satāṁ nindā nāmnaḥ paramam aparādhaṁ vitanute
yataḥ khyātiṁ yātaṁ katham u sahate tad‑vigarhām
Criticising devotees is the greatest offence that one can make to the Holy Name. The Name can never tolerate condemnation of those who spread His glories?
gadādhara-prāṇa jaya jāhnavā-jīvana
jaya sītānātha śrīvāsādi bhakta-jana
Glories to the Life of Gadādhara and to the Life of Jāhnavā! Glories to the Lord of Sītā. Glories to Śrīvāsa and all the devotees.
prabhu bale haridāsa ebe sa-vistāre
nāma aparādha vyākhyā kara ataḥpara
The Lord said, “Hari Dāsa, now explain in detail the offences to the Holy Name.”
haridāsa bale prabhu more yā balābe
tāhāi baliba āmi tomāra prabhāve
Hari Dāsa said, “Lord, by Your power, I will say whatever You make me say.
Daśa-vidha nāmāparādha (The Ten Types of Offences to the Holy Name)
nāma aparādha daśa-vidha śāstre kaya
sei aparādhe mora baḍa haya bhaya
“The śāstra says there are ten types of offenses to the Holy Name. I greatly fear these offenses. (1)
(1) These are the ten offences – (1) Criticising Sādhus. (2) Considering the Devas to be independent, and considering Kṛṣṇa’s name, form, qualities and pastimes to be different from Kṛṣṇa Himself. (3) Disregarding the guru who reveals nāma-tattva. (4) Offending the śāstra that describes the glories of the Holy Name. (5) To create imaginary meanings to the Holy Name when the śāstra has already described the glories and results of the Holy Name. (6) Performing wicked activities on the strength of chanting the Name. (7) Giving instructions on the Name to those who lack faith. (8) Equating hari-nāma with mundane auspicious activities. (9) Being inattentive when chanting the Holy Name. (10) Addiction to the concept of “I and mine” even after knowing the glories of the Name and showing now love for Him.
eka eka kari āmi baliba sakala
aparādhe vāṅci yāte deha more bala
“Please give me the strength so that one by one, I can speak about all these offences.
sādhu-nindā anya-deva svātantrya manana
nāma tattva guru āra śāstra vinindana
Criticising sādhus, considering the various Devas to be independent (of Kṛṣṇa), showing disrespect to the nāma-tattva guru and the śāstra…
hari-nāme artha-vāda kalpita manana
nāma-bale pāpa śraddhā-hīne nāmārpaṇa
…creating a mundane interpretation of hari-nāma, or considering the Name to be imaginary, performing pāpa on the strength of the Name, giving the Holy Name to those without faith…
anya śubha-karmera samāna kṛṣṇa-nāma
e kathā balile aparādha aviśrāma
…equating kṛṣṇa-nāma with auspicious material activities. I will now continue to explain these offences.
nāmete anavadhāna haya aparādha
tāhāke purāṇa kartā balena pramāda
“The author of the Purāṇas (Vyāsa) states that anyone who is inattentive to these offences is insane.
nāmera māhātmya jāne tabu nāhi bhaje
ahaṁ mama āsaktite saṁsārete maje
One who knows the greatness of the Holy Name but does not worship Him, and remains attached to the concept of `I’ and `mine’ becomes immersed in the world of repeated birth and death.
Sādhu-nindāi prathama aparādha (The First Offence – Criticising Sādhus)
sādhu-nindā prathamāparādha bali’ jāni
ei aparādhe jīvera haya sarva hāni
“Now I will speak about the first offence – criticising sādhus. This offence causes the jīva to lose everything.
Svarūpa o taṭastha lakṣaṇa bhede sādhu lakṣaṇa dvaya vicāra (Deliberating Upon the Two Symptoms of a Sādhu – the Natural and Marginal Qualities)
sādhura lakṣaṇa tumi baliyācha prabho
ekādaśe uddhavere kṛṣṇa-rūpe vibho
“O Lord, in the form of Kṛṣṇa, You have explained the qualities of a sādhu to Uddhava in the Eleventh Canto (of the Bhāgavatam).
dayālu sahiṣṇu sama droha-śūnya-vrata
satya-sāra viśuddhātmā parahite rata
“He is compassionate, tolerant, impartial, devoid of malice, the very essence of truthfulness, pure-hearted, benevolent to others…
kāme akṣubhita buddhi dānta akiñcana
mṛdu śuci parimita-bhojī śānta-mana
“…unagitated by desires, intelligent, mild-mannered, disinterested in material possessions, polite, clean, regulated in his eating, peaceful at heart…
anīha dhṛtimān sthira kṛṣṇaika-śaraṇa
apramatta sugambhīra vijita ṣaḍ-guṇa
“…without worldly desires, sense-controlled, exclusively surrendered to Kṛṣṇa, vigilant, very sober, victorious over the six urges…
amānī mānada dakṣa avañcaka jñānī
ei saba lakṣaṇete sādhu bali jāni
“…prideless, respectful, expert, non-duplicit and wise. I say that a sādhu has all these symptoms.
ei saba lakṣaṇa prabho haya dvi-prakāra
svarūpa taṭastha bhede kariba vicāra
“O Lord, all these qualities are of two kinds – svarūpa (natural) and taṭastha (marginal). Now I will describe them both. (2)
(2) The direct qualities found in an object are called its svarūpa-lakṣaṇa. Other qualities in relations to that object, which are like ‘guests,’ that may arise in that object are called taṭastha–lakṣaṇa.
Svarūpa-lakṣaṇai pradhāna lakṣaṇa, tad-āśraye taṭastha-lakṣaṇa udaya haya (The Svarūpa Lakṣaṇa is the Principle Quality, and When Taṭastha Lakṣaṇas Arise, They Take Shelter of it)
kṛṣṇaika-śaraṇa haya svarūpa-lakṣaṇa
taṭastha lakṣaṇe anya guṇera gaṇana
“Exclusive surrender to Kṛṣṇa is the only svarūpa-lakṣaṇa. All other qualities are counted as taṭastha-lakṣaṇa.
kona bhāgye sādhu-saṅge nāme ruci haya
kṛṣṇa-nāma gāya kare kṛṣṇa-pādāśraya
“When by good fortune someone attains the company of sādhus and a taste for the Holy Name, they chant kṛṣṇa-nāma and take shelter of Kṛṣṇa’s feet.
svarūpa lakṣaṇa sei haita haila
gāite gāite nāma anya guṇa āila
“This becomes the svarūpa-lakṣaṇa. By continuous chanting of the Holy Name, other good qualities come.
anya guṇa-gaṇa tāi taṭastha gaṇana
avaśya vaiṣṇava dehe habe saṅghaṭana
“All other qualities are counted as taṭastha. They will certainly appear in the body of a Vaiṣṇava.
Varṇāśrama liṅga, nānā-prakāra veśa-dvārā sādhutva haya nā, kṛṣṇaika-śaraṇatāi sādhura lakṣaṇa (One Does not Become a Sādhu by the External Signs of Varṇāśrama and Various Kinds of Clothing – the Symptom of a Sādhu is Exclusive Surrender to Kṛṣṇa)
varṇāśrama cihna nānā-veṣera racanā
sādhura lakṣaṇe kabhu nā haya gaṇanā
“Varṇāśrama is comprised of various kinds of clothing and paraphernalia, but these are not counted amongst the qualities of a a sādhu.
śrī-kṛṣṇa-śaraṇāgati sādhura lakṣaṇa
tāra mukhe haya kṛṣṇa-nāma-saṅkīrtana
“The quality of a sādhu is śrī-kṛṣṇa-śaraṇāgati (surrender unto Śrī Kṛṣṇa). From his mouth comes kṛṣṇa-nāma-saṅkīrtana.
gṛhī brahmacārī vānaprastha nyāsi-bhede
śūdra vaiśya kṣatra vipra-gaṇera prabhede
“Gṛhī, brahmacārī, vānaprastha, and nyāsī are the first division (of varṇāśrama). Śūdra, vaiṣya, kṣatra, and vipra are the second division. (3)
(3) Those who marry within their own varṇa are called gṛhasthas. Those who practice celibacy before marriage are called brahmacārīs. One who leaves for the forest in his old age is called a vānaprastha. One who becomes renounced and leaves his home is called a nyāsī or a sannyāsī.
sādhutva kakhana nāhi haibe nirṇīta
kṛṣṇaika-śaraṇa sādhu śāstrera vihita
“When one has the qualities of a sādhu, it is not determined (by these divisions of varṇāśrama). The śāstra ordains that one is a sādhu due to his exclusive surrender to Kṛṣṇa.
