Initiation—Surrender of Heart

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
22 January 2012, Nandigram (Andhra Pradesh, South India)


Question: Some of us are interested in taking the Holy Name initiation—will you give initiation to us?

Actually, I have come here to serve you all. If somebody wants to take this Holy Name, I am ready—Gurudev gave me this position to serve you all. You know that the Holy Name comes through a Guru-parampara, and in his lifetime, Gurudev said to me, "If somebody is a sincere seeker, if they will follow the rules and regulations—if they have got good association and sincerely want to chant the Holy Name—you can give this Harinam diksa, this Holy Name, to them."

I will tell you some of the rules and regulations. You can understand it easily. There are four places where Kali always stays—these are dyuta, pana, striya, suna. These four are restricted and prohibited in our line. (1) Dyuta means gambling. (2) Pan means whiskey, drinking liquor, alcohol; you must avoid this. (3) Striya means illegal sex; a man has a good wife, a woman has a good husband, that is not a problem, but prostitution and living like cats and dogs is not good, it disturbs everything. And (4) suna means jiva-himsa; we do not kill anything. Every body has a jiva soul, so we do not kill anything. Sometimes people say to me, "But you also cut vegetables, sak, etc." People kill cows, goats, chickens, etc. and they say that sadhus, devotees also commit sin—they cut vegetables, sak, etc. Yes, sadhus do that, but who do they do it for? For the Lord—they cut vegetables to offer them to the Lord. Here too, they are cooking today, but they will offer it to the Lord and then we will take prasadam. Krishna says, "When devotees do something for Me, this is nirguna—there is no sin in it." So, you must offer first food to the Lord, then take prasadam.

...I am very happy with you all. Prabhu who has invited you all and is arranging this programme, arranging Krishna-katha is getting benefit (commission), and I am also getting benefit through that. Actually, you do not understand my language, and I do not understand your language, but we do not have any 'skin connection'—you and myself have a heart to heart connection. When you come to take initiation, it is not necessary to bring money or anything. You can bring a few fruits, this is sufficient. We are not asking anyone for money—we are asking for your love and affection.

This temple Chaitanya Saraswat Math was established in 1941, many years before ISKCON, and you know that the siksa guru of Srila Swami Maharaj, the founder of ISKCON, was our Param Guru Maharaj, Srila Sridhar Maharaj. If you want to hear more about the history of our Math, you can get some books or leaflets and read about it. Take the invitation letters also. We have 120 centres all over the world, and if you want to join some of our centres permanently (we also have a ladies' ashram), you are always welcome. I am requesting you all to come and join. It is not necessary to bring any money or anything, you can simply come with your clothes and stay.

Question: Do you follow Bhagavad-gita?

Yes, Gita is the authentic, primary book. We also follow Chaitanya-charitamrita and Bhagavatam.

Question: Why is it then necessary to take a Guru?

Even Gita also tells that it is necessary to take a Guru. Krishna Himself says you must follow the Gita, rules and regulations, etc. and we follow it. Gita is our primary book. But Gita comes from Dvapar-yuga, and now, in Kali-yuga, the prescribed religion is chanting of the Holy Name, and you must take the Holy Name from a Guru-parampara.

ব্রহ্মাণ্ড ভ্রমিতে কোন ভাগ্যবান্ জীব ।
গুরু-কৃষ্ণ-প্রসাদে পায় ভক্তিলতা-বীজ ॥

brahmanda bhramite kona bhagyavan jiva
guru-krsna-prasade paya bhakti-lata-bija

"Having travelled throughout the universe and got the mercy of Guru, Krishna, a fortunate soul receives a seed of the devotional creeper."

You must take Guru-prasad. This is said in Chaitanya-charitamrita (Madhya-lila, 19.151). Otherwise, you can read books like Gita and get the primary education, but if you can get education by reading books from the library, why do you then go to school?

—Because it is necessary to have a Guru (teacher)...

Yes, a Guru is necessary. Even Mahaprabhu, the Lord Himself, took initiation from Iswara Puri, and later He took sannyas initiation from Keshav Bharati. He shows us by His example. How can I tell you, "Come to the mangal arati early in the morning" if I myself do not follow it? Mahaprabhu Himself took initiation and He told us to take initiation also. Nije achari dharma jivke sikhaya (নিজে আচারি' ধর্ম্ম জীবকে শিখায়): practise yourself and teach the right path to others. If we follow something ourselves, then we can tell everybody to follow that.


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A Change of Family
His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj is replying a question about the meaning of vanacharya, explains how to increase the connection with the Guru in our heart, and stresses the importance of regaining the membership in Krishna's family.


'The lotus feet of Sri Rupa Manjari are the mine of all rasas, they are the fulfilment of life, they are the dharma (prescribed religion) of the Vedas. Her lotus feet are my vows, my penance, my mantra, my japa. They are the ultimate purpose of life.'

Actually, the main question is how much of your life can you give to your Guru?