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The importance is the will of guru to give the mantra

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and not the instrument used to give the mantra, be it physical head or tape or telephone etc.



From the sixth canto ninth chapter of SB




That saintly Dadhyanca, who is also known as Dadhici, personally assimilated the spiritual science and then delivered it to the Asvini-kumaras. It is said that Dadhyanca gave them mantras through the head of a horse. Therefore the mantras are called Asvasira. After obtaining the mantras of spiritual science from Dadhici, the Asvini-kumaras became jivan-mukta, liberated even in this life.




The following story is narrated by many acaryas in their commentaries:


nisamyatharvanam daksham pravargya-brahmavidyayoh; dadhyancam samupagamya tam ucatur athasvinau; bhagavan dehi nau vidyam iti srutva sa cabravit; karmany avasthito 'dyaham pascad vakshyami gacchatam; tayor nirgatayor eva sakra agatya tam munim; uvaca bhishajor vidyam ma vadir asvinor mune; yadi mad-vakyam ullanghya bravishi sahasaiva te; siras-chindyam na sandeha ity uktva sa yayau harih; indre gate tathabhyetya nasatyav ucatur dvijam; tan-mukhad indra-gaditam srutva tav ucatuh punah; avam tava siras chittva purvam asvasya mastakam; sandhasyavas tato bruhi tena vidyam ca nau dvija; tasminn indrena sanchinne punah sandhaya mastakam; nijam te dakshinam dattva gamishyavo yathagatam; etac chrutva tadovaca dadhyann atharvanas tayoh pravargyam brahma-vidyam ca sat-krito 'satya-sankitah.


The great saint Dadhici had perfect knowledge of how to perform fruitive activities, and he had advanced spiritual knowledge as well. Knowing this, the Asvini-kumaras once approached him and begged him to instruct them in spiritual science (brahma-vidya). Dadhici Muni replied, "I am now engaged in arranging sacrifices for fruitive activities. Come back some time later." When the Asvini-kumaras left, Indra, the King of heaven, approached Dadhici and said, "My dear Muni, the Asvini-kumaras are only physicians. Please do not instruct them in spiritual science. If you impart the spiritual science to them despite my warning, I shall punish you by cutting off your head." After warning Dadhici in this way, Indra returned to heaven. The Asvini-kumaras, who understood Indra's desires, returned and begged Dadhici for brahma-vidya. When the great saint Dadhici informed them of Indra's threat, the Asvini-kumaras replied, "Let us first cut off your head and replace it with the head of a horse. You can instruct brahma-vidya through the horse's head, and when Indra returns and cuts off that head, we shall reward you and restore your original head." Since Dadhici had promised to impart brahma-vidya to the Asvini-kumaras, he agreed to their proposal. Therefore, because Dadhici imparted brahma-vidya through the mouth of a horse, this brahma-vidya is also known as Asvasira.





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Q&A: 'Diksa Mantra And Nama Prabhu'



EDITORIAL, — (from Sanga)




Q u e s t i o n: Is initiation mandatory for a soul to go back home? If so, which initiation is it (mantra or harinam)


A n s w e r: Jiva Goswami explains in his Bhakti-sandarbha that initiation (mantra diksa) is necesary because all the Mahajanas have demonstrated this. Even though the mantra has inherent power, if one does not recieve it from a guru it will not express that power. Thus 'sampradaya vihina ye mantras te nisphala matah.' If the mantra is not received from the parampara, it will not bear fruit. Krishna has set up this system and we are to follow it in order to attract his sympathy.


Q u e s t i o n: If we must embrace substance over form, then how does initiation matter at all? Because by association with elevated devotees and books of the acaryas one gets the substance. So why is this formal initiation required?


A n s w e r: Books are not enough. They are passive agents of divinity, whereas the saints are active agents. Their company is essential for understanding the books. Although some say that Prabhupada has given an explanation in his books, even a cursory reading of them reveals the need for living sadhu sanga. Page after page of his commentary stresses the need for the association of living saints. If we are associating with living saints, naturally we will want to be identified with the one who captures our heart as a disciple. If our heart has been captured by a previous acarya, we should find a living one who feels the same way.



