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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Bhaktivinoda Thakura > Hari Naam Cintamani > Chapter-III

Chapter Three




     1.Glory to Lord Chaitanya, to Lord Gadadhara, and to Lord Nityananda, the life of Jahnava-devi! Glory to Advaita, the husband of Sita! Glory to Shrivasa and all the devotees of the Lord!

     2. Extending His lotus hand, merciful Lord Chaitanya picked up Haridasa.

     3. He said, "Haridasa, listen to My words. I will make you understand namabhasa very clearly.

     4. "One who understands namabhasa will attain pure chanting of the holy name. By the mercy of the holy name that soul will cross over the ocean of birth and death.


Ignorance and Anarthas Are Like Clouds and Fog


     5. "Shining like the sun, the holy name destroys the darkness of ignorance. However, clouds and fog again and again cover the sun of the holy name.

     6. "The individual soul's ignorance and anarthas become like clouds and fog. (1)

     7. "When the sun of the holy name rises in the sky of the heart, these clouds and fog again cover it.


The Fog of Ignorance


     8. "When the soul does not understand the spiritual nature of the holy name, the fog of ignorance brings darkness

     9. "A soul who does not know that Lord Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, will worship many demigods. In this way he is lost, wandering on the path of karma.

     10. "A soul who does not understand his own spiritual identity as a soul takes shelter of maya. he is always in ignorance."

     11. Then Haridasa said, "Today I have become fortunate. From my mouth Lord Chaitanya will hear about the holy name.

     12. "Lord Krishna and the individual souls are master and servants, and the world of maya is dull, lifeless, and worthless. When a soul does not know these truths, the shadow of ignorance falls on his head. (2)


The Clouds of Anarthas - Thirst for Worthless Material Things, Weakness of Heart, and Offenses


     13. "The anarthas are: thirst for worthless material things, weakness of heart, and offenses. Like clouds, these anarthas block the sun of the holy name. (3)

     14. "When these clouds block the light emanating from the sun of the holy name, namabhasa is present. However, the self-perfect holy name of Lord Krishna is always uncovered.


How Namabhasa Comes to an End


     15. "As long as he does not understand his relationship with Lord Krishna, the individual soul will take shelter of namabhasa.

     16. "However, if an individual soul takes shelter of a bonda fide spiritual master and becomes expert in devotional service, the clouds of anarthas flee from him.


Sambandha (Relationship), Abhidheya (Activities of Devotional Service), and Prayojana (Pure Love for Lord Krishna)


     17. "When these clouds and fog are gone, then the sun of the holy name shines brightly. To the devotee the holy name then gives the gift of pure love (prema) for Lord Krishna.

     18. "The bona fide spiritual master then gives knowledge of the soul's relationship with Lord Krishna. Then the spiritual master gives the devotional service of chanting the holy name, service. That is called abhidheya.

     19. "Soon shining very brightly, the sun of the holy name chases away the clouds of anarthas.

     20. "When the holy name gives a great treasure of spiritual love (prema), that is called prayojana. Then the soul is filled with love as he chants the holy name.


Knowledge of the Individual Soul's Relationship With Lord Krishna


     21. "With the help of faith in the feet of his bona fide spiritual master, the soul attains knowledge of his relationship with Lord Krishna.

     22. "Lord Krishna is the eternal master. The souls are His eternal servants. Love for Lord Krishna is eternal. In this way the true nature of the soul is manifest.

     23. "Forgetting that that are Lord Krishna's eternal servants, and therefore seeking happiness away from Lord Krishna, some souls are thrown into the world of maya.

     24. "Maya's world is a prison house for these souls, a prison house where punishment is given to correct the criminal souls who have rebelled against Lord Krishna. (4)

     25-26. "However, if one of those souls, by a saintly Vaishnava's mercy, understands his relationship with Lord Krishna (5) and chants Lord Krishna's holy name, then he attains a great treasure of spiritual love, a treasure that is the essence of all religious activities. Such a soul feels only horror and contempt at the prospect of impersonal liberation.

