Each one has to face the consequences of one’s acts, good or evil. Ajamila’s life swerved from good to evil. He lived his early life in accordance to scriptures but fell into evil ways in due course. At the time of death when confronted with the messengers of Yama, out of sheer fear, he called out to his youngest son Narayana. Immediately, the servants of Yama were prevented from taking hold of him by the messengers of Vishnu.
When the servants of Yama were prevented from taking custody of the dying Ajamila, they were disappointed and frustrated at their ineffective mission, especially when this was a clear case of sinful life. Sri Vishnu’s messengers pointed out that the name Narayana had the power to dissolve the sinful or evil elements in a person just as a powerful medicine is effective regardless of whether the person taking it is aware of its properties. When Ajamila uttered the name Narayana, he was purified and his sins were burnt as wood by fire.
Yama’s messengers now were confused. They questioned Yama about his authority. Was not their master entrusted with the power to judge the right and wrong impartially? How come it now appears there are others to overrule his orders, and revoke the punishment he had ordained? The messengers of Vishnu who appeared by the side of Ajamila were protecting him from being taken by Yama’s messengers.
The greatness of the Lord’s name and the esoteric truth of Bhagavata Dharma of surrender to the Lord are explained by Yama to his messengers in this context. This dharma is most confidential, esoteric and known only to a select group of people of which Yama is one.
Yama says: “Greater than me is the Supreme Lord, whose omnipotence sustains the entire universe, including me and my retinue. He is the abode of all the sentient and insentient beings and objects. His subtle presence is not to be gained through the senses. His servants take stock of the entire upkeep of the universe and are ever ready to protect those who remain devoted to Him.”
Source: The Hindu