Sri Harinama Cintamani

                           CHAPTER ONE


     All glories to Sri Gadadhara Pandit and Lord Sri Gauranga;

all glories to Lord Nityananda, the life of Srimati Jahnavadevi;

all glories to Sri Advaita Acarya and Mother Sita; all glories to

Srila Srivasa Pandit and all the devotees of Lord Caitanya.

     At Nilacala, within His sacred temple near the ocean shore,

the Supreme Personality of Godhead resides in His form of wood

known as Darubrahman.  The Supreme Lord Hari descended to the

material world in this form of Jagannatha to deliver the living

entities from their eternal bondage.  He grants material benedictions

to those who require them and final release from all

material attachments to those who are more spiritually advanced.

	In this same sacred abode, the same Supreme Lord took the

role of a renounced sannyasi to give His supreme blessing to

humanity. Residing in Kasi Misra's home, He propagated the only

dharma needed by the fallen souls of this age, and so established

the real meaning of religion in Kaliyuga.

     There, like a desire tree yielding unlimited treasures,

surrounded by His many devotees, Lord Caitanya distributed love

of Godhead (Krsnaprema) freely to all people.  Ensuring that His

teachings would be correctly disseminated, He had certain

associates speak on specific subjects while He Himself gave His

blissful audience.

	Thus He relished Sri Ramananda Raya's revelation of the

confidential sweetness of the conjugal love of Sri Sri RadhaKrsna;

Sri Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya's explanation of actual liberation;

Sri Rupa Goswami's intricate analysis of the various levels of

loving exchange with the Lord; and Srila Haridasa Thakura's

glorification of the supreme efficacy and excellence of the Holy


      One day, after bathing in the ocean, Lord Caitanya met

Srila Haridasa Thakura under the Siddha Bakula tree.  Greatly

pleased at seeing Srila  Haridasa, the Lord inquired from him theÜn

them tightly.  His entire body went into rapture, and he offered

humble prayers punctuated by shivering and tears.  In a choked

voice Srila Haridasa said, "My Lord, Your wonderful pastimes are

unfathomable, and I am but unfortunate and illiterate.  Your

lotus feet are my only resort.  What is the use of asking such

questions of a worthless person like me?"

      Srila Haridasa continued: "You are Krsna, the Supreme

Personality of Godhead, who has appeared in Navadvipa to save all

living entities. O my Lord Gauranga, kindly shelter me in the

shade of Your lotus feet, for only this will engladden my heart.

Your holy name is unlimited, You are the embodiment of endless

excellences, and Your exquisite beauty draws me into a shoreless

ocean of joy.  Your pastimes are everexpanding; You have

manifested Your name, form, qualities and activities in this

material world so even a fallen wretch like myself can relish

them.  It is impossible for one with mundane vision to perceive

Your transcendental features with his limited senses, but now You

are mercifully revealing Yourself for the highest benefit of

humanity; this is indeed the direct display of the internal

spiritual potency of the Lord.

      "You are the spiritual sun and I am an insignificant spark

of Your effulgence. You are my Lord and master and I am Your

servitor eternally. The ambrosia emanating from Your lotus feet

intoxicates all my senses. My only hope lies in the limitless

nectar of Your holy name.  I am fallen  what can I say of my own

volition?  I am here just to execute Your orders. I shall be

greatly satisfied to speak the words You put into my mouth and I

will not consider whether they are right or wrong."

      Lord Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.  He is

beyond  anyone's jurisdiction, for He alone is the master

(sarvesvara) of all that exists.  He completely independent,

being selfwilled and selffulfilled. His unrestricted desires

are effortlessly satisfied by His inconceivable internal potency

that constantly associates with Him.  This potency is a feature

of His inherent nature and is therefore never independent of Him.

	[Footnote 1 by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura:] He is known as

the nondual Supreme Consciousness by dint of His free will and

inconceivable potency.  Empirical philosophers (jnanis) attempt

to rob this nondual Divinity of His personal will and potency by

postulating Him to be the impersonal Brahman.  But in fact the

impersonal Brahman (Krsna's consciousness minus will and potency)

is only the effulgence of the Supreme non-dual Brahman.

    	Through  the  eightfold  yoga  system, yogis can perceive the

nondual  Supreme  Being  within  their  hearts  as  the  localized

Supersoul  or  Paramatma who pervades and witnesses all existence.

But  different  from  them. The Vedas declare Lord Krsna to be the

infinite,   absolute   Vibhu;  His  energies  are  His  attributes

(vaibhava).  His  vaibhava  energies  are the root of all existing

phenomena:   yet   even   in  the  midst  of  unlimited  phenomena

everexpanding   throughout  all  time,  Krsna  remains  aloof  and

indivisible in His original form.

                  The three kinds of vaibhava

      Vibhu is perceivable only by the grace of His vaibhava

energies, of which there are three kinds.  They are, as revealed

in the scriptures, the spiritual energy (cid-vaibhava), the

material energy (maya or acid-vaibhava), and the marginal energy


      [Footnote 2 by Bhaktivinoda:] Krsna's cid-vaibhava is a

direct transformation of His citsakti, His personal internal

potency.  The display of cidvaibhava includes His abode, known

as the Vaikunthaloka; His innumerable names like Govinda, Hari,

etc.; His transcendental forms like the threefold bending form

with two hands playing the flute; His divine qualities, so

sublimely pleasurable to His devotees;  His superexcellent

pastimes like the rasa dance in Vrindavana and its corresponding

appearance in Navadvipa as the the congregational chanting of the

holy names.  These spiritual opulences are countless.

    	Another feature of the citsakti is the sandhini potency by

which all things exist and are held together as an interrelated

whole, including the relationships of the jivas to the Lord.

	Similarly, the citsakti manifests the samvit potency, which

reveals knowledge of Krsna, His energies, and one's own identity.

	The citsakti also generates the hladini potency, which

gives rise to the ecstatic bliss of spiritual relationships,

spiritual emotions and their combination in the sweet exchanges

of rasa or the mellows of divine love.  All of these transformations

of the citsakti or Yogamaya (i.e. cidvaibhava and the

sandhini, samvit and hladini saktis) are beyond material place,

time and qualities, being eternally pure and full of bliss. [End

of footnote 2]


     The citsakti is never affected by the inferior acitsakti.

Even when it descends to this material world, citsakti remains

untouched by the inebrieties of matter. Forever spiritual,

embodying the absolute nature of the Supreme Godhead, the

spiritual potency is glorified in the Vedic hymns as being equal

to the Lord Himself; thus it is known as Visnupada (intimately

connected with Visnu). There is no tinge of material influence inÜn

birth, which is a manifestation of passion, nor by annihilation,

which occurs in the mode of ignorance.

	As the Supreme Lord's separated parts and parcels, the jivas

(the living entities, who are individual spirit souls) are

originally suddha-sattva, but due to their contact with nescience

they have come under the sway of the material modes of passion

and ignorance, and hence are now in the mixed or  misra-sattva

category.  Even demigods like Siva, though far superior in many

ways to the ordinary jivas, are nevertheless captivated by the

material glare due to false identification, and so fall in this

category of misra-sattva.

	The Supreme Lord is always in pure goodness.  He descends to

this material world by His inconceivable spiritual potency and is

always the controller of the material nature, maya, who is ever ready

to act as His maidservant. [End of footnote 3]

     All the plenary expansions of the Lord such as Govinda,

Vaikunthanatha, MahaVisnu, Garbhodakasayi Visnu and Ksirodaksayi

Visnu are in the category of absolute goodness, supreme and

divine, and are known as Visnutattva.

	The Visnu-tattva forms may reside in any place, either the

spiritual abodes of Goloka, Vaikuntha, the Causal ocean, or in

this material universe, yet They are always the master of maya

and the supreme controller of every other living entity great or

small.  Their remaining unaffected by the influence of the illusory

potency is evidence of their inconceivable spiritual position.

	Brahma, Siva and the other demigods are misra-sattva, being

influenced by maya. The Visnutattva forms, Their abobes, Their

pastimes, and all else in the spiritual sky exist in pure



     A river called Viraja separates the material universe from

the spiritual abode.  Everything in the fourteen material planetary systems

is acit-vaibhava or the temporary manifestation of

matter.  This place has been described in the scriptures as DeviÜn

    	The  material  universe, including the physical bodies of the

living  entities,  is made up of the five gross elements of earth,

water,  fire, air and either. Mind, intelligence and false ego are

subtle  material  elements that comprise the psychic bodies of the

living  entities.  The  psychic  bodies arise from desire. Yet the

soul is always purely spiritual and distinct from his subtle body;

he   is  by  nature  suddha-sattva,  as  are  his  original  mind,

intelligence and ego.

          The seven higher planetary systems  Bhur, Bhuvar,

Svarga, Mahar, Jana, Tapa, and Satya or Brahma  and the seven

lower planetary systems such as Atala, Sutala and so on are all

manifestations of maya (the illusory potency).  Cid-vaibhava is

the complete whole, and maya is its shadow.

     The jivas are originally completely spiritual, infinitesimal

and endowed with a limited degree of independence.  The jivas are

countless in number and are in urgent need of spiritual bliss for

the attainment of their perfection.  In seeking that

bliss, those who surrender their lives to Lord Krsna are

liberated from birth and death and reside eternally in the Lord's

company as His confidential associates.

     On the other hand, the jiva-souls who desire self-importance

and selfish pleasure become attracted by maya, who awaits them on

the other side of the River Viraja.  She entices them away from

Lord Krsna's service and lures them into the trap of the Devi dhama,

where they are chained to bodies manufactured by material

nature.  Bound by the reactions of their misdeeds, they wander

from birth to birth in gross and subtle forms.  Sometimes they

are elevated to the heavenly planets and afterwards go to hell.

In this way they travel through all the eight million four

hundred thousand species of life, suffering the pains of material


      The Lord is the Supreme Personality, and the jiva is

His tiny part and parcel.  Krsna is always concerned for the well-being

of His jivaexpansions.  In whatever situation thejiva may find himself,

Lord Krsna is always prepared to grant thejiva his heart's desire, like

a well-wisher who never forsakeshis friend.

	Krsna's relationship with the jiva is eternal: He uses the

jiva as an instrument through whom and to whom He manifests His

energies and opulences.  The Lord is the controller, the jiva the

controlled; the Lord is independent, the jiva dependent; the Lord

is master, the jiva the beneficiary of the results of his service

to the master. Ün

sacrifices such as the fire sacrifice (agnistoma); executing the

eight-fold yoga process;  offering havana or oblations; keeping

vows on full-moon days; giving in charity on auspicious days and

other occasions conducive to material benefit.

	Although subhakarma is performed with Lord Visnu as the

presiding Deity, the performer lacks spiritual intentions.  He

unfortunately takes complete shelter of material considerations

of object, time and place and cannot even intuit his dearth of

Krsna consciousness because such ritualistic considerations

thwart the mood of spiritual selfexamination and inquiry.

	The results of subhakarma are material, for they merely

inflame lust for more enjoyment in higher planets.  Such sacrifices

and their results can never satisfy the soul, the real

self, because their cause is illusion.  These socalled auspicious

activities only avail the jiva temporary heavenly pleasures

diametrically opposed to transcendental bliss.

	If a person is fortunate enough to get the association of a

saintly devotee and learns that he, the jiva, is an eternal servant

of Lord Krsna, then he easily surmounts the great obstacleof material nature.

This is very rare, being the result of avast accumulation of piety that can

never be acquired by theperformance of subhakarma, which gives only

insignificant results.

    Empirical   philosophy   (jnanakanda)   elevates  one  to  the

brahmajyoti  The dry empirical philosophers are more advanced than

the  karmis,  for  they  understand the material existence to be a

condition  of  suffering and so strive for liberation. The Lord is

kind  to  them  also: He has given them the jnana-kanda section of

the Vedas so they can pursue impersonal knowledge of the Absolute.

Their   final   goal  is  absorption  into  the  brahmajyoti.  The

brahmajyoti  is  Krsna's  blinding  spiritual  effulgence  and  is

situated  on  the  bank  of the Viraja. All the demons the Supreme

Lord  kills  also merge into Brahman, just beyond the periphery of

maya.  Both  the empiricists and fruitive workers are nondevotees,

disinclined  to  serve  Lord  Krsna.  They  can  never  relish the

sweetness of Lord Krsna's service.

   Piety leading to devotional service

    Sukriti,   or   pious  activity,  is  of  three  varieties:  n

karmonmukhi or piety derived from subhakarma, jnanonmukhi or piety

derived  from  the cultivation of knowledge, and bhakty-unmukhi or

piety  derived  from  devotional  activities.  The first two lead,

respectively,  to  enjoyment  of  the  fruits  of  action  and  to

liberation.   The  last  leads  to  an  appreciation  for  saintly

association.  Bhaktyunmukhi  is  achieved by performing devotional

service to the Lord unknowingly, without spiritual knowledge.

    Bhakty-unmukhi  is  the most important kind of sukriti, for it

impels  the  jiva  to meet a pure, saintly devotee. By associating

with  a devotee of Krsna, the jiva's faith becomes firm. Gradually

he   develops   a  taste  for  chanting  the  holy  name,  becomes

compassionate  towards  all  beings,  and  is then firmly fixed in

Krsna consciousness.

      Compassionately, the Lord guides the karmi and jnani

   to the unknowing performance of devotional service

     The Lord is an ocean of magnanimity, and the supreme

controller of everyone.  He is always keen to serve the

conditioned souls, including the karmis and jnanis.  Thinking of

their welfare, He provides them the opportunity for indirect

devotional service.

	The karmi who follows varnasramadharma associates with

saintly persons and executes his duties for the satisfaction of

the Supreme Lord Hari.  Such activities cleanse his heart and

gradually destroy the desire for more fruitive work.  In its

place the seed of sraddha, or pure faith, is sown within his


     The jnani who sincerely seeks transcendental wisdom humbly

enters the company of pure devotees and invokes their inherent

compassion towards him.  By their grace, he easily develops firm

faith in the direct process of pure devotional service. In this

way, by the jnani's indirect devotion to knowledge, he gets the

shelter of the pure devotees.

     The Lord says, 'My servant, the jiva, may succumb to the

treachery of My illusory potency, but I keep his best interests

in My heart.  By degrees I inspire him to develop an aversion to

sense enjoyment and liberation, and then grant him attraction to

devotional service unto Me.  I lead the jiva in his pursuit to

fulfill his material desires by engaging him in the indirect

devotional processes of karma and jnana, and in this way I

strengthen his faith and love for Me.'

     Lord Krsna is most compassionate.  The indirect devotional

paths are but a hint of His causeless mercy.  Without His loving

intervention, how could the jiva ever become purified?

    The indirect processes have deteriorated badly in Kaliyuga

    The  Satya-yuga  sages  who  took up the process of meditation

were  personally  purified  by  Krsna  and  given  the treasure of

devotional  service. In the Treta-yuga, the same spiritual success

n   crowned those who flawlessly performed opulent sacrifices to

satisfy  the  Lord.  In  the  Dvapara-yuga, He granted devotion to

those  who  adhered to the path of perfect Deity worship. With the

advent  of Kali-yuga, Lord Krsna saw the dreadful condition of the

jivas  and  relinquished all hope in the processes of karma, jnana

and yoga. People in the Kali-yuga are short-lived, always harassed

by disease, and are born with a weak body and mind. The observance

of  varnasramadharma  and  the  cultivation of sankhya philosophy,

yoga, and empiricism will not yield the strength humanity needs to

redeem itself.

 [Footnote 4 by Bhaktivinoda] In Kaliyuga, the indirect

devotional paths of jnana and karma are extremely narrow and

hazardous.  They are intended to lead one to the shrine of

devotional service through either the association of saintly

persons during philosophical discussions, or by the ritualistic

offering to the Supreme Lord of the results of work performed

without desire.  In Kali-yuga both paths have become contaminated.  Genuine saintly persons, now rarely seen, have been

displaced by crass, commercial pseudospiritualists.  Religious

duties are no longer performed for purifying the consciousness

but for enjoyment of the material results of the rituals.

Therefore these secondary paths are no longer beneficial.  Even

the process of Deity worship that gave the highest spiritual

success in Dvaparayuga has become impure and degraded. [End of

footnote 4]

           The prime process - chanting the holy name

    The   Lord,  considering  the  jivas'  welfare,  descended  in

Kali-yuga  along  with  His  holy name to propagate the yugadharma

(the  religion  of  the age). By taking up the yugadharma the jiva

attains  love of Krsna: he has only to remember the Supreme Lord's

name   (namasmarana   or   japa)   and   chant   the  Lord's  name

congregationally (namasankirtan).

        The holy name is both the means and the end

	The only method or means (sadhana) in this age is the holy

name of the Lord.  The only goal (sadhya) to be attained in this

age is Krsnaprema.  Even in the stage of perfection, the name is

not given up but is chanted all the more, for it is intrinsic to

the activities of prema.  Indeed, the name is not different from

the Lord: it is the very embodiment of prema.  If the means is

the end, then the end and the means never contradict one another.

If process is identical to the objective, then it is easy for the

jivas to attain the desired goal of life, Krsnaprema.  By the

mercy of His holy name, Krsna easily delivers the jivas in the

age of Kali.

    	[Footnote  5 by Bhaktivinoda] In karma and jnana, the sadhana

and  sadhya  are  in conflict. The only real goal or sadhya of the

Vedas  is  to  attain the mercy of the Lord. As one approaches the

goal  via  the  paths  of  karma and jnana, they vanish,  being

impermanent.  But  namasadhya  already exists in nama sadhana, for

the  Lord  is  forever  identical  to His holy name. This truth is

known  only  by  great  good  fortune.  [End  of footnote 5] Srila

Haridasa, the incarnation of Lord Brahma, fell at the Lord's lotus

feet  with  tears  cascading  from his eyes. His body heaving with

sighs,  Haridasa  declared,  "I  am  extremely  fallen and am much

engrossed in material life. Being the rascal I am, I never chanted

Your holy name."

	Only those persons who appreciate Lord Hari, His devotees,

and devotional service can take this Harinama Cintamani to heart.



     All glories to Sri Gadadhara Pandit and Lord Sri Gauranga;

all glories to Lord Nityananda, the life of Srimati Jahnavadevi;

all glories to Sri Advaita Acarya and Mother Sita; all glories to

Srila Srivasa Pandit and all the devotees of Lord Caitanya.

     Srila Haridasa continued to weep in ecstatic love.  Lord

Gauracandra encircled him with His arms in a loving embrace and

said, "O Haridasa, a devotee of your caliber is rarely found.

You are wellversed in all spiritual conclusions and you are

always unaffected by maya.

    Elevation by pure devotion

     "Taking birth in a low family and caste, you have proven to

the world that Krsna is not obtained merely by amassing wealth,

reputation, lineage or refinement.  Whoever develops unflinching

faith in unalloyed devotional service to the Supreme Lord as you

have done is factually superior to the demigods.

     "You are learned in all the truths of the holy name of the

Lord; your spiritual conduct is exemplary; and you are an expert

preacher.  Therefore, O Haridasa, kindly reveal to Me something

of the unlimited glories of the holy name.  Please allow Me to

savour your words.

   Three stages of acceptance of the name

    "One  who  chants  the  holy  name  even  once is considered a

Vaisnava devotee, and the householders should be very attentive to

respect  such  a  person.  But  the  devotee who constantly chants

Krsna's name is even a better Vaisnava, for he is endowed with all

good  qualities.  The  most  advanced  Vaisnava  of  all is he who

inspires  others who see him to immediately chant the Lord's name.

When he chants the name even once, attraction to rendering eternal

devotional service to the Supreme Lord is irrevocably established.

Kindly  tell  Me  how  the  nondevotees  can be made to accept the

chanting of the holy name of Krsna."

   The spiritual identity of the holy name

     Srila Haridasa clasped his hands together.  Eyes brimming

with tears and voice choked in spiritual love, he began his reply

in soft, gentle tones.

    	Lord  Krsna's  name  is  cintamani,  formed  of  eternal  and

transcendental   touchstone.  Just  as  a  touchstone  yields  all

desirable  objects,  so  the touchstone of Krsna's holy name gives

religiosity,   wealth,   sense   pleasure   and  liberation  to  a

materialistic  person.  To  a  surrendered devotee, it offers pure

love of Krsna.

    Lord  Krsna  and His holy name are not different; They are the

one  and same Absolute Truth who is the allpervading yet supremely

independent  form  of dynamic spirituality (caitanya vigraha), z

fully  cognizant  and  full  of  bliss,  without beginning or end.

Eternally  free  of  material  imperfection  (nitya mukta), always

situated   in  pure  goodness  (suddha  sattva),  the  holy  name,

identical  (abhinna) with He who is denoted by the name (the nami,

or  Krsna),  descends to this world as the complete incarnation of

the highest sweetness (rasa).

     Krsna's name, form, qualities

    and pastimes are full of potency

     Any object is known by four characteristic features: name,

form, qualities and activities.  Lord Krsna, the Supreme Object,

is knowable in terms of His unlimited and eternal name, form,

qualities and pastimes.  The absence of these four features in

anything denies its status as object.  For example, Brahman is

impersonal and formless; hence it is not an object unto itself,

but simply a distinctive trait of the Supreme Lord.

     Lord Krsna is the nondual Absolute Object who perfectly

manifests Himself through the four features of name, form,

qualities and pastimes.  Each one of these features is fully

potent and able to express Him in totality.  They exist and are

sustained by the Lord's sandhini potency, and they are eternal

and transcendental.  As Lord Krsna attracts all living entities,

similarly the holy name, which is not different from Him, also

attracts everyone.

     Krsna's sublime form is as identical to Him as His holy

name.  Remembering and chanting Krsna's name immediately invokes

His beautiful form in the  mind, and both dance there harmoniously

like inseparable partners.

    	Krsna's sixtyfour qualities are unlimited and transcendental.

Brahma  and  Siva  are  expansions of His qualities, but they only

partially  display  the transcendental nature of the Supreme Lord,

which  is  infinite,  eternal,  unending and absolutely spiritual.

Krsna  alone  has  the  full  sixtyfour  qualities  of the Supreme

Person;  even  His full expansions like Lord Narayana and avataras

like  Lord  Ramacandra  are  ornamented  with  only sixty of them.

Demigods  up  to  the  level  of  Siva  possess fiftyfive of these

qualities,  but  only in limited measure. Ordinary jivas have just

fifty,  visible in mere fractional degrees, like small drops. Only

Krsna,  even  amongst  all  His Visnu expansions, is the master of

four exceptional qualities visible in Him alone.

     If the Lord's qualities are compared to waves, then His

pastimes appear in these waves and continuously form, crest  and

reshape themselves again and again.  Wherever they may be

enacted, either in Goloka, Vaikuntha, or Vraja, they are always

transcendental.  Hence, the Lord's name, form, qualities and

pastimes are of the same spiritual substance.

   Conditioned consciousness is

   opposite to Krsna consciousness

    The   jiva   conditioned   by  the  illusory  material  nature

experiences  a  state of consciousness that is a complete reversal

of  Krsna  consciousness.  Because  he falsely identifies with his

body,  the jiva's name, form, qualities and activities are full of

contradiction. Once he is purified of his material contaminations,

these four features become harmonious and identical with the soul.

But  until  he is liberated by the Lord's grace, the z jiva will

continue   to   suffer  the  pains  of  his  false  identification

eternally.  Krsna,  being  beyond  material  existence,  eternally

enjoys  His  name,  form,  qualities  and  activities as one Truth

inseparable  from  Him.     T  he holy name is the primary feature

  Of  the four characteristic features, the Lord's holy name

is the primary one because it awards cognition of the other three.

Therefore  chanting  the  holy  name  is  the  foremost  religious

activity  (dharma)  of  a  Vaisnava.  From the holy name gradually

blossoms  the  Lord's  form,  qualities  and  pastimes. The entire

panorama  of  Lord  Krsna's  pastimes is present in the holy name.

Lord  Caitanya  has  personally  declared  Krsna's  name to be the

highest Absolute Truth.

      There are only two realities in this world,   the holy name

and  the  jiva  In  the entire material existence there is nothing

comparable  to  the  holy name. The holy name is the most precious

jewel  in  the  Lord's treasurehouse. In this whole universe there

are  only  two  meaningful  truths:  the  jiva  and  the holy name

everything  else  is  deceptive. By the will of the Lord, the jiva

entered  this  realm  of inert matter and was bewildered by it, as

when  in the beginning Brahma thought himself to be all alone. But

when  Krsna  descended  into  the  world  as  His  holy  name, the

spiritual  reality  of which Brahma and the other jivas are a part

was revealed.