Initiation is more than a mere formality. It is about the love one feels for a sadhu that creates a bond between him and oneself. It is the happy formalization and announcement of that realtionship, and a comittment to it in which 'divya jnana' is transmitted.


Q u e s t i o n: The second initiation (mantra diksa) makes a person 'dvija' or brahmana. But Krishna says "striyo vaisya ..." . i.e., anyone can get back irrespective of his qualification. It appears that for chanting the Holy Name one does not need an official initiation, for you also said that the Holy Name is independent of initiation (citing Caitnaya Caritamrita). So, can it be concluded that an official initiation is not necessary for a soul's return, and maybe it just provides substatntial assistance for acheiving the goal?


A n s w e r: Mantra diksa is not about becoming a brahmana. Previous to Bhaktisiddhanta, at the time of Vaisnava mantra diksa, brahmanas would take off their thread. He introduced the wearing of the thread to make a statement that Vaisnava mantra diksa includes within it whatever was present in the brahmana diksa and brahma gayatri. Our diksa mantras are for awakening the svarupa of the jiva so that he can take full advantage of the liberated Nama and culture his relationship with Krishna. Those who are not liberated cannot take full advantage of Nama prabhu, and thus they require mantra diksa. When one attains svarupa siddhi, he no longer needs to recite his diksa mantra, but he will continue to chant the Holy Name.


Q u e s t i o n: Please forgive me if these questions are offensive in any manner, but I have not been able to resolve these issues myself.


A n s w e r: The problem is that in your tender stage of 'komala sraddha' you have been subjected to a spiritual leadership crisis in a particular institution, the one where you first learned about Gaudiya Vaisnavism. Yet, were it not for this, you would not think to ask these questions.


Initiation received from a qualified guru is most desireable. I can tell you this from my own experience.


Q u e s t i o n: If one accepts the Holy Name from one guru, can he then take mantra diksa from another, when Caitanya Caritamrita says that one can have only one initiating guru?


A n s w e r: Regarding mantra diksa, this is different from what we call Hari Nama initiation. Hari Nama is independent of initiation. Caitanya Caritamrta says 'dekha-purascarya-vidhi apekha na kare'. This means that the Holy Name is not subject to initiation or puruscarya in order that it might be effective. Srila Prabhupada has said in relation to this verse, "The chanting of the Hare Krishna maha- mantra is so powerful that it does not depend on official initiation, but if one is initiated and engages in pancaratra-vidhi (Deity worship), his Krishna consciousness will awaken very soon, and his identification with the material world will be vanquished."


Caitanya Caritamrita also instructs 'krishna-mantra haite habe samsara-mocana krishna- nama haite pabe krishnera carana'. This means that the diksa mantra liberates one (svarupa siddhi), while the Holy Name further delivers one to the lotus feet of Krsna. The purport is that while Nama prabhu is independent of initiation, mantra diksa is necessary for conditioned souls to take full advantage of the Holy Name. We should recieve the Holy Name from a Guru, but mantra diksa is the actual initiation into the sampradaya. Thus the Guru who gives one Hari Nama may not always be the one who gives mantra diksa.


For example, Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura received Hari Nama from Bhaktivinoda Thakura and mantra diksa from Gaurakishore dasa babaji.


Similarly, Prabhupada's sister received Hari Nama from Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta and mantra diksa from Bhakti Saranga Goswami Maharaja.


Thus, when Caitanya Caritamrta speaks of one initiating Guru, this is in reference to mantra diksa.


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You would have to be fairly elevated to get it straight from the horses mouth these days.

But I agree if guru is there behind the vessel then Krsna will be too.

It is also important to have a relationship with guru, the whole process is about personalism and affectionate dealings.

We arn't just going to aquire the Name, rather a loving relationship with His dear friend(s), who will kindly guide us in the art of divya seva.

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