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Discussions on the doctrines of Gaudiya Vaishnavism. Please place practical questions under the Miscellaneous forum and set this aside for the more theoretical side of it.

The oneness and difference of diksa and siksa-gurus - Split from the Guru-tattva and Iskcon thread



Madhava - Tue, 07 Sep 2004 05:56:56 +0530
QUOTE (Bhakta David @ Sep 7 2004, 01:56 AM)
Diksa and siksa guru are essentially one and cannot be differentiated.

They certainly cannot be differentiated in the sense of both being manifestations of Krishna, being nondifferent in intention. However, in practical terms we will obviously have to perceive the two as possessing two distinct functions. If there were no difference at all, we could just do away with those two distinct terms as redundant altogether.

Additionally, we need to recognize spiritual variety among different lineages. Bhagavan appears in a multitude of forms in accordance with the devotees' desires. Therefore, it follows that in different lineages, the gurus will be related with the particular upAsya-tattva (worshipable form of God) in their tradition, and will be the manifestations of Hari for those who seek to serve this particular bhagavat-svarUpa. However, the moods and views of such gurus may not be compatible with sAdhakas of other lineages with their respective specific moods and aspirations.

Therefore, we cannot declare universal and absolute unity and nondifference among the various manifestation of guru-tattva in every respect, just as we cannot declare the same of the various bhagavat-svarUpas worshiped among different legitimate traditions. Certainly theologically they are of the same essence, but they are differentiated according to myriads of varying devotional moods.

I am not quite certain what you are after with the oneness of guru here. Perhaps the above will nevertheless offer an interesting perspective into the matter.
DharmaChakra - Tue, 07 Sep 2004 06:30:26 +0530
QUOTE (Bhakta David @ Sep 6 2004, 11:56 PM)
Diksa and siksa guru are essentially one and cannot be differentiated.

Bhakta David-ji

To paraphrase from Guru Tattva Vijanana (p17), the principle is that a diksa-guru is the giver of the mantra, and the siksa-guru is the giver of instruction on bhajana. The giver of mantra (diksa-guru) should also provide instruction in use of the mantra (bhajana). Therefore, ideally, the diksa-guru and siksa-guru should be the same person. To think that your diksa-guru cannot provide guidance in bhajana (and hence requiring a different siksa-guru) is the offence of diminishing the guru's dignity.

There are cases, however, when taking a different siksa-guru is justified, as in the case of the passing on of your diksa-guru before you can obtain instruction on bhajana.

This is at least an answer to the idea of 'diksa & siksa are one'... here they are referred to as the same physical person.

When there is a case that a devotee must take seperate diksa and siksa gurus, the siksa-guru should be worshiped and served as if he is Sri Guru himself. In this case diksa and siksa are one in position in the devotee's heart.
Bhakta David - Tue, 07 Sep 2004 06:47:55 +0530
Madhava Prabhu wrote:

QUOTE
Additionally, we need to recognize spiritual variety among different lineages. Bhagavan appears in a multitude of forms in accordance with the devotees' desires. Therefore, it follows that in different lineages, the gurus will be related with the particular upAsya-tattva (worshipable form of God) in their tradition, and will be the manifestations of Hari for those who seek to serve this particular bhagavat-svarUpa. However, the moods and views of such gurus may not be compatible with sAdhakas of other lineages with their respective specific moods and aspirations.

I will guarantee that Iskcon Prabhupada disciples and others will use this material.

Wait a few days until more senior devotees respond. If one searches guru tattva on their sites this diksa-siksa presentation is common.

Hare Krishna

Bhakta David
Madhava - Mon, 13 Sep 2004 03:11:06 +0530
This strand of thought ought to prompt more responses. I have therefore split it off into a new thread.
Jagat - Mon, 13 Sep 2004 05:17:10 +0530
I am actually translating an article by Bodhayan Maharaj at this moment in which he argues, as he has done previously (quite amazingly), that the use of the siksha idea is being exploited by people in the interest of furthering their own pratishtha. He is being a little ineffable, but I'll quote the relevant portion when I complete it.

