All about diksha and diksha parampara

By editor - 18.12 2019

In this article we have tried to remove all the misconceptions related to the necessity of diksha and the diksha parampara. The word diksha parampara has been used by us here as in the Gaudiya Vaishnavism two different types of paramparas are advocated .  One diksha parampara and another is bhagavat (siksha) parampara .  One may have different siksha gurus but it is not that diksha parampara does not give siksha. It is also not that bhagavat parampara is superior to diksha parampara. It is also propagated that diksha parampara is bogus as they don’t give siksha . But in terms of scriptural authority there is no such distinction . Our aim is only to prove the authenticity of diksha and diksha parampara and not to defame followers of bhagavat parampara. These topic has been explained in form of question answer session taken from real life scenarios for better understanding . One is requested to read the entire blog before coming to any conclusion.

If one is really afraid or confused about diksha , our suggestion is please chant 

“Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare”

One does not need to be initiated to chant this mahamantra. This mahamantra will guide on to his guru and at the same time he will get qualification to become a worthy devotee.


Question1 :

I consider the Bhagavat Parampara (which advocates both the diksha and siksha systems) to be better than only pancharatriki parampara (which advocates only diksha).

Answer  :

Where did you get the idea from that there is a parampara which advocates diksa without siksa ? Considering the definition of diksa, this is an oxymoron to begin with.
Jiva discusses necessity of receiving of diksa in his Bhakti Sandarbha (Anuccheda 283) and then he proceeds to quote a verse from the agamas to illustrate the substantial import of receiving diksa:
divyam jyanam yato dadyat kuryat papasya sagksayam |
tasmad dIkseti sa prokta desikais tattva kovidaih ||
ato gurum pranamyaivam sarvasvam vinivedya ca |
grhnIyad vaisnavam mantram dIksa purvam vidhanatah ||

“The teachers who are knowers of the truth say that since it gives (da) divine knowledge and destroys (ksi) sin it is called diksa.  Therefore, paying obeisance to the guru and offering him one’s all, one should receive a vaisnava mantra diksa preceded with proper procedures.”

Jiva further illuminates the meaning of “divya-jnana”, or the divine knowledge which is transmitted in diksa:

divyam jyanam hy atra srImati mantre bhagavat-svarupa-jyanam, tena bhagavata sambandha-visesa-jyanam ca |

“Divine knowledge means here knowledge of the true nature of the Lord in the mantra and, by that, knowledge of one’s own special relationship with Him.”

Carefully considering the above, we may understand that at the time of diksa, the divine preceptor initiates the disciple into the methods of worshiping that particular form of the Lord for which the disciple has attraction, and the diksa-mantra transmitted by the preceptor contains information which reveals this relationship for which the initiate aspires.
Thus we are bound to note that at the time of diksa, the most essential elements for the growth of the sadhaka are given — the very elements which will outline the path of his inner evolution from this very moment to the concrete attainment of his cherished specific relationship with the Lord. This is the essence of all wisdom.

Why, therefore, would anyone attempt to minimize the glory of those unbroken diksa-lineages through which this most essential divine wisdom has been received since the days of Sri Caitanya’s dear associates? These very lineages preserve the authentic message of Sri Gaurangadeva and the Gosvamis of Vrindavana. Departing from allegiance to these divine lineages will only cast clouds of unnecessary suspicion over the rebel.

Question 2 :

Some want to prove bhagavat-parampara, a selection of the greatest acaryas-only, by quoting Mahaprabhu instructing Srila Rupa Gosvami – ei suddha bhakti iha hoite prema haya, pancaratre, bhagavate ei laksana kaya (CC Madhya 19.169)

Answer : 

The proponent here does not give any translation. This is the translation:
“This is pure bhakti, from which prema arises. Its symptoms have been described in the Narada Pancaratra and in the Srimad Bhagavatam.” You see this verse has nothing to do with bhagavat parampara .

Question 3:

Can you please provide the name of diksha gurus of those who are featured in Bhagavat parampara ?


We are just presenting the facts. We are not telling that this is not authentic parampara as this was preached by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati thakura and we know he is a mahatma who made such parampara for a mission and we have all the respect for that.

Sanatana Gosvami was actually the disciple of Vidyavacaspati.

Bhakti Ratnakara (1.598-602): “Vidyavachaspati was the religious guide of Sri Sanatana and from time to time he stayed at Ramkeli. Sri Sanatana studied many scriptures under him and his respect for Vidyavacaspati knew no bounds. He respectfully mentioned the name of his guru in his book Sri Dasama Tippani.”

Rupa Gosvami was a disciple of Sanatana Gosvami.

Invocation to Laghu Bhagavatamrita (1.5): “Of Sri Brhad-bhagavatamrtam(written by Sanatan Goswami), manifested by the lotus words of my master, this book is a summary.”

Jiva Gosvami was a disciple of Rupa Gosvami.

In this connection, you may read the excerpts from Bhakti Ratnakara.

Raghunatha das Gosvami was a disciple of Yadunandana Acarya.

Vilapa Kusumanjali (3) “I take shelter of my teacher Yadunandana Acarya, who is so powerful because he is so dear to

Yadunandana Sri Krishna, and who personally showered me with the nectar of his matchless mercy.”

Narottama Das Thakura was a disciple of Lokanatha Gosvami, not of Krsnadas Kaviraja.

Prema-Bhakti-Candrika (6): “Sri Guru, you are an ocean of mercy and the savior of the fallen! O Lokanatha, you are the life

of the world! O! O master! Be merciful unto me and give me the shelter of your lotus feet! Let the three worlds proclaim your glory!”

Prarthana (17): “O, when will Prabhu Lokanatha take me, placing me at the feet of Sri Rupa?”

Prarthana (19): “The Divine couple, smiling with compassionate hearts, ask: ‘O Rupa Manjari, from where have you found this new dasi?’ Hearing this, Rupa Manjari will say, ‘Manjulali gave this maidservant to me.'”

Visvanatha Cakravarti was a disciple of Radha Ramana Cakravarti and never met Narottama, for they lived a century apart.

Narottama appeared sometime in 1531. His disciple was Ganga Narayana Cakravarti. Ganga Narayana’s disciple was Krishna Carana Cakravarti. Krishna Carana’s disciple was Radha Ramana Cakravarti, the diksa-guru of Visvanatha.

To underline the essence of his diksa-guru-pranali, Visvanatha has presented in his Sankalpa Kalpadruma the corresponding siddha-pranali (a succession of manjaris) in allegiance to whom and under whose guidance he serves the Divine couple.

The exact year of Visvanatha’s birth is not known. It is estimated to be somewhere between 1620-1640. He departed in 1708. Having taken birth a century later than Narottama, it is obvious that the two never met each other. Narottama was the
diksa-guru of his diksa-guru’s diksa-guru’s diksa-guru.

