om apavitrah pavitro vā purports

om apavitrah pavitro vā
sarvāvasthāṁ gato api vā
yaḥ smaret puṇḍarīkākṣaṁ
sa bahya abhyantaraṁ śuciḥ
śrī viṣṇu śrī viṣṇu śrī viṣṇu

Both pure and impure, passing through the conditions of material life, if remember the lotus-eyed Lord, then one becomes externally and internally clean.

Lecture 1 Dec 68, Los Angeles

Namah means surrender. Namah om namah, this is the way of chanting Vedic mantra. Om means addressing the Absolute, and namah means “I am surrendering.” Every Vedic mantra is begun om namah. Om means addressing. So this mantra is chanted with surrender, namah. Nothing can be done without surrender because our, this conditional life is rebellious life. We have rebelled against the supremacy of the Personality of Godhead. That is conditioned life. There are so many theses to support this rebellious condition. Somebody is thinking that “I am one with God”; somebody is thinking, “God is dead”; somebody is thinking, “There is no God”; somebody is thinking, “Why you are searching God? There are so many Gods loitering in the street.” So in this way many theses are there. All of them are different symptoms of rebellious condition. The sum and substance… Just like atheists, they are boldly saying, “There is no God.” Now…, but the impersonalists saying, “There may be God, but He has no head, He has no tail. That’s all.” So in this way our condition is rebellious condition. Therefore Bhagavad-gita instructs that “You surrender.” Sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja [Bg. 18.66]. So without surrender, there is no question of making any spiritual progress. Just like a person who has rebelled against the government — the first condition is to surrender; otherwise there is no question of mercy from the government. Similarly anyone, the living entity, any one of us who has rebelled against the supremacy of the Lord, the beginning of spiritual life is surrender.

So this mantra, initiation, namah. Namah means surrender. And who can surrender? Surrender, one who has understood the Lord, he can surrender, as it is stated in the Bhagavad-gita, bahunam janmanam ante jnanavan mam prapadyate [Bg. 7.19]. After many, many births of cultivation of knowledge, when one is perfectly wise, at that time he surrenders. The perfection of acquiring knowledge, or wisdom, is to surrender. So, namah. Namah means “I surrender.” And what is your condition? Never mind what is that condition. Apavitrah pavitro va. Apavitrah means contaminated, and pavitra means liberated. So we have two conditions. Either… Just like either we are healthy or we are diseased. There is no third condition. Crude example. Similarly, the living entities, they have two conditions. One condition is liberation, another condition is contaminated. Therefore living entity is called marginal, in between contamination and liberation. Either a living entity can be contaminated or liberated. There is no third condition. Therefore this mantra says, apavitrah pavitro va. Either contaminated or liberated, it doesn’t matter. Om namo apavitrah pavitro, sarvavastham. Sarva means all; avastham means condition. In any condition. Sarvavastham gato ‘pi va. In whatever condition you may be. Because two conditions there are. For the living entities… The living entity is in the marginal position. Either he can be in material nature or in the spiritual nature. The spiritual nature means liberation, and material nature means contamination. So in this mantra it is said, either of the condition, never mind. Either you are in material condition or spiritual condition. Sarvavastham gato ‘pi va. Va means either; yah, anyone; smaret, smaret means remembers; pundarikaksam, pundarikaksam means whose eyes are just like lotus petal. That means Krsna or Visnu. Yah smaret pundarikaksam sa bahya… Bahya means externally. Externally, this body. Abhyantaram. Abhyantaram means internally. Internally I am spirit. Just like internally, within this dress, I am internally. Externally I am this dress. Similarly, yah smaret pundarikaksam. Either he is in the bodily concept of life or he is in the spiritual concept of life, either he is contaminated or he is liberated — in any condition, one who remembers Krsna or Visnu, bahyabhyantaram, he immediately becomes purified internally and externally. This is the substance of this mantra.

