Ajna Tahal: Patrolling on the Lord's Command
BY: SUN STAFF
"A Hurry Sung Kertun" (Hari Sankirtan)
Hand-colored Engraving by Solvyns, c. 1799
Oct 26, CANADA (SUN) By HDG Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur - originally published in 'Sajjana Tosani'.
nadiya-godrume nityananda mahajana
patiyache nam-hatta jivera karana
"In the land of Nadiya, on the island of Godruma, the magnanimous Lord Nityananda has opened up the Marketplace of the Holy Name, meant for the deliverance of all fallen souls”
`nadiya’ -- this word indicates sri Navadvipa-Dham, the abode formed of nine islands. `godrume' -- of these nine islands, one is known as Godruma (the modern-day district of Gadigacha). `nityananda mahajan' -- Sri Mahaprabhu displayed His mercy toward the jivas tortured by Kali-yuga by ordering Sri Nityananda Prabhu to preach the holy name (nam-prachar) from home to home; therefore Sri Nityananda Prabhu is verily the Mula Mahajan or the chief proprietor of the Nama Hatta located at Godruma. Even though all the employees of the Nama Hatta are qualified for performing ajna-tahal, the `Patrol According to the Lord's Order', still the great mahasayas, who are like patrolling watchmen, are especially empowered to render these duties in an entirely selfless manner. Above all the rest, Prabhu Nityananda and patrolman Haridasa Thakura have each exhibited the glories of this post in their own unique ways. If one goes out on patrol with hopes of simply collecting milk and rice, then that is not the pure form of ajna-tahal.
(sraddhavan jan he, sraddhavan jan he)
prabhura ajnay, bhai, magi ei bhiksa
bolo `krsna,' bhajo krsna, koro krsna-siksa
“O people of faith! O people of faith! By the order of Lord Gauranga, O brothers, I beg these three requests of you: Chant "Krsna!", worship Krsna, and teach others about Krsna.”
The mahasaya on patrol plays his karatals and calls out, "O people of faith! I do not wish to beg from you any worldly thing or mundane favor. The only alms I beg is that all of you honor the order of the Lord by chanting the name of Krsna, worshiping Krsna, and teaching others about Krsna. Just invoke the true name of Krsna. Specifically, by giving up namabhasa (a hint of the name due to offenses) please chant the purely spiritual (cinmaya) holy name of the Lord." There are two kinds of namabhasa -- chaya-namabhasa (shadow of the name) and pratibimba-namabhasa (reflection of the name). The chaya-namabhasa naturally becomes the pure holy name that bestows all divine perfections, but in a gradual manner.
This is because even though one may be situated in the darkness of ignorance, one is still not distracted by desires for bhoga (material sense gratification) and moksa (impersonal liberation), which are both unfavorable for executing devotional service. When devotees who are not knowledgeable in spiritual truth first of all persist in trying to chant this kind of namabhasa in the company of sadhus, by the power of that association they become learned in the mellows of nama-rasa and thus become capable of singing the suddha-nama, the purely transcendental holy name of the Lord. Those devotees are also very fortunate.
For those who attempt chanting the holy name while still desirous of enjoying the fruits of either material endeavors or impersonal liberation, the holy name appears to them as the mere reflection known as pratibimba-namabhasa. Such persons easily receive their insignificant cherished boons from the Lord's name, but they are unable to attain the suddha-nama-cintamani -- the touchstone of the pure holy name. This is because they are incapable of naturally renouncing their desires for things opposed to the execution of pure devotional service, specifically the things related to bhoga and moksa. In special circumstances, according to the arising of good fortune, one may reject desires for bhoga and moksa by the mercy of a devotee or the Lord directly, thus becoming of non-duplicious heart (akaitava hrdaya), and in this way take full shelter of the pure holy name; but that is very rare.
O people of faith! To give up namabhasa and sing the suddha-nama is verily the only true welfare of the jivas. Please worship Lord Krsna by chanting and chanting Krsna-nama. Perform bhajan by engaging in sravana, kirtana, smarana, sevana, archana, vandana, dasya, sakhya, and atma-nivedana. Execute that bhajana either on the path of vidhi-marga or raga-marga, according to your specific adhikara. If your ruchi is for the vidhi-marga, then accept appropriate instructions for worship (bhajan-tattva) at the feet of Sri Guru, and upon the annihilation of all the anarthas that beset the jiva, please observe the person of Lord Krsna. Or, if you have the transcendental greed (lobha) for traversing the raga-marga, then emulate the love and character of an eternal vraja-vasi or vraja-vasini, and according to that befitting ruci just engage in the worship of the mellows of Vraja. Being absorbed in that vraja-rasa-bhajana, obtaining the mercy of a guru who is appropriately qualified in that transcendental realm, one thus gains eternal residence in Vraja by awakening their own spiritual form (cinmaya-svarupa), and in that form they will achieve the ultimate beatitude of rendering seva to Sri Krsna.
aparadha-sunya ho'ye loho krsna-nam
krsna mata, krsna pita, krsna dhana-pran
“Being careful to remain free of offenses, just take the holy name of Lord Krsna. Krsna is your mother, Krsna is your father, and Krsna is the treasure of your life.”