Baladeva Vidyabhusana  was a disciple of Radha Damodara Gosvami, not of Visvanatha Cakravarti. Baladeva accepted Radha-Krishna mantra from Radha Damodara Gosvami, who was initiated in the disciplic lineage descending from Syamananda Pandit, and studied the Sat-sandarbha under his guidance. Observing that his disciple had mastered all the conclusions of Gaudiya siddhanta, Radha Damodara requested him to write the Vedanta Syamantaka.

In the epilogue of the title, Baladeva playfully submits the following sentence in praise of both his guru and Bhagavan:

“Chanting the names Radha-Damodara, a certain brahmana offers this Vedanta-syamantaka to Srimati Radharani.  He hopes this book will please Her.”

Jagannatha das Babaji was a disciple of Jagadananda Gosvami and he lived 150 years after  Baladeva Vidyabhusana and he never met him . It is said that Jagannatha Das lived for 147 years. Unfortunately I was unable to find an exact date for his departure.

Drawing from the biography of Bhaktivinoda, he was present in this world at least as late as 1893, making his year of birth no earlier than 1746, dating his birth to approximately a century after that of Baladeva.

Jagannatha Das Babaji was initiated by Jagadananda Gosvami of Sringaravat. He later received bheka (garb of an ascetic) from Siddha Krishnadas Baba of Govardhan. According to others, he received bheka from Madhusudana Das Baba of Suryakund.

Bhaktivinoda Thakura was a disciple of Vipin Bihari Gosvami, not of Jagannath das Babaji.
Though it is beyond doubt that Bhaktivinoda derived inspiration from Jagannatha Das Babaji, he wrote the following about his diksa-guru Vipin Vihari Gosvami.

Bhagavat-arka-marici-mala: vipina-vihari prabhu mama prabhu-vara | sri-vamsi-vadanananda-vamsa-sasadhara || — “Vipina-vihari Prabhu, the greatest of my masters, is the brilliant moon in the family of Sri Vamsi Vadanananda.”

Amrita-pravaha-bhasya: vipina-vihari hari, tara sakti avatari | vipina-vihari prabhu-vara || sri-guru-goswami-rupe, dekhi more bhava-kupe | uddharilo apana kinkara || — “The eminent Vipina-vihari Prabhu, an avatara of the sakti of Lord Hari Who sports in the forests of Vraja, has descended in the form of the Gosvami spiritual preceptor. Seeing me in the dark well of worldly existence, he has delivered this humble servant of his.”

In the end of his Gita-mala (Siddhi-lalasa), Bhaktivinoda praises his diksa-guru in his manjari-svarupa alongside with Ananga Manjari and Rupa Manjari, submitting his eternal dependence on them.
Gaurakisora Das Baba received diksa from Nandakisora Gosvami of Shantipura(Advaita parivaar), and later on bheka from Bhagavata Das Baba. Gaurakisora in turn gave the bheka of an ascetic to Bhaktivinoda. Hence Gaurakishor das babaji maharaj is in no way even a siksha disciple of Bhaktivinode Thakura.  A disciple can never give babaji vesha to a guru.

Question 4:

Did Namacharya Srila Haridasa Thakura take diksha from anyone. And if not, why?

Answer :
Namacarya Srila Haridasa Thakura received diksa from Sri Advaita Acarya. The following passage appears in the Prema Vilasa:

advaita prabhur pade loila sarana
tar thai bhakti sastre koilo adhyayana
advaitera sthane tinho hoila diksiti
tin lakho harinama jape diva rati
lakho harinama mane lakho kane sune
lakho nama ucca kori kore sankirtane’

“Haridasa took shelter of Advaita Prabhu’s lotus feet and studied the bhakti sastras under Him. He became initiated by Advaita (diksita) and was chanting three lakhs of harinama day and night. One lakh was in the mind, one softly and one loudly.”

Moreover, in the Advaita Prakasa:

“After instructing Haridasa in this way, Advaita had him shave his head and decorate his body with tilaka and tulasi beads. Advaita had Haridasa dress in kaupina and outer cloth, and then He initiated him in chanting the holy names. Haridasa then
began chanting the holy names in a cave on the bank of Ganges. As he became intoxicated with love of God, he became known as the crest jewel amongst the Vaisnavas. Coming to his external consciousness, Haridasa offered his obeisances to Advaita, who blessed him by saying, “May you attain Krishna. Your name is Brahma Haridasa.”
In the reference from Advaita Prakasa, there is no mention of diksa, but nevertheless the giving of sampradayika-tilaka and kanthi-mala — items associated with the ceremony of diksa in the Hari Bhakti Vilasa — are present. “nama dila prabhu shakti sancariya” — Giving the Name to him, Advaita Prabhu empowered him.

Question 5:
A prostitute developed Krishna Prema after receiving Harinama from Srila Haridas Thakur. According to Chaitanya
Charitamrta, these events happened in Benopala in Bangladesh when Srila Haridas Thakur was a young man. These events happened before Srila Haridas Thakur went to live near Shantipura, where he met Sri Advaita Acharya and the other devotees in that region. My understanding is that Haridas Thakur that did not receive formal initiation. But even if he was initiated by Sri Advaita Acharya, that initiation would have happend AFTER HARIDAS INITIATED THE PROSTITUTE LADY.


Harinaam and diksha are different things. Mahaprabhu has made Harinaam open to all and Hare Krishna Mahamantra is not a diksha mantra . Diksha should be taken and must be taken from a bonafide parampara from the mouth of a bonafide diksha guru. It is to be noted that Srila Haridas Thakura gave her Harinaam not diksha mantra . However this incident does not signify that diksha mantra is not essential.


Question 6:

Sri Chaitanyadev himself accepted the Bhagavatam philosophy, and didn’t even write any scriptures himself. And in Bhagavatam we read of how Sukadev, the main speaker in Bhagavatam, became connected with the Divine without receiving any of these mantras that have been passed down in Gaudiya Sampradayas for the past five hundred years. Sukadev is an obvious example in Bhagavatam but there are others throughout history. Who was the Guru of Jayadev. Did he get some special initiation so he could get the realizations to write Gita Govinda.

Answer :

This is indeed an important consideration which is addressed in the fourteenth verse of Narottama’s Prema Bhakti Candrika:

mahajanera yei patha, tAte habe anurata
purbapara kariya bicara
sAdhana-smaraNa-lila, ihAte na kara helA
kaya mane kariya susara

“With great affection I will follow the path of the Mahajanas, DIFFERENTIATING between the previous and the later. Never neglect the sadhana of lila-smarana, for it is the very essence of the mind.”

Sri Visvanatha comments on this verse:

daNDakAraNya-vAsi munayo bRhat vAmanokta zrutayaz ca candrakAnti jayadeva vidyApati caNDi dAsa bilvamaGgalAdayaz ca pUrva

mahAjanAH SaD gosvAminaH para mahAjanAH.

“The sages of the Dandakaranya-forest, the Srutis mentioned in Brihad Vamanokta, Candrakanti, Jayadeva, Vidyapati, Candi Das, Bilvamangala and others are previous mahajanas. The six Gosvamis are later mahajanas.”

