Verse 5: Sevāparādha

yathā āgame –

yānair vā pādukair vāpi gamanaṁ bhagavad-gṛhe. Devotsavādy asevā ca apraṇāmas tad agrataḥ. ucchiṣṭe vāpy aśauce vā bhagavad-vandanādikam. eka-hasta-praṇāmaś ca tat purastāt pradakṣiṇam. pāda-prasāraṇaṁ cāgre tathā paryaṅka-bandhanam. śayanaṁ bhakṣaṇaṁ cāpi mithyā-bhāṣaṇam eva ca. uccair bhāṣā mitho jalpa rodanādi tad agrataḥ. nigrahānugrahau caiva niṣṭhura-krūra-bhāṣaṇam. kambalāvaraṇaṁ caiva para-nindā para-stutiḥ. aślīla-bhāṣaṇaṁ caiva adhovāyu-vimokṣaṇam. śaktau gauṇopacāraś ca anivedita-bhakṣaṇam. tat-tat-kālodbhavānāṁ ca phalādīnām anarpaṇam. viniyuktāvaśiṣṭasya vyañjanādeḥ samarpaṇam. pṛṣṭhī-kṛtyāsanaṁ caiva pareṣām abhivandanam. gurau maunaṁ nija-stotraṁ devatā-nindanaṁ tathā. aparādhās tathā viṣṇor dvātriṁśat parikīrttitāḥ.

varāhe ca aparādhaś ca te ’pi saṅkṣipya likhyante yathā – rājānna-bhakṣanaṁ, dhvāntāgāre hareḥ sparśaḥ, vidhiṁ vinā hary-upasarpaṇaṁ, vādyaṁ vinā tad-dvārodghāṭanaṁ, kukkurādi-duṣṭa-bhakṣya-saṅgrahaḥ, arccane mauna-bhaṅgaḥ, pūjā-kāle viḍ-utsargāya gamanaṁ, gandha-mālyādikam adattvā dhūpanam, anarha-puṣpeṇa pūjanam.

akṛtvā dantakāṣṭhaṁ ca kṛtvā nidhuvanaṁ tathā. spṛṣṭvā rajas-valāṁ dīpaṁ tathā mṛtakam eva ca. raktaṁ nīlam adhautaṁ ca pārakyaṁ malinaṁ paṭam. paridhāya, mṛtaṁ dṛṣṭvā vimucyāpāna-mārutam. krodhaṁ kṛtvā śmaśānaṁ ca gatvā bhuktvāpy ajīrṇa-bhuk. bhuktvā kusumbhaṁ piṇyākaṁ tailābhyagaṁ vidhāya ca. hareḥ sparśo hareḥ karma-karaṇaṁ pātakāvaham.

tathā tatraivānyatra – bhagavac-chāstrānādara – pūrvakam anya-śāstra – pravartanam, śrī-mūrti-sammukhe tāmbūla carvaṇam, eraṇḍādi – patrastha – puṣpair arcanam, āsura kāle pūjā, pīṭhe bhūmau vā upaviśya pūjanam; snapana-kāle vāma- hastena tat-sparśaḥ, paryuṣitai yācitair vā puṣpair arcanam, pūjāyāṁ niṣṭhīvanam, tasyāṁ svagarva-pratipādanam, tiryak puṇḍra-dhṛtiḥ, aprakṣālita-pādatve ’pi tan-mandira-praveśaḥ, avaiṣṇava-pakva-nivedanam, avaiṣṇava-dṛṣṭena pūjanam, vighneśam apūjayitvā kapālinaṁ dṛṣṭvā vā pūjanam, nakhāmbhaḥ snapanam, gharmāmbuliptatve ’pi pūjanam, nirmālya-laṅghanam, bhagavac-chapathādayo ’nye ca jñeyāḥ.

Śrī Bindu-vikāśinī-vṛtti

It has previously been stated that one must give up offences in regard to service. In the āgama-śāstra these sevāparādhas are said to be of thirty-two types: (1) to enter the temple wearing sandals, (2) to enter the temple seated on a palanquin, (3) to disrespect or to fail to observe the festivals of one’s cherished deity (iṣṭadeva), (4) to not offer prostrated obeisances to one’s cherished deity although being present directly before Him, (5) to offer prayers to the Lord without washing the hands and mouth after eating, (6) to offer prayers to the Lord in an unclean condition, (7) to offer obeisances with only one hand, (8) to show one’s back to the Lord while circumambulating,1 (9) to spread one’s feet in front of the deity, (10) to sit in front of the deity with hands binding one’s raised knees, (11) to lie down in front of the deity, (12) to eat in front of the deity, (13) to tell lies in front of the deity, (14) to speak loudly before the deity, (15) to converse with one another about mundane subjects before the deity, (16) to shed tears on account of earthly matters before the Lord, (17) to show favour to or to reprimand someone before the deity, (18) to speak harshly to others in front of the deity, (19) to wear a coarse blanket in front of the Lord or while serving the deity, (20) to blaspheme others in front of the deity, (21) to praise others before the deity, (22) to use obscene language before the Lord, (23) to pass wind before the Lord, (24) to serve the Lord by offering Him secondary or minor articles although competent to offer first-class items (i.e. at the time of worshipping the deity, if one is competent to offer all the principal paraphernalia of worship such as flowers, tulasī, incense, lamp and food offerings, but instead offers only secondary items like water, it is an offence), (25) to eat food items that are not offered to the Lord, (26) to not offer the Lord the fruits and flowers that are in season, (27) to personally enjoy the first portion of anything or present it to someone else and then offer the remainder to the Lord, (28) to sit with one’s back to the deity, (29) to offer obeisances or salutation to others in front of the deity, (30) to remain silent in front of one’s spiritual master; that is, to not offer prayers and obeisances to him or to remain silent without responding to his questions, (31) to praise oneself and (32) to slander the demigods. These are the thirty-two types of sevāparādha. One should strictly avoid them.

