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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura > Brahmana & Vaishnava > Appendixes > The initiated

The initiated

Three types of birth-shaukra, savitra, and daiksha.

Three types of birth are described in Shri Bhargaviya Manu-samhita and in the Shrimad Bhagavatam. They are also described in various branches of Vedic literatures. The Vedic sandarbhas also confirm this.

Shaukra, savitra, and daiksha-these three births are explained in the Vedas. When one is born from a legitimate father and mother it is called shaukra-janma, or seminal birth, when one receives the Gayatri mantra from the acarya it is called savitra-janma, or Vedic birth of receiving Gayatri, and when one receives initiation through fire sacrifice it is called daiksha-janma, or spiritual initiation birth. The seminal birth is the original, and there is no consideration of reformatory processes in this. The shudras are also not meant for undergoing purificatory processes. Except the shudras, everyone else undergoes purificatory process in the form of accepting Gayatri mantras from the acarya and studying the Vedas in gurukula-this is their savitra-janma, or birth in the form of receiving Gayatri. When these people take spiritual initiation in order to achieve competence in the performance of sacrifices, they became known as thrice-born. Persons other than shudras become twice-born in their second birth and thrice-born in their third birth. Only qualified brahmanas are eligible for third birth, or spiritual initiation.

Ascertainment of time for the three births;

what is vratya?

There is no third birth for the kshatriyas and vaishyas. Someone born in brahmana family can be a twice-born, but if he surpasses sixteen years of age without undergoing the purificatory process of receiving Gayatri mantras, then instead of being a twice-born he becomes known as a vratya. If he undergoes the twice-born samskara at the age of twenty, then he will be known as a kshatriya, and if he undergoes the samskara at the age of twenty-two, he will be known as a vaishya. Beyond that, he no longer eligible for being a twice-born and hence becomes known as a vratya.

Religious principles decline in proportion

to the influence of the yugas; there is a lack of the three Vedic births in this age of Kali.

From Satya-yuga to Dvapara-yuga, the Vedic administration progressively diminished. At the arrival of Kali-yuga, the three legs of religious principles had diminished, and since the fourth leg is under attack, the Vedic ceremonies are present only in name. That is why animal sacrifices were reduced in Dvapara-yuga, and Deity worship was introduced in its place. On the introduction of the sacrifice of chanting the holy names of the Lord in Kali-yuga, the karma-kanda sacrifices and Deity worship can no longer be performed properly. Though in this age of Kali the process of being twice-born by external purificatory rites is still current, there is no possibility for such persons to become Vedic thrice-born.

Sacrifice of chanting the holy names is the qualification for performing sacrifices in this age of Kali.

Persons who are qualified to perform the sacrifice of chanting the holy names actually do so after being initiated. The maha-bhagavatas are most qualified for performing hari-nama-yajna. In order to be qualified for hari-nama-yajna, the kanishtha-adhikaris take initiation from a maha-bhagavata with a desire to achieve the primary qualification. When a conditioned soul takes initiation from a maha-bhagavata, he understands his eternal relationship with the Lord.

A liberated soul is initiated in the sacrifice

of chanting the holy names of the Lord

and is therefore a topmost brahmana.

A liberated soul is initiated into the chanting of the holy names. A liberated soul refers to a maha-bhagavata who is beyond the principles of varnashrama and who is the best of the brahmanas. Shri Haridasa Thakura is the ideal and prime example. A maha-bhagavata is the best of the brahmanas and a Vaishnava. He is capable of giving initiation to others. The chanting of mantras by a kanishtha-adhikari does not qualify him to be liberated from material existence. Whenever he attains perfection in chanting the holy names by giving up his pride for his materially conditioned life, then he immediately becomes qualified to chant Lord Hari's holy names, which are worshipable by the liberated souls.

Vedic ceremonies are not successful in Kali-yuga; the position of the brahmanas in Kali-yuga.

The Vedic ritualistic ceremonies are not totally successful in this age of Kali. In Kali-yuga, which is full of contamination, those who are proud of being brahmanas but act like shudras are intoxicated for worshiping everything except the Absolute Truth. Although they are supposed to be knowers of the Supreme Brahman, due to their past misdeeds, rather than worshiping Lord Vishnu they engage in worshiping five demigods. They neglect the supreme position of Lord Vishnu and consider Him equal to the demigods. That is why such persons are disqualified from performing Vedic sacrifices in the form of worshiping Vishnu, the master of all sacrifices.

Introduction to Vaishnava smritis,

or Vaishnava code of conduct, and their propagation.

