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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Spiritual Questions & Answers > Pre-2007 QnA Swami Gaurangapada > Vaisnava aparadha questions

Title: Vaishnava aparadha questions

User: Igor†††† Date: 2006-12-18 21:13:28


Dear Gurudeva,

I just had read beautiful editorial that you wrote.

You very clearly described danger of committing vaishnava aparadha.

Could you please elaborate on this very important points:


What exactly is vaishnava aparadha? There are many many different opinions what††††† vaishnava aparadha is? Some devotees says that if person do not agree with††††† senior devotees in any point, that is vaishnava aparadha, if person fall††††† to properly honor devotee –that is vaishnava aparadha, if person refuse to††††† take prasadam from devotee it is aparadha, if devotees disagree even philosophically††††† and sometimes talk hardly – that is aparadha..and so on, and so on… So††††† there are many explanations and speculations about what vaishnava aparadha††††† is?

Some††††† devotees says that so called “constructive criticism” is not vaishnava††††† aparadha and others says that devotee should not be criticized in any††††† circumstances. What is right understanding?

We can††††† found lists of aparadhas in scriptures – ten aparadhas in chanting Hare††††† Krishna, long list of aparadhas that should be avoided in temples etc. Is††††† there any list of examples what is vaishnava aparadha and what is not? Thank you very much.

†† Nityananda,Gauranga, Hare Krishna.

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Yours, Igor


Title: Re: Vaishnava aparadha questions

User: Swami Gaurangapada Date: 2006-12-20 16:58:41


It is a very elaborate subject but basically any external action which arises from an internal wrong and unfavorable feeling of envy or hatred or belittling or harming other practicing devotees in our heart is broadly known as Vaishnava aparadha. Sometimes we can unknowingly offend a devoteewithout any of the above envious intentions in our heart but that kind of offenses can be easily forgiven like in the case of Shrila Rupa Goswami and the lame devotee in Vraja. The more advanced and powerful the Vaishnava who is offended is, the more Bhakti Devi and Naam Prabhu are displeased and the more severely the offensive person gets the reaction either in this life or the next lives.


I had compiled a list of 20 to 40 actions which comes under the category of Vaishnava aparadha long time back in my brahmachari days. I will try to find the hard copy and publish it as a soft copy. Please remind me about this later. Thanks. Nityananda! Gauranga! Hare Krishna! Jaya Guru Parampara! Pranams :pranams: and Blessings :bless:!


Title: Re: Vaishnava aparadha questions

User: Igor†††† Date: 2006-12-20 18:52:13


Nityananda! Gauranga! Hare Krishna!

Thank you, Gurudeva for your answer and explanation.

It will be very helpful to have some kind of list, so that we should avoid such situations. That is very important.


Here is small part of lecture given by Shrilla Prabhupada-Shrimad-Bhagavatam 5.5.33

Vrndavana, November22, 1976


"Therefore Vaishnava aparadha is very, very offensive. You should be very careful. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has warned vaishnava aparadha, hati mata. Vaishnava aparadha, offense at the feet of Vaishnava, is exactly like mad elephant. If a mad elephant enters your garden, then he spoils everything. This has been given. Vaishnava aparadha means hati mata. Mata means mad, and hati means elephant. So we should be very, very careful not to commit any offense at the feet of Vaishnava. Vaishnava does not take any offense. He does not care who is offender, but Krishna takes care. Krishna will never tolerate if a person is Vaishnava aparadha. Mind that. Just like a big man. You can offend him, he doesn't mind. But if he does something harmful to his child, so he becomes very angry."


So this list will surely clarify and provide guidance for beginners like me to act and behave properly in order to avoid vaishnava aparadhas. Thank you, very much.


Nityananda! Gauranga! Hare Krishna!


Swami Gaurangapada:Ok, thanks, I will try to post it shortly. The main thing is to find it. It was a long time back.


