Hari-nāma Cintāmaṇi – Chapter Seven
(Criticism of the Śruti-śāstra)
“Blaspheming the śruti-śāstra”.
jaya jaya gadāi-gaurāṅga nityānanda
jaya sītā-pati jaya gaura-bhakta-vṛnda
Glories to Gadādhara, Gaurāṅga and Nityānanda. Glories to the husband of Sīta (Advaita) and the devotees.
hari-dāsa bale prabhu caturthāparādha
Hari Dāsa said – “Lord, the fourth offence is criticism of the śruti-śāstra which obstructs bhakti–rasa.
Āmnāya-i eka-mātra pramāṇa
(The Vedas are the only Evidence)
śruti-śāstra – veda-upaniṣat-purāṇa
kṛṣṇa-niśvasita haya sarvatra pramāṇa
“The śruti–śāstra, the Vedas, the Upaniṣads and the Purāṇas – all these pramāṇas (evidences) have issued from the breathing of Kṛṣṇa.
viśeṣataḥ aprākṛta-tattve jñāna yata
sakali āmnāya-siddha tāhe ha-i rata
“They especially contain knowledge of transcendental truths which is beyond the range of the mundane senses (aprākṛta-tattva). The entire Vedas are perfect.
jaḍātīta vastu indriyera agocara
kṛṣṇa-kṛpā vinā tāhā nā haya gocara
“That which transcends dull matter is beyond the senses. Without Kṛṣṇa’s mercy one cannot contact that. (1)
(1) The mundane senses can only perceive objects comprised of matter. The senses have no power to perceive that which is beyond the mundane. Kṛṣṇa is spiritual by nature and transcends matter. Thus Kṛṣṇa kindly gives the knowledge of āmnāya (the Vedas) so that the jīvas will attain auspiciousness. The word ‘āmnāya’ is used in genuine sampradāyas to refer to the statements of the Vedas.
karaṇāpaṭava, bhrama, vipralipsā āra
pramāda, sarvatra nara-jñāne ei cāra
“Throughout human knowledge we find four things – flawed senses (karaṇāpāṭava), the tendency to make mistakes (bhrama), the cheating propensity (vipralipsā), and falling into bewilderment (pramāda).
sei saba doṣa-śūnya veda catuṣṭaya
veda vinā paramārthe gati nāhi haya
“The four Vedas are devoid of all these faults. Without the Vedas there is no other path to the highest goal.
māyā-baddha-jīve kṛṣṇa bahu kṛpā kari’
veda-purāṇādi dila ārṣa-jñāne dhari’
“Being extremely merciful to the jīvas who are bound by Māyā, Kṛṣṇa took the knowledge of the sages in the form of the Vedas, Purāṇas etc. (2)
(2) Ārṣa-jñāna – that knowledge that the ṛṣis attained while in samādhi. That is ārṣa-jñāna.
Āmnāya haite daśa-mūla śikṣā prameya nayaṭī
(The Ten Fundamental Teachings and Nine Evidences in the Vedas)
sei śruti-śāstre jāni – karma-jñāna chāra
nirmala-bhaktite mātra pāi sarva-sāra
“I know that the śruti-śāstra considers karma and jñāna to be as worthless as ashes, and that only the attainment of pure bhakti is most essential.
māyā-mūḍha-jīve karma-jñāne śuddha kari’
śuddha-bhakti adhikāra śikhāile hari
“The jīvas are fooled by māyā who purifies them through karma and jñāna, and when they are qualified, Hari teaches them about śuddha-bhakti. (3)
(3) The perfect knowledge of the śruti says that karma and jñāna produce only negligible results, and teaches that the essential truth of pure bhakti is the highest attainment.
pramāṇa se veda-vākya nayaṭī prameya
śikhāya sambandha, prayojana, abhidheya
“The pramāṇa of the Vedic statements reveal nine prameyas (objects of knowledge). Their teachings are sambandha, abhidheya and prayojana (the relationship between the jīva and īśvara, the method of attainment, and the goal).