     27. "However, as long as he has no certain knowledge of his relationship with Lord Krishna, a soul will naturally take shelter of namabhasa. (6)


The Results of Namabhasa Chanting


     28. "Namabhasa chanting brings many auspicious benefits. By it the individual soul attains great piety. That is inevitable. (7)

     29. "By namabhasa sins are destroyed. By namabhasa liberation is attained.

     30. "By namabhasa one becomes purified of the mud of materialism. By namabhasa all diseases are cured.

     31. "All fears flee from namabhasa. A person who chants namabhasa is safe from all calamities.

     32. "Yakshas, rakshasas, bhutas (ghosts), pretas (goblins), evil planets, and anarthas all flee from namabhasa.

     33. "By namabhasa the souls fallen into hell are delivered. From namabhasa all past karma flees.

     34. "Namabhasa is better than all the Vedas and all holy places. Namabhasa is the best of all auspicious deeds.


Attaining Vaikuntha by Namabhasa


     35. "Namabhasa brings the four goals that are piety, economic development, sense gratification, and liberation. All-powerful namabhasa delivers the conditioned souls.

     36. "Namabhasa fills the world with bliss. It is the only shelter for the shelterless. It places one in the best possible position.

     37. "By namabhasa one attains Vaikuntha and the other spiritual realms. In the Kali-yuga all scriptures especially recommend namabhasa.


Sanketa (Hint), Parihasa (Joking), Stobha (Mocking), and Hela (Inattention and Contempt) Are the Four Kinds of Namabhasa


     38. "I know four kinds of namabhasa. They are sanketa (hint), parihasa (joking), stobha (mocking), and hela (inattention and contempt). (8)


Two Kinds of Namabhasa in Sanketa (a Hint of the Holy Name)


     39. "One kind of sanketa namabhasa is when the chanter, although aware that he speaks the name of Lord Vishnu intends that it refer to someone else, to something material. The other kind is when the chanter is not aware of the name of Lord Vishnu, but speaks it anyway.

     40. "In this way there are two kinds of sanketa namabhasa. The scriptures give Ajamila as an example of the first kind.

     41. "When they say `harama harama', the Muslims easily become delivered. This is an example of the second kind of sanketa namabhasa

     42. "Even though in sanketa namabhasa the chanter refers to someone or something other than the Lord, the power of the holy name is not lost.


Parihasa (Joking) Namabhasa


     43. "When one says the holy name as a joke that is parihasa namabhasa. By speaking this kind of namabhasa persons like Jarasandha become delivered from the world of birth and death.


Stobha (Mocking) Namabhasa


     44. "By chanting namabhasa to mock the holy name, persons like Shishupala cut the noose of birth and death.


Hela (Inattention and Contempt) Namabhasa


     45. "When one chants the holy names of Krishna and Rama inattentively or with contempt, that is hela namabhasa.

     46. "By chanting these kinds of namabhasa the molecchas (outcastes) become delivered. The materialists and spiritually lazy people follow this path.


Shraddha (With Faith) and Hela (With Contempt) are Two Divisions of Namabhasa


     47. "If one chants with faith but also with anarthas, his chanting is called shraddha namabhasa.

     48. "The kinds of namabhasa that begin with sanketa and end with hela are chanting without faith, chanting with contempt.

     49. "By chanting namabhasa with contempt one destroys sins and attains liberation. (9)


Namabhasa Chanting of the Holy Name Destroys Anarthas and Gives Prema (Pure Love for Lord Krishna)


     50. "By namabhasa chanting one can obtain everything except pure love (prema). By namabhasa one comes to the stage of pure chanting (shuddha-nama).

     51. "When the anarthas have fled, pure chanting becomes manifest. Then pure love for Lord Krishna (krishna-prema) becomes manifest.

     52. "Namabhasa has no power to give pure love (prema) directly. Only proper chanting, following the rules of chanting, gives pure love.


How Namabhasa and Offensive Chanting Are Different


     53. "I offer my respectful obeisances to anyone who, avoiding offenses to the holy name, performs namabhasa chanting of the holy name.

