by Swami Sivananda
Meditations should be continued till death.
Aa prayanat tatrapi hi drishtam IV.1.12 (489)
Till death (till one attains Moksha) (meditations have to be repeated); for then also it is thus seen in scripture.
Aa prayanat: till death, till Mukti; Tatra: there, then; Api: also, even; Hi: because; Drishtam: is seen (in the Sruti).
This Sutra says Upasana (meditation, worship) is to be observed till death.
Worship is to be continued till death, till one gets Mukti, because it is found in Sruti, that the worshipper, continuing so till death, attains the world of Brahman after death.
The first topic of the present Chapter has established that the meditation on the Atman or Brahman enjoined by the scriptures is to be repeated till knowledge dawns.
The question is now taken up about other meditations which are practised for attaining certain results.
The Purvapakshin maintains that such meditations can be stopped after a certain time. They should still give fruits like sacrifices performed only once.
The present Sutra declares that they are to be continued up to death, because the Sruti and Smriti say so. "With whatever thought he passes away from this world" (Sat. Br. X.6.3.1). "Remembering whatever form of being he in the end leaves this body, into that same form he even passes, assimilated its being" (Bhagavad Gita VIII.6). "At the time of death with unmoved mind" (Bhagavad Gita VIII.10). "Let a man at the time of death, take refuge with this triad" (Chh. Up. III.17.6). "Whatever his thought at the time of death with that he goes into Prana and the Prana united with light, together with the individual self, leads on to the world as conceived at the moment of death" (Pras. Up. IV.2.10). This also follows from the comparison to the caterpillar (Bri. Up. IV.4.3) or leech. The leech takes hold of another object before it leaves an object.
One cannot entertain such a thought at the time of departure of Prana from this body without practice for the whole life.
Therefore, meditations must be practised up to death.