(1) The son of Vyâsadeva said: 'O King, after the servants of the Supreme Lord had heard what the Yamadûtas said, they replied as experts in the doctrine. (2) The Vishnudûtas said: 'Alas, how painful it is to see how irreligion affects the community of the knowers of dharma, to see how from those being allotted the task, sinless people unnecessarily have to undergo punishment. (3) To whom must the citizens turn for shelter if there is iniquity among those who as their protectors, endowed with all good qualities and equal to all, [want to] defend the law? (4) Whatever the better man does is copied by the rest of the population, whatever he does is by the general public accepted as the standard to follow [see also B.G. 3: 21]. (5-6) The common people not exactly knowing what would be dharma or adharma, lay their head in his lap to sleep in peace. How can a respectable person who kindly disposed towards everyone enjoys the trust of the living beings, cause pain to the ignorant mass that as a [herd of] animal[s] surrendered to him in good faith and friendship? (7) This person here has already atoned for the sins of millions of births because he, being helpless, chanted the holy name of the Lord, which is the way to attain [His] fortune. (8) When he said 'O Nârâyana, please come', he, thus pronouncing the four syllables [nâ-râ-ya-na], realized the complete atonement for all the mischief he as a sinner was guilty of. (9-10) Irrespective the gravity of the sin one might have committed as a thief, an alcoholic, as someone who betrays a friend, as a killer of a brahmin, as someone who lusted for his guru's wife or as a murderer of a woman, a king, cows or one's father, or as any other type of sinner, one will have the attention of Lord Vishnu because of one's concern with His name. He [Vishnu] considers the chanting of the holy name the perfection of atonement [*]. (11) A sinner is not as much purified by the atonement in keeping to vows that brahminically are prescribed as he is by uttering the syllables of the name of the Lord. For that repetition brings to mind the qualities of Uttamas'loka [the Lord Glorified in the Scriptures, compare 6.1: 16]. (12) Because the heart, despite of one's penance, is not completely purified [when one doesn't chant His name], the mind will tire itself again on the path of temporary matters. Therefore they who are seriously interested in putting an end to their karma [see B.G. 4: 16], purify their existence by repeating the glories of the Lord [compare 1.2: 17]. (13) Therefore do not try to take this man with you. Because he on his deathbed pronounced the name of the Supreme Lord he has already put behind him all his sins [see also B.G. 7: 27 and 8: 5]. (14) Know that, whether one does it for other purposes, for fun, as entertainment or just casually, resounding the name [of the Lord] of Vaikunthha carries an unlimited capacity to neutralize sin. (15) A person who has fallen, slipped, broken his bones, has been bitten, is plagued by a disease or struck, no [longer] deserves a hellish life when he thus involuntarily speaks [the name] of the Lord [see also B.G. 8: 6]. (16) Great sages well versed in the matter prescribe heavy and light penance for [respectively] heavy and light sins. (17) But all the sinfulness that according to them is vanquished by austerity, charity and vows and such, does not dissolve the effects of adharma in the heart [one's material desires or conditioning], for that is attained [only] in service of feet of the Lord. (18) Consciously or involuntarily chanting the name of Uttamas'loka burns to ashes the sins of a person, just like fire does with dry grass. (19) A mantra uttered, just like a powerful medicine taken, manifests its potency even when it somehow or other is used the proper way by an ignorant person.'