Title: Re: Vaishnava aparadha questions

User: Swami Gaurangapada Date: 2006-12-22 16:29:48


1 + 1 = 2. Infact in this case 1 + 1 maybe equal to 4. The more one speaks and hears offenses, the reactions exponentially multiply and they can never be nullified. Tit for tat or revenge is a material thing. Offenses can only cease by humbly pleading for forgiveness from the very person we have offended with a genuine and repentant heart and then chanting Nityananda, Gauranga and Hare Krishna constantly and being constantly conscious that it never happens again. Nityananda! Gauranga! Hare Krishna! Jaya Guru Parampara! Pranams and Blessings! I am happy to see so many thankyous on this thread. Jaya Nitai!


Title: Re: Vaishnava aparadha questions

User: Igor†††† Date: 2006-12-23 19:37:25


Nityananda Gauranga Hare Krishna

I just had read interesting advice on main site, but I feel I should post them here,too. This is also very usefull list and can help us to avoid vaishnava aparadhas.


In his great classic Bhakti: "http:///" Ratnakara, Shrila Narahari Chakravarti Thakura writes:

Be careful in your dealings with devotees and never create any ill feelings in their hearts.

Creating ill feelings with devotees will create impediments on oneís path of spiritual life.

Please be very careful in dealing with the Vaishnavas. Beg their forgiveness for any offense with your heart and soul.

Be careful not to see a Vaishnavaís faults, and always sing their glories.

All of the previous great devotees have said Ė No one can understand the behavior of the Vaishnava.

Hold the devotees lotus feet to your head and always dive in the nectar of pure devotional service to Lord Krishna: "http:///"]Gauranga


Title: Re: Vaishnava aparadha questions

User: Swami Gaurangapada Date: 2006-12-23 20:08:19


I think I already answered many questions in this regard in my original article which you read which I am posting below:


Please never criticize, never hear critcism & never support criticizm of any vaishnava(s) for your own sake and for the sake of your guru!




sulapani sama yadi vaishnavere ninde

tathapiha nasa paya -- kahe shastra vrinde


"Even if some one of the level of the supremely powerful devotee and gunavatara Lord Shiva blasphemes a devotee, he will soon be destroyed. This is the verdict of all the scriptures." (CB Madhya 22.56)


iha na maniya ye sujana-ninda kare

janme janme se papistha daive dose mare


"Sinful people who ignore the above fact and critcize devotees suffer the heaviest of all punishment of providence birth and birth."(57)


anyera ki daya gaura-simhera janani

tanhare o vaishnavaparadha kari gani


"What to speak of others, even the supreme mother of the Supreme Lord Himself Gaura Simha was not exempt from being considered an offender of a Vaishnava." (58)


prabhu bale -- upadesa kahite se pari

vaishnavaparadha ami khandaite nari


Lord Gauranga Himself replied -- " I can give instructions how to eliminate the aparadha (like in the case of Durvasa and Ambarish), but I Myself even though being the Supreme Lord am unable to destroy an offense against a Vaishnava." (32)






vaisnavera ninda karibeka yara gana

tara raksa-smarthya nahika kona jana


"A Vaishnava or a Guru is unable to protect any of his followers who engage in blasphemy of the Vaishnavas." (128)


Gaudiya Bhashya by Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada:


Those who after attaining the position of spiritual master either personally engage in blasphemy of Vaishnavas or support their followers' blasphemy of Vaishnavas certainly become degraded.


