Death and Self-Realization
It is the ancient teaching of sages and scriptures that our mental state at the time of death determines our next birth. If at the time of death, we fully surrender to the Lord, the Universal Being, then we merge in God and are freed from all sorrows.
We usually think of that at the time of death what we have loved and thought about during life. Hence the purest souls who have devoted their whole life to serving the God of Love merge in that Universal Love immediately at the time of death and achieve complete liberation.
Sri Ramana Maharshi tells us, “Even if you fail to do it during your lifetime, you must think of God at least at the time of death, since one becomes what he thinks of at the time of death”.
Bhagavan Ramana follows up in the same dialog and says that this is only possible for those who have maintained a spiritual attitude and carried on their meditation during their waking time. According to Hindu scriptures, whatever our mind focuses on at the time of death, one becomes that. Our mind focuses on that in the moment of death what we have been reflecting on during our life. See “Day by Day with Bhagavan” (9-3-46 Morning).
Bhagavan here is saying that Moksha or Liberation can be achieved at the moment of death, if one fixes one’s being in God and surrenders at the time of death.
Bhagavan Krishna gives this same teaching to Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita very clearly in Chapter 8 verse 6.
Sri Krishna says to Arjuna, “Whatever state of being one remembers when he quits his body, O son of Kunti, that state he will attain without fail.” Chapter 8, verse 6.