Other sevāparādhas that have been mentioned in the Varāha Purāṇa are briefly stated here as follows: to eat grains supplied by the king or government; to touch the deity in a house or temple permeated by darkness; to approach the deity without following the scriptural regulations; to open the door of the temple without ringing a bell or making any sound; to collect items that have been left by a dog or other animals; to break one’s silence at the time of worshipping the deity; to go out in order to evacuate at the time of worship; to offer incense without first offering scents and flower garlands; to worship with forbidden flowers; to worship the Lord without cleansing one’s teeth or without bathing after sexual intercourse; to worship the deity after touching a woman in menstruation, a dead body or a lamp; to worship the Lord wearing red or blue clothes, unwashed or dirty clothes or clothes belonging to another; to worship the deity after seeing a dead body; to pass wind while worshipping the deity; to worship the Lord in anger, after visiting a cremation ground or in a state of indigestion; and to touch or worship the deity after taking an oil massage. All of these activities are considered offences.

In other scriptures as well there are sevāparādhas that are worthy of attention: to propagate other scriptures while disregarding those that are related to the Lord; to chew betel in front of the deity; to worship the deity with flowers kept in the leaves of castor plants or other forbidden plants; to worship at forbidden times (when demoniac influences are prominent); to worship while sitting on a four-legged wooden stool or without any sitting mat; to touch the deity with the left hand at the time of bathing Him; to worship with stale flowers or with flowers that have already been asked for by others; to spit at the time of worship; “I am a great pūjārī” – to glorify oneself in such terms; to apply tilaka on the forehead in a curved manner; to enter the temple without washing one’s feet; to offer food grains to the Lord cooked by a non-Vaiṣṇava; to worship the deity in the presence of a non-Vaiṣṇava; to worship the deity after seeing a Kāpālika2 without first offering worship to Lord Śrī Nṛsiṁhadeva; to bathe the Lord with water touched with the fingernails; to worship when the body is covered with perspiration; to step over the offerings to the Lord; and to take a vow in the name of the Lord. Besides these, many other sevāparādhas have been mentioned in the scriptures.

1 In circumambulating the Lord, one first passes along the right side of the deity, then behind the back, next along the left side and finally one comes face to face with the deity again. As one continues circumambulating, one must turn so as to avoid showing one’s back to the deity as one passes in front of the Lord. To fail to do so is an offence.

2 A Kāpālika is a follower of a particular Śaiva sect of ascetics who carry human skulls and use them as receptacles for their food.

[CC-by-ND GVP]

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Enraged, the king roared, “Then why didn’t you!” and he summarily pushed the architect off the tower. The architect’s terrified yells were silenced by the crunch of his body meeting stone 1,000 feet below. Turning to his general, Emperor Hussain Shah snapped, “Go! Bāklācandradvīpa! Quickly!” Afraid of being similarly dispatched, the general descended the tower posthaste. Below, he immediately summoned a retinue of cavalry, and they trotted in column from the capital. But now the general had a problem: what did the king want? What was he to bring? The king had not said, and the general dared not question him, for he knew the rash Muslim ruler spoke most naturally with the edge of his sword. So the general marched with his troops from village to village. The villagers were filled with dread, for the Muslim armies were known to go from village to village plundering and setting fire to houses. They considered all wealth and women as their rightful property. If there were any strong men then they would make them slaves, killing the rest, and taking the women as concubines. When the general and his troops came to the village of Bāklācandradvīpa, the villagers pleaded to Amara and Santośa for help. The two young men went and stood in the street. The soldiers were galloping on their horses, but Amara and Santośa fearlessly stood in their path. The Muslims halted in amazement. Amara and Santośa boldly but politely addressed the general and his men, “Friends, please come. You look exhausted, come and take some refreshments at our home.” The Muslims were happy and said to each other, “Hindus are always afraid of us and neglect or ignore us, but these boys are very cordial. Let us go and get some refreshment.” Although this was a dangerous group of men, Amara and Santośa were not afraid at all. They arranged a sitting place for the soldiers and brought them refreshments. 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Then they gave me such helpful advice. I have never seen such intelligent and good-natured people.” Enchanted by the general’s description, the king ordered that the two brāhmaṇa youths be summoned and the general sent his soldiers to bring them. When the Muslims returned to the village and ordered that Amara and Santośa come along to the capital in the name of the king, the villagers began to shake with fear. “Please do not go,” the villagers said, “only because of you have we been safe for so long. If you leave now, we will have no protection from the Muslims.” “Don’t worry,” Amara and Santośa assured them, “we are not going to become the king’s servants. We are going in order to purify the king and make him a servant of the Supreme Lord.” When they arrived at the capital, the king was captivated by their beautiful natures and embraced them warmly. He said, “I accept you as my brothers,” and he gave them the names Sākara Mallika and Dabira Khāsa. 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