Faith

Antima kala smarana

The prime focus of spiritual literature is to make individuals aware of the main and ultimate purpose of life, salvation. In this context, great realised souls have spoken of the value of Antima Kala Smarana, that is, the thoughts that prevail at the moment when life leaves the body. In the Bhagavad Gita, the Lord emphasises that if one leaves the body thinking of Him, one surely attains Him. According to Upanishad statements that describe the way life departs from the body, it is shown that first speech or Vak stops and then the mind becomes still and then the prana gets ready to leave the body.

Appayya Dikshitar explains the great truth behind this fact in a verse in his famous hymn Atmarpana Stuti, said Sri Mani Dravid Sastrigal in a discourse. Though it is true that there is no greater asset for anyone than to remember God at the time of death, he points out that to attain this state of mind at that moment is very difficult.

Unfortunately we all have to face the three main afflictions of life commonly known as Adyatmika, caused by the physical body and self, Adi Bhoutika, pertaining to the external forces of the elements like fire, air, water, etc, and Adidaiva, attributed to divine and supernatural causes. These tie us further in the bondage of life. So he confesses to Siva about the state of utter helplessness which is the lot of every jivatma.

But luckily, there is tremendous hope when one takes refuge in Him. He prays with utter sincerity and asks God to be present at the crucial moment of one’s life. He claims that all other gods are absolutely incapable of relieving even the greatest of devotees from the cycle of birth. Siva is the only cure and He leads the jivatma out of this mess by administering the medicine of atma tatva jnana.


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Printable version | Jun 13, 2021 3:48:37 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/antima-kala-smarana/article34545493.ece

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