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Title: Tips for Disciples
User: Damodara Svarupa dasa Date: 2005-02-23 18:51:33
Tips for Disciples -- By Swami Gaurangapda
Although it is optional, all the Gauranga-Mantra-Shiksha-(Ashraya)-
Mahadiksha Disciples are requested to try their best to do the following ten
things as much as possible:
(1) Recite at least 108 original verses or read their translation from
Nityananda-Gauranga-Nama-Mahatmya or Navadvipa-Dhama-Mahatmya,
Chaitanya-Bhagavata or Chaitanya-Charitamrita or Chaitanya-Chandramrita
(2) Worship the Tulasi plant daily with incense, flowers, water etc.
Visit Navadvipa, Vrindavana or Puri whenever you can.
(3) Worship the Deities of Shri Shri Nityananda-Gauranga in their homes
and offer all the food cooked before eating.
(4) Distribute at least one book on the glories of Nityananda-Gauranga-Hare
Krishna Mantras or Chaitanya-Bhagavata or Chaitanya-Charitamrita or a book
glorifying Lord Nityananda and Lord Gauranga daily to some other person.
(5) Regularly read and distribute the books of Shrila Prabhupada,
Shrimad-Bhagavatam, Bhagavad-Gita and those of all our previous
acharyas and engage in Sankirtana daily.
(6) Hear at least one audio/video lecture daily if possible.
(7) Attend at least two satsangs or Sunday programs every month.
(8) Personally attend atleast one Gauranga-Mantra Seminar or
Chaitanya-Bhagavata-Saptah every year.Try to open an email address and join
the Gauranga-Katha emailing list.
(9) Apply gopichandana tilaka at twelve places on one's body after bathing.
And to take bath after passing stool. And do not pluck Tulasi leaves on
(10) Try to increase one's spiritual level and try to gradually as per one's
capacity come up to the level of chanting 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna
Maha-mantra and following Ekadashi varta and the four regulative principles.
(1) No eating of any kind of grain-food twice a month on Ekadashis; (2) No
eating of non-vegetarian food; (3) No intoxication like drinking and smoking
(4) No gambling and (5) No illicit-sex; (6) Offer and accept prasadam. Try
to avoid eating unoffered food.
The Disciples who have accepted Krishna-Mantra (Harinama) Mahadiksha should
try to practically implement all the above ten activities more seriously and
sincerely and strictly.
THE IMPORTANCE OF ACCEPTING MANTRA-DIKSHA FROM A VAISHNAVA PARAMPARA
In the Padma Purana it is stated:
sampradaya-vihina ye, mantras te nisphala matah;
atah kalau bhavisyanti, catvarah sampradayinah.
shri-brahma-rudra-sanaka, vaishnavah ksiti-pavanah;
catvaras te kalau bhavya, hy utkale purusottamat.
ramnujam shrih svi-cakre, madhvacaryam caturmukhah;
shri-visnu-svaminam rudro, nimbadityam catuhsanah.
"Unless one is initiated by a bona-fide spiritual master in a bonafide and
authentic disciplic succession, the mantra he might have received is without
any effect. For this reason the Lord will reveal the four authorized
Vaishnava disciplic successions, inaugurated by Lord Brahma, Laksmi-devi,
Lord Siva, and the four Kumaras. The message of these four sampradayas will
be spread (by the mercy of Lord Gauranga Mahaprabhu) from the holy place of
Jagannatha Puri in Orissa and thus purify the entire earth during the age of
Kali. Anyone accepting initiation outside these four sampradayas is cheating
himself and others. Any self-proclaimed guru outside these four sampradayas
is also not bonafide and is also cheating himself and others. Lord Brahma
chose Madhvacarya to represent his disciplic succession. In the same way
Laksmi-devi chose Ramanujacarya, Lord Siva chose Vishnu Svami, and the four
Kumaras chose Nimbaditya."
Lord Brahma instructs Shrila Narada in the Skanda Purana, Kartika-Mahatmya:
te narah pasavo loke, kim tesam jivane phalam;
yair na labdha harer diksa, narcito va janardanah.