And at the last we are chanting sri visnu sri visnu sri visnu. Because it may not be misunderstood that in this verse it is said that yah smaret pundarikaksam, “anyone who remembers the lotus-eyed.” So somebody may think, “My such and such lover is lotus-eyed,” or in that way, lotus-eyed. There may be so many lotus-eyed. Therefore at last it is specifically said, sri visnu sri visnu sri visnu. “Lotus-eyed” means Visnu, not anybody else. Sri visnu sri visnu. This is the basic principle of devotional life. In Narada Pancaratra it is recommended… We are explaining these things in Nectar of Devotion. The basic principle of purification is smartavyah satato visnuh: always one has to remember Visnu or Krsna. Krsna and Visnu the same. When you speak Krsna, it includes Visnu. So smartavyah satato visnu vismartavyah na jatucit. We shall not forget Visnu even for a moment. This is the basic principle of devotional life. Some way or other, we have to remember always Krsna. Then whatever condition we may be, we are pure. Sa bahyabhyantaram sucih. This chanting helps us always remembering Krsna. As soon as we chant Hare Krsna, hear, immediately we remember. So, so long I remember, I am sucih, I am pure, no material contamination. Therefore if I continue my life in that pure stage, then I am eligible for going back to Godhead. Because nobody can enter in the kingdom of God without being completely pure. Completely pure means anyabhilasita-sunyam [Brs. 1.1.11], no material desire. Here in the material world, we manufacture so many plans to be happy, material desires. Somebody’s thinking, “I shall be happy in this way.” Somebody’s thinking… There is no question of happiness here. The place is contaminated. In a contaminated… Just like in an infected place you cannot be happy. The medical officer will ask you to leave that place, that “This quarter has been infected by the disease. Better you leave, you go somewhere else.” That is the treatment. Infected place must be left immediately. So similarly, this world, this material world of three modes of different qualities, you have to keep yourself always antiseptic, pure, by remembering Krsna. That is the process. As soon as you forget Krsna, immediately the infection, maya, immediately affects you. Krsna bhuliya jiva bhoga-vancha kare.

Canto 6: Prescribed Duties for Mankind Chapter 8: The Narayana-kavaca Shield
Srimad Bhagavatam 6.8.4-6
sri-visvarupa uvaca
dhautanghri-panir acamya
sapavitra udan-mukhah
krta-svanga-kara-nyaso
mantrabhyam vag-yatah sucih
narayana-param varma
sannahyed bhaya agate
padayor janunor urvor
udare hrdy athorasi
mukhe sirasy anupurvyad
omkaradini vinyaset
om namo narayanayeti
viparyayam athapi va

sri-visvarupah uvaca — Sri Visvarupa said; dhauta — having completely washed; anghri — feet; panih — hands; acamya — performing acamana (sipping a little water three times after chanting the prescribed mantra); sa-pavitrah — wearing rings made of kusa grass (on the ring finger of each hand); udak-mukhah — sitting facing the north; krta — making; sva-anga-kara-nyasah — mental assignment of the eight parts of the body and twelve parts of the hands; mantrabhyam — with the two mantras (om namo bhagavate vasudevaya and om namo narayanaya); vak-yatah — keeping oneself silent; sucih — being purified; narayana-param — fully intent on Lord Narayana; varma — armor; sannahyet — put on oneself; bhaye — when fear; agate — has come; padayoh — on the two legs; janunoh — on the two knees; urvoh — on the two thighs; udare — on the abdomen; hrdi — on the heart; atha — thus; urasi — on the chest; mukhe — on the mouth; sirasi — on the head; anupurvyat — one after another; omkara-adini — beginning with omkara; vinyaset — one should place; om — the pranava; namah — obeisances; narayanaya — unto Narayana, the Supreme Personality of Godhead; iti — thus; viparyayam — the reverse; atha api — moreover; va — or

Visvarupa said: If some form of fear arrives, one should first wash his hands and legs clean and then perform acamana by chanting this mantra: om apavitrah pavitro va sarvavastham gato ‘pi va/ yah smaret pundarikaksam sa bahyabhyantarah sucih/ sri-visnu sri-visnu sri-visnu. Then one should touch kusa grass and sit gravely and silently, facing north. When completely purified, one should touch the mantra composed of eight syllables to the eight parts of his body and touch the mantra composed of twelve syllables to his hands. Thus, in the following manner, he should bind himself with the Narayana coat of armor. First, while chanting the mantra composed of eight syllables [om namo narayanaya], beginning with the pranava, the syllable om, one should touch his hands to eight parts of his body, starting with the two feet and progressing systematically to the knees, thighs, abdomen, heart, chest, mouth and head. Then one should chant the mantra in reverse, beginning from the last syllable [ya], while touching the parts of his body in the reverse order. These two processes are known as utpatti-nyasa and samhara-nyasa respectively.

