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Things to Know before Mahadiksha
By His Holiness BRS Swami Gaurangapada
All devotees desires of accepting Mahadiksha in the Nityananda and Gauranga Mantrarajas and the Hare Krishna Mahamantra from His Holiness Bhaktiratna Sadhu Swami Gaurangapada should thoroughly read the book Nityananda Gauranga Naam and also read and agree to the 30 points below (scroll down below the table).
[I] The Stage (5) of Gaura Hari Nama Diksha of 64 rounds each of the Nityananda and Gauranga Mantrarajas and 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna Mahamantra is the most recommended minimum ideal goal which all disciples and devotees should aim for. The ultimate goal of Stage Laksheshvara (7) established by Lord Gauranga Himself, should also be greatly respected, adored and worshiped even if one cannot reach that Stage. By reading and understanding the ebooks in the Gaurangapada VaniBase, every aspiring disciple should be fully convinced about the essential necessity to chant the most merciful offenseless Holy Names of Nityananda and Gauranga and read and hear the pastimes of Lords Nityananda Gauranga along with the chanting of the Hare Krishna Mahamantra.
[II] If an aspiring disciple is in either of the first four Stages of Nitai Gaura Ashraya (0), Gauranga Ashraya (1), Nityananda Ashraya (2) and Gaura Nama Ashraya (3), and is not able to follow any other or all rules and regulations, Swami Gaurangapada will impart Ashraya Diksha or Shelter Diksha in the Nityananda and Gauranga Mantrarajas to that devotee.
[III] If an aspiring disciple is in either of the first tfour Stages of Nitai Gaura Ashraya (0), Gauranga Ashraya (1), Nityananda Ashraya (2) and Gaura Nama Ashraya (3) for some time, and is able to follow the basic principles of avoiding grains on Ekadashi, non-veg food, drinking, smoking, drugs and sex outside of marriage, then Swami Gaurangapada will impart full-fledged Mahadiksha in the Nityananda and Gauranga Mantrarajas to that devotee.
[IV] Swami Gaurangapada will impart Harinama or Hare Krishna Mahamantra Diksha only if the devotee is steadily situated on the Stage (4) (31104 Names daily) for some time and following the regulations of avoiding grains on Ekadashi, non-veg food, drinking, smoking, drugs etc., illicit sex life and gambling.
[V] An initiated devotee devotee will get a new spiritual name at [IV] and some devotees may get at [III] also.
[VI] All devotees at least from Stage (3) Gaura Nama Ashraya onwards, should read or hear at least half an hour daily the glories of the Holy Names & Pastimes of Lords Nityananda Gauranga from the Translations, Commentaries, Compositions, Writings & Audio of Swami Gaurangapada and in this way learn the spiritual science daily directly from their Spiritual Master. Reading the books of all the previous Acharyas including Shrila Prabhupada and Shrila Bhaktivinoda is highly recommended and should be done be in addition to reading or hearing from Swami Gaurangapada. Daily kirtana (singing of the Holy Names) for some time along with the family or alone even just by clapping is the most pleasing devotional service to Guru and Gauranga in Kali Yuga. Regular reading or singing or hearing of the 108 most essential verses composed by Swami Gaurangapada summarizing the entire Nityananda and Gauranga philosophy is highly recommended to revitalize one's focus on the chanting the Holy Names.
[VII] The Gayatri Mantra Diksha can be imparted after 6-12 months after the Harinama Diksha at Stage (4) is accepted.
[VIII] The devotee will have to call up Swami Gaurangapada at the time of Diksha or come and receive it personally or it can be received through Live Chat in a situation where a phone call is not possible. The devotee will have to receive the Mantras in the right ear on the phone or by meeting personally. There is a small purifying achmana procedure to be performed before calling. Also the disciple will have to chant a few Auspicious Invocation Mantras of the Lord along with Swami Gaurangapada on the phone or personally before receiving the Diksha Mantras in the right ear.
