Jaiva Dharma - Bhaktivinoda ThakuraJaiva Dharma - Chapter Twenty Three
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Nitya-dharma: Sambandha, Abhidheya and Prayojana
Part Twelve: Elucidation of Nāmāparādha, Offences against Hari-nāma

by Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura
(translated by Śrī Sarvabhāvana Prabhu)

That night, Vijaya and Vrajanātha chanted hari-nāma with pure śraddhā fifty thousand times upon their tulasī beads. The following morning they felt greatly exhilarated, feeling that by the mercy of Śrī Kṛṣṇa they had been able to chant purely. Then, in a blissful discussion, they exchanged personal observations about their experience in chanting. Their day was quickly devoured by a mixture of such devotional activities, beginning with a dip in the Gaṅgā, Deity worship, chanting hari-nāma, studying the philosophy of the Dāsa-mūla-śikṣā, discussing Śrīmad Bhāgavatam, serving the Vaiṣṇavas, honouring kṛṣṇa-prasādam, and so on. When evening approached, they left for Śrīvāsāṅgana in Māyāpura.

Entering the bhajana-kuṭīra of Śrī Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī, they offered their prostrated obeisances. Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī spoke softly with his usual air of composed joy. He said, “Just as chanting is the highest devotional principle, similarly its antipode is nāmāparādha, more serious than all other sinful activities and offences. The Padma Purāṇa, Svarga-kāṇḍa, 48-49, states when describing hari-nāma:

nāmāparādha-yuktānāṁ nāmāny eva haranty agham
aviśrānti-prayuktāni tāny evārtha-karāṇi ca

“‘Only incessant chanting of hari-nāma can effect the purification of one who is infected with nāmāparādha. Indeed, the incessant chanting of hari-nāma is the only way to achieve the prayojana of human life, kṛṣṇa-prema.’

“Take heed that counteracting nāmāparādha is troublesome; therefore, intelligent persons will carefully avoid committing nāmāparādha at all. Pinpoint the sources of nāmāparādha, overcome them diligently, then śuddha-hari-nāma will soon begin to manifest. A faithful devotee is moved to aśru, tears of happiness, and pulaka, horripilation, whilst chanting purely, but an undercurrent of nāmāparādha in one’s character will disqualify one from achieving such ecstatic chanting of śuddha-nāma. Therefore, the practitioner must be awake to and most cautious about nāmāparādha.”

Vijaya, “Śrīla Gurudeva, what are the symptoms of śuddha-nāma?”

Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī, “Chanting without a trace of nāmāparādha is śuddha-nāma. Perfect or imperfect pronunciation of the hari-nāma is not the criterion for chanting purely. Study this injunction from the Padma Purāṇa, Svarga-kāṇḍa, 48.90:

nāmaikaṁ yasya vāci smaraṇa-patha-gataṁ śrotra-mūlaṁ gataṁ vā
 śuddhaṁ vāśuddha-varṇaṁ vyavahita-rahitaṁ tārayaty eva satyam
tac ced deha-draviṇa-janatā-lobha-pāṣaṇḍa-madhye
nikṣiptaṁ syān na phala-janakaṁ śīghram evātra vipra

“‘If a devotee just once utters hari-nāma purely, or if just one śuddha-nāma enters the path of the devotee’s mind or ear, then that one śuddha-nāma will certainly deliver the devotee from material bondage, whether vibrated properly or improperly, with correct or incorrect grammar, vibrated in separate parts, or properly conjoined. O brāhmaṇa, the potency of śuddha-hari-nāma is certainly great. However, if one uses the vibration of hari-nāma to achieve health, wealth, sons, and an opulent residence, or chants under greed for lābha, distinction; pūjā, adoration; and pratiṣṭhā, position—in other words, if one utters hari-nāma with offence—such chanting will not produce the eternal transcendental result very soon. Therefore, one should diligently avoid offences in chanting śrī hari-nāma.’

“The chanting of hari-nāma may be spoilt in two ways: sāmānya, exiguously; or bṛhat, enormously. Chanting with ordinary exiguous fault is called nāmābhāsa, and the results of chanting are delayed. Impure chanting with enormous fault is nāmāparādha; in this condition only constant and intensive chanting for a protracted period can remove the enormous fault.”

Vijaya, “The duty of the sādhaka is clear to me now, but a deep understanding of the principles of nāmāparādha is needed. Kindly detail the nāmāparādhas.”

Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī, “The ten nāmāparādhas are lucidly enumerated in the Padma Purāṇa:

“The first offence is described:

atāṁ nindā nāmnaḥ paramam aparādhaṁ vitanute
yataḥ khyātiṁ yātaṁ katham u sahate tad-vigarhām

“‘To blaspheme the sādhu is a very serious offence. Saintly devotees are attached to chanting hari-nāma and propagating His glories all over the universe. Therefore, why would hari-nāma tolerate any offence against the sādhu?’

“The second offence is described:

śivasya śrī-viṣṇor ya iha guṇa-nāmādi-sakalaṁ
dhiyā bhinnaṁ paśyet sa khalu hari-nāmāhita-karaḥ

“‘It is an offence to consider the most auspicious names, beauty, qualities, pastimes of the Supreme Lord, Śrī Viṣṇu, as mundane and different from Him. It is also offensive to equate devas like Lord Śiva with the Supreme Godhead, Śrī Viṣṇu, or think that they are independent of the control of Śrī Viṣṇu.’

“The third offence is described:

 guror avajñā

“‘A person must never harbour the misconception that the guru who is realized in the glories of hari-nāma is an ordinary mortal.’

“The fourth offence is described:

śruti-śāstra-nindanam

“‘To blaspheme the Vedic literature and its corollaries.’

“The fifth offence is described:

tatha-artha-vādaḥ

“‘To think that the glories of hari-nāma are imaginary or exaggerated is offensive.’

“The sixth offence is described:

hari-nāmni kalpanam

“‘To consider that hari-nāma are fictitious names of the Īśvara is also offensive.’

“The seventh offence is described:

nāmno balād yasya hi pāpa-buddhir
na vidyate tasya yamair hi śuddhiḥ

“‘Those who commit sin relying on the purifying power of chanting hari-nāma to overcome the negative reactions are the most egregious offenders; no amount of penances, yoga, or dhyāna, etc., can absolve their offence.’

“The eighth offence is described:

dharma-vrata-tyāga-hutādi-sarva-
śubha-kriyā-sāmyam api pramādaḥ

“‘Religious vows, penances, renunciation, and homa fire-sacrifices are indeed pious activities. However, they are mundane activities; hence, it is an offence to compare them to the transcendental activity of chanting supramundane śrī-hari-nāma.’

“The ninth offence is described:

aśraddadhāne vimukhe ’py aśṛṇvati
yaś copadeśaḥ śiva-nāmāparādhaḥ

“‘To instruct a faithless person about the glories of śrī-hari-nāma is an offence.’

“The tenth offence is described:

śrute ’pi nāma-māhātmye yaḥ prīti-rahito naraḥ
ahaṁ-mamādi-paramo nāmni so ’py aparādha-kṛt

“‘Those persons who even after hearing repeatedly about the wonderful and transcendental qualities of śrī-hari-nāma still maintain material attachments and think in terms of ‘me’ and ‘mine’ are gross offenders.’”

Vijaya, “Gurudeva, kindly elucidate the individual nāmāparādhas.”

Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī, “Let us begin with the first offence. Those śuddha-bhaktas who have exclusively surrendered to hari-nāma have also given up every material aspiration, such as the fruits of karma, dharma, jñāna, tapasya, aṣṭāṅga-yoga, etc. Therefore, to enviously criticize them is a greatly harmful offence. Hari-nāma cannot tolerate any blasphemy against them, because they are engaged in propagating the transcendental teachings and factual glories of hari-nāma. Therefore, one must desist from being critical of the sādhus who are the guardians of hari-nāma and recognize their elevated status. One should join them in Śrī Mahāprabhu’s movement of hari-nāma-saṅkīrtana and thereby instantaneously attract the mercy of hari-nāma.”

Vijaya, “Gurudeva, we have understood the significance of the first nāmāparādha. Kindly explain the second offence.”

Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī, “There are two different explanations of the second offence. Intellectual hair-splitting of the relative significance of the names and qualities of Śrī Sadāśiva, the foremost of the Devas, and Śrī Viṣṇu, the Supreme Lord, and considering these personalities to be independent of each other, or thinking that they are competing with each other as the Supreme Īśvara is an offence. Such an intellectual posture is tantamount to polytheism, and therefore a great hindrance in the growth of unalloyed hari-bhakti. Thus, one must chant hari-nāma with the realization that Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Īśvara of all the Devas, including Śrī Sadāśiva, who receive their powers from Him and are thus certainly not independent of His control.