    The name is of two kinds - principal and secondary

    The  holy  name can be categorized in two types: principal and

secondary.  By taking shelter of Krsna's principal names, the jiva

obtains  the  real  boon  of spiritual life. The holy names of the

Lord  that  describe His transcendental pastimes and which contain

all  of  the Lord's spiritual excellences are defined as principal

names.   They   are,  for  example:  Govinda,  Gopala,  Rama,  Sri

Nandanandana,     Radhanatha,     Hari,    Yasomati    Pranadhana,

Madana Mohana,   Syamasundara,   Madhava,  Gopinatha,  Vrajagopal,

Raksala,  Yadava,  and  so  on. Anyone who chants the names of the

Lord  that  depict  His  eternal  pastimes  can  attain the Lord's

supreme abode.

   The secondary names and their symptoms

    The  Vedas  address  the  Lord  with  names  that describe His

affiliation  with  His  material  energy.  These are His secondary

names,   e.g.   Creator,   Supersoul,   Brahman,   maintainer  and

annihilator  of the world, Yajneswar, Hara, etc. Such names of the

Lord  are  invoked  by  those  pursuing  fruitive  activities  and

empirical  knowledge.  In  keeping  with the Vedic directions, the

chanting  of  such  names  of  the  Lord  will result in piety and

salvation.   However,  Krsnaprema,  the  most  perfect  result  of

chanting  the  holy  name of the Lord, is attained only by saintly

souls who invoke Krsna's principal names.

       The  pure name and namabhasa; different results If the holy

name  is chanted just once, though impurely so, or if the sound is

simply heard, then the living entity regardless of his high or low

caste  is  immediately  liberated.  This is z the declaration of

scripture.  And  furthermore, when the holy name is chanted in the

clearing stage (namabhasa the stage when impurities are swept from

the heart of the chanter), then the highest goal is attained after

some   delay.   	

    All other auspicious pious results including liberation can be

quite  easily achieved in namabhasa, but the attainment of love of

Godhead is suspended for a while until the jiva reaches the summit

of chanting the pure name or suddhanama. One obtains love of Krsna

only after reaching this stage of pure chanting. In namabhasa, sin

and  unwanted  desires  in  the  heart  are eventually dissipated;

thereafter  the  devotee  chants  purely.  Suddhanama  offers  the

devotee the highest spiritual success, love of Krsna.

    Vyavadhana or 'disruption' causes offense

    Chanting  should  be  free from any form of disruption because

this  will result in offenses against the holy name, which in turn

pose  an insurmountable obstacle on the path to success. Vyavadhan

or  'disruption'  is  of  two  kinds.  The  first type is known as

varna-vyavadhan  or  disruption  in the syllables. For example, in

the  Bengali word 'hathikari', 'ha' and the last syllable 'ri' can

be  put  together to form 'Hari', a name of Krsna. But because the

syllables  'thi-ka'  are inserted in the middle, the repetition of

'hathikari'  will  not  give  actual benefit. Yet the Islamic word

'haram'  is  not  perverted by such disruption of the syllables or

varna-vyavadhan.  The syllables comprising the holy name 'Ram' are

uninterrupted;  hence,  speaking the word 'haram' gives liberation

because it is namabhasa.

    The  second  type of vyavadhana is called tattva-vyavadhana or

disruption of philosophical conclusions. This offense is much more

serious.   Lord   Krsna's   name   and   Lord  Krsna  Himself  are

non-different.  But someone who is polluted by Mayavadi philosophy

imagines  them  to  be  separate.  Such an offensive conclusion is

clearly against all Vedic teachings and will totally destroy one's

spiritual  life.  It  is impossible to obtain Krsnaprema from such


    In  summary, one should understand properly that the holy name

is  identical  to  the  Lord Himself. The principal names of Krsna

should  be  chanted  as  suddhanama,  devoid  of namabhasa and the

aparadha  of vyavadhana. The person who takes these considerations

to heart and chants suddhanama even once is considered a Vaisnava.

He is to be served with faith and devotion.

   Overcoming namabhasa and attaining prema

     Anyone wanting to attain the highest spiritual success of

chanting purely must approach a bonafide spiritual master and

serve him carefully and sincerely.  Gradually, as all the

anarthas or unwanted desires in the heart are destroyed, the

transcendental name of Krsna appears and dances on the tongue

of the devotee.  The holy name, now nectarean in taste, cannot

but be relished by the devotee at every moment.  Thus spiritually

intoxicated, the devotee always feels like dancing.  As the holy

name dances, the devotee likewise dances, and at that moment the

ecstasy of love of Godhead also enters dancing into the devotee's

heart.  Then the entire world will dance and maya will flee away.

   Only the faithful are eligible to chant - the omnipotent holy name

     The Supreme Lord has infused His transcendental name with

all of His potencies and offered it to humanity.  One who has

sufficient faith in Lord Krsna's name is eligible to chant, and

only one who chants the name is properly executing the prescribed

duties of the human being.  He is called an adhikari or possessor

of the holy name.

	The holy name is so potent that chanting does not dependent

on conditions of time, place, rules, cleanliness, and so on.

Pious activities, such as the giving of charity, the performance

of sacrifices, the taking of ablutions, or the recitation of

Vedic mantras are all regulated by stringent rules.  But for the

chanting of the holy name, the only prerequisite is faith.  One

who takes shelter of the holy name with unflinching faith will

attain all perfection.

    Accept things favorable to chanting  and reject things unfavourable

     The jiva in Kaliyuga must become free from deceit, join

Lord Krsna's family of devotees and continuously chant the holy

name.  He should accept everything favorable for devotional

service and at the same time reject unfavorable things.  He

should seek out the association of devotees and utilize his life

in service to the Lord's holy name and the Vaisnavas.  He should

forgo all other religious practices and pious activities and

never worship any other devata.  Nor should he think anything to

be independent from Krsna.  One who always chants the holy name

and serves the devotees will surely obtain Krsnaprema.

      Srila Haridasa Thakura again placed his head on the Lord's

lotus feet.  Weeping, he begged the Lord that he might develop

attachment for the holy name.

	One who is blessed with love and devotion and who takes

pleasure in serving Srila Haridasa Thakura's lotus feet will find

the touchstone of the holy name to be as precious as life itself.



     All glories to Sri Gadadhara Pandit and Lord Sri Gauranga;

all glories to Lord Nityananda, the life of Srimati Jahnavadevi;

all glories to Sri Advaita Acarya and Mother Sita; all glories to

Srila Srivasa Pandit and all the devotees of Lord Caitanya.

      Extending His lotuslike hands, the merciful Lord Caitanya

lifted up Srila Haridasa and said, "My dear Haridasa, please take

hold of yourself and inform Me about namabhasa.  The holy name is

so potent and endowed with such transcendental qualities that

anyone can easily achieve liberation simply by chanting.  Once

namabhasa is understood, one can strive to chant purely the holy

name of Krsna.

    Ajnana is like mist, and anartha is like clouds

     "The holy name is an allpowerful, brilliant sun that

disperses the darkness of maya or nescience.  Clouds and mist may

sometimes blanket one's vision; the sun is then not visible.

Similarly, the jivas are covered over by the mist of ajnana

(ignorance) and the clouds of anartha (material tendencies).

    	"Lord  Krsna  and  His  holy  name are identical. They are an

omnipotent  spiritual sun that destroys the darkness of nescience.

To  stream  mercy  upon  the conditioned souls the sun of the holy

name has arisen on the horizon of this material world. The mist of

ignorance  and  the  clouds  of  anartha spread a blanket over the

jiva's  vision  so that he is unable to see the sunlike holy name.

The  sun  is  too  big  for any cloud or mist to cover, but if the

jiva's vision is obscured, then the sun is hidden from him.

      Ignorance  covers  knowledge of the holy name,  the Lord's

position, and selfidentity "Even after accepting the holy name, if

one  does  not  understand  the name's identity and transcendental

nature,  a mist of ignorance is created that plunges the jiva into

darkness.  One who is ignorant about Lord Krsna's position becomes

confused  and begins to worship the demigods. Thus he is entangled

in  the cycle of fruitive action or karma. That person who has not

realized  the  jiva's  transcendental  nature suffers from svarupa

bhrama  (confusion of identity), and is in material consciousness,

deluded and always in ignorance."

    Srila  Haridasa Thakura exclaimed in exhilaration, "Today I am

most  fortunate,  for  from  my  mouth the Supreme Lord Himself,

Caitanya  Mahaprabhu,  wants to hear about the holy name!" He then

began by elaborating further on the subject of ignorance.

    	One  who  is  in  ignorance  does not know that Lord Krsna is

supreme  over  all. His eternal servitors are the demigods and all

other   jivas.  He  does  not  know  that  the  jiva's  nature  is

transcendental,  and  that  the material world is an appearance of

maya,  the  Lord's  illusory  energy. Anyone who understands these

truths  and  their  relationships  is  freed  from the darkness of

ignorance and can pass beyond the veil of namabhasa.

      The cloud of anartha is comprised of hankering for illusory

things, weakness of heart, and offenses

     Hankering for things temporary and unreal, weakness of the

heart and mind, and offenses are clouds of anarthas that

keep the jivas in constant suffering.

	Asat-trsna ('thirsting for the illusory') indicates desires

for things not related to Lord Krsna.  These desires are: the

craving for socalled material gains in this world or in heaven,

the craving for mystic powers, and the craving for impersonal


	Hridaya-daurbalyam refers to propensities of the heart and

mind (viz. material attachment, deceit, enviousness of another's

advancement, and desire for name, fame and glory) that arise from

a condition of spiritual weakness.

	Aparadha means offenses; these may be offenses to the holy

name (namparadha), to Krsna's service (sevparadha), to

Krsna's devotees (vaisnavparadha), or to other living entities


	These clouds hide the sun of the holy name.  If one chants

the holy name while maintaining these anarthas, the chanting can

at best be only the unclarified name (namabhasa).  The holy name

is always perfect in itself, but namabhasa obfuscates the jiva's

vision of it.

    Namabhasa is counteracted by sambandhatattva

    As long as the jiva is not firmly established in the knowledge

of   sambandha-tattva   or   the   correct  understanding  of  the

relationship  between  God,  His  energies,  and the jiva, he will

continue to chant in the namabhasa stage. When the serious chanter

takes  full  shelter of a bonafide spiritual master, he learns how

to  expertly perform devotional service and thus disperse the mist

and  clouds in his heart. Once the cloud and mist are removed, the

sun  of the holy name shines brilliantly once more and bestows the

devotee with love of Godhead.

   Sambandha as relationship, abhideya as indication,

   prayojana as necessity

    The    bonafide    spiritual   master   gives   the   disciple

sambandha-jnana.  The  chanting of the holy name is the indication

(abhideya) of this eternal relationship (sambandha). The spiritual

master  enthuses the disciple to take up abhideya or chanting. The

sun  of the holy name then shines stronger and evaporates the mist

and  clouds.  Chanting at this stage becomes an indispensable need

(prayojana).  Prayojana leads the devotee to pure love of Godhead,

at which point he experiences ecstasy in every moment of chanting.

    The  spiritual  master must exactingly explain sambandha-jnana

to  the  disciple,  who in turn must receive it with proper faith.

The quintessence of this knowledge is that Lord Krsna is eternally

the  Supreme  Personality  of  Godhead,  the  jiva  is His eternal

servitor,  and  the  jiva's  loving  relationship  with  Krsna  is

likewise eternal as an inherent trait of his nature.

	In contact with material nature, the jiva forgets his

eternal relationship with the Lord and loiters aimlessly in this

world of illusion searching for bliss.  The material world is a

veritable prison house where the jiva is penalized for turning

his back on Krsna.  It consists of the fourteen planetary systems

which together are known as the Devidhama. These planetary

systems are the cells within the prison where the recalcitrant

jivas are confined.  Devidhama is not a place for experiencing

happiness and bliss. The material socalled pleasures offered to

the jivas here are only temporary, and as such are the cause of

further suffering.  As is the plan of any penal system, the jivas

are gradually reformed through this punitive arrangement.

    By  the mercy of a Vaisnava devotee of the Lord, an imprisoned

jiva  may  accept  the holy name and the attendant sambandha-jnana

and  finally ascend to pure love of Godhead. Such a fortunate soul

will  consider  even  sayujya-mukti or impersonal liberation to be

reprehensible.   But   until   he   is  solidly  grounded  on  the

sambandha-jnana  understanding,  his  chanting will be polluted by

anarthas.  This is namabhasa. In this stage, the jiva cannot chant

the pure name of Krsna.

    The result of namabhasa chanting

     However, the value of the namabhasa stage of chanting is not

to be underestimated, for it avails many positive benefits to the

jiva and increases his piety.  Verily, namabhasa prooves to be

one of the jiva's greatest benefits.  It offers him more good

fortune than all religiosity, vows, yoga, or sacrifices can offer


    	In namabhasa, all sins are absolved, liberating the jiva from

the   effects   of  Kaliyuga.  The  namabhasa  chanter  becomes  a

wellwishing  servitor  of the fallen souls because he frees others

as  well  as  himself  from the disease of material consciousness.

Fear  and  distress  are  subdued,  allowing  the chanter to enjoy

security and equanimity. The miseries inflicted by demons, ghosts,

hobgoblins,  evil  spirits  and  malefic  planetary influences are

easily  averted.  Even  if  the  chanter  is  destined for the

hellish planets he will attain liberation, because prarabdha karma

(sinful  reactions  of  previous lives' activities that are taking

effect now) is countered. 	

    Namabhasa  is  greater  than  the  result  of studying all the

Vedas,  of visiting every pilgrimage place, or of performing every

possible  altruistic  and  pious  work.  The four goals offered in

Vedas  -  religiosity,  wealth, sense enjoyment and liberation are

made  freely  available  by namabhasa chanting. It is endowed with

unimaginable  power  to  reclaim  any  living  entity.  It bestows

unlimited  joy  and  elevates even the derelicts to a very exalted

stage  of  realization.  Namabhasa offers eternal residence in the

spiritual  abode of Vaikuntha, especially in Kaliyuga. This is the

declaration of scripture.

   Namabhasa has four attitudes: sanketa, parihasa, stobha and hela

     The four attitudes in namabhasa chanting are sanketa

(unintentionally or coincidentally), parihasa (in jest or

ridicule), stobha (derisively) and hela (with disregard and


	Sanketa is of two kinds: 1) when one, though intending to

chant Lord Visnu's name, has a material conception of it, and 2)

when one has something entirely different than the Lord or His

name on his mind, but chants the holy name being somehow or other

reminded of that transcendental sound.  The yavanas eat cows, yet

in spite of this they can attain liberation by uttering 'haram',

an ordinary word of their language (Urdu).  Because sanketa is

the least offensive attitude of namabhasa, the power of the holy

name is largely undiminished when chanted in that way.

     Chanting in jest - parihasa, like Jarasandha  results in

liberation, as does chanting derisively (stobha, like Sisupal).

Even chanting inattentively and with disregard (hela) results in

deliverance from the pangs of material existence.  Namabhasa

chanting can purify anyone. People of low upbringing like

mlecchas, gross materialists, and lazy persons can all avail of

this opportunity to obtain liberation.

   The difference between sraddhanamabhasa and namabhasa

     Faithful chanting that is yet afflicted by anarthas is known

as sraddhanamabhasa.  The element of sraddha (faith) is absent

in the four attitudes of namabhasa chanting; even sanketa

chanting is tinged with neglect.  Nontheless, the lowest attitude

of namabhasa (hela) gives one liberation, what to speak of

faithful chanting.  Chanting with faith establishes one on the

platform of sambandha-jnana, which results in rati or attraction

for the holy name.  Sraddhanama actually clears away anarthas

very easily and quickly.

    Anarthafree namabhasa chanting becomes suddhanama,

   which gives Krsnaprema  n

     Short of Krsnaprema, every other success is available in

namabhasa.  When anarthas are nullified, then namabhasa is

converted to nama or suddhanama, the pure name.  By pure

chanting and by following the rules of sadhana as instructed by

guru, sadhu and sastra, one slowly but surely acquires Krsna

prema - love of Godhead. But namabhasa chanting can never give


     That soul is indeed fortunate who has freed himself from

committing namparadha in the namabhasa stage.  The offenseless

stage of namabhasa is far superior to karma and jnana, for it

nurtures the seed of faith that sprouts rati or attraction.  This

attraction leads the chanter to suddhanama and finally to prema.

     [Footnote 1 by Bhaktivinoda] The scriptures are filled with

words like 'namabhasa', 'Vaisnavabhasa', 'sraddhabhasa', 'rati-

abhasa', 'premabhasa', 'mukti-abhasa', etc.  The suffix 'abhasa'

has a special meaning that is applicable in many ways.

    	Abhasa  (faint  or indistinct image) is of two sorts: svarupa

abhasa   and   pratibimba-abhasa.  Svarupbhasa  is  the  partial

infiltration  of the full brilliance. For example, on a cloudy day

the  light  of  the sun is only partially visible because the full

brilliance of the sun is shaded by the clouds. Namabhasa caused by

the  cloudlike  coverings of ignorance is called chayanamabhasa or

'the faint shadowy name.' The way to the shadowy name is opened by

chayasraddhabhasa or the faint shadow of sraddha (faith).

	Pratibimba-abhasa means the reflection of a distorted image

of the real object, as sunlight is distorted when reflected off

the surface of water.  Such a distorted, broken reflection can

never result in a complete perception of the original source of


    When  the  rays  of  the  holy name reflect off the heart of a

Mayavadi,  pratibimbanamabhasa  appears, bequeathing sayujya mukti

upon the Mayavadis who chant it. Such chanting, however, will fail

to  generate  the  quintessence  of chanting - Krsnaprema. Indeed,

this type of namabhasa is a major namaparadha; therefore it cannot

really be counted as a namabhasa at all.

	Chayanamabhasa or svarupanamabhasa is the real namabhasa,

and is subdivided into four categories of attitude, as previously

mentioned.  The scriptures, while praising namabhasa, profusely

condemn pratibimba namabhasa.  Chayanamabhasa is the result of

chanting the holy name with anarthas born of ignorance.  But the

chanting of the holy name with anarthas nurtured by wicked and

distorted philosophy produces pratibimbanamabhasa, and this is a

major obstacle to devotional service and a grave offense.

    A  Vaisnavbhasa  person,  though  not  honored  as a genuine

Vaisnava, should still be given the respect due a neophyte devotee

as long as he is not contaminated by the Mayavadi philosophy. Such

a  person  can  easily become elevated by contact  with saintly

personalities.  The  elevated Vaisnavas consider such neophytes to

be  innocent and so shower mercy on them. They must not be ignored

and  avoided  like  the agnostic Mayavadis. The pure devotees will

resuscitate   the  small  spark  of  devotion  in  the  neophytes,

encourage  their propensity to worship the Deity and progressively

give them sambandha-jnana and establish them in devotional service

of the Supreme Lord and His devotees. But if a neophyte exhibits a

strong  inclination  to  incorrigible  Mayavadi attitudes, then he

must be avoided. [End of footnote 1]

    When  such  a  person  sees  pure  firm faith in others, he is

impressed,  and  dim  faith is invoked in him by good association.

Desiring  elevation,  he  may  chant  constantly,  but  because he

nurtures  strong attachments to sense pleasure and liberation, his

sraddha  is  not  real  it  merely  appears to be sraddha. This is

defined  in  the  scriptures  as pratibimba-sraddha-abhasa. Hence,

pratibimba-sraddha-abhasa results in pratibimba-namabhasa. If this

sort   of   namabhasa   becomes   further  aberrated  by  Mayavadi

philosophy, the chanter thinks that the perfect and transcendental

name  of  the  Lord  is  mundane and imperfect, and requires to be

perfected   by  impersonal  knowledge.  This  offense  obliterates

whatever little bit of genuine sraddha he may have had.

 The difference between chaya and pratibimba namabhasa

    Chaya-namabhasa  is  symptomatic  of ignorance and weakness of

the heart. Many anarthas may plague the devotee in this condition,

but  all  these faults are rectified by continuous chanting of the

Lord's  holy  name.  But  pratibimba-namabhasa  chanting increases

one's offenses.

    	According   to   the  Mayavadis,  Lord  Krsna's  name,  form,

qualities  and  pastimes  are  all  illusory, false, temporary and

contaminated.  They  mistake  prema  or  pure  love of Godhead for

sentimentalism. Mayavadi philosophy characteristically contradicts

the  devotional path of bhakti at every turn. Therefore, Mayavadis

are the greatest offenders.

	The Mayavadi's chanting is not real chanting. The syllables

of the Lord's name may emanate from his mouth, but the vibration

is bereft of the potency of the Lord.  His chanting is filled

with yearnings for sense pleasure and liberation, and all the

while he thinks the Lord's name is material.  Because he tries to

cheat, his chanting results in unrelenting misery.

  How does the Mayavadi redeem himself?

    If  by  some good fortune the Mayavadi relinquishes the desire

for  sense  gratification  and  liberation and, thinking himself a

servant  of Krsna, begins to chant, he becomes exonerated from his

offenses  and  philosophical aberrations. He then takes shelter of

the  holy  name and repents. This opens the way to again hear from

and  associate with the pure devotees. Thus his chanting leads him

to  comprehend  sambandha-jnana.  If  he chants while continuously

shedding  tears of contrition, he can invoke the mercy of the holy

name.  n    The Mayavadi's offense is he sees bhakti as material

The  Mayavadi considers both the transcendental form of Lord Krsna

and  the  jiva's  constitutional  position  as  the Lord's eternal

servitor  to  be transient and imaginary. This Mayavadi philosophy

is  a  grievous  namaparadha. Namabhasa is truly a wish fulfilling

tree,  for  it even offers to the Mayavadis the sayujya liberation

so  desired  by  them.  Because  the name is omnipotent, it offers

mukti-abhasa  or  seeming  liberation  in  the pratibimbanamabhasa

stage. Amongst the five types of liberation, sayujya (becoming one

with  God) is considered abhasa, or merely the hint of liberation.

Material  suffering  is  indeed terminated in sayujya, but certain

spiritual doom follows.

    The  Mayavadis,  captivated by maya, find sayujya pleasurable;

but  it  is  only  a  mere  hint of actual happiness. They forever

forfeit   transcendental   existence,   knowledge,  happiness  and

devotional service, because sayujyamukti obfuscates remembrance of

Krsna.  Where is the question of eternal bliss when the eternality

of bhakti and prema is doubted?

  If the chaya-namabhasa chanter  refrains from Mayavadi contamination,

  he gradually attains suddhanama

    If   the   chaya-namabhasa  chanter  is  not  contaminated  by

atheistic  concepts,  then  he  has  a good chance. He is ignorant

about  the potency of the holy name, but it is the inherent nature

of  the  name  to  impregnate that knowledge into the chanter. For

example,  the  sun  may not be visible when the sky is cloudy, but

once  the  clouds  are  dispersed,  the sun shines through in full

glory.  The  disperal  of  the  clouds  of anartha and ignorace is

greatly assisted by the powerful influence of a bonafide spiritual

master, and in a short time the chanter is able to attain the pure

name and Krsnaprema.

       A  devotee must not associate with Mayavadis Concluding his

explanation   of  namabhasa,  Haridasa  said,  "The  devotee  must

diligently  avoid the association of Mayavadis and serve Vaisnavas

who  are  attached to the pure holy name. O Lord Caitanya, this is

Your  injunction  and  whoever follows it is very fortunate. Those

who  disregard  and disobey this instruction are wretches who will

suffer  for  a  hundred  million births. My Lord, please rescue me

from bad association and keep me at Your lotus feet, for I can see

no other alternative to your lotus feet."

	One who takes shelter at the feet of Srila Haridasa Thakura

will incessantly chant the holy name and find real satisfaction

in life.





[Introductory note by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura: "Namabhasa was

described in the previous chapter; the next ten chapters deal

with the ten offenses to the holy name, and Chapter Fourteen

explains offenses to the Deity (sevaparadha).  The nama and seva

aparadhas initially arise from anarthas that cause namabhasa.  If

these aparadhas are not corrected and become intentional, they

not only impede one's spiritual progress, but remove one from

devotional service entirely, placing him in hell.  The first of

these offenses is the subject of this chapter.  Criticism or

harmful intent to a qualified sadhu is a serious offense to the

holy name.  How can the Lord tolerate criticism of those who

spread the glories of His name?"]