[IX] Diksha on a particular stage of chanting means that disciple commits or vows in front of the Spiritual Master, the Parampara Acharyas, Lords Nityananda Gauranga and Shri Shri Radha Krishna to chant a fixed number of Holy Names (for that Stage) of Nityananda, Gauranga and Hare Krishna daily and try to purely follow the teachings of Guru and Gauranga. If some chanting is missed on one day, it should be made up by completing the chanting on the next day. Extreme emergencies like disease, accidents, etc. are excused. Some part of the daily chanting can be done on the fingers or clickers if Tulasi beads are not available at a particular place or if it is practically not possible to carry the beads them along.
[X] A Mahasankalpa Vow for completing the chanting of the prescribed number of Holy Names daily will have to be taken by the disciple after accepting the full-fledged Diksha [III]. This vow is optional at the time of Ashraya (Shelter) Diksha [II]. This vow will be taken on the phone or personally with Bhagavad Gita in one's hand after the Mantras have been imparted in the right ear. Nama Vrata or Vow to chant a fixed number of Holy Names daily is the only effective Vow in Kali Yuga which actually pleases Lord Gauranga-Krishna. Since the Lord is giving us air to breathe, food to eat, good health etc. etc. for 24 hours daily, we have to take a determined vow to chant a fixed number of His Holy Names daily, as our token thanks for what He is doing for us.
[XI] Every time a disciple goes to the next higher Stage of chanting, it is recommended that the disciple contact Swami Gaurangapada through email or phone or meet personally and confirm the fresh vow to chant the new increased number of Holy Names daily. That will be the Diksha Vow in the new Stage. The Spiritual Master is always happy to see the disciples and devotees advancing to higher Stages of Mantra Meditation and that is the only thing which he requests from his disciples and devotees.
[XII] An official fire-sacrifice may not be required or performed for Diksha because as per Lord Krishna Himself in the Adi Purana, the Holy Names Themselves include the potency and purity of millions of fire sacrifices - Nama eva para Makha (Accepting the Holy Names Itself is the topmost Sacrifice in Kali Yuga). Diksha will be imparted in the direct presence and witness of Nama Bhagavan or Nama Prabhu i.e. The Incarnation of the Lord in the form of His Holy Names of Nityananda, Gauranga and Hare Krishna. Everything in creation is included in the Holy Names. All the five Pancha Samskaras as described by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura as actually there in the Holy Names Themselves. For eg. Shrila Gaura Kishore dasa Babaji gave Diksha to Parama Guru Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada in Shri Navadvipa Dhama without any fire-sacrifice or the Pancha Samskaras and only in the direct presence of the Nama Bhagavana. The fire-sacrifice formality may also be performed later for Harinama Diksha and Gayatri Mantra Diksha when the disciples visit Swami Gaurangapada in Shri Puri Dhama.
[XIII] Swami Gaurangapada will send sanctified Diksha beads after personally chanting the Diksha Mantras on them and impregnating them with the Mantra potency for those who receive full-fledged Diksha as mentioned in [III] and [IV]. For Ashraya (Shelter) Diksha as in [II], disciples will have to ask him specifically to send the Ashraya Diksha beads to them.
[XIV] Those disciples who accept full-fledged Diksha should wear Tulasi neck beads of at least three rounds on their necks or chest and also apply Gopichandana Tilaka or if not possible then invisible Mantra Water Tilaka at least once a day, ideally on all twelve places of their bodies, or if not possible at least on their forehead. Male bodied disciples should also have a Shikha or a tuft of hair at the back of the head which is automatically there in most cases when the hair is long. They should also try if possible to worship the Tulasi plant and Deities or Pictures of Lords Nityananda Gauranga daily in their homes and eat food which is offered to the Deities or Pictures of Lords Nityananda Gauranga as much as possible.
