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Offence and Sin:
Committing, Removing, Tolerating

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj,
Speaking online to devotees in Caracas, part 10
22 July 2012


Question: What is the difference between an offence and a sin?

An offence and a sin are almost the same. An offence is an aparadh and a sin means a pap. A sin is a word that mostly non-devotee people use. The meaning is almost the same, there is not so much difference. Sometimes we make an offence, whether consciously or unconsciously, and if that offence is not removed, it becomes a sin.

Our scriptures never say "sin," we always say "offence"—non-devotees always think about sin, we always think about offences ("Please forgive my offence," "Please forgive my offence"). There are many kinds of offences—seva aparadh, Nama aparadh, Vaishnav aparadh, etc. For example, if you are greedy, this is your offence, and through your greed some sin comes, and in the end that sin leads to death.

In general, our main thing is that we do not want to make an offence. We must always ask, "Please forgive my offence." You say that a sin and an offence are similar. I can give another example. Suppose you kill somebody—this is an offence, and you get the result of that offence, that is a sin.


Question: How can we know when Krishna forgives or removes our offence?

When you feel you are getting so much pleasure through service, when you feel you are getting happiness when you chant the Holy Name, when you feel you are getting energy for chanting and service, then you can think that you have no offence and that slowly, gradually all offences are being removed.

Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya was the head of the Puri Temple, but he did not use to like Jagannath prasad. He would never take it. One time, Mahaprabhu brought him some prasadam early in the morning,

"O Sarvabhauma! Are you still sleeping? I have brought some prasad for you!"

"Prabhu, I am still in the bed... I have not washed my face, have not cleaned my teeth..."

"No, no, it is not necessary—first you take this prasad!"

Then, Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya took that prasad and from that day he took prasad from the Jagannath Temple every day—his offence was removed.

When I joined the temple, I was very unhappy for minimum two-three months at first. I thought, "Oh, I do not like this kind of food, this kind of temple prasad! What kind of food is this? The outside food is very nice..." It made me think that I still had offence in my heart, that my heart was not clean. After that, two-three months later, I could not actually tolerate the outside food—my mind did not go to the outside food anymore. I thought, "Oh, now my interest is in service. Now, my energy is going to serve, to take prasadam. I am not so much interested in the outside food now." It comes easily on its own, and when it comes, we can easily understand that our offence is being removed.

Are there any other questions? I heard somebody was asking something.


Question: Sometimes a devotee feels unhappy when they are doing some service, does it mean that the Guru also feels unhappy with their service?

Not always so. Gurudev is always merciful. He tolerates everything from us. Sometimes, Gurudev can be unhappy, but he tolerates it, he does not reject us. When it becomes too much intolerable, then he rejects us, but he always tries, tries, and tries to keep us, to engage us in service. He does not become unhappy immediately. The Guru is very powerful and he always tolerates so much—he has so much power to tolerate us. He tolerates us, but when he tolerates, tolerates and it gets intolerable and out of control, then he rejects us...


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Anything for Guru's Service
You can do anything for the service to your Guru, but for your own self you cannot do any sinful work; but we do just the opposite: for our own happiness we are not afraid to do any sinful work, and we are always afraid to do something for Gurudev.


Ye anila prema-dhana
'Where are my Raghunath Bhatta and Gopal Bhatta? Where is my Krishaadas Kaviraj? Where has the great dancer Sri Gauranga suddenly gone?'
যে আনিল প্রেমধন

Your mouth has two lips, just open your lips, say, 'Hare Krishna', and 'Hare Krishna', 'Hari' will come out of your mouth. What is the problem?!