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

Chapter Nine

Nama-bale Papa-buddhih

To Commit Sinful Activities on the Strength of the Holy Name of the Lord


namno balad yasya hi papa-buddhir

     na vidyate tasya yamair hi shuddhih


     "To commit sinful activities on the strength of the holy name of the Lord."*


     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 all the devotees of the Lord!

     2. Haridasa said, "The holy name is made of pure goodness. A fortunate soul will take shelter of the holy name.

     3. "Very soon his anarthas flee far away. His weakness of heart will not stay.

     4. "Firmly attached to the holy name, his heart will not remain attached to sins. His previous sins will burn away. His heart will become very pure.

     5. "Sin is divided into 1. papa (sin), 2. papa-bija (the seed of sin) or papa-vasana (the desire for sin), and 3. avidya (ignorance), which is the root of sin. These three bring suffering to the conditioned souls. (1)

     6. "Merciful to the other souls, the fortunate souls always acts for their welfare.

     7. "He cannot bear that the conditioned souls are suffering. He acts to help the souls victimized and troubled by other souls. (2)

     8. "The thirst in his heart for material sense pleasures becomes very weak. The yearnings of the senses do not stay in his heart.

     9. "He becomes disinterested in struggling to get money and women. Satisfied by whatever comes with pious and moral deeds, he maintains his life.

     10. "He accepts activities favorable for devotional service. He does not accept activities unfavorable for devotional service.

     11. "He thinks, `Krishna is my only protector.' He thinks, "Krishna is the protector of my life.'

     12. "In his heart he does not keep thoughts of `I' and `mine'. (3) He always humbly chants the holy name.

     13. "How can sinful thoughts or deeds stay in person who in this way takes shelter of the holy name?


Previous Sins (Purva-papa) and the Scent of Sin (Papa-gandha) Quickly Flee Far Away


     14. "His previous propensity to sin gradually becomes less and less. Quickly he becomes pure. He becomes wise.

     15. "In the time between sinful and sinless life there is a time of some days where the scent of sin lingers. (4)

     16. "As one properly chants the holy name the scent of sin quickly perishes.

     17-18. "Lord Krishna promised Arjuna: `My devotee will never perish. When there is danger, I will protect him.' In this way, O Lord, by Your mercy all sins flee from Your devotee.

     19. "They who follow the path of jnana struggle to control the senses. But because they do not take shelter of You, O Lord, they quickly fall down.

     20. "The great souls who take shelter of You never meet any obstacle. That is the scriptures' conclusion.


A Devotee Who Accidentally Sins Need Not Perform Prayashcitta (Atonement)


     21. "A devotee who accidentally sins need not perform prayashcitta (atonement). (5)

     22. "That momentary sin does not count. Swimming in the nectar of the holy name, that devotee does not meet misfortune.


Committing Sin on the Strength of Chanting the Holy Name


     23-24. "However, if a he deliberately commits sin on the strength of the holy name, a mischiefmonger who takes shelter of trying to cheat the holy name attains, because of his offense to the holy name, grief, fear, and death.


Accidental and Deliberate Actions Are Different


     25. "Accidental and deliberate actions are completely different. This truth is revealed in the heart of the devotional scriptures (bhakti-shastra). (6)


The Sins of a Person Who Takes Shelter of the Holy Name Flee Far Away. A Person Whose Heart Rests in Sin Commits an Offense to the Holy Name


     26. "A human being in the material world who commits a sin should repent (anutapa) and perform atonement (prayashcitta).

     27. "However, if a person commits sin on the strength of chanting, he is not eligible to perform atonement. His future is very inauspicious.

     28. "Even after many punishments of Yamaraja he is not delivered from his offense.

     29. "Even of he thinks of committing a sin in that way he will be punished. Who can measure his punishment if he acts?


A Cheater Who Trusts the Holy Name and then Sins Is Renounced Like the Monkeys (Markata-vairagya)


     30. "In the scriptures it is heard that the holy name removes more sins than a great sinner can commit in many millions of births.

     31. "The five kinds of sin, including even the greatest sins, flee from namabhasa chanting of the holy name. This the scriptures say again and again.

     32. "A cheater who has faith in these truths may try to cheat the holy name.

     33. "Renouncing troublesome grihastha life, he may accept the garments of sannyasi. Lusting after women and money, he may travel from place to place.