The word 'aparadha' indicates the ten offenses against chanting the holy names of the Lord, listed as follows:
(1) Envy of the Vaisnavas and blasphemy of the Vaisnavas.
(2) Thinking that other demigods like Siva are supreme controllers separate from Lord Krsna. It should be known that the various devatas are the vibhutis or expanded energies of Lord Krsna; with this understanding, the fault of considering them to be different than Krsna, or thinking that there are numerous Supreme Lords, will cease.
(3) Disregard for the spiritual master. There are two kinds of guru -- the diksa-guru and the siksa-guru. One should have faith in the words of the guru, and one should consider him to be a specific manifestation of Krsna, or else Krsna's eternally dear, pure truth (nitya-prestha suddha-tattva).
(4) Blasphemy of the revealed scriptures (sruti-sastra). The sruti-sastras comprise all the following: the Vedas; the Puranas and dharma-sastras that supplement the Vedas; the Bhagavad-gita-sastra, which is the embodiment of the Vedic siddhanta; the Brahma-sutra, which is the manifestation of the Vedic mimamsa-darsana; the Srimad-bhagavata, which is the purport (bhashya) of the Brahma-sutra; the expansions of the Vedas such as the itihasas (histories) and various satvata-tantras (esoteric worship manuals in the mode of goodness); and finally, all the bhakti-sastras written by numerous mahajanas which represent extensive commentaries on all the above-mentioned scriptures. One must have particular faith in all these sastras.
(5) Interpretation of the name of Hari; in other words, concluding that the glories of the holy name (nama-mahatmya) as recorded in the scriptures are merely exaggerated praises.
(6) Conducting sinful activities on the strength of chanting the holy name. By chanting the holy name of the Lord with faith, one's previous sinful reactions are destroyed, and one has no taste to commit further sinful actions. But if one desires to commit sins with the hope that the holy name will afterwards eradicate them, then that is an offense.
(7) When one wishes that the holy name will bestow rewards of bhoga or moksa, considering the name to be equal to pious actions like dharma (religiosity), vrata (following vows), or tyaga (renunciation) -- then he is an offender unto the holy name (namaparadhi).
(8) It is an offense to give the holy name to others who are faithless, and to those who are averse or disinclined to hear about it. Instructions on hari-nama should not be given to those whose faith will not be kindled; the glories of the holy name (nama-mahatmya) should be spoken only to those whose sraddha may arise.
(9) To not have full faith or taste even after hearing about the glories of the holy name.
(10) It is an offense for persons who are full of a sense of false egotism and possessiveness (ahamta-mamata) to engage in the practice of chanting hari-nama. When one considers the material body to be the self, and develops false vanity based on such a body, imagining material objects to be one's own property and thereby becoming attached to them, then such a person naturally commits hari-namaparadha. This is because he is cheated from the knowledge that the sadhya (the goal) as well as the sadhana (the practice for reaching that goal) are both spiritual.
O people of faith! Remaining free of these ten offenses, just worship Lord Krsna. Only Krsna is the jiva's mother, father, offspring, wealth, husband, and life-treasure. The jiva is a spiritual ray (cit-kana), Krsna is the spiritual sun (cit-surya), and the material world is the jiva's prison. Truly the pastimes of Krsna, which lie beyond the material realm, are your factual riches to be sought.
krsnera samsara koro chadi' anacar
jive doya, krsna-nama-- sarva-dharma-sar
Giving up all sinful activities, carry on your worldly duties only in relation to Lord Krsna. The showing of compassion to other souls by loudly chanting the holy name of Krsna is the essence of all forms of religion.
O faithful jiva! You have turned away from Krsna and then suffered the experience of so-called happiness and distress in the realm of mayika-samsara. This situation is not befitting you. As long as you remain bound to the wheel of karma as a result of your faulty aversion to Krsna, please accept one transcendental remedy.
If you are inclined toward the path of pravrtti (positive use of material situations), then just become a grhastha, brahmacari, or vanaprastha; or if you are inclined to the path of nivrtti (renunciation of material situations), then just be a sannyasi. But in whatever position you find yourself, please give up all anacar (sinful activities), while offering your body, home, wife, children, and wealth unto Sri Krsna.
Living in Krsna's world, perform all your actions by dovetailing your senses and mind with topics of Krsna, and with a heart purified of envious aversion pass the journey of life. The supreme nectar (paramamrta) of favorable service rendered unto Lord Krsna will gradually become thickened until it breaks through your two bodies -- the gross (sthula) and the subtle (linga) -- and will finally cause your eternal spiritual form (aprakrta svarupa) to again awaken.
All the following things come under the heading of unfavorable actions, performed either by oneself or by society: theft, speaking lies, cheating, hostility, lust, inflicting bodily harm, duplicious politics, and so forth. Abandoning all these, just resort to pious means and spend your life in Krsna's world. The ultimate statement is this -- showing mercy to all living beings, living a pure lifestyle, just chant the holy name of Krsna. There is no difference whatsoever between Krsna-nama and Lord Krsna Himself. By the mercy of the holy name, Krsna in the form of His names, forms, attributes and pastimes (nama, rupa, guna, and lila) will personally reveal Himself to the vision of the eyes of your siddha-svarupa (spiritual body). Truly in a few days your chit-svarupa will awaken and will remain floating in the ocean of eternally sweet Krsna-prema.