The Highest World
The supreme austerity is indeed that a man suffers when he is ill. (1)
He who know this wins the highest world.
The supreme austerity is indeed that a man, after death, is carried to
the forest. (2) He who knows this wins the highest world.
The supreme austerity is indeed that a man, after death, is laid on
the fire. (3) He who knows this wins the highest world. (4)
(1) A sick person, while he is suffering pain, should think he is performing a penance; he should not condemn the disease or be dejected over it. This ungrudging endurance of suffering wipes out evils.
(2) By the priests for the funeral ceremony. Retirement to the forest from home is a form of austerity.
(3) For cremation.
(4) The acceptance of the threefold suffering as a form of penance destroys past sin and produces the same result as one gains from the practice of austerity.
source: a short excerpt from “Brihadaranyaka Upanishad”
image: Eddie Two Hawks, Image Collection, Mandala