The Ten Offences, Day 4, Durban, South Africa

And now let us move on to the 7th, “to commit sinful activities on the strength of the holy name of the Lord”, so of course the point here is that as we note in our first little comment here, that the unlimited power of the holy names has already been discussed in regard to the 5th offence that we mentioned about, how you can’t commit enough sinful activity that just one chanting of the name “Krishna” without offence will not be able to eliminate all of that. So therefore some people may think that let us make a program, a systematic program of enjoying life, eat, drink and be merry and not eating prashadam and drinking prashadam or milk or whatever and enjoying kirtan but some other forms. So… people may think like this and then think that let us also chant the holy names and this will free us.

However, point number 3, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura says “if someone even contemplates relieving himself of the reaction of deliberate sin by exploiting the purifying strength of the holy name, he is utterly ruined and no amount of prayascitta will help him.” (Sri Harinama Cintamani 9, sinning on the strength of chanting the Holy Name, Being inclined to sin is nama aparadha) Prayascitta, means atonement. “Even after untold retribution in hell he will not be absolved from this mental nama aparadha” (Sri Harinama Cintamani 9, sinning on the strength of chanting the Holy Name, Being inclined to sin is nama aparadha) so this is really serious, this is very, very serious. Of course we don’t expect any of you; we know you… you all are committed devotees so we don’t expect you to break any of the regulative principles, so hopefully this wouldn’t apply so much to yourselves.
Ahh, however there is one interesting little twist to this and it comes up and we mentioned in point 5, it’s actually point 4 in fact, from seva aparadha to nama aparadha. This is explained by Viçvanätha Chakravarthi Thakura that actually we already mentioned that there are seva aparadha beginning with what… What is seva aparadha number 1? Show me you have learnt something? Entering the temple room with shoes or something… ya and it includes, I mean… the list of seva aparadhas include ahh… not reciting the pranama mantra out loud or at least audibly not that you have to shout but you know audibly and should be audible and there’s… there’s a number 60 or so specific seva aparadhas and right at the very beginning you may recall, right at the very, very beginning in fact it’s on the first page about, ahh… of our study guide. This is a quote from Srila Prabhupada which He says that, “if you commit some offence against the Supreme Personality of Godhead then if you chant Hare Krishna, you can be delivered from that”, and we did explain at that time you if recall that what Prabhupada is referring to then when he says if you commit offence against the Supreme Personality of Godhead, it’s the seva aparadha, beginning with entering the temple with shoes on or not to offering obeisances properly or different things like that, getting angry with people in front of the deity and you can read through them it’s worthwhile. So, ahh…Srila Prabhupada made the point that if you happen to commit any of these then you just chant… as you are already chanting Hare Krishna, you just carry on chanting Hare Krishna and the results of those will be washed away, ahh… in other words, they are not terribly serious really! However Viçvanätha Chakravarthi Thakura makes the point that if you commit any of these knowingly then, any of these seva aparadhas, they cease to be seva aparadhas and they become forms of the 7th offence, committing sin on the strength of chanting Hare Krishna. So now you know you are not allowed to enter the temple room with shoes on, anyway you knew that already, now you know you’re meant to say your pranama mantra out loud, so you know with knowledge comes a burden of responsibility, so you might argue… let me not read these list of offences (laughter) so I can very sincerely commit them without any intention and then it won’t actually be an nama aparadha however this is not actually a very good idea. You should be aware and you should avoid them and if you don’t, somehow or other you may, if it happens sometimes that the devotee just has to rush into the temple room to call someone out or something like that. You may have seen this happen, just left your bead bag there or something you just got to say good-bye to someone. You just duck in, (laughter) grab your bead bag and duck out without really offering your obeisances. These things happen sometimes or it’s an offence… anyway I won’t mention that one. There’s a few touchy ones there, like you are not meant to wear red or blue in front of the deity, are you familiar with that one? That one is there and how do we interpret that, well Srila Prabhupada didn’t apply that because particularly ladies and men perhaps sometimes, maybe with a pull-over or a jacket perhaps ahh… I am sure devotees wear red and blue sometimes but according to that list, it’s an offence, anyway Srila Prabhupada didn’t apply that so we don’t really worry too much about it. However the others we should really be mindful.

