Om namo Bhagvate  Vasudevaya

etāvān eva loke ‘smin

puḿsāḿ dharmaḥ paraḥ smṛtaḥ

bhakti-yogo bhagavati


(SB 6.3.22)



Devotional service, beginning with the chanting of the holy name of the Lord, is the ultimate religious principle for the living entity in human society.



hareḥ paśyata putrakāḥ

ajāmilo ‘pi yenaiva

mṛtyu-pāśād amucyata

(SB 6.3.23)


Translation ;

My dear servants, who are as good as my sons, just see how glorious the chanting of the holy name of the Lord is. The greatly sinful Ajāmila chanted only to call his son, not knowing that he was chanting the Lord’s holy name. Nevertheless, by chanting the holy name of the Lord, he remembered Nārāyaṇa, and thus he was immediately saved from the ropes of death.

Therefore it should be understood that one is easily relieved from all sinful reactions by chanting the Holy Names of the Lord and chanting His qualities & activities. This is the only process recommended to relieve from sinful reactions. Even if one chants the Holy Name of the Lord with improper pronunciation we will be completely achieve relief from material bondage if he chants without offences.


Holyname is Above all Rituals

Ajamila for example was extremely sinful but when he while dying he merely chanted the Holy Name although calling his son, he achieved complete liberation because he remembered the Name of Narayan. Because they are bewildered by the illusory energy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Yagyavalkya and Jaimini & other compilers of religious scriptures cannot know the secret, the confidential religious system of the 12 mahajans. They cannot understand the transcendental value of performing devotional service chanting Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Ram Hare Ram Hare Ram Ram Ram Hare Hare. Because their minds are attracted to the ritualistic ceremonies mentioned in the Vedas especially in the Yajurveda, Samaveda & Rig-Veda, their intelligence has become dull. Thus they are busy collecting  ingredients required for ritualistic ceremonies that yield only temporary benefits. Such elevation to Svarga loka for material happiness. They are not attracted to the Sankirtan movement , instead they are interested in Dharma,Artha , Kama & Moksha.. Considering these points therefore intelligent men decide to solve all problems by adopting the devotional service by chanting the Holy Names of the Lord , Who is situated in everyones heart, who is mine of all auspiciousness such persons are not  in my jurisdiction for punishment. This is Yamaraj speaking. Generally they never commit any sinful activities even if by mistake, bewilderment or illusion , sometimes commit sinful acts  they are protected from  sinful reactions because they always chant Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare  Hare Hare Ram Hare Ram Ram Ram Ram Hare Hare.


Yamaraj’s Instruction & transcendental Glories of Vaishnavas

Yamaraj instructs the Yamadutas – My dear servants. Please do not approach such devotees. They have fully surrendered to the Lotus Feet of Supreme Personality of Godhead. They are equal to everyone. And their narrations are sung by demigods & inhabitants of Siddhaloka. Please don’t go near them, they are protected by the club of Supreme Personality of Godhead & therefore Lord Brahma even I & even the time factor are not competent to chastise them. Paramhamsas are exalted persons who have no taste for material enjoyment & who drink the honey of Lords Lotus Feet. My dear servants, bring to me for punishment only those persons who are averse to that taste of honey who do not associate with Paramhamsas & who are attracted to family life & worldly enjoyments which form the path to hell. My dear servants please bring to me only those sinful persons who do not use their tongue to chant Holy Names Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Ram Hare Ram Ram Ram Hare Hare. & the qualities of Krishna whose hearts do not remember the Lotus Feet of Krishna even once & whose heads do not bow down even once before Lord Krishna. Send to me those who do not perform their duties towards Vishnu which are the only duties  of human life.Please bring me all such fools & rascals.


Yamaraj asks for Forgivness

Then Yamarāja, considering himself and his servants to be offenders, spoke as follows, begging pardon from the Lord. O my Lord, my servants have surely committed a great offense by arresting a Vaiṣṇava such as Ajāmila. O Nārāyaṇa, O supreme and oldest person, please forgive us. Because of our ignorance, we failed to recognize Ajāmila as a servant of Your Lordship, and thus we have certainly committed a great offense. Therefore with folded hands we beg your pardon. My Lord, since You are supremely merciful and are always full of good qualities, please pardon us. We offer our respectful obeisances unto you.


