Today is Vara:ha Jayanthi. Lord’s promise to mankind was brought to light by Bhagawad Ramanuja. Once, Ramanuja approached Kanchipurna with six doubts. He requested Kanchipurna to submit them to Lord Varadaraja Swamy and get answers.
One of those questions pertains to next birth. Sasthras say that the last minute thought before death plays a key role in getting the next birth. This is called ‘anthima smruthi’ – meaning whatever one thinks of in the last minute before leaving the body, he will become that in the next birth. This is the dictum of sasthras.
Whatever we weave our thoughts around during our life time, only that will come to our memory during the time of death. Hearing this, Bhagawad Ramanuja got a doubt. One might think of God always, but when he is about to die, he will be struggling with physical discomforts, diseases, phlegm constricting the throat, breathless and lack of control over body. In such circumstances, how can he think of the lotus feet of God? In that case, what will his fate be? Is Anthima Smruthi a requirement?
This was the doubt of Ramanujacharya.
To this question, Lord replied, “You need not do anthima smruthi. As Vedas said, anthima smruthi is a rule. Everyone has to follow this rule. When you are unable to do anthima smruthi, I will do it on your behalf. Because you have surrendered to me and you have put your responsibility on me, I will take ownership and will do anthima smruthi on your behalf. Hence, as long as you have a chance and energy, think of Me. And if at all a day comes in your life when you are incapable and are about to leave the body, I will take your responsibility. I am the love personified of 10s and 1000s of mothers’ and fathers’love and I cannot put such rigid restrictions on you to think of Me in that state!”
Lord Varaha said so, “aham smara:mi madbhaktham naya:mi parama:m gathim”, I will take care of the devotee who is incapacitated and is about to leave the body as he has surrendered to me.
When manas, buddhi, indriyas and body are in our control, we do whatever we like, following our whims and fancies. We assume that Lord will take care of us as He has promised so in the Varaha Charama Sloka. But, our assumption is wrong. God will only take the responsibility of anthima smruthi only when we think of Him in good health. It is not conditional. He is reminding us of our responsibility,
Ramanuja did this favor to us and gave us a path to follow. We have to chant the 27 charama slokas everyday which are in guru parampara book. We have to remind ourselves of the slo:ka always and think of the oath taken by God. God has taken innumerable oaths for us. The 27 charama slokas are also pledges of God and the upakaras done by our Acharya. Let us chant Varaha Charama Slo:ka.
stthithe: manasi susvastthe: sari:re: sathi yo: naraha |
dha:thusa:mye: stthithe: smartha: visvaru:pam cha ma:majam ||
thathas tham mriyama:nam thu ka:shta pa:sha:na sannibham |
aham smara:mi madbhaktham naya:mi parama:m gathim ||
When your body is in good health with all the different humors being in right balance, you should pray and surrender to me (One who does not have to take any births and who is behind everything in this universe ).
When lord Yama’s lash approaches any of my devotees to take them away, I will be there to liberate and deliver them.