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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Compiled and Imp Scriptures > Jaiva Dharma > 25. Prameya: Namabhasa


C H A P T E R 2 5

Prameya: Namabhasa


The next day shortly after sandhya, Vijaya and Vrajanatha came

before the respected Babaji, and having offered sastangadandavat,

they took their asanas. Vijaya took the opportunity to

humbly ask, "Prabhu, kindly have mercy upon us and tell us

everything about namabhasa-tattva. We are very anxious to know

the secret of nama-tattva."


Babaji answered, "You are very fortunate. If you want to understand

nama-tattva, you must understand three subject matters very

well: nama, namabhasa and nama-aparadha. I have already explained

so much about nama and nama-aparadha, and now I will

explain about namabhasa, which means the semblance of shri-nama.


Vijaya: What is namabhasa, and how many kinds of abhasa are



Babaji: The word abhasa means luster, shadow or reflection. As

the radiance that emanates from a naturally lustrous object has

kanti (effulgence) or chaya (shadow), so the sun-like Name has two

kinds of abhasa: one is the shadow (nama-chaya), and the other is

the reflection (nama-pratibimba). Learned people who are conversant

with bhakty-abhasa, bhava-abhasa, namabhasa, and

vaishnava-abhasa say that all kinds of abhasa have two divisions:

pratibimba (reflection) and chaya (shadow).


Vijaya: What is the relation between bhakty-abhasa, bhava-abhasa,

namabhasa, and vaishnava-abhasa?


Babaji: Vaishnavas practise hari-nama, and when their practice is

on the level of bhakty-abhasa, then their practice of nama is called

namabhasa. They themselves are also vaishnava-abhasa, not pure

bhaktas. Bhava and bhakti are one and the same thing; it is only

because they are on different levels that they are known by different



Vijaya: On which platform is the jiva called vaishnava-abhasa?


Babaji: Shrimad-Bhagavatam (11.2.47) says:


arcayam eva haraye pujam yah sraddhayehate

na tad-bhaktesu canyesu sa bhaktah prakrtah smrtah


One is a materialistic devotee (kanistha) if he accepts the

arca-murti of Bhagavan as Shri Hari and worships Him with

faith, but does not faithfully worship Krishna's bhakta or

other jivas.


In this sloka the word sraddha is mentioned. However, the intended

meaning is sraddhabhasa, not pure sraddha, because if one

worships Krishna but not His bhaktas, then his sraddha is either chaya

(shadow) or pratibimba (reflection). That faith is worldly faith; it

is not spiritual faith (aprakrta-sraddha). Therefore we should understand

that anyone in whom we see that faith is a materialistic

devotee (prakrta-bhakta), or a semblance of a Vaishnava (vaishnavaabhasa).

Shriman Mahaprabhu has said that Shri Raghunatha dasa

Gosvami's father and uncle, Hiranya and Govardhana, were

vaishnava-praya. This means that they accepted Vaishnava markings

and dress, and chanted namabhasa, as if they were suddha-bhaktas,

but actually they were not pure Vaishnavas.


Vijaya: Can Mayavadis also be called vaishnava-abhasa if they

accept the symbols of a Vaishnava and chant shri-nama?


Babaji: No, they cannot even be called vaishnava-abhasa. They are

simply offenders, so they are called vaishnava-aparadhi. In one sense,

they might be called vaishnava-abhasa, because they have taken

shelter of pratibimba-namabhasa and pratibimba-bhava-abhasa, but

they are such great offenders that they are to be separated even

from the name Vaishnava.


Vijaya: Prabhu, please explain the symptoms of suddha-nama even

more clearly, so that we may easily understand it.