ei daśa-mūla-sāra avidyā vināśa
kariyā jīvera kare suvidyā prakāśa
“The essence of this is the Daśa-mūla (ten fundamental teachings) which destroys the ignorance of the jīva and manifests divine knowledge. (4)
(4) The Daśa-mūla states that there is one pramāṇa, meaning the Vedic statements; the prameyas are nine – 1. Hari is the Supreme Truth. 2. His form is that of Śyāmasundara, and He is the master of all potencies. 3. The form of Śyāmasundara is replete with supreme rasa; His abode is the spiritual sky. 4. The unlimited jīvas are spiritual atomic particles (cit-paramāṇu) and they are separated parts of Kṛṣna (vibhinnāṁśa). The two types of jīva are eternally bound (nitya-baddha) and eternally liberated (nitya-mukta). 5. The jīvas who are averse to Kṛṣṇa are bound by Māyā. 6. Pure devotees are free from the influence of Māyā. 7. The jīvas and the entire world comprised of gross matter are produced by the potency of inconceivability (acintya-śakti) and are manifestations that are eternally one and different from the Supreme. 8. Abhidheya-tattva refers to the nine processes in kṛṣṇa-bhakti. 9. Kṛṣna-prema is the prayojana-tattva.
1. hari eka para-tattva, 2. tini sarva-śaktimān, 3. tini rasa-mūrti
(Hari is the Supreme Truth, the Possessor of All Potencies, and the Embodiment of Rasa)
prathame śikhāya – para-tattva eka hari
śyāma sarva-śaktimān, rasa-mūrti-dhārī
“The first teaching is that Hari is the Supreme Truth. Śyāma is the possessor of all potencies and the embodiment of rasa.
jīvera paramānanda karena vidhāna
saṁvyoma-dhāmete tāṅra nitya adhiṣṭhāna
“He gives supreme bliss to the jīvas and He eternally resides in His abode in the spiritual sky (saṁvyoma).
e-tina prameya haya śrī-kṛṣṇa-viṣaye
veda-śāstra śikṣā dena jīvera hṛdaye
“The Veda-śāstra places these three prameyas concerning Śrī Kṛṣṇa in the hearts of the jīvas.
(The Jīva Principle)
dvitīye śikhāya vibhinnāṁśa jīva-tattva
“The second teaching is in regard to jīva–tattva, who are vibhinnāṁśa (part and parcel of the Supreme). They are infinite in number and atomic units of consciousness.
5. Nitya-baddha o 6. nitya mukta bhede jīva dui prakāra
(The Two Different Types of Jīvas are eternally bound and eternally liberated)
nitya-baddha nitya-mukta bhede jīva dvi-prakāra
saṁvyoma, brahmāṇḍa bhari’ saṁsthiti tāhāra
“The jīvas are of two types – eternally bound (nitya-baddha) and eternally liberated (nitya-mukta). Respectively, they reside in the spiritual sky and the material universe.
(The Bound Jīva)
baddha-jīva māyā bhaji’ kṛṣṇa-bahirmukha
ananta-brahmāṇḍe bhoga kare duḥkha-sukha
“Being averse to Kṛṣṇa, the bound jīvas worship māyā. They enjoy and suffer in unlimited universes.
(The Liberated Jīvas)
nitya-mukta kṛṣṇa bhaji’ kṛṣṇa-pāriṣada
para-vyome bhoga kare premera sampada
“The eternally liberated jīvas worship Kṛṣṇa, and they are His associates. They enjoy in the spiritual sky and possess the wealth of prema.
tinaṭī prameya ei jīvera viṣaye
śruti-śāstra śikṣā dena kṛṣṇa-dāsī haye
“Theses are the three prameyas in regards to the jīva. The śruti-śāstras, which are Kṛṣṇa’s maidservants, teach this.
7. Acintya-bhedābheda sambandha
(The Jīva in Relation to Simultaneous Oneness and Difference)
cid-vyāpāra āra yata jaḍera vyāpāra
sakali acintya-bhedābheda prakāra
“Whether they are in the spiritual world or the material world, they are all inconceivably one and different (from the Lord).
jīva, jaḍa – sarva-vastu kṛṣṇa-śaktimaya
avicintya-bhedābheda śruti-śāstre kaya
“All things, including the jīvas and matter are Kṛṣṇa’s potencies and inconceivably one and different from Him. The śruti-śāstras declare this.
ei jñāne jīva jāne – āmi kṛṣṇa dāsa
kṛṣṇa mora nitya prabhu cit-sūrya-prakāśa”
“Through this knowledge the jīva understands ‘I am kṛṣṇa-dāsa. Kṛṣṇa is my eternal Master. He appears like a spiritual sun.’
