Srimad Bhagavatham : 6.1.1.






Skandham-6. (Prescribed Duties for Mankind  )


Chapter-1. ( The History of the Life of Ajamila )



Throughout Srimad-Bhagavatam there are descriptions of ten subject matters, including creation, subsequent creation and the planetary systems. Suka Mahrishi, the speaker of Srimad-Bhagavatam, has already described creation, subsequent creation and the planetary systems in the Third, Fourth and Fifth Skandham-s. Now, in this Sixth Skandham, which consists of nineteen chapters, he will describe poshana, or protection by the Lord.

The First Chapter relates the history of Ajamila, who was considered a greatly sinful man, but was liberated when four order carriers of Vishnu came to rescue him from the hands of the order carriers of Yamaraja. A full description of how he was liberated, having been relieved of the reactions of his sinful life, is given in this chapter. Sinful activities are painful both in this life and in the next. We should know for certain that the cause of all painful life is sinful action. On the path of fruitive work one certainly commits sinful activities, and therefore according to the considerations of karma-kandam, different types of atonement are recommended. Such methods of atonement, however, do not free one from ignorance, which is the root of sinful life. Consequently one is prone to commit sinful activities even after atonement, which is therefore very inadequate for purification. On the path of speculative knowledge one becomes free from sinful life by understanding things as they are. Therefore the acquirement of speculative knowledge is also considered a method of atonement. While performing fruitive activities one can become free from the actions of sinful life through austerity, penance, celibacy, control of the mind and senses, truthfulness and the practice of mystic yoga. By awakening knowledge one may also neutralize sinful reactions. Neither of these methods, however, can free one from the tendency to commit sinful activities.

By bhakti-yoga one can completely avoid the tendency for sinful life; other methods are not very feasible. Therefore the Vedic literature concludes that devotional service is more important than the methods of karma-kandam and jnana-kandam. Only the path of devotional service is auspicious for everyone. Fruitive activities and speculative knowledge cannot independently liberate anyone, but devotional service, independent of karma and jnana, is so potent that one who has fixed his mind at the lotus feet of Krishna is guaranteed not to meet the Yamadutas, the order carriers of Yamaraja, even in dreams.

To prove the strength of devotional service, Suka Mahrishi described the history of Ajamila. Ajamila was a resident of Kanyakubja (the modern Kanauj). He was trained by his parents to become a perfect brahmana by studying the Vedas and following the regulative principles, but because of his past, this youthful brahmana was somehow attracted by a prostitute, and because of her association he became most fallen and abandoned all regulative principles. Ajamila begot in the womb of the prostitute ten sons, the last of whom was called Narayana. At the time of Ajamila’s death, when the order carriers of Yamaraja came to take him, he loudly called the name Narayana in fear because he was attached to his youngest son. Thus he remembered the original Narayana, Lord Vishnu. Although he did not chant the holy name of Narayana completely offenselessly, it acted nevertheless. As soon as he chanted the holy name of Narayana, the order carriers of Lord Vishnu immediately appeared on the scene. A discussion ensued between the order carriers of Lord Vishnu and those of Yamaraja, and by hearing that discussion Ajamila was liberated. He could then understand the bad effect of fruitive activities and could also understand how exalted is the process of devotional service.




 Slokam-1. (  Maharaja Parikshit said: O my lord, O Sukadeva Mahrishi, you have already described [in the Second Skandham] the path of liberation [nivrtti-margam]. By following that path, one is certainly elevated gradually to the highest planetary system, Brahmaloka, from which one is promoted to the spiritual world along with Lord Brahmā. Thus one’s repetition of birth and death in the material world ceases.)




rajovaca :

na      nuna    bhagava    atmaramanam    yoga-samirita-jnanavabharjita-karma-bijanam     


aisvaryani      punah     klesadani      bhavitum     arhanti     yadrc-chayopagatani.





raja uvaca=King Parikshit inquired; 

na=not; 

nunam=indeed; 

bhagavah=O  Sukadeva Mahrishi; 

atmaramanam=of pure devotees simply engaged in devotional service;

yoga-samirita=achieved by practice of yoga; 

jnana=by knowledge; 

avabharjita=burned; 

karma-bijanam=of those whose seeds of fruitive activities; 

aisvaryami=the mystic powers; 

punah=again; 

klesadani=sources of distress; 

bhavitum=to become; 

arhanti=are able; 

yadrcchaya=automatically; 

upagatani=achieved.




A pure devotee is constantly engaged in the service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Whatever is necessary for the discharge of devotional service is automatically attained, though it may appear to be the result of mystic yoga power. Sometimes a yogi displays a little yogic power by manufacturing gold. A little quantity of gold captivates foolish people, and thus the yogi gets many followers, who are willing to accept such a tiny person as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Such a yogi may also advertise himself as Bhagavan. However, a devotee does not have to exhibit such magical wonders. Without practicing the mystic yogic process, he achieves even greater opulence all over the world. Under the circumstances, Lord Rshabhadeva refused to manifest mystic yogic perfections, and Maharaja Parikshit asked why He did not accept them, since, for a devotee, they are not at all disturbing. A devotee is never distressed or satisfied by material opulence. His concern is how to please the Supreme Personality of Godhead. If, by the grace of the Supreme Lord, a devotee achieves extraordinary opulence, he utilizes the opportunity for the Lord’s service. He is not disturbed by the opulence.


To be Continued....