Diksa Given to Madhyama-adhikari is Not a Formality
BY: MAHESH RAJA
Nov 23, UK (SUN) No disrespect intended to Shiva das Prabhu, but there is a philosophical misunderstanding and I have just compiled below a reply to prove the point. Shiva das wrote:
"Also contradicting his thesis is the numerous places where Srila Prabhupada said that madhyama and even kanistha devotees can act as diksa gurus"
This is a misunderstanding - you will not find ONE quote to say Kanistha or even a Madhyam devotee can act as DIKSA guru.
THE STUDENTS AND DISCIPLES ARE INITIATED ACCORDING TO AUTHORIZED PANCARATRIKI REGULATIONS
There are two aspects in initiation:
1) Formality (Pancaratriki) - name giving ceremony etc
2) Diksa(Knowledge) - spiritual initiation received by Madhyama adhikari
As shown previously in my article", the Ritvik ***Representative*** was to allow for the function of Formality. So a question may be raised, why formality?
The answer is very simple: the Diksa given to Madhyama adhikari is NOT a formality. Initiation offered to neophyte/Kanistha IS a Formality. THIS is the BIG difference.
In conformity with the establishment of the formality of a Ritvik System 9th July 1977, Srila Prabhupada’s signed directive to the society the Pancaratriki regulations were followed in this initiation. “THE STUDENTS AND DISCIPLES ARE INITIATED ACCORDING TO AUTHORIZED PANCARATRIKI REGULATIONS”
This is a general principle. However, A person who is liberated acharya and guru cannot commit any mistake, but there are persons who are less qualified or not liberated, but still can act as 'guru' and 'acharya' by strictly following the disciplic succession.
(Lecture 26th April, 1968. New York)
Whether one uses the terms OFFICIATING ACARYA OR RITVIK OR REPRESENTATIVE they mean the SAME ie to ACT ON BEHALF OF ACARYA. So this is act as “guru” and “Acarya”. They ACTING as OFFICIATING ACARYA OR RITVIK REPRESENTATIVE OF ACARYA. They are NOT acarya but acting as in capacity to OFFICIATE on behalf of the ACARYA. This is very clear. Srila Prabhupada has in all front cover of the Books:
Founder-Acarya His Divine Grace AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. The hypen means Srila Prabhupada IS the ACARYA of ISKCON not simply its Founder consequently, one who wants to accept the position of formality of initiating others can ONLY do so ON BELHALF of Srila Prabhupada the ACARYA. THERE IS NO OTHER WAY. Srila Prabhupada’s Diksa giving position in ISKCON as long as it exists is IRREPLACEABLE.
Srila Prabhupada’s introduction of Ritvik Initiations (PANCARATRIKI) is fully justified as the formalities may be changed ” can also be initiated according to circumstances.”
SB 4.8.54 Purport:
Those who are not actually in the line of acaryas, or who personally have no knowledge of how to act in the role of acarya, unnecessarily criticize the activities of the ISKCON movement in countries outside of India. The fact is that such critics cannot do anything personally to spread Krsna consciousness. If someone does go and preach, taking all risks and allowing all considerations for time and place, it might be that there are changes in the manner of worship, but that is not at all faulty according to sastra. Srimad Viraraghava Acarya, an acarya in the disciplic succession of the Ramanuja-sampradaya, has remarked in his commentary that candalas, or conditioned souls who are born in lower than sudra families, can also be initiated according to circumstances. The formalities may be slightly changed here and there to make them Vaisnavas.
68-06-12. Letter: whom it may concern
In each center we have got hundreds of disciples and followers, and our initiated disciples are strictly following the restrictions as principle, as follows: (1) no illicit sex life, (2) no intoxication, including coffee, tea, and cigarettes, (3) no gambling, (4) no meat eating. We have got both Brahmacaris and Householders as disciples, and all of them are following the above mentioned principles. THE STUDENTS AND DISCIPLES ARE INITIATED ACCORDING TO AUTHORIZED PANCARATRIKI REGULATIONS. According to Srimad-Bhagavatam and Bhagavad-gita, anyone, including so-called low born men, who may take shelter unto the Lotus Feet of Lord Krishna or His devotees, is sanctified by initiation process.
abhira-sumbha yavanah khasadayah
ye 'nye ca papa yad-apasrayasrayah
sudhyanti tasmai prabhavisnave namah
How such thing can be possible is explained in the Srimad-Bhagavatam that by special all-pervading power of Visnu this is possible.