†† vaishnava-nindaka gana yahara asraya

apanei edaite tahara samsaya


"The deliverance of even a Guru or person whose followers engage in critcism of Vaishnavas is greatly doubtful."(129)


bada adhikari haya apane edaite

ksudra haile -- gana saha adhahpate yaya


"In such a case only if the Guru is greatly advanced and qualified in bhakti, maybe he can protect himself. But if he is weak in bhakti, then he is certainly sure to go to the darkest hellish regions and fall down from the platform of bhakti if his followers engage in vaishnava-ninda and he can't or does not stop them or reject them."(130)




This is probably the prime reason for the high casualty rate in the falldown of the Gurus themselves. This situation is vividly described in the following very important verses Hari-nama-cintamani, 10th Pariccheda:


sraddha-hine peye nama aparadhe mare

sange sange guruke abhakta shighra kare


"If a faithless unqualified person gets initiated into the chanting of Krishna's Name, then surely he or she will engage in nama-aparadha and be destroyed. Along with his or her own degradation, the disciple will also convert the Guru also into a non-devotee because the Guru gave the Name is the first place and thus is the cause for the offenses of the disciple."


sradhhahina jane artha lobhe nama diya

narakete jaya nama-aparadha majiya


"Therefore if the Guru gives initiation into the Krishna Mantra due to a desire for money or following, he will commit this namaparadha against Krishna's Name and will thus go to hell."


pramade yadyapi nama upadesha haya

sradhhahine tabe guru paya maha-bhaya


"Therefore a Guru should become very fearful when he comes to know that by mistake he has given Krishna-Mantra-Diksha to a faithless unqualified person with ulterior motives."


vaishnava samaje taha kari vigyapana

sei dusta sisya tyaga kare mahajana


"The Guru should announce in an assembly of devotees and in this way reject the sinful disciple who is engaging in Vaishnava aparadha or Nama aparadha."


taha na karile guru aparadha krame

bhakti-hina duracara haya maya bhrame


"If the Guru does not reject the envious disciple in this way, the Guru becomes implicated in this aparadha and quickly becomes devoid of bhakti and engages in abominable activities due to the bewilderment of the illusory energy or Maya."




Many Gurus are not aware of this process of rejection of a staunch and hypocrite Vaishnava aparadhi or Nama aparadhi disciple due to a lack of deep study of this classic book, Hari-nama-cintamani. Thus they get implicated into this vicious offense which in turn leads to their own falldown sooner or later as stated in these verses.


†† iha na kariya jei dena nama dhana

sei aparadhe tara narekete patana


"Therefore if a Guru gives Krishna-Mantra-Diksha without creating strong faith in the disciple for Krishna-Nama, then the Guru falls down to hell due to his offense against Krishna-Nama."


nama peye sisya kare nama aparadha

tahate gurura haya bhakti rasa badha


"After receiving Krishna-Nama-Diksha, if the disciple engages in Vaishnava aparadha or the ten nama-aparadha, then the Guru's advancement in bhakti rasa is checked or obstructed."


sei nama aparadhe dunhe sisya guru

narkete maje sei aparadha uru


"And due to this most powerful aparadha by the disciple and by the Guru too who does not stop, correct or reject his blasephemous or offensive disciple, both of them, Guru and disciple fall down into the hellish planets in their next life."








ye vaishnava-sthane aparadha haya yara

puna se ksamile a paradha ghuce tara


If one offends a Vaishnava, the only way to get free from the offense is to go back that Vaishnava and beg his forgiveness. (Cb. Madhya 22.32)


kanta phute yei mukhe, sei mukhe yaya

paye kanta phutile ki kandhe bahiraya


Just as it takes a thorn to remove a thorn, the offense committed by the mouthmust be cured with the mouth . (CB Antya 4.380)




nityananda-prasade se ninda yaya ksaya

nityananda-prasade se visnu-bhakti haya


Only by the causeless mercy of of the name, form and pastimes of Lord Nityananda, one's offenses against Vaishnavas are destroyed and one attains devotional service of Lord Krishna.(136)




e bada adbhuta katha suna savadhane

vaishnava aparadha ghuce ihara sravane


Listen carefully to this wonderful pastime of how Shri Shachimata got delivered from her offense against Shrila Advaita Acharya in this Chp 22. By hearing or reading this narration one will be become free from the Vaishnava aparadha committed. (12)