Bhakta David - Mon, 13 Sep 2004 07:21:56 +0530
Hari Bol Prabhus

I am going to repost this selection from a response from Sanga it will put some focus into this subject. In general the Guru Tattva is something that manifests in reciprocation with surrender; you cannot cut such up with a knife or words. These distinctions are for clarification of function. It is true that the qualification varies. My understanding is that such may be a spiritual entity or a jiva.

A corollary of the Guru as One doctrine is the fodder for many accustions currently against Narayana for absconding with Prabhupada disciples.

Lets attempt to keep such near the abstract but I doubt if it can stay there.

QUOTE
Dear David,

You have capitalized the phrase (One in many forms) so I assume that this is what you are inquiring about. The general idea is that Krsna appears through the Guru. Thus Srila Prabhupada writes: "Gentlemen, the offering of such an homage as has been arranged this evening to the acaryadeva is not a sectarian concern, for when we speak of the fundamental principle of gurudeva or acaryadeva, we speak of something that is of universal application. There does not arise any question of discriminating my guru from yours or anyone else's.There is only one guru, who appears in an infinity of forms to teach you, me and all others. " (Srila Prabhupada: Vyasa Puja offering to Srila Bhaktisiddhanta 1937)

Guru as "one in many forms" refers to Krsna. Krsna appears through the guru in accordance with the intensity of his devotion. Thus in the ultimate issue Krsna is the Guru. In the purport of (CC Adi 1.47) Srila Prabhupada writes, "There is no difference between the shelter-giving Supreme Lord and the initiating [diksa] and instructing [siksa] spiritual masters. If one foolishly discriminates between them, he commits an offense in the discharge of devotional service. The initiating spiritual master is a personal manifestation of Srila Madana-mohana vigraha whereas the instructing spiritual master is a personal representative of Srila Govindaji vigraha. Both of these Deities are worshiped at Vrndavana. Srila Gopinatha vigraha is the ultimate attraction in spiritual realization."


Hare Krishna

Bhakta David
Bhakta David - Mon, 13 Sep 2004 07:38:35 +0530
Hari Bol Prabhus

Here is an excerpt from Druva Maharaj:

http://www.vnn.org/editorials/980808-1983/

QUOTE
Acintya-bhedabheda Gurus

Concept #2 - There is no difference between the spiritual master's instructions and the spiritual master himself.

One of the most unique contributions of our Gaudiya Vaisnava philosophy is the acintya-bhedabheda concept. This inconceivable oneness and difference can also be applied to the diksa and siksa gurus, as stated in the above purport, "The initiating and instructing spiritual masters are equal and identical manifestations of Krsna, although they have different dealings."

While further clarifying his first verse, Krsnadasa Kaviraja later states (CC Adi-lila 1.35):

mantra-gurun ara yata siksa-guru-gana

tanhara carana aga kariye vandana

"I first offer my respectful obeisances at the lotus feet of my initiating spiritual master and all my instructing spiritual masters."


Hare Krishna

Bhakta David
DharmaChakra - Mon, 13 Sep 2004 19:47:17 +0530
QUOTE (Bhakta David @ Sep 12 2004, 10:08 PM)
Hari Bol Prabhus

Here is an excerpt from Druva Maharaj:

http://www.vnn.org/editorials/980808-1983/

QUOTE
Acintya-bhedabheda Gurus

Concept #2 - There is no difference between the spiritual master's instructions and the spiritual master himself.

One of the most unique contributions of our Gaudiya Vaisnava philosophy is the acintya-bhedabheda concept. This inconceivable oneness and difference can also be applied to the diksa and siksa gurus, as stated in the above purport, "The initiating and instructing spiritual masters are equal and identical manifestations of Krsna, although they have different dealings."

While further clarifying his first verse, Krsnadasa Kaviraja later states (CC Adi-lila 1.35):

mantra-gurun ara yata siksa-guru-gana

tanhara carana aga kariye vandana

"I first offer my respectful obeisances at the lotus feet of my initiating spiritual master and all my instructing spiritual masters."


Hare Krishna

Bhakta David

I'm not really sure I find this 'inconceivable'. As far as I understand, we here in GV have no 'supranatural' transmission of The Teachings via the spinning of a flower or some such, ala Mahayana Buddhism...

