By Vicitravirya Dasa
Through the ages Western man has alternately pondered or ignored death, the most persistent yet least understood fact of our existence. In the year A.D. 138, the great Roman emperor Hadrian lay dying in a villa overlooking the Bay of Naples. For many years he had been the mighty ruler of the Western world, governing an empire that stretched for thousands of miles. In the course of his eventful life as soldier/statesman, he encountered diverse peoples of many customs and faiths. From these people he had perhaps heard various ideas on the supreme challenge that now faced him as he gazed out onto the bay.