All Auspicious & Purifying Holyname

tasmāt sańkīrtanaḿ viṣṇor

jagan-mańgalam aḿhasām

mahatām api kauravya

viddhy aikāntika-niṣkṛtam

(SB 6.3.31)

Śukadeva Gosvāmī continued: My dear King, the chanting of the holy name of the Lord is able to uproot even the reactions of the greatest sins. Therefore the chanting of the sańkīrtana movement is the most auspicious activity in the entire universe. Please try to understand this so that others will take it seriously.

We should note that although Ajāmila chanted the name of Nārāyaṇa imperfectly, he was delivered from all sinful reactions. The chanting of the holy name is so auspicious that it can free everyone from the reactions of sinful activities. One should not conclude that one may continue to sin with the intention of chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa to neutralize the reactions. Rather, one should be very careful to be free from all sins and never think of counteracting sinful activities by chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, for this is another offense. If by chance a devotee accidentally performs some sinful activity, the Lord will excuse him, but one should not intentionally perform sinful acts. One who constantly hears and chants the holy name of the Lord and hears and chants about His activities can very easily attain the platform of pure devotional service, which can cleanse the dirt from one’s heart. One cannot achieve such purification merely by observing vows and performing Vedic ritualistic ceremonies.


Yamaraj… the best of Mahajan & Greatest Devotee

The path of spiritual perfection is to follow on the footsteps of great Mahajans. Those empowered beings who represent the Supreme personality of Godhead on this earth & one of the greatest, topmost categorized in the 12 Mahajans arena is Yamaraj. Yamaraj, such an incredible selfless service renders to the Lord. He is a pure devotee. He is absolutely gentle in heart, he is compassionate, he is equal to all. He is a friend  to everyone. He is a well wisher to every living entity. These are the natural qualities of Paramhamsas. And he is utterly surrendered to God. By the will of Supreme Lord Narayan, Yamaraj is asked to perform the most thankless & un gratifying service of torturing & punishing sinful persons to somehow or other bring them to the standard of spiritual sanity. There is no one more unpopular than Yamaraj. How many of you at the time of death would like to see Yamaraj? Yamaraj with his associates, the Yamadutas may appear in the most gruesome, horrifying terrible way to punish the wicked & prepare them according to their karma  next callous existence. But in the heart of Yamaraj we find the kindest , most gentle, loving devotee of God.


Ajamila previously a great brahmana

Yamaraj spoke following words to Yamadutas. He is speaking in reference to Ajamila. What happened is this.  Ajamila was a Brahmin. He was a very high class young man. He was brought up under the instruction of a bonafide Spiritual Master. He was learned, he was taught how to live a pure & holy life. By the arrangement of his father he was married to a beautiful & chaste young woman, and together they followed very closely the principles of Sanatana Dharma. They lived a very sacred life, an ideal life. But Maya is very strong especially in the form of the  object  of the senses. One day it is explained by Sukhdev Goswami. Ajamila was out doing an errand. And as he was walking along the road, on the roadside he happened to see a low class sinful woman, a prostitute who is being embraced in a very passionate & sensual manner by a low class sinful man. And when he saw the pleasure of passion of a sexual relationship, it awakened within his heart a dormant seed of material desire.

Degradation of Ajamila

Then he continued his journey home. But when he reached his home he found that he cannot control his mind. Although by all means he was trying to subdue the turbulent senses, his mind was simply racing. In all sources of meditation & imagination was this prostitute. He could not get her off his mind for even a moment. All of his religious principles, all of his Dharma was conquered & subdued by lust – Kama. And therefore like a puppet being pulled by a string, or like a bull being pulled by a rope attached to the nose in the ring, his mind & his senses dragged him away from his parents who were loving, religious & good in heart, away from his loving, beautiful & holy wife and dragged him to fall at the feet of this sinful woman who was only concerned with money & sex. And he begged to attain the pleasures of her body. And once tasting that he completely lost all of his intelligence, utterly bewildered & he became the slave of the mind & senses. And this prostitute demanded of him, if you want to enjoy me you have to provide for me whatever I want. And in this way he was not able to earn enough money to a virtuous & pious livelihood. He became criminally minded & began to engage in all sorts of sinful cheating & stealing just to satisfy her senses. And through her he had many children. And it is described, he was an old man but still utterly attached to his sense enjoyment.


