Jaiva Dharma - Bhaktivinoda ThakuraJaiva Dharma - Chapter Twenty Four
Jaiva Dharma - Bhaktivinoda ThakuraJaiva Dharma - Chapter Twenty Six

Nitya-dharma: Sambandha, Abhidheya and Prayojana
Part Thirteen: Elucidation of Nāmābhāsa, Clearing Offences against Hari-nāma

by Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura
(translated by Śrī Sarvabhāvana Prabhu)

The next evening, Vijaya and Vrajanātha arrived punctually at the bhajana-kuṭīra of Śrīla Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja. Entering quietly, they offered their prostrated obeisances in humble submission before their elderly spiritual master. After a respectful silence, Vijaya said, “Gurudeva, kindly elucidate in detail the nāmābhāsa-tattva. Our thirst to hear more and more about hari-nāma is ever-increasing.”

Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī, “You are truly fortunate. Three topics must be understood in order to perfectly comprehend nāma-tattva: śuddha-nāma, nāmābhāsa, and nāmāparādha. Śuddha-nāma and nāmāparādha have already been discussed in some detail, so today we are going to concentrate on nāmābhāsa.”

Vijaya, “What is nāmābhāsa? And how many types of nāmābhāsa are there?”

Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī, “The Sanskrit word ābhāsa means, semblance, shadow, and reflection. The kānti, glowing radiance, that emanates from a lustrous object creates two effects: chāyā, shadow; and pratibimba, reflection. Similarly, the lustrous śuddha-hari-nāma that resembles the sun has two types of ābhāsa: nāma-pratibimba, the reflection of hari-nāma; and nāma-chāyā, the shadow of hari-nāma. Learned spiritual authorities frequently use terms like bhaktyābhāsa, bhāva-ābhāsa, nāma-ābhāsa, vaiṣṇava-ābhāsa, etc. In all these examples, ābhāsa indicates either of the two divisions, chāyā and pratibimba.”

Vijaya, “How are bhakty-ābhāsa, bhāva-ābhāsa, nāma-ābhāsa and vaiṣṇavaābhāsa related to one another?”

Gosvāmī, “A Vaiṣṇava is someone who engages in chanting hari-nāma. When he practises chanting on the platform of bhakty-ābhāsa, his chanting is nāmābhāsa and accordingly he is called a vaiṣṇava-ābhāsa, not a śuddha-bhakta. In this context, bhakti and bhāva mean one and the same thing; however, according to the different states of development, bhakti is described as being either in the restricted form of ābhāsa, or in full-blown form of śuddha.”

Vijaya, “Kindly describe the stage at which a jīva may be designated a vaiṣṇava-ābhāsa.”

Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī, “The Śrīmad Bhāgavatam, 11.2.47, states:

arcāyām eva haraye pūjāṁ yaḥ śraddhayehate
na tad-bhakteṣu cānyeṣu sa bhaktaḥ prākṛtaḥ smṛtaḥ

“‘A devotee who faithfully engages in the worship of the Deity in the temple, but does not behave properly towards other devotees, or people in general is called a prākṛta-bhakta, a materialistic devotee, and is considered to be in the lowest position.’

“The word śraddhā as used here actually means śraddhā-ābhāsa, because śraddhā in worshiping the Deity of Śrī Kṛṣṇa without simultaneous worship of the kṛṣṇa-bhaktas is but an ābhāsa of real śraddhā, certainly not śraddhā proper. Therefore, this śraddhā-ābhāsa is either a chāyā or pratibimba of real śraddhā. Being cultivated merely as a part of a custom or tradition, this level of śraddhā is not aprākṛtaśraddhā, transcendental faith, forming a part of ananya-bhakti. The definition of vaiṣṇava-ābhāsa is focused upon a person whose śraddhā and worship are prākṛta, mundane, and who is therefore called a prākṛta-bhakta.

“Śrī Caitanya designated Hiraṇya and Govardhana Majumadāra, the uncle and father of Śrīla Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī, as vaiṣṇava-prāya, almost Vaiṣṇavas. This indicates that such persons decorate themselves with tulasī neck-beads and tilaka, etc., like true Vaiṣṇavas, but their chanting is on the nāmābhāsa stage. Thus, they are not actually pure Vaiṣṇavas.”

