Shining Light on the Subject of Initiation
BY: MAHANANDA DASA
Nov 16, 2011 ALACHUA, FLORIDA, USA (SUN) There are so many quotes by our beloved Srila Prabhupada. Tonight I received an email from Alachua's newest bhakta, Michael Dunaway (who moved into the temple a few months ago and has inspired me by his sincere desire to serve the devotees) with the following quotes by my beloved Spiritual Master about initiation:
"…it is the duty of the spiritual master and the disciple to associate—that is the injunction of Sanatana Gosvami—for some time, and both of them should study. The disciple should study 'whether I can accept this saintly person as my spiritual master.' And spiritual master also will see 'whether I can accept this boy, this person, as my disciple.' That is the way. "
(Srila Prabhupada Initiation Lecture, July 13, 1971, Los Angeles)
"First of all you find out the person, that one who is better than you. Then you submit. Therefore the rules and regulation are that nobody should accept blindly any guru, and nobody should blindly accept any disciple. They must behave, one another, at least for one year so that the prospective disciple can also understand, ‘Whether I can accept this person as my guru.' And the prospective guru also can understand, ‘Whether this person can become my disciple.' This is the instruction by Sanatana Goswami in his Hari-bhakti-vilasa."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture on Bhagavad-gita 13.1-2, February 25, 1975, Miami)
"Therefore, in the Hari-bhakti-vilasa by Sanatana Gosvami it is directed that the spiritual master and the disciple must meet together at least for one year so that the disciple may also understand that 'Here is a person whom I can accept as my guru,' and the guru also can see that 'Here is a person who is fit for becoming my disciple.' Then the business is nice."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture on Srimad Bhagavatam 1.16.25, January 21, 1974, Hawaii)
"Don't make a fashion. First of all you test that 'Whether I can surrender?'. Then try to understand."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture on Srimad Bhagavatam 7.6.2, June 18, 1976, Toronto)
"Suppose you are going here. You are coming here to learn something. When you are convinced that 'Swamiji knows the thing,' when you are convinced, then you accept. Then you ask for initiation. Otherwise, don't do it hesitatingly or knowing half. Therefore, in the system it is enjoined that the spiritual master also observe the disciple at least for one year, and the disciple also studies the spiritual master at least for one year. So when both of them are convinced that 'He can be my spiritual master' or 'He can be my disciple,' then the relationship is established. We initiate our students."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture on Bhagavad-gita 4.34-39, January 12, 1969, Los Angeles)
"Therefore, Caitanya Mahaprabhu says, amara ajnaya guru haya tara sarva-desa, tara ei desa. He's asking everyone to become a spiritual master. So how everyone can become a spiritual master? A spiritual master must have sufficient knowledge, so many other qualifications. No. Even without any qualifications, one can become a spiritual master. How? Now the process is, Caitanya Mahaprabhu says, amara ajnaya: 'On My order.' That is the crucial point. One does not become spiritual master by his own whims. That is not spiritual master. He must be ordered by superior authority. Then he's spiritual master. Amara ajnaya. Just like in our case. Our superior authority, our spiritual master, he ordered me that 'You just try to preach this gospel, whatever you have learned from me, in English.' So we have tried it. That's all. It is not that I am very much qualified. The only qualification is that I have tried to execute the order of superior authority".
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture on Bhagavad-gita 2.2, August 3, 1973 London)
"So far designation is concerned, the spiritual master authorizes every one of his disciples. But it is up to the disciple to carry out the order, able to carry out or not. It is not that spiritual master is partial, he designates one and rejects other. He may do that. If the other is not qualified, he can do that. But actually his intention is not like that. He wants that each and every one of his disciple become as powerful as he is or more than that. That is his desire. Just like father wants every son to be as qualified or more qualified than the father. But it is up to the student or the son to raise himself to that standard.
Every student is expected to become Acarya. Acarya means one who knows the scriptural injunctions and follows them practically in life, and teaches them to his disciples. …Keep trained up very rigidly and then you are bona fide Guru, and you can accept disciples on the same principle. But as a matter of etiquette it is the custom that during the lifetime of your Spiritual Master you bring the prospective disciples to him, and in his absence or disappearance you can accept disciples without any limitation. This is the law of disciplic succession. I want to see my disciples become bona fide Spiritual Master and spread Krishna consciousness very widely, that will make me and Krishna very happy."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter to Tusta Krsna, December 2, 1975)
"I want that all of my spiritual sons and daughters will inherit this title of Bhaktivedanta, so that the family transcendental diploma will continue through the generations. Those possessing the title of Bhaktivedanta will be allowed to initiate disciples. Maybe by 1975, all of my disciples will be allowed to initiate and increase the numbers of the generations. That is my program."
(Letter to Hamsaduta, January 3, 1969)
"I give you order. You, every one of you become a spiritual master. 'Oh, I have no qualification. How can I become spiritual master?' It requires high knowledge, Sanskrit understanding. No, you don't require anything. Simply you speak krsna-upadesa. What is krsna-upadesa? Krsna says, sarva-dharmän parityajya mäm ekam saranam vraja [Bg. 18.66]. You simply go door to door and say, 'Please surrender to Krsna.' Then you are spiritual master. I have done this. What I have done? I have gone to your country to say this thing, that 'Here is Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. You surrender; you become perfect.' That is being done. So it is not very difficult to become spiritual master. Simply you have to become very serious and sincere to the service of Krsna."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture on Srimad Bhagavatam 2.1.1, November 4, 1973, Delhi)
"Take My order and you become a spiritual master. How? Simply speak Krsna consciousness, that's all. Simply speak on Krsna's message, krsna-katha. There are two kinds of krsna-kathas. One is the Bhagavad-gita, and the other is Srimad-Bhagavatam. So this is the propagation of Krsna consciousness."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, December 11, 1968 Los Angeles)
Srila Prabhupada always keeps it simple.
"The instruction is there; you simply repeat and let them hear—you become guru. It is not difficult at all. So that is our preaching."
Glories to Srila Prabhupada. May he bless sincere seekers like Michael Dunaway for all times.