Initiation from a Bona fide Spiritual Master on May 25th, barely 2 days after the High Court verdict which went against ISKCON Bangalore, ISKCON Bureau sent a resolution to ISKCON Bangalore. The resolution reads as follows in the beginning, with pertinent observations.
Amongst the tension and tussle in Bangalore after the Hon’ble High Court’s verdict, May 29th was a memorable day for 37 devotees in the temple here. On the auspicious appearance day of Srila Vrindavana Dasa Thakura, 37 devotees took shelter under the lotus feet of Srila Prabhupada and accepted him as their spiritual master. I was one among the 37 devotees who took diksha from Srila Prabhupada on that day.
Everything was as how Srila Prabhupada instructed in July 9th Directive. We had to first write a test for 200 marks and to pass this test we had to score minimum 150 marks (By Srila Prabhupada’s mercy I scored 198; question paper was little easy). After we pass in the test, we are interviewed by our Group Coordinator (We have a very nice and well organized Krishna Ashraya Program in temple). Once the group-coordinator’s interview is cleared, we then go for an interview with the Temple President. And once the Temple President is satisfied, he recommends the candidates for the initiation. All these processes are basically to test the candidates that whether they can keep up to the standards enshrined by Srila Prabhupada.
Then the candidates attend the grand initiation ceremony. We all were made to sit in front of the Deities and Srila Prabhupada’s altar. One by one we vowed in front of Srila Prabhupada for chanting 16 rounds everyday and following the four regulative principles throughout our lives. Then our names were announced by the Temple President. My name is Agrani Krishna Dasa meaning the servant of Krishna who guides His devotees back to His Supreme abode. And some other names were Annapurna Devi Dasi, Amalabhakta Anjaneya Dasa, Urjita Krishna Dasa, Srikara Govinda Dasa, Nakula Dasa, Nirantara Radha Devi Dasi, Narakesari Dasa, etc. After hearing our name we had to pick our malas which were chanted upon by the ritviks. After that Vaishnava homa and guru-dakshina – this made our initiation process complete.
Every step of this process, we all always felt only one thing – we are getting the shelter of a pure devotee now, who will accept us as his disciple formally. Now it all lies in our hand that we should follow the vowed instructions strictly, take the instructions of Srila Prabhupada as our lives and soul and execute his will. Initiation is just the admission. But the real teaching happens in the classrooms.
I had been hearing from many disciples of the gurus that they need to feel being initiated and that can happen only if the guru is initiating you physically, gives you a mala and then gives you the name. I was wondering if this initiation was to be such a feeling than the initiating guru becomes the “Physical Master” and not the “Spiritual Master”.
There are evidences of many disciples who got initiated during the physical presence of Srila Prabhupada but they had not seen him even once in their life time. Does that mean that they were not initiated by Srila Prabhupada and not his disciples?
Srila Prabhupada is a bonafide spiritual master and a representative of the guru-tattva, Lord Balarama and Lord Nityananda. He is on the absolute platform and has the potency to be present through his vani, his instructions, and his books. Is this not enough for all of us to come and take his shelter? Do these people accept false gurus just for a fashion? We are all the disciples of Srila Prabhupada and it is not very hard to realize this. We need to just approach Prabhupada and pray to him for his ultimate mercy. Rest he shall take care.
Below are the photos of this diskha ceremony: