From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Caramaṣloka literally means ‘the final or concluding verse’.

Ramanuja’s (A. D. 1017-1137) teachings are twofold:

  1. Viṣistadvaita Vedanta - The philosophical aspect of his teaching is known as Viṣistadvaita Vedanta.
  2. Śrivaiṣnavism - The practical and the religious aspect is called as Śrivaiṣnavism.

Śrivaiṣnavism lays a great emphasis on two means of attaining mokṣa or liberation. These means are:

  1. Bhakti - Devotion to God
  2. Prapatti - Self-surrender

Prapatti depends on receiving the rahasyatraya (‘the three secrets’) from a qualified preceptor and practicing the same. These rahasyatrayas are:

  1. Astakṣarmantra
  2. Dvayamantra
  3. Caramaṣloka

The Caramaṣloka is the 66th verse in the last chapter of the Bhagavadgita.[1] Though it is not the last in the section, since it contains the ultimate or final (= carama) message of Śrikṛṣna, it has been designated as such.

The verse is:

sarvadharman parityajya mamekarh saranam vraja I aharin tva sarvapapebhyo moksayisyami ma sucah II

This means:

‘Abandoning all dharmas human efforts at moral and spiritual upliftment come to Me as the only Refuge. Grieve not; I will deliver you from all sins’

  1. Bhagavadgita 18.66