Then the last little point under the 7th offence is the need for vigilance on the namabhasa stage and let me just see what we have to say about that here. Ahh. Yes. So namabhasa, this clearing stage, we talked about that yesterday. It’s very important to be mindful of, we are meant to be on the clearing stage. Of course it will be nice to say we are meant to be on the shuddha-nama, pure stage of chanting in Love of God but we don’t really, you know expect that too quickly but at least we should be on the clearing stage and that means… The difference between the clearing stage and the offensive stage is that on the offensive stage, the different desires or non-Krishna Conscious ideas will enter the mind sometimes and on the offensive stage, we may sometimes entertain them. Yes. Some little idea enters the mind and then off we go on some little mental path, following that idea and thinking about it and wouldn’t it be nice and something like that, some material contemplation. So that’s the offensive stage. Now the difference between that and the clearing stage is that even though the mind is sometimes pushing and telling you, come on think about this… think about that… some nonsense but on the clearing stage the devotee says, “no”. Ya, the devotee says no and an emphatic “no” and even though the mind is talking away there but then the devotee remains fixed in chanting. Doesn’t mean that no desires, no ideas ever come into the mind, that’s the… that’s the pure stage were one is totally just swimming in the ocean of the holy name and just drowning in the ocean of the holy name and there is no question of material desire even… even entering the scene… even as a hint but on the clearing stage it’s understood that the pushing is there, pushing is there from the mind but the devotee is resisting and has become strong enough and purified enough to be able to resist and not just get washed away with the tide of the minds, desires and the strength of the mind.

So as far as vigilance then being required in the namabhasa stage then there are two things and this is important for us all as aspiring devotees, we are all trying to get it together. So two things are there, one is that you just just have to be very determined, that has to be there. But second this is recommendation from Bhaktivinoda Thakura that we must regularly seek the association of devotees and pure devotees, who do chant the holy name without offences and chant in their company. In fact Bhaktivinoda Thakura recommends that for at least an hour a day we should chant with advanced devotees even though you know you won’t chant all your rounds within an hour, if you are chanting all your rounds within an hour then you must know that… you are… it’s not really possible unless you adopt one of the deviant forms of the maha mantra like “the snick snick rama rama” (laughter). You’ve heard about that, I am sure you must have heard about that. One devotee was chanting something like that and Prabhupada’s presence and Srila Prabhupada was quite struck by it, and He found it quite amusing. He told them if you keep chanting like this you may go to snick loka (laughter) snick snick rama rama (laughter) or the Hare… we have the Hare Krishna maha mantra. I am sure you all have heard us mention before about the Hare Krishna mini mantra (laughter) the abbreviated Hare Krishna mantra. One of our dear devotees I won’t mention any names (laughter) sometimes chants Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare/ Hare Rama Hare Hare (laughter) and finishes his rounds quickly (laughter) anyway…so… yes. Yes we should chant very vigilantly if we are to come to or remain on depending where we at right now on the clearing stage ya and see the tendency towards sin is something that is quite deeply engrained for many, many lifetimes, so we really have to watch out for the 7th offence. So Bhaktivinoda Thakura recommends like that, that we should regularly, you may not always be able to but regularly we should chant in the association of advanced devotees. Ya and ideally on a daily basis, of course yourselves, many of yourselves at least as householders, that might be difficult. But the thing is, that as you advance more, probably of course as you advance more you will be become better association for each other anyway as family members but perhaps as you advance more than the devotees in the different areas may gather sometimes in each other’s houses, you know for an hour at least every day or every other day or something like this.

