Those who are under the control of rajo-guṇa and tamo-guṇa, they are engaged in ugra-karma, ugra-karma: industrial enterprise, big, big roads, big, big skyscraper. This is called ugra-karma. So ugra-karma is very pleasing to the ugra-jātis (just like) Hiraṇyakaśipu. What was the trouble between the father and the son? The father was for ugra-karma, and the son, Prahlāda, was for sattvika life. So when Prahlāda Mahārāja engaged himself in sattvika life, not only sattvika, śuddha-sattvika... In the material world there are three guṇas: sattvika, rajasika, tamasika. The sattvika is the best. So, and devotional activity is śuddha-sattvika, where there is no contamination. In the material world, sattvika, a person who is a brāhmaṇa, he may be contaminated by tamo-guṇa and rajo-guṇa. Just like Ajāmila. He was the son of a brāhmaṇa, and he was executing the brahmacarya regulation very nicely, but he became infected with rajo-guṇa and tamo-guṇa, became attached to a prostitute and left everything, all brahminical qualification, and he became a rogue, thief, cheater, drunkard, woman-hunter, so on. There are many instances. And Jagāi-Mādhāi, they were born of very good brāhmaṇa family, rich family, but with bad association they became drunkard, woman-hunter, meat-eater. Now these things have become common thing. Avaidha-strī-saṅga, illicit connection with woman, and meat-eating and drinking, it has become a daily fashion. But formerly, at least five hundred years ago, these things were accepted as most abominable.
Ajamila, in his boyhood, practiced chanting the name of Narayana under the direction of his father, but later, in his youth, he fell down and became a drunkard, woman-hunter, rogue and thief
SB Canto 6
In the city known as Kānyakubja there was a brāhmaṇa named Ajāmila who married a prostitute maidservant and lost all his brahminical qualities because of the association of that low-class woman.
The fault of illicit connection with women is that it makes one lose all brahminical qualities. In India there is still a class of servants, called śūdras, whose maidservant wives are called śūdrāṇīs. Sometimes people who are very lusty establish relationships with such maidservants and sweeping women, since in the higher statuses of society they cannot indulge in the habit of woman hunting, which is strictly prohibited by social convention. Ajāmila, a qualified brāhmaṇa youth, lost all his brahminical qualities because of his association with a prostitute, but he was ultimately saved because he had begun the process of bhakti-yoga. Therefore in the previous verse, Śukadeva Gosvāmī spoke of the person who has only once surrendered himself at the lotus feet of the Lord (manaḥ kṛṣṇa-padāravindayoḥ) or has just begun the bhakti-yoga process. Bhakti-yoga begins with śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ (SB 7.5.23), hearing and chanting of Lord Viṣṇu's names, as in the mahā-mantra—Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. Chanting is the beginning of bhakti-yoga.
SB Canto 8
It is imperative, therefore, that all devotees in Kṛṣṇa consciousness practice chanting some mantra. Certainly one should chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, which is the mahā-mantra, or great mantra, and also one should practice chanting cintāmaṇi-prakara-sadmasu or the Nṛsiṁha strotra (ito nṛsiṁhaḥ parato nṛsiṁho yato yato yāmi tato nṛsiṁhaḥ). Every devotee should practice in order to chant some mantra perfectly so that even though he may be imperfect in spiritual consciousness in this life, in his next life he will not forget Kṛṣṇa consciousness, even if he becomes an animal. Of course, a devotee should try to perfect his Kṛṣṇa consciousness in this life, for simply by understanding Kṛṣṇa and His instructions, after giving up this body one can return home, back to Godhead. Even if there is some falldown, practice of Kṛṣṇa consciousness never goes in vain. For example, Ajāmila, in his boyhood, practiced chanting the name of Nārāyaṇa under the direction of his father, but later, in his youth, he fell down and became a drunkard, woman-hunter, rogue and thief. Nonetheless, because of chanting the name of Nārāyaṇa for the purpose of calling his son, whom he had named Nārāyaṇa, he became advanced, even though he was involved in sinful activities. Therefore, we should not forget the chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra under any circumstances. It will help us in the greatest danger, as we find in the life of Gajendra.
Nectar of Devotion Lectures
Pradyumna: "This is confirmed in all Vedic literatures. The Bhagavad-gītā says that a little advancement in bhakti-rasa can save the devotee from the greatest danger, that of missing the opportunity for human life."
Prabhupāda: Yes. Svalpam apy asya dharmasya trāyate mahato bhayāt. Just Ajāmila. Ajāmila in his boyhood, he was very sincere brāhmaṇa. He was conducting devotional service under the direction of his father. But in youthhood, he fell down. He became a victim of a prostitute. He forgot everything. He became a rogue, drunkard, meat-eater, woman-hunter, all fallen down. But at the end of life, when he was afraid of the Yamadūtas, out of fearfulness he called for his youngest son whose name was Nārāyaṇa. Because when you are in danger, naturally... Just like a child, cries for the mother. Because mother is the only... Similarly affection is there. Similarly this Ajāmila asked for the youngest child: "Nārāyaṇa." But immediately he remembered that Nārāyaṇa whom he served in his boyhood. So immediately the Nārāyaṇa messengers came and saved him. Svalpam apy. He, he executed very little service in his boyhood as a devotee. That saved him from the greatest danger. He was being dragged out by the men of Yamarāja, but the Viṣṇudūtas came and protected him and took him to Vaikuṇṭha. Svalpam apy asya dharmasya trāyate mahato bhayāt. By by chance, he remembered Nārāyaṇa because he executed Nārāyaṇa's service. Then he was saved.