~ Jagad Guru Chris Butler (Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa)

Chaya- and pratibimba-namabhasa

"Chaya-namabhasa arises simply from ignorance. It is rooted in hrdaya daurbalyam or weakness of the heart. It is a type of anartha. But all these faults are rectified by chanting the holy name. However, chanting in pratibimba-namabhasa increases one's offenses. According to the mayavadis, Lord Krsna's name, form, qualities and pastimes are all illusory, false, temporary and contaminated. They similarly misunderstand prema or spiritual love to be merely evanescent. Mayavadi philosophy characteristically contradicts the devotional path of bhakti at every turn. Therefore mayavadis are the biggest offenders. The mayavadi's chanting is not real chanting; the sound the Lord's name may emanate from his mouth, but it is bereft of the potency of the Lord. His chanting is filled with the yearning for sense pleasure and liberation, and all the time he thinks the Lord's name is material. Because he tries to cheat, his chanting results in unrelenting misery for himself.

How does the mayavadi redeem himself?

"If by some good fortune, the mayavadi relinquishes the desire for sense gratification and liberation and begins to chant, thinking himself a servant of Krsna, he becomes exonerated from his offenses and spiritual aberrations. He then takes shelter of the holy name and repents. This opens the way to hear from and associate with pure devotees. At this time his chanting leads him to comprehend sambandha-jnana. He must chant while continuously shedding tears of contrition; only then can he invoke the mercy of the holy name.

The mayavadi sees bhakti as material

"The mayavadi considers both the transcendental form of Lord Krsna and the jiva's inherent constitutional position as the Lord's eternal servitor to be transient and imaginary. This mayavadi philosophy is a grievous namaparadha. Namabhasa is truly a wish-fulfilling tree, for it even offers to the mayavadis the sayujya liberation so desired by them. Because the name is omnipotent, it offers mukti-abhasa or a semblance of liberation in the pratibimba-namabhasa stage. Amongst the five types of liberation, sayujya (becoming one with God) is considered abhasa, a mere hint of liberation. Material suffering is indeed terminated in sayujya, but certain spiritual doom follows.

"The mayavadis, captivated by maya find sayujya pleasurable, but it is only a ghost of actual happiness. They forever forfeit transcendental existence, knowledge, happiness and devotional service because sayujya-mukti obfuscates their remembrance of Krsna. Where is the question of eternal bliss when the eternal aspect of bhakti and prema is doubted?

Chaya-namabhasa can lead to suddhanama

"If the chaya-namabhasa chanter is not contaminated by atheistic concepts, then he has a good chance. His position is that he is ignorant about the potency of the holy name, but it is the inherent nature of the holy name to impregnate that knowledge into the chanter's heart. For example, the sun may not be visible when the sky is cloudy, but once the clouds are dispersed, the sun shines through in full glory. The chanter gains great benefit from taking shelter of a bona fide spiritual master, and in a short time is able to attain the pure name and krsna-prema.

Devotees must not associate with mayavadis

"Diligently avoid association of mayavadis! Please serve those who are attached to chanting purely! O Lord Caitanya, this is Your injunction and whoever follows it is very fortunate. Those who disregard and disobey this instruction are wretches who will suffer eternally. O, my Lordl please bless me so I can reject bad association and take shelter at Your lotus feet! There is no other way."

One who is blessed with love and devotion and takes pleasure in serving Srila Haridasa Thakura's lotus feet will find this book Harinama Cintamani as valuable as life itself.