In some parts of the world, like in Russia where they have namahattas, they have a namahatta centre, they have one flat and it’s only used for the namahatta programs, someone may stay there just to keep it clean but otherwise it’s just for the namahatta programs. So in the morning many of the devotees, the namahatta devotees around, working people, they’ll come there, they will gather at 5:30 or 5 o’ clock or something like that, spend an hour or so before they go to work. You know this some practical thing which may be possible in order to… to help each other and associate, surcharge each other and this is very helpful, ya because one thing we should remember is that we are never alone, even when we’re alone, we are not alone and that doesn’t mean just because Krishna is there, us and Krishna are not alone. Yes, you know who is there with you? Your mind! Yes and unfortunately your mind is probably not very good association. In fact Bhaktivinoda Thakura compares the mind to Pütanä, the witch, she’d like to kill us but she looks very sweet. Pütanä dressed herself up like a very sweet young lady, extremely good looking, very, very beautiful but not a flashy type of beautiful lady but of very high character, very pure hearted sattvik type of young lady. She looked so nice that Mother Yashoda didn’t, when… when Putana went walking in to Nanda Maharaja’s own room cause they lived in separate rooms, even in separate parts of the house then she looked so sweet and nice that Mother Yashoda didn’t even ask her, “Who are you?”, “What are you doing in my husband’s room?”. She just let her go. So like this we may be a little… ah… too liberal with our minds cause your mind will tell you that, “We are good friends, we have been friends for a long time.” (laughter) “I always give you good advice, I am there when you need me”, and we may think “Yes, good old mind!” (laughter) But the mind is compared to Pütanä, looks very nice but then the mind will try to kill us, or kill our Krishna Consciousness. So in this way, we should try to seek the association of devotees on a very regular basis and chant in their association and that’s very important.
We haven’t been talking a lot about the remedies, Bhaktivinoda Thakura suggests some remedies. Of course we did also make the point, or Prabhupada made the point right at the very beginning that if you commit offences against the holy names then there’s no… you know you can’t ahh… it’s very difficult or even Prabhupada more or less said that it is hardly impossible to really address that. However Bhaktivinoda does talk about that and Prabhupada also elsewhere does say, particularly with Vaisnava aparadha, that there are things you can do. With Vaisnava aparadha, we talked about that how you have to very humbly go before the devotees and throw yourself at the devotee’s feet ahh… in regard to the 2nd offence the remedy, if you happen to get into demigod worship cause I see actually, I have seen in some of our devotees, not many but some of our devotees houses, here and there… ahh… they may have 2 altars sometimes or you know most of the altar is Krishna Conscious but just around the corner is you know, Durga or Laxmi or somebody or you know, actually we have seen it. So if someone happens to commit that offence then what Bhaktivinoda Thakura recommends is that you go in front of the deities and throw yourself at Their lotus feet and beg forgiveness. If you disobey the orders of the spiritual master, you are meant to go into His presence and ahh… admit your offence and in front of all the devotees you are meant to do that. If you blaspheme the scriptures you are meant to do the same thing make up… like you know make up like an altar with some of the scriptures on the altar an offer your humble obeisances and in front of the devotees make them aware of what you have done. So these types of remedies are there ahh… for most of these offences.

For this offence ahh… if you commit sin on the strength of chanting the holy names, Bhaktivinoda Thakura recommends that you go into the association of devotees and throw yourself at their lotus feet and beg for forgiveness and beg for help and the devotees of course are so merciful that if you beg for their help, then they will give you good advice and encouragement and treat you in a very merciful way, soothing words like this.

So that’s something about the 7th offence.

