Śrīmad Bhāgavatam |Canto 6 Chapter 1

The History of the Life of Ajāmila

VERSE 6.1.1

śrī-parīkṣid uvāca

nivṛtti-mārgaḥ kathita
ādau bhagavatā yathā
krama-yogopalabdhena
brahmaṇā yad asaṁsṛtiḥ

SYNONYMS

śrī-parīkṣit uvāca — Mahārāja Parīkṣit said; nivṛtti-mārgaḥ — the path of liberation; kathitaḥ — described; ādau — in the beginning; bhagavatā — by Your Holiness; yathā — duly; krama — gradually; yoga-upalabdhena — obtained by the yoga process; brahmaṇā — along with Lord Brahmā (after reaching Brahmaloka); yat — by which way; asaṁsṛtiḥ — cessation of the repetition of birth and death.

TRANSLATION

Mahārāja Parīkṣit said: O my lord, O Śukadeva Gosvāmī, you have already described [in the Second Canto] the path of liberation [nivṛtti-mārga]. 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.

VERSE 6.1.2

pravṛtti-lakṣaṇaś caiva
traiguṇya-viṣayo mune
yo ’sāv alīna-prakṛter
guṇa-sargaḥ punaḥ punaḥ

SYNONYMS

pravṛtti — by inclination; lakṣaṇaḥ — symptomized; ca — also; eva — indeed; trai-guṇya — the three modes of nature; viṣayaḥ — possessing as objectives; mune — O great sage; yaḥ — which; asau — that; alīna-prakṛteḥ — of one who is not freed from the clutches of māyā; guṇa-sargaḥ — in which there is a creation of material bodies; punaḥ punaḥ — again and again.

TRANSLATION

O great sage Śukadeva Gosvāmī, unless the living entity is freed from the infection of the material modes of nature, he receives different types of bodies in which to enjoy or suffer, and according to the body, he is understood to have various inclinations. By following these inclinations he traverses the path called pravṛtti-mārga, by which one may be elevated to the heavenly planets, as you have already described [in the Third Canto].

VERSE 6.1.3

adharma-lakṣaṇā nānā
narakāś cānuvarṇitāḥ
manvantaraś ca vyākhyāta
ādyaḥ svāyambhuvo yataḥ

SYNONYMS

adharma-lakṣaṇāḥ — symptomized by impious activities; nānā — various; narakāḥ — hells; ca — also; anuvarṇitāḥ — have been described; manu-antaraḥ — the change of Manus [in one day of Brahmā there are fourteen Manus]; ca — also; vyākhyātaḥ — has been described; ādyaḥ — the original; svāyambhuvaḥ — directly the son of Lord Brahmā; yataḥ — wherein.

TRANSLATION

You have also described [at the end of the Fifth Canto] the varieties of hellish life that result from impious activities, and you have described [in the Fourth Canto] the first manvantara, which was presided over by Svāyambhuva Manu, the son of Lord Brahmā.

VERSE 6.1.4-5

priyavratottānapador
vaṁśas tac-caritāni ca
dvīpa-varṣa-samudrādri-
nady-udyāna-vanaspatīn

dharā-maṇḍala-saṁsthānaṁ
bhāga-lakṣaṇa-mānataḥ
jyotiṣāṁ vivarāṇāṁ ca
yathedam asṛjad vibhuḥ

SYNONYMS

priyavrata — of Priyavrata; uttānapadoḥ — and of Uttānapāda; vaṁśaḥ — the dynasty; tat-caritāni — their characteristics; ca — also; dvīpa — different planets; varṣa — lands; samudra — oceans and seas; adri — mountains; nadī — rivers; udyāna — gardens; vanaspatīn — and trees; dharā-maṇḍala — of the planet earth; saṁsthānam — situation; bhāga — according to divisions; lakṣaṇa — different symptoms; mānataḥ — and measurements; jyotiṣām — of the sun and other luminaries; vivarāṇām — of the lower planetary systems; ca — and; yathā — as; idam — this; asṛjat — created; vibhuḥ — the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

TRANSLATION

My dear lord, you have described the dynasties and characteristics of King Priyavrata and King Uttānapāda. The Supreme Personality of Godhead created this material world with various universes, planetary systems, planets and stars, with varied lands, seas, oceans, mountains, rivers, gardens and trees, all with different characteristics. These are divided among this planet earth, the luminaries in the sky and the lower planetary systems. You have very clearly described these planets and the living entities who live on them.

VERSE 6.1.6

adhuneha mahā-bhāga
yathaiva narakān naraḥ
nānogra-yātanān neyāt
tan me vyākhyātum arhasi

SYNONYMS

adhunā — right now; iha — in this material world; mahā-bhāga — O greatly opulent and fortunate Śukadeva Gosvāmī; yathā — so that; eva — indeed; narakān — all the hellish conditions into which the impious are put; naraḥ — human beings; nānā — varieties of; ugra — terrible; yātanān — conditions of suffering; na īyāt — may not undergo; tat — that; me — to me; vyākhyātum arhasi — please describe.

TRANSLATION

O greatly fortunate and opulent Śukadeva Gosvāmī, now kindly tell me how human beings may be saved from having to enter hellish conditions in which they suffer terrible pains.

VERSE 6.1.7

śrī-śuka uvāca

na ced ihaivāpacitiṁ yathāṁhasaḥ
kṛtasya kuryān mana-ukta-pāṇibhiḥ
dhruvaṁ sa vai pretya narakān upaiti
ye kīrtitā me bhavatas tigma-yātanāḥ

SYNONYMS

śrī-śukaḥ uvāca — Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī said; na — not; cet — if; iha — within this life; eva — certainly; apacitim — counteraction, atonement; yathā — duly; aṁhasaḥ kṛtasya — when one has performed sinful activities; kuryāt — performs; manaḥ — with the mind; ukta — words; pāṇibhiḥ — and with the senses; dhruvam — undoubtedly; saḥ — that person; vai — indeed; pretya — after death; narakān — different varieties of hellish conditions; upaiti — attains; ye — which; kīrtitāḥ — were already described; me — by me; bhavataḥ — unto you; tigma-yātanāḥ — in which there is very terrible suffering.

TRANSLATION

Śukadeva Gosvāmī replied: My dear King, if before one’s next death whatever impious acts one has performed in this life with his mind, words and body are not counteracted through proper atonement according to the description of the Manu-saṁhitā and other dharma-śāstras, one will certainly enter the hellish planets after death and undergo terrible suffering, as I have previously described to you.

VERSE 6.1.8

tasmāt puraivāśv iha pāpa-niṣkṛtau
yateta mṛtyor avipadyatātmanā
doṣasya dṛṣṭvā guru-lāghavaṁ yathā
bhiṣak cikitseta rujāṁ nidānavit

SYNONYMS

tasmāt — therefore; purā — before; eva — indeed; āśu — very quickly; iha — in this life; pāpa-niṣkṛtau — to become free from the reaction of sinful activities; yateta — one should endeavor; mṛtyoḥ — death; avipadyata — not troubled by disease and old age; ātmanā — with a body; doṣasya — of the sinful activities; dṛṣṭvā — estimating; guru-lāghavam — the heaviness or lightness; yathā — just like; bhiṣak — a physician; cikitseta — would treat; rujām — of disease; nidāna-vit — one who is expert in diagnosis.

TRANSLATION

Therefore, before one’s next death comes, as long as one’s body is strong enough, one should quickly adopt the process of atonement according to śāstra; otherwise one’s time will be lost, and the reactions of his sins will increase. As an expert physician diagnoses and treats a disease according to its gravity, one should undergo atonement according to the severity of one’s sins.