Gṛha-sādhu-lakṣaṇa (The Symptoms of a Householder Sādhu)
raghunātha-dāse lakṣye kariyā sevāra
gṛhi-sādhu-jane śikhāyecha ei sāra
“On account of his service, You taught Raghunātha Dāsa the essence of how to be a householder sādhu. (4)
(4) Raghunātha Dāsa was the ornament on the head of the Kāyastha dynasty. A native of Saptagrāma, he is known as ‘Dāsa Gosvāmī’ and is counted amongst the Six Gosvāmīs.
sthira haye ghare yāo nā hao bātula
krame krame pāya loka bhava-sindhu-kula
“(You told him) `Be peaceful! Go home! Don’t become a madman! Eventually a person can cross beyond the shores of the ocean of birth and death.
markaṭa vairāgya chāḍa loka dekhāiyā
yathāyogya viṣaya bhuñja anāsakta hañā
“`Give up monkey-like renunciation and showing off to the public. Whatever material things are appropriate, for now you should accept them without attachment. (5)
(5) A person in whose heart steady renunciation has not appeared, but who externally wears kaupīna, sannyāsa cloth etc, bears the markings of a markaṭa-vairāgi (a monkey renunciant).
antare niṣṭhā kara bāhye loka vyavahāra
acire śrī-kṛṣṇa tomāya karibe uddhāra
“’Deep within youself remain focused, but externally you may behave like an ordinary man. Very soon, Śrī Kṛṣṇa will save you.’
Gṛha-tyāgī sādhu-lakṣaṇa (The Qualities of the Sādhu Who has Remounced Household Life)
punaḥ tumi tāra dekhi vairāgya grahaṇa
ei mata śikṣā dile apūrva śravaṇa
“Later, when you saw that he had accepted renunciation, You gave him these instructions which are wonderful to hear –
grāmya-kathā nā śunibe grāmya-vārtā nā kahibe
bhāla nā khāibe āra bhāla nā paribe
“’Do not listen to common talk and do not speak such words. Do not eat luxuriously nor dress nicely.
amānī mānada hañā kṛṣṇa-nāma sadā labe
vraje rādhā-kṛṣṇa-sevā mānase karibe
“’Do not expect any honour, but offer all respect to others. Always chant kṛṣṇa-nāma, and within your mind render service to Rādhā-Krṣṇa in Vṛndāvana.’
Gṛhī o gṛha-tyāgī – ubhayera-i svarūpa lakṣaṇa (The One Quality Shared by Both the Householder and Renunciate)
svarūpa lakṣaṇa eka sarvatra samāna
āśramādi bhede pṛthak taṭastha vidhāna
“The svarūpa-lakṣaṇa is the one quality that is respected everywhere. The differences of āśrama etc. are taṭastha.
ananya-śaraṇe yadi dekhi durācāra
tathāpi se sādhu bali sevya sabākāra
“If I see someone who has completely surrendered (to Kṛṣṇa) behaving badly, I will still say, `He is a sādhu.’ Everyone should serve him. (6)
(6) Taking exclusive shelter of Kṛṣṇa and no one is else is the svarūpa-lakṣaṇa of bhakti. Whoever has this certainly has taṭastha-lakṣaṇas. But if someone takes exclusive shelter of Kṛṣṇa, the taṭastha-lakṣaṇas may only manifest in him partly, and not completely – thus it may be seen that he sometimes behaves badly, yet he is still a sādhu.
ei ta śrī-kṛṣṇa-vākya gītā-bhāgavate
ihāke pūjiba yatne sadā sarva mate
“This is the statement of Śrī Kṛṣṇa in Bhagavad-gītā and the Bhāgavata. Therefore I will always endeavour to worship such a devotee constantly.
ihāte āche ta eka nigūḍha siddhānta
kṛpā kari jānāyecha tāi pāi anta
“Thus, this siddhānta is particularly confidential. Tell me, is there any end to such mercy?
