The assistants of Yamarāja charged that "This man was throughout his whole life a sinful man. Therefore he is punishable and we must take him to the Yamarāja." And the Viṣṇudūtas protested that "Even though he was sinful throughout his whole life, because he once uttered the holy name of Nārāyaṇa some way or other—it doesn't matter—therefore he is now free from all reaction of sinful life." And he has spoken that there are different kinds of sinful life, and he has described some of them. Stenaḥ. Stenaḥ means stealing, thieves, burglars. They are very sinful. Stenaḥ; surā-paḥ, drunkard, intoxicant, those who are addicted to intoxication. So stealing and drinking, these are the honorable occupations of the moralist. But they are condemned by the Yamarāja..., by the Viṣṇu... Stenaḥ surā-po mitra-dhruk (SB 6.2.9). One who is unfaithful to his friends, mitra-dhruk; brahma-hā, one who has killed a brāhmaṇa or a Vaiṣṇava, brahma-hā. And guru-talpa-gaḥ: and one who has dishonored a spiritual master or teacher. Strī-rāja-pitṛ-go-hantā, one who has killed a woman, one who has killed a king, and one who has killed a cow. These are all the severest type of sinful activities. Ye ca pātakino 'pare. Some of the sinful activities are mentioned here. And besides these sinful activities, there are other, many.
So the Viṣṇudūtas say that "Even though one has committed so many sinful activities, if at the..., if once he utters the holy name of Nārāyaṇa, he becomes free immediately." That's a fact. It is not exaggeration. A sinful man, someway or other, if he chants this Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, he immediately becomes free from all reaction. But the difficulty is that he commits again. That is nāmāparādha, offense. There are ten kinds of offenses. This is the severest offense, that after being freed from all sinful reaction by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, if he again commits the same sin, that is a grievous criminal action. For ordinary man it may not be so severe, but one who is chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, if he takes advantage of this mantra, that "Because I am chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, even though I commit some sin, I'll be free," he'll be free, but because he is offender he will not achieve the ultimate goal of chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. Because he'll be freed, and again he'll commit—freed, again he'll commit—in this way there will be no chance of his liberation. But don't think that by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra one's sinful reactions are counteracted. That is not exaggeration. That's a fact. The difficulty is that one chants Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, again commits sin, that is greatest sin. That is the greatest offense.