Let’s say something now about the 8th offence to, ahh… to consider… ahh… where are we? 9th offence, wait a minute… (it’s on the last page) oh it’s the last page okay. “to consider the chanting of Hare Krishna to be one of the auspicious ritualistic activities offered in the Vedas as fruitive activities, karma khanda” (9th offence to chanting the holy name) so we make the point, goloker premadhana, ( Hari Hari Bifale, From Prärthanä, Prayer to One’s Beloved Lord, By Çréla Narottama Däsa Öhäkura) goloker premadhana actually, d-h-a-n-a harinama-sankirtana (Hari Hari Bifale, From Prärthanä, Prayer to One’s Beloved Lord, By Çréla Narottama Däsa Öhäkura) This harinama sankirtana, the holy name has descended from Goloka as a great gift, premadhana, like that. “It’s descended from the spiritual world as a great gift of Love of God.”
Then we quote one very nice verse here from Caitanya Caritamrta which really makes it very clear. “”The holy name of Krsna is transcendentally blissful. It bestows all spiritual benedictions, for it is Krsna Himself, the reservoir of all pleasure. Krsna’s name is complete, and it is the form of all transcendental mellows. It is not a material name under any condition, and it is no less powerful than Krsna Himself. Since Krsna’s name is not contaminated by the material qualities, there is no question of its being involved with maya. Krsna’s name is always liberated and spiritual; it is never conditioned by the laws of material nature. This is because the name of Krsna and Krsna Himself are identical.” (CC, Madhya 17.133 translation)

This is a very important verse making it very clear, ahh…of course you all know this fact that Krishna Consciousness is transcendental but still a…a… possible variation on this offence which we may commit is if we start praying to Krishna for… ahh ya… praying to Krishna with some sort of material end in mind. Of course, you know, you may need some money to do some service for Krishna, even maintain your own family better in Krishna Consciousness so that’s… that may be acceptable up to a point but if we start… you know like really praying to Krishna for material things then it is basically an offence falling into this category in which we… we are equating Krishna Consciousness or trying to get from Krishna Consciousness the same benefits which are normally got from karma khandia, material things. “Give me a house and a car and a colour TV, om jaya jagadisa hare” yes. Ya, like that. So… ahh… in our cases we, we don’t really expect you, any of you to think that the chanting of Hare Krishna is actually a material religious activity. I think, I am sure you hear; I am sure you have all heard about it enough but this is a little twist on it. A little twist, a little subtlety that we may think of getting something material by the grace of the holy name, something beyond our real requirements, so this is a possible variation which might apply to us then we say… Ahh it’s actually meant to be point number 3 but the number got lost there.

The example of Kalidasa, the example of Kalidasa. Now Bhaktivinoda Thakura, when he explains this offence in Harinama Cintamani actually it’s…umm…it’s Haridasa Thakura in fact who is really speaking so he, he makes the point that if you commit this offence it indicates that you have gross material attachment. You know if you think that the holy name is just something like karma khandia or even in this more subtle sense. You are chanting Hare Krishna and you are praying to Krishna give me a new BMW. I could use it in Krishna’s service. (laughter) Give me a new Rolls Royce or something like that. Give me a new sari. Of course you may need a new sari (laughter) or whatever it might be. So, but the thing is when we start going a little over board, if we start going a little over board about desires on the bodily platform or I am this body at least in some subtle way, we are getting into that so Bhaktivinoda Thakura or Haridasa Thakura recommends, he makes a very interesting recommendation. He says that seeing this indicates you’ve come on the bodily platform what… he says what you should do is to counteract as a remedy for this, to cure yourself of this, you should find some Vaisnava who comes, at least from the…when he… before he was a Vaisnava comes from the lowest position in society that you could find you know whatever that might be the lowest you know in… in the Vedic context that would mean candala, mleccha or yavana something like that. Some devotee who was you know born in a certain family really, really, really low. You should find that devotee and then throw yourself at the lotus feet of that devotee and eagerly take the dust from that devotee’s lotus feet and then bathe that… the feet of that devotee with water and drink the water and then take the food remnants of that devotee. Take the dust from the devotee’s feet and smear it all over your body and offer very humble prayers for mercy at the lotus feet of that devotee.