     54. "O Supreme Lord, I declare that namabhasa chanting is endlessly better than karma or jnana.

     55. "If by namabhasa chanting one attains faith, the faith that is the root of attraction to Lord Krishna, then the chanter will become purified. Pure chanting of the holy name will be manifest before him.


Chaya (Shadow) and Pratibimba (Reflection) Are the Two Kinds of Light in Namabhasa. Chaya (Shadow) Namabhasa


     56. "Abhasa (dim light) is of two kinds: pratibimba (reflection) and chaya (shadow). When faith is like a dim light (shraddhabhasa) it is of these two kinds (reflection and shadow). O Lord, these are all manifested by Your potency.

     57. "From chaya-shraddhabhasa (the shadow of faith) comes chaya-namabhasa (the shadow of the holy name). This kind of namabhasa brings auspiciousness to the individual souls. (10)


Pratibimba Namabhasa (the Reflection of the Holy Name)


     58-59. "A person who sees how other souls have pure faith may attain shraddhabhasa (dim faith) in his heart, but them may also yearn after sense pleasure or impersonal liberation and work day and night to attain it.

     60. "This kind of faith is only the outward symptom of faith. It is not true faith itself. The scriptures call this kind of faith pratibimba-shraddhabhasa (the reflection of faith).

     61. "When a person who possesses pratibimba-shraddhabhasa chants the holy name, his chanting is always pratibimba-namabhasa (the reflection of the holy name).


From Pratibimba-namabhasa the Mayavada Fallacy Appears


     62. "This kind of namabhasa leads to the mayavada fallacy.


Cheating Pratibimba-namabhasa Is an Offense to the Holy Name


     63. "A person who thinks the holy name is only the means (sadhana) to a higher eternal goal (sadhya), sullies the glory of the holy name. Because of that offense he perishes.


How Chaya-namabhasa and Pratibimba-namabhasa Are Different


     64. "Chaya-namabhasa (the shadow of the holy name) comes only from ignorance, and weakness of heart.

     65. "The holy name cleans away those two defects. However, the holy name increases the defects that cause pratibimba-namabhasa.


Mayavada (Impersonalism) and Bhakti (Devotional Service) Are Opposites. The Mayavada Theory Is an Offense


     66. "The mayavadis think Lord Krishna's name, form, qualities, and pastimes are all false, temporary, and polluted.

     67. "They think love for Krishna is not eternal. In this way the mayavada philosophy is the opposite of devotional service (bhakti).

     68. "The mayavada philosophy is counted among the enemies of devotional service. Therefore the mayavadis are offenders.

     69. "The holy name does not come from the mayavadis' mouths. If it comes it is not the true holy name.

     70. "The mayavadis say the holy name is not eternal. Therefore, even if they loudly chant the holy name, they still will fall into an inauspicious condition of life.

     71. "They approach the holy name and pray for sense pleasures or impersonal liberation, but the holy name cheats them and gives them only sufferings.


Rejecting the Offense of Mayavada Philosophy


     72. "However, if a mayavadi rejects the desire for sense pleasures and impersonal liberation, and instead chants the holy name, then he will become a servant of Lord Krishna (krishna-dasa).

     73. "He will reject the wicked mayavada philosophy. Repentant, he will become a follower of the holy name.

     74. "In the association of devotees he will again and again hear and ahcnt Lord Krishna's glories. Then he will attain true knowledge of his relationship with Lord Krishna.

     75. "He will never grow tired of chanting the holy name. Tears will fall from his eyes. Attaining the mercy of the holy name, he will find his heart become strong.


Saying Devotional Service Is Not Eternal, the Mayavadis Commit an Offense


     76. "The mayavadis say that the individual souls, Lord Krishna's form, and service to Lord Krishna are all imaginary and are not eternal.

     77. "In this way I count the mayavada philosophy among the offenses to the holy name. From the mayavada philosophy all calamities come.


