A man by the name of Amrita, living on earth, thought to himself that the one thing he feared most was death.
To avoid death, Amrita practised austerities and concentrated his mind upon Lord Yama, the Lord of Death.
Lord Yama was pleased and granted a vision to Amrita.
Lord Yama said: “My presence is only available to those who are about to die or already dead. Yet I granted you my vision while you are still living, pleased by your penances”.
Amrita said: “I ask this favour of you. If death is inevitable, I ask that if I am to die, then at least send me a letter before death so that I can make proper provision for my family before departure and also prepere myself for my next life with proper sadhana and worship of Krishna”
Lord Yama said, “Sure, I shall certainly do this. But as soon as you get the message, please set about making the preparations.”, and he disappeared.
Many years passed after this. Amritas hair began gradually to turn grey, but he was living a life full of sinful activities with not a thought about the fear of death.
He was pleased that so far no letters had arrived from the Lord of Death. Some Vaishnavas approached him and advised him to take to devotional service. He did not heed to their instructions as he thought so much time was left.
Some more years passed by. By this time Amrita had lost most of his teeth and the devotees came again to warn him about his imminent death. Still he did not bother because no letter has come from his friend Yama.
As the years rolled by, Amritas eyesight became dimmer. However he continued his sensual life thanking his friend Yamaraj for not sending any letter so far.
Some more years passed by. Amrita was now a very old man and with his back bent forward, he could not walk without the support of a walking stick. His skin was all wrinkled. One day he suffered a stroke and became paralysed. People said his condition was very critical.
But Amrita was still in a happy frame of mind, since he did not receive any letter from Yamaraj.
Then his destined end of life came and Lord Yama, the god of death, entered the room.
Amrita was startled and his mind was seized with fear.
Yamaraj said, “My friend, come now, you have suffered greatly.
Today I have come to take you with me.”