“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
Think of Him, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, at the time of death. Consciousness is the key. This carries from one lifetime to the next. The individual has lived before. They are a spiritual being, if defining at the essence. Everything else is temporary, including the name used to address.
Shri Krishna gives the promise in Bhagavad-gita. He explains the same concept through other verses in the same work and also in other works, such as Shrimad Bhagavatam. The concept is not exclusive to one dialogue that took place on a battlefield, between warrior and charioteer.
When a company announces a sweepstakes on a television advertisement, there is always the fine print. On the radio version, they hire someone who can speak lightning fast. That way they save precious airtime for the disclosure.
Many times the list of exceptions is long. Employees of the company are ineligible. This makes sense, as they have access to inside information. If you have already won a similar prize in the past, you don’t get to participate again. The company is trying to give someone else an opportunity this time around.
2. Special qualifications
There is a job opening at one of the big companies. The published annual salary is enticing, and so many people apply. The first issue is qualifications. That weeds out many of the applicants. Based on their experience and background, they simply are not equipped to handle the duties of the job.
The company is ready to hire a human being. They cannot discriminate based on age, gender, or ethnicity, but they can on other factors. They do not want someone entering the company who will cause trouble, who will deviate from the culture created over many years, who will be difficult to get rid of later on.
3. Outside requirements
In addition to the fine print and necessary qualifications, sometimes there are outside requirements. For a new job, do you have your own car? This might be necessary if you are expected to make deliveries. If you are entering a contest, perhaps you need an e-mail address or a smartphone in order to connect through an application. Pen and paper are not enough.
The idea is that with every promise made in the mortal world, there are some rules. With Krishna’s vow to grant liberation to anyone who thinks of Him at the time of death, there are no exceptions. You literally could have been the worst person your entire life, stuck in a pit of sinful life with no way out, and you have the same opportunity as anyone else.
Ajamila only accidentally remembered the Supreme Lord at the time of death. The Yamadutas were on their way to take him to the court of the god of justice. Judgment day was upon him; ready for a review of the pious and impious deeds from the recently concluded lifetime. That hearing of sorts would then determine his future destination.
Ajamila called out to his son, who was named Narayana. This is another name for Krishna, and so the servants of the Supreme Lord also arrived. Like a government investigatory body with higher authority than the locals, the Vishnudutas turned back the Yamadutas. Ajamila achieved liberation.
Any person can think of Krishna at the time of death. A large bank balance is not necessary. Proficiency in the Sanskrit language is also not a determining factor. Even an illiterate person, who simply holds Bhagavad-gita and contemplates the kindness, compassion and causeless mercy of Krishna towards His devotee can remember and be spared another birth.
As there are no rules to the promise, I should reward that kindness with favoritism, diligence, focus, steadiness and assertiveness in devotional life. I should remember to remember Krishna, who is the all-attractive one. This property extends to His names, which I can repeat on a daily basis: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
Possible for rejection,
Since meeting exception.
Though promise previously made,
Rules requiring obeyed.
Not with Krishna and liberation verse,
Possible even those to religion averse.
Because thinking properly at end,
Like Ajamila to Vaikuntha to send.
Categories: the three