Maybe someone can explicate a little more what exactly happens when one gets the diksa-mantra? What is the understanding of this process that links you into the GV lineage? Why is it that I can not just hear the mantras from anybody? What does it mean to get and keep the mantra 'alive'? What is different in the devotee that now (after getting diksa-mantra) that allows for the practice of bhajana?

It seems to me that by neccessity you may need to have to seperate personages as diksa and siksa guru, but the teaching should also be One. I would think you would have a bit of a hard time seeing Guru as One taking diksa from a GV baba, and siksa from a Shavite... tongue.gif
Madhava - Mon, 13 Sep 2004 21:15:55 +0530
I personally do not understand why one must invoke acintya-bhedAbheda-tattva at every turn. Is it somehow hip or something? Most issues are not acintya, people just haven't studied them properly to gain a proper understanding of them.

More on your question later on today, Dharmachakra.
Madhava - Tue, 14 Sep 2004 19:21:45 +0530
QUOTE (DharmaChakra @ Sep 13 2004, 03:17 PM)
Maybe someone can explicate a little more what exactly happens when one gets the diksa-mantra? What is the understanding of this process that links you into the GV lineage? Why is it that I can not just hear the mantras from anybody? What does it mean to get and keep the mantra 'alive'? What is different in the devotee that now (after getting diksa-mantra) that allows for the practice of bhajana?

Undoubtedly, you've come across the following note from Baladeva's Siddhanta-ratna:

eSA tu bhaktis tan nitya parikAra-gaNAd ArabhyedAnIntaneSv api tad bhakteSu mandAkinIva pracarati . . . sA tathAbhUtA nitya-dhAmni nitya-pArSadeSu nityaM cakAsti surasarid iva tad bhakta-praNAlyA prapaJceívatarati |

"This bhakti is being promulgated from the eternal associates of Sri Hari down to the present day sAdhaka-bhaktas like the current of the Mandakini-river (the celestial Ganga). Bhakti is always present within the Lordís eternal associates within the eternal abode, and flows down to the mundane world through the drain of zrI Hariís devotees like the stream of this divine river."

Accepting a dIkSA-mantra in a solid guru-praNAlI connects one with the current of grace descending to this world. Picking up the dIkSA-mantras from a manual or hearing them from a person who has read them from a manual certainly brings one the benefit of hearing and repeating the hari-nAma contained within the mantra, but one does not become connected with the current of grace which propels one onwards in realizing the deepest imports of the mantra, up to the point of personally engaging in the service of the mantra-devata. This flow of grace is the vital factor you are looking for.



QUOTE
It seems to me that by neccessity you may need to have to seperate personages as diksa and siksa guru, but the teaching should also be One. I would think you would have a bit of a hard time seeing Guru as One taking diksa from a GV baba, and siksa from a Shavite...

Why would it be necessary to have the two in separate persons? Certainly both may be present in a single person as well.

Evidently the gurus ought to be of one thought, of one current of bhajana, for the relationship to be meaningful. If and when those persons embody the current of bhajana we have embraced, they are to be thought of as truly our guru. Otherwise, they may be respected as bhaktas in their respective lineages, but they do not appear as guru to us.

It is not that once the principle of gurutva has appeared in one person, that then such an individual must be guru to everyone at all times. Such a guru is known as the vyAsti-guru, or the localized appearance of Bhagavan as the aggregate guru (samAsti-guru). The vyAsti-guru appears in the persona of the bhagavad-bhakta when a person is sincerely willing to connect with God and is seeking for guidance. Thus a relationship between the seeker and Bhagavan is forged through the medium of the bhakta. However, another person who may either seek nothing, or may seek another current of thought and moods, will not perceive the presence of the guru-principle in that bhakta, and the aforesaid dynamics will not be present.

We need to learn to grasp the subjective nature of the guru-experience both for our own good and for the good of the collective growth of various spiritual communities. Attempts to universalize (and subsequently impose upon others as an objective fact) one's individual guru-experience are, and have always been, at the root of a good share of sectarian quarrels.
Kalkidas - Tue, 14 Sep 2004 22:56:54 +0530
QUOTE (Madhava @ Sep 14 2004, 01:51 PM)
Evidently the gurus ought to be of one thought, of one current of bhajana, for the relationship to be meaningful. If and when those persons embody the current of bhajana we have embraced, they are to be thought of as truly our guru. Otherwise, they may be respected as bhaktas in their respective lineages, but they do not appear as guru to us.