So we are trying to follow Sanatana Gosvami. By diksa-vidhanena, by imitating persons any, from anywhere. It does not matter. Because in this age, Kali-yuga, the diksa-vidhana is performed according, according to Pancaratrika-vidhi. Not Vaidika-vidhi. Vaidika-vidhi is very strict. Unless one is bona fide son of a dvija, the initiation was not given. To the sudras, there was no initiation. A brahmana ksatriya, vaisya. So these are the Vedic process. SO IN THE KALI-YUGA, BECAUSE IT IS TO BE UNDERSTOOD THAT EVERYONE IS A SUDRA, THEREFORE VAIDIKA-VIDHANA CANNOT BE APPLIED. VAIDIKA-VIDHANA REQUIRES THAT ONE MUST BE BORN BY A BRAHMANA, KSATRIYA. THEN HE'S ELIGIBLE FOR BEING INITIATED. BUT IN THE KALI-YUGA, THAT IS NOT POSSIBLE. THEREFORE THE PANCARATRIKI-VIDHI IS ACCEPTED.
pancaratriki vidhim vina
aikantiki harer bhaktir
This is the definition given by Srila Rupa Gosvami, that to become a devotee of the Lord, Krsna, one has to follow the principles of sruti and smrti, and pancaratriki-vidhi. Especially in this age, Kali-yuga, there is no Vedic vidhi. Because Vedic vidhi is lost. Formerly, initiation was offered to a person who is actually born of a brahmana father. Otherwise... Or the higher caste, the brahmanas, the ksatriyas, and the vaisyas, they were offered initiation, and the sudras were not offered. That was the Vedic system. But in this age the sastra says that kalau sudra sambhava. IN THIS AGE OF KALI PRACTICALLY THERE IS NO MORE ANY BRAHMANA, KSATRIYA, OR VAISYA. MAYBE BY NAME, BUT IN QUALIFICATION THEY ARE NOT EXISTING. EVERYONE IS SUPPOSED TO BE SUDRA. SO IN KALI-YUGA THE PANCARATRIKI-VIDHI IS ACCEPTED. The pancaratriki-vidhi is also Vedic vidhi, corollary, given by Narada Mahamuni. But it is accepted by the Vedic followers, pancaratriki-vidhi.
Pancaratriki-vidhi means if any one has a little inclination for spiritual development, he should be given chance. This initiation means to give chance. The Bhagavata says that kirata-hunandhra-pulinda-pulkasa abhira-sumbha yavanah khasadayah. These are the list of the candalas or less than the sudras. So Bhagavata gives open road for everyone. Even one is kirata... Kirata means... Generally they are called aborigines, or the very black aborigines living in the jungles, they are called kirata.
Our Sanatana Gosvami gives direction in the Hari-bhakti-vilasa that one man can become a brahmana by the regular process of diksa. Diksa, this initiation, cannot be offered to a sudra. Diksa cannot be offered to a sudra. But in this age, Kali-yuga, it is the statement of the sastras that in the Kali-yuga most of the population are sudras. Kalau sudra sambhavah. How they can be initiated? This initiation is offered not according to the Vedic rules, because it is very difficult to find out a qualified brahmana. DIKSA IS OFFERED TO A QUALIFIED BRAHMANA. THEREFORE THIS DIKSA IS OFFERED ACCORDING TO PANCARATRIKI-VIDHI. THAT IS RECOMMENDED IN THIS AGE. MY SPIRITUAL MASTER INAUGURATED THIS PANCARATRIKI-VIDHI, AND WE ARE FOLLOWING HIS FOOTSTEPS. Anyone who is inclined to devote his life for Krsna, he should be accepted as brahmana.