Such a benediction is not given in any other scripture. Even Lord Gauranga or the most powerful guru cannot save the disciples and devotees who criticize other Vaishnavas. But reading Chp 22 of Madhya-khanda Chaitanya-Bhagavata can. So it is to be accepted that Shrila Chaitanya-Bhagavata is the most magnamious and merciful scripture in the whole creation which saves us from the most horrible and unforgivable of all sins in creation. Another reason is that since Shri Chaitanya-Bhagavata is full of the glories of Lord Nityananda on every page, it speedens up this process of destruction of our offenses as per the second point above. This is the scripture to read if one wants to develop love for Lord Nityananda, the only Lord capable of delivering fallen and degraded souls like us.


And the final reason why all the acharyas have stressed Chaitanya-Bhagavata as the most beneficial for all conditioned souls is because this great scripture repeatedly warns and cautions us against the great dangers of Vaishnava-aparadha in each and every chapter of the book.




ninda nahi nityananda sevakera mukhe

aharnisha caitanyera yasa gaya sukhe


The devotees who have received the great fortune to serve Lord Nityananda Balarama never engage in criticism or blasphemy of other Vaishnavas. Day and night their only activity is to blissfuly sing the name and glories of Lord Gauranga.(137)


nityananda-bhakta saba dike savadhana

nityananda-bhrtyera chaitanya dhana-prana


Thus the devotees of Lord Nityananda and always extremely cautious from all directions to totally avoid criticism of other Vaishnavas. Actually they have no time to criticze others because they are busy in chanting the glories of the names and pastimes of Lord Gauranga, who is their life and wealth.


†† *******************************


Three ways to remove Vaishnava Aparadha: (1) Beg forgiveness directly from the Vaishnava offended with genuine repentance and a determination never to do it again; (2) Alongwith this constantly chant the names of Nityananda and Gauranga with the Hare Krishna Mantra; and (3) Read Chp 22 of Shri Chaitanya-Bhagavata, Madhya-khanda daily or as regularly as possible.


Title: Re: Vaishnava aparadha questions

User: Nitaipada_Maharaja†† Date: 2006-12-23 21:01:23


Nityananda!Gauranga!Hare Krishna!All glories to Shrila Bhaktivinoda, Shrila Prabhupada, my most beloved Shrila Gaurangapada and all Vaishnavas.Please accept my humble obeisances and blessings.I pray that this meets you well and in the service/mercy of Shri Guru and Shri Gauranga.


There is no such thing as Vaishnava aparadha cancelling out another aparadha.When an offense is committed, the only way that such an offense can be forgiven is to go the the one offended and seek humbly their forgiveness.


If such a situation were to arise, I would question the level of maturity and the level of advancement of these Vaishnavas.None of this type of behavior is the behavior of a Vaishnava.As Shrila Gaurangapada has stated, there is no tit for tat when it comes to aparadha.If Vaishnava A offends Vaishnava B, then it is only correct behavior for Vaishnava A to seek the forgivenss of Vaishnava B.If Vaishnava B retalliates and offends Vaishnava A in retalliation, then we have a serious problem.


Both Vaishnavas are behaving in a materialistic manner, forgetting that both chant the Holy Names and that Paramatma dwells in both their hearts.What is worse, is that these two "senior" devotee influence neophyte devotees and in this manner aparadha enters into the asrama and without much effort, sects form and divisions among the Lord's devotees develop.


In Bhagavad Gita 13.8-12, Shri Krishna mentions to Arjuna twenty items of knowledge."Humility, pridlessness, nonviolence, tolerance, simplicity, approaching a bona-fide spiritual master, cleanliness, steadiness and self-control; renunciation of the objects of sense gratification, absence of false ego, the perception of the evil of birth, old age and disease;nonattachment to children, wife, home and the rest, and evenmindedness amid pleasant and unpleasant events; constant and unalloyed devotion to Me, resorting to solitary places, detachment from the general mass of people; accepting the importance of self-realization, and philosophical search for the Absolute Truth--all these I thus declare to be knowledge, and what is contrary to be ignorance.


