Harinama diksha

Srila Prabhupada giving initiation


Within The Gaudiya Vaishnava Sampradaya, there are two initiations given to the aspiring devotee. The first is the Hari Nama diksha. This is when the spiritual master carefully observes  the sincerity of the disciple, traditionally for at least one year. The disciple has to chant the holy name of the Lord with a regular discipline according to particular vow and follow four regulative principles, i.e. no illicit sex, no intoxication, no gambling, and no meat eating.

When the spiritual master sees that the disciple is following these vows and also has assumed the consciousness of obedience to the Guru, obedience in service of the Guru, then the spiritual master awards the Hari Nama initiation. At this point, the disciple vows to chant 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna Mahamantra daily and also to follow the four regulative principles. The Spiritual Master Gives a spiritual names to His disciple, thus spiritualizing His existence. Thus, a formal link between the Guru and the disciple is established. The disciple is then eternally connected to the disciplic succession of all previous Acharys and Vaishnavas. In this way,  He becomes a part of this family, the spiritual family.

The second initiation is the brahmin initiation. When one takes this initiation, He is not given another spiritual name. For being eligible for this initiation, one has to have taken the Hari Nama diksha. During the brahmin initiation, the Devotee is given the sacred brahmin thread by his spiritual master and spiritual master chants the Gayatri Mantra in the right ear of the disciple. When one takes the Brahmin initiation there is great responsibility upon the disciple. Srila Prabhupada expected His Brahmin disciples to exhibit in their behavior as well as in their words the true qualities of a Vaishnav Brahmin. That means by their example and by their words, they teach to the human society the path Back Home Back to Godhead.