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Monday, September 19, 2016

Giving dīkṣā while Guru is still alive

Question - is it not allowed to give dīkṣā while one’s Guru is still alive?

Advaitadas: if individual Gurus do not find this the proper etiquette then that should be respected, but there are examples of disciples of living Gurus giving dīkṣā - Yadunandana-ācārya initiated Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī when Raghunātha was still at home, and later Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī even met with Advaita-ācārya, who is Yadunandana-ācārya's Guru in Puri. Advaita-ācārya > Yadunandan-ācārya > Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī. Antya-līlā, chapter 6, 242, "When Raghunātha dāsa met them all, Advaita-ācārya was very kind to him". Antya 6 verses 158 - 161, make clear that Yadunandana-ācārya was already the Guru of Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī -

vāsudeva-dattera teṅha haya ‘anugṛhīta’
raghunāthera ‘guru’ teṅho haya ‘purohita’ Antya 6.161

“Yadunandana Ācārya was the priest and Guru of Raghunātha dāsa. He had accepted the mercy of Vāsudeva Datta.”
Then, much later -

raghunātha-dāsa yabe sabāre mililā
advaita-ācārya tāṅre bahu kṛpā kailā   Antya 6.245

“When Raghunātha dāsa met all the devotees (in Puri, later), Advaita Ācārya showed him great mercy.”

Another example is Śyāmānanda Prabhu, who was deputed to Orissa for preaching. In a village called Rohiṇī on the banks of the river Subarnarekhā, the village chieftain Acyuta and his son Rasikānanda became the disciples of Śyāmānanda Prabhu. One day the news came that Hṛdaya-Caitanya, Śyāmānanda Prabhu’s Guru, had passed away. Shortly after that, Śyāmānanda Prabhu installed Śrī Rasikānanda as the Mahānta of Śrīpāṭa Gopīballabhpur. This is confirmed in Śrī Rasika Mangala. Rasikānanda had received dīkṣā from Śyāmānanda Prabhu long ago. Hṛdaya Caitanya (or Hṛdayānanda, according to Rasika-mangala) passed away later. All this is very clear from Rasik-mangala.

Most importantly, there is no prohibition on giving dīkṣā while one’s own dīkṣā-guru is still alive, in any śāstra I know of.


  1. According Sri Hari das sastriji maharaj Raghunatha das diksa guru was Svarupa Damodar Gosvami,who got diksa himself from Gadadhara Pandit.Yadunandana Acarya was only the family priest guru.

    Yes,if a guru is sick or old and therefore is not able to give diksa ,he should stop to accept discipes.He should allow his disciples to accept disciples themselves.

  2. With all respect, Raghunāth Dās Goswāmī prayed to Yadunananācārya as Guru in Vilāpa-kusumānjali [4], in much more reverence than to a mere purohit-family priest. In Mukta-carita [also verse 4] he prayed to Śrī Guru as he through whom he attained Swarūp Dāmodar. It is then impossible that Swarūp Dāmodar himself would have been his Guru.

  3. Vilāpa-kusumānjali 4 :

    prabhur api yadunandano ya eṣa
    priya yadunandana unnata prabhāvaḥ
    svayam atula kṛpāmṛtābhiṣekaṁ
    mama kṛtavāṁs tam ahaṁ guruṁ prapadye

    prabhuḥ - master; api - even; yadu-nandanaḥ - Yadunandana Ācārya; yaḥ - who; eṣaḥ - he; priya - dear; yadunandana - Kṛṣṇa, the son of the Yadus; unnata - elevated; prabhāvaḥ - power; svayaṁ - himself; atula - matchless; kṛpā - mercy; amṛta - nectar; abhiṣekaṁ - showered; mama - mine; kṛtavāṁs - did; tam - to him; ahaṁ - I; guruṁ - to my teacher; prapadye - I take shelter.

    I take shelter of my teacher Yadunandana Ācārya, who is so powerful because he is so dear to Yadunandana Śrī Kṛṣṇa, and who personally showered me with the nectar of his matchless mercy.

