The last thought of a man governs his future destiny. The last thought of a man determines his future birth. Lord Krishna says in the Bhagavad-Gita, “Whosoever at the end abandoneth the body, thinking upon any being, to that being only he goeth, O Kaunteya, because of his constant thought of that being” (Chapter: VIII-6).
Ajamila lost his pious conduct, and led a detestable living. He fell into evil depth of sinful habits and resorted to theft and robbery. He became a slave of a public woman. He became the father of ten children, the last of whom was called Narayana.
When he was about to die, he was absorbed in the thoughts of his last son. Three fearful messengers of Death advanced towards Ajamila. Ajamila cried aloud in great distress the last son’s name ‘Narayana’.
On a mere mention of the name of ‘Narayana’ the attendants of Lord Hari came speedily along and obstructed the messengers of Death. They took him to Vaikuntha or the world of Vishnu.
The soul of Sisupala entered the supreme Lord with an effulgent spark of ineffable glory and magnificence. This vile Sisupala spent his lifetime in reviling Lord Krishna and then he entered the Lord.
The worm on the wall when stung by the wasp changes into the form of the latter. Similarly, the man who focuses his hate on Lord Krishna gets rid of his sins and reaches that Lord by regular devotion as the Gopis did by Kama (passion), Kamsa by fear, Sisupala by hatred and Narada by love.
Lord Krishna says in the Gita, “Whoever constantly thinks of Me intensely and with one-pointed mind, to such steadfast Yogin, I am easily attainable; and having thus reached Me and merged in Me, he is not born again in the fleeting world of woe and misery. O Arjuna! While all the worlds created by Brahma are limited by time and have their moment of dissolution on reaching Me, there is no rebirth, therefore at all times, meditate on Me, the supreme Vaasudeva and with mind and intellect fixed on Me. Doubtless, you will attain Me” (Chapter: VIII-14, 15, 16).
The constant practice of fixing the mind on the Lord, although a man is engaged in worldly pursuits, will enable him to intuitively and automatically think of the Lord, even at the time of his departure. The Lord says: “With the mind thus engaged in the Yoga of constant practice, not deflected by any other obstacles, one attains the supreme Purusha of resplendent glory.”
The Lord further says, “At the time of death, he who thinks of My real Being as the supreme Lord Sri Krishna or Narayana, leaves the body and verily reaches My Being. Doubt this not! In whatever form a man thinks of Me at the time of death, that form he attains, that form again being the result of nourishing that thought in a particular groove and by constant meditation of the same.”
The Lord further says: “He who further establishes his mind on Me, even at the time of forthgoing and who is in that Divine state of renouncing everything and of dwelling in Brahman or Brahmic state, is free from delusion” (B.G. II-72).
He who has a strong habit of using snuff in his life imitates the act of snuffing with his fingers when he is in an unconscious state just before his death. So strong is the habit of snuffing in this man.
The last thought of a licentious man will be the thought of his woman. The last thought of an inveterate drunkard will be that of his peg of liquor. The last thought of a greedy money-lender will be that of his money. The last thought of a fighting soldier will be that of shooting his enemy. The last thought of a mother who is intensely attached to her only son will be that of her son only.
Raja Bharata nursed a deer out of mercy and became attached to it. His last thought was the thought of that deer. Hence he had to take the birth of a deer, but he had memory of his last birth as he was an advanced soul.
The last thought of a person will be the thought of God only, if that person has disciplined his mind all throughout his life and has tried to fix it on the Lord through constant practice. It cannot come by a practice in a day or two, in a week or a month. It is a life-long endeavour and struggle.
The last thought determines the next birth. The last prominent thought of one’s life occupies the mind at the time of death. The predominant idea at the time of death is what in normal life has occupied his attention most. The last thought determines the nature of character of the body to be attained next. As a man thinketh, so shall he become.