The Vedic ritualistic ceremonies described in the Vaishnava tantras according to Vedic injunctions are known as Pancaratras, or expansions of the Vedas. This is accepted by sages who follow the Vedic path. Under the instruction of Shri Gaurasundara, Shri Sanatana Gosvami, the Gaudiya Vaishnava acarya, compiled the Vaishnava smriti called Shri Hari-bhakti-vilasa. Shri Gopala Bhatta Gosvami, an ideal mahapurusha, expert in Vaishnava etiquette, worshipable for the kanishtha-adhikaris, and one of the six Gosvamis, wrote Sat-kriya-sara-dipika and edited Shri Hari-bhakti-vilasa, following in the footsteps of Shri Sanatana Gosvami. Although the rituals in the Vaishnava smritis of the Gaudiya Vaishnavas have been more or less attacked by the smartas, who are averse to the Lord, the day has come for propagating the Vaishnava rituals.

Every human being has a right for

pancaratrika initiation, whereby their position

as twice-born is guaranteed.

We can know from the scriptural evidences quoted in Shri Hari-bhakti-vilasa that all shudra and non-shudra human beings, though not eligible for savitra, or Vedic initiation, are certainly eligible for pancaratrika initiation. Whether one has resided in gurukula after accepting Vedic initiation or not, whether a brahmana has fallen from his religious vows or not, or whether one is born in a shudra or lower than a shudra family-through pious activities, all can become eligible for receiving pancaratrika initiation. If any human being receives pancaratrika initiation, he is certainly a twice-born. Though women do not undergo the sacred thread ceremony, they also become twice-born and are thus qualified to chant the holy names and worship the Deities. It is to be understood that persons who are not invested with the sacred thread have not received actual initiation. The qualification of paramahamsa, however, has no symptoms of varnas, such as sacred thread, and no symptoms of ashrama, such as the danda or saffron robes. They do not engage in Deity worship like those who are situated in varnashrama. The scriptures say that as a bell metal mixed with mercury in a specific way turns into gold, when a person takes pancaratrika initiation from a bona fide spiritual master, he certainly becomes a twice-born brahmana.

The seminal brahmanas attain

the position of shudras in this age of Kali.

Contrary to their brahminical principles, many twice-born persons in Kali-yuga worship five gods and neglect Lord Vishnu. They then fall from their position as brahmanas and became shudras or outcastes. What to speak of qualifying for third birth, they ascertain that the behavior of shudras and outcastes is brahminical. In the last two or three hundred years the behavior of shudras and outcastes has been introduced among the Gaudiya Vaishnavas in the name of paramahamsa Vaishnava behavior. They actually follow the materialistic smartas and give shudra initiation. In this way they have caused great damage to the Vedic Vaishnava religion, and by taking the role of an unqualified spiritual master, they simple increase their attachment to their stomach and genitals. Instead of giving proper pancaratrika initiation to their disciples, such people turn them into monkeys instead of making them like Shiva, turn them away from Vishnu instead of making them Vaishnavas, and allow them to indulge in the principles of varnashrama that are based on mundane association with women.

The current of seminal consideration is checked

in the line of Rasikananda Prabhu.

Had a bona fide spiritual master actually given pancaratrika initiation to any disciple, he would not have destroyed his spiritual life by becoming puffed up by his seminal birth. Such persons would not have degraded themselves by posing as spiritual masters. Since these considerations are prominently accepted in the line of Rasikananda Prabhu, the characteristics of pure religion preached by Shriman Mahaprabhu and the six Gosvamis are beautifully protected therein.

The initiation of social brahmanas is not spiritual-

it is a familial act and therefore must be rejected.

If the food and water of an initiated person is treated equally with the food and water of an uninitiated person (a brahmana), then intelligent people should impartially consider what injustice and outrage have been encouraged in the name of spiritualism. Our question is that if a person remains a shudra even after his initiation, then in which varna does his spiritual master belong? If he was not fallen, or did not give initiation, or gave shudra initiation, then why should he be called a spiritual master? Why is such a guru called a spiritual master instead of a purohita, or family priest? The activities of protecting one's seminal dynasty and properly regulating society that are going on at present in the name of religion are actually the duties of a priest. They are not meant for delivering the fallen souls. A spiritualist should treat such so-called gurus as priests and take initiation from a Vaishnava guru in order to become a Vaishnava. If, while considering them priests, family gurus are given something to maintain their livelihood, then one's spiritual activities will go on without disturbance. Every Gaudiya Vaishnava should carefully consider how to restrain the professional mantra sellers, chanters, drum players, Bhagavatam reciters, and Deity worshipers from troubling the Gaudiya Vaishnava society with financial pressure.