By Namabhasa Chanting the Mayavadis Attain Sayujya-mukti (Impersonal Liberation), Which Is Mukty-abhasa (the Dim Light of Liberation)


     78. "Being like a kalpa-vriksha tree, namabhasa chanting gives to the mayavadis the impersonal liberation they desire.

     79. "When it is reflected as pratimbimba-namabhasa, the all-powerful holy name gives mukty-abhasa (the dim light of liberation).

     80. "Among the five kinds of liberation the liberation called sayujya-mukti (impersonal liberation) is mukty-abhasa (the dim light of liberation). Its only benefit is that it destroys all sufferings. However, at the end it ruins everything.


The Mayavadis Do Not Attain Eternal Happiness


     81. "Bewildered by maya, ordinary people think they will find happiness in maya. When he attains sayujya-mukti (impersonal liberation), the soul attains only sukhabhasa (the dim light of happiness).

     82. "The highest pleasure is service to the eternal, blissful, and all-knowing Supreme Personality of Godhead. However, when the soul attains sayujya-mukti, his memory of Lord Krishna is erased.

     83. "How can a person who does not have faith that devotional service and pure love for Lord Krishna are eternal attain eternal happiness?


A Person Whose Chanting Is Chaya-namabhasa Does Not Accept a Faulty Philosophy. He Gradually Attains Pure Chanting (Shuddha-nama)


     84. "A person whose chanting is chaya-namabhasa does not accept any false philosophy. His strength of mind is not destroyed by the imaginary ideas of a false philosophy.

     85. "By his own power the soul cannot know the truth. Only when the holy name gives the gift of knowledge does the soul understand the truth.

     86. "When it is covered by clouds the sun's light cannot be known. Only when it destroys the clouds is the sun openly manifested.

     87. "By the power given by a genuine spiritual master, a fortunate person whose chanting is chaya-namabhasa after a few days easily attains pure love for the holyname (nama-prema).


A Devotee Must Always Avoid Associating with Mayavadis


     88-89. "A soul who carefully avoids associating with mayavadis, and who with his service pleases a pure devotee attached to pure chanting (shuddha-nama) of the holy name, and who follows Your commands, O Shri Krishna Chaitanya, is very fortunate.

     90. "A soul who does not follow Your commands is worthless rubbish. Even after millions of births he will not be delivered.

     91. "O Lord, only by taking shelter of You can the soul avoid bad association. I do not see any way other that taking shelter of Your lotus feet."

     92. Bhaktivinoda, who takes shelter of Haridasa's feet, again and again sings this Hari-nama-cintamani.




Chapter Three Footnotes by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura


     (1) Lord Krishna and Lord Krishna's name are not different. They are a spiritual sun that destroys the darkness of ignorance. Out of compassion for the conditioned souls, the sun of the holy name rises in the material world. The conditioned souls' ignorance is like fog. The conditioned soul's anarthas are like clouds. They make a darkness that covers the sun of the holy name. Actually that darkness covers only the eyes of the conditioned souls. The sun is great. Nothing has the power to cover it. Still, when shadows fall on the eyes of the conditioned souls, it is said that the sun is covered.

     (2) The holy name is spiritual is nature, Lord Krishna is the supreme master of all, the various demigods are all Lord Krishna's servants, the individual souls are all spiritual in nature, and the world of maya is dull, lifeless, and worthless, When they do not understand these truths, the individual soul's are in ignorance. Lord Krishna is the master, the individual souls are His servants, and the world of maya is dull, lifeless, and worthless. When they understand these truths, the individual souls are not in ignorance.

     (3) The thirst for worthless material things, which means the thirst for sense objects that have nothing to do with Lord Krishna, or in other words the desire for material sense pleasures, and also weakness of heart, and also offenses are the anartha clouds that fall on the individual souls.

     (4) The fourteen material worlds, which are ruled by Goddess Maya, are a prison house for souls who have rebelled against Lord Krishna. It is not a place for their recreation and enjoyment. The sense pleasures there are all temporary and all lead to great suffering. That suffering is punishment, and by that punishment the rebellious souls become reformed.

