Why Sri Caitanya Maha Prabhu said that chanting does not require initiation?
Roshini Dubey asked like this:
“Hare Krishna, Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada. In Chaitanya Charitamrita Madhya Lila Chapter 15 The Lord Accepts Prasada at the House of Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya , Verse 108 Mahaprabhu Said – “”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 can be delivered.” But in the whole purport by taking many reference from Hari-bhakti-vilÅsa it is explained that Diksha is must WHY ? In general purport explains the the verse in more depth but here in the purport other facts about Diksha are given and where it is proven that Diksha is must . SO it so confusing Prabhu . Please help.”
When we read a single quote without reading all other related texts, we will make such attractive observations that seem to simplify our sadhanas too much.
But, Maha Prabhu said this along with some other details also.
Let me explain you.
You are mentioning this verse from Sri Caitanya Caritamruta Madhya Lila 15-108:
“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 [caṇḍāla] can be delivered.”
In the purport for this verse, Srila Prabhupada has written like this:
“In other words, the chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra is so powerful that it does not depend on official initiation, but if one is initiated and engages in pañcarātra-vidhi (Deity worship), his Kṛṣṇa 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, one 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 Kṛṣṇa mantra,cannot be identified with any material sound. If one accepts the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-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 Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta (Ādi 7.73):
kṛṣṇa-mantra haite habe saṁsāra-mocana
kṛṣṇa-nāma haite pābe kṛṣṇera caraṇa
“Simply by chanting the holy name of Kṛṣṇa one can obtain freedom from material existence. Indeed, simply by chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa 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 puraścaryā or puraścaraṇa, the actual chanting of the holy name does not depend on puraścaryā-vidhi,or the regulative principles. If one chants the holy name even 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-jihvā — 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.”
Thus, the holy names of Krishna are independent and they are not controlled by the initiation process.
Ok, then, why initiation is stressed everywhere?
Here comes the proper understanding.
Chanting gives immediate effects only when it is chanted with purity. Otherwise, the progress gets delayed.
One should be either ignorant with no confused mind or purified soul to chant with full attention.
(i) If he is ignorant, he will not have confused himself with so many concepts. So, he can immediately feel the importance of the Holy Names of Krishna.
For example, the people of India had already confused knowledge about Krishna. Therefore, they did not feel the importance of Krishna Consciousness when Srila Prabhupada first preached here. But, when Srila Prabhupada preached the same in the west, since those people had no exposure to these advanced concepts, readily acquired them. They could even understood the importance of holy names of Krishna.
Thus, we can feed a nectar even in an ignorant mind, but, not in a confused mind.
(ii) If he is pure, his mind will not have any oscillations and contaminations. So, he too can take the holy names of Krishna serious immediately.
Therefore, it is understood that one should be pure to readily accept the holy names of Krishna.
Now, let us take the two cases:
(i) Chanting without initiation and (ii) Chanting after initiation.
(i) CHANTING WITHOUT INITIATION:
Yes, the chanting will work and give Krishna to you. But, since you are already contaminated with so many material attachments, the process will take long time. The holy names will take sufficient period to make you pure. After that, it will give liberation and Krishna.
Without the purification, one can not go to Krishna. So, the chanting first purifies you stage by stage from all your bundle of anarthas and then take you to Krishna.
This may take another birth also because you do not know how much of karma bundle you have.
The chanting will work even without initiation, but, the process will be slow if you have bundle of karma.
(ii) CHANTING AFTER GETTING INITIATED:
Your guru takes the responsibility of the purification of his disciple.
When you accept a guru, he takes responsibility to take you to Krishna.
To achieve this, he accepts your karma instantly.
So, your karma is kept under suspension and your guru feels the heat of your karma.
Since your karma is with your guru now, you will become pure instantly.
Therefore, the holy names of Krishna need not wait till you get purified or the holy names need not take time to purify you.
Since the Guru has taken the responsibility for your karma, you become pure and hence your concentration in chanting will increase and hence you can go back to Krishna in this birth itself.
Your guru also guides you in following the devotional practices and makes your growth fast.
Thus, your guru acts as a catalyst for fastening and ensuring your going back to Krishna.
You may ask whether the holy names can not accept your karma instantly.
Yes, it will accept so. But, it will happen only if you are now a reformed and deserving person. Such instant purification happens in the case of some exalted devotees.
However, a guru accepts your karma even if you have some deficiencies in your devotional process. That is why I have been telling that your guru takes much risk by accepting you trusting your words that you have been following a diosciplined life.
Thus, the purification given by your guru is instant and Krishna empowers that guru.
Since you are purified now, you will grow faster in devotion after purification.
I have heard many devotees saying that their focus and dedication in chanting has tremendously increased after they took diksha from a guru.
This is because, earlier, they had plenty of karma that were forcefully pulling him from involving in devotion seriously.
Now, they have been purified by their guru and hence they can feel the enhanced dedication.
Therefore, they can go back to Krishna even in this birth.
However, how we should understand what Maha Prabhu said is:
“ONE NEED NOT WAIT FOR INITIATION TO CHANT LORD’ NAMES. HE CAN START EVEN NOW AND HIS CHANTING WILL TAKE HIM TO A STATE TO ACCEPT A GURU AND THEN HE WILL GO BACK TO KRISHNA AT THE EARLIEST”.
Maha Prabhu Himself accepted two initiations from two gurus. Therefore, he will never discourage diksha. If diksha is not necessary, why should He Himself take diksha?
The point is that diksha is not necessary TO START CHANTING. Diksha can be taken any time. You need not wait till that. That’s all.
He just says so to make the devotees to atleast start chanting without waiting for a guru and those things like guru, regulative principles, etc can be concentrated later.
Hope you are clear now.