    Muktā-carita 4 -

    nāma śreṣṭhaṁ manum api śacī-putram atra svarūpaṁ
    rūpaṁ tasyāgrajam uru purīṁ māthurīṁ goṣṭha-bāṭīm
    rādhākuṇḍaṁ girivaram aho rādhikā mādhavāśāṁ
    prāpto yasya prathita kṛpayā śrī guruṁ taṁ nato'smi (4)

    I bow down to my blessed Śrī Guru, by whose grace I have received the greatest name in existence, the holy name of Kṛṣṇa, the 18-syllable Gopāla-mantra, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, the son of Mother Śacī, Svarūpa Dāmodara, Rūpa Gosvāmī, his elder brother Sanātana Gosvāmī, the great city of Mathurā, the pastures of Vraja, Rādhākuṇḍa, the best of mountains Govardhana, and the hope of attaining Rādhikā and Mādhava.....

  4. I am sorry prabhuji,but with all my respect to you I desagree with your undestanding and the meaning you take to the word 'gurum' in the above two slokas.As you know in the past it was not a custom to reveal the name of the guru freely,therefore,it is difficult to know the guru,s name of traditional vaisnavas from their writings.As you know the word guru means any respectable person.The word 'guru' does not always mean diksha guru.If you research in any sanscrit dictionary,one will see so many others meanings of this word.In fact the word 'guru' may be hardly used in the sense it is undestood at present.Any way this is my personal belief and I am not trying
    to convince anyone.Whether Yadunandana Acarya,Sri Svarupa Damodara or someone else was Sri Raghunataha,s diksha guru does not diminish their greatness,nor does it changes our philosophy.Even if our beliefs about historical facts are different,as long as we agree on the gaudiya vaisnava siddhanta there is not problem at all.
    Dandavats pranam.

  5. 1. Raghunath Das Goswami did reveal the name of his Guru, as did Rupa and Sanatana.
    2. The only Guru-verses in two separate books of Srila Raghunath-das Goswami would be dedicated to 'any respectable person' but not to the diksa guru? No other Guru being mentioned in these books at all, just a random 'respectable person'? Does that make any sense?

  6. Sorry to tell you prabhuji but to me you are not proving anything tangible.
    I already told you that mi conviction is that Yadunandana Acarya was only Sri Raghunata, family priest guru.
    This is what I heard from my Gurudeva,who is part of Gadadhara parivara and has himself heard it in parampara.I trust his words.It is also my personal conviction and I am not expecting others to agree with me,but because you want to delve deeper in this subject I am going to give you some explantion and arguments that you are free to accept or not.
    Most of the associates and followers of Mahaprabhu have composed many verses
    glorifying Sri Gadadhara Pandit Gosvami. In one short composition of Sri Lochana das Thakur
    he says:
    ''One who whishes to practice bhajan on the raganuga path,follows the disciples who are initiated in the lineage of Sri Gadadhar Pandit.Without following in the footsteps of such disciples one cannot achieve the vraja -bhava .Therefore the gosvamis of Vraja represent branches of Pandit Gosair
    (Sri Gadhadara Pandit)Which means that they became His disciples or disciples of His disciples.Thus Sri Locana affims that even the six gosvamis
    follow in Gadadhara,footsteps to practice raganuga bhakti.Even Advaita,s son Acyutananda got diksha from Pandit Gosair.
    Other evidence is Sri Gadadharastaka,which was composed according to my Gurudeva by Sri Rupa Gosvami;At the end of each sloka of the astaka it is written:
    I whorship my guru and master Sri Gadadhara,who is greatly learned.