So now the example here given, we have mentioned is Kalidasa, some of you may have heard of Kalidasa. Have you heard…? How many of you have heard of Kalidasa from Caitanya Caritamrta? Oh okay only a couple of you. So Kalidasa, he was an uncle of Ragunathadasa Goswami and he was a great devotee and he, he had taken up as a, like a vow it was his thing, he was just into it, was his…his activity that he would the dust and food remnants and the water which he had just washed the feet of all the devotees in Bengal. Now there were probably millions of devotees in Bengal in those days. So he actually did it. He took the food remnants of all of them. Now of course… and he washed their feet and he took the dust from their feet and like this. So then one… one particular incident is recorded there in Caitanya Caritamrta, He went to one Vaisnava who was from that sort of background, lower class background and he approached him and he said… His name was Jhadhu Thakura. He said, “My dear Jhadhu Thakura, can I please have some dust from your feet?” So what did Jhadhu Thakura say…? (laughter) He said, “No!” (laughter) He said, “Well you know, I don’t have lotus feet actually so the question doesn’t arise.” “Could I have some of your food remnants?” and he said “yes you could but what will be the point.” So in this way as devotees we would expect would do, Jhadhu Thakura refused, but Kalidasa, he was very determined so he brought two mangoes as a gift. He gave them to ah…Jhadhu Thakura and said okay I’ll go now. So Jhadhu Thakura walked him out to the front gate out to the road and said goodbye and Jhaòu Thakura went back inside to eat the mangoes and Kalidasa… as soon as Jhaòu Thakura got inside he came running back, found the foot prints of Jhadhu Thakura in the path and just took the dust and just smeared it all over, completely and just bathed in ecstasy in the dust of Jhadhu Thakura. Then Jhadhu Thakura was sitting there eating the mangoes and he ate the mangoes, and then threw the stones away and the skin into the rubbish heap at the back, so Kalidasa he went and he dug in and he got the mangoes out and the skins and he sucked on them and just got all the mercy and as a result Kalidasa, this was his practice. He wouldn’t take no for an answer (laughter) and you know if “no” really was the answer he had his ways (laughter) of getting around it (laughter).

Yes, so anyway if you happen to get a little bit on the material platform, you are thinking, when you chant Hare Krishna you are thinking about you know the new… whatever you like, you know the new thing that you would like for Krsna or whatever. (laughter) Ya, you got to be merciful to the BMW company by engaging their cars in Krishna’s service (laughter) otherwise how will they advance. Anyway you should do that, find the lowest, I mean the Vaisnava who previously was from the lowest background and just do like that… and stop at nothing… Stop at nothing! So this is what the example of Kalidasa means.
Then let’s go on to the 9th offence, “to instruct a faithless a person about the glories of the holy name” ah… anyway… I think what I will say here, we made a couple of notes as you can see, but due to lack of time I think what I will say here is that you may try to tell someone ah… you may try and tell anyone too much. You know if you go to even one of the devotees and start talking about the intimate pastimes of Radha and Krishna and if you really get into that then…then you’d be committing this offence.

If you go to a Christian and get into a debate with you know one of these born again Christians and it turns into the usual heated discussion, then you would be committing this offence. Ya, so in different ways you can commit this offence just by instructing people beyond their capacity to absorb. Ya, essentially means you are committing this offence, ya So we have to be very mindful about audience and not take the audience beyond their capacity and what to speak of you know not get into some sort of verbal battle with a Christian ah… so that really is the essence of the 9th offence and Bhaktivinoda Thakura gives a recommendation that if you happen to commit this offence, there you are going door to door in Phoenix and you meet some Christian enthusiast and you get into a real “hum dinger” (laughter) and you know you tell him off and he tries to tell you off. Then what you should do is to go into the association of the devotees and in front of them all, you announce that “I did this! I am an offender! Yes, I tried to preach the glories of the holy name to some faithless person so please be merciful, pray to Krsna for me.” You can do like this, and then offer your humble obeisances at the lotus feet of the devotees. Even… it’s interesting Bhaktivinoda Thakura applies this offence in terms of a spiritual master who may accept a disciple, who in the end turns out to be a nonsense. Ya, so Bhaktivinoda Thakura says that if a spiritual master does this, accepts such a disciple and you know then the person later on falls away and becomes a real offender, an aparadhi and you know attacks ISKCON or something like that. Unfortunately these things happen sometimes, ah… so then the spiritual master is meant to come before all the devotees and proclaim that you know “I have done this!” and publicly reject the disciple. Ya, and if he doesn’t do that then according to Bhaktivinoda Thakura he will get a very serious reaction and could possibly fall down. Ya, so this is the recommendation here in regards to the 9th offence.

