Click here to load whole tree
NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Bhaktivinoda Thakura > Jaiva Dharma > Chapter-25

Chapter Twenty-five

Nitya-dharma O Sambandhabhidheya-prayojana (Prameyantar-gata Namaparadha-vicara)

Eternal Religion and Sambandha, Abhidheya, and Prayojana (Offenses to the Holy Name)



     The next evening, at dusk, Vijaya-kumara and Vrajanatha approach the saintly babaji and offered dandavat obeisances to him. When it was appropriate, Vijaya-kumara said, "O master, please be merciful and fully explain namabhasa (the reflection of the holy name). We thirst to hear about the holy name." The saintly babaji replied, "You are very fortunate. To understand the holy name you should first understand three things: 1. nama (the pure chanting of the holy name), 2. namabhasa (the reflection of the holy name), and 3. namaparadha (offenses to the holy name). Now I will explain about namabhasa. The reflection of the holy name is called “namabhasa".


     Vijaya-kumara: What kind of reflection is it, and how many kinds of reflection are there?

     Babaji: The word "abhasa" has three definitions: 1. kanti (light), 2. chaya (shadow), and 3. pratibimba (reflection). An effulgent object manifests light and also creates shadows. In this way the sun of the holy name manifests as nama-chaya (the shadow of the holy name) and nama-pratibimba (the reflection of the holy name). The wise speak of "bhakty-abhasa" (the partial presence of devotional service), "bhavabhasa" (the partial presence of ecstatic love of God), "namabhasa" (the partial presence of the holy name), and "vaishnavabhasa" (being a Vaishnava in part). Each of these "abhasas" is divided into two aspects: "pratibimba" (reflection) and "chaya" (shadow).

     Vijaya-kumara: How are bhakty-abhasa, bhavabhasa, namabhasa, and vaishnavabhasa related to each other?

     Babaji: A Vaishnava chants the holy name of Lord Hari. If he chants the holy name with bhakty-abhasa, then the holy name manifests before him as namabhasa, and he himself is a Vaishnavabhasa. The words bhava and bhakti refer to the same thing. They are called by different names because one is contracted and the other expanded.    Vijaya-kumara: In what condition of life is one a Vaishnavabhasa?

     Babaji: In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (11.2.47) it is said:



arcayam eva haraye

     pujam ya shraddhayehate

na tad-bhakteshu canyeshu

     sa bhaktah prakritah smritah



     "A prakrita, or materialistic devotee does not purposefully study the shastra and try to understand the actual standard of pure devotional service. Consequently he does not shoe proper respect to advanced devotees. He may, however, follow the regulative principles learned from his spiritual master or from his family who worships the Deity. He is to be considered on the material platform, although he is trying to advance in devotional service. Such a person is a bhakta-praya (neophyte devotee), or bhaktabhasa, for he is a little enlightened by Vaishnava philosophy."


     The word "shraddha" (faith) in this verse means "shraddhabhasa" (the partial presence of faith). And why not? When faith is directed to the Lord alone and not to the Lord's devotees, such faith is called chaya (shadow) or pratibimba (reflection). That is the faith of ordinary materialistic people. It is not the spiritual faith of pure devotional service. Because a bhaktabhasa (a person who is partially a devotee) has faith and worship that are material (prakrta) in nature, a bhaktabhasa devotee is also called a “prakrta-bhakta" or a "Vaishnavabhasa". Lord Mahaprabhu said that Hiranya-Govardhana was a “Vaishnava-praya". The word "Vaishnava-praya" means "a person who, wearing beads, tilaka markings and other things, looks like a true Vaishnava, although his chanting of the holy name is only namabhasa". Such a person is not a true Vaishnava or a "shuddha-Vaishnava" (pure Vaishnava).


     Vijaya-kumara: If an impersonalist accepts the various outward markings of a Vaishnava and chants the holy name, is he then a Vaishnavabhasa?

