“Shishupala’s soul’s merging into the transcendental body of Krishna reminds us of the story of Jaya and Vijaya, who fell to the material world from the Vaikuntha planets upon being cursed by the four Kumaras. For their return to the Vaikuntha world, it was arranged that both Jaya and Vijaya, for three consecutive births would act as deadly enemies of the Lord, and at the end of these lives they would again return to the Vaikuntha world and serve the Lord as His associates.” (Krishna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vol 2, Ch 19)
“With the ease with which events get publicized in the modern day, an unfortunate side effect is that people cannot get away with even the slightest transgression. Every mistake is known. You don’t have to be famous at the time. Years later, when you rise to prominence, someone digs up a post from the past. There is no way to apologize sufficiently. You are forever labeled whatever derogatory term gets affixed.
“People don’t stop and think that these are youths. They don’t look inwards, because if they did they would realize that no one is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes. We do stupid things. We are human beings, after all. At least allow people to learn from the past, to grow as people.
“This got me to thinking about Jaya and Vijaya. These are the two brothers, gatekeepers in the spiritual world of Vaikuntha. We see images of them in famous temples around the world. They are special souls, as not everyone is known for their direct relationship to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vishnu.
“From the stories told in shastra, we learn that those brothers one time were cursed. In any objective analysis the mistake they made was harmless. Nevertheless, they incurred the wrath from the other side. They were forced to take successive births in the land of mortals. The body types were not auspicious. Jaya and Vijaya would be the worst people imaginable.
“You could say that all is well that ends well. The brothers did receive liberation. They did return to the spiritual world. Their fall to the material world was not a permanent punishment. My question relates to after the fact. Do people make fun of them? Do they bring up the horrible things those brothers did as Rakshasa demons while on earth? Is that original transgression, the one which led to the curse, held against them?”
The only resort we have is speculation, but it would be strikingly out of place for any residents or visitors in Vaikuntha to bring up someone’s past in that manner. For starters, karma accounts for right and wrong. Guna and dosha, each person has their share of pious and impious deeds. The results may not manifest immediately or remain for a long time, but it is always some action that is the leading indicator, the initial cause.
अदृष्टगुणदोषाणामध्रुवाणां तु कर्मणाम्
नान्तरेण क्रियां तेषां फलमिष्टं प्रवर्तते
adṛṣṭaguṇadoṣāṇāmadhruvāṇāṃ tu karmaṇām
nāntareṇa kriyāṃ teṣāṃ phalamiṣṭaṃ pravartate
“Unseen and indefinite are the good and bad reactions of fruitive work. And without taking action, the desired fruits of such work cannot manifest.” (Lakshmana speaking to Lord Rama, Valmiki Ramayana, Aranya Kand, 66.17)
Whatever problems I have with someone should end at the time of death. They leave behind the body and their past lifetime. Whatever wrong they have done, nature will provide the appropriate consequence. There is nothing more to be said.
The next life is a clean slate, though not entirely. The previous deeds lead to the circumstances of birth. As we see with Jaya and Vijaya, it was a curse which brought them to the inauspicious forms, which looked auspicious in the beginning. They rose to such heights in the material world that they were practically on par with God Himself.
The brothers are in a unique position. Countless individuals appear and disappear in this world, but not everyone has the fortune to receive deadly blows directly from the Supreme Lord. Not everyone looks straight into the eyes of a Vishnu-avatara at the time of death.
If anyone were to mock Jaya and Vijaya for their past births, they could respond along the following lines:
“Hey, when has Shri Rama shot arrows and killed you? Did you get to see His beautiful, lotus-like face at the time of death? Has anyone else been direct witness to the exact moment that Narasimhadeva self-manifested from a pillar? We are so thankful for that mistake since we received the greatest blessing in always thinking of the Almighty. I think that no one in history has been this fortunate.”
If we find frustration in this living experience, which is bound to occur from time to time, we can take comfort from the two brothers. Though they were the worst of the worst, they were eventually saved. We don’t have to test the limits of sinful life to experience the same bliss. Vishnu’s name, form and pastimes carry forward to the present, and we have direct access to the mercy through the holy names: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
Possible by others taunted,
Those brothers by mistake haunted?
Since in worst forms taking birth,
Of desire an unquenchable thirst.
And worst qualities in them found,
The innocent and saintly to hound.
But highly favored to know,
Since Vishnu thwarting them so.