Diksa and Nama Bhajana

by Puru das adhikari and

Bhumipati das adhikari


First let us offer our  prostrated obeisances at the divine lotus feet of our diksa guru His Divine Grace Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, and the lotus feet of our divine siksa gurus, His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktivedanta  Narayana Maharaja,   His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Ballabha Tirtha Gosvami Maharaja and all of our other siksa and shastra  gurus in the guru parampara coming down from Lord Brahma through Srila Madhvacarya,. Srila Madhavendra Puri, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and in the modern age, through  the  mercy of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and his divine successors.


At the present time in the age of Kali there is certainly a lot of confusion . Guru-tattva  (tattva means truth) is a transcendental subject  matter  that can only be  clearly understood and realized  by the mercy of our guru parampara. Therefore we see a paradox  for aspiring devotees  who are not always  presented a clear conception concerning  guru-tattva. Without the shelter and siksa (instructions) from a sad guru (a fully self -realized soul)   the importance of  diksa (initiation)  will remain a mystery. Without diksa how can anyone establish his sambhanda (relationshhip) with the Supreme Lord or one day chant suddha nama (the pure name)*?  The matter of the need for diksa (initiation) has been clarified very nicely by our acaryas. There is no need to minimize its importance to explain the glory  and importance of nama-bhajana (chanting the maha-mantra).


In Sri Gaudiya Kantahara 14.66 we read:

“svayam brahmani niksaptan jatan eva hi mantratah

vinitanatha putradin samskrtya pratibhodhayet


When the guru gives the mantra to his disciple according to the rules and regulations of pancaratrika-viddhi, then, by the influence of that mantra, the disciple never takes birth again. A humble disciple conducts himself with great respect for his spiritual master--as if he is a son of the guru. To such a humble disciple, who has been purified by the appropriate samskaras, the guru teaches the meaning of the mantra. This is the way that spiritual initiation is performed according to the rules and regulations of scripture.”

(Narada Pacnaratra, Bharadvaja-samhita 2.34)


The specific topic of chanting the maha mantra and the simultaneous  necessity for  receiving diksa-mantras  from a bona fide sad-guru is explained succinctly in Srila Visvanatha Cakravati Thakura’s book “Sri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu-bindu as follows:


“It is seen in the shastras in connection with the glories of bhagavan-nama that there is so much potency in the Lord’s name that even without undergoing diksa, purificatory ceremonies (sat-kriya), or prepatory rites (purasacarya), harinama is competent to produce results as soon as it comes in contact with the tongue.  This is expressed in the following statement of Sri Laksmidhara cited from Padyavali (29):


akrstih krta-cetasam sumahatam uccatanam cahasam

acandalam amuka-loka sulabho vasyas ca moksa sriyah

no diksam na ca daksinam na ca purascaryam mangiksate

mantro ‘yam rasanaspregeva phalati sri krsna-namatmakah


This mahamantra, composed of the names of  Sri Krsna,  is so astonishingly powerful and accessible that it yields fruit as soon as it touches the tongue.  Because it attracts even liberated souls who  are purified at heart and whose desires are fully satiated, this mantra is supreme in its power of subjugation. It eradicates great sins which could not e destroyed by Yajna, yoga, tapa, dana and other means.  Because it can be chanted anywhere at  any time, it is so easily available that even candalas (dog-eaters)  or anyone who is not mute can chant it. By its causeless mercy, it submits itself to a person who merely desires to chant.  The rare wealth of moksa runs behind to serve it.  Unlike other  mantras, the chanting of this mahamantra is not dependent on receiving diksa from a guru, moral conduct, or prepatory rites.


            Srila Jiva Gosvami, in discussing this topic in the Bhakti-sandarbha (238), has said that in spite of the statements in the sastras as to the autonomous potency of the holy name, the previous mahajanas such as Sri Narada and so on first accepted diksa from their gurus and then performed their sadhana and bhajana in worship of their istadeva (the beloved deity of their heart).  Similarly, those who desire to follow in the footsteps of those mahapurusas must also accept diksa in bhagavad-mantra from Sri Gurudeva, because without accepting diksa, one’s relationship with Bhagavan as dasya, sakhya, and so on cannot be awakened.  That relationship is established only by the lotus feet of Sri Guru.  The custom of diksa was honored by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His followers, the Gosvami. It is prevalent even today in their followers.

            Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura has clearly said that those persons who have abandoned the pursuits of karma-yoga, jnan yoga, japa, tapa, and othe processes of sadhana, who have accepted Bhagavan as their istadeva and who are engaged in sravana,kirtanam and smarna of bhagvan-nama, but who have not accepted diksa from a Vaisnava guru according to the Vaisnava regulations, cannot attain the Supreme Lord.  They will merely be prevented from entering hell, or in their next birth, by the influence of the bhajana performed from the previous life, they will obtain sadhu-sanga.  By then taking shelter at the lotus feet of a guru, receiving diksa from him and making advancement through the different stages of bhakti, they can attain the Supreme Lord.” 



pp. 52-53

excerpted from

(2) Sri  Krsna-diksa-siksadi

(Receiving initiation and spiritual instructions)

Translation and commentary by

Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja



We simply need to read and accept  what our acaryas  have taught in  this  matter, and then follow Bg. 4.34 to  act on that understanding.


          “TEXT 34

tad viddhi pranipatena
pariprasnena sevaya
upadeksyanti te jnanam
jnaninas tattva-darsinah


tat--that knowledge of different sacrifices; viddhi--try to understand; pranipatena--by approaching a spiritual master; pariprasnena--by submissive inquiries; sevaya--by the rendering of service; upadeksyanti--initiate; te--unto you; jnanam--knowledge; jnaninah--the self-realized; tattva--truth; darsinah--the seers.


Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized soul can impart knowledge unto you because he has seen the truth.


The path of spiritual realization is undoubtedly difficult. The Lord therefore advises us to approach a bona fide spiritual master in the line of disciplic succession from the Lord Himself. No one can be a bona fide spiritual master without following this principle of disciplic succession. The Lord is the original spiritual master, and a person in the disciplic succession can convey the message of the Lord as it is to his disciple. No one can be spiritually realized by manufacturing his own process, as is the fashion of the foolish pretenders. The Bhagavatam says: dharmam tu saksad bhagavat-pranitam--the path of religion is directly enunciated by the Lord. Therefore, mental speculation or dry arguments cannot help one progress in spiritual life. One has to approach a bona fide spiritual master to receive the knowledge. Such a spiritual master should be accepted in full surrender, and one should serve the spiritual master like a menial servant, without false prestige. Satisfaction of the self-realized spiritual master is the secret of advancement in spiritual life. Inquiries and submission constitute the proper combination for spiritual understanding. Unless there is submission and service, inquiries from the learned spiritual master will not be effective. One must be able to pass the test of the spiritual master, and when he sees the genuine desire of the disciple, he automatically blesses the disciple with genuine spiritual understanding. In this verse, both blind following and absurd inquiries are condemned. One should not only hear submissively from the spiritual master, but one must also get a clear understanding from him, in submission and service and inquiries. A bona fide spiritual master is by nature very kind toward the disciple. Therefore when the student is submissive and is always ready to render service, the reciprocation of knowledge and inquiries becomes perfect..”

