Srila Prabhupada often spoke of death. He explained that a transcendentalist doesn’t fear this stage of life, or regard it as the ultimate end, but sees it as a transition to a hopefully higher state of existence. Regrettably the general tendency is to regard death as the end of everything, as with the “dust to dust” philosophy of being. Even talented writers like Leo Tolstoy wrote about death as the end of life. The following excerpt from his most famous novel fortunately contains a mention of the insignificance of life: ” ‘I never stop thinking of death,’ said Levin. ‘It’s true that it’s high time I was dead and that all this is vanity. I will tell you frankly: I do value my idea and my work awfully; but in reality just think! This whole world of ours is nothing but a speck of mildew, which has grown up on a tiny planet. And for us to suppose we can have have something great – ideas, work – it’s all dust and ashes.’ ” Leo Tolstoy is said to have turned to religion in the latter part of his life.