atha nāmāparādha daśa: yathā – vaiṣṇava-nindādi – vaiṣnavāparādhaḥ; viṣṇu-śivayoḥ pṛthag-īśvara-buddhiḥ; śrī-gurudeve manuṣya-buddhiḥ; veda-purāṇādi-śāstra-nindā; nāmni arthavādaḥ; nāmni kuvyākhyā vā kaṣṭa-kalpanā; nāma-balena pāpe pravṛttiḥ; anya śubha-karmabhir nāma-sāmya-mananam; aśraddha-jane nāmopadeśaḥ; nāma māhātmye śrute ’pi aprītiḥ – iti daśadhā.
Ten kinds of nāmāparādha will now be described in connection with the chanting of the holy name of the Lord.
- To commit offences against the Vaiṣṇavas by slandering them and so on (nindādi). The word ādi here refers to the six kinds of vaiṣṇava-aparādha indicated in the following verse from the Skanda Purāṇa, quoted in Bhakti-sandarbha (Anuccheda 265):
hanti nindati vai dveṣṭi
krudhyate yāti no harṣaṁ
darśane patanāni ṣaṭTo beat Vaiṣṇavas, to slander them, to bear malice against them, to fail to welcome them, to become angry with them and to not feel happiness upon seeing them – by these six types of vaiṣṇava-aparādha one falls down to a degraded position.
- To consider Lord Śiva to be the Supreme Lord, separate and independent from Lord Viṣṇu.
- To consider Śrī Gurudeva to be an ordinary human being.
- To slander the Vedas, Purāṇas and other scriptures.
- To consider the praises of śrī harināma to be imaginary; in other words, to consider that the potencies which have been praised in the scriptures in reference to harināma are not actually present in the holy name.
- To give an unauthorised and misleading explanation of śrī harināma; in other words, to abandon the established and reputed meaning of the scriptures and foolishly concoct some futile explanation. For example, someone may argue that the Lord is incorporeal (nirākāra), formless (arūpa) and nameless (anāma), and that therefore His name is also imaginary.
- To engage in sinful activities again and again, knowing that there is such power in the holy name that simply by uttering śrī harināma all sins are vanquished.
- To consider all kinds of religious or pious activities to be equal to śrī harināma.
- To instruct faithless persons about śrī harināma.
- To not have love for the name in spite of hearing the glories of śrī nāma.
These ten offences must certainly be avoided. In the practice of hari-bhajana, one should first of all be very attentive to avoid all sevāparādhas and nāmāparādhas. One should know these aparādhas to be severe obstacles on the path of bhajana and vigorously endeavour to give them up. Without giving up these offences there can be no question of advancement in bhajana; rather, the sādhaka’s falldown is assured.
The sādhaka should also be vigilant not to commit any sevāparādhas in the matter of worship of the deity. Sevāparādhas that are committed unknowingly in the course of serving the deity are mitigated by wholehearted surrender unto Lord Hari, by offering prayers unto Him and, in particular, by taking shelter of śrī harināma. The holy name mercifully forgives all of one’s sevāparādhas. Śrī harināma is even more merciful than the deity. But if in spite of taking shelter of śrī harināma one is inattentive again in the matter of nāmāparādha, then his falldown is assured.