The next day shortly after sandhya, Vijaya and Vrajanatha came before the respected Babaji, and having offered sastangadandavat, they took their asanas. Vijaya took the opportunity to humbly ask, “Prabhu, kindly have mercy upon us and tell us everything about namabhasa-tattva. We are very anxious to know the secret of nama-tattva.”
Babaji answered, “You are very fortunate. If you want to understand nama-tattva, you must understand three subject matters very well: nama, namabhasa and nama-aparadha. I have already explained so much about nama and nama-aparadha, and now I will explain about namabhasa, which means the semblance of sri-nama.
Vijaya: What is namabhasa, and how many kinds of abhasa are there?
Babaji: The word abhasa means luster, shadow or reflection. As the radiance that emanates from a naturally lustrous object has kanti (effulgence) or chaya (shadow), so the sun-like Name has two kinds of abhasa: one is the shadow (nama-chaya), and the other is the reflection (nama-pratibimba). Learned people who are conversant with bhakty-abhasa, bhava-abhasa, namabhasa, and vaisnava-abhasa say that all kinds of abhasa have two divisions: pratibimba (reflection) and chaya (shadow).
Vijaya: What is the relation between bhakty-abhasa, bhava-abhasa, namabhasa, and vaisnava-abhasa?
Babaji: Vaisnavas practise hari-nama, and when their practice is on the level of bhakty-abhasa, then their practice of nama is called namabhasa. They themselves are also vaisnava-abhasa, not pure bhaktas. Bhava and bhakti are one and the same thing; it is only because they are on different levels that they are known by different names.
Vijaya: On which platform is the jiva called vaisnava-abhasa?
Babaji: Srimad-Bhagavatam (11.2.47) says:
arcayam eva haraye pujam yah sraddhayehate
na tad-bhaktesu canyesu sa bhaktah prakrtah smrtah
One is a materialistic devotee (kanistha) if he accepts the arca-murti of Bhagavan as Sri Hari and worships Him with faith, but does not faithfully worship Krsna’s bhakta or other jivas.
In this sloka the word sraddha is mentioned. However, the intended meaning is sraddhabhasa, not pure sraddha, because if one worships Krsna but not His bhaktas, then his sraddha is either chaya (shadow) or pratibimba (reflection). That faith is worldly faith; it is not spiritual faith (aprakrta-sraddha). Therefore we should understand that anyone in whom we see that faith is a materialistic devotee (prakrta-bhakta), or a semblance of a Vaisnava (vaisnavaabhasa). Sriman Mahaprabhu has said that Sri Raghunatha dasa Gosvami’s father and uncle, Hiranya and Govardhana, were vaisnava-praya. This means that they accepted Vaisnava markings and dress, and chanted namabhasa, as if they were suddha-bhaktas, but actually they were not pure Vaisnavas.
Vijaya: Can Mayavadis also be called vaisnava-abhasa if they accept the symbols of a Vaisnava and chant sri-nama?
Babaji: No, they cannot even be called vaisnava-abhasa. They are simply offenders, so they are called vaisnava-aparadhi. In one sense, they might be called vaisnava-abhasa, because they have taken shelter of pratibimba-namabhasa and pratibimba-bhava-abhasa, but they are such great offenders that they are to be separated even from the name Vaisnava.
Vijaya: Prabhu, please explain the symptoms of suddha-nama even more clearly, so that we may easily understand it.
Babaji: Suddha-nama means taking nama with a favorable attitude, while remaining free from all material desire (anyabhilasa), and from coverings of jnana, karma and so on. To desire the supreme bliss that comes when the transcendental nature of nama manifests clearly is not anyabhilasa. All kinds of desires apart from that –such as the desire to be free from sins and to gain liberation – are certainly anyabhilasa. There will be no suddha-nama so long as anyabhilasa remains; one will not receive suddha-nama as long as he still desires the fruits of performing jnana, karma, yoga and so on.
Suddha-nama comes from accepting nama with only favorable inclinations, and rejecting all unfavorable emotions from the heart. If one keeps these characteristics of bhakti in mind and deliberates carefully, it becomes clear that suddha-nama is certainly that nama which is free from nama-aparadha and namabhasa. Therefore Sri Gauracandra, the merciful avatara for Kali-yuga, has said:
trnad api sunicena taror api sahisnuna
amanina manadena kirtaniyah sada harih
One should think himself more insignificant and lower than the straw in the street, and should be more tolerant than a tree. He should give all respect to others, without desiring any respect for himself. Then he will be qualified to chant sri-hari-nama constantly.
