Continued questions and answers with Śrīla Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswāmī Mahārāj about chanting Śrī Hari-nām.

The Proper Channel

Continued questions and answers with Śrīla Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswāmī Mahārāj about chanting Śrī Hari-nām.

Dīkṣā means,

divyaṁ jñānaṁ yato dadyāt kuryāt pāpasya saṅkṣayam
(Bhakti-sandarbha: 283)

[“Dīkṣā is the process by which one can awaken his transcendental knowledge and vanquish all reactions caused by sinful activity.”]

yathā kāñchanatāṁ yāti kāṁsyaṁ rasa-vidhānataḥ
tathā dīkṣā-vidhānena dvijatvaṁ jāyate nṛṇām
(Bhakti-sandarbha: 298)

[“By chemical manipulation, bell metal is turned into gold when touched by mercury; similarly, when a person is properly initiated, he can acquire the qualities of a brāhmaṇ.”]

Dvijatvam means he gets a brāhmaṇ form; there is also sin in the brāhmaṇ form, but it will be removed by dīkṣā.

When you get the seed of dīkṣā, it will not immediately remove sin; it is śata patra vedhaḥ nyāya: when you push a needle through a bunch of one hundred leaves, it may appear that the needle is going through all the leaves at the same time, but it is actually going through them one by one. A person’s sin will go in this way. It will take a little time, but that time is very short within ananta kāl, infinite time. It may even be in one birth.

Devotee: When someone receives Hari-nām from a sādhu, is that also called dīkṣā, Hari-nām-dīkṣā?

Śrīla Govinda Mahārāj: Yes, we call that Hari-nām-dīkṣā, but dīkṣā actually means receiving the seed that gives divya jñān, transcendental knowledge. Dīkṣā also removes all sin from the body.

Devotee: Like prāyaśchitta?

Śrīla Govinda Mahārāj: Not like prāyaśchitta [atonement], it is more like puraścharaṇ [purificatory rites].

Devotee: And initiation is also not necessary, is that correct?

Śrīla Govinda Mahārāj: It is not necessary to first take gāyatrī initiation and then receive Hari-nām. You can take Hari-nām anywhere, any time, and at any moment, but you must take it from a sādhu. You must take Hari-nām from a real saint, a sādhu.

Devotee: And what if somebody receives a scripture from a sādhu? The sādhu writes the scripture, and in that scripture he may instruct Harer Nāma, Harer Nāma, Harer Nāmaiva kevalam in writing, and also give the mahāmantra.

Śrīla Govinda Mahārāj: If you read that, you will understand that Hari-nām is very essential; and if you want to know how you should chant Hari-nām, you can also search for that in the grantha, scripture, and when you search, you will see first,

‘sādhu-saṅga’, ‘sādhu-saṅga’ — sarva-śāstre kaya
lava-mātra sādhu-saṅge sarva-siddhi haya
(Śrī Chaitanya-charitāmṛta, Madhya 22.54)

[“All the scriptures say, ‘Association with sādhus, association with sādhus’. All perfection is realised within one moment of association with sādhus.”]

This is the proper channel. Whatever you do must be through the proper channel.

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