The Hammer - 20
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© 2004 - Hansadutta das

The Hammer For Smashing Illusion

Shankaracharya's famous "Bhaja Govinda"


By Hansadutta das
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Text 20

One who has studied the Bhagavad-gita a little bit, who has drunk a tiny drop of Ganges water, who has worshipped the Supreme Personality of Godhead Krishna even once shall never come under the scrutiny of the Lord of Death.

"That's All I Gotta Do?"

In the first three chapters of the Sixth Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam, there is a story of a pure brahmana boy named Ajamila, who fell down from his standard of spiritual life because he happened to see a low-class man and a prostitute embracing sexually. He became agitated and eventually took that prostitute for a maid servant in his house. Then Ajamila actually left his legally wedded wife, went off with the prostitute, became her husband and begot children by her. He became a drunkard and a thief and fallen in every way. Toward the end of his life, when Ajamila was dying, he was calling out for his youngest child, whose name was Narayana, also a name of Vishnu. Just then, because it was the moment of his death, the messengers of Yamaraja, the Lord of Death, appeared there to take away his soul for punishment to the Plutonic planet of Yamaraja. But at the same time, the messengers of Vishnu also appeared, interfering with their business at hand. The Vishnudutas ordered the Yamadutas to release Ajamila, the sinful man. Afterwards, the Yamadutas went back to their master, Yamaraja, and questioned him about this incident. In the course of their conversation, Yamaraja explained that there are many controllers in the universe, and that he is only one of them.

The Supreme Controller of all living entities is Vishnu, and Yamaraja is also a servant of Vishnu. Yamaraja further explained that although he has control over the sinful living entities within this universe, still that is a very small percentage of the living entities, because those who are below the human species are not subject to commit sinful activities. They are evolving in a natural way through the evolutionary cycle. Amongst human beings, Yamaraja has jurisdiction only over those who are sinful, but he has no jurisdiction over those who are devotees of Vishnu.

How to be Perfect by Joking

Yamaraja explained that although Ajamila was sinful throughout his life, because he was accustomed to chanting the name of Narayana in calling out for his youngest child, he was therefore immediately relieved of all reactions to his sinful deeds. Although he chanted the name without knowing, or without any intention of calling Lord Vishnu, still the holy name of the Lord is absolute, it has the same potency as the Lord Himself. By once chanting the name without any offence, a person becomes relieved of all sinful reactions--more than one is able to commit in hundreds of thousands of lifetimes. In this way, Ajamila was liberated unknowingly, even though he was sinful throughout his life. In that chapter there are repeated descriptions about the efficacy and the potency of chanting the holy name, even in joking, even by accident, even while asleep or, as in the case of Ajamila, even without any intention to chant. The same principle is expressed here that a person who has studied the Bhagavad-gita even once, who has taken one drop of Ganges water, or worshipped the Supreme Personality of Godhead Krishna even once never comes under the jurisdiction of Yamaraja.

"Oh No! I've Passed My Life Uselessly!"

In Bhagavad-gita it is also said, "In this endeavor there is a no diminution nor loss. Even a little advancement on this path can save one from the most dangerous type of fear." (Bhagavad-gita 2.40 ) The most dangerous thing is to lose the opportunity of human life. To glide down into the species of animal life is the most dangerous thing. Although we have come to this human form of life, we are not aware of the great boon it brings us. Narottama das Thakur has a prayer about this: "Although I have come to this human form, my Lord, I have passed my life uselessly. I did not care to worship Radha and Krishna-- Ishta-deve vijñapti. I have spent my life uselessly." People have no awareness of the value of human life. They are misusing it by indulging in various types of sense gratification. That is unfortunate, because human life is rarely achieved.

Rishabhadeva says the same thing in Srimad-Bhagavatam:tapo divyam putraka yena sattvam. "Human life is rarely achieved, and if we get it, we should not waste it in pursuit of sense gratification, which is automatically available even to lower species of life, like cats and dogs and hogs. We should practice penance and austerity in order to achieve divine life." ( Srimad-Bhagavatam 5.5.1)

Appreciate Your Good Fortune

This is the age of darkness and quarrel, so naturally there is no idea of spiritual life. People are busy only in taking care of the temporary material body and its relationships, such as wife, children and friends. They do not make any endeavor to get out of the cycle of birth and death. They do not believe in it, or what is more unfortunate, they have not even heard of it. In Kali-yuga there is no knowledge. There is only the struggle to exist--to eat and sleep.

We are fortunate, because somehow or other we have come in touch with this Krishna consciousness movement and are getting a chance to go home, back to Godhead. So we should always appreciate our good fortune and very enthusiastically and with determination try to make more and more progress. Hare Krishna.

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Hansadutta das
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