Bg. As It is 4.34

Translation and Commentary by

His Divine Grace Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada


The authors of a recent VNN article “Guru & Initiation”


 falsely  concluded:


“With Srila Prabhupada no longer available - and with no other persons yet proven to be spiritually pure enough to offer diksha without harsh karmic reactions - we are presently in such an admittedly difficult situation.”


This relative  statement is certainly symptomatic of confusion concerning guru tatta. Among other misconceptions this remark appears to  presume that a qualified guru and bona fide sadhakas can only be found in one Gaudiya  institution.  The Guru & Initiation article should be directed to sectarian thinkers and not the devotee community, since it limits the view of guru to institutional walls.   His Divine Grace never claimed the legacy of our parampara exclusively .


   Among Vaisnavas there may be some difference of opinion due to everyone's personal identity, but despite all personal differences, the cult of Krsna consciousness must go on. We can see that under the instructions of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Maharaja began preaching the Krsna consciousness movement in an organized way within the past hundred years. The disciples of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Maharaja are all Godbrothers, and although there are some differences of opinion, and although we are not acting conjointly, every one of us is spreading this Krsna consciousness movement according to his own capacity and producing many disciples to spread it all over the world. . . .”


S.B. 4th Canto Ch.28 Text 31, Purport 


 Our guru parampara did not end  with the maha samadhi of His Divine Grace Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.  The guru parampara is an eternal principle that began in the universe with Lord Brahma’s initiation by Lord Krsna Himself.  (1)

 If the shelter of a  sad guru cannot be found in one particular  Gaudiya institution then you  should simply keep looking  for him from somewhere  else in the disciplic succession from Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. Srila Bhaktissidhanta Sarasvati Thakura had many pure devotee disciples, and his line continues to the present  in one or more of the  many branches of the tree from Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu . 

Here is the statement of our parama Gurudeva, an eternally liberated soul, concerning this guru parampara: 


Srila Bhaksiddhanta Sarasvati  Thakura, Sri  Srila  Prabhupada has  said:


This line of guru-parampara is existing up to today without any break and it will continue to exist like this in the future also. To say, “There is no sad-guru living in the world at present and neither will there be any in the future,” is  an atheistic opinion.


We can also read from  this Vyas-puja offering of one of his exalted disciples :


 “The most auspiscious event auspicious event of the 124th Birthday Anniversary of  my spiritual master (now in his eternal pastimes,) Om Visnupada 108 Sri Srimad Bjhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Thakura, will be on February 16th. . .  Our most worshipable spiritual master Sri Srila Prabhupada has bestowed his affectionate blessings not only to his disciples, but to his grand-disciples and all those who will in the future come to this line of disciplic succession. There is no cause for loss of hope or fear, for Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s disciplic line will never cease. This is the assurance of Sri Srila Prabhupada, the world teacher.  . . . “


His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Promode Puri Maharaja

Sri Vyas Puja of Srila Prabhupada,  16 February l998


The authors of “Guru and Initiation” need to look beyond their sectarian view of   guru-tattva and  consider His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada’s broader  viewpoint.


There are many societies and associations of pure devotees, and if someone with just a little faith begins to associate with such societies, his advancement to pure devotional service is rapid. The influence of a pure devotee is such that if someone comes to associate with him with a little faith, one gets the chance of hearing about the Lord from authoritative scriptures like Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam. Thus, by the mercy of the Lord, who is situated in everyone's heart, one gradually develops his faith in the descriptions of such authoritative scriptures. This is the first stage of association with pure devotees. . . “


His Divine Grace Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Nectar of Devotion, Chapter 19



Srila Prabhupada has also written in the purport to Cc. Adi ila 1.35:


   “. . .  A devotee must have only one initiating spiritual master because in the scriptures acceptance of more than one is always forbidden. There is no limit, however, to the number of instructing spiritual masters one may accept. Generally a spiritual master who constantly instructs a disciple in spiritual science becomes his initiating spiritual master later on.

         One should always remember that a person who is reluctant to accept a spiritual master and be initiated is sure to be baffled in his endeavor to go back to Godhead. One who is not properly initiated may present himself as a great devotee, but in fact he is sure to encounter many stumbling blocks on his path of progress toward spiritual realization, with the result that he must continue his term of material existence without relief. Such a helpless person is compared to a ship without a rudder, for such a ship can never reach its destination. It is imperative, therefore, that one accept a spiritual master if he at all desires to gain the favor of the Lord. The service of the spiritual master is essential. . .  It is imperative that a serious person accept a bona fide spiritual master in terms of the sastric injunctions. Sri Jiva Gosvami advises that one not accept a spiritual master in terms of hereditary or customary social and ecclesiastical conventions. One should simply try to find a genuinely qualified spiritual master for actual advancement in spiritual understanding.


In 1936, many years prior to leaving India His Divine Grace said:

“Sixty-two years ago, on this auspicious day, the acaryadeva made his appearance by the call of Thakura Bhaktivinoda at Sri Ksetra, Jagannatha Dhama at Puri.

Gentlemen, the offering of such an homage as has been arranged this evening to the acaryadeva is not a sectarian concern, for when we speak of the fundamental principle of gurudeva or acaryadeva, we speak of something that is of universal application. There does not arise any question of discriminating my guru from yours or anyone else’s.

There is only one guru, who appears in an infinity of forms to teach you, me and all others.

 In the Mundaka Upanisad (1.2.12) it is said:

tad-vijnartham sa gurum evabhigacchet
samit-panih srotriyam brahma-nistham

"In order to learn the transcendental science, one must approach the bona fide spiritual master in disciplic succession, who is fixed in the Absolute Truth."

