Question: If husband and wife take initiation from the same guru, do they become god brother and god sister? How can they be husband and wife?
Answer: This confusion is due to the use of the words, “god brother” and “god sister.” The Sanskrit term is satirtha, which means, “having a common guru.” Initiation is considered a spiritual birth. Even if they were to be considered as brother and sister, that would be at the spiritual level and not at the physical level. So spiritually, they may be brother and sister but on the level of the physical body and mind, they are husband and wife.
Question: What is dikśā? Does it refer to getting Hari Nāma and taking a different name? Or does it refer to getting Brāhmin initiation when one gets the Brahma Gāyatrī?
Answer: There are three levels of dikśa, namely harināma dikśa, mantra dikśa, and veśa or vairāgī dikśa. In the first one, the guru gives the harināma in the right ear of the would-be śiśya, applies tilak and ties beads. In the second one, the śiśya gets the Gāyatrī mantras in the right ear. The third one is for those who want to take to the renounced order of life. All three dikśās can be given simultaneously or in steps, depending on the qualification of the student and the will of the guru.
There is no such thing as Brahmin initiation. Brahmin is a varṇa or jāti and not a form of dīkṣā.
Question: Hari Bhakti Vilāsa mentions that only a brāhmaṇa can become a guru. But being an uttama bhakta, the guru is disinterested in brahminical duties. Why doesśāstra insist on a brāhmaṇa becoming a guru?
Answer: This is primarily from the consideration of not disrupting the varṇāśrama system. Although a bhakta is not interested in varṇāśrama duties, he does not want to disrupt it. In the varṇāśrama system, the function of a guru, which is to teach śāstra–pāthana (“to teach”), is done by a brāhmaṇa.
A secondary consideration is that if a non-brāhmaṇa is guru, then a brāhmaṇa student may feel inhibited to surrender to him because in the varnāśrama system, a brāhmaṇa is respected by the other three varṇas. Similarly, a non-brāhmaṇa guru may also feel inhibited in receiving respect from a brāhmaṇa disciple because this is against the varṇāśrama custom.
Thirdly, abrāhmaṇa naturally likes studying and teachingśāstra.Therefore, he is naturally suitable for the function of a guru, which is to teach.
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