Babaji: Suddha-nama means taking nama with a favorable attitude,

while remaining free from all material desire (anyabhilasa), and

from coverings of jnana, karma and so on. To desire the supreme

bliss that comes when the transcendental nature of nama manifests

clearly is not anyabhilasa. All kinds of desires apart from that -

such as the desire to be free from sins and to gain liberation - are

certainly anyabhilasa. There will be no suddha-nama so long as

anyabhilasa remains; one will not receive suddha-nama as long as

he still desires the fruits of performing jnana, karma, yoga and so



Suddha-nama comes from accepting nama with only favorable

inclinations, and rejecting all unfavorable emotions from the

heart. If one keeps these characteristics of bhakti in mind and

deliberates carefully, it becomes clear that suddha-nama is certainly

that nama which is free from nama-aparadha and namabhasa.

Therefore Shri Gaurachandra, the merciful avatara for Kali-yuga, has



trnad api sunicena taror api sahisnuna

amanina manadena kirtaniyah sada harih

Siksastaka (3)


One should think himself more insignificant and lower

than the straw in the street, and should be more tolerant

than a tree. He should give all respect to others, without

desiring any respect for himself. Then he will be qualified

to chant shri-hari-nama constantly.


Vijaya: Prabhu, what is the intrinsic difference between

namabhasa and nama-aparadha?


Babaji: When there is no suddha-nama, shri-nama is called namabhasa.

That namabhasa is called namabhasa at one stage, and nama-aparadha

at another stage. It is called namabhasa when the name that is

chanted is impure because one is in ignorance, that is to say, one is

under the control of illusion and inattentiveness. However, when

the name is chanted impurely with a desire for sense enjoyment

(bhoga) or liberation (moksa), and based on a Mayavada conception,

that is known as nama-aparadha. If the other kinds of aparadhas that

I told you about before are present because of simple ignorance,

the asuddha-nama (impure name) taken in that situation is not

nama-aparadha, but namabhasa. You should remember that, as long

as one does not commit nama-aparadha when one is chanting

namabhasa, there is hope that the namabhasa will go away, and that

suddha-nama will arise. However, if there is nama-aparadha, the rising

of nama in the heart can only take place with great difficulty. There

is no means to obtain benefit other than the method that I have

already explained to become free from the offenses against shri-nama.


Vijaya: If someone is performing namabhasa, what must he do so

that his namabhasa may become suddha-nama?


Babaji: The suitable engagement is that he takes the association

of suddha-bhaktas. If he stays in their company and chants nama

according to their order and guidance, he will then acquire a taste

for suddha-bhakti. The name that appears on the tongue at that

time will be suddha-nama. At the same time, he should diligently

give up the company of nama-aparadhis, because suddha-nama will

not manifest if one remains in their association. Sat-sanga is the

only cause of the jivas' good fortune. That is why the Lord of our

life, Shri Gaurangadeva, instructed Sanatana Gosvami that satsanga

is certainly the root of bhakti. One should always renounce

associating with women and non-devotees, and practice krishnanama

in the association of bhaktas.


Vijaya: Prabhu, can the sadhaka not perform suddha-nama without

giving up his wife.


Babaji: It is certainly imperative to give up the association of

women. A grhastha-vaishnava who remains with his married wife

in a detached mood is acting properly in the Vaishnava world, and

this is not called "association with women." The attachment of

men for women and women for men is called yosit sanga. If a householder

takes krishna-nama and gives up his attachments, then he

will certainly attain the highest goal of life.


Vijaya: How many kinds of namabhasa are there?


Babaji: Shrimad-Bhagavatam (6.2.14) enumerates four kinds of



sanketyam parihasyam va stobham helanam eva va

vaikuntha-nama-grahanam asesagha-haram viduh


One may utter shri-krishna-nama to indicate something else

(sanketa), jokingly (parihasa), antagonistically (stobha), or

even disrespectfully (hela). Learned people know that these

four types of shadow namabhasa destroy unlimited sins.


Those who are ignorant of nama-tattva and sambandha-tattva

perform these four kinds of namabhasa.


Vijaya: What is sanketya-namabhasa?