    Other evidence is from a book called Sadhana dipika by Sri Radha Krishna Gosvami,a disciple of Haridasa,who is a grand discipe of Sri Gadadhara Pandit.Sri Haridas is mentioned in Caitanya caritamrita in Adi-lila chapter twelve in the list of Sri Gadadhara Pandit sakha and in Bhakti Ratnakara,chapter thirteen.He was the pujari of sri Radha Givindadeva in Vrindavan,the temple established by Rupa Gosvami.In the mangalacaranam of this book he writes the following verse(1.3)
    ''Sri Radha-Gadadhara(name used for Gadadhara Pandit)is most dear to Sri Caitanya.Sri Rupa who belongs to his (Gadadhara,s)family has established service to Sri Govinda.Sri Rupa Gosvami,an ocean of merci,is a beffiting recipient of the pure love of these two,i.e.Sri Caitanya and Sri Gadadhara.
    May I have love for the two lotus feet of that(Sri Rupa)in Vraja.''
    Later on ,in the same chapter,he writes that both Rupa Gosvami and Sri Sanatana Gosvami appointed devotees belonging to Gadadhara family as servitors of their respective temples as per the wish of Mahaprabhu.He further writes that Sri Rupa offered the service of Govindadeva to Haridasa
    Gosvami knowing himto be the svarupa of Sri Gadadhara.

    According to Sadhana Dipika,all the three main temples of Vrindavan,i.e.Govindaji,Madana-mohana and Gopinatha were served and managed by the followers of Sri Gadadhara.
    According to your opinion who gave diksha to Rupa and Sanatana?
    Dandavats pranam.

  7. Anonymous,
    1. Locan Das Thakur's poetry includes the ladies of Navadwip going to bed with Sriman Mahaprabhu. Do you accept that too or do you just pick and choose from the padakartas what suits you?
    2. The poyras you quote are a totally subjective glorification of Gadadhar Pandit.
    3. The only thing these poyras say is that Goswamis of Braj (which can be any Brajabasi-brahmin) were his branches. The word diksa is not mentioned here.
    4. There are catalogs of Rupa Goswami's works in Caitanya-Caritamrita and Bhakti Ratnakara. There is no Gadadharastakam mentioned there, nor is there a Gadadharastakam in Stavamala, which is supposed to be a collection of all stavas of Rupa Goswami.
    5. The sloka in Sadhana dipika does not say that Rupa Goswami is initiated by Gadadhar Pandit.
    6. In Bhakti Rasāmṛta Sindhu 1.1.3 Rūpa Gosvami clearly states that Sanatan Goswami and not Gadādhara is his Guru –

    viśrāma-mandiratayā tasya sanātana-tanor mad-īśasya |
    bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhur bhavatu sadāyam pramodāya ||

    Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī’s ṭīkā: atha nijeṣṭa-devāvatāratvena nija-guruṁ stuvan prārthayate—viśrāmeti |

    Mukunda Goswāmī’s ṭīkā: athāsya granthasya śrī-kṛṣṇasya pramoda-hetutāṁ śleṣeṇa sanātana-nāmno nija-guroś ca tām arthāt tau prārthayate—viśrāmeti.

    Viśvanātha Cakravartī ṭīkā: atha nijeṣṭa-devāvatāratvena nija-guruṁ stuvan prārthayate—viśrāmeti |

    7. Vidya Vacaspati was the Guru of Sanatan Goswami.

  8. For your information Locana das thakur and his guru Narahari Sarkar both took diksa from Gadadhar Pandit,if you think that Locana das Thakur who is a nitya siddha is just speculating because he wants to impress others with his statements is up to you.

    How can you prove that the sloka mentioned by Locana das Thakur is totally subjective glorification?

    There is also a mention by Narottama das in Prarthana,song 10 that he also belongs to Gadadhara parivar.


    ''Nityananda is my wealth,Gauracandra is my master(husband),and the Yugala kisor is my very life.Advaita Candra is my strenght,Gadadhara my family and Narahari Sarakara always plays within my heart.''
    Before Mahaprabhu sent Rupa and Sanatana Gosvami to Vrindavan,He had sent Sri Bhugarbha Gosvami and Sri Lokanatha Gosvami there.Bhugarbha Gosvami is mentioned in C.C as part of the Gadadhara branch.Lokanatha gosvami is supposed to be the nephew of Bugarbha Gosvami and in all probability was also a follower of Gadadhara Pandit.
    This seems to be confirmed by Narottama Dasa Thakura,s song stated above(Gadadhara mora kula-Gadadhara is my family),since Narottama was a disciple of Lokanath Gosvami as stated in Bhakti Ratnakara,ch.1 verse 346 and is also understood from the song sri guru carana padma.

    to be continued....