Vijaya, “Should māyāvādīs, if they wear tulasī neck-beads, tilaka and chant hari-nāma, be seen as vaiṣṇava-ābhāsa?”

Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī, “No, they are certainly not even vaiṣṇavaābhāsa. They are offenders, hence they are known as vaiṣṇavaaparādhīs. Possibly, their chanting is at best pratibimba-nāmābhāsa, and so generously they may be viewed as on the platform of pratibimba-bhāva-ābhāsa. In this way they may be called vaiṣṇava-ābhāsa, but actually they should not be so designated since they are terrible aparādhīs. They do not deserve the honourable name ‘Vaiṣṇava’ in any respect. They are to be categorized separately.”

Vijaya, “Gurudeva, please tell us more about śuddha-nāma and His symptoms.”

Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī, “When hari-nāma is chanted with a favourable attitude devoid of mundane hankering and the desire for jñāna and karma and thus only for the purpose of śuddha-bhakti, then śuddha-nāma is being uttered. The desire to invoke the acintyaśakti of śuddha-nāma and experience supreme transcendental bliss is not a mundane and motivated desire, but a pure desire within the realm of śuddha-bhakti, known as anyābhilāṣa-śūnya-bhakti, devotion free from mundane hankering.

“Besides this spiritual desire to attain pure transcendental love, all other desires concerning the results of chanting, such as the absolution of pāpa and the attainment of mukti, are anyābhilāṣa, extraneous desires for things unrelated to pure bhakti. As long as anyābhilāṣa remains within the heart, śuddha-nāma does not manifest. The sādhaka lacks śuddha-nāma as long as he craves for the external rewards gained from the practice of karma, jñāna, and aṣṭāṅga-yoga. The heart must be cleansed of these detrimental, non-devotional motives and devotional qualities favourable to the achievement of śuddhanāma must be cultivated. Then śuddha-nāma is revealed, which may be defined as hari-nāma free from nāmābhāsa and nāmāparādha.

“Śrī Caitanya, the most munificent avatāra and deliverer of the souls in Kali-yuga, has instructed the following about chanting hari-nāma in the third verse of the Śrī Śikṣāṣṭaka:

tṛṇād api sunīcena taror iva sahiṣṇunā
amāninā māna-dena kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ

“‘One should chant śrī-hari-nāma in a humble state of mind, thinking oneself lower than the straw in the street. One should be more tolerant than a tree, devoid of all sense of false prestige, and should be ready to offer all respects to others. In such a state of mind one can chant śrī-hari-nāma constantly.’”

Vijaya, “Master, what are the inherent differences between nāmābhāsa and nāmāparādha?”

Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī, “If a person does not chant śuddha-nāma, he chants nāmābhāsa. Under certain conditions nāmābhāsa remains in that category, but under other conditions nāmābhāsa enters the realm nāmāparādha. When chanting is contaminated by pramāda, ignorance, and bhramā, illusion, or by a lack of attention or comprehension, we speak of nāmābhāsa chanting. In the case where chanting is polluted by māyāvādī sophism, the desire for mokṣa or bhoga, then we speak of nāmāparādha. If the ten previously mentioned nāmāparādhas are committed unknowingly without guile, such chanting is nāmābhāsa.

“It is relevant to know that as long as nāmābhāsa is not stained by the symptoms of nāmāparādha, then the hope is very strong that one day such chanting will become śuddhanāma. However, as soon as nāmāparādha enters into nāmābhāsa chanting, the possibility of śuddhanāma dwindles. The only remedy then is to follow strictly the process of purification from the offences against hari-nāma that I have given previously.”

Vijaya, “What is the process to elevate nāmābhāsa chanting to the level of śuddhanāma chanting?”

Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī, “A devotee must associate with śuddhabhaktas. If he stays in their association and cultivates nāma under their guidance, then after a certain time he will become purified and acquire a taste for śuddhabhakti. At this stage, the hari-nāma appearing on his tongue will become śuddhanāma. However, at the same time, he must shun the company of nāmāparādhīs; otherwise, the birth of śuddhanāma will be prevented. Sat-saṅga is the only cause for the prime benediction of the jīva. Therefore, our beloved Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu instructed Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī that sat-saṅga was the seed and root of śuddha-bhakti, whereas the company of bhogis, sense-enjoyers, and asat-saṅga, non-devotees, was destructive and should be rejected. Śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāma must be chanted in sat-saṅga.”