Pūrva-pāpera gandhāvaśeṣa o pūrva-pāpa lakṣya kariyā yini kṛṣṇaika-śaraṇa sādhura nindā karena, tini nāmāparādhī (One who Criticises a Sādhu, Who has Exclusively Surrendered to Kṛṣṇa, for His Previous Pāpa, or Remaining Traces of Such Deeds, is an Offender to the Holy Name)
kṛṣṇa-nāme ruci yabe haibe udaya
eka nāme pūrva pāpa haibeka kṣaya
“When a taste for kṛṣṇa-nāma arises and somebody even once chants the Holy Name, the results of his previous pāpa is destroyed.
pūrva-pāpa gandha tabu thāke kichu dina
nāmera prabhāve krama hañā paḍe kṣīṇa
“Traces of previous bad deeds may still remain in him for some days, but by the power of the Holy Name they too are eventually destroyed. (7)
(7) When there is a taste for the Holy Name (nāma-ruci) the results of previous bad deeds cannot remain. A trace of previous bad deeds may remain, but they will also be destroyed after a few days.
śīghra sei pāpa-gandha vidūrita haya
parama dharmātmā bali haya paricaya
“Very soon, any trace of bad deeds goes away. Then such a person becomes known as parama-dharmātmā (a supremely virtuous person).
ye kayeka dina sei gandha nāhi yāya
sādhāraṇa jana cakṣe pāpa bali bhāya
“During the period that this trace does not disappear, to the eyes of ordinary people he may still be considered as impious.
se pāpa dekhiyā yei sādhu-nindā kare
pūrva-pāpa lakṣi punaḥ avajñā ācare
“Seeing his transgressions, they may criticize that sādhu. Also, pointing out his previous bad deeds, they may show contempt towards him.
sei ta pāṣaṇḍī vaiṣṇavera nindā doṣe
nāma aparādha maji paḍe kṛṣṇa-roṣe
“Such a person is an atheist! By criticising a Vaiṣṇava, he commits an offense to the Holy Name. Kṛṣṇa becomes angry with him and he falls down.
Kṛṣṇaika-śaraṇatāi sādhu lakṣaṇa āpanāke sādhu baliyā paricaya deoyā dāmbhikatā (The Quality of a Sādhu is that He Takes Exclusive Shelter of Kṛṣṇa, But it is Arrogance to Identify Oneself as a Sādhu)
kṛṣṇaika-śaraṇa mātra kṛṣṇa-nāma gāya
sādhu-nāme paricita kṛṣṇera kṛpāya
“One who takes exclusive shelter of Kṛṣṇa and chants kṛṣṇa-nāma becomes known as a sādhu, by the mercy of Kṛṣṇa.
kṛṣṇa-bhakta vyatīta nāhika sādhu āra
āmi sādhu bali haya dambha avatāra
“Only the devotees of Kṛṣṇa, and no one else, are sādhus. But those who declare, ‘I am a sādhu!’ are the avatāras of arrogance! (9)
(9) Dambha-avatāra (‘The avatāra of arrogance’) refers to proud people that wrap themselves in the flag of religiosity (dharma-dhvajīs), who dress like sādhus only to live comfortably.
Svalpākṣare sādhu-nirṇaya (A Few Brief Words on Deciding Who is a Sādhu)
se balibe—āmi dīna kṛṣṇaika-śaraṇa
kṛṣṇa-nāma yāra mukhe sādhu sei jana
“One who says, ‘I am a fallen person who has taken exclusive shelter of Kṛṣṇa’ and whose mouth chants kṛṣṇa-nāma – such a person is a sādhu.
tṛṇa haite hīna bali āpanāke jāne
sahiṣṇu tarura nyāya āpanāke māne
“A person who considers himself to be lower than straw, who is tolerant like a tree…
nije ta amānī āra sakale mānada
tāra mukhe kṛṣṇa-nāma kṛṣṇa-rati-prada
“…who does not desire honour from others, who gives respect to all, and whose mouth chants kṛṣṇa-nāma – such a person can give kṛṣṇa-rati (affection towards Kṛṣṇa)
Nāma-parāyaṇa vaiṣṇavai sādhu, tad-dehe kṛṣṇa-śakti (The Sādhu Who is Absorbed in the Name is a Vaiṣṇava, and the Potency of Kṛṣṇa is Within His Body)
hena sādhu-mukhe yabe śuni eka nāma
vaiṣṇava baliyā tāre kariba praṇāma
“Any sādhu from whose mouth I hear the Holy Name even once, I call him a Vaiṣṇava and offer obeisance unto him.
vaiṣṇava se jagad-guru jagatera bandhu
vaiṣṇava sakala jīve sadā kṛpā sindhu
“A Vaiṣṇava is the guru of the whole world. He is a friend to the entire world. A Vaiṣṇava is always an ocean of mercy to all jīvas.