Note: A MADHYAMA-ADHIKARI HAS RECEIVED SPIRITUAL INITIATION FROM THE SPIRITUAL MASTER AND HAS BEEN FULLY ENGAGED BY HIM IN THE TRANSCENDENTAL LOVING SERVICE OF THE LORD.** THIS IS DIKSA**.
Antya 4.192 T Sanatana Gosvami Visits the Lord at Jagannatha Puri:
DIKSA-KALE bhakta kare atma-samarpana
sei-kale krsna tare kare atma-sama
"At the time of initiation, when a devotee FULLY SURRENDERS UNTO THE SERVICE OF THE LORD, Krsna accepts him to be as good as Himself.
Antya 4.193 Sanatana Gosvami Visits the Lord at Jagannatha Puri:
"When the devotee's body is thus transformed into spiritual existence, the devotee, in that transcendental body, renders SERVICE to the lotus feet of the Lord.
Antya 4.194 Sanatana Gosvami Visits the Lord at Jagannatha Puri:
"'The living entity who is subjected to birth and death, when he gives up all material activities dedicating his life to Me for executing My order, and thus acts according to My direction, AT THAT TIME HE REACHES THE PLATFORM OF IMMORTALITY, AND BECOMES FIT TO ENJOY THE SPIRITUAL BLISS OF EXCHANGE OF LOVING MELLOWS WITH ME.'
In order to intelligently apply the sixfold loving reciprocations mentioned in the previous verse, one must select proper persons with careful discrimination. Srila Rupa Gosvami therefore advises that we should meet with the Vaisnavas in an appropriate way, according to their particular status. In this verse he tells us how to deal with three types of devotees--the kanistha-adhikari, madhyama-adhikari and uttama-adhikari. The kanistha-adhikari is a neophyte who has received the hari-nama initiation from the spiritual master and is trying to chant the holy name of Krsna. One should respect such a person within his mind as a kanistha-vaisnava. A MADHYAMA-ADHIKARI HAS RECEIVED SPIRITUAL INITIATION FROM THE SPIRITUAL MASTER AND HAS BEEN FULLY ENGAGED BY HIM IN THE TRANSCENDENTAL LOVING SERVICE OF THE LORD. The madhyama-adhikari should be considered to be situated midway in devotional service. The uttama-adhikari, or highest devotee, is one who is very advanced in devotional service. An uttama-adhikari is not interested in blaspheming others, his heart is completely clean, and he has attained the realized state of unalloyed Krsna consciousness. According to Srila Rupa Gosvami, the association and service of such a maha-bhagavata, or perfect Vaisnava, are most desirable.s to act for everyone's welfare.
Note: in this Srila Prabhupada makes a point of Initiation as a formality this is different from Madhyama Adhikaris receiving Diksa
Interviewer: What is the procedure of the movement? Do you initiate yourself all the disciples or do your other disciples also do that?
Prabhupada: Well, initiation or no initiation, first thing is knowledge. (break) ...knowledge. Initiation is formality. Just like you go to a school for knowledge, and admission is formality. That is not very important thing.
Whereas Srila Prabhupada DELIVERS by giving DIKSA knowledge the formality is conducted by the Ritviks (Representatives of Acarya).
Kanistha adhikari is supposed to be in the mode of Goodness Sattva guna not on Visuddha Sattava platform which is Pure Goodness so he can NOT give diksa. How can a Kanistha adhikari give diksa if he himself is not free from all material contamination?
Madhya 4.111 Sri Madhavendra Puri' s Devotional Service:
Diksa actually means initiating a disciple with transcendental knowledge by which he becomes freed from all material contamination.