[XV] Due to Swami Gaurangapada's personal bhajana and extensive chanting, writing and epublishing services, he may only be able to meet visiting devotees and disciples in his Ashram or take them to the Holy Pastimes Places in Puri Dhama between specific times during the day after 1 or 2 pm in the noon daily. These meeting and lecture times can be modified by Swami Gaurangapada in case of special and specific occasions. Chanting, Writing and ePublishing services are most dear to Swami Gaurangapada and he will not be able to compromise or disturb them. For some years, touring or travelling to different places for preaching may also not be very regularly possible though it will continue due to the Swami Gaurangapada's full concentration in Chanting, Writing and ePublishing services of the Gauirangapada VaniBase. Disciples and devotees can organize satsanga programs and invite Swami Gaurangapada to their towns, cities or countries. Disciples and devotees of any particular local area in the world should take the initiative and regularly come together as a spiritual family for regular monthly or weekly satsangs by organizing it in their homes or halls etc. even though Swami Gaurangapada is not personally present in that area. There should be kirtana and some nice preacher among them should give a lecture and question and answers can be conducted with some prasadam distribution (whatever possible). Also a video of Swami Gaurangapada's lecture can be shown to everyone present and new books, cd/dvds etc. can be distributed at that time. If there are not many devotees in a particular area, the devotees present should try to introduce and make new devotees by starting such programs.
[XVI] For Internet Guidance, Swami Gaurangapada will try to respond to emails from disciples and devotees and also queries on the online Forum within 72 hours, but sometimes due to heavy load of services, the replies may take one week or more. The devotees can ask philosophical queries directly on the forum also so that everyone can benefit by the replies. The complete upto date Writings, Audio and Video preaching of Swami Gaurangapada are available on the Internet to read, hear, for free download or to order online in the form of the Gaurangapada VaniBase, which should be the main source of inspiration (Vani association) for all the disciples and devotees. Swami Gaurangapada will also be available one or two hours a day in the Live Temple Rooms daily for live satsangs. The time schedules for this Live Satnsanga will be communicated to all through email.
[XVII] It is therefore recommended to all disciples and devotees of Swami Gaurangapada to arrange for regular access to a computer to keep in touch with the Writings and Instructions of their Spiritual Master. It should also be known though, to all disicples and devotees, just for their information, that there is always a chance that due to some unpredictable and unexpected problems or difficulties in the future caused due to unavailable resources, the Internet preaching may get temporarily affected sometimes. Disciples and devotees should voluntarily try to spread the chanting of the Holy Names of Nityananda, Gauranga and Hare Krishna to one and all they meet as per one's capacity.
[XVIII] Thus, apart from the Internet Association as explained above, if a devotee feels that this is inadequate physical association with their Guru, and also since Swami Gaurangapada does not have official centers or temples at present in different parts of the world, then such a devotee is free to accept shelter and guidance from another Gaudiya Vaishnava Spiritual Master after requesting for Diksha withdrawal from Swami Gaurangapada if one is already a disciple of Swami Gaurangapada. Such a step should be done by the disciple after deep thought and not in a hasty manner.Withdrawal of the Diksha and Diksha Mantras imparted by Swami Gaurangapada is possible to be done only by Swami Gaurangapada himself because it is he who has imparted the Mantrarajas and the Mahamantra in the first place. A disciple should make a special request for Diksha withdrawal to Swami Gaurangapada through email or phone or personally and the request will be granted after due consideration. Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura states in the Hari Nama Chintamani that the relationship between Guru and Disciple is eternal as long as both want to maintain it mutually since it is the voluntary decision of the soul and cannot be maintained by force.
