We are at a very interesting stage amidst the discussion on “Naama-Sankeertanam” and its significance, as narrated by none other than Sage Sukhaachaarya himself to King Parikshit. We’ve witnessed yesterday that King Parikshit, being terrified after hearing a detailed accord on the “Naraka Lokha”, asks Sage Sukhaachaarya for a solution to this whole problem! Upon King Parikshit’s question, Sage Sukhaachaarya narrates the importance of “Naana-Sankeertanam” and explains that whoever puts in a meticulous effort of chanting Bhagawan’s divine names with focus, can easily escape the clutches of the “Naraka Lokha”. By chanting Bhagawan’s names, we’re washing away all our sins, which would in turn enable us to reach the ultimate Vaikunta – The Abode of Bhagawan Vishnu!
Sage Sukhaachaarya goes on to narrate a story of Ajaamila, wherein he commits all possible sins during his lifetime, only for the Yama-Dhootas coming in calling, with an open invitation for the “Naraka Lokha”! 😊 However, upon seeing the shadows of the Yama-Dhootas approaching him, Ajaamila starts shaking in fear and calls out for his son by name “Naaraayana”! Just because Bhagawan Vishnu hears this, he immediately sends his Vishnu-Dhootas to bring Ajaamila to Vaikunta – The reason – He has chanted Bhagawan’s divine name! Thus, as the Vishnu-Dhootas ascend from the Vaikunta to take Ajaamila with them, a huge war of words breaks out between the Yama-Dhootas and the Vishnu-Dhootas as to who would take Ajaamila where! One one hand, the Yama-Dhootas put forth their argument that this Ajaamila has commited “n” number of crimes during his birth and he truly is “entitled” for the “Naraka Lokha”! 😊 On the other hand, the Vishnu-Dhootas put forth their argument saying that since Ajaamila has chanted Bhagawan Vishnu’s name atleast once, knowingly or unknowingly, he deserves a place in the Vishnu Lokha or Vaikunta! A huge debate brews up between the two camps as to what is “Dharma” and what is “Adharma” exactly! Yama-Dhootas become furious and they ask if people can escape the clutches of Naraka Lokha by merely chanting Bhagawan’s name, even after committing the worst of the worst possible crimes! They continue to explain their stance thus, “Oh Vishnu Dhootas! Moreover, did Ajaamila chant Bhagawan’s name with the intention of really calling Him? No! He just wanted to call his son! That’s it! If that’s the case, how can you proclaim that all his sins are washed away just because he uttered the name “Naaraayana”?
Of course, their question is extremely logical here! This is what we also keep doing every day too – If someone invites us to be a part of any “Satsang” or “Saadhu-Samaagama”, etc. what do we reply? We say, “Oh! We’re not that old yet! Let us cross the age of 60 or 65, and then we shall think about all that! Now since I’m young, I want to earn, make a career, make a nice luxurious living, etc. Once I retire from my job, I won’t have anything else to do in life and hence I shall come for all of these for “time pass”! This is the mindset that we have in today’s world too! This justifies and validates the claim that the Yama-Dhootas are making here – People take the Sanaathana Dharma for granted, do all possible crimes and mistakes, accumulate all the sins possible, but at the end, chant Bhagawan’s names and escape out! What is the justification for this? Let’s move on to see!
Now the Vishnu-Dhootas ask the Yama-Dhootas thus: “Oh Yama Dhootas! Tell us first – What is Dharma and what is Adharma! You are only saying repeatedly that this Ajaamila has committed all Adharma, isn’t it? Now explain to us what the difference between Dharma and Adharma is!” Yama-Dhootas reply back thus, “Oh Vishnu-Dhootas! Now you’ve come to the fundamental aspect of Sanaathana Dharma, here’s the reply: All those actions which the Vedas, Upanishads and our sacred texts have prescribed to be performed in this world by human beings, fall under the category of “Dharma”! On the other hand, those activities that the Vedas, etc. have banned human beings from performing, fall under the category of “Adharma”! In similar lines, if a person fails to perform the activities that the Vedas has prescribed, he / she would again fall into the category of “Adharma”! If a person commits activities that the Vedas has banned him / her from doing, this person goes into the category of “Adharma” as well!”
Having said thus, the Yama-Dhootas continue further with regards to Ajaamila now: “Oh Vishnu-Dhootas! If we take the specific case of Ajaamila, he has failed to perform the activities that the Vedas has prescribed for him to do! He was born as a brahmin! He should have performed all the spiritual practices that the Vedas have prescribed to do! He failed in doing them! Moreover, he has also gone into the category wherein he has performed those tasks which the Vedas have put a ban on. He had gone behind a woman outside of his marriage, which is a big crime! Thus, according to us, Ajaamila is an epitome of “Adharma”! How can he even think of going into the Vishnu Lokha? Moreover, the Ajaamila didn’t call Bhagawan by chanting the name “Naaraayana”! Instead, he called out for his son who was playing somewhere! How can you take this as a precedence of “Naama-Sankeertanam” and excuse Ajaamila for all what he has done through his life? Isn’t this unfair?”
Hearing out the Yama-Dhootas patiently thus, Vishnu-Dhootas reply back, “Oh Yama-Dhootas! It is not like that! The moment a person chants a sacred and a divine name of Bhagawan, irrespective of whatever might be the purpose behind the chanting, it would still give the benefit associated with it!”
Now what does this mean? An interesting accord awaits us in the next episode! Don’t go away anywhere! Stay tuned for a gripping discussion ahead! 😊