Story of King (Material desires never vanquish from heart)

Some people think- Why should I so concern myself with spiritual life now? The spirit of enjoyment is here, why not enjoy? When I become old, then my senses will burn out and I will no longer have any desire to enjoy. Then following regulative principles, chanting Hare Krishna 16 rounds will be simple. But this story is testimony that it does not work like that. Srila Prabhupada tells a story of how one saintly person was preaching to a king. And he said, “You should take to spiritual life now,” And the king said, “But  I am young, I still have the power of enjoyment , God has given me this power, let me enjoy. When I become too old, then it will be simple. I will not have these material desires or passions. Spiritual life will be very easy & simple & nice.” So this Sadhu said, “Oh! Is that what you think? Come with me my dear king. You are the king correct?  (King: Yes.) Everyone must offer you full respects, you are the supreme emperor of the country, correct? (King: Yes) Come with me but bring your young daughter also. She is very pretty isn’t she ? (King: Yes) Bring her, bring her.” They went into a room of an old man beyond 100 years old who was sick coughing mucus. All of his organs were malfunctioning. He was on the verge of death. And when the king & the Sadhu & the daughter walked in the room, the man paid no attention to offering obeisances to the great Sadhu, didn’t even notice the king but his eyes like a zoomed lens just immediately made contact with his daughter & he was just staring at the beauty of the daughter. And the king when he was looking saying “Old man I am the king, this is the Sadhu.” The man was so absorbed in looking & trying to enjoy the beauty of the daughter, what did he have to enjoy with? He was three fourth blind, he was practically deaf, practically dumb, he couldn’t walk, he couldn’t talk. Within moments he was going to die. Yet within his heart , his mind was still infatuated with material desires. And when the king saw this, he turned & touched the feet of the Sadhu & said,

“ I surrender now!”

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Ram Hare Ram Ram Ram Hare Hare.


Lord’s plan to Save Ajamila & Ajamila faces Yamadutas..

Ajamila was an old man. But God fulfills our desires. He was still having children. Mind over matter. Even when he was in his ages of practical immobility he was still having children. Because he was still so much attracted to this prostitute. And it is described that his youngest son, he was very much attached to him. Krishna says in the Gita- That even if one commits the most sinful activities he is My devotee, I will protect him. Because Ajamila was at one time a sincere devotee, but because beyond his power to control  he fell into sinful activities, the Lord had a special plan for him to suffer terribly for his sinful activities but at the final moment save him. From within the heart Sri Narayan arranged a type of intelligence within Ajamila to name his son Narayana. Knowing that at the time of death he would be thinking of his son. Such a sinful man Ajamila cheated so many & exploited the resource of Gods gifts deserved to suffer terrible hellish conditions. And it is described when he was on his deathbed; his young son was standing nearby. And just as he was on the verge of death, he cried out Narayana and then he died. And the Yamadutas, the messengers of Yamaraj who come to collect the souls of the sinful ones took their ropes, their nooses & tied it around subtle body of Ajamila & began to rip him out of his gross material form. And when he saw the fearful sight of the Yamadutas. They don’t have teeth, they have sharp fangs. Their bodies are hairy like animals. Their eyes are red like burning coals with vicious anger. They have powerful strong forms & they have roar like lions. And when he saw these fearful beasts more horrible than any form in the creation tearing him, dragging him from his body with ropes he was utterly terrified. And at that point he realized that he had made a great mistake by giving up his Krishna Consciousness.


Ajamila saved by Vishnudutas…

When Ajamila saw that he was about to be taken away to Yamaraj’s hellish abode a wonderful, mysterious incident took place. Descending in a most graceful manner from the spiritual sky four beautiful effulgent personalities appeared at the scene. Each of them had a beautiful bluish complexion with eyes like blooming lotus petals. They had 4 arms & were adorned with beautiful golden jewellery, precious jewels and a very sweet but commanding voice they said , “Stop! You cannot take them.”  And the Yamadutas they had never been opposed by anyone. Who will oppose the Yamadutas! Yamadutas: “What do you mean we cannot take them? Do you know what kind of sins? Do you know what a rascal , a demon this man has been throughout his life? We must take him for punishment which is his due.” And the residents of Vaikunta, the Vishnudutas they said, “We know everything that he has done. But he has chanted the Holy Name of the Lord and his mind was fixed inoffensively on the Name of God at the time of death therefore all his sins have been negated, purified. And now he is not responsible for anything that he has done. So you go away.” And the Yamadutas seeing that the Vishnudutas were far more powerful than them, in great fear & frustration they left.


