yavanair aribhī rājann
uparuddho ruroda ha
At the last stage of life, the different gates of the body are choked by the effects of disease, which are caused by an imbalance of bile, mucus and air. Thus the living entity cannot clearly express his difficulties, and surrounding relatives hear the sound “ghura ghura” from a dying man. In his Mukunda-mālā-stotra, King Kulaśekhara states:
adyaiva me viśatu mānasa-rāja-haṁsaḥ
kaṇṭhāvarodhana-vidhau smaraṇaṁ kutas te
“My dear Kṛṣṇa, please help me die immediately so that the swan of my mind may be encircled by the stem of Your lotus feet. Otherwise at the time of my final breath, when my throat is choked up, how will it be possible for me to think of You?” The swan takes great pleasure in diving within water and being encircled by the stem of the lotus flower. This entanglement is sporting joy. If, in our healthy condition, we think of the lotus feet of the Lord and die, it is most fortunate. In old age, at the time of death, the throat sometimes becomes choked with mucus or blocked by air. At such a time the sound vibration of Hare Kṛṣṇa, the mahā-mantra, may not come out. Thus one may forget Kṛṣṇa. Of course, those who are strong in Kṛṣṇa consciousness cannot possibly forget Kṛṣṇa at any stage because they are accustomed to chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, especially when there is a signal from death.