śakti-pariṇāma-mātra veda-śāstre bale
vivartādi-duṣṭa-mate veda-ninde chale
“The Veda-śāstra speaks about śakti-pariṇāma (the idea that the world is a manifestation of Kṛṣṇa’s energies). Vivarta (the idea that the world is a direct transformation of the Lord) is a corrupt philosophy – a deception created by offenders of the Vedas. (5)
(5) The Vedas teach that the world is a manifestation of the Supreme’s acintya-śakti. The concept that the world is a direct transformation, or a direct manifestation of the Supreme, is an ideology that is completely opposed to the Vedas.
Sātaṭī prameya sambandha jñāna
(The Seventh Prameya Concerns Sambandha-jñāna)
ei-ta’ sambandha-jñāna sātaṭī prameya
śruti-śāstra śikṣā dena ati-upādeya
“This seventh prameya concerns sambandha-jñāna. The śruti-śāstras give this most excellent teaching.
veda punaḥ śikṣā dena abhidheya-sāra
nava-vidha kṛṣṇa-bhakti vidhi, rāga āra
“The Vedas also give instructions on essential abhidheya, the nine processes of kṛṣṇa-bhakti, as well as vidhi (devotion according to rules) and rāga (spontaneous devotion for Kṛṣṇa).
8. abhidheya – nava-vidha bhakti (Abhideya – the Nine Processes of Bhakti)
śravaṇa, kīrtana, smṛti, pūjana, vandana
paricaryā, dāsya, sakhya, ātma-nivedana
“Hearing, chanting, remembering, worshipping, offering prayers, offering service, becoming the Lord’s servant, becoming the Lord’s friend and offering oneself fully.
bhaktira prakāra-madhye nāma sarva-sāra
praṇava-māhātmya veda karena pracāra
“Amongst these various types of bhakti, chanting the Holy Name is the most essential. Thus the Vedas have propagated the glories of praṇava (oṁ).
9. Prayojana kṛṣṇa-prema
(The Goal is Kṛṣṇa-prema)
śuddha-bhakti-samāśraya kariyā mānava
kṛṣṇa-kṛpā-bale pāya premera vaibhava
“If a human being takes refuge in śuddha–bhakti, then by the power of Kṛṣṇa’s mercy, he attains the wealth of prema. (6)
(6) Here, śuddha-bhakti refers to the state where the mind is fixed upon that which is favourable for service to Kṛṣṇa with no other desire than to increase one’s bhakti. In this state, one is not covered by karma, jñāna or yoga, but the mind is fixed upon śuddha-bhakti. Bhakti which is mixed with karma or jñāna cannot be said to be śuddha-bhakti. All the Vedas unanimously teach that one should engage in śuddha-bhakti by taking refuge in nāma.
Ei śruti-śikṣā nindā aparādha
(Criticising the Teachings of the Śruti is an Offence)
e nava-prameya śruti karena pramāṇa
śruti-tattvābhijña guru balena sandhāna
“The śruti is the pramāṇa that teaches these nine prameyas. The guru who is learned in these tattvas from the śruti is able to reveal them.
e-hena śrutira yei kare vinindana
nāma-aparādhī sei narādhama jana
“One who criticises the śruti is an offender to nāma. He is the lowest of men.
(The Various Philosophies that Oppose the Vedas)
jaiminī, kapila, nagna, nāstika, sugata
gautama – e-chaya jana hetuvāde rata
“Jaiminī, Kapila, Nagna, Nāstika, Sugata and Gautama – these six personalities are devoted to argumentative ideologies.*
*Translator’s Note: Jaiminī is the founder of the Karma Mīmāṁsā philosophy. Kapila refers to Kapila Ṛṣi, the propagator of atheistic Saṅkhyā. Nagna most probably refers to Śiva, the author of the Tantras. Nāstika denotes the atheist Cārvāka. Sugata is an epithet for Buddha, and Gautama is the founder of the school of Nyāya.
veda māne mukhe, tabu īśa nāhi māne
karma-kāṇḍa śreṣṭha bali’ jaiminī vākhāne
“Their mouths talk about following the Vedas, but none of them mention a Supreme. Jaiminī declares that karma-kāṇḍa is the highest.
