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Offenses Their Consequences and Rectifications 
by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

More than inviting sinful reactions,offenses can uproot and destroy the tender devotional creeper we are struggling to cultivate.

Beware of the Following Actions : It is indicated herein that if there is negligence on the part of the priest, the demigods do not accept their share in sacrifices. Similarly, in devotional service there are offenses known as seva-aparadha. Those who are engaged in worshiping the Deity, Radha and Krishna, in the temple, should avoid such offenses in service. The offenses in service are described in The Nectar of Devotion. If we simply make a show of offering services to the Deity but do not care for the seva-aparadha. certainly the Radha-Krishna Deity will not accept offerings from such non devotees. Devotees engaged in temple worship should not, therefore, manufacture their own methods, but should strictly follow the regulative principles of cleanliness, and then offerings will be accepted. – Bhagavatam 4.21.37; purport 

To interpret Bhagavad-gita without any reference to the will of Krishna is the greatest offense. In order to save oneself from this offense, one has to understand the Lord as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, as He was directly understood by Arjuna, Lord Krishna' s first disciple.- Bhagavad-gita Preface

To take Srimad-Bhagavatam as a means of maintaining family expenditure is the grossest type of namaparadha offense at the feet of the Lord (sarva-subha-kriya-samyam api pramadah). – Bhagavatam 2.4.2, purport 

It is a great offense, therefore, to consider Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, to be an ordinary man. Those who do so are certainly deluded because they cannot understand the eternal form of Krishna, The Brhad-visnu-smrti clearly states: 

 

yo vetti bhautikam deham 
krishnasya paramatmanah 
sa sarvasmad bahis-karyah 
srauta-smarta-vidhanatah 
mukham tasyavalokyapi 
sa-celam snanam: acaret 

"One who considers the body of Krishna to be material should be driven out from all rituals and activities of the stuti and the stuti. And if one by chance sees his face, one should at once take bath in the Ganges to rid himself of infection." People jeer at Krishna because they are envious of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Their destiny is certainly to take birth after birth in the species of atheistic and demoniac life. Perpetually, their real knowledge will remain under delusion, and gradually they will regress to the darkest region of creation. – Bhagavad-gita 9.12, purport 

In human society, aversion to the principles of understanding the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the cause of all fall downs. That is the greatest offense of human life. – Bhagavad-gita 16.24, purport 

Vaishnava Aparadha the Createst Offense 

Vaishnava-aparadha is very, very offensive. You should be very careful. Caitanya Mahaprabhu has warned vaishava-aparadha, hatimata. Vaishnava-aparadha, offense at the feet of Vaishnava, is exactly like mad elephant. If a mad elephant enters your garden, then he spoils everything. This has been given. Vaishnava-aparadha means hatimata. Mata means mad, and hati means elephant. So we should be very, very careful not to commit any offense at the feet of vaishnava. Vaishnava does not take any offense. He does not care who is offender, but Krishna takes care. Krishna will never tolerate if a person commits Vaishava-aparadha. Mind that. Just like a big man -you can offend him, he doesn't mind. But if you harm his child, he becomes very angry. – Lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam 5.5.33, Vrindavana, November 20, 1976 

An offense at the lotus feet of the Lord is sometimes excused by the merciful Lord, but an offense at the feet of a devotee is very dangerous for one who actually wants to make progress in devotional service. – Srimad-Bhagavatam Canto 1, Introduction 

When an offense is done unto the devotee of the Lord, it is very difficult to overcome the reaction. The brahmanas, being at the head of the social orders, are meant to give protection to their subordinates and not to curse them. There are occasions when a brahmana may furiously curse a subordinate kshatriya or vaishya, etc., but in the case of Maharaja Parikshit there were no grounds, as already explained. The foolish boy had done it out of sheer vanity in being a brahmana's son, and thus he became liable to be punished by the law of God. The Lord never forgives a person who condemns His pure devotee. Therefore, by cursing a king the foolish Srngi had committed not only a sin but also the greatest offense. – Bhagavatam 1.18.47; purport 

Devotee: Prabhupada Does Lord Jesus Christ appear in the spiritual sky with the body he manifested on the earth? 

