Nāmāparādha – Sādhu-nindā
(Offences to the Holy Name – Criticising Sādhus)
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.
How can the Name tolerate condemnation of those who spread His glories?”
gadādhara-prāṇa jaya jāhnavā-jīvana
jaya sītā-nātha śrīvāsādi bhakta-jana
Glories to the Life of Gadādhara (Mahāprabhu) and to the Life of Jāhnavā (Nityānanda)! Glories to the Lord of Sītā (Advaita) Glories to Śrīvāsa and the devotees.
prabhu bale ‘hari-dāsa’ – ebe sa-vistāra
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 potency, I will say whatever You make me say.
(The Ten Types of Offences to the Holy Name)
nāma-aparādha daśa-vidha śāstre kaya
sei aparādhe mora baḍa haya bhaya
“In the śāstra it is said that there are ten types of offences to the Holy Name. I greatly fear these offences. (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) Creating imaginary meanings for the Holy Name when the śāstra has already described the glories and results of the Holy Name. (6) Performing pāpa on the strength of chanting the Name. (7) Giving instructions on the Name to those who lack śraddhā. (8) Equating hari-nāma with mundane auspicious activities. (9) Being inattentive when chanting the Holy Name. (10) Remaining addicted to the concept of “I and mine” and showing no love for the Name, even after knowing His glories.
eka eka kari’ āmi baliba sakala
aparādhe vāṅci yā’te deha more bala
“Please give me the strength so that I can speak about all these offences one by one
sādhu-nindā, anya-deva svātantrya manana
nāma-tattva-guru āra śāstra-vinindana
hari-nāme artha-vāda, kalpita manana
nāma-bale pāpa, śraddhā-hīne nāmārpaṇa
anya śubha-karmera samāna kṛṣṇa-nāma
e-kathā mānile aparādha aviśrāma
“Criticising sādhus, considering the various Devas to be independent (of Kṛṣṇa), showing disrespect to the nāma-tattva-guru and the śāstra, 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 śraddhā, and 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 glories 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. By this offence everything is ruined for the jīva.
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
kāme akṣubhita buddhi, dānta, akiñcana
mṛdu, śuci, parimita-bhojī, śānta-mana
anīha, dhṛtimān, sthira, kṛṣṇaika-śaraṇa
apramatta, sugambhīra, vijita-ṣaḍ-guṇa
amānī, mānada, dakṣa, avañcaka, jñānī
ei saba lakṣaṇete sādhu bali jāni
“He is compassionate, tolerant, impartial, devoid of malice, the very essence of truthfulness, pure-hearted, benevolent to others, unagitated by desires, intelligent, mild-mannered, disinterested in material possessions, polite, clean, regulated in his eating, peaceful at heart, without worldly desires, sense-controlled, exclusively surrendered to Kṛṣṇa, vigilant, very sober, victorious over the six urges, prideless, respectful, expert, non-duplicit and wise. I declare that I know a sādhu to have 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) Direct attributes found within an object are called its svarūpa-lakṣaṇa. Other qualities in relation to that object, which are like ‘guests’ that may arise in that object, are known as 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 That)
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 is how the svarūpa-lakṣaṇa appears. 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 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, vaiśya, kṣatra, and vipra are the second division. (3)
(3) Those who marry within their own varṇa are called gṛhasthas. Those who practise 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, one’s position is not determined (by these divisions of varṇāśrama). The śāstra ordains that one is a sādhu due to his exclusive surrender to Kṛṣṇa.
(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 vātula
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 yet 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 yourself remain focused, but externally you may behave like an ordinary man. Very soon, Śrī Kṛṣṇa will save you.’
(The Qualities of the Sādhu Who has Renounced Household Life)
punaḥ tumi tā’ra 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, 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 Vraja.’
Gṛhī o gṛha-tyāgīra 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 refuge in 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 is observed that some misconduct may be there in him, 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 are destroyed.
pūrva-pāpa gandha tabu thāke kichu-dina
nāmera prabhāve krama hañā paḍe kṣīṇa
“Traces of previous pāpa 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 pāpa cannot remain. A trace of previous pāpa may remain, but that 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 criticise that sādhu. Also, pointing out his previous bad deeds, they may show contempt towards him. (8)
(8) If one is fixated on a devotee’s previous pāpa before he surrendered to the Lord, or on that pāpa which remains but is almost eradicated, then this is considered to be criticism of a Vaiṣṇava and is a great offence.