Thus it has been enjoined herewith that in order to receive that transcendental knowledge, one must approach the guru. Therefore, if the Absolute Truth is one, about which we think there is no difference of opinion, the guru cannot be two. The acaryadeva to whom we have assembled tonight to offer our humble homage is not the guru of a sectarian institution or one out of many differing exponents of the truth. On the contrary, he is the jagad-guru, or the guru of all of us, the only difference is that some obey him wholeheartedly, while others do not obey him directly. . . “

Abhay Charan Das

aka His Divine Grace Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Given originally as an address before the Members of the Sri Gaudiya Math,

Bombay Circa February l936

Excerpted  from “Our Eternal Gurde.”


The importance of the second anga of bhakti (Sri Krsna-diksa-siksadi / Receiving initiation and spiritual instructions)  was enunciated by Srila Rupa Gosvami and further explained by Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura.  This limb of bhakti should not be   rejected or minimized simply because His Divine Grace  pointed  to the deeper  inner  meanings of diksa, (beyond the official ceremony)  in certain conversations or letters. There is no need to confuse our Gaudiya siddhanta concerning the  importance of diksa from a bona fide Gurudeva for aspiring devotees.  Quoting His Divine Grace out of context is a typical ploy for those who harbor a hidden  philosophical  agenda.  It is ill advised. to try to  fit Krsna Consciousness into our own material conception of what spiritual life means. No one should try to eliminate the necessity of  genuine sadhu-sanga for every jiva soul trying to practice Krsna Consciousness..   His Divine Grace wrote in the purport to Cc. Adi lila Ch. 12 Txt 9:

“. . .Any opinion different from the opinion of the spiritual master is useless. One cannot infiltrate materially concocted ideas into spiritual advancement. That is deviation. There is no scope for adjusting spiritual advancement to material ideas.”

His Divine Grace Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami  Prabhupada clearly explains the need for taking initiation (diksa)  in the following purports.   Kindly read them.


 TEXT 76



                        harer nama harer nama

                        harer namaiva kevalam

                      kalau nasty eva nasty eva

                       nasty eva gatir anyatha




   hareh nama--the holy name of the Lord; hareh nama--the holy name of the Lord; hareh nama--the holy name of the Lord; eva--certainly; kevalam--only; kalau--in this Age of Kali; na asti--there is none; eva--certainly; na asti--there is none; eva--certainly; na asti--there is none; eva--certainly; gatih--progress; anyatha--otherwise.




   " 'For spiritual progress in this Age of Kali, there is no alternative, there is no alternative, there is no alternative to the holy name, the holy name, the holy name of the Lord.'




   For progress in spiritual life, the sastras recommend meditation in Satya-yuga, sacrifice for the satisfaction of Lord Visnu in Treta-yuga and gorgeous worship of the Lord in the temple in Dvapara-yuga, but in the Age of Kali one can achieve spiritual progress only by chanting the holy name of the Lord. This is confirmed in various scriptures. In Srimad-Bhagavatam there are many references to this fact. In the Twelfth Canto (12.3.51) it is said, kirtanad eva krsnasya mukta-sangah param vrajet: In the Age of Kali there are many faults, for people are subjected to many miserable conditions, yet in this age there is one great benediction--simply by chanting the Hare Krsna mantra one can be freed from all material contamination and thus be elevated to the spiritual world. The Narada-pancaratra also praises the Hare Krsna maha-mantra as follows:


                        trayo vedah sad-angani

                       chandamsi vividhah surah

                      sarvam astaksarantahstham

                       yac canyad api van-mayam




   "The essence of all Vedic knowledge--comprehending the three kinds of Vedic activity [karma-kanda, jnana-kanda and upasana-kanda], the chandas, or Vedic hymns, and the processes for satisfying the demigods--is included in the eight syllables Hare Kisna, Hare Krsna. This is the reality of all Vedanta. The chanting of the holy name is the only means to cross the ocean of nescience." Similarly, the Kali-santarana Upanisad states, "Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare. Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare--these sixteen names composed of thirty-two syllables are the only means to counteract the evil effects of Kali-yuga. In all the Vedas it is seen that to cross the ocean of nescience there is no alternative to the chanting of the holy name." Similarly, Sri Madhvacarya, while commenting upon the Mundaka Upanisad, has said:


                      dvapariyair janair visnuh

                       pancaratrais tu kevalaih

                        kalau tu nama-matrena

                        pujyate bhagavan harih


   "In the Dvapara-yuga one could satisfy Krsna or Visnu only by worshiping Him gorgeously according to the pancaratriki system, but in the Age of Kali one can satisfy and worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead Hari simply by chanting the holy name." In his Bhakti-sandarbha (verse 284), Srila Jiva Gosvami strongly emphasizes the chanting of the holy name of the Lord as follows:


nanu bhagavan-namatmaka eva mantrah, tatra visesena namah-sabdady-alankrtah sri-bhagavata srimad-rsibhis cahita-sakti-visesah, sri-bhagavata samam atma-sambandha-visesa-pratipadakas ca tatra kevalani sri-bhagavan-namany api nirapeksany eva parama-purusartha-phala-paryanta-dana-samarthani tato mantresu namato 'py adhika-samarthye labdhe katham diksady-apeksa. ucyate--yady api svarupato nasti, tathapi prayah svabhavato dehadi-sambandhena kadarya-silanam viksipta-cittanam jananam tat-sankoci-karanaya srimad-rsi-prabhrtibhir atrarcana-marge kvacit kvacit kacit kacin maryada sthapitasti.


   Srila Jiva Gosvami states that the substance of all the Vedic mantras is the chanting of the holy name of the Lord. Every mantra begins with the prefix nama om and eventually addresses by name the Supreme Personality of Godhead. By the supreme will of the Lord there is a specific potency in each and every mantra chanted by great sages like Narada Muni and other rsis. Chanting the holy name of the Lord immediately renovates the transcendental relationship of the living being with the Supreme Lord.

   To chant the holy name of the Lord, one need not depend upon other paraphernalia, for one can immediately get all the desired results of connecting or linking with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. It may therefore be questioned why there is a necessity for initiation or further spiritual activities in devotional service for one who engages in the chanting of the holy name of the Lord. The answer is that although it is correct that one who fully engages in chanting the holy name need not depend upon the process of initiation, generally a devotee is addicted to many abominable material habits due to material contamination from his previous life. In order to get quick relief from all these contaminations, it is required that one engage in the worship of the Lord in the temple. The worship of the Deity in the temple is essential to reduce one's restlessness due to the contaminations of conditioned life. Thus Narada, in his pancaratriki-vidhi, and other great sages have sometimes stressed that since every conditioned soul has a bodily concept of life aimed at sense enjoyment, to restrict this sense enjoyment the rules and regulations for worshiping the Deity in the temple are essential. Srila Rupa Gosvami has described that the holy name of the Lord can be chanted by liberated souls, but almost all the souls we have to initiate are conditioned. It is advised that one chant the holy name of the Lord without offenses and according to the regulative principles, yet due to their past bad habits they violate these rules and regulations. Thus the regulative principles for worship of the Deity are also simultaneously essential.