Thus we follow both the bhava and the standards of the later mahajanas who were directly empowered by Mahaprabhu to write down His theology and to establish the standards to be followed by His followers.

Question 7 :

You think that diksa is most important, I think that siksa is most important.


We consider both of them to be equally important. If you accept the siksa, then you will accept the siksa about diksa . If someone said that the guru’s word is final, then I can say the guru also has his guru,who had a guru…In this way one will reach Krsna from whom the sastra comes and who himself sticks to sastra.
So,one is back where he started-with the sastra as the ultimate pramana.

According to Brihad Bhagavatamrita by Sanatan Goswami, Gopakumar,actually, receives a mantra from a spiritual master (diksha) who then disappears without giving him any further instruction other than to chant constantly. Gopakumar goes on chanting and the mantra leads him to various siksa gurus until he reaches Goloka.
Here we can see the importance of diksha mantra which is potent enoUgh to take the devotee to various siksha gurus.

diksa kale bhakta kore atma samarpana;sei kale krsna tare koren atma sama
sei deha koren tar cidanandamoy; aprakrta dehe tar carana bhajoy

At the time of diksa (initiation) the devotee surrenders himself; at that time Krsna makes him equal to Himself. He makes the devotee’s body transcendental so that he can serve His lotus feet in a spiritual body.(Caitanya Caritamrta)

Sriman Mahaprabhu tells the above to Sanatan Goswami. Therefore, diksa is not a mere formality, but a very essential part of bhajan.

Question 8 :

Bhaktivinode Thakura rejected his diksha guru , thus proving diksha parampara is not important.


Even if one rejects his guru does not make the tradition bogus or less important . Regarding Bhaktivinode rejecting his diksha guru we have only heard rumors and stories with no  actual written substantial evidence. Quite the opposite throughout his writings we find Bhaktivinode thakura praise Vipina Vihari as his revered guru and accepted the teachings of his guru : In Gitamala (1893), in Amrita Pravaha Bhasya (1895), in Svalikhita Jivani (1896) and in Bhagavat Arka Marici Mala (1901). There is not a single written evidence from his writings where he has criticized or rejected his guru.In addition he practiced the ekadasha bhavas(11 aspects of internal identity) presented to him in his siddha pranali chart by his guru throughout his life as known from his writings. He also transferred the same siddha pranali  to his disciple son thus proving his acceptance to the siksha of his diksha parampara.

Question 9 :

The physical whispering of external sound in the ear of a person is not necessary.

Answer :

In Hari Bhakti Vilasa (2nd vilasa) the giving of mantra from the mouth of the guru to the ear of the disciple is an essential aspect in the description of Vaishnava diksa. Diksa means the giving of mantra from the mouth of the guru to the ear of the disciple.

The Bhagavata (11.21.15) states ‘mantrasya ca parijJAnaM’ – the mantra is purified by the right knowledge”. 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: sad guru mukhAt yathAvat parijJAnam mantra-zuddhiH – “The mantra is purified when it properly emanates from the mouth of a sad-guru.”

Brahma Vaivarta Purana (Krishna Janma Khanda 83.34) also leaves no uncertainty over the subject matter:
guru vaktrAd viSNu mantro yasya kare vizatyayam
taM vaiSNavaM mahApUtaM pravadanti manISiNaH

“The wise call those persons in whose ears the Vishnu-mantra enters, as it emanated from the Guru’s mouth, greatly sanctified Vaishnavas.”

Hari-bhakti-vilasa states:

Just as bell metal is turned to gold by a particular alchemical process,a person can attain to the state of dvi-ja (second, spiritual birth) by the process of Vaishnava diksha.

Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura on the above verse:
There are three kinds of birth:
(1) saukra-janma— seminal birth by mother and father,
(2) savitra-janma—a ceremony in which a boy is initiated into one of the three twice-born classes by being invested with the sacred thread,
(3) daiksa-janma—birth by the process of diksha or spiritual initiation.
Even a sudra or an untouchable person (antya-ja) who is born in the lowest family obtains the samskaras for being a dvija upon being initiated in accordance with the regulations of the Pancaratra.

Question 10 :

One must receive mantras through the sampradaya. Those mantras do not necessarily have to have been passed down from time immemorial. Mantras are realized through sadhana, thus the worshipper becomes a drashta of the mantra, or the seer of the mantra. This is the tradition, and it has been for thousands of years in all schools of Vedic philosophy.What are the origins of the Gaudiya diksha mantras? How far back in history can they be traced? They were introduced into the sampradaya at a point in time by a drashta.

Answer :

The mantras as we receive them are traced back to the eternal associates of Mahaprabhu. Some of the mantras (Gopala Mantra and Kama Gayatri) do and others (Gaura Gayatri etc.) don’t have a history prior to that. We take the mantra as authorized because it was given on the command of Sri Caitanya, Sri Nityananda and Sri Advaita. Sri Caitanya delegated the giving of mantra to these two Prabhus, Nityananda and Advaita, who both have a massive following in the Gaudiya tradition. Additionally Lokanatha, Syamananda and others initiated vast diksa-paramparas which exist unbroken up to the present day. Would you propose that when I become a seer I can give whatever mantra I wish without having received it from anyone?

Question 11:

The holy name of Krsna is so important that even the gayatri mantra may not be necessary. It is said: na ca sat kriya, na dikse na ca purascarya manadilate mantrayam rasana spri hanato sri krsna namatmaka: “One need not undergo all the purificatory processes, or follow the six ritualistic ceremonies mentioned in the Vedas for pious life; one need not even take initiation into the gayatri mantra. If one simply chants the holy name of Krsna without offense, everything will be successful.” The holy name of Krsna is the most important consideration. The gayatri mantra may not even be necessary.


Have you read the Bhakti Sandarbha? There are many impressive incidents in the history of Gaudiya Vaishnavism, but Bhakti Sandarbha presents the conclusive philosophical thesis on the practice of devotion. Sri Jiva writes in Anuccheda 283:

yadyapi zrI-bhAgavata-mate paJcarAtrAdivad arcana-mArgasyAvazyakatvaM nAsti, tad vinApi zaraNApatty-AdInAm ekatareNApi puruSArtha-siddher abhihitatvAt, tathApi zrI-nAradAdi-vartmAnusaradbhiH zrI-bhagavatA saha sambandha-vizeSaM dIkSA- vidhAnena zrI-guru-caraNa-sampAditaM cikIrSadbhiH kRtAyAM dIkSAyAm arcanam avazyaM kriyetaiva |

“Although in the opinion of the Bhagavata Purana, the path of arcana, like the Pancaratra and so forth, is not necessary, since, even without that, one can achieve the goal of human life by one of the other methods like surrender (saranapatti)
and the rest, still those who are following the path of Narada and others and who desire the particular relationship with the Lord that is effected at the feet of the guru by the rite of diksa necessarily perform arcana when diksa is completed.”

