In the previous episode, we had witnessed an interesting event which Sage Sukhaachaarya is narrating to King Parikshit to highlight the significance of “Naama-Sankeertanam”. Readers might be remembering that we had a long discussion on the various categories of “Naraka Lokha” and who reach there. We have had an extensive discussion spanning across several episodes wherein we had seen the different categories of sins and the corresponding punishments for few of them. As King Parikshit listens to all of this, he starts shaking with fear. He tries to recollect if he would fall into any of these categories that Sage Sukhaachaarya has described to him at length. As King Parikshit goes into the defensive mode, Sage Sukhaachaarya now explains to him that there is a way to get out of all of these imminent dangers that seem too promising in front of us. He starts narrating the story of a person by name Ajaamila. This Ajaamila was into too much of Adharmic activities all through his life and as he was getting old and when Yama-Dharma-Raja was about to dawn the rope around him to take him to the “Naraka Lokha”, he calls out for his son by name “Narayana”! The moment Bhagawan hears this from Ajamila, He immediately sends his “Vishnu-Dhootas” to bring Ajaamila to Vaikunta, rather than sending him to the “Naraka Lokha”. As the Visnhu Dhootas approach Ajaamila to take him away, the “Yama-Dhootas” become furious. A huge war of words break out between the Vishnu-Dhootas and the Yama-Dhootas. There is a heated argument between both the camps as to what is “Dharma” and “Adharma”. Specific to Ajaamila’s case, since he was a Brahmin by birth, he was supposed to follow all the rituals and spiritual practices that the Vedas and Upanishads has prescribed. However, he had deviated from his Dharma and gone into those activities that the Vedas and Upanishads have banned. This was the argument put forth by the Yama-Dhootas.
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!” Retaliating the stance taken by the Vishnu-Dhootas thus, the Yama-Dhootas reply back “Oh! These kinds of chanting sacred names would not be counted as Naama-Sankirtana in anyways! Just because someone is calling out their son or daughter or uttering Bhagawan’s names by mistake, doesn’t really make sense for sinsters to reach Vaikunta! We wouldn’t accept this!”
Hearing thus from the Yama-Dhootas, the Vishnu-Dhootas reply back thus, “Oh Yama-Dhootas! This is where you’re mistaken! Let us explain more on this point:
“Saanketyam paarihaasyam vaa sthobham helanamevaa!
Vaikunta naama granhanam ashesha akaram vidhuhu!!”
Now here is the important message for all of us. The Vishnu-Dhootas explain thus, “Oh Yama-Dhootas! Please understand clearly – For whatever purpose and agenda the names of Bhagawan are chanted, it would still give the same effect as a dedicated chanting does. For instance, if one has to identify one person amongst a group of ten or fifteen people as Vishnu, Maadhava, Madhusudhana, etc. (“Saanketyam”), it gives the same effect. In other words, if there are ten people in a group, and if someone asks us, “Who is that person by name ‘Vishnu’ amongst these ten people?” When we reply by saying “Vishnu is here!” Even this gives the same effect as that of meticulously chanting the divine name “Vishnu” by sitting in a corner. Whereas on the other hand, if we use Bhagawan’s name to demean someone – For instance, if we say “Oh! This guy by name Maadhava is such a fool!”, this too gives the same divine effect in us! Similarly, if we even utter Bhagawan’s name out of anger or frustration, this too gives the divine effect in us. By chanting Bhagawan’s divine names thus, it removes all sorts of sins from us!
We might still not be convinced with this explanation – How can Bhagawan’s divine names remove our sins, even if we do not chant them with the required austerity, seriousness, etc.? Let us compare an analogy here – Imagine there is a one-year old baby. This baby goes and touches the flame of a candle or a lamp and immediately what happens? The baby’s finger gets burnt by the flame isn’t it? Immediately it starts crying! Now can the mother say thus, “Oh! How can the flame burn my baby’s finger? Does the baby know that the fire would burn its finger? Since the baby doesn’t know this fact, the flame shouldn’t have burnt its finger!” Can someone argue like this? Irrespective of whether the baby knows or not, the flame will still burn it’s hand! Similarly, irrespective of whether we know the significance of Bhagawan’s divine names or not, whenever we keep chanting them on and off during our routine life, it gives us the same effect!
This is the reason why we keep Bhagawan’s divine names for our children! For instance, when we have a newly born baby, we name it as “Keshava”, “Narayana”, “Maadhava”, Vishnu”, etc. isn’t it? Why do we do so? It is only because, we are creating the opportunities to chant Bhagawan’s name indirectly! By calling out to our child, or by pampering our child, what do we do? We keep repeating these names often, isn’t it? Thus, all of these repetitions, knowingly or unknowingly adds to our “Punya” account! Eventually this repetitive chanting of Bhagawan’s names are so powerful that they would remove off all our sins that we keep committing day after day in our lives!
After hearing this from the Vishnu-Dhootas, were the Yama-Dhootas satisfied? The answer is still a “No”! What is their argument now? Let’s wait till the next episode to find out! Stay tuned! 😊