Wednesday, August 21, 2013


Chapter 8, Verse 2

"Teach me the way of worship:
What it is, here in the body.
And how are you revealed
At the hour of death
To those whose consciousness
Is united with you?

Sri Eknath Easwaran:

This chapter begins like a seminar.  Krishna has just told Arjuna how to go beyond death, but he used words which Arjuna did not understand.  So Arjuna keeps asking...

What does this mean?

What about that?

Then he hesitates, his face full of expectancy.  There is still one more question.  He has saved it for last.  His tone changes, and he asks in simple, direct words the searching question that has occupied thoughtful people from all of the wisdom traditions...

At the time of the great change called death, how can I remember you in the depths of my consciousness and become united with you?

The answer to this question is the theme of this chapter.

Srila Prabhupada:

At the time of death, when bodily functions break down, it may be difficult to remember God.  Maharaja Kulashekhara, a great devotee prayed...

Gracious Lord, now I am healthy.  It is better that I die immediately so that the swan of my mind may find entrance at the stem of your lotus feet. (The swan, a water-bird, takes pleasure in digging into the lotus flower.)  My mind is undisturbed at present and focused upon you.  If I die now, thinking of your lotus feet and chanting your holy name, then I am certain that my devotional service to you will be complete, but if I have to wait for a natural death, I do not know what will happen.  Perhaps my throat will get all choked up and prevent me from chanting your holy name.  Better to let me die now.

A friend:

That's why the Self-realized ones know the time of their departures.  They get everything ready and face death with a last smile...

Paramahansa Yogananda just prior to Mahasamadhi in 1952...

May the great ones inspire us to walk the talk.

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