Dear Madhavanandaji,

Fully agreeing with you in my personal belief in this point, I still have some lack of understanding, connected with biography of Sripad Syamananda Mahasaya. It is well known fact, that his diksa guru Sri Hridaya Caitanya was in sakhya bhava, while he (and his siksa guru, Sri Jiva Gosvami) was in manjari bhava. How can you explain this?
Bhakta David - Wed, 15 Sep 2004 08:21:26 +0530
Hari Bol Prabhus

From what I see the diksa initiaition itself is an intenal spiritual platform in itself. The instruction by said gurudev is diksa or darsana if said guru is on a high level transcedence.

One may see numeous examples of persons crossing diksa and siksa gurus or traditions (Caitanya and Bhaktivinode). This seems to be the trend for one reason or the other.

Here is the ACBS quote in support of one guru tattva:

siksa-guruke ta' jani krsnera svarupa
antaryami, bhakta-srestha,----ei dui rupa

"One should know the instructing spiritual master to be the Personality of Krsna. Lord Krsna manifests Himself as the Supersoul and as the greatest devotee of the Lord." (CC Adi 1.47)

[ Read the entire commentary here. ]

QUOTE
There is no difference between the shelter-giving Supreme Lord and the initiating and instructing spiritual masters. If one foolishly discriminates between them, he commits an offense in the discharge of devotional service.


Hare Krishna

Bhakta David

[ Please only post that which is directly relevant, and leave a quote to the source. There is no need to clutter the threads with long copy-pastes. There is a separate copy-paste section to which you can copy and paste stuff and link to that, if the content isn't already available somewhere online. It is called the Copy and Paste forum, and it says there: "To not clutter topics, you shouldn't paste that long text in the middle of a discussion. Instead, you should paste it in this section and post a a link to it." Please try to learn this habit. Thank you. - Mod. ]
Madhava - Wed, 15 Sep 2004 09:31:58 +0530
David ji, I think you should focus a bit more on trying to make a clear point in your posts. A point that fits in the current of the earlier posts, a point that is desirably a new contribution and not something rehashed a hundred times over, or a point that responds to a question or a doubt.

As it stands, I can't make heads or tails out of where you're heading at. I believe Ive said this several times before, and I think you should really pay attention to this across the board in all your posts. Try to make points, explain why you find some passages relevant, explain how the point you're making is a worthy insight and how it fits in the current of the thread.
Jagat - Wed, 15 Sep 2004 09:50:20 +0530
I agree with Madhava. If you are as you say, a university student, you need to work on writing with more clarity. This will help you in writing papers for your courses.
Bhakta David - Wed, 15 Sep 2004 10:49:10 +0530
Haribol Jagat

Sorry for the clutter. In this regards all the quotes refering to guru as one hinges on this:

QUOTE
The initiating spiritual master is a personal manifestation of Srila Madana-mohana vigraha whereas the instructing spiritual master is a personal representative of Srila Govindaji vigraha. Both of these Deities are worshiped at Vrndavana. Srila Gopinatha vigraha is the ultimate attraction in spiritual realization."


This is from the Caitanya Caritamrta. It is undersood also that in Guru Tattva there are diksa, siksa, vartma, and even other types of gurus. This is also being stated as part of the acintya bheda bheda tattva discussion. Tattva can be rendered as potency. As the Vigraha of Vishnu is Absolute, the Guru Tattva is also an extension of this Vigraha in a real guru or teaching.

I believe that this is a consciousness thing. It is part of the unity of Absolute spirit. One can not see a different atma in everything that is alive. Similarly this is how this position is being argued. One cannot see a different Guru Tattva just different functions of the same ONE.

Even though some argue a Uttama adhikari is the only one to initiate, some are argue that if a Madhyama adhikari initiates and such is legitimate this is all from Guru Tattva. The Guru Tattva is one potency and manifests according to surrender. It is not analysed as an upwards movement but a descent from Vishnu Tattva to the Jiva Tattva.