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 offence 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 who wrap themselves in the flag of religiosity (dharma-dhvajīs), who dress like sādhus only to live comfortably.
(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
nije ta’ amānī āra sakale mānada
tāra mukhe kṛṣṇa-nāma kṛṣṇa-rati-prada
“A person who considers himself to be lower than straw, who is tolerant like a tree, 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 vaiṣṇava-i sādhu, tan-nindā-i aparādha
(A Vaiṣṇava Who is Absorbed in the Name is Indeed a Sādhu, and Blaspheming Him is an Offence)
hena sādhu-mukhe yabe śuni eka nāma
vaiṣṇava baliyā tā’re kariba praṇāma
“Any sādhu from whose mouth I hear the Holy Name even once, I call him a Vaiṣṇava and offer respects 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 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 blasphemes 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 achieve kṛṣṇa-bhakti. (10)
(10) Hlādinī (the pleasure-giving potency) and sandhinī (the knowledge potency) merge and become the bhakti-śakti (the 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 from the lips of a Vaiṣṇava (i.e. his food or drink), the water that has washed his feet, and the dust from his feet – these three things are most 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 śraddhā, bhakti arises and their body trembles.
ye basila vaiṣṇavera nikaṭe śraddhāya
tāhāra hṛdaye bhakti haibe udaya
“For one who has śraddhā and 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 influence of the Holy Name he obtains 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, or with his previous or momentary faults, is guilty of criticising.
naṣṭa-prāya doṣa la’ye kare apamāna
yama-daṇḍe kaṣṭa pāya se-saba ajñāna
“Considering those faults 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 criticises a Vaiṣṇava’s birth, his faults due to occasional carelessness, defects in him that have almost been eradicated, or faults 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 nāma-ruci (a taste for the Holy Name). One who takes shelter of bhakti with śraddhā becomes a pure Vaiṣṇava. The aforementioned four types of faults can rarely be noticed in him. There is no possibility of any 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.
ye bhajila kṛṣṇa-nāma sei sarvopari
“Anyone who rejects dharma, yoga, yāga, and the jñāna-kāṇḍa and who 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 criticise different Devas or other śāstra.
se-sādhu gṛhastha hauk athavā sannyāsī
tāṅhāra caraṇa-reṇu pāite prayāsī
“Whether that sādhu is a gṛhastha or a sannyāsī, I desire to attain the dust of his feet.
yāra 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 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, youth, 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 criticising sādhus. Indeed, that is his inherent nature.
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 embodiment of bhakti. A ‘devotee’ who is without bhakti is ugly and monstrous.
yāṅhā sādhu-nindā tāṅhā nāhi bhakti-sthiti
ataeva aparādhe tathā pariṇati
“A person who criticises a sādhu has no standing in bhakti. Therefore, his offence makes him averse (towards bhakti).
sādhu-nindā chāḍi’ bhakta sādhu-bhakti kare
sādhu-saṅga sādhu-sevā ei dharmācare
“A devotee avoids criticising sādhus and should be devoted to them. Association with sādhus and serving them is the real practice of dharma.
Asat-saṅga dui prakāra – strī-saṅgī
(The Two Types of Bad Association – Inappropriate Association with Females)
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 se 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 inappropriate association with females. (13)
(13) Shunning bad association is the primary 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 females.
yoṣit-saṅgi-saṅgī punaḥ tāra madhye gaṇya
tāra saṅga-tyāge jīva haibeka dhanya
“Keeping company with a man who is too attached to females is also counted as bad association. A jīva who avoids such company 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 married husband and wife may remain together in a family centred around Kṛṣṇa. The śāstra does not say that this is immoral.
adharma-saṁyoge āra straiṇa-bhāve rata
yoṣit-saṅgī jana duṣṭa, śāstrera sammata
“That corrupt person who engages in illicit sex and is mentally infatuated with females, is 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 (abhakta) – 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 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 renunciation and who dress deceptively only in order to make a living.
