Post Author: Swami Gaurangapada Date: 2006-01-14 16:27:11
Title: Ten Offenses Explained User: hadai Date: 2007-01-06 13:22:53
Nityananda! Gauranga! Hare Krishna! Dear Maharaja and devotees, Please, accept my humble obeisances. All glories to the guru parampara. All glories to the Holy Names of the Lord. All glories to the devotees of the Lord.
In my previous article I wrote about the law of attraction: ‘when our minds focus on the things we don’t want we are actually not pushing it away but we activate the very thought of what we don’t want’. In this context I like to consider the ‘ten offenses’ or nama-apraradhas (things we want to avoid while chanting the Holy Names of the Lord) and approach them from the position of what we want to attract.
The word aparadha is composed of two syllables: apa which means against, without, to take away, or give up; and radha which means success, prosperity, to please, flow of affection. Some acharyas say that the word aparadha means against or without Radha. Nama-aparadha is therefore the lowest type of chanting where Krishna (nama) is without (apa) Radha (radha). Bhakti or devotion can only exist with the presence of Shrimati Radhika.
The ten offenses to the Holy Names of the Lord are described in the Padmapuranam. According to the dictionary the definition of offense is: anger, hard feelings, insult, displeasure and violation. The antonyms are: happiness, kindness, pleasure and obedience. The direct antonym for offense is defense. In the context of the ten offences (the ten things we want to avoid) I like to use the indirect antonym ‘attraction’ because it is the law of attraction that makes our thoughts, feelings and what manifests a match.
In the Harinama-cintamani we also find actions we can undertake as a defense against the ten offences. Some of them are described hereunder after the word ‘defense’.
The Ten Attractions of the Holy Names
1) The first and most foremost attraction to the Holy Names is to give honor to the great saints who glorify the chanting of the Holy Names of the Lord by example in their own lives and precepts. This is the best of all attractions. Defense: Serve the Vaishnavas and always see yourself as more fallen then others. Serve all living entities and help them back to Godhead.
2) The second attraction is to consider Nityananda Gauranga Krishna as the Supreme Personalities of Godhead and to consider all other gods as Their servitors. Those who consider our Lordships as the supreme cause of all causes will attain perfection in chanting the Holy Names of the Lord. Defense: Worship Shri Krishna (with Radhika) as the beautiful absolute, the sweet enjoyer and the merry-maker of Vraja. A devotee is fully cognizant that all living entities, including the demigods, are eternal servants of Shri Krishna and dependent upon Him.
3) The third attraction is to receive the Holy Names from the lips of the spiritual master and to have total faith in the self-realized transcendental spiritual master. We recognize the guru by his activities which are always performed to please our Lordships. The spiritual master does in practice what he speaks in theory and therefore he is our bonafide connection to the guru parampara and to our Lordships.
Defense: One should show full respect to the spiritual master who initiates him into the Holy Name. The disciple realizes that he can only attain Krishna via guru-krpa.
4) The fourth attraction is to respect the Vedas, Upanishads and all Bhakti-sastras which are all glorifying the Holy Names. Devotees perform Hari Nama with full faith in the sastras.
Defense: One should sincerely praise the scriptures revealing the Holy name. Spiritual reality can only be seen through the eyes of sastra. Understanding this, a devotee honors, studies, worships, and distributes the sacred teachings.
5) The fifth attraction is to glorify the transcendental Holy Names of the Lord as the perfect provider of all material and spiritual benefits and to consider the glorification of the Holy Names as the Absolute Truth. Defense: One should be completely convinced that the Holy Names are eternally situated on the pure transcendental platform. A devotee practically experiences the inconceivable potency of the Holy Names.
6) The sixth attraction is to understand Nityananda Gauranga Hare Krishna Naam as the eternal spiritual reality, the Absolute Truth, and to understand the direct interpretation of the Holy Names of the Lord to be identical with His Form.
Defense: One should fully believe in the explanations of the Holy Name given by the saints and scripture. A devotee is well-versed in nama-tattva.
7) The seventh attraction is the understanding that by chanting the Holy Names of the Lord with full faith all our previous sinful reactions are destroyed. By continuing chanting the Holy Names with full faith our taste to commit further sinful actions is destroyed as well.
Defense: A devotee has renounced his identification with his physical body and has only desire for spiritual happiness.
8) The eighth attraction is to realize that Naam as the Absolute Truth and is always above any other means of material and spiritual realization. Likewise the results of chanting the Holy Names of the Lord is Absolute and is transcendental to relative goodness.
Defense: A devotee fully realizes that serving the transcendental Names of Nityananda Gauranga Krishna is his only business.
9) The ninth attraction is to always preach and advise the transcendental nature of the Names of the Lord to persons who are favorable and receptive to the Holy Names.
Defense: One should only preach the glories of the Holy Names to the faithful who can slowly appreciate the glories of Naam.
10) The tenth attraction is to become attached to the Holy Names of the Lord and feel pleasure in chanting His Names and hearing His glories. In this way the devotee identifies himself with his spirit soul and remains on the transcendental level relishing the Holy Names in Their full potential. A devotee is always attentive to all the above attractions and continues chanting the Holy Names with full faith.
Defense: One should chant attentively with full surrender unto the Holy Names. A sincere devotee has full faith in the Holy Names. He always tries to improve his chanting. The determined sadhaka enthusiastically moves on the path of devotion by surrendering moment to moment to the Lord of attraction.
11) According Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura the fulfillment of all the above attractions to the Holy Names are fulfilled when we chant the Holy Names with full attention. Full attention for the Holy Names means that we chant Them constantly with enthusiasm, with a joyous mood and from our hearts.
As a conclusion I would like to end this article with the words of Lord Gauranga Himself who gives us the most precious four qualities in the third verse of His Siksastaka which fulfills all the above attractions: “One who thinks himself lower than grass, who is more tolerant than a tree, and who does not expect personal honor but is always prepared to give all respect to others, can very easily always chant the Holy names of the Lord”.
Wonderful Hadai Nityananda dasa. I would request all disciples and devotees to write such nice articles about the philosopical truths from the Holy Books of our Acharyas in their own words. Writing enforces the spiritual truth in our mind and in the minds of the readers. Nityananda! Gauranga! Hare Krishna! Jaya Guru Parampara! Pranams :pranams: and Blessings :bless:!