The Jurisdiction of Yamaraja
In this regard, Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura quotes the following verse from the prayers of Lord Brahma (Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.14.29):
athapi te deva padambuja-dvaya-
prasada-lesanugrhita eva hi
janati tattvam bhagavan-mahimno
na canya eko ’pi ciram vicinvan
The purport is that even though one is a very learned scholar of the Vedic sastras, he may be completely unaware of the existence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and His name, fame, qualities, and so forth, whereas one who is not a great scholar can understand the position of the Supreme Personality of Godhead if he somehow or other becomes a pure devotee of the Lord by engaging in devotional service. Therefore in verse 26 Yamaraja says, evam vimrsya sudhiyo bhagavati: those who engage in the loving service of the Lord become sudhiyah, intelligent, but this is not so of a Vedic scholar who does not understand Krsna’s name, fame, and qualities. A pure devotee is one whose intelligence is clear; he is truly thoughtful, because he engages in the service of the Lord—not as a matter of show but with love, with his mind, words, and body. Nondevotees may make a show of religion, but it is not very effective, because although they ostentatiously attend a temple or church, they are thinking of something else. Such persons are neglecting their religious duty and are punishable by Yamaraja. But a devotee who commits sinful acts unwillingly or accidentally, because of his former habits, is excused. That is the value of the sankirtana movement.
In effect, Yamaraja warned his servants, “My dear servants, henceforward you must stop disturbing the devotees. The devotees who have surrendered unto the lotus feet of the Lord and who constantly chant His holy name are praised by the demigods and the residents of Siddhaloka. Those devotees are so respectable and exalted that Lord Visnu personally protects them with the club in His hand. If you approach such devotees, He will kill you with that club. What to speak of you, if even Lord Brahma or I were to punish them, Lord Visnu would punish us. Therefore do not disturb the devotees any further.”
After warning the Yamadutas in this way, Yamaraja then indicates who is to be brought before him. He specifically advises the Yamadutas to bring to him materialistic persons attached to household life merely for sex. As stated in the Srimad-Bhagavatam (7.9.45), yan maithunadi-grhamedhi-sukham hi tuccham: people are attached to household life only for sex pleasure, which is very insignificant. They are always harassed in many ways by their material engagements for making money to maintain their families, and their only happiness is that after working very hard all day, at night they sleep and indulge in sex. Yamaraja specifically advises his servants to bring these persons to him for punishment and not to bring the devotees, who always lick the honey from the lotus feet of the Lord, who are equal to everyone, and who try to preach Krsna consciousness out of sympathy for all living entities. Devotees are not liable to be punished by Yamaraja, but persons who have no information of Krsna consciousness cannot be protected by their material life of so-called family enjoyment. The Srimad-Bhagavatam (2.1.4) says,
Materialistic persons complacently believe that their nations, communities, or families can protect them, unaware that all such fallible soldiers will be destroyed in due course of time.
In conclusion, one should try to associate with persons who engage in devotional service twenty-four hours a day. Then one can come to know the purpose of human life, which is to please Lord Visnu. Varnasrama-dharma is also meant for that purpose. As stated in the Visnu Purana (3.8.9):
Human society is meant to follow strictly the varnasrama-dharma, which divides society into four social divisions (brahmana, ksatriya, vaisya, and sudra) and four spiritual divisions (brahmacarya, grhastha, vanaprastha, and sannyasa). Varnasrama-dharma easily brings one nearer to Lord Visnu, who is the only true objective in human society. Na te viduh svartha-gatim hi visnum: [SB 7.5.31] unfortunately, however, people do not know that their self-interest is to return home, back to Godhead, or to approach Lord Visnu. Durasaya ye bahir-artha-maninah: instead, they are simply bewildered by Krsna’s external, illusory energy. Every human being is expected to perform duties meant for approaching Lord Visnu. Therefore Yamaraja advises the Yamadutas to bring him only those persons who have forgotten their duties toward Visnu. One who does not chant the holy name of Visnu or Krsna, who does not bow down to the Deity of the Lord, and who does not remember His lotus feet is punishable by Yamaraja. In summary, all avaisnavas, persons unconcerned with Lord Visnu, are punishable by Yamaraja.
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