This is what BG 8.5 and 8.6 say

Bhagavad Gita 8.5 Those who relinquish the body while remembering Me at the moment of death will come to Me. There is certainly no doubt about this.

Bhagavad Gita 8.6 Whatever one remembers upon giving up the body at the time of death, O son of Kunti, one attains that state, being always absorbed in such contemplation.

Does it mean a lifetime of wrong karma will be forgotten if one remembers God at time of death ?

Please note I am not delving into how lifetime preparation is required to remember God at time of death. Just seeing if this is a shortcut

Scripture references would be helpful if the answer is No.

  • The statement could be arthavAda. It could be meant for encouraging people to remember God always.
    – user16581
    Nov 29, 2019 at 16:50
  • Well i would say if one can perform this impossible feat of remembering God at the time of death being sinned all his life, that person deserves to be liberated :) Bhakti can destroy prArabdha karma as well, so in a sense yes this is the shortcut but is impossible for one who is not practicing to achieve it. And yes this is like the final test for any human being to get liberated, so if one has not studied the whole year how can he write an exam and hope of passing?
    – Prakash K
    Nov 29, 2019 at 17:51
  • @Prakash K "Bhakti can destroy prArabdha karma". I knew that jnAna can destroy karma. But how can bhakti destroy karma, that too prArabdha karma? Could you please explain?
    – user16581
    Nov 30, 2019 at 2:50
  • @Iwillcloseyourquestion Nice username! I was a little afraid at first to answer your comment, lest you close all my questions :-D. Anyways to answer your question, according to padma-purana it clearly states: aprārabdha-phalaṁ pāpaṁ kūṭaṁ bījaṁ phalonmukham krameṇaiva pralīyeta viṣṇu-bhakti-ratātmanām For those who are engaged in the devotional service of Lord Vishnu, all sinful reactions, whether fructified (prArabdha/phalonmukham), not fructified (aprArabdha), kutam or in the form of a seed (bijam), gradually vanish.
    – Prakash K
    Dec 2, 2019 at 7:50
  • @PrakashK Thanks for responding. I might ask a question on this topic in the near future.
    – user16581
    Dec 2, 2019 at 16:24

1 Answer 1


The question is

Does it mean a lifetime of wrong karma will be forgotten if one remembers God at time of death ?

My answer is NO.

The Ultimate purpose of any scripture will be to goad humans towards spirituality, which will liberate one from the clutches of cycle of births.

prArabdha, be it results in transient happiness or sorrow, has to be enjoyed.

आत्मानं सततं ज्ञात्वा कालं नय महामते | प्रारब्धमखिलं भुञ्जन्नोद्वेगं कर्तुमर्हसि || २१||

  1. O intelligent man, spend your life always in the knowing of the supreme bliss, enjoying the whole of your prArabdha (that portion of past Karma now being enjoyed) without making any complaint (of it).

Further, sloka 8.14 should be read together with the above 2 slokas, i.e., 8.5 & 8.6 to understand this issue.

अनन्यचेताः सततं यो मां स्मरति नित्यशः।

तस्याहं सुलभः पार्थ नित्ययुक्तस्य योगिनः।।8.14।।

And whosoever constantly bears Me in mind never attached to any other object-for this Yogin, ever devout, I am easy to attain, O son of Prtha !

So attaining liberation/moksha is possible only if, I repeat, only if ONE who constantly remembers the God, but not at the time of death alone.

  • Ajamila spent his entire life committing sins and not remembering God. Yet, at the time of his death, when he chanted "Narayana" unintentionally, he attained moksha.
    – user9969
    Nov 29, 2019 at 16:35
  • 2
    @SuryaKantaBoseChowdhury He did not attain moksha immediately, if I remember it right. He was given a second chance.
    – user16581
    Nov 29, 2019 at 16:37
  • @SuryaKantaBoseChowdhury: I know that story, but it contradicts the concept of prArabdha. Further, Sages like Sri Ramana Maharshi stressed on undergoing the Karma Nov 29, 2019 at 16:38
  • @SuryaKantaBoseChowdhury: I agree with (Lazy Lubber). In the story of Ajamila, he was given a 2nd chance, to recify his deeds. Nov 29, 2019 at 16:39
  • 1
    Well, in the Bhagavatam story, Narayana's servants stopped Yama's servants from taking him away and explicitly stated that his chanting expiated all his sins. And I'm guessing by second chance, you mean him performing Vairagya near the Ganges after this incident. @LazyLubber
    – user9969
    Nov 29, 2019 at 16:50

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