     Babaji: No. They cannot be called "Vaishnavabhasa". They are offenders. They should be called “Vaishnavaparadhi" (offenders to the Vaishnavas). They who take shelter of pratibimba-namabhasa (the reflection of the holy name) and pratibimba-namabhasa (the reflection of ecstatic love for the Lord) may be called Vaishnavabhasa. But it is not right to call the great offenders by the name "Vaishnava". They should be called something else.

     Vijaya-kumara: O master, please explain more clearly the nature of the pure chanting of the holy name, so we may understand it better.

     Babaji: When a person who chants the holy name is “anyabhilashita-shunya" (free of all material desires), "jnana-karmady-anavrita" (free of impersonalism and fruitive work), and "anukulya-bhava" (favorable to Lord Krishna), then his chanting is pure chanting of the holy name. here the word "anyabhilasha" does not refer to the desire to taste the transcendental bliss that comes when the spiritual holy name is openly manifested. "Anyabhilasha" here refers to the desire to attain impersonal liberation or freedom from sins as the result of one's chanting of the holy name. If these desires are present, then one's chanting of the holy name will not be pure. If one is not free from the desire to enjoy the so-called benefits obtained by jnana (impersonal speculation) and karma (fruitive work), then his chanting of the holy name will not be pure either. If one throws far away all feelings of enmity toward the Lord, and maintains only favorable emotions directed to the Lord, then one's chanting of the holy name will be pure. In this way you can see that when one's chanting is free of namaparadha (offenses to the holy name) and namabhasa (the partial manifestation of the holy name), then his chanting is shuddha-nama (the pure chanting of the holy name). Lord Gaurachandra, the purifier of the Kali-yuga, has described this pure chanting in the following words:



trinad api su-nicena

     taror iva sahishnuna

amanina manadena

     kirtaniyah sada harih



     "One should chant the holy name of the Lord in a humble state of mind, thinking oneself lower than the straw in the street. One should be more tolerant than a tree, devoid of all sense of false prestige, and ready to offer all respect to others. In such a state of mind one can chant the holy name of the Lord constantly."*


     Vijaya-kumara: O master, how are namabhasa and namaparadha different?

     Babaji: Namabhasa is not shuddha-nama (the pure chanting of the holy name). In one circumstance the chanting of the holy name is called "namabhasa" and in another circumstance it is called "namaparadha". When out of bewilderment and foolishness one does not chant the holy name purely, his chanting is called "namabhasa". On the other hand, when a rascal impersonalist who yearns to attain impersonal liberation chants the holy name, or when a hedonist who yearns after material sense pleasures chants the holy name, their impure chanting is called "namaparadha" (offense to the holy name). I have already described to you the ten offenses. If a sincere person out of ignorance commits these offenses, his chanting is namabhasa. This should be understood: As long as one's chanting is namabhasa and does not have the nature of namaparadha, then one may hope that one day he will rise above namabhasa and attain shuddha-nama (the pure chanting of the holy name). As long as one is in the stage of namaparadha it will not be easy for him to chant the holy name purely. I have already explained how one becomes free from namaparadha (offenses to the holy name). Aside from that, there is no other method by which one can attain auspiciousness.

     Vijaya-kumara: What should a person whose chanting is namabhasa do to turn his namabhasa chanting into shuddha-nama (the pure chanting of the holy name)?

     Babaji: By associating with pure devotees one quickly becomes attracted to pure devotional service. When the holy name dances on the tongue of such a person, that chanting is shuddha-nama (pure chanting of the holy name). However, such a person must scrupulously avoid the association of persons whose chanting is namaparadha. And why not? If he associates with them, he will not be able to chant the holy name purely. Association with saintly devotees is the only way for the individual soul to attain auspiciousness. For this reason Lord Gaurachandra, who is the master of our lives, taught Sanatana Gosvami that association with saintly devotees is the root from which devotional service grows. When one associates with saintly devotees and avoids the association of nondevotees and women, he will be able to chant the holy name of Lord Krishna properly.