e hena vaiṣṇava-nindā yei jana kare
narake paḍibe se janma-janmāntare
“Anyone who criticizes such a Vaiṣṇava falls down into a hellish condition birth after birth.
bhakti labhibāre āra nāhika upāya
bhakti labhe sarva-jīva vaiṣṇava kṛpāya
“There is no other way to attain bhakti – every jīva must attain bhakti by the mercy of a Vaiṣṇava.
vaiṣṇava dehete thāke śrī-kṛṣṇera śakti
sei deha sparśe anye haya kṛṣṇa-bhakti
“Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s potency rests within the body of a Vaiṣṇava. Just by touching his body others may attain kṛṣṇa-bhakti. (10)
(10) Hlādinī (pleasure-giving potency) and sandhinī (knowledge potency) combine to become the bhakti-śakti (potency of devotion). Bhakti is acquired in this way – a siddha-bhakta (perfected devotee) transmits the bhakti-śakti to a sādhaka-bhakta (practising devotee). Then he becomes perfect and transmits bhakti to other sādhaka-jīvas. By specifically engaging in the spiritual activities of bhakti, the ātmā eventually becomes situated in perfection. When the ātmā is free from aversion to bhakti and is inclined towards it, then a perfected devotee, who is full of mercy, transmits bhakti to that ātmā. This is a secret.
vaiṣṇava adharāmṛta āra pada jala
vaiṣṇavera pada-rajaḥ tina mahā-bala
“The nectar that has touched a Vaiṣṇava’s lips (i.e. His food or drink), the water that has washed his feet, and the dust from his feet. These three things are very powerful.
Vaiṣṇavera śakti sañcāra (The Transmission of a Vaiṣṇava’s Potency)
vaiṣṇava-nikaṭe yadi baise katakṣaṇa
deha haite haya kṛṣṇa-śakti niḥsaraṇa
“If one sits near a Vaiṣṇava, after some time one will experience Kṛṣṇa’s potency emanating from his body.
sei śakti śraddhāvān hṛdaye paśiyā
bhaktira udaya kare deha kāṅpāiyā
“When that potency enters the heart of somebody who has faith, bhakti arises and it makes the body tremble.
ye basila vaiṣṇavera nikaṭe śraddhāya
tāhāra hṛdaye bhakti haibe udaya
“For one who faithfully remains close to a Vaiṣṇava, bhakti arises within his heart.
prathame āsibe tāra mukhe kṛṣṇa-nāma
nāmera prabhāve pābe sarva-guṇa-grāma
“When kṛṣṇa-nāma first enters his mouth, by the power of the Holy Name, he attains all good qualities.
Vaiṣṇavera ki ki doṣa dharile vaiṣṇava-nindā haya—jāti-doṣa pūrva-doṣa naṣṭa-prāya avaśiṣṭa doṣa kādācitka doṣa (Finding Fault With a Vaiṣṇava is Criticising a Vaiṣṇava. Finding fault with His Birth, His Previous Faults, those Faults that have Almost Disappeared and His Momentary Faults)
vaiṣṇavera jāti āra pūrva doṣa dhare
kādācitka doṣa dekhi yei nindā kare
“A person who finds faults with a Vaiṣṇava’s birth, as well as his previous and momentary faults, is guility of criticising.
naṣṭa-prāya doṣa laye kare apamāna
yama-daṇḍe kaṣṭa pāya se saba ajñāna
“Considering those fault that have almost disappeared is also offensive. All this is ignorance and such a person will be punished by the rod of Yama. (11)
(11) Anyone who criticizes a Vaiṣṇava’ birth, his momentary lapses that happened due to foolishness, the remnants of faults that are almost gone, or misdeeds in his character prior to his coming to the path of śaraṇāgati, is guilty of criticising a Vaiṣṇava, and is an offender of Vaiṣṇavas. Such a person will not attain a taste for the Holy Name. A person who takes shelter of bhakti with faith becomes a pure Vaiṣṇava. The aforementioned four types of faults can rarely be noticed in him. There are no other faults in him.
vaiṣṇavera mukhe nāma-māhātmya-pracāra
se vaiṣṇava-nindā kṛṣṇa nāhi sahe āra
“A Vaiṣṇava’s mouth always propagates the glories of the Holy Name. Kṛṣṇa will not tolerate anyone who criticises such a Vaiṣṇava.
dharma yoga yāga jñāna-kāṇḍa parihari
ye bhajila kṛṣṇa-nāma sei sarvopari
“Anyone who, gives up dharma, yoga, yāga, and the jñāna-kāṇḍa and worships kṛṣṇa-nāma is the best.
