Wednesday, September 18, 2013


Chapter 8, Verse 6

"Whatever they remember at the last,
As they exit the body,
Will be realized by them in the hereafter,
Because that will be what the mind
Most constantly dwelt upon during life."

Swami Shivananda:

The last thoughts of the dying determine the next birth.  The most prominent thought during life occupies the mind at the time of death.  As they thinketh, so they shall become.

The force of the impressions created by them by past actions and thoughts is the cause of their recollection at death.  Those who have worshiped God throughout their lives will remember their Ishta Deva [chosen form of God] at the time of death.

Everyone has an outlook on life, a world-view, cravings, hopes, character, temperament, disposition and attitudes.  All of these are due to the impressions from life-experience that have become part and parcel of the subconscious mind.

Most people habitually think of the body and its physical desires.  Desires are endless.  They cannot be satisfied in one birth.  At the time of death, the whole storehouse of impressions and desires gets churned up.  The most prominent, strongest and cherished desire rises to the surface of the mind in the field of mental consciousness.

You yourself are the author of your own destiny.  You yourself are responsible for every thought, feeling and experience.  You plant desires and impressions in your subconscious mind and allow them to germinate and grow.  If you plant seeds of spiritual aspiration, the desire for liberation and evolutionary progress, you will reap the fruits of immortality and abiding joy.  As you sow, so shall you reap.

Father Bede Griffiths:

When we fix our minds on God, we are drawn into the divine life.  It is as though the divine life has drawn us into itself.  What we worship exercises a powerful fascination and enthusiasm in us, which makes us grow into it so that in a sense we become it.

Sri Eknath Easwaran:

Those who aspire to use every minute of their lives to worship God in his or her many forms are assured of success.  When an assassin's bullet took his life, the word that escaped Mahatma Gandhi's lips was "Rama."  He had made his life a continuous effort to remember God.  He felt no hatred at the moment of death.  His mind had no thought of anything but God.

Men and women of God all over the world have drenched their consciousness with such depths of love that at the time of death they are able to maintain the continuing awareness of God's presence.  Their bodies suffer, because the body is subject to the stresses of pain, but inside there abides a continuing awareness which is unshakable.

Paramahansa Yogananda:

The dying at death's doorway review in a flash the thoughts, desires and habits of the whole life.  They then experience one overwhelming feeling or desire, whose nature will be in accordance with the character of their lives.  They may feel predominantly guilty for evil actions, predominantly happy from doing good deeds, predominantly worldly because of their material activities and so on.  Whatever the feeling, it is the determining cause that will lead them to a particular location on the astral plane and then to another suitable incarnation on Earth.

The paramount habit of thought and feeling is thus the most important factor on the "day of reckoning."  That final thought, inexorably produced by the tenor of a lifetime, is indeed the Karmic judge that at the sound of "Gabriel's trumpet" announces a person's next destination.

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