Getting rid of unwanted weeds in the heart—
Below we have a fairly good look at what happens to the practicing Hare Krsna devotee who does not take care to observe and stop any or all offenses he or she may be making in the process of trying to cleanse his or her heart, by chanting Hare Krsna maha mantra.
The very first item is a conversation with Srila Prabhupada where he explains that to chant Hare Krsna (like for a professional musician ) is very nice, but for that chanting to become more effective it has to be done within the actual process recommended by our Acaryas-otherwise, if we know about this process and still avoid correcting ourselves, then those knowingly committed offenses will eventually curtail what ever growth we have made by that same chanting. Many warnings below by Srila Prabhupada, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Maharaja, and others.
The last section warns us also to avoid those persons who pose as Vaisnavas yet are very jealous of the success given by the Lord to other devotees. There are so many things (offenses to chanting) that could be elaborated upon, but I chose only a couple just to keep this article somewhat brief. One could probably write books upon this one subject only, it is so important.
Srila Prabhupada has said many things on this subject of offenses to chanting. One of them is this-dont be surprised who comes, but be surprised who stays”. By this I take it to mean that so many will be attracted to Krsna, which is natural, but to stay with it, and not leave means we have to become vigilant in our consciousness and daily lives. Anybody who has been “around” for several decades and associated with this Hare Krsna Movement has seen so many come and so many leave. We should never think that this won’t happen to us.
Feb 25 1977 Mayapur
Rāmeśvara: Just like this Alice Coltrane. She has done her small part. She made this record album with Govinda Jaya Jaya and Hare Kṛṣṇa.
Prabhupāda: That is… That will be a good thing. But when he (she) does it properly it will be more effective, because there is… If one does not chant in the process, then gradually it degrades. The offense will increase. There is chance.
So now below Srila Prabhupada will explain what that means-“to chant in the process”
Madhya 19.160 text and purport-
“If one does not distinguish between the bhakti-latā creeper and the other creepers, the sprinkling of water is misused because the other creepers are nourished while the bhakti-latā creeper is curtailed.
PURPORT-If one chants the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra while committing offenses, these unwanted creepers will grow. One should not take advantage of chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra for some material profit. As mentioned in verse 159:
‘niṣiddhācāra’,’kuṭīnāṭī’,jīva-hiṁsana’ ‘lābha’, ‘pūjā’, ‘pratiṣṭhādi’ yata upaśākhā-gaṇa..The unwanted creepers have been described by Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Thākura. He states that if one hears and chants without trying to give up offenses, one becomes materially attached to sense gratification.
(and now he gives a short list of so many unwanted things in our hearts.)
One may also desire freedom from material bondage like the Māyāvādīs, or one may become attached to the yoga-siddhis and desire wonderful yogic powers. If one is attached to wonderful material activities, one is called siddhi–lobhī, greedy for material perfection. One may also be victimized by diplomatic or crooked behavior, or one may associate with women for illicit sex. Others may make a show of devotional service like the prākṛta-sahajiyās, or one may try to support his philosophy by joining some caste or identifying himself with a certain dynasty, claiming a monopoly on spiritual advancement. Thus with the support of family tradition, one may become a pseudo guru or so-called spiritual master. One may become attached to the four sinful activities-illicit sex, intoxication, gambling and meat eating, or one may consider a Vaiṣṇava to belong to a mundane caste or creed. One may think, “This is a HinduVaiṣṇava, and this is a European Vaiṣṇava.A European Vaiṣṇava is not allowed to enter the temples.” In other words, one may consider Vaiṣṇavas in terms of birth, thinking one abrāhmaṇa Vaiṣṇava, a śūdra Vaiṣṇava, a mleccha Vaiṣṇava and so on. One may also try to carry out a professional business while chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra or reading Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, or one may try to increase his monetary strength by illegal means. One may also try to be a cheap Vaiṣṇava by chanting in a secluded place for material adoration, or one may desire mundane reputation by making compromises with nondevotees, compromising one’s philosophy or spiritual life, or one may become a supporter of a hereditary caste system.
All these are pitfalls of personal sense gratification. Just to cheat some innocent people, one makes a show of advanced spiritual life and becomes known as a sādhu, mahātmā or religious person. All this means that the so-called devotee has become victimized…….
Sept 8 1973 Stockholm
…So you are all fortunate, or you are so kind that you have joined this movement despite all these obstacles in this country. Not in this, all over the world. So don’t be disappointed. Go on preaching this philosophy of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. There are many innocent people; they do not know what to do. There are four… For a preacher, there must be vigilance. A preacher will see four things: God, a devotee of God, innocent person, and envious, jealous persons. So a preacher should deal with these four items differently.
Madhya 1.218 purport– When a Vaiṣṇava sees that another Vaiṣṇava is a recipient of the Lord’s mercy, he becomes very happy. Vaiṣṇavas are not envious. If a Vaiṣṇava, by the mercy of the Lord, is empowered by Him to distribute the Lord’s holy name all over the world, other Vaiṣṇavas become very joyful-that is, if they are truly Vaiṣṇavas. One who is envious of the success of a Vaiṣṇava is certainly not a Vaiṣṇava himself, but an ordinary mundane man. Envy and jealousy are manifested by mundane people, not by Vaiṣṇavas. Why should a Vaiṣṇava be envious of another Vaiṣṇava who is successful in spreading the holy name of the Lord? An actual Vaiṣṇava is very pleased to accept another Vaiṣṇava who is bestowing the Lord’s mercy. A mundane person in the dress of a Vaiṣṇava should not be respected but rejected. This is enjoined in the śāstra (upekṣā). The word upekṣā means neglect. One should neglect an envious person. A preacher’s duty is to love the Supreme Personality of Godhead, make friendships with Vaiṣṇavas, show mercy to the innocent and reject or neglect those who are envious or jealous. There are many jealous people in the dress of Vaiṣṇavas in this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, and they should be completely neglected. There is no need to serve a jealous person who is in the dress of a Vaiṣṇava. When Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura says chāḍiyā vaiṣṇava sevā nistāra payeche kebā, he is indicating an actual Vaiṣṇava, not an envious or jealous person in the dress of a Vaiṣṇava.