"Unfortunate people do not accept diksa from a bonafide Vaishnava guru in any
of these four sampradayas and thus they remain unqualified to worship Lord
Krishna. Such people are simply like animals since there is no higher purpose
for their human form of life."
tapasvinah karma nistha, sresthaste vai nara bhuvi;
prapta yaistu harer diksa sarva dukha vimocani.
"Those persons who accept diksa from a bonafide Vaishnava spiritual master
from any of these four sampradayas are completely delivered from all the
miseries of material existence. In this world, they become superior even to
the great ascetics and karma-nistha yogis."
The Vishnu-yamala states:
adiksitasya vamoru krtam sarvam nirarthakam;
pasu-yonim avapnoti diksa-virahito janah.
"Unless one is initiated by a bona fide spiritual master from any of the
above four sampradayas, all his devotional activities are useless. A person
who is not properly initiated in any of these four authorized Vaishnava
sampradayas will surely descend again into the animal species in his next
divyam jnanam yato dadyat kuryat papasya sanksayam;
tasmat dikseti sa prokta desikais tattva-kovidaih.
"Diksa is the process by which one can awaken his transcendental knowledge
and vanquish all reactions caused by sinful activity. A person expert in the
study of the revealed scriptures knows this process as diksa."
The complete knowledge of the Name, Form, Qualities, Pastimes, Abode and
Associates of Lord Krishna and Lord Gauranga is transmitted to disciple by the
guru in the seed form of the Nityananda, Gauranga and the Hare Krishna
maha-mantra uttered by the guru in the ear of the disciple at the time of
ato gurum pranamyaivam sarva-svam vinivedya ca;
grhniyad vaishnavam mantram diksa-purvam vidhanatah.
"That is why the prime duty of every human being to surrender to a bona fide
Vaishnava spiritual master in any of the four authorized sampradayas. Giving
him everything - body, mind and intelligence - one must take Vaishnava
initiation from him."
The Bhakti-sandarbha (298) gives the following quotation from the
yatha kancanatam yati kamsyam rasa-vidhanatah;
tatha diksa-vidhanena dvijatvam jayate nrnam.
"By chemical manipulation, bell metal is turned into gold when touched by
mercury; similarly, when a person is properly initiated by a bonafide
spiritual master, he or she acquires the qualities of a brahmana."
THE DISCIPLIC SUCCESSION OF THE BRAHMA-MADHVA-NIMANANDA-GAUDIYA SAMPRADAYA
1. Lord Krishna
10. Jaya Tirtha
17. Brahmanya Tirtha
18. Vyasa Tirtha
20. Madhavendra Puri
21. Isvara Puri, Advaita, Haridasa Thakura
22. Lord Gauranga and Lord Nityananda
23. Rupa, (Svarupa, Sanatana), Shivananda Sena, Prabodhananda, Jagadananda
24. Raghunatha, Jiva Goswami
25. Krishnadasa Kaviraja, Vrindavana Dasa Thakura, Lochana dasa Thakura
26. Narottama Dasa Thakura, Shrinivasa Acharya
27. Visvanatha Chakravarti
28. Baladeva Vidyabhusana, Narahari Chakravarti Jagannatha dasa
29. Saccidananda Thakura Bhaktivinoda
30. Gaurakisora Dasa Babaji
31. Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada
32. A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (Shiksha-Guru)
Bhaktishastri Parampada dasa Prabhu (Diksha-Guru)
33. Bhaktiratna Sadhu Swami Gaurangapada
The Vedas say: yo mantrah sa guruh saksat, yo guruh sa harih svayam;
guru yasya bhavet tustas, tasya tusto harih svayam.
"The mantras given by the Guru itself act as the Guru, and the Guru is a
direct manifestation of Lord Hari. If one pleases the Guru, he directly
pleases Lord Hari."