     Vijaya-kumara: O master, does this mean that if a man does not renounce the association of his wife he will not be able to chant the holy name purely?

     Babaji: One should renounce association with women. When a householder Vaishnava associates with his wife and he lives Vaishnava household life in an unattached way, that is not what is meant here by "association with women". When am man has a material attachment to a woman or a woman has a material attachment to a man, that is what is meant here by “association with women". A householder may remain in family life, and if he is free from material attachment he can chant Lord Krishna's holy name purely and he can attain the final goal of life.

     Vijaya-kumara: O master, what are the different kinds of namabhasa?

     Babaji: In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (6.2.14) it is said:



sanketyam parihasyam va

     stobham helanam eva va


     asheshagha-haram viduh



     "One who chants the holy name of the Lord is immediately freed from the reactions of unlimited sins, even if he chants indirectly (to indicate something else), jokingly, for musical entertainment, or even neglectfully. This is accepted by all the learned scholars of the scriptures."*


     Vijaya-kumara: O master, what does it mean to "chant indirectly" (sanketya)?

     Babaji: At the moment of his death Ajamila called for his son, who was named Narayana. By thus speaking the word “Narayana", which is a name of Lord Krishna, Ajamila attained the benefit brought by chanting the Lord's name indirectly. The mlecchas use the words "Harama! Harama!", which mean "Pig!", to show their horror and contempt. However, these words mean "Ha Rama!" (O Lord Rama!). By chanting the Lord's holy name in this indirect way, the mlecchas become free from Yamaraja's grip. Namabhasa (the glimpse of the holy name) brings liberation. That is the conclusion of all the scriptures. The holy names of Lord Mukunda (Krishna) are not different from the Lord Himself. Therefore a person who says the word "Mukunda" touches Lord Mukunda directly. In this way he easily attains liberation. By following the path of impersonal speculation one attains liberation only after much difficulty. But by namabhasa (the glimpse of the holy name) everyone attains liberation very easily.

     Vijaya-kumara: O master, many arrogant impersonalist scholars, mlecchas completely ignorant of the truth, and demons who stand opposed to all spiritual goals attained liberation by jokingly (parihasya) chanting the holy name. This I have read in many places in the scriptures. Please describe this joking chanting of the holy name.

     Babaji: When a person disrespectfully chants the holy name that is called "stobha". As a Vaishnava chants the holy name aloud, a blasphemer may approach and say, “Hey, your `Hari Keshta' will bring everything to you!" By thus chanting the holy name, even disrespectfully, the blasphemer will eventually attain liberation. That is the power of the holy name.

     Vijaya-kumara: What is chanting the holy name neglectfully (helana)?

     Babaji: That is chanting the holy name without honoring it. In the Prabhasa-khanda it is said:



madhura-madhuram etan mangalam mangalanam

     sakala-nigama-valli-sat-phalam cit-svarupam

sakrid api parigitam shraddhaya helaya va

     bhrigu-vara nara-matram tarayet krishna-nama



     "Krishna's name is the sweetest of sweet things, the most auspicious of auspicious things, the transcendental fruit of the vine of all Vedic literature. O best of the Bhrigus, chanted even once, either with faith or contempt, it delivers the chanter."


     In this verse the word "shraddhaya" means “with respect" and "helaya" means "without respect". The words "nara-matram tarayet" mean that the holy name delivers even the yavanas.


     Vijaya-kumara: Is it not an offense to chant the holy name without showing respect?

     Babaji: If it is done because of a demonic nature it is an offense. But if it is done only because of ignorance, it is namabhasa (a glimpse of the holy name).

     Vijaya-kumara: Please explain what benefit namabhasa brings and what benefit it does not bring?

