Ajamila was Saved by Chanting the Holy Name of the Lord

“At the time of his death the sinful Ajamila saw three awkward persons with deformed bodily features, fierce, twisted faces, and hair standing erect on their bodies. With ropes in their hands, they had come to take him away to the abode of Yamaraja. When he saw them he was extremely bewildered, and because of attachment to his child, Narayana, who was playing a short distance away, Ajamila began to cal him loudly by his name. Thus with tears in his eyes he somehow or other chanted the holy name of Narayana. the order carriers of Visnu, the Visnudutas, immediately arrived when when they heard the holy name of their master from the mouth of the dying Ajamila. The order carriers of Yamaraja were snatching the soul from the core of the heart of Ajamila, the husband of the prostitute, but with resounding voices the messengers of Lord Visnu, the Visnudutas, forbade them to do so” (from Srimad Bhagavatam 6.1.27-29)

Srimad Bhagavatam Lectures
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
SB 6.1.28-29 May 28, 1975 Honolulu

Pradyumna: Translation: “Ajāmila then saw three awkward persons with deformed bodily features, fierce, twisted faces, and hair standing erect on their bodies. With ropes in their hands they had come to take him away to the abode of Yamarāja. When he saw them he was extremely bewildered, and because of attachment to his child, who was playing a short distance away, Ajāmila began to call him loudly by his name. Thus, with tears in his eyes, he somehow or other chanted the holy name of Nārāyaṇa.” [SB 6.1.28-29]
 
Prabhupāda: Sa pāśa-hastāṁs trīn dṛṣṭvā puruṣān ati-dāruṇān. So, at the time of death there are so many disturbance. We have got experience, but you have forgot because bhūtvā bhūtvā pralīyate [Bg. 8.19]. But these things are observed by the sinful person. The Yamadūta, they come to take to the sinful, sinful person, not devotees. Just like the whole population of the city, they are not all subjected to the prison laws. Some criminals. Similarly, this Yamadūta goes to such sinful persons. They are not all. But it is the question of Ajāmila… He was so sinful that automatically the Yamadūtas came, and they wanted to take him.

full lecture
 
The description of the Yamadūtas is there, that twisted face and very ugly-looking, very fierceful, and with ropes in the hand. So naturally he was very afraid. And he was attached to his son, so naturally he wanted to call somebody to save him, so he called his affectionate son, whose name was Nārāyaṇa. This is the opportunity. Kṛṣṇa is so kind upon His devotee. This Ajāmila was in the beginning a devotee. Later on he fell down. But Kṛṣṇa, Nārāyaṇa, is so kind that He gave him the dictation that “You keep your son’s name as Nārāyaṇa,” so that he’ll be able to call the holy name Nārāyaṇa by calling his son. He was very much attached to the youngest son, whose name was Nārāyaṇa. So, unconsciously, he was chanting the holy name of Nārāyaṇa, although he never meant that he’s calling real Nārāyaṇa. He’s asking his son, Nārāyaṇa, “My dear son, Nārāyaṇa, please come here, take your food, sit down here, play here, Nārāyaṇa, Nārāyaṇa, Nārāyaṇa.” This was practice. This opportunity was given to Ajāmila that, although he fell down from his standard of devotional service, but he got the opportunity of chanting “Nārāyaṇa.” Ante nārāyaṇa smṛtiḥ [SB 2.1.6].And when we are afraid of something, so we chant, we call somebody who is very dear. This is very psychological.
 
So when he was too much afraid of this Yamadūta, unconsciously he chanted the holy name of Nārāyaṇa. So somehow or other he remembered Nārāyaṇa. Some commentator says that when he chanted “Nārāyaṇa,” then all his reaction of sinful life immediately disappeared and he remembered real Nārāyaṇa. Because he, in his boyhood, was trained up as a Vaiṣṇava by his father, so some… There is big comments on this incidence. Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura has written three or four pages about this. So his opinion is that as soon as he chanted the holy name of Nārāyaṇa, immediately he remembered real Nārāyaṇa. That this child Nārāyaṇa… “I’m calling my child, how he’ll be able to save me from the hands of this Yamadūta.” He remembered that “Nārāyaṇa, if He kindly helps me, then I can be saved.” Immediately there was response. Immediately there is response. Yaṁ yaṁ vāpi smaran bhāvaṁ tyajanty ante kalevaram [Bg. 8.6]. In the Bhagavad-gītā it is said that at the time of death, whatever your mental condition is, that will act.
 