Hare Krishna

Bhakta David
DharmaChakra - Wed, 15 Sep 2004 19:00:56 +0530
QUOTE (Madhava @ Sep 14 2004, 09:51 AM)
QUOTE
It seems to me that by neccessity you may need to have to seperate personages as diksa and siksa guru, but the teaching should also be One. I would think you would have a bit of a hard time seeing Guru as One taking diksa from a GV baba, and siksa from a Shavite...

Why would it be necessary to have the two in separate persons? Certainly both may be present in a single person as well.

Just a note of clarification, I said by necessity, not necessarily. I meant that there may be circumstances that require the taking of a second person as a siksa guru, but my position has always been that one (living) person for diksa & siksa is normal & fine.

I have found that Bhakta David-ji's insistance on 'Guru is One' (at least in the original thead) is a way for ritvk to sneak in. If Guru is One, then they are all ACBSP, right?
Madhava - Wed, 15 Sep 2004 19:15:45 +0530
Ah, sorry for misreading you on that.

I believe I have said it a whole dozen times by now, that I don't understand where David is heading at with his oneness-theme. Certainly we recognize that they are of one principle, and I don't think a single quote need be posted in this regard any longer.

How about we focus on qualifying that oneness and try to sort out the difference between them? Evidently such a thing exists, as they have been separately mentioned.
braja - Wed, 15 Sep 2004 19:16:27 +0530
Just backtracking a little to a quote David supplied earlier:

QUOTE
"Gentlemen, the offering of such an homage as has been arranged this evening to the acaryadeva is not a sectarian concern, for when we speak of the fundamental principle of gurudeva or acaryadeva, we speak of something that is of universal application. There does not arise any question of discriminating my guru from yours or anyone else's.There is only one guru, who appears in an infinity of forms to teach you, me and all others. " (Srila Prabhupada: Vyasa Puja offering to Srila Bhaktisiddhanta 1937)


What I find interesting about this is that Prabhupada condemned the celebration of Guru-Purnima and the chanting of "Jaya Gurudeva" as impersonal. And, of course, he only accepted one person as qualified to be guru out of all those on the planet (perhaps he also acknowledged BR Sridhar Mhjr as a siksa guru?)

If a general acknowledgement of respect to the guru principle or collective gurus is impersonal, it stands that he believed the guru must have a name, a personal representation to the individual follower. As such, I don't understand his statement about there being no question of "discriminating my guru from yours". Seems contradictory.
Madhava - Wed, 15 Sep 2004 19:26:04 +0530
Talk about all those quibbles with his godbrothers. There, the guru certainly was not one. Or is it that he was the only guru, and the others were not gurus at all, despite all their disciples respective feeling to the contrary?

The original, aggregate guru -- samAsti-guru -- is one, and indeed one without a second, while the myriads of vyAsti-gurus, or localized subjective subsections of the guru-principle, teach in accordance with the climate of the times, adjusting the message to their respective audiences, and therefore must be discriminated between. We do not deny the fact that they are one in their fundamental purpose, but for all practical goals, we must differentiate between them.
Bhakta David - Wed, 15 Sep 2004 20:38:26 +0530
Hari bol Madhava

It appears that we are splitting hairs. What such is stating is that it is true that the level of all subsequent gurus have different functions. There seems to be a great emphasis though that any correct Guru position is from Guru Tattva and is part of the Vigraha of Vishnu, his represenative. This cannot be differentiated.

Is Guru Tattva part of the Vigraha of Vishnu? This is what the hardline diksya encampment at times drills except when there are falldowns as the continuum unfolds.

Hare Krishna!

Bhakta David
Madhava - Thu, 16 Sep 2004 00:59:06 +0530
QUOTE (Bhakta David @ Sep 15 2004, 04:08 PM)
There seems to be a great emphasis though that any correct Guru position is from Guru Tattva and is part of the Vigraha of Vishnu, his represenative. This cannot be differentiated.

Why cannot we differentiate between different vigrahas of Vishnu? We seem to be pretty good at categorizing them according to rasa and what not. Why should we, then, lump all gurus in the same bucket?


QUOTE
Is Guru Tattva part of the Vigraha of Vishnu? This is what the hardline diksya encampment at times drills except when there are falldowns as the continuum unfolds.

I don't know what you're heading at here, but here's the news: people are falling down since time immemorial in just about every camp out there. I don't know what you're suggesting with the "hardline diksa encampment".