“The other explanation is that the svarūpa of hari-nāma is śivasya, the all-auspicious embodiment of all the śaktis of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, absolutely non-different from the fountainhead svarūpa of Śrī Kṛṣṇa; therefore, to see hari-nāma, and indeed the innumerable forms, qualities, and pastimes of Śrī Kṛṣṇa as distinct from the svarūpa of Śrī Kṛṣṇa is a heinous offence. The name, form, qualities, and pastimes of Śrī Kṛṣṇa are intrinsic to the very svarūpa of Śrī Kṛṣṇa Himself and are all one hundred percent transcendental and non-different. Anyone who does not comprehend this esoteric tattva suffers from gross misconceptions that should be first overcome with exact sambandhajñāna before entering the path of chanting kṛṣṇanāma.”

Vijaya, “To grasp the first two offences was not difficult for us, because you have earlier discussed the transcendental personality of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, and the simultaneous oneness and difference of His name, form, qualities, and pastimes with His svarūpa. Kindly explain to us the third offence involving gurutattva.

Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī, “The teacher who delineates the highest and the most esoteric tattva of hari-nāma is the true nāmaguru, the spiritual master who initiates the disciple into the chanting of hari-nāma. To develop unflinching faith in the nāmaguru is obligatory for the disciple. A person who because of misinterpretation of tattva believes that the nāmaguru is only conversant with scriptures dealing with hari-nāma and is therefore not well versed in the wider conclusions of Vedānta philosophy commits a serious offence against hari-nāma. The guru realized in the tattva of hari-nāma is truly the best of all spiritual preceptors and must never be minimised.”

Vijaya, “O Gurudeva, if we are purely devoted to you, only then will our lives be auspicious. Please be merciful and explain the fourth offence.”

Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī, “Whenever profound spiritual tattva is discussed in the śāstra, the tattva concerning hari-nāma is always placed on the highest pedestal. The following quotations from the Ṛg Veda, 1.156.3, which are quoted in the Hari bhakti-vilāsa, 11.274-276, are self-explanatory:

auṁ āsya jānanto nāma-cid-viviktanas
mahas te viṣṇo sumatiṁ bhajāmahe
auṁ tat sat

“‘O Supreme Lord, Śrī Viṣṇu! Your sacred nāma is absolutely cognizant and all-illuminating because the entire Vedic scriptures have emanated from Him. Your nāma is the wellspring of supreme bliss, the embodiment of Brahman, is readily available, and is full of transcendental knowledge. We meditate upon the purport of Your nāma, discuss nāma amongst ourselves, and chant Your nāma continuously. In this way, we worship you.’

oṁ padaṁ devasya namasā vyantaḥ
śravasya vaśrava ānnamṛktam
nāmāni cid dadhire yajñiyāni
bhadrāyante raṇayantaḥ saṇdṛṣtau

“‘O Śrī Viṣṇu, ever since our faith in You has become steadfast, our desire to gain Your direct audience has led us to offer incessant prayers at Your lotus feet, which are the purifying agents of the hearts of the devotees and replete with relishable transcendental pastimes. We always hear the glorification of Your unsurpassable qualities and praise them amongst ourselves. In this way, we have taken shelter of Your omnipotent and all-purifying nāma.’

auṁ tam u stotāraḥ pūrvaṁ yathāvida
ṛtasya garvabhaṁ januṣā pipartana
āsya jānanto nāma cid-viviktana
mahas te viṣṇu sumatiṁ bhajāmahe

“‘O sages! Know for certain that the original primeval Supreme Personality you seek is Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Worship Him in this realization, for He is the ultimate goal of the Vedas, the absolute essence. He is the embodiment of eternity, absolute knowledge and divine bliss. The purpose of human life is to know Him, to describe Him and the wonderful pastimes of His incarnations. Let us eulogize and worship that Supreme Lord according to our natural spiritual emotions and taste. In this way, we shall crown our lives with paramount success and continuously chant hari-nāma, which is dynamic, variegated and omnipotent. To chant hari-nāma is the most relishable activity and the bestower of the greatest pleasure.’

“Thus, we find the Vedas and Upaniṣads praising śrī-hari-nāma and His incomparable potencies; hence, the fourth offence is to castigate or minimise the śruti scriptures. Through immense misfortune, some foolish persons give much weight to the innumerable instructions from various śrutis, yet neglect those particular śrutis that establish the supreme position of hari-nāma and the chanting hari-nāma as the most essential spiritual activity. This is very offensive and because of this serious error one fails to imbibe the proper śraddhā and attachment for hari-nāma. One must comprehend that these śrutis and their teachings are the actual essence of Vedic knowledge, only then can one sincerely chant hari-nāma.”

