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The Story of Ajamila

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    The Story of Ajamila

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    Long ago, there lived a Brahmin by name Ajamila, who followed the path of virtue,leading the life of a householder. He went to the forest at the command of his father.There he met a woman of immodest appearance and undesirable character, in a drunken state. Though by nature a man of self control his mind was attracted to her. He gave up all his duties and revelling in her company led a sinful life. As he became old, he became very much attached to his son who bore Thy name – Naaraayanaby turns he was eighty-eight years old and was now on his deathbed. The messengers of Yama, , the god of death ,appeared with fearful countenances with ropes inhand . They were wresting the soul from his heart when Ajamilain a quavering voice called for his youngest son who was named Narayana. “O! Narayana! Narayana!” Then a miracle happened!

    A group of Vishnu Parshadas ,attendants of Sri Vishnu,immediately appeared from nowhere. They were all brilliantly clad. All were youthful and four armed like Sri Hari himself. They had lotus like eyes exuding energy. They scattered the messengers of Yama. Yama’s messengers enquired in great fear.“Who are you that prevent us from our duty. Are you gods? Wehave been ordered by our master Lord Yama to bring this oldsinner to Samyamani where he will be punished in the purgatoriesand purified”.

    The angels, were curious and asked what he had done.Yama’s minions replied.“Ajamila has grievously strayed from Dharma. He was born to a pious father, well versed in all the shastras and married to a virtuous wife. He lead an ideal life. One day he went to the forest as usual and saw a hunter and his mistress singing lewd songs and engaged in shameless amorous play.

    Theirdifferent postures entwined together affected his mind badly. All the training and asceticism of the young brahmin were vain, hisheart was shaken by cupid. He left his aged parents and virtuous wife, squandered all his wealth for a shameless woman and took to brigandage and hunting for a livelihood. We are taking him tohell by our master’s orders.”The angels replied.” You say, you are the guardians of Dharma! It is a pity you have not fully understood the law of

    Dharma which is as follows. However much a man has sinned, ifat the last moment of death he utters the four syllable words -RA-YA-NA he is completely purified. No matter if he saysit in fun, in mockery or accidentally, he is completely absolved.You may say that he was only calling his son. That does not matter.”Yama’s followers were in doubt and they returned to theirmaster. The angels too vanished . Ajamila woke up as from a dream. But it was no dream. He could distinctly recall every word.“Alas ! What a fool I have been! Leaving my destitute old parents and my chaste virtuous wife I committed all kinds of ugly acts with a drunken bawd. Please Lord, have mercy on me!”

    Thoroughly repentant, he spent the few remaining days of his lifeon the banks of the Ganges and when at last his last day came, hesaw the same heavenly messengers. He was given a new heavenlybody and the Lord’s messengers escorted him to Vaikunta the abode of Sri Hari.

    The great Dharma and therefore we have become immortal. Uttering the name of the Lord “Narayana” at the last moment absolves one of all sins and even the tendency to commit sin is destroyed. All other forms of worship and remedies remove only past sins but not the tendency to commit them. Theword “Narayana” though uttered chokingly, in a faltering voice purifies one forever and ushers him into the kingdom of God forever.”

    And Yama Raja humbly added, “May the great Lord Hari forgive me for this one error.” And turning to his followers he added, “My dear followers, do not even approach hereafter any dying person who is uttering the holy name Hari or Narayana.

    Narayaneeyam is a deeply devotional eulogy and a masterful condensation of the Bhagavatham, composed by Sri Melpathur Bhattathiri (in 1596 AD) in Sanskrit, in praise of and in prayer to Lord Krishna of Guruvayur.

    Dasakam: 022 -- Shlokam: 01

    अजामिलो नाम महीसुर: पुरा
    चरन् विभो धर्मपथान् गृहाश्रमी ।
    गुरोर्गिरा काननमेत्य दृष्टवान्
    सुधृष्टशीलां कुलटां मदाकुलाम् ॥१॥

    ajaamilO naama mahiisuraH puraa
    charan vibhO dharmapathaan gR^ihaashramii |
    gurOrgiraa kaananametya dR^iShTavaan
    sudhR^iShTashiilaaM kulaTaaM madaakulaam ||

    Long ago, there lived a Brahmin by name Ajamila, who followed the path of virtue,leading the life of a householder. He went to the forest at the command of his father.There he met a woman of immodest appearance and undesirable character, in a drunken state.

