Devotional Thoughts

When to introduce the ten offenses to people?

When to introduce the ten offenses to people?

We have to use our discrimination as to when we introduce the ten offenses. Obviously that is not the first item we preach. Our goal is to give the Holy Name to be served every day to persons in whom you detect a streak of sincerity in seeking the Absolute Truth or God. Offenseless chanting matters to devotees at that stage of their spiritual development. Others, who utter the name of Krishna, even when they commit offenses without their knowing, will benefit from the touch of the incarnation of the Holy Name. Delivering Holy Name to them is also a devotee’s duty but without revealing the glories of the Holy Name. One day their sincerity to seek the Absolute Truth will also get kindled by accumulation of many unconscious chanting and hearing of the Holy Name.

The incarnation of the Holy Name will make a sincere seeker eventually understand what this chanting is all about as they come in touch with Srila Prabhupada’s vani. The Theology of the Holy Name itself teaches us that no one can ‘not avoid’ offenses overnight.

Offensive chanting, a necessary stage of chanting that we all have to cross due to our conditioned state of ignorance – the inevitable station we have to cross in our journey of Nama Japa. But the important point is that one day we have to cross as that is not our destination.

The shastras say that if we continue chanting then we will be helped to reduce offenses gradually provided we put our conscious efforts. So when we introduce the ten offenses, you also have to introduce the idea that overnight we cannot do offenseless chanting. What we should tell them when we introduce the ten offenses is to put efforts to ‘try’ to avoid ten offenses. Not only during chanting but during the rest of the day and our life. How much of our ‘trying’ is successful, we have to depend upon the help of the Holy Name itself. This is because most of the offenses are due to ignorance of the nature of the Holy Name and ignorance of our true self which can be overcome by knowledge that gets infused into your heart from the Holy Name itself as you serve Him day after day. Purification means replacement of ignorance with the knowledge. Purification multiplies hundreds of times when chanting is accompanied by attentive hearing of our chanting.

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