Vijaya, “Gurudeva, your words are cascades of ambrosia, kindly proceed to the fifth offence.”

Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī, “To think that the qualities of hari-nāma described in the scriptures are either imaginary or exaggerated is a serious nāmāparādha. This mundane line of thinking is condemned in the scriptures, as for example in the Jaimini Saṁhitā:

śruti smṛti-purāṇesu nāma-māhātmya-vācisu
ye ‘rthavāda iti brūyur na teṣām niraya-kṣayaḥ

“‘Persons who disrespect the śrutis, smṛtis, and purāṇas, which wonderfully glorify hari-nāma, with the speculative assertion that the glorification of hari-nāma within such scriptures is mere exaggeration are hurled down to the hellish planet known as Akṣaya, the Inexhaustible Hell.’

“The Supreme Lord instructs Śrī Brahmā in the Śrī Brahma-saṁhitā, saying:

yan-nāma-kīrtana-phalaṁ vividhaṁ niśamya
na śraddadhāti manute yad utārthavādam
yo mānuṣas tam iha dukḥa-caye kṣipāmi
saṁsāra-ghora-vividhārti nipīḍitāṇgam

“‘That person who even after hearing about the wonderful results of chanting hari-nāma refuses to develop sincere śraddhā in hari-nāma and, on the contrary, expostulates that such elucidations of the potency of hari-nāma are inflated panegyrics is hurled by Me into the deep gloom of material nescience after being dragged through excruciating suffering.’

“The scriptures have unanimously declared that hari-nāma is invested with the full potency of the Lord. Hari-nāma is absolutely transcendental and possesses the power to dissolve the illusion of the entire material creation at will. According to the Viṣṇu-dharma Purāṇa:

kṛṣṇeti mangalaṁ nāma yasya vāci pravarttate
bhasmī-bhavanti-rājendra mahāpātaka-koṭayaḥ

“‘O mighty monarch! Those who utter ‘Kṛṣṇa’ and other munificent names of the Supreme Lord destroy the millions of reprehensible sins they may have committed.’

“The Bṛhan-Nāradīya Purāṇa states:

nānyat paśyāmi jantūnāṁ-vihāya hari-kīrtanam
sarva-pāpa-praśamanaṁ prāyascittaṁ dvijottama

“‘O best of the brāhmaṇas, chanting hari-nāma is the atonement that destroys all sins, and I consider one who gives up chanting hari-nāma to be no more than an animal.’

“The Bṛhad-Viṣṇu Purāṇa states:

nāmno hi yāvatī śaktiḥ pāpa-nirharaṇe hareḥ
tāvat kartuṁ na śaknoti pātaka pātakī naraḥ

“‘Hari-nāma possesses such incredible powers of purifying any sin that even the most sinful person is unable to commit so many sins that hari-nāma cannot absolve.’

“These scriptural quotes give only a partial impression of the uniqueness of śrī-hari-nāma. Karmīs and jñānīs greedy for pecuniary profits by protecting the prestige of their own misguided endeavours deceive people by saying that these scriptural statements are fictitious and pompous. They say that such praises are heaped upon hari-nāma in order to motivate people to chant and that in reality these praises are nothing more than exaggerated falsities. How can such ignorant offenders ever cultivate taste in chanting hari-nāma?

“Therefore, one’s chanting of hari-nāma must be strengthened by śraddhā in the scriptural injunctions and glorifications. Simultaneously, association with offenders to hari-nāma must be strictly avoided. Śrī Mahāprabhu has given the advice that a devotee who has even just accidentally met such an offender to hari-nāma has to cleanse himself by bathing immediately in a holy river whilst still in his clothes.”

Vijaya, “Gurudeva, it appears that a gṛhastha has to struggle to chant hari-nāma purely; he is mostly surrounded by non-devotees and offenders. And furthermore as brāhmaṇa paṇḍitas to find saintly association is difficult for us in particular. O merciful master, if you bless us, we can find the strength to denounce bad, atheistic association. The more we hear from you, the greater is our desire to hear more. Now kindly explain the sixth offence.”

Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī, “The sixth nāmāparādha is to consider kṛṣṇa-nāma as an imaginary and fictitious proposition. The māyāvādī speculators and gross materialists conclude that Brahman, the Supreme Absolute Truth, is impersonal, formless, and nameless. They speculate that names such as Rāma, Kṛṣṇa, and so on, are fabricated by the sages and given to Brahman only to accomplish a specific purpose. When such purpose has been achieved, the names are no longer necessary. This is the opinion of hari-nāma given by these demoniac offenders.