Babaji: When there is no suddha-nama, sri-nama is called namabhasa. That namabhasa is called namabhasa at one stage, and nama-aparadha at another stage. It is called namabhasa when the name that is chanted is impure because one is in ignorance, that is to say, one is under the control of illusion and inattentiveness. However, when the name is chanted impurely with a desire for sense enjoyment (bhoga) or liberation (moksa), and based on a Mayavada conception, that is known as nama-aparadha. If the other kinds of aparadhas that I told you about before are present because of simple ignorance, the asuddha-nama (impure name) taken in that situation is not nama-aparadha, but namabhasa. You should remember that, as long as one does not commit nama-aparadha when one is chanting namabhasa, there is hope that the namabhasa will go away, and that suddha-nama will arise. However, if there is nama-aparadha, the rising of nama in the heart can only take place with great difficulty. There is no means to obtain benefit other than the method that I have already explained to become free from the offenses against sri-nama. Vijaya: If someone is performing namabhasa, what must he do so that his namabhasa may become suddha-nama?
Babaji: The suitable engagement is that he takes the association of suddha-bhaktas. If he stays in their company and chants nama according to their order and guidance, he will then acquire a taste for suddha-bhakti. The name that appears on the tongue at that time will be suddha-nama. At the same time, he should diligently give up the company of nama-aparadhis, because suddha-nama will not manifest if one remains in their association. Sat-sanga is the only cause of the jivas’ good fortune. That is why the Lord of our life, Sri Gaurangadeva, instructed Sanatana Gosvami that satsanga is certainly the root of bhakti. One should always renounce associating with women and non-devotees, and practice krsnanama in the association of bhaktas.
Vijaya: Prabhu, can the sadhaka not perform suddha-nama without giving up his wife.
Babaji: It is certainly imperative to give up the association of women. A grhastha-vaisnava who remains with his married wife in a detached mood is acting properly in the Vaisnava world, and this is not called “association with women.” The attachment of men for women and women for men is called yosit sanga. If a householder takes krsna-nama and gives up his attachments, then he will certainly attain the highest goal of life.
Vijaya: How many kinds of namabhasa are there?
Babaji: Srimad-Bhagavatam (6.2.14) enumerates four kinds of
sanketyam parihasyam va stobham helanam eva va
vaikuntha-nama-grahanam asesagha-haram viduh
One may utter sri-krsna-nama to indicate something else (sanketa), jokingly (parihasa), antagonistically (stobha), or even disrespectfully (hela). Learned people know that these four types of shadow namabhasa destroy unlimited sins.
Those who are ignorant of nama-tattva and sambandha-tattva perform these four kinds of namabhasa.
Vijaya: What is sanketya-namabhasa?
Babaji: Sanketya-namabhasa is uttering Bhagavan’s name when alluding to something else. For instance, Ajamila called his son Narayana at the time of his death, but Bhagavan Sri Krsna’s name is also Narayana, so Ajamila’s uttering ‘Narayana’ was an instance of sanketya-namabhasa. When Muslims see a pig, they show hatred and exclaim, “Harama! Harama!” The exclamation ‘harama’ contains the two words ‘ha’ and ‘rama’, so the person uttering the word ‘harama’ also obtains deliverance from the cycle of birth and death as a result of taking that sanketya-nama.
All the sastras accept that namabhasa gives mukti. Through srinama, relationship is strongly established with Mukunda, (the giver of liberation). Therefore, by uttering sri-nama one is in touch with Bhagavan Mukunda and by that contact, mukti (liberation) is easily obtained. The same liberation that is obtained with great difficulty through brahma-jnana is easily available to everybody without hard labor through namabhasa.
Vijaya: Prabhu, we have read in different places in the sastras that those who utter Krsna’s names jokingly obtain liberation. This includes those who desire liberation (mumuksu), those who are vainly proud of their learning, mlecchas who are devoid of tattvajnana, and those who are asurika and actually opposed to the ultimate goal. Now please tell us about stobha-namabhasa. Babaji: Stobha means uttering sri-nama antagonistically to hinder others in their chanting of Krsna’s name. For example, while a pure bhakta is chanting hari-nama, an offender may see him, and make faces, saying, “Your ‘Hari-Kest’ will do everything!” This is an example of stobha, and that stobha-nama can award liberation even to such a person as that hypocrite. The names have such natural potency.
Vijaya: What is hela-namabhasa?
