om ajnana timirandhasya jnananjana salakaya
caksur unmilitam yena tasmai sri gurave namah
O Gurudeva, you are so merciful. I offer my humble pranama unto you and am praying from the core of my heart that, with the torchlight of divine knowledge, you open my eyes which have been blinded by the darkness of ignorance.
Today (so very late!) I am making a post about anarthas. I have seen and heard the word a lot, and I know it relates the the word for offenses - aparadhas, but how is it different? What does this word anartha really mean?
Gurudeva has the answer, of course. =)
And here it is! Spoken so wonderfully, so clearly, that I just loved it and it made me think, and I had to share it. All glories to harikatha!! Gurudeva is so wonderful that he makes even material, uninterested me, interested.
On anarthas, he gives the following scenario and instructions:
"'Whatever Guruji says, I will certainly do" - one must have this determination, and for that three things are necessary: pariprasnena (sincere inquiry), pranipatena (submission), and sevaya (service attitude). With these three things we will begin hearing from the guru.
Guruji will say, "Listen! You must overcome your anarthas."
Then the disciple will ask, "Guruji, what are anarthas?"
Guruji says, "That which has no artha (value), which is not beneficial to our very selves the soul, is called an anartha.
"Guruji, please explain it in more detail. I have not completely understood."
"Then listen attentively - I will also tell you how you can eradicate them."
jneyo narthas catur vidhah
sat trsna tattva-vibramah
Having prema for Bhagavan is our original artha, that which is our real wealth. Krsna prema is our obective, and within this Krsna-prema, Radha-dasya is our ultimate objective. This is our artha, and that which hinders and obscures this is called an anartha.
There are four kinds of them, and the first is called 'svarupa bhrama' - being in illusion concerning what our inherent form is...One should rid himself of the first stage of illusion, which is thinking that he is the physical body. Then he will realize that the activities which he has been busily engaged in from dawn till dusk are all anartha.
There is a LOT more in Gurudeva's Sri Prabandhavali about anarthas, in general and in relation to other topics, such as nistha (firm faith) and how we can meet Krsna. But I cannot post a third or fourth of this wonderful book on here, so I will just put in one more quick paragraph that summarizes a little on anarthas:
What is the meaning of nistha? When all anarthas are eradicated. And what are anarthas? Those things which entangle us in worldly intoxication. Svarupa-bhrama (not knowing our real form), asat-trsna (desire for temporary things), hrdaya-daurbalya (weakness of heart), and nama-aparadha, vaisnava-aparadha, seva-aparadha, and dhama-aparadha - all these anarthas are mentioned in Vishvanatha Cakravarti Thakura's Madhurya-kadambini. When all of a devotee's anarthas are eradicated, then nistha comes to him.