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The information in this booklet was compiled by His Divine Grace Srila Gour Govinda Swami Maharaja. After many of his Godbrothers fell from their positions as sannyasis and gurus, Srila Gour Govinda Maharaja presented this information to the GBC members (of ISKCON) in 1989 for the sole purpose of establishing the absolute conception of (sad-) guru and to console Srila Prabhupada’s grand-disciples so that they would not lose faith in devotional service and Krishna consciousness.
The following is an excerpt from the Guru Tattva booklet.
“Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has given some practical hints to the effect that an uttama-adhikari Vaisnava can be recognised by his ability to convert many fallen souls to Vaisnavism.” (Sri Upadesamrta verse 5, purport.)
All Vaisnava acaryas and sastra have said that both siksa-guru and diksa-guru are required. One who teaches how to serve Hari is the siksa-guru. The spiritual master who initiates according to the regulations of sastra is called the diksa-guru.
The spiritual master who gives instructions to elevate one in their spiritual life is the siksa-guru. Both the siksa-guru and diksa-guru are equal in status. If one thinks either of them as superior or inferior he commits an offence. The initiating spiritual master, i.e. diksa-guru, is a personal manifestation of Srila Madana-Mohana vigraha and the instructing spiritual master, siksa-guru, is a personal representative of Srila Govindadeva vigraha.
Srila Prabhupada writes in this respect, “Sri Govindaji acts exactly like the siksa-guru by teaching Bhagavad-gita to Arjuna. He is the original preceptor, for he gives instructions and an opportunity to serve Him. The initiating spiritual master or diksa-guru is a personal manifestation of Sri Madana-Mohana vigraha. Both of these deities are worshipped in Vrindavan. Diksa-guru gives the first requisite sambandha-jnana the other name of which is divya-jnana or diksa.” (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila 1.47, purport)
In the Hari-bhakti-vilasa it is stated:
divyam jnanam yato dadyat
kuryat papasya sanksayam
tasmat dikseti sa prokta
“Diksa is the process by which one can awaken his transcendental knowledge and vanquish all reactions to sinful activities performed in the past. A person who is expert in the study of the revealed scriptures knows this process as diksa.” (Hari-bhakti-vilasa 2.9, quoted from Visnu-yamala)
Since it gives divya-jnana or sambandha-jnana and roots out all the sins and their seeds, therefore, the spiritually advanced, wise and learned saints name this institutional initiation as diksa. Diksa is not merely the instruction to recite a sacred mantra, rather it is the process which enables the disciple to develop sambandha-jnana.
A person may read hundreds of scriptures by himself but if he does not do hari-bhajan he will never obtain the ultimate goal of the scriptures, which is love of God. The wisdom that results out of the recitation of the holy mantras helps the disciple to properly understand the inner meanings and purports of the sastra. Thus siksa and diksa are complimentary in spiritual life and both are equally important.
Previously it has been stated that the diksa-guru is the personal representation of Srila Madana-mohana. In other words, he is the one who enables the disciples to establish their relationship with the lotus feet of Srila Madana-mohana, because they have forgotten their own real identities, their constitutional position and the Supreme Lord, the conditioned souls are unable to move in the holy dhama of Vrindavan. The diksa-guru, out of his causeless mercy, fixes the feet of those conditioned souls, disciples, in the holy Vrindavan dhama, and thus gives them the opportunity to re-establish their relationship with the Supreme Lord, and to move in the holy abode of Vrajabhumi.
Also, the siksa–guru out of his causeless mercy through instructions enables the disciples, the otherwise conditioned souls to effectively travel in the holy land of Vrajabhumi and gives them the knowledge to eternally and perfectly serve the lotus feet of Srila Govindadeva. (Guru Tattva booklet pages 10-11)
This booklet is available for free distribution. Anyone who is willing to help with the distribution please contact Tattva Vicara Publications.