Babaji: Hela-namabhasa means to utter sri-nama disrespectfully. It is said in the Prabhasa-khanda that taking sri-nama neglectfully also results in liberation from this material world.
madhura-madhuram etan mangalam mangalanam
sakala-nigama-valli sat-phalam cit-svarupam
sakrd api parigitam sraddhaya helaya va
bhrguvara nara-matram tarayet krsna-nama
O best of the Bhrgus, this nama-brahma is more sweet than any sweet thing and the most auspicious of all that is auspicious. He is the delectable pure fruit of the flourishing sruti desire-creeper and appears as the embodiment of knowledge, delivering any human being who even once chants sri-krsna-nama either with respect or disrespect.
In this sloka, the word sraddhaya means ‘with respect’ and helaya means ‘with disrespect’. The purport of the statement nara- matram tarayet is that Krsna’s name even gives liberation to the Muslims.
Vijaya: But isn’t it an offense to chant hari-nama antagonistically or disrespectfully?
Babaji: It is an offense if one is disrespectful knowingly and with
bad intention, but if one is disrespectful unknowingly, it is
Vijaya: What is the result of namabhasa, and what will it not give?
Babaji: Namabhasa will give all kinds of enjoyment, happiness, liberation and the eight kinds of perfections (siddhis), but it will not give krsna-prema, which is the highest goal of human life. However, by giving up bad association, and by associating constantly with suddha-bhaktas and following their instructions regularly, one may quickly become a madhyama Vaisnava. Then even within a few days he can obtain suddha-bhakti and krsna-prema.
Vijaya: Prabhu, many who are vaisnava-abhasa bear the outward signs of a Vaisnava, and constantly perform namabhasa. Even so, despite engaging in this way for a long time, they still do not receive prema. What is the reason for this?
Babaji: There is one secret here. The vaisnava-abhasa-sadhaka is qualified to receive pure devotion, but he does not have pure, one pointed bhakti. It may be that he is associating with a person whom he thinks to be a sadhu, but who is actually a Mayavadi and not a suddha-bhakta. Due to this undesirable association, the sadhaka will follow the Mayavadi’s apasiddhantika instructions, and as a result, whatever bhakty-abhasa he had will vanish, and he will gradually fall down into the category of vaisnava-aparadhi. In that condition, it is quite difficult – indeed practically impossible –for him to succeed in his practice. Yet, if his previous sukrti is strong, it will remove him from that bad association and place him in the association of saintly persons; and from that sat-sanga he can obtain pure Vaisnavism again.
Vijaya: Prabhu, what is the result of nama-aparadha?
Babaji: The accumulation of sins from nama-aparadha is even more dreadful than the result of committing the five maha-papa millions of times: Thus we can easily estimate the dire result of
Vijaya: Prabhu, I understand that the result of nama-aparadha is very dangerous, but is there any good result derived from the names that are uttered offensively?
Babaji: Sri-nama will give whatever result the nama-aparadhi desires while he is chanting the names, but it will not award krsnaprema. At the same time, the offender has to suffer the result of his offenses against sri-nama. One who commits offenses to srinama, and who takes the name with a wicked mentality will receive the following results: In the beginning, the nama-aparadhi takes sri-nama with a wicked mentality, but after sometime he occasionally chants nama free from wickedness. This chanting of the name without a crooked mentality causes him to accumulate sukrti. Slowly, slowly, as that sukrti increases, its influence enables him to receive the association of saintly people who are chanting suddha-nama. The influence of sat-sanga induces the namaaparadhi to chant sri-nama constantly, which frees him from namaaparadhas. Even people who had a great desire for liberation have gradually become hari-bhaktas by taking shelter of this process.
Vijaya: If simply chanting one name can successfully remove all sins, why is it necessary to chant sri-nama constantly, like an unbroken stream of fragrant oil?
Babaji: The inner self and dealings of the nama-aparadhi are always crooked in every way. He is opposed to Krsna (bahirmukha) by nature, and therefore has no taste for saintly people or auspicious paraphernalia and times related to Bhagavan. His natural inclination is towards unworthy people, things, conclusions and activities. However, if he always chants sri-nama, he will have no time for unwanted association and activities, and because he is not in bad association, his chanting of sri-nama will gradually become pure and give him a taste for auspicious objects.
Vijaya: Prabhu, a current of nectar of sri-nama-tattva is flowing from your mouth and entering our hearts through our ears, and we are becoming intoxicated by sri-nama-prema-rasa. Today we have succeeded in understanding these different topics of nama, namabhasa, and nama-aparadha. Now please give us whatever final instruction is appropriate for us.
Babaji: Pandita Jagadananda has given a very beautiful instruction in his Prema-vivarta (Chapter 7). Listen closely:
asadhu-sange bhai, krsna-nama nahi haya
namaksara bahiraya bate, tabu nama kabhu naya
Remember Bhai (my dear brother), krsna-nama cannot awaken in the association of non-devotees. Only the syllables of sri-nama will come out of the mouth, but nama Himself will remain far away.
kabhu namabhasa haya, sada nama-aparadha
e saba janibe bhai, krsna-bhaktir badha
Certainly there is only nama-aparadha in their association. Sometimes, by great fortune, there is namabhasa, but you should know that both namabhasa and nama- aparadha are obstacles for krsna-bhakti.
yadi karibe krsna-nama, sadhu-sanga kara
bhukti-mukti-siddhi-vancha dure parihara
If you want to chant pure krsna-nama, then take sadhusanga, and at the same time fully relinquish all desires for enjoyment, liberation and mystic perfections.
dasa-aparadha tyaja mana apamana
anasaktye visaya bhunja, ara laha krsna-nama
Remain free from the ten offenses to sri-nama, and from false pride, contempt for others, and so forth. Accept sense- objects only as far as necessary, in a spirit of detachment, and incessantly take krsna-nama.
krsna-bhaktir anukula saba karaha svikara
krsna-bhaktir pratikula saba kara parihara
Accept all that is favorable for krsna-bhakti as your very life, and wholly forsake all that may hinder your practice of krsna-bhakti.
jnana-yoga-cesta chada ara karma-sanga
markata-vairagya tyaja yate deha-ranga
Abandon all endeavors for karma, jnana and yoga, and remain aloof from attachment to the external symptoms of renunciation (markata-vairagya).
krsna amaya pale, rakse – jana sarva-kala
atma-nivedana-dainye ghucao janjala
At all times have this full faith: “Krsna will certainly maintain and protect me.” Adopt the qualities of saranagati headed by dainya (humility) and atma-nivedana (full surrender of oneself at Krsna’s lotus feet), for practicing these six types of loving self-surrender destroys the web of maya.
sadhu paba kasta bada jivera janiya
sadhu-bhakta-rupe krsna aila nadiya
It is very rare that the jiva can receive sadhu-sanga. Knowing this, Bhagavan Sri Krsna Himself has descended in the form of a sadhu and bhakta in Nadiya (Navadvipa)
gora-pada asraya karaha buddhiman
gora bai sadhu guru keba ache an
Therefore, O intelligent people, take shelter of Sri Gaura’s feet. Who is a greater sadhu or guru than Him? He is Krsna Himself.
vairagi bhai gramya-katha na sunibe kane
gramya-vartta na kahibe, jabe milibe ana
My renounced brother, if you sometimes meet with others, do not hear or discuss mundane topics.
svapne o na kara bhai stri-sambhasana
grhe stri-chadiya bhai asiyacha bana
O Bhai, do not talk with women, even in dreams. Remember how you have left your wife at home and have come to the forest (Sri Vrndavana) to engage wholeheartedly in bhajana,.
yadi caha pranaya rakhite gaurangera sane
chota-haridasera katha thake yena mane
If you desire to repose your love at Sri Gauracandra’s lotus feet, always keep in mind Sriman Mahaprabhu’s stern dealings with Chota Haridasa in this connection.
bhala na khaibe, ara bhala na paribe
hrdayete radha-krsna sarvada sevibe
Do not eat opulent food or wear fine clothes, but always render seva to Sri Radha- Krsna within your heart of hearts.
bada-haridasera nyaya krsna-nama balibe badane
asta-kala radha-krsna sevibe kunja-bane
At all times, both by day and night, fill your mouth with hari-nama in the same way as Bada Haridasa, and in your heart perform seva of Radha-Krsna in the kunjas of Vrndavana during the eight periods of the day and night.
grhastha, vairagi dunhe bale gora-raya
dekha bhai nama bina jena dina nahi jaya
Look Bhai! Gaura-Raya has given this instruction. It is of no consequence whether one is in the grhastha-asrama or the vairagi-asrama. Both should not allow a day, an hour or even a moment to pass by without taking nama.
bahu anga sadhane bhai nahi prayojana
krsna-namasraye suddha karaha jivana
He Bhai! There is no need to practice many kinds of sadhana. Just by taking shelter of krsna-nama, your life will become purified and full of meaning.
baddha-jive krpa kari krsna haila nama
kali-jive daya kari krsna haila gauradhama
Being merciful on the jivas who are bound within this age of quarrel, Sri Krsna has become nama-rupa; then feeling still more compassion, He also became Gaura and Sri Gauradhama (Navadvipa).