Yamaraj glorifies Lord Narayan & his all powerful Holyname

The Yamadutas were about to commit suicide. Why? Because Yamaraj was their Guru, he was their Leader. And they always considered him to be the Supreme Personality of Godhead. No one is powerful than him. He makes the judgment everyone they met; he made the final judgment of their life. He was taking the position of God as far as they were concerned. So the decided they had to inquire from Yamaraj how is it possible that these people are more powerful than us who are your representatives? That means that there is someone more powerful than you & that is not possible. So they are cheaters in our eyes. And with heavy hearts they approached Yamaraj, “Who are these people?” And Yamaraj told them, “You, me, Brahma, Shiva, everyone we are all eternal humble servants of Krishna, Lord Narayan. He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He is the supreme Creator, Maintainer & Annihilator of everything that exists & we are all His insignificant parts & parcels.” “Don’t ever go near the devotees. Because Narayan with His strong club will kill you if you even look at them. Anyone who has not once tasted the honeyed sweetness of Krishna’s Name, bring them to me. Anyone who has not bowed his head even once before the Personality of Godhead and the Paramhamsa Vaishnavas, bring them to me. Anyone who has not once served the Lord with humility, bring them to me. Anyone whose ears have not heard submissively the glories of the Lord bring them. But do not you go even near, do not even look on the direction of the Lords devotees. Anyone who chants the Holy Name of the Lord which is the Supreme religious principle of all religious principles without offence, with sincere attention will be liberated into the realm of the Love of God.”


Real Goal of Human Life

Sukhdev Goswami continues by explaining there is no spiritual activity that can compare in power & potency with the chanting of the Holy Names. Yamaraj the great Mahajan, Supreme authority of Vedic knowledge explains that those who chant the hymns of the Rig-Veda, Yajurveda , Samaveda & Atharvaveda for Artha, Dharma, Kama , Moksha to perform vows very carefully perform their ritualistic ceremonies, such persons are missing the real point of human life. In this age it is only the sincere chanting of the Holy Name of the Lord, Yamaraj says that can truly purify the heart  & deliver one  to the Spiritual world. Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Ram Hare Ram Ram Ram Hare Hare.


Realization & Deliverance of Ajamila

Of course Ajamila saw this entire taking place. Not the discussion between Yamaraj & Yamadutas, but between Vishnudutas & Yamadutas. And at that time Ajamila realized what a great mistake he had made. He was not allowed to go back to Godhead because he had been sinful. He had to completely purify himself of all material desires. But upon seeing the infinite causeless mercy of the Lord upon him, he made a resolution in his mind that from now on devotional service & the chanting of the Holy Name will be my only purpose & goal in life. And after making that resolution & after being sincerely, genuinely repentant for his misbehavior Lord Narayan allowed him to remain alive within that body of Ajamila. And he left that prostitutes house immediately. And he went to the Himalayas foothills. He went to the holy place of Haridwar on the bank of the river Ganga & there he simply associated with saintly persons & he heard & chanted the Names & Glories of the Lord with such determination & faith. And in due course of time he became purified, he became a pure devotee. And when he became purified the same four lovely personalities, he saw descending on a flower aero plane. They escorted him on to the flower aero plane and they took him to Vaikuntha, the spiritual world. This is the power & glory of chanting of the Holy Name.


Instructions of Srila Prabhupada…

Srila Prabhupada would so many times tell us that the preachers of the Hare Krishna movement, their business is not to defeat others in philosophy, to be better in argumentation than others that is not our business. We have one business & one business alone to induce people to seriously chant the Holy Names of God. If we have to defeat them in philosophy, if we have to be victorious in argument , if we have to use all sort  of scientific, technical vocabulary and logic or if simply say chant Hare Krishna whatever works. Harer Naam Harer Naam Harer Naam ava kevalam kalau nasteva nasteva nasteva gatir anyata.(Brhad Naradiya Purana)  So here is the witness what a beautiful & joyful process the chanting of the Holy Name is. There is no need for any material qualifications. None of us here are really materially very qualified in any way.

Written by

Radhanath Swami

H.H Radhanath Swami is one of today’s most beloved and respected spiritual teachers. A Bhakti Yoga practitioner for 40 years, he is a guide, community builder, philanthropist, and acclaimed author.Born and raised in Chicago,at the age of 19 he discovered India's Mystical devotional tradition and now spread his message of compassion and love around the world.

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About Me

Radhanath Swami

H.H Radhanath Swami is one of today’s most beloved and respected spiritual teachers. A Bhakti Yoga practitioner for 40 years, he is a guide, community builder, philanthropist, and acclaimed author.Born and raised in Chicago,at the age of 19 he discovered India's Mystical devotional tradition and now spread his message of compassion and love around the world.