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Many people say that our next destination ( next birth , heaven/hell or moksha) determined by what we think at the last moment of our death .

Even in Bhagvad Gita it is written whosoever thinks of Krishna at the last moment of his death reaches to him (i.e. attain Moksha).

BG 8:5

And whoever, at the time of death, quits his body, remembering Me alone, at once attains My nature. Of this there is no doubt.

BG 8:6

Whatever state of being one remembers when he quits his body, that state he will attain without fail.

So my question are -

  1. Then is it not the best to commit suicide by some means which is painless and remember Krishna so that we can attain Moksha ? Because letting yourself dying naturally is risky as most deaths are painful and generally it is very hard to remember God at the time of death for most people.

  2. What is use of doing good karma throughout one's life when our next destination will be determined only by our last moment of death ?

Many people will say that suicide is sin , so this method will not be valid. But there are many sins and according to this theory all karma done by a person is useless , what matters is just the last moment of death. Nowhere it is written that when one commits suicide , then this method will not be valid. Because if god forgive all sins done by a person just because he remembers him at the last moment of his death , then why will he not forgive suicide ?

Disclaimer - I am not encouraging anyone to commit suicide , this is just a theoretical question. I am not an expert in hinduism anyway.

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    it's like asking whether promotion to next class is determined by Annual exam results. Of course, yes. But your Annual exam results are not determined only during the exam, but mainly determined by what you study all year. Similarly, your last minute thoughts are determined by what all you think all life.
    – ram
    Commented Jan 31, 2022 at 2:35
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    @mar Many people died in atomic explosion in Hiroshima instantly. So, according to you all of them must be thinking the same thing their whole life so they deserved to die together.
    – user23977
    Commented Jan 31, 2022 at 11:21
  • even after doing austere practice King Bharata born as deer and brahmana in his next life because of last minute taught he had..
    – Prasanna R
    Commented Feb 1, 2022 at 15:01
  • @user23977 - huh ? your statement makes no sense. where in my comment did I mention anything about method of death ?
    – ram
    Commented Feb 1, 2022 at 23:47
  • @PrasannaR - you can study hard all year, and still make silly mistake in Annual exam. if you studied harder, the fewer silly mistakes you make. e.g. Bhishma Pitamah knew exactly what his last minute thoughts must be and achieved it by practicing Brahmacharya all his life.
    – ram
    Commented Feb 1, 2022 at 23:48

3 Answers 3

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You are taking the verse out of context. If you read a little further Sri Krishna says (Swami Nikhilananda translator):

8.7 Therefore, at all times, constantly remember Me and fight. With your mind and understanding absorbed in Me, you will surely come to Me.

8.8 Engaged in the yoga of constant practice and not allowing the mind to wander away to anything else, he who meditates on the supreme, resplendent Purusha reaches Him, O son of Pritha.

The way to have your mind absorbed in the Lord at the time of death is through the practice of constant remembrance. There are no shortcuts, no royal road. The Lord says directly how to ensure that you will remember him at the time of death - through the practice of constant remembrance. A mind absorbed in the Lord has no time to think of suicide, it only has time to think of the Lord. You cannot trick the Lord.

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    There's nothing out of context here. OP has a valid point.
    – Lokesh
    Commented Jan 31, 2022 at 7:13
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Just as the quality of your sleep is determined by what you did during the rest of the day, in the similar manner what you did during your lifetime determines what will happen to you at the time of death. This we all know.

But Shri Krishna is here telling that even if you waste your whole life in turmoil chasing stupid things, if you get some sadbuddhi (good sense) in the end realizing the futility of everything and spend your last moments thinking about Shri Krishna, you will attain Him. This is true. Since even if you wasted your whole day, if you do something useful before going to sleep, you will indeed have a great sleep.

Now coming to your questions -

Then is it not the best to commit suicide by some means which is painless and remember Krishna so that we can attain Moksha ?

The goal of Bhagavad Gita is not to give you a better afterlife. Who has seen whether afterlife afterall exists or not? The goal of Bhagavad Gita is to bring truth in your life right here and right now. The goal is that you experience what you were born to experience.

What is use of doing good karma throughout one's life when our next destination will be determined only by our last moment of death ?