VERSE 6.1.9

śrī-rājovāca

dṛṣṭa-śrutābhyāṁ yat pāpaṁ
jānann apy ātmano ’hitam
karoti bhūyo vivaśaḥ
prāyaścittam atho katham

SYNONYMS

śrī-rājā uvāca — Parīkṣit Mahārāja replied; dṛṣṭa — by seeing; śrutābhyām — also by hearing (from the scriptures or lawbooks); yat — since; pāpam — sinful, criminal action; jānan — knowing; api — although; ātmanaḥ — of his self; ahitam — injurious; karoti — he acts; bhūyaḥ — again and again; vivaśaḥ — unable to control himself; prāyaścittam — atonement; atho — therefore; katham — what is the value of.

TRANSLATION

Mahārāja Parīkṣit said: One may know that sinful activity is injurious for him because he actually sees that a criminal is punished by the government and rebuked by people in general and because he hears from scriptures and learned scholars that one is thrown into hellish conditions in the next life for committing sinful acts. Nevertheless, in spite of such knowledge, one is forced to commit sins again and again, even after performing acts of atonement. Therefore, what is the value of such atonement?

VERSE 6.1.10

kvacin nivartate ’bhadrāt
kvacic carati tat punaḥ
prāyaścittam atho ’pārthaṁ
manye kuñjara-śaucavat

SYNONYMS

kvacit — sometimes; nivartate — ceases; abhadrāt — from sinful activity; kvacit — sometimes; carati — commits; tat — that (sinful activity); punaḥ — again; prāyaścittam — the process of atonement; atho — therefore; apārtham — useless; manye — I consider; kuñjara-śaucavat — exactly like the bathing of an elephant.

TRANSLATION

Sometimes one who is very alert so as not to commit sinful acts is victimized by sinful life again. I therefore consider this process of repeated sinning and atoning to be useless. It is like the bathing of an elephant, for an elephant cleanses itself by taking a full bath, but then throws dust over its head and body as soon as it returns to the land.

VERSE 6.1.11

śrī-bādarāyaṇir uvāca

karmaṇā karma-nirhāro
na hy ātyantika iṣyate
avidvad-adhikāritvāt
prāyaścittaṁ vimarśanam

SYNONYMS

śrī-bādarāyaṇiḥ uvāca — Śukadeva Gosvāmī, the son of Vyāsadeva, replied; karmaṇā — by fruitive activities; karma-nirhāraḥ — counteraction of fruitive activities; na — not; hi — indeed; ātyantikaḥ — final; iṣyate — becomes possible; avidvat-adhikāritvāt — from being without knowledge; prāyaścittam — real atonement; vimarśanam — full knowledge of Vedānta.

TRANSLATION

Śukadeva Gosvāmī, the son of Vedavyāsa, answered: My dear King, since acts meant to neutralize impious actions are also fruitive, they will not release one from the tendency to act fruitively. Persons who subject themselves to the rules and regulations of atonement are not at all intelligent. Indeed, they are in the mode of darkness. Unless one is freed from the mode of ignorance, trying to counteract one action through another is useless because this will not uproot one’s desires. Thus even though one may superficially seem pious, he will undoubtedly be prone to act impiously. Therefore real atonement is enlightenment in perfect knowledge, Vedānta, by which one understands the Supreme Absolute Truth.

VERSE 6.1.12

nāśnataḥ pathyam evānnaṁ
vyādhayo ’bhibhavanti hi
evaṁ niyamakṛd rājan
śanaiḥ kṣemāya kalpate

SYNONYMS

na — not; aśnataḥ — those who eat; pathyam — suitable; eva — indeed; annam — food; vyādhayaḥ — different types of disease; abhibhavanti — overcome; hi — indeed; evam — similarly; niyama-kṛt — one following regulative principles; rājan — O King; śanaiḥ — gradually; kṣemāya — for well-being; kalpate — becomes fit.

TRANSLATION

My dear King, if a diseased person eats the pure, uncontaminated food prescribed by a physician, he is gradually cured, and the infection of disease can no longer touch him. Similarly, if one follows the regulative principles of knowledge, he gradually progresses toward liberation from material contamination.

VERSE 6.1.13-14

tapasā brahmacaryeṇa
śamena ca damena ca
tyāgena satya-śaucābhyāṁ
yamena niyamena vā

deha-vāg-buddhijaṁ dhīrā
dharmajñāḥ śraddhayānvitāḥ
kṣipanty aghaṁ mahad api
veṇu-gulmam ivānalaḥ

SYNONYMS

tapasā — by austerity or voluntary rejection of material enjoyment; brahmacaryeṇa — by celibacy (the first austerity); śamena — by controlling the mind; ca — and; damena — by fully controlling the senses; ca — also; tyāgena — by voluntarily giving charity to good causes; satya — by truthfulness; śaucābhyām — and by following regulative principles to keep oneself internally and externally clean; yamena — by avoiding cursing and violence; niyamena — by regularly chanting the holy name of the Lord; — and; deha-vāk-buddhi-jam — performed by the body, words and intelligence; dhīrāḥ — those who are sober; dharma-jñāḥ — fully imbued with knowledge of religious principles; śraddhayā anvitāḥ — endowed with faith; kṣipanti — destroy; agham — all kinds of sinful activities; mahat api — although very great and abominable; veṇu-gulmam — the dried creepers beneath a bamboo tree; iva — like; analaḥ — fire.

TRANSLATION

To concentrate the mind, one must observe a life of celibacy and not fall down. One must undergo the austerity of voluntarily giving up sense enjoyment. One must then control the mind and senses, give charity, be truthful, clean and nonviolent, follow the regulative principles and regularly chant the holy name of the Lord. Thus a sober and faithful person who knows the religious principles is temporarily purified of all sins performed with his body, words and mind. These sins are like the dried leaves of creepers beneath a bamboo tree, which may be burned by fire although their roots remain to grow again at the first opportunity.

VERSE 6.1.15

kecit kevalayā bhaktyā
vāsudeva-parāyaṇāḥ
aghaṁ dhunvanti kārtsnyena
nīhāram iva bhāskaraḥ

SYNONYMS

kecit — some people; kevalayā bhaktyā — by executing unalloyed devotional service; vāsudeva — to Lord Kṛṣṇa, the all-pervading Supreme Personality of Godhead; parāyaṇāḥ — completely attached (only to such service, without dependence on austerity, penance, cultivation of knowledge or pious activities); agham — all kinds of sinful reactions; dhunvanti — destroy; kārtsnyena — completely (with no possibility that sinful desires will revive); nīhāram — fog; iva — like; bhāskaraḥ — the sun.

TRANSLATION

Only a rare person who has adopted complete, unalloyed devotional service to Kṛṣṇa can uproot the weeds of sinful actions with no possibility that they will revive. He can do this simply by discharging devotional service, just as the sun can immediately dissipate fog by its rays.

VERSE 6.1.16

na tathā hy aghavān rājan
pūyeta tapa-ādibhiḥ
yathā kṛṣṇārpita-prāṇas
tat-puruṣa-niṣevayā

SYNONYMS

na — not; tathā — so much; hi — certainly; agha-vān — a man full of sinful activities; rājan — O King; pūyeta — can become purified; tapaḥ-ādibhiḥ — by executing the principles of austerity, penance, brahmacarya and other purifying processes; yathā — as much as; kṛṣṇa-arpita-prāṇaḥ — the devotee whose life is fully Kṛṣṇa conscious; tat-puruṣa-niṣevayā — by engaging his life in the service of Kṛṣṇa’s representative.

