All glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga

Real Initiation
Nurturing the seed of Krishna-prem

Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj

Excerpt from Affectionate Guidance

Sadhu-sanga, if we can follow, it will give us relief from so many things. It will give a very good result in the future. But all depends upon sraddha, faith. Adau sraddha, tatah sadhu-sanga. First faith, then the saintly association is ours. And the translation of sraddha is more than just 'faith'. It is actually affectionate faith.

Chanting the Holy Name is also like this. We are chanting Hare Krishna, but are we really chanting? Or are we just creating a completely material sound vibration?

Srila Rupa Goswami has described this very nicely: atah Sri Krsna-namadi na bhaved grahyam indriyaih. How should we chant? Sevonmukhe hi jihvadau Svayam eva sphuraty adah: He will reveal Himself. When He is happy with us, He will feel, "Here is My dancing stage". If we properly prepare that stage, He will happily come to dance on our tongues. We cannot expect to catch the Holy Name with our mundane tongue. The Holy Name is transcendental, and we cannot catch it by the use of our mundane senses.

This is why Guru Maharaj gave much importance to service life. Seva is service. The attitude of service is necessary. And when we are firm in our service attitude, the stage will be automatically built in our bodies. So many say they are initiated, but have they got real initiation or not? In the Chaitanya-charitamrta it is said:

diksa-kale bhakta kare atma-samarpana
sei kale krsna tare kare atma-sama
(Antya-lila, 4.192)

When one is initiated by a genuine Guru, because the Guru is non-different from Krishna, Krishna will take the full charge of the disciple. And when Krishna does that, nothing mundane can remain. Atma-sama means transcendental. Krishna makes him transcendental. When he surrenders to the Guru, Krishna makes him transcendental. Sei deha kare tara chidanandamaya -- his form appears the same, but it is transformed to a transcendental form. We see this devotee seated here, but his form is transcendental. Sei deha means 'that body', takes a transcendental form. Then aprakrta-dehe Krsna-charana bhajaya -- after that, the disciple does bhajan, divine service, and Krishna accepts his service.

So where is the justification of all this? If everyone says it is all false, then will no one take initiation? But another part of Sri Chaitanya-charitamrta explains to us that this is a certain stage of development.

brahmanda bhramite kona bhagyavan jiva
guru-krsna-prasade paya bhakti-lata-bija
(Madhya-lila, 19.151)

Premno hi bija-pradam. The Guru takes the responsibility to give the seed of Krishna-prema, Love of God. So we are not to be hopeless! Now if we are given the seed, if we plant it properly, it will gradually become transcendental. This is the inner meaning.

So we cannot be hopeless. The other day I said that we have got two very great Gurus -- one is Srila Swami Maharaj and one is Srila Guru Maharaj. So we have no doubt that we have also got the real seed. The seed is genuine -- we see that all over the world people are chanting Hare Krishna. It is a fact -- everybody knows now. Even in Russia, there also they know about Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu. Also in Hungary. And this consciousness was given by Srila Swami Maharaj, and Srila Swami Maharaj considered Srila Guru Maharaj as his Guru. So we have no doubt that we have not only got a great Guru, but we have two great Gurus.

They are karna-dhara -- they are our Guardians. The Guru is the captain of the ship. If we do not follow the orders of the captain, that is our defect, not his. So we should now try to plant that seed properly. That duty is called bhajana-kriya or proper performance of devotional duties and services. Through that, anartha-nivrtti or purification will automatically come.

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