Adi 7.76

Translation and Purport by

His Divine Grace Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada


Please take note that this next sloka indicates that  one need  not undergo initiation

Then His Divine Grace’s purport offers many shastric references to the need for initiation. The resolution of this apparent contradiction by Iskcon’s founder-acarya, in his purport, should not be ignored  His Divine Grace points out the real essence of diksa in the quote from Srila Jiva Gosvami, “   divyam jnanam yato dadyat”.  The reader should keep in mind the deeper understanding His Divine Grace points us to. While Vaisnavas accept the purasacarya and pancaratrika with regard to the initiation ceremony they are not merely concerned with the external formality  of a fire Yajna, a thread , reciting a mantra etc. concerning diksa. 




                               TEXT 108




                diksa-purascarya-vidhi apeksa na kare

                jihva-sparse a-candala sabare uddhare




   diksa--initiation; purascarya--activities before initiation; vidhi--regulative principles; apeksa--reliance on; na--not; kare--does; jihva--the tongue; sparse--by touching; a-candala--even to the lowest of men, the candala; sabare--everyone; uddhare--delivers.




   "One does not have to undergo initiation or execute the activities required before initiation. One simply has to vibrate the holy name with his lips. Thus even a man in the lowest class [candala] can be delivered.




   Srila Jiva Gosvami explains diksa in his Bhakti-sandarbha (283):


                      divyam jnanam yato dadyat

                       kuryat papasya sanksayam

                       tasmad dikseti sa prokta

                       desikais tattva-kovidaih


   "Diksa is the process by which one can awaken his transcendental knowledge and vanquish all reactions caused by sinful activity. A person expert in the study of the revealed scriptures knows this process as diksa." The regulative principles of diksa are explained in the Hari-bhakti-vilasa (2.3,4) and in Bhakti-sandarbha (283). As stated:


               dvijanam anupetanam svakarmadhyayanadisu

              yathadhikaro nastiha syac copanayanad anu

              tathatradiksitanam tu mantra-devarcanadisu

          nadhikaro 'sty atah kuryad atmanam siva-samstutam


   "Even though born in a brahmana family, one cannot engage in Vedic rituals without being initiated and having a sacred thread. Although born in a brahmana family, one becomes a brahmana after initiation and the sacred thread ceremony. Unless one is initiated as a brahmana, he cannot worship the holy name properly."

   According to the Vaisnava regulative principles, one must be initiated as a brahmana. The Hari-bhakti-vilasa (2.6) quotes the following injunction from the Visnu-yamala:


                          adiksitasya vamoru

                       krtam sarvam nirarthakam

                         pasu-yonim avapnoti

                         diksa-virahito janah


   "Unless one is initiated by a bona fide spiritual master, all his devotional activities are useless. A person who is not properly initiated can descend again into the animal species."

   Hari-bhakti-vilasa (2.10) further quotes:


                        ato gurum pranamyaivam

                       sarva-svam vinivedya ca

                      grhniyad vaisnavam mantram

                       diksa-purvam vidhanatah


   "It is the duty of every human being to surrender to a bona fide spiritual master. Giving him everything-body, mind and intelligence-one must take a Vaisnava initiation from him."

   The Bhakti-sandarbha (298) gives the following quotation from the Tattva-sagara:


                        yatha kancanatam yati

                        kasyam rasa-vidhanatah

                        tatha diksa-vidhanena

                        dvijatvam jayate nrnam


   "By chemical manipulation, bell metal is turned into gold when touched by mercury; similarly, when a person is properly initiated, he can acquire the qualities of a brahmana."

   The Hari-bhakti-vilasa (17.11,12) in discussing the purascarya process, quotes the following verses from Agastya-samhita:


                        puja traikaliki nityam

                        japas tarpanam eva ca

                       homo brahmana-bhuktis ca

                         purascaranam ucyate


                      guror labdhasya mantrasya

                        prasadena yatha-vidhi


                        puras caitad vidhiyate


   "In the morning, afternoon and evening, one should worship the Deity, chant the Hare Krsna mantra, offer oblations, perform a fire sacrifice, and feed the brahmanas. These five activities constitute purascarya. To attain full success when taking initiation from the spiritual master, one should first perform these purascarya processes."

   The word purah means "before" and carya means "activities." Due to the necessity of these activities, we do not immediately initiate disciples in the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. For six months, a candidate for initiation must first attend arati and classes in the sastras, practice the regulative principles and associate with other devotees. When one is actually advanced in the purascarya-vidhi, he is recommended by the local temple president for initiation. It is not that anyone can be suddenly initiated without meeting the requirements. When one is further advanced by chanting the Hare Krsna mantra sixteen rounds daily, following the regulative principles and attending classes, he receives the sacred thread (brahminical recognition) after the second six months.

   In the Hari-bhakti-vilasa (17.4,5,7) it is stated:


                      vina yena na siddhah syan

                       mantro varsa-satair api

                         krtena yena labhate

                       sadhako vanchitam phalam



                       mantro hi phala-dhayakah

                       atah puraskriyam kuryat

                      mantravit siddhi-kanksaya


                       puraskriya hi mantranam

                       pradhanam viryam ucyate

                        virya-hino yatha dehi

                       sarva-karmasu na ksamah

                         purascarana-hino hi

                      tatha mantrah prakirtitah


   "Without performing the purascarya activities, one cannot become perfect even by chanting this mantra for hundreds of years. However, one who has undergone the purascarya-vidhi process can attain success very easily. If one wishes to perfect his initiation, he must first undergo the purascarya activities. The purascarya process is the life-force by which one is successful in chanting the mantra. Without the life-force, one cannot do anything; similarly, without the life force of purascarya-vidhi, no mantra can be perfected."

   In his Bhakti-sandarbha (283), Srila Jiva Gosvami states:


yadyapi sri-bhagavata-mate pancaratradi-vat arcana-margasya avasyakatvam nasti, tad vinapi saranapattyadinam ekatarenapi purusartha-siddher abhihitatvat, tathapi sri-naradadi-vartmanusaradbhih sri-bhagavata saha sambandha-visesam diksa-vidhanena sri-guru-carana-sampaditam cikirsadbhih krtayam diksayam arcanam avasyam kriyetaiva.