Anya deva śāstra nindādi-śūnya nāmāśrayī sādhu (A Sādhu who Takes Shelter of the Holy Name is Devoid of Offences to Other Devas and the Śāstra)
anya-deva anya-śāstra nā kari nindana
nāmera āśraya laya śuddha sādhu-jana
“A sādhu who takes shelter of the Holy Name does not blaspheme different Devas or other śāstra.
se sādhu gṛhastha hau athavā sannyāsī
tāhāra caraṇa-reṇu pāite prayāsī
“Whether that sādhu is a gṛhastha or a sannyāsī, I desire to attain the dust of his feet.
yāba yata nāme rati se tata vaiṣṇava
vaiṣṇavera krama ei mate anubhava
“One is a Vaiṣṇava according to the extent of his attraction to the Holy Name. A Vaiṣṇava is determined according to this. (12)
(12) To the extent that one is attracted to in the Holy Name of Kṛṣṇa, he is a Vaiṣṇava.
ithe varṇāśrama dhana pāṇḍitya yauvana
kona kārya nāhi kare rūpa bala jana
“His position in varṇāśrama, his wealth, learning, youthfulness, beauty, strength, or amount of followers is not a consideration.
ataeva yini karilena nāmāśraya
sādhu-nindā chāḍibena e dharma niścaya
“Thus, anyone who takes shelter of the Holy Name will avoid criticizing sādhus. Indeed, that is his dharma.
nāmāśrayā śuddhā bhakti bhakta bhakti-rūpā
bhakta bhakti-vivarjitā haile virūpā
“A devotee who takes shelter of the Holy Name and engages in pure bhakti is the very form of bhakti. A ‘devotee’ who is without bhakti is ugly and monsterous.
yāṅhā sādhu-nindā tāṅhā nāhi bhakti sthiti
ataeva aparādhe tathā pariṇati
“A person who criticises a sādhu has no standing in bhakti. Therefore, his offense makes him averse (towards bhakti).
sādhu-nindā chāḍi bhakta sādhu-bhakti kare
sādhu-saṅga sādhu-sevā ei dharmācare
“A devotee avoids criticizing sādhus and should be devoted to them. Association with sādhus and serving them is the real practice of dharma.
Asat-saṅga dui prakāra, tan-madhye strī-saṅgī (The Two Types of Bad Association, one which is Improper Association with Women)
asat-saṅga-tyāge haya vaiṣṇava-ācāra
asat-saṅge haya sādhu-avajñā apāra
“The conduct of a Vaiṣṇava is that he always avoids bad association. By bad association one continuously shows contempt for sādhus.
asat ye dvi-prakāra sarva-śāstre kaya
sei duiyera madhye yoṣit-saṅgī eka haya
“The śāstra says that bad association is of two types. Of the two, one of these is improper association with women. (13)
(13) Shunning bad association is important conduct for a Vaiṣṇava. Bad association is of two types – improper association with women and with non-devotees. For the female devotee, improper association with a man is also said to be bad association. Illicit association with women and association with women according to religious principles are the two kinds of association with women.
yoṣit-saṅgi-saṅgī punaḥ tāra madhye gaṇya
tāra saṅga-tyāge jīva haibeka dhanya
“Associating with a man who is too attached to women is also counted as bad association. A jīva who avoids such compant becomes fortunate. (14)
(14) Association with a man too attached to women is an obstacle to bhakti.
Yoṣit-saṅgī kāhāke bale (Who is Said to be Attached to Women)
kṛṣṇere saṁsāre ye dāmpatya dharma thāke
asat baliyā śāstra nā bale tāhāke
“A virtuous husband and wife may remain together in a family centred around Kṛṣṇa. The śāstra does not say that this is bad association.
adharma saṁyoge āra straiṇa bhāve rata
yoṣit-saṅgī jana duṣṭa śāstrera sammata
“That corrupt person who engages in illict sex and is mentally infatuated with females, is known as a yoṣīt-saṅgī (one who is attached to women). That is the opinion of the śāstra.
