deenan dukh haran dev sa.ntan hitakaarii
ajaamiil giidh byaadh iname.n kah kaun saadh
pa.nchhii ko pada pa.Dhaat gaNikaasii taarii ..1..
dhruv ke sar chhatra det prahlaad ko ubaar let
bhakt het baa.Ndhyo set la.nkapurii jaarii ..2..
taNDul det riijh jaat saag paat so.n aghaat
ginat nahi.n juuThe phal khaaTe miiThe khaarii ..3..
itane hari aaye gaye basanan aaruu.Dh bhaye
suuradaas dvaare kha.Do aa.Ndharo bhikaarii ..4..
Some mythological stories to help understand the bhajan.
i. 'ajaamila' (Sanskrit name) is a character from the Srimad
Bhagavatam. The story, as I remember it, in short is that
Ajamila is a braahmaN who gets involved with a woman of
loose morals, gives up his family and begins living with
this woman and in the process ends up leading a life full
of 'sin'. As Ajamila is lying on his death bed, he sees
the horrifying spectre of a yamadoota approaching him (in
order to take away his life breath) and this causes him
to remember and scream out the name of the person dearest
to him in his life, his young son -- "naaraayaNa, naaraayaNa!"
That's it! A viShNudoota roaming nearby overhears this,
thinks this poor man is invoking Vishnu's name and drives
away the yamadoota (so Ajamila gets a new lease of life!).
Eventually, Ajamila regrets his bad deeds, renounces the
world, and accumulating punya due to his penitence and
penance that he ends up going to heaven! The moral of the
story supposedly is that if you invoke the name of the Lord
even by proxy as Ajamila did, your 'sins are washed away'.
I'm not sure I agree about this moral part, but okay, whatever!
ii. "giidh": refers to jaTaayu. While he was born in the lowly
life-form of a vulture he is said to have been blessed by Rama
at the time of his death. Rama himself performed the last rites
for jaTaayu. Well known story from Ramayana.
iii. "byaadh": bird-hunter (baheliyaa in Hindi) a very sinful
profession according to Hindu sacred-books. Here it refers to
the byaadh named Ratnaakar, who had a change of heart
after sage Narada enlightened him, and became sage Valmiki,
the legendary author of the Ramayana.
According to some other commentaries, the "byaadh" might also
refer to the hunter who shot Krishna in the heel thus
causing his departure from the mortal world (i.e., 'death').
This byaadh was blessed by Krishna just before he left for
his heavenly abode.
iv. gaNikaa : courtesan/harlot. "When parashuraam vaishya
died of asthma, his wife left him, choosing to become a
courtesan/prostitute instead. But she taught her pet parrot
to say 'raama', and in teaching this word to the bird,
ended up reciting it umpteen times. Thanks to having
repeatedly uttered raamanaam with a pure heart (i.e., with
no 'personal' gain in mind, except for teaching the bird),
she was blessed and received "mukti" after her
v. sudaamaa : well-known story of Krishna's poor classmate.
Krishna ate the grains of rice Sudama brought him as a gift,
and blessed him with "health, wealth and eternal happiness",
vi. vidura and his wife : again a well-known story from the
Mahabharata and the Srimadbhagavatam. Vidura's wife
offered plain saag-paat (banana peels according to another
version) to Krishna which he relished and (of course)
blessed the host and hostess in return.
vii. shabarii : old tribeswoman from the Ramayana,
offered fruits that she had tasted herself (and thus
turned "juuThe") to Rama. Her unconventional,
and simple-minded, yet pure-hearted loving "aatithya"
(=hospitality) towards Rama led him, needless to say,
to grant her the boon of salvation.
viii. draupadii : when this helpless queen of pandavas was at the
point of being disrobed publicly, she cried out, calling Krishna for
help, who immediately stationed himself ("aaruuDh bhaye") in her
garments (vasanan) to the effect that duHshaasan,
who was rumoured to have the might of thousands of
elephants in his arms, could not pull the garment
away from her.
ix. gaja : refers to the story of gajendramoksha (Srimad-
bhagavatam). The elephant kind, Gajendra, struggles
against an alligator which had caught his (Gajendra's)
foot as he was drinking water. As it becomes apparent
to Gajendra that he is fighting a losing battle
about to be sucked into the water, he petitions
to come to his rescue. Which Vishnu promptly does riding
his Garuda. Gajendra is granted freedom not only from the
jaws of the crocodile, but also from the jaws of this
mortal world (=moksha). ##