Babaji: Sanketya-namabhasa is uttering Bhagavan's name when

alluding to something else. For instance, Ajamila called his son

Narayana at the time of his death, but Bhagavan Shri Krishna's name

is also Narayana, so Ajamila's uttering 'Narayana' was an instance

of sanketya-namabhasa. When Muslims see a pig, they show hatred

and exclaim, "Harama! Harama!" The exclamation 'harama'

contains the two words 'ha' and 'rama', so the person uttering the

word 'harama' also obtains deliverance from the cycle of birth and

death as a result of taking that sanketya-nama.


All the sastras accept that namabhasa gives mukti. Through shrinama,

relationship is strongly established with Mukunda, (the

giver of liberation). Therefore, by uttering shri-nama one is in touch

with Bhagavan Mukunda and by that contact, mukti (liberation)

is easily obtained. The same liberation that is obtained with great

difficulty through brahma-jnana is easily available to everybody

without hard labor through namabhasa.


Vijaya: Prabhu, we have read in different places in the sastras that

those who utter Krishna's names jokingly obtain liberation. This

includes those who desire liberation (mumuksu), those who are

vainly proud of their learning, mlecchas who are devoid of tattvajnana,

and those who are asurika and actually opposed to the

ultimate goal. Now please tell us about stobha-namabhasa.


Babaji: Stobha means uttering shri-nama antagonistically to hinder

others in their chanting of Krishna's name. For example, while a

pure bhakta is chanting hari-nama, an offender may see him, and

make faces, saying, "Your 'Hari-Kest' will do everything!" This is

an example of stobha, and that stobha-nama can award liberation

even to such a person as that hypocrite. The names have such

natural potency.


Vijaya: What is hela-namabhasa?


Babaji: Hela-namabhasa means to utter shri-nama disrespectfully.

It is said in the Prabhasa-khanda that taking shri-nama neglectfully

also results in liberation from this material world.


madhura-madhuram etan mangalam mangalanam

sakala-nigama-valli sat-phalam cit-svarupam

sakrd api parigitam sraddhaya helaya va

bhrguvara nara-matram tarayet krishna-nama


O best of the Bhrgus, this nama-brahma is more sweet than

any sweet thing and the most auspicious of all that is

auspicious. He is the delectable pure fruit of the flourishing

sruti desire-creeper and appears as the embodiment of

knowledge, delivering any human being who even once

chants shri-krishna-nama either with respect or disrespect.


In this sloka, the word sraddhaya means 'with respect' and helaya

means 'with disrespect'. The purport of the statement nara

matram tarayet is that Krishna's name even gives liberation to the



Vijaya: But isn't it an offense to chant hari-nama antagonistically

or disrespectfully?


Babaji: It is an offense if one is disrespectful knowingly and with

bad intention, but if one is disrespectful unknowingly, it is



Vijaya: What is the result of namabhasa, and what will it not give?


Babaji: Namabhasa will give all kinds of enjoyment, happiness,

liberation and the eight kinds of perfections (siddhis), but it will

not give krishna-prema, which is the highest goal of human life.

However, by giving up bad association, and by associating constantly

with suddha-bhaktas and following their instructions regularly,

one may quickly become a madhyama Vaishnava. Then even

within a few days he can obtain suddha-bhakti and krishna-prema.


Vijaya: Prabhu, many who are vaishnava-abhasa bear the outward

signs of a Vaishnava, and constantly perform namabhasa. Even so,

despite engaging in this way for a long time, they still do not receive

prema. What is the reason for this?


Babaji: There is one secret here. The vaishnava-abhasa-sadhaka is

qualified to receive pure devotion, but he does not have pure, onepointed

bhakti. It may be that he is associating with a person whom

he thinks to be a sadhu, but who is actually a Mayavadi and not a

suddha-bhakta. Due to this undesirable association, the sadhaka

will follow the Mayavadi's apasiddhantika instructions, and as a

result, whatever bhakty-abhasa he had will vanish, and he will

gradually fall down into the category of vaishnava-aparadhi. In that

condition, it is quite difficult - indeed practically impossible -

for him to succeed in his practice. Yet, if his previous sukrti is

strong, it will remove him from that bad association and place

him in the association of saintly persons; and from that sat-sanga

he can obtain pure Vaisnavism again.


