THE ETYMOLOGICAL development of the word aparadha is radhat arthat aradhanat- apagatah, which means “to be distanced from worship.” Offenses committed at the lotus feet of Vaishnavas, the Devotees, distance one from devotional service to the Supreme Lord. But in a higher sense it means to be removed from the service of Sri Radha. All divine service to Krishna is being conducted under her direction. To offend her servitors is to make one unfit for her divine service. The whole aim of Krishna consciousness is radha-dasyam, the divine service of Sri Radha, and offenses at the lotus feet of Vaishnavas make one unfit for such service.
The Lord is overly protective of his devotees (bhakta-vatsala ). He cannot tolerate any offenses against them. They have bhakti (devotion), and they can awaken it within us. Bhakti is the sole means to attract Krishna, who is a slave of devotion. The same is true of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. The Caitanya-Bhagavata states:
A person can attain the shelter of Mahaprabhu only by the grace of a higher Vaishnava. Religious practices and even chanting the Holy Name without devotion is useless.
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Prabhupada writes in his commentary:
Without developing a spirit of service, chanting the Holy Name is vain. Real devotion can only be cultivated when one receives the blessings of an unalloyed devotee.
Bhakti means devotion. Vrndavana dasa Thakur says:
If a person commits an offense at the lotus feet of a Vaishnava, even though he may have received Krishna’s mercy, he will never attain divine love, prema. (Chaitanya-bhagavata Madhya-lila 22.8)
Srila Prabhupada writes:
Even if one is a Vaishnava, if he commits offenses to the Holy Name, he becomes unfit to render pure devotion. Although it may appear that he is still being shown favor by the Lord as he continues to make a show of chanting without difficulty, the Lord is actually very displeased with him because of his antagonism toward devotees. Therefore, to give up nama-aparadha we must first give up sadhu-ninda or finding fault with devotees.
Regarding the phrase krsna krpa hoileo (“even though he may receive Krishna’s mercy”), Srila Saraswati Thakur comments:
People may think that because an offender appears to continue to chant without difficulty, the Lord must still favor him, but they are wrong. The Lord is not even slightly moved by their sham devotion.Excerpted from The Heart of Krsna (Vaishnava Aparadha & The Path of Spiritual Caution) by His Divine Grace Paramahamsa Vaisnava Thakura Srila Bhakti Promod Puri Goswami Maharaja