And the Krishna NAMA  referred here is SUDDHA NAMA  which is not possible to utter in offesive/conditioned state. That is why diksha mantras are needed from guru to remove that conditioning.

Sri Jiva Gosvami further discusses the theology namatmaka-mantra and the necessity for diksa in this Anuccheda of Bhakti Sandarbha as follows:

nanu bhagavan-nAmAtmakA eva mantrAH | tatra vizeSeNa namaH-zabdAdy-alaMkRtAH zrIbhagavatA zrImad-RSibhiz cAhita-zakti- vizeSAH zrIbhagavatA samam Atma-sambandha-vizeSa-pratipAdakAz ca | tatra kevalAni zrIbhagavan-nAmAny api nirapekSANy eva
parama-puruSArtha-phala-paryanta-dAna-samarthAni | tato mantreSu nAmato’py adhika-sAmarthye labdhe kathaM dIkSAdy-apekSA | ucyate |  yadyapi svarUpato nAsti tathApi prAyaH svabhAvato dehAdi-sambandhena kadartha-zIlAnAM vikSipta-cittAnAM janAnAM
tat-tat-saMkocIkaraNAya zrImad-RSi-prabhRtibhir atrArcana-mArge kvacit kvacit kAcit kAcin maryAdA sthApitAsti | tatas tad-ullaGghane zAstraM prAyazcittam udbhAvayati  | tata ubhayam api nAsamaJjasam iti tatra tat-tad-apekSA nAsti |

“Indeed the mantra consists of the names of Bhagavan. Therefore the mantras chanted by great devotees and sages are characterized with the ornamented ‘namah’ and contain special potency  nondifferent from Sri Bhagavan, and they cause one
to obtain a special relationship with the Lord. Therefore the mere chanting the name of Bhagavan is sufficient for attaining the fruit of the supreme goal of life. Someone may say, ‘Then if the name is sufficient for attaining the goal, can diksa and so forth be rejected?’
To this it is said: ‘Although essentially there is no need for this, due to a connection with the material body and so forth people are engaged in unmeaningful acts which agitate the consciousness. For overcoming this, the sages have established the path of arcana-marga through which one attains the proper standards. To overcome this, the scriptures present preparatory deeds. Therefore it is improper to reject either of the two.”

viSNu-dharme  –
devatAyAM ca mantre ca tathA mantra-prade gurau |
bhaktir aSTa-vidhA yasya tasya kRSNaH prasIdati ||
tad-bhakta-jana-vAtsalyaM pUjAyAM cAnumodanam |
sumanA arcayen nityaM tad-arthe dambha-varjanam ||
tat-kathA-zravaNe rAgas tad-arthe cAGga-vikriyA |
tad-anusmaraNaM nityaM yas tan-nAmopajIvati ||
bhaktir aSTa-vidhA hy eSA yasmin mlecche’pi vartate |
sa muniH satya-vAdI ca kIrtimAn sa bhaven naraH || iti |

“In Vishnu-dharma:

‘Sri Krishna is satisfied with the one who is engaged in bhakti in eight ways, dedicated to the Lord, his mantra and the mantra-giving guru. (1) Being kind to His devotees, (2) Honoring and pleasing Him, (3) Regularly worshiping Him with a pure mind, (4) Renouncing hypocrisy, (5) Being attached to hearing narrations about Him, (6) Engaging all of one’s limbs in serving him, (7) Constantly meditating on Him, and (8) Accepting His name as one’s very life. These are the eight kinds of bhakti which even barbarians can adopt and become truthful sages and glorious among men.’

Question 12 :

A verse from Caitanya Caritamrita cited as evidence that diksha is not at all required:

eka kṛṣṇa-nāme kare sarva-pāpa kṣaya
nava-vidhā bhakti pūrṇa nāma haite haya
dīkṣā-puraścaryā-vidhi apekṣā nā kare
jihvā-sparśe ā-caṇḍāla sabāre uddhāre
(Caitanya Caritamrita, Madhya-lila 15.107-108)

“Simply by chanting the holy name of Krishna once, a person is relieved from all the reactions of a sinful life. One can complete the nine processes of devotional service simply by chanting the holy name.One does not have to undergo initiation or execute the activities required before initiation.  One simply has to vibrate the holy name with his lips. Thus even a man in the lowest class (candala) can be delivered.”


Absolutely true. The Holy Name is all-powerful and like Srila Jiva Goswamipad wrote, it is not dependent on diksha. But which kind of chanting is meant here?

“Simply by chanting the Holy Name of Krishna once” So, we all chant every day. Are we relieved of all sins in an instant?  Are we steeped in prema? This is not what this verse is about. This verse is about Suddha Nama which we all know is not attained in our conditioned stage due to presence of offences.

Sriman Mahaprabhu nicely taught us in verse 2 of His Siksastakam about the power of the Holy Name. And yes, by uttering suddha nama, the Holy Name in pure consciousness and without offenses, all our sins are destroyed, our hairs stand on end and tears stream down our face. But to chant suddha nama, it is absolutely required to perform sadhana-bhakti.

If the Holy Name can lead to all perfection, why not just chant and attain perfection? Why even surrender to Sri Gurudeva? So, guru-tattva would be obsolete.But that is not the case.

By constitution mantras are not dependent on diksha. Nevertheless, human beings are by nature prone to unvirtuous conduct and mental disturbance due to identifying with their bodies.That is why diksha mantras are needed and guru as the guide. This is the conclusion of Jiva Goswami as presented above.

Srila Ananta Das Babaji Maharaj states in sikshastakam verse 2 commentary:

One may ask here: If the glories of the holy name are so unhindered, then why is there still consideration of offenses? If offenses dim the greatness of the name, then how can the holy name be called unrestricted? The answer is that mist cannot cover the sun, it can only cover the sun from our eyes. Because mist may cover the sun, the sunrays cannot fall on us. Similarly, nothing can actually cover the self-manifest greatness of the holy name, but offenses cover our hearts in such a way that its powers cannot fall into our hearts. But when the mist dissolves, the sunrays can fall on us unhindered. Similarly, when offenses disappear, the strength of the holy name is freely experienced in the heart. It is just like a king, who is able at any time to make any poor man rich. But if the king is displeased with someone, and he does not want to give his wealth to him, it does not mean that he is not able to give that wealth! In the same way, the holy name is able to give prema to the offensive chanter, but he will not give it because he simply does not want to give it. That is why the practising devotee should chant the holy name without committing offenses. Even if one chants for a long time, prema will not come in the heart as long as one commits offenses. That is why the devotional scriptures are always warning the practising devotees to beware of offenses.


Question 13 :

Today Vedic knowledge is everywhere due to the Internet and countless books… Lack of diksa will not make someone any less knowledgeable or less realized, it’s not as if you can learn everything there is to know about self-realization and if you aren’t initiated there will be a block put on you by Krishna – which is why all the shastras say knowledge is the key to unlock the door to the highest plane of existence, not diksha.


