धर्मं भागवतं शुद्धं त्रैवेद्यं च गुणाश्रयम् ॥ २४ ॥
भक्तिमान् भगवत्याशु माहात्म्यश्रवणाद्धरे: ।
अनुतापो महानासीत्स्मरतोऽशुभमात्मन: ॥ २५ ॥
dharmaṁ bhāgavataṁ śuddhaṁ
trai-vedyaṁ ca guṇāśrayam
anutāpo mahān āsīt
smarato ’śubham ātmanaḥ
ajāmilaḥ — Ajāmila; api — also; atha — thereafter; ākarṇya — hearing; dūtānām — of the order carriers; yama-kṛṣṇayoḥ — of Yamarāja and Lord Kṛṣṇa; dharmam — actual religious principles; bhāgavatam — as described in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, or concerning the relationship between the living being and the Supreme Personality of Godhead; śuddham — pure; trai-vedyam — mentioned in three Vedas; ca — also; guṇa-aśrayam — material religion, under the modes of material nature; bhakti-mān — a pure devotee (cleansed of the modes of material nature); bhagavati — unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead; āśu — immediately; māhātmya — glorification of the name, fame, etc.; śravaṇāt — because of hearing; hareḥ — of Lord Hari; anutāpaḥ — regret; mahān — very great; āsīt — there was; smarataḥ — remembering; aśubham — all the inglorious activities; ātmanaḥ — done by himself.
After hearing the discourses between the Yamadūtas and the Viṣṇudūtas, Ajāmila could understand the religious principles that act under the three modes of material nature. These principles are mentioned in the three Vedas. He could also understand the transcendental religious principles, which are above the modes of material nature and which concern the relationship between the living being and the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Furthermore, Ajāmila heard glorification of the name, fame, qualities and pastimes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He thus became a perfectly pure devotee. He could then remember his past sinful activities, which he greatly regretted having performed.
In Bhagavad-gītā (2.45) Lord Kṛṣṇa told Arjuna:
“The Vedas mainly deal with the subject of the three modes of material nature. Rise above these modes, O Arjuna. Be transcendental to all of them. Be free from all dualities and from all anxieties for gain and safety, and be established in the Self.” The Vedic principles certainly prescribe a gradual process for rising to the spiritual platform, but if one remains attached to the Vedic principles, there is no chance of his being elevated to spiritual life. Kṛṣṇa therefore advised Arjuna to perform devotional service, which is the process of transcendental religion. The transcendental position of devotional service is also confirmed in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.2.6). Sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhokṣaje. Bhakti, devotional service, is paro dharmaḥ, transcendental dharma; it is not material dharma. People generally think that religion should be pursued for material profit. This may be suitable for persons interested in material life, but one who is interested in spiritual life should be attached to paro dharmaḥ, the religious principles by which one becomes a devotee of the Supreme Lord (yato bhaktir adhokṣaje). The bhāgavata religion teaches that the Lord and the living entity are eternally related and that the duty of the living entity is to surrender to the Lord. When one is situated on the platform of devotional service, one is freed from impediments and completely satisfied (ahaituky apratihatā yayātmā suprasīdati). Having been elevated to that platform, Ajāmila began to lament for his past materialistic activities and glorify the name, fame, form and pastimes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.