Yini balena, ei saba lokera nindāke-o sādhu-nindā bale, tini-o varjya
(Those Who Declare that the Condemnation of All these People is an Offence to Sādhus, are also to be Rejected)
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, but takes exclusive shelter of the Lord and no one else, and chants kṛṣṇa-nāma, attains the great wealth 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 possesses ordinary śraddhā and who worships the Deity but does not serve the sādhus is a prākṛta-vaiṣṇava (a materialistic Vaiṣṇava), a 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. Somehow he must get the association of sādhus to become a Vaiṣṇava.
ataeva kaniṣṭha madhyete tā’re gaṇi
tā’re kṛpā karibena vaiṣṇava āpani
“Therefore, I consider him to be a kaniṣṭha-vaiṣṇava (a neophyte Vaiṣṇava). By the mercy (of the devotees), he may become a Vaiṣṇava.
(The Intermediate Vaiṣṇava)
kṛṣṇa-prema, kṛṣṇa-bhakte maitrī ācaraṇa
bāliśete kṛpā āra dveṣī upekṣaṇa
karile madhyama bhakta śuddha-bhakta hana
kṛṣṇa-nāmne adhikāra karena arjana
“One who develops kṛṣṇa-prema, who displays friendly behaviour to Kṛṣṇa’s devotees, who is compassionate to the innocent and avoids those who are envious, such a person is a madhyama-bhakta. Very soon he becomes a pure devotee and attains the qualification to chant kṛṣṇa-nāma.
(The Highest Vaiṣnava)
sarvatra yāṅhāra haya kṛṣṇa-daraśana
kṛṣṇe sakalera sthiti kṛṣṇa prāṇa-dhana
vaiṣṇavāvaiṣṇava-bheda nāhi thāke tāṅra
vaiṣṇava uttama tini kṛṣṇa-nāma-sāra
“One who sees Kṛṣṇa everywhere, who understands that everything rests within Kṛṣṇa, and who considers Kṛṣṇa to be the wealth of his life, who sees no difference between Vaiṣṇavas and non-Vaiṣṇavas, such a person is an uttama-vaiṣṇava (the highest Vaiṣṇava). Kṛṣṇa-nāma is essentially everything for him.
Madhyama vaiṣṇava-i sādhu sevā karena
(An Intermediate Vaiṣṇava Must Serve Sādhus)
ataeva madhyama vaiṣṇava mahāśaya
sādhu-sevā-rata sadā thākena niścaya
“Therefore, a respectable madhyama-vaiṣṇava must certainly serve this kind of sādhu constantly. (16)
(16) From the stage of a madhyama-vaiṣṇava one starts to give due consideration to who is a pure Vaiṣṇava. A madhyama 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 offence to the Vaiṣṇavas. With earnestness, he should seek out a pure Vaiṣṇava and serve him. When an uttama-vaiṣṇava makes no distinction between a Vaiṣṇava and 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 gāya
“All the śāstra states that the prākṛta-vaiṣṇava, or vaiṣṇava-prāya, is eligible to chant 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 eligible to chant the Name, but he must take offences into consideration when engaged in śrī nāma-bhajana.
uttama-vaiṣṇave aparādha asambhava
sarvatra dekhena tini kṛṣṇera vaibhava
“It is impossible for an uttama-vaiṣṇava to make offences, because he sees Kṛṣṇa’s opulence everywhere.
nija nija adhikāra kariyā vicāra
sādhu-nindā aparādha kari’ parihāra
“In consideration of one’s own qualification, one should abstain from the offence of criticising sādhus. (17)
(17) It is necessary to know one’s qualification by considering one’s own nature. Knowing this qualification and performing nāma-saṅkīrtana with fixed determination is the dharma of a Vaiṣṇava.
sādhu-saṅga, sādhu-sevā, nāma-saṅkīrtana
sarva-jīve dayā ei bhakta-ācaraṇa
“Keeping company with sādhus, serving them, 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 remorse one should catch hold of that sādhu’s feet.
kāṅdiyā baliba, prabho kṣami’ aparādha
e-duṣṭa-nindake kara vaiṣṇava-prasāda
Weeping, one should say, ‘O prabhu, please forgive my offence! Kindly give the mercy of a Vaiṣṇava to this wicked offender.’
sādhu baḍa dayāmaya tabe ārdra-mane
kṣamibena aparādha kṛpā āliṅgane
“The sādhu, being full of compassion, with a tender heart will then forgive the offence 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 offence at Your divine feet.”
hari-dāsa pāda-padme bhramara ye-jana
hari-nāma-cintāmaṇi tāṅhāra 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.’