Let us present the famous bhagavatam(6.2.9-10) tika by Srila Vishvanath Chakravarty thakura:

“Some people make the following proposition. “Those offenders of the name who are without karma and jnāna, and practicing bhakti with hearing and chanting but have not taken initiation because they have not surrendered to the feet of a guru are still called Vaiṣṇavas. The word vaiṣṇava is defined as “the person who takes Viṣṇu as his object of worship” according to Pāṇini sūtras 4.2.24 and 4.3.95. Thus Vaisṇavas are those who have made Viṣṇu the object of worship by accepting initiation and also those who make Viṣṇu the object of worship simply by worship, since there is no other word to describe the two types of people. So the latter type of persons also should not fall to hell.”

This however is not correct because one cannot attain the Lord easily without guru.

nṛ-deham ādyaṁ su-labhaṁ su-durlabhaṁ
plavaṁ su-kalpaṁ guru-karṇadhāram
mayānukūlena nabhasvateritaṁ
pumān bhavābdhiṁ na taret sa ātma-hā

“Having attained the human body, rarely attained, but attain easily sometimes by good fortune, which is like a well-constructed boat, with the guru as the captain, pushed by the favorable wind of serving me, a person who does not cross the ocean of material existence is a killer of himself.”
SB 11.20.17

Therefore it should be explained that there is no other way of attaining the Lord than by becoming a devotee who has surrendered to the feet of a guru, who will be attained in another birth by the power of worship.

“But it is seen that Ajāmila, without surrendering to guru easily attained the Lord.”
This can be explained as follows. Those who, like cows or asses, make their senses pursue sense objects cannot know the Lord, bhakti or guru even in their dreams. But as in the case of Ajāmila, they can be delivered from sin even without guru by chanting the name in nāmābhāsa without offense.
Though it has been definitely ascertained that the Lord should be worshipped, that worship is the means of attaining him, that the guru is the person who teaches about worship, and that those who were devotees attained the Lord, it is also said:

no dīkṣāṁ na ca sat-kriyāṁ na ca puraścaryāṁ manāg īkṣate
mantro ’yaṁ rasanā-spṛg eva phalati śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāmātmakaḥ

“Chanting the holy name does not depend on initiation, pious activities or the puraścaryā regulative principles generally observed before initiation. The holy name does not wait for any of these activities. It is self-sufficient. ” Padyāvalī

As well, we have the example of Ajāmila. But one who thinks, “What is the benefit of taking the trouble to accept guru? I will attain the Lord just by chanting the name,” he will not attain the Lord, because of the offense of offending guru (third offense). However, in this life or another life, if he surrenders to the feet of guru after his offense has been destroyed, he will then attain the Lord. ( From Srila Vishvanatha Cakravartipad tika to Srimad Bhagavatam 6.2.9-10)


Question 14 :
Excluding bhajana-gurus or siksha-gurus from the pranali and only putting the diksha-gurus means that you don’t consider them to be of an equal status.

Answer :

OK, and excluding diksa-gurus and replacing them with siksa-gurus who never even met each other makes it all right, does it not? Moreover, If we apply your logic, picking out diksa-gurus and replacing them with siksa-gurus gives the diksa-gurus an inferior status.

Question 15 :
Furthermore, if we don’t want to make the guru-pranali or guru-parampara very much crowded, we might have to exclude certain diksha-gurus and rather only count some siksha-gurus instead, who might have done more preaching to liberate the jivas.


Personalities such as Srinivasa Acarya and Syamananda Pandit, who were among the most prominent preachers of the Gosvami granthas, and Jahnava Thakurani, who was the crest-jewel of all Gaudiyas in the post-Gosvami era, have been excluded from this list.

On the other hand, persons such as Aksobhya, Jayatirtha, Jnanasindhu, Dayanidhi, Vidyanidhi, Rajendra, Jayadharma,Purusottama, Brahmanya Tirtha and Vyasa Tirtha have been included in the parampara. Can you explain how they have contributed to the siksa-parampara of Gaudiya Vaishnavas ?

I think if parampara means a collection of the most prominent individuals who have influenced the Gaudiya tradition, you would do well to remove the aforementioned ten persons (with all due respect to these maha-bhagavatas) and replace them with Gaudiya mahajanas such as Gadadhara, Srivasa, Gopala Bhatta, Raghunatha Bhatta, Jahnava Thakurani, Syamananda, Srinivasa, Virabhadra, Krishna Mishra and Radha Krishna Das, who have had a considerable influence in our gaudiya history.

It is simply not done as we cannot remove anyone from the parampara . All are equally respectful irrespective of their contributions.

Question 16:

I just opened A.C Bhaktivedanta’s Gita, and Sridhara’ Maharaja’s Sri Guru and His Grace – in parampara lineage there are many siksa gurus and not diksa ( like Vidyavacaspati.Yadunandana Acarya,Radha Ramana Cakravarti ,Vipin Bihari Gosvami etc} From my understanding it is clear that siksya is present and siksya gurus are worshiped as acaryas in parampara (in some cases)

Answer :

Certainly siksa-gurus are worshipable, but the guru-pranali (channel of gurus) is traced according to diksa. Take the example of Narottama: He studied under Jiva, but in his works we find rather exclusive praise of Lokanatha as his guru, though Jiva is also acknowledged on occasion. The essential function of the siksa-guru is to assist the aspirant in his inner service to his guru-pranali in their manjari-forms (siddha-pranali). Thus the siksa-guru through his instructions contributes to the significance of the diksa-guru.


Question 17 :

“Texts such as Sri Gaudiya vaisnava abhidhana have stated that Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Sri Lokanatha Dasa  Gosvami’s guru, but it is a well-known fact that  Sriman Mahaprabhu did not accept anyone as His disciple according to the  pancaratrika-pranali (method). That means that, if Sriman Mahaprabhu is actually the guru of  Sri Lokanatha Gosvami, it is  only on the basis of bhagavata-parampara. In any case, Sri Narottama Thakura, besides being the pancaratrika disciple of  Sri Lokanatha  Gosvami, is also the disciple of Sri Jiva Gosvami in bhagavata-parampara. It was in the anugatya of Sri Jiva  Gosvami that Sri Narottama Thakura became steeped in bhajana-siksa.”


No one is rejecting the role of siksha guru in their life. Our param gurudeva Srila Kunjabihari Das Babaji Maharaj also received most of his siksha from his siksha gurus. Our gurudev Srila Ananta Das Babaji Maharaj also received many siksha from many siksha gurus(including his diksha guru) which he himself has acknowledged in his books. But that does not mean they did not have any diksha guru or there is no necessity of diksha guru or diksha guru does not impart siksha . The above point of having siksha guru(in case he is different from diksha guru) does not negate the importance of diksha guru. Even if the name of the diksha guru of Srila Lokanatha Dasa Gosvami or Srila Krishnadas kaviraj Goswami  is not known does not mean they didn’t have one .

Question 18 :

Some claim that if the guru in the diksha guru parampara are not qualified enough then he will not be able to pass necessary realizations to the next generation. That is why diksha guru(in diksha parampara) is not valid.


