Story of Ajamila in Bhagavatam

story of ajamila

Significance of the name Ajamila

From the vedic parlance, the name Ajamila means a ‘bound soul’.

‘Aja’ means Maya or illusion.

Now Ajamila was a brahmin.

In this regard, each soul is a fraction of the supreme.

Hence, a jiva must ultimately merge in the supreme.

The word Ajamila literally means the one entrapped in Maya

Story of Ajamila

Once upon a time, there lived a brahmin named Ajamila in Kanyakubja town.

One day, while collecting Darbha grass for his prayers, he spotted a prostitute sporting with a Shudra man.

The scene disturbed his mind as he kept staring at the prostitute.

He tried to restrain from his lustful thoughts but couldn’t succeed.

Finally he brought the prostitute into his house as his maidservant.

Thereafter he abandoned his dutiful wife and harassed his parents.

He spent all his money pleasing the lady and committed all sorts of sins such as robbery, cheating and gambling.

Sadhus visit Ajamila

Once Ajamila went to the forest for hunting.

Meanwhile a few sadhus arrived and enquired from a few villagers-

“Do you know of a generous householder who serves Sadhus.

We are twelve sadhus in all.”

One villager was envious of their reputation and thought-

“These simpletons simply eat free meals.

Today I shall send them to the wicked Ajamila.

He shall loot all their possession and humiliate them”

Accordingly he sent the sages to Ajamila’s mansion.

Prostitute welcomes the sages

Luckily, Ajamila was not present.

On seeing the sages arrive, the prostitute thought-

“The sages may have accidentally come this way.”

Thereafter, the prostitute cordially welcomed the seers.

Unaware of her identity, the sages blessed her.

Now the prostitute inorder to earn some punya, invited them for lunch.

She humbly said-

“Oh sadhus, I wish to feed you all.

However I am impure.

Hence, kindly cook your meals and eat.”

The sages did accordingly.

Finally the sages got to know her true identity.

However, they felt compassion for their host.

Meanwhile Ajamila returned.

The prostitute insisted on Ajamila to seek their blessings.

Immediately Ajamila said- “I do not believe in sadhus and godmen.”

However, on her insistence, he finally agreed.

The sages wholeheartedly blessed him and said-

“Become the lord’s devotee.

Your life shall flower.”

Greatness of Sadhus

True sages do not bless one with material possessions.

Indeed they purify filthy hearts.

Sages grant us a purified intellect.

Ultimately,the sages said-

“One day, you shall believe in god.

Today you are a non-devotee.

We have eaten your grains.

Hence one day Bhakti shall manifest in you.”

How does Ajamila name his son Narayana?

Meanwhile the prostitute offered her respects.

The sages noticed that she was pregnant.

So, they told Ajamila-

“We have eaten here.

Won’t you give us Dakshina”

Ajamila scoffed at them-

“You don’t know me.

You ask for money.

I have spared you, this is the greatest reward.

Get out.”

Thus Ajamila humiliated the sadhus.

The sadhus were kind hearted. They understand Ajamila’s affliction.

Hence they said- “If we demand something other than money will you give?

Ajamila’s heart melted on seeing their simplicity.

The sages said- “If you have a son, name him Narayana.”

So saying, the sages departed.

They thought- “At least through his son he shall remember the lord.

The lord’s name has the potency to destroy all sins. May the lord shower his blessing on this soul.”

Ajamila’s attachment

Ajamila was deeply attached to his son Narayana.

He would keep chasing his son all day-

“Narayana! Where were you? Narayana! Have you eaten or not?”

Hence, he unconsciously developed a habit of chanting Narayana.

Ajamila encounters Yama Duta

Now his son Narayana was around seven to eight years old.

The Yama dutas or ghostly attendants of Yamaraj arrived to pull the life out of Ajamila.

Two types of death

The scriptures speak of two types of death

1) Apamruthyu and 2) Mahamrityu

If one prematurely dies, it is Apamrityu.

In fact, the most sinful and lustful man dies prematurely.

While the person who dies after his preordained time falls under Mahamrityu.

Fortunately, Apamruthyu can be averted.

Conversation between Yamadutas and Vishnudutas

Since Ajamila had performed innumerables sins, the yamadutas arrived twelve years prior to his actual death.

Indeed, they looked horrific.

On seeing the yamadutas, the frightened Ajamila remembered his son.

He piteously called out to his son- “Narayana! Narayana!”

The child did hear him. But he ignored his call and continued playing.

However, the merciful Lord Vishnu’s attendants immediately arrived and ordered the Yamadutas.

“Leave him, Let him go”

The Yamdutas exclaimed- “He is a gory sinner.

We know his story.

By Lord Yama’s orders we are here to collect his soul.

We shall drag him to Yamapuri.”

Immediately, The Vishnu Dutas said-

“Ajamila has sinned.

But he has also performed repentance.

Didn’t he say Narayana, Narayana twice.

This has burnt some of his sins.”

“He called his son Narayana. In fact he hasn’t taken the lord’ name.” -said the Yamadutas.

Finally, the Vishnu dutas said convincingly- “The lord’s name can destroy all sins. At least through his son he has uttered the holy name.”

Glories of chanting Hari Nam

Taking the lord’s name reduces stress and destroys all misery.

On encountering an unpleasant situation, we immediately utter ‘Hari Hari’.

Doesn’t this lower the pain.

Try it for yourself and see.

Just like eating hastily satiates one’s hunger, similarly, even casual chanting of Hari Nam cleanses the heart; whether done consciously or unconsciously.

Vishnu dutas rescue Ajamila

The vishnu dutas further said- “Leave him alone. Now, he shall reform his ways. He still has twelve years more of his life-span.”

Ajamila’s repentance

Ajamila who was silently watching the episode repented for his sins.

He thought- “Being a brahmin, I have behaved sinfully. I greatly feel the grace of a sadhu on me.”

Once in his lifetime, Ajamila had served the lord’s devotees.

Hence, The sadhus had blessed him.

Ajamila renounced his home and resided near the ganges.

Now the reformed Ajamila lived a reclusive life.

He talked less and continually chanted the mantra-

“Om namo Narayanaya.”

When very hungry, he would go for Madhukari.

Thereafter he would immerse the obtained grains in the Ganges and purify them.

Likewise, he would eat only once a day.

Ajamila’s ascension to Vaikuntha

Now, Ajamila was a reformed man.

In his last moments, a celestial aircraft arrived.

Ajamila joint his palms and sent a message to the world-

“My lord has opened his doors even for great sinners like me.

Never feel that you are alone.

If you say that in times of despair, the Lord feels very hurt.

If you love him or not, the lord always loves you.”

Ajmila further said-

“I am the greatest sinner.

In my lifetime, I have performed innumerable sins.”

But, today I am going to the lord’s planet sitting on this celestial plane.

I have repented for my sins.”

Thanks for reading!