The Employees of the Nāma-haṭṭa In the first part of this book, the names of various employees who participated in the Lord’s transcendental pastimes were listed. It is said that a rare fortunate person, possessing eyes of bhakti, can see those pastimes and the corresponding market even today. This is confirmed in Śrī Caitanya-bhāgavata (Madhya–līlā 10):
adyāpiha sei līlā kare gaurarāya kona kona bhagyavān dekhibāre pāya
“Lord Gaurāṅga Mahāprabhu performs His transcendental pastimes even now. Those who are very, very fortunate are able to witness these pastimes even today.”
The employees in the posts mentioned below will be appointed in accordance with the order of Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu.
Representatives of Nityānanda Prabhu: Ten pañcayat, who are the chief employees. Whatever they jointly decide and announce will be accepted as non-different from the orders of the Lord.
Sweeper (Jhāḍudāra): He keeps the market clean. He also helps the other employees during discussions at their meetings and in performing their responsibilities.
- Market reporter (Saharatdāra): He informs everyone of all relevant information and current news regarding the market’s affairs.
- Scale operator (Daṇḍidāra): He takes the goods from the shop, weighs them, and gives them to the customer.
- Keeper of the Keys (Cābidāra): He keeps all the keys to all the storerooms of the market. With his keys he both opens and, at the end of the day, closes the sales.
- Carrier (Muṭe): With great effort lifts the goods onto the customer’s cart. There are many such bearers in the market.
- Watchman (Caukidāra): He keeps watch over the market, and apprehends thieves and other anti-social elements.
- Book-keeper (Moharara): He records the expenditures and the sales of all commodities.
- Dāragā (inspector): He supervises all the activities of the marketplace.
- Peyādā (constable): He collects taxes. There are many such constables in the marketplace.
- Farā (light-giver): His duty is to light the lamps in the marketplace.
- Ghāṭiyāla (ghata protector): He watches over the ghatas and collects fares.
- Dokāndara (shopkeeper): In the First Desire Tree, he is called Vipaṇīpati. There are many such individual shop owners in the various marketplaces in many villages.
- Pasāri (traveling salesman). He travels everywhere to sell the goods. There are many such traveling salesmen.
- Paikeri (wholesaler). He also travels everywhere to sell goods, but sells at wholesale rate.
- Patani (ferryman): He assists customers in crossing the river to the Nāma Haṭṭa.
- Prāmāṇika (barber): He sits near the ghat and shaves men who are going to the marketplace.
- Dhopa (washerman): He washes the clothing of the customers of the Nāma Haṭṭa.
- Dālāla (broker).
- Darjī (tailor): He stitches the clothing of the customers of the Nāma Haṭṭa.
Qualifications and Disqualifications For each of the above twenty posts there is both a qualification and a disqualification. Qualification gives one the right to chant the name; disqualification implies that one has no right to chant the name. A qualified person can take any of the above-mentioned posts.
Qualifications Whether a brāhmaṇa, ksatriya, vaisya, sudra, or lower, or whether a sannyāsī, brahmacārī, gṛhastha, or vanaprastha, one who has pure devotion can become an employee of the Nāma Haṭṭa and fill any of the posts. (Eradication of all material desire, freedom from jñāna and karma, and favorable service to Kṛṣṇa comprises pure devotion. According to the devotion in one’s heart, one has both qualification and freedom from disqualification.)
- Persons who are materially engrossed, lazy, selfish, irreligious, devoid of enthusiasm, atheistic, desirous of obtaining mukti, eager to do material welfare work, tending toward dry mental speculation, argumentative, ambitious for material prestige, controlled by lamentation, illusion, anger, greed, or intoxication, who are cheaters, liars, enemies of religion, or illusioned by material learning and material culture are disqualified from becoming employees of the Nāma Haṭṭa.
Ideological disqualifications—to be materially engrossed, irreligious, atheistic, desirous of obtaining impersonal liberation, eager to do material welfare work, or to be an enemy of religion;
Behavioural disqualifications—to be lazy, selfish, devoid of enthusiasm, argumentative, ambitious for material prestige, disposed toward dry mental speculation, controlled by lamentation, illusion, anger, greed or intoxication, to be a cheater, liar, or to be illusioned by material learning or material culture.
(Note: A man’s present, not previous, character is to be considered. To whatever extent a person can destroy his disqualifications, he proportionately receives the shelter of pure devotional service and attains qualification.)
