The Mother Divine
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By Sri Sri Sitaramdas Omkarnath (continued...)

Q. Ajamil got liberated from the clutches of Yama’s messengers when, out of fear, he had called out his son’s name ‘Narayana’ and not with the intention of uttering God Narayana’s name. This is wonderful and unthinkable.

A: Upon being released from the knots of Yama’s messengers, Ajamil did pranaam to Sri Vishnu’s companions. The latter, on seeing that the Brahmin was trying to say something, disappeared. Ajamil then remorsefully started thinking, “Shame to me, what have I done? I was born in a Brahmin family of much virtue. My old parents and young virtuous wife were totally dependent on me. And yet I deserted them and became slave to a Shudra woman of bad character. In order to serve and please her, I have indulged in all forms of sins like theft, gambling and drinking. To be born as a Brahmin is to gain the way to mukti. Even after gaining such a life, I have spent my days as an animal. Shame on me. As result of all these sins, I shall have to rot in hell for an indefinite period. But what was this dream that I dreamt? When three persons of frightful appearance come near me and want to tie me, and out of fear I called out to my son, Narayana. Immediately, a few godly persons emanating rays and holding Shankha, Chakra, Gada and Padma in their hands, appeared and stopped the messengers of Yama from tying me and asked them what was their dharma. The messengers of Yama described their dharma. On this, the messengers of Vishnu said, “Though this Brahmin was no doubt a sinner, yet when he unconsciously uttered the name of Sri Hari, he has done expiation for the sins committed by him not only in one life but in millions of lives.’’ Thus, they described the greatness of Naam. No, no, that is not a dream. I saw all this with my own eyes. Whatever it may be, it is due to God’s endless kindness that at the time of my death, my tongue uttered the name of Narayana. What am I, a cheat, a great sinner, a killer of Brahmins. And what is Sri Bhagawan’s name? It is the abode of all that is mangal and good.”

Turning over all these in his mind, Ajamil left his house and went to the banks of the Ganga where, by resorting to yoga, he fixed his mind on God. Then before his death, he saw the same messengers of Sri Vishnu. They came and took Ajamil to God in Sri Vaikuntha Dhaam. Ajamil was in peace forever. He did not have to return to samsara again.

Q. At the time of his death, Ajamil called out to his son Narayana and yet he gained mukti. The power of Naam seems to be limitless.

A: This is called Namavasa. By Namavasa alone, Ajamil got mukti.

Q. What did his messengers tell Yama upon returning?

A: They asked Yama as to how many Gods were there who were entitled to inflict punishments. “We knew you to be the only one wielding power. On seeing us, the great sinner, Ajamil, called out to his son, Narayana. Immediately, several radiant persons, holding shankha, chakra, gada and padma, appeared, told him not to fear and asked us for our identity. When we said that we were the messengers of Yama, they asked us what was dharma and what was adharma. We replied that this man was a great sinner. We want to take him to Yama’s abode and make him do penance for the sins committed by him. On hearing this they replied, “As soon as this Ajamil even unconsciously uttered the name ‘Narayana’, he did prayaschitta for all sins committed during millions of his previous lives.” So saying, they released him from our knots.”

Q. What did King Yama say on hearing all this?

Answer: Yamaraj, addressing his messengers said, “I am not the only master of all the animate and inanimate objects which exist in this world. He, who pervades the whole universe like a piece of cloth pervading all the threads which goes to make it, is the greatest master in this world. I am his servant only. It is under his orders that I punish the sinner. From Him have come Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwar and they are responsible for creation, preservation and destruction, respectively of this world. A creature is bound by his own form and karma and works under his control. Even Indra, Brahma, Maheshwar, other Gods, creators of this earth, Bhrigu and I do not understand His method or purpose of work. Like a bull who is guided by the string tied to his nose, we all exist under His control. We collect materials for worshipping Him.

Ordinary creatures do not know Him because He is beyond the senses and also the mind and the intellect. He, however, stays in the lotus in the heart of a creature and; like a witness, watches him. I hope you did not insult the messengers of Sri Vishnu in any way. They are to be worshipped even by the gods. Sri Vishnu always protects his devotees from every kind of fear. Only Swayambhu, Narada, Siva, Sanatkumar, Kapila, Manu, Prahlad, Janaka, Bhishma, Bali, Sukdeva and I — these twelve know and understand the Bhagawad Dharma which He has established. If one knows this Bhagawad Dharma, he gets mukti after death.

For human beings, that Bhakti Yoga is the param Bhagawad Dharma which Yoga one gains in this world by singing Bhagawan’s Naam.

Oh my sons, you see the greatness of Sri Bhagawan’s Naam: simply by uttering the name ‘Narayana’, Ajamil was freed from the bonds of death.

It is not necessary to do a good kirtan of Sri Bhagawan’s guna, karma and Naam for destroying one’s sins. For example, the great sinner, Ajamil when in the throes of death, had out of fear, and in a creaking voice called for his son by the name Narayana. He did not call Narayana Himself. It was not his desire to sing Narayana’s Naam, yet due to this Namavas (reflection of Naam), he gained mukti.

In future, you should not go near those who have taken shelter with God and who sing His Naam in praise. Such people are always protected by the gada (mace) of Sri Bhagawan. I have no jurisdiction in such cases.

Yamraja then asked for forgiveness from Sri Bhagawan with folded hands. He prayed — “Oh Bhagawan, the Primordial Purusha Narayana, please excuse me for the mistake committed by my messengers.”

Sri Sukdeva had told Raja Parikshit that the kirtan of Sri Bhagwan’s Naam was the producer of good results for the world and the complete deliverer from the bondage of even the greatest sin.

Q. If that is so, then why have the Samhita writers, Manu, Atri, Angira etc. prescribed strict penance and austerities for deliverance from sin?

A: Sridhar Swami has replied to this question. He says, an ordinary physician, not knowing the secrets of ‘Mruta Sanjivani Sudha’ (the elixir which brings the dead to life) prescribes sour and bitter medicines to his patients. Only twelve Gods and saints e.g. Brahma, knew the Bhagawad dharma which consists of uttering Naam. Therefore, other saints prescribe penance lasting upto 12 years for normal Prayaschitta (expiation ceremony).

There is one more point to it. Just as one does not require a canon to kill a mosquito, similarly Naam-kirtan is not required for destroying petty sins which can be cured by admission of guilt, repentance, penance, study of scriptures, charity and observing vratas. Naam-kirtan is so powerful that it generates love for God and gives vision of God face-to-face; therefore, it should not be wasted for obtaining deliverance from ordinary sins. One does not have to tell the sun to rise in order to dispel darkness. In the same way, one does not need to do Naam-kirtan in order to destroy sins. These are destroyed by the very desire that ‘I will do Naam-kirtan’.

Q. Then one should not do Naam-kirtan for the destruction of sins or for the fulfilment of one’s desires?

A: No, never. You should do Naam-kirtan only for the sake of Naam-kirtan itself. Then God, whose Naam you will be singing, will come and lift you up to His bosom.

Narayana, Narayana, Narayana.
Narayana, Narayana, Narayana.