Vijaya, “Gurudeva, does that mean that unless one renounces wife and family one has no chance of chanting śuddhanāma?”

Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī, “A serious devotee must renounce strī-saṅga, the association of women. Nonetheless, if the gṛhastha-vaiṣṇava associates with his legally wedded wife without attachment and properly conducts his family affairs, one cannot say he is practising strī-saṅga. The physical attraction between a man and a woman is called yoṣitsaṅga, sexual attachment. A gṛhastha-vaiṣṇava who is free from such carnal attraction can chant śuddhanāma and achieve the ultimate goal of human life, kṛṣṇa-prema.”

Vijaya, “How many kinds of nāmābhāsa are there?”

Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī, “The Śrīmad Bhāgavatam, 6.2.14, states:

sāṅketyaṁ pārihāsyaṁ vā stobhaṁ helanam eva vā
vaikuṇṭha-nāma-grahaṇam aśeṣāgha-haraṁ viduḥ

“‘One who chants hari-nāma in any manner is immediately freed from the reactions of unlimited sins, even if he chants saṅketa, indirectly, indicating something else; parihāsa, jokingly; stobha, antagonistically; or even helā, disrespectfully or neglectfully. This is accepted by all the learned scholars of the scriptures.’

“Those persons who have insufficient knowledge about the principles of hari-nāmatattva and sambandhajñāna chant nāmābhāsa, of which there are four types: sāṇketa, pārihāsa, stobha, and helā.”

Vijaya, “Gurudeva, kindly elaborate upon sāṅketanāmābhāsa.”

Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī, “At the moment of his death, Ajāmila called out for his son named, Nārāyaṇa. Nārāyaṇa is another name of Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Lord. Hence, Ajāmila was awarded the result of sāṇketa, unintentional, chanting of kṛṣṇanāma.

“The Muslims use the word hārāma to describe pork, which is a forbidden food in their religion. It also means something very dirty. This word has two syllables, and rāma. Rāma is the name of the Lord, hence each time they utter ‘hārāma’ they chant sāṅketanāmābhāsa, which ultimately saves them from the torture chambers of Yamarāja.

“All scriptures unanimously state that nāmābhāsa chanting awards mukti. The sound vibration and letters in hari-nāma are inseparably linked with Śrī Mukunda, the bestower of mukti; thus, by the mere utterance of hari-nāma, the chanter is brought into contact with Śrī Mukunda. Mukti through brahma-jñāna is obtained after long endeavour, but the same is easily achieved through nāmābhāsa chanting.”

Vijaya, “Dear master, we have already read in many places of the scriptures that arrogant empirical philosophers seeking mukti; the ignorant people; base meat-eating, barbarian mlecchas; and atheistic or demoniac-minded persons uninterested in spiritual goals, have all attained mokṣa simply by chanting śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāma in pārihāsa, that is jokingly—the second kind of nāmābhāsa. Gurudeva, what is the third kind, stobha-nāmābhāsa?”

Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī, “When a Vaiṣṇava chants śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāma and another person tries to antagonistically hinder him by disrespectfully mocking him, his mimicry is known as stobha-nāmābhāsa. An example of stobha-nāmābhāsa is when an agnostic person mimics the chanting of a Vaiṣṇava and derides him, saying, ‘How absurd of you to think that your “Hari-Kestho” will take care of everything!’ The sound vibrations in hari-nāma possess such immense potency that even a disrespectful and atheistic person can attain mukti by stobha-nāmābhāsa.”

Vijaya, “Dear master, what is helānāmābhāsa?”

Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī, “Uttering kṛṣṇanāma disdainfully and neglectfully without love and appreciation is called helānāmābhāsa. The following description is found in the Mahābhārata, PrābhāsaKhaṇḍa:

madhura-madhuram etan maṅgalaṁ maṅgalānāṁ
sakala-nigama-vallī sat-phalaṁ cit-svarūpam
sakṛd api parigītam śraddhayā helayā vā
bhṛguvara nara-mātraṁ tārayet kṛṣṇa-nāma

“‘The chanting of hari-nāma is the most beneficial of all spiritual and pious activities. It is more relishable than the sweetest honey. It is the transcendental fruit of all the śruti scriptures known as the Vedas. O best of the Bhārgavas! If any person chants hari-nāma offenselessly even once, be it with śraddhā or even helā, neglectfully, hari-nāma immediately offers him liberation.’

