Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Mukunda-mālā-stotra 10
mābhīr manda-mano vicintya bahudhā yāmīś ciraḿ yātanā
naivāmī prabhavanti pāpa-ripavaḥ svāmī nanu śrīdharaḥ
ālasyaḿ vyapanīya bhakti-sulabhaḿ dhyāyasva nārāyaṇaḿ
lokasya vyasanāpanodana-karo dāsasya kiḿ na kṣamaḥ
mā bhīḥ — do not be afraid; manda — foolish; manaḥ — O mind; vicintya — thinking; bahudhā — repeatedly; yāmīḥ — caused by Yamarāja, the lord of death; ciram — long-lasting; yātanāḥ — about the torments; na — not; eva — indeed; amī — these; prabhavanti — are effective; pāpa — sinful reactions; ripavaḥ — the enemies; svāmī — master; nanu — is He not; śrī-dharaḥ — the maintainer of the goddess of fortune; ālasyam — sloth; vyapanīya — driving off; bhakti — by devotional service; su-labham — who is easily attained; dhyāyasva — just meditate; nārāyaṇam — upon the Supreme Lord Nārāyaṇa; lokasya — of the world; vyasana — the troubles; apanodana-karaḥ — who dispels; dāsasya — for His servant; kim — what; na — not; kṣamaḥ — capable.
O foolish mind, stop your fearful fretting about the extensive torments imposed by Yamarāja. How can your enemies, the sinful reactions you have accrued, even touch you? After all, is your master not the Supreme Lord, the husband of Goddess Śrī? Cast aside all hesitation and concentrate your thoughts on Lord Nārāyaṇa, whom one very easily attains through devotional service. What can that dispeller of the whole world's troubles not do for His own servant?
In a very positive mood, King Kulaśekhara reminds us that as long as we are under the protection of the supreme, all-powerful Lord, no harm can come to us, even that which our own sinful reactions would normally bring us. Lord Kṛṣṇa also orders Arjuna in the Bhagavad-gītā (9.31), "Declare it boldly: My devotee will never be vanquished."
Sinful life and its reactions are certainly serious matters, not to be easily dismissed. Yamarāja metes out hellish torments to all sinful living beings. But the process of bhakti is so potent that it drives away all sinful reactions as if they were merely enemies one might see in a bad dream. In Text 15 King Kulaśekhara will recommend the chanting of the holy name of Kṛṣṇa as the best way to attain freedom from the miseries of birth and death. Nāmācārya Haridāsa Ṭhākura concurs, declaring that even the shadow of pure chanting of the holy names, known as nāmābhāsa, destroys the entire stock of sins one has accumulated for many lifetimes and thus grants liberation.
The devotees' claim to victory over birth and death is not an idle boast, but it requires full surrender to Lord Hari. The Lord offers this benediction to the unalloyed servant of His servant, and not to others. As long as one tries to protect oneself with wealth and worldly power, one will be an easy victim for powerful Māyā. The jīva who is serious about freeing himself from saḿsāra does not, therefore, pretend to act on his or her own prowess but always follows the authorized directions of the Supreme Lord and His representatives. Only such a dependent servitor of the Lord, under His full protection, can be confident of conquering birth and death.
In this prayer King Kulaśekhara mentions Yamarāja, the lord of death, as the cause of long-lasting torments. But such suffering is not for the Lord's devotees. Yamarāja himself once instructed his servants, the Yamadūtas, that those who chant the holy names of the Lord were not under Yama's jurisdiction. Yamarāja said, "Generally [the devotees] never commit sinful activities, but even if by mistake or because of bewilderment or illusion they sometimes commit sinful acts, they are protected from sinful reactions because they always chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra" (Bhāg. 6.3.26). Yamarāja told his followers they should not even go near the devotees. The Vaiṣṇavas are always protected by Lord Viṣṇu's club, and thus neither Lord Brahmā nor even the time factor can chastise them.
Śrīla Prabhupāda said that when a devotee receives initiation from his spiritual master he is freed from his karmic reactions. Pains and pleasures that may appear like continuing karmic reactions are merely the residual effects of nondevotional activities, like the last revolutions of an electric fan after it's been unplugged. But everything depends on the sincere execution of devotional service. One who again regularly transgresses the laws of God, even after taking the vows of initiation, is once more subject to the merciless dealings of the material nature.
Copyright © The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc.
His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Founder Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness
Satsvarupa dasa Goswami
Gopiparanadhana dasa Adhikari