If an initiated person has not undergone the sacred thread ceremony, he is not qualified to be a guru; rather he is fit for rejection.

If an initiated person has not undergone the sacred thread ceremony, then according to the statement of Brihaspati, a compiler of Dharma-shastras, he has simply transgressed religious principles. The scriptures state that after receiving initiation one becomes a twice-born. If this was not so, then it is to be concluded that he has certainly not been properly initiated. If one is properly initiated, then the results must come. The cause is known by its effects. If one claims to be a Vaishnava guru while neglecting the tat tenaiva vinirdishet-“he should be accepted according to those symptoms of classification” statement of Shrimad Bhagavatam (7.11.35), then he should be rejected. This is the purport of the scriptures.

yo vyakti nyaya rahitam        anyayena shrinoti yah

tav ubhau narakam ghoram        vrajatah kalam akshayam

guror apy avaliptasya        karyakaryam ajanatah

utpatha-pratipannasya        parityago vidhiyate

“One who assumes the dress and position of an acarya, who speaks against the conclusions of Shrimad Bhagavatam and other scriptures, or who performs kirtana opposed to the proper glorification of Shri Krishna certainly goes to hell for countless lifetimes along with his disciples and whoever else hears such nondevotional talks and kirtanas.

According to these statements of the shastras one should give up disguised enemies. If one does not give up such so-called gurus, then the prestige of Gaudiya Vaishnava religion will not remain intact and the living entities' path of worship will be full of thorns.

Nondevotees are neither gurus nor brahmanas.

One should not accept a non-Vaishnava spiritual master. The evidence of the shastra in this regard is as follows:

mahakula prasuto 'pi        sarva yajneshu dikshitah

sahasrashakhadhyayi ca        na guruh syad avaishnavah

mahabhagavata shreshtho        brahmano vai gurur nrinam

sarvesham eva lokanam        asau pujyo yatha harih

“A non-Vaishnava is never fit to be guru even if he has taken birth in a great family, performed all sacrifices, and studied many branches of the Vedas. Among all human beings the brahmana who is a maha-bhagavata, or great devotee, is topmost and qualified as guru. He is as worshipable as Lord Hari.”

Therefore a nondevotee cannot become a brahmana or a spiritual master. The evil-minded person who proudly considers himself a spiritual master of the Vaishnavas cannot be accepted as a spiritual master. One who considers himself a brahmana and servant of the Vaishnavas knows that there is no possibility of becoming a brahmana without being a servant of the Vaishnavas; he is a real brahmana and a bona fide guru. A person who is proud of being a servant of the Vaishnavas should take pancaratrika initiation from such a spiritual master. After being duly initiated he will attain the position of a brahmana. He will properly follow the rules and regulations, such as the sacred thread ceremony, and in this way he will become well-behaved and humble. Otherwise, birth after birth it will never be possible to become servant of the Vaishnavas.

Those who do not accept that “only through initiation one becomes twice-born” are to be rejected by society.

According to the instruction of Shri Gaurasundara, Shri Sanatana Gosvami has written as follows:

grihita-vishnu-dikshako        vishnu-pujaparo narah

vaishnavo 'bhihito 'bhijna        iritaro 'smadavaishnavah

“One who is initiated into the Vaishnava mantra and who is devoted to worshiping Lord Vishnu is a Vaishnava. One who is devoid of these practices is not a Vaishnava.”

One who is recognized as a Vaishnava by other Vaishnavas should take initiation into Vishnu mantra from a spiritual master. On the strength of initiation, he should accept the reformatory ceremonies of a twice-born. A qualified brahmana is eligible for worshiping Vishnu. He can then serve his spiritual master, who is a manifestation of Vishnu, with water and cooked foodstuffs. At that point society cannot put impediments on his path of spiritual life. If at all they do so, then one should give up such a hated society, considering it unfavorable. Every Gaudiya Vaishnava should accept the society that is favorable for devotional service to Hari. One should not live in a society that is averse to spiritual life. It is stated in Shrimad Bhagavatam (5.5.18):

gurur na sa syat sva-jano na sa syat

pita na sa syaj janani na sa syat

daivam na tat syan na patish ca sa syan

na mocayed yah samupeta-mrityum

“One who cannot deliver his dependents from the path of repeated birth and death should never become a spiritual master, a father, a husband, a mother or a worshipable demigod.”