[XIX] Due to improper association, if a disciple develops some doubts regarding Guru then they should be asked directly to Swami Gaurangapada without gossiping behind the back. If the disciple is not satisfied with the replies of Swami Gaurangapada and strongly wants to go somewhere else, then the disciple can request Swami Gaurangapada to withdraw the Mantra Diksha. As a courtesy for all the services which Swami Gaurangapada is unceasingly rendering to his disciples, if a disciple wants to leave his shelter and go somewhere else, instead of simply disappearing into nowhere, he or she is requested to kindly request Swami Gaurangapada for an official withdrawal of the Guru-Disciple relationship, which will be given as requested, and the devotee will be free to go anywhere he or she likes. This approach will be very much appeciated by Swami Gaurangapada and is considered proper spiritual etiquette and will save the disciple the sin of offending the Spiritual Master. Swami Gaurangapada can also unilaterally withdraw his Mantra Diksha to any disciple if it is repeatedly found that the disciple is committing offenses against the Guru or the Devotees or the Lord Himself or is repeatedly found to act unfavourably towards the Guru and the Vaishnavas or is trying to lord it over his own Guru or is proved later to have had unscrupulous and ulterior motives for accepting Diksha or is repeatedly creating disturbances to the personal bhajana of Swami Gaurangapada. Swami Gaurangapada take can personal decisions from time to time in order to intensify and nourish his own nama bhajana and worship of the Lord. Swami Gaurangapada will not be subject to any kind of force or impositions or investigations by any disciples or devotees at any point of time.Mahadiksha and devotional service are voluntary decisions without any force from anyone and if one desires one can wait for a sufficient amount of time to develop faith in the process which is free from doubts before accepting Mahadiksha.
[XX] If a disciple of Swami Gaurangapada want to accept Shiksha or spiritual guidance from another Gaudiya Vaishnava Spiritual Master, that disciple should request the permission of Swami Gaurangapada for doing so. Swami Gaurangapada is very open to this but if Swami Gaurangapada finds a particular Shiksha Guru unsuitable for the disciple's spiritual life then Swami Gaurangapada will provide scriptural reasons for the same and suggest another appropriate Shiksha Guru (Instructing Spritual Master) for the disciple to go to. But if the disciple insists on going to the particular Shiksha Guru which Swami Gaurangapada's is not in favor of due to philosophical reasons or because such a Guru may not be accepting or may be openly minimizing the science of chanting the Holy Names of Nityananda and Gauranga along with the Hare Krishna Mahamantra, then it will be better that Swami Gaurangapada withdraws his Diksha to that disciple so that the disciple can then freely go to that particular Guru or any other Spiritual Master as per his or her desire and accept re-Diksha from him. To summarize, if a disciple really wants to accept re-Diksha from another Gaudiya Vaishnava Spiritual Master or leave the process of devotional service and chanting totally or go to some impersonalistic cult or other religious orgs which would be very sad, then the disciple should request for withdrawal of the Diksha from Swami Gaurangapada, not just leave without any intimation.
[XXI] If someone does not want to personally chant and is personally neutral to the process of chanting the Holy Names of Nityananda and Gauranga daily along with the Mahamantra that is ok but Swami Gaurangapada would not like to have any contact with such persons who criticize or minimize or stop or discourage others from chanting the most merciful offenseless Holy Names of Nityananda and Gauranga daily which is the only hope for the souls of Kali Yuga according to Shri Navadvipa Dhama Mahatmya. Due to the all-prevalent flickering and unsteady mind, a mad craze for newer things and wrong association in Kali Yuga, if a disciple at any point of time looses his or her faith beyond the point of no-return, in the chanting of the Holy Names of Nityananda and Gauranga or Their Lordships Nityananda Gauranga Themselves or the preaching of Swami Gaurangapada, then the disciple should request for Mahadiksha withdrawal from Swami Gaurangapada, which will be granted as per the request.
[XXII] If some devotee wants to accept the Nityananda and Gauranga Mantrarajas Diksha from Swami Gaurangapada and the Hare Krishna Mahamantra from another Gaudiya Vaishnava Spiritual Master, such a facility is open in the Vedic scriptures as we see Mayadevi Parvati accepting the Gauranga Mantra & Rama Mantra from Lord Shiva and the Hare Krishna Mahamantra from Shrila Haridasa Thakura. This should be done however by the mutual consent and blessings of both the Diksha Gurus. If one of the Gurus is not agreed for the other Guru or there are some obstacles, then better it is that the disciple accepts Diksha from one the Gurus and exclusively accepts his shelter sincerely while keeping on personally chanting the Holy Names of Nityananda and Gauranga along with the Hare Krishna Mahamantra even though he or she may not receive Diksha in the Nityananda and Gauranga Mantrarajas.
