Can a devotee take diksha (Initiation) from two gurus?
A devotee (Name hidden) asked like this:
“I was initiated in Shri Sampraday by my parents when I was just 5 years old but I never took association n was living in animal Consciousness. Then I got introduced to ISCKON and now I m Chanting and attending daily morning programs…Can I get initiated in Gaudiya Sampraday…or it would be leaving my Guru from Shri Sampraday…I m very confused n stressed,,,I love ISCKON Association. Please hide my name Prabhuji. Hare Krishna.”
It is possible and allowed to take diksha (Initiation) from two gurus, if you had not taken diksha from a guru directly.
There are two types of dikshas in the Brahmana Communities. First case is given by an acharya through a representative (father) while wearing the sacred thread for the first time as taken by me and you.
(RITVIK INITIATION (DIKSHA) AND LIVING GURU INITIATION – DIFFERENCES! READ HERE!)
Second case is the direct diksha from a guru/acharya in that bonafide sampradhaya. This second case, ie, if you had taken Direct diksha from a guru in Sri Sampradhaya, no need to take from Gaudiya Vaishnava Sampradhaya again as it will become double initiation. If you had already taken diksha directly from a bonafide sampradhaya, you need not take diksha (Initiation) from two gurus.
Let me explain the first type in which you and I have taken diksha. I hope you had not taken directly from a guru.
Almost all the brahmanas including me wear a sacred thread around their chest. This means, they have got official initiation as a brahmana in which the father acts as a representative of the acharya of that sampradhaya and give the Gayathri Manthra into the ears of the boy. Thus, we are declared as if entering into the Brahamacharya Ashrama as an initiated brahmana.
(DOES A DIKSHA GURU OR SIKSHA GURU ACCEPT THE KARMA OF DISCIPLES? HOW? READ HERE!)
Thus, in actual brahmana communities, there is only one initiation, that confirms our brahmana status and taking vows to follow the brahmacharya ashrama strictly. Here, the acharya is the guru for us and the father. The purohit are the representatives of that acharya.
I too am already initiated as a brahmana in my Sampradhaya and am wearing the sacred thread. As per my sampradhaya by birth, Sri Chandrasekarendra Swami Sankaracharya of Kanchi Kamakodi Mutt, of Kancheepuram, near Chennai is my guru and acharya. Of course, I am really happy that a highly respectable and pure acharya happened to me as my guru. He lived the simplest and purest life and even great leaders like Mahathma Gandhiji, Indra Gandhi, many presidents, Prime ministers, Chief minsiters, Governors, etc, came to him and got blessings from him. Though he gave blessings to those leaders and discused with them, he strictly stood away from politics.
(I find no Guru in my locality to accept him as my guru. What to do? READ HERE!)
Thus, as per my sampradhaya by birth, I already had a guru like other brahmanas. However, I was introduced to ISKCON by a dedicated devotee in my twenties, ie, after I had taken initiation as a brahmana in my parent sampradhaya that follows advaita. Though Sri Chndrasekarendra Swami is an advaita guru, he has clearly said that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and there is no other vrata greater than Ekadasi vrata. This has been recorded in the collection of his speeches called VOICE OF GOD. The greatness of that acharya was that he spoke strongly advocating the unity among different sampradhayas and respecting all gods. He never ill-spoke about any god or acharya or guru. His speeches have always been in positive tone.
Since I had read the speeches of Sri Chandrasekarendra Swami, I too developed as a guy who respect all gods, gurus or acharyas. Therefore, when the ISKCON devotees met me and gave Bhagavad Gita As It Is and other books of Srila Prabhupada, I got convinced that ISKCON is the organisation that works hard for re-establishing Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, not just a god among hundreds of gods. This aspect attracted me. As all Sampradhayas did not deny that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, I had no difficulty in supporting the concept of ISKCON that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
(QUALIFICATIONS TO BE A GURU AND A DISICPLE – FROM THE SCRIPTURES! READ HERE!)
Therefore, I naturally accepted those devotees and associated with them. Then, Srila Prabhupada’s books helped me to ascertain Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore, I got a realization that Srila Prabhupada and his movement is also important for me. I have come from a background that my first acharya Sri Chandrasekarendra Swami respected every sampradhaya and acharyas. He had good regards about ISKCON and he even sent his stapathi to carve Narshimma Dev deity established in Mayapur. Therefore, I too was comfortable when I associated with ISKCON to practice Krishna Consciousness.
Now, I too am under the shelter of a guru in ISKCON. This does not mean I have violated my sampradhaya by birth. I have great respects with the acharya Sri Chandrasekarendra Swami and his successor present acharyas. However, since I wanted to dedicate my life for Krishna who is our real master, I thought that I should accept ISKCON also that is working exclusively for Krishna.
(How to increase the faith in our Guru (Spiritual Master)? READ HERE!)
Thus, I do not feel any guilt in accepting ISKCON and its gurus. In fact, I am very happy to have taken birth in a brahmana family, and at the same time, got the association of ISKCON. This is the double mercy of Krishna towards me, I think.
In my view, we should not insult or disrespect any guru of any sampradhaya. There may be differences in concepts, but, everyone is working with some good objectives for the betterment and elevation of human society.
Therefore, my reply to you through my life experience and the general custom is: Though you are from another sampradhaya, there is no barrier for you to accept ISKCON and a bonafide guru from it.
A devotee can take diksha (Initiation) from two gurus if he had not taken the previous diksha directly from his guru of a bonafide sampradhaya.
If he had not got direct diksha, or, if his guru has fallen down, he can take diksha again from another guru of bonafide sampradhaya..
Hope you are clear.
(How can I accept a guru without ascertaining his eligibility? READ HERE!)