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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Other Scriptures by Acharyas > Apasampradayas > Conclusion

11. Conclusion "Please do not deviate."

In the first part of this article, it was established that a genuine vaishnava is known by his good qualities. Because the Vedic scriptures prescribe the chanting of the holy name of Krishna to be the essential dharma in the present age of darkness, a vaishnava is to be especially recognized by the quality of his chanting. As Srila Prabhupada explained, "You should always remember that either grhastha or brahmacari or sannyasi, nobody can strictly follow all the rules and regulations. In the Kali-yuga it is not possible. Therefore Caitanya Mahaprabhu has recommended that hari-nama, chanting Hare Krishna mantra, should be very rigidly performed, which is common for everyone."

If a person advertises himself as a Gaudiya Vaishnava by chanting the Hare Krishna maha-mantra and yet deliberately commits namaparadha (offenses to the holy name), he disqualifies himself. The link between namaparadha and deviation from the sampradaya is indicated by Srila Jiva Gosvami, who warns in Bhakti-sandarbha that there are offenders to the holy name who are acikitsya or incorrigible (jnana-lava-durvidagdhastra-acikitsya-atva-dupeksa), who immediatly become insolent and arrogant due to acquiring a little knowledge from the sampradaya. Such acikitsya-namapradhis are automatically disbarred from the sampradaya because of three kinds of namaparadha: sadhu-nindha, guru-avajna and sruti-sastra-nindha.

Yet the incorrigible offender never concedes the fact of his offenses. He cannot understand that the mercy of the spiritual master and the association of pure devotees are indispensible to the chanting of the holy name. Because he highly values worldly knowledge and accomplishments, he looks down upon the simple devotees who have surrendered themselves to devotional service. This is sadhu-ninda (blasphemy of the devotees of the Lord). He cannot accept that the spiritual master is a transcendental teacher, not a worldly one; thus he tries to measure the person and instructions of the guru by his own mental standards. This is guru-avajna (disregard of the spiritual master). He studies the revealed scriptures as he would ordinary literature, gleaning from it whatever seems to support his preconceived notions, heedless of the rest. This is sruti-sastra-nindha (blasphemy of the revealed scriptures).

The acikitsya-namaparadhi confuses the growth of these and other offenses within his heart with the growth of the bhakti-lata (creeper of devotion). Thus he mistakes his fallen condition for a condition of great advancement; such is the illusion from which the apasampradayas have sprung.

By taking proper shelter of the sampradaya, we learn to avoid offenses and protect the creeper of devotion implanted in the heart by the spiritual master. By offenseless chanting of the holy name, the creeper grows to full maturity and bears the fruit of krishna-prema, pure love of God