By chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra regularly and following the regulative principles, one becomes qualified to be initiated as a brāhmaṇa, because unless one is a qualified brāhmaṇa he cannot be allowed to worship Lord Viṣṇu. This is called yājñika janma. In our Kṛṣṇa consciousness society, unless one is twice initiated—first by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa and second by the Gāyatrī mantra—he is not allowed to enter the kitchen or Deity room to execute duties.
(SB 4.31.10 : PURPORT)
Prabhupāda: So this morning we are having initiation ceremony for some devotees. The initiation means beginning. The Sanskrit name is dīkṣā. Dīkṣā, divya-jñānaṁ kṣapayati iti dīkṣā. Initiation, beginning of spiritual life. This is the Vedic function. Every human being must be initiated in Vedic culture, to make his life fulfilled, successful, because we are born animals. (Initiation Lecture -- Hyderabad, 8/22/76)
Professor: How many levels of initiation do you have?
Professor: Two. The first...
Prabhupāda: First initiation, experimental...
Prabhupāda: Chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra. Then, as he practices, becomes more purified, then second initiation. Gāyatrī. Gāyatrī-mantra. But the first initiation, according to Jīva Gosvāmī, that is sufficient. Chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, that is sufficient. But still, to purify them more, the second initiation, Gāyatrī, is given. So we are creating brāhmaṇas in the western countries.
(Room Conversation with Sanskrit Professor -- August 13, 1973, Paris)
Yes, it is all right that you address me as Spiritual Father. As I have several times explained, when initiation is given, the Spiritual Master becomes the spiritual father and the gayatri mantra becomes the spiritual mother and thus second birth takes place.
(Letter to: Hrdayananda -- Los Angeles 6 July, 1971)
I am arranging how the Gayatri mantra should be given to the advanced students. You can simply let me know how many of our students are fit for this purpose. Unless one is strictly following the first initiation process and following the regulative principles, one should not be recommended for the Gayatri mantra.
(Letter to: Yamuna, Gurudasa -- Los Angeles 16 April, 1970)
"Śūdras and women who are chaste and sincerely interested in understanding the Absolute Truth are qualified to be initiated with the pāñcarātrika-mantras…
…If one actually wants to serve Kṛṣṇa, it doesn't matter whether one is a śūdra, vaiśya, or even a woman. If one is sincerely eager to chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra or dīkṣā-mantra, he is qualified to be initiated according to the pāñcarātrika process. According to Vedic principles, only a brāhmaṇa who is fully engaged in his occupational duties can be initiated. Śūdras and women are not admitted to a vaidika initiation. Unless one is fit according to the estimation of the spiritual master, one cannot accept a mantra from the pāñcarātrika-vidhi or the vaidika-vidhi. When one is fit to accept the mantra, he is initiated by the pāñcarātrika-vidhi or the vaidika-vidhi. In any case, the result is the same.
As far as the time of dīkṣā (initiation) is concerned, everything depends on the position of the guru. As soon as a bona fide guru is received by chance or by a program, one should immediately take the opportunity to receive initiation.”
(Madhya 24.331 purport)
We have to curb down these rago-guṇa, tamo-guṇa; otherwise there is no improvement. If a person in Kṛṣṇa consciousness is found, no reaction in rajo-guṇa, tamo-guṇa, then he's a dull stone. It is not improving. It is simply showbottle. So showbottle will not act help, Tadā rajas-tamo-bhāvāḥ. This prescription is there. If one develops Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then it is to be understood that he has surpassed sattva-guṇa, the brahminical qualification. Why we offer sacred thread to a person who is coming from very, very low family? Because it is to be understood by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, by following the regulative principle, he has already come to the platform of sattva-guṇa. But if it is a false thing, there is no need of second initiation. There must be. One must come. This, our process, is "Don't do this. Do this: Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra sixteen rounds, and don't do this—no illicit sex, no meat-eating." That means he's becoming purified. He's becoming purified from the rotten condition of rajo-guṇa and tamo-guṇa. But if he does not, then there should be no second initiation. This should be the rule. (Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.9.26 -- Mayapur, March 4, 1976)
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INITIATION MANTRAS MUST BE RECEIVED FROM AUTHORIZED PERSONS
Here the process of devotional service is further explained. Kasyapa Muni wanted to instruct Aditi in the same process recommended to him by Brahma for satisfying the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is valuable. The guru does not manufacture a new process to instruct the disciple. The disciple receives from the guru an authorized process received by the guru from his guru. This is called the system of disciplic succession (eva? parampara-prapta? ima? rajar?ayo vidu? [Bg. 4.2]). This is the bona fide Vedic system of receiving the process of devotional service, by which the Supreme Personality of Godhead is pleased. Therefore, to approach a bona fide guru, or spiritual master, is essential. The bona fide spiritual master is he who has received the mercy of his guru, who in turn is bona fide because he has received the mercy of his guru. This is called the parampara system. Unless one follows this parampara system, the mantra one receives will be chanted for no purpose. Nowadays there are so many rascal gurus who manufacture their mantras as a process for material advancement, not spiritual advancement. Still, the mantra cannot be successful if it is manufactured. Mantras and the process of devotional service have special power, provided they are received from the authorized person. (SB 8.16.24 : PURPORT)
Prabhupada: Well, first of all, thing is if the spiritual master is not bona fide, how his mantra can be bona fide? Your statement is contradictory. If you say the spiritual master is not bona fide, then how his mantra becomes bona fide? If he is bona fide, then his mantra is bona fide.
(Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.1.41-42 -- Surat, December 23, 1970)
All mantras should be received through the authorized guru, and the disciple must satisfy the guru in all respects. (SB 6.8.42 purport)
Lord Siva voluntarily came to bless the sons of the King as well as do something beneficial for them. He personally chanted the mantra so that the mantra would be more powerful, and he advised that the mantra be chanted by the King’s sons (raja-putras). When a mantra is chanted by a great devotee, the mantra becomes more powerful. Although the Hare Krsna maha-mantra is powerful in itself, a disciple upon initiation receives the mantra from his spiritual master, for when the mantra is chanted by the spiritual master, it becomes more powerful. Lord Siva advised the sons of the King to hear him attentively, for inattentive hearing is offensive.
(SB: 4.24.32 purport)
It is Caitanya Mahaprabhu's blessing. Iha haite sarva-siddhi haibe tomara. By simply chanting one gets the highest perfection. That is Caitanya Mahaprabhu's blessing and gift. So we should be very careful and follow the regulative principles. Then automatically you'll be perfect. There is no doubt about it. Mantra... Just like sometimes the snake-charming mantra can be purchased in the market. But if you do not make yourself perfect about chanting the mantra, it will not be effective… You have to make it perfect. There is process, how to become perfect in chanting the mantra. (Madhya 7.130 : PURPORT)
Prabhupāda: “…So a mantra should be captured from the disciplic succession. According to Vedic injunction, sampradāya-vihīnā ye mantrās te nisphala mataḥ: "If the mantra does not come through disciplic succession, then it will not be active." Viphala. Mantrās te viphalāḥ. Viphala means "will not produce result." Mantrās te viphalāḥ mataḥ. So mantra has to be received through the channel; then it will act. Mantra cannot be manufactured. Mantra must be from the original Supreme Absolute, coming down through disciplic succession, channel. It has to be captured in that way, and then it will act. Sampradāya-vihīnā ye mantrās te nisphala mataḥ. So according to our Vaiṣṇava sampradāya, the mantra is coming down through four channels. One is coming through Lord Śiva, one is coming through goddess Lakṣmī. Not one, different. One thing is coming in different channel. One through the channel of Brahmā, one through the channel of Lord Śiva, one through the channel of Lakṣmī, and one through the channel of Kumaras. So they are called four sampradāyas. So one has to take mantra, either of these four sampradāyas. Then that mantra is active, and if we perform that mantra in that way, it will act. Sampradāya-vihīnā ye. And if one does not receive this mantra in either of these sampradāya, channels, then viphala, it will not act. It will not give fruit.”
Yoko Ono: If the mantra itself has such power, does it matter where you receive it, where you take it?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Yes. That is a fact. The example is given just like milk. Milk is nutritious. That's a fact. Everyone knows. But if the milk is touched through the tongue of a serpent, it is no more nutritious. It is poison.
Yoko Ono: Well, milk is material.
Prabhupāda: No, material. You want to understand through your material senses, we have to give...
Yoko Ono: Well, no. I don't have, you don't have to tell me material senses. I mean mantra is not material. It should be something spiritual, and therefore nobody can spoil it, I don't think. I mean, I wonder if anybody can spoil something that is not material.
Prabhupāda: But the thing is that if you don't receive the mantra through the proper channel, it may not be mantra.
(Room Conversation -- September 11, 1969, London, At Tittenhurst)