   Of similar importance is diksa, which is explained as follows in Bhakti-sandarbha (284):


yadyapi svarupato nasti, tathapi prayah svabhavato dehadi-sambandhena kardaya-silanam viksipta-cittanam jananam tat-tat-sankoci-karanaya srimad-rsi-prabhrtibhir atrarcana-marge kvacit kvacit kacit kacin maryada sthapitasti.


   Similarly in the Ramarcana-candrika it is stated:


                       vinaiva diksam viprendra

                        purascaryam vinaiva hi

                        vinaiva nyasa-vidhina

                        japa-matrena siddhida


   In other words, the chanting of the Hare Krsna maha-mantra is so powerful that it does not depend on official initiation, but if one is initiated and engages in pancaratra-vidhi (Deity worship), his Krsna consciousness will awaken very soon, and his identification with the material world will be vanquished. The more one is freed from material identification, the more one can realize that the spirit soul is qualitatively as good as the Supreme Soul. At such a time, when one is situated on the absolute platform, he can understand that the holy name of the Lord and the Lord Himself are identical. At that stage of realization, the holy name of the Lord, the Hare Krsna mantra, cannot be identified with any material sound. If one accepts the Hare Krsna maha-mantra as a material vibration, he falls down. One should worship and chant the holy name of the Lord by accepting it as the Lord Himself. One should therefore be initiated properly according to revealed scriptures under the direction of a bona fide spiritual master. Although chanting the holy name is good for both the conditioned and liberated soul, it is especially beneficial to the conditioned soul because by chanting it one is liberated. When a person who chants the holy name is liberated, he attains the ultimate perfection by returning home, back to Godhead. In the words of Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Adi 7.73):


                krsna-mantra haite habe samsara-mocana

                 krsna-nama haite pabe krsnera carana


   "Simply by chanting the holy name of Krsna one can obtain freedom from material existence. Indeed, simply by chanting the Hare Krsna mantra one will be able to see the lotus feet of the Lord."

   The offenseless chanting of the holy name does not depend on the initiation process. Although initiation may depend on purascarya or purascarana, the actual chanting of the holy name does not depend on purascarya-vidhi, or the regulative principles. If one chants the holy name once without committing an offense, he attains all success. During the chanting of the holy name, the tongue must work. Simply by chanting the holy name, one is immediately delivered. The tongue is sevonmukha-jihva-it is controlled by service. One whose tongue is engaged in tasting material things and also talking about them cannot use the tongue for absolute realization.


                        atah sri-krsna-namadi

                     na bhaved grahyam indriyaih

                        sevonmukhe hi jihvadau

                       svayam eva sphuraty adah


   According to Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya 17.134):


               ataeva krsnera 'nama', 'deha', 'vilasa'

             prakrtendriya-grahya nahe, haya sva-prakasa


   "With these material senses, one cannot understand the transcendental holy name of the Lord or His form, activities and pastimes. However, when one actually engages in devotional service, utilizing the tongue, the Lord is revealed."


Madhya 15.108







                                     TEXT 115


                 guru-padasraya, diksa, gurura sevana

            sad-dharma-siksa, prccha, sadhu-marganugamana




   guru-pada-asraya--shelter at the feet of a bona fide spiritual master; diksa--initiation by the spiritual master; gurura sevana--service to the spiritual master; sat-dharma-siksa--instruction in the transcendental process of devotional service; prccha--and inquiry; sadhu-marga--the path of transcendental devotional service; anugamana--following strictly.




   "On the path of regulative devotional service, one must observe the following items: (1) One must accept a bona fide spiritual master. (2) Accept initiation from him. (3) Serve him. (4) Receive instructions from the spiritual master and make inquiries in order to learn devotional service. (5) Follow in the footsteps of the previous acaryas and follow the directions given by the spiritual master.


Cc. Madhya 22.115



Without diksa from a sad-guru, without sadhu-sanga, and without the goal of chanting suddha nama, Krsna Consciousness is simply non existent, or at best a shadow of what pure-bhakti actually is.  The specialty of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s mercy on the residents of this kali yuga is to distribute Krsna prema. Suddha nama means  offenceless chanting with prema, pure love for Sri Krsna, as personified in the devotional activities of the six Gosvamis of Vrndavana They  appeared as  saddhakas in Caitanya lila and  are the eternal manjari associates of Sri Sri Radha and Krsna in Goloka Vrndavana .  Anyone else’s “own idea” is simply that.  Krsna Consciousness is not  like other sectarian beliefs. Krsna Consciousness is not dependent on the conceptions of  any conditioned jiva soul. Krsna Consciousness is found in the words and conceptions coming from liberated and self-realized souls.  A little salt in the sweet rice or ink in the milk and it is ruined.


As It Is, means that; as taught by the followers of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and in particular Srila Rupa and Sanatana  Gosvamis.  There is no question about the potency of the mahamantra. There is also no question about the necessity for taking shelter of and initiation from a bona fide representative of our guru parampara.  The statement in a recent VNN article Guru and Initiation  suggesting  that the need for diksa is a:


 . . .  treacherous myth ... - that one must be initiated, in order to successfully pursue Krishna consciousness


is simply not backed up by  guru, sadhu and shastra. The authors of Guru and Initiation are correct to be concerned about the  quality of association .  However their article falsely implies  that  Vaisnava association and a bona fide guru can only be found in one corner of the Gaudiya community.  This kind of  sectarianism  appears to have also led them to additional false conclusions about the bhadda- jiva’s (conditioned souls’)  capacity to perform  nama-bhajana successfully. We should not  ignore the explanations of Srila Jiva Gosvami and our other acaryas concerning nama bhajana and  diksa.



This next purport by His Divine Grace gives more pertinent information about who can be accepted as guru, and who should be a disciple as well.


TEXT 330


                guru-laksana, sisya-laksana, donhara pariksana

               sevya----bhagavan, sarva-mantra-vicarana




   guru-laksana--the symptoms of a bona fide spiritual master; sisya-laksana--the symptoms of a bona fide disciple; donhara--of both; pariksana--the testing; sevya-bhagavan--the Supreme Personality of Godhead is worshipable; sarva-mantra-vicarana--consideration of the different types of mantras.




   "In your book there should be the characteristics of the bona fide guru and the bona fide disciple. Then, before accepting a spiritual master, one can be assured of the spiritual master's position. Similarly, the spiritual master can also be assured of the disciple's position. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, should be described as the worshipable object, and you should consider the bija-mantra for the worship of Krsna, Rama or any other expansion of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.