ekanta-sarala-bhave bhaja gaura-jana
tabe ta paibe bhai sri-krsna-carana
So with single-minded determination and nonduplicitous heart, just worship Sri Gaura Candra. Bhai, through this means, you will certainly attain the shelter of Sri Krsna Candra’s lotus feet.
gaura-jana-sanga kara gauranga baliya
hare krsna nama bala naciya naciya
Perform Hare Krsna nama-kirtana in the association of Gaura bhaktas and continuously dance and call out “Ha Gauranga! Ha Gauranga!”
acire paibe bhai nama-prema-dhana
yaha vilaite prabhur ‘nade’ e agamana
O Bhai! Being thus engaged, before long you will receive the invaluable wealth of nama-prema, the very jewel which Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu descended to Nadiya to distribute.”
When Vijaya and Vrajanatha heard this passage of Sri Jagadananda’s Prema-vivarta from the mouth of Srila Babaji Maharaja, their hearts became agitated, being absorbed in the mood of maha-prema expressed by Sri Jagadananda Pandita. Babaji was almost unconscious for a long time, and then he embraced them and crying, sang the following kirtana:
krsna-nama dhare kata bala
What power does the name of Krsna possess? (refrain)
visaya-vasananale mora citta sada jvale,
ravi-tapta maru-bhumi sama
karna-randhra-patha diya, hrdi majhe pravesiya,
barisaya sudha anupama
My heart was constantly burning in the fire of worldly desires, just like a desert scorched by the rays of the sun, but sri-nama, entering the core of my heart through the holes of my ears, has showered unparalleled nectar upon my soul.
hrdaya haite bale, jihvara agrete cale
sabda-rupe nace anuksana
kanthe mora bhange svara, anga kampe thara thara,
sthira haite na pare carana
Sri-nama speaks from within my heart, moves onto the tip of my tongue, and constantly dances on it in the form of transcendental sound. My throat becomes choked up, my body shivers again and again, and my feet cannot remain still.
cakse dhara, dehe gharma, pulakita saba carma,
vivarna haila kalevara
murcchita haila mana, pralayera agamana
bhave sarva-deha jara-jara
Rivers of tears flow from my eyes, perspiration soaks my body, all my skin thrills with rapture, my hairs stand on end, and my complexion turns pale and discolored. My mind grows faint, I begin to experience devastation, and my whole body is shattered by a flood of ecstatic emotions.
kari eta upadrava, citte varse sudha-drava
more dare premera sagare
kichu na bujhite dila, more ta batula kaila,
mora citta-vitta saba hare
While causing such an ecstatic disturbance, sri-nama showers liquid nectar on my heart, and drowns me in the ocean of divine prema. He does not allow me to understand anything, but makes me into a madman by stealing away my mind and all my resources.
lainu asraya jan’ra hena vyavahara tan’ra
varnite na pari e sakala
krsna-nama icchamaya jahe jahe sukhi haya,
sei mora sukhera sambala
Such is the behavior of Him of whom I have taken shelter. I am not capable of completely describing Him. Sri-krsnanama is independent and acts as His sweet will dictates. In whatever way He becomes happy, that is also the main-stay of my happiness.
premera kalika nama, adbhuta-rasera dhama
hena bala karaye prakasa
isat vikasi’ punah, dekhaya nija-rupa-guna
citta hari laya krsna pasa
Sri-nama is the bud of the lotus of prema, and the abode of astonishing rasa. Such is the power that He manifests that when He begins to blossom only a little further, He reveals His own divine form and qualities. Thus, my heart is abducted and taken into the presence of Sri Krsna.
purna-vikasita hana, braje more jaya lana
dekhaya more svarupa-vilasa
more siddha-deha diya, krsna-pase rakhe giya
e dehera kare sarba-nasa
Now blossoming fully, the prema flower of sri-nama takes me to Vraja, and reveals to me the pastimes of His own lovedalliance. Nama gives me my own siddha-deha, keeps me by the side of Krsna, and then He completely destroys everything related to this mortal frame of mine.
krsna-nama cintamani akhila-rasera khani
namera balai yata, saba la’ye hai hata
tabe mora sukhera udaya
The name of Krsna is a gem that fulfills all divine aspirations (cintamani) and a mine of all bhakti-rasa. He is eternally liberated, and He is the embodiment of suddha-rasa. When all impediments for the chanting of suddha-nama are destroyed, then my happiness will know its true awakening.
As they chanted this nama-kirtana again and again, half the night passed. When the kirtana finally ended, Vijaya and Vrajanatha took permission from Gurudeva and returned home, absorbed in nama-rasa.