TEXT 21
kanyakubje dvijah kascid
dasi-patir ajamilah
namna nasta-sadacaro
dasyah samsarga-dusitah
SYNONYMS
kanya-kubje—in the city of Kanyakubja (Kanauj, a town near Kanpur); dvijahbrahmana; kascit—some; dasi-patih—the husband of a low-class woman or prostitute; ajamilahAjamila; namna—by name; nasta-sat-acarah—who lost all brahminical qualities; dasyah—of the prostitute or maidservant; samsarga-dusitah—contaminated by the association.
TRANSLATION
In the city known as Kanyakubja there was a brahmana named Ajamila who married a prostitute maidservant and lost all his brahminical qualities because of the association of that low-class woman.
PURPORT
The fault of illicit connection with women is that it makes one lose all brahminical qualities. In India there is still a class of servants, called sudras, whose maidservant wives are called sudranis. Sometimes people who are very lusty establish relationships with such maidservants and sweeping women, since in the higher statuses of society they cannot indulge in the habit of woman hunting, which is strictly prohibited by social convention. Ajamila, a qualified brahmana youth, lost all his brahminical qualities because of his association with a prostitute, but he was ultimately saved because he had begun the process of bhakti-yoga. Therefore in the previous verse, Sukadeva Gosvami spoke of the person who has only once surrendered himself at the lotus feet of the Lord (manah krsna-padaravindayoh) or has just begun the bhakti-yoga process. Bhakti-yoga begins with sravanam kirtanam visnoh [SB 7.5.23], hearing and chanting of Lord Visnu’s names, as in the maha-mantraHare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. Chanting is the beginning of bhakti-yoga. Therefore Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu declares:
harer nama harer nama
harer namaiva kevalam
kalau nasty eva nasty eva
nasty eva gatir anyatha
[Adi 17.21]
“In this age of quarrel and hypocrisy the only means of deliverance is chanting the holy name of the Lord. There is no other way. There is no other way. There is no other way.” The process of chanting the holy name of the Lord is always superbly effective, but it is especially effective in this age of Kali. Its practical effectiveness will now be explained by Sukadeva Gosvami through the history of Ajamila, who was freed from the hands of the Yamadutas simply because of chanting the holy name of Narayana. Pariksit Maharaja’s original question was how to be freed from falling down into hell or into the hands of the Yamadutas. In reply, Sukadeva Gosvami is citing this old historical example to convince Pariksit Maharaja of the potency of bhakti-yoga, which begins simply with the chanting of the Lord’s name. All the great authorities of bhakti-yoga recommend the devotional process beginning with the chanting of the holy name of Krsna (tan-nama-grahanadibhih).

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