Ultimately in this ephemeral world, what survives for an individual is the Dharma practiced by him during his lifetime and not anything or anyone else, and therefore everyone should conform to Dharma in day to day life. This aspect is indicated in Manu Smriti.
“When one departs from this world to the other world, neither father nor mother, neither son nor wife will accompany him. Only the “Dharma” practiced by an individual follows him even after death.” [Manu Smriti IV-239]
“Once a person dies, his relatives cremate the body and leave for home. Only the Dharma performed by him during his lifetime remains with him. Therefore, it is essential that a man during his lifetime should conform to Dharma.” [Manu Smriti IV-241]
The above verses indicate that the observance of Dharma by individuals throughout their lives is essential not only for their happiness but also for the happiness of other individuals who constitute the family and society. This means that everyone should live without exploiting or harassing others. Every day he should acquire ‘Punya’ (merit of good deeds) by acting in accordance with Dharma, without causing injury or trouble to other living beings. This alone gives real happiness. Man should conform to Dharma and accumulate the merit of good deeds slowly and gradually.
The last word of this shloka of Manu Smriti is very significant and of eternal value. A man may acquire valuable property with the object of living a luxurious life. All such property or wealth in the form of huge accumulated money, gold, luxurious buildings and vehicles cease to be available to a person the moment he dies. But the deeds of Dharma performed by him alone survive and stand attached to his name inseparably and forever. This is the only way in which a man who is mortal can become “Immortal”. We are all aware that millions of people who are born in this world and die are totally forgotten. But the names of great men who practiced Dharma which includes all good deeds, such as patriotism, service to humanity in one or the other form enter the pages of history and acts of Dharma performed by them during their lifetime follow their name forever. Every person who may not be able to enter the pages of history, but who had in his own humble way lived as helpful to fellow human beings is remembered by the people of the locality forever and constitutes the source of inspiration for future generations. This is how a man who is mortal can become “Immortal”.
For any person who cultivates good character and conduct and who devotes his time, energy and wealth [tanu, mana and dhana] in the service of the people as advised by Swami Vivekananda can become “Immortal” by his efforts. This is the object with which I have written this book under the title “BE IMMORTAL” as part of the 150th Birth Anniversary Celebrations of Swami Vivekananda as one of the National Vice Presidents of the “Swami Vivekananda Sardha Shati Samaroh” Central Celebrations Committee.