(20) S'rî S'uka said: 'They [the Vishnudûtas] perfectly making sure what dharma is in terms of devotional service o King, thus released him from the noose of Yamarâja and rescued him from the clutches of death. (21) O subduer of the enemies, the Yamadûtas thus replied went to the abode of Yamarâja to inform him faithfully in detail about everything that had happened. (22) The brahmin released from the noose, now free from fear regained his original nature and pleased to see them offered his respects bowing his head before the servants of Vishnu. (23) But the servants of the Supreme Personality understanding o sinless one, that he wanted to say something, suddenly disappeared before his eyes. (24-25) Ajâmila who because of the talks of Vishnu's and Yamarâja's servants about Lord Hari had learned more about what being pure of dharma in relation to the Lord [the Bhâgavatam] meant, how that is described in the three Vedas and how someone conditioned by the modes of nature in devotion unto the Supreme Lord immediately finds purification by listening to the glorification of His name, greatly regretted all the evil deeds he remembered: (26) 'Alas, because I lost the control over myself making babies with this low class woman, I destroyed all my brahminical qualities and ended up in utter misery. (27) Honest men will condemn him who has abandoned his chaste young wife to associate with an unchaste maid given to drinking. Doomed I am having fallen in sin and defamed my family! (28) My helpless old father and mother with no other relative to look after them, were distressed when I, ungrateful as someone with no class, alas gave up on them. (29) It may be clear that I who as such an extremely pitiless person all too lusty broke with the dharma, should land in hell to undergo there the pains of retribution. (30) Have I been dreaming or did I witness a miracle here? Where have all those gone to now, who were dragging me away with the noose in their hands? (31) And where have those perfect four personalities of extreme beauty gone to who released me when I being captured in ropes was carried away to hell? (32) Because having seen these exalted devotees auspicious things were bound to occur, I despite of my ill fortune found myself back again! (33) How else would a man impurely engaged with a lower class woman, on his deathbed be capable of having his tongue speak the holy name of the Lord of Vaikunthha? (34) Where am I as a cheater, sinner personified and a shameless destroyer of his own culture with this all-auspicious name of Lord Nârâyana? (35) I who was engaged in that way am decided to gain control over my senses, mind and breath, so that my soul not again because of ignorance will be drawn into the darkness. (36-37) Abandoning this being bound in karmic actions out of ignorance and lust, I as a self-realized, most kind, merciful and peaceful friend of all living entities, will free my soul from the encasement of being caught in mâyâ in the form of a woman, a woman who played with me, fallen as I was, like with a pet animal. (38) Thus giving up on the 'I' and 'mine' of the body and matters related to it, I will, without the falsehood, in meditation on the purpose devote my mind to the Supreme Lord with the help of the purification of singing His name and such.'
(39) He, being freed from all bondage by only for a moment associating with the saintly devotees, thus relinquished the idea of a material life and went to the place where the Ganges enters the plains [Hardvar as 'the doorway to Hari']. (40) Residing there in an abode for disciplining the spirit [an ashram or temple] he, engaging in yoga exercises, turned inwards away from his senses and fixed his mind on the true self. (41) Fully absorbed in that self he detached himself from the [direction of] the modes [the time], and devoted himself to the Absolute in the form of the Lord who is pure consciousness. (42) As soon as his mind and intelligence found their anchor, he saw before him the very same [four divine] personalities he formerly had seen, whereupon the brahmin reverentially bowed his head. (43) He at that holy place at the Ganges seeing them, immediately gave up his vehicle of time, his body, to assume the original spiritual form [svarûpa] that befits an associate of the Lord. (44) The man of knowledge together with the servants of the Lord then boarded a celestial chariot [vimâna] made of gold and went to heaven where the husband of the Goddess of Fortune [Vishnu] resides. (45) He who had forsaken all dharma, who had married a low class maid, had fallen into abominable activities, had broken with all his vows and had landed in a hellish life, thus immediately found liberation the moment he relied on the name of the Supreme Lord. (46) Therefore, in order not to get attached again to fruitive activities with a mind contaminated by passion and ignorance, there is for persons desiring to escape from material bondage no better means to cut with the karmic consequence than the repeated singing of the name of Him who is the refuge of all holy places. (47-48) Any person who with faith hears about or with great devotion recounts this confidential history which frees one from all sins, will not judged by the servants of Yamarâja be lead to hell, but will be welcomed in the spiritual world of Vishnu, whatever inauspicious thing [he did in his material life]. (49) If Ajâmila at the time of his death by using the name of the Lord went to heaven, even though he meant his son, then what wouldn't that mean for the one who with love and faith holds on to the name?'