In the previous episode, we had witnessed the last two categories of people who are bound to reach the “Naraka Lokha”. Sage Sukhaachaarya had clearly explained that those who insult their Heads of their countries or territories in the open public and in a bad way, are sure of a direct ticket to “Naraka Lokha”. Similarly, those people who try to insult and malign Spiritual Masters, Gurus, Aachaaryas, Heads of prominent spiritual Mutts, etc. are also definitely bound to reach the wretched “Naraka Lokha” sooner than later. Hence, we’ve to be very careful here. We should as far as possible try and refrain ourselves from insulting or bad-mouthing anybody in the public domain and if we do so, we should start packing our bags from today itself, to commence our journey to the “Naraka Lokha”! 😊
As Sage Sukhaachaarya says thus, King Parikshit starts shaking with fear! He doesn’t know which category of the “Naraka Lokha” is he going to fall into! He thus asks a counter question to Sage Sukhaachaarya thus, “Oh Sage! You’ve so far spoken so much about the Naraka Lokha and I think this itself is enough to induce my fear! Now instead of giving more descriptions about the Naraka Lokha, tell me some ways as to how to escape from this treacherous pit! You’ve narrated the dubious distinctions of the Naraka Lokha for the past hundred-odd slokas! But tell me atleast one sloka that would give us the solution to escape the wrath of the Naraka Lokha!”
As King Parikshit earnestly asks thus, Sage Sukhaachaarya now commences the sixth “Skandha” with a beautiful and an important story. So far, readers might remember that we were having a lengthy discussion of the fifth “Skandha” of the Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana, and with the following story, we are taking our leap into the sixth “Skahdna”. Now let us go directly into what Sage Sukhaachaarya is going to say here! Sage Sukhaachaarya is going to highlight the importance of “Naama-Sankeertanam”, which means, chanting the sacred names of Bhagawan continuously at all times! The broad message from this episode for all of us is that, if we continuously keep chanting Bhagawan’s sacred names at all times, Naraka Lokha would never be a possibility for us to reach! We thus would escape the wrath of the “Naraka Lokha”, if we focus on chanting Bhagawan’s divine names whenever possible. The more we chant Bhagawan’s names, the more we’re insulating ourselves from the “Naraka Lokha”. “Naama-Sankeertanam” has the unique powers of destroying all our sins within seconds!
This story which Sage Sukhaachaarya is going to narrate to highlight this point, is about a person by name Ajaamila. This section is called “Ajaamilo-Upaakyaanam”. Just like how we had recently witnessed the “Jada-Bharata-Upaakyaanam”, here we’re going to witness the “Ajaamilo-Upaakyaanam”. Ajaamila was born as a Brahmin, made himself scholarly in all the Vedas, Upanishads, etc. Eventually he got married to a beautiful wife and had children too. However, during the course of his life, he came across another beautiful woman and eventually fell in love with her! This happened although his wife is alive. It is interesting to see here that extra-marital affairs were in practice even thousands of years ago! 😊 As Ajaamila fell in love with the second woman, he started to ignore his wife and family and started spending more and more time with his “newly-found love” of his life! He failed to feed his family adequately, failed to look after them in the proper way, and failed to conduct any sorts of auspicious spiritual activities at home, etc. In fact, he was too much carried away by his infatuation that he even failed to perform his “Nithya-Anushtaanam” (Sandhyaavandana and other daily spiritual practices). Thus, he was living a life only comprised of lust, infatuation, etc. As he progressed with age, he has to experience the punishments of sacrificing all the spiritual practices, despite being a Brahmin, isn’t it? This is the point wherein the “Yama-Dhootas” (Assistants of Yama-Dharma-Raja) come along and throw the rope towards us, so as to escalate us into the “Naraka Lokha”!
At this point, Ajaamila gets the fear of his life! He starts trembling as he sees the shadows of the Yama-Dhootas approaching him! He didn’t see them yet in person, but even when he saw their shadows, he started shaking with fear! Immediately, Ajaamila called out for his son, whose name was “Naaraayana”! He calls out loud thus, “Oh Naaraayana! Oh Naaraayana! Please come to see me! I’m about to die!” Hearing the fervent calls from his father thus, his son Naaraayana comes running to see what has happened to his father. As this Naaraayana arrives, the Vishnu-Dhootas (Assistants of Bhagawan Vishnu) arrive on the other side of Ajaamila! They’re coming down to take Ajaamila to Vaikunta, because Ajaamila has called out Bhagawan’s divine name of Naaraayana! Even if Ajaamila wasn’t really calling Bhagawan by that name, just because the name “Naaraayana” is a divine and a sacred name, Bhagawan Vishnu wants to take him to the ultimate Vaikunta!
As the Vishnu-Dhootas ascend, they have an interesting conversation with the Yama-Dhootas. Upon seeing them, the Yama-Dhootas get confused and ask thus, “Oh Vishnu-Dhootas! Why have you come here? Why are you trying to take Ajaamila to Vaikunta? He doesn’t deserve this royal treatment as he has done enormous amounts of sins all through his life, for which he deserves the Naraka Lokha! So we’re taking Ajaamila with us!” Upon hearing thus from the Yama-Dhootas, the Vishnu-Dhootas reply back thus, “Oh Yama-Dhootas! What you’re saying is correct! But then, since Ajaamila called out for Bhagawan Narayana at the end of his birth, Bhagawan has directly sent us to take him to Vaikunta!” As the Yama-Dhootas hear this reply thus, they become angry and irritated! They ask back thus, “Oh Vishnu-Dhootas! What kind of a logic is this? If a person commits all sorts of crimes during his lifetime and finally, just because he chanted Bhagawan’s name once, and that too, by mistake, how can you give the benefit of doubt to this person? If that is the case, other people in this world would take this as a precedence, commit all possible crimes in this world, chant Bhagawan’s names like Krishna, Maadhava, Madhusudhana, Pundarikaaksha, etc. and attain Vaikunta! This is perverted smartness, isn’t it? How can people get away so easily like this? We wouldn’t allow such things to happen!”
Thus commencing with this, a huge war of words broke out between the Vishnu-Dhootas and the Yama-Dhootas! There was a huge debate as to what is “Dharma” and what is “Adharma” exactly! Both the camps were literally fighting with each other to establish their points of views! Now what’s going to happen next? Who won this battle of words? What was the outcome of this war? Let’s wait till the next episode to witness further! Stay tuned! 😊