~ Jagad Guru Chris Butler (Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa)

The relationship between Lord Visnu and Brahman

"Lord Visnu is the Supreme Absolute Truth; both the personal and impersonal features are inherent in His divine nature. The Supreme Lord's inconceivable potencies not only include His personal and impersonal aspects, they also manifest His all-attractive beauty and silence all contradictory speculations about Him.

"Human intelligence is limited and puny. It cannot easily fathom the Supreme Lord's inconceivable energies. So when a human being tries to conceive of a Supreme Controller with his inadequate brain, he can advance only to the concept of impersonal Brahman, which is a partial representation of the Absolute Whole. In this way he is diverted from the supreme goal of worship, Lord Visnu, whose lotus feet are worshipped even by

the great demigods. Ignorant of the benefit he has lost, he becomes attached to the worship of impersonal Brahman. But anyone who comprehends the transcendental nature of the name, form, qualities etc. of the Supreme Lord, and knows them to be non-different from Him, can chant the pure name and perceive Lord Krsna in His divine fullness.

"Duality exists only on the material plane—here a name is different from the object it identifies. But as this is not the case on the spiritual platform, it is a gross blunder to imagine such a difference between the Lord and His name, form, qualities and so on. The same pitfall entraps those who consider Lord Siva and other demigods to be independent of the Supreme Lord's control.

Differences between devotees and mayavadis

"The devotee who has taken single-minded shelter in the holy name is a truly elevated soul. He worships Krsna and no one else as the Supreme Lord. He does not attack other scriptures and other deities, such as the demigods; he worships and respects them as servitors of Lord Krsna.

He always refrains from dry speculation. When different scriptures try to establish the superiority of other demigods; it is only to facilitate the limited ability of a particular mentality to grasp the Absolute Truth. These scriptures are actually trying to elevate their followers to become devotees of Krsna. Therefore one should never criticize other scriptures and demigods; such criticism is an offense.

"A devotee should not accept remnants of food or garlands from a mayavadi, even if they were offered to Lord Visnu, because a mayavadi's worship is impure. A mayavadi's chanting of the holy name is offensive; the Lord does not accept the offerings and worship from a mayavadi. It is also an offense to accept garlands and other remnants from demigod worship; this is detrimental to the pure devotional life. But if a devotee worships the Supreme Lord Krsna and offers His remnants to the demigods, it will not be offensive to receive these remnants, nor will one's spiritual development be hampered in any way. A pure devotee always avoids offenses, chants constantly and thus attains prema; his entire success is found in the holy name.

The remedy for the offense

"Illusion and madness blind the jiva, and thus he thinks that others are also on the same platform as the Supreme Lord Visnu. The only remedy is to repent intensely and meditate on Lord Visnu, Krsna, for by this remembrance offenses are dissolved. Thereafter, one must meticulously avoid committing the same offense again. Remembrance of the Lord is the most effective penance; the Vedas always recommend imperilled brahmanas to meditate upon the lotus feet of Lord Visnu for-protection. Remembering the Lord's name is the same as meditating upon His lotus feet. The holy name can disperse all previous offenses, for it acts as the devotee's best friend.

"Lord Krsna is an ocean of mercy and forgiveness; the devotee must disassociate himself from demigod worshippers and polytheists, and seek the company of devotees who exclusively worship Krsna as their Supreme Lord."

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.