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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 > The Reflection of the Chanting

56- The Reflection of the Chanting of the Holy Name


1. What is the benefit of chanting namabhdsa?


In ndmdbhdsa, or reflective chanting of the Lord's holy name, all one's sinful reactions are destroyed. When all one's sinful reactions and anarthas are thus destroyed, then the pure holy name dances on the tongue of the devotee. The pure holy name will then award such a person love of Krsna. (Harindma-cintamani)


2. Are the holy names uttered by Mayavadis actual holy names?


Holy names uttered by Mayavadis are not holy names but perverted reflections of the holy names. Therefore, in spite of chanting such names, the Mayavadis are affected by the faults of namaparadha. (Sajjana Tosani 5/12)


3. What is the difference between perverted and shadow namabhasa?


Words such as ndmdbhdsa, vaisnavdbhdsa, sraddhdbhdsa, bhavabhasa, ratyabhasa, premdbhdsa, and muktydbhdsa are found in many places in the scriptures. The word ndmdbhdsa is defined nicely as follows: Abhdsa is of two kinds, actual reflection and perverted reflection. In the actual reflection, the effulgence of an object manifests in a contracted form. In the perverted reflection the perversion of the actual form appears in a different shape. It is like light reflected on water. As long as the sunlike holy name remains covered by the clouds and storm of the living entity's ignorance and anarthas, only an  insignificant and contracted form of sunlight will be visible. Even so, namabhasa produces great auspiciousness in this world. When the effulgent holy name becomes reflected on the lake of Mayavada, however, it is called perverted namabhasa. Such namabhasa is one of the principal ndmdparddhas, so it cannot actually be called namabhasa. Only shadow namabhasa is actual namabhasa.


Shadow namabhasa is divided into four categories, and the glorification of actual namabhasa by condemning the abominable, reflected namabhasa is found in all scriptures. Shadow namabhasa is caused by anarthas born of ignorance. Reflected namabhasa is born from shrewd and polluted knowledge, and thus it is considered an impediment on the path of devotional service. Although a person who is as good as a Vaisnava may not be called a Vaisnava, but since he is free from Mayavadl contamination, he can still be respected as a kanistha-adhikdri devotee. Under the influence of good association, such a person will soon achieve auspiciousness and the pure devotees will shower their blessings upon him, considering him an ignorant friend. They will not ignore him as they do ignore the envious Mayavadls. Rather, they will encourage his propensity to worship the Deity with his ordinary faith and award him devotional service mixed with the knowledge of his relationship with the Lord suitable for serving the Lord and His devotees. If he has an incurable belief in Mayavada philosophy, however, the pure devotees will certainly ignore him. (Harinama-cintamani)


4. Can one chant the pure names of God while maintaining anarthas?


The clouds of anartha consisting of material desires, weakness of heart, and offensiveness, cover the sunlike holy names. When the rays of the sunlike holy names are thus covered, the subdued illumination is called namabhasa. This namabhasa obstructs the appearance of Krsna's self-illuminated holy names. (Harinama-cintamani)


5. Why is namabhasa more beneficial than all other kinds of pious activity?


Namabhasa is counted as one of the principal forms of piety for the living entities. Namabhasa awards fruits superior to any other type of pious activity such as following religious principles, observing vows, or practicing yoga. (Harinama-cintamani)


6. What is the result of chanting namabhasa?


It is stated in the sdstra that in Kali-yuga, one can attain Vaikuntha simply by the influence of namabhasa. (Harindma-cintamani)


7. How many types of namabhasa are there, and what are the differences between them?


If the holy names of the Lord are chanted with sahket, parihasa, stobha, and held, then that chanting is called namabhasa. Thus namabhasa is of four types. Stobha is less offensive than held, parihasa is less offensive than stobha, and sahket is less offensive than parihasa. (Harinama-cintamani)


8. When does namabhasa cease?


Until a person attains knowledge of his relationship with the Lord, he remains in the association of namabhasa. (Harindma-cintamani)


9. How many kinds of dbhdsa (reflections) are there?


There are two kinds of reflections of the sunlike holy names: shadow and perverted. Learned scholars always use terms like bhdktydbhdsa, bhdvdbhdsa, namabhdsa, and vaisnavdbhdsa to describe them. All kinds of abhdsa fall into the two categories, either shadow or perverted. (Jaiva Dharma, Chapter 20)


10. Who is a Vaisnava-praya, or person "as good as" a Vaisnava?


Vaisnava-praya refers to a person who decorates himself like a Vaisnava with tulasi beads, tilaka, and so on, but who is not actually a real or pure Vaisnava. {Jaiva Dharma, Chapter 25)


11. When does namabhdsa become namaparadha and what is the result of this?


When the pure name is not chanted, that chanting is called namabhdsa. Namabhdsa is called namabhdsa in one stage and namaparadha in another. When out of ignorance caused by the four defects the pure holy name is chanted impurely, that is called namabhdsa. When because of the association with Mayavadis, duplicity, the desire for liberation, or material desires the pure holy name is chanted impurely, that is called namaparadha. If the ten kinds of namaparadha already mentioned are committed with simplicity and ignorance, then they are known as namabhdsa. The point is that as long as namabhdsa is untouched by the symptoms of namaparadha, there is a chance for the pure holy names to appear and destroy ndmdbhdsa. However, if namabhdsa is affected by the symptoms of namaparadha, then the Lord's pure holy names will not appear. In such a situation, there is no way to achieve auspiciousness other than to eradicate the offenses against the holy names by the prescribed process. (Jaiva Dharma, Chapter 25)


12. What is an example of sahket-namabhasa ?


At the time of his death, Ajamila called his son by the name Narayana. Since Narayana is another name for Krsna, Ajamila attained the result of chanting the Lord's names with sahket. (Jaiva Dharma, Chapter 25)


13. What is an example of stobha-namabhasa ?


Suppose an exalted Vaisnava is chanting Hari's holy name when an atheist arrives and says, "Your Lord Hari will do everything for you." This is an example of stobha-ndmabhdsa. Even the atheist can attain liberation by chanting in this way. This is the natural strength of the holy names. (Jaiva Dharma, Chapter 25)


14. How does one practice held-ndmdbhdsa?


If one cunningly neglects the chanting of the holy names, then that is namaparadha, but if one neglects the chanting of the holy name out of ignorance, then it is called held-ndmdbhdsa.

(Jaiva Dharma, Chapter 25)


15. What does one achieve by chanting namabhasa ?


Material enjoyment, liberation, and all types of mystic perfections are achieved by chanting ndmdbhdsa. However, the ultimate goal of life, love of Krsna, cannot be attained by chanting namdahasa. (Jaiva Dharma, Chapter 25)