In the purport, Shrila Prabhupada states; "the most important point is described in the first line of the tenth verse; "The process of knowledge terminates in unalloyed devotional service to the Lord.So, if one does not approach, or is not able to approach, the transcendenatl service of the Lord, then the other nineteen items are of no particular value."


One must take whole heartedly to devotional service for the qualities to manifest.If a devotee minimizes any of the instructions from their Guru Maharaj, then these qualities will have difficulty in manifesting, especially humility.The number one qualification in avoiding Vaishnava aparadha is humility, understanding fully one's place and level of maturity, yet also being sensitive to the needs of others.


"All these transcendental qualities are the characteristics of pure Vaishnavas, and they cannot be fully explained, but I shall try to point out some of the important qualities.

"Devotees are always merciful, humble, truthful, equal to all, faultless, magnanimous, mild and clean.They are without material possessions, and they perform welfare work for everyone.They are peaceful, surrendered to Krishna and desireless.They are indifferent to material acquisitions and are fixed in devotional service.They completely control the six bad qualities--lust, anger, greed and so forth.They eat only as much as required, and they are not inebriated.They are respectful, grave, compassionate and without false prestige.They are friendly, poetic, expert and silent.

"Devotees are always tolerant, forebearing and very merciful.They are the well-wishers of every living entity.They follow the scriptural injunctions, and because they have no enemies, they are very peaceful.These are the decorations of devotees.Cc Madhya-lila, Chapter 22 verses 77-81


Only when we completely surrender ourselves to the Lotus feet of the Lord, fully follow the instructions of Guru can we begin to manifest these qualities.When these qualities begin to manifest in the devotee the conditions to commit offense become less and less as the devotee advances.No mature devotee who has an understanding of sastra and follows closely to Guru is going to knowingly commit an offense at the lotus feet of another devotee.And, when an offense does occure, then the devotee is quick to properly seek forgiveness so that both can continue on in their service to Shri Guru and Shri Gauranga without any restrictions.


"Only a rare person who has adopted complete, unalloyed devotional service to Shri Krishna can uproot the weeds of sinful actions with no possibility that they will not revive.He can do this simply by discharging devotional service, just as the sun can immediately dissipate fog by its rays."SB 6.1.15


In the purport, Shrila Prabhupada explains that the devotee has no attachment to any activity, either good nor bad.The only interest that the devotee has is only in what will satisfy Shri Krishna.Proper behavior, as pointed out, is the basis of our attitude towards our service as a devotee.If a devotee is behaving badly, then neither Shri Guru nor Shri Gauranga can be satisfied with their service.Our only endeavor is to fully understand Shri Krishna, and provide the service that will fully satisfy Him.Anything less casts us back down into the cycle of birth and death.


Shrila Prabhupada states that "As for advancement in spiritual science, one should have a test to see how far he is progressing.He can judge by these items. (The twenty-six qualities of the devotee).If these qualities have begun to manifest in the devotee's life, then there is a very small chance of committing Vaishnava Aparadha.


Your eternal servant;

Nitaipada Maharaja


Title: Re: Vaishnava aparadha questions

User: Nava Gauranga dasaDate: 2006-12-24 01:06:37


Nityananda! Gauranga! Hare Krishna!

Dear Gurudeva, Nitaipada Maharaja and assembled devotees,

please accept my simple obiesances.

Please never criticize, never hear critcism & never support criticizm of any vaishnava(s) for your own sake and for the sake of your guru! quote by Swami Gaurangapada



I can see by reading the above posts that even hearing vaishnava aparadha is very serious. How should we approach internet forums that contain loose talk and criticism of devotees?

Should we avoid such internet forums at all cost?