Lecture Los Angeles, July 16, 196

So everything can be attained simply by chanting this Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. Everything. The means is the end and the means is the whole. It is not that we accept something and give it up and again come to another stage. No. If you have got conviction, if you have got faith, if you are strenuous, immediately you are in the platform. Apavitraḥ pavitro vā sarvāvasthāṁ gato ‘pi vā. So any stage of life, yaḥ smaret puṇḍarīkākṣam, anyone who remembers Puṇḍarīkākṣam, Kṛṣṇa… (aside:) Sit like this. Yes. Puṇḍarīkākṣam. Puṇḍarīka means lotus; akṣam means eyes. Puṇḍarīkākṣam. Yaḥ smaret puṇḍarīkākṣaṁ sa bahyābhyantara-śuciḥ. Externally, internally, he becomes immediately purified. So keep on chanting, you keep yourself purified, māyā cannot touch you. Māyā’s contamination will not touch you. Just like if you take vaccine, the infectious disease will not touch you. Similarly, if you keep yourself vaccinated with Kṛṣṇa consciousness, the māyā has no power to touch you. And if you can keep, then you will be accustomed. Just like a child, when he learns walking, he requires little help. He may fall down, but that doesn’t matter. He again stands up. Similarly, in the beginning there may be childlike falldown, but if you stick to the position, then one day you’ll be able to walk freely, without any hamper. So this mantra, apavitraḥ pavitro vā sarvāvasthām, any condition of life, you can simply remember Puṇḍarīkākṣam, Kṛṣṇa. As soon as you chant “Kṛṣṇa,” you remember everything.

Canto 11: General History Chapter 3: Liberation from the Illusory Energy
Srimad Bhagavatam 11.3.49

sucih sammukham asinah
prana-samyamanadibhih
pindam visodhya sannyasa-
krta-rakso ‘rcayed dharim

sucih — clean; sammukham — facing (the Deity); asinah — thus seated; prana-samyamana-adibhih — by pranayama (breathing exercises) and other means; pindam — the gross body; visodhya — purifying; sannyasa — by placing transcendental marks of tilaka on various places of the body; krta-raksah — in this way invoking the Lord’s protection; arcayet — one should worship; harim — Lord Hari

After cleansing oneself, purifying the body by pranayama, bhuta-suddhi and other processes, and marking the body with sacred tilaka for protection, one should sit in front of the Deity and worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

PURPORT
Pranayama is the authorized Vedic process for controlling the air within the body. Similarly, bhuta-suddhi is a process for purifying the body. The word sucih means that one should be internally and externally clean. Sucih means that one should perform activities only for the pleasure of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. If somehow or other one can remember the Supreme Lord constantly by chanting and hearing His holy name, one will come to the pure stage of life, as described in this Vedic mantra:

om apavitrah pavitro va
sarvavastham gato ‘pi va
yah smaret pundarikaksam
sa bahyabhyantara-sucih
(Garuda Purana)

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura has pointed out that although one may mark the body with sacred tilaka, perform mudras and chant mantras, if one is thinking within his mind of material sense gratification his worship of Lord Sri Hari is bogus. Therefore the word sucih here indicates that one should worship the Lord in a favorable frame of mind, considering the Lord to be sacred and one’s self to be an insignificant servant of the Lord. Those who are not favorably inclined toward the Supreme Personality of Godhead do not like to worship the Deity in the temple, and they discourage people from going to the temple of the Lord by saying that since the Lord is omnipresent there is no need to do so. Such envious persons prefer the gymnastic exercises of hatha-yoga or the raja-yoga system. But statements by the Lord Himself, such as vasudevah sarvam iti and mam ekam saranam vraja [Bg. 7.19], indicate that in mature transcendental realization one understands that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the source of everything and therefore the only worshipable object. Thus the devotees who worship the Deity of the Lord according to the pancaratra system are not attracted by any yoga process except bhakti-yoga.

Lecture_at_Initiation_Fire_Sacrifice_–_Los_Angeles,_July_16,_1969

So everything can be attained simply by chanting this Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. Everything. The means is the end and the means is the whole. It is not that we accept something and give it up and again come to another stage. No. If you have got conviction, if you have got faith, if you are strenuous, immediately you are in the platform. Apavitraḥ pavitro vā sarvāvasthāṁ gato ‘pi vā. So any stage of life, yaḥ smaret puṇḍarīkākṣam, anyone who remembers Puṇḍarīkākṣam, Kṛṣṇa… (aside:) Sit like this. Yes. Puṇḍarīkākṣam. Puṇḍarīka means lotus; akṣam means eyes. Puṇḍarīkākṣam. Yaḥ smaret puṇḍarīkākṣaṁ sa bahyābhyantara-śuciḥ. Externally, internally, he becomes immediately purified. So keep on chanting, you keep yourself purified, māyā cannot touch you. Māyā’s contamination will not touch you. Just like if you take vaccine, the infectious disease will not touch you. Similarly, if you keep yourself vaccinated with Kṛṣṇa consciousness, the māyā has no power to touch you. And if you can keep, then you will be accustomed. Just like a child, when he learns walking, he requires little help. He may fall down, but that doesn’t matter. He again stands up. Similarly, in the beginning there may be childlike falldown, but if you stick to the position, then one day you’ll be able to walk freely, without any hamper. So this mantra, apavitraḥ pavitro vā sarvāvasthām, any condition of life, you can simply remember Puṇḍarīkākṣam, Kṛṣṇa. As soon as you chant “Kṛṣṇa,” you remember everything.

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