Is initiation (diksha) compulsory to get the love of Krishna?
Hare Krishna prabhu Ji. I always thought that by reading bhagavad Gita ji and bhagavam and chanting Hare Krishna Mala I can get krishna love. But in Shastra I read that without guru we can’t reach to God. Is it true.now m feeling that I have to take Nam diksha from iskcon to increase my devotional practice. For taking diksha use of onion garlic is prohibited or not. M I eligible for diksha or should I continue devotional practice without taking guru
This question usually arises because, we expect a FORMAL DIKSHA CEREMONY in all cases. In those days, such a system of giving Diksha in front of fire was not followed in some cases.
Diksha Yagna is the official ceremony to record that you have accepted a guru and have taken certain resolutions in front of him.
If a guru says to a saadhaka that he has accepted him as his disciple, that was enough.
We should not expect the same formalities in all cases of guru-disciple system.
In older days there were different diksha systems like “Bhagavati-diksa”. If a guru acepts a disciple orally, it was diksha. Of course, Diksha ceremonies were also there.
Everyone of us will definitely have a guru because we have learnt about Krishna and devotional practices through a devotee who is our first guru.
However, we accept a diksha guru to make our dedication strong and to commit ourselves in devotional practices witnessed by our diksha guru.
When we join a school, the school takes the responsibility for our success in our material education. The students too resolve to study well.
When we join a GYM, the Gym takes the responsibility to reduce our weight by certain kilograms. The customer too resolves to follow the weight loss tips of the Gym.
When we go to a Beauty Parlour, the beautician takes the responsibility for our becoming temporarily beautiful. The customer too resolves to follow the tips given by the beautician.
Thus, every institution involves a commitment from both the parties.
Similarly, even in a guru-disciple system, such commitment exists.
The guru takes the responsibility for the upliftment of the disciple and the disciple too resolves to the guru that he will follow all the instructions of his guru.
Therefore, Guru Diksha is required to develop such a strong commitment in devotion.
If we do not promise to someone and keep the promise ourselves, we do not have a strong will power to follow our promises.
For example, if you decide yourself to quit smoking, you may fail again and again.
But, if you declare to atleast five people that you are quitting smoking, this sharing of promise will pull you back whenever you like to smoke. The guilt will be more.
Same applies when we promise to our guru in front of fire yagna to follow regulative principles, follow 16 rounds of chanting daily, follow fastings, etc.
Our commitment to our promises given to our guru in front of fire will act as a catalyst to keep us out of sinful acts.
Therefore, we need a diksha guru to increase our commitment in devotional practices.
Another benefit of accepting a guru is, we will grow in devotion fast. Because, the devotional power of our guru and his guru parampara (lineage) will always protect us and hence we will grow in devotion fast.
Since the guru takes the responsibility for our upliftment, he will always be following and guiding us. This will speed up our devotional development.
Therefore, accepting diksha and entering in to a spiritual commitment with our guru will be favourable for our spiritual growth.
Some devotees fear to accept guru because they fear to commit to a guru to follow all the devotional practices. But, the fact is, without commitment, we can’t get Krishna.
Therefore, a guru will be our best asset in our devotional life.
Now, let us see the types of Diksha.
IS JUST GETTING A MANTHRA CALLED DIKSHA?
DIKSHA means- the devotee has got realization through this master; This is diksha.
Diksha is not completed by only getting the mantra from the guru. Only if the disciple follows the guru and His preachings and realize his Self and Lord, the Diksha completes.
Therefore, please do not stick only with the ceremonies.
TWO TYPES OF DIKSHA:
There are two kinds of diksa (initiation) : 1. Anusthaniki and 2. Vidvat-rudhi.
(1) Anusthaniki : The external formality of a fire yajna and the giving of diksa (gayatri) mantras.
(2) Vidvat-rudhi : An internal initiation wherein the disciple completely gives his heart at his guru’s lotus feet, knowing that his guru will make him qualified to serve the Lord.
The second stage of initiation is very important. It involves total dedication from the disciple.
(1) BRAHMA’S INITIATION:
Brahma received kama-gayatri initiation by hearing the sound of Sri Krsna’s flute itself. There were no ceremonies.
Therefore, Diksha is the starting of a process of realisation.
(2) SRI SUKADEVA GOSVAMI’s INITIATION:
Actually Sri Vyasa dev was the Guru of his son Sri Sukadeva Gosvami.
Sri Sukadeva Gosvami is said to have undergone NO “Formal Diksa Samskara” from Vyasa dev , but, he received the essence of Bhagavatam from Vyasa Dev and passed it along to Pariksit Maharaja, Suta Goswami and others who were not his direct diksa disciples.
Because, Sri Sukadeva Gosvami was purer soul than his father Sri Vyasadev Himself . The following incident proves that:
When Vyasadeva was walking following his son, Srila Sukadeva Gosvami, they came upon some maid women bathing in a pond, Sukadeva Gosvami was also naked, yet the maidens did not cover themselves when he passed by.
However, they did cover themselves when the fully-clad Vyasadeva approached.
Astonished at the apparently inconsistent behavior of the young girls, Vyasadeva asked them to explain.
“Your son is purified of all material contamination,” they said, “so when he looks at us he makes no distinction between male and female. But as a householder, you do make such distinctions. Therefore, while we feel no shame before your son, we must cover ourselves before you.”
Thus, if one is pure, he has already initiated.
(3) PARIKSHIT MAHARAJA’s INITIATION:
Sri Sukadeva Gosvami did not give any ‘formal initiation’ to Maharaja Parikshit.
Parikshit Maharaj came to the forest and surrendered to Sri Sukadeva Gosvami and heard Srimad Bhagavatham from him.
However, Parikshit Maharaja received the service of the gopis, and he became attached to that service through Sri Sukadeva gosvami.
Maharaja Pariksit told his mother Uttara: “You are my mother, but now I am dying, and at this last moment I am giving you this instruction. Don’t see Krishna as your father-in-law. What should you think? He is your beloved, as He was the beloved of the gopis. Krishna is also your beloved and He is also my beloved. Always keep this in your mind.”
This statement shows that Maharaja Pariksit was connected with Krishna through Sukadeva Gosvami. Therefore, Sukadeva Gosvami is actually his diksa guru, though there were no formal ceremonies.
There is another version of a story that states that King Janaka was the initiating guru for Sri Sukhadeva Gosvami.
This story can be found soon in our site.
Of course, Lord’s names themselves are powerful to bring the love of Krishna. However, when we get the manthra from a guru, the manthra comes with two additional benefits : (1) Guru takes responsibility for our devotional growth; (2) We get more commitment when we accept a guru.
This ensures our liberation from this material world and takes us back to Krishna.
Therefore, it is advisable to accept a guru and commit ourselves in devotion through him.
Though we can accept a guru even by our heart, we may not have sufficient commitments. If we accept diksha when such ceremonies are fortunately arranged, it will give us enormous level of commitment to follow our resolutions given to guru.
This commitment coupled with the blessings of our guru will definitely bring the love of Krishna.
Remember, even Krishna and Rama had Gurus when they descended to the earth. This shows how important a guru is in our life.