    All glories to Lord Sri Gauranga, the life of Sri Gadadhara

Pandit; all glories to Lord Nityananda, the heart of Srimati

Jahnavadevi; all glories to Sri Advaita Acarya, the Lord of

Mother Sita; all glories to Srila Srivasa Pandit and all the

devotees of Lord Caitanya.

     Lord Caitanya said, "Haridasa, now describe in detail the

offenses against the holy name."  Srila Haridasa replied, "My

Lord, whatever I say will be on Your prompting alone.  I am a

mere puppet.

   The ten offenses against the holy name

     "The scriptures enumerate ten offenses against the holy

name.  I am very fearful of these offenses.  I will list them one

by one. As I do, please give me the strength to avoid them, my


     1) Blasphemy of the devotees of the Lord.

     2) To consider demigods to be independent of the Supreme

	Lord, and to similarly think Lord Krsna's name, form,

	qualities and pastimes are separate from Him.

     3) To disobey the spiritual master who reveals the truth

	about the holy name.

     4) To criticize the scriptures that describe the

	glories of the holy name.

     5) To think the excellences and divine qualities of the holy

	name are imaginary, and to so interpret the scriptural

	glorification of the holy name.

     6) To commit sinful activities on the strength of the holy name.

     7) To instruct the faithless on the glories of the holy


     8) To equate chanting of the holy name with auspicious

	ritualistic activities recommended in the karmakanda

	sections of the Vedas.

     9) To be inattentive while chanting the holy name.

     10) To not develop love for the holy name after learning the

	the name's glories because of maintaining attachments to

	the body and things related to the body.

    To  blaspheme  devotees  is  the  first offense To blaspheme a

devotee  of  the  Lord is the first offense against the holy name,

and   it  completely  disrupts  one's  spiritual  life.  The  good

qualities  of  a  devotee  have  been personally described by Lord

Krsna  in His instructions to Uddhava, as recorded in the Eleventh

Canto of Srimad Bhagavatam.

     The devotee is merciful; is tolerant; is equal to all; does

penance without injuring the body; is truthful; is pure-hearted;

is compassionate; is free from lust in his intelligence; is

master of the senses; makes no claims of ownership; is gentle; is

clean; is regulated in eating; is peaceful; is apathetic to

materialism; is patient; is steady; takes Lord Krsna as his only

shelter; is free from illusion; is grave; has conquered over

hunger, thirst, lamentation, envy, old age and death; does not

expect honor from others; offers respect to others; is expert; is

not a cheater; is knowledgeable.

   Qualities are of two kinds - svarupa and tathasta

     These qualities can be divided into two categories: svarupa,

or the direct and indigenous quality of any substance, and

tathasta, qualities that are ornamental and visible when the

substance comes in contact with something else.  The devotee's

acceptance of Lord Krsna as his only shelter (Krsna eka sarana)

is his svarupa-laksana, and all the other qualities are tathasta.

	If by some good fortune one associates with a Vaisnava, he

may develop a taste for the holy name and takes complete shelter

at Krsna's lotus feet.  Thus he develops the svarupa-laksana, and

then through continued chanting he will gradually develop all the

other laksanas or symptoms.  The other symptoms are tathasta but

nevertheless are essentially present in a Vaisnava.

    Saintliness depends not on external designations

    but on svarupa-laksana

    External  designations  such  as the four social and religious

orders   of  brahmana,  ksatriya,  vaisya,  sudra  and  bramacari,

grihastha,  vanaprastha,  sannyasi  are  not  the  symptoms  of  a

devotee.  The  scriptures say the quality of complete surrender to

Lord  Krsna  is  the hallmark of a devotee, and he alone can chant

Krsna's name purely. Through Raghunatha das Goswami's example, Sri

Caitanya  taught everyone how the proper grihastha Vaisnava should

behave.  Srila Raghunatha das Goswami appeared not in the brahmana

caste  but  in  the  inferior  kayastha  caste  of  the village of

Saptagrama.  The  Lord  instructed  him  not  to  be impatient and

impulsive, but to return to his household life and remain there.

    	One is purified in degrees by following this orderly process.

There  is  no need to prematurely pretend that one is detached and

renounced  just  to impress people. Renunciation has to take place

within  the  heart.  Wearing  the  dress  of a renunciate when the

senses  are  still  uncontrolled  is called monkey renunciation or


	The householder should regularly fulfill his duties.

Detatchment from matter will naturally arise within his heart as

he internally cultivates firm faith in Krsna while conducting

normal external social dealings among the people in general.

Very quickly Lord Krsna will personally liberate him.

   The symptoms of a renounced sadhu

     When Srila Raghunatha das Goswami at last left his household

and embraced a sannyasi's life, the Lord personally instructed

him about the proper path of renunciation.  The sannyasi should

not engage in nor give audience to frivolous materialistic

conversations.  The wearing of fine clothes and the tasting of

delicacies must be rejected.  Being always ready to offer respect

to others, demanding no respect for oneself, the sannyasi should

constantly chant the holy name.  He should render intimate

service to Sri Radha and Krsna in the mood of the residents of


   The svarupa-laksana of both the householder - and sannyasi is the same

    The  svarupa-laksana  or  principal symptom (i.e. surrender to

Lord  Krsna)  must prevail in a devotee regardless of his varna or

asrama.  The  tathasta-laksana or marginal symptoms will naturally

vary  according  to  the  varnas  and  asramas,  while undeviating

surrender to Lord Krsna remains as the fixed symptom of devotional

service in all cases.

	Once he has this symptom, gradually but unfailingly the

marginal symptoms appear in the devotee's character.  Even if the

marginal symptoms haven't reached full maturity in a surrendered

devotee, and instead some serious discrepancies are visible in

his character, he is still to be respected as a sadhu or saintly

soul.  This is the verdict of the scriptures as expressed in Lord

Krsna's own words in the Bhagavad Gita, and it must be given full


    It  is  offensive to criticize a devotee  on the basis of his

past sins When one has developed a real taste for chanting, then a

single utterance of the holy name can eradicate all previous sins.

Some  vestiges of sinful reaction may still remain in a particular

individual,  but  these will steadily be removed by the process of

chanting. As these last traces of sin disappear, he emerges a pure

devotee.  Of  course,  the  lingering  traces  of  sin are seen by

ordinary  people as actual sin; if a devotee is criticized because

of  the traces of almostextirpated sin in his character, that is a

grievous  offense. If criticism is made against a devotee for sins

committed  prior  to  his  surrendering to Krsna, that is likewise

another  serious  offense.  Such  a faultfinder surely invites the

wrath of Lord Krsna.

      A few words on the principal symptom of a devotee

     One who has fully surrendered to Lord Krsna will naturally

only chant Lord Krsna's name. By the grace of the Lord, such a

person is entitled to be called a sadhu.  Only a devotee of Lord

Krsna is eligible to be respected as a sadhu, and none other.

One who proclaims himself a sadhu is but a charlatan and a

braggart; one who humbly says he is a poor soul surrendered to

Lord Krsna and who constantly chants Krsna's name is a real

sadhu.  He, considering himself lower than a blade of grass and

more tolerant than a tree, offers all respects to others without

expecting any for himself.  The holy name of Krsna grants such a

sadhu pure love of Godhead.

A Vaisnava firmly fixed in the holy name

is the real sadhu; criticizing him is nama-aparadha

    Hearing such a sadhu chant the holy name, one should offer him

all  respects, knowing him to be a perfect Vaisnava. A Vaisnava is

the  spiritual  master of the world, a true friend of every being,

and is always an ocean of compassion. Anyone who criticizes such a

Vaisnava  goes  directly  to  hell  and suffers untold pains birth

after  birth.  The  doors of bhakti are closed to such an offender

because  devotional  service is the merciful gift of a Vaisnava to

the  living  entities.  The  Vaisnava  is an abode of Lord Krsna's

spiritual  potencies;  others  receive  Krsna  bhakti  only by his

confidential association.

 This pure bhakti potency is distributed by a perfected pure

devotee to the aspirant devotee, and that devotee, becoming

perfect, distributes it to another aspirant. Thus the bhakti

potency expands.  The three great touchstones of bhakti

sakti are the mercy of the pure devotee in the form of his

eatable remnants, the water from his foot bath, and the dust

from his lotus feet.

How a Vaisnava imbues his potency in others:

By remaining in the presence of a Vaisnava for some time,

one absorbs the bhakti energy flowing from the body of that

saintly person.  If one is sufficiently faithful, he can bind

that energy within his own heart and experience immediate

ecstasy.  By just a moment's association with a Vaisnava, bhakti

is invoked in the heart of a pious person, who will immediately

be inspired to chant Lord Krsna's name; gradually, the holy name

will award him all good qualities.

	[Footnote 1 by Bhaktivinoda] The potency or sakti of pure

devotion is a blend of hladini (Krsna's pleasuregiving potency)

and samvit (Krsna's knowledgegiving potency).  Bhakti reposes in

the heart of the transcendentalist and uses him as a vehicle for

further movement.  When a jiva becomes free from envy and is

inclined to devotional service, the bhakti potency is then

transferred from the pure devotee's heart into that jiva's heart,

where it takes shelter of his soul and acheives perfection there.

This is a great mystery. [End of footnote 1]

There are four kinds of blasphemy of a devotee

     The offender criticizes a Vaisnava about his caste, or some

unpremeditated accidental fall-down, or the last traces of his

previous sins, or his sinful activities prior to his surrendering

to Lord Krsna.  Such an offender will never develop a taste for

chanting the holy name.

	One who has taken complete shelter of the pure devotional

process is considered a pure Vaisnava.  The four abovementioned

faults may be present in him, but he is totally free from all

other shortcomings.  Hence, criticizing him spells doom for the

offender.  The glories of the holy name are propagated by the

Vaisnava, and Lord Krsna does not tolerate any criticism against

him.  One may discard all other activities like religiosity,

yoga, sacrifices, fruitive activities, empirical knowledge and so

on; if one simply chants the holy name, that is the quintessence

of spiritual culture.

The sadhu takes complete shelter of the holy name

     Never criticizing demigods or other scriptures, the Vaisnava

simply chants the holy name.  Regardless of whether such a sadhu

is a householder or a sannyasi, one should eagerly take the dust

from his lotus feet.  The purity of a Vaisnava is judged by how

much attraction or rati he has for the name. His purity has

nothing whatsoever to do with his official status as a Vaisnava,

or his wealth, erudition, youth, pleasing appearance, strength or


	One who aspires to take shelter of the holy name must shun

the propensity to criticize devotees.  Pure devotion in the

chanting of the holy name depends on association with the pure

devotee and his pure devotion.  Without this assocation, everything

becomes perverted and spoilt.  Bhakti immediately recedes at

the first indication of sadhuninda, which immediately becomes

nama-aparadha.  Let the aspirant devotee reject sadhuninda and

associate with and serve the pure devotees.

There are two types of bad association,

the first being association with women

     The proper Vaisnava behavior is to avoid asatsanga or bad

company that influences a person to disrespect a sadhu.  Bad

association is of two kinds. The first is association with a

woman, which means either to have illicit connection with a woman

other than one's wife, or to be excessively fond of one's own

wife.  The scriptures permit a husband only a properly regulated

relationship with his spouse.  Keeping company with a licentious

or henpecked man also falls within this first category of asat sanga

or bad association.

Non-devotees are of three kinds

The second type of bad association is to mix with nondevotees.  There are

three kinds of non-devotees: the Mayavadi,

the dharmadhvaji (pretender), and the nirisvara (atheist).

Mayavadis never accept the Supreme Lord's form as being eternal.

They say the Deity form of the Lord is material, and that the

jiva is also a product of maya.  A dharmadhvaji is a person who

has no devotion or attachment in the heart but makes a show of it

externally.  He wears the clothes of a devotee to accomplish

materialistic ends.  A nirisvara is a nonbeliever who rejects God

outright.  A serious aspirant or sadhaka must shun such bad

association.  If anyone argues that avoiding such nondevotees is

sadhuninda, their company must also be shunned.  One has to keep

away from such bad association and take complete shelter of the

holy name.  Only then is love of Godhead ensured.

There are three kinds of devotees;

the lowest is the kanistha devotee

     The neophyte devotee (kanistha Vaisnava) displays a faith

that is formal and worldly.  He worships the Deity but has no

service attitude towards the devotees of the Lord.  He is almost

a Vaisnava (Vaisnavapraya), but is not a real Vaisnava yet;

hence, he is not able to take full advantage of sadhusanga.

Such a neophyte will have to receive the blessings of a pure

devotee to advance further.

The madhyama devotee

The madhyama devotee knows well the importance of the Lord's

devotees, and remains always in their association.  He is

convinced of Krsna's position as the Lord, the jivas as His

eternal servants, the means of advancement as bhakti and the goal

as prema.  He is compassionate to the innocent and avoids the

company of atheists.

    The  madhyama  stage  of  devotee  marks the beginning of pure

Vaisnavism  because at this stage one become eligible to chant the

pure  name.  The madhyama devotee knows well the different effects

of  different  types  of association. He distinguishes between the

Vaisnavas  and the non-Vaisnavas, for he is especially required to

serve  the advanced devotees and avoid asatsanga and sadhu nindha.

Indeed,  this  is  his  necessity. If he neglects to differentiate

between   the   grades  of  devotees  and  between  Vaisnavas  and

nonVaisnavas, then he stands to commit Vaisnava aparadha.

The uttama devotee

A pure devotee of the highest order sees Lord Krsna manifest

everywhere and knows that everything rests in Him. He sees Krsna

is his very life and soul.  He is unconcerned with distinctions

of who is a Vaisnava and who is not  thus for him there is no

regulation to serve a Vaisnava.  His whole life revolves around

the holy name, which he considers to be the essence of everything.

     The scriptures declare that a kanistha devotee, being

ignorant of the proper attitudes towards Krsna, the devotees and

the holy name, is only capable of namabhasa chanting.  A madhyama

devotee is worthy of chanting the pure name: therefore he must

always carefully avoid offenses to other devotees, so that his

chanting will be pure.  The uttama Vaisnava can never commit any

offense, because he perceives Lord Krsna everywhere.

     Every sadhaka should consider these points calmly and

reflect upon his real position.  First, he must stop sadhuninda.

Then he should chant with firm faith, according to his status as

a Vaisnava.  He should aspire to become fixed on the madhyama

platform through association with equal devotees, service to

superior devotees, avoidance of nondevotees, compassion for all

living entities and constant chanting of the holy name.

The remedy for sadhuninda

If anyone offends a devotee in a moment of delusion or

madness, he must fall at the devotee's feet and repent bitterly

and, weeping and full of contrition, beg forgiveness.  He should

declare himself a fallen wretch, in need of that devotee's grace.

A devotee is very merciful; his heart will soften and he will

embrace the offender, thus exonerating him from his offenses.

Concluded Thakura Haridasa, "I offer this explanation of the

first of ten nama-aparadhas at Your lotus feet."

One who is like a bumble-bee lingering the lotus feet of

Srila Haridasa Thakura will find his life and soul in this

Harinama Cintamani.




All glories to Lord Sri Gauranga, the life of Sri Gadadhara

Pandit; all glories to Lord Nityananda, the heart of Srimati

Jahnavadevi; all glories to Sri Advaita Acarya, the Lord of

Mother Sita; all glories to all the devotees of Lord Caitanya.

Srila Haridasa Thakura continued speaking with folded hands:

"O Lord of the Universe, now I pray that You may listen to my

explanation of the second offense against the holy name."

Visnutattva, or the principle of the Supreme Godhead Visnu

    Lord Visnu is the supreme nondual Absolute Truth. Though He is

the   ultimate   lord  of  material  creation,  His  own  form  is

transcendental, being always situated in pure goodness. Lord Krsna

in  Goloka  is  the  original  and supreme form of Visnu. Krsna is

embellished  with  sixty-four extraordinary excellences, and He is

the shelter of all transcendental mellows. Lord Narayana possesses

sixty  of  those  excellences,  and to a lesser degree of fullness

than Him, so do Lord Visnu and the purusvataras.

    [Footnote  1  by  Bhaktivinoda]  Lord  Narayana,  the  Lord of

Vaikuntha,  is Lord Krsna's vilasavigraha or partial expansion. In

Vaikuntha,  the Sankarsana form of Narayana expands as Maha Visnu,

Who  lies in the Causal Ocean. This is the first purusa expansion;

the  next  is Garbodakasayi Visnu, the source of Brahma. He enters

every   universe  as  the  purusvatar.  He  further  expands  as

Ksirodakasayi Visnu, the Supersoul within every living entity.

    	The   three  purusa  expansions  are  known  as  Lord  Visnu.

Ksirodakasayi Visnu is the source of the incarnations like Matsya,

Kurma, etc. All these incarnations are different forms of the same

Visnu  principle  and  are  ornamented  with  sixty transcendental

characteristics.  The  saktyavesvataras are jiva-tattva; in them

the  potency  of the Lord has descended. They are Lord's separated

expansions  or  vibhinnamsa  and  are  exemplified  as Parasurama,

Buddha, Prithu, and so on. [End of footnote 1]

     The Supreme Lord's separated parts or vibhinnamsa are of two

categories.  The ordinary jivas possess only fifty of the Lord's

transcendental characteristics, and these in lesser degree.  But

in the second category of jivas, including the demigods, the same

fifty characteristics are found in full potency.  Additionally,

five more qualities are partially evident in Siva.  These five

qualities are exhibited in full potency only by the Visnu


    Thus  the  Visnu  forms are adorned to the fullest degree with

the  fiftyfive qualities of the demigods. They furthermore display

an extra five qualities for a total of sixty, which are visible to

a degree of absolute fullness in Lord Narayana alone. Siva and the

other  demigods  are  the  Supreme  Lord's  servitors.  Though the

demigods  are superior jivas, the Supreme Lord Visnu is the master

and controller of the jivas and demigods alike.

  - Out of sheer ignorance,

    people equate the Supreme Lord with the demigods

     People who are ignorant of the Visnutattva principle try to

equate the Supreme Lord with the demigods, but Siva and the other

demigods are simply the order carriers of the Supreme Lord Visnu.

    	Mayavadis say that Brahman is really impersonal and formless,

and   that   the   worshipable   forms  of  God  (i.e.  the  three

predominating  deities  of  the  modes  of  goodness,  passion and

ignorance)  are material. But the scriptures unequivocally declare

that Brahma only creates the material world and Siva only destroys

it,  while  Lord  Narayana  or  Lord  Visnu  maintains  everything

eternally,  including Brahma and Siva and their cycles of creation

and  destruction.  Therefore  only  He  is the eternal worshipable

Lord. Whoever worships other demigods and disregards Vasudeva, the

Supreme  Lord  Narayana,  rots  eternally  in the hell of material


     On the basis of the Vedas, some persons, accepting Lord

Visnu as the all-pervading Absolute Truth, argue that since the

Lord is present in all the demigods, the worship of demigods is

equivalent to the worship of Lord Visnu.  This argument is

fallacious.  The scriptures do not support the notion that the

worship of the demigods is the same as the worship of Lord Visnu.

In truth, Lord Visnu's worship accomplishes the worship of all

the demigods.  Hence, separate worship of demigods is not


     The correct interpretation of the Vedic truth is: if

Lord Visnu is omnipresent, then worship of Him is automatically

worship of all the demigods.  By watering the roots, a tree

prospers, but by watering the limbs, leaves and branches, the

tree withers and dies.  Only foolish people who have forgotten

all Vedic principles can commit such a mistake.  They fail to

understand that worship of Lord Visnu is an eternal activity in

pure goodness, beyond the three material modes.

     Due to the advent of Kali Yuga and the contamination of

Mayavada, people disregard the supreme position of Lord Visnu and

worship the demigods independently of Him.  Individual demigods

offer only specific benefits, while the Supreme Lord Visnu alone

can offer all benedictions.  He is the maintainer of everyone.

If only these greedy materialists could realize the advantage of

worshiping Lord Visnu, they would abandon that kind of demigod


    A householder Vaisnava's responsibilities

    The householder Vaisnava should simply worship Krsna in all of

his  duties and not worry about transgressing the Vedic codes. For

example,  in  all  samskaras  from  insemination  (garbhadhana) to

funeral  rites  (antyesthi),  he  should worship Krsna through the

Vedic  mantras.  The real purport of the Vedic injunctions is that

one  should  worship  Visnu and the Vaisnavas directly and worship

the forfathers and demigods by offering them the remnants of Visnu

and Vaisnava worship.

	If on the other hand the householder devotee worships the

demigods or forefathers directly, as is the Mayavadi method, he

commits the second offense to the holy name and is immediately

disqualified from the path of pure bhakti.

	Another dangerous form of this same namaparadha is to

consider demigods like Siva to be separate supreme divinities.

Such polytheism is a heinous offense.  "Lord Visnu is the Supreme

Godhead, but Lord Siva and the other demigods are also individual

supreme godheads"  such thinking is completely wrong.

	One can, however, worship the demigods as gunvataras,

saktyavesvataras or as Lord Visnu's servants.  No one is

independent of the Visnu's control, for He is the Supreme

Controller and master of all energies.  Demigods like Siva,

Brahma, Ganesa and Surya have been invested with the Supreme

Lord's potencies.  Hence, they are powerful.  The Supreme Lord is

one, the rest are His energies.

    	The   householder   devotee   should   abandon  outright  all

materialism in the execution of his duties. He should increase his

mood  of  pure  devotion while satisfying his social and religious

obligations  according  to  the  varnasrama  system.  He should be

convinced  that  just  by  worshiping  Krsna and His devotees, all

results will be attained.

    	[Footnote  2  by  Bhaktivinoda]  Human society should conduct

itself  according to the guidelines of the varnasrama system; such

a  lifestyle is called sanatanadharma or 'eternal religion'. India

is  the  land  of piety (punyabhumi), and the varnasrama religious

system  was  introduced  and  implemented  there by great sages of

yore.  In other countries varnasrama is also present in some form,

though  it never evolved into the perfected socio religious system

that  was  established  in  India.  Human  nature cannot find full

expression nor attain consummation without the social divisions of

varna. [End of footnote 2]

	Even the lowborn outcastes are fully eligible to enter

devotional service to Krsna.  But they must live their lives free

from sin and offenses; they will do that only by submitting to

the duties of householder life prescribed at least for the sudra

class.  Without situating oneself in one of the four varnas,

there is no question of dharma or religious life.  Even those

desiring just their own material welfare respect the customs of


    On  the strength of worshiping Krsna in full surrender, one is

gradually  elevated  through  varnasramadharma  to the platform of

saintliness.  But  if  one  follows  the varnasrama system without

worshiping  Lord Krsna, he is doomed. Every householder is obliged

to  fulfil  his  varnasrama  responsibilities. He should therefore

live  with restraint and accept only what is essential for serving

Lord  Krsna,  and fulfill the formal rules and responsibilities of

his varna. One easily accomplishes all this simply by chanting the

holy  name  and  engaging  in  devotional  service.  Moreover, one

attains  bhava  or  spiritual  ecstacy  by  these  same devotional

practices.   With   the   advent  of  bhava,  one  transcends  the

jurisdiction of rules and regulations.

    	As long as one needs a regulated, formal social life, he must

remain  within  the  bounds  of  varnasrama.  But  after the first

stirrings  of  love  of  Godhead with the attainment of bhava, the

jiva's own divine nature becomes apparent: he will then require no

further    inspiration    from    the   external   guidelines   of

varnasramadharma.   The  mood  of  bhava  is  incomprehensible  to

materialistic  persons  because  it  is  transcendentally dynamic,

appearing  in  a  person  by  its  own volition regardless of that

person's  varna  or  asrama.  The Vaisnava householder who follows

this    path    of    Krsna    conscious   varnasramadharma   with

singlemindedness,   shunning   the  Mayavadi  contamination,  thus

transcends the limits of varna and asrama.

    Lord  Visnu's  name  and qualities are not different from Him;

lack  of  this  knowledge  is  namabhasa  Lord Visnu's name, form,

qualities  and so on should never be viewed as being separate from

the  Lord  Himself.  He is nondual (advayatattva); as the complete

whole, He is the Supreme Absolute. If due to ignorance someone has

a  dualistic  concept of God, he can at best rise to the namabhasa

stage  of  chanting, but he will never reach prema. Then again, if

he  can  get  the  mercy  of  a bona fide spiritual master and can

overcome  his  anarthas,  he  will  attain  the  pure  name by the

progressive clearing process.