Vijaya: Prabhu, what is the result of nama-aparadha?


Babaji: The accumulation of sins from nama-aparadha is even

more dreadful than the result of committing the five maha-papa

millions of times: Thus we can easily estimate the dire result of



Vijaya: Prabhu, I understand that the result of nama-aparadha is

very dangerous, but is there any good result derived from the names

that are uttered offensively?


Babaji: Shri-nama will give whatever result the nama-aparadhi

desires while he is chanting the names, but it will not award krishnaprema.

At the same time, the offender has to suffer the result of

his offenses against shri-nama. One who commits offenses to shrinama,

and who takes the name with a wicked mentality will receive

the following results: In the beginning, the nama-aparadhi takes

shri-nama with a wicked mentality, but after sometime he

occasionally chants nama free from wickedness. This chanting of

the name without a crooked mentality causes him to accumulate

sukrti. Slowly, slowly, as that sukrti increases, its influence enables

him to receive the association of saintly people who are chanting

suddha-nama. The influence of sat-sanga induces the namaaparadhi

to chant shri-nama constantly, which frees him from namaaparadhas.

Even people who had a great desire for liberation have

gradually become hari-bhaktas by taking shelter of this process.


Vijaya: If simply chanting one name can successfully remove all

sins, why is it necessary to chant shri-nama constantly, like an

unbroken stream of fragrant oil?


Babaji: The inner self and dealings of the nama-aparadhi are always

crooked in every way. He is opposed to Krishna (bahirmukha)

by nature, and therefore has no taste for saintly people or auspicious

paraphernalia and times related to Bhagavan. His natural

inclination is towards unworthy people, things, conclusions and

activities. However, if he always chants shri-nama, he will have no

time for unwanted association and activities, and because he is

not in bad association, his chanting of shri-nama will gradually

become pure and give him a taste for auspicious objects.


Vijaya: Prabhu, a current of nectar of shri-nama-tattva is flowing

from your mouth and entering our hearts through our ears, and

we are becoming intoxicated by shri-nama-prema-rasa. Today we

have succeeded in understanding these different topics of nama,

namabhasa, and nama-aparadha. Now please give us whatever final

instruction is appropriate for us.


Babaji: Pandita Jagadananda has given a very beautiful instruction

in his Prema-vivarta (Chapter 7). Listen closely:


asadhu-sange bhai, krishna-nama nahi haya

namaksara bahiraya bate, tabu nama kabhu naya


Remember Bhai (my dear brother), krishna-nama cannot

awaken in the association of non-devotees. Only the syllables

of shri-nama will come out of the mouth, but nama

Himself will remain far away.


kabhu namabhasa haya, sada nama-aparadha

e saba janibe bhai, krishna-bhaktir badha


Certainly there is only nama-aparadha in their association.

Sometimes, by great fortune, there is namabhasa, but you

should know that both namabhasa and nama-aparadha are

obstacles for krishna-bhakti.


yadi karibe krishna-nama, sadhu-sanga kara

bhukti-mukti-siddhi-vancha dure parihara


If you want to chant pure krishna-nama, then take sadhusanga,

and at the same time fully relinquish all desires for

enjoyment, liberation and mystic perfections.


dasa-aparadha tyaja mana apamana

anasaktye visaya bhunja, ara laha krishna-nama


Remain free from the ten offenses to shri-nama, and from

false pride, contempt for others, and so forth. Accept sense??

objects only as far as necessary, in a spirit of detachment,

and incessantly take krishna-nama.


krishna-bhaktir anukula saba karaha svikara

krishna-bhaktir pratikula saba kara parihara


Accept all that is favorable for krishna-bhakti as your very

life, and wholly forsake all that may hinder your practice

of krishna-bhakti.


