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Posted at 08:16:31 IST on Mar 21, 2010

Storyline for the 6th Session delivered on the 3rd day of the Yajna, on the evening of 19th Mar 2010

As presented by Srikanth Khanna

Sri Rituraj Maharaj started his talk with the definition of a Sthitha Prajna. He noted that Sthitha Prajna is one who is unperturbed by either the pain of grief or the thrill of joy.

He also noted that man creates a heaven or hell for himself entirely by his own attitude; true loss (Vipaththi) is when he forgets the Divine while constant remembrance of God is the true wealth (Sampaththi).

Then the renowned scholar recounted the story of Ajamila from the 6th canto of the Srimad Bhagawatam which highlights the prescribed duties of mankind.

Ajamila was a virtuous Brahmin living in the city of Kanyakubja. He was well trained in Vedas and had earned good name as a righteous person. Once, while he was returning home from the forest, he happened to see a public woman in the lustful company of a Sudra. Enamored by her, he gave up his duties to his wife and parents.

This story stands as a testimony to how circumstances and bad company can totally wreck a man. Ajamila changed completely thereafter. He married this unchaste woman and to please her, he even started thieving and killing innocent people.

One day, a group of saints were passing by that village and they wanted to take shelter in a righteous household. The villagers directed them to Ajamila’s house as he was known to be a noble Brahmin.

But when the saints actually met Ajamila’s wife, they came to know that Ajamila was a thief. In spite of that, they insisted on staying there for the night.

When Ajamila returned, he was perplexed about their presence. But his wife allowed them to stay there and perform their ritualistic worship. It was the first time that an idol of God was installed in their dwelling and the whole environment sanctified by the presence of saintly people.

When the saints were finally about to leave, they requested the lady to name their next son as “Narayana”.

A son was born and being the youngest, “Narayana” was very dear to both the parents. When it was finally time for Ajamila’s death, as the Yamadoots approached, Ajamila called out to his son Narayana. Though the child could not respond, the compassionate Lord did. Since Ajamila seemingly remembered Lord Narayana’s name in his final moments, Vishnudoots arrived immediately and prevented Yama’s attendants from taking Ajamila to hell.

When the Yamadoots reported this apparent violation of the righteous code to Yama Dharma, he explained to them that Ajamila had atoned for all his sins the moment he uttered the Divine name. He also chided them that rules couldnot bind the One who has created the entire cosmos.

At this point, Ajamila realized his folly and the unconditional Grace of the Lord that had rescued him in spite of all his sins. He gave up his negative tendencies and immersed himself in Sadhana to attain the Lotus Feet of Hari.

The noted speaker went on to narrating the story of Vritrasura. Viswaroopa, the son of Thwashta Prajapati, was slayed by Indra for stealing a portion of the sacred offerings. Twashta, then performed a sacrifice to get a son who would take revenge, killing Indra. As Twashta did not chant the mantra correctly, he instead begot a son Vritra who would be killed by Indra.

When Vritra realized that Indra’s weapon Vajra, actually embodied the prowess of Narayana because of the penance of Dadhîci, he invited Indra to use it. Vritrasura prayed: “Just like a small bird looking for its mother, just like a calf being hungry looking for the udder, just like a wife waiting for her husband, just as eager is my mind to see You, O lotus-eyed One.” When he was finally struck by Indra, a light emanated and merged in Lord Narayana. Indra got back the ruler ship of the heaven, but it was Vritra’s victory which was greater as he won over the Lord’s heart.

At this juncture, the speaker also highlighted the purity and devotion of the boatman who requested Lord Rama to allow him to wash His Divine Feet. Kevat said that while he ferries people across the river, Lord Rama helps them cross the ocean of Sansara – hence, both of them belong to the same profession!

Then, through an anecdote related to Emperor Akbar and Tansen, Maharaj Ji also brought forth the sweetness of Lord’s name. As Akbar stood puzzled at the melody in Haridas’s voice, Tansen explained that the difference lies in the fact that while Tansen sang for the Emperor of Delhi, Haridas sang for the Lord of the entire Universe!