How does chanting of
God’s Name continuously ensure
His remembrance during the last breath ?

Each of us can benefit in innumerable ways from chanting God’s Name. It is said that chanting God’s Name continuously keeps us in communion with God and can liberate us from the bondage of life and death. We cannot predict when death will come, thus, we should keep chanting continuously.

1. Final moments of life and Chanting

A. Who is able to chant in his final moments ?

One who contemplates on God’s Name continuously is able to chant in his final moments.

B. Importance of chanting God’s Name in the final moments

1. When one dies chanting God’s Name, he merges with my (God’s) form and is liberated. Depending on the individual’s state of mind in his final moments, he progresses and takes birth again. Hence one should keep chanting God’s Name. – Dnyaneshwari, Adhyaya 8

2. `अन्ते मतिः सा गतिः ।’, meaning, the last thought at the time of death will decide your further progress. We cannot predict when death will come, thus, we should keep chanting continuously. Hence, God has said in Gita (Adhyaya 8, Shloka 7), ‘Always remember me’.

C. Remembrance of God in the final
moments of life ensures a blissful post death journey

1. (Shrikrushna says to Uddhav) Even if by mistake my Name is uttered at the time of death, even a pauper attains liberation. – Eknathi Bhagwat, Adhyaya 19, Ovi 636

2. ओमित्येकाक्षरं ब्रह्म व्याहरन्मामनुस्मरन् ।
यः प्रयाति त्यजन्देहं स याति परमां गतिम् ।। – Shrimadbhagwadgita, Adhyaya 8, Shloka 13

Meaning : (Shrikrushna says) The one who dies while chanting ‘Om’ and remembering me is elevated to a very high level after death.

3. अन्तकाले च मामेव स्मरन्मुक्त्वा कलेवरम् ।
यः प्रयाति स मद्भावं याति नास्त्यत्र संशयः ।। – Shrimadbhagwadgita, Adhyaya 8, Shloka 5

Meaning : (Shrikrushna says) There is no doubt that the one who remembers me while dying reaches me.

D. Saint Tukaram says in one of His verses –
Pray for the chanting of God’s Name to take place with the last breath

No matter if I do not earn money or fame. No matter if my child does not grow, May God’s Name be on my tongue when I breathe my last.

E. Only if we chant God’s Name throughout
our life will we remember His Name at the time of death

If we chant when on the death-bed, all the sins we have committed will get destroyed; but will we remember God’s Name at that time? The amount of pain felt when 1000 scorpions bite us, the same is felt at the time of death. At the time of death, the mind, intellect and organs are not in control of the dying individual. Hence, we should practice chanting throughout our life, that is, chant God’s Name.
– H.H. Kane Maharaj, Narayangaon, District Pune, Maharashtra

2. God’s Name is necessary even for the Jivanmukta (Liberated when still embodied)

‘Even if we become Jivanmukta, so long as we live we need to chant just as the other organs which continue to perform their actions.’

3. Negative energies can be defeated by God’s Name

Even if chanting is recommended as the best spiritual practice in Kaliyug (Era of strife), yet, to be graced with the presence of the Guru or for reaching God swiftly, it is imperative to combine chanting with satsang (Company of the God Principle), satseva (Service unto Absolute Truth), tyag (Sacrifice unto the Absolute Truth) etc. In this context, the most important point to note is that negative energies cannot be defeated through satsang, satseva, tyag, but can be defeated by God’s Name. This is mainly because one gets marak-shakti (Destroyer energy) required to combat them only through God’s Name. In addition, continuous spiritual practice is possible only through chanting; hence, only through chanting one can continuously combat negative energies.

A. By chanting the appropriate Name,
one can experience distress due to negative energies

If someone is affected by negative energies,he can experience distress when he begins with the appropriate chant. However, slowly the distress reduces and then it stops. The reason for distress in the beginning is the friction between the negative energies and the positive energy created by chanting.

Reference : Sanatan’s Holy Text ‘Importance and Benefits of Chanting’