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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 > Committing Offenses

 74 -Committing Offenses


1. Is it an offense to unknowingly engage in bad association?


Even if you associate with nondevotees unknowingly, you commit an offense against devotional service. (Sajjana Tosanl 5/5)


2. What offense is the most grave?


If one disregards and disrespects Vaisnavas, he commits an offense. Sinful reactions are nullified simply by undergoing ordinary atonement; but offenses are not nullified so easily. A sin is committed by both gross and subtle bodies; an offense degrades one's self-realization. Therefore, those who desire to worship the Supreme Lord must be careful not to commit offenses.

{Sajjana Tosanl 5/2)


3.What is an offense?


When sinful activities are committed against saintly persons and the Supreme Lord, it is called an offense. Offenses are most grave and must be given up by all means.

(Caitanya-siksdmrta 2/5)


4. Is it possible to attain krsna-prema if one commits offenses?


One who does not attain love of God after worshiping Krsna birth after birth has certainly committed heaps of offenses, for only by chanting Krsna's name without offense can one attain krsna-prema. (Navadvlpa-mahdtmya, Chapter 1)


5. Who are the offenders at Bhakti-devi's feet?


Being induced by propensities detrimental to devotional service, such as envy, hatred, pride, and the desire for fame, those who criticize others are offenders at Bhakti-devi's feet.

(Sajjana Tosanl 10/10)


6. How do the madhyama-adhikdris commit offenses  against the Vaisnavas?


Madhyama-adhikdris begin to be counted as pure Vaisnavas because their life's goal is to serve the pure Vaisnavas. If a madhyama-adhikdri renounces the distinctions between Vaisnavas and non-Vaisnavas, however, he commits Vaisnava aparddha. (Harindma-cintamani)


7. What is more offensive than Vaisnava aparddha?


For a living entity there is no graver offense than an offense committed against a Vaisnava. (Sajjana Tosanl 2/6)


8.How are those who think that Vaisnavas belong toparticular castes tested?


Those who are averse to accepting the remnants of pure Vaisnavas, thinking him to belong to a particular caste, are cheaters and cannot themselves be counted as Vaisnavas. For those who are caste-proud, accepting the remnants of Vaisnavas during festivals is a real test. (Prema-pradlpa, Ray 7)


9. Is it improper to think that Vaisnavas belong to a particular caste?


If you are really afraid of cheating yourself, then you should not think that Vaisnavas belong to a particular caste. (Sajjana Tosanl 9/9)


10. Is criticizing the faults of Vaisnavas the same as blaspheming them?


One who criticizes a Vaisnava, thinking he belongs to a particular caste, because he unknowingly committed an offense, his almost-destroyed faults, or his sinful behavior before he surrendered to Krsna, is certainly a blasphemer. Such a person will never develop taste for chanting the Lord's holy name. A pure Vaisnava is he who has taken shelter of pure devotional service. We may occasionally find the above-mentioned four faults in him, but there is no possibility of him possessing any other fault.



11. What is the easiest way to achieve devotional service?


One should give up the mentality of thinking Vaisnavas belong to particular castes. Then one should take the dust from the feet of a devotee who is fully engaged in chanting the Lord's holy names and respectfully smear it all over his body. (Harindma-cintamani))


12. Is it a sevdparddha to offer obeisance to someone inside the temple?


One should not offer obeisance to anyone other than the Supreme Lord inside the temple. However, one must offer obeisances to one's spiritual master even inside the temple.



13. What is the definition of a Krsna conscious family?


In a Krsna conscious family, there is no cheating; there is only simplicity. Therefore, there is no question of offense. (Jaiva Dharma, Chapter 7)


14. To whom should a pious householder give alms?


By giving alms to the illegitimate, professional beggars, householders commit an offense. As a result, they gradually fall down. This practice must be checked. Then the condition of the pious householders will improve, the beggars' distress will be destroyed, and the general advancement of society will take place. Apatre diyate danam tat danarh tamasam vidum: "Giving charity to an unqualified person is an act in the mode of ignorance." Following this statement made by the Supreme Lord, one should give charity only to qualified candidates.

(Sajjana Tosanl 6/3)


15. Is it not an offense to hear or sing publicly about Sri Radha-Krsna's conjugal pastimes?


To sing and hear about Sri Radha-Krsna's conjugal pastimes is the principal and eternal mode of worship of the Lord. However, to sing about these pastimes before ordinary people is improper and offensive. Apana bhajana kathd nd kahibe yath tatha: one should not disclose one's own process of devotional service to others. If one is to follow this instruction given by the acaryas, then it also holds that it is offensive to hear a recitation of Krsna's conjugal pastimes from a professional singer. (Sajjana Tosanl 6/2)


16.Is it not an offense to blaspheme a Vaisnava by finding in him behaviors opposed to scripture?


If a Vaisnava happens to engage in some uncivilized activity according to his karma, it is an offense to consider such activities uncivilized. Even though a Vaisnava might exhibit

some improper conduct opposed to the smrti literature, he should still be considered saintly. Otherwise, one commits an offense against the holy name. {Sajjana Tosanl 6/7)


17. Who is responsible for committing offenses against the Lord's service?


Offenses against the Lord's service are committed in regard to serving the Lord's Deity form. There are offenses to be avoided by those who worship Deities, by those who install Deities, and by those who go to see the Lord's Deity form. And there are offenses to be avoided by all. (Harindma-cintdmani)


18. What are the thirty-two offenses against the Lord's service?


1.       One should not enter the temple of the Deity in a car or palanquin or with shoes on his feet.

2.       One should not fail to observe the various festivals held for the pleasure of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, such as Janmastami or Ratha-yatra.