After the disappearance of Shriman Mahaprabhu, Vaishnava society fell under the subordination of smartas.

Every Gaudiya Vaishnava should consider whether it is proper for a person to disassociate oneself from spiritual life while keeping faith in insignificant matter. One's relationship of sense gratification and maintaining godless interests in this world is for up to one hundred years, whereas spiritual life without material desires and with love of Hari is for eternal life. After the disappearance of Shri Chaitanyadeva and His six Gosvami associates, the confusion and licking the feet of smartas that goes on in the name of Shri Gaudiya Vaishnava society is simply a corruption of Vaishnava religion. In order to stop this corruption, Shri Gaurasundara has sent His own associates from time to time. So why are we not following those Vaishnava smartas, who are mahajanas conversant with spiritual knowledge, and thereby being misguided? Why are we turning away from scriptural knowledge and falling in the jugglery of the selfish nondevotees, thus wasting our valuable lives in aversion to Hari? Will godless society remain prominent forever? Will the beneficial words of the devotees, the subtle purport of the shastras, and the impartiality of the compilers of the shastras be neglected forever? Will the glories of Shri Hari-bhakti-vilasa ever remain fallen in the dark pit of the godless smartas?

Instruction to follow Sat-kriya-sara-dipika

of Gopala Bhatta Gosvami.

Will Bhavadeva's guidelines cover the Sat-kriya-sara-dipika forever? Raghunandana's Samskara-tattva has been permanently covered. It has never been opened up. So why will Sat-kriya-sara-dipika be disregarded? We are humbly appealing to the Gaudiya Vaishnavas who are conversant with the shastras to open their eyes and follow the previous acaryas. May they carefully discuss the Mahabharata verse shudro 'py agama-sampanno dvijo bhavati samskritah-“even a shudra can be purified though carefully following the proper conduct of a brahmana as prescribed in the Pancaratra” and the Shrimad Bhagavatam verse yad anyatrapi drishyeta tat tenaiva vinirdishet-“if the qualities of one group are found in the men of another, those men should be recognized by their qualities, by their symptoms” and be freed from the shackles of the Hindu society that is averse to Vishnu. Then they will be freed from material enjoyment, and only then they will be able to worship the Deities and chant the holy names of Hari.

Assurance of reestablishment of Vaishnava smriti.

“Those who are initiated cannot be brahmanas,” and “only by being born in a brahmana family does one become a brahmana”-These misconceptions have created a great deal of disturbance and caused the degradation of religious principles. These misconceptions must be eradicated. Once Tridandi Sannyasi Shri Ramanuja Svami of South India, who was a incarnation of Shri Nityananda Prabhu, delivered the Vaishnavas of this world from the clutches of the worshipers of five gods. Today by the endeavors of the weak servants of the Vaishnavas like us, the religious principles of the scriptures will be again established in Aryavarta. We are taking shelter of Shri Guru and Gauranga in order to deliver the Gaudiya Vaishnava society from the clutches of the envious, pseudo Vaishnavas such as aula, baula, prakrita-sahajiya, neda, daravesha, sani, gaura-nagari, seminal Gosvamis, and pseudo renunciates. Please come, O brothers! Be spiritualists, give up the conception of prakrita-sahajiya; let us sing, following in the footsteps of Shrila Thakura Bhaktivinoda, who is the root inaugurator of the pure devotional current.


ami ta' vaishnava,     e' buddhi haile,         amani na haba ami

`pratishthasha asi'    hridaya dushibe,                 haiba nirayagami

tomara kinkara,        apane janiba,           guru abhimana tyaji

tomara ucchishta      pada-jala renu,         sarda nishkapate bhaji

nije shreshtha jani,    ucchishthadi dane,    habe abhimana bhara

tai shishya tava,                 thakiya sarvada,       na laiba puja kara

amani manada,        haile kirtane,            adhikara dibe tumi

tomara carane,        nishkapate sada,      kandiya lutiba bhumi


“If I consider that I am a Vaishnava, then I will not be modest. Then the desire for name and fame will pollute my heart, and I will thus go to hell. I will consider myself your servant and give up the pride of being a spiritual master. I will accept remnants and the water that has washed the feet of a Vaishnava without duplicity. If I think I am the best and thus give remnants to others, then I will simply become proud. Therefore I will always remain your disciple, and I will not accept worship from anyone. If I do not desire respect for myself but give respect to others, then you will give me the right to chant the holy names. I will fall down at your feet without duplicity and cry while rolling on the ground.”