īśvara asiddha, kapilera kalpanāya
tabu yoga māne artha bujhā nāhi yāya
“Kapila imagines that īśvara is imperfect, but he accepts yoga without understanding its meaning.
nagna se tāmasa-tantra karaya vistāra
vedera viruddha-dharma karaye pracāra
“Nagna propagated tāmasika tantras and preached a religion which was opposed to the Vedas.*
* Translator’s Note: Śiva (Nagna) authored the Tantras and also appeared as Ādi Śaṅkara who propagated Advaitavāda (māyāvāda).
Ei saba matavāda dvārā śruti-nindā haya
(One Criticises the Śruti Through All These Philosophies)
nāstika cārvāka kabhu veda nāhi māne
sugata, bauddherā eka prakāra vākhāne
“Nāstika Cārvāka did not accept the Vedas. Sugata described a type of Buddhism.
gautama nyāyera kartā īśvara nā bhaje
tāra hetuvāda-mate nara-mātra maje
“Gautama, the authority on nyāya, did not worship īśvara. These are the six argumentative philosophical schools that humans become fully absorbed in.
Ei sab mata-vāda dvārā śruti-nindā haya
(All these Doctrines Blaspheme the Śruti)
ei saba duṣṭa mate śrutira nindana
kabhu spaṣṭa kabhu gupta, bujhe vijña-jana
“All these corrupt philosophies criticise the śruti – sometimes openly, sometimes in secret, but those who are wise understand.
ei saba mate thāki’ aparādhī haya
ataeva ei sabe tyajibe niścaya
“All those that accept these philosophies are offenders. Thus, everyone should certainly avoid their association.
Māyāvādīra ati duṣṭa mata – veda viruddha
(The Philosophy of the Māyāvādīs is the Most Corrupt – it is Opposed to the Vedas)
ei-saba ku-mata chāḍi’ āra māyāvāda
śuddha-bhakti anubhavi’ haya nirvivāda
“One should reject all these evil ideologies including māyāvāda, which are opposed to the realisations of śuddha–bhakti.
māyāvāda asat-śāstra gupta-bauddha-mata
vedārtha-vikṛti kali-kālete sammata
“Māyāvāda is asat-śāstra (opposed to the śāstra) and is concealed Buddhism which mutilates the meaning of the Vedas. It is respected in the age of Kali.
umāpati brāhmaṇa-rūpete prakāśila
tomāra ājñāya teṅha ācārya haila
“The Lord of Umā (Śiva) appeared in the form of a brāhmaṇa, and on Your order became the ācārya (of this philosophy).
jaiminī ye-rūpa mukhe veda-mātra māne
vikṛta śrutira artha jagate vākhāne
“Just as Jaiminī gave lip-service about accepting the Vedas, he (Śiva) gave the world a deformed meaning of the śruti.
māyāvādī guru sei-rūpa bauddha-dharma
veda-vākye sthāpi’ ācchādila bhakti-marma
“In this way, māyāvādī gurus establish Buddhist dharma using Vedic statements, concealing any meaning concerning bhakti. (7)
(7) Aṣṭāvakra, Dattātreya, Govinda, Gauḍapāda, Śaṅkara, the followers of Śaṅkara, and the jvara-mīmāṁsakas (followers of Jaiminī) are māyāvādī gurus.* The attainment of nirvāṇa by the jīva is the central teaching of Buddhist dharma. Although they do not accept the existence of Brahman, they accept that the highest reality is śūnyavāda (the idea of merging into nothingness), which is identical in all respects with the māyāvādīs merging into the qualityless consciousness of Brahman. These philosophies are completely opposed to the eternality of bhakti-tattva.
* Translator’s Note: Aṣṭāvakra was an ancient sage who wrote the Aṣṭāvakra-gītā, a treatise on advaita-siddhānta. Dattātreya wrote the Avadhūta-gītā, another book propagating impersonalism. Govinda Bhagavatpāda was the guru of Śaṅkarācārya, and Govinda’s guru was Gauḍapāda. The jvara-mīmāṁsa (or pūrva-mīmāṁsa) of Jaiminī champions karma-kāṇḍa and its results as the goal of life – thus it is ultimately considered to be atheistic by Vaiṣṇavas.
ei saba matavāde bhakti dūre yāya
śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāmete jīva aparādha pāya
“All these philosophies keep bhakti at a distance. By following them, the jīva makes an offence to śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāma. (8)
(8) Those who accept any of these ideologies, but nevertheless chant kṛṣṇa-nāma—such māyāvādīs are destroyed by committing an offence to the Holy Name.
Śruti-vicāre śuddha prakriyā
(Consulting the Śruti is the Method of Purification)
śrutira abhidhā-vṛtti kari’ saṁyojana
śuddha-bhakti labhi’ pāya jīva prema-dhana
“When the primary meanings (abhidhā-vṛtti) of the śruti are combined, one eventually attains śuddha-bhakti. Then the jīva acquires the wealth of prema. (9)
(9) When the primary meaning (abhidhā-lakṣaṇa) is applicable, then it is improper to accept secondary meanings (lakṣaṇa) in their place. Keeping this in mind, by accepting the abhidhā-vṛtti of a Vedic statement, one can learn the pure teachings of bhakti-tattva. Please look at the Pramāṇa-mālā for the meaning of abhidhā and lakṣaṇa.
śrutite lakṣaṇā kare ayathā prakāre
nitya-satya dūre yāya, aparādhe mare
“One who accepts the unnecessary secondary meanings of the śruti, distances himself from eternal truth and perishes due to his offence.
sarva-veda-sammata praṇava kṛṣṇa-nāma
sei nāme jīva saba pāya nitya-dhāma
“All the Vedas agree that praṇava (oṁ) is the Name of Kṛṣṇa. By chanting that Name, all the jīvas can attain the eternal abode.
praṇava se mahā-vākya haya kṛṣṇa-nāma
tāhāte-i śrī-bhaktera satata viśrāma
“Praṇava, the great statement of the Vedas (mahā-vākya), is a name of Kṛṣṇa. A devotee eternally takes refuge in that.
veda bale, nāma cit-svarūpa jagate
nāmera ābhāse siddha haya sarva-mate
“The Vedas declare to the world the spiritual nature of nāma. Even by a semblance of the Name (nāmābhāsa), all kinds of perfection are achieved.
Veda kevala śuddha-nāma-bhajana śikṣā dena
(The Vedas Only Give Instructions on Pure Nāma-bhajana)
ei saba veda-śikṣā abhāgā nā māne
nāme aparādha kare, vedera nindane
“Those who are unfortunate do not understand all the teachings found within the Vedas. They commit offences to the Name by criticising the Vedas.
śuddha-nāma-parāyaṇa yei mahājana
vedāśraye pāya nāma-rasa prema-dhana
“Those mahājanas who are engaged in śuddha–nāma take shelter of the Vedas, and attain nāma–rasa and the wealth of prema.
sarva-veda bale, gāo hari-nāma-sāra
pāibe paramā prīti ānanda apāra’
“All the Vedas state, ‘Chant that most essential hari-nāma! By chanting, you will obtain the highest type of love and unlimited bliss.’
veda punaḥ bale, yata mukta mahājana
para-vyome sadā kare nāma-saṅkīrtana
“Again the Vedas say, `In the spiritual sky, the liberated mahājanas constantly engage in nāma–saṅkīrtana.’
Tāmasa-tantra śikṣā veda viruddha
(The Teachings of the Tāmasika Tantras are Opposed to the Vedas)
kali-yuge bahu-jana māyā-śakti bhaje
cid-ātmā-puruṣa kṛṣṇa-nāma-rasa tyāje
“In Kali-yuga, many persons worship the māyā–śakti, rejecting the transcendental Personality and the rasa of kṛṣṇa–nāma.
tāmasika tantra dhari’ śruti-nindā kare
madya-māṁse prīti kari’ adharmete mare
“The followers of tantras that are in the mode of ignorance, criticise the Vedas. Finding pleasure in wine and meat, they perish due to their adharma.
se-saba ninduka nāhi pāya kṛṣṇa-nāma
kabhu nāhi pāya kṛṣṇera vṛndāvana-dhāma
“All such critics never accept kṛṣṇa-nāma. They never attain Kṛṣṇa’s abode of Vṛndāvana.