Now let’s just go on to the 10th offence, “to not have complete faith in the chanting of the holy names and to maintain material attachments even after understanding so many instructions on this matter”. Here is a definition of faith, “by rendering transcendental loving service to Krishna, one automatically performs all subsidiary activities, this confident firm faith favourable to the discharge of devotional service” (CC Madhya 22.62) is called sraddha or faith. Sraddha sabde, what that means is that this word sraddha, Sraddha sabde this word Sraddha, this word faith means and we are going to ask you about this in the test. You must be able to define faith in these terms in the test okay. Did anyone not catch that? We are on your side here. So… hmmm… ya…

Then the next point… oh we also recorded point number 1, well it’s very important that having given up the first 9 nama aparadhas, just one way or another every devotee must surrender completely to the holy name and there are six principles of surrender. We talk a lot about surrendering but what does it mean? What does it mean? You know in the… in the Wild West movies… Did you ever watch any Wild West movies? Buffalo Bill and company… you know they have this this thing when someone has a gun pointing in his face; he puts his hands up like this… (demonstrates) have you seen that. “Hands up!” they say, so actually in the Vedic scriptures this… is a mudra. A mudra means a hand gesture like there is a gesture for knowledge. What is the jnana mudra? Something like this… (demonstrates) ya… something like that… or like that … or that… or something like this… The jnana mudra and in deity worship there’s different mudras performed, hand gestures so this… is the jesture, the mudra for surrender actually in… in according to Vedic scriptures. This is one reason other than feeling very ecstatic, this is one reason why when we chant, we sometimes do like that because it indicates surrender. But what does it really mean to surrender, how do you go about surrendering? You know like if there’s… if there’s war or something and they come at you with guns and you surrender, “okay I surrender” but when does it end just there? No! So when we talk about surrendering to Krsna it doesn’t mean… it doesn’t end with just saying that, “Okay Krsna, here I am. I am all Yours now”. So here, this is coming from Rupa Goswami, there are six principles in surrender, “accepting things favourable for discharging devotional service, rejecting things unfavourable, believing firmly in the Lord’s protection, felling exclusively dependent on the mercy of the Lord, having no interest separate from the interest of the Lord and always feeling oneself meek and humble” (Hari-bhakti-viläsa 11.417) hmmm… so the idea here is that not maintaining material attachments, in other words we are giving ourselves completely to the holy name by accepting things favourable for chanting the holy name, rejecting things unfavourable for chanting the holy name and so on… like this.

Then last, and certainly not least is the danger of inattention which we add on the list of 10 offences. It’s sort of like an 11th offence in a sense, so… ah inattention. Bhaktivinoda Thakura says it can’t be the most dangerous because if you are always inattentive to chanting then… then where… where will the possibility arise of offending or blaspheming the Vaisnavas, or thinking that the name of the Lord is equal to the name of some demigod. If you are really absorbed in chanting very attentively then the possibility of committing any of the 10 offences will hardly arise. So Bhaktivinoda Thakura says that inattention is the root of all 10 offences. Ya, it’s the first root. You know another root could be your own lusty desires due to being a conditioned soul but if you are very attentive to your chanting then even your own lusty desires won’t be able to get in. Ya. So really strictly speaking, if you think about it, inattention is actually the root of all the other offences and if you are always attentive, you won’t commit any of the 10 offences. This is very, very important.

