Vaiṣṇavism is a living thing, and not a static or dogmatic process (03/28/14)
I received the question below from _____. Please send me the reference from Jīva Gosvāmī in Bhagavātam that he is asking about.
“In your excellent book, ‘The Authorized Śrī Caitanya-Sārasvata Paramparā’, on page 60, you write:
“Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī in his Śrīmad Bhāgavatam commentary on verses 7.5.24&25, has confirmed the importance of hari-nāma initiation. There Śrī Jīva says that, ‘Indeed, one can chant the holy name without initiation but in kali-yuga it is necessary to chant the name under the guidance of a bona-fide spiritual master. one should receive the holy name from the spiritual master who is a bona-fide representative of Śrī Hari.'”
Mahārāja, can you direct me to where I can find this pramāṇa? “
“Daṇḍavats ______ Prabhu
That was written a long time ago and in the heat of battle with those who were challenging our sampradāya. At the moment while i am traveling in USA and Europe next week I do not have access to my library. I can send your question to India and see if we can get a verification.
There is a chance that i was paraphrasing Śrīdhara Mahārāja or Sarasvatī Ṭhākura in that statement but one thing for sure…I was not making up lies!
I like these sort of topics because it also makes us think and see things as they are. For example EVERYONE (all branches of bona-fide Vaiṣṇavas and even rascal sahajiyās and māyāvādīs) engage the public in chanting nāma (kīrtana or japa). Then at some point there is initiation. So it is also clear by example that anyone can chant nāma, but for advancement, initiation is required.
Now simply saying ‘initiation’ raises another question. If initiation means dīkṣā, then that means Kāma Gāyatrī and similar mantras. Brahma Gāyatrī, or upanayana, is actually not officially part of Vaiṣṇava dīkṣā…it is usually (traditionally) only given to brāhmaṇa boys, and often by their fathers or by a family priest.
Sarasvatī Ṭhākura gave upanayana to non-brāhmaṇas to show that when one is a Vaiṣṇava that brāhmaṇa is automatically included.
One thing I think i have understood over the years is that Vaiṣṇavism is a living thing, and not a static or dogmatic process.”