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The Offense of Thinking in Terms of "I" and “Mine"
shrute 'pi nama-mahatmye
yah priti-rahito 'dhamah
namni so 'py aparadha-krit
"If one has heard the glories of thetranscendental holy name of the Lord but nevertheless continues in a materialistic concept of life, thinking, `I am this body and everything belonging to this body is mine (aham mameti),' and does not show respect and love for the chanting of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra, that is an offense."*
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. Placing before Lord Chaitanya's feet his words choked with ecstatic love, saintly Haridasa described the last offense to the holy name.
3. He said, "Please hear, O Lord, of the lowest offense. When this offense is present, pure love for the holy name will not arise. (1)
One Must Surrender to the Holy Name
4. "Shunning these nine offenses, a saintly devotee will surrender to the holy name.
5. "The six kinds of surrender are described in the scriptures. I cannot elaborately describe them now.
The Ways of Surrender
6-7. "In brief, surrender to Your feet, O Lord, means to accept everything favorable for devotional service, to reject everything unfavorable for devotional service, (2) to believe that Krishna will always give protection, to identify oneself with Krishna's devotees, always to feel inability without the help of Krishna, and always to feel oneself inferior to Krishna, even though one may have full capacity to perform something on his own.*
8. "A surrendered soul will not live his life without engaging in devotional service to the Lord. He will accept sense gratification only as far as needed to maintain the material body.
9. "When it is favorable for devotional service he is happy to engage his sesnes with sense objects. In this way he lives his life. (3)
10. "When engagement of the senses is not favorable for devotional service, he does not like it. He avoids such engagement.
11. "He thinks, `Lord Krishna and no one else, is my protector. I know that Lord Krishna is my only protector.
12. " `I am poor and penniless. Of all persons I am the most worthless, like a pile of ashes. No one is more fallen and unfortunate than me.
13. " `I am always a servant in Lord Krishna's household. By LOrd Krishna's wish I am engaged in various activities.'
14-16. " Renouncing all thoughts of `I am the doer. I am the giver. I am the protector. This is my body. This is my house. These are my children. This is my wife. I am a brahmana. I am a shudra. I am a father. I am a husband. I am a king. I am a subject. I am the protector of my children.', the surrendered soul rests his thoughts in Lord Krishna. Instead he thinks, `Krishna is doer. Only by Krishna's wish does someone become powerful.
17. " `Whatever Lord Krishna wishes, I will do. I will not even think of following my own wishes.
18. " `If Lord Krishna wishes, I will stay in this world of birth and death. If Lord Krishna wishes, I will leave the world of birth and death.
19. " `If I suffer, or if I enjoy I am always Lord Krishna's servant. By Lord Krishna's wish I am merciful to all the conditioned souls.
20. " `If Lord Krishna wishes, I will experience the results of my past karma. If Lord Krishna wishes, I will accept the path of renunciation.' (4)
21. "Anyone who with a sincere heart surrenders to the Lord is a great soul.
Taking Shelter of the Holy Name Without Surrender
22. "Anyone who does not surrender in these six ways is the lowest of persons. Making the mistake of thinking in terms of `I' and `mine', he is worthless like a pile of ashes.
23. "He thinks, `I am the doer. This family is mine. I experience happiness and suffering as a result of my own efforts.
24. " `I am the protector. I give shelter. This is my wife. This is my brother. These are my daughters. These are my sons.
25. " `I earn money. Because of my effeorts all I do turns out well. In this way all becomes good.'
26. "Persons who have turned their faces from Lord Krishna, persons who think in terms of `I' and `mine' speak in this way. They are very proud of what they think they know.
27. "They may have elaborate knowledge of various skills or crafts, but because of their impious deeds they do not know that the Supreme Lord controls everything. (5)
28. "Hearing the glories of the holy name, they do not believe them. Still, in the course of their ordinary activities they may sometimes say the holy name of Lord Krishna.
29. "They are not attracted to the holy name of Lord Krishna. They are only hypocrites, cheaters who wrap themselves in the flag of religion.
30. "Still, even if they speak it without any respect, their utterance of the holy name brings them some pious credit.
What Is the Root of This?
31. "They dom not attain the result of being attracted to the holy name. This all the scriptures say.
32. "Imprisoned by maya, they are offenders. For them to attain liberation is hard indeed.
33. "They who renounce the world can attain pure devotional service. Turning away from the world of birth and death, they take shelter of the holy name.
The Way To Renounce This Fault
34. "Thinking that Lord Krishna is one's only wealth, one should worship Lord Krishna's feet. Turning away from material sense gratification, one should chant Lord Krishna's holy name.
35. "Turning away from the waves of sense pleasures, one should seek out saintly devotees, associate with them, and serve them.
36. "Gradually gradually one's thoughts will be fixed in the holy name. One will go beyond maya, beyond the realm of `I' and `mine'.
37. "Hearing the glories of the holy name, one will turn away from thoughts of `I' and `mine'. One will become a surrendered devotee.
38. "They who surrender to the holy name are great souls. Chanting Lord Krishna's holy name, they attain the great treasure of love for Lord Krishna (prema-maha-dhana).
The Nature of a Person Free of the Ten Offenses
39-42. "He carefully avoids blaspheming saintly devotees, (6) with a clear mind understands that Lord Vishnu is the Supreme Truth, knows that the spiritual master that gives the holy name and the scriptures that describe the holy name are the most exalted spiritual masters and scriptures, in his heart knows that the holy name is pure and spiritual, carefully renounces the desire for sin, which is the seed of sin, preaches the glories of the pure holy name only to faithful persons, does not perform ordinary pious rituals, surrenders to the holy name and attentively meditates on the holy name.