Then Bhaktivinoda Thakura says that there are three types of… ah… inattentive chanting and we are going to ask you this in the test. One is… you don’t need to know the Sanskrit or Bengali, one is called apathy. The other is called laziness and the other is called distraction. So you have to learn those okay? You only got half an hour to learn them plus the definition of faith. So we are going to finish in a minute so you have a chance to swot up. Hmmm, so apathy… laziness… distraction… What they are I think it’s fairly obvious. Ahh… Bhaktivinoda Thakura gives recommendations for each one. To overcome apathy, he says you should chant every day for at least an hour in the company of advanced Vaisnavas. If you are still struggling or maybe if you can’t do that or you know you are in a little isolated place, something of that sort, then he says that you can go and sit alone in a closed room, he says you can even cover your head and face with a cloth so you can’t see anything and just chant. Ya, like this but main thing he says is chant in the association of devotees. Then for laziness, tendency to want to sleep or just can’t be bothered, actually he says that if you are prone to chant slowly, very slowly, this maybe a sign of laziness. Yes. Ya. Of course if you chant too quickly, not that its laziness, but it’s also ahh… a type of inattention if you’re chanting too quickly. Anyway he recommends for laziness… ahh let’s see what he recommends. Again he recommends chanting in the association of devotees. Then overcoming distraction ahh… he says in order to overcome distraction the devotees should observe Ekadasi very carefully and observe the festival days very carefully. The appearance days of the Lord, different forms of the Lord and the great devotees, try to observe those appearance days and the Ekadasis very meticulously and this will help cure you of the tendency to become distracted. So these are some suggestions by from Bhaktivinoda Thakura. Hmmm and you got to be enthusiastic and humble that’s there.

Let’s see. Okay I think that will do for the time being. Of course there is so much we can say but let us say that that will do for the time being. Ahh, now just get your pens ready okay students? Are you ready? I won’t tell you the questions from the other teachers unless you really want me too. “Yes, yes!” (laughter) is there anyone who objects? Oh… someone objects! (laughter)
Yes so anyway for the 10 offences, the questions are:

What are the 10 offences plus the 11th offence? You get 11 marks for that.

What are the 4 types of blasphemy? You remember that? Yes. We told you to write that down.

We told you that you must know two examples of big offenders and we gave… and that means two of the ones we referred to. We referred I think to three or something like that, four even, so you must know two. You don’t really need to explain about them, you just need to know who they were.

What are the 3 stages in chanting? We talked about that yesterday. Got me? Okay. Anyone not got me? What are the 3 stages and that let’s see … ah… you got to know in Sanskrit and English. (laughter) You got that?

Anyone not got that? Hmm… nama-aparadha, the offensive stage, namabhasa, the clearing stage and suddha-nama, pure stage. You got that? Okay.

And then the definition of faith, we just read it’s a few… it’s there in the book, under the 10th offence and 3 types of inattention and there… ohh I was thinking you would only have to know the English but according to this you need to know the Sanskrit also. Hare Krishna! (laughter)

Well it’s a test, it’s meant to be a test.

Now shall I tell them the other questions Radha Damodara? Well, what to say? (laughter)

Well you are meant to know the 7 purposes of ISKCON. You are meant to know… ah… that verse from Srimad Bhagavatam, the translation… so just the translation. 10.14.8. You are meant to give a quote from Srimad Bhagavatam which is in your notes, oh apparently there is a number of them, showing how a devotee should regard reversals or tribulations? You got that? Says one. You are meant to give an astounding I mean outstanding… and astounding example of a great personality who accepted tribulation as a benediction and you are meant to know what tribulation that devotee had to deal with. Got it? Got it? Yes. Sure. Yes. It that okay? Yes.

