LettersI am NOT a scholar of Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavism (03/27/14)
LettersVaiṣṇavism is a living thing, and not a static or dogmatic process (03/28/14)

Dīkṣā is required to worship the Deity (03/28/14)


Here is what i wrote to _____:

______ Prabhu,
The verses quoted in the book should have been 7.5.23-24, and not 7.5.24-25. That was an editing error. Things like that happen. Jīva’s Sanskrit commentary to those two verse (23-24) is several pages long. Here is the part in question:

nanu, bhagavan nāmātmakā eva mantrāḥ tatra viśeṣeṇa namaḥ śabdād yalaṅkṛtāḥ. śrī bhagavatā śrī maharṣibhiś cāhita-śakti-viśeṣāḥ śrī-bhagavatā samam ātma-sambandha-viśeṣa-pratipādakāś ca tatra kevalāni bhagavan nāmānyapi nirapekṣāṇy eva parama-puruṣārtha phala-paryanta dāna-samarthāni. tato mantreṣu nāmato ’dhikasām arthye labdhe kathaṁ dīkṣādyapekṣā?

ucyate, yadyapi svarūpato nāsti tathāpi prāyaḥ dehādi-sambandhena kadarya-śīlānāṁ vikṣipta-cittānāṁ janānā tat saṁkocīkaraṇāya ṣrī-maharṣi-prabhṛtibhir atrārcana mārge kvacit kācin maryādā sthāpitāsti tatas tad-ullaṅghane śāstraṁ prāyaścittatvam udbhāvayati tata ubhayam api samañjasam iti tatra tat-tad-apekṣā nāsti.

“The mantra is made up of the Names of the Lord. Thus the mantras chanted by great devotees and ṛṣis are distinguished by such ornamental words like ‘namaḥ’ and they contain particular potency(s) that are non-different from the Lord, and they allow one to attain a specific relationship with Him. Thus simply chanting the Name of the Lord is enough in order to attain the fruit of the supreme goal. However, one may say, “But if the Name is sufficient for reaching the goal, then can dīkṣā etc. be rejected?”

“To this it may be said: Though in essence there is no need for it, due to their connection with the material body etc. people are engaged in useless activities that disturb the consciousness. For overcoming this, the rsis have established the path of Deity worship through which one can attain proper conduct. To overcome these (disturbances), the scriptures also advocates atonement (prayaścitta) for not performing Deity worship. Thus it is not proper to reject either of them.”

OK. In all circumstances, and in all sampradāyas, dīkṣā is required to worship the Deity. But our concern in ‘nāma’. Is it necessary to be initiated into chanting nāma? Yes and No. No, because everyone can chant and the Name is independent. Yes, because ācāryas recommend it.

There is actually much more to say in support of receiving hari-nāma-dīkṣā, but it’s a matter suited more for a face to face discussion rather than a discussion on Facebook.

Hope to have been some help to you.


LettersI am NOT a scholar of Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavism (03/27/14)
LettersVaiṣṇavism is a living thing, and not a static or dogmatic process (03/28/14)