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On Sin and Sensuality - Prema Bhakti Chandrika and Commentary

braja - Fri, 05 Aug 2005 08:22:15 +0530
Prema Bhakti Chandrika 71

pApa nA koriho mana, adhama se pApI jana,
tAre mui dUre parihari
puNya ye sukhera dhAma, tAra nA loiho nAma,
puNya mukti dui tyAga kori

"Don't think of committing sins, for sinful people are very low. I cast such people far away. Also do not consider the blissful abode of pious activities; give up both piety and the desire for non-dual liberation."

Renunciation of sin, virtue and liberation:

SudhA kaNikA vyAkhyA [Sri Ananta Das Baba]—In this tripadI zrIla ThAkura MahAzaya instructs his mind to give up desires for sin, virtue and even liberation, for they all obstruct progress in devotion. First he says: pApa nA koriho mana, adhama se pApI jana, tAre mui dUre parihari "Don't think of committing sins, for sinful people are very low. I cast such people far away." When the mind is absorbed in sinful activities it is contaminated and the holy names, attributes and pastimes of the Supreme Lord cannot manifest within contaminated minds. Sinful desires can never awaken within the mind of a faithful devotee. Although they may cherish desires for sense enjoyment, they will never generate sin.

zrImat JIva GosvAmI has written in his comment on the BhAgavata-verse jUSamANaz ca tAn kAmAn duHkodakAMz ca garhayan (11.20.28) ("If a faithful person is unable to give up sense pleasures, he continues his gratification with self-condemnation, knowing that such gratification will result in suffering..."):

sahasA tyaktum...'vikarma yac cotpatitaM kathaJcit dhUnoti sarvaM hRdi sanniviSTaH (bhAg.11.5.42)...'nAmno balAd yasya hi pApa buddhir na vidyate tasya yamair hi zuddhiH'...'api cet sudurAcAraH (gItA 9.30)...'kSipraM bhavati dharmAtmA (gItA 9.31) ityanantara vAkye durAcAratApagamasya zreyas tvanirdezAd iti (Bhakti SandarbhaH 172)

"If a faithful person is unable give up lust immediately, he condemns himself, knowing that his lust will culminate into suffering. Here the word 'lust' is not to be understood as something emanating from sin, because the scriptures never prescribe activities emanating from sin. It is said: "zrI Hari is satisfied with he who does not desire others' wives, others' wealth, and has no wish to commit violence to others." This verse from ViSNu PurANa forbids this before the offering of fruitive activities..."Even if a pure devotee, who is exclusively engaged in the worship of His lotus feet, performs some misdeed, zrI Hari, who is situated within his heart, will extinguish that sin." The word kathaJcid is used in this verse of zrImad BhAgavata to indicate that devotees do not purposefully engage in sin. "Those who sin on strength of the chanting of the holy name, will not be purified by so many other rules and regulations," and other praises of the destruction of offences to the holy name clearly proclaim that sinning on strength of chanting the holy name is an offence. In the GItA the Lord says in the verse api cet sudurAcAraH that if a person who commits crimes worships Him he is still to be counted amongst the sAdhus, but that statement does not condone the committing of crimes—it slights crime and defines it as faulty, for in the next (GItA) verse it is said: "He will swiftly become righteous", and that statement makes clear that it is better not to be a criminal."

Therefore zrIla ThAkura MahAzaya very humbly considers himself to be a low and fallen sinner and tells his mind— pApa nA koriho mana.

What to speak of personally committing sins—the practising devotee should stay far away even from those who commit sins—adhama se pApIjana, tAre mui dUre parihari. "I cast those fallen sinners far away". Sinners are fallen, false, low and most wicked. Just as a practising devotee surely becomes most elevated on the strength of saintly association, he certainly becomes greatly degraded by associating with the wicked. Because of the great power of their good qualities, the bodies and minds of the sAdhu mahAtmAs are so pure that these physical virtues can be infused within the hearts of the surrounding people, and similarly the hearts and minds of sinners are so contaminated that on the strength of their association they also contaminate everyone who surrounds them. Hence a person who wishes to remain healthy always gives up a harmful diet, knowing that it will ultimately destroy his body, and similarly those practising devotees who have entered onto the path of bhakti, wishing to do bhajana, should stay far away from fallen sinners. Therefore the giving up of bad company is counted amongst the basic ways of VaiSNava-conduct—asat saGga tyAga, ei vaiSNava AcAra (C.C.) Although one may a sAdhu, one must always beware of such bad company.

One may ask here: "If the sAdhus stay far away from the fallen sinners and do not rid them of their sins by giving them their association, then what will be the destination of such fallen sinners?" Truly spoken. sAdhus must certainly give their association to the fallen sinners, to bring them to the path of devotion, but one must first be endowed with the necessary power to be able to do so. One should never associate with a black snake while relying on a serum against scorpion-bites, nothing but disaster will be gained from that. One should stay far away from the place where one's welfare does not lie, but rather where one will become injured. Although he is the embodiment of prema, zrIla ThAkura MahAzaya wants to stay far away from sinners, just to offer teachings to the world's practitioners.