- Gṛhasthas and vānaprasthas are forbidden to go to prostitutes or to women other than their wedded wife, and also to engage in unrestricted sex life with their own wife. Brahmacārīs and sannyāsīs are absolutely restricted from association with women. Any man guilty of such offenses is disqualified from being an employee of the Nāma Haṭṭa. (Renounced Vaiṣṇavas of the bābājī-āśrama are within the category of sannyāsīs. Those married but pure in devotion are accepted first as Vaiṣṇavas, then as gṛhasthas.)
- Anyone who calls himself a giver of the name but requests some kind of material benefit from the recipient is disqualified. (Givers of the name who are freed from false ego may perform their respective duties according to the varṇāśrama system, to maintain themselves and their family, and thereby do not lose their qualification. The guru who gives a mantra to his disciple and accepts a voluntary offering from him for the benefit of the disciple’s spiritual life is not disqualified.)
- Women who are pure devotees can become traveling saleswomen for distributing the holy name to other women, but they cannot give the name to men. Yet, according to time, place, and circumstances, and with great care and caution, mature women can distribute the name to men. Apart from elderly women or very young girls, male preachers should avoid discussing with women.
Practice and Behaviour
- As far as possible, the workers should eat foods that are of the mode of goodness. For maintaining one’s body it is improper to cause pain to another living being. One should always have this vision. However, for protecting one’s body, there is no restriction in taking medicine or treatment.
- Preachers should maintain themselves by honest means. Householders who are capable of working have no right to beg for their material subsistence, but brahmacārīs and sannyāsīs should beg to maintain their body and should not adopt any other means. Wherever the preacher goes in the course of his activities, he should always be alert regarding how to increase the preaching of the holy name.
- One should follow the particular rules of his āśrama in the varṇāśrama system. Considering the place, time, and person, it is good to act, without undue pompousness, to maintain one’s health. One may use vehicles, a staff, an umbrella, and so forth as long as they are helpful and useful. But whenever possible, they should be given up.
- When in the toilet, one should follow the rules of cleanliness and sanitation that are practicable and healthy, for these will not obstruct one’s qualification to distribute on behalf of the Nāma Haṭṭa. But one should be very careful that no foul play takes place. That is an obstruction to pure devotion.
- The devotee naturally enjoys wearing the dress and ornaments of a Vaiṣṇava. His favorite decorations are the double- or triple-strands of tulasi neck beads and the twelve marks of tilaka with a space between the two vertical lines.
- Each employee of Nāma Haṭṭa should practice chanting the holy name as much as possible, and should have spontaneous affection for it. One should introduce himself as the most humble servant of Their Lordships Śrī Gaurāṅga, Śrī Nityānanda, Śrī Advaita, Śrī Gadādhara, and Śrīvāsa. One should try to endow himself with meekness, mercy, tolerance, pridelessness, and respect for all living entities. The preaching of the name shall be performed with khola (mṛdanga) and karatālas, accompanied by favorable discussions and public lectures. At the time of chanting, one may dance in ecstasy. The singing of the glories of the holy name and the dancing in ecstasy should correspond to the devotee’s spontaneous emotion, not merely to the tempo, beat, and tune. One should avoid excessive preoccupation with musical tune and beat. These should affect the hearts of the listeners similarly to how borax melts gold. It is good to express one’s feelings for the Lord through song and dance, according to one’s natural rising of transcendental emotions. The behavior of irreligious people in displaying these emotions is not required. Rather, it should be avoided.
- The employees of the Nāma Haṭṭa should carry out the preaching in the mood of pure devotion. One should never preach about the paths of jñāna and karma, of dry renunciation, and so on. Offering all respect to others in the mood of transcendental mercy, one should humbly request everyone to adopt the chanting of the name. Apart from the above employees, in the marketplace there are other pious aspirants, such as bhāṭas, fakirs, bauls, and others. Such persons have the right to perform their own fruitive activities and also benefit by associating with the Nāma Haṭṭa. But Nityānanda Prabhu is not responsible for whatever they lack in the pure standard.
I humbly request all those who are interested in accepting any of the twenty above- mentioned posts as employees of the Nāma Haṭṭa to first consider both the qualifications and disqualifications and to then write their esteemed decision to the chief preacher, or saharatkāra, at the address below:
Śrī Nāma Haṭṭa Parimarjaka, the fallen, worthless servant,
Śrī Kedārnātha Bhaktivinoda
Surabhī Kuñja, Godrumadvīpa, Śrī Navadvīpa-dhāma, P.O. Svarūpa-gañja, Dist. Nadia