    Dasakam: 022 -- Shlokam: 02

    स्वत: प्रशान्तोऽपि तदाहृताशय:
    स्वधर्ममुत्सृज्य तया समारमन् ।
    अधर्मकारी दशमी भवन् पुन-
    र्दधौ भवन्नामयुते सुते रतिम् ॥२॥

    svataH prashaantO(a)pi tadaahR^itaashayaH
    svadharmamutsR^ijya tayaa samaaraman |
    adharmakaarii dashamii bhavan punardadhau
    bhavannaamayute sute ratim ||

    Though by nature a man of self control his mind was attracted to her. He gave up all his duties and reveling in her company led a sinful life. As he became old, he became very much attached to his son who bore Thy name

    Dasakam: 022 -- Shlokam: 03

    स मृत्युकाले यमराजकिङ्करान्
    भयङ्करांस्त्रीनभिलक्षयन् भिया ।
    पुरा मनाक् त्वत्स्मृतिवासनाबलात्
    जुहाव नारायणनामकं सुतम् ॥३॥

    sa mR^ityukaale yamaraajakinkaraan
    bhayankaraamstriinabhilakshayan bhiyaa |
    puraa manaaktvatsmR^iti vaasanaabalaat
    juhaava naaraayaNanaamakaM sutam ||

    At the time of death, he saw before him three fierce looking emissaries of Yama - the god of death. He called out in freight the name of his son Naaraayana, induced by the strength of the memory of his past devotion to Thee. In spite of his evil nature, by the glory of the letters of Thy name uttered by him, there appeared before him, Thy emissaries. They had four arms and were wearing yellow robes and were of enchanting appearance

    Dasakam: 022 -- Shlokam: 04

    दुराशयस्यापि तदात्वनिर्गत-
    त्वदीयनामाक्षरमात्रवैभवात् ।
    चतुर्भुजा: पीतपटा मनोरमा: ॥४॥

    duraashayasyaapi tadaatvanirgatatvadiiya
    chaturbhujaaH piitapaTaa manOharaaH ||

    Seeing Ajaamil tied up with ropes and being dragged by the messangers of Yama, they were obstructed by Thy emissaries by force and were stopped to do so. Then the emissaries of Yama narrate all his sins. Thy attendants forcibly stopped Yama's messengers, who after tying him with ropes were dragging him along. Thus prevented by Thy attendants, Yama's servantsapprised them of all his sins.

    Dasakam: 022 -- Shlokam: 05

    अमुं च संपाश्य विकर्षतो भटान्
    विमुञ्चतेत्यारुरुधुर्बलादमी ।
    निवारितास्ते च भवज्जनैस्तदा
    तदीयपापं निखिलं न्यवेदयन् ॥५॥

    amuM cha sampaashya vikarShatO bhaTaan
    vimu~nchate-tyaarurudhu-rbalaadamii |
    nivaaritaaste cha bhavajjanaistadaa
    tadiiya paapaM nikhilaM nyavedayan ||

    O Lord! Thy emissaries told them that even if there were sins, how was it that there was punishment when atonement had been made. Did people like them who were learned, not know what atonement was?

    Dasakam: 022 -- Shlokam: 06

    भवन्तु पापानि कथं तु निष्कृते
    कृतेऽपि भो दण्डनमस्ति पण्डिता: ।
    न निष्कृति: किं विदिता भवादृशा-
    मिति प्रभो त्वत्पुरुषा बभाषिरे ॥६॥

    bhavantu paapaani kathaM tu niShkR^ite
    kR^ite(a)pi bhO daNDanamasti paNDitaaH |
    na niShkR^itiH kiM viditaa bhavaadR^ishaamiti
    prabhO tvatpuruShaa babhaaShire ||

    O Lord! Thy emissaries told them that in the Srutis and Smritis as per the vows which are laid down, they absolve a person from sins, but do not curb the sinful tendency. Whereas, the service of the Lord! Destroys both - the sins and the sinful tendencies.