     Babaji: Sense pleasures (bhukti), liberation (mukti), and the eighteen yogic perfections are included among the benefits namabhasa brings. However, pure love for Lord Krishna (krishna-prema), which is the highest goal of life, is not granted by namabhasa. If a person whose chanting is on the level of namabhasa associates with a pure devotee (shuddha-bhakta), then the chanter can come to the level of a madhyama-Vaishnava (intermediate devotee). From that status he can become further elevated, attain pure devotion, chant the holy name purely, and finally attain pure love for Lord Krishna (krishna-prema).

     Vijaya-kumara: O master, in this world there are many devotees who are on the platform of Vaishnavabhasa. They have the outward marks of a Vaishnava and they diligently chant the holy name although their chanting on the level of namabhasa. Even though they chant, after many days they still do not attain pure love for Lord Krishna (krishna-prema). Why is that>

     Babaji: The reason is confidential. It is this: Persons on the level of bhakty-abhasa (a glimpse of devotional service) are certainly eligible eventually to attain pure devotional service. However, if such persons mistakenly think impure persons, persons who do not have unalloyed devotion to the Lord, to be great saints, and if by this bad association they eventually associate with impersonalists and other offenders, by that bad association they also become offenders to the pure Vaishnavas. In this way their path of gradual spiritual advancement becomes checked. Thus by bad association they come to accept the doctrines of the impersonalists or other offenders. In this way they wander far away from pure devotional service and eventually they become offenders. However, if, because of past pious deeds they are able to shun bad association and remain in the association of good devotees, then they eventually will become pure Vaishnavas.

     Vijaya-kumara: O master, what result is obtained by namaparadha (offenses to the holy name)?

     Babaji: Even if they were multiplied millions of times, the five sins would not equal an offense to the holy name. You can very easily see the result reaped by offending the holy name.

     Vijaya-kumara: O master, a person who offends the holy name certainly reaps an inauspicious result. Still, does he not also obtain a good result because he has spoken the syllables of the holy name?

     Babaji: The holy name fulfills the chanter's desires, whatever they are. However, to the offensive chanter the holy name will not give pure love for Lord Krishna (krishna-prema). Eventually the offensive chanter must taste the result of his offenses. However, a person who, although he commits offenses to the holy name, regularly chants the holy name will attain the result of his chanting. After some time his chanting will become a great transcendental pious deed. As that transcendental pious deed grows greater and greater, he will attain the association of saintly devotees who devotedly chant the holy name in a pure way. Thus by always chanting the holy name, the offender eventually becomes free of his offenses to the holy name. By following this path even impersonalists gradually become sincere devotees of Lord Hari.

     Vijaya-kumara: By chanting the holy name only once a person is freed from all sins. Why, then, should one chant the holy name always?

     Babaji: Offenders to the holy name have hearts and activities that are always impure. They are naturally averse to the Lord. They are never attracted to saintly persons, holy objects, or holy times. They are naturally attracted to evil persons, evil theories, and evil deeds. However, constant chanting of the holy name turns them away from evil persons and evil deeds. Free from bad association, they come to chant the holy name purely. The holy name then gives them the strength to proceed on the spiritual path.

     Vijaya-kumara: O master, from your saintly mouth flows a nectar stream of the descriptions of the holy name, a stream that flows through the cave of our ears and into our hearts. Drinking from this stream makes us intoxicated with the nectar of love for the holy name. Now we understand the difference between nama (the pure chanting of the holy name), namabhasa (a glimpse of the holy name), and namaparadha (offensive chanting of the holy name). Now our lives are a success. Please tell us the conclusion of all this. We yearn to hear it.

