yadi syur bahavo loke
kasya syatam na va kasya
mrtyus camrtam eva va
yadi—if; syuh—there are; bahavah—many; loke—in this world; sastarah—rulers or controllers; danda-dharinah—who punish the sinful men; kasya—of whom; syatam—there may be; na—not; va—or; kasya—of whom; mrtyuh—distress or unhappiness; ca—and; amrtam—happiness; eva—certainly; va—or.
If in this universe there are many rulers and justices who disagree about punishment and reward, their contradictory actions will neutralize each other, and no one will be punished or rewarded. Otherwise, if their contradictory acts fail to neutralize each other, everyone will have to be both punished and rewarded.
Because the Yamadutas had been unsuccessful in carrying out the order of Yamaraja, they doubted whether Yamaraja actually had the power to punish the sinful. Although they had gone to arrest Ajamila, following Yamaraja’s order, they found themselves unsuccessful because of the order of some higher authority. Therefore they were unsure of whether there were many authorities or only one. If there were many authorities who gave different judgments, which could be contradictory, a person might be wrongly punished or wrongly rewarded, or he might be neither punished nor rewarded. According to our experience in the material world, a person punished in one court may appeal to another. Thus the same man may be either punished or rewarded according to different judgments. However, in the law of nature or the court of the Supreme Personality of Godhead there cannot be such contradictory judgments. The judges and their judgments must be perfect and free from contradictions. Actually the position of Yamaraja was very awkward in the case of Ajamila because the Yamadutas were right in attempting to arrest Ajamila, but the Visnudutas had baffled them. Although Yamaraja, under these circumstances, was accused by both the Visnudutas and the Yamadutas, he is perfect in administering justice because he is empowered by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore he will explain what his real position is and how everyone is controlled by the supreme controller, the Personality of Godhead.
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