Give me a peaceful old age
Age turns man's dark hair white and he stoops under the weight of his years. The vigor of his body declines, and he loses the fire and brilliance of life. The blood loses its warmth and courses with difficulty in his veins. Age live more by brain than by body. Age subdues man's passions that assailed his youth and stressed the struggle of his inner life. Cool they are now and asleep and leave him at rest. The hopes and ambitions now cease. He has reached the limit of his activities. His life's work is done and it is time for him to repose and rest.
Over again does he live in his old age the doings of his youth and like a cow that listlessly chews its cud, he leisurely ruminates over the merit or demerit of the doings of the life he leaves behind. Contented and peaceful is he if his youth has been wisely lived. Unhappy and restless, he ruefully reaps, if wildly his youth has sown. Sorrowful and penitent, he expiates the wrongs of his youth and invokes Ahura Mazda's help to redeem the wasted years of his life.
Man reaps after death the reward and retribution in heaven of the harvest he sows in his life upon earth, it is true, but even before he embarks upon his heavenly journey, he experiences happiness or misery in his old age as his youth and manhood have been good or evil.
The wailing winds weep for the waning of the year whom old age has overtaken. The end of the autumn is the beginning of the end of the year. The autumnal wind denudes the trees of their leaves and winter lays the dying year on the deathbed of dry leaves. So does nature take back in man's old age what she gave him at birth, tooth after tooth and hair after hair. Encroaching death ends all.
Even with three score years and more on his hoary head, man believes not he is growing old, such is the lure of life.
I pray for long life, Ahura Mazda, but a life in which the vigor of my body and mind of my youth and my manhood may linger long and keep afar the feebleness of age. Enfold me in thy loving warmth when life enters its wintry age. When, at last, blood in my veins courses with difficulty, and infirmity lays me down upon bed, enable me, O merciful Lord, to peacefully sleep into death without suffering and struggle.
This page was last updated on Friday, February 11, 2005.