Forums New Age Ideologies Initiation

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    Hare Krishna, what is initiation?

    What if one just simply chants and follow regulative principles but never takes initiation then what is his position?


    Initiation is a formality.

    Nārada Muni did not perform an initiation ceremony for Dhruva. He just gave Dhruva a mantra to chant, which he chanted sincerely, and that was enough. Nor was Prahalāda initiated with a ceremony. He just heard from Nārada Muni while in the womb of his mother. He was still a child when he went back to his father, and just 5 years old when Narasimhadeva appeared to protect him from his father. Likewise, Gajendra did not get initiation. He just offered a flower to Lord Viśnu while he was about to be killed. Nārada Muni just asked Vālmīkī to chant “marā”. Jada Bharata was never initiated. He pretended to be a fool so that society will reject him.

    Arjuna was never initiated by Lord Kṛṣṇa. Arjuna just said: śiṣyas te ’haṁ śādhi māṁ tvāṁ prapannam, or that I am your disciple and surrendered to you, so please instruct me. Note the word śiṣya or disciple. Just by saying that I’m a disciple surrendered to you, initiation is done. Similarly, Sukadeva Goswami never performed a ceremony of initiation for Parikshit. Parikshit just fell before him, and asked him how to save himself in the next seven days. Srila Mādhavāchārya was instructed by Vyāsadeva, 4000 years after the disappearance of Vyāsadeva. No initiation ceremony was performed by Vyāsadeva for instructing Mādhavāchārya. Brahma was instructed in the heart by inspiration, and he is ādi-kavi or “original poet”. Lord Visnu did not perform an initiation ceremony for Brahma.

    Formerly, every person in the upper three classes underwent 16 purificatory ceremonies from the time before conception. There was a garbhādhāna samskāra or a pregnancy ceremony, where the married couple will announce that they were going to have sex to conceive a child. Everyone would be invited, a fire sacrifice would be performed, and Brahmanas were given charity so that they will bless the couple to have a good child. Similarly, there was an annaprāśana samksāra when the newborn child was given some grain for the first time, implying that the child is now weaning off the mother’s milk. At every new stage in life, such as going to study in a gurukula, getting graduated, getting married, and so on, there was some purificatory ceremony being performed. One of these ceremonies was when the child was to start chanting the Gayathri mantra. It was routine, or one of the 16 ceremonies purificatory during the course of one’s life. It was not a big thing.

    Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati reduced all these to just 2 ceremonies, and Srila Prabhupada continued with that system. These are just purificatory samskāra. It was a kind of social custom earlier. Of course, these are not meaningless activities. But not more meaningful than chanting the Lord’s names. It was a system of formalization by calling people first-initiated, second-initiated, etc. These things are required for institutions. Some rules, regulations, formalities, and rituals.

    Some people gave it too much importance like it was a graduation ceremony, and those initiated were somehow “superior” to those who were not. Those second-initiated were somehow “superior” to those first-initiated. People created a hierarchical system, quite like companies give their employees titles. Even today, those who were initiated by Srila Prabhupada consider themselves superior to those that followed. Then some people think they get extra bragging rights because they have been initiated by a more powerful guru. I don’t know if they ever read books or try to compare what is described in Srimad Bhāgavatam or other texts to their life. Most people are not reading. And those who read don’t pay attention to it.

    Anyway, we should just remember two things. One, from a spiritual perspective, initiation is when you start following the instruction of the perfect person. Two, there is a social custom carried forward from purificatory ceremonies of the past. These two are not connected. But some people have not only connected them but also given them a high level of importance. This is the age of kali-yuga. Brahmana will be identified not by knowledge, but just by wearing a thread. Likewise, devotees will be identified not by devotion, but simply by performing a ceremony.


    Hari bol!!! Well understood.



    Hi Ashish.

    Considering what you have stated above, what do you make of Dikshas where spiritual power is transferred to disciple to help awaken his or her kundalini for example or other shaktis?

    Thank you sir.

    • This reply was modified 1 year ago by Baba Asahd.

    Let’s suppose there is a guru who raises your power of kundalini. Then what will you do with it? Power is useless without purpose. If you don’t know the purpose of power, you will not serve the power and purpose. You will abuse the power for some time, and then you will become degraded. Nature’s punishments that follow will also be more severe. So, don’t try to get power; instead, try to get a spiritual purpose. Where there is a spiritual purpose, there the power automatically comes.

    Where there is power without purpose, it degrades the person. Where there is purpose without power, it elevates the person. You can be given infinite power in a moment. But it is not given to strengthen your purpose, resolve, and conviction. There are huge risks in getting power without purpose. There is no risk in getting purpose without power. So try to get purpose before power.

    A child can ask for a bomb, but a parent doesn’t give it to the child. That is because there is a great danger. But when the child is grown up and trained properly then the bomb can also be given. There has to be a purpose for which you need the bomb. Otherwise, it is very dangerous to have it.

    Most of those people who are talking about raising kundalini are cheaters. They don’t even know what they are talking about. For example, there is no “transfer”. If you have some money in your pocket, and you give some money to a beggar, you will have less money. Isn’t it? Which so-called yogi is willing to reduce his power to increase someone else’s power? You give away money to a beggar when you know that you have a steady source of money coming in. But kundalini is not coming from anywhere. It is already in everyone. If someone is promising to “transfer” their power, they are cheating. They don’t know the first thing about what power is. Don’t be cheated.

    There is a process by which associating with a powerful person automatically manifests the power of another person. That is just like associating with happy people makes you happy and associating with angry people makes you angry. But that anger or happiness is not transferred to you. It is already within you and it just comes out due to the association. Like that, power is also within you. It can be discovered. But don’t try to discover it. Find the purpose before you seek the power. Be that child who is getting trained properly before he asks for a bomb. That is for its own good.

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