     Babaji: In Jagadananda Pandita's Prema-vivarta the conclusion is eloquently taught. Please listen to it.



asadhu-sange bhai krishna-nama nahi hoy

namakshara bahiraya bate tabu nama kabhu noy



     "O brother, the holy name of Lord Krishna does not come from a person who associates with nondevotees. The syllables of the holy name may come from him, but the true holy name does not.



kabhu namabhasa hoy sada nama-aparadh

e saba janibe bhai krishna-bhaktir badh



     "Sometimes a glimpse of the holy name (namabhasa_ comes from him. Always offenses to the holy name (namaparadha) come from him. O my brother, please know that these are all obstacles to the path of devotion to Lord Krishna.



jadi karibe krishna-nama sadhu-sanga kor

bhukti-mukti-siddhi-bancha dure parihor



     "If you wish truly to chant the holy name of Lord Krishna, then stay in the association of devotees and keep far away from the desire for sense gratification, impersonal liberation, and yoga-siddhis.



dasha aparadha tyaja mana-apaman

anasaktye bishaya bhunja ara laha krishna-nam



     "Avoid the ten offenses, remain aloof from praise and blame, perform your duties, and chant the holy name of Lord Krishna.



krishna-bhaktir anukula saba karaha swikar

krishna-bhaktir pratikula saba koro parihar



     "Always accept what is favorable to Lord Krishna's devotional service, and always reject what is not favorable to Lord Krishna's devotional service.



jnana-joga-ceshta chada ara karma-sang

markata-bairagya tyaja jate deha-rang



     "Avoid impersonal speculation, yoga, and fruitive work. Avoid the pretended renunciation practiced by persons who are like monkeys. That so-called renunciation is only a funny comedy played on the stage of the material body.



krishna amar pale rakshe jana sarba-kal

atma-nibedana-dainye ghucao janjal



     "Always think, `Krishna is my protector'. By humbly surrendering to Him you will be free of troubles.



sadhu paoya kashta bada jibera janiya

sadhu-bhakta-rupe krishna aila nadiya



     "It is very difficult for a conditioned soul to meet a great saint. That is why Lord Krishna came, in the form of a great devotee, to the land of Nadiya.



gora-pada ashraya karaha buddhiman

gora bai sadhu-guru keba ache an



     "If you are wise, you will take shelter of Lord Gaura's feet. Where is there a saintly guru like Lord Gaura?



bairagi bhai gramya-katha na shunibe kane

gramya-bartta na kahibe jabe milibe ane



     "O sannyasi brother, don't talk or hear gossip when you meet with others.



swapane o na koro bhai stri sambhashan

grhe stri chadiya bhai ashiyacha ban



     "O my sannyasi brother, even dreams do not talk to women. O my brother, please remember that he have left your wife at home, and now you live in the forest.



jadi caha pranaya rakhite gaurangera sane

chota haridasera katha thake jena mane



     "If you wish to keep Lord Gauranga's love, then please keep in your mind the story of Chota Haridasa.



bhala na khaibe ara bhala na paribe

hridayete radha-krishna sarbada sebibe



     "Don't eat opulent food. Don't wear opulent clothing. In your heart always worship Radha and Krishna.



bada haridaser nyaya krishna-nama bolibe badane

ashta-kala radha-krishna sebibe kunja-bane



     "Like Haridasa Thakura, always chant the name of Lord Krishna. At every moment of the eight parts of the day worship Radha and Krishna in the groves of Vrindavana forest.



grihastha vairagi dunhe bole gora-ray

dekha bhai nama bina jena dina nahi jay



     "To both householder and sannyasi, Lord Gaura Raya says, `My brother, do not pass your days without chanting the holy name.'



bahu-anga sadhane bhai nahi prayojan

krishna-namashraye shuddha karaha jiban



     "O my brother, there is no need to perform a great variety of many different devotional activities. You need only purely take shelter of Lord Krishna's holy name. Pass your life in that way.



baddha-jibe kripa kori krishna haila nam

kali-jibe daya kori' krishna haila gaura-dham



     "Merciful to the conditioned souls, Lord Krishna has descended as His holy name. Merciful to the people in Kali-yuga, Lord Krishna has descended as fair-complexioned Lord Gaura.



ekanta sarala-bhabe bhaja gaura-jan

tabe ta' paibe bhai shri-krishna-caran



     "Sincerely worship Lord Gaura's devotees. O my brother, that is the way to attain Lord Krishna's feet.



gaura-jana sanga koro gauranga boliya

hare-krishna nama bolo naciya naciya



     "In the company of Lord Gaura's devotees, chant the names of Lord Gaura, chant the Hare Krishna mantra, and dance again and again.



acire paibe bhai nama-prema-dhan

jaha bilaite prabhur nade' e agaman



     "O my brother, in this way you will quickly attain the wealth of love for the holy name, a wealth that our Lord personally came to Nadiya to deliver."