     [Footnote  3  by  Bhaktivinoda]  Selfopinionated philosophers

fall  into  duality  when they try to conceptualize God with their

tiny  brains.  Imposing  duality  upon  Lord Visnu is an offensive

tendency that is very difficult to overcome. Mayavadi philosophers

propose  that  Brahman  is  formless and impersonal, and that Lord

Visnu's  name,  form  etc  are  all products of illusion; with the

lifting  of  the  veil  of  illusion, they expect to perceive Lord

Visnu  as  impersonal Brahman and nothing more. But such arguments

are  foolish  and  nihilistic.  The  Mayavadi viewpoint stems from

madness and a stubborn ignorance of the fact that the Supreme Lord

is endowed with omnipotency. 'Omnipotent Brahman' is verily a name

for the Supreme Person, Lord Visnu. [End of footnote]

    	The  intelligence  of  the  Mayavadi philosopher is extremely

demented.  Seeing  that  the  material existence is variegated, he

concludes  that  the  spiritual  existence,  being opposite to the

material realm, must be void. This incomplete, immature theorizing

leads  him  to  imagine  Brahman as dry and impersonal. In its

original  state, Brahman has a name, form, qualities, pastimes and

so on but the Mayavadi is incapable of accepting this truth. If he

would  accept  it,  Brahman would appear before him as Lord Visnu.

  Mayavada  is  the  wretched condition of human existence, and the

pure  devotee  is  the scourge of this mischievious philosophy. He

establishes the correct scriptural viewpoint that the Supreme Lord

is nondifferent from His name, form, pastimes and qualities. 	

  Nirvisesa and Savisesa Visnu versus the Mayavadi notion of Brahman

    	Both  the  personal  and  impersonal features are inherent in

Lord  Visnu's divine Being. The Lord's acintyasakti (inconceivable

potency) harmoniously displays His personal and impersonal aspects

(savisesa,  with  variety,  and  nirvisesa,  without variety). The

Supreme  One,  by  His acintyasakti, exhibits allattractive beauty

and  pastimes  that  silence  all contradictory speculations about


      Human  intelligence  is  limited  and puny. It cannot easily

fathom  the  Lord's  inconceivable  potency. So when a human being

tries to conceive of a supreme truth with his inadequate brain, he

can only come as far as the impersonal Brahman, which is a partial

representation  of  the Absolute Whole. In this way he is diverted

from the supreme goal of worship, Lord Visnu, whose lotus feet are

worshiped  even  by the great demigods. Ignorant of the benefit he

has  lost,  he  becomes  attached  to  the  worship  of impersonal

Brahman.  But  anyone who comprehends the transcendental nature of

the  name, form and qualities of the Supreme Lord, knowing them to

be  not  different from Him, can perceive Lord Krsna in His divine

fullness by chanting His holy name purely.

	Duality exists only on the material plane  here a name is

different from the object it identifies.  But as this is not the

case on the spiritual platform, it is a gross blunder to imagine

such a difference between the Lord and His name, form, qualities

and so on.  The same pitfall entraps those who consider Siva and

other demigods to be independent of the Supreme Lord's control.

   Why devotees do not mix with Mayavadis

    	The  devotee  who  has taken singleminded shelter in the holy

name  is  a truly elevated soul. He worships Krsna and no one else

as  the  Supreme  Lord.  He  does  not attack the deities of other

scriptures,  but  worships  and respects them as servitors of Lord

Krsna.  He  always  refrains  from dry speculation. When different

scriptures  try to establish the superiority of other demigods, it

is  only  to  facilitate  the  limited  ability  of  a  particular

mentality  to  grasp  the  absolute  truth.  These  scriptures are

actually  trying  to elevate their followers to become devotees of

Krsna.  Therefore  one should never criticize other scriptures and

the demigods described therein, for such criticism is an offense.

    A  devotee should not accept remnants of food or garlands from

a  Mayavadi,  even  if  they were offered to Lord Visnu, because a

Mayavadi's  worship  is  impure. A Mayavadi's chanting of the holy

name  is likewise offensive. The Lord never accepts the Mayavadi's

offerings  or  worship.  It  is also an offense for the devotee to

accept garlands and other remnants of demigod worship, for this is

detrimental  to the development of pure devotion. But if a devotee

worships  Krsna  and  offers His remnants to the demigods, it will

not  be  offensive  to  receive  these  remnants,  nor  will one's

spiritual development be hampered in any way.

	A pure devotee must always avoid the second offense to the

holy name and chant the name constantly.  Thus he attains prema.

His entire success is found in the holy name.

    The remedy for the offense

	Illusion and madness blind the jiva, and thus he thinks that

others are also on the same platform as Lord Visnu.  The only

remedy is to repent intensely and meditate on Lord Visnu, Krsna,

for by this remembrance all offenses are dissolved.  Thereafter,

one must meticulously avoid committing the same offense again.

	Remembrance of the Lord is the most effective penance; the

Vedas always recommend imperiled brahmanas to meditate upon the

lotus feet of Lord Visnu for protection.  Remembering the Lord's

name is the same as meditating upon His lotus feet.  The holy

name can disperse all previous offenses, for it acts as the

devotee's best friend.  The Lord is an ocean of mercy and

forgiveness. Like a dear friend, he forgives one for previous


	In conclusion, the devotee must disassociate himself from

demigod worshippers and polytheists and seek the company of

Vaisnavas who exclusively worship Krsna as their Supreme Lord.

	One who is blessed with love and devotion and takes pleasure

in serving Srila Haridas Thakura's lotus feet will find this book

Harinama Cintamani as valuable as life itself.




     All glories to Sri Pancatattva and Sri Sri RadhaMadhava.

All glories to Navadwipadhama, Vrajadhama, Jamunadevi and all

the Vaisnava devotees.

	Srila Haridasa Thakura said, "O Lord, kindly allow me to

explain the third namparadha.  This aparadha is to disobey the

orders of the spiritual master and thus to disrespect him."

    	The  soul  travels through many lifetimes in different bodies

and  at  last  gets  a  chance  at  the rare human birth, which is

auspicious   in  every  respect.  The  soul  has  rotated  through

8,400,000   different   species,   It   is   by  ajnatasukriti  or

unintentional  pious  activities  that  the soul finally attains a

human  body.  A  birth in the human form is most uncommon, because

only  in  that  body are spiritual activities possible to perform,

unlike any other species.

	A demigod or denizen of the heavenly planets is destined

only to enjoy the reactions of his past good karma. He cannot

voluntarily initiate any spiritual activities.  Animals are

likewise bound by karmic reactions and are too steeped in gross

ignorance to undertake any pious activities independently.  The

human birth alone is most conducive for spiritual life and

service to the Supreme Lord.

    A  spiritual  master  is  essential  for everyone Yet the fact

remains  that  this  body  is transient. If one does not carefully

endeavor  for  selfrealization, which is the greatest benediction,

then  he returns again to the endless cycle of birth and death. An

intelligent  person  will therefore utilize this rare opportunity.

He  will  search  out  a  spiritual master who can lead him to the

Supreme Lord Krsna.

    	[Footnote  1  by Bhaktivinoda] Such a spiritual master is the

only  helmsman who can help the drowning jiva get across the ocean

of  material nescience. Only the most foolish persons will attempt

to  cross this ocean by their own intelligence. The achievement of

any  success  in  this  world  requires  the  help  of a teacher's

instructions. How, then, will one obtain perfection in the best of

all  subjects, spiritual science, without the aid of a teacher? He

is  who  fit  to teach this science is he who is self realized and

fully proficient in Krsna consciousness. [End of footnote 1]

    	A  few of the characteristics of a bona fide spiritual master

are  that he is peaceful, unperturbed and a pure devotee of Krsna.

 He should be approached with humility. The jiva should satisfy

him  with  service and receive from him formal initiation into the

worship of Lord Krsna. Herein lies his best chance to surmount the

material  entanglement.  The  jiva's  inherent love for Krsna lies

dormant  in  the  heart  and  can easily be revived by a qualified

spiritual master.

    But   the  jiva  can  just  as  easily  lose  this  chance  by

challenging  the  spiritual master through speculative debates and

mischievious  logic. He must evade such pitfalls, surrender to the

spiritual master's instructions and receive the proper mantra from

him.  As  for householders, they should take shelter of a bonafide

spiritual master and remain within the varnasrama system.

  A good brahmana is fit to be a spiritual master

    	A  brahmana is fit to be a spiritual master for all the other

varnas  or social orders as long as he is a devotee of Lord Krsna.

But  if  a  brahmana  spiritual  master  is  not  available then a

spiritual  master  from  another  varna should be searched out. If

there is a choice, the householder would be best advised to accept

initiation from a spiritual master in the brahmanavarna.

     A real spiritual master is one who is conversant with the

science of Krsna consciousness.  A spiritual master can be from

any varna or asrama, but he must be a kalpataru or touchstone

that can fulfill the spiritual needs of people from all varnas

and asramas.  He must be able to give the jiva suddharati (pure

attraction) for Krsna.

	The prestige of having a spiritual master from a superior

varna is a material consideration, because that prestige simply

depends on the caste status of the one who judges the spiritual

master's caste.  The factor of caste rarely has any bearing on

spiritual realization.

    	Necessity  demands  that one must find a spiritual master who

is  bonafide  and  qualified.  If he happens to belong to a higher

varna,  so much the better. A householder may look for a spiritual

master  from  a higher varna, and if he finds one who is qualified

then he need not look for one from a lower varna. It must be noted

well, though, that in looking for a 'high class' spiritual master,

one  should  not  choose  an  unqualified  person  simply  for the

prestige of having a spiritual master from a higher varna.

   A renunciate should accept a sannyasaguru

    	If  a  householder  leaves  home  to  embrace  the  life of a

renunciate  but  has not yet been satisfactorally trained in Krsna

consciousness, he naturally requires a qualified spiritual master.

For  one  who is determined to renounce, a spiritual master in the

sannyasa  order  is  best.  By  receiving  spiritual  guidance and

initiation  from  a sannyasaguru, the renunciate will very quickly

relish  the  ecstacy  of  chanting  the  holy  name.

    If  the  householder  previously  had  a  qualified  spiritual

master, he should not, when planning to renounce householder life,

disrespect  or  neglect  that  guru.  Indeed,  while  he is in the

grhasthsrama,  the  householder  is  advised  to take shelter of a

householder  guru who is qualified and pure. That spiritual master

should always be honored.

    	But  if such a householder spiritual master is not available,

one  can  take  initiation  from  a qualified sannyasi even before

leaving home. In any case, the spiritual master must be qualified.

Under  his  instructions,  the  neophyte  householder begins Krsna

consciousness  and gradually advances to experience transcendental

loving emotions in the service of the Lord.

    Only  when  the  neophyte  householder  develops  distaste for

material  life is he ready to become a sannyasi. This is a natural

development  of  the  practice of Krsna consciousness. Once he has

actually  renounced sense gratification, he is obliged to accept a

sannyasi  spiritual  master.  He  must  be  trained in the life of

renunciation from the sannyasaguru and accept from him the clothes

or vesa of a mendicant.

    Both diksaguru and siksaguru must be equally respected

     There are two kinds of spiritual masters: the initiating

spiritual master or diksaguru, and the instructing spiritual

master or siksaguru.  Both gurus have to be respected equally.

This is the key to success in Krsna consciousness.

    	The diksaguru initiates his disciple into the chanting of the

holy   name   and   gives   diksamantra.   The  siksaguru  imparts

sambandhajnana  or  the  knowledge of the jiva's relationship with

the  Supreme  Lord  and his energies. The diksaguru is one but the

siksaguru can be many. In fact, all the pure Vaisnava devotees who

benedict  the world by distributing the holy name are siksa gurus.

Both  the  diksaguru  and  the  many  siksagurus are to be equally


  - The Vaisnava sampradayas

	The four Vaisnava disciplic successions (sampradayas) are

the only real schools of saintly teachers.  These sampradayas

have since days of yore disseminated the bona fide mantras, the

proper scriptural conclusions, the authorized devotional process

and the ultimate goal of life.  If one wants to be saved from the

perils of false doctrines, then he should surrender to a saintly

spiritual master from one of the four Vaisnava schools.

    	The   teachings  left  by  the  founderacaryas  of  the  four

sampradayas  are  to  be  especially  honored.  Sri  Ramanuja, Sri

Madhavacarya,  Sri  Nimbarkacarya, and Sri Visnuswami are the four

original  acaryas  of the Vaisnava schools. One should accept only

their teachings and conclusions and not others. One should receive

spiritual  initiation  in  one  of  these four sampradayas and not

others.  The founderacarya is the principal siksaguru. The

founderacarya  of  the  sampradaya is the principal siksa guru for

the  entire disciplic succession. Speculations that contradict his

teachings  are  to be immediately rejected. Only a saintly devotee

who  has  understood  the  teachings of the principal siksaguru is

eligible  to  be a diksaguru for others. If one thinks that he can

be  initiated  by  an  unauthorized  guru or a Mayavadi into these

teachings,   he   errs   severely.  He  will  never  attain  Krsna


  One should accept only a pure devotee as his spiritual master.

     He who imparts wrong teachings and he who receives them are

both destined for hell.  One who has accepted teachings and

conclusions outside the line of pure bhakti has wasted his life.

How then can such a person become a spiritual master?  How can he

save other conditioned souls?  He himself is in illusion and is

therefore imperfect, so how can he bring good fortune to others?

One must understand that a pure devotee is not an ordinary soul.

The scriptures declare that only he is eligible to be worshipped

as the spiritual master.

   The principle of the spiritual master

    The  diksaguru  and the siksaguru are both intimate associates

of  Lord  Krsna.  They are eternally situated in the Vraja mood of

service, and they are manifestations of Lord Krsna's own energy.

	[Footnote 2 by Bhaktivinoda] Never make the mistake of

judging the guru as an ordinary mortal.  The spiritual master is

the representitive of Lord Krsna's potencies, sent by the Lord as

the eternal master of the disciples.  He must always be worshiped

as an eternal associate of the Supreme Lord, empowered by the

Lord's superior spiritual potency.

    	On  the  other  hand,  the  spiritual  master  must  never be

considered  to  be  the Supreme Lord Himself, for this is Mayavadi

philosophy  and is not in line with the pure Vaisnava conclusions.

The  Vaisnava  devotees  are  very wary of such misinterpretations

because   the   Mayavadi   whirlpool   of   word  jugglery  is  so

contaminating  to  the  heart. The spiritual master must always be

worshiped  according  to  the  scriptural  conclusions,  for  when

properly   executed,   this   worship   results   in   pure  Krsna

consciousness. [End of footnote 2]

       Gurupuja and how to respect the spiritual master

    Before  one  can  worship  Krsna,  he  must  first worship the

spiritual  master.  While  doing  gurupuja,  upacaras  like  seat,

footwash,  arghya,  bath,  cloth,  ornaments  and  so on are to be

offered; then with the spiritual master's permission one may begin

worship  of  RadhaKrsna  vigraha. The Deity's prasadam is given to

the  spiritual  master  first,  then  to  the  demigods  and  n

forfathers.  Just as the disciple is required to get the spiritual

master's  blessings before worshipping RadhaKrsna, before chanting

the  holy  name  the disciple should remember the spiritual master

and his instructions.

    One  who  disrespects  the  spiritual master commits a serious

offense that will expel him from the path of bhakti. The spiritual

master, Lord Krsna, and the Vaisnavas must be worshiped with equal

attention.  Undeviating faith in the spiritual master will lead to

pure chanting and the final goal of Krsnaprema.

    When to reject a guru

     If by some misfortune the spiritual master falls into bad

association, he may gradually lose his spiritual realization and

potency.  At the time the disciple accepted him, the guru was

exalted, famous and greatly realized.  But offenses against the

holy name are so dangerous that even a highly qualified soul

becomes bewildered.  In that condition he comes to detest

Vaisnava company and the chanting of the holy name. Gradually, he

is enslaved by lust, greed, wealth and women.  If by the mercy of

Lord Krsna the disciple sees through all this, he must reject

that guru, seek out a pure devotee and under his spiritual

guidence cultivate the pure chanting of the holy name.

   The spiritual master must be strict

    	The  spiritual  master  must be strict with his disciples. He

must  straighten  out  the prospective disciples before initiating

them,  and  punish the wayward initiated ones. This is the symptom

of  a responsible spiritual master. A disciple's spiritual life is

rendered  useless if he serves and worships a slack, irresponsible

guru. But as long as the relationship between the spiritual master

and  the  disciple  is  stable (i.e. each remains qualified in his

position) then there is no question of one rejecting the other.

    The  gurudisciple  relationship  is  eternal. If both maintain

their pure positions and are bona fide, their eternal relationship

is  never  jeapordized.  However, if the spiritual master is later

exposed  as  perfidious,  the  disciple must immediatley repudiate

him.  The  same  is  to  be  done  by  the spiritual master if the

disciple  is  similarly exposed. If such repudiation is not is not

carried  out by both parties when it is necessary, then they stand

to be condemned.

   A spiritual master must be tested before acceptance

   to insure that he is a pure devotee

     One who disrespects the bona fide pure Vaisnava spiritual

master is a reprobate fit to be shunned by all.  It is advisable,

therefore, that before accepting a spiritual master one should

carefully choose the right person.  Basically, the spiritual

master must be a pure devotee of the Lord.

    	[Footnote  3  by  Bhaktivinoda] The scriptures recommend that

both  the spiritual master and the disciple place each other under

strict  scrutiny  before  mutual acceptance. This, then, precludes

the  acceptance  of  a  kulaguru  or  traditional  family guru. Of

course,   if  the  kulaguru  is  qualified,  it  is  of  immediate

convenience to accept him; but if he is not, a pure devotee should

be searched out and taken as one's spiritual master.

	Since even ordinary household items are tested before

acquisition, it is only an unfortunate fool who will fail to go

through a testing period in the selection of the his true

spiritual master, who is his ever wellwisher.  The unqualified

kulaguru, after he is offered due respect and worship, should be

requested to release the disciple from all duties of allegiance.

Having abandoned his connection to the family guru, the genuine

aspirant then must seek out a qualified spiritual master.

	The point is that one must not bring upon himself the

calamity of having to reject his spiritual master.  If one is

prudent then he can avoid such a situation.  One must be very

careful not to commit any offense against a pure devotee guru.

This is so disasterous it will ruin both men and demigods alike.

[End of footnote 3]

    How to serve the spiritual master

     Never disrespect the articles used by the spiritual master:

for instance, his seat, bed, shoes, vehicle, footstool, bath

water, etc. Stepping on his shadow, worshipping another person in

his presence, giving initiation while he is still alive, showing

off spiritual knowledge in his presence and trying to control him

are to be totally rejected.

	Whenever and wherever one sees his spiritual master, he

should offer his prostrated obeisances to him with prayers.  The

guru's name must be uttered with great reverence.  His orders are

never to be disobeyed.  Always be eager to honor his remnants and

do not say anything that is displeasing to him.  Fall humbly at

his feet and beg shelter from him and in this way act to please

him.  Simply by behaving thusly, one can easily develop a taste

for chanting, which in turn offers all perfection.  All this is

confirmed in the Vedas.  But if one offends the namaguru, the

spiritual master who initiates one into the chanting of the holy

name of the Lord, he will surely fall into the sinful company of


    	[Footnote  4 by Bhaktivinoda] The namaguru teaches scriptural

conclusions  and reveals the esoteric nature of the holy name, and

he  initiates  the  disciple  in the mantra consisting of the holy

name.  The Vaisnava diksaguru is the namaguru, and the diksamantra

is  namatmika,  receiving  its life from the holy name. The mantra

loses  its  meaning  and  purpose if it is separated from the holy

name,  and  conversely,  simply  by  uttering the holy name of the

Lord, the mantra is automatically chanted. [End of footnote 4].

     The remedy for guruavajna

    The  only  way  to  be pardoned for this offense is to forsake

sinful  company,  cast  away  blasphemous  literatures  and  throw

oneself at the spiritual master's lotus feet, repenting piteously.

As  a  compassionate Vaisnava, the spiritual master will surely be

forgiving  and  bestow  prema  upon  the disciple through the holy


     I, the wretched author of Harinama Cintamani, am a sinner.

My only hope of redemption is the dust of the lotus feet of

Haridasa Thakura.




     All glories to Srila Gadadhara Pandit, Sri Caitanya

Mahaprabhu, Sri Nityananda Prabhu, Sri Advaita Acarya and all the

devotees of Lord Gouranga.

     Srila Haridasa Thakura said, "My Lord!  To criticize the

Vedic literature and other literatures in pursuance of the Vedic

version is a serious offense that denies a person the ecstacy of

pure devotion."

     The Veda (sruti) is the only proof

     The srutisastra (the Vedic literature), which includes the

four Vedas, the Upanisads, the Puranas and other collorary

scriptures, has emanated from the Supreme Lord Krsna's own lips.

This literature establishes and proves the Absolute Truth.  It

contains transcendental knowledge that is beyond the range of the

material senses, and it can be understood by Lord Krsna's grace


	The senses are capable of experiencing only material

objects; transcendence lies completely beyond their bounds.  The

science of Krsna consciousness is purely spiritual: hence it is

transcendental.  That knowledge of transcendence has been

mercifully given by Lord Krsna in the Vedic literature for the

ultimate benefit of humanity.  The word veda specifically refers

to scriptural knowledge received through the proper authorized

disciplic succession or parampara.

     Human beings are born with four natural faults: they commit

errors, they are subject to illusion, they have the propensity to

cheat, and they have imperfect senses.  Everything they do is

tainted by these faults.  Vedic literature is free from any

mistakes or discrepancies. It is the only means to spiritual

salvation.  The Vedic knowledge was originally revealed by the

mercy of Lord Krsna. It was compiled by sages who had received

this knowledge while in samadhi, or total spiritual absorbtion,

far beyond the range of the four natural human faults.

    The sruti teaches ten principles

    The  Vedic  literature  teaches  that  both  mundane  fruitive

activities (karma) and empirical speculative knowledge (jnana) are

inferior  paths.  The  conclusion  is that perfection is available

only   through   bhakti.  The  Lord  gives  karma  and  jnana  for

preliminary  purification  of the jivas, and afterwards gives pure

bhakti.   	In   the  Vedic  literature  there  are  ten  principle

instructions.  The  first  is that the proof or basis (pramana) of

real  knowledge  is  the  sruti.  The  other  nine  principles are

prameyas  ascertained  from  the  pramana.  These  ten  principles

destroy nescience and establish true spiritual knowledge. The nine

ascertainable  principles:  the  first  three pertain to Krsna The

first  of  the  nine  prameyas  is  that  Hari, Krsna, is the only

Supreme  Absolute  Truth. The second is that He is omnipotent. The

third  is  that  He  is Rasamurti, the embodiment of all spiritual

mellows.  He is the source of bliss for all living entities and He

eternally  resides  in His abode in the spiritual sky. These first

three teaching pertain to the Supreme Lord, Krsna.

    The second three pertain to the position of the jiva

    The  fourth  prameya  is that the jiva is the Lord's separated

part  and parcel. The jivas are the infintesimal eternal spiritual

sparks  of  pure consciousness who comprise the innumerable living

entities.  The  jiva  is  of two types: eternally conditioned, who

populate the material world, and eternally liberated, who populate

the spiritual world.

	The fifth prameya is that the conditioned souls are enamored

by the glitter of maya's illusory potency. They have forgotten

Krsna and remain eternally in this phenomenal world, enjoying and

suffering material existence.

	The sixth prameya is that the eternally liberated jivas are

associates of Lord Krsna.  They reside in the spiritual world and

enjoy transcendental loving relationships with the Lord.  These

three, then, are the teachings about the jiva found in the sruti.

    The seventh prameya is acintyabhedabhedasambandha

    Everything   material   and   spiritual  is  acintyabhedabheda

sambandha (simultaneously one and different). The jivas and matter

are  inconceivably  manifested from Lord Krsna's internal potency.

Once knowing acintyabhedabhedatattva, the jiva understands that he

is  the  servant  of  Krsna  and  is  like the spark or ray of the

spiritual sun that is Krsna.

	The transformations of the Lord's energy are beyond the

mind's grasp (acintya), says the sruti. But the socalled

transformations of the Supreme Lord Himself that the Mayavadis

would like to have us all believe in are only mischievious and

offensive postulations.

    Thus,  so  far,  the  above  seven prameyas comprise sambandha

jnana  or knowledge of the eternal connection between the Lord and

his  energies. The sruti further points out abhideya, which is the

means   to  acheive  prayojana,  the  supreme  goal.  Abhideya  is

devotional  service  The  nine  limbs  of  devotional service are:

hearing,  chanting,  remembering,  worshiping,  praying, rendering

service,  carrying  out  the orders of the Lord, being a friend of

the  Lord and completely surrendering to the Lord. The chanting of

the  holy  name is the most important devotional activity, and for

this  reason  the  Vedas  glorify the chanting of the syllable om.