So this mental condition naturally is there what I practice throughout my whole life. So if we practice this chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa name, then there is chance of chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa at the time of death. That is the examination. In Bengali there is a proverb,bhajan kara sādhana kara murte jānle hoy. That is, “How you are becoming Kṛṣṇa conscious, that you’ll be tested at your time of death.” That is wanted. If we practice throughout whole life “Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa,” then there is good chance of chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, because at the time of death everything becomes disordered. The tongue becomes disordered, the mind becomes disordered. There is a verse by Kulaśekhara. He was praying to Lord, adyaiva me viśatu mānasa-rāja-haṁsaḥ, prāṇa-prayāṇa-samaye kapha-vāta-pittaiḥ smaraṇaṁ kutas te [MM 33]. He was praying to the Lord, “My Lord, Mukunda, now I am healthy, very strong. Everything is all right. My mind is in order. My health is in order. So I am praying to You, let death come immediately so that I can soundly remember Your name. Otherwise natural death, it may be that on account of dissolution of the…, arrangement, physiological arrangement of the body…” Just like in sleep we forget everything. In sleep we forget everything. The subtle mind, intelligence work. I am sleeping in a nice bed, but mind and intelligence have taken me far away near the desert. And I’m seeing I’m in the desert. That is happening daily. Dream means the stock in the mind of our experience past, may be many, many years past, but the stock is there. Sometimes they come. That is dreaming. Just like you’ll find in a lake all of a sudden… There is discussed in psychology also how this remembrance comes all of a sudden. The example is given just like in a lake all of a sudden you’ll find there is a bubble. So similarly, the mind is the subtle matter. That is described in the Bhagavad-gītā, bhūmir āpo analo vāyuḥ khaṁ mano [Bg. 7.4]. This gross is this land, bhūmi, earth, straw. Water is a little more subtle. Just like in land you can stand, but in the water you cannot stand. It has become little subtle. Then fire, then air, and then ether. This is the position, from gross to subtle. And then mind. Still finer than the ether is the mind. And then intelligence. And then false ego, and then the soul. These are the different position.
 
So we have to go to the platform of soul. That is spiritual education. But there are so many other stages. Somebody’s stopping in the mind. He’s thinking that this is the final. Philosophy, poetry, imagination, the mind mental… As we see that mostly your Western philosophers, they are stuck up on the platform of mind. That’s all. They’re thinking this is the final. So far I’ve studied only Socrates. He has reached up to the point of soul. Otherwise, all Western philosophers, they’re on the mental platform. So anyway, we have to go farther, farther. So the dreaming is the function of the subtle body, namely mind, intelligence and false ego. You’re not free, the subtle body. So those who have no knowledge how material things are acting, covering the soul, they utmost they can think of the mind, the activities of the mind—thinking, feeling, willing, psychology, or writing some books, some mental speculation philosophy. They think this is final. That is not final. You have to go farther to the intellectual platform, then egoism, then soul. That is described in the Bhagavad-gītā:
 
indriyāni parāṇy āhur
indriyebhyaḥ paraṁ manaḥ
manasas tu parā buddhir
buddhes tu ya para saḥ
[Bg. 3.42]
 
Kṛṣṇa is giving all intelligence. That is, through gross understanding, this indriya, the senses.
 
