Those who have their thoughts focused on Lord Narayana need fear nothing. Nor should they fear anything. Even death does not frighten them. One who has carried out his duties, and whose mind dwells on the Lord, will take death in stride. In fact, he will be happy when death comes, as he will be, if a favourite person comes to his house as a guest, said Valayapet Ramachariar, in a discourse.

The Vaishnavite Acharya Ramanuja lived to the ripe old age of 120. As the time approached for him to leave this world, his disciples were deeply disturbed. But Ramanuja had some advice for them. He told them that none of his disciples should think of departing from this world, simply because he (Ramanuja) was nearing the end of his life. If anyone entertained such a thought, then Ramanujacharya would have no connection with him.

But the disciples could not be consoled. They told Ramanujacharya that they would be unable to live without him by their side. Ramanujacharya told them that one who had surrendered to Lord Narayana, would attain moksha, and that once such a person shed his mortal coil, his atma would begin its journey towards the Lord’s abode. That being the case, what was the need for tears? There was no cause for anyone to weep, when the atma set off on such a journey.

And if their tears were for the body that the atma was exiting, then it was very wrong on their part. If they cried for the body of a person, that would make them atheists, who profess a disbelief in the concept of the soul.

Their tears would only make people doubt their mahavisvasa- namely the belief that the Lord will certainly save those who surrender to Him. So their sorrow was not only unnecessary, but was also out of place and contrary to what they had been taught. The Acharya advised them to study the Sribhashyam, or visit temples and light lamps there. If none of this was possible, then they should try to remain near a devotee of the Lord.

Being near His devotees will save us. Vaishnavite Acharya Alavandar cried out to the Lord, and asked Him to keep in mind that he (Alavandar) was the grandson of the Acharya Nathamuni, for Alavandar knew that the Lord would never spurn anyone who mentioned a devotee.

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