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Title: The right of the Guru to choose the appropriate Mantras for his disciples
User: Damodara Svarupa dasa Date: 2005-03-09 20:45:46
The right of the Guru to choose the appropriate Mantras for his disciples -- By Swami Gaurangapada
“The spiritual master has to select a mantra for his disciple according to the disciple’s ability to chant different mantras.” (Shrila Prabhupada in Cc Madhya 24.330)
Commentary by Swami Gaurangapada:
It is the duty of the spiritual master to give those Mantras to the disciple which he or she is qualified to chant so as to ensure that the disciple comes up to the level of chanting the Hare Krishna Mahamantra without offenses. And the Nityananda and Gauranga Mantrarajas are the specific Mantras in Kali-Yuga which do not consider the offensive mentality of the chanter and grant the chanter with qualification to render Krishna-bhakti and purely chant the Hare Krishna Mahamantra. (end)
Shrila Prabhupada in SB 1.5.16 purport:
“The expert devotees also can discover novel ways and means to convert the nondevotees in terms of particular time and circumstance. Devotional service is dynamic activity, and the expert devotees can find out competent means to inject it into the dull brains of the materialistic population. Such transcendental activities of the devotees for the service of the Lord can bring a new order of life to the foolish society of materialistic men.”
Shrila Prabhupada in Cc Adi 7.31-32 purport:
“Here is an important point. Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu wanted to invent a way to capture the Mayavadis and others who did not take interest in the Krishna consciousness movement. This is the symptom of an acarya. An acarya who comes for the service of the Lord cannot be expected to conform to a stereotype, for he must find the ways and means by which Krishna consciousness may be spread.”
Commentary by Swami Gaurangapada:
Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada introduced the system of Gayatri-Mantra-Diksha (Brahmana Diksha) for the first time in our sampradaya even though he had not received it from his own guru. This was for the specific purpose of stopping the Vaishnava-aparadha committed by the brahmanas in thinking themselves superior to the Vaishnavas. Shrila Prabhupada also most mercifully and expertly introduced the chanting of the Pancha Tattva Mantra even though the Mantra is not explicitly found anywhere in the revealed writings of Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada, Seventh Goswami Shrila Saccidananda Bhaktivinoda Thakura or the previous Acharyas. We have also introduced this system of Gauranga-Mantra-Diksha (Gauranama Diksha) as the entrance to Gauranga Dharma and Gauranga Bhakti Yoga, by the inspiration and order of all the acharyas and Lord Nityananda in order to stop and totally destroy all the ten nama-aparadhas (offenses) of the devotees and disciples and to make them rapidly achieve pure love for Krishna and qualification to chant the pure Hare Krishna Mahamantra by regular chanting of the most authorized 4-syllable Gaura Gopala Mantra and the 5-syllable Haladhara Balarama Mantra. Thus it is the right of every Guru to choose particular authorized Mantras for the disciples’ rapid spiritual advancement and the people who criticize this are simply engaging in Vaishnava-ninda of the devotees who are trying to spread the most merciful Names of the Lord: Nityananda and Gauranga. Ofcourse everyone can decide for oneself whether to chant the Nityananda and Gauranga Mantrarajas or not and can remain neutral if they do not want to chant personally but the act of criticizing and minimizing those who are genuinely chanting or preaching the glories of the Nityananda and Gauranga Mantrarajas in addition to the Hare Krishna Mahamantra will spell spiritual doom for the unfortunate person who engages in such a supremely inauspicious activity.
One should try to understand Shrila Prabhupada’s above quotes where he states that an expert devotee cannot be forced to simply stick to a stereotype but his prime duty is to find out or invent or discover and introduce novel ways and means from the scriptures to widely inject and spread Gauranga and Krishna consciousness into the bloodstream of the suffering human society so that millions can take it up and rapidly progress in spiritual life.
The Acharyas who have directly descended from the spiritual world can directly give the Maha-mantra to the aparadhi jivas (offensive souls) by making them directly qualified. Their activities should not be imitated by us but their instructions in their books are to be followed. These instructions are clear that a neophyte should not directly indulge in chanting of the Hare Krishna Mahamantra only and if even he or she tries to do he will never get the result due to his or her offenses. Instead they state that he or she should begin by very regularly chanting the names of Nityananda and Gauranga. The acharyas have repeatedly given the instructions to chant the Nityananda and Gauranga Mantras in their vani but they are not bound to implement their own instructions and they are free to preach in whatever way they desire. Whereas we should try to strictly implement their instructions rather than foolishly trying to imitate what they have done. For us their instructions are more important than their incomprehensible and transcendental activities which can never be imitated.