If a person leads a bad life going bad karma and in the end if He takes shelter in Krishn's feet, then surely Shri Krishna will forget his past sins. This is well known among followers of Shri Krishna. There's actually no use of doing good karma throughout one's life other than for one's satisfaction. If you enjoy killing animals and eating by stealing but still don't do it for the fear of Krishna, don't expect that after death someone is going to bow to your feet and greet you in the manner - "Oh great Lord, you did so many great karmas, what do you want to have now?" You should better be Duryodhan and do bad deeds in life, atleast to realize it won't give you any satisfaction. Then you will realize the value of good karma.

Good karma is the good result in itself. You don't need to wait till you die to get its reward.

People who do good karma just for better afterlife are those don't realize the value of this life just like a madman who is interested in doing good things during the day just because he wants to have a good sleep at night.

Source - Acharya Prashant (Expert in Advaita Vedanta)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y7SzaWo-Te4

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  • How is bad karma bad results in itself ? Sociopathic men get success in life, while good men are being exploited and are being given nothing in life . Though you are right doing bad feels bad but only for a good person. So, a good person will not do bad thing just for the sake of it and not for afterlife. But a bad person don't feel bad on doing bad things.
    – user23977
    Commented Jan 31, 2022 at 7:59
  • So, according to you if a person enjoys stealing or doing other bad things then he should be doing those things and just remember Krishna always. On the one hand you are telling that there is no surety if afterlife exists or not and on the other hand you are saying that we should remember krishna at the time of death. Also it is anyway technically not possible to remember god at the time of death as most people are unconscious before dying.
    – user23977
    Commented Jan 31, 2022 at 8:15
  • @compaq How do you know good men are exploited and people who do bad karma enjoy in life? Have you ever lived with a sadhu and saw his hapiness when he chants Ram Ram? Compare this to miserable life of a cunning married wealthy person.
    – Lokesh
    Commented Jan 31, 2022 at 8:16
  • Good men are always exploited . We all know girls are attracted towards bad boys while they despise good men . What happens is bad boys first enjoys with multiple women in their lives while good men get nothing but get to marry a used up women in an arranged marriage , a woman who just exploits him financially and continue to enjoy affair with other men even while being married her husband ( It is common phenomena now-a-days). So, tell me Isn't good men getting bad results while bad men enjoying life ?
    – user23977
    Commented Jan 31, 2022 at 8:22
  • @compaq Remembering Krishna and doing bad karma is impossible. What do you understand by remembering Krishna? Remembering Krishna means living a life full of awareness.
    – Lokesh
    Commented Jan 31, 2022 at 8:23
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Your points are good but I will advise you to understand this point. The Bhagavad Gita is a philosophical text, hard to understand.

Topic of the Ch-8 is Discourse on Immutable Brahman.

Verse no 8.5-8.10 should be taken together.

And at the time of death, anyone who departs by giving up the body while thinking of Me alone, he attains My state. There is no doubt about this.-5

O son of Kuntī, thinking of any entity whichever it may be one gives up the body at the end, he attains that very one, having been always engrossed in its thought.-6

Therefore, think of Me at all times and fight. There is no doubt that by dedicating your mind and intellect to Me, you will attain Me alone.-7

O son of Prthā, by meditating with a mind which is engaged in the Yog of practice and which does not stray away to anything else, one reaches the supreme Person existing in the effulgent region.-8

He who meditates on the Omniscient, the Ancient, the Ruler, subtler than the subtle, the Ordainer of everything, of inconceivable form, effulgent like the sun, and beyond darkness—(he attains the supreme Person).-9

At the time of death, having fully fixed the Prana (vital force) between the eyebrows with an unswerving mind, and being imbued with devotion as also the strength of concentration, he reaches that resplendent supreme Person.-10

Commentary of Adi-Shankaracharya

Verse no 8.5-8.10

And at the time of death anyone who departs by giving up the body while thinking of Me alone, who am the supreme Bhagavān Visnu he attains My state, the Reality that is Visnu. There is no doubt about this, in this regard, as to whether he attains (Me) or not. ‘This rule does not apply in relation to me alone.’ ‘What then?’