TRANSLATION

My dear King, if a sinful person engages in the service of a bona fide devotee of the Lord and thus learns how to dedicate his life unto the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa, he can be completely purified. One cannot be purified merely by undergoing austerity, penance, brahmacarya and the other methods of atonement I have previously described.

VERSE 6.1.17

sadhrīcīno hy ayaṁ loke
panthāḥ kṣemo ’kuto-bhayaḥ
suśīlāḥ sādhavo yatra
nārāyaṇa-parāyaṇāḥ

SYNONYMS

sadhrīcīnaḥ — just appropriate; hi — certainly; ayam — this; loke — in the world; panthāḥ — path; kṣemaḥ — auspicious; akutaḥ-bhayaḥ — without fear; su-śīlāḥ — well-behaved; sādhavaḥ — saintly persons; yatra — wherein; nārāyaṇa-parāyaṇāḥ — those who have taken the path of Nārāyaṇa, devotional service, as their life and soul.

TRANSLATION

The path followed by pure devotees, who are well-behaved and fully endowed with the best qualifications, is certainly the most auspicious path in this material world. It is free from fear, and it is authorized by the śāstras.

VERSE 6.1.18

prāyaścittāni cīrṇāni
nārāyaṇa-parāṅmukham
na niṣpunanti rājendra
surā-kumbham ivāpagāḥ

SYNONYMS

prāyaścittāni — processes of atonement; cīrṇāni — very nicely performed; nārāyaṇa-parāṅmukham — a nondevotee; na niṣpunanti — cannot purify; rājendra — O King; surā-kumbham — a pot containing liquor; iva — like; āpa-gāḥ — the waters of the rivers.

TRANSLATION

My dear King, as a pot containing liquor cannot be purified even if washed in the waters of many rivers, nondevotees cannot be purified by processes of atonement even if they perform them very well.

VERSE 6.1.19

sakṛn manaḥ kṛṣṇa-padāravindayor
niveśitaṁ tad-guṇa-rāgi yair iha
na te yamaṁ pāśa-bhṛtaś ca tad-bhaṭān
svapne ’pi paśyanti hi cīrṇa-niṣkṛtāḥ

SYNONYMS

sakṛt — once only; manaḥ — the mind; kṛṣṇa-pada-aravindayoḥ — unto the two lotus feet of Lord Kṛṣṇa; niveśitam — completely surrendered; tat — of Kṛṣṇa; guṇa-rāgi — which is somewhat attached to the qualities, name, fame and paraphernalia; yaiḥ — by whom; iha — in this world; na — not; te — such persons; yamam — Yamarāja, the superintendent of death; pāśa-bhṛtaḥ — those who carry ropes (to catch sinful persons); ca — and; tat — his; bhaṭān — order carriers; svapne api — even in dreams; paśyanti — see; hi — indeed; cīrṇa-niṣkṛtāḥ — who have performed the right type of atonement.

TRANSLATION

Although not having fully realized Kṛṣṇa, persons who have even once surrendered completely unto His lotus feet and who have become attracted to His name, form, qualities and pastimes are completely freed of all sinful reactions, for they have thus accepted the true method of atonement. Even in dreams, such surrendered souls do not see Yamarāja or his order carriers, who are equipped with ropes to bind the sinful.

VERSE 6.1.20

atra codāharantīmam
itihāsaṁ purātanam
dūtānāṁ viṣṇu-yamayoḥ
saṁvādas taṁ nibodha me

SYNONYMS

atra — in this connection; ca — also; udāharanti — they give as an example; imam — this; itihāsam — the history (of Ajāmila); purātanam — which is very old; dūtānām — of the order carriers; viṣṇu — of Lord Viṣṇu; yamayoḥ — and of Yamarāja; saṁvādaḥ — the discussion; tam — that; nibodha — try to understand; me — from me.

TRANSLATION

In this regard, learned scholars and saintly persons describe a very old historical incident involving a discussion between the order carriers of Lord Viṣṇu and those of Yamarāja. Please hear of this from me.

VERSE 6.1.21

kānyakubje dvijaḥ kaścid
dāsī-patir ajāmilaḥ
nāmnā naṣṭa-sadācāro
dāsyāḥ saṁsarga-dūṣitaḥ

SYNONYMS

kānya-kubje — in the city of Kānyakubja (Kanauj, a town near Kanpur); dvijaḥ — brāhmaṇa; kaścit — some; dāsī-patiḥ — the husband of a low-class woman or prostitute; ajāmilaḥ — Ajāmila; nāmnā — by name; naṣṭa-sat-ācāraḥ — who lost all brahminical qualities; dāsyāḥ — of the prostitute or maidservant; saṁsarga-dūṣitaḥ — contaminated by the association.

TRANSLATION

In the city known as Kānyakubja there was a brāhmaṇa named Ajāmila who married a prostitute maidservant and lost all his brahminical qualities because of the association of that low-class woman.

VERSE 6.1.22

bandy-akṣaiḥ kaitavaiś cauryair
garhitāṁ vṛttim āsthitaḥ
bibhrat kuṭumbam aśucir
yātayām āsa dehinaḥ

SYNONYMS

bandī-akṣaiḥ — by unnecessarily arresting someone; kaitavaiḥ — by cheating in gambling or throwing dice; cauryaiḥ — by committing theft; garhitām — condemned; vṛttim — professions; āsthitaḥ — who has undertaken (because of association with a prostitute); bibhrat — maintaining; kuṭumbam — his dependent wife and children; aśuciḥ — being most sinful; yātayām āsa — he gave trouble; dehinaḥ — to other living entities.

TRANSLATION

This fallen brāhmaṇa, Ajāmila, gave trouble to others by arresting them, by cheating them in gambling or by directly plundering them. This was the way he earned his livelihood and maintained his wife and children.

VERSE 6.1.23

evaṁ nivasatas tasya
lālayānasya tat-sutān
kālo ’tyagān mahān rājann
aṣṭāśītyāyuṣaḥ samāḥ

SYNONYMS

evam — in this way; nivasataḥ — living; tasya — of him (Ajāmila); lālayānasya — maintaining; tat — of her (the śūdrāṇī); sutān — sons; kālaḥ — time; atyagāt — passed away; mahān — a great amount; rājan — O King; aṣṭāśītyā — eighty-eight; āyuṣaḥ — of the duration of life; samāḥ — years.

TRANSLATION

My dear King, while he thus spent his time in abominable, sinful activities to maintain his family of many sons, eighty-eight years of his life passed by.

VERSE 6.1.24

tasya pravayasaḥ putrā
daśa teṣāṁ tu yo ’vamaḥ
bālo nārāyaṇo nāmnā
pitroś ca dayito bhṛśam

SYNONYMS

tasya — of him (Ajāmila); pravayasaḥ — who was very old; putrāḥ — sons; daśa — ten; teṣām — of all of them; tu — but; yaḥ — the one who; avamaḥ — the youngest; bālaḥ — child; nārāyaṇaḥ — Nārāyaṇa; nāmnā — by name; pitroḥ — of the father and mother; ca — and; dayitaḥ — dear; bhṛśam — very.

TRANSLATION

That old man Ajāmila had ten sons, of whom the youngest was a baby named Nārāyaṇa. Since Nārāyaṇa was the youngest of all the sons, he was naturally very dear to both his father and his mother.