After that he says: puNya ye sukhera dhAma, nA loio tAra nAma, puNya mukti dui tyAga kori Here the word puNya means actions performed for becoming happy in this life and fruitive activities like performing sacrifices, giving charity and being compassionate, in order to become happy in heaven in the next life. This kind of virtue is the abode of sensual happiness, or it serves to accomplish sensual happiness. As a result of committing sins one suffers greatly and in the course of that suffering, one day repentance may awaken, great souls may be consulted and one may become favorable to the path of devotion, but as a result of virtuous acts one becomes so intoxicated by sense pleasures that repentance can never awaken and the heart which is absorbed in sensuality can never become absorbed in God-consciousness. In zrI ViSNu PurANa the following statement is found:

viSayAviSTa cittAnAM viSNvAvezaH sudUrataH. vAruNI dig gataM vastu vrajan naindrIM kim ApnuyAt

"A person whose heart is absorbed in sensuality can never immerse one's consciousness in Lord ViSNu, for how can a person who goes to the east ever attain something which is situated in the west?"

This statement makes clear that God-consciousness and sensuality are completely opposed to each other. Again, a person who is immersed in sensual happiness and who is blinded by pride over his wealth is completely deprived of the company and the mercy of the great souls. zrImad BhAgavata says:

sAdhUnAM sama cittAnAM mukunda caraNaiSiNAm. upekSaiH kiM dhana stambhair asadbhir asad AzrayaiH

"Why should those great equipoised saints who only yearn for the service of zrI Mukunda's lotus feet ever associate with rich fellows who are proud of their wealth, false, who always keep bad company, and are rejectable?"

Hence zrIla ThAkura MahAzaya tells his own mind—puNya ye sukhera dhAma, nA loio tAra nAma. "A faithful devotee should not even pronounce the names of those who consider virtue to be the abode of bliss". The practitioner of rAgAnugA bhajana should not have any contact with either virtue or sin, and simply be deeply immersed in the worship of RAdhA-KRSNa in Vraja:

na dharmaM nAdharmaM zrutigaNa niruktaM kila kuru vraje rAdhA-kRSNa pracura paricaryAm iha tanu (zrImat RAghunAtha DAsa GosvAmIpAda's ManaH zikSA)

"O mind! Certainly you should not engage in sin or virtue as they are described or condemned by the Vedas, rather you should intensely worship zrI RAdhA-KRSNa in Vraja-dhAma."
jijaji - Sat, 06 Aug 2005 02:27:32 +0530
I have read this several times and have to comment that all the reference to 'sin' and 'sinners' sounds like a 'Fire and Brimstone' sermon to me..

anyone else here think that when reading this..?

anuraag - Sat, 06 Aug 2005 03:01:04 +0530
anyone else here think that when reading this..?

The sayings of the Sufi Saint Rabia came to my mind:

"O My Lord,
If I worship Thee for fear of hell,
Burn me in hell;
if I worship Thee for hope of Paradise,
Exclude me thence;

but if I worship Thee for Thine Own sake,
Withhold not from me Thine eternal beauty."

The true nature of such a sublime, all-absorbing love,
is beautifully brought out by the following anecdote regarding Saint Rabi'a :

Oneday she was asked,
"Do you love god?"

She unhesitatingly said,

Again she was asked,
"Do you hate Satan?"

Equally unhesitatingly, she replied,

"No, my Love for God leaves no room for hating Satan.

My Love for God has so possessed me that no place
for loving or hating any one except Him."

(An excerpt from the book - "Woman Saints of East and West"
pApa nA koriho mana, adhama se pApI jana,
tAre mui dUre parihari
puNya ye sukhera dhAma, tAra nA loiho nAma,
puNya mukti dui tyAga kori

"Don't think of committing sins, for sinful people are very low.
I cast such people far away. Also do not consider the blissful abode of
pious activities; give up both piety and the desire for non-dual liberation."

Prema Bhakti Chandrika. 71
braja - Sat, 06 Aug 2005 04:10:43 +0530
This manner of advice is quite common. A rasik saint offers the following words:

You should not have any worldly desire or even the desire of liberation from Them...You have to keep yourself away from damaging thoughts and bad associations. They are: looking to another person’s fault; criticizing other devotees; desire for popularity; disappointment in devotion; laziness in doing devotions; and friendliness with such worldly people whose association may spoil your devotional feelings.

In any case, the reason I posted this excerpt was that the distinction between sin and sensuality was nicely explained. The Bhagavatam and its reknowned commentator actually offer a very liberal opinion with regard to the sadhaka. If someone feels this is harsh for the others, they can take that up with their maker. smile.gif

jijaji - Sat, 06 Aug 2005 05:25:29 +0530

The word 'sin' was used 23 times in the rather short excerpt..