Once upon a time, there was a great religious scholar. He preached to people every Friday in a temple. People came from distant lands to listen to him, because his sermons were very interesting and he possesses rare knowledge and wisdom.

On one of such occasions, that is, on a Friday, he told his students and the people gathering for his lecture that they should ensure they come the next week because he will be delivering his greatest sermon. The people were shocked because they could not imagine a sermon more interesting than the ones he had been giving.

The crowd that assembled for his sermon the following Friday was enormous. Everybody wanted to hear this ‘great sermon’. Some had arrived at the temple since morning even though the sermon will only commence by 04:00pm in the evening. But the great scholar was unusually not there in time. When the people became worried about his absence, one of his senior students was sent to summon him.

The student found him in a lotus position with beads in his hand. He called him and told him the people were waiting but the scholar did not respond. He called him again and again but still no response. He thought he must be in a meditative mood. However, he courageously went ahead and tapped him on the shoulder. But still no response, not even a slight motion. That was when he knew the great scholar was no more of this world.

He then went back to break the news of his demise to the anxious audience. Then they realised they realised what he meant by ‘the greatest sermon’. What sermon could possibly be more touching than this?

The reality of death is inevitable. It is no respecter of age, knowledge or wealth. Be you rich or poor, old or young, knowledgeable or ignorant, pious or not; you will leave this world one day, perhaps sooner than you bargained for. Many people are afraid to die. Many hate to hear about it. But it is not really death we fear, but what comes after it. We doubt if we deserve good in the hereafter. The question therefore is: how have we been preparing for the ultimate and the last visitor? Because, VERILY ALL SOULS SHALL TASTE [OUT OF THE CUP OF] DEATH.