01/28/98 - 1546
Diksha Names and Feelings of the Heart
India (VNN) - by Swami B. G. Narasingha
It is sometimes suggested that the "heart" is the most reliable
instrument to measure the plane of Divinity. This statement can
certainly be taken as true, provided the heart is not troubled
by anarthas (such as envy, lust, anger, and greed etc.).
The sentiments (love, affection, attachment and so forth) that
are sometimes expressed for guru and the name he has given us
at the time of hari-nama-diksa are undoubtedly feelings from the
heart. Seeing that another Godbrother or devotee has received
a name change after coming in contact with a siksa-guru sometimes
causes trouble in our mind and creates a strange feeling in our
heart also. We may feel that, "Why has his name changed? Srila
Prabhupada gave him that name, so what is the use of giving another
name?" This manner of thinking and feeling in the heart is certainly
understandable yet we might be wrong.
We may feel that it is wrong, but indeed it may be right. While
still conditioned by material nature even our own heart might
lie to us -- our own heart may cheat us! Therefore as far as possible
we should try to understand spiritual subject matters regarding
our feelings toward our guru and the feelings that others have
toward their guru from the standpoint of sastra, sadhu and guru.
These three will not cheat us!
Guru, sadhu, and sastra agree that vaidhi-bhakti (if practiced
without offense) will purify the heart of all unwanted dirty things.
After the stage of anartha-nivrtti (purification of the heart)
is achieved one comes to the stage of nistha (fixed-up). Then
ruci (a sweet taste for the truth) is established in the heart
and then the stage of asakti (real attachment for the goal of
our life) and then the stage of bhava (the dawn of the hearts
pure sentiment in love of Krsna) is achieved. The feelings of
bhava (heart-felt sentiments) are considered by great saints,
devotees and the sastra to be free from mundane influence. Still
in the case of Bharata Maharaja he fell down (to mundane feelings)
even after reaching the stage of bhava. So one must not stop even
there (bhava). Mahaprabhu has said "prema pum-artho mahan." Love
of Krsna (PREMA) is the fifth and ultimate goal of life - the
be-all and end-all of existence."
The sentiments generally expressed by neophyte devotees toward
their guru are almost always ruled by mundane consciousness -
not by bhava. One may argue - but my guru saved me from this material
life and that is my sentiment. Yes, that is true but we are not
for mukti-bhava either. We are for suddha-bhakti (pure devotion)
and thus when our real sentiment awakes for Sri Guru (from a purified
heart) it will awaken in relation to the sentiments (sthayi-bhavas)
of neutrality, servitude, friendship, paternal, or conjugal love
depending on the subjective (apakrta/transcendental) plane of
Sri Guru in rasa connection with Krishna. Simply to appreciate
Sri Guru from the objective (prakrta/mundane) world of this temporary
reality is dangerous. Those who do are all too often found to
commit aparadha to other Vaishnavas. Due to their mundane vision
of Sri Guru they tend to project material differences between
elevated souls (dikas and siksa-gurus).
We have mentioned here "BHAVA" several times. No doubt "BHAVA"
has become a buzz word. Nonetheless the science of bhakti cannot
be changed just because a certain section of devotees are slow
to catch up the subject. As the readers may know there are three
classifications of bhakti: namely prema-bhakti, bhava-bhakti and
sadhana-bhakti. Each of these stages has further divisions.
Prema-bhakti has two main divisions namely Vaikuntha-prema and
Goloka-prema. Goloka-prema further unfolds as sneha, mana, pranaya,
raga, anu-raga, bhava, and mahabhava. (See Bhaktirasamrta-sindhu
and Ujjvala-Nilamani) Unfortunately in our contemporary times
prema-bhakti has more or less been labeled a myth.
Bhava-bhakti has five primary divisions and seven secondary divisions.
Santa-rati, dasya-rati, sakhya-rati, vatsalya-rati, and Madhura-rati
are primary. Hasya, kuruna, raudra, vira, bhayankara, vibhatsa,
and adbhuta are the seven secondary divisions. (See Bhaktirasamrta-sindhu,
and Madhurya-kadambini) Unfortunately bhava-bhakti has now been
labeled as sahajiyaism by those who do not understand the science
of devotion. Indeed "gopi-bhava" has become a "witch hunt".
