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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Bhaktivinoda Thakura > Bhaktivinoda Vani Vaibhava > Bhaktivinoda Vani Vaibhava Part 2 and 3 > Vol 2 Abhidheya > Blaspheming the Vaisnavas

75- Blaspheming the Vaisnavas


1. What should one do if one happens to hear blasphemy of a pure Vaisnava? How should one deal with a so-called guru who indulges in blasphemy of Vaisnavas?


Devotees who are engaged in regulative devotional service should neither approve nor support the blasphemy of the Supreme Lord or His devotees. If such blasphemy is taking place in an assembly, if one is able he should immediately protest. If protest does not yield any result, one should remain like a deaf man and ignore the blasphemy. If one is unable to do even that, then he should immediately leave the place. If one hears blasphemy of Vaisnavas even from his spiritual master's mouth, then one should humbly caution him. If such a spiritual master remains envious of Vaisnavas, one should renounce him and take initiation from a qualified spiritual master.

(Caitanya-siksdmrta 3-4)


2. What is the disadvantage of hearing blasphemy of Vaisnavas?


A practitioner of devotional service should never hear blasphemy of Lord Krsna or of the Vaisnavas. Wherever such speeches are taking place, he should leave the place. One who is weakhearted hears blasphemy of Krsna and Vaisnavas to please others and thus gradually falls from the platform of devotional service. (Sajjana Tosanl 11/6)


3. Why is blasphemy of devotees the gravest of offenses?


It is a great offense to blaspheme a devotee who has taken shelter of the Lord's holy names and given up the processes of karma, dharma, jhdna, and yoga, because Lord Hari cannot tolerate blasphemy of those who are spreading the holy name's glories all over the world. If one gives up blaspheming devotees engaged in chanting the holy names and instead chants the holy names in their association, considering them the topmost devotees, then he will soon attain the holy name's mercy. (Jaiva Dharma, Chapter 24)


4. What is the result of blaspheming Vaisnavas?


One should resolve to respect Vaisnavas and give up the association of non-Vaisnavas. The glories of the holy name will never manifest in the hearts of those who blaspheme Vaisnavas.

(Sajjana Tosanl 5/5)


5. What are the six types of Vaisnava aparddha and what are their results?


A foolish person who blasphemes a pure devotee goes to hell along with his forefathers. Any person who kills a Vaisnava, blasphemes a Vaisnava, hates a Vaisnava, who does not offer obeisances to a Vaisnava when they meet, or who feels unhappy upon seeing a Vaisnava certainly goes to hell. (Sajjana Tosanl 5/2)


6. What results from hearing Vaisnavas blasphemed?


A person who does not immediately leave the place where the Supreme Lord or the Vaisnavas are being criticized loses all his piety and degrades himself.

(Sajjana Tosanl 5/2)


7. Can a pure Vaisnava become the object of blasphemy?


If one is found to be inclined toward sinful activities, he cannot be counted amongst the Vaisnavas. Even the neophyte Vaisnava has no taste for either sin or piety. A pure Vaisnava is faultless; therefore, he is above blasphemy. One who blasphemes such a Vaisnava simply attributes false accusation to himself. (Sajjana Tosanl 5/2)


8. What topics do envious miscreants discuss in the course of their blasphemy of Vaisnavas?


There are three topics discussed by envious, sinful people who wish to criticize Vaisnavas. The faults a devotee had before awakening his Krsna consciousness are their usual subject matter. As soon as devotional service to the Lord is awakened, all a devotee's faults are eradicated. The process of eradication takes time, however. During this period, those envious miscreants criticize the devotee for his leftover sins. The third topic of their discussion is that although a pure Vaisnava has no desire to commit sin, sometimes by chance he may do so. However, such a fault does not last long in a Vaisnava. Nevertheless, the envious, sinful people criticize Vaisnavas and fall into the pit of formidable Vaisnava aparddha. (Sajjana Tosanl 5/2)


9. How can one be careful when discussing a Vaisnava's characteristics?


One should never discuss the faults a Vaisnava had prior to the awakening of his Krsna consciousness unless it is done with a good purpose. One should never blaspheme a Vaisnava by discussing his leftover faults after he has awakened to Krsna consciousness. (Sajjana Tosanl 5/3)


10. Should a Vaisnava's old, impulsively committed, or almost-destroyed faults be discussed without good purpose?


The almost natural sinful activities that accompany a person from before he awakens his Krsna consciousness gradually diminish by the strength of devotional service and are soon exhausted. By discussing those faults without good purpose, one commits the offense of blaspheming a Vaisnava. Even if we see some accidental fault in a devotee, we should not blaspheme him. {Sajjana Tosanl 5/5)


11. Criticizing which faults in a Vaisnava constitutes Vaisnava aparadha ?


By criticizing a Vaisnava's accidentally committed sinful activities without good intention, we commit the offense of blaspheming a Vaisnava. The main point is that we falsely accuse a Vaisnava and criticize his above-mentioned three faults, we commit an offense against the holy name. As a result, the pure name of god does not manifest in our heart. Unless the pure name of God manifests in our heart, we cannot become Vaisnavas. {Sajjana Tosanl 5/5)


12. Is it desirable to criticize others without a good reason?


Discussing others' faults with a good purpose has not been condemned in sastra. There are three kinds of good purpose. If by discussing a person's faults the person is benefited in any way, then such discussion is auspicious. If discussing a person's sinful activities brings about auspiciousness to the world, then it is counted as a pious activity. The third purpose is if it brings good to the speaker. {Sajjana Tosanl 5/5)


13. Is it an offense against the Vaisnavas to criticize the characteristics of nondevotees in order to reveal the Vaisnavas' glories?


When a spiritual master is requested by his disciple to ascertain the quality of a Vaisnava, the spiritual master, with a desire to benefit his disciple and the world, discriminates between the Vaisnava and the non-Vaisnava by declaring the sinful people non-Vaisnavas. To give up the association of sinful hypocrites with a desire to take shelter at the feet of Vaisnavas does not result in blasphemy or offense toward the non-Vaisnavas. {Sajjana Tosanl 5/5)