We can remember Krishna only when we are sada tad bhava bhavitah. When one is simply thinking of Krishna all the time, sada. Then only he’ll be able to remember Krishna at the time of death. If one is thinking of anything else, people, we know the story of Ajamila. He was attached to his son, so much so that he remembered his son at the time of death. Our last thought will be where our deepest attachment is. Wherever your deepest attachment, that will be your last thought.
So we have to be very, very careful that our consciousness is in the right place. And if we practice properly throughout our lifetime at the time of death we will. And we are seeing it’s happening.
Just the day before yesterday one devotee in South Africa all of a sudden left her body. They went shopping from six, she was quite elderly, she and her husband. Many of you know probably, Harichandan and his wife, Rukmavati. Harichandan comes here quite often. Harichandan and his wife. She had some heart problem. They did shopping from six to nine, then, no I am sorry, three to six. Three o’clock to six o’clock. They did their shopping, then they came home. At seven o’clock they did their arotika and then they took some prasad. Now, when they were shopping she was actually telling him that she had a dream that Bhakti Devi came and told her to come with Her. And then at ten o’clock at night she was telling that she was feeling suffocation. She was finding it difficult to breathe. And she just told him, see, my time has come to go, I am going to go. And she just left. I mean, such a glorious way of… and apparently she is just an ordinary housewife. She is not a big sannyasi or big devotee. She was just a simple… but we are seeing how Krishna Consciousness Movement is benefitting people. How can one leave his body or her body in this way? She is having some difficulty and she is saying, well, my time has come for me to leave the body. Gone!
This is how Krishna consciousness helps. The real help will come at the time of death. And it’s a beautiful experience. To tell you frankly, like, when Prabhupada was in his final days, Prabhupada was totally bedridden as I told you many times. Prabhupada couldn’t even turn to his side. We had to help him to make him turn to his side when he wanted to. And sometimes Prabhupada used to say that, “Don’t think that this won’t happen to you.” What Prabhupada was going through, and Prabhupada was saying that it will happen to all of us. In this way Prabhupada actually taught us how to die, how to leave our body. And at that time, I mean, I heard the expression, Prabhupada saying that, but couldn’t understand it. But now I am seeing it, what happens when the body gets old. It doesn’t function the way it used to function before. And it will happen. Gradually it will become bedridden. Bedridden means the soul and the body will become separated gradually. And then finally the soul will leave the body and go.
So that is the arrangement of nature and we have to go along with that. But unfortunately what is happening nowadays, people do not want to accept death, do not want to accept old age, do not want to accept disease. They are trying to make all kinds of artificial arrangement. They are trying to find medicine so that they won’t get the disease. They are trying to make arrangements that they won’t become old. But it never happens. They become old, only, one doctor actually made a very wise statement the other day. He was telling, it was during the convention in South Africa. One doctor made that statement. He was invited to speak and he was telling, he frankly admitted, what modern medicine has been able to do is to prolong the suffering condition of the people. They have been able to simply prolong the suffering condition. The man was meant to suffer for five days and leave his body, but they are making the body to prolong for five years. And in these five years what is happening? The man is just suffering, prolong the suffering condition.
Okay, so that is the reality and we are very fortunate that Prabhupada gave us Krishna consciousness. So let’s take full advantage of it. There will be many hurdles. There will be many difficulties. There will be many obstacles. Don’t worry about that. Just recognize you got the most precious thing and go ahead with it.
- HH Bhakti Charu Swami Maharaj
Lecture on Srimad Bhagavatam 3.25.15