Sadhana-bhakti has two main divisions namely vaidhi-bhakti and
raganuga-bhakti. Unfortunately raganuga-bhakti has been labeled
a sin and vaidhi-bhakti has been shot in the foot with the gun
of vaishnava-aparadha, which has duplicity, malace, hatred, envy,
foolishness and mundane sentiments as its six bullets. Thus from
the very beginning (vaidhi-bhakti) if one has unfortunately sustained
such "bullet wounds" there will be no progress in pure devotional
As a result of having commited vaishnava-aparadha we find that
rather than advancing in Krishna consciousness and being absorbed
in pure devotional service with the aim of perfecting this human
form of life one becomes absorbed in increasing the anarthas.
Because one does not become absorbed in pure devotional service
(raganuga-bhakti) the devotee who carries the weight of offenses
becomes absorbed in mundane academia, speculating on the nature
of the Absolute Truth, worshiping crystals, practicing reiki;
astrology, ghost busting, hunting for Druids, looking for space
ships, alien beings, and preparing for the "Big War" (Doomsday
Hare Krishnas). They do this in all earnestness while they chant
"Hare Krishna". But where does that leave such devotees? Answer
- In need of higher association. Unfortunately when that association
comes, we think it is an alien being and we attack it. This is
what Srila Prabhupada used to call most unfortunate.
Agrahya Prabhu has mentioned in his article Diksha Names, "Everything is in Srila Prabhupada's books." This of course
is a favorite of the devotees. But is the explanation of why Srimati
Radharani is not directly mentioned in Srimad Bhagavatam given
in Srila Prabhupada's books? No, it is not. So what does it really
mean, "Everything is in Srila Prabhupada's books"? Everything
is in OM (A.U.M.) but how to extract it? Everything is in the
maha-mantra but still the guru gives brahma-gayatri, guru-gayatri,
gaura-gayatri, gopal-mantra, kama-gayatri and even sannyasi-mantra
- which is a raga-marga/gopi-bhava-mantra.
Similiarly the Garuda Purana says in the verse artho yam brahma
sutranam....that the meaning of brahma-gayatri is given in Srimad
Bhagavatam. But how to draw out the meaning of brahma-gayatri
from the samadhi of Vyasadeva (Srimad Bhagavatam)? That is the
difficulty - that is, unless one has a siksa-guru. If Srila Prabhupada
had not known that a disciple could eventually need association
and instruction from a siksa-guru he would not have taken the
trouble to explain verses such as Cc. Adi 1.34-35. Why has Srila
Prabhupada so diligently explained the necessity of both diksa
and siksa-gurus in his books if such things were superfluous?
If these things have relevance for his disciples he would have
simply written, "I am the only way the truth and the light. No
one goes to Krishna except by me."
Unfortunately the acceptance of a siksa-guru has been labeled
by many as prostitution. Again I say that the sastra, our acharyas
and the pure vaishnavas are not bound to ditto this misconception.
Returning to the old saying "Everything is in Srila Prabhupda's
books" I would suggest that the critics of the "siksa-guru" would
do well to study more closely the teachings (books) of Srila Prabhupada
and try to get beyond the fact that his dinive eminence is no
excuse for your neglecting our own necessity or the arrangement
of Krishna for that matter.
There are examples of accepting siksa from other than one's diksa-guru
and even having one's name changed. Yes, even after accepting
a highly qualified diksa-guru (who also gave perfect siksa) the
disciple may only reach perfection after coming under the shelter
of a siksa-guru. One such case is that of Dukhi Krsna Dasa, a
disciple of Hridaya Caitanya, who after coming to Vrindavana took
shelter of Jiva Goswami. In time Dukhi Krsna Dasa was taken into
the camp of madhurya-rasa and Jiva Goswami changed his name to
Shyamananda Prabhu. The details of this story are very sweet and
revealing but space does not permit us that luxury here.
One should not think one's self above the instruction of a siksa
guru. Also one should not discriminate between the siksa-guru
and the diksa-guru, otherwise one commits an offense. (Kaviraja
Goswami and Srila Prabhupada have explained this matter in significant
detail in Cc, Adi1.35)
In Srila Prabhupada's famous speech before the members of the
Gaudiya Math (Bombay), printed in almost every ISKCON vyasa-puja
book, there is an excellent example of the proper vision one should
have of Sri Guru - free from mundane conception. Srila Prabhupada
says, "Guru is one not two.... There can be no difference between
your guru and mine. ...Guru is appearing in many forms."
Our conclusion regarding the "name change" issue is that if the
siksa-guru changes the disciples name this is considered to have
been done directly by Krsna Himself as there is no difference
between the diksa-guru and the siksa-guru - both are equal manifestations
of Krsna. Only our purified heart's sentiment will confirm this
but in the meantime we can accept this as true based on sastra,
sadhu, and guru.
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