Crookedness in Devotional Service by Srila Jiva Goswami
— Bhakti-Sandarbha, anucchedas 153 and 154. Adapted from the English translation of Satya Narayan Das. Jiva Institute. Vrindavan. 2005. Sanskrit text taken from Gaudiya Grantha Mandira.
Due to the presence of many offenses, the Lord does not accept service from the crooked, even if they offer him many valuable items. This was seen when Krishna went to the capital of Duryodhan as a messenger on behalf of the Pandavas. Although Duryodhan tried to win Krishna over with a royal reception and great opulence, Krishna rejected Duryodhana’s hospitality because of Duryodhana’s offensive attitude towards Krishna’s devotees. At present, there are many people who make a show of devotion and who, in spite of having studied the scriptures, maintain an offensive mentality which causes them to disrespect the Lord, the spiritual master, and other devotees. The external worship offered by such persons is nothing but crookedness.
Therefore, sästra describes that even foolish people who are nonetheless free from crookedness attain perfection even by a semblance of bhakti, whereas he crooked cannot even practice bhakti. This is evidenced in a statement by the great sage Parashar from the Skanda-Puräna: na hy apuëyavatäà loke müòhänäà kuöilätmanäm bhaktir bhavati govinde kértanaà smaraëaà tathä In this world, impious, foolish and crooked people do not attain devotion to Lord Govinda, and they cannot chant about or remember the Lord. In consideration of this, the Viñëu-dharma states: satyaà çatena vighnänäà sahasreëa tathä tapaù vighnäyutena govinde nèëäà bhaktir niväryate The attempt of such crooked people to become truthful is obstructed by a hundred impediments, whereas their attempts to perform penances is obstructed by a thousand and their attempts to perform loving devotional service to Lord Govinda is obstructed by ten thousand impediments. Therefore, Sri Suta-Goswami says in Srimad Bhägavatam (3.19.36): taà sukhärädhyam åjubhir ananya-çaraëair nåbhiù kåtajïaù ko na seveta durärädhyam asädhubhiù
What grateful soul is there who would not render loving service to such a great master as the Personality of Godhead? The Lord can be easily pleased by spotless devotees who resort exclusively to him for protection, though the unrighteous man finds it difficult to propitiate him.
Similarly, the devotees of the Lord also bless those who are simple-hearted yet ignorant, but not those who are learned yet crooked, as the sage Sri Chamas told King Nimi in Çrémad Bhägavatam (11.5.4-5): düre hari-kathäù kecid düre cäcyuta-kértanäù striyaù çüdrädayaç caiva te ’nukampyä bhavädåçäm vipro räjanya-vaiçyau vä hareù präptäù padäntikam çrautena janmanäthäpi muhyanty ämnäya-vädinaù
There are many persons who have little opportunity to take part in discussions about the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari, and thus it is difficult for them to chant his infallible glories. Persons such as women, südras, and other fallen classes always deserve the mercy of great personalities like yourself. On the other hand, brahmins, members of the royal order, and vaisyas, even after being allowed to approach the lotus feet of the Supreme Lord by receiving the second birth of Vedic initiation, can become bewildered and adopt various materialistic philosophies.In the first of these two verses, the sage Chamas declares that out of the various divisions of human beings, those who are ignorant should be favored by devotees like King Nimi. But by the second verse, he intends to say that those who are proud of petty knowledge are incurable and should thus be avoided. ·
Every year the plowman plows over his grain field, completely uprooting all weeds. Nonetheless, the seeds lie there and, not being completely burned, again come up with the plants sown in the field. Even after being plowed under, the weeds come up densely. Similarly, the gṛhastha–āśrama [family life] is a field of fruitive activity.Unless the desire to enjoy family life is completely burned out, it grows up again and again. Even though camphor may be removed from a pot, the pot nonetheless retains the aroma of camphor. As long as the seeds of desire are not destroyed, fruitive activities are not destroyed.
Unless one’s desires are completely transferred to the service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the desire for family life continues. even after one has taken sannyāsa. Sometimes in our society, ISKCON. a person out of sentiment may take sannyāsa, but because his desires are not burned completely, he again takes to family life, even at the risk of losing his prestige and disgracing his good name. These strong desires can be burned out completely when one fully engages in the service of the Lord in devotional service.
And within Srila Prabhupadas purports there are many other numerous warnings and teachings
for the aspiring Transcendentalists of who he or she should and should not associate with.
Please consider the following verses and purports….
SB 3.29.17 P Explanation of Devotional Service by Lord Kapila … Friendship should be cemented between persons with mutual interests and understanding. Such persons are said to be sva jati, “of the same caste.” The devotee should avoid a person whose character is not fixed in the standard understanding; even though he may be a Vaisnava, or a devotee of Krsna, if his character is not correctly representative, then he should be avoided. One should steadily control the senses and the mind and strictly follow the rules and regulations, and he should make friendship with persons of the same standard.
SB 1.2.17 Sri Krsna, the Personality of Godhead, who is the Paramatma [Supersoul] in everyone’s heart and the benefactor of the truthful devotee, cleanses desire for material enjoyment from the heart of the devotee who has developed the urge to hear His messages, which are in themselves virtuous when properly heard and chanted.