Canto 6: Prescribed Duties for MankindChapter 2: Ajāmila Delivered by the Viṣṇudūtas

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 6.2 Summary

In this chapter the messengers from Vaikuṇṭha explain to the Yamadūtas the glories of chanting the holy name of the Lord. The Viṣṇudūtas said, "Now impious acts are being performed even in an assembly of devotees, for a person who is not punishable is going to be punished in the assembly of Yamarāja. The mass of people are helpless and must depend upon the government for their safety and security, but if the government takes advantage of this to harm the citizens, where will they go? We see perfectly that Ajāmila should not be punished, although you are attempting to take him to Yamarāja for punishment."

It was due to Ajāmila's glorifying the holy name of the Supreme Lord that he was not punishable. The Viṣṇudūtas explained this as follows: "Simply by once chanting the holy name of Nārāyaṇa, this brāhmaṇa has become free from the reactions of sinful life. Indeed, he has been freed not only from the sins of this life, but from the sins of many, many thousands of other lives. He has already undergone true atonement for all his sinful actions. If one atones according to the directions of the śāstras, one does not actually become free from sinful reactions, but if one chants the holy name of the Lord, even a glimpse of such chanting can immediately free one from all sins. Chanting the glories of the Lord's holy name awakens all good fortune. Therefore there is no doubt that Ajāmila, being completely free from all sinful reactions, should not be punished by Yamarāja."

As they were saying this, the Viṣṇudūtas released Ajāmila from the ropes of the Yamadūtas and left for their own abode. The brāhmaṇa Ajāmila, however, offered his respectful obeisances to the Viṣṇudūtas. He could understand how fortunate he was to have chanted the holy name of Nārāyaṇa at the end of his life. Indeed, he could realize the full significance of this good fortune. Having thoroughly understood the discussion between the Yamadūtas and the Viṣṇudūtas, he became a pure devotee of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He lamented very much for how very sinful he had been, and he condemned himself again and again.

Finally, because of his association with the Viṣṇudūtas, Ajāmila, his original consciousness aroused, gave up everything and went to Hardwar, where he engaged in devotional service without deviation, always thinking of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Thus the Viṣṇudūtas went there, seated him on a golden throne and took him away to Vaikuṇṭhaloka.

In summary, although the sinful Ajāmila meant to call his son, the holy name of Lord Nārāyaṇa, even though chanted in the preliminary stage, nāmābhāsa, was able to give him liberation. Therefore one who chants the holy name of the Lord with faith and devotion is certainly exalted. He is protected even in his material, conditional life.

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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Founder Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness