"Oh! So you sin all you want and then just call out to Narayana and you can get away with it?" the dancers debated as we rehearsed for the dance drama on a Bhagavatam character Ajamila.
A learned Brahmin, he spots a prostitute with another man and loses all sense of balance. He leaves his family behind to dally with her and commits all sorts of sins to get the money to keep her and his insatiable need for pleasures. At 88, Yama decides to claim his life, and Ajamila calls out in fear to Narayana, his youngest son whom he loved dearly. That was enough to awaken Narayana, who sends his dootas to protect the one who called out to Him.
Realising the bountiful grace of Narayana, Ajamila turns his back to his sinful life, does penance and attains Lord's feet.
The question is valid. Doesn't it send wrong signals - sin as much as you can and then just seek forgiveness?
But here, I am reminded of a scene from Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. Farhan Akhtar says sorry to Hrithik Roshan and when the latter remains intractable, asks, "How many times do I have to say sorry?"
"Till it comes from your heart," Hrithik replies.
It is not about saying sorry, it is saying sorry from your heart. That is not easy, is it - to admit that we are wrong, that we regret and that we openly acknowledge our mistake?
And this is true of every relationship - even between god and man, for where is god if not in our own heart? And if we are not sincere, can we find that peace within ourselves when we know the truth behind that sorry?