The process of reaching the ultimate goal of Life, which is Love of Lord Sri Krishna, has been enunciated in the shastras by the following steps:
ädau çraddhä tataù sädhu-
saìgo ‘tha bhajana-kriyä
tato ‘nartha-nivåttiù syät
tato niñöhä rucis tataù
athäsaktis tato bhävas
sädhakänäm ayaà premëaù
prädurbhäve bhavet kramaù
- Shraddha – In the beginning, there must be some faith. This faith can be there due to the result of previous birth or if one meets Sri Krishna devotee/s and develops some faith to know more.
- Sadhu Sanga – Then due to this faith, one becomes interested in associating with devotees to know more. On listening from the devotees about the glories of Lord Sri Krishna, His pure devotees and devotional service, one sincerely desires to progress on the path of spirituality.
- Bhajan Kriya – When one is sincere to pursue the path of Sri Radha Krishna bhakti one accepts a bonafide spiritual master (Diksha Guru) through initiation or Diksha and executes the regulative principles and devotional service under the Guru’s orders. Bhajan Kriya is the step from where ones real or true spiritual life or journey begins. The instructions of the Guru should always remain the guiding light of the spiritual aspirant throughout one’s life. The moment one leaves the shelter of the instructions of the Guru one’s spiritual life is hampered.
- Anartha Nivritti – On sincerely following the instructions of the Guru one is freed from all unwanted habits which are obstacles in advancing in spiritual life.
- Nishtha – On the removal of these obstacles, one becomes firmly fixed, this is also known as matured or unpliable Shraddha – faith, in devotional service.
- Ruchi – After that, one develops a taste for devotional service.
- Asakti – This taste gives attachment towards devotional service. This is the way of sadhana bhakti the execution of devotional service according to the regulative principles.
- Bhava – Gradually attachment – asakti and emotions intensify, which is known as “bhava.”
- Prema – Finally there is an awakening of love (matured bhava or concentrated bhava) – Sri Krishna Prem
What is Diksha?
divya-jïänaà kñapayati iti dékñä
The word Diksha is derived from the amalgamation of two syllables – “Di” and ‘Ksha”.”Di” here means Divya Gyan or Transcendental Knowledge whereas “Ksha” means destroying obstacle in the path of spiritual advancement. Coherently, Diksha means that upon taking that spiritual knowledge by which all obstacles are destroyed which come as a hindrance in fulfilling human life’s real purpose which is to reestablish the soul’s eternal relationship with the Supreme Absolute truth Lord Sri Krishna. Bhagavad Gita confirms this fact in Chapter 9 Verse -1
idaṁ tu te guhya-tamaṁ
yaj jñātvā mokṣyase ’śubhāt
The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: My dear Arjuna because you are never envious of Me, I shall impart to you this most confidential knowledge and realization, knowing which you shall be relieved of the miseries or obstacles in one’s progress towards the love of Lord Sri Krishna.
Here Lord Sri Krishna is clearly saying that one who knows and applies this spiritual knowledge will be relieved from all miseries. Misery for a Sri Krishna devotee on the path of Sri Krishna bhakti is not to be able to develop pure love of Lord Sri Krishna.
Diksha – its importance
In Bhakti Rasamrta Sindhu Sripad Rupa Goswami states that in the 64 angas (limbs) of bhakti the first four or starting 4 are
viçrambheëa guroù sevä
- Taking shelter of Guru
- Then begin Sri Krishna bhakti by taking Diksha
- Acquire knowledge from Guru
- Service (following instructions) to Guru with respect
That is why it becomes imperative to take Diksha. But before accepting Diksha, you will have to prepare for Diksha by going through specific steps. Just like when you get your graduate degree, you must first complete the lower rungs (1st year, 2nd year, etc.) of graduation. Remember, Diksha is like becoming a graduate and after which you start using the knowledge in your life. Diksha is the beginning not the end of Sri Krishna bhakti. After Diksha one starts, the practice of Sri Krishna Bhakti.
A spiritual aspirant who aspires to take Diksha will have to go through the following stages.
- Stage 1 – Krishna Aashray
- Stage 2 – Prabhupadanuga
- Level 1
- Level 2
- Level 3
- Stage 3 – Harinam Diksha
We have provided a form on filling which you start your journey to getting Diksha. This form will help you to know on which level you presently are. Fill this form only after going through the following text.
Stage 1 – Krishna Aashray
- Listening Requirements – Heard full 14 hours Bhagavad Gita Seminar, Hears Sunday Online Class of GIVE regularly.
- Should have faith that Lord Shri Krishna is the Supreme Lord and He controllers everything and everyone.
- One should believe in the Sat-Cit-Anand form of Lord Shri Krishna.
- Chanting – Chant at least 1 round (108 times) per day (Chant on Neem Mala only. Don’t have Neem Mala? Procure Neem Mala).
Stage 2 – Prabhupadanuga
The next stage after Sri Krishna aashraya is that of becoming a Praphupadanuga. From this stage onwards a person starts one ‘s journey to become a pure devotee of Lord Sri Radha Krishna and Sri Nitai-Gauranga by taking formal Diksha from Srila Prabhupada.
You are following the following stages or you pledge to follow the same from now.
- Prabhupadanuga- Level 1
- Has been following or will start following the four regulative principles of freedom.
- 4 Regulative Principles For Freedom
|No Intoxication||No alcohol, no tobacco chewing. No smoking or taking any type of intoxicants. One should also not take caffeine products like tea, coffee, chocolate, Cold Drinks carrying caffeine, alcohol, drugs, charas etc.|
|Food Restrictions||One should not eat foods which are in the mode of passion and ignorance like|
|Meat Products||Both red and white, 2. Fish, Eggs, Mushroom, Masoor Dal (lentils), Onion, Garlic, Food cooked three hours before consumption|
|No Illicit Sex||No sex out of marriage. Sex – only for begetting children.|
|No Mental Speculation||The devotee should practice no Gambling or Mental speculation. No type of gambling, this includes daily trading in share market, playing cards, or any form of gambling, no dishonest dealings, No Mental Speculation, for example, giving own interpretations regarding spiritual matters.|
- Chanting – At least 4 rounds per day. (Chant on Neem Mala only. Don’t have Neem Mala? Procure Neem Mala)
- Listening Requirements –
- Has heard full 14 hours Bhagavad Gita Course at least 2 times.
- Has heard Sri Ishopanishad seminar.
- Listens to at least 2 hours or more of live or recorded sessions per week by Srila Prabhupada and Guruji Shri Vrindavanchandra Das Ji.
- Reading Requirements –
- Has read the introduction of Bhagavad Gita as it is at least six times by giving 15-20 mins or more every day.
- After completing point 1, start reading daily shloka translations of one chapter of Bhagavad Gita as it is.
- Read at least one shloka with purport or minimum 15 mins or more of Bhagavad Gita As It is per day.
- Should read small books of Srila Prabhupada every day for at least 15 mins or more.
- Should fast on Ekadashi and Hari Vasar days.
- Should wear Tulsi Kanthi Mala a round the neck -2 rounds.
- Should know by heart Srila Prabhupada’s Pranati and Panchtatva Mantra.