Old Habits Die Hard

There was an old woman, who was a seller of oil by profession. In her ninety years of human existence, she did nothing except selling oil. When her life was to end and she was about to die, all her relatives assembled around her. Looking at them, the woman said, “You are all here, I entreat upon you all to look after my oil shop and see that it is not closed down. Remember what I say. Do not forget.”

By then she became half-conscious and her power of hearing was impaired. So, shouting to her children and grandchildren she kept on saying, “No, no, not even a drop of oil shall I give you free. You beggars, run-away! Run-away from here!” With these words, she breathed her last.

Ma related this story to illustrate the fact that at the moment of death one has no control over the mind. One is engrossed in thoughts which one treasures throughout life. Therefore, one must practice remembering the Creator at the time, when one is young and healthy, so that at the time of death The Name may spontaneously come to the mind. Ma makes it clear that the Creator’s worship should be practiced all through the day s of existence in this world and not left to be done only at the last stage.“

—Sri Anandamayi Ma, Ten Inspiring Stories from the Lips of Ma, Shivananda

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