Māyā-devīra niṣkapaṭa kṛpā-i prayojana
(The Necessity of Māyā Devī’s Mercy)
māyā-devī se-saba pāṣaṇḍe adhogati
diyā nāmāmṛta āra nāhi dena mati
“Māyā Devī forces all such atheists to fall down, and she is disinclined to give them the nectar of the Holy Name.
tabe yadi sādhu-sevāya tuṣṭa hana māyā
akapaṭe dena tabe kṛṣṇa-pada-chāyā
“But if Māyā is satisfied by their service to a sādhu, then she will unreservedly give them the shade of Kṛṣṇa’s feet.
māyā kṛṣṇa-dāsī bahirmukha-jīve daṇḍe
māyā pūjile-u śubha nāhi pāya bhaṇḍe
“Māyā is the maidservant of Kṛṣṇa who punishes those jīvas who are averse to Him. Those hypocrites who worship Māyā never achieve auspiciousness.
kṛṣṇa-nāma kare yei, māyā-devī tā’re
niṣkapaṭe kṛpā kari’ laya bhava-pāre
“For those who chant kṛṣṇa-nāma, Māyā Devī gives her niṣkapaṭa-kṛpā (sincere mercy) and they are able to cross beyond material nature. (10)
(10) In this world, the māyāvādīs chant the names of Dūrgā and Kālī, and offer worship to her. The cit-śakti is Kṛṣṇa’s original, personal potency. Māyā is the shadow of that. Her aim is to purify the jīvas who are averse to Kṛṣṇa, and gradually bring them back to Him. Māyā has two types of mercy – niṣkapaṭa-kṛpā (sincere mercy) and sakapaṭa-kṛpā (deceptive mercy). Wherever there is niṣkapaṭa-kṛpā, then she bestows her vidyā-vṛtti (the perception of real knowledge) and gives kṛṣṇa-bhakti. Wherever there is sakapaṭa-kṛpā, there she gives temporary material happiness to the jīvas and controls them. When she is very merciful in this particular way, she hurls the jīva into brahma-nirvāṇa. When this occurs, the jīva is completely finished.
ataeva śruti-nindā-aparādha tyaji’
aharaha nāma-saṅkīrtana-rase maji
“Thus, one should give up the offence of śruti–nindā (criticism of the śruti) and day after day, absorb oneself in the rasa of nāma–saṅkīrtana.
(The Remedy for this Offence)
pramāde yadyapi haya se-śruti-nindana
anutāpe kari punaḥ se-śruti vandana
“If I foolishly engage in criticism of the śruti, I should repent and again offer respects to the śruti.
kusama-tulasī diyā sei śruti-gaṇe
bhāgavata-saha sadā pūjiba yatane
“Offering flowers and tulasī to the śrutī, I must constantly worship them along with the Bhāgavata with great care.
bhāgavata śruti-sāra kṛṣṇa-avatāra
avaśya karibe more karuṇā apāra
“The Bhāgavata is the essence of the śruti and is an avatāra of Kṛṣṇa. It will certainly bestow unlimited mercy upon me! (11)
(11) The Śrīmad Bhāgavata is the essence of all the Vedas. Those persons whose auspicious day has not dawned yet due to some delay, speak harsh words about Śrī Bhāgavata. That is their inherent nature.
hari-dāsa-pada-rajaḥ bharasā yāhāra
nāma-cintāmaṇi-hāra galāya tāhāra
“He who has confidence in the dust of Hari Dāsa’s feet, places this jewelled necklace of Holy Names around his neck.
iti śrī- hari-nāma-cintāmaṇau śruti-nindā aparādha vicāro
nāma saptamaḥ paricchedaḥ
Thus ends the Seventh Chapter of Śrī Hari-nāma Cintāmaṇi entitled,
‘A Deliberation on the Offence of Criticising the Śruti.’