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Where is it written in Srila Vedavyasa’s scriptures that the ten offenses in the chanting of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra completely block our attainment of pure love for Krishna for millions upon millions of lives?
Where is it in the Puranas?
Inspite of all this scriptural evidence from our Bhakti Smriti scriptures about the dire consequences of committing the ten offenses against the Hare Krishna maha-mantra, some devotees still think that these quotes are only from our Gaudiya scriptures not from Srila Vyasadeva’s Puranas.
It was Srila Vyasadeva who actually revealed these ten offenses in the chanting of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra in the Padma Purana. And there are many other verses too in the Puranas like the one below.
Our Steel-Framed Heart
One such very important verse is found in Srimad Bhagavatam 2.3.24 in spoken by Srila Suta Goswami to Srila Saunaka Rishi. It is a very important verse in the science of chanting the Hare Krishna maha-mantra that it again appears as Sri Caitanya Caritamrita 1.8.25.
तदश्मसारं हृदयं बतेदं, यद् गृह्यमाणैर्हरिनामधेयै: । न विक्रियेताथ यदा विकारो, नेत्रे जलं गात्ररुहेषु हर्ष: ॥ २४ ॥
tad ashma-saram hridayam batedam, yad grihyamanair hari-nama-dheyaih; na vikriyetatha yada vikaro, netre jalam gatra-ruhesu harshah.
tat - that; ashma-saram - is steel-framed; hridayam - heart; bata idam - certainly that; yat - which; grihyamanaih - in spite of chanting; hari-nama - the holy name of the Lord; dheyaih - by concentration of the mind; na - does not; vikriyeta - change; atha - thus; yada - when; vikarah - reaction; netre - in the eyes; jalam - tears; gatra-ruhesu - at the pores; harshah - eruptions of ecstasy.
Translation: “A sincere chanter may chant the Hare Krishna maha-mantra (hari-nama) with full concentration and devotion (dheyaih) for many lives.”
“But inspite of this (grihyamanaih), due to one’s offenses against Harinama, one’s heart (hridayam) clearly (batedam) remains steel-framed (ashma-saram) and unagitated (na vikriti) by any of the eight ecstatic symptoms (na vikaro) of pure love for Krishna.”
“These symptoms are tears of pure love (netre jalam), eruptions of blissful goosebumps of pure love in his or her body (gatra ruheshu harshah), etc.”
Srila Prabhupada’s Purport
This is specifically due to our 10 offenses in the chanting of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra and nothing else
Srila Prabhupada elaborates this verse in his beautiful commentary:
“The bhava stage is manifested by eight transcendental symptoms, namely inertness, perspiration, standing of hairs on end, failing in the voice, trembling, paleness of the body, tears in the eyes and finally trance.“
“If the reaction (due to bhava) does not take place, even after continuous hearing and chanting of the holy name of the Lord, it may be considered to be due to offenses only.. That is the opinion of the Sandarbha.“
“In the beginning of chanting of the holy name of the Lord, if the devotee has not been very careful about evading the ten kinds of offenses at the feet of the holy name, certainly the reaction of feelings of separation will not be visible by tears in the eyes and standing of the hair on end.“
“The whole process can be summarized as follows: The advanced devotee who chants the holy name of the Lord in a perfectly offenseless manner and is friendly to everyone can actually relish the transcendental taste of glorifying the Lord. And the result of such realization is reflected in the cessation of all material desires, etc., as mentioned above.“
“The neophytes, due to their being in the lower stage of devotional service, are invariably envious, so much so that they invent their own ways and means of devotional regulations without following the acaryas. As such, even if they make a show of constant chanting the holy name of the Lord, they cannot relish the transcendental taste of the holy name.“
The Three Critical Points in Srila Prabhupada’s Purport
Srila Prabhupada has said it all in these beautiful paragraphs. I would still like to highlight some of his most critical points again so that they can sink in deep into our dull Kaliyuga minds:
“Due to offenses only”
1️⃣ 1) He emphatically wrote, “…it may be considered due to offenses 🔥 only.“ Thus the essence is to offenselessly chant the Hare Krishna maha-mantra.
There is no other obstacle which is blocking us from love.
“Perfectly Offenseless Chanting”
2️⃣ 2) The specific words Srila Prabhupada has used here are “perfectly 🔥 offenseless manner“.
One has to chant the Hare Krishna maha-mantra in a perfectly offenseless manner to attain pure love of Krishna.
Even constant chanting is not enough
3️⃣ 3) Some devotees think that simply by mechanically increasing the daily rounds of the chanting of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra, they will magically be able to suddenly chant offenselessly.
But to negate such a misconception, Srila Prabhupada further reveals from the direct commentary of his own Srila Gurudeva:
“As such, even if they (comment: the offenders) make a show of constantly 🔥 chanting (comment: like chanting 64 rounds daily, etc.) the holy name of the Lord, they cannot relish the transcendental taste of the holy name.”
This makes it quite clear that chanting even 64 rounds of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra daily may not necessarily mean that one can or is chanting Harinama offenselessly in pure love.
One may still remain a neophyte and offender to the holy names.
This eye-opening truth has also been confirmed in Sri Harinama Chintamani by both Namacharya Srila Haridasa Thakura and Sacchidananda Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, which I will discuss in another article.
The ecstatic symptoms of the offensive chanters of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra are all fake and deceiving
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura reveals in his Amrita Pravaha Bhashya commentary to Sri Caitanya Caritamrta Adi Lila, Chapter 8:
ihAte bujhite haibe ye, nAmAparAdhIra sAttvika vikArAdi kevala chalamAtra.
“One should clearly understand and always remember that the so-called eight-fold ecstatic symptoms displayed by an offender to the Hare Krishna maha-mantra are simply cheating (chalamatra) and fake.”
To help you attain Hari Nama Prema in this very lifetime, I am your aspiring humble servant working day and night tirelessly in your menial service to help brighten your offenseless and love-laden remembrance of our all-forgiving Lord Nitai’s form in all your Bhakti Yoga practices,