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What awareness should be kept during the final moments before Death?

A person, in his final moments before death, gets a feeling that many of his wishes shall now remain unfulfilled. When an unexpected death approaches, worries like 'My daughter is not married', 'I want to see my grandson's face before I leave’ and 'What about my family after I’m gone?' surround him. But the fact is that life after life, we have been born and we have died. We left behind our past birth’s relatives, which we do not remember in this birth. Now, the relatives that we will leave behind here, in the next birth we shall forget them too. But at the time of death, if we leave our body with worries, sorrow and sufferings, then in the next birth, we will be born in a lower life-form. That is why in the last moments of life, our attention should be paid to religion, the devotional worship of God or the Soul, so that our next life improves. From the time we come to know that death is near, we should leave aside all the worries, hatred and problems and come into the meditation of God.

Param Pujya Dada Bhagwan, while narrating an incident, says, “An eighty-year-old man was admitted to the hospital. I knew that he was going to pass away in two to four days, but even then he tells me, “That Maganlal doesn’t even come to visit me.” When I tell him that Maganlal has already come, then he asks, “What about that Nagindas?” So, while lying in bed, he kept making mental notes of who had come to visit him. Hey! Take care of your body! You are going to kick the bucket in a few days. First, take care of your ‘baggage’. At least gather the bags you are going to take with you. What does it matter that Nagindas did not come to see you?"

During the final moments before death, rather than increasing attachment-hatred, if we remain in the meditation of God, then our next life improves. Let us understand this with an example.

What will be the next life-form of Prasanna Chandra Muni?

In a city named Potanpur, there was a great King named Prasanna Chandra. On hearing Lord Mahavir's Deshna, dispassion developed in him; so, he handed over the throne to his young prince and took Diksha from Lord Mahavir.

Once when Lord Mahavir came to Rajgrihi Nagri, the sage Rajarshi Prasanna Chandra was also with him. While Prasanna Chandra Muni was performing intense penance by standing on one leg, with two hands raised towards the sky, and seeing straight into the Sun, the Magadh Emperor Shrenik, along with his army, came to worship Lord Mahavir in the Samovasaran. Seeing such great penance of Prasanna Chandra Muni, King Shrenik was highly impressed.

Here, it so happened that outside, two soldiers saw Prasanna chandra Muni and they recognized him, and while standing there, they were talking to each other, “This is that Prasanna Chandra King!” He took Diksha and went away, and made the small prince sit on the throne. But how can a young prince have the skills to run the kingdom efficiently? It is heard that Prasanna Chandra Muni's two ministers are corrupted; they shook hands with King Dadhivahan of Champanagari and have made a conspiracy. King Dadhivahan attacked the kingdom of Prasanna Chandra. Not only that, the prince has been captured and put into jail. The corrupt ministers have become the proxy kings and are ruling there. What a pathetic state the poor prince is in!”

The soldiers’ talks fell in the ears of Prasanna Chandra Muni. Hearing all this, tremendous hatred arose within him, and in his mind, he fought a big war with the two ministers. Externally, he was standing in meditation, but inside, there was a fierce battle going on.

Exactly at that time, in Samovsaran, Shrenik Maharaj asked Lord Mahavir, “Lord! If Prasanna Chandra Muni, who is doing intense penance outside, were to die at this very moment, where would he go?”

Lord Mahavir said, “If he were to leave his body at this moment, he would go to the seventh hell.”

Maharaja Shrenik was stunned. He said to the Lord, “But he is meditating intensely, how can he go to hell?”

Lord Mahavir said, “Externally, he is standing in meditation, but inside, there is a fierce war going on. In his intent, he is killing his ministers. His internal disposition right now is tremendously kashayi (full of anger). If he dies at this moment, he would go to the seventh hell.”

After some time, Shrenik Raja again asked, “Then, if he were to lay his body now, where would he go?”

So, Lord Mahavir said, “If he leaves his body right now, then he shall go to heaven.”

King Shrenik was taken aback. He said to God, “Lord, when first asked, you said he shall go to hell, and just in a few moments, you are saying, he will go to heaven. How could these two completely different things happen?”

Lord Mahavir said, “In his thoughts, when the fight was on, Prasanna Muni fell short of weapons. In his mind, he was disappointed. He felt like removing his crown and killing the opponent with it.

But with this thought, when he raised his hand towards his head to remove the crown, he realized that leave aside the crown, on his head, there is no hair even! Right now, he is a monk, and hence, his head is shaved. That’s when Prasanna Chandra Muni realized, “Oh! In what violent thoughts was I lost? I am a saint! Forget about the real weapons, I can't even raise weapons in my thoughts.” With these thoughts, he repented a lot. Since right now the sage is in penance, if he dies at this moment, he would go to heaven.”