Devotional  service  (sadhanabhakti) has two divisions: vaidhi and

raga.  Abhideya,  the  ninefold  process  of sadhanabhakti, is the

eighth prameya.

  - Prayojana is Krsnaprema

     By the mercy of Lord Krsna, the jiva who takes shelter of

abhideya will attain Krsnaprema or love of Godhead.  Krsna prema

is the prayojana (necessity and ultimate goal) of the jiva; it is

the ninth prameya.

    	[Footnote  1  by  Bhaktivinoda] Pure devotion is indicated by

the human proclivity to always render favorable devotional service

to  Krsna.  Such  devotion  strives only for further excellence in

service,  being  satisfied  with  nothing  else.  Pure devotion is

uncontaminated  by  fruitive  activity or empirical knowledge. The

Vedic  literature  recommends  that  we cultivate pure devotion by

taking full shelter of the holy name. [End of footnote 1]

     These nine basic principles were ascertained from the sruti

by learned spiritual masters who taught them for the guidance of

all conditioned souls.  But those who criticize the sruti, the

very source of spiritual knowledge, are offenders against the

holy name and are known as the lowest among men.

   Philosophers who opposed the sruti

    Jaimini,  Kapila,  Nagna,  Carvaka,  Sugata Buddha and Gautama

were  philosophers  who propagated theories based on mundane logic

and  reasoning. Some of them did some lip service to the teachings

of  the  sruti, but they all rejected God. Jaimini proclaimed that

the  best  knowledge  the  sruti  has  to  offer  is  the fruitive

ritualistic  portion  known  as  karmakanda. Kapila dared to argue

that  God  is  imperfect.  He  accepted  the  process of yoga, but

without  understanding  its  real  goal  realization of Paramatma.

Nagna  spread  poison by teaching tantric practices in the mode of

ignorance.  Carvaka  Nastika was an atheist who never accepted the

Vedic  authority,  and  Sugata devised his own path of religion in

place  of  the sruti. Gautama propagated logic and did not worship

the Supreme Lord.

    These   mischievious  interpretations  are  in  fact  offenses

against  the  Vedic literature. Through sophism, such philosophers

speak halftruths that are likely to confuse the ordinary listener,

though  a learned devotee knows their sole object is to defame the

sruti.  One  who  develops  faith  in  these  theories  becomes an

offender.  Therefore  the  devotee  avoids  hearing them.  	The

Mayavadi  philosophy  is  equally  as  dangerous, for it supresses

bhakti  in the heart of the jiva. Mayavadi philosophy is factually

camouflaged  Buddhism. On the Lord's behest, Siva became its chief

proponent  in  the  Kaliyuga.  As  Jaimini  seemingly upheld Vedic

authority but practically propounded a warped version of the Vedic

conclusions,  similarly Mayavadi philosophers pervert Vedic proofs

to  establish  their covert Buddhism. Thus they hide the essential

message of the sruti, which is the science of devotional service.

    Astavakra,  Dattatreya,  Govinda,  Gaudapada, Sankaracarya and

his  followers  are  wellknown Mayavadi philosophers. In Buddhism,

the  principal teaching is the nonexistence of the soul, and there

is no concept of Brahman. The theory of nothingness, the last word

in  Buddhism, is rendered by the Mayavadis into the concept of the

formless,  impersonal  Brahman  which they argue is beyond matter.

Such  ideas diametrically oppose the eternal science of devotional

service.  Any  affiliation  with such thoughts automatically makes

the jiva commit namaparadha.


   The direct meaning is the real meaning

    When  all the principle understandings of the Vedic philosophy

are  brought  together,  they add up to pure devotional service by

which  the  jiva  attains  pure  love  of  Godhead.  Wherever  the

principle understandings are applicable, it is wrong to substitute

secondary  understandings in their place. These principle meanings

all  indicate  the science of Krsna consciousness. To artificially

impose  secondary meanings upon the Vedic statements is a sin that

distances one from the Absolute Truth.

    	From   beginning   to   end,  the  srutisastra  expounds  the

superexcellence of the syllable om. The omkara is a name of Krsna,

and  by  chanting  the  Lord's  name,  the jiva attains the Lord's

supreme  abode.  The Vaisnava devotees of the Sri Sampradaya chant

om  as a holy name of the Lord. The Vedas declare the holy name to

be  the  trancendental  form  of the Supreme Lord in this material

world;  even  namabhasa,  the  holy  name's indistinct appearance,

grants  all  perfection.  Only unfortunate fools will purposefully

disregard  such  Vedic  teachings  and  thus  ruin  their lives by


    The sruti teaches pure chanting of the holy name

     The devotee who takes shelter of the pure name accepts the

absolute authority of the Vedas, and quickly attains the nectar

of the name, Krsnaprema.  The sruti proclaims that by chanting

the holy name of Hari, one experiences ecstatic bliss.  Further,

it is declared that the eternally liberated residents of the

spiritual sky are always engaged in chanting the pure name.

    Mayadevi engages the presentday critics of the sruti in sinful practices

    As  Kaliyuga  degrades, more and more people worship maya, the

material   energy.  Even  socalled  great  devotees  give  up  the

opportunity  to chant the Supreme Lord Krsna's holy name, which is

full  of  ecstacy, and instead take up tantric worship in the mode

of  ignorance.  Evercritical  of the Vedic literature, they swerve

from  the  real  path  of  religion to eat meat, drink alcohol and

perform other sinful activities. These offenders can never receive

the  shelter  of  the  name, nor can they enter the Supreme Lord's

eternal abode of Vrndavana.

     Mayadevi   engages  such  atheists  in  everincreasing  sin,

depriving  them  of  the  nectar  of  chanting  the holy name. The

superior  spiritual  energy  is Lord Krsna's original and primeval

energy.  Maya  (Durga,  Kali)  is  its shadow. Her intention is to

rectify  the erring jivas who drift away from Krsna and bring them

back to Krsna consciousness. Indeed, this is her prime duty to the


     [Footnote  2  by  Bhaktivinoda:]  Maya  showers two kinds of

graces   niskapata   (honest   and   unrestricted)   and  sakapata

(capricious and illusory). By her niskapata mercy she gives bhakti

by  way  of  jnana  (bhaktijnanamisra).  Her  sakapata mercy gives

temporary  pleasures  that  overwhelm the jiva, bringing him under

the control of illusion. And when she is thoroughly merciless, she

casts the jiva into brahmasayuja liberation; thus he is doomed.

        But she becomes pleased when someone renders service to a

saintly Vaisnava, and showers him with her true mercy, connecting

him to Lord Krsna's lotus feet.  Maya is an eternal maidservant

of Lord Krsna.  She punishes the wayward jivas who drift away

from Krsna's service, for those who want to serve maya are simply

cheaters who can never know happiness.  Yet Mayadevi rewards

those who chant the holy name. She helps them cross over the

ocean of material nescience. [End of footnote 2]

   The remedy for srutininda

	One must avoid commiting the offense of criticizing the

Vedic scriptures and constantly chant the holy name.  If one

inadvertently criticizes the sruti, he should sincerely repent

his error by properly glorifying the sruti.  He should worship

the Vedic literature and the Srimad Bhagavatam with great joy and

respect, offering them flowers and tulasi.  The Srimad Bhagavatam

is the essence of the Vedic teachings and is the scriptural

incarnation of Lord Krsna.  The Bhagavatam will certainly shower

mercy upon the offender, because the Bhagavatam is an ocean of


	One who hankers for the dust of the lotus feet of Srila

Haridasa Thakur will wear this gem necklace called Harinama

Cintamani around his neck.





      All glories to Lord Gauranga and Srila Gadadhara Pandita;

all glories to Sri Sri Radha Madhava.  All glories to the places

of Lord Gauranga's pastimes and all the Vaisnava devotees of the


      "O Lord Gauranga!  The fifth namaparadha is to think that

the glories of the holy name are exaggerated, as for example when

one thinks, 'The scriptural presentation of the glories of the

Lord's holy name is not entirely true, because hyperbole has been

employed to increase the readers' faith in the chanting of the


	It is a fact that in the karmakanda and jnanakanda

sections of the Vedas, ritualism and philosophical speculation

have been overly praised. Such praises are intended to elicit

interest in these processes.  But the same is not true in the

case of the holy name. Therefore to think so is an abominable


   The glories of the holy name

    The  Puranas  (smritisastras)  say  that anyone who chants the

holy  name,  whether  with faith or neglect, attracts the mercy of

Lord  Krsna.  The holy name is the purest form of knowledge; it is

the  best  of  all  vratas  or vows and the highest meditation; it

gives the most auspicious fruits; it is the greatest renunciation;

it  gives  incomparible peace; it is the most pious of holy works;

it  is  the  supreme  path  of selfrealization; it is the greatest

liberation and goal; it is the topmost destination; it is the best

devotional service; it is the purest inclination; it gives love of

Godhead  and  is the essence of remembrance of the Lord; it is the

cause  of  all  causes, the Supreme Absolute Truth; it is the most

worshippable object and acts as the supreme spiritual master.

      'A thousand names of Lord Visnu is equal to one name of

Lord Rama, and three names of Lord Rama are equal to one name of

Lord Krsna': thus the holy name's transcendental nature is ever

glorified in the scriptures.

   One goes to hell for thinking the the glories

    of the name are exaggerated

    Only  a hardened atheist thinks that the passages of the sruti

and  smriti  scriptures describing the superexcellent qualities of

the name contain exaggerations. Whoever commits such an abominable

offense   rots   eternally   in   hell.   Offenders   claim   that

misrepresentations  have  been  made  to  increase  attraction for

chanting.  They  have no idea of the purport of the scriptures and

of  what  is beneficial for humanity, because they take everything


    	Because  they  have  no  reserve of previous pious activities

(bhaktisukrti),  they  can  never  develop faith in the scriptural

science  of devotional service. The chanting of the holy name is z

the  best  form  of devotional service. Without sufficient piety a

person  can neither acquire a taste for chanting nor have adequate

faith  in  its results. Those who are attached to just one section

of  the scriptures (i.e. karmakanda) cannot perceive the essential

meaning  of  the  scriptures. There is no appeal to selfishness in

the methodology of the holy name

      The exaggerations in the karmakanda section of the Vedas

appeal to ambitious materialists.  Concessions to selfishness are

absent from the scriptural presentation of the method of chanting

the holy name in pure devotion.  The scriptures frankly declare

that the results of the karmakanda process are merely transient

sensual enjoyments, whereas the results of chanting the holy name

and engaging in Krsna's service are eternal and permanent.

    	In the chanting of the holy name of the Lord, capriciousness,

cheating  and  exaggeration  are  shunned.  For  instance,  when a

devotee  inspires  someone  to  chant,  he  does  so  without self

interested motives. He engages another in Krsna's service only for

the  pleasure  of  Krsna.  Though  attractive  material results of

chanting the holy name may be mentioned in some scriptures, a pure

devotee pays no heed to them, for he is beyond material desire.

	But the officiator of a ritualistic sacrifice displays

explicit selfishness, for as a matter of course he expects

remuneration.  Since the scriptures declare that chanting begets

unlimited auspicious results, why do such seekers of fruitive

rewards minimize the glories of the holy name?

    The  follower  of  karmakanda is supposed to gradually realize

that  pious  fruitive works, being material, give only unimportant

fruits.  He  should then perform his duties free of self interest.

This  will  purify  his  heart  and  help  him to see the need for

chanting  the  holy  name.  A  purified  heart  strives  for  self

realization and is naturally repelled by material activities.

    Thus the real success of karma kanda, when performed without

material motivation, is attraction for the chanting the holy name

of the Lord.  Pious results that a brahmana could not accrue

anywhere in the entire universe are easily obtained by chanting

Krsna's name.  The supreme position of the chanting of the holy

name cannot be diminished by the envious statements of stubborn

karmis and jnanis.

     Simply by namabhasa chanting one gains all the results of

the paths of karma and jnana.  So if mere namabhasa offers such

wonderful results, then surely the pure name will offer so much

more, unlimitedly.  Therefore, whatever results the scriptures

say are gained from chanting are easily obtainable by the devotee

who is attached to the pure name.

    There is no point in objecting

    to what the Lord Himself has wrought.

    One  who doubts this fact is a sinner who is doomed because of

commiting  namaparadha.  All  the  revealed  scriptures the Vedas,

Ramayana,  Mahabharata,  the  Puranas  and  others are filled with

glorifications of the superexcellence of the holy name. x What can

the  person  who  blatantly disregards this evidence expect? He is

simply  abominable.  The  holy  name  and the Lord Himself are the

same. Krsna personally positioned the chanting of His holy name at

the   very   top   of  all  auspicious  activities.  He  is  fully

independant,  autocratic  and  omnipotent. All processes have come

into  force  due  to  His energy. He invested karma kanda with his

material energy, and jnana kanda with his impersonal energy. Krsna

then invested of His own accord His entire personal potency in the

syllables  of  His  holy  name.  There is no point in objecting to

these arrangements. An intelligent person will therefore carefully

avoid offending the allpowerful name of the Lord.

   The remedy for the arthavada offense

     If this namaparadha is somehow commited, the offender has to

go humbly to the assembly of Vaisnavas and attentively listen to

the narrations of the pastimes and qualities of the Supreme Lord

from the lips of a pure devotee.  Full of remorse, the offender

must admit his transgression against the holy name and beg

forgiveness from the Vaisnavas.  The Vaisnavas are realized in

the glories of the name, and they will mercifuly deliver the

offender from his sins by embracing him.  The offender, now

purified, will be protected from further onslaughts of maya.

    	If  a  devotee  meets  or  even  just  sees  the  face  of an

unrepentent  doubter  of  the  power  of  the holy name, he should

immediatly  plunge  himself,  fully  clothed,  into the Ganges for

purification; if the Ganges is not nearby, he should bathe in some

other  pure water. In the event that this also is not possible, he

should purify himself by bathing mentally.

    One  who takes shelter of the mercy of Krsna's dear companion,

His flute, will be adorned by the glory of Harinama Cintamani.





     All glories to Sri Gadadhara Pandit and Lord Sri Gauranga;

all glories to Lord Nityananda, the life of Srimati Jahnavadevi;

all glories to Sri Advaita Acarya and Mother Sita; all glories to

Srila Srivas Pandit and all the devotees of Lord Caitanya.

   Chanting destroys all anarthas

     Srila Haridasa Thakur continued by explaining that the holy

name is eternally situated in pure goodness. Those jivas who take

shelter of Krsna's holy name are most fortunate, because chanting

soon removes the anarthas from their hearts. Consequently,

hridaya daurbalyam (weakness of heart) disappears.

    	As faith in the Lord's holy name becomes firm, the propensity

to   sin  is  totally  extirpated.  All  previous  sins  are  then

dissolved,  and  the  heart  shines  with  positive purity. Sinful

activities  sprout  from  the seeds of sinful desire in the heart,

and  the  sinful desire seeds are rooted in ignorance; these three

(ignorance,  the  seeds  of  sin  and  sin)  are the source of all

suffering  for  the  conditioned  soul. Not being able to bear the

sufferings  of  His  dependent  parts and parcels, the Lord in His

infinite  compassion  gives  them  help  through  the  process  of

bhaktiyoga  by  which  the lust to enjoy the senses is driven from

their hearts.

    As  one  practices  bhakti, he finds materialistic endeavor to

enjoy   wealth  and  women  repulsive.  He  follows  the  path  of

righteousness,  being  satisfied  in  his  service to the Lord. He

accepts  only  what  is favorable for executing devotional service

and  rejects that which is unfavorable. He has absolute conviction

in  all  situations  that  Lord Krsna is his protector, savior and

maintainer.  He  is  free  from  attachments  to  the body and the

notions  of  'me'  and  'mine.'  In  a  humble  state  of mind, he

constantly  chants  the  holy  name  of the Lord. Such a person is

never again inclined to sinful activities.

    Previous sin and its faint residue are also destroyed

     Chanting gradually diminishes the propensity to sin and

simultaneously purifies the consciousness.  As the inclination to

commit sinful activities vanishes, taste for the holy name

appears, though a faint residue of previous sinful activity still

lingers on in the consciousness.  The receeding sinful reactions

leave an odor of sinful habit (papa gandha), but the chanter's

contact with the name engenders a strength of willpower and a

purity of mind that overcomes this clinging smell of sin.

    Lord  Krsna promised Arjuna that His devotees will never be in

danger  of  destruction. If there are reverses He personally comes

to His devotees' rescue. The devotees' sins are annihilated by the

Lord's  mercy alone. The empirical philosopher or jnani may subdue

his  sins with great efforts and penance, but as soon as he leaves

or  denies  the  shelter of Lord Krsna's lotus feet, he immediatly

falls  down.  The  scriptures testify that whoever simply embraces

the  Lord's  protection is an elevated soul, and his progress will

never be impeded by obstacles.

 There is no need for ritualistic penances or prayascitta

     By chance, a devotee may commit some sin, but still he does

not have to undertake the penance of prayascitta.  Such sins are

a passing phase that will be drowned in the nectar of the holy

name.  The devotee is never lost from the path of pure devotion.

     However, if a devotee again commits another sin, this time

calculating that the strength of holy name will counteract the

reaction, then he is not fixed on the path of pure devotion.

Rather, he is a deceitful person doomed by his offenses to the

holy name.  Scripture affirms that there is a vast differencebetween sin committed due to sudden weakness or mistake and due

to premeditation.

   Just being inclined to this namaparadha is utterly ruinous.

     For karmis, the means to get free of sinful reaction is the

performance of prayascitta in repentence.  But if someone even

contemplates relieving himself of the reaction of deliberate sin

by exploiting the purifying strength of holy name, he is utterly

ruined, and no amount of prayascitta will help him.  Even after

untold retribution in hell, he will not be absolved from this

mental namaparadha.  If just the inclination to commit sin on the

strength of chanting results in such tribulations for the soul,

the fate of one who acts on that inclination is too terrible to


    This namaparadha is inevitable for the cheaters The scriptures

declare  the  holy  name  to  be so potent that it can eradicate a

burden  of  sins  that  even in ten million lifetimes could not be

committed.  Even  the gravest of sins are counteracted just in the

'namabhasa'  stage  of  chanting.  And  that  is precisely why the

cheats  and  charlatans  are attracted to the chanting of the holy

name.  They  forsake the responsibilities of honest labor as being

drudgery  and,  disguised  in the renunciate's attire, travel from

country  to  country,  their  hearts  smoldering  with desires for

wealth  and  women.  Such  persons  are called markata vairagis or

'monkey renunciates'.

    These  unfortunate  fellows dress as sannyasis but nurture the

householder  mentality.  They  are  nothing more than dead weights

upon mother earth and human society and must be avoided. A devotee

who has taken shelter of the holy name can live in any n situation

in  household  life or in the forest as a hermit. If the household

situation  is  conducive to chanting, then the life of a mendicant

is  unnecessary, but if household life is unfavorable, the devotee

is  dutybound  to  forsake  it.  In  either case, it is a terrible

offense  to  commit  sins  on  the  strength  of chanting. Such an

offender is forever banished from the path of devotional service.

    Devotees  in  the  namabhasa  stage of chanting must beware of

such  cheating  company  because  that  company  will have an evil

influence  on  them  they will also fall down into committing this

dreaded  namaparadha. As for those who are chanting the pure name,

they are always free from this namaparadha.

     Pure devotees are free from the ten namaparadhas

    Devotees  who have taken complete shelter of chanting the pure

name  are  never  prone to commit any of the ten namaparadhas. The

holy   name   Himself   protects  these  pure  devotees  who  have

surrendered  themselves  to chanting. But as long as the pure name

has  not  dawned  in  the  heart  of  the  devotee,  he  is always

threatened  by  the  danger  of  commiting  namaparadha. Therefore

devotees  in  the  namabhasa stage have to particularly avoid this

offense of commiting sin on the strength of chanting.

   Vigilance is required in the namabhasa stage

    A devotee must seek the association of pure devotees who chant

the  holy  name  without offense, and he should personally be very

alert  against committing offenses. One who chants the name purely

is  of  fixed mind and consciousness, since he never deviates from

thinking  about  Krsna  for  even a moment. As long as one has not

strengthened  his  chanting  to the point of full surrender to the

holy  name,  he  must  be very vigilant to avoid offenses. He must

especially  guard  against  the  offense  of  commiting sin on the

strength  of  chanting. He should continuously chant the holy name

and  thus  attract  his  spiritual  master's  mercy,  which yields

sambandhajnana.   This  knowledge  reveals  the  science  of  pure

devotion and the pure holy name.

   The remedy for this namaparadha

    If  by  some  error  one commits this namaparadha, one must go

before  an  assembly  of  pure Vaisnavas. The propensity to sin is

like  a  highway  robber,  and  the  pure  devotees  are  like the

guardians of the path who come to one's aid when the someone calls

aloud   for  their  help.  Just  hearing  that  call,  the  robber

immediately  runs  away,  fearing  that  the guards will come. The

guardians,  the  pure  Vaisnavas,  will  console  the devotee with

soothing words and assurances of their protection.

     I, the author of Harinama Cintamani, am a useless wretch. I

recite this composition having taken shelter of the pure Vaisnavas.





     All glories to Lord Sri Gauranga, the life of Sri Gadadhara

Pandit; all glories to Lord Nityananda, the heart of Srimati

Jahnavadevi; all glories to Sri Advaita Acarya, the Lord of

Mother Sita; all glories to Srila Srivasa Pandit and all the

devotees of Lord Caitanya.

     With his hands folded and in a soft voice Srila Haridasa

Thakur said, "Now please hear about another namaparadha".

   Sraddha (faith) is essential for chanting the holy name

    	The  foremost  requirement  for chanting Krsna's holy name is

sraddha  or  firm  faith.  One who is bereft of it cannot hear the

name  and  is  therefore  unfit  to chant. High birth, respectable

family,  knowledge, strength, learning or wealth are not qualities

that  make  a  person  eligible  to chant the name. The scriptures

extol  sraddha  to  be the one indispensible ingredient for proper

chanting.  Lord Krsna's name is the jiva's most valuable treasure.

Faith means to have complete conviction that chanting Lord Krsna's

name  will automatically fulfill all duties and complete all pious

activities.  Those  who  do  not  possess  such faith are unfit to


 It is an offense to instruct the faithless on the holy name

     According to Vaisnava etiquette, a person who does not have

faith in the name should not be initiated into chanting.  If a

faithless person is initiated into chanting or is instructed

about the glories of the holy name, then he will only defile and

neglect the name.  This is the statement of scripture.  The swine

will crush the pearls strewn before it and the monkey will tear

the cloth it is given; the faithless person will likewise

increasingly offend the holy name and thus invite his doom.

Simultaneously, the initiating guru will be dragged down by his

share in these offenses. Very soon, he will be forced off the

path of devotional service.

   What is to be done if a faithless person wants to

   be initated

    The faithless person sometimes slyly comes to the Vaisnavas to

beg  initiation into chanting. The devotee should see through this

pretentious  cheating  and  refuse  him  initation.  The pretender

thinks,  "The  holy  name  of Krsna is the allpurifying agent, and

once  I've  received  the  name  I  will  not  have to worry about

commiting  sins.  Besides,  when  I  chant people will respect and

worship  me  as  a  Vaisnava then I can extract a goodly amount of

service  from  them. The prestige I have lost by my bad deeds will

be regained fully by chanting; such a loss will never occur again.

I  shall  at  last  become  very happy in material life", etc. The

devotee  should  demand  of the pretender his full renunciation of

dishonesty.  To  become  worthy  of  initiation,  he  must at once

neglect  his  desires  for  distinction  and adoration, and should

instead try to develop sraddha for the holy name.

    Only  when  faith in the holy name is present in the heart can

one  be  initiated  into  chanting. The holy name then carries the

chanter across the material ocean of nescience. But as long as one

has  not  developed  sufficient sraddha, he is unfit to chant. One

should  hear the glories of the holy name from a saintly Vaisnava.

Becoming  humble by hearing his instructions, he should cast aside

material  desires  and begin to chant. When the Vaisnava spiritual

master perceives the proper degree of sraddha in the candidate, he

initiates  him  into  the greatest spiritual treasure Krsna's holy

name. But to initiate a faithless person is an abominable offense.

The guru goes to hell if he gives initiation to a faithless person

for remuneration.

