Kannada Article by: Vadiraj Prasanna
English Rendering by: Yashaswini M R
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It is a popular belief that the path of Bhakti is an easy one to attain Bhagawath Saakshaatkaara. Let us study a story that upholds the significance of 'Bhakti maarga', a story that is very close to the hearts of 'Vishnu Bhaktas' -- the story of Ajaamila.
Once there lived a virtuous Brahmin by name Ajaamila in the city of Kanyakubja. He fell in love with a daasi and had 10 children from her. Of all his children, he was very affectionate towards his youngest son 'Naarayana'. This city of Kanyakubja was known for robbery, frauds, gambling and other such vices. Ajaamila too took to these vices. As he spent his life immersed in these activities, one fine day in his 85th year, death knocked at his door. Three terrifying and grisly-looking 'Yamadoothas' with 'Mrithyu-paasha' (weapon (rope) of death) in their hands appeared before him. Seeing them, Ajaamila immediately screamed for his son -"NAARAYANA!" At once appeared before him were divinely spectacular and enchanting 'Vishnudoothas'. A conversation ensued between Vishnudoothas and Yamadoothas and in the end the former chased away the latter and escorted Ajaamila to Vaikuntha - says the world renowned story.
The essence of this story as shown by Sriranga Mahaguru is worth reminiscing – "The story of Ajaamila has a philosophical significance. The appearance of the three Yamadoothas signifies the punishments he has to undergo for the copious sins committed in the three realms namely body, mind and speech. His ten children signify the ten Indriyas (sensory and motor organs). Ajaamila's beckoning his tenth son is indicative of his exceptional attachment to the tenth indriya."
"Further, Ajaamila's story needs to be studied thoroughly before summarizing. Ajaamila too was a 'Bhagavath Bhakta' who followed the virtuous path in his earlier years. He had whole-heartedly chanted the word Naarayana in the true sense of Paramatman several times earlier. But later, having been trapped in the company of vices, he led an animal's life. Although he called out his son's name in his deathbed, without his knowledge, his articulation turned out to be the real chanting of Narayana's Name; this was due entirely to his previous Samskaara. Only then did he have the darshana (divine sight) of Vishnudoothas. After having performed a penance on the banks of river ganga, repenting for his sins, he attained Vaikunta."
Whosoever chants the Supreme Lord's name 'Naarayana' with Bhakti is sure to be benefitted. If this habit somehow is inculcated, there is a possibility to learn and experience its real essence someday which helps in attaining Moksha. This is the reason its significance is glorified and revered.
Note: The Kannada version of this article can be viewed at AYVM blogs.
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