By Swami Harshananda
Caramaṣloka literally means ‘the final or concluding verse’.
Ramanuja’s (A. D. 1017-1137) teachings are twofold:
- Viṣistadvaita Vedanta - The philosophical aspect of his teaching is known as Viṣistadvaita Vedanta.
- 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:
The Caramaṣloka is the 66th verse in the last chapter of the Bhagavadgita. 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
‘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’
- Bhagavadgita 18.66