So those who are in the lowest stage of knowledge they are in the bodily concept of life—the indriya, the senses. Just like cats and dogs, they cannot think more than that. So, but Kṛṣṇa advises, “No, don’t stop here.” Indriyāṇi parāny āhur [Bg. 3.42]. Bodily concept of life, sense pleasure, they think it is all. There is no more other. Those who are little above the bodily concept of life, they find pleasure in the mind. And farther, they find pleasure in intellectually. And in this way the thing is very complicated. It requires very cool brain to understand all these things. But those who are meat-eaters, they are very troubled. They cannot understand. For them the subject matter is very, very difficult. That is described in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam,
 
nivṛtta-tarṣair upagīyamānād
bhavauṣadhāc chrotra-mano-‘bhirāmāt
ka uttamaśloka-guṇānuvādāt
pumān virajyeta vinā paśu-ghnāt
[SB 10.1.4]
 
Paśu-ghna. Paśu means life, or living entity. Paśu-ghna, ghna means killer. So unless one who is killing himself or killing this animal… Both are killing. The killing of the animal in the slaughterhouse, that is gross killing. And another killing is one who is killing himself without knowledge. That is also killing. He got this human form of life, but without sufficient knowledge he’s killing himself. Mām aprāpya. He cannot understand God. That is killing himself.

This human form of life was given to him by nature’s way, that “Now you understand God.” But he’s wasting time by surfing in the water. You see? He got the chance of understanding God—he doesn’t care for that. He’s unnecessarily laboring whole day in the sea, so that he’s developing the mentality at the time of, you think of swimming in the water, and the subtle body will carry him to the fish journey.
 
The subtle body, the transmigration of the soul means when the gross body stops. The subtle body… Just like… This is very easy to understand. Little brain is required. Just like when you sleep, your gross body is on the bed, but the subtle body takes you somewhere. So the transmigration of the soul takes place carried by the subtle body.

And mukti means when there is no more working of the subtle body also. This death, this elimination of this gross body, that is not mukti, because the subtle body will work and subtle body will carry you to the next gross body. The soul will be carried by the subtle body and, according to its mentality, nature will put him into the semina of a certain father, and the father will inject the semina within which the soul is there, and then again, with the mixture of ovam and semen there will be formation a pealike body, and the soul is there, and he’ll develop. Then there will be nine holes and hands and legs, and when the complete he comes out, again begin your chapter—either as cat, or as dog or as human being or as tree or as plant, as aquatics. There are so many, 8,400,000. So subtle body’s working. Nature’s work is so fine that everything… Just like this Yamadūta, immediately there, “Yes, we have come to take.” Now if you become a criminal, if he comes attack, one has to phone to the police that “Here is a thief who has come.” He does not… Nature’s work is going on so nicely there is no necessity of phoning Yamadūtas. They will come. (laughter) But this rascal civilization do not know this, how things are going on.
 
So this is going… Our whole Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is that try to understand how the laws of God is working. That is religion. Don’t remain fool rascal. There are three stages: the stage of ignorance, the stage of passion, the stage of goodness, and the stage of transcendence. There are different stages. So, after millions of births, nature gives us this human form of life when, if we try, we can understand in which stage I am standing. Yes. Either in ignorance or passion or goodness. And to understand this there are books. These books are there. So you have to study. The Caitanya-caritāmṛta says, anādi-bahir-mukha jīva kṛṣṇa bhuli gela ataeva kṛṣṇa veda-purāṇa korila. The Vedas, this knowledge, for whom? Is it for the cats and dogs? No. They cannot read. They cannot understand. It is meant for men, and especially civilized men. Not for the crude men in the jungle. Those who are civilized—for them. They are called civilized men, means another word is Āryan. For them it is. Just like Arjuna was chastised by Kṛṣṇa. When he did not like to fight He chastised him, “Non-Āryan.” Kutas tvāṁ kaśmalam idaṁ viṣame samupasthitam anārya juṣṭam. “You’re talking like non-Āryan.” Āryan means advanced. So if you claim to belong to the Āryan family, then it is your duty to study Vedic literature and understand your position and make your life successful. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
 
Thank you very much. (end)

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