Through the medium of the Nityananda and Gauranga mantras
the spiritual master conveys his internal mood of service to Lord Shri
Gauranga just like it happens when a realized Guru imparts the Hare Krishna
Mantra. The disciple will not perceive this immediately, but he will
gradually understand everything by Guru-bhakti, Seva and Chanting of the
given mantras. The mantras, therefore, are the direct representation of the
Also the mantras uttered by the Guru in the right-ear of the disciple
contain the complete knowledge of Name, Form, Qualities, Pastimes, Asociates
and Abode of Lord Nityananda Gauranga in seed form. By continuous chanting
by the disciple of the mantras, the seed will gradually blossom in his heart
and reveal to him his own constitutional position in relationship with the
Lord in the spiritual world.
The Vedic mantras are eternal representations of God in the form of sound,
shabda brahma. By repetition of a particular mantra under authorized
guidance a purified person can realize the spiritual purpose of the mantra.
The Narada-pancaratra, Hari-bhakti-sudhodaya, Hari-bhakti-vilasa, and many
other scriptures explain that the potency of a mantra manifests only when it
is received from a bona fide spiritual master and recited without
impurities. Although one may see mantras written in books by the previous
acaryas, and then try to chant them, these mantras will produce results only
when received through the process of diksa. Mantras are like seeds in that
they contain vast potencies within them, but they need outside factors to
manifest their power.
The tiny seed of a banyan tree contains the form of a huge, full-grown tree.
Placing the seed directly into the ground, however, will not produce a tree.
But if a sparrow eats the seed and passes it on the ground with its stool,
then a majestic banyan will grow forth. The banyan seed must be processed in
this way to give results. Similarly, if one begins chanting a mantra after
randomly hearing or reading it in a book, it will not produce Krishna-prema.
But if one properly receives the mantra by hearing from the Guru, then that
mantra, which is coated with the Guru's love, will produce love in the heart
of the sincere disciple.
"A mantra is purified when chanted with proper knowledge." (SB 11.24.32) In
the purport to this verse Shrila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says, "A
mantra becomes purified when it issues from the mouth of a Sad-guru. The
bona fide spiritual master instructs the disciple in the method, meaning and
ultimate purpose of the mantra."
"It is confidential in this sense: one may receive a published mantra
anywhere, but unless it is accepted through the chain of disciplic
succession, the mantra does not act. It is said by authoritative sources
that any mantra chanted without having been received from the disciplic
succession has no efficacy." (SB 4.8.53 p.) "Mantras and the process of
devotional service have special power, provided they are received from the
authorized person." (SB 8.16.24 p.)
The Nityananda and Gauranga Mantras have more effect
when received from an advanced devotee. The hearts of pure devotees are
compared to gem-filled mountains of Nityananda-Gauranga prema; rivers of
madhurya-rasa rush down from these mountains to drown anyone who accepts
their mercy. The holy name chanted by an advanced devotee is saturated with
Gauranga-prema. When this prema-nama is poured into the ear of the eager
disciple, it nourishes the tiny creeper of devotion and eventually produces
the nectarean fruit of prema-bhakti.
The pure sound vibration from a realized guru of the Nityananda and Gauranga
Mantras works like a forest fire to burn up all the
sins and impurities within the mind and heart of the disciple. When Krishna
and Arjuna were traveling on a chariot through the covering of the universe,
the Lord used His Sudarsana cakra to penetrate the dense and fearful layers.
In the same way, Gauranga's holy name acts like a cakra to burn away all the
dark coverings of a sadhaka's heart and clear the path to prema. The effect
of hearing a mantra from an advanced, empowered devotee also depends on the
intensity of the sadhaka 's hankering for perfection in pure love for Lord
Gauranga and Their Lorships Radha-Krishna.
Thus when the disciple hears the mantras from his realized Guru with great
faith and begins chanting the mantras, he or she will gradually realize the
spiritual meaning behind those mantras and eventually see the Lord face to
face. That is called 'diksha'or initiation.
The main thing is that the Guru utters the 'Nityananda' Mantra and
'Gauranga' Mantra in the right ear of the disciple and
transmits and potency of that Mantra is seed form. The guru will also
transmit and energy of the mantras by chanting on the beads for the