  9. Though Narottam sings 'gadādhara mora kula' (Prarthana song 10) this should be a metaphor only or glorification in poetry. If you take it as a LITERAL, HISTORICAL TRUTH, then 'pati mora gauracandra' in the same song means Narottama is a Gaura-nāgarī or gay or so?

  10. tāhā śuni lokanāth ānandita hoilā; gangā garbhe mora prabhu sthāne mantra loilā
    "Hearing this, Lokanath was happy and took mantra from my Lord [Adwaita ācārya] on the bank of the Gangā." [Iśān Nāgar in Adwaita-prakāśa, chapter 12, verse 99]

  11. It seems you don,t believe in the existence of nagari bhava.You cannot prove
    that'gadadhara mora kula'is a metaphor only or glorification in poetry.

    The word pati does not always means husband.It means protector,master or Lord,as in the words jagatpati(Lord of the universe)satvatpati(master of the Satvatas)used for Krishna.

    From Caitanya Caritamrita and Caitanya Bhâgavata,it is understood that Mahaprabhu gave vigraha seva and also the Tota Gopinatha deity Himself,to Gadadhara Pandita.He was also given the service to recite Bhâgavata Purana.
    Mahaprabhu personally used to listen to it from his mouth at the bank of Narendra Sarovara in Puri.According to the author of Sadana dipika it means
    that He authorized specifically Gadadhara Pandit to propagate vigraha seva and the teaching of Bhâgavata.This implies that Mahaprabhu also authorized Gadadhara Pandit to initiate because deity worship cannot be performed without mantra diksa.Therefore,it is not surprising that the deity worship in Vrindavan was performed by the followers of Gadadhara Pandit.
    In Sadhana Dipika(chapter seven),it is written that in Puri,Navadvipa and Vrindavan the service to the deities and recitation of Bhâgavata Purana is done by the followers of Gadadhara Pandit,who is the main representative of the internal potency of Mahaprabhu.This was according to the desire of Mahaprabhu.This point is reiterated in other parts of this book with references to C.Caritamrita and Caitanya Bhâgavata.
    ACBS Prabhupada also mentions that from a book named Sakha-nirnayamrita
    Acyutananda,the son of Advaita Acarya was a disciple of Gadadhara Pandit,he lived in Jagannatha Puri taking shelter of Lord Caitanya.

    In Antya lila,chp 7,there is also the story of Vallabha Bhatta visiting Mahaprabhu.In verse 171 it is mentioned that Vallabha Bhatta took mantra diksa from Gadadhara Pandit.This also indicates that Mahaprabhu wanted Pandit Gadadhara to accept disciples on His behalf.It also agrees with the idea that Mahaprabhu came to give Radha-bhava as Gadadhara is a manifaestation of Radha.
    From all these evidences it is clear that Mahaprabhu wished Sri Gadadhara Pandit who is Radha hersef,to initiate on His behalf and propagate deity worship and the teachings of Bhâgavata Purana through his disciples.

  12. 1. I never said I don't believe in the EXISTENCE of nagari bhava. I say that it is not given by any of the 6 Goswamis and it was condemned in Caitanya Bhagavat.
    Does your Guru give nagari bhava? I never saw that!
    2. You are now being stubborn about gadadhara mora kula - of course it is poetry. dhana mora nityananda - "Nityananda is my wealth", this is not poetry but literal? How much money Narottam got from Nityananda then?
    3. I am not against Gadadhar Pandit Goswami at all, just against the claim that he gave diksa to Lokanath-Rupa-Sanatana.
    4. Giving vigraha seva does not mean giving diksa to everyone.
    It was a part of sampradaya sthapana. If it means giving diksa to everyone, then why Mahaprabhu allowed Nityananda and Advaita to have their lineages at all?
    5. The fact that Vallabha took diksa from Gadadhar [vehemently denied by the Vallabhaites] does not mean he was told to give diksa to so many others that you mention.