What makes you think that only the gurus in the bhagavat parampara are only capable to pass realizations and others are not ? This is entirely a neophyte camp based narrow mindedness. Who are we to comment on the qualification of a diksha guru. Is it the symptoms of advancement to question or see others as non qualified ? How can we judge ?

He did not made many  followers ? He has not done preaching  by going from this country to another  ?  He does not sings well ?   Householder ?

Gaurakisora dasa babaji, Jagannath das babaji and Vamsidas babaji all had brahmin-grhastha diksha gurus and everyone knows they became siddha .

Realizations are fructified when one utters the mantra regularly after getting them from the guru as all the realizations are in the mantra. One can understand them from the example of Gopa kumara. Uttering of mantra in offenseless state , studying books of acharyas , association with rasika devotees will gradually manifest realizations in the devotee.  This is the verdict of sastra as presented above even from references by sri Jiva. Those who don’t have faith in sastra vakya are commiting naam aparadha.

Question 19:

All members of the Gaudiya Sampradaya accept Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu as jagad guru, and consider themselves to be His followers. However, on what basis do they maintain this conviction? There is no recorded account anywhere of Sriman Mahaprabhu giving diksa-mantra to anyone. This means that Sriman Mahaprabhu is not the guru of anyone else in pancaratrika-parampara, although He Himself is a disciple of Sri Isvara Puri. Therefore, if the Gaudiya Vaisnava community accepts the anugatya and discipleship of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, it can only be on one basis, and that basis is bhagavata-parampara.Each and every Gaudiya Vaisnava is proud to call himself rupanuga. But let us consider this point: How many disciples did Sri Rupa Gosvami initiate by the pancaratrika method? The fact is that Sri Jiva Gosvami is his one and only diksa disciple, and he himself is not actually a diksa disciple of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. So on what basis do members of the Gaudiya Vaisnava community accept Sri Rupa Gosvami as their guru? How is it possible to be a follower of Sri Rupa Gosvami and at the same time be a follower of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu? Even Sri Sanatana Gosvami, who is the siksa- guru of Sri Rupa Gosvami, has no second thoughts about calling himself rupanuga.The basis of all these examples is one?
bhagavata-parampara. It is only on the basis of bhagavata-parampara that Sri Rupa Gosvami is the disciple of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and that the Gaudiya Vaisnava community considers Sri Rupa Gosvami to be their guru.


Mahaprabhu appointed Gopala Bhatta Gosvami among the six Gosvamis to initiate disciples. Concerned over preserving the disciplic succesion, Rupa and Sanatana later appointed Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami to initiate disciples. Gopala Bhatta was to give diksa to those from the western region, and Raghunatha Bhatta to those from Gauda. This is described in the Anuragavalli (2), paraphrased in OBL Kapoor’s “Gosvamis of Vrindavana” (chapter six, page 197). In addition Nityananda prabhu and Advaita prabhu were delegated the task of making disciples.

“The Gaudiya Gosvamis were all the very embodiments of humility. They did not want to accept disciples, because they thought they did not deserve to be guru. Rupa, Sanatana and Raghunatha did not take any disciples. Lokanatha had also vowed not to give diksa to anyone, though he had to break his vow in the case of Narottama Thakura. Rupa and Sanatana were concerned about the sisya parampara (the line of disciplic succession) of the sampradaya, which had to be maintained. Mahaprabhu had solved the problem to some extent by authorising and ordering Gopala Bhatta to give diksa; Rupa Gosvami tried to prepare at least one more person for the task. Jiva Gosvami was still young. Therefore he entrusted the responsibility to Raghunatha Bhatta. He asked Gopala Bhatta to initiate the people from the western region and Raghunatha Bhatta to initiate those coming from Gauda. (Anuragavalli 2, p. 14)” The passage of the book was quoted by OBL Kapoor in Gosvamis of Vrindavana (ch. 6 / p. 197).

Mahaprabhu received mantra-diksa from Isvara Puri though, and was greatly devoted to His diksa-guru. Behold the astonishing change in His life after meeting Isvara Puri! Thus we may learn from his example that we should be enthusiastic to receive diksa. The very example of Mahaprabhu’s receiving diksa is a significant demonstration of the potency of diksa.

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is Lord himself . He needs no parampara to prove his divinity . Still he took initiation from a parampara which has a unbroken chain of diksha parampara. It justifies the importance of diksha in a diksha parampara .Sri Krishna , Ramachandra also took diksha.  Mahaprabhu did not initiate anyone  is true . But Adavita  acharya did ,Gopala Bhatta ,Raghunatha Bhatta, Loknath Goswami  Gadadhar Pandit did.  Lord Nityananda did under the instruction of Mahaprabhu and we belong to the direct diksha parampara of Lord Nityananda who also follows unbroken chain of  diksha parampara from Madhavas . Thus the diksha parampara coming from all of them are still continuing under the name of different parivaars .  Lord Nityananda is also called Jagat Guru. So If we have to accept Mahaprabhu and Rupa Goswami as our beloved guru then to be linked  to him via diksha parampara is bogus argument if one is already in the parampara of his eternal associates . Taking siksha from Rupa goswami or being called Rupanugas does not necessarily mean to be connected directly to them in  diksha parampara.

Regarding Rupa Sanatan’s reluctance to give diksha, there are many reasons. Out of Humility,  Considering themselves outcaste(They didnot even enter Sri Jagannath Mandira).However the task of giving diksha was given to others as presented above.

Leave them and take our example.We are influenced by the siksha of  Srila Ananta Das Babaji Maharaj ,HDG AC Bhaktivedanta swami Maharaj(Iskcon), Sri Jaypataka Swami(Iskcon), Sri Radhanath Swami(Iskcon) , Srila PranKrishna das Babaji Maharaj(Nityanand parivar Radhakund) , Srila Binod Bihari Das Babaji Maharaj(Nityanand parivaar Barsana) ,Srila Premgopal Goswami( Lord Nityananda’s descendent), Mahanidhi swami(Ex Iskcon Now Sri Madangopal Das Babaji , Advaita parivaar),  etc to name a few of this generation . Also we spend most time  reading books of Srila Vishvanath Charkavary Thakura , Srila Narottama Thakura and other acharyas  .

Now if we just reject diksha parampara then what should be our guru paramapara  as we have many siksha gurus from different  generations and different parivaars ? What is the  rule for choosing guru as per the bhagavata parampara ? Should we chose the most popular of the current generation ? Shall we make the guru parampara list as per their seniority or their contribution by preaching ? Or we just put Srila Vishvanath above our name in my parampara by skipping others after him.  Generation gaps not acceptable ? Does not matter as even in the bhagvata parampara of those who reject diksha parampara has generation gaps or siksha gurus whom they never met. I mean no insult to anybody here but stating the facts .

Question 20:

So you dare to criticize the parampara of Mahatmas like Srila Prabhupada and calling them as bogus ?


