aho kaṣṭaṁ dharma-dṛśām
adharmaḥ spṛśate sabhām
daṇḍo yair dhriyate vṛthā
śrī-viṣṇudūtāḥ ūcuḥ—the Viṣṇudūtas said; aho—alas; kaṣṭam—how painful it is; dharma-dṛśām—of persons interested in maintaining religion; adharmaḥ—irreligion; spṛśate—is affecting; sabhām—the assembly; yatra—wherein; adaṇḍyeṣu—upon persons not to be punished; apāpeṣu—who are sinless; daṇḍaḥ—punishment; yaiḥ—by whom; dhriyate—is being allotted; vṛthā—unnecessarily.
The Viṣṇudūtas said: Alas, how painful it is that irreligion is being introduced into an assembly where religion should be maintained. Indeed, those in charge of maintaining the religious principles are needlessly punishing a sinless, unpunishable person.
The Viṣṇudūtas accused the Yamadūtas of violating the religious principles by attempting to drag Ajāmila to Yamarāja for punishment. Yamarāja is the officer appointed by the Supreme Personality of Godhead to judge religious and irreligious principles and to punish people who are irreligious. However, if completely sinless people are punished, the entire assembly of Yamarāja is contaminated. This principle applies not only in the assembly of Yamarāja, but throughout human society also.
In human society, properly maintaining religious principles is the duty of the king’s court or the government. Unfortunately, in this yuga, Kali-yuga, the religious principles are tampered with, and the government cannot properly judge who is to be punished and who is not. It is said that in the Kali-yuga if one cannot spend money in court, one cannot get justice. Indeed, in courts of justice it is often found that magistrates are bribed for favorable judgments. Sometimes religious men who preach the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement for the benefit of the entire populace are arrested and harassed by the police and courts. The Viṣṇudūtas, who are Vaiṣṇavas, lamented for these very regrettable facts. Because of their spiritual compassion for all the fallen souls, Vaiṣṇavas go out to preach according to the standard method of all religious principles, but unfortunately, because of the influence of Kali-yuga, Vaiṣṇavas who have dedicated their lives to preaching the glories of the Lord are sometimes harassed and punished by courts on false charges of disturbing the peace.
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