     Hearing Shri Jagadananda Pandita's Prema-vivarta from the mouth of the elderly saintly babaji, Vijaya-kumara and Vrajanatha were overcome with spiritual love. For some moments the saintly babaji fell unconscious. Then, placing his arms around Vijaya-kumara's and Vrajanatha's necks, he began to sing:



krishna-nama dhare kata bal



     "How powerful is the holy name of Lord Krishna!



bishaya-basananale   mora citta sada jwale

rabi-tapta maru-bhumi-sam

karna-randhra patha diya   hridi majjhe prabeshiya

barishaya sudha anupam




     "Ablaze with material desires, my heart has become like a desert scorched by the sun. But now something walks on the pathway of my ears. Now it enters my heart. It is like a peerless shower of nectar.



hridaya haite bole   jihwara agrete cale

shabda-rupe nace anukshan

kanthe mora bhange swara   anga kampe khara-khara

sthira haite na pare caran




     "That shower of nectar has now left my heart. Now it walks on my tongue. Assuming the form of a sound, it dances again and again. My voice is choked. My limbs tremble. My feet cannot stay still.



cakshe dhara dehe gharma   pulakita saba carma

bibarna haila kalebar

murchita haila man   pralayer agaman

bhabe sarba dehe jara-jar




     "A torrential stream flows from my eyes. My body is covered with perspiration. The hairs of my body stand erect. I fall unconscious. I think the end of the world has come. My entire body is filled with ecstatic love.




kari' eta upadrab   citte barshe sudha-drab

more dare premera sagare

kichu na bujhite dil   more ta' batula kail

more citta-vitta saba hare




     "It greatly troubles me. It showers my heart with nectar. It plunges me into an ocean of love. Now I do not understand anything. It has made me a madman. It has robbed all the wealth I keep in my heart.



lainu ashroy ja'ra   hena byabahara ta'ra

barnite na pari e sakal

krishna-nama icchamoy   jahe jahe sukhi hoy

sei mora sukhera sambal




     "I take shelter of Him, and this is the way He acts. I cannot tell it all. The holy name of Lord Krishna is independent. He acts as He likes. If He wishes, He makes me happy. He is the wealth of my happiness.




premera kalika nam   adbhuta rasera dham

hena bala karaye prakash

ishat bikashi' pun   dekhaya nija-rupa-gun

citta hari' laya krishna-pash




     "The holy name is the budding flower of love. It is the resting place of wonderful nectar. It shows so much power. The budding flower begins to open. It shows a little of its beauty and virtue. Binding me with the ropes of Krishna, it steals my heart.



purna bikashita hana   braje more jaya lana

dekhaya more swarupa-bilas

more siddha-deha diya   krishna-pashe rakhe giya

e dehera kare sarba-nash




     "When it opens fully, that flower carries me to Vraja. It shows me its own form and pastimes. It gives me a perfect spiritual body. It places me by Krishna's side. It completely destroys my material body.




krishna-nama cintamani   akhila rasera khani

nitya-mukta shuddha-rasa-moy

namera balai jata   saba la'ye iha hata

tabe mora sukhera udoy




     "The holy name of Lord Krishna is a cintamani jewel. It is the spring from which all nectar flows. It is eternally liberated. It is pure and sweet. If I can die plagued by the troubles brought by the holy name, then I will be happy."


     Again and again he sang the glories of the holy name. In this way half the night passed. Then he stopped. Taking permission from their spiritual master, Vijaya-kumara and Vrajanatha, now plunged in the nectar of the holy name, returned to their own place.