Kṛṣṇa-nāma is eternal and transcendental and descends from the supramundane plane to appear through the spiritualized senses of a faithful chanter purified by hari-bhakti-sādhana. Aspiring sādhakas must receive proper instructions from the śāstras and their nāma-gurus about the absolute divinity of hari-nāma and then chant sincerely. Otherwise, they will be disqualified from receiving nāmakṛpā, mercy from śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāma.”

Vijaya, “Śrīla Bābājī, before we found the safe sanctuary of your lotus feet, we were contaminated by the bad association of materialists and shrewd, sophisticated rhetoricians. By your kind blessings, all that is past history. What is the seventh nāmāparādha?”

Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī, “Another terrible nāmāparādha is to commit sinful acts relying on the purifying power of chanting hari-nāma to absolve one of the future negative karmic reactions. Such a motivated offence cannot be absolved by the yogic process of yama, niyama, etc., nor by prāyaścitta, atonement, and so on. This offence and the sins committed in connection to this offence can be purified by the mercy of hari-nāma alone, because they all fall within the sphere of nāmāparādha.”

Vijaya, “Gurudeva, if every kind of sin is destroyed by hari-nāma, how is it possible that those who chant hari-nāma commit offences against Him?”

Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī, “My son, the moment the jīva achieves the shelter of śuddha-nāma, one utterance of ‘Kṛṣṇa’ is enough to extirpate all sins, both prārabdha and aprārabdha. Thereafter, by the chanting of śuddha-nāma the jīva reaps prema. Immersed in prema, one who chants śuddha-nāma has no affinity for pāpa and is repelled at the very thought of performing even puṇyā. In addition, he is not in the least attracted even to mukti. Where then is the question of his committing sins?

“However, as far as the chanting of the sādhaka is concerned, it is still on the level of nāmābhāsa because aparādha still lingers faintly within his consciousness. However, even nāmābhāsa chanting gradually eradicates all prārabdha and aprārabdha sinful reactions and elicits disgust at committing further sins. If by chance some sin is accidentally committed, the nāmābhāsa chanting also destroys that. However, if the devotee tries to exploit this sin-eradicating potential of hari-nāma by carrying out further sinful activities premeditatedly or out of sheer nonchalance, thinking that the chanting will certainly vindicate him from his sins, then his sins escalate into serious nāmāparādha.”

Vijaya, “Dear Gurudeva, now kindly explain the eighth offence and thus increase our happiness.”

Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī, “To understand the eighth nāmāparādha one must discriminate between pious activities and devotional service. Satkarma comprises the naimittika-dharma of varṇāsrama; giving in charity; observing religious vows; performing philanthropic works; renouncing everything, including the fruits of one’s labour; conducting religious sacrifices; practising aṣṭāṅga-yoga; and so on. In addition, all other materially pious deeds as prescribed in the śāstras are within the purview of mundane dharma, known as jaḍa-dharma. They are not spiritual. In contrast, chanting śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāma is a supramundane, purely spiritual activity.

Sat-karma activities are only an upāya, a means to an end. Satkarma activities hold up the illusory promise of material bliss as the ultimate goal, but are only a means and not the final goal. Chanting hari-nāma is different. At the beginning stage of sādhana-bhakti, chanting hari-nāma is indeed the dynamic sādhana. However, at the culmination of one’s spiritual endeavour the chanting is transformed from the sādhana into the very sādhya sought by the earlier practice. Therefore, chanting hari-nāma must not be compared to any material activity—pious, religious, or otherwise. Those who do not accept this view are offenders against hari-nāma. Those who believe that chanting hari-nāma achieves the same transient mediocre results as satkarma commit aparādha against hari-nāma by equating altruistic performances with the chanting of hari-nāma.

“You must clearly understand the distinction between material and spiritual activity and their respective results. Abhidheya-jñāna directs that chanting hari-nāma is transcendental, and that the path of mundane sat-karma cannot help one reach the absolute transcendental goal.”

Vijaya, “Gurudeva, I feel very elated. I am convinced that nothing is superior to hari-nāma. Kindly explain to us the ninth nāmāparādha and quench our thirst for knowledge.”

Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī, “Of all the instructions given in the entire Vedic scriptures, the direction to chant hari-nāma is the foremost. Only those persons who have cultivated firm śraddhā in śuddhabhakti are eligible candidates for hearing the unlimited glories of hari-nāma. Faithless persons are generally averse to spiritual activities and to hearing the glories of hari-nāma, therefore to instruct such irreligious faithless people about the esoteric details of hari-nāma is an offence. Certainly, it is necessary to explain to the general population that chanting hari-nāma is the most beneficial spiritual practice, and that those who practice will achieve complete benediction. Yet, the confidential knowledge of hari-nāma and the esoteric science of chanting should be disclosed only to the worthy and faithful.

“When one becomes a realized uttama-adhikārī-bhakta one will acquire the śakti to empower others to take up devotional service. An uttama-adhikārī can instil śraddhā in hari-nāma in the conditioned jīvas and then instruct them in the chanting of hari-nāma, by bestowing his bhaktiśakti. However, as long as one remains a madhyama-adhikārī-bhakta, one must carefully avoid companionship with the faithless, the gross materialists, the disinterested, and the atheists.”

Vijaya, “Gurudeva, there are many persons who initiate unfit persons into hari-nāma for material gain and personal fame. How should we see them?”

Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī, “They are nāmāparādhīs, offenders against hari-nāma.”

Vijaya, “Finally, there is the tenth nāmāparādha, kindly explain it to us more fully.”

Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī, “Certain types of men are greatly inebriated by their false ego, imagining themselves to be the monarchs of everything they survey, and thus they treat their imagined subordinates as their serfs with the gross mentality of ‘Me’ and ‘Mine’. On rare occasions, they are gripped with the desire for renunciation and a curiosity for the spiritual unknown. They approach the learned śuddha-bhaktas and hear about the glories of hari-nāma, but they do not receive this knowledge with proper śraddhā and devotion and eventually turn back to their material attachments. They are nāmāparādhīs. The second verse from the Śrī Śikṣāṣṭaka recommends:

nāmnām akāri bahudhā nija-sarva-śaktis
 tatrārpitā niyamitaḥ smaraṇe na kālaḥ
etādṛśī tava kṛpā bhagavan mamāpi
 durdaivam īdṛśam ihājani nānurāgaḥ

“‘My Lord, O Supreme Personality of Godhead, in Your transcendental names there is all good fortune for the living entity, and therefore You have many names, such as “Kṛṣṇa” and “Govinda” by which You expand Yourself. You have invested all Your śaktis in these names, and there are no hard and fast rules for chanting these names. My dear Lord, although You bestow such mercy upon the fallen conditioned souls by liberally distributing Your transcendental names, I am so unfortunate that I commit offences while chanting your name, and therefore I cannot develop attachment for chanting.’

“So my son, these are the ten nāmāparādhas. Avoid committing them and very soon śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāma will shower upon you blessings that will elevate you to the platform of śuddha-bhakti and that of being an uttama-adhikārī.”

Vijaya, “Gurudeva, I now understand that the māyāvādīs, karmīs, jñānīs, and yogīs in general are all nāmāparādhīs. Should a śuddha-bhakta participate in hari-nāma-saṅkīrtana with them?”

Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī, “Vaiṣṇavas are advised not to join an assembly of chanters that comprises a majority of nāmāparādhīs, and if the lead singer is a nāmāparādhī. However, in a kīrtana group consisting mainly of śuddha-bhaktas and bhaktas upon the platform of nāmābhāsa, there is all good reason to participate. And such participation will bring great satisfaction and spiritual bliss.

“It is late, I will stop now, but tomorrow you must hear in detail about nāmābhāsa, the shadow of pure hari-nāma.”

Vijaya and Vrajanātha felt the stirrings of ecstasy while considering the glory of hari-nāma. In voices trembling with loving emotions, they offered prayers to Śrī Raghunātha dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja, smeared their foreheads with the dust from his feet, and took permission to leave. The entire way back to their house, they were immersed in singing the favourite kīrtana of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu: “hari haraye namaḥ kṛṣṇa yādavāya namaḥ, yādavāya mādhavāya keśavāya namaḥ….”


Thus ends the twenty-fourth chapter of Jaiva-dharma, entitled:
Nitya-dharma: Sambandha, Abhidheya and Prayojana, Part Twelve: Elucidation of Nāmāparādha, Offences against Hari-nāma

Jaiva Dharma - Bhaktivinoda ThakuraJaiva Dharma - Chapter Twenty Three
Jaiva Dharma - Bhaktivinoda ThakuraJaiva Dharma - Chapter Twenty Five

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