  13. As I already told you,I don,t care about others faith and convictions. I respect all vaisnavas,specially those whose aim is to attain manjari bhava.Krishna has given us the intelligence to discriminate properly.
    The problem is that because we are in ignorance since a time without begining
    the natural tendency of the living entities is to go for the wrong thing and is only by Krishna,s grace that one gets in contact with a bonafide guru and sampradaya,otherwise the living entity does not have his own intelligence to decide what is sat and asat.And asat people will never say that they are asat,in fact they will proclaim very loudly that they are sat.Because asat has the greatest fear from sat.It is nothing personal.

    It needs a lot of humility and unbiased mind to admit some evident facts.
    I have a great respect and apreciation for you and I also consider you one of my siksa gurus,you are very special western devotee ,very smart and broad minded philosophically, but sorry to tell you that you are neither a sanscrit scholar nor have you studied sistematically sastra with your own guru or with other siksa gurus;you are mainly a self taught devotee.
    As I already told you the word guru is many times confusing because it can have various meanings besides initiating person and because the old custom was not to reveal one,s guru name.

    'gadadhara mora kula'can be taken metaphorically or it can also convey some facts.

    Sri Gadadharastaka is included on pages 49-51 in a book called Sri-stava kalpadruma,compiled by Sri Bhakti-Saranga gosvami and Sri Purusottama Dasa,both dsciples of Bhaktisiddhant Sarasvati Maharaja.However,there the author,s name mention is Sva-rupa Gosvami.It has been published also in the magazine 'Rays of the Harmonist number 9,the journal of SRI GAUDIYA VEDANTA SAMITI.There the editors of sri Gadadharastakam say that the author is Sri Svarupa Damodara Gosvami,but my gurudeva believes it is Rupa Gosvami.but anyway you don,t accept Sri Gadadharastakam

    You say that in bhakti rasamrita sindhu 1.1.3 Rupa gosvami clearly states that Sanatan Gosvami and not Gadadhara is his guru.
    The verse does not use the word guru at all.The commetator,Sri Jiva Gosvami,does not say that the author prays to his guru.The word guru could mean initiating guru,or teacher or just elder brother.If one wants to take it to mean initiating guru,it is fine with me,but that is not how i take it.The problem is,that in the past it was not a custom to reveal the name of the guru freely.

    You also affirm that Vidya Vacaspati was the guru of Sanatana Gosvami.
    Sanatana Gosvami studied under Vidya Vicaspati.It does not necessarily mean that he took diksha from him.He studied before he met Mahaprabhu.It is assumed that after he became a follower of Mahaprabhu,he accepted vaisnava diksha from someone.It is a well known fact that of the Pancha tattva,only Gadadhara Pandit stayed with Mahaprabhu in Puri.Nityananda Prabhu and Advaita Acharya were not living in Puri.So it is quite probable that Sri Sanatana and Sri Rupa got diksha from Gadadhara Pandit.Gadadhara Pandit is
    Srimati Radha.Mahaprabhu is supposed to have appeared to give Radha bhava.Then it makes sense that he asked Sri Rupa and Sanatana to take mantra
    from Sri Gadadhara Pandit,since these two were the main proponents of his siddhanta.

    My Gurudeva has told us that Rupa and Sanatana took initiation from Gadadhara Pandit Gosvami in Puri.They also studied Srimad Bhagavatam from him,and Svarurupa Damodara Gosvami tested if they had understood it.

    I will never admit that you know more than my guru on these matters,who got in touch since his adolescence with Pandit Baba Siddha Ramakrishna das Mahasaya,whose guru was siddha Srila Nityananda das Mahasaya and of course his own guru Vinoda Vihari gosvami who it is said that during his period in Vraja there was nobody as scholarly than him.He heard these things in parampara from such an exalted paramahamsas,therefore I have no doubts at all in these matters..But of course I don,t expect that you agree.

  14. Your writings are full of assumptions, wishful thinking and blind following. I have given you so much sound evidence from shastra, but you are ducking, twisting and playing it down. Formal Sanskrit education has nothing to do with this.