Only a person who is not aware of their contribution or spiritual position will call them bogus . In fact we are huge admirers of Srila Prabhupada . Srila Bhaktisiddhanta was initiated by Srila Gaurakishore Das Babaji Maharaj who belongs to Advaita parivaar. Please try to understand our intention . We are promoting the actual siddhanta which is followed in Gaudiya tradition for ages .  Regarding Srila Prabhupada , Srila Ananta Das Babaji Maharaj states ” Without Swami Maharaj  you would not have known Krishna ” . So only a fool would refer them and their parampara as  bogus. One can attain liberation  in their parampara as well . More detailed discussion later.



Question 21 :

Then how the parampara is traced as per scriptues and more specifically in Gaudiya Vaishnavism ?


The parampara (guru-pranali) is traced according to diksa-gurus, despite the fact that there may be one or more influential siksa-gurus in the life of a devotee, for diksa-gurus may be many, whereas diksa-guru is one. Drawing a comprehensive chart of one’s siksa-lineage would result in an infinite web of lineages.

Srila Visvanatha Chakravarty has presented in his Sankalpa Kalpadruma the corresponding siddha-pranali (a succession of manjaris) in allegiance to whom and under whose guidance he serves the Divine couple. Moreover, as is evident from the example of Visvanatha, for each diksa-guru-pranali there is a corresponding siddha-pranali (channel of siddha-dehas) in allegiance to whom the initiate serves the Divine Couple. Hence drawing one’s disciplic lineage according to diksa is the only reasonable and scripturally correct way of understanding disciplic lineages in the Gaudiya tradition.

Question 22:

How to harmonize the theory of bhagavat parampara . Why did an elevated mahatma like Srila Bhaktisiddhanta made such deviation from traditional line ?


From the book Realization and manifestation of your eternal identity by Uttamasloka Das(Disciple of HDG A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami)

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta and Srila Prabhupada have  chosen to take the focus off of that particular aspect of the previously and currently prevalent system employed by the different Gaudiya Vaishava pranalis descending directly from Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta appears to have done this because he wanted to separate his mission from those who were improperly implementing the siddha-pranali system, as well as those caste goswamis and smarta brahmins who were making a monopolistic business of giving diksa into their family disciplic successions, without providing proper guidance and instruction as well.
Rather than represent Gaura Kisora dasa Babaji’s lineage, which was one of many valid pranalis at the time, and which was a time honored tradition, he chose to establish a disciplic succession that represented the descending transmission of essential knowledge passed down from Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and which was not tied to a particular family, group or party. Thus, it could be said that it is a siksa-guru lineage. Some have called it a Bhagavata-parampara.

Bhaktisiddhanta’s innovations were also made in consideration of the unique circumstances wherein Vaisnavism was beginning to spread all around the world to a whole new class of potential practitioners, none of whom would be qualified to hear about siddha-pranali, the siddha-deha or ekadasa-bhava. It would have been confusing and inappropriate. It was, rather, a time for laying the foundations of the science of bhakti-yoga worldwide, to be built upon and expanded throughout the future generations of Vaishnavas. And, as anyone who has studied their writings knows, neither Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati nor Srila Prabhupada wrote about or discussed the siddha-deha and ekadasa-bhava to any great extent. They more or less avoided it and that is especially noteworthy because they were immediate direct representatives of Bhaktivinoda Thakura. However, we  heard that Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati did in fact give these details and instructions to his qualified disciples, so it was most certainly not something he rejected entirely.

Question 23:

So it means that there were no genuine guru apart from Bhaktisiddhanta so Srila Prabhupada did not take initiation from any other guru.


We are not denying that there was a time when sahajiya influence was predominant which led Bhaktisiddhanta Thakura to take such deviant step from the actual process for reforming the society and we are grateful for that. The genuine Gaudiya vaishnava saints mostly in Vrindavan led a secluded life and did not  protest against sahajiyas as they were mostly bhajanandis . That is why there was sahajiya influence . Many devotees are not aware that after the time of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta saraswati thakura,  Srila Kunjabihari Das Babaji Maharaj(our param gurudev) also led movement against sahajiyas which later resulted in sahajiya influence removed from many places most noteworthy among them is Radhakund.The reformation continued by many babajis and most popular among them is Srila Ananta Das Babaji Maharaj who via his books established the the correct gaudiya siddhantas which are lovingly relished even by the followers of bhagavata parampara who knows the truth .Many are even not aware that Srila Ananta Das ji was loved by HDG A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami who even wanted baba maharaj  to go abroad in 70s with him . We must understand that in the midst of sahajiya influence there were lots of siddha mahatmas also who did not protest against the sahajiyas but they were genuine mahatmas. Also sahajiya influence at a time does not negate the crediblity of diksha pranali or diksha parampara. Those who think otherwise are mistaken.

Question 24:

First of all I want to remember us all that words of pure vaishnavas are themselves as good as the sastra and that they are highest authirity. Guru-mukhya padma vakya…and latter on it is said dharitvena samasta-sastrair. That is true.
Lord Krsna said that also in Bhagavatam:
acaryam mam vijaniyam navamanyeta karhicit
na martya-buddhyasuyeta sarva-deva-mayo guruh
“One should know the Acharya as Myself and never disrespect him in anyway. One should not envy him, thinking him an ordinary man, for he is the representative of all the demigods.” (SB.11.17.27)

There are many quotation like this. So we can see that  the words of such great acaryas like , Srila Bhaktisidhantha Sarasvati, Srila Sridhara Maharaja, Srila A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada are not words and thinking of a ordinary man. Lineage that we can see in case of Bhaktisidhantha is not act of ordinary man.


Correct. We are not denying the spiritual position of the acharyas mentioned above and we have already cleared that . They are certainly very elevated souls and we have all the respect for them. But our intention to present this discussion is to point out that when one is quoting
“”One should know the Acharya as Myself and never disrespect him in anyway.”
he should understand that there are other acharyas also prior to them and after them who are in an authenticated  parampara and have been following what the Gaudiya vaishnava mahajanas have taught and followed . Any disrespect to them will not be taken lightly either by Lord . You take full liberty to minimize the traditions all these acharyas have been following for past 500 years but when we present the truth then you take offense. We have quoted Srila Jiva, Srila Vishvanath to justify our position. Isn’t refuting their position a direct insult to them when we are following gaudiya tradition ?

We are not here to criticize or judge  Srila BhaktiSiddhanta Thakura .We believe they are empowered souls who have appeared to preach. Our Gurudeva also tells us about their spiritual position .  We only wish to state that one cannot just refer the unbroken chain of diksha parampara as bogus just to justify bhagavat parampara .

We must understand that people have varying perceptions of individuals in this world. Whom one considers paramahamsa, another considers a mediocre devotee, and whom one considers a beginning devotee, another considers a siddha.