jnana-yoga-cesta chada ara karma-sanga

markata-vairagya tyaja yate deha-ranga


Abandon all endeavors for karma, jnana and yoga, and remain

aloof from attachment to the external symptoms of

renunciation (markata-vairagya).


krishna amaya pale, rakse - jana sarva-kala

atma-nivedana-dainye ghucao janjala


At all times have this full faith: "Krishna will certainly maintain

and protect me." Adopt the qualities of saranagati

headed by dainya (humility) and atma-nivedana (full surrender

of oneself at Krishna's lotus feet), for practicing these

six types of loving self-surrender destroys the web of maya.


sadhu paba kasta bada jivera janiya

sadhu-bhakta-rupe krishna aila nadiya


It is very rare that the jiva can receive sadhu-sanga. Knowing

this, Bhagavan Shri Krishna Himself has descended in the

form of a sadhu and bhakta in Nadiya (Navadvipa)


gora-pada asraya karaha buddhiman

gora bai sadhu guru keba ache an


Therefore, O intelligent people, take shelter of Shri Gaura's

feet. Who is a greater sadhu or guru than Him? He is Krishna



vairagi bhai gramya-katha na sunibe kane

gramya-vartta na kahibe, jabe milibe ana


My renounced brother, if you sometimes meet with others,

do not hear or discuss mundane topics.


svapne o na kara bhai stri-sambhasana

grhe stri-chadiya bhai asiyacha bana


O Bhai, do not talk with women, even in dreams. Remember

how you have left your wife at home and have come to

the forest (Shri Vrndavana) to engage wholeheartedly in



yadi caha pranaya rakhite gaurangera sane

chota-haridasera katha thake yena mane


If you desire to repose your love at Shri Gaurachandra's lotus

feet, always keep in mind Shriman Mahaprabhu's stern

dealings with Chota Haridasa in this connection.


bhala na khaibe, ara bhala na paribe

hrdayete radha-krishna sarvada sevibe


Do not eat opulent food or wear fine clothes, but always

render seva to Shri Radha-Krishna within your heart of hearts.


bada-haridasera nyaya krishna-nama balibe badane

asta-kala radha-krishna sevibe kunja-bane


At all times, both by day and night, fill your mouth with

hari-nama in the same way as Bada Haridasa, and in your

heart perform seva of Radha-Krishna in the kunjas of

Vrndavana during the eight periods of the day and night.


grhastha, vairagi dunhe bale gora-raya

dekha bhai nama bina jena dina nahi jaya


Look Bhai! Gaura-Raya has given this instruction. It is of

no consequence whether one is in the grhastha-asrama or

the vairagi-asrama. Both should not allow a day, an hour

or even a moment to pass by without taking nama.


bahu anga sadhane bhai nahi prayojana

krishna-namasraye suddha karaha jivana


He Bhai! There is no need to practice many kinds of

sadhana. Just by taking shelter of krishna-nama, your life will

become purified and full of meaning.


baddha-jive krpa kari krishna haila nama

kali-jive daya kari krishna haila gauradhama


Being merciful on the jivas who are bound within this age

of quarrel, Shri Krishna has become nama-rupa; then feeling

still more compassion, He also became Gaura and Shri Gauradhama



ekanta-sarala-bhave bhaja gaura-jana

tabe ta paibe bhai shri-krishna-carana


So with single-minded determination and nonduplicitous

heart, just worship Shri Gaura Candra. Bhai, through this

means, you will certainly attain the shelter of Shri Krishna

Candra's lotus feet.


gaura-jana-sanga kara gauranga baliya

hare krishna nama bala naciya naciya


Perform Hare Krishna nama-kirtana in the association of

Gaura bhaktas and continuously dance and call out "Ha

Gauranga! Ha Gauranga!"


acire paibe bhai nama-prema-dhana

yaha vilaite prabhur 'nade' e agamana


O Bhai! Being thus engaged, before long you will receive the

invaluable wealth of nama-prema, the very jewel which Shri

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu descended to Nadiya to distribute."