     34. "O Lord, You have called such a person a markata-vairagi (monkey-sannyasi). Pretending to be a sannyasi, he likes to spend time chatting with women. (7)


Persons Who Do Not Sincerely Take Shelter of the Holy Name Cannot Avoid This Offense


     35. "A person who pretends to be a sannyasi but in truth lives like a grihastha is not fit to be spoken to. He pushes the whole world into danger.

     36. "A person may live as a grihastha, or he may go to the forest and live as a sannyasi. Either way he is not at fault. He should live a sinless life, chant the holy name, and be happy. (8)


By Associating with Cheaters, a Person Whose Chanting Is Namabhasa Will Commit This Offense


     37. "If they associate with bad people, persons whose chanting is namabhasa will inevitably commit this offense.

     38. "When pure chanting of the holy name (shuddha-nama) rises in the heart, the devotee will not commit this offense.


The Ten Offenses Do Not Touch Anyone Who Purely Takes Shelter of the Holy Name


     39. "The ten offenses do not in any way or at any time touch anyone who purely takes shelter of the holy name.

     40. "The holy name protects anyone who takes shelter of the holy name. Such persons never commit offenses.

     41. "During the days when pure chanting of the holy name does not yet arisen, one may still fear an attack from the offenses.

     42. "Therefore if one's chanting is namabhasa one should flee from the idea of committing sin on the strength of chanting the holy name.


For How Many Days Must One Struggle To Avoid the Offenses?


     43. "Drawing strength from association with devotees who purely chant the holy name, one should take great care to avoid the offenses. (9)

     44. "When the pure chanting of the holy name appears in one's mouth, the heart becomes passiontely attached to Lord Krishna. That heart will never leave Lord Krishna, even for a single moment.

     45. "During the days when one does not yet chant in this way one should fear the offenses.

     46. "Especially one should throw far away the offense of committing sin on the strength of chanting. Day and night one's mouth should say, `Hari! Hari!'

     47. "By the spiritual master's mercy one will eventually attain true knowledge of one's relationship with Lord Krishna, true devotional service, and true chanting of Lord Krishna's holy name.


The Remedy For This Offense


     48. "If one foolishly commits sin on the strength of chanting one should purify himself by staying in the association of pure Vaishnavas.

     49. "Sinful desires are highwaymen that lay in wait. (10) Pure Vaishnavas are guards that protect travellers on the highway.

     50. "By chanting the holy name, one loudly calls for the guards. The guards come, and the highwaymen flee.

     51. "Chant the holy name with love, O my brothers. Do not fear. Hear this. The Supreme Lord Himself has said, `I will be your protector'."

     52. A person who, even though he is worthless like a pile of ashes, has taken a vow to serve the Vaishnavas' feet, sings this Hari-nama-cintamani.




Chapter Nine Footnotes by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura


     (1) From avidya comes papa-bija or papa-vasana, and from papa-vasana comes papa. These three bring suffering to the souls imprisoned by maya.

     (2) "Troubled by other souls" means "souls whose sufferings are created by other souls".

     (3) "I" and "mine" means to be attached to thinking "I" and "mine" in relation to the external body made of dull and inert material elements.

     (4) In this way one becomes attracted to the holy name. The previous condition of life is followed by the later condition of life. The condition of life in between these two conditions of life is called the "time between" or the intervening time. In that intervening time the heart is not inclined to commit new sins. By continued practice of chanting the holy name, the scent of sin is gradually destroyed.

     (5) If a devotee accidentally commits some sin he need not undergo any atonement.

     (6) Sinful acts are of two kinds: accidental and deliberate. When with a steady mind one carefully thinks, "I will do this one sin.", that is deliberate sin. The two kinds of sin are very different.

     (7) In relation to Chota Haridasa, Lord Chaitanya criticized such persons, calling them "markata-vairagi" (monkey-sannyasi). This is described in Shri Chaitanya-caritamrita. A sannyasi who talks with women is a markata-vairagi.

     (8) A devotee who takes shelter of the holy name may live as a grihastha at home, or he may live as a sannyasi in the forest. There is no difference. And why not? If one's grihastha life is favorable for chanting the holy name, then the sannyasa-ashrama may wait. But if his grihastha life is not favorable for chanting the holy name, a Vaishnava should leave home and renounce grihastha life.

     (9) "Strength from association with devotees" means "strength from association with pure Vaishnavas".

     (10) "Highwaymen" means "thieves who rob travellers on highways".