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SC 22: The Glories Of the Holy Name

Yamarāja Prays for Pardon

Lord Yamarāja took upon himself the responsibility for the offense committed by his servants. If the servant of an establishment makes a mistake, the establishment takes responsibility for it. Although Yamarāja is above offenses, his servants, practically with his permission, went to arrest Ajāmila, which was a great offense. The nyāya-śāstra confirms, bhṛtyāparādhe svāmīno daṇḍah: "If a servant makes an offense, the master is punishable." Taking this seriously, Yamarāja, along with his servants, prayed with folded hands to be excused by the Supreme Lord, Nārāyaṇa.

Achieving Perfection

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. However, as we have mentioned several times before, no one should conclude that he may continue to sin with the intention of chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa to neutralize the reactions. Rather, one should be very careful to remain 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 may very easily practice chanting and hearing the holy name of the Lord and thus become ecstatic in spiritual life. The Padma Purāṇa states,

nāmāparādha-yuktānāṁ
nāmāny eva haranty agham
aviśrānti-prayuktāni
tāny evārtha-karāṇi ca

Even if one chants the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra offensively, one can nullify these offenses by continuously chanting without deviation. One who becomes accustomed to this practice will always remain in a pure transcendental position, untouchable by sinful reactions.

A devotee's duty is to chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. One may sometimes chant with offenses and sometimes without offenses, but if one seriously adopts this process, he will achieve perfection, which cannot be achieved through Vedic ritualistic ceremonies of atonement. Persons who are attached to the Vedic ritualistic ceremonies but do not believe in devotional service, who advise atonement but do not appreciate the chanting of the Lord's holy name, fail to achieve the highest perfection. Devotees, therefore, being completely detached from material enjoyment, never give up Kṛṣṇa consciousness for Vedic ritualistic ceremonies. Those who are attached to Vedic ritualistic ceremonies because of lusty desires are subjected to the tribulations of material existence again and again.

Since this incident, the Yamadūtas have given up the dangerous behavior of approaching devotees. For the Yamadūtas, a devotee is dangerous.