   In the Padma Purana, the characteristics of the guru, the bona fide spiritual master, have been described:



                       brahmano vai gurur nrnam

                         sarvesam eva lokanam

                        asau pujyo yatha harih


                        maha-kula-prasuto 'pi

                        sarva-yajnesu diksitah

                        sahasra-sakhadhyayi ca

                       na guruh syad avaisnavah


   The guru must be situated on the topmost platform of devotional service. There are three classes of devotees, and the guru must be accepted from the topmost class. The first-class devotee is the spiritual master for all kinds of people. It is said: gurur nrnam. The word nrnam means "of all human beings." The guru is not limited to a particular group. It is stated in the Upadesamrta of Rupa Gosvami that a guru is a gosvami, a controller of the senses and the mind. Such a guru can accept disciples from all over the world. Prthivim sa sisyat. This is the test of the guru.

   In India there are many so-called gurus, and they are limited to a certain district or a province. They do not even travel about India, yet they declare themselves to be jagad-guru, gurus of the whole world. Such cheating gurus should not be accepted. Anyone can see how the bona fide spiritual master accepts disciples from all over the world. The guru is a qualified brahmana; therefore he knows Brahman and Parabrahman. He thus devotes his life for the service of Parabrahman. The bona fide spiritual master who accepts disciples from all over the world is also worshiped all over the world because of his qualities. Lokanam asau pujyo yatha harih: the people of the world worship him just as they worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead. All these honors are offered to him because he strictly follows the brahminical principles and teaches these principles to his disciples. Such a person is called an acarya because he knows the principles of devotional service, he behaves in that way himself, and he teaches his disciples to follow in his footsteps. Thus he is an acarya or jagad-guru. Even though a person is born in a brahminical family and is very expert in performing sacrifices, he cannot be accepted as a guru if he is not a strict Vaisnava. A guru is a brahmana by qualification, and he can turn others into brahmanas according to the sastric principles and brahminical qualifications. Brahmanism is not a question of heredity. In Srimad-Bhagavatam (7.11.35) Sri Narada Muni tells Maharaja Yudhisthira what a brahmana is. He states that if brahminical qualifications are observed in ksatriyas, vaisyas or even sudras, one should accept them as brahmanas. In this regard, Srila Sridhara Svami has commented: samadibhir eva brahmanadi-vyavaharo mukhyah, na jati-matradity aha-yasyeti. yad yadi anyatra varnantare 'pi drsyeta, tad-varnantaram tenaiva laksana-nimittenaiva varnena vinirdiset, na tu jati-nimittenety arthah.

   There is a similar statement made by Nilakantha, the commentator on Mahabharata:


                 sudro 'pi samady-upeto brahmana eva

                 brahmano 'pi kamady-upetah sudra eva


   "Although one may be born in a sudra family, if he is endowed with the brahminical qualities beginning with sama [control of the mind], he is to be accepted as a brahmana. Although one may be born in a brahmana family, if he is endowed with the qualities beginning with kama [lust], he is to be considered a sudra." No one should present himself as a brahmana simply on the basis of being born in a brahminical family. One must be qualified by the brahminical qualities mentioned in the sastras, particularly Bhagavad-gita:


                       samo damas tapah saucam

                        ksantir arjavam eva ca

                       jnanam vijnanam astikyam

                      brahma-karma svabhava-jam


   "Peacefulness, self-control, austerity, purity, tolerance, honesty, wisdom, knowledge and religiousness-these are the qualities by which the brahmanas work." (Bg. 18.42)

   Unless one is qualified with all these attributes, he cannot be accepted as a brahmana. It is not a question of simply taking birth in a brahmana family. In this regard, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura remarks that Narottama dasa Thakura and Syamananda Gosvami, although not born in brahmana families, are accepted as bona fide spiritual masters because they were brahmanas by qualification. Personalities like Sri Ganga-narayana, Ramakrsna and many others, who were actually born in brahmana families, accepted Narottama dasa Thakura and Syamananda Gosvami as their spiritual masters.

   The maha-bhagavata is one who decorates his body with tilaka and whose name indicates him to be a servant of Krsna by the word dasa. He is also initiated by a bona fide spiritual master and is expert in worshiping the Deity, chanting mantras correctly, performing sacrifices, offering prayers to the Lord, and performing sankirtana. He knows how to serve the Supreme Personality of Godhead and how to respect a Vaisnava. When one has attained the topmost position of maha-bhagavata, he is to be accepted as a guru and worshiped exactly like Hari, the Personality of Godhead. Only such a person is eligible to occupy the post of a guru. However, if one is highly qualified but is not a Vaisnava, he cannot be accepted as a guru. One cannot be a brahmana unless one is a Vaisnava. If one is a Vaisnava, he is already a brahmana. If a guru is completely qualified as a Vaisnava, he must be accepted as a brahmana even if he is not born in a brahmana family. The caste system method of distinguishing a brahmana by birth is not acceptable when applied to a bona fide spiritual master. A spiritual master is a qualified brahmana and acarya. If one is not a qualified brahmana, he is not expert in studying Vedic literatures. Nana-sastra-vicaranaika-nipunau. Every Vaisnava is a spiritual master, and a spiritual master is automatically expert in brahminical behavior. He also understands the Vedic sastras.

   Similarly, a disciple's qualifications must be observed by the spiritual master before he is accepted as a disciple. In our Krsna consciousness movement, the requirement is that one must be prepared to give up the four pillars of sinful life-illicit sex, meat-eating, intoxication and gambling. In Western countries especially, we first observe whether a potential disciple is prepared to follow the regulative principles. Then he is given the name of a Vaisnava servant and initiated to chant the Hare Krsna maha-mantra, at least sixteen rounds daily. In this way the disciple renders devotional service under the guidance of the spiritual master or his representative for at least six months to a year. He is then recommended for a second initiation, during which a sacred thread is offered and the disciple is accepted as a bona fide brahmana. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura introduced the system of giving the sacred thread to a bona fide Vaisnava, and we are also following in his footsteps. The qualifications of a bona fide disciple are described in Srimad-Bhagavatam (11.10.6) as follows:


                         amanya-matsaro dakso

                        nirmamo drdha-sauhrdah

                       asatvaro 'rtha-jijnasur

                         anasuyur amogha-vak


   The disciple must have the following qualifications. He must give up interest in the material bodily conception. He must give up material lust, anger, greed, illusion, madness and envy. He should be interested only in understanding the science of God, and he should be ready to consider all points in this matter. He should no longer think, "I am this body," or, "This thing belongs to me." One must love the spiritual master with unflinching faith, and one must be very steady and fixed. The bona fide disciple should be inquisitive to understand transcendental subject matter. He must not search out faults among good qualities, and he should no longer be interested in material topics. His only interest should be Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