3.       One should not avoid bowing down before the Deity.

4.       One should not enter the temple to worship the Lord without having washed one's hands and feet after eating.

5.       One should not enter the temple in a contaminated state.

6.       One should not bow down on one hand.

7.       One should not circumambulate in front of Sri Krsna.

8.       One should not spread his legs before the Deity.

9.       One should not sit before the Deity holding his ankles, elbows, or knees with his hands.

10.     One should not lie down before the Deity of Krsna.

11.     One should not accept prasdda before the Deity.

12.     One should never speak a lie before the Deity. 


13.     One should not talk loudly before the Deity.

14.     One should not talk with others before the Deity.

15.     One should not cry or howl before the Deity.

16.     One should not quarrel or fight before the Deity.

17.     One should not chastise anyone before the Deity.

18.     One should not be charitable to beggars before the Deity.

19.     One should not speak harshly to others before the Deity.

20.     One should not wear a fur blanket before the Deity.

21.     One should not eulogize or praise anyone else before the Deity.

22.     One should not speak ill names before the Deity.

23.     One should not pass air before the Deity.

24.     One should not fail to worship the Deity according to one's means.

25.     One should not eat anything that has not first been offered to Krsna.

26.     One should not fail to offer fresh fruits and grains to Krsna  according to the season.

27.     After food has been cooked, no one should be offered any foodstuff unless it has first been offered to the Deity.

28.     One should not sit with his back toward the Deity.

29.     One should not offer obeisances silently to the spiritual master, or in other words, one should recite aloud the prayers to the spiritual master while offering obeisances.

30.     One should not fail to offer praise in the spiritual master's presence.

31.     One should not praise himself before the spiritual master.

32.     One should not deride the demigods before the Deity.

These sevaparadhas have been described in the Purdnas. (Harindma-cintdmani)


19. What are the different offenses and what are their symptoms?


Although offenses are of many kinds, they are mainly divided into three categories: vaisnavdparddha, sevdparddha, and ndmdparddha. In the Skanda Purdna the six vaisnavaparddhas are listed as follows: "To kill a Vaisnava, to blaspheme a Vaisnava, to hate a Vaisnava, to fail to offer respect to a Vaisnava, to display anger toward a Vaisnava, and to not feel happy upon seeing a Vaisnava. By committing these offenses, one certainly falls down. No practitioner of devotional service should commit these offenses. The sevaparadhas are considered in regard to the deity worship. There are ten types of ndmdparddhas. (Sajjana Tosani 11/7)


20. Why is the professional recitation of Srimad-Bhdgavatam rejected?


Give up this business [of professional recitation] immediately. You are supposed to be greedy to drink the mellows of ecstatic love, so do not commit an offense against those mellows. According to the Taittiriya Upanisad (2.7), raso vai sah, "Krsna is nondifferent from the mellows of ecstatic love." The sdstras describe many professions by which people can maintain themselves, so you should choose from among those. Do not earn money by reciting Srlmad-Bhdgavatam to ordinary people. If you find a qualified audience, then recite Srimad-Bhdgavatam with great ecstasy and without accepting a salary or fee. (Jaiva Dharrna, Chapter 28)


21. Are those who sell hari-ndma not offenders?


There are many other ways to earn one's livelihood, and one should maintain his life by following one of them. To earn money by selling hari-ndma and to consider this money as a means of livelihood is extremely improper and opposed to devotional service. It is impossible for both those who sell hari-ndma and those who purchase it to attain love of God, which is the fruit of chanting hari-ndma. In fact, by doing so,  such people simply accumulate sin. Money is not the price for hari-nama; faith is the only price. Therefore, it is everyone's duty to faithfully chant and hear Hari's holy names. (Sajjana Tosani 8/8)


22. What are the symptoms, activities, and fate of those who commit offenses against the Lord's abode?


With a desire to fulfill their self-interests, out of envy, some people are creating obstacles on the path of improving the standard of Sri Mayapur. Upon seeing the dhdma's prosperity, these people have become hopeless nowadays. Being controlled by intense envy, a few of them have even begun to publish articles against the dhdma in some small magazines. There is no doubt that Mahaprabhu will soon destroy them. The amazing factor is that for a long time, some people have been engaged in accumulating money and enjoying the association of women while hiding the actual glories of Sri Mayapur. As soon as the glories of Mayapur began to manifest, these disciples of Kali began to conceal the glories of Mayapur by various tactics, but both the Supreme Lord and the eternal truth are unconquerable. For the last two years, these disciples of Kali have been embarrassed. The society of devotees no longer trusts them. Therefore, they are making fools of themselves. What a game plan of Kali! They are trying to prove no-moon as full-moon and get away with it. But suddenly people have understood their game plan and are laughing at them. Now everyone has understood that Sridhama Mayapur is the crest jewel of the entire Navadvipa. (Sajjana Tosani 8/1)