VERSE 6.1.25

sa baddha-hṛdayas tasminn
arbhake kala-bhāṣiṇi
nirīkṣamāṇas tal-līlāṁ
mumude jaraṭho bhṛśam

SYNONYMS

saḥ — he; baddha-hṛdayaḥ — being very attached; tasmin — to that; arbhake — small child; kala-bhāṣiṇi — who could not talk clearly but talked in broken language; nirīkṣamāṇaḥ — seeing; tat — his; līlām — pastimes (such as walking and talking to his father); mumude — enjoyed; jaraṭhaḥ — the old man; bhṛśam — very much.

TRANSLATION

Because of the child’s broken language and awkward movements, old Ajāmila was very much attached to him. He always took care of the child and enjoyed the child’s activities.

VERSE 6.1.26

bhuñjānaḥ prapiban khādan
bālakaṁ sneha-yantritaḥ
bhojayan pāyayan mūḍho
na vedāgatam antakam

SYNONYMS

bhuñjānaḥ — while eating; prapiban — while drinking; khādan — while chewing; bālakam — unto the child; sneha-yantritaḥ — being attached by affection; bhojayan — feeding; pāyayan — giving something to drink; mūḍhaḥ — the foolish man; na — not; veda — understood; āgatam — had arrived; antakam — death.

TRANSLATION

When Ajāmila chewed food and ate it, he called the child to chew and eat, and when he drank he called the child to drink also. Always engaged in taking care of the child and calling his name, Nārāyaṇa, Ajāmila could not understand that his own time was now exhausted and that death was upon him.

VERSE 6.1.27

sa evaṁ vartamāno ’jño
mṛtyu-kāla upasthite
matiṁ cakāra tanaye
bāle nārāyaṇāhvaye

SYNONYMS

saḥ — that Ajāmila; evam — thus; vartamānaḥ — living; ajñaḥ — foolish; mṛtyu-kāle — when the time of death; upasthite — arrived; matim cakāra — concentrated his mind; tanaye — on his son; bāle — the child; nārāyaṇa-āhvaye — whose name was Nārāyaṇa.

TRANSLATION

When the time of death arrived for the foolish Ajāmila, he began thinking exclusively of his son Nārāyaṇa.

VERSE 6.1.28-29

sa pāśa-hastāṁs trīn dṛṣṭvā
puruṣān ati-dāruṇān
vakra-tuṇḍān ūrdhva-romṇa
ātmānaṁ netum āgatān

dūre krīḍanakāsaktaṁ
putraṁ nārāyaṇāhvayam
plāvitena svareṇoccair
ājuhāvākulendriyaḥ

SYNONYMS

saḥ — that person (Ajāmila); pāśa-hastān — having ropes in their hands; trīn — three; dṛṣṭvā — seeing; puruṣān — persons; ati-dāruṇān — very fearful in their features; vakra-tuṇḍān — with twisted faces; ūrdhva-romṇaḥ — with hair standing on the body; ātmānam — the self; netum — to take away; āgatān — arrived; dūre — a short distance away; krīḍanaka-āsaktam — engaged in his play; putram — his child; nārāyaṇa-āhvayam — named Nārāyaṇa; plāvitena — with tearful eyes; svareṇa — with his voice; uccaiḥ — very loudly; ājuhāva — called; ākula-indriyaḥ — being full of anxiety.

TRANSLATION

Ajāmila then saw three awkward persons with deformed bodily features, fierce, twisted faces, and hair standing erect on their bodies. With ropes in their hands, they had come to take him away to the abode of Yamarāja. When he saw them he was extremely bewildered, and because of attachment to his child, who was playing a short distance away, Ajāmila began to call him loudly by his name. Thus with tears in his eyes he somehow or other chanted the holy name of Nārāyaṇa.

VERSE 6.1.30

niśamya mriyamāṇasya
mukhato hari-kīrtanam
bhartur nāma mahārāja
pārṣadāḥ sahasāpatan

SYNONYMS

niśamya — hearing; mriyamāṇasya — of the dying man; mukhataḥ — from the mouth; hari-kīrtanam — chanting of the holy name of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; bhartuḥ nāma — the holy name of their master; mahā-rāja — O King; pārṣadāḥ — the order carriers of Viṣṇu; sahasā — immediately; āpatan — arrived.

TRANSLATION

My dear King, the order carriers of Viṣṇu, the Viṣṇudūtas, immediately arrived when they heard the holy name of their master from the mouth of the dying Ajāmila, who had certainly chanted without offense because he had chanted in complete anxiety.

VERSE 6.1.31

vikarṣato ’ntar hṛdayād
dāsī-patim ajāmilam
yama-preṣyān viṣṇudūtā
vārayām āsur ojasā

SYNONYMS

vikarṣataḥ — snatching; antaḥ hṛdayāt — from within the heart; dāsī-patim — the husband of the prostitute; ajāmilam — Ajāmila; yama-preṣyān — the messengers of Yamarāja; viṣṇu-dūtāḥ — the order carriers of Lord Viṣṇu; vārayām āsuḥ — forbade; ojasā — with resounding voices.

TRANSLATION

The order carriers of Yamarāja were snatching the soul from the core of the heart of Ajāmila, the husband of the prostitute, but with resounding voices the messengers of Lord Viṣṇu, the Viṣṇudūtas, forbade them to do so.

VERSE 6.1.32

ūcur niṣedhitās tāṁs te
vaivasvata-puraḥsarāḥ
ke yūyaṁ pratiṣeddhāro
dharma-rājasya śāsanam

SYNONYMS

ūcuḥ — replied; niṣedhitāḥ — being forbidden; tān — to the order carriers of Lord Viṣṇu; te — they; vaivasvata — of Yamarāja; puraḥ-sarāḥ — the assistants or messengers; ke — who; yūyam — all of you; pratiṣed-dhāraḥ — who are opposing; dharma-rājasya — of the king of religious principles, Yamarāja; śāsanam — the ruling jurisdiction.

TRANSLATION

When the order carriers of Yamarāja, the son of the sun-god, were thus forbidden, they replied: Who are you, sirs, that have the audacity to challenge the jurisdiction of Yamarāja?

VERSE 6.1.33

kasya vā kuta āyātāḥ
kasmād asya niṣedhatha
kiṁ devā upadevā yā
yūyaṁ kiṁ siddha-sattamāḥ

SYNONYMS

kasya — whose servants; — or; kutaḥ — from where; āyātāḥ — have you come; kasmāt — what is the reason; asya — (the taking away) of this Ajāmila; niṣedhatha — are you forbidding; kim — whether; devāḥ — demigods; upadevāḥ — sub-demigods; yāḥ — who; yūyam — all of you; kim — whether; siddha-sat-tamāḥ — the best of the perfect beings, the pure devotees.

TRANSLATION

Dear sirs, whose servants are you, where have you come from, and why are you forbidding us to touch the body of Ajāmila? Are you demigods from the heavenly planets, are you sub-demigods, or are you the best of devotees?

VERSE 6.1.34-36

sarve padma-palāśākṣāḥ
pīta-kauśeya-vāsasaḥ
kirīṭinaḥ kuṇḍalino
lasat-puṣkara-mālinaḥ

sarve ca nūtna-vayasaḥ
sarve cāru-caturbhujāḥ
dhanur-niṣaṅgāsi-gadā-
śaṅkha-cakrāmbuja-śriyaḥ

diśo vitimirālokāḥ
kurvantaḥ svena tejasā
kim arthaṁ dharma-pālasya
kiṅkarān no niṣedhatha

SYNONYMS

sarve — all of you; padma-palāśa-akṣāḥ — with eyes like the petals of a lotus flower; pīta — yellow; kauśeya — silk; vāsasaḥ — wearing garments; kirīṭinaḥ — with helmets; kuṇḍalinaḥ — with earrings; lasat — glittering; puṣkara-mālinaḥ — with a garland of lotus flowers; sarve — all of you; ca — also; nūtna-vayasaḥ — very youthful; sarve — all of you; cāru — very beautiful; catuḥ-bhujāḥ — with four arms; dhanuḥ — bow; niṣaṅga — quiver of arrows; asi — sword; gadā — club; śaṅkha — conchshell; cakra — disc; ambuja — lotus flower; śriyaḥ — decorated with; diśaḥ — all directions; vitimira — without darkness; ālokāḥ — extraordinary illumination; kurvantaḥ — exhibiting; svena — by your own; tejasā — effulgence; kim artham — what is the purpose; dharma-pālasya — of Yamarāja, the maintainer of religious principles; kiṅkarān — servants; naḥ — us; niṣedhatha — you are forbidding.

TRANSLATION

The order carriers of Yamarāja said: Your eyes are just like the petals of lotus flowers. Dressed in yellow silken garments, decorated with garlands of lotuses, and wearing very attractive helmets on your heads and earrings on your ears, you all appear fresh and youthful. Your four long arms are decorated with bows and quivers of arrows and with swords, clubs, conchshells, discs and lotus flowers. Your effulgence has dissipated the darkness of this place with extraordinary illumination. Now, sirs, why are you obstructing us?

VERSE 6.1.37

śrī-śuka uvāca

ity ukte yamadūtais te
vāsudevokta-kāriṇaḥ
tān pratyūcuḥ prahasyedaṁ
megha-nirhrādayā girā

SYNONYMS

śrī-śukaḥ uvāca — Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said; iti — thus; ukte — being addressed; yamadūtaiḥ — by the messengers of Yamarāja; te — they; vāsudeva-ukta-kāriṇaḥ — who are always ready to execute the orders of Lord Vāsudeva (being personal associates of Lord Viṣṇu who have obtained the liberation of sālokya); tān — unto them; pratyūcuḥ — replied; prahasya — smiling; idam — this; megha-nirhrādayā — resounding like a rumbling cloud; girā — with voices.

TRANSLATION

Śukadeva Gosvāmī continued: Being thus addressed by the messengers of Yamarāja, the servants of Vāsudeva smiled and spoke the following words in voices as deep as the sound of rumbling clouds.

VERSE 6.1.38

śrī-viṣṇudūtā ūcuḥ

yūyaṁ vai dharma-rājasya
yadi nirdeśa-kāriṇaḥ
brūta dharmasya nas tattvaṁ
yac cādharmasya lakṣaṇam

SYNONYMS

śrī-viṣṇudūtāḥ ūcuḥ — the blessed messengers of Lord Viṣṇu spoke; yūyam — all of you; vai — indeed; dharma-rājasya — of King Yamarāja, who knows the religious principles; yadi — if; nirdeśa-kāriṇaḥ — order carriers; brūta — just speak; dharmasya — of religious principles; naḥ — unto us; tattvam — the truth; yat — that which; ca — also; adharmasya — of impious activities; lakṣaṇam — symptoms.

TRANSLATION

The blessed messengers of Lord Viṣṇu, the Viṣṇudūtas, said: If you are actually servants of Yamarāja, you must explain to us the meaning of religious principles and the symptoms of irreligion.

VERSE 6.1.39

kathaṁ svid dhriyate daṇḍaḥ
kiṁ vāsya sthānam īpsitam
daṇḍyāḥ kiṁ kāriṇaḥ sarve
āho svit katicin nṛṇām

SYNONYMS

katham svit — by which means; dhriyate — is imposed; daṇḍaḥ — punishment; kim — what; — or; asya — of this; sthānam — the place; īpsitam — desirable; daṇḍyāḥ — punishable; kim — whether; kāriṇaḥ — fruitive actors; sarve — all; āho svit — or whether; katicit — some; nṛṇām — of the human beings.

TRANSLATION

What is the process of punishing others? Who are the actual candidates for punishment? Are all karmīs engaged in fruitive activities punishable, or only some of them?

VERSE 6.1.40

yamadūtā ūcuḥ

veda-praṇihito dharmo
hy adharmas tad-viparyayaḥ
vedo nārāyaṇaḥ sākṣāt
svayambhūr iti śuśruma

SYNONYMS

yamadūtāḥ ūcuḥ — the order carriers of Yamarāja said; veda — by the four Vedas (Sāma, Yajur, Ṛg and Atharva); praṇihitaḥ — prescribed; dharmaḥ — religious principles; hi — indeed; adharmaḥ — irreligious principles; tat-viparyayaḥ — the opposite of that (that which is not supported by Vedic injunctions); vedaḥ — the Vedas, books of knowledge; nārāyaṇaḥ sākṣāt — directly the Supreme Personality of Godhead (being the words of Nārāyaṇa); svayam-bhūḥ — self-born, self-sufficient (appearing only from the breath of Nārāyaṇa and not being learned from anyone else); iti — thus; śuśruma — we have heard.

TRANSLATION

The Yamadūtas replied: That which is prescribed in the Vedas constitutes dharma, the religious principles, and the opposite of that is irreligion. The Vedas are directly the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Nārāyaṇa, and are self-born. This we have heard from Yamarāja.

VERSE 6.1.41

yena sva-dhāmny amī bhāvā
rajaḥ-sattva-tamomayāḥ
guṇa-nāma-kriyā-rūpair
vibhāvyante yathā-tatham

SYNONYMS

yena — by whom (Nārāyaṇa); sva-dhāmni — although in His own place, the spiritual world; amī — all these; bhāvāḥ — manifestations; rajaḥ-sattva-tamaḥ-mayāḥ — created by the three modes of material nature (passion, goodness and ignorance); guṇa — qualities; nāma — names; kriyā — activities; rūpaiḥ — and with forms; vibhāvyante — are variously manifested; yathā-tatham — exactly to the right point.

TRANSLATION

The supreme cause of all causes, Nārāyaṇa, is situated in His own abode in the spiritual world, but nevertheless He controls the entire cosmic manifestation according to the three modes of material nature — sattva-guṇa, rajo-guṇa and tamo-guṇa. In this way all living entities are awarded different qualities, different names [such as brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya and vaiśya], different duties according to the varṇāśrama institution, and different forms. Thus Nārāyaṇa is the cause of the entire cosmic manifestation.

VERSE 6.1.42

sūryo ’gniḥ khaṁ marud devaḥ
somaḥ sandhyāhanī diśaḥ
kaṁ kuḥ svayaṁ dharma iti
hy ete daihyasya sākṣiṇaḥ

SYNONYMS

sūryaḥ — the sun-god; agniḥ — the fire; kham — the sky; marut — the air; devaḥ — the demigods; somaḥ — the moon; sandhyā — evening; ahanī — the day and night; diśaḥ — the directions; kam — the water; kuḥ — the land; svayam — personally; dharmaḥ — Yamarāja or the Supersoul; iti — thus; hi — indeed; ete — all of these; daihyasya — of a living entity embodied in the material elements; sākṣiṇaḥ — witnesses.

TRANSLATION

The sun, fire, sky, air, demigods, moon, evening, day, night, directions, water, land and Supersoul Himself all witness the activities of the living entity.

VERSE 6.1.43

etair adharmo vijñātaḥ
sthānaṁ daṇḍasya yujyate
sarve karmānurodhena
daṇḍam arhanti kāriṇaḥ

SYNONYMS

etaiḥ — by all these (witnesses, beginning from the sun-god); adharmaḥ — deviation from the regulative principles; vijñātaḥ — is known; sthānam — the proper place; daṇḍasya — of punishment; yujyate — is accepted as; sarve — all; karma-anurodhena — with consideration of the activities performed; daṇḍam — punishment; arhanti — deserve; kāriṇaḥ — the performers of sinful activities.

TRANSLATION

The candidates for punishment are those who are confirmed by these many witnesses to have deviated from their prescribed regulative duties. Everyone engaged in fruitive activities is suitable to be subjected to punishment according to his sinful acts.

VERSE 6.1.44

sambhavanti hi bhadrāṇi
viparītāni cānaghāḥ
kāriṇāṁ guṇa-saṅgo ’sti
dehavān na hy akarma-kṛt

SYNONYMS

sambhavanti — there are; hi — indeed; bhadrāṇi — auspicious, pious activities; viparītāni — just the opposite (inauspicious, sinful activities); ca — also; anaghāḥ — O sinless inhabitants of Vaikuṇṭha; kāriṇām — of the fruitive workers; guṇa-saṅgaḥ — contamination of the three modes of nature; asti — there is; deha-vān — anyone who has accepted this material body; na — not; hi — indeed; akarma-kṛt — without performing action.

TRANSLATION

O inhabitants of Vaikuṇṭha, you are sinless, but those within this material world are all karmīs, whether acting piously or impiously. Both kinds of action are possible for them because they are contaminated by the three modes of nature and must act accordingly. One who has accepted a material body cannot be inactive, and sinful action is inevitable for one acting under the modes of material nature. Therefore all the living entities within this material world are punishable.

VERSE 6.1.45

yena yāvān yathādharmo
dharmo veha samīhitaḥ
sa eva tat-phalaṁ bhuṅkte
tathā tāvad amutra vai

SYNONYMS

yena — by which person; yāvān — to which extent; yathā — in which manner; adharmaḥ — irreligious activities; dharmaḥ — religious activities; — or; iha — in this life; samīhitaḥ — performed; saḥ — that person; eva — indeed; tat-phalam — the particular result of that; bhuṅkte — enjoys or suffers; tathā — in that way; tāvat — to that extent; amutra — in the next life; vai — indeed.

TRANSLATION

In proportion to the extent of one’s religious or irreligious actions in this life, one must enjoy or suffer the corresponding reactions of his karma in the next.

VERSE 6.1.46

yatheha deva-pravarās
trai-vidhyam upalabhyate
bhūteṣu guṇa-vaicitryāt
tathānyatrānumīyate

SYNONYMS

yathā — just as; iha — in this life; deva-pravarāḥ — O best of the demigods; trai-vidhyam — three kinds of attributes; upalabhyate — are achieved; bhūteṣu — among all living entities; guṇa-vaicitryāt — because of the diversity of the contamination by the three modes of nature; tathā — similarly; anyatra — in other places; anumīyate — it is inferred.

TRANSLATION

O best of the demigods, we can see three different varieties of life, which are due to the contamination of the three modes of nature. The living entities are thus known as peaceful, restless and foolish; as happy, unhappy or in-between; or as religious, irreligious and semireligious. We can deduce that in the next life these three kinds of material nature will similarly act.

VERSE 6.1.47

vartamāno ’nyayoḥ kālo
guṇābhijñāpako yathā
evaṁ janmānyayor etad
dharmādharma-nidarśanam

SYNONYMS

vartamānaḥ — the present; anyayoḥ — of the past and future; kālaḥ — time; guṇa-abhijñāpakaḥ — making known the qualities; yathā — just as; evam — thus; janma — birth; anyayoḥ — of the past and future births; etat — this; dharma — religious principles; adharma — irreligious principles; nidarśanam — indicating.

TRANSLATION

Just as springtime in the present indicates the nature of springtimes in the past and future, so this life of happiness, distress or a mixture of both gives evidence concerning the religious and irreligious activities of one’s past and future lives.

VERSE 6.1.48

manasaiva pure devaḥ
pūrva-rūpaṁ vipaśyati
anumīmāṁsate ’pūrvaṁ
manasā bhagavān ajaḥ

SYNONYMS

manasā — by the mind; eva — indeed; pure — in his abode, or within everyone’s heart like the Supersoul; devaḥ — the demigod Yamarāja (dīvyatīti devaḥ, one who is always brilliant and illuminated is called deva); pūrva-rūpam — the past religious or irreligious condition; vipaśyati — completely observes; anumīmāṁsate — he considers; apūrvam — the future condition; manasā — with his mind; bhagavān — who is omnipotent; ajaḥ — as good as Lord Brahmā.

TRANSLATION

The omnipotent Yamarāja is as good as Lord Brahmā, for while situated in his own abode or in everyone’s heart like the Paramātmā, he mentally observes the past activities of a living entity and thus understands how the living entity will act in future lives.

VERSE 6.1.49

yathājñas tamasā yukta
upāste vyaktam eva hi
na veda pūrvam aparaṁ
naṣṭa-janma-smṛtis tathā

SYNONYMS

yathā — just as; ajñaḥ — an ignorant living being; tamasā — in sleep; yuktaḥ — engaged; upāste — acts according to; vyaktam — a body manifested in a dream; eva — certainly; hi — indeed; na veda — does not know; pūrvam — the past body; aparam — the next body; naṣṭa — lost; janma-smṛtiḥ — the remembrance of birth; tathā — similarly.

TRANSLATION

As a sleeping person acts according to the body manifested in his dreams and accepts it to be himself, so one identifies with his present body, which he acquired because of his past religious or irreligious actions, and is unable to know his past or future lives.

VERSE 6.1.50

pañcabhiḥ kurute svārthān
pañca vedātha pañcabhiḥ
ekas tu ṣoḍaśena trīn
svayaṁ saptadaśo ’śnute

SYNONYMS

pañcabhiḥ — with the five working senses (voice, arms, legs, anus and genitals); kurute — performs; sva-arthān — his desired interests; pañca — the five objects of the senses (sound, form, touch, aroma and taste); veda — knows; atha — thus; pañcabhiḥ — by the five senses of perception (hearing, seeing, smelling, tasting and feeling); ekaḥ — the one; tu — but; ṣoḍaśena — by these fifteen items and the mind; trīn — the three categories of experience (happiness, distress and a mixture of both); svayam — he, the living entity himself; saptadaśaḥ — the seventeenth item; aśnute — enjoys.

TRANSLATION

Above the five senses of perception, the five working senses and the five objects of the senses is the mind, which is the sixteenth element. Above the mind is the seventeenth element, the soul, the living being himself, who, in cooperation with the other sixteen, enjoys the material world alone. The living being enjoys three kinds of situations, namely happy, distressful and mixed.

VERSE 6.1.51

tad etat ṣoḍaśa-kalaṁ
liṅgaṁ śakti-trayaṁ mahat
dhatte ’nusaṁsṛtiṁ puṁsi
harṣa-śoka-bhayārtidām

SYNONYMS

tat — therefore; etat — this; ṣoḍaśa-kalam — made of sixteen parts (namely the ten senses, the mind and the five sense objects); liṅgam — the subtle body; śakti-trayam — the effect of the three modes of material nature; mahat — insurmountable; dhatte — gives; anusaṁsṛtim — almost perpetual rotation and transmigration in different types of bodies; puṁsi — unto the living entity; harṣa — jubilation; śoka — lamentation; bhaya — fear; ārti — misery; dām — which gives.

TRANSLATION

The subtle body is endowed with sixteen parts — the five knowledge-acquiring senses, the five working senses, the five objects of sense gratification, and the mind. This subtle body is an effect of the three modes of material nature. It is composed of insurmountably strong desires, and therefore it causes the living entity to transmigrate from one body to another in human life, animal life and life as a demigod. When the living entity gets the body of a demigod, he is certainly very jubilant, when he gets a human body he is always in lamentation, and when he gets the body of an animal, he is always afraid. In all conditions, however, he is actually miserable. His miserable condition is called saṁsṛti, or transmigration in material life.

VERSE 6.1.52

dehy ajño ’jita-ṣaḍ-vargo
necchan karmāṇi kāryate
kośakāra ivātmānaṁ
karmaṇācchādya muhyati

SYNONYMS

dehī — the embodied soul; ajñaḥ — without perfect knowledge; ajita-ṣaṭ-vargaḥ — who has not controlled the senses of perception and the mind; na icchan — without desiring; karmāṇi — activities for material benefit; kāryate — is caused to perform; kośakāraḥ — the silkworm; iva — like; ātmānam — himself; karmaṇā — by fruitive activities; ācchādya — covering; muhyati — becomes bewildered.

TRANSLATION

The foolish embodied living entity, inept at controlling his senses and mind, is forced to act according to the influence of the modes of material nature, against his desires. He is like a silkworm that uses its own saliva to create a cocoon and then becomes trapped in it, with no possibility of getting out. The living entity traps himself in a network of his own fruitive activities and then can find no way to release himself. Thus he is always bewildered, and repeatedly he dies.

VERSE 6.1.53

na hi kaścit kṣaṇam api
jātu tiṣṭhaty akarma-kṛt
kāryate hy avaśaḥ karma
guṇaiḥ svābhāvikair balāt

SYNONYMS

na — not; hi — indeed; kaścit — anyone; kṣaṇam api — even for a moment; jātu — at any time; tiṣṭhati — remains; akarma-kṛt — without doing anything; kāryate — he is caused to perform; hi — indeed; avaśaḥ — automatically; karma — fruitive activities; guṇaiḥ — by the three modes of nature; svābhāvikaiḥ — which are produced by his own tendencies in previous lives; balāt — by force.

TRANSLATION

Not a single living entity can remain unengaged even for a moment. One must act by his natural tendency according to the three modes of material nature because this natural tendency forcibly makes him work in a particular way.

VERSE 6.1.54

labdhvā nimittam avyaktaṁ
vyaktāvyaktaṁ bhavaty uta
yathā-yoni yathā-bījaṁ
svabhāvena balīyasā

SYNONYMS

labdhvā — having gotten; nimittam — the cause; avyaktam — unseen or unknown to the person; vyakta-avyaktam — manifested and unmanifested, or the gross body and the subtle body; bhavati — come into being; uta — certainly; yathā-yoni — exactly like the mother; yathā-bījam — exactly like the father; sva-bhāvena — by the natural tendency; balīyasā — which is very powerful.

TRANSLATION

The fruitive activities a living being performs, whether pious or impious, are the unseen cause for the fulfillment of his desires. This unseen cause is the root for the living entity’s different bodies. Because of his intense desire, the living entity takes birth in a particular family and receives a body which is either like that of his mother or like that of his father. The gross and subtle bodies are created according to his desire.

VERSE 6.1.55

eṣa prakṛti-saṅgena
puruṣasya viparyayaḥ
āsīt sa eva na cirād
īśa-saṅgād vilīyate

SYNONYMS

eṣaḥ — this; prakṛti-saṅgena — because of association with the material nature; puruṣasya — of the living entity; viparyayaḥ — a situation of forgetfulness or an awkward position; āsīt — came to be; saḥ — that position; eva — indeed; na — not; cirāt — taking a long time; īśa-saṅgāt — from the association of the Supreme Lord; vilīyate — is vanquished.

TRANSLATION

Since the living entity is associated with material nature, he is in an awkward position, but if in the human form of life he is taught how to associate with the Supreme Personality of Godhead or His devotee, this position can be overcome.

VERSE 6.1.56-57

ayaṁ hi śruta-sampannaḥ
śīla-vṛtta-guṇālayaḥ
dhṛta-vrato mṛdur dāntaḥ
satya-vāṅ mantra-vic chuciḥ

gurv-agny-atithi-vṛddhānāṁ
śuśrūṣur anahaṅkṛtaḥ
sarva-bhūta-suhṛt sādhur
mita-vāg anasūyakaḥ

SYNONYMS

ayam — this person (known as Ajāmila); hi — indeed; śruta-sampannaḥ — well educated in Vedic knowledge; śīla — of good character; vṛtta — good conduct; guṇa — and good qualities; ālayaḥ — the reservoir; dhṛta-vrataḥ — fixed in the execution of the Vedic injunctions; mṛduḥ — very mild; dāntaḥ — completely controlling the mind and senses; satya-vāk — always truthful; mantra-vit — knowing how to chant the Vedic hymns; śuciḥ — always very neat and clean; guru — the spiritual master; agni — the fire-god; atithi — guests; vṛddhānām — and of the old household members; śuśrūṣuḥ — very respectfully engaged in the service; anahaṅkṛtaḥ — without pride or false prestige; sarva-bhūta-suhṛt — friendly to all living entities; sādhuḥ — well-behaved (no one could find any fault in his character); mita-vāk — talking with great care not to speak nonsense; anasūyakaḥ — not envious.

TRANSLATION

In the beginning this brāhmaṇa named Ajāmila studied all the Vedic literatures. He was a reservoir of good character, good conduct and good qualities. Firmly established in executing all the Vedic injunctions, he was very mild and gentle, and he kept his mind and senses under control. Furthermore, he was always truthful, he knew how to chant the Vedic mantras, and he was also very pure. Ajāmila was very respectful to his spiritual master, the fire-god, guests, and the elderly members of his household. Indeed, he was free from false prestige. He was upright, benevolent to all living entities, and well-behaved. He would never speak nonsense or envy anyone.

VERSE 6.1.58-60

ekadāsau vanaṁ yātaḥ
pitṛ-sandeśa-kṛd dvijaḥ
ādāya tata āvṛttaḥ
phala-puṣpa-samit-kuśān

dadarśa kāminaṁ kañcic
chūdraṁ saha bhujiṣyayā
pītvā ca madhu maireyaṁ
madāghūrṇita-netrayā

mattayā viślathan-nīvyā
vyapetaṁ nirapatrapam
krīḍantam anugāyantaṁ
hasantam anayāntike

SYNONYMS

ekadā — once upon a time; asau — this Ajāmila; vanam yātaḥ — went to the forest; pitṛ — of his father; sandeśa — the order; kṛt — carrying out; dvijaḥ — the brāhmaṇa; ādāya — collecting; tataḥ — from the forest; āvṛttaḥ — returning; phala-puṣpa — fruits and flowers; samit-kuśān — two kinds of grass, known as samit and kuśa; dadarśa — saw; kāminam — very lusty; kañcit — someone; śūdram — a fourth-class man, a śūdra; saha — along with; bhujiṣyayā — an ordinary maidservant or prostitute; pītvā — after drinking; ca — also; madhu — nectar; maireyam — made of the soma flower; mada — by intoxication; āghūrṇita — moving; netrayā — her eyes; mattayā — intoxicated; viślathat-nīvyā — whose dress was slackened; vyapetam — fallen from proper behavior; nirapatrapam — without fear of public opinion; krīḍantam — engaged in enjoyment; anugāyantam — singing; hasantam — smiling; anayā — with her; antike — close by.

TRANSLATION

Once this brāhmaṇa Ajāmila, following the order of his father, went to the forest to collect fruit, flowers and two kinds of grass, called samit and kuśa. On the way home, he came upon a śūdra, a very lusty, fourth-class man, who was shamelessly embracing and kissing a prostitute. The śūdra was smiling, singing and enjoying as if this were proper behavior. Both the śūdra and the prostitute were drunk. The prostitute’s eyes were rolling in intoxication, and her dress had become loose. Such was the condition in which Ajāmila saw them.

VERSE 6.1.61

dṛṣṭvā tāṁ kāma-liptena
bāhunā parirambhitām
jagāma hṛc-chaya-vaśaṁ
sahasaiva vimohitaḥ

SYNONYMS

dṛṣṭvā — by seeing; tām — her (the prostitute); kāma-liptena — decorated with turmeric to incite lusty desires; bāhunā — with the arm; parirambhitām — embraced; jagāma — went; hṛt-śaya — of lusty desires within the heart; vaśam — under the control; sahasā — suddenly; eva — indeed; vimohitaḥ — being illusioned.

TRANSLATION

The śūdra, his arm decorated with turmeric powder, was embracing the prostitute. When Ajāmila saw her, the dormant lusty desires in his heart awakened, and in illusion he fell under their control.

VERSE 6.1.62

stambhayann ātmanātmānaṁ
yāvat sattvaṁ yathā-śrutam
na śaśāka samādhātuṁ
mano madana-vepitam

SYNONYMS

stambhayan — trying to control; ātmanā — by the intelligence; ātmānam — the mind; yāvat sattvam — as far as possible for him; yathā-śrutam — by remembering the instruction (of celibacy, brahmacarya, not even to see a woman); na — not; śaśāka — was able; samādhātum — to restrain; manaḥ — the mind; madana-vepitam — agitated by Cupid or lusty desire.

TRANSLATION

As far as possible he patiently tried to remember the instructions of the śāstras not even to see a woman. With the help of this knowledge and his intellect, he tried to control his lusty desires, but because of the force of Cupid within his heart, he failed to control his mind.

VERSE 6.1.63

tan-nimitta-smara-vyāja-
graha-grasto vicetanaḥ
tām eva manasā dhyāyan
sva-dharmād virarāma ha

SYNONYMS

tat-nimitta — caused by the sight of her; smara-vyāja — taking advantage of his thinking of her always; graha-grastaḥ — being caught by an eclipse; vicetanaḥ — having completely forgotten his real position; tām — her; eva — certainly; manasā — by the mind; dhyāyan — meditating upon; sva-dharmāt — from the regulative principles executed by a brāhmaṇa; virarāma ha — he completely ceased.

TRANSLATION

In the same way that the sun and moon are eclipsed by a low planet, the brāhmaṇa lost all his good sense. Taking advantage of this situation, he always thought of the prostitute, and within a short time he took her as a servant in his house and abandoned all the regulative principles of a brāhmaṇa.

VERSE 6.1.64

tām eva toṣayām āsa
pitryeṇārthena yāvatā
grāmyair manoramaiḥ kāmaiḥ
prasīdeta yathā tathā

SYNONYMS

tām — her (the prostitute); eva — indeed; toṣayām āsa — he tried to please; pitryeṇa — he got from his father’s hard labor; arthena — by the money; yāvatā — as long as possible; grāmyaiḥ — material; manaḥ-ramaiḥ — pleasing to her mind; kāmaiḥ — by presentations for sense enjoyment; prasīdeta — she would be satisfied; yathā — so that; tathā — in that way.

TRANSLATION

Thus Ajāmila began spending whatever money he had inherited from his father to satisfy the prostitute with various material presentations so that she would remain pleased with him. He gave up all his brahminical activities to satisfy the prostitute.

VERSE 6.1.65

viprāṁ sva-bhāryām aprauḍhāṁ
kule mahati lambhitām
visasarjācirāt pāpaḥ
svairiṇyāpāṅga-viddha-dhīḥ

SYNONYMS

viprām — the daughter of a brāhmaṇa; sva-bhāryām — his wife; aprauḍhām — not very old (youthful); kule — from a family; mahati — very respectable; lambhitām — married; visasarja — he gave up; acirāt — very soon; pāpaḥ — being sinful; svairiṇyā — of the prostitute; apāṅga-viddha-dhīḥ — his intelligence pierced by the lustful glance.

TRANSLATION

Because his intelligence was pierced by the lustful glance of the prostitute, the victimized brāhmaṇa Ajāmila engaged in sinful acts in her association. He even gave up the company of his very beautiful young wife, who came from a very respectable brāhmaṇa family.

VERSE 6.1.66

yatas tataś copaninye
nyāyato ’nyāyato dhanam
babhārāsyāḥ kuṭumbinyāḥ
kuṭumbaṁ manda-dhīr ayam

SYNONYMS

yataḥ tataḥ — wherever possible, however possible; ca — and; upaninye — he got; nyāyataḥ — properly; anyāyataḥ — improperly; dhanam — money; babhāra — he maintained; asyāḥ — of her; kuṭum-binyāḥ — possessing many sons and daughters; kuṭumbam — the family; manda-dhīḥ — bereft of all intelligence; ayam — this person (Ajāmila).

TRANSLATION

Although born of a brāhmaṇa family, this rascal, bereft of intelligence because of the prostitute’s association, earned money somehow or other, regardless of whether properly or improperly, and used it to maintain the prostitute’s sons and daughters.

VERSE 6.1.67

yad asau śāstram ullaṅghya
svaira-cāry ati-garhitaḥ
avartata ciraṁ kālam
aghāyur aśucir malāt

SYNONYMS

yat — because; asau — this brāhmaṇa; śāstram ullaṅghya — transgressing the laws of śāstra; svaira-cārī — acting irresponsibly; ati-garhitaḥ — very much condemned; avartata — passed; ciram kālam — a long time; agha-āyuḥ — whose life was full of sinful activities; aśuciḥ — unclean; malāt — because of impurity.

TRANSLATION

This brāhmaṇa irresponsibly spent his long lifetime transgressing all the rules and regulations of the holy scripture, living extravagantly and eating food prepared by a prostitute. Therefore he is full of sins. He is unclean and is addicted to forbidden activities.

VERSE 6.1.68

tata enaṁ daṇḍa-pāṇeḥ
sakāśaṁ kṛta-kilbiṣam
neṣyāmo ’kṛta-nirveśaṁ
yatra daṇḍena śuddhyati

SYNONYMS

tataḥ — therefore; enam — him; daṇḍa-pāṇeḥ — of Yamarāja, who is authorized to punish; sakāśam — in the presence; kṛta-kilbiṣam — who has regularly committed all sinful activities; neṣyāmaḥ — we shall take; akṛta-nirveśam — who has not undergone atonement; yatra — where; daṇḍena — by punishment; śuddhyati — he will be purified.

TRANSLATION

This man Ajāmila did not undergo atonement. Therefore because of his sinful life, we must take him into the presence of Yamarāja for punishment. There, according to the extent of his sinful acts, he will be punished and thus purified.