Prabhupada: Yes. Otherwise how there can be resurrection? Ordinary body cannot be resurrected. He appeared in his spiritual body, certainly. Jesus Christ told, if I remember, that "Lord, excuse these persons," who were crucifying him. Is it not? He knew that "These rascals, they are killing me, but… They are offending certainly. So they do not know that I cannot be killed, but they are thinking that they are killing." You see? But that was offensive, therefore he begged Lord to be excused because God cannot excuse to the offenders of the devotee. He can excuse one who is offender to God, but if somebody is offender to the devotee, God never excuses. Therefore he prayed for them. That is devotee's qualification. He prays for everyone, even of his enemy. – Lecture on Bhagavad-gita 4.1- 6, Los Angeles, January 3, 1969

Hellish Mentality 

Therefore it is forbidden, arcye sila-dhlr gurusu nara-matih. If you think the Deity as sila, means stone, and gurusu nara-matih, if you think guru as ordinary human being, vaisnave jati-buddhi, and if you think a Vaishnava, "He is American Vaishnava, He is Indian Vaishnava." jati buddhi naraki – you become naraki immediately. – Lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.12.6, Bombey. April 17; 1976 

The respect and recognition of Bhishmadeva are never to be imitated by artificial means, as it has become a fashion to observe the so-called jayanti ceremony for any and every common man. According to authorized shastras, such a jayanti ceremony for an ordinary man, however exalted he may be materially, is an offense to the Lord because jayanti is reserved for the day when the Lord appears on the earth. – Bhagavatam 1.9.45, purport 

"If one's heart does not change, tears do not flow from his eyes, his body does not shiver, and his bodily hairs do not stand on end as he chants the Hare Krishna maha-mantra, it should be understood that his heart is as hard as iron. This is due to his offenses at the lotus feet of the Lord's holy name." – Cc. Adi, 8.25

Freedom from Offenses 

The Deity is non-different from Krsna

The water of the Ganges sanctifies all the three worlds, including the gods and the demigods, because it emanates from the lotus feet of the Personality of Godhead Vishnu, Lord Krishna is the fountainhead of the principle of vishnu-tattva, and therefore shelter of His lotus feet can deliver one from all sins, including an offense committed by a king unto a brahmana. – Bhagavatam 1.19.7 purport 

The holy saints actually have no self-interest with the householders. The only aim of such saints is to sanctify the houses of the householders, and the householders therefore should feel grateful when such saints and sages appear at their doors. A householder who dishonors such holy orders is a great offender. It is enjoined, therefore, that a householder who does not bow down before a saint at once must undergo fasting for the day in order to neutralize the great offense. – Bhagavatam 1.19.33, purport 

There are ten offenses in the chanting of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra, but these are not considered in the chanting of the Pancha-tattva mantra, namely, sri krishna-caitanya prabhu-nityananda sri-advaita gadadhara srivasadi-gaura-bhakta-vrnda. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is known as maha-vadanyavatara, the most magnanimous incarnation, for He does not consider the offenses of the fallen souls. Thus to derive the full benefit of the chanting of the maha-mantra (Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare), we must first take shelter of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, learn the Pancha-tattva maha-mantra, and then chant the Hare Krishna maha-mantra. That will be very effective.- Cc. Ad! 7.4, purport 

The Power of the Holy Name The powerful holy name of the Lord can certainly deliver one from sinful effects, but one who desires to utilize this transcendental potency of the holy name of the Lord in one's sinister activities is the most degraded person in the world. Such persons are never excused by the Lord or by any agent of the Lord. One should, therefore, utilize one's life in glorifying the Lord by all means, without any offense. – Bhagavatam 2.1.12, purport

Namno balad yasya hi papa-buddhih. If one thinks that "I am chanting Hare Krishna mantra, so my sinful resultant actions are now nullified. Now again let me do it. Again I shall nullify." This is greatest offense. – Lecture on Bhagavad-gita 4.10, Bombay, March 30, 1974 

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