~ Jagad Guru Chris Butler (Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa)

— Chapter Thirteen —

Maintaining Material Attachments of 'I' and 'Mine'

All glories to Sri Gadadhara Pandit and Lord Sri Gauranga; all glories to Lord Nityananda, the life and soul of Srimati Jahnavadevi; all glories to Sri Advaita Acarya, the Lord of Mother Sita; all glories to all the devotees of Lord Caitanya.

The worst offense against the holy name

DRENCHED IN TEARS of ecstatic love, Srila Haridasa Thakura went on to explain, in a choked voice, the last of the offenses to the holy name. "My Lord, this last namaparadha is the worst kind of offense. Its presence restricts the free flow of divine love, prema.

Even after having taken spiritual initiation, most materially attached persons cannot fully give up bodily designations. They maintain a 'me' and 'mine' mentality that sidetracks them from the path of devotion. Physical designations, e.g. 'I am a brahmana', 'I am Vaisnava', 'I am a King'; or 'this is my position, wealth, son, grandson and so on', symptomize spiritual immaturity and are deterrents to proper cultivation of devotional service. This terrible offense is only ameliorated when one surrenders to the holy name.

The necessity of surrender to the holy name

"Every devotee must cease all namaparadhas and surrender completely to the holy name. According to the scriptures, the process of surrender has six limbs. It is beyond my ability to describe them in detail.* Yet I shall touch upon these six and place them before Your lotus feet.

"The vow to accept everything favorable for the of devotional service; likewise, to reject anything unfavorable; to be convinced that Lord Krsna will always give protection; to depend wholly on Krsna for everything; to always feel meek and humble; and to throw oneself at Lord Krsna's lotus feet-these are the-six limbs of surrender.

"Devotional service is possible only while alive, hence one must accept only that which keeps the body and soul together. Life must be molded to facilitate devotional service; therefore one should develop a taste for objects that are connected to Lord Krsna. Simultaneously, a natural distaste for deterrents to devotional service also develops within the heart. Lord Krsna becomes the only protector and also the only maintainer, because no one is as dependable as He is. I, as His eternal slave, am somehow a part of Lord Krsna's family, and my only aspiration is to act according to Lord Krsna's will.

"One must give up false designations like brahmana, sudra, father, husband, King, subject, master, donor, maintainer. Relinquish all attachments to money, body, sons, wife, etc. Instead, one should center the attachments and relationships around Krsna, thinking: 'He is the real Master and Lord, and His will is my imperative. I am ready to act only to fulfil Lord Krsna's desire and won't even think about my own wishes. I will adjust my household affairs for the Lord's satisfaction. By His wish I will cross the material ocean. In times of both joy and sorrow I will remain eternally Lord Krsna's servitor. Only by His desire can I become compassionate to the suffering of others. All my moments of material enjoyment and my moods of austerity are experienced solely due to the Lord's will. When these feelings arise spontaneously, one achieves the stage of atma-nivedana (surrender of the soul).

* For a more detailed consideration of the six limbs of surrender, please see The Nectar of Instruction (Sri Upadesamrita), by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada