In a scripture called Srimad Bhagwat we come across a story of Ajamil, the great sinner who got redemption after witnessing his brief death and then surviving for another year. The story goes like this: Ajamil was very pious and a learned scholar in his youth. While collecting flowers in the garden for the worship by his father he happened to look at a prostitute and a man, both drunk and enjoying themselves in a lonely place. Immediately his mind got corrupted and he too started going to prostitutes. After some time he left his family abandoning his duties towards his family and settled with a prostitute. He adopted such occupations as gambling, drinking, stealing, etcetera. He had several children with her, and he named his last son Narayan (a name of God). At last he was on his death-bed and was about to die. As he was a great sinner the messenger of the Lord of Death (Yama) approached him to collect his spirit to be taken to hell. Seeing their dreadful faces he called out his youngest son, Narayan. Suddenly there appeared angels, too, with shining bodies and soft faces. The angels stopped the messengers of the Lord of Death from collecting Ajamil’s soul as he called out the name of God. The messengers were helpless before the angels and went away. The angels, too, didn’t take up his soul and after some time Ajamil regained his senses and thought over the incident. He broke all his ties with kith and kin and slashed all his worldly attachments and left to a holy place where for one year he developed total devotion to God and earned salvation.
It is clear from the above story that merely a glance at the copulation of a couple can bring the downfall of a pious person such as Ajamil. Though in the end he called out his son by the name Narayan, not God, as such he was not fit for salvation. It is only through seeing his brief death and his survival thereafter, and seeing the angels and the messengers of the Lord of Death, that he became wise. Thus, he achieved his salvation.
There is another story of a deluded Yogi who was the priest of a temple at the out-skirts of a village, devoted to the Supreme Goddess. There he was appointed by his spiritual teacher. Soon he got attracted to an unmarried cow-maid who came around the temple to let her cattle graze. In due course she got pregnant and when it became a visible case, she was asked by her parents about the person responsible for her pregnancy. She named the priest. Sensing the trouble the priest cut off his organ. After several days when the family of the girl approached him along with the villagers and asked the confirmation by the priest, he denied it and told that he had sacrificed his manhood to the deity long back. But afraid of further problems and insult he left the village and settled in a far away village. There he became a famous saint and people started coming to seek his blessings. A childless married lady while touching his feet in reverence murmured that she will come that night to meet him. As night fell, the fellow who saw her approaching jumped in the pond and drowned. Hopefully, he has taken better care in his next life.
I, too, had fallen from my ideals notionally for about 3-4 months before the enlightenment on 4 July 1977. A brief death of about 4-5 minutes, witnessed by me on 20 August 1977 at the age of 32, made me wise enough to entrust myself (surrender) to God and to save me from worldly illusions. Now I don’t want redemption of my soul from God, but how best I can serve Him vis-à-vis the whole of mankind, because he is residing in the heart of each one of us. Moreover, for my awakening I shall remain ever grateful the God and indebted to His (incredible) compassion.
On the internet there are many cases of survival after clinical death and doctors asking the survivors their experiences of death and their feelings. Usually their descriptions are vivid according to their concepts of life after death. Certainly those who experienced brief death and survived, started leading a different life and remain in a cheerful mood afterwards.
Similarly a deluded Yogi (an aspirant of spirituality) observing a life of celibacy may be attracted to immoral acts temporarily. He may be corrected by destiny in the same life or in his next life.
Such a brief fall from ideals is most welcome when it results in deep and total faith in the Supreme Power, God, and His compassionate nature.
SP Sharma, India
I was born on 8 December 1945 and had self-realisation on 20 August 1977 at the age of 32. Thereafter I automatically shifted to the devotion path and a sort of relationship developed with God. Starting as a servant to God, then friendliness with God and then started liking God in child form. There is nothing left except to enjoy divine love and feel its presence in the whole world.