Dvitīya prakāra asat – kṛṣṇete abhakta tina prakāra (The Second type of Bad Association – Those who are Not Devotees of Kṛṣṇa are of Three Kinds)
kṛṣṇete abhakta – asat dvitīya prakāra
māyāvādī dharma-dhvajī nirīśvara āra
“One who is not a devotee of Kṛṣṇa – this is the second type of bad association. This includes the māyāvādi, the dharma-dhvajī (religious hypocrites who wrap themselves in the flag of religion), and atheists. (15)
(15) Māyāvādī refers to those persons who do not consider the form of Bhagavān to be eternal, who believe that Kṛṣṇa and His other forms are comprised of māyā, and who think that the jīvas are also made of māyā. Dharma-dhvajī means those who internally have no bhakti or renunication and dress deceptively only in order to make a living.
Yini balena, ei saba lokera nindākeo sādhu-nindā bale, tinio varjya (Those Who Declare that the Condemnation of All these People is an Offence to Sādhus, are also useless)
varjile e saba saṅga sādhu-nindā naya
ihāke ye nindā bale sei varjya haya
“Giving up the association of all these types of people is not an offence to sādhus. Anyone who claims that it is an offence is useless!
ei saba saṅga chāḍi ananya-śaraṇa
kṛṣṇa-nāma kari pāya kṛṣṇa-prema-dhana
“Anyone who avoids all these types of people, takes exclusive shelter of Kṛṣṇa and no one else, and chants kṛṣṇa-nāma, attains the great treasure of kṛṣṇa-prema.
Vaiṣṇavābhāsa, prākṛta-vaiṣṇava, vaiṣṇava-prāya o kaniṣṭha-vaiṣṇava—ei sakala ekai kathā (The Glimmer of a Vaiṣṇava, the Materialistic Vaiṣṇava, the Marginal Vaiṣṇava and the Neophyte Vaiṣṇava – All these Words Mean the Same Thing)
sādhu-sevā-hīna arce laukika śraddhāya
prākṛta vaiṣṇava haya vaiṣṇavera prāya
“One who has ordinary faith, who worships the Deity but does not serve the sādhus is a prākṛta-vaiṣṇava (a materialistic Vaiṣṇava) or vaiṣṇava-prāya (a marginal Vaiṣṇava).
vaiṣṇava-ābhāsa sei nahe ta’ vaiṣṇava
kemane pāibe sādhu-saṅgera vaiṣṇava
“He is a Vaiṣṇavābhāsa (a glimmer of a Vaiṣṇava) and not a real Vaiṣṇava. So how will he attain the association with sādhus?
ataeva kaniṣṭha madhyete tāre gaṇi
tāre kṛpā karibena vaiṣṇava āpani
“Therefore, he is considered to be a kaniṣṭha-vaiṣṇava (a neophyte Vaiṣṇava). By the mercy (of the devotees), he may eventually become a Vaiṣṇava.
Madhyama vaiṣṇava (The Intermediate Vaiṣṇava)
kṛṣṇa-prema kṛṣṇa-bhakte maitrī ācaraṇa
bāliśete kṛpā āra dveṣī upekṣaṇa
“One who develops kṛṣṇa-prema, is friendly with the Kṛṣṇa’s devotees, compassionate to the innocent and avoids people who the envious…
karile madhyama bhakta śuddha bhakta hana
kṛṣṇa-nāmne adhikāra karena arjana
…such a person is a madhyama-bhakta (intermediate devotee). Very soon he becomes a pure devotee and attains the qualification to chant kṛṣṇa-nāma.
Uttama vaiṣṇava (The Highest Vaiṣnava)
sarvatra yāṅhāra haya kṛṣṇa-daraśana
kṛṣṇe sakalera sthiti kṛṣṇa prāṇa dhana
“One who sees Kṛṣṇa everywhere, who sees that everything is within Kṛṣṇa, and who considers Kṛṣṇa to be the wealth of his life…
vaiṣṇavāvaiṣṇava-bheda nāhi thāke tāṅra
vaiṣṇava uttama tini kṛṣṇa-nāma-sāra
…who sees no difference between Vaiṣṇavas and non-Vaiṣṇavas. Such a person is an uttama-vaiṣṇava (an advanced Vaiṣṇava). Kṛṣṇa-nāma is essentially everything for him.