   As far as the mutual testing of the spiritual master and disciple is concerned, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura explains that a bona fide disciple must be very inquisitive to understand the transcendental subject matter. As stated in Srimad-Bhagavatam (11.3.21):


                       tasmad gurum prapadyeta

                        jijnasuh sreya uttamam


   "One who is inquisitive to understand the highest goal and benefit of life must approach a bona fide spiritual master and surrender unto him." A serious disciple must be alert when selecting a bona fide spiritual master. He must be sure that the spiritual master can deliver all the transcendental necessities. The spiritual master must observe how inquisitive the disciple is and how eager he is to understand the transcendental subject matter. The spiritual master should study the disciple's inquisitiveness for no less than six months or a year. A spiritual master should not be very anxious to accept a disciple because of his material opulences. Sometimes a big businessman or landlord may approach a spiritual master for initiation. Those who are materially interested are called visayis (karmis), which indicates that they are very fond of sense gratification. Such visayis sometimes approach a famous guru and ask to become a disciple just as a matter of fashion. Sometimes visayis pose as disciples of a reputed spiritual master just to cover their activities and advertise themselves as advanced in spiritual knowledge. In other words, they want to attain material success. A spiritual master must be very careful in this regard. Such business is going on all over the world. The spiritual master does not accept a materially opulent disciple just to advertise the fact that he has such a big disciple. He knows that by associating with such visayi disciples, he may fall down. One who accepts a visayi disciple is not a bona fide spiritual master. Even if he is, his position may be damaged due to association with an unscrupulous visayi. If a so-called spiritual master accepts a disciple for his personal benefit or for material gain, the relationship between the spiritual master and the disciple turns into a material affair, and the spiritual master becomes like a smarta-guru. There are many caste gosvamis who professionally create some disciples who do not care for them or their instructions. Such spiritual masters are satisfied simply to get some material benefits from their disciples. Such a relationship is condemned by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, who calls such spiritual masters and disciples a society of cheaters and cheated. They are also called baulas or prakrta-sahajiyas. Their aim is to make the connection between the spiritual master and the disciple into a very cheap thing. They are not serious in wanting to understand spiritual life.

   The words sevya bhagavan in this verse are important. Bhagavan indicates the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Visnu. Lord Visnu alone is worshipable. There is no need to worship demigods. This is confirmed in Bhagavad-gita:


                     kamais tais tair hrta-jnanah

                       prapadyante 'nya-devatah

                       tam tam niyamam asthaya

                        prakrtya niyatah svaya


   "Those whose minds are distorted by material desires surrender unto demigods and follow the particular rules and regulations of worship according to their own natures." (Bg. 7.20)

   It is also stated in the Skanda Purana:


                         vasudevam parityajya

                        yo 'anya-devam upasate

                        svamataram parityajya

                       sva-pacim vandate hi sah


   "A person who worships the demigods and gives up Lord Vasudeva is like a man who gives up the protection of his mother for the shelter of a witch."

   It is also stated in Bhagavad-gita (9.23):


                      ye 'py anya-devata-bhakta

                       yajante sraddhayanvitah

                       te 'pi mam eva kaunteya

                       yajanty avidhi-purvakam


   "Whatever a man may sacrifice to other gods, O son of Kunti, is really meant for Me alone, but it is offered without true understanding."

   Demigods are also living entities and parts and parcels of Krsna. Therefore in one sense one worships Krsna when one worships the demigods, but not in the proper way. There is a proper method to water a tree. One should water the roots, but if one waters the leaves and branches instead, he is simply wasting his time. If one worships the demigods to the exclusion of Lord Visnu, his rewards will only be material. As confirmed in Bhagavad-gita:


                       antavat tu phalam tesam

                      tad bhavaty alpa-medhasam

                        devan deva-yajo yanti

                       mad-bhakta yanti mam api


   "Men of small intelligence worship the demigods, and their fruits are limited and temporary. Those who worship the demigods go to the planets of the demigods, but My devotees ultimately reach My supreme planet." (Bg. 7.23)

   Demigod worship is meant for unintelligent men because the benefits derived from demigod worship are all material, temporary and retractable. It is also stated in the Hari-bhakti-vilasa:


                        yas tu narayanam devam


                         samatvenaiva vikseta

                      sa pasandi bhaved dhruvam


   "Whoever thinks Lord Visnu and the demigods are on the same level is to be immediately considered a rogue as far as spiritual understanding is concerned."

   There are three modes of nature in the material world, but when one is situated spiritually, he is above the material modes, even though he lives in this material world. Lord Krsna states in Bhagavad-gita (14.26):


                       mam ca yo 'vyabhicarena

                         bhakti-yogena sevate

                        sa gunan samatityaitan

                        brahma bhuyaya kalpate


   "One who engages in full devotional service, who does not fall down in any circumstances at once transcends the modes of material nature and thus comes to the level of Brahman." When one engages in the Supreme Lord's devotional service, he is in a transcendental position. Even though one may be situated in the mode of goodness in the material world, he is susceptible to pollution by the modes of passion and ignorance. When the mode of goodness is mixed with the mode of passion, one worships the sun-god, Vivasvan. When the mode of goodness is mixed with the mode of ignorance, he worships Ganapati, or Ganesa. When the mode of passion is mixed with the mode of ignorance, one worships Durga, or Kali, the external potency. When one is simply in the mode of ignorance, he becomes a devotee of Lord Siva because Lord Siva is the predominating deity of the mode of ignorance within this material world. However, when one is completely free from the influence of all the modes of material nature, he becomes a pure Vaisnava on the devotional platform. Srila Rupa Gosvami states in the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu:




                         anukulyena krsnanu-

                        silanam bhaktir uttama


   The position of visuddha-sattva is the position of uncontaminated goodness. On that platform, one can then understand, aradhyo bhagavan vrajesa-tanayas tad-dhama vrndavanam: "The Supreme Personality of Godhead, the son of Nanda Maharaja, is to be worshiped along with His transcendental abode, Vrndavana."

   The word sarva-mantra-vicarana means "considering all different types of mantras." There are different kinds of mantras for different kinds of devotees. There are the mantras known as the dvadasaksara, and these are composed of twelve syllables. Similarly, there are mantras composed of eighteen syllables-the Narasimha mantra, the Rama mantra, Gopala mantra and so on. Each and every mantra has its own spiritual significance. The spiritual master has to select a mantra for his disciple according to the disciple's ability to chant different mantras.


