I found this page when I wanted to read about the last words of enlightened people. Fake or real (I did not verify the source), these stories are very inspiring. Especially the one I am sharing below. What a way to go! What an attitude to life! Have a look at other stories also, some real gems there.
The Fireworks Display
One great Master, Nan In, was on his deathbed. He is one of those people whom I can say was religious, really religious. His whole life is full of incidents, anecdotes, stories, which give a clear indication of a man of tremendous insight.
He was dying and he had told his disciples, ‘I would not like my death to be mourned because it is not death. You will be unnecessarily wasting your tears and crying and weeping and I will be laughing from the other shore because I will see, “These fools! I have wasted the whole of my life: they have not understood a simple thing.”
‘I would like you to dance and sing and laugh and rejoice, because death is not death. I am going, leaving this house because it is no longer useful. This body is now more of a trouble than a convenience – I am just changing it. So there is no need to mourn. You should be happy that your master is going into a new life.’
To whatever he said they listened but their faces were showing that they were all ready to burst into tears. They were sad – and who would not be sad when a man like Nan In leaves the world?
But Nan In had made arrangements…. He said, ‘A few things to be remembered… this is my will.’
In the East it is a tradition, perhaps in the West also, that before you burn or bury a body you wash the body and put new clothes on it. I know the reason in the East is that the person is going on a faraway journey; maybe there will be some chance to have a bath or maybe not. Certainly he will need new clothes, so new clothes are given and a bath is given. This is just a way to say good-bye from this shore: ‘From now onwards we cannot help – you take care of yourself.’
Nan In said, ‘Don’t give me a bath because I have just taken one. And I don’t like baths in such a cold winter; even if I am dead I don’t want another bath. I have taken one, which was necessary. I have done it myself because I was concerned that if you give me a bath I won’t know how much water you pour in, how cold, and anything else you do. I have taken my bath so that ritual has not to be done.
‘And don’t change my clothes. You see, I have already changed because I don’t like clothes that don’t fit, which are too loose or too tight. You know I am fussy about that, so I have my dress ready – you can see it is new.’ And they saw that he had taken a bath and he did have a new robe.
Nan In said, ‘So these two things are not to be done – this is my will – but anything else you want to do, do. Don’t weep, don’t cry and don’t mourn. That would not be the right kind of good-bye for me’ – and he died.
Although he had said ‘Don’t cry’ – but what to do? Tears are not in your hands, just to stop or… To lose such a man, such a tremendously alive man, disappearing into who knows what…. ‘And how much he has given! Now towards whom are we going to look? Questions will be torturing us, doubts will be arising and who is going to say, “Don’t be worried, continue: you are on the right track and the goal is not far away?”’ His voice had been enough to bring courage and strength again. Now who was going to help?
They were crying and they were weeping but they could not manage to do it for long. People like Nan In are really creative geniuses. When his body was put on the funeral pyre they all started laughing in spite of themselves; tears were coming to their eyes. It was a strange situation: that man had hidden in his clothes many things – firecrackers and small bombs!
That’s why he had prevented them from changing his clothes; that’s why he had taken his own bath. His dress was specially made with many pockets inside where he was hiding an almost three-hour celebration. The people were laughing and crying. The firecrackers were going off – beautiful and colorful because in Japan they make the best. Nothing can be compared with Japanese firecrackers; they make them in such artful ways.
What Nan In was continually telling these people appeared in the sky, in writing: ‘Beware!’ A firecracker would go up and burst into small flower-like pieces and they all would fall together and make the word, ‘Beware!’
His disciples were looking at the sky and they forgot completely that it was a funeral; it became a beautiful exhibition of fireworks! They realized only as the fire died out and the body was consumed by the fire… only then did they realize that that man had been doing the same thing for his whole life. He had even made arrangements before dying so that after death also his work would continue in the same way, uninterrupted. Death made no difference: Nan In was still doing the same thing. (Osho: From Personality to Individuality)