Why a real unbroken diksa guru-parampara is absolutely necessary

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Why is a Guru-parampara Indispensable?

A guru parampara is an uninterrupted succession of devotees who have surrendered to

their guru. Without such surrender there is no Krsna –

yasya prasadad bhagavatprasado – yasyaprasadan na gatih kuto’pi

(Gurvastakam – 8)

Krsna cannot be approached directly; Krsna will not accept anyone unless he accepts the

attitude of a servant of His devotee in the form of the guru.

The Srimad Bhagavata (10.14.29) states:

athapi te deva padambujadvayaprasadalesanugrhita eva hi

janati tattvam bhagavanmahimno na canya eko’pi ciram vicinvan

[Moreover, Lord, one who has been blessed with a tiny bit of the mercy of your lotus feet

knows the truth of the your greatness, O Blessed One. Not some other one pondering it

over for a long time. -Ed.]


diksa-kale bhakta kore atma-samarpana

“At the time of initiation the devotee surrenders himself.”(C.c., Antya, 4.184)

Srila Rupa Gosvami teaches in the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (1.2.74) that the first of the 64

means of devotion is sriguru-padasraya, surrender to a bona fide guru, as well as krsnadiksadisiksanam,

“initiation and teaching in Krsna-bhakti.”

The Bhagavata (11.21.15) states mantrasya ca parijñanam – “the mantra is purified by the

right knowledge.” A mantra without explanation is powerless, and Sri Visvanatha

Cakravarti writes in his commentary on this verse that one cannot just take mantras or

their purports from books to reach the same effect –

sadgurumukhat yathavat parijñanam mantrasuddhih

“The mantra is really pure when it emanates from the mouth of a bona-fide guru.”

guruvaktrad visnumantro yasya karne visatyayam

tam vaisnavam mahaputam pravadanti manisinah

(Brahmavaivarta Purana, Krsnajanma-khanda, 83.34)


“The wise call those persons in whose ears the Visnu-mantra enters, as it emanated from

the guru’s mouth, greatly sanctified Vaisnavas.”

Sri Narahari Cakravarti writes about Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s receiving diksa mantra

from Sri Isvara Puri:

nija diksa mantra tañre karnete kohiya

loilena mantra bhumi pori pranamiya || (Bhaktiratnakara, 5.2103)

“Sri Isvara Puri spoke his own diksa mantra into the ear of Nimai, who then fell on the

ground in obeisance.”

Furthermore, in verse 2109 of the same chapter it is said:

sampradaya-nivista hoile karya siddhi hoy

anyatra diksita mantra nisphala niscoy

“Success is achieved after entering a sampradaya (official tradition), otherwise the mantra

in which one is ‘initiated’ certainly won’t bear fruit.”

Success cannot be had by practising a mantra attained from a book. Such accumulation of

book knowledge is an offence to the guru (guror avajña), which is the third offence to the

chanting of the holy name. Thus people who consider initiation unnecessary cannot get

the full benefit of chanting Hare Krsna. It is also an insult to the vaisnava – pariprasnena

sevaya (Gita, 4.34). One should accumulate knowledge through submissive inquiry from

the saints and by serving them, otherwise Krsna will never be pleased. Hence the mantra

should also be received in an uninterrupted diksa-parampara, which is at the same time

an unbroken siksa-parampara. The argument ‘the holy name is transcendental and

therefore not dependent on all these external rituals’ will not work, for on the path of

bhakti everything depends on a service attitude, particularly towards the guru. The

argument that ‘only the siksa parampara or bhagavata parampara matters’ is also invalid,

for Haribhakti-vilasa (2.4) quotes this statement of Lord Siva from theVisnu-yamala:

adiksitasya vamoru krtam sarvam nirarthakam

pasuyonim avapnoti diksavirahito janah

“All activities of a non-initiated person are in vain. A person who is without initiation will

take birth as an animal.”

The Brahmavaivarta Purana, (Krsnajanma-khanda, 93.79) states:

na gurur mantradat parah –

“No guru is greater than the mantra-guru.”


Sri Advaita Prabhu told His son Krsna Misra Gosvami in Advaita Prakasa (21.153-154):

vaisnavera madhye yei sampradaya hine sampradayi madhye yei gauraga na mane

krsna bahirmukha sei korimu niryasa

“Again, amongst the Vaisnavas, I consider those who have no sampradaya (and those who

do have a sampradaya but do not recognise Gauranga) averse to Sri Krsna and I will oust



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