†††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††sincerely...Nava.


Title: Re: Vaishnava aparadha questions

User: Swami Gaurangapada Date: 2006-12-24 14:41:40


One should never speak lightly or loosely about other devotees on a personal level however fallen they may be or however many mistakes they may have done in their lives. Ofcourse when some devotees willingly get envious of or harm other devotees or Acharyas or criticize or blaspheme them, then one should either defeat their arguments or leave the place and avoid total contact from them for our own and their benefit so that they don't have any audience to hear their offenses so it may persuade them to stop committing offenses. Under proper authority, one may warn others about them again to save others but never due to an envious mentality for anyone. One has also a right to strongly disagree on the siddhantic level of philosophy with devotees and point out and discuss on a purely siddhantic level and to avoid association if one does not feel the proper siddhanta from other devotees. But one should never come down to the personal and malicious level. Normally in argumentative discussions when someone gets defeated philosophically, one comes down to the personal level and starts criticicizing. One should never be a part of such capricious discussions.


I personally suggest that all posts on each of the Vaishnava blogs, forums and discussion groups on the internet be moderated and approved by a sincere and neutral devotee or a group of devotees who are not interested in gossip, back-biting or discussing others' faults but rather in discussing pure Nitai Gaura Krishna Katha. Then it will make these forums safe places for devotees to share and get inspired by. Internet is a very powerful medium to preach. Thus Maya wants to stop devotees from using it since it is a big attack on her control. So she enters into it through the medium of loose and critical talk about other devotees and destroys all the chances of positive preaching via the internet. So one should be very careful about it. One may learn 10 good things but if one hears 1 bad offense, then it is enough to set one back terribly in bhakti and loose the mercy of Naam Prabhu. Nityananda! Gauranga! Hare Krishna! Jaya Guru Parampara! Pranams :pranams: and Blessings :bless:!


Title: Re: Vaishnava aparadha questions

User: Gouranga†††††† Date: 2006-12-27 17:33:49


Is it better for a critical person to not associate?


Title: Re: Vaishnava aparadha questions

User: Swami Gaurangapada Date: 2006-12-27 18:21:44


Maybe for a short-term but best and permanent solution would be to totally give up the critical mentality and see only the good virtues of others and appreciate them and simply ignore the limitations and associate with other devotees in that way knowing that one day those who have accepted Naam bhajan will be ultimately purified. Nityananda! Gauranga! Hare Krishna! Jaya Guru Parampara! Pranams :pranams: and Blessings :bless:!


Title: Re: Vaishnava aparadha questions

User: Gouranga†††††† Date: 2006-12-27 19:00:33


:speak:Jaya my obeisances to all vaishnavas, lets say a mad man is coming and he is offensive. It is everyones hope that he becomes humble and repectful. But is it better that he is told to stay away from the sanga for everyones protection or that he may hear the names and get purified gradually. how to draw the line between mercy to offensive persons and personal protection??


Jaya Maharaja, Jaya Vaishnavas, Jaya Gaura Nitai!!:cow:Jaya Go mata!


Answer by Swami Gaurangapada:


Jagai and Madhai were allowed in the sanga of Lords Nityananda Gauranga only when they promised to give up their sinful activities forever. But Lord Nityananda did go out and teach them His Holy Names. So one can go out, meet and teach such people to chant the Holy Names of Nityananda, Gauranga and Hare Krishna by which they will get a chance to gradually become purified and then qualified to associate with the devotee community without being critical-minded. Nityananda! Gauranga! Hare Krishna! Jaya Guru Parampara! Pranams :pranams: and Blessings :bless:!


Title: Re: Vaishnava aparadha questions

User: Gouranga†††††† Date: 2006-12-28 17:42:32


ah ok, so encourage them to chant and keep little distance untill such a time they become submissive, yes. Thank you very much. Gauranga, Hare Krishna, Nityananda!