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Thread: Remembering god's name at the time of death

  1. #1
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    Remembering god's name at the time of death

    Namaste,

    It might be interesting for some members to know the contradiction surrounding the topic of remembering god's name at the time of death. To some, the final moments of life are crucial, thoughts at this time determine the nature of subsequent birth. They say, when a man (or woman) fixes his concentration between his brows and mentally contemplates on the Lord's name at the time of death surely attains Moksha. (Reference 1).

    But Sri Vaishnava perspective differs. When Srimad Ramanujacharya, the proponent of Vishishtadvaitam, questioned Kanchi Sri Varadaraja (the deity) through the medium of Thirukkacchi Nambi, the deity replied that it is NOT required to remember god's name at the time of death.

    Based on the above, what would be your take on this issue? Any unique perspective to be offered through teachings of your sect?

    Thanks.

    Reference 1 from Bhagavath Gita:

    prayāṇa-kāle manasā 'calena
    bhaktyā yukto yoga-balena caiva
    bhruvor madhye prāṇam āveśya samyak
    sa taṁ paraṁ puruṣam upaiti divyam

    "One who, at the time of death, fixes his life air between the eyebrows and in full devotion engages himself in remembering the Supreme Lord, will certainly attain to the Supreme Personality of Godhead."


    Sarvam Sri Krishnarpanamastu!
    jai hanuman gyan gun sagar jai kapis tihu lok ujagar

  2. #2

    Re: Remembering god's name at the time of death

    Namaste Viraja-ji

    Both would seem true͵ imo. Due to dharma-bhramsa that happens in the course of life͵ apamrtyu occurs. ie man does not live his full span of life. This is what happened to Ajamila. His bad karma polluted his mind͵ hence he was unable to focus his mind on the Parama Purusha at the time of death. However due to some sad-vasanas͵ he recited the pure͵ divine name of Bhagavan Narayana. And we know what happened. He didnt get moksham immediately (this is the crux of the matter - normally glossed over in Harikatha). His Ayus got extended. Which he utilised properly by resorting to Haridwar where͵ through yoga practices and renunciation͵ he purified his Antah karanam and perceived Brahman within. This is the state of Tad Vishnoh Paramam Padam Sadaa pashyanti Soorayah - that the Gita in the reference sloka mentions. Note : The Gita sloka doesnt say merely *reciting the lords name* instead it says *focusing on the form of the Supreme Lord*
    Last edited by harih; 13 June 2015 at 06:35 AM.

  3. #3

    Re: Remembering god's name at the time of death

    Just verified with Srimad Ramanuja Gita Bhashyam. He has explained (8:9) ie Kavim Puranam Anusasitharam and (8:10) together. So as to emphasize the Abhyasyamana-bhaktiyukta-yogabalam of focusing on the divine form.

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    Re: Remembering god's name at the time of death

    Quote Originally Posted by harih View Post
    Namaste Viraja-ji

    Both would seem true͵ imo. Due to dharma-bhramsa that happens in the course of life͵ apamrtyu occurs. ie man does not live his full span of life. This is what happened to Ajamila. His bad karma polluted his mind͵ hence he was unable to focus his mind on the Parama Purusha at the time of death. However due to some sad-vasanas͵ he recited the pure͵ divine name of Bhagavan Narayana. And we know what happened. He didnt get moksham immediately (this is the crux of the matter - normally glossed over in Harikatha). His Ayus got extended. Which he utilised properly by resorting to Haridwar where͵ through yoga practices and renunciation͵ he purified his Antah karanam and perceived Brahman within. This is the state of Tad Vishnoh Paramam Padam Sadaa pashyanti Soorayah - that the Gita in the reference sloka mentions. Note : The Gita sloka doesnt say merely *reciting the lords name* instead it says *focusing on the form of the Supreme Lord*
    Thank you for this wonderful reply, harih ji! Surely Ajamila's story and his recitation of Lord's name at the final moment of his life procuring him extended lifespan for pursuing austerities, shows the world the importance of remembering Lord's name at the time of death! A good example.
    jai hanuman gyan gun sagar jai kapis tihu lok ujagar

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    Re: Remembering god's name at the time of death

    Namaste,

    As much as I agree with the basic premise of this thread, I can't help but look at the practical aspects of human life. First of all, a person has to live a God centered/conscious life to remember Him at the time of death. This is not something that will pop up out of nowhere if the person did not live a God centered life. Gandhiji is said to have uttered, 'Hey Ram" before his final breath after getting shot. This happened because he was never too far from the divine during his life. So, the mind is programmed to remember Him long before the final moments of life. It is not a random occurrence happening only at the time of death.

    Secondly, with the experience of few deaths that I have had the chance to witness, many people don't get the opportunity to remember Him at the final moment. The elderly in these cases had lost most of their mental capacity in the last few days of life, did not recognize most of the family members, stopped eating, slept almost 24 hours a day and basically starved themselves to death. So, in the case of elderly dying a natural death whereby their bodies and minds are totally worn out, there is very little left to remember God at the final moment. The final moment just happens in a very weakened, almost non-existent state of mind. People are not even cognizant of their own selves.

    So, at a practical level, a person has to live a God conscious life and die young when brain is still active, to be able to remember Him and focus on Him at the time of death. For most elderly people dying with worn out bodies and minds, it is a no go.

    Pranam.

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    Re: Remembering god's name at the time of death

    Very true, Believer ji! I realize the impossibility for many elderly (undergoing natural death) to remember god in the final moments of life. It should be a great blessing similar to other good things in life, to be able to remember his (her) name at the time of death, then! Perhaps then, the message should be emphasis on abhyasa of Lord's name each day so that one has the good fortune to remember him at the final moments?! I don't know that, but what you are saying is correct. I apologize if the OP does not make sense to some...
    jai hanuman gyan gun sagar jai kapis tihu lok ujagar

  7. #7

    Re: Remembering god's name at the time of death

    Namaste Believer ji
    Yes one has to practise divine consciousness throughout life. Hence Prahlada advises the Asura baalas (in Bhagavatham) :- Kaumaara achared praajno dharmaan Bhagavathaan iha.
    One has to spend some hours on meditation daily. Sri Krishna emphasizes this in the Gita. Those who are blessed to be born as introverts would find it easier. But it is never too late to start.

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