New York Times – MONA SIMPSON – Oct 30, 2011
Steve’s final words, hours earlier, were monosyllables, repeated three times.
Before embarking, he’d looked at his sister Patty, then for a long time at his children, then at his life’s partner, Laurene, and then over their shoulders past them.
Steve’s final words were:
OH WOW. OH WOW. OH WOW. Go to story
We have to practice in this way, that when all functions of this body will be stopped at the time of death, oh, we shall remember some way or other, Krishna. Then successful. Immediately successful. That is the technique. Therefore Kulashekhara is praying,
adyaiva vishatu me manasa-raja-hamsah
kanthavarodhana-vidhau smaranam kutas te
The devotee, a great devotee, King Kulashekhara. He has a nice book, Mukunda-mala-stotra. I began translating, commenting, this line in Vrindavana. So the first verse is he’s comparing his mind with the swan. I think you have seen, Jayananda, when we were walking in Seattle in that park, in a lake the swan were diving near the lotus. You have seen? Yes. That is the practice. The swan takes pleasure where there is, I mean to say, what is called, lotus or lily, lilies. There’s a stem. They dive and they entangle their long neck with the… That is their sporting. So Krishna’s lotus feet, we call, lotus feet. So he says that “My mind may be entangled with the stem of Your lotus feet just like the swan. Immediately. I can do that now because I am in healthy state. Otherwise at the time of death, kapha-vata-pittaih, when mucus, bile, everything will be disordered, and my throat will be choked up, I will not be able to speak or chant. So why shall I wait for that time? Now I am fit. Let my mind be absorbed with Your thought and let me die.” That is the technique. That our mind should be always absorbed in Krishna thought. So if by Krishna’s grace, at the time of that last moment of quitting this body, when every function of the body will be disordered we can remember Krishna, then our life is successful. So we have to practice this. This, everything, whatever we are doing, it is practicing for the last moment. There is a Bengali proverb, bhajana kara sadhana kara matte janle haya: how you are advancing in Krishna consciousness, that will be tested at the time of your death. The examination will be at that time. So if that technique becomes perfect, then our life is perfect. At once you are transferred to the Krishnaloka. Tyaktva deham punar janma naiti mam eti kaunteya [Bhagavad-gita 4.9]. “My dear Kaunteya, My dear Arjuna, that person, after quitting this body, he never comes back again to this nonsense material world, but he comes to Me.” That is perfection. People have no knowledge who is transferred, where it is transferred, what is God, what is… No, nothing of the sort. Simply eat, drink, be merry and enjoy, and die like cats and dogs. That’s all.
So we have tried to explain all these things in this Bhagavad-gita As It Is. Try to read it repeatedly and you get all information, all techniques. This life should not be misused. That should be the first point. It should be very properly utilized in Krishna consciousness. Consciousness is there. Just absorb it in Krishna. Consciousness must be absorbed in some thought. Make it Krishna thought always. Make your program in such a way that you cannot go out of Krishna thought. Just like businessmen, they’re always thinking, “What profit is there? What is the bank balance? And how the business is going? How the profit is going?” They’re always thinking of that. Somebody is thinking something. Everyone. If one is after some woman, he’s thinking of that woman always. If one is after some man, he’s also thinking of that man. So thinking must be there, some subject matter of thinking. That we have to change to Krishna thinking some way or other. Transferring the thinking or consciousness to Krishna. You do it in whatever way you like, but there are some standard way. If you follow, that will be easier. People have some idea of God, they accept. But simply having some idea of God one cannot think. But here is a solid God, Krishna, with two hands playing flute, and one can think of Him. Premañjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilochanena santah sadaiva hridayeshu vilokayanti yam shyamasundaram [Brahma-samhita 5.38]. They’re thinking of whom? Shyamasundara. Shyama, blackish, but very beautiful. Shyamasundaram achintya-guna-svarupam. With transcendental qualities. Govindam adi-purusham tam aham bhajami: “I am worshiping that Govinda.” So we have to mold our life. This is Krishna consciousness. Chant Hare Krishna.