Question: Caitanya Caritāmṛta, Antya 3.65 states that nāmābhāsa is sufficient to give a jīva mukti. Mukti (liberation from material world) happens after citta-śuddhi. How can just one nāmābhāsa be sufficient to give a jīva mukti, when citta-śuddhi is not complete?
Answer: How do you know that citta-śuddhi is not complete?
Question: Citta-śuddhi is not complete because people have sinful desires even after doing nāmābhāsa, although they may not be offenders. Muslims, for instance, keep saying “hārāma” but may still engage in some sin.
Answer: From your statement, I conclude that Bhāgavata and Caitanya Caritāmṛta are wrong and that you are right. Is this correct?
Question: I’m sorry; my question is,
how to reconcile the two? On one hand, one nāmābhāsa is sufficient to give mukti. And on the other hand, we find that those who do nāmābhāsa may have sinful desires although their sins have been pardoned. How do they attain mukti?
Answer: In your first question, you wrote: “How can just one nāmābhāsa be sufficient to give a jīva mukti, when citta-śuddhi is not complete?” Here you have already assumed that nāmābhāsa does not result in citta-śuddhi. So what can I say? You are making a wrong assumption. “Nāmābhāsa gives mukti” also means that it purifies the citta. But if a person is not free of offense, then such a person is not granted mukti. If you see a Muslim or whomever chanting nāmābhāsa and not getting mukti, then it means that such a person is not free of offense. Nāmābhāsa gives mukti to a person who is free of offense to the name. Such a person’s heart is purified by merely nāmābhāsa. However, if a person has offenses from the past or is committing offenses in the present, then nāmābhāsa does not give mukti.
Improper Behavior of Gurus in Śāstra
Question: In Śrīmad Bhāgavata, Ninth Canto, Chapter 2, we see that Vasiṣṭha over-punished Pṛṣadhra by cursing him to become a lower-class person. But Pṛṣadhra humbly accepted the curse and transcended the curse by taking shelter of bhakti.
We also see in Chapter 9 the story of Saudāsa. Here also, Vasiṣṭha over-punished Saudāsa without fully examining the involvement of Saudāsa. When Saudāsa was about to curse Vasiṣṭha back, his wife Madayantī forbade him.
In Chapter 13, Mahārāja Nimi appointed another priest and performed the yajña, since he did not want to delay the yajña till Vasiṣṭha arrived. But Vasiṣṭha cursed Mahārāja Nimi. That time, Mahārāja Nimi cursed Vasiṣṭha back for his greed. (SB 9.13.5)
Although Vasiṣṭha was greedy for dakṣiṇā from both Indra and Nimi, how is it right on the part of Mahārāja Nimi to counter curse a brāhmaṇa (who was also his guru) to die? Nothing is mentioned about the mistake of Mahārāja Nimi.
Answer: The simple answer is that unlike Saudāsa’s wife, Nimi’s wife was not swift enough to stop her husband from cursing Vasiṣṭha!!
Now the real answer: You have rightly pointed out that Vasiṣṭha was too quick to curse, without consideration of his disciple’s intention. It is true is that he was the guru, but he was not behaving like one. He was giving curses that were not in proportion to the mistake, as you have rightly pointed out.
So Nimi put an end to it. He could have avoided cursing, but then maybe Vasiṣṭha would have also cursed Nimi’s priest for replacing Vasiṣṭha. Vasiṣṭha was gone for 500 years. Do you think that Nimi should have waited that long? Does one have to wait for executing a religious/devotional act because of the guru’s greed? One should not delay an auspicious act unnecessarily. Gṛhīta iva keśeṣu mṛtyunā dharmamācaret–one should perform a dharmic act as if one is going to die at any moment.
guror apy avaliptasya kāryākāryam ajānataḥ
utpatha-pratipannasya parityāgo vidhīyate
A guru who acts improperly should be given up. Bhīṣma fought with his own guru, Parśurāma, risking his life. Parśurāma was well known for vanquishing kṣatriya kings. Arjuna also fought with his own guru. In fact, he did not want to fight but Kṛṣṇa, the source and protector of dharma, instructed Arjuna to fight. Not only that, Kṛṣṇa was driving Arjuna’s chariot while Arjuna shot sharp arrows at Droṇa. It is the same Kṛṣṇa who says that He himself is manifest as the guru and that the guru should never be disrespected – acārya mām vijānīyāt nāvamanyeta karhicit. Dhṛṣṭadyumna also killed his own guru.
If I give up Bhakti because I’m not getting pleasure then it means that I have not understood Bhakti. It means that I have not come for Bhakti. I have come for my own pleasure. On the Bhakti path you do not have to be looking for pleasure – it comes naturally. A characteristic of Bhakti is that the person is devoid of any other desire except to do favorable activities for Krishna. Pleasure will come when love is there, because that is the very nature of love.
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