    If  the  guru  knows  that a person who has approached him for

initiation  is an insincere, faithless pretender, and yet he still

heedlessly  initiates  this  unfit person out of consideration for

the  material  gain  it  may  bring  him,  he  is  condemned  as a

namaparadhi.  If  the guru was unable to make a correct assessment

and  gave  the candidate initiation only to later discover that he

is a pretender, he must make immediate redress for his mistake.

     The remedy for this namaparadha

    If  it was due to inadvertence and lack of experience that the

mistake of instructing and initiating a faithless person occurred,

the  initiating  spiritual  master  should be filled with fear and

remorse.  He  has  to  publicize  his  offense before the Vaisnava

community and reject that insincere disciple, excommunicating him.

If the guru fails to act promptly, he will gradually sink into the

depths  of  moral  depravity  and illusion, and be disenfranchized

from  the  path  of  devotion.  Lord  Caitanya's  instructions  to


     Srila Haridasa Thakur said, "O Lord Caitanya, in Your

instructions to those You have ordained to propagate the holy

name, You specifically give warning about this.  Preachers may

instruct the glories of the holy name only to the sraddhavan

(persons with sraddha).

	"This the way by which the whole world will be inundated

with the chanting of the holy name: with loud congregational

chanting, the holy name is to be propagated widely among the

masses.  Those who are faithful will come forward and choose a

bona fide spiritual master, receiving instructions and initiation

in the name from him.  By sincere chanting they will surely

obtain love of Godhead, Krsnaprema.

	"Prostitutes, criminals, cheaters and other sinful people

should first be made to give up their unrighteous, harmful ways.

Sincere faith should then be implanted in their hearts by good

association.  When their faith in Krsna's holy name matures, only

then may they receive initiation.  This is the duty of a preacher

as he goes from place to place.

   The result of this namapardha

    "If,   without  paying  heed  to  Your  instructions,  a  guru

initiates  an  insincere  pretender, he commits a grievous offense

for  which  he  goes  to  hell.  The  namapardhas committed by the

charlatan disciple slowly but surely diminish the guru's spiritual

potency,  and  finally  the  guru  is ruined. This offense has a z

devastating  effect  on  both  the guru and the disciple they both

must enter hell. Sraddha first, then initiation

        "My  dear  Lord,  You  were very merciful to Jagai and Madhai.

These  brothers  were  born  in  a brahmana family, their original

names being Jagadananda and Madhavananda. They became known as the

worst rascals in Navadvipa due to their virulent and violent acts.

First  You  invoked  faith in them and then You gave them the holy

name.  O  Lord,  Your  character and activities are exemplary, and

they spread illumination throughout the world. Let everyone follow

Your wonderful example."

     Those who are servants of the servants of the Vaisnavas are

entitled to wear the precious gem of this Harinama Cintamani.


  TO EQUATE CHANTING WITH OTHER PIOUS ACTIVITIES    (DHARMA VRATA TYAGA HUTADI)       IS THE EIGHTH OFFENSE 	All glories to Lord Gauracandra, the avatara Who deliversthe holy name; all glories to the holy name, the essence of allVedic conclusions.	Srila Haridasa Thakur continued, "O Lord, other piousactivities can never be equal to chanting the name."

   The original form of the holy name

    	The  Supreme  Lord is like a transcendental sun Whose potency

is  unlimited,  everpure  and  allpervading consciousness. All His

endless    expansions   exhibit   this   absolute   transcendental

consciousness,  as  do His name, abode, and pastimes. Unlike forms

of  inert  matter  which are separate from their names, his direct

names are not different from Him.

     Descending from Goloka, having been summoned by the chanting

of the pure devotee, the holy name enters that devotee's soul. The

pure  name  then emanates out of the soul and permeates his entire

body,   dancing   on  the  tip  of  his  tongue.  One  who  chants

understanding this is actually chanting the holy name, but one who

nourishes a material concept of the name is drowned in despondency

and suffers eternally in hell; a devotee should never see the face

of such an offender.

    The scriptures declare Lord Krsna to be the only object of

research for seekers of the Absolute Truth.  According to their

abilities, different reseachers adopted their own means to find

that one goal.  Thus different paths like karma, jnana and bhakti

are deliniated.  Those who are attached to gross materialism are

recommended the path of karma for purification.  For souls

attracted to the illusionism of maya, the suggested path is the

cultivation of monistic philosophy.  But for all jivas, pure

devotional service is the best and most suitable.

  ! What is subhakarma?

	Persons pursuing mundane existence take to the worship of

the Supreme Lord out of fear of death.  The Lord's lotus feet are

the perfect shelter, free from all anxiety, and are the only

means to cross over the ocean of nescience.  But when the process

to obtain the protection of the Lord becomes colored by material

motives, then the process itself becomes mundane.  Even though it

is the Lord who is being worshiped, because the process of

worship is mundane, the worship becomes materially pious activity

or subhakarma.

     Subhakarma   includes:   altruistic  work,  fire  sacrifices,

ablutions,   charity,  yoga,  the  practice  of  varnasramadharma,

pilgrimages,   vows,   offerings   to   forefathers,   meditation,

cultivation  of  empirical  knowledge,  propitiation  of demigods,

penances,  austerities,  etc.  All  these  activities are means to

mundane  objectives.  But  after  a  long  period  of  practice of

subhakarma,  the  performer gradually obtains the real goal of all

his  endeavors  the shelter of the lotus feet of the Supreme Lord.

At   this   juncture,  he  must  abandon  the  temporary  ways  of

subhakarma,  for he now knows the genuine essence of all religious

duties bhakti, devotion to the Lord.

    	Subhakarma  is  indeed a viable path for conditioned souls to

attain  the ultimate goal, i.e. love of Godhead. Yet one fact must

be  clearly  stated  reaching  perfection  through subhakarma is a

timeconsuming affair. The ultimate objective is Krsna prema, which

is  fully  spiritual,  but  on  the  subhakarma path, the means to

attain  it  is mundane. Thus there is a gulf of difference between

the means and the objective.

      [Footnote 1 by Bhaktivinoda] The evolution of the jiva from

mundane religiousity to Krsna consciousness is the master plan of

Providence, which impels the jiva to aspire for perfection.  The

conditioned souls cannot exist without contacting matter.  All

their thoughts and activities are intimately woven into the

fabric of materialism.   Pious activities (subhakarma) provide a

means for the jiva to approach pure devotion through skillful

efforts of material contact.  Simultaneously, this contact with

matter gives rise to discontent and suffering.  Therefore, to

achieve the bliss of Krsna consciousness, in the end the jiva

must give up subhakarma.	[End of footnote 1]

   Chanting the holy name is not subhakarma

    	Out  of His causeless compassion, the Supreme Lord incarnated

as  the  holy  name,  making  Himself immediately available to the

jivas;  thus  the  holy  name  is  accepted by the intelligent and

righteous  jivas as their only means of perfection. The scriptures

recommend  chanting  the Lord's name as the most effective process

of obtaining the supreme goal, but some persons understand this to

mean  that chanting is one of many subhakarmas. This misconception

is  similar  to Lord Visnu being seen as just another demigod like

Siva or Brahma.

	The holy name is fully spiritual and transcendental to

material nature.  It is untainted by matter.  Though the jiva is

likewise spiritual, he thinks himself material due to gross

ignorance. Consequently, he thinks that everything, including the

holy name of the Lord, is also material.  Thus the chanting of

Lord Krsna's holy name came to be categorized as subhakarma, and

the jivas with Mayavadi leanings are convinced that this is right

and proper.  But those who adhere to this view are excluded from

the path of devotional service.

      The holy name is both the means and the end n 	The holy name

is  the  repository  of  spiritual bliss. He has descended to this

material  world  to  be the means by which He, the summum bonum of

bhakti,  is  attained. The scriptures eulogize His divine glories,

for  Krsna's  name  is  both  the means to prema and prema itself.

According to the individual jiva's degree of spiritual perfection,

he  considers  the  Lord's holy name to be either the means or the

end. As long as one has not attained full Krsna consciousness, the

name appears as the means to reach that goal.

   Subhakarma is the secondary means;

   the holy name is the primary means

	There are two means to the supreme goal: primary and

secondary.  Subhakarma is the secondary means and the Lord's holy

name is the primary means.  Though the holy name is counted as a

'means', it is nevertheless eternally the principle means. Once

this point is clearly understood, the differences between the

holy name and subhakarma will be clearly seen.  The scriptural

verdict is that the holy name is the essence of spiritual bliss,

and is thus incomparible to any other subhakarma.  One who chants

purely experiences how the insurpassable joy of the Lord and His

pastimes enters the heart and makes it soar with sublime delight:

such is the nature of the holy name of Krsna.

   The joy of sayujamukti is insignificant

	Even the bliss of selfrealization through jnana or yoga

cannot be compared to that of chanting the holy name, for the

state of joy in impersonal liberation is merely the cessation of

material suffering.

    	The  wonderful  quality  of  the holy name is that during the

sadhana  (practice)  period  it is the means, and in the perfected

stage,  it  is the ultimate goal. Even while being utilized as the

means,  the holy name remains always the goal. This cannot be said

of  other  subhakarmas, which are all mundane activities. The holy

name  is  purely spiritual, being selfmanifested from the realm of

suddhasattva.  Even  during the practice of sadhana, the holy name

is  situated  in  pure  goodness;  the sadhaka's imperfections and

anarthas only seem to color it.

     The  holy  name  must  be  chanted  in  the  association  of

devotees: then all the material inebrities and anarthas disappear,

being  replaced  by  the  pure  name  of  Krsna.  The  practice of

subhakarma must be discarded upon attainment of the shelter of the

ultimate  destination. But chanters have never to give up the holy

name. They simply chant the pure name in the perfected stage.

     The Lord's holy name is diametrically opposite in nature to

mundane subhakarma activities.  In the sadhana stage, the devotee

should, by the grace of his spiritual master and on the basis of

Vedic proofs, comprehend the difference between the holy name and


 	[Footnote 2 by Bhaktivinoda] Sraddha, when sufficiently

mature, brings one to the association of devotees.  In that

association, one begins devotional service.  The heart is

cleansed of all anarthas by chanting the holy name of the Lord.

As much as the heart is cleansed of anarthas, to that degree the

chanting becomes pure.  Progressively, one is fixed in devotion

and develops taste for the holy name.  The knowledge of these

developmental stages must be preliminarily understood and

believed in by the sadhaka through the grace of his spiritual

master.  Otherwise, his anarthas will multiply due to his

committing namaparadha.  But with this proper understanding and

faith, the pure name manifests very quickly. [End of footnote 2]

   The remedy for this namaparadha

	This namaparadha of equating the holy name with subhakarma

is committed because of sinful activities, especially the sin of

offending the devotees of the Lord.  Immediate countermeasures

must be undertaken, because as a result of these offenses, the

jiva acquires the perverted Mayavadi understanding of the holy

name.  Only the association of devotees can exculpate such


	To rid himself of this namaparadha, one must approach a

householder Vaisnava who originally came from a very low caste;

this is to stamp out any false understandings of designation and

caste distinctions.  The offender should then smear all over his

own body, with great respect and faith, the dust of the feet of

that Vaisnava.  He must also eat the remnants of this Vaisnava's

food and drink the water that washed his feet.  In this way, the

proper attitude towards the pure name will again develop within

the offender's heart.  The whole world sings of how Kalidasa was

saved from this namaparadha by the mercy of the Lord.

   Srila Haridasa Thakur's attachment to the holy name

    	"My dear Lord, my consciousness is thoroughly mundane. Though

I  mouth the names of the Lord, I am too unfortunate to experience

their  transcendental  touchstone  qualities. O Lord! I beg You to

please  appear  as the holy name and dance on my tongue. I fall at

Your  lotus  feet  and  pray: if You like, You can keep me in this

material  world  or place me in the spiritual sky. Whatever desire

is  Yours,  You  are  free to fulfill, but please let me taste the

divine nectar of Krsna's holy name. You have descended amongst the

conditioned  souls  to  distribute  the  holy name, so kindly also

consider me, an insignificant jiva. I am a fallen soul and You are

the  savior of the fallen. Let this be our eternal relationship. O

Savior!  On  the  strength of this relationship, I am begging from

You the nectar of the holy name.

   Why the name is the religion of the age

    	"In  Kaliyuga  all  other  processes except the holy name are

incapable of redeeming the fallen souls. Therefore the chanting of

the  holy  name  is  the  yuga  dharma. Actually, it is the most n

efficient  religious practice throughout all the ages. But in Kali

Yuga,  unlike  other  ages,  there is no other religion available.

Thus  the  holy  name appears as the only religion that can redeem

the fallen souls."

	Only one who is blessed with loving devotion as the servant

of Srila Haridasa Thakura, and who thinks himself devoid of

qualification, is fit to recite this Harinama Cintamani.




	All glories to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and all His devotees;

by their causeless grace alone, I perform congregational chanting

of the holy name of the Lord.

    The offense known as pramada or inattentive chanting

	Srila Haridasa Thakura then said, "O Lord Caitanya, to Srila

Sanatana Goswami here in Jagannatha Puri and Srila Gopala Bhatta

Goswami in South India, you taught that the holy name must be

chanted attentively.  Inattention in chanting is namaparadha.

One may carefully avoid all other namaparadhas, yet still not

experience the ecstasy of the pure name.  This is an indication

of another type of namaparadha known as pramada, which prevents

the chanter from reaching the stage of nistha, or firm faith.

This in turn blocks the further growth of bhakti to the flowering

of Krsnaprema."

    Three kinds of inattention

    	Pramada means 'madness', but 'inattention' and 'carelessness'

are  also  synonyms  of  this  word. Inattentive chanting sows the

seeds  of anarthas which soon develop in the heart. Inattention is

of  three  kinds.  The  first  is  called audasinya, or 'apathetic

devotional  service',  meaning a lack of fixed resolve in sadhana.

The  second type is jadya, 'laziness' or even 'inertia'. The third

kind  is  viskepa,  which means 'distraction' or 'misplacing one's

attention in engagements other than sadhana bhakti.'

       It  is  essential  to  give special attention   to chanting

while anuraga is undeveloped 	By a special stroke of good fortune,

a  jiva  develops enough sraddha to take shelter of the holy name.

By  regularly  chanting  a fixed number of holy names with special

care  and  attention,  he may, by degrees, progress to anuraga, or

spontaneous  attraction  for  the Lord's name. He should chant his

prescribed  number  of  rounds  on  a  Tulasimala and increase his

rounds  with time. Before he reaches the stage of anuraga, he must

be very cautious about offenses in chanting.

    Most  people  are  naturally very attached to material things,

their  memories  always  absorbed in matter. They may indeed chant

the  holy  name  of the Lord, but their minds may be far away from

the  chanting.  Even  if  they  daily chant one lakha (one hundred

thousand)  holy names on the japamala, not a drop of taste for the

Lord's  name  will be produced in their hearts. It is difficult to

restrain materialistic hearts from such offenses.

       The process of overcoming apathy

    	One  must  make  it his daily routine to chant for an hour in

the company of saintly Vaisnavas in a sacred, undisturbed place. z

Taking note of the Vaisnavas' devotional attitude and their relish

for  the  holy  name, the neophyte should try to emulate this mood

and gradually rid himself of his apathy to chanting. Step by step,

his  mind  and  attention should become fixed in the holy name. By

constant  chanting,  the  sweetness  of  the  holy  name makes him

anxious to taste more of that nectar.

	Advanced Vaisnavas advise that chanting is best performed in

the presence of Tulasidevi and in a place of Lord Krsna's

pastimes.  The chanter should always seek the association of

saintly devotees and emulate their discipline.  He must follow in

the footsteps of previous acaryas in the joyful method of

worshiping the Lord through His holy name.  He may begin with an

hour of such chanting, then two, then increase it to four until

finally he will chant not less then three lakhas of holy names a

day.  This helps him to soon sever his links with materialism.

     Another effective method for ridding oneself of apathy

towards the holy name is to sit in a closed room alone and

meditate on the name as did the previous sages.  Or one can cover

the head and face with a cloth and concentrate on the sound of

the holy name.  This will immediately fix the mind firmly on the

holy name; slowly, one develops attraction for the name, and the

offense of apathetic inattentiion will vanish.

    Overcoming laziness

	Inattention arising from laziness (jadya) prevents a person

from relishing the nectar of the holy name.  He is slow to chant

and remember the holy name. Even after trying, he very soon finds

the effort unendurable and wants to sleep or otherwise engage

himself in frivolity.

	Advanced devotees are cautious against such an offense. They

never waste a single moment in useless talks or activities. Their

meditation on the Lord's holy name is unbroken.  They are so

absorbed in the nectar of the holy name that they do not want

anything else.  One must therefore aspire to associate with such

rare devotees and follow their example, thus ridding himself of

his laziness.

	It is the nature of saintly Vaisnavas to be always engaged

in devotional activities.  They never waste time uselessly.  One

should become attracted to this devotional trait.  One should ask

himself how he also can become like these devotees, immersed in

meditation upon the holy name; how, from this very day, he can

increase his chanting step by step until such time as he can

actually chant three lakhas of holy names with inspiration and

eagerness.  When Lord Krsna sees such enthusiasm, He reciprocates

by removing the neophyte's mental inertia with the power of His

name, and by allowing him to remain in the association of His

advanced devotees.

   Overcoming distraction

	Distraction in chanting breeds illusion which becomes the

cause of further serious offenses against the holy name.  This

illusion, difficult to overcome, engenders attraction to wealth,

women, position, success and the cheating propensity.  When these

attractions cover the heart, the neophyte becomes neglectful of

the chanting of the holy name.

    One  must  make  a  constant  effort  to  try  and  drive such

attractions away from the mind by diligently following the ways of

Vaisnava  culture.  This  will  bring  back  his good fortune. For

instance,   he   should  nicely  observe  the  Ekadasi  vows,  the

appearance  days  of  the  Lord  and other such important festival

days.  He  should spend the entire festival day and night chanting

and  singing  the  glories  of  the Lord in association of saintly

devotees. The ideal way to observe these festivals is to be in one

of the dhamas (Navadvipa, Vrindavana, Puri etc.) with sadhus (pure

devotees in the line of Srila Rupa Goswami) reading and discussing

sastra (Vedic literatures like Bhagavadgita, Srimad Bhagavatam and

other Vaisnava scriptures). He should wholeheartily participate in

the  festival  programs  without  anxiety  and  hesitation.  These

festivals  will  rekindle the dying spark of spiritual taste. Thus

he will be attracted to the pastimes of the Supreme Lord.

    	Tasting  the  superior flavor of pure Krsna consciousness, he

will  naturally be disgusted by his inferior material attachments.

He  will  be enraptured by sweet songs of the Lord's pastimes sung

by  the  devotees,  and  his  ears  will  fill up with nectar that

dislodges  his  mind  from  matter and fixes it upon the holy name

again.  The  devotee  can  then  chant  steadily  in  a joyous and

peaceful mood.

  - Good advice for chanters

	One must diligently complete the chanting of the daily

prescribed number of holy names according to one's vow.  But

another kind of distraction occurs when one is too eager to

complete the fixed number of holy names even at the sacrifice of

quality.  One must therefore always insure that he chants his

rounds sincerely.  Also, one should better improve the quality of

his chanting rather than try to increase his daily number of

rounds for show.  The name of the Lord should be always be

pronounced distinctly.  Only by the grace of the Lord can this be

achieved.  Thus one should pray to the Lord that he never falls

victim to the wiles of the illusion of distraction, and that he

can continue to taste the full nectar of the holy name.

   The secret to success is humility

    	The  devotee  should  make  it  a regular practice to spend a

little  time  alone in a quiet place and concentrate deeply on the

holy  name.  He  should  utter and hear the name distinctly. It is

impossible  for  the jiva to singlehandedly avoid and overcome the

illusion  of  distraction. By the mercy of the Lord, however, this

is   accomplished   with   ease.  Therefore  it  is  essential  to

prayerfully beg for the Lord's grace with great humility, for this

is the only means to salvation from this offense.

   The necessity of developing enthusiasm

	"O Lord Caitanya!" cried Thakur Haridasa.  "You are an ocean

of compassion!  I wholeheartedly beg for Your mercy. Indeed, if I

was unable to pray to You in this way, then no one would be more

unfortunate than I.

    "Those who attempt to take up devotional service on the merits

of  their  individual  intelligence and mental expertise will find

that  all their endeavors are fruitless. Lord Krsna's mercy is the

prime  cause  of all successful work. One who does not z aspire to

obtain the Lord's mercy is indeed a very unfortunate soul." A note

about the vow of nirbandha

    Srila  Haridasa  Thakur  advised that we concentrate deeply on

the  holy  name of Krsna. Lord Caitanya's teachings on this matter

are  found  in  the Caitanya Bhagavata, Madhya 23.650: "Hare Krsna

Hare  Krsna  Krsna  Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama

Hare  Hare. The Lord said, 'This is the maha-mantra; now go and do

japa  meditation, chanting these holy names a prescribed number of

times  (nirbandha)  each  day.  You  will  achieve  all  desirable

perfection   from   this   chanting.  Just  chant  the  holy  name

constantly,   because   no   rules  or  regulations  can  restrict


    		The  word  nirbandha  needs  elaboration. The sadhaka should

chant  the  mahamantra  on  a  japamala  of 108 Tulasi beads. Four

rounds  on  the beads makes a granthi. By gradually increasing his

chanting,  the  sadhaka  should aspire to chant 16 granthis or one

lakha  of  holy  names: this number is considered as nirbandha. If

chanting  is then even further increased to three lakhas of names,

the  devotee  will always be immersed in the Lord's holy name. All

the  previous acaryas and mahajanas have followed this instruction

of  Lord  Caitanya  and  attained perfection. Even now, anyone can

attain perfection by proper chanting. Everyone, including the pure

devotees,  the  salvationists,  and  the materialistic persons are

eligible to chant the holy name of the Lord.

    	Two  different  moods  of  Krsnaprema  are  visible  in  pure

devotees,  but  the nectar of the holy name is relished in both of

these moods, in the happiness of meeting the Lord and in the pangs

of separation from the Lord.

     One who wears the gem of Harinama Cintamani as a crown upon

his head will certeinly find shelter at Srila Haridasa Thakura's

lotus feet.




     All glories to Sri Gadadhara Pandit and Lord Sri Gauranga;

all glories to Lord Nityananda, the life and soul of Srimati

Jahnavadevi; all glories to Sri Advaita Acarya, the Lord of

Mother Sita; all glories to all the devotees of Lord Caitanya.

     Drenched in tears of ecstatic love, Srila Haridasa Thakura

went on to explain, in a choked voice, the last of the offenses

to the holy name.  "My Lord, this last namaparadha is the worst

kind of offense; its presence stops the flow Krsnaprema."

    	Even after having taken spiritual initiation, most materially

attached  persons  cannot  fully give up bodily designations. They

maintain a 'me' and 'mine' mentality that sidetracks them from the

path  of devotion. Bodily designations, e.g. 'I am a brahmana', 'I

am   Vaisnava',   'I   am  king',  or  'I  am  a  rich  man';  and

possesiveness,  e.g.  'This  is my position, wealth, son, grandson

and   so   on',  symptomize  immaturity  of  realization  and  are

deterrents  to proper cultivation of devotional service. This is a

terrible offense that is only gotten rid of when one surrenders to

the holy Name.

 The necessity and symptoms of surrender to the holy name

    Having  given  up  first nine namaparadhas, every devotee must

surrender   completely   to   the  holy  name.  According  to  the

scriptures,  the  process of surrender (saranagati) has six limbs.

It  is impossible to explain them in detail here, but briefly they

are as follows.

     The vow to accept everything favorable for the execution ofdevotional service; likewise, to reject anything unfavorable; to

be convinced that Lord Krsna will always give protection; to

depend wholly on Krsna for everything; to always feel meek and

humble; and to throw oneself at Lord Krsna's lotus feet in full

selfsurrender - these are the six limbs of surrender .

     Devotional service is possible only while alive. Hence one

must accept that which keeps the body and soul together, and not

more.  Life must be molded to facilitate devotional service.

Therefore one should develop a taste for objects that are

connected to Lord Krsna.  Simultaneously, a natural distaste for

deterrents to devotional service will also arise within the

heart.  Lord Krsna becomes the only protector and maintainer,

because no one is as dependable as He is.  Knowing this, one

should think, 'As His eternal slave, I am somehow also an

insignificant member of Lord Krsna's family. My only aspiration

is to act according to His will.'

