Calcutta, West Bengal, India — Friday, July 7th
When Srila Gurudeva gives us harinama initiation — when he initiates us into the chanting of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra — His Divine Grace promises: "If you chant this maha-mantra without offense, Krishna will reveal Himself in your heart."
In other words, if we want to get the full benefit of chanting the Holy Name — if we want Krishna to reveal Himself in our hearts — we must avoid the ten offenses against the Holy Name.
The ten offenses against the Holy Name are:
1 To insult or criticize the saints (the Vaishnava devotees who are the agents of the Supreme Lord, Krishna).
2 To think the demigods (including Lord Shiva and Lord Brahma) are equal to or greater than Lord Vishnu or Krishna.
3 To think the guru is an ordinary human being. (He is the agent through whom Krishna comes to give Himself to us, to save us.)
4 To blaspheme or criticize the scriptures that describe the glories of the Holy Name and Krishna and His devotees.
5 To try to understand the Holy Name with the mind or intellect. (The Holy Name is transcendental to dictionary definitions.)
6 To think that the glories of the Holy Name of Lord Krishna are imaginary, concocted, or exaggerated.
7 To sin and chant. (To think, "I can commit sinful activities because the Holy Name of the Lord will purify me," is suicidal.)
8 To think chanting the Holy Name is equivalent to pious material activities like going on pilgrimage or doing humanitarian work.
9 To preach the glories of the Holy Name to those who have no faith, or to give the Holy Name to those who do not deserve it.
10 To resist the transformation of consciousness that results from chanting the Holy Name and remain addicted to material things.
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur Prabhupad cautions: "Offenses to the Holy Name can in no way be equated with the pure Name. The scriptures talk of the positive effects of chanting either with faith or without it, but this is not at all the same as chanting without giving up the ten offenses.
"It is self-deception to think that you can allow yourself to commit any one of the ten offenses — knowingly or unknowingly — and still chant the Holy Names effectively."
Layout by iMonk — July 7th, 2006.