Vaisnava-ninda: Those Who Chant Namabhasa Are Not Vaisnavas – Part 2

bvt booksBy Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur. Translated from Sri Gaudiya Patrika, Year 7, Issue 10 by the Rays of The Harmonist team. Published in English for the first time in Rays of The Harmonist No. 20, Kartika, 2009. Read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

One who chants suddha-krsna-nama even once is indeed a Vaisnava and Diksa (initiation) is unnecessary in terms of the existential reality (tattva) of sri nama

At this point, one more thing needs to be considered. Becoming a suddha Vaisnava does not depend on the process of taking diksa (ceremonial initiation). Diksa is the process whereby a person receives a mantra for the worship of Sri Hari’s deity form, and thus comes at least to the stage of vaisnava-praya.

In terms of the existential reality of the holy name (nama-tattva), such diksa is unnecessary. As Sriman Mahaprabhu has said:

prabhu kahe,—“yanra mukhe suni eka-bara, krsna-nama, sei pujya,—srestha sabakara

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu answered, “He from whose mouth krsna-nama is heard even once is worshipful and is the best among human beings.”

eka krsna-name kare sarva-papa ksaya, nava-vidha bhakti purna nama haite haya

Even uttering Krsna’s name a single time destroys all of one’s sins. The nine-fold process of devotional service (navadha-bhakti) attains completeness only through nama.

diksa-purascarya-vidhi apeksa na kare, jihva-sparse a-candala sabare uddhare

One is not required to undergo the process of receiving diksa or any preparatory regulative rites in order to chant krsna-nama. Simply by coming in contact with the tongue, krsna-nama delivers everyone, including even the most degraded class of men.

anusanga-phale kare samsarera ksaya, citta akarsiya karaya krsne premodaya

As a secondary result of chanting krsna-nama, one’s material entanglement is terminated. The primary result is that the mind and heart of the chanter become uncontrollably drawn to Krsna and finally krsna-prema awakens in his heart.
Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya, 15.106–109

ataeva yanra mukhe eka krsna-nama, sei ta’ vaisnava, kariha tanhara sammana

One who even chants Krsna’s name a single time is described as a Vaisnava; therefore you should show him utmost respect.
Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya, 15.111

The difference between sri nama and namabhasa & those who chant namabhasa are not Vaisnavas

The difference between nama and namabhasa is not the topic of our present deliberation. This shall be discussed specifically at another time. Herein, this much can be said: when krsna-nama is chanted with sastriya-sraddha (faith in scripture), that is, with unalloyed surrender, then it is nama. When nama is chanted with desires unrelated to making Krsna happy (anyabhilasita), or when it is eclipsed by jnana (dry, impersonal knowledge), karma (reward seeking action), vairagya (renunciation born of aversion) and so forth, it is namabhasa.

Although the chanting of namabhasa can award any result, even up to emancipation from the material energy (mukti), the Vaisnava only chants suddha-nama and is never inclined to chant any form of namabhasa.

When nama is chanted by one who has knowledge of his actual svarupa, who understands that nama and nami (the name and the named) are non-different, and who has realized that nama only makes his appearance upon the pure transcendental senses of the jiva, only then is it nama.

When that nama appears on someone’s tongue, even once, he becomes a Vaisnava. By the time nama appears, all of one’s fructified (prarabdha) and unfructified (aprarabdha) sins are destroyed. And along with the awakening of such nama comes love of Godhead.

The Vaisnava who chants suddha-nama is endowed with all good qualities, is free of sins and has no interest in pious or impious activities

A Vaisnava is naturally endowed with all good characteristics and is devoid of all vice. It is stated in Sri Caitanya Caritamrta,

sarva maha-guna-gana vaisnava-sarire, krsna-bhakte krsnera guna sakali sancare

All exalted virtues reside in the body of a Vaisnava. All the transcendental qualities of Krsna are transmitted to his bhakta. (Madhya, 22.75)

vidhi-dharma chadi’ bhaje krsnera carana, nisiddha papacare tara kabhu nahe mana

A Vaisnava exclusively worships Sri Krsna’s lotus feet, so even though he casts aside the regulative principles and conduct prescribed for the discharge of varnasrama-dharma (righteous societal duty), his mind is never tainted by the inclination to engage in prohibited, sinful activities. (Madhya, 22.142)

ajnane va haya yadi ‘papa’ upasthita, krsna tanre suddha kare, na karaya prayascitta

If, however, a Vaisnava somehow unknowingly becomes implicated in sinful activity, Krsna does not make him undergo the ordained method of atonement, but personally purifies him instead. (Madhya, 22.143)

jnana-vairagyadi—bhaktira kabhu nahe ‘anga’, ahimsa-yama-niyamadi bule krsna-bhakta-sanga

Never mistake the cultivation of knowledge and renunciation as limbs of bhakti in their own right, for all good qualities such as gentleness, control over the mind and senses, and appropriate renunciation automatically accompany the krsna-bhaktas. (Madhya, 22.145)

asat-sanga-tyaga,—ei vaisnava-acara,‘stri-sangi’—eka asadhu, ‘krsnabhakta’ ara

To discard the company of those who diminish one’s resolve in krsna-bhakti (asat-sanga) is truly the natural conduct of a Vaisnava. And the most detrimental association of all is those who enjoy the company of women and the non-devotees. (Madhya, 22.87)

The day krsna-nama appears on someone’s tongue, even a single time he will lose all taste for sinful activities. What to speak of taste for sinful activities, he will even lose interest in pious activities.

All three classifications of Vaisnavas – namely those who are vaisnava, those who are vaisnava-tara and those who are vaisnava-tama – are devoid of any form of material contamination, flawless and without sin. If it is observed, however, that a person is actually inclined toward sinful activities, then he is not to be counted among the Vaisnavas. Even the kanistha Vaisnavas1 have no inclination for pious or impious activities.

  1. Also known as vaisnava-praya. []

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