“In this śloka, the word śraddhayā means with love and faith and helayā means without love and affection, that is disrespectfully. The phrase nara-mātraṁ tārayet means that kṛṣṇanāma gives mukti even to the yavanas.”

Vijaya, “Gurudeva, isn’t chanting helānāma an aparādha?”

Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī, “When the elements of shrewd cunning and envy enter helānāma chanting, it is nāmāparādha, but when chanted innocently and without malice, helā-nāma is nāmābhāsa.”

Vijaya, “Prabhu, by nāmābhāsa chanting what results are available and what results are unavailable?”

Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī, “Nāmābhāsa chanting may reward the chanter with bhukti, mukti, and the eight yogasiddhis. Yet, it cannot offer the ultimate goal of human life, kṛṣṇa-prema. When the chanter of nāmābhāsa associates with a śuddhabhakta and becomes elevated to the level of a madhyama adhikārī-vaiṣṇava, then by śuddha-bhakti and śuddhanāma he soon attains kṛṣṇaprema.”

Vijaya, “Gurudeva, many vaiṣṇavaābhāsa have worn the Vaiṣṇava symbols, applied the tilaka marks upon their bodies, and have chanted nāmābhāsa for a long time and yet are still unable to obtain prema. What is the cause?”

Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī, “Certainly the mystery of providence is in the answer. Persons with bhaktyābhāsa are certainly eligible and capable of attaining the level of śuddhabhakti. Unfortunately, they lack the determination of ananyabhakti and may misjudge people, taking a charlatan for a sādhu. They associate with this so-called sādhu, imagining that this is sādhusaṅga. Often their sādhu is a māyāvādī or even a pretender of bhakti. As an effect of this asatsaṅga and its concomitant bad instruction, whatever bhaktyābhāsa they possess becomes dissipated and they may even become vaiṣṇavaaparādhīs. Thus, they block their own devotional progress and may slide down to the offensive pit of monistic māyāvādī thought. Having deviated from the path of śuddhabhakti, such a person suffers the humiliation of being counted amongst the lowest rank of offenders. Thus, he gradually further distances himself from the ultimate eternal destination. Nevertheless, at the platform of bhakty-ābhāsa if the sukṛti of the neophyte is strong enough, then it will extricate and protect him from asatsaṅga and deliver him to the satsaṅga of pure Vaiṣṇavas. Then, in śuddha-vaiṣṇava-saṅga he develops all the pure Vaiṣṇava attributes.”

Vijaya, “Gurudeva, what are the consequences of nāmāparādha?”

Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī, “If the results of the five mahāpāpa are multiplied a million times, still they do not match the effect of nāmāparādha. This should give you an indication of the bad results born from nāmāparādha.”

Vijaya, “Mahārāja, the results of nāmāparādha are certainly as terrible as you describe them, yet for the nāmāparādhī are there no good results at all from uttering the syllables of hari-nāma?”

Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī, “Hari-nāma rewards the nāmāparādhī by fulfilling his material desires, which initially had motivated him to chant. However, he is never blessed with prema. Furthermore, along with his fulfilled desires, he also has to suffer the consequences of nāmāparādha, because his chanting was instigated by material duplicity. Nevertheless, occasionally his chanting is free from mundane cunning and caprice. In these moments, his chanting may be evaluated as sukṛti. When this sukṛti matures and accumulates to a substantial amount, he is rewarded with the saṅga of a Vaiṣṇava who is attached to śuddhahari-nāma. Under this good influence, the nāmaaparādhī learns to chant properly and overcomes his nāmāparādha. This methodology has also helped steadfast monists and emancipationists to gradually attain the platform of śuddha-bhakti.

Vijaya, “Master, if one śuddhanāma is potent enough to nullify all sins, then why is it necessary to chant incessantly?”

Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī, “The heart, consciousness, and demeanour of the nāmaaparādhīs are always materially contaminated, depriving them of their natural interest in Kṛṣṇa. They develop distaste for the sādhus, spiritual topics, and eventually anything related with transcendence. Simultaneously, they develop an affinity for asat-saṅga, misinterpretation of śāstra, and immoral activities. However, non-stop hari-nāma can progressively turn them away from these impediments on the path of bhakti. Therefore, eventually, without the contamination of asat-saṅga, immorality, etc., their chanting will gradually become purified, and thus spirituality will grow stronger in their lives.”

Vijaya, “Gurudeva, these nectarean instructions on nāmatattva are entering our hearts and inspiring us with an unrelenting zest for chanting śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāma. We have now heard in detail about śuddha-nāma, nāmābhāsa, and nāmāparādha, and will be eternally grateful to you for these nectarean explanations. If there is anything else you would like to tell us in conclusion on this topic of chanting hari-nāma, we are eager to hear it.”

Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī, “Śrīla Jagadānanda Paṇḍita has given us wonderful instructions in his book, Prema Vivarta. In the seventh chapter, he writes:

asādhu-saṅge bhāī, kṛṣṇa-nāma nāhi haya
nāmākṣara bahirāya baṭe, tabu nāma kabhu naya

“‘My dear brothers, a person cannot purely chant kṛṣṇanāma in the company of non-devotees. The sound and the syllables may be uttered, but that is not real chanting.’

kabhu nāmābhāsa haya, sadā nāma-aparādha
e saba jānibe bhāī, kṛṣṇa-bhaktir bādha

“‘Chanting in this manner is at best nāmābhāsa, because chanting in bad association is always mixed with nāmāparādha. Dear brother, kindly understand, these kinds of chanting—nāmāparādha and nāmābhāsa—are detrimental to spiritual progress and cannot be considered pure kṛṣṇa-bhakti.’

yadi karibe kṛṣṇa-nāma, sādhu-saṅga kara
bhukti-mukti-siddhi-vāñchā dūre pārihāra

“‘If you really desire to chant kṛṣṇanāma purely, earnestly seek sādhusaṅga, the company of the pure devotees of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Reject all unwanted cravings for sense enjoyments, liberation, mystic powers, and other material desires.’

daśa aparādha tyaja māna-apamāna
anāsaktye viṣaya bhuñja āra laha kṛṣṇa-nāma

“‘Avoid the ten nāmāparādhas and rise above the dualities of honour and dishonour, and so on. Life in the material world is to be utilized in the service of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Render service to Śrī Kṛṣṇa without attachment to mundane objects and chant kṛṣṇanāma constantly.’

kṛṣṇa bhaktir anukūla saba karaha svīkāra
kṛṣṇa-bhaktir pratikūla saba kara parihāra

“‘Accept everything favourable for executing kṛṣṇabhakti as your very life and completely reject anything that is unfavourable for practising kṛṣṇabhakti.’

jñāna-yoga-ceṣṭā chāḍa āra karma-saṅga
markaṭa-vairāgya tyaja yāte deha-raṅga

“‘Do not endeavour to attain mundane speculative knowledge, fruitive results, and mystic yogasiddhis. False renunciation is called markaṭavairāgya, monkey renunciation, which simply aims covertly at bodily pleasures and comforts.’

kṛṣṇa āmāya pāle, rakṣe—jāna sarva-kāla
ātma-nivedana-dainye ghucāo jañjāla

“‘Bear in mind that Śrī Kṛṣṇa always protects and maintains every jīva. With deep humility, submit your life and soul to the lotus feet of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, which will free you from unwanted material desires.’

sādhu pābā kaṣṭa baḍa, jīvera jāniyā
sādhu-bhakta-rūpe kṛṣṇa āilā nadīyā

“‘The omniscient Supreme Lord, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, knows how rarely the jīva may find actual satsaṅga, so He has come personally as a pure devotee to Nadīyā.’

gorā-pada āśraya karaha buddhimān
gorā bāī sādhu-guru kebā āche ān

“‘Therefore, all who are endowed with superior intelligence must take shelter of the lotus feet of Śrī Gaurāṅga, because Śrī Gaurāṅga is the perfect sādhu and guru.’

