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Title: 10 Offense Ten

User: Swami Gaurangapada Date: 2006-07-10 20:21:23


The tenth offense is as follows:


srute 'pi nama-mahatmye yah priti-rahito narah;

aham-mamadi-paramo namni so 'py aparadha-krit .


If one has heard the glories of the transcendental 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. A resident of the material world who is intoxicated with the idea, “I am wealthy and glorious. I have many servants and followers”, and who on some rare occasions thinks favorably about renunciation or has a glimpse of spiritual understanding, or hears the glories of the holy name from panditas, but does not earnestly love the holy name as he should, commits the tenth offense to the holy name.


Chapter 13 - Attachment to “I and Mine”


Hari Nama Chintamani by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura


gadai gauranga jaya jahnava-jivana

sitadvaita jaya jaya gaura-bhakta-gana

Overcome with prema, Haridasa recited the last offense in chanting the holy name: "Listen, my Lord, this offense is the lowest of all. With this offense one cannot get prema. It is the attitude which is exactly opposite to surrender to the Lord. Having extirpated the first nine offenses, the devotee should culture full surrender to the name. According to the scriptures, there are six types of surrender which are impossible to explain in detail. In brief they are as follows:

1. Accepting everything favorable for service to the Lord.

2. Rejecting everything unfavorable for service to the Lord.

3. Having faith in Krishna as one's protector.

4. Knowing that Krishna is one's preserver and maintainer.

5. Thinking oneself as low and worthless.

6. Being self- surrendered.

"If one does not culture these attitudes while chanting, one will simply accumulate material in life. Those things which always help increase devotion should be accepted in one's life with relish; those things which impede devotion should be rejected in disgust. One should believe that other than Krishna, there is no one on whom to depend and that Krishna alone is one's maintainer. One should think that one is very low and unqualified, with no possessions. As an eternal servant of Krishna, one will be willing to do anything that Krishna desires. To believe that one is the doer, the giver, the protector, that one owns this body, house, wife and offspring, to think oneself to be a brahmana or shudra, husband or wife, king or citizen—this should all be rejected. Instead, centering one's thoughts on Krishna, one should think of Krishna as the controller and doer and that Krishna's desire is the main thing. One will do as Krishna desires, not as one independently wants to do. 'By Krishna's wish I will stay in this world, and by Krishna's wish I will cross over it. If there is pain, if there is rejoicing, still I am Krishna's servant. By His will He will give mercy to the jivas. My material enjoyment and renunciation are all dependent on Krishna.' When this attitude is present it is called atma-nivedana, or self-surrender.

"When these six types of sharanagati (full surrender) are not present in an individual, he possesses the intelligence of "I and mine". Such a person is considered a low rascal because he believes that he is the doer, that the world is his, that he is the creator of his destiny and the enjoyer of the fruits of his activities, that he is his own protector and maintainer, that these are his wife, brothers, sons and daughters, and that by his own endeavor he can achieve all perfection and glory. Such people are proud of the power of their own knowledge. Not considering the Lord's control, they think that by their own brain they can increase and extend the arts and sciences.

"If these people hear the glories of the name, they do not believe them, or if they do chant Krishna's name, it is only out of social custom. Being pretenders and cheaters, they may chant the name in hela-namabhasa, but will never get prema. This offense is due to being bound tightly by maya, and deliverance is very difficult,

"However, one can see that there are some people who, taking up the name and reaching the level of shuddha-bhakti, have completely given up material attachment and humbly worship Krishna's lotus feet and sing His name. One should seek out this type of person, take his association, and serve him with the desire to give up material attachment. Gradually one will become fixed in the name and "I and mine" will go away as one transcends attachment to maya. Giving up the false mentality, one will culture full surrender, which is the constitutional position of the jiva and the very nature of bhakti. By this one can get prema.

"One who gives up the ten offenses and performs devotional service correctly is the most fortunate in the three worlds, is full of all good qualities and is qualified for getting Krishna's mercy. While chanting the holy name, very soon, by Krishna's mercy, that person will come to the level of bhava and prema. The Lord has stated himself that whoever takes the name without offenses will attain prema, and whoever takes the name without giving up the offenses will never attain pure bhakti in spite of his practices. The practice of jnana gives liberation, and fruitive activities give material enjoyment, but pure Krishna bhakti and prema are available only by correct execution of sadhana-bhakti. As liberation and material enjoyment are both unsatisfying, and as bhakti is the only solution, the real form of liberation and the glory of the soul, the jiva must obtain bhakti. By carefully performing sadhana-bhakti without any offenses, the creeper of bhakti will quickly yield the fruit of prema. To do sadhana carefully means to do it without the ten offenses.

"Therefore, whoever is desirous of obtaining bhakti will take the name, being attentive to avoid each of the ten offenses, and in his heart fervently begging at the feet of the holy name to give mercy to destroy offenses. One can never be released from offenses against the name by prayashcitta or pious activity, but only by again taking shelter of the name continuously. Chanting day and night, feeling repentant, the offenses will go and the fruit of the name will come. One will get shuddha-nama, then bhava-nama, then prema-nama.

"Finally, to keep the offenses from entering the heart, pray for the mercy of Lord Chaitanya, who is absorbed in the nectar of the name."

Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, who has become the recipient of the lilas of devotion, by the grace of Haridasa, sings eagerly the touchstone of the holy name..(Translated by Bhanu Swami)


Please sincerely try to give up these ten offenses and chant the Hare Krishna maha-mantra with intelligence. Furthur detailed discussion on these ten offenses and how to avoid them will be taken up in the future book on Hari-nama-chintamani by Swami Gaurangapada.