So let’s hope you all do well. So for my part, does anyone have any comments or questions now?

Yes, Radha Damodara?
(Cannot hear the question clearly)

Yes, yes that is recommended, right. Ahh haaa… ahhh haaa… a tricky solution here. Instead of getting together with the devotees and just chant with them, can we just play a tape of Srila Prabhupada chanting and then be chanting in the association of a pure devotee? Well I’d recommend, I think it more on the spirit of what Bhaktivinoda Thakura is getting at that we chant in the company of advanced devotees and play a tape of Srila Prabhupada chanting. You know I think that would really be appropriate. You know this is very important to chant in the association of advanced devotees. This is very, very important and extremely valuable. Don’t underestimate that. That makes a very, very big difference, really makes a big difference.

Someone else had a question. I saw a hand up somewhere.
(Question cannot be heard)

Yes… under… in the danger of inattention, distraction, viksepa, it’s actually viksepa , anyway we won’t be too touchy about the spelling. “Distraction or misplacing one’s attention in engagements other than sadhanabhakti,” (Sri Harinama Cintamani, 12, chanting inattentively is offensive, inattentiveness in negligence) this includes illusion, attraction to “wealth, women, position, success, material success, cheating” (Sri Harinama Cintamani, 12, chanting inattentively is offensive, distraction (viskepa) and the antidote) propensity. Does that answer the question? Ya, these things are included under this heading of “misplacing one’s attention in engagements other than sadhanabhakti” (Sri Harinama Cintamani, 12, Chanting inattentively is offensive, inattentiveness in negligence) distraction.
(cannot hear devotee’s question)

For the 10th offence, that we surrender, the recommendation for the 10th offence is to surrender to cultivate the 6 principles of surrender. Bhaktivinoda Thakura makes a very interesting recommendation as a remedy for all the offences. You know what it is, it’s a blanket recommendation. It applies across the board to all the offences. He says that in order to avoid the offences, you should do the opposite, means you don’t want to blaspheme the devotees so how do you do avoid it, you do the opposite, you glorify the devotees. You don’t want to get Lord Krishna mixed up with Lord Shiva, Lord Brahma so what do you do, you glorify Krishna and His supreme position. You don’t want to disobey the orders of the spiritual master so you glorify the spiritual master and his instructions and you follow them and promote them like this, not canvassing. (laughter) Watch out! (laughter) Just watch out for that one! My God! (laughter) but anyway we have to find a nice way of doing that and so on and we have another thing here.

Ohh, someone’s cars’ in the way, oh the alarm is on. What sort of car is it? White Conquest ND 154 248, a White Conquest, oops there we go, the alarm is on. Yes. Hmm, ya.

Nrshimananda Prabhu: If one has… ahh… knowledge of the 7 aparadha and one doesn’t perform that activity then… ah… but obviously it goes into nama aparadha but then due to some habit one might be prone you know to doing something even though he is aware. After some time it starts clicking after he performs the activity. Ohh I shouldn’t have done that. So when does… when does it actually turn into an offence?

Bhakti Caitanya Swami: ya, seva aparadha under the 7th offence, from seva aparadha to nama aparadha . Question is when does it become an offence? It becomes offence… it becomes an offence when you know, means you may forget, but you know actually but you forget. Ya, and then you realise, oh wait a minute I shouldn’t have done that should I. Ya, but the thing is, then it’s an offence, because you should know, you do know it, ja, but just because you know of some mode of passion or something, you know rushing around or whatever and you don’t think about it. Ya. Yes it’s like that. It’s not a matter that you are about to enter the temple but then you think, well, let me just wear my shoes in anyway (laughter). It doesn’t have to be that gross, ya or you know I just can’t be bothered offering the pranama, saying the pranama mantras out loud, I will just bow down, touch my head to the ground and jump straight up which is you know not so uncommon these days. Ya.
Yes Charles? (end of recording)

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