Madhyama vaiṣṇavai sādhu sevā karena (An Intermediate Vaiṣṇava Should Serve Sādhus)
ataeva madhyama vaiṣṇava mahāśaya
sādhu sevā rata sadā thākena niścaya
“Therefore, the madhyama-vaiṣṇava should certainly always serve this kind of sādhu. (16)
(16) A madhyama-vaiṣṇava is counted as a pure Vaiṣṇava. He has the eligibility to deliberate upon who is a Vaiṣṇava and who is not a Vaiṣṇava, because he needs to serve a pure Vaiṣṇava. If he gives up discriminating who is a Vaiṣṇava and who is not a Vaiṣṇava, then the madhyama–vaiṣṇava will commit an offense to the Vaiṣṇavas. With earnestness, he should seek out a pure Vaiṣṇava and serve him. When the uttama-vaiṣṇava makes no distinction between a Vaiṣṇava an a non-Vaiṣṇava, then how can he serve the Vaiṣṇavas? The uttama-vaiṣṇava sees no difference between enemies and friends, therefore how can he distinguish between Vaiṣṇavas and non-Vaiṣṇavas?
Prākṛta vaiṣṇava nāmābhāsera adhikārī (The Materialistic Devotee is Qualified for Nāmābhāsa)
prākṛta vaiṣṇava yei vaiṣṇavera prāya
nāmābhāse adhikārī sarva-śāstra pāya
“All the śāstra states that the prākṛta-vaiṣṇava, or vaiṣṇava-prāya, is eligible for chanting nāmābhāsa.
Madhyama vaiṣṇava nāmādhikārī o nāmāparādha vicāra karibena (The Intermediate Vaiṣṇava is Qualified for the Holy Name, But Must be Cautious about Offences to the Name)
madhyama vaiṣṇava mātra nāme adhikārī
śrī-nāma-bhajane aparādhera vicārī
“The madhyama-vaiṣṇava is qualified to chant the Holy Name, but he should be cautious of offences in śrī nāma-bhajana.
uttama vaiṣṇave aparādha asambhava
sarvatra dekhena tini kṛṣṇera vaibhava
“It is impossible for an uttama-vaiṣṇava to make an offence, because he sees Kṛṣṇa’s opulence everywhere.
nija nija adhikāra kariyā vicāra
sādhu-nindā aparādha kari parihāra
“According to their own qualification, every devotee should avoid the offence of criticizing sādhus. (17)
(17) It is necessary to know one’s qualification by considering one’s own nature. Knowing this qualification and, with fixed determnation performing nāma-saṅkīrtana is the dharma of a Vaiṣṇava.
sādhu saṅga sādhu sevā nāma saṅkīrtana
sarva jīve dayā ei bhakta ācaraṇa
“Keeping company with sādhus, serving tchem, performing nāma–saṅkīrtana, and showing mercy to all jīvas – this is the conduct of a devotee.
Sādhu nindā ghaṭile ki karā kartavya? (What Should One Do if they Have Offended a Sādhu?)
pramāde yadyapi ghaṭe sādhu-vigarhaṇa
tabe anutāpe dhari se sādhu-caraṇa
“If out of foolishness one has offended a sādhu, then with remorese one should grasp the sādhu’s feet.
kāṅdiyā baliba prabho kṣami aparādha
e duṣṭa-nindake kara vaiṣṇava-prasāda
Weeping, he should say, `O prabhu, kindly forgive my offense! Please give the mercy of a Vaiṣṇava to this wicked offended.’
sādhu baḍa dayāmaya tabe ārdra-mane
kṣamibena aparādha kṛpā āliṅgane
“The sādhu, being completely full of compassion, will humbly forgive the offense and mercifully embrace him. (18)
(18) In this way, Gopāla Cāpāla’s offence to a Vaiṣṇava was forgiven. Kindly look in the pramāṇa-mālā (the garland of śāstrika evidence).
ei ta prathama aparādhera vicāra
śrī-caraṇe nivedinu ājñā anusāra
” According to Your instruction, I place this description of the first offense at Your holy feet.”
hari-dāsa pāda-padme bhrara ye jana
hari-nāma-cintāmaṇi tāhāra jīvana
May this Hari-nāma Cintāmaṇi become the very life of those persons who swarm like bumblebees at the lotus feet of Hari Dāsa.
sādhu-nindāparādha-vicāro nāma caturthaḥ paricchedaḥ
Thus ends the fourth chapter of Śrī Hari-nāma Cintāmaṇi entitled,
‘A Deliberation on Offences to a Sādhu.’