[XXIII] If a disciple of another living Gaudiya Vaishnava Spiritual Master wants to seek the spiritual shelter and guidance (Shiksha) from Swami Gaurangapada or accept Diksha in the Nityananda and Gauranga Mantrarajas from Swami Gaurangapada, then such a devotee should first receive permission from his or her Spiritual Master to do so. In another case, if a disciple of another living Gaudiya Vaishnava Spiritual Master is absolutely not able to continue with that Spiritual Master and thus very strongly desires to accept reinitiation (re-Diksha) from Swami Gaurangapada, then that devotee should humbly and politely first ask for withdrawal of Diksha from his or her present Spiritual Master. Such rare cases of re-Diksha should be handled in such a way that no offenses are caused to any Vaishnava devotees, disciples or Gurus. Swami Gaurangapada is not at all attached or interested simply to increasing the number of disciples and followers and will only guide those devotees who voluntarily approach him for guidance or diksha without any force of any kind.
[XXIV] If any disciple disappears for a considerable amount of time after accepting the full-fledged Diksha and does not contact (even by email) Swami Gaurangapada for a very long time like one or two years or more without a genuine reason to do so, then the Guru-Disciple relationship will be automatically terminated. Swami Gaurangapada will not take the responsibility for the sins and spiritual progress of the disciple who no longer contacts him or informs him for a very long time about his or her spiritual progress though he will always remain the spiritual well-wisher of such a devotee. If such a devotee comes back again after a very long time and again wants to accept the shelter of Swami Gaurangapada then he or she will have to be take Diksha initiation again from Swami Gaurangapada.
[XXV] Swami Gaurangapada does not expect nor will request from his side any monetary donations from any disciples and devotees but simply wants them to chant the Holy Names of Nityananda, Gauranga and Hare Krishna daily and hear or read daily the pastimes of Lords Nityananda Gauranga for some time daily. Swami Gaurangapada will accept the voluntary and spontaneous donations from disciples and devotees for the mission of spreading the Holy Names and Pastimes of Nityananda, Gauranga and Hare Krishna to one and all, since it is impossible to maintain the preaching activities without the help of kind-hearted donations from disciples and devotees.
[XXVI] Swami Gaurangapada will be able to meet male and female-bodied disciples or devotees in his Puri Ashram after 1 or 2 pm daily depending on his spiritual services for a particular day. Female-bodied devotees should be accompanied by a male-bodied devotee or person if they come to Swami Gaurangapada's Ashram. If a male-bodied person is not available for accompanying the female-bodied devotee(s), Swami Gaurangapada will meet female-bodied devotees in the temple of Shri Shri Tota Gopinatha or in a public place. Female-bodied devotees can come for the lectures and satsangas in Swami Gaurangapada's Ashram acompanied by a male-bodied person and when the satsanga is in a temple or public place or parikrama place then they can come alone if a male-bodied person is not available. Prior information given to Swami Gaurangapada or phone or email will be very much appreciated for anyone who wants to meet Swami Gaurangapada. Single unmarried and married female-bodied disciples and devotees will receive all spiritual support from Swami Gaurangapada but they have to look elsewhere for their emotional requirements. It will not be possible to accomodate any devotee in Swami Gaurangapada's personal ashram for staying. Also Swami Gaurangapada will not be able to actively counsel male or female bodied disciples and devotees in direct day to day practical matters of their personal lives and families in a very detailed manner. He will be always available to everyone for spiritual guidance. For anyone who comes to Jagannatha Puri Dhama and wants to meet Swami Gaurangapada, it is highly recommended to call Swami Gaurangapada by phone or send him a prior email and fix up a time for the meeting.
[XXVII] Disciples should try to have at least a small worship altar in their homes with the pictures of Lords Nityananda Gauranga and Shri Shri Radha Krishna. On the second level of the altar, there should be a picture of Swami Gaurangapada, Shrila Prabhupada, Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta and Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and all our Parampara Acharyas which is available from the Picture Galleries section of Gaurangapada.com. Disciples should recite the Pranama Mantra of Swami Gaurangapada and Shrila Prabhupada and if possible of Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta and Shrila Bhaktivinoda also at least once daily (Shrila Vishvanatha Chakravarti explains that the Guru Varga should be ideally worshiped three times a day) before beginning the daily chanting. If possible, disicples and devotees should worship the metal or wood or marble Deities of Lords Nityananda Gauranga at home.