vairāgī bhāi grāmya-kathā na sunibe kāne
grāmya vārttā nā kahibe, jabe milibe āna

“‘My dear brothers who are in the renounced order neither listen to mundane prattles, nor participate in such discussions when you meet with them.’

svapne o nā kara, bhāi, strī-sambhāṣaṇa
gṛhe strī chāḍiyā, bhāi, āsiyācha bana

“‘Do not think of women, not even in dreams. The vows of your renounced order forbid female association; always remember you have renounced wife and home and come to the forest of Vṛndāvana to engage wholeheartedly in bhajana.’

yadi cāha praṇāya rākhite gaurāṅgera sane
choṭa-haridāsera kathā thāke yena mane

“‘If you desire to maintain your relationship with Śrī Gaurāṅga, then remember constantly Choṭa Haridāsa and why he was so strictly ostracised by the Lord Himself.’

bhālā nā khāibe, āra bhāla nā paribe
hṛdayete rādhā-kṛṣṇa sarvadā sevibe

“‘Refuse rich palatable food, expensive and fine clothes. Always remain humble and constantly serve the Couple Divine, Śrī Śrī Rādhā Kṛṣṇa, in the depth of your heart.’

baḍa haridāsera nyāya kṛṣṇa-nāma balibe badane
aṣṭa-kāla rādhā sevibe kuñja-bane

“‘Day and night, chant kṛṣṇanāma incessantly like Śrīla Haridāsa Ṭhākura. In your heart be absorbed in the aṣṭa-kālīya-līlā service of Śrī Śrī Rādhā Kṛṣṇa in the bowers of Vṛndāvana.’

gṛhastha, vairāgi-dūṅhe bale gorā-rāya
dekha bhāi, nāma vinā jena dina nāhi jāya

“‘The instructions of Śrī Gaurāṅga are for the gṛhastha as well as for the vairāgi devotees. He said, ‘Take great care not to let a moment pass without uttering kṛṣṇa-nāma.’

bahu-aṅga sādhane, bhāi, nāhi prayojana
kṛṣṇa-nāmāśraye śuddha karaha jīvana

“‘If you want to advance on the path of śuddhabhakti, not many rules and spiritual practices are necessary. Simply beg for the complete shelter of kṛṣṇa-nāma and thus purify your heart and consciousness.’

baddha-jīve kṛpā kari, kṛṣṇa haila nāma
kali-jīve dayā kori’ kṛṣṇa haila gauradhāma

“‘Śrī Kṛṣṇa descends to the material universe in the form of kṛṣṇanāma, simply out of compassion for the conditioned jīvas. Moreover, not long ago, to display special mercy to the fallen jīvas of Kali-yuga, Śrī Kṛṣṇa appeared as Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu in Gaura-dhāma, Navadvīpa.’

ekānta sarala-bhāve bhaja gaura-jana
tabe ta’ pāibe, bhāi, śrī-kṛṣṇa-caraṇa

“‘So my dear brothers, serve the dear associates of Śrī Gaurāṅga with sincerity and a guileless heart. This will guarantee that you reach the safe harbour of the lotus feet of Śrī Kṛṣṇa.’

gaura-jana-saṅga kara gaurāṅga baliyā
hare kṛṣṇa nāma bala nāciyā nāciyā

“‘Glorify the magnanimity of Śrī Caitanya and glorify His associates. Chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahāmantra and dance in ecstasy.’

acire pāibe bhāi nāma-prema-dhana
yāhā vilāite prabhur ‘nade’ e āgamana

“‘Very quickly, you will be favoured with the most treasured object, nāmaprema. The Supreme Lord appeared in Nadīyā solely to distribute this priceless treasure freely.’”

