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TO CONSIDER THE GLORIES OF THE NAME AS IMAGINARY
(ARTHAVADA HARINAMA KALPANAM)
IS THE FIFTH OFFENSE
All glories to Lord Gauranga and Shrila Gadadhara Pandita; all glories to Shri Shri Radha Madhava. All glories to the places of Lord Gauranga's pastimes and all the Vaishnava devotees of the Lord.
"O Lord Gauranga! The fifth namaparadha is to think that the glories of the holy name are exaggerated, as for example when one thinks, 'The scriptural presentation of the glories of the Lord's holy name is not entirely true, because hyperbole has been employed to increase the readers' faith in the chanting of the name.'"
It is a fact that in the karmakanda and jnanakanda sections of the Vedas, ritualism and philosophical speculation have been overly praised. Such praises are intended to elicit interest in these processes. But the same is not true in the case of the holy name. Therefore to think so is an abominable offense.
The glories of the holy name
The Puranas (smritisastras) say that anyone who chants the holy name, whether with faith or neglect, attracts the mercy of Lord Krishna. The holy name is the purest form of knowledge; it is the best of all vratas or vows and the highest meditation; it gives the most auspicious fruits; it is the greatest renunciation; it gives incomparible peace; it is the most pious of holy works; it is the supreme path of selfrealization; it is the greatest liberation and goal; it is the topmost destination; it is the best devotional service; it is the purest inclination; it gives love of Godhead and is the essence of remembrance of the Lord; it is the cause of all causes, the Supreme Absolute Truth; it is the most worshippable object and acts as the supreme spiritual master.
'A thousand names of Lord Vishnu is equal to one name of Lord Rama, and three names of Lord Rama are equal to one name of Lord Krishna': thus the holy name's transcendental nature is ever glorified in the scriptures. One goes to hell for thinking the the glories of the name are exaggerated
Only a hardened atheist thinks that the passages of the sruti and smriti scriptures describing the superexcellent qualities of the name contain exaggerations. Whoever commits such an abominable offense rots eternally in hell. Offenders claim that misrepresentations have been made to increase attraction for chanting. They have no idea of the purport of the scriptures and of what is beneficial for humanity, because they take everything backwards.
Because they have no reserve of previous pious activities (bhaktisukrti), they can never develop faith in the scriptural science of devotional service. The chanting of the holy name is the best form of devotional service. Without sufficient piety a person can neither acquire a taste for chanting nor have adequate faith in its results. Those who are attached to just one section of the scriptures (i.e. karmakanda) cannot perceive the essential meaning of the scriptures.
There is no appeal to selfishness in the methodology of the holy name
The exaggerations in the karmakanda section of the Vedas appeal to ambitious materialists. Concessions to selfishness are absent from the scriptural presentation of the method of chanting the holy name in pure devotion. The scriptures frankly declare that the results of the karmakanda process are merely transient sensual enjoyments, whereas the results of chanting the holy name and engaging in Krishna's service are eternal and permanent.
In the chanting of the holy name of the Lord, capriciousness, cheating and exaggeration are shunned. For instance, when a devotee inspires someone to chant, he does so without self-interested motives. He engages another in Krishna's service only for the pleasure of Krishna. Though attractive material results of chanting the holy name may be mentioned in some scriptures, a pure devotee pays no heed to them, for he is beyond material desire.
But the officiator of a ritualistic sacrifice displays explicit selfishness, for as a matter of course he expects remuneration. Since the scriptures declare that chanting begets unlimited auspicious results, why do such seekers of fruitive rewards minimize the glories of the holy name?
The follower of karmakanda is supposed to gradually realize that pious fruitive works, being material, give only unimportant fruits. He should then perform his duties free of self interest. This will purify his heart and help him to see the need for chanting the holy name. A purified heart strives for self-realization and is naturally repelled by material activities.
Thus the real success of karma kanda, when performed without material motivation, is attraction for the chanting the holy name of the Lord. Pious results that a brahmana could not accrue anywhere in the entire universe are easily obtained by chanting Krishna's name. The supreme position of the chanting of the holy name cannot be diminished by the envious statements of stubborn karmis and jnanis.
Simply by namabhasa chanting one gains all the results of the paths of karma and jnana. So if mere namabhasa offers such wonderful results, then surely the pure name will offer so much more, unlimitedly. Therefore, whatever results the scriptures say are gained from chanting are easily obtainable by the devotee who is attached to the pure name.
There is no point in objecting to what the Lord Himself has wrought
One who doubts this fact is a sinner who is doomed because of commiting namaparadha. All the revealed scriptures the Vedas, Ramayana, Mahabharata, the Puranas and others are filled with glorifications of the superexcellence of the holy name. What can the person who blatantly disregards this evidence expect? He is simply abominable.
The holy name and the Lord Himself are the same. Krishna personally positioned the chanting of His holy name at the very top of all auspicious activities. He is fully independant, autocratic and omnipotent. All processes have come into force due to His energy. He invested karma kanda with his material energy, and jnana kanda with his impersonal energy. Krishna then invested of His own accord His entire personal potency in the syllables of His holy name. There is no point in objecting to these arrangements. An intelligent person will therefore carefully avoid offending the allpowerful name of the Lord.
The remedy for the arthavada offense
If this namaparadha is somehow commited, the offender has to go humbly to the assembly of Vaishnavas and attentively listen to the narrations of the pastimes and qualities of the Supreme Lord from the lips of a pure devotee. Full of remorse, the offender must admit his transgression against the holy name and beg forgiveness from the Vaishnavas. The Vaishnavas are realized in the glories of the name, and they will mercifuly deliver the offender from his sins by embracing him. The offender, now purified, will be protected from further onslaughts of maya.
If a devotee meets or even just sees the face of an unrepentent doubter of the power of the holy name, he should immediatly plunge himself, fully clothed, into the Ganges for purification; if the Ganges is not nearby, he should bathe in some other pure water. In the event that this also is not possible, he should purify himself by bathing mentally.
One who takes shelter of the mercy of Krishna's dear companion, His flute, will be adorned by the glory of Harinama Cintamani.