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Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj  Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj  Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj  Bhagavan Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur Prabhupad
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Sanctity of Initiation

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Kolkata-Worldwide, 26 July 2020, part 2


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 ।
সেইকালে কৃষ্ণ তারে করে আত্মসম ॥

diksa-kale bhakta kare atma-samarpana
sei-kale krsna tare kare atma-sama

"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 ।
'অবশ্য রক্ষিবে কৃষ্ণ'—বিশ্বাস পালন ॥
ভক্তি-অনুকূল মাত্র কার্য্যের স্বীকার ।
ভক্তি-প্রতিকূল ভব—বর্জ্জনাঙ্গীকার ॥

dainya, atma-nivedana, goptrtve varana
'avasya raksibe krsna'—visvasa palana
bhakti-anukula matra karyera svikara
bhakti-pratikula bhava—varjanangikara

"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."

(Saranagati, 1)

(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
অকার্য্যে উদ্যোগী আমি

nidralasya hata sukarye virata
akarye udyogi ami

"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?

Devotee: Yes.

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.

Initiation (diksa) means self-surrender. "I am yours"—this feeling awakens at the time of initiation. "'Krsna, tomara han' yadi bale ekabara, maya-bandha haite krsna tare kare para. 'Krishna, I am Yours'—if you say it even once, Krishna can rescue you from the bondage of Maya." (Cc. 2.22.33) Independence, ego is given up—one gets a new life at the time of initiation. I am a brahman, I am from a low caste, I am good, I am bad—there are no such feelings. I have now become yours—such mood must awaken. O Krishna! I am Your servant, I am Your slave. Whatever service You want to engage me in, this is the service I want. Whatever ego, pride, requisition (desire to lord over) I have, I must submit everything at the time of initiation. It is necessary to submit yourself at the time of initiation, it means you should give yourself completely. To mould yourself according to His wish, you must throw yourself at His holy lotus feet. He can do with me what He pleases.

"diksa-kale bhakta kare atma-samarpana"

(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta, 3.4.192)

Those who want to become a devotee, who want to become initiated into the path of devotion, leave all conceptions and feelings of "I" and "mine," and pray, "Accept me, take me. My happiness, unhappiness, good and bad—all is yours now. Guide me, show me the path." You must surrender to the holy lotus feet of Sri Gurupadpadma without any hesitation. To be initiated means to submit yourself. The more one can submit oneself, the more successful one will be in their life. "Sei kale Krsna tare kare atmasama, sei deha kare tara chidananda-maya. At this time Krsna takes [the surrendered soul] as His own and transforms his body into a transcendental body." (Cc, 3.192-193) "Atma-sama" means 'one's very own'—does it means one gets four arms or six arms? No. Krsna makes one fit for His service, i.e. the more you surrender, the more He hijacks you.

শক্তিবুদ্ধিহীন আমি অতি দীন
কর মোরে আত্মসাথ ॥

sakti-buddhi-hina ami ati dina
kara more atma-satha

"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.'

No kind of stiffness, objection, or obstruction will come then. "Diksa-kale bhakta kare atma-samarpana—at the time of initiation, devotees surrender themselves fully"—it means devotees leave all materialism, material false ego, material attachments and establish themselves in servitude to Lord Krishna. This is an ideal initiation. To reach such ideal, it is necessary to pay the price. The higher price you pay for it, the more successful you will be. You should be prepared to give what you have. If you want to pass B.A., you get there step by step. One does not attain perfection just by taking initiation. It is necessary to gather the mercy of Gurudev at the time of initiation and practise after that. The more seriously and sincerely you can follow your Gurudev and his desire, the more successful or benefitted you will be.

There is no service, no practising life without initiation. Chanting the Holy Name on some beads, worship Deities, sing kirtans without initiation—this is unscientific. "Adau guru-padasrayah—first, take shelter of the guru." If you take shelter at the feet of your guru, then everything is perfect—this is not so. This is only the beginning. Getting enrolled into a college does not mean passing the final exam, it is only an opportunity to pass it.

What happens after initiation? "Sravana-kirtana-jale karaye sechana. Nourish the creeper of your devotion with the water of śravan and kirtan." (Cc, 2.19.152) It is necessary to practise hearing and chanting, worship Deities and do service. You must serve with love, affection, extracting loving devotion from your very heart. You must always think about what makes Him happy. You must be anxious to make Him happy and always be alert and conscious of His happiness. Sacrifice your selfish interests for His happiness, serve for His happiness. He does not accept service from those who have no initiation and no mercy. Whether He accepts service or not, this is up to Him; from our side, we should sent the application (prayer). Initiation is a method of practising spiritual life. If you do not follow this scientific rule, you will not get any result. Initiation is the first duty in one's spiritual life.

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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Life's Necessity
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