“And whoever, at the time of death, quits his body, remembering Me alone, at once attains My nature. Of this there is no doubt.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 8.5)
अन्त-काले च माम् एव
स्मरन् मुक्त्वा कलेवरम्
यः प्रयाति स मद्-भावं
याति नास्त्य् अत्र संशयः
anta-kāle ca mām eva
smaran muktvā kalevaram
yaḥ prayāti sa mad-bhāvaṁ
yāti nāsty atra saṁśayaḥ
The truth is not presented to be accepted as dogma. It is not a “my religion” against “your religion” concept. Being the origin of this universe, the source of both the material and spiritual energies, Shri Krishna is quite familiar with how the death process takes place.
Quitting the body is not easy. While it may occur quickly, it is anything but seamless for the spirit soul, the animating spark inside, to leave the home to which it has been attached since the time of birth. As soon as the exit from the womb occurred, the paired event was a guaranteed outcome.
जातस्य हि ध्रुवो मृत्युर्
ध्रुवं जन्म मृतस्य च
तस्माद् अपरिहार्ये ऽर्थे
न त्वं शोचितुम् अर्हसि
jātasya hi dhruvo mṛtyur
dhruvaṁ janma mṛtasya ca
tasmād aparihārye ‘rthe
na tvaṁ śocitum arhasi
“For one who has taken his birth, death is certain; and for one who is dead, birth is certain. Therefore, in the unavoidable discharge of your duty, you should not lament.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 2.27)
In the Bhagavad-gita, the charioteer to the bow-warrior Arjuna promises that anyone who thinks of Him at the time of death never has to take birth again. Naturally, this has the corresponding benefit of no more death.
The mention is intentional. At the moment of quitting, there are so many other things that could be on the consciousness, which would then divert the spirit soul away from the imperishable realm.
1. My family
They are dear to me. Prior to entering this world, I had no knowledge of their existence. Some of them, like the children, appeared after me. Through association I became attached. Through their kindness and compassion, their steadiness in lending support, I feel eternally grateful.
When the time comes, I will be concerned over their future. How will they manage? Will they be alright? Will they remember me? Was the time spent in their association meaningful? Are they better off for having known me?
2. My friends
In a similar category, the difference is the lack of a direct relation. The attachment is strictly through association. We met up because of a shared interest, such as college, work, sports, and the like. We remained connected and helped each other out when necessary. Now I am leaving them behind. I should only hope to find such friends again in the future.
3. My job
There is so much responsibility on my plate. I am taking on quite a burden, but I enjoy it. If I leave everything behind, how will the company manage? The projects will have to stop. Not that I am so much smarter than everyone else, but it will take a while for a new person to learn everything.
4. Past mistakes
I wish I hadn’t yelled at my child when they were crying too much. That comment made to that person in school, it wasn’t very nice. I hurt so many people, knowingly and unknowingly. Many regrets, but what can you do? The past is the past, but I can’t seem to shake off these regrettable incidents.
5. Hope for future enjoyment
Maybe this isn’t really the end. Perhaps I will get to live on a little longer. I should enjoy as much as possible. Make plans today to travel the world, to leave behind the pressure. Try new food. Learn to ride a motorcycle; perhaps even jump out of an airplane. Throw caution to the wind.
Thinking of Shri Krishna at this crucial moment indicates real surrender. When you are totally helpless, when everything is officially out of your control, in which direction do you turn? Do you leave everything in God’s hands or do you continue the struggle to maintain the false sense of proprietorship in a temporary world?
The extra benefit is that the connection in yoga will automatically take care of any other issues that might tax the mind. The friends and family benefit since they played a role in my attaining liberation. The office responsibilities were always on shaky ground to begin with. The past mistakes are corrected, immediately, since the final outcome is a positive one.
Not needing apology directive,
Since bhakti itself corrective.
Friends and family to see,
That Krishna consciousness in me.
Example on solid ground sitting,
So no worry when body quitting.
Bhagavan of everything taking care,
Of genuine surrender aware.
Categories: the five