The Conversation between the Yamadutas and the Vishnudutas – Ajamila Saved
In sixth canto of Shrimad Bhagavatam there is description of a conversation between Yamadutas and Vishnudutas. These dialogues are seen in the chapter of Ajamila. Ajamila was a brahman who fell in the trap of prostitute and spent his life doing all sinful activities.
When he was old Yamadutas came to drag him to hell for severe punishment. But Ajamila cried out for his son Narayana. In this way he chanted the Holy Name of Supreme Lord Narayana. Vishnudutas appeared on the scene hearing the Holy Name. Here are the conversations that took place between Yamadutas and Vishnudutas:
Vishudutas: Stop there, stop taking this soul…
Yamadutas: Who are you and how dare you challenge the jurisdiction of Yamaraj? Whose servants are you, and where have you come from? Are you demigods, sub-demigods, or devotees of the Supreme Lord? You look very beautiful with lotus-like eyes and radiant body. Why are you obstructing us from doing our duty?”
Vishnudutas smiled. They said in resounding voice: If you are actually servants of Yamaraj, then you must know what is Dharma and what is not. Can you please the meaning of religious principles and what are symptoms of irreligion? Can you please tell us who is fit for punishment; is it all the fruitive workers or only some of them?”
Yamadutas: The Vedas prescribe what is Dharma and what is Adharma. They eminate from the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Narayana. Whatever that is prescribed in the Vedas constitutes religious principles and whatever opposed the injunction of Vedas is considered as irreligion.
Lord Narayana is the witness of activities of the living entities and other witnesses include demigods, fire, sun, moon, water, land and directions. When the witnesses give indication that living entities are deviated from their prescribed duties they are fit to be punished by us. In proportion to the extent of one’s irreligious acts he is punished.
Since every living entity is trapped in the modes of nature sinful acts are inevitable. Everyone becomes punishable at some time or the other. The symptoms of happiness and distress are evidence of one’s religious and irreligious acts of past and future lives.
Our master Yamaraj can mentally know who is fit for punishment. This Ajamila was a good brahmana but he became so degraded that he never thought of atonement yet. And now he is fit to taken to Yamaraja so that he can be punished properly for his purification.
After hearing this the Vishnudutas replied: Oh! How painful it is to hear irreligion to be introduced in the place where religion is maintained. A leader should know what is religion. How can in charge of religious principle punish a sinless person? The leaders would be polluted how can then citizens could take shelter?
Ajamila has not only atoned his sins he performed in his life but he has eradicated all the sins of his past lives. In helpless condition he has chanted the Holy Name of Narayana. His chanting was offenseless. He repeated uttered ‘Na Ra Ya Na’ and this was sufficient to atone all the sins which he might have accumulated in millions of lifes.
The chanting of Holy Name of Narayana is the best process of atonement including killing of brahmanas, murdering woman, father etc. Simply by chanting the Holy Name at the time of death one can attract the attention of the Supreme Lord and thus become qualified for his protection. All Vedic ritualistic atonement may not be as purifying as the chanting of the Lord’s Holy Name. Holy Name can awaken devotional service to the Supreme Lord.
Ajamila chanted the Holy Name and this he is freed from all the reactions of his sinful life. Thus, O servants of Yamaraja please do not even think of taking him to your abode. One who chants the Holy Name of the Lord is immediately relieved of all sinful reactions even if he chants indirectly or jokingly, or even neglectfully.
Although sinful acts may be nullified by pious activities like austerities, charity etc but they cannot uproot the material desires within one’s heart. But by devotional service one can uproot all the sinful tendencies in heart and chanting the Holy Name is very effective.
After saying this, the Vishudutas forcefully released Ajamila from the ropes of the Yamadutas. Thus ends the conversation between the Vishnudutas and the Yamadutas.