    One  must  then  drop  all  false  designations like brahmana,

sudra,  father, husband, king, subject, master, donor, maintainer;

and  attachments  to  money,  body,  sons,  wife etc. Instead, one

should  enter  the  mood  of  the  paraphernalia  of  Lord  Krsna,

thinking:  'He  is  the  real  Master  and  Lord,  and His will is

imperative. I am ready to act only to fulfil Lord Krsna's desire z

and  will  not  even  think  about my own wishes. I will adjust my

household  affairs for the Lord's satisfaction. By His wish I will

cross  the  material ocean. Only by His desire will I feel genuine

compassion  for  the  suffering  souls.  In  times of both joy and

sorrow  I  remain  eternally  Lord Krsna's servitor. My moments of

material  enjoyment  and  my moods of renunciation are experienced

only   due   to  the  Lord's  will.'  When  these  feelings  arise

spontaneously,  one  achieves the stage of atmanivedana (surrender

of the soul).

    The consequences of not surrendering

     One unable to accept the six limbs of surrender is a

prisoner of false ego who always thinks in terms of 'me' and

'mine'.  He proudly declares, 'I am the master here.  This

household and family belong to me.  The fruits of work are mine

by right of labor, and I am their enjoyer, whether they be bitter

or sweet.  I am my own protector and maintainer.  This women is

my wife, here is my brother, he is my son.  By the sweat of my

brow I earn my own living, and success is the reward of my endeavors.'

    	Intoxicated  with  such  egoism,  these materialistic persons

overestimate   their  own  ability  and  intelligence.  Scientists

propagate  their  theories  and develop technology to flaunt their

denial  of  God.  Among atheists, these are the worst demons. They

take credit for the so-called advancement of scientific technology

and  for  the  material  comfort  it brings. But factually, it all

happens by the Lord's will: this they completely fail to see.

     When the atheists hear the glories of the holy name they

disbelieve them.  Yet sometimes even they utter Krsna's holy name

due to the pressure of social custom.  But since this kind of

chanting is bereft of faith, they never experience bliss.  Such

are the stereotyped ways of cheaters who make a mere show of

religion.  By repeating Krsna's name, even though in neglect,

they earn a little piety, but they are deprived of the actual

result of chanting - pure love of Godhead.

	The cause of their offensiveness is material engrossment.

They are so captivated by the illusory potency that they are

blinded, and it is extremely difficult for them to get free of

their offensive condition.  Only one who acquires a taste for

pure devotional service becomes disgusted with material life;

leaving it, he takes full shelter of the holy Name.

   How to rid oneself of this offense

     Leaving aside all material attachments and accepting

voluntary poverty, one should humbly worship Lord Krsna's lotus

feet, taking full shelter of the chanting of the holy name.  He

should aspire for the association of devotees and serve them

without material desires.  Gradually his heart will become

impregnated with attraction for the holy name. The egoistic

mentality of 'me' and 'mine' will disappear and he will surmount

the ocean of material nescience.

    	By  hearing  the glories of the holy name, the last traces of

false  ego will dissipate, and the symptoms of a pure devotee will

then  blossom  in his heart, and he will take to the six processes

of  surrender. He who finds complete shelter in the holy name is x

a  great  soul, for he becomes the recipient of the great treasure

of  Krsnaprema.  The  symptoms  of  one  who  is free from the ten

namaparadhas  	In  being  warned  to avoid the ten offenses to the

holy name of the Lord, one is actually being ordered to positively

implement   the  specific  saintly  qualities  that  render  these

aparadhas impossible. Therefore, one must: not criticize but serve

the saintly Vaisnavas; worship Krsna as the Absolute Supreme Lord;

give  full  respect to the spiritual master who initiates one into

the  holy  name;  regard the scriptures that reveal the glories of

the  holy  name as preeminent; know within the heart that the holy

name  is  eternally  situated  in pure transcendence; root out and

destroy  the desire to commit sins; preach the glories of the holy

name  only  to  the faithful; give up ritualistic pious activities

entirely;  chant  with  full  attention and surrender fully to the

holy name.

       Bhava  is  attained  quickly when the chanting is free from

offenses  When one is thus free from offenses, he becomes the most

fortunate soul in the three worlds. He acquires all good qualities

and  is  eligible  to  receive  Lord Krsna's causeless mercy. Very

quickly,  his  chanting  awards him the divine fruit of bhava, the

first  stage  of  prema.  Thus the offenseless chanter is promoted

from  the  sadhana or practice stage to bhava, or spontaneous pure

devotional  service.  From  bhava comes prema, which, according to

the  scriptures,  is  the  mature  fruit  of  pure  devotion,  the

pinnaccle  of  all perfection. Lord Caitanya personally guarantees

that  if  any  devotee chants the holy name free from offenses, he

will quickly obtain Krsnaprema.

  - Pure bhakti is priceless;

   other attainments are imitation

     If one continues to chant with offenses, then in spite of

many endeavors, he will never attain pure devotion.  The fruitive

worker or karmi enjoys heavenly bliss through karma; the jnani

obtains liberation as a result of empirical knowledge; but pure

devotion to Krsna and Krsnaprema, which is very rarely attained,

is had only through the proper execution of sadhanabhakti.

    	The  bliss  of  heaven and liberation is compared to motherof

pearl  (the  shining  inner  surface of a pearl oyster shell), and

pure  bhakti to Krsna is the priceless gem pearl. It is the jiva's

prerogative  and  the  success  of his human birth to acquire pure

devotion.  If one sincerely and expertly practices sadhana bhakti,

he  very  soon  receives  the  seed of pure devotion or prema. The

meaning   of   expert   practice   is  that  one  avoids  the  ten


   One must be greedy for pure bhakti

     to avoid offending the holy name

    	If  one  is  sufficiently greedy for obtaining pure devotion,

then  he will chant free from the ten offenses. He must diligently

avoid  each  of  the offenses with feelings of deep repentance for

having  ever  commited them. He should pray sincerely to the lotus

feet of the holy name and chant with determination. Only then will

he  be  blessed  with  the  mercy  of  the holy name, which z will

destroy  all  of  his  offenses.  No other activity or penance can

possibly  exculpate  his  offenses.  -  How  to  stop  namaparadha

	Offenses  to the holy name of the Lord are dissolved only through

constant  chanting.  When  they  are  so destroyed, they can never

reappear.  Constant  chanting means, apart from a minimal time for

rest  and  other  bare physical necessities, that one should chant

throughout  all hours of the day with intense contrition. No other

penance  or  ritual is as effective as this. When the offenses are

destroyed,  the pure holy name blossoms within the heart. The pure

name of Krsna delivers bhava and finally prema.

     Srila Haridasa Thakura concluded, "O Lord Caitanya, I humbly

pray at Your lotus feet that the ten offenses in chanting the

holy name of the Lord never find a place in my heart.  Please

kindly grant that I may remain submerged in the nectar of the

pure name."

     Bhaktivinoda, the servant of the devotees, is able to recite

Harinama Cintamani in great delight only on the strength of Srila

Haridasa Thakura's causeless mercy.



    All glories to Sri Gadadhara Pandit and Lord Sri Gauranga; all

glories   to  Lord  Nityananda,  the  life  and  soul  of  Srimati

Jahnavadevi;  all  glories  to Mother Sita and Sri Advaita Acarya;

all  glories  to Srila Srivasa Pandit and all the devotees of Lord


   Srila Haridas Thakura is Namacarya

    Lord Caitanya said, "My dear devotee Haridasa, the conditioned

souls  of  Kaliyuga  will  greatly  benefit  from  this  elaborate

explanation  of  the  offenses against the holy name that you have

given. You are indeed a great spiritual master and acharya."

	Srila Haridas Thakura is Namacharya, or the foremost

spiritual authority on the chanting of the holy name of Krsna.

He practiced everything he preached.  He taught the jivas about

suddhanama, namabhasa, and the glories of Krsna's name; he also

instructed how one may stop comitting namaparadha  all this by

his own example.

     Lord Caitanya continued, "I much relished your dissertation

on the holy name.  As an acarya, you are exemplary and as a

preacher, you are profound.  You are always ornamented by the

priceless gem of the Lord's pure holy name.  Ramananda Raya

taught me the sublime science of transcendental mellows, and now

you have revealed the glories of the holy name.  Kindly tell me

something about the different kinds of offenses made in the

execution of devotional service to the Deity."

     Srila Haridasa Thakura replied, "You are asking about a

subject that is known to a servant of the Deity.  All my time is

taken up in serving the holy name. I don't know how to reply, yet

I cannot disregard Your instruction.  I will speak whatever you

make me say."

  - Varieties of sevaparadha

     Offenses in devotional service (sevaparadha) are numerous.

In some scriptures, thirtytwo such offenses are listed, and in

others, fifty.  By definition, sevaparadha is always related to

Deity worship.  Learned devotees identify four classifications of

sevaparadha, which are: those pertaining to persons engaged in

Deity worship; those pertaining to the installation of Deities;

those pertaining to persons taking darsana of the Deity in the

temple; and those that generally apply in all cases.

  - Thirty-two sevaparadhas

    The  list  of  thirty  two  offenses  in  Deity  worship is as

follows: 1) entering the temple with shoes on; 2) alighting from a

vehicle  before  the Deity; 3) not observing the festival days; 4)

forgetting  to  offer  obeisances  and  prayers  to  the Deity; 5)

offering worship to the Deity in an unclean or contaminated state;

6) offering obeisances on one hand; 7) circumambulating before the

Deity; 8) extending the feet towards the Deity or sitting on one's

haunches  before  the  Deity;  9)  sleeping  or  reclining  in the

presence  of  the Deity; 10) eating before the Deity; 11) speaking

lies  before  the Deity; 12) speaking out loudly before the Deity;

13)  talking  with  others  before  the  Deity;  14) using abusive

language  before the Deity; 15) giving charity or giving thanks to

others  before  the  Deity;  16) quarrelling before the Deity; 17)

Crying,  howling  or  shedding  false  tears before the Deity; 18)

criticizing  someone before the Deity; 19) covering oneself with a

blanket or quilt before the Deity; 20) praising someone before the

Deity;  21)  using obscene language before the Deity; 22) belching

or   passing  air  before  the  Deity;  23)  offering  substandard

paraphernalia  in  the  service  of  the  Deity in spite of having

better;  24)  eating  or drinking unoffered food; 25) not offering

seasonal   fruits   and   vegetables;   26)   offering  the  Deity

contaminated  food,  or  food  first  eaten  by  someone else; 27)

sitting with one's back to the Deity; 28) acting immodestly before

the  Deity,  as  by  sitting  directly  in front of the Deity; 29)

respecting  or  worshiping  someone else before the Deity; 30) not

glorifying  and  offering  obeisances  to  one's  spiritual master

before the Deity; 31) glorifying oneself before the the Deity; 32)

slandering the demigods before the Deity.

      More offenses listed in other scriptures

     Other scriptural sources have listed additional offenses:

    It  is offensive to eat the food of materialists; to touch the

Deity  of  Hari  in  darkness;  to  touch the Deity without proper

rituals;   to   open  the  altar  doors  without  an  accompanying

performance  of  music  and  song for the pleasure of the Lord; to

offer  food  to  the  Lord  that  has been seen by a dog; to speak

during  Deity worship; to leave the altar during Deity worship; to

offer  arati  without  putting a flower garland on the Deities; to

worship  Lord  Krsna  with unattractive or nonfragrant flowers; to

offer  worship  to Lord Krsna without first cleansing the face and

mouth;  to  offer  worship to the Deity after sexual relations; to

touch  a  woman  during her menstrual period; to touch fire during

Deity  worship;  to  pass  air  before the Deity; to offer worship

wearing  dirty  or  contaminated  clothes;  to offer worship while

angry;  to offer worship directly after having been at a cremation

grounds, or having touched a dead body or seen a dead body's face;

to offer worship while suffering from indigestion or dysentery; to

eat  garlic  and  onions;  to chew betel and tobacco; to touch the

Deity  after  having had a massage with oil; to offer flowers from

an  unclean  pot;  to  worship at an inauspicious time; to worship

while  sitting  on the bare floor; to touch the Lord with the left

hand  while  bathing  the  Deity;  to offer old or already offered

fruits  or flowers; to boast during worshiping; to spit habitual n

®ly;  to  worship  the  Deity  after  having  applied  smudged  or

horizontal  (i.e.  threelined)  tilaka;  to  enter  temple without

washing   the   feet;   to  offer  the  Deity  food  cooked  by  a

non-Vaisnava;  to  do  puja  in  front  of  a non-Vaisnava; to not

worship Visvaksena (in place of Ganesa) before the puja; to see or

speak to a Siva or Durga worshipper; to bathe the Deity with water

touched  by  the  fingernails; to use water for worship into which

sweat has fallen; to make oaths before the Deity; to step over the

Deity's prasada.

    Sevaparadha   is  to  be  avoided  those  serving  the  Deity;

namaparadha is to be avoided by all devotees One who is engaged in

Deity  worship  must  carefully  avoid  the  sevaparadhas, and all

Vaisnavas  must  strictly abstain from the namaparadhas and relish

the  taste  of  pure devotional service to Lord Krsna. The devotee

himself is the best judge of which offenses in seva to be vigilant

about,  according  to  the  service  he  is  engaged  in.  But the

responsibility  of  avoiding  namaparadha  is  applicable to every

Vaisnava at all times.

       On  the  path  of  bhava-seva,  or spontaneous   devotional

service,  namaparadha must be nonexistent Especially, that devotee

who  worships  the  Lord  in  a  secluded  place in the ecstacy of

separation from the Deity must be free of the ten offenses against

the  holy  Name.  In  bhavaseva, service is performed in the mind;

there  is  not  even  opportunity  for  sevparadha.  Only when the

devotee  on  this  path  is  completely free of namaparadha can he

attain bhava, spontaneous loving devotional service to Krsna.

    	Constant  meditation  upon  the  holy name of the Lord is the

sadhana   practice   in   bhava-seva,  the  offenseless  stage  of

devotional  service.  By  the  grace of the Lord, each of the nine

limbs of sadhanabhakti finally culminates in the prema of the pure

holy  name.  One who has ascended to this stage of realization may

then  fully  submerge  himself  in the nectar of chanting the holy

name, leaving aside other services.

    	[Editor's   footnote:]   Lord   Caitanya   instructed   Srila

Raghunatha  das Goswami on the worship of Sri GovardhanSila thusly

(as recorded in Caitanya Caritamrita, Antya 6.294-304):

     '"This stone is the transcendental form of Lord Krsna.

Worship the stone with great eagerness. Worship this stone in the

mode of goodness like a perfect brahmana, for by such worship you

will surely attain ecstatic love of Krsna without delay.  For

such worship, one needs a jug of water and a few flowers from a

Tulasi tree.  This is worship in complete goodness when performed

in complete purity.  With faith and love, you should offer eight

soft Tulasi flowers, each with two Tulasi leaves, one on each

side of each flower."

    	'After  thus  advising  him  how  to  worship,  Lord Caitanya

Mahaprabhu personally offered Raghunatha das the Govardhana-Sila n

with  His  transcendental hand. As advised by the Lord, Raghunatha

das worshiped the Sila in great transcendental jubilation. Svarupa

Damodara  gave  Raghunatha  das  two cloths, each about six inches

long,  a  wooden platform and a jug in which to keep water. 	'Thus

Raghunatha  das began worshiping the stone from Govardhana, and as

he worshiped he saw the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, the

son  of  Nanda Maharaja, directly in the stone. Thinking of how he

had  received  the  Govardhana-Sila directly from the hands of Sri

Caitanya  Mahaprabhu,  Raghunatha  das was always overflooded with

ecstatic  love. The amount of transcendental bliss that Raghunatha

das  enjoyed  simply by offering water and Tulasi is impossible to

achieve  even  if  one  worships  the  Deity with sixteen kinds of


	'After Raghunatha das had thus worshiped the Govardhana-Sila

for sometime, Svarupa Damodara spoke to him as follows: "Offer

the Govardhan stone eight kaudis worth of the first-class

sweetmeats known as khaja and sandesh.  If you offer them with

faith and love, they will be just like nectar."' [End of editor's


     It is on the strength of Srila Haridas Thakura's instruc

tions that a lowly person without means can recite the Harinam






      All glories to Sri Gadadhara Pandita and Lord Gauranga; all

glories to Lord Nityananda,; all glories to Sri Advaita Acarya,

the Lord of Mother Sita; all glories to all the devotees of Lord

Caitanya.  One who rejects all other processes of elevation and

simply immerses himself in the chanting of the holy name is truly

a magnanimous soul and is glorious in all respects.

     Lord Caitanya said, "My dear Haridasa, simply on the

strength of your wonderful devotion, you are conversant with all

knowledge.  All the Vedic philosophical conclusions about the

Absolute Godhead, the jiva, maya, the pure name of the Lord,

namabhasa and namaparadha are revealed in your speech. It is

therefore rightly said that the Vedas gleefully dance upon your

tongue."   The Lord, fully satisfied with His devotee, now

desired to hear the precepts of namarasa, the rare spiritual

science of the sweet mellows of the holy name, from the mouth of

Srila Haridasa.

     Lord Caitanya continued, "Now please instruct Me about

namarasa.  How can a jiva become eligible to receive it?"  Srila

Haridasa Thakur then prayed at the Lord's lotus feet, submitting

with intense prema that whatever he would speak on this subject

would be inspired by the Lord Himself.

   The true Rasa

     In the Vedas the Supreme Personality of Godhead is called

Rasa.  This rasa or the nectar of transcendental love permeates

the spiritual Kingdom of God.  Worldy poets dabble in a rasa that

is totally mundane. Factually, theirs is not rasa but a perversion of it.

    	The  rasa  that  is  transcendental and ever situated in pure

goodness,  beyond  the  jurisdiction of the twentyfour elements of

material  nature, is in truth the real rasa. It is unknown even to

the  atmaramas,  the  self-satisfied  mystics  who  have surpassed

material  nature  but  are  yet  unable to perceive transcendental

variegatedness.  Rasa  is  eternal,  full  of  cognizance and ever

blissful, eversheltered at Lord Krsna's lotus feet.

	The Supreme Absolute Truth exists as saktiman or the

Energetic and sakti or the Energy.  Qualitatively, saktiman and

sakti are the same, though differences between the two are to be

appreciated.  Saktiman is always the Supreme Controller, willful

and independent; sakti always displays His full and supreme

potency.  His sakti or potency manifests in three ways: the cit

potency or the spiritual nature, the jiva, and maya or the

material nature.

    The  cit  potency  reveals the Supreme Truth, His name, abode,

pastimes  and  beauty.  Lord  Krsna  is  that  Supreme  Truth. His

exquisite  dark  complexion,  syama,  is His beauty. Goloka is His

abode  and  the  place  of  His  pastimes.  His name, abode, form,

qualities  and  pastimes  are everexistent features of the nondual

spiritual  substance,  and  the  display  of  these transcendental

varieties is the function of His cit potency.

    	Lord  Krsna  is  the  original  form  of  all  transcendental

qualities.  His  eternal  divine  nature is His spiritual potency.

There  is no inherent difference between the form of Krsna and His

divine  nature. Yet spiritual variety (rasa) creates an impression

of difference, which is exhibited in the spiritual world.

   Mayasakti is the external potency

     The reflection of the spiritual potency is called mayasakti

or material nature.  She is also known as the external potency.

She has produced this material world or Devidhama as ordered by

Lord Krsna.

   There are two types of jivasakti

     The marginal region (tatastha) of the spiritual potency

manifests the jiva-sakti.  The jiva is eternal and inconceivably

one with and yet simultaneously different from the Supreme Lord.

He is Lord Krsna's spiritual energy and is therefore meant to be

part of the transcendental paraphernalia of the Lord's service.

    There  are two categories of jivas: nitybaddha and nityamukta,

or  eternally  conditioned  and  eternally  liberated  souls.  The

eternally  liberated jiva is entitled to render eternal devotional

service.  The  eternally conditioned jiva is engrossed in material

activities.  He  can  also be said to be of two types: extroverted

and introspective.

    	The  introspective  nityabaddha  jivas  are searching for the

Absolute  Truth. The extroverted jivas are totally absorbed in the

external  features  of  gross matter and thus are far removed from

Krsna.  They  simply want to exploit things meant for Lord Krsna's

service  for  their  own  enjoyment.  The more fortunate and pious

jivas  amongst  the  introspective  ones  come  into  contact with

devotees  and in their association take to the chanting the Lord's

holy  name,  which  transports  them  through  the  portals of the

spiritual  world.  The  less  fortunate  introspective  jivas  are

attracted  to  the  paths of karma and jnana by which they worship

various demigods or finally merge into the impersonal Brahman.

    The flowering of rasa

     The holy name of Lord Krsna is the bud of the flower of

rasa, which is the essence of pure transcendence. By the grace of

Krsna, rasa is propagated in the material world in the form of

His holy name.

     With the first opening of the bud of the holy name comes the

realization of the enchanting Syamasunder form of Krsna in Goloka

Vrindavan.  The Lord's sixty-four transcendental qualities are

like the irresistible fragrance from the partially blossomed


    When  this  flower  comes  into  full  bloom, it manifests the

eternal  and  confidential  pastimes  of  Lord  Krsna known as the

asta-kaliya-lila,  or  the  eightfold  loving  affairs  of Sri Sri

RadhaKrsna.  And although this manifestation is transcendental, it

still  appears  in  the  material  world. " The bhaktisakti Latent

within  the  jiva  are the miniscule spiritual potencies of ahlada

(bliss)  and  samvit  (knowledge). With the flowering of rasa, the

svarupasakti  (the  internal potency of the Lord Himself) descends

to  contact and revive these tiny spiritual potencies of the jiva;

all  this is effected by the causeless mercy of the holy name. The

svarupasakti  descends  as  Bhakti  devi,  who  embodies  the full

mixture  of  the  hladini  and  samvit  potencies. This mixture is

called  the  bhaktisvarupamsakti,  the potency of the form of pure

devotion.  When  his  latent  bliss and knowledge are infused with

this bhaktisvarupamsakti, the spontaneous loving attitude required

for  entering  the  asta  kaliyalila  appears  in the heart of the

chanter of the holy name.

    The churning of rasa

     Thus one reaches a state of perfection known as sthayibhava,

or permanent emotion, which is also known as rati.  Four bhavas

combine to transform rati to rasa.  The four bhavas

are: vibhava, anubhava, sattvika, and vyabhicari (or sancari).

    	Vibhava,  the  element that excites loving sentiment, has two

subdivisions: alambana and uddipana. Alambana or the root is again

of two parts: the visaya (subject) and the asraya (recipient). The

devotee of Lord Krsna is the asraya, and Lord Krsna Himself is the

visaya. Lord Krsna's transcendental beauty and qualities are known

as uddipana or the impetus. Thus where there is alambana (the root

relationship  of  the devotee and Krsna) and uddipana (the impetus

of  the  realization of Krsna's form and qualities), lila and rasa

can occur.

	Anubhava (the external symptoms of the internal permanent

emotion) is what results from vibhava, or the effect of alambana

and uddipana.  When these emotions become more intense, they are

transformed into sattvikabhava (loving emotions that cannot be

checked).  At this same time sancaribhava (emotions that set

into motion the progress of rasa) come into play.

	Rasa is like a machine.  Rati, or permanent emotion, is the

axle of this machine.  Once the machine starts moving by the

combined energy of the four bhavas, the permanent emotion

(sthayi-bhava) is then converted into rasa.  The devotee, who is

the asraya (like a shelter or container), becomes the relisher of

that rasa.  And that rasa is the Vraja-rasa or the spiritual

mellow of Vrindavan.  That rasa is the essence of everything, and

is for the jiva the highest goal.  The Vedas expound four goals -

dharma, artha, kama, moksha; but in fact the pinnacle of all

these perfections is rasa.  The fully realized and perfected

beings are entitled to taste that rasa.

   Elevation via the Hare Krsna mahamantra.

    Amongst  the  introspective jivas, he who is attracted to pure

devotional  service  is the most evolved. The jiva can take up the

path  of  bhakti  only  after he has accrued sufficient sukriti or

piety from previous births. When such a jiva develops strong faith

or  sraddha,  he  comes into contact with a pure devotee spiritual

master. By the grace of the spiritual master, he is initiated into

the  chanting  of  the Hare Krsna mahamantra the holy names of the

Divine  Couple.  z  Though  this jiva is blessed with sraddha, his

desire  for  material  gain  poses  an  obstacle  on  his  path of

progress. The spiritual master graces the jiva with a disciplinary

process  suitable  for  overcoming  this  obstacle.  Thus he gains

spiritual  strength  from  chanting.  Chanting on Tulasi beads and

meditating  on  a fixed number of holy names every day is the best

form  of  worship,  and will surely lead to success. Therefore, in

the  beginning,  a  little time should daily be spent in seclusion

for full concentration upon the holy name. In degrees, as chanting

increases,  a  more  profound  relationship  with the holy name is

developed, and the material impediments fall away.

