, to reach out and connect, to touch as many lives as possible, to spread ‘sharing and love’ which are the foundation of life. Humans, instead, started playing with words and their interpretation, and started assuming that the Lord could be misled. And they conceived an easy way out.”
“They started donating, hoping for salvation rather than working to reach out. They attempted to buy blessings instead of spreading love and concern. They started to pray, in anticipation of rewards rather than in submission.”
“They donated to charities, but troubled their neighbors. Adored movie stars, but abused loved ones. Worship to the Lord became a ritual instead of being a desired way of life”
“While all that you were asked to do was to connect with fellow humans”, the angel explained.
It then went on to question,
“So, how many people cried when you died?”