If Kanistha adhikari could give this Diksa to another this means there would be no material contamination at all but he cannot do this. ONLY at Madhyama adhikari stage one can initiated with transcendental Knowledge and become freed from ALL material contamination. It is mistakenly misunderstood that even Kanistha or Madhyama adhikari give diksa this is perhaps due to the understanding they CAN accept disciples. Please see the quote below:
"In this verse Srila Rupa Gosvami advises the devotee to be intelligent enough to distinguish between the kanistha-adhikari, madhyama-adhikari and the uttama-adhikari. The devotee should also know his own position and should not try to imitate a devotee situated on a higher platform. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has given some practical hints to the effect that an uttama-adhikari Vaisnava can be recognized by his ability to convert many fallen souls to Vaisnavism. One should not become a spiritual master unless he has attained the platform of uttama-adhikari. A neophyte Vaisnava or a Vaisnava situated on the intermediate platform can also accept disciples, but such disciples must be on the same platform, and it should be understood that they cannot advance very well toward the ultimate goal of life under his insufficient guidance. Therefore a disciple should be careful to accept an uttama-adhikari as a spiritualmaster."
(Purport, Nectar of Instruction)
In this quote please note there is no mention of giving diksa at all. In fact it does NOT encourage accepting spiritual master from the Madhyama or Kanistha. The quote is about taking discipline NOT Diksa. The 3rd Offence in chanting is to disobey the Spiritual master so in either case if one becomes a spiritual master without being on Uttama Adhikari he will be committing offense and if he accepts one who is not on uttama adhikari he will commit offense in the chanting of the holy name.
Note: Diksa is illustrated graphically here Vasudeva was on Suddha sattva platform this is why from him Krsna is transferred to Devaki
SB 10.2.18 Prayers by the Demigods for Lord Krsna in the Womb:
Thereafter, accompanied by plenary expansions, the fully opulent Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is all-auspicious for the entire universe, was transferred from the mind of Vasudeva to the mind of Devaki. Devaki, having thus been initiated by Vasudeva, became beautiful by carrying Lord Krsna, the original consciousness for everyone, the cause of all causes, within the core of her heart, just as the east becomes beautiful by carrying the rising moon.
As indicated here by the word manastah, the Supreme Personality of Godhead was transferred from the core of Vasudeva's mind or heart to the core of the heart of Devaki. We should note carefully that the Lord was transferred to Devaki not by the ordinary way for a human being, but by diksa, initiation. Thus the importance of initiation is mentioned here. Unless one is initiated by the right person, who always carries within his heart the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one cannot acquire the power to carry the Supreme Godhead within the core of one's own heart.
SB 8.5.29 P The Demigods Appeal to the Lord for Protection:
Sattvam visuddham vasudeva-sabditam (Bhag. 4.3.23). In this material world, the three modes of material nature--goodness, passion and ignorance--prevail. Among these three, goodness is the platform of knowledge, and passion brings about a mixture of knowledge and ignorance, but the mode of ignorance is full of darkness. Therefore the Supreme Personality of Godhead is beyond darkness and passion. He is on the platform where goodness or knowledge is not disturbed by passion and ignorance. This is called the vasudeva platform. It is on this platform of vasudeva that Vasudeva, or Krsna, can appear.
SB 5.3.20 P Rsabhadeva' s Appearance in the Womb of Merudevi, the Wife of King Nabhi:
Lord Visnu descends in His suddha-sattva form. Suddha-sattva refers to the sattva-guna which is never contaminated. In this material world, even the mode of goodness (sattva-guna) is contaminated by tinges of rajo-guna and tamo-guna. When sattva-guna is never contaminated by rajo-guna and tamo-guna, it is called suddha-sattva. Sattvam visuddham vasudeva-sabditam (Bhag. 4.3.23). That is the platform of vasudeva, whereby the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vasudeva, can be experienced.
Note: Karma is taken by UTTAMA-ADHAKARI. Only he can DELIVER by definition. uttama-adhikari Sei taraye samsara.
Madhya 22.65 The Process of Devotional Service:
uttama-adhikari--the topmost devotee; sei--he; taraye samsara--can deliver the whole world.
Srila Prabhupada delivers. He GIVES Diksa. Formalities of initiation are done by his Ritvik Representatives.