O Son of Kunti thinking of any entity, any particular deity whichever it may be one gives up; the body at the end, at the time of the departure of life he attains that very one, that very entity which is remembered—none else; having been always engrossed in its thought. Engrossment in it is one by whom that is remembered as a matter of habitual recollection is tadbhāva-bhāvitah. Since the last thought is thus the cause of acquiring the next body—

Therefore, think of Me, in the way prescribed by the scripture at all times; and fight, engage yourself in war, which is your own (varna) duty. There is no doubt in this matter that by dedicating your mind and intellect to Me you—you who have thus dedicated your mind and intellect to Me,Vāsudeva—will attain Me alone, as I shall be remembered. Besides,

O son of Prthā by meditating, that is contemplating in accordance with (anu) the instruction of teachers and scriptures with a mind engaged in the Yog of practice—abhyāsa, practice, consists in the repetition of the same kind of thought, uninterrupted by any contrary idea, with regard to Me who am the object of concentration of the mind; that practice itself is Yog; the mind of a yogī is engrossed (yuktam) in that itself; with a mind that is such, and which does not stray away to anything else which is not inclined to go away to any other object one reaches; the supreme, unsurpassed Person existing in the effulgent region (divi), in the Solar Orb. And, to what kind of a Person does he go? This is being stated:

He who, anyone who meditates on; kavim, the Omniscient, the Knower of things past, present and future, the Ancient, the Eternal, the Ruler, the Bhagavān of the whole Universe, subtler than the subtle, the Ordainer of everything—one who grants the fruits of actions, in all their varieties, individually to all creatures who is of inconceivable form—His form, though always existing, defies being conceived of by anybody, who is effulgent like the sun, who is manifest as eternal Consciousness like the effulgence of the sun and beyond darkness—beyond the darkness of delusion in the form of ignorance—(he attains the supreme Person). This verse is to be connected with the earlier itself thus: ‘by meditating (on Him) ... he attains Him.’ Further,

At the time of death; after first bringing the mind under control in the lotus of the heart, and then lifting up the vital force—through the nerve going upward—by gradually gaining control over (the rudiments of nature such as) earth etc. and after that, having fully fixed; prānam, the Prāna (vital force) between; the eye-brows, without losing attention with an unwavering mind; he, the yogī possessed of such wisdom, with devotion, deep as also; with the strength of concentration— i.e. imbued with that (strength) also, consisting in the steadfastness of the mind arising from the accumulation of impressions resulting from spiritual absorption reaches that resplendent supreme Person, described as ‘the Omniscient, the Ancient,’ etc*

Your Questions

  1. Then is it not the best to commit suicide by some means which is painless and remember Krishna so that we can attain Moksha ? Because letting yourself dying naturally is risky as most deaths are painful and generally it is very hard to remember God at the time of death for most people.

Ans- No running away from your duty and karma is never a solution. In verse no 8.7(Therefore, think of Me at all times and fight..) here Shri Krishna is clearly telling Arjuna to not run away from your duty. The reason why Shri Krishna gave the knowledge of the Gita to Arjuna was because he was running away from doing Karma as per his duty. If you think that by suicide you will get Moksha then it is wrong and ignorant. Yes, remembering Shri Krishna at the end can grant you the Moksha but the thought of the seeker must be pure and complete devotion, the way a yogi remembers the God and with full concentration (see verses no 8.8 and 8.10 and also 4th and last para of commentary). And I don't think that one can develop such deep concentration in one go.

  1. What is use of doing good karma throughout one's life when our next destination will be determined only by our last moment of death?

Ans- I think I have covered this in the last answer but still, I will repeat--Yes, your last moment decides where you will go, precisely it's the pureness at the last moment that decides your next destination. Karma is very important; every second we do actions(karma) this land is the land of Karma. The reason that Shri Krishna said all this to Arjuna is because he was refraining from action(karma). The 3rd Ch of Gita is all about Karma yoga. It is good Karma(action) that results in pureness.

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  • Exactly only one engrossed in thinking if the deity actually remembers. This isn't a text promoting a devotee to commit to death, in that case all they'll remember likely is Dharmaraj. It's about committing every portion of your mind to god, so that in death you are prepared to remember him.
    – Haridasa
    Commented May 15 at 11:03

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