When Vijaya and Vrajanatha heard this passage of Shri

Jagadananda's Prema-vivarta from the mouth of Shrila Babaji

Maharaja, their hearts became agitated, being absorbed in the

mood of maha-prema expressed by Shri Jagadananda Pandita. Babaji

was almost unconscious for a long time, and then he embraced

them and crying, sang the following kirtana:


krishna-nama dhare kata bala


What power does the name of Krishna possess? (refrain)


visaya-vasananale mora citta sada jvale,

ravi-tapta maru-bhumi sama

karna-randhra-patha diya, hrdi majhe pravesiya,

barisaya sudha anupama


My heart was constantly burning in the fire of worldly

desires, just like a desert scorched by the rays of the sun,

but shri-nama, entering the core of my heart through the

holes of my ears, has showered unparalleled nectar upon

my soul.


hrdaya haite bale, jihvara agrete cale

sabda-rupe nace anuksana

kanthe mora bhange svara, anga kampe thara thara,

sthira haite na pare carana


Shri-nama speaks from within my heart, moves onto the tip

of my tongue, and constantly dances on it in the form of

transcendental sound. My throat becomes choked up, my

body shivers again and again, and my feet cannot remain



cakse dhara, dehe gharma, pulakita saba carma,

vivarna haila kalevara

murcchita haila mana, pralayera agamana

bhave sarva-deha jara-jara


Rivers of tears flow from my eyes, perspiration soaks my

body, all my skin thrills with rapture, my hairs stand on

end, and my complexion turns pale and discolored. My

mind grows faint, I begin to experience devastation, and

my whole body is shattered by a flood of ecstatic emotions.


kari eta upadrava, citte varse sudha-drava

more dare premera sagare

kichu na bujhite dila, more ta batula kaila,

mora citta-vitta saba hare


While causing such an ecstatic disturbance, shri-nama showers

liquid nectar on my heart, and drowns me in the ocean

of divine prema. He does not allow me to understand

anything, but makes me into a madman by stealing away my

mind and all my resources.


lainu asraya jan'ra hena vyavahara tan'ra

varnite na pari e sakala

krishna-nama icchamaya jahe jahe sukhi haya,

sei mora sukhera sambala


Such is the behavior of Him of whom I have taken shelter.

I am not capable of completely describing Him. Shri-krishnanama

is independent and acts as His sweet will dictates. In

whatever way He becomes happy, that is also the main-stay

of my happiness.


premera kalika nama, adbhuta-rasera dhama

hena bala karaye prakasa

isat vikasi' punah, dekhaya nija-rupa-guna

citta hari laya krishna pasa


Shri-nama is the bud of the lotus of prema, and the abode of

astonishing rasa. Such is the power that He manifests that

when He begins to blossom only a little further, He reveals

His own divine form and qualities. Thus, my heart is abducted

and taken into the presence of Shri Krishna.


purna-vikasita hana, braje more jaya lana

dekhaya more svarupa-vilasa

more siddha-deha diya, krishna-pase rakhe giya

e dehera kare sarba-nasa


Now blossoming fully, the prema flower of shri-nama takes

me to Vraja, and reveals to me the pastimes of His own lovedalliance.

Nama gives me my own siddha-deha, keeps me by

the side of Krishna, and then He completely destroys

everything related to this mortal frame of mine.


krishna-nama cintamani akhila-rasera khani

nitya-mukta suddha-rasamaya

namera balai yata, saba la'ye hai hata

tabe mora sukhera udaya


The name of Krishna is a gem that fulfills all divine aspirations

(cintamani) and a mine of all bhakti-rasa. He is eternally

liberated, and He is the embodiment of suddha-rasa.

When all impediments for the chanting of suddha-nama

are destroyed, then my happiness will know its true awakening.


As they chanted this nama-kirtana again and again, half the

night passed. When the kirtana finally ended, Vijaya and

Vrajanatha took permission from Gurudeva and returned home,

absorbed in nama-rasa.