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Thursday, November 03, 2016

Navadwīpa free from offence?

Vaiṣṇava - Some people in Navadvīpa told me "If you commit offense in Vṛndāvana you have to come to Navadvīpa to get atonement....they quoted the story of Siddha Jagannāth Dās Bābājī.  They told me a story where Jagannath Das Bābājī once accepted Prasadam from sweepers then later he realised it's an offence then he asked his disciple to carry him to Navadvīpa to make atonement. In Vṛndāvana Radha-Govinda will be there, they are very strict and in Navadvīpa Gaur-Nitāi will be there and they are very liberal to forgive the offences done in Vṛndāvana."
Advaitadās - About Navadvīpa being free from offences - Mahāprabhu never forgave Gopāl Chāpāl or Chota Haridās, for offences they committed in Navadvīpa or Puri, not in Vṛndāvana.  So how is there no offense in Gour-līlā or Navadvīpa? What atonement is there other than harināma? Look at what Mahāprabhu taught Subuddhi Rāy -

prāyaścitta puchilā tiṅho paṇḍitera gaṇe; tāṅrā kohe,-tapta-ghṛta khāiyā chāḍo' prāṇe

When Subuddhi Raya asked brahmins how to atone for being sprinkled by a Muslim they said 'Drink boiling ghee and die'. (Caitanya Caritamrta Madhya 25.195)

prabhu kohe,-ihāṅ hoite yāho' vṛndāvana; nirantara koro kṛṣṇa-nāma-saṅkīrtana

But instead Mahaprabhu said: 'Go to Vṛndāvana and always chant the holy name there.' (Caitanya Caritamrta Madhya 25.198)

1. Mahāprabhu didn't say “Go to Navadvīpa” but “Go to Vṛndāvana”. 
2. There's no prāyaścitta for a nāma sādhaka. It's a nāmāparādha to think harināma needs support from practises like atonements (dharma-vrata tyāga-hūta sarva śubha-kriyā sāmyam). Harināma is cira niṣkṛta, the ultimate atonement, according to the Bhāgavata (6.1.19).
3. nāmno balād yasya hi pāpa buddhiḥ – It is an offence to the holy name to commit sin on strength of the holy name. This offence applies to all items of bhakti-sādhana, including living in the holy dhāma. One should not exploit the idea that Gaur-Nitāi are ‘not taking any offence’ to commit offences or sins in holy places like Navadvīpa.

Another version of that sweeper-story is that Jagannāth Dās Bābājī insisted all sweepers of Braj are glorious and that there was nothing wrong in eating their grains. In any case, no śāstra says Navadvīpa is free from all offence. We see so many devotees falling down there as well. If this theory were true, why don't all sādhakas in Navadvīpa have prema then? If there were no offense there would be immediate prema. Then why not everybody in Bengal has prema?

Vaiṣṇava – But your Guru lived full time in Navadvīpa?

Advaitadās – “Yes but not because offences are not counted there. He was born there. Nor do we say everyone should live non-stop in Vraja. Familiarity DOES breed contempt. Ultimately whether you live in Navadwīp or Vraja, or even in a mundane place elsewhere, one should think of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. Mahāprabhu worshipped Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa also in Navadwīp and Puri.”

Vaiṣṇava - But whatever it may be, is it correct to accept grains from sweepers as Jagannāth Das Bābājī has done? Kindly answer.

Advaitadās - Mahāprabhu would not eat food even from His śikṣā-guru Rāmānanda Rāya (see Caitanya Caritāmṛta Madhya 8.47-48 heno kāle vaidik ek vaiṣṇava brāhmaṇa, daṇḍavat kori koilo prabhure nimantrana). Rūpa and Sanātan Goswāmīs begged food only from brāhmins. (See Caitanya Caritamrta Madhya 19.128 'vipra-gṛhe' sthūla-bhikṣā, kāhāṅ mādhu-karī


  1. Sriman Mahaprabhu did, however, accept food from the sanodiya brahmana. CC Madhya 17.176-180.

  2. Yes because he was a brahmana.