Sanctity of Initiation
His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Everybody's mood should be service mood. So many problems and obstacles will come in our situation—so many problems, so much bondage, so many obstacles will come in this material world—but we should overcome everything. We will try our best, and whether Krishna accepts it or not, whether Gurudev accepts our service or not, that is their matter; our duty is that we should serve our Guru, we should make him happy. That is our service.
Disciples must always think that when they take initiation, they will give their ego, all their selfishness—they will surrender everything—at their Gurudev's lotus feet. Disciples must give everything to their Guru. Whatever our bad qualities or good qualities are, it does not matter—we must give everything to our Gurudev. "Gurudev is my very own", "Gurudev, I am yours, you can use me in whichever way you want. I am your servant, I am your slave. It is up to you how you will use me"—this should be our mood, this is how we should proceed in our spiritual life.
দীক্ষাকালে ভক্ত করে আত্মসমর্পণ ।
diksa-kale bhakta kare atma-samarpana
"At the time of initiation, when a devotee fully surrenders unto the service of the Lord, Krishna accepts them as His very own."
(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Antya-lila, 4.192)
Atma-samarpan means surrender, or self-surrender; initiation means self-surrender. You must give everything to your Guru—you must give yourself to your Gurudev. Do not keep anything for yourself—you must give your very self to your Gurudev. Give everything—your heart, your mind, etc.—to your Guru. This is how we must serve, then we will be able to proceed and our life will be very perfect. This is the perfect way to practise Krishna consciousness.
Embracing this mood, we must practise sravanam, kirtanam, smaranam, archanam, pada-sevanam, vandanam, dasyam, sakhyam, atma-nivedanam (hearing, chanting, remembering, worshipping, serving lotus feet, offering prayers, engaging in service as a servitor, as a friend, and self-submission). We will practise sravanam (hearing, listening) and kirtanam (chanting, practising), and we must always remember what for we do kirtan, what for we chant the Holy Name, what for we do service. We do everything—any service, even cooking, even making garlands, etc.—only for one reason, i.e. to make Gurudev happy. Whatever we do, everything must go to Gurudev, to the Lord. That is the main thing. This is the way to serve our Guru. This is the perfect and proper way to practise, and this is what is called initiation.
What is called initiation? What is initiation about? Initiation means self-surrender. Self-surrender is the most important thing. You must have surrender, saranagati.
দৈন্য, আত্মনিবেদন, গোপ্তৃত্বে বরণ ।
dainya, atma-nivedana, goptrtve varana
"Humility, self-submission, embracing the Lord's guardianship, maintaining the faith that 'Krishna will certainly protect me', engaging only in activities that are favourable to devotion, rejecting everything unfavourable to devotion."
(1) Be humble (dainya), (2) surrender yourself (atma-nivedana), (3) Krishna takes care of you, Krishna looks after you (goptritve varan), (4) Krishna will certainly protect you (avasya raksibe Krsna), (5) accept what is favourable to devotion (bhakti-anukula matra karyera svikara), and (6) reject what is unfavourable to devotion (bhakti-pratikula bhava—varjanangikara). These are the six limbs of saranagati. First and foremost, it is necessary to have a strongest faith.
How do we increase our faith? Through practising, through remembering, through service. I have told you many times that when your baby is born, you gradually start to take care of the baby—the mother takes care of the baby, the father takes care of the baby—and in this way attachment towards that baby comes. In the same way, when you serve your Guru, when you serve the Lord and the Deities every day, if you take care of your Deities and Guru at every moment as much as you take care of your baby, then service attachment will come. Service attachment comes through practice. If you practise with the same love, affection and care that you take care and look after your baby with, then your faith will increase, your service mood will increase, and your spiritual life will develop in every way. However, if you are becoming lazy and do not practise properly, it is bad for you:
নিদ্রালস্য-হত সুকার্য্যে বিরত
nidralasya hata sukarye virata
"I am ruined by laziness and sleep, I hate doing good things, I am always eager to do bad things."
Sleeping and laziness. Ahara, nidra, bhay, maithuna (আহার, নিদ্রা, ভয়, মৈথুন, eating, sleeping, defending, having sex)—the more you increase these things every day, the more these things will increase (the more you will be doing it). It is necessary to decrease these things. It is necessary to sleep six to seven hours a day, that is sufficient, but if you sleep more and more every day and do not practise properly, then you will become lazier and lazier. Laziness is very bad. An idle brain is devil's workshop. An active man has no time to waste on evil works. So, we must be active and we must do everything properly. For example, a proper pujari offers bhoga at the altar five times a day. This is like feeding a baby—how many times does a mother give her breast milk to the baby? Do you feed your baby only when it cries? No, you think about it beforehand. You always think about and take care of your baby's food, bath, changing its clothes, etc. You must look after the Deities in the same way. Do you understand it? You must serve the Deities with the same care that you take care of your baby. If you follow this, then your service mood will increase day by day, and you will be successful in your spiritual life. Follow this, these are the main things.
Before all this, it is necessary to take shelter of the lotus feet of a guru ("adau guru padasraya"). Nothing will work without initiation and surrender to a guru. It is necessary to take initiation, it is necessary to have a guru, a guardian. Who will guide me? Who will teach me? Who will give me proper guidance? That is why, it is necessary to accept a Guru and take initiation. We can chant, we can do service and other things, but without proper guidance, without a guru, all our attempts will be unscientific. What is the scientific way? Take proper initiation and then practise properly. Follow this way, it is good for you.
I heard that somebody is taking initiation today. [Addressing a devotee.] Are you taking initiation?
For what? Why are you taking initiation?
Devotee: I met *** Prabhu two years ago, he has been preaching to me, and I became attracted to Krishna consciousness. That is why I am asking for initiation to do some proper service.
OK. That is good. I am going to tell you all what we take initiation for. Listen carefully.
শক্তিবুদ্ধিহীন আমি অতি দীন
sakti-buddhi-hina ami ati dina
"I have no power, I have no intelligence, I am extremely poor! Please hijack me!"
We sing this every day during the temple and Tulasi parikrama—we tell Gurudev, "Gurudev, I have no power, I have no intelligence! Please hijack me!" Hijack from where? From maya. "Hijack me from this illusory world and throw me at your lotus feet!" That is the meaning of 'hijacking.'
Do you understand, everybody? These are very important things. There are always people who ask why it is necessary to take initiation, that is why I wrote about it here, in Guidance, Volume 4. People say, "We all know the Hare Krishna maha-mantra—we can chant it easily on our own and get our benefit." This is not so. You will not get the benefit—if you do not get a proper seed from a proper guardian, a proper guru, your chanting will not work, no tree will grow from your chanting and you will not get any fruit. That is why you must take initiation from a proper guru, a proper acharya. This is the proper way to start a spiritual life, otherwise you will never get a proper result.
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