     (5) "I, an infinitesimal conscious being, am Lord Krishna's eternal servant. Lord Krishna, the all-powerful conscious being, is my only master. This dull and inert material world is a prison house meant to reform me." This is true knowledge of the individual soul's relationship with Lord Krishna.

     (6) As long as by the spiritual master's mercy true knowledge of the soul's relationship with Lord Krishna does not arise, the soul will possess the anartha of ignorance and his chanting of the holy name will be namabhasa, not the pure chanting of the holy name (shuddha-nama).

     (7) Namabhasa is counted among the best pious deeds an individual soul can perform. Compared to varnashrama-dharma, vows, yoga, yajnas, and other auspicious deeds, namabhasa brings the best results.

     (8) sanketa, parihasa, stobha, and hela are the four kinds of namabhasa in audible chanting of the holy name. All kinds of namabhasa fall into these four categories. From hela to stobha, from stobha to parihasa, and from parihasa to sanketa, the fault in chanting becomes progressively less and less.

     (9) By audibly chanting the holy name with contempt one attains auspicious results up to liberation. However, by chanting the holy name with faith one attains an auspicious result that chanting with contempt has no power to give. When one chants with faith and with knowledge of his relationship with Lord Krishna, the result of chanting is that love for Lord Krishna arises. When one chants namabhasa with faith, anarthas quickly flee.

     (10) In many places in the scriptures are found the words namabhasa (the dim light of the holy name), vaishnavabhasa (a person who is like a dim light of a Vaishnava), shraddhabhasa (the dim light of faith), bhavabhasa (the dim light of ecstasy), ratyabhasa (the dim light of attraction to Krishna), premabhasa (the dim light of pure love for Krishna), muktyabhasa (the dim light of liberation), and other words like them. In this matter the word "abhasa" (dim light) is very appropriate. These words are discussed in this chapter. Abhasa is of two kinds: svarupabhasa (direct dim light) and pratibimbabhasa (reflected dim light). In svarupabhasa, direct light is dimly manifest. An example of this is the dim sunlight manifest when the sun is covered by clouds. In pratibimbabhasa the light is reflected. It originates in a place different from where the shining is seen to come. Therefore it is said:


abhasas tu mrisha buddhir

     avidya-karyam ucyate


     "A distorted reflection of reality is called ignorance."


     Therefore pratibimbabhasa is like light reflected on water. When it is covered by clouds or fog, the sun of the holy name can be seen only dimly. This condition, or namabhasa, brings many auspicious benefits to the world. However, when the light of the holy name is reflected in the lake of mayavada philosophy, that is called "pratibimba-namabhasa" (the reflection of the holy name). From pratibimba-namabhasa may come impersonal liberation and other results. However, pure love (prema) for Krishna, which is the final benefit obtained from the holy name, never comes from pratibimba-namabhasa. This kind of namabhasa is actually a great offense to the holy name. Therefore it is not said to be a true namabhasa. The only true namabhasa is chaya-namabhasa (the shadow of the holy name), which is of four kinds. Throwing pratibimba-namabhasa far away, all the scriptures worship chaya-namabhasa. Chaya-namabhasa comes from anarthas born of ordinary ignorance. Pratibimba-namabhasa, which is born from wicked philosophical misconceptions, is considered an offense that blocks the true holy name. A Vaishnava-praya, or Vaishnavabhasa, is a neophyte or materialistic devotee who does not commit the offense of following the mayavada philosophy. Such a person is honored as a true devotee of the Lord. And why not? By associating with saintly devotees he will quickly attain great auspiciousness. The pure devotees (shuddha-bhakta) will befriend him and have mercy on him as one has mercy on a beginner or a child. They will not treat him with contempt, as the mayavadis do. The beginner, who has only ordinary faith, is first engaged only in Deity worship. Then, as he makes advancement, he becomes engaged in serving the Supreme Lord and the devotees. In this way he attains true knowledge of his relationship with the Lord. this gives him the gift of true devotion (bhakti). However, if it is seen that he has unflinching faith in the mayavada philosophy, the neophyte should be shunned.