An acharya may not rigidly follow his own instructions give in his books. Because he is as independent as the Lord Himself. Similarly Shrila Prabhupada said that a neophyte student should not directly chant the Hare Krishna Mahamantra but should take shelter of the names of Nityananda and Gauranga first. But Shrila Prabhupada need not follow this standard given by his ownself and can directly introduce the Mahamantra (which is what he did in most cases) because he is independent being the direct associate of Lord Gauranga. But his followers can and should follow his instructions in his books for their own rapid spiritual advancement and for preaching purposes wvwn more than simply trying to imitate what he did.
The Acharyas may have disaproved of chanting Mantras not authorized in the scriptures containing Nityananda and Gauranga Names like bhaja nitai-gaura radhe-shyam...but those statements should never be applied to chanting the most bonafide Gaura Gopala Mantra—Gauranga which has been chanted by all our acharyas and mentioned in the authentic scriptures. Nor is there even a single evidence anywhere in the scriptures to prove that Gauranga Mantraraja should only be chanted in kirtana and not on beads. Infact many acharyas like Shivananda Sena and all the eternal associates of Lord Gauranga in Goloka, Parvati, Shiva, Sapta rishis, Markendeya Rishi etc. have chanted japa of the Gauranga Mantraraja on beads and Shrila Prabhupada has approved of it more than once as seen in the above quotes.
As per the comprehensive scriptural quotations the Gaura Gopala Mantraraja: “Gauranga” and the Haladhara Balarama Mantraraja: “Nityananda” are authorized Mantras from the Vedic scriptures and are not unauthorized Mantras like “bhaja nitai gaura radhe syama hare krishna hare rama” or “shri-krishna-chaitanya prabhu-nitynanda hare krishna hare rama shri-radhe govinda”.
Besides all the devotees of Gauranga Dharma and Gauranga Yoga who are chanting the Nityananda and Gauranga Mantrarajas are also chanting the Pancha-tattva Mantra before beginning the chanting of the Hare Krishna Mahamantra in japa and kirtana as recommended by Shrila Prabhupada in the above quote.
Also according to the scriptures one can have different Diksha Gurus for different mantras. Like for example, Parvati got Diksha in the Ramamantra from Shiva, her husband (which she explicitly and clearly mentions in the Chaitanya-Charitamrita Cc), in the Mahamantra from Shrila Haridasa Thakura again as described in Cc and in the Gauranga Mantraraja from Lord Shiva (Navadvipa-dhama-mahatmya) after which she achieved the darshan of Lord Gauranga in Navadvipa. So it is authorized by the scriptures. There should be only one Diksha Guru for one Mantra though. That is conclusion of the scriptures. Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada accepted Diksha in the Nrisingha Mantra from his father Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura in childhood and in the Hare Krishna Mahamantra from Shrila Gaura Kishore Dasa Babaji. So devotees who have accepted Diksha in any bonafide Vaishnava Mantra from any bonafide Vaishnava guru in any of the four sampradayas (please read our book “Maha Mantra Yoga” for furthur details) can also accept Gauranga Mantra or Gauranama Mahadiksha into the Nityananda and Gauranga Mantrarajas since these two Mantrarajas destroy all the offenses and ensure our rapid sucess in chanting of all the bonafide Vishnu Mantras in this world.
Ofcourse the Nityananda and Gauranga Mantrarajas are so supremely powerful and independent that They do not wait or depend on Diksha and can be chanted by anyone and everyone. Diksha is a process which hastens up the purification of the spiritual aspirant as he or she chants the Mantrarajas received from the lips of a Guru who is realized in chanting of the Mantrarajas and then chants under the merciful guidance and blessings of Shri Gurudeva.
In order not to cause any inconvenience to any Vaishnavas and avoid controversy, it is our personal decision that we will encourage those devotees who have accepted Diksha into any Vishnu Mantra from another bonafide and authentic Guru in any of the four Vaishnava sampradayas to just chant the Nityananda and Gauranga Mantarajas without accepting Diksha in these Mantrarajas. Though it is perfectly in line with the scriptures that they can accept Diksha into the Nityananda and Gauranga Mantrarajas from another Guru while still worshiping their previous Guru, we will not impart them the Gauranga Mantra Mahadiksha unless they have explicit and clear instructions and permission from their first Diksha Guru in this regard. If they seek our guidance, these devotees will be encouraged to simply chant the Nityananda and Gauranga Mantrarajas. We are specifically interested in spreading the Nityananda and Gauranga Mantrarajas among the new and fresh spiritual candidates. If they want some instructions from us, we will simply request the old initiated devotees of other bonafide Vaishnava Gurus to add the chanting of the Nityananda and Gauranga Mantrarajas to their daily chanting unless ofcourse it is the desire of their first Gurus that they accept Gauranga Mantra Mahadiksha from us. So no one has to fear about any inconvenience caused by the preaching of the Nitaynanda and Gauranga Mantrarajas. If there are any specific issues we would request the concerned devotees or Gurus of other institutions to directly let us know by contacting us in a Vaishnava way so that we can sort out the matter directly. (Commentary ends)
Yours in the service of Gauranga Dharma,