The day when human mind focused on death, instead of life, the future, instead of the present, Yamaraj (Divine-in-charge of the time, death, King of Time) was possibly created.
And hence every Brahmin true to his soul pays respect to the Lord, note: not God, of Death
Prostration to the Lord of Death
Stand facing south, palms joined.
Yamaya dharmarajaya mrityave chantakaya cha
Vaivasvataya kalaya sarvabhuta kshayaya cha
Audumbaraya dadhnaya nilaya paramesthine
Vrikodaraya chitraya chitraguptaya vai namah
Chitraguptaya vai nama om nama iti
How does one understand this section of the future ? Future is the end. To the the lord of death, the lord of the end, lord who kills all the past; the past which haunts. Yama is killer of the past, receiver of the dead. The dead get a chance of interview with Chithragupta, the Lord’s Bookkeeper and as luck permits, Lord Yama himself. Lord Yama is not a God, he was not elevated to that level at any point. Like all other devas, the divine beings, Yama also gets his immortality and superdivine powers by virtue of being a Deva. And to that Yama we pay our respect. Not before dying. Not after. It is everyday. And the point being, the past needs to be killed. And everyday we are dying. We are also growing from the past.
In traditional Mexican tradition, Day of the dead, is celebrated. In certain Tamil communities, the dead is taken to the funeral rituals accompanied by dance, songs and drums. Death Dance is “a thing” across the globe. With all the sufferings of the living gone, the dead on the day of death is sent off happily. The past is essentially protecting us. As an example from daily science I can fairly say that the outer skin of humans are composed of dead cells. This cover of dead cells help protect the inner live cells. When nail grows longer, nails are dead cells, no one says we are dying faster when someone grows hair or nails, some put nail polish and color their hair. Celebration of death everyday. And loss of the death, loss of hair and malformed nails are a cause of concern for people of indulgence. Is that necessary ?
“the old live in the past, the young live in the future, the wise live in the present”. This present presents itself as a present to the Lord of Death. Yama, would be more than happy given everyone accepts their present presence in complete mindfulness. The past , let it not haunt, but protect and make us wiser. The future, let it be natural transition from the actions of the past and present and not any random luck or wish favored blessing in the guise. The time ticks. It is in the perpetual works. If it cannot be changed why worry ? If it could be, then why worry ?
Those moments which has been accepted as is and then utilised gives Yama his much needed Nirvana.