Hindu Tradition Lance Nelson, Ph.D. University of San Diego Gandhi and Ram-nam Remembering God’s Name at Death If somebody shot at me and I received his bullet on my bare chest without a groan and with Rama's name on my lips, only then should you say I was a true Mahatma. M. K. Gandhi, 1947 At the hour of death, whoever leaves the body remembering Me attains My abode. There is no doubt about this. Bhagavad Gita The Song of God, chap. 8.5 Bhagavad Gita The Song of God, chap. 6.10-11, 15 Let the yogi, seated in solitude, having mind and senses under control, free from desires and attachments, constantly meditate upon the Supreme Self. The yogi should sit on a firm seat that is neither too high nor too low, covered with sacred grass, a deerskin, and a cloth, one over the other, in a clean spot. Thus, by always keeping the mind fixed on the Self, the yogi whose mind is subdued attains supreme liberation, the peace that is union with Me. Creating Holy Space Altars, Images, Icons, Incense, Flowers Kirtan and Japa “Singing” and “Chanting” the Divine Name Mantra Sacred Words, Sacramental Sound Om Shri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram Om Namah Shivaya Om Namo Narayanaya Hari Om Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra The Great Mantra in Praise of the Conqueror of Death Om! We worship the Three-eyed Lord Siva, The fragrant one, who nourishes all beings. Just as the cucumber is severed from its connection to the vine, So may He liberate us from death for the sake of Immortality. Antyeshti Last Rites & Cremation Shraddha Remembrance, Release, Purification on Eleventh Day Bhagavad Gita The Song of God, chap. 2.12-13, 20, 22 There was never a time when we did not exist; nor shall we ever cease to exist in the future. Just as the Self (atman) acquires the bodies of childhood, youth, and old age, similarly the Self acquires another body after death. The wise are not deluded by this. The Self is never born nor does it ever die . . . It is unborn, eternal, permanent, and primeval. The Self is not destroyed when the body is destroyed. Just as a person puts on new garments after discarding old ones, similarly the Self acquires new bodies after casting away its old bodies. Bhagavad Gita The Song of God, chap. 2.26-28 Even if you think of the Self as taking birth and dying, again and again--still you should not grieve. Death is certain for the one who is born, as is birth for the one who dies. Therefore, over what is inevitable you should not lament. All beings are unmanifest before birth, manifest during life, and unmanifest again after death. In this, where is the cause for grief? Kabir The Weaver Poet 15th cent. CE At the time of death, the soul flies up, like a swan. Then it sees that the world was but a two-day carnival. The body is a cage with ten doors, the soul, a bird of air. The wonder, my friend, is that it’s here . . . It’s no wonder if it goes. Sallekhana Holy Death by Fasting in Jainism Cessation of sorrow, Cessation of karmas, Death while in meditation, The attainment of Enlightenment— O Holy Jina! Friend of the entire universe! Let these be mine, For I have taken refuge at your feet. --Jain Prayer Please instruct me, sir. I have come forward to seek the vow of sallekhana, which will remain in force as long as I live. I am free of all doubts and anxieties in this matter. I renounce, from now until the moment of my last breath, food and drink of all kinds.