Chanting the Holy Name Without Offense, One Attains Ecstatic Love (Bhava) After Very Few Days
43. "Such a person is the most glorious in the three worlds. He is very fortunate. He is fit to receive Lord Krishna's mercy. He is the abode of virtues.
44. "After very few days of chanting the holy name he attains ecstasy (bhava). Then he attains a great wealth of pure love (prema-dhana) for Lord Krishna.
The Sequence of Spiritual Advancement
45-46. "A person who engages in devotional activities (sadhana) in this way, by Lord Krishna's mercy attains, after a very few days, ecstasy (bhava) and then pure love (prema) for Lord Krishna. Pure love for Lord Krishna is the greatest of all perfections. This all the scriptures say. (7)
46. "O Lord, You Yourself have said that a saintly devotee who chants Your holy name without offense attains a great wealth of pure love for You (prema-dhana).
47. "If a person chants the holy name without renouncing the offenses, then even after a thousand sadhanas he will not attain true devotion to the Lord.
48. "By following the path of jnana one easily attains impersonal liberation. By following the path of karma one easily attains sense gratification. This the jnanis and karmis know. But even with perfect sadhana it is very difficult to attain true devotion to Lord Krishna.
49. "Sense gratification and impersonal liberation are like the glittering on a oyster shell. It is devotional service that is like the pearl within. An individual soul becomes glorious when he attains pure devotion to Lord Krishna.
50. "When a devotee expertly engages in the activities (sadhana) of devotional service, after very few days the vine of devotional service (bhakti-lata) gives him the fruit of pure love (prema) for Lord Krishna. (8)
Skill in Performing Devotional Service
51. "A person who, renouncing the ten offenses, chants the holy name, has skill in performing devotional service.
The Seriousness of Committing Offenses
52. "If a person is greedy tom attain true devotional service, he should avoid the ten offenses and take shelter of the holy name.
53. "One by one he should carefully renounce the ten offenses. In his heart he should lament that ever he committed them.
54. "He should earnestly surrender at the feet of the holy name. By the holy name's mercy his offenses will be destroyed.
55. "By this his offenses to the holy name will be destoyed. He need perform no other atonement (prayashcitta).
The Way to Renounce the Offenses
56. "The offenses cannot stay with a person who untiringly strives to avoid them. (9)
57. "Day and night one should chant the holy name. One should feel remorse for his offenses. Then all offenses will flee and one will grasp the fruit of chanting the holy name.
58. "When the offenses have fled the pure chanting of the holy name arises. By purely chanting the holy name one attains ecstasy (bhava) and then pure love (prema) for Lord Krishna.
59. "Then the ten offenses (10) will not enter his heart. O Lord Chaitanya, please be merciful to me. Please allow me to dive into the nectar of the holy name."
60. By Haridasa's mercy, Bhaktivinoda happily sings this Hari-nama-cintamani.
Chapter Thirteen Footnotes by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura
(1) A person initiated into the chanting of the holy name who is very strongly attracted to sense gratification will think of his material body in terms of "I" and "mine". Such a person will fall from the path of devotional service. A person who proudly thinks, "I am a brahmana. I am a Vaishnava. I am a king. This is my body. This is my house. These are my children and grandchildren. This is my wealth. These are my followers and dependents.", will noe able to properly worship the holy name. His offense is very great. A person who surrenders to the holy name will not commit this offense.
(2) "I will accpt only those activities that are favorable for devotional service." With this vow one accepts activities favorable for devotional service. "Activities unfavorable for devotional service I will throw far away." With this vow one rejects activities unfavorable for devotional service.
(3) He is happy because he relishes contact with Lord Krishna (krishna-sambandha-ruci).
(4) My enjoyment of the results of karma or my renunciation of those results are both done if Lord Krishna wishes.
(5) Persons who have turned their faces away from Lord Krishna think in their hearts, "I am very learned in various skills and arts. I am very exalted. I am very happy." The truth is that everything happens by Lord Krishna's will. However, this thought never once enters these persons' minds.
(6) Simply by renouncing these ten offenses one attains everything. A person who is free of these ten offenses may accept initiation. One should be taught to renounce these offenses.
(7) Here Shri Haridasa teaches that by taking shelter of the holy name one surpasses the stage of sadhana after a few days.
(8) When one performs a small amount of expert sadhana, the vine of devotional service gives him the fruit of pure love (prema) for Lord Krishna. This the devotee attains.
(9) When one performs material activities with the material body one must eventually become fatugued. Spiritual activities are different. By appealing to the holy name with heartfelt words one can destroy his offenses to the holy name. One cannot destroy these offenses merely by performing material pious deeds or by performing activities of atonement (prayashcitta).
(10) The rten kinds of offenses to the holy name are described in these words of the Padma Purana:
satam ninda namnah paramam aparadham vitanute
yatah khyatim yatam katham u sahate tad vigariham
shivasya shri-vishnor ya iha guna-namadi-sakalam
dhiya bhinnam pashyet sa khalu hari-namahita-karah
guror avajna shruti-shastra-nindanam
tathartha-vado hari-namni kalpanam
namno balad yasya hi papa-buddhir
na vidyate tasya yamair hi shuddhih
shubha-kriya-samyam api pramadah
ashraddadhane vimukhe 'py ashrinvati
yash copadeshah shiva-namaparadhah
yah priti-rahito 'dhamah
namni so 'py aparadha-krit
For an English translation of these verses please see the first footnote of Chapter Four of this book.