A young student of Zen happened to break a precious vase belonging to his teacher.
When he heard his teacher's footsteps, he quickly held the broken vase behind him. As the teacher walked up to him, he asked, "Why does one die, master?"
"It's natural," said the teacher. "Everything has a beginning and an end. Everything has just so long to live and then has to die."
The student held out the pieces of the broken vase and said, "The time for your vase to die had come."