	The path of bhakti features two important engagements, one

of which is Deity worship, the other chanting and meditating upon

the holy name.  Although both engagements are expedient, chanting

and meditating on the holy name is preferred by the more deeply

serious devotees.

	Many elevated pure devotees at times chant aloud the holy

names on their beads, and then at other times meditate upon

Krsna's pastimes on the beads.  The advantage of performing

kirtan, or audibly chanting the maha-mantra on the beads, is that

three kinds of devotional service  hearing, chanting and

remembering  are accomplished simultaneously.  Of course, all

the nine limbs of devotional service reside in the holy name; of

them, hearing, chanting and remembering are the best.

     Chanting automatically manifests the other limbs of

devotional service, like pada-sevanam, dasyam, sakhyam, atma-

nivedanam, and so on.  Thus the process of Deity worship is

automatically accomplished by the devotee surrendered to the holy

name. But the devotee attracted to Deity worship will have to

acquire attraction for hearing and chanting in order to attain

complete perfection in Krsna consciousness.

   Who is eligible to chant the holy name?

    Three  kinds  of  jivas  are  captivated  by external material

phenomena: the gross materialists, the karmis and the jnanis. They

are  therefore  extroverts  all,  chasing  after  false  hopes for

happiness   in  the  realm  of  fleeting  appearances.  The  gross

materialist  endeavors for sensual delights. The karmi aspires for

ephemeral  heavenly  bliss  in  the hereafter. The jnani is wholly

concerned  with  how  to mitigate his existential suffering. After

surpassing  these  stages,  the  jiva becomes truly introspective,

seeking  entrance into the realm of the internal spiritual energy.

The   introspective  jivas  are  divided  into  three  categories:

kanistha,   madhyama,  and  uttama  (neophyte,  intermediate,  and


	The neophyte devotee rejects demigod worship and worships

only Krsna, but with certain material motivations due to lack of

sambandhajnana.  Simple and naive, he is not offensive; he is

just selfpreoccupied.  Therefore, although such neophytes are

not considered to be pure Vaisnavas, they are certainly to be

accepted as Vaisnava-praya or resembling Vaisnavas.

    	The  intermediate  or  madhyama  devotee  is pure and is very

firmly  situated  in  faith.  The  uttama  or  advanced devotee is

completely indifferent to material things and is fully surrendered

to Krsna. The pure name avails Himself to those who have exclusive

faith in Krsna. z Stepbystep advancement in hearing, chanting, and

remembering  The  order of discipline (sadhanakrama) for realizing

the  identity  of  the  holy name with the Lord is as follows. The

devotee  must in the beginning discard the ten offenses and simply

absorb  himself in the holy name by chanting constantly. He should

distinctly   pronounce   the  holy  name  and  meditate  upon  the

transcendental sound vibration. When his chanting is steady, clear

and  blissful,  he  will be able to meditate upon the Syamasundara

form of the Lord. With chanting beads in hand, he should thus seek

out  the  transcendental  form of the holy name, which will appear

when his vision is pure.

	Another method he may employ to see this form is to sit in

front of the Deities, drink the beautiful sight of the Lord with

his eyes and meditate upon the holy name.  After reaching the

stage where the holy name and the form of the Lord become one, he

must then absorb the transcendental qualities of Lord Krsna into

his meditation.  Thus the holy name and the qualities of Krsna

merge to become one through constant chanting.

     Next, he goes on to practice the remembrance of particular

pastimes of the Lord. This remembrance, called mantradhyana mayi

upasana, facilitates further absorbtion into the holy name.  This

lila-smarana or pastime meditation also gradually become one with

the holy name, form, and qualities.

    	At   this   point,   the  first  rays  of  namarasa,  or  the

transcendental  mellow  of  the  holy name, dawn on the horizon of

perception.  Chanting  the name in great delight, the devotee sees

Krsna  surrounded by cowherd boys and girls under a desire tree at

the   Yoga   Pitha.   Progressively,  the  devotee's  practice  of

lila-smarana  intensifies to the point where he begins to meditate

on  the  most  confidential  pastimes  of  the  Lord  known as the

asta-kaliya-  lila,  or the eightfold pastimes of RadhaKrsna. When

he reaches maturity in this meditation, rasa rises in full glory.

    The svarasiki process of worship

    Asta-kaliya-lila  smarana  is also known as svarasiki worship.

In  this  stage  of  bhajana,  one  is  awarded the opportunity to

accordingly  serve  Krsna in the times and places of his pastimes.

Now  the  devotee realizes the full grace of his spiritual master,

who,  in  his  eternal spiritual form (siddha-svarupa), guides the

disciple to a sakhi (confidential gopi) who in turn introduces him

into  the  pastimes  of  the  Lord.  Of  all  the  gopis,  Srimati

Radharani, the daughter of King Vrisabhanu, is the most excellent.

She  embodys  the  highest spiritual sentiment, mahabhava. Serving

Krsna under Her leadership is the supreme spiritual experience.

    The   five   main   rasas  or  spiritual  mellows  are:  santa

(neutrality),  dasya (servitorship), sakhya (friendship), vatsalya

(parenthood),  and  sringara  or  madhurya  (conjugal).  Of these,

sringara  or  conjugal  is the highest. Devotees eligible to enter

the  conjugal  rasa are the recipients of the special mercy of Sri

Krsna Caitanya.

    	In  the  conjugal  rasa,  Lord  Krsna has many yutheswaris or

female  group leaders; but everyone prefers Srimati Radharani. She

is  the  direct  manifestation  of  Lord  Krsna's svarupa-sakti or

spiritual   potency,   and  all  the  other  vraja-gopis  are  Her

expansions. She is the Absolute embodiment of all the rasas. It is

therefore the goal of devotional service to enroll in Her yutha or

group.  Service to Lord Krsna in Vraja is impossible without first

taking shelter of the vrajagopis. One should furthermore aspire to

enter   Srimati   Radharani's   camp   and  serve  directly  under


   When the material coverings are removed,

   the spiritual goal is acheived

 	As the devotee becomes disciplined in rasa, the gap between

sadhana (practice) and bhajanasiddhi (perfection of worship)

closes. Soon, the servitor's spiritual form begins to take shape.

By the mercy of the yutheswari, he becomes easily overpowered by

attraction to Lord Krsna. This strong spiritual attraction

eradicates the gross and subtle material concepts of form that

captured him when he turned away from Krsna.  Thus the jiva gains

entrance into Vraja in his original spiritual form.

	Up to this point, the jiva's progress in spiritual life can

be framed in words. Beyond it, there are even higher stages of

Krsna consciousness that are indescribable.  These will be

revealed by the grace of Krsna.  The cultivation of the conjugal

loving relationship with the Lord is the highest mode of service;

by this, everincreasing Krsnaprema will be experienced.  By

adopting the bhaumavrajarasa, or the vrajarasa revealed on

this material plane in Vrindavandhama, one becomes eligible to

enter such conjugal love.

    Sri Ramananda Raya said, 'Therefore one should accept the mood

of  the gopis in their service. In such a transcendental mood, one

should  always think of the pastimes of Sri Radha and Krsna. After

thinking  of Sri Sri RadhaKrsna and Their pastimes for a long time

and after getting completely free from material contamination, one

is  transferred  to the spiritual world. There the devotees attain

an  opportunity  to serve Sri Radha and Krsna as one of the gopis.

Unless one follows in the footsteps of the gopis he can not attain

the service of the lotus feet of Krsna, the son of Nanda Maharaja.

If one is overcome by knowledge of the Lord's opulence, he can not

attain  the  Lord's  lotus  feet  even  though  he  is  engaged in

devotional service." (Sri Caitanya caritamrita, Madhya 8.228230)

    	The  devotee  who  is inclined to cultivate the conjugal rasa

must  accept  the  form of a gopi under the guidance of a superior

vrajagopi.  One  can  become  a  gopi  when  eleven transcendental

sentiments adorn the heart. They are: 1) sambandha (relationship),

2)  vayasa (age), 3) nama (name), 4) rupa (form), 5) yutha-pravesa

(entrance into a group), 6) vesa (attire), 7) ajna (instructions),

8)  vasasthana  (place  of  residence),  9)  seva  (service),  10)

parakastha  (excellence),  11) palyadasi-bhava (the mood of a kept


   Five stages of consciousness

   are ascended in bhavasadhana

    The  cultivation  of  these  eleven  gopi  sentiments develops

through  five  stages.  They  are:  1)  sravana-dasa (the stage of

hearing),  2) varana-dasa (the stage of acceptance), 3) smarana- z

dasa   (the   stage  of  remembering),  4)  apana-dasa  (stage  of

application),  and  5) sampati-dasa (stage of inheritance). 	Srila

Ramananda Raya says, 'One who is attracted by the ecstatic love of

the  gopis  does not care about the regulative principles of Vedic

life  or  popular  opinion.  Rather, he completely surrenders unto

Krsna  and renders service unto Him.' 'In this liberated stage the

devotee  is  attracted  by  one  of the five humors (rasas) in the

transcendental  loving  service  of  the  Lord. As he continues to

serve  the Lord in that mood, he attains a spiritual body to serve

Krsna  in  Goloka  Vrindavan.'  (Sri  Caitanyacaritamrita,  Madhya

8.220,  8.222)  So  saying,  Srila  Ramananda Raya instructs us to

first attain the form and mood of a vraja- gopi in order to obtain

service in the conjugal relationship.

    When  a  sadhaka  devotee,  having  heard  about  Lord Krsna's

pastimes,  is  attracted  to  the  conjugal mellow, he should take

further  instruction  on  rasa  from a realized, saintly spiritual

master.  This is called the stage of hearing or sravana-dasa. When

the  sadhaka  devotee  anxiously  and eagerly accepts the conjugal

mellow,  varana-dasa  commences.  Then, by pure remembrance of the

sentiments  of  rasa, he desires to practice them: thus he reaches

the third stage, smarana-dasa. When he is able to perfectly invoke

these  sentiments  of rasa, he attains apana- dasa or prapti-dasa.

Finally,  when  he  can  separate  himself  from all his temporary

material  designations  and  is  steadily  fixed  in that original

spiritual   identity   for   which   he  yearns,  he  has  reached

sampati-dasa: the inheritance of his spiritual identity.

      Bhajan from the stage of sravanadasa to smaranadasa.

	If, after having tested the disciple, the spiritual master

determines that he is eligible to perform bhajan and serve in the

sringara rasa, he then confidentially informs the disciple about

his eternal spiritual form as a manjari in Srimati Radharani's

camp, under the supervision of Sri Lalitadevi.  The spiritual

master teaches the disciple how to develop the eleven sentiments

of the gopis, how to meditate on the asta-kaliya-lila, and how to

properly be established in both.

    	So  that  he  may fully understand them, the sadhaka is shown

his  siddhadeha  or  spiritual  identity, viz. his spiritual name,

form,  qualities,  service  and  so  on. The spiritual master also

discloses who the parents of the sadhaka's manjariidentity are, at

which  house  she was born, who her husband is, and so on. At this

point,  the  disciple  must spurn all Vedic religious pursuits and

simply  be  a  fully surrendered maidservant of Srimati Radharani,

the  camp  leader;  thereafter, the guru will reveal in detail the

disciple's   eternal   service   to   Srimati   Radharani  in  the

asta-kaliya-lila.  The  sadhika  (now  a  female sadhaki) embraces

these  revelations  in varanadasa. He enters into smaranadasa when

he  actually  remembers them for himself. In this way, the sadhaka

prepares himself for spiritual birth as a gopi in Vraja.

   A digression on the subject of ruci

    But  in  the  beginning the spiritual master and disciple must

together  sort  out  the disciple's natural inclination (ruci) for

rasa.  If  the disciple finds his natural taste coincides with the

identity  indicated  by  the spiritual master, he should so inform

his  guru  and  embrace that identity as his life and soul. But if

the  disciple  does  not  have  a natural taste for the selected z

identity, he must frankly reveal this to his spiritual master, who

will  give  him  another identity. If the disciple has a taste for

the  new  identity,  he should accept it. His inherent nature will

then  manifest  itself.  	Ruci  or taste is the natural devotional

propensity  born  out  of  bhaktisukriti,  or  previous devotional

service.  It  may  therefore  be  long  standing  or only recently

developed.  But  in  either case ruci is natural to the soul. When

this inclination is determined by the spiritual master, it must be

confirmed  by  the  disciple. If the inclination is not fixed, the

spiritual master's instructions on rasa will not take effect.

	Those who are not attracted to the sringararasa, preferring

dasya, sakhya or vatsalya, must likewise receive instructions

from the spiritual master on these relationships in order to get

the fruit of their devotion, or else return to a life of anarthas.

	The great devotee Syamananda at first was not aware of his

own siddharuci or permanent devotional propensity; he was made

to embrace the sakhyarasa or the mood of friendship.  Later, by

the grace of Srila Jiva Goswami, he attained his real position.

    If  an  inappropriate ruci is falsely attached to the sadhaka,

it  is compared to the gopiidentity's acceptance of a husband. But

by  the grace of his spiritual master, the sadhaka at last attains

Krsna's service in the parakiyarasa or paramour relationship. Rasa

comes  to  a  full  bloom only in the parakiya mood. The summit of

Lord  Caitanya's  teachings  is  that the parakiya attitude is the

permanent  feature  of  the  pastimes  of  the Lord, both in their

appearance   [when   Krsna   descends  to  Vrajabhumi]  and  their

disappearance  [into  the  invisible  Vraja  of the transcendental


      The conjugal rasa is completely transcendental 	Sringararasa

is   totally   devoid   of   even  an  iota  of  materialism.  The

transcendental  jiva,  in  order  to enjoy and exchange pure rasa,

becomes  a  transcendental  gopi and renders devotional service to

the transcendental personalities of Sri Radha and Sri Krsna in the

transcendental  realm  of  Vrindavana.  There is not the slightest

tinge of the mundane man-woman relationship in Vrndavana. Only the

purest  essence  of  conjugal  love is manifested in the perfected

identity  of  the  soul. And realization of this is available only

from  a  pure  devotee  spiritual master. Other than by his grace,

this inconceivable truth can never be understood. It is beyond the

realm  of  speculation  and  pedantic scrutiny. Its realization is

extremely rare.

   The transition from smaranadasa to apanadasa is crucial

     Perfection eludes the disciple if he does not elevate

himself from the stage of smarana-dasa to apana-dasa.  The

confidential process of apanadasa is most exalted, devoid of the

false posturing of karma, jnana or yoga.  Externally, the devotee

engages himself fully in the chanting the holy name, leading a

renounced and simple life.  Internally, he keeps the splendorous

    Editor's  note:  refer  to C.c. Adi 4.50, purport, for further

elaboration  on  this  topic.  z  flames of rasa burning with pure

intensity all the time. 	Those sadhakas who are prone to a pompous

external  display  of  devotion or who fail to steady and properly

direct  their internal spiritual aspirations are unable to elevate

themselves  from  the  platform of smarana to apana-dasa. Thus the

sadhaka  may  linger,  unaccomplished,  through  many lifetimes of

devotional  practice.  	This  path  of  worship  or bhajana is the

simplest,  but  if  the  purity  of  the  bhajana  is  in  any way

disfigured by a tinge of the contaminated desires for recognition,

distinction or preference, then the sadhaka is thrown off the path

of  vraja-sadhana  or  bhajana  in  the  mood  of  Vraja. One must

approach  the spiritual master with simple humility and learn this

pure process properly.

     By always remembering that he is pure spirit soul, part and

parcel of the Absolute Whole, that he has a transcendental

original form that is allperfect, that He has forgotten his

perfect spiritual state and come under the clutches of maya, that

he is offensive to Lord Krsna, being inebriated with the false

designations of his gross body, but by the mercy of his spiritual

master he can regain knowledge of his real self  the method for

the reawakening of the disciple's original identity can be

quickly accomplished.

  - Two methods of sadhana:

  ! vaidhi and raganuga

	There are two methods of sadhanabhakti: one is vaidhi

(rules and regulations) and the other is raganuga (spontaneous).

In the beginning, these two methods appear to be contradictory,

but upon comprehension of their real purpose, the differences

between them are dissolved.  The vaidhi method of sadhana arises

from respect for the regulations of scripture. Raganugasadhana

is born out of an intense attraction for the activities of the

residents of Vraja.  The first is the usual method, whereas the

second is extremely rare and confidential.

    To  the stage of apanadasa via vaidhisadhana 	The vaidhibhakta

crosschecks all his activities of service to Krsna with scriptural

injunction.  Thus his beginning faith (sraddha) for the process of

devotional  service leads him step by step to nistha (firm faith),

then to ruci (taste or attraction), then asakti (attachment). When

he  reaches  the  first  stage of spontaneity and slight bhava, he

discards   his   dependence   upon  scriptural  directives  as  an

impediment  to  his  progress.  After  this, he is elevated to the

stage   of  apana-dasa,  where  the  difference  between  devotees

following vaidhi and raganuga disappear.

    To the stage of sampatidasa via raganugasadhana

    [continued from the section subtitled

 "Bhajana from the stage of sravanadasa to smaranadasa"]

     In the smaranadasa stage of raganugasadhana, the eleven

sentiments of the gopis are first remembered by the sadhaka;

these sentiments must adorn his emotions before he can remember

the astakaliyalila.

    There   are   five   levels  of  remembrance  in  smaranadasa.

Initially,  his  remembrance  will  not  be  steady; this level is

called   smarana.  Sometimes  he  remembers  the  sentiments,  his

position  and  his  service, and at other times he forgets. But by

steady  practice  of  smarana,  gradually he reaches permanency ofremembrance,  or  dharana. As one meditates on every aspect of the

subject  of  remembrance, part by part, minutely, dharana develops

into  fixed  meditation  -  this  is  dhyana.  When dhyana becomes

continual,  is  is  called  anusmriti.  Following anusmriti is the

fifth  level  of  remembrance,  samadhi,  when  the devotee has no

interest in anything other than perfect absorption in the pastimes

of Lord Krsna.

    	From the samadhi level of smarana-dasa, the crucial ascension

to apana-dasa or the stage of application takes place. For one who

is not adept, elevation through the five stages of smarana-dasa to

apana-dasa  may  require  many  yugas  of  effort; for a dexterous

sadhaka, reaching apana-dasa is accomplished quickly.

    	In    the   apana-dasa   stage,   identification   with   the

psychophysical  body  is  reduced to insignificance. His spiritual

identity    (svarupa)   becomes   more   and   more   predominant.

Intermittently, it manifests and he experiences sublime ecstasy in

rendering devotional service to Sri Sri RadhaKrsna in Vraja. These

experiences  develop until he spends long periods of time in Vraja

interacting  with  the  residents in his vraja-svarupa, seeing the

dhama and the transcendental pastimes within.

     The devotee's constant namabhajana inevitably brings about

a face to face meeting with Lord Syamasundera.  By the Lord's

merciful will, all trace of the devotee's subtle body of mind,

intelligence and false ego are extinguished with the demise of

the gross body of five elements.  Thus he enters the sampati dasa stage.

	This is when the devotee's pure spiritual form fully

manifests, free of material coverings. In the mood of pure bhava,

he takes up his eternal service to Sri Sri RadhaKrsna in the

transcedental dhama.  He thus becomes a sadhana-siddha or a

perfected soul now reinstated in his svarupa through practice of

sadhana and bhajana. He now serves the Lord in the company of the

nityasiddhas, the eternal associates of the Lord who were never


  ' Summary

     The holy name is the greatest and yet the easiest obtainable

spiritual treasure.  This treasure is obtained by the jiva who

chants with faith and devotion, not caring for  karma, jnana and

yoga.  That jiva quickly and easily ascends to the highest

perfection by following the method of namabhajana described


    	This  method  is  the best of methods, better even than other

methods   of   bhakti.   The   basic  requirement  for  successful

accomplishment  of  namabhajana  is  that the sadhaka must totally

shun  bad  association  and  engage  in the practice of devotional

service  in the company of saintly devotees of the Lord. Pure love

of Krsna is the expression of unalloyed devotional service. Only a

pure  devotee's  heart  has  the  inclination  and  capability  of

receiving  prema; the non-devotee's heart denies it. Prema refuses

to  enter the heart of one who does not keep the company z of pure

devotees.  The  jiva's  decision  to  accept  either  good  or bad

association has a powerful and lasting influence on his destiny.

    There  are  three  essential traits that must be cultivated to

obtain  success  in  chanting  the  holy name of the Lord: saintly

association,  isolation from the disturbances of mundane life, and

determined, confident enthusiasm.

    	After saying this, Srila Haridasa Thakura declared himself to

be  very  low and materially engrossed, bereft of good association

and  always  engaged  in selfdeception. Although Srila Haridasa is

himself  a nityasiddha associate of the Lord, he expressed himself

in this humble way. Humility is the ornament of prema.

     The Lord's special favor upon Srila Haridasa Thakur

    Srila  Haridasa continued, "O Lord, kindly shower upon me Your

causeless  mercy  (ahaitukikripa).  I pray that You grant me entry

into  the  realm of bhakti-rasa." Saying this, Srila Haridasa fell

unconscious in loving ecstasy, fully selfsurrendered at the Lord's

lotus feet.

         Ahaitukikripa means 'causeless mercy'.  By saying this,

Srila Haridasa implied that he was spiritually unaccomplished and

therefore had no hope for the kind of mercy Lord Krsna bestows

upon His pure devotees. In his mood of utter helplessness he

simply prayed for Lord Caitanya's unconditional grace.

 	Srila Haridasa Thakur is famous for nama-bhajana and his

teachings on the glories of the holy name,  yet he is also the

recipient of Lord Caitanya's special mercy.  He is such an

authority on the philosophy of namarasa that once, when Lord

Caitanya was relishing the topics of RadhaKrsna lila with Sri

Ramananda Raya and Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya in the courtyard of

Srila Haridasa Thakur's bhajana-kutir, Srila Haridasa repeatedly

expounded at length on the glories of nama-rasa to the rapt

attention of the other exalted persons present.

     Lord Caitanya was moved by divine loving emotions upon

hearing Srila Haridasa's Thakura's plea for mercy.  Lifting Srila

Haridasa up in His embrace, the Lord then spoke in confidence to

him.  "O Haridasa!  Listen attentively to what I have to say.

The truth about the holy name will be hidden by mischievious

rascals who will create a dark shroud of ignorance over the

entire world.  At that time, these excellent and unrivalled

instructions of yours about chanting in the association of

saintly persons shall be understood only by a remaining handful

of devotees."

     What did Lord Caitanya mean by 'mischievous rascals'?  The

prime candidates for this appellation are the various upstart

sects like the sahajiyas, aulas, baulas and so on, who propagate

bogus mundane doctrines disguised as Mahaprabhu's own teachings;

they indeed conceal from the world the pure philosophy of Krsna

consciousness expounded by the Lord Himself in His Siksastaka.

    The  Lord  continued,  "The true path of the holy name will be

followed  by  saintly souls who are totally detached from material

life.  They will chant the holy name with bhava and will therefore

be  known be known as rasikabhaktas. Their bhava will be z that of

separation;  by  their  chanting  they will relish the pastimes of

RadhaKrsna and the eight principal gopis.

    "The  jiva is blessed with pure bhakti only on the strength of

his  sukriti, or piety and faith. Not everyone is entitled to have

such devotion, but in order to instill such devotion in the hearts

of the faithful, I have descended to propagate the chanting of the

holy name as the religion for this age. The chanting of Hare Krsna

Hare  Krsna  Krsna  Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama

Hare Hare is factually the jiva's inherent and eternal religion.

     "My dear Haridasa, in the accomplishment of this mission I

depend upon your help, and thus I am hearing from you the glories

of the holy name."

     The Harinama Cintamani, this touchstone of the Lord's holy

name, is an unfathomable mine of divine nectar.  Whoever tastes

it is truly fortunate and is blessed by Krsna; he is a great soul

and always blissfully serves Lord Krsna in spontaneous loving

devotion.  I am a fallen soul; I clasp his feet and humbly pray

that the remnants of this nectar should be distributed profusely,

thus spreading divine bliss to everyone.


[Source: Institute of Philosophy of Russian Academy of Sciences ]

[BVML Home Page] Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura Page

Srila Bhaktivinode
Thakura Page