Maharaja Shrenik was greatly surprised. So, he once again asked, “If Prasanna Chandra Muni's body were to leave now, where would he go?”

Lord Mahavir said, “Would go to Moksha!” And at that very moment, the heavenly music (Dundubhi) played; the celestial gods showered flowers and made an aerial broadcast that Prasanna Chandra Muni has attained Keval-Gnan! While repenting in his mind, Prasanna Chandra Muni progressed in Gnan and attained Keval-Gnan!

The essence of this story is that the inner intent at the time of death is very important, and on that basis, the next birth is decided.

Pratikraman during the Last Moments:

Many times, at the final moments before death, there is such severe pain that one is not able to remember even God. That is why until we are in a healthy state, we should reconcile all the accounts in life. Remembering every person with whom we got bound in some relation in life, we should start apologizing for the hurt caused to them because of us.

While explaining about what we should do so that our inner feelings remain pure during the last moments of life, Param Pujya Dada Bhagwan says, “For all the people in your home, somewhere or another, you must have hurt them in the past, so you need to do pratikraman for that. ‘I am asking for forgiveness for the faults related to attachment and abhorrence, sexuality, anger, pride, deceit, and greed, that have been done for numerable and innumerable past lives.’ Take one member of the family daily and do this for each person in the home. Then, the people around you, all the neighbors; apply the awareness and keep doing this. If you do this, then this burden will lighten up. It will not lighten up on its own.

Narrating his experience, Param Pujya Dadashri says, “This is how ‘we’ had cleared it off for the entire world. ‘We’ first cleared it off in this way, that is why ‘we’ have been liberated. As long as you see faults in ‘us’, ‘we’ cannot remain at ease! So, whenever ‘we’ do pratikraman in this manner, it gets erased over there.” 

If the person, whose Pratikraman we have to do, is dead, Param Pujya Dada Bhagwan gives us here, the method of how by remembering them, we can do their Pratikraman.

Pratikraman of Those Who Are Dead?

Questioner: How does one ask for forgiveness from someone who is no longer living?

Dadashri: Even if they are no longer living, if you have a photo of the person, if you remember their face, then you can do it. If you do not remember their face at all, but you know their name, then you can even do it using their name. Then everything will reach that person.

Questioner: So how should we do pratikraman for a person who is deceased?

Dadashri: First recall the pure Soul, who is completely separate from the mind, body, and speech, the charge karma, the subtle discharge karma, and the gross discharge karma, the name of the deceased person and all illusion related to the name of the deceased person. And then recall the mistakes that were made [alochana].[Say internally,] ‘I repent over these mistakes, please forgive me for these mistakes [pratikraman]. I am making the firm resolve to not repeat these mistakes [pratyakhyan]’; make a firm determination in this way. ‘You’ should remain the Knower-Seer of Chandubhai and Know how many pratikraman Chandubhai does, how well he does them, and how many times he does them.

Prayer to Be Done During the Final Moments before Death!

Param Pujya Dada Bhagwan has suggested the following prayer to be done by the person in his/her last moments of life, wherein one may remember the God he has faith in:

Oh Dada Bhagwan, Oh Lord Simandhar Swami, I surrender my mind, speech, body, * and all illusion related to the name of *, charge karma, subtle discharge karma, and gross discharge karma, unto the lotus feet of Dada Bhagwan.

Oh Dada Bhagwan, Oh Lord Simandhar Swami, I am taking Your exclusive shelter. May I attain Your exclusive shelter. Remain present during the final moments. Hold my finger and take me to moksha. Remain with me all the way until the end.

Oh Lord, with the exception of the exclusive experience of the pure Soul, I have no desire for any temporary thing of this world. May my next life be at Your lotus feet and under Your shelter.

Keep singing ‘Dada Bhagwan Na Aseem Jai Jai Kar Ho’

‘Infinite glorious salutations to Dada Bhagwan [the Lord within]’

* The person who is in the final stages of life should substitute his or her name here.

The person should keep saying this prayer or someone should keep saying this prayer to that person.

A Prayer for the Dead Person!

Param Pujya Dada Bhagwan has suggested the following prayer for the death of a loved one, where one may remember the God he has faith in and say the following prayer:

With the live presence of Dada Bhagwan and Lord Simandhar as my witness,the pure Soul who is separate from the mind, speech and body complex, charge karma, subtle discharge karma, and gross discharge karma, * and all illusion related to the name of *, grant such grace that wherever * may be, may he/she attain happiness and peace. May he/she attain liberation.

I am asking for forgiveness for all the attachment and abhorrence, anger, pride, deceit, and greed that have happened with * up until now. I am sincerely and deeply repentant for these mistakes. Please forgive me, and give me the energy to never repeat these mistakes.

* Substitute the name of the deceased person here.

Keep doing this prayer. Later, this prayer may be repeated every time the deceased person comes to memory.

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