What is The Eternal & Constitutional Function of The Jiva/Soul?

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Chapter 7

“Nitya-dharma & Material Existence

Segment 067

Chapter 7
"Nitya-dharma & Material Existence"
Segment 067

Question: “Is it proper to construct a monastery and establish the worship of a Deity after one has entered the renounced order?”


No. A qualified disciple who has entered the renounced order should maintain his existence by begging every day. He should not involve himself in constructing a monastery or in other grand enterprises. He can live anywhere, either in a secluded hut or in the temple of a householder. He should remain aloof from all affairs that require money, and he should constantly chant sri-hari-nama without offense.

Question: “What do you call renunciants who set up a monastery and then live like householders?”


They may be called vantasi (those who eat their own vomit).

Question: “Then are they no longer to be considered Vaisnavas?”


What benefit is there in their association when their behavior is contrary to sastra and vaisnava-dharma?” They have given up pure bhakti, and have adopted a hypocritical lifestyle. What relationship could a Vaisnava have with such people?”

Question: “How can one say that they have given up Vaisnavism, as long as they do not give up the chanting of hari-nama?”


Hari-nama and nama-aparadha are two different things. Pure hari-nama is quite distinct from offensive chanting that only has the external appearance of hari-nama. It is an offense to commit sins on the strength of chanting sri-nama. If one chants sri-nama and at the same time commits sinful activities, thinking that the power of sri-nama will exempt him from sinful reactions, he is committing nama-aparadha.  This is not suddha-hari-nama, and one should flee far away from such offensive chanting.

Question: “Then is the domestic life of such people not to be considered Krishna-centered?”


“Never,” Ananta dasa firmly said. “There is no room for hypocrisy in a Krishna-centered domestic life. There can only be complete honesty and simplicity, with no trace of offense.”

Question: “Is such a person inferior to a grhastha-bhakta?”


.Question: “How may he be rectified?”

He is not even a devotee, so there is no question of comparing him with any bhakta.

He will be counted amongst the bhaktas again when he gives up all these offenses, constantly chants sri-nama, and sheds tears of repentance.

Question: “Grhastha-bhaktas are situated under the rules and regulations of varnasrama-dharma. If a grhastha is excluded from varnasrama-dharma, is he not barred from becoming a Vaisnava?”


Ah! Vaisnava-dharma is very liberal. All jivas have the right to vaisnava-dharma; that is why it is also known as jaivadharma.  Even outcastes can take up vaisnava-dharma and live as grhasthas, although they are not part of varnasrama.  Moreover, people who have accepted sannyasa within varnasrama, and have then fallen from their position, may later adopt pure bhakti by the influence of sadhu-sanga. Such people can become grhastha-bhaktas, although they are also outside the jurisdiction of varnasrama regulations.  There are others who abandon varnasrama-dharma due to their misdeeds. If they and their children take shelter of suddhabhakti by the influence of sadhu-sanga, they may become grhastha-bhaktas, although they are also outside varnasrama.  So, we see that there are two kinds of grhastha-bhaktas: “one who is part of varnasrama and one who is excluded from varnasrama.”

Question: “Which is superior of these two?”


Whoever has the most bhakti is superior. If neither has any bhakti, then the person who is following varnasrama is superior from the vyavaharika, or relative, point of view, because at least he has some religious principles, whereas the other is an outcaste with no religious principles. However, from the paramarthika, or absolute, spiritual perspective, both of them are fallen because they have no bhakti.

Question: “Does a grhastha have the right to wear the garments of a mendicant while he is still a householder?”


No. If he does, he is guilty on two counts: “he cheats himself and he cheats the world.  If a grhastha adopts the dress of a mendicant, he simply affronts and ridicules genuine mendicants who wear the dress of the renounced order.


The End Notes here.

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