Necessity of Diksha and Chanting
Questions & Answers

Necessity of Diksha and Chanting


Question: Is diksha necessary on the path of bhakti?

Answer: Diksha is compulsory to get the real blessing of Name, which is Krsna prema. Why? Because one must be free from Nama-aparadha to get the blessings of the Name. One of the aparadhas is guroravajna – disrespect to guru. Now, to do that, one must have a guru. Otherwise, the term aparadha makes no sense. This is the implied meaning of the aparadha (vyanjana vritti). The other aparadha is sruti-sastra-nindanam – criticizing sruti and scriptures based on sruti. Not following the scripture knowingly is as good as criticizing it. The very sastra which gives so many details and glorification of the Name also instructs about the need to take a guru. Accepting one part and rejecting the other is called ardha-kukkuti- nyaya –– the half-hen principle, i.e., that I accept what is convenient and leave what is troublesome. This does not work.

Moreover, there are descriptive and injunctive statements. They must be distinguished. All the glorificatory statements are descriptive, but diksha is an injunction. It cannot be avoided. I have explained all this in my booklet Nama-tattva. Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti says that those who chant the Name without diksha, not knowing about it, will be led to take diksha.



Question: Is it essential to chant the Holy Name? If it is essential, then how many rounds one should chant?

Answer: It depends on your goal in life. Nothing is essential. It is like asking, “Is it essential to eat bread?” One can also live without bread. So unless I know what your purpose in life is,  I cannot give any proper answer, unless I make assumptions.

Question: But, if I want to know Krishna and be Krishna conscious, then is it essential to chant? And how many rounds?

Answer: If you want to know Krsna and be Krsna conscious, then chanting is essential. But before that, you need to study about Krsna. Then comes chanting. You have to also learn how to chant. Every action gives a result. Proper action gives proper result and improper action gives improper result. Proper action originates from proper knowledge about it. Every action is preceded by its knowledge. So first step is to get proper knowledge about Krsna.

Babaji at Kali-daha 2011