While Vijaya and Vrajanātha were listening to Śrīla Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja ecstatically recite Prema Vivarta deep spiritual feelings stirred up in their hearts. After the recitation, Śrīla Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja became silent, almost unconscious for a long period. Slowly, he came back to the present. With tears streaking down his cheeks, he stretched out his hands and clasping them around the heads of his two disciples began to sing the following bhajana:

kṛṣṇa-nāma dhare kata bala

“‘How marvellous and potent is kṛṣṇanāma!’

viṣaya-vāsanānale mora citta sadā jvale,
ravi-tapta maru-bhūmi sama
kaṛṇa-randhra-patha diyā, hṛdi mājhe praveśiya
bariṣaya sudhā anupama

“‘My heart constantly burns within the flames of material desire,
Like the sun-scorched sands of the desert.
Yet hari-nāma mercifully enters through the gates of my ears,
And showers cool divine nectar to embalm my heart.’

hṛdaya haita bale, jihvāra agreta cale
śabda-rūpe nāce anukṣaṇa
kaṇṭhe mora bhaṅge svara, aṅga kāṁpe thara thara
sthira haite nā pāre caraṇa

“‘My heart now sings out kṛṣṇa-nāma,
And nāma dances on the tip of my tongue,
With ecstatic sound, echoing all around.
My voice is faltering, my body shivers like a leaf,
My feet, beyond control, dance without respite.’

cakṣe dhārā, dehe gharma, pulakita saba carma,
vivarṇa haila kalevara
mūrcchita haila mana, pralayera āgamana
bhāve sarva-deha jara-jara

“‘Tears cascade, perspiration fashions pearly drops,
And the hairs stand erect upon my pale supine form.
Conscious thoughts slip away,
And the emotions of bhāva plunder my core.’

kari eta upadrava, citte varṣe śudhā-drava
more ḍāre premera sāgare
kichu nā bujhite dila, more ta bātula kaila
mora citta-vitta saba hare

“‘O sacred nāma, You disrupt my life,
You fill my heart with manna sweet,
You sweep me off my feet,
And deposit me on the sublime waves of endless prema.
I do not understand what is happening to me,
I am confused, mad; my mind is in a whirl.’

lainu āśraya jāṅ’ra hena vyavahāra tāṅ’ra
varṇite nā pāri e sakala
kṛṣṇa-nāma icchāmaya jāhe jāhe sukhī haya
sei mora sukhera sambala

“‘Is this His behaviour, whose shelter I have sought?
I have no words, how may I describe Him?
Nāma is wilful, freer than the wind,
Whatever makes Him happy, I treasure in my thoughts.’

premera kalikā nāma, adbhuta-rasera dhāma
hena bala karaye prakāśa
īṣat vikaśi’punaḥ, dekhāya nija-rūpa-guna
citta hari laya kṛṣṇa pāsa

“‘Nāma, O blooming flower of prema,
The saturated ambrosial trove,
Delight me once again with Your dynamic force.
Display even in droplets, Your wonder and beauty,
Steal away my heart and offer it to Kṛṣṇa.’

pūrṇa-vikaśita hañā, braje more jāya lañā
dekhāya more svarūpa-vilāsa
more siddha-deha diyā, kṛṣṇa-pāse rākhe giyā
e dehera kare sarva-nāśa

“‘May You blossom in full glory and transport me to Vraja,
Lifting up the gossamer curtains upon the stage of eternal time,
To open my eyes to the amorous pastimes of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa, the Couple Divine.
O give me my spiritual form and keep me next to Him,
Destroy this despicable tabernacle that is shackling me.’

kṛṣṇa-nāma cintāmaṇi akhila-rasera khani
nitya-mukta, śuddha-rasamaya
nāmera bālāī yata, sabha la’ye hai hata
tabe mora sukhera udaya

“‘Glorious, wish-fulfilling gem is kṛṣṇa-nāma,
A boundless cloud of ambrosial rain,
Eternal, independent, and pure.
O Lord! Crush all obstacles that check me from chanting Your nectarine name,
So that I may soon welcome the dawn of pristine bliss.’”

The singing continued well into the night—until Vijaya-kumara and Vrajanātha realized with a start that the song had stopped. They begged permission to leave Śrī Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja and then set off home, their hearts throbbing with joy.

Thus ends the twenty-fifth chapter of Jaiva-dharma, entitled:
Nitya-dharma: Sambandha, Abhidheya and Prayojana, Part Thirteen: Elucidation of Nāmābhāsa, Clearing Offences against Hari-nāma

Jaiva Dharma - Bhaktivinoda ThakuraJaiva Dharma - Chapter Twenty Four
Jaiva Dharma - Bhaktivinoda ThakuraJaiva Dharma - Chapter Twenty Six

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