In the Gita, the Lord has assured that the person who dies with the Pranava (Om) filling his last breath is sure to be liberated. Of course, mere calling of Om to memory is of no benefit. The sound 'Om' will not help when the mind is flitting from one desire to another, and weeping over the imminent departure from the world and shivering at the outcome to come. In such a case, how can the sound help? The glory of Om has to be apprehended throughout life, if it is to stand out before the mind at the moment of departure. There are some who deny women the right to repeat the Pranava. This is sheer prejudice; it is not laid down in the scriptures. When women are entitled to Brahmavidya (Yajnavalkya taught it to Maitreyi, his wife), as Gaargi, the great scholar-disputant proves in Janaka's court, how can anyone keep Pranava away from them? - Divine Discourse, Nov 23, 1966.
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