On Death

In reply to a question, Ma stressed the importance of what one thinks at the moment of death. For, just as the leech does not leave its place without hooking on to something else, so the soul at the time of leaving the body hooks on to some kind of new existence according to the state of mind of the dying person. But at that moment one has no control over one's thought. It will automatically dwell where it usually dwells. This is why one has to practice the Presence of God while one is well and fit so that the thought of God may come spontaneously when one is ill and weak.
Ma narrated two stories to illustrate this fact...
An old woman who had spent many years of her life selling oil, was about to die. Her relatives had assembled round her and were urging her to repeat 'Rama' or 'Krishna.' But the dying woman was only half conscious and her power of hearing was impaired. To the shouting of her children and grand-children; "Repeat God's name," she kept on replying what she had been used to say to beggars who came to her shop begging for oil; "Not a drop will I give, not a drop." Saying this, she passed away.

Ma-This incident occured in Varanasi ashram. The aged mother of one of the ashramites had come to spend the end of her life in the ashram. She used to attend to her puja and japa with great regularity from early morning until nearly midday, without eating or even drinking water. She would then cook and eat her food and scrub the vessels. Towards evening she got busy again with her sadhana. After some time she fell ill and was confined to bed, but continued with her japa without interruption. Whenever some food or drink was brought to her, she would indicate by signs that she had not finished her japa and could therefore not take anything. Finally she breathed her last, with her fingers in the correct position for doing japa according to the prescribed rules. Those who took her body to the burning ghat related that, when it had burnt to ashes and only the bones were left over, even then the skeleton remained in the same position until at last the arms crossed over the breast. The people present declared that they had never before witnessed anything of the sort.