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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Right ear dīkṣā, the lamp of the ego and living mountains.

There is some confusion about whether the dīkṣā-mantra is to be spoken into the right ear or the left ear. The Bhāgavat says that the right ear is for karma kāṇḍa and the left ear for jñāna kāṇḍa, but both are rejected by the ācāryas karma kāṇḍa, jñāna kāṇḍa kevala viṣera bhaṇḍa (Narottama) – they are both pots of poison. Bhakti is beyond both of them. However, in Sanat Kumara Samhita (1.101) it is said:

ūrdhva-puṇḍraṁ tataḥ kuryād     bhālādiṣu vidhānataḥ
tato mantra-dvayaṁ tasya     dakṣa-karṇe vinirdiśet 

“Then the Guru should draw Vaiṣṇava tilaka on the forehead and other places, and then he should speak the two mantras in the disciple's right ear.”

Vedic tradition is that the junior person stands or sits on the left side of the superior person. Hence the Guru speaks in the right ear of the śiṣya. See also my blog of September 30, 2010.


ātmanaḥ priyatayā tanu-bhājāṁ nātmanaḥ kṛtiṣu dūṣaṇa dṛṣṭiḥ
sarvatas timiram asyati dīpo nātma mūla timiraṁ vinihanti

(Ānanda Vṛndāvana Campūḥ, Kavi Karṇapūra, 1.9)

‘All embodied souls love themselves the most. Never one finds fault with one’s own activities. A lamp illuminates all directions, destroying darkness everywhere, except for its own root.’

Ācārya Vaṁśīdhara quotes an unknown Samhita in his commentary on Śrīmad Bhāgavat 10.36.4 –

meghā nadyo’tha girayo acetanas cetanā api

“Clouds, rivers and mountains are unconscious, though they do have consciousness.”

No doubt the ‘unconscious’ here refers to their lifeless appearance.


  1. Bhakti-Candrikā by Narahari Sarkar (4.29) also confirms that dīkṣā-mantras are said into the disciple's right ear:

    nyasya mūrdhni karaṁ tasya dakṣa-karṇe manuṁ vadet |

    "...he puts his hand on the disciple’s forehead and says the mantras three times in his right ear."

  2. I know this is off topic, but I didn't know where to ask this. Do you know if any scripture or acarya before Bhaktivinoda talks about different classes of jivas being created by Krishna?

    In Bhaktivinoda's writings he says there are some jivas who are created nitya-siddha and others that are created nitya-baddha---that Krishna creates the nitya-baddha jivas for some mysterious reason about wanting to experience different types of rasa. The nitya-siddha jivas never experience maya, whereas the nitya-baddha can become nitya-mukta from sadhana.

    Bhaktisiddhanta says similar things. They also have this idea that when the jiva is first manifested or created that it has the free will at that time to choose either service or exploitation, if it chooses service it goes to Vaikuntha to be a nitya-siddha, if it chooses exploitation it goes to the mahat-tattva to undergo samsara as a nitya-baddha.

    I'm sure you've heard these concepts previously, but I was wondering if you have ever heard these idea from anyone or any source previous to Bhaktivinoda?

    In Satyanarayana and Kundali's book on the origin of the jiva, they say the acaryas previous to Bhaktivinoda don't really go into any type of detailed discussion on the origin of the jiva, so I was wondering if Bhaktivinoda simply made all that stuff up, or if there is any other source he could have used, according to your study and experience?


  3. BBS,
    The theories you present here are not found in any shastra by any acarya before Bhaktivinode. The jiva was never created and has always existed. The first lesson of Bhagavad Gita is - na tv evAhaM jAtu nAsam na tvaM neme narAdhipAH (2.12) 'Never was there a time when I did not exist, nor you nor all these kings (including all living entities).'
    Since there is no beginning to our existence there was no time ever we were given any choice where to go to. The Bhagavat repeatedly says - and so do all its comments - that our conditioning is beginningless - anAdy avidyayA. That is in tandem with the above statement in Bhagavad Gita. Visvanath Cakravartipad writes in his commentary on Srimad Bhagavat 3.7.10 that there is neither a reason nor a beginning to our conditioning in the material world.