[XXVIII] Disciples and devotees who have accepted the shelter of Swami Gaurangapada as their Spiritual Master should totally abstain from criticizing, loosely gossiping about or judging other devotees or other devotee institutions in any kind of way either through verbal talk or on the internet since it is totally irrelevant and very harmful for a devotee's spiritual advancement. If someone tries to talk to the disciples and devotees about faults in other devotees or Vaishnava institutions and other political talk minimizing devotees or our previous Acharyas or Lords Nityananda Gauranga, the disciples should either tell them to stop immediately and talk only about the pure Holy Names and Pastimes of Lords Nityananda Gauranga and Shri Shri Radha Krishna or if they do not stop then one should immediately leave that place. Talking about others negatively and judging them just because they do not belong to one's institution will never help our own spiritual advancement but it will affect it adversely. One should never commit the mistake of judging or passing comments about other devotees as per the external institution they belong to and should never get into groupism, fanatacism, or sectarianism in the name of spiritual life. All Gaudiya Vaishnava intitutions are different branches of the tree of Lord Gauranga Mahaprabhu so one branch should not criticize the other branch. Swami Gaurangapada will not tolerate any institutionalized sectarian and groupism mentality among his disciples and devotees because it is very detrimental and destructive to do with spiritual life. Even if some devotees in one's own sanga or in other sangas, commit mistakes or wrong acts and have glaring shortcomings etc, it is not our business to criticize or judge them and we should leave it to Guru and Gauranga to administer proper mercy and justice. Disciples should be just like honey-bees simply and only interested in the nectar of the flowers of Bhakti (Devotion) overlooking everything else and not like flies who are only interested in the abominable stool in the garden. So the sum and substance is to always chant, hear, read and talk about the glories of the Holy Names and Pastimes of Lords Nityananda and Shri Shri Radha Krishna and never to discuss or gossip about the faults of other devotees or persons.
[XXIX] Disciples should be very vigilant and careful not to hear any offensive statements minimizing or belittling their own Gurudeva (Spiritual Master) and also the process of chanting the most merciful Holy Names of Nityananda and Gauranga, from other "devotees" and non-devotees. Either they should defeat them philosophically or totally avoid such association by all means. It is better to remain alone and peacefully practice Mantra Meditation (Nama Bhajana) on the Holy Names under the guidance of Gurudeva, humble godbrothers and godsisters and under the direct mercy of Lords Nityananda Gauranga, then to get involved in association of such persons who minimize or criticize our Spiritual Master and the chanting of the most merciful Holy Names of Nityananda and Gauranga along with the Hare Krishna Mahamantra.
[XXX] Swami Gaurangapada does not personally manage any institution or institutionalized properties, funds etc nor is even remotely interested in doing so. He is also not an official member of any institution or organization. He has his own personal bhajana ashram in Shri Puri Dhama and personal preaching services. Gauranga Dharma is the eternal nature and characteristic of the soul and not an institution. Since temples or local preaching centers may be required for preaching, disciples and devotees can start charitable non-profit institutions, properties, preaching centers, trusts etc. and have properties, funds etc. to maintain them but Swami Gaurangapada will have no connection with the direct management, properties and funds of such institutions. He will give his spiritual support to such institutions, orgs etc. from outside if they are for the purpose of spreading the pure Holy Names and Pastimes of Nityananda, Gauranga and Hare Krishna and he will personally come and preach and reside in such preaching centers for sometime. But if he finds out that politics and beaureaucracy have entered into such insitutions and centers started by his own disciples and devotees, then he will not be able to maintain even a spiritual connection with such centers or institutions. A Guru has to be accepted by the devotee by hearing or reading the teachings emanating from his lotus mouth not by external designations of material post, position, institution or opulence or the number of followers.