    Dasakam: 022 -- Shlokam: 07

    श्रुतिस्मृतिभ्यां विहिता व्रतादय:
    पुनन्ति पापं न लुनन्ति वासनाम् ।
    अनन्तसेवा तु निकृन्तति द्वयी-
    मिति प्रभो त्वत्पुरुषा बभाषिरे ॥७॥

    shrutismR^itibhyaanvihitaa vrataadayaH
    punanti paapaM na lunanti vaasanaam |
    anantasevaa tu nikR^intati dvayiimiti
    prabhO tvatpuruShaa babhaaShire ||

    O Lord! Thy emmisaarries told the messengers of Yama that though overcome by fear, Ajaamil had uttered the Name of Hari. By that alone he had atoned for all the sins committed by him in innumerable lives.

    Dasakam: 022 -- Shlokam: 08

    अनेन भो जन्मसहस्रकोटिभि:
    कृतेषु पापेष्वपि निष्कृति: कृता ।
    यदग्रहीन्नाम भयाकुलो हरे-
    रिति प्रभो त्वत्पुरुषा बभाषिरे ॥८॥

    anena bhO janmasahasrakOTibhiH
    kR^iteShu paapeShvapi niShkR^itiH kR^itaa |
    yadagrahiinnaama bhayaakulO hareriti
    prabhO tvatpuruShaa babhaaShire ||

    Thy attendants told the messengers of Yama that even though Ajamila called out thename of Hari in fear, the very fact that he uttered the name of the Lord was atonementenough for the sins committed by him even in a thousand crore yearsO Lord! Thy emissaries told them that even if the chanting of The Name of Mukund is done unknowingly, by the human beings, it burns up all their sins. Its glory is like that of fire burning the fuel and like the medicine curing the diease.

    Dasakam: 022 -- Shlokam: 09

    नृणामबुद्ध्यापि मुकुन्दकीर्तनं
    दहत्यघौघान् महिमास्य तादृश: ।
    यथाग्निरेधांसि यथौषधं गदा -
    निति प्रभो त्वत्पुरुषा बभाषिरे ॥९॥

    nR^iNaamabuddhyaa(a)pi mukunda kiirtanaM
    dahatyaghaughaan mahimaasya taadR^ishaH |
    yathaagniredhaamsi yathauShadhaM gadaaniti
    prabhO tvatpuruShaa babhaaShire ||

    The messangers of Yama left when they were told thus. The group of Thy emissaries also disappeared. Ajaamil remembered and worshipped Thee for some time and then attained Thy abode led by Thy emissaries.

    Dasakam: 022 -- Shlokam: 10

    भवद्भटानां च गणे तिरोहिते ।
    भवत्स्मृतिं कंचन कालमाचरन्
    भवत्पदं प्रापि भवद्भटैरसौ ॥१०॥

    bhavadbhaTaanaaM cha gaNe tirOhite |
    bhavatsmR^itiM ka~nchana kaalamaacharan
    bhavatpadaM praapi bhavadbhaTairasau ||

    The soldiers of Yama, thus advised, withdrew and Thy attendants also went away.Ajamila after spending some time meditating on Thee, was taken to Thy abode by Thyattendants at the appropriate hour.

    Dasakam: 022 -- Shlokam: 11

    स्वकिङ्करावेदनशङ्कितो यम-
    स्त्वदंघ्रिभक्तेषु न गम्यतामिति ।
    स देव वातालयनाथ पाहि माम् ॥११॥

    svakinkaraavedana shankitO yamastvadanghri
    bhakteShu na gamyataamiti |
    svakiiya bhR^ityaanashishikshaduchchakaiH
    sa deva vaataalayanaatha paahi maam ||

    Yama was very much concerned at the report of his messengers. He strictly instructed them not to go to the devotees of Thy feet. O Lord! O Lord of Guruvaayur! Who are such, protect me.

    Chanting one Naama of Lord Vishu will help our soul to be taken away by the vishnu Dhoodhars rather than the yama Dhoodhas..

    picture source: Chinathamani
    Last edited by Padmanabhan.J; 20-07-13, 18:27.