Officers of Law Enforcement
One who has the power to punish others should not punish everyone. There are innumerable living entities, most of whom are in the spiritual world and are nitya-mukta, everlastingly liberated. There is no question of judging these liberated living beings. Only a small fraction of the living entities, perhaps one fourth, are in the material world. And the major portion of the living entities in the material world—8,000,000 of the 8,400,000 forms of life—are lower than human beings. They are not punishable, for under the laws of material nature they are automatically evolving. Human beings, who are advanced in consciousness, are responsible for their actions, but not all humans are punishable. Those engaged in advanced pious activities are beyond punishment. Only those who engage in sinful activities are punishable. Therefore the Visnudutas particularly inquired about the criteria Yamaraja uses to determine who is punishable and who is not. How is one to be judged? What is the basic principle of authority? These are the questions raised by the Visnudutas.
The Yamadutas felt that they were faultless because they were following the orders of Yamaraja, who himself is faultless. Just because a magistrate has to direct the punishment of those who transgress the law does not mean the magistrate is a criminal. He is a representative of the government. Similarly, although Yamaraja has jurisdiction over the regions of hell and deals with all sinful persons, he is a pure representative of Krsna and simply executes the order of his master.
A police constable is supposed to know the law and whom to arrest for breaking the law. If he arrests anyone and everyone, then he himself is a criminal. He may not arrest the law-abiding citizens. Similarly, the Yamadutas cannot take away just anyone and everyone to the court of Yamaraja. They can take only the nondevotees to be punished for their sinful acts. Yamaraja has especially cautioned the Yamadutas not to approach Vaisnavas.
However, because Ajamila had been very sinful, the Yamadutas could not understand why he should not be considered a criminal and be brought to Yamaraja for punishment.
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