The sins Ajamila had committed placed him within the jurisdiction of Yamaraja, the supreme judge appointed to consider the sins of the living entities. When forbidden to touch Ajamila, the order-carriers of Yamaraja were surprised, because within all the three worlds no one had ever before hindered them in the execution of their duty.
The Visnudutas were coming from Vaikuntha, and they appeared extraordinary, each with four arms. The servants of Yamaraja immediately received them with respect. They had no idea which planet the Visnudutas had come from, so they simply suggested, “You must have come from a very exalted planet, but why are you interfering with our business? We are Yamadutas. It is our duty to arrest every sinful man, and Ajamila has committed misdeeds throughout his life. Now, at the end of his life, we are authorized to take him to Yamaraja, the son of Vivasvan, the sun-god, so why are you preventing us?”
The most significant word used in verse 32 is siddha-sattamah, which means “the best of the perfect.” In the Bhagavad-gita (7.3) it is said, manusyanam sahasresu kascid yatati siddhaye: out of millions of persons, one may try to become siddha, perfect—or, in other words, self-realized. A self-realized person knows that he is not the body but a spiritual soul (aham brahmasmi). At present almost no one is aware of this fact, but one who understands this has attained perfection and is therefore called siddha. When one understands that the soul is part and parcel of the Supreme Soul and one thus engages in the devotional service of the Supreme Soul, one becomes siddha-sattama. One is then eligible to live in Vaikuntha or Krsnaloka. The word siddha-sattama, therefore, refers to a pure devotee of the Lord.
Since the Yamadutas are servants of Yamaraja, who is also one of the siddha-sattamas, they knew that a siddha-sattama is above the demigods and sub-demigods and, indeed, above all the living entities within this material world. The Yamadutas therefore inquired why the Visnudutas were preventing them from carrying out the orders of such an exalted soul as Yamaraja.
It should also be noted that Ajamila was not yet dead, for the Yamadutas had been stopped before they could snatch the soul from his heart. Ajamila was simply on the verge of death as the argument progressed between the Yamadutas and the Visnudutas. The conclusion of that argument was to be a decision regarding who would claim the soul of Ajamila.
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