Cc. Madhya 24.330



In this matter of the potency of the maha-mantra and the simultaneous importance of receiving diksa mantras from a sad-guru, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada is in complete agreement with Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, and Srila Jiva Gosvami. No one should be confused by speculations to the contrary.


The quality of our chanting is also relevant to our success. To  suggest that one can be successful in chanting the  maha mantra without  simultaneously receiving instructions from the lotus lips of a sad guru in the manner of how to chant is a useless proposal.  His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura has written:


          * " The holy name of Krsna means divine sound.  It can be compared to a capsule of medicine.  The capsule is not the medicine.  Externally one capsule may look like another, but within one capsule may be medicine and within another there may be cyanide (a deadly poison).  The capsule itself is not the medicine.  It is not the sound of Krsna's name that is Krsna; Krsna is within the sound.  The name must be surcharged with the proper spirit; not any mundane sentiment."

          "The divine sound of the holy name must have its origin beyond the area of misconception or maya.  Sound must have its origin in Goloka Vrindavan.  The mere physical sound is not the holy name of Krsna.  Repeating the syllables of the holy name is called mayic sound.  It has no spiritual essence.  The life of the name is absent in offensive chanting."

         "The most important thing in chanting the holy name is the spiritual realization backing the name--that is the real name.  A tape recorder can pronounce the holy name of Krsna, just like a parrot.  But the physical sound is not Krsna.  In the background there must be spiritual truth, which is conscious.  You cannot capture the holy name of Krsna simply by vibrating the syllables of the holy name with your tongue.  Ravana wanted to capture Sita and he thought he did.  But factually he did not even touch Her divine body.  Ravana caught only a mundane replica of Sitadevi, an imitation which was a statue like Sita."

         "You cannot vibrate the holy name simply by moving the lips and tongue.  The pure name of Krsna is not lip deep but heart deep.  Ultimately, it goes beyond the heart and reaches the land of Krsna.  When Krsna comes down, the name come through the heart and moves the lips and tongue.  That vibration is the holy name of Krsna.  When Krsna in the form of sound descends from the transcendental world into the heart, and from the heart, controlling every aspect of the nervous system, comes to the lips and tongue dancing there; that is Krsna-nama. "

         "That sound is not produced from the material plane.  The spiritual sound has come down into this plane.  HE can come down, but we cannot so easily go up there.  The holy name is only realized when we approach Him with a very intense serving attitude.  At that time, Krsna Himself may come down by His grace, being attracted by our pure serving nature."

         "Then Krsna can influence this element and produce transcendental sound, and dance within the mundane plane.  That is the holy name of Krsna, vaikuntha-nama, the real name of Krsna.  We cannot produce it with our lips.  The sound we create with our physical or mental production is not Krsna.  He is indifferent to whatever sound we may produce.  Yet because He controls everything, He can appear anywhere, in any form, in any place in any sound."


 "Sri Caitanya's Teachings"


 "Art of Chanting Hare Krsna"

 by Mahanidi Swami (pgs.152-153)


His Divine Grace Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada clearly stated on his first record explanation of the maha-mantra,  that  chanting must be heard from the lips of a pure devotee, otherwise milk touched by the lips of serpent has a poisonous affect”.  We also  read in Sri Gaudiya Kantahara



asadhu-sange bhai “krsna-nama” nahi haya

“namaksara” bahiraya bate anama kabu naya


O brothers, the holy name of Krsna is never to be found in the association of those who are un-saintly. The external sound of the holy name is never the name proper.



Any minimization of the importance of  Bg. 4.34 is a deception.  Any philosophy opposed to sadhu sanga, hearing the maha mantra, diksa mantras and   hari-katha from the lotus lips of pure Vaisnavas is opposed to the actual teachings of Srila Rupa Gosvami.


Om tat sat

your servants,

Puru das adhikari and

Bhumipati das adhikari


For readers more interested in this topic we can suggest the following articles

for additional reference:


Non-Sectarian Vaisnava-Dharma

By  Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura



Thakur Bhaktivinode

by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura



Initiation Into Spiritual Life

by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura



Assuming Responsibility Of Being Guru

by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura



Sri Guru  and His Grace

by Srila Bhakti Raksaka Sridhara Maharaja


Nama Guru and Mantra Guru, Ch.9


Instructing Spiritual Masters, Ch. 10




What is a Guru?

By Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami



The Absolute Necessity of Second Initiation

by Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja



(1)”. . . Lord Krsna is worshiped by the gayatri mantra, and the specific mantra by which He is worshiped is called kama-gayatri. Vedic literatures explain that that sound vibration which can elevate one from mental concoction is called gayatri. The kama-gayatri mantra is composed of 24 1.2 syllables thus:


                       klim kama-devaya vidmahe

                         puspa-banaya dhimahi

                       tanno 'nangah pracodayat


   This kama-gayatri is received from the spiritual master when the disciple is advanced in chanting Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare. Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. In other words, this kama-gayatri mantra and samskara, or reformation of a perfect brahmana, are offered by the spiritual master when he sees that his disciple is advanced in spiritual knowledge. Even then, the kama-gayatri is not uttered under certain circumstances. In any case, the chanting of Hare Krsna is sufficient to elevate one to the highest spiritual platform.


In Brahma-samhita a nice description of the flute of Krsna is given: "When Krsna began to play on His flute, the sound vibration entered into the ear of Brahma as the Vedic mantra om" This om is composed of three letters--A, U, and M--and it describes our relationship with the Supreme Lord, our activities by which we can achieve the highest perfection of love and the actual position of love on the spiritual platform. When the sound vibration of Krsna's flute is expressed through the mouth of Brahma, it becomes gayatri. Thus by being influenced by the sound vibration of Krsna's flute, Brahma, the supreme creature and first living entity of this material world, was initiated as a brahmana. That Brahma was initiated as a brahmana by the flute of Krsna is confirmed by Srila Jiva Gosvami. When Brahma was enlightened by the gayatri mantra through Krsna's flute, he attained all Vedic knowledge. Acknowledging the benediction offered to him by Krsna, he became the original spiritual master of all living entities.

   The word klim added to the gayatri mantra is explained in Brahma-samhita as the transcendental seed of love of Godhead, or the seed of the kama-gayatri. The object is Krsna, who is the ever green Cupid, and by utterance of klim mantra Krsna is worshiped.



Teachings of Lord Caitanya

Ch. 31,The  Supreme Perfection pp. 268-270



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