Therefore when we discuss Gaudiya siddhanta between Vaishnavas of different lineages, we must refer to a common epistemic basis — the writings of mutually accepted acaryas. Just as I cannot just quote Srila  Ananta Das ji’s words and demand that you accept them as the absolute and final word in transcendence (or otherwise gurusu nara-matir…naraki sah), so you cannot demand the same from us in regards to Srila Bhaktisiddhanta. I trust you understand.

As far as various examples of initiation go, we must first and foremost consider the example of the Gosvamis. There are innumerable traditions with a great variety of differing vicara, and they are entitled for it. For us, as Gaudiya Vaishnavas, followers of Sri Caitanyadeva, we must obey the commands of the Gosvamis whom He empowered to lay down the law and standards to be observed followed by Srila Narottama Das Thakura , Srila Vishvanath Chakravarty thakura etc to name a few acharyas.

In our Gaudiya sampradaya, the worship of the ista-devata or the mantra-devata (zraddha-vizeSataH prItir zrI-mUrtir aGghri-sevane) is one of its core practices meant to establish a proper self-conception of the worshiper in a specific mood in relation with the Worshipable One. Since these methods and conceptions of bhajana (worship) are transmitted from a guru to a disciple over generations, it is only natural that disciplic lineages are understood as lineages of diksa-gurus. This is how our Gaudiya-mahajanas have presented their respective lineages. The progressive path of a Vaishnava should lead one out of delusion instead of fostering it under the convenient guise of religion.

As to the followers of the  bhagavat parampara if they think Radhakund Babajis hate A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami, I present a direct quote of Radhakund Mahanta Srila Ananta Das Babaji Maharaj as he said to one of his non Indian disciple “Swamiji Maharaja (AC Bhaktivedanta Swami, without him, you would never know the glories of Radhakund“. We understand the mission of Swami Maharaj.If we don’t accept the concept of bhagavat parampara(as we follow the path of gaudiya acharyas) does not mean we look down upon it. But does everyone understands the gaudiya vaishnava siddhantas before offending the traditional parivaars ?


Question 25 :

Not everyone can actually be in a position where they can take diksha. The world is a big place and the number of people giving  diksha is small in comparison. Is Krishna going to abandon all who cannot fly to India, move there, and find someone to give them diksa?


Śrīmat Ananta Dāsa Bābājī in Guru tattva vijnana states:
Some people think that a bona fide Guru is very rare in this world and it is not easy to recognise and attain a bona fide Guru. Thinking like this, they do not endeavour to take dīkṣā-mantra and thus waste the precious moments of their rare human lives.
In this connection it must be said that when the Lord descends as the bona fide Guru for the benefit of the world, He is never hard to attain or unattainable for the genuine seekers of bhajana and those who are eager to take shelter of the bona fide Guru.

Those who give up crookedness and associate with the saints with a simple and innocent mind, for the cessation of their material miseries, and earnestly take shelter of the feet of a bona fide Guru, for the sake of worshipping the Lord, praying to the Lord with an eager heart, while hoping to attain the bona fide Guru, will certainly be blessed with the shelter of a bona fide Guru — of this there is not even the slightest doubt. Merciful Śrī Hari will certainly provide good luck and opportunities to such people, who are so eager to do bhajana.’

Question 26:

Why diksha at the beginning ? We can take diksha after performing sadhana for a long time and then chose a guru from the list of available gurus .


The first three of the 64 items of bhajana that are described by Śrīmat Rūpa Gosvāmīpāda are  –
guru padāśrayas tasmāt kṛṣṇa dīkṣādi śikṣaṇam viśrambheṇa guroḥ sevā
(Bhakti Rasāmṛta Sindhu 1.2.74)

1) Taking shelter of Śrī Guru’s feet
2) Taking initiation into Śrī Kṛṣṇa-mantra and learning Bhāgavata-dharma (the religion of worshipping the Personality of Godhead) from him
3) Serving Śrī Guru with faith.

Chaitanya Charitamrita states the same thing:

“guru padāśraya, dīkṣā, gurura sevana”

guru padāśraya” means that a person who wishes to do bhagavad bhajana must live near Śrī Guru’s feet for a while before taking initiation, and sincerely render service to him according to his wishes, so that Śrī Guru’s lotus feet are pleased.- Srila Ananta Das Babaji Maharaj in Guru tattva vijnana.

The underlying principle is that devotional life starts by surrendering oneself to guru and ask for initiation. Then guru will judge the disciple and will train the disciple and then give initiation. After initiation the disciple must serve gurudeva. If not physically then by his order. It is upto guru to decide when to give initiation.

But first one should surrender to guru at the beginning of performing devotional life. This is the process as per acharyas as presented above. Those who preach otherwise are misguiding and not in sync with acharyas. Initiation means beginning of spirutal life. When the disciple becomes dvija “twice born“.

Question 27:
It happens that we get not personal interaction with guru. The disciple introduces one to guru and after that guru gives diksha and after that no interaction with guru. Guru is not available. Interaction may be once or twice in a year for a minute.

It should not happen. A sad guru will always give time to his disciples . Personal relationship with guru is very much essential. That is why Srila Rupa goswami suggests staying near the guru. If staying near is not possible at some point of time one must regular come to see gurudeva and serve him. This is how a loving relationship with guru is formed.This is how the disciple receives special mercy and love from gurudeva. One must be very careful while chosing guru.One must not forget Srila Rupa Goswami mentions raganuga bhakti is the path of mercy .

Question 28 :

If we take initiation and then fail to perform bhajan the guru will suffer. So is it not better to take some time ?


The concern is genuine and the disciple should not break the vow made to guru thinking this way. Guru may take the reactions of a disciple if he likes. But is not mandatory. It is not that all our sins is transferred at the time of diksha . It depends on gurudeva how he wants to display his mercy. For loving devotees sometimes he does it. If it happens for all then  just after initiation all our suffering would cease to exist and we will be engrossed in prema. Does it happen everytime ? Nope. We see such mercy only in case of loving devotees . For others sins are removed gradually by chanting of pancha tattva mantra, mahamantra and diksha mantras. This is the process. If one can please guru by serving him then ahetuki kripa is attained and one’s sadhana is easy and he reaches prema stage quicker. Another thing is loving devotees may not live near gurudeva always and are serving his instructions. Guru may bestow his mercy being far away from the disciple. But first a loving relationship by which the guru is pleased should be formed.

But the point is  a sad guru is always connected to the divine couple and takes suddha naam so he actually does not suffer the reactions of disciples. So one should not be afraid to surrender to guru making this as an excuse.


Question 29:

How to understand the necessity of guru as a must have and krishna bestows his mercy in form of a guru ?


guru kṛṣṇa rūpa hon śāstrera pramāṇe;
guru rūpe kṛṣṇa kṛpā korena bhaktagaṇe (C.C.)

“The Guru is another form of Kṛṣṇa, that is proven by the scriptures. Kṛṣṇa bestows His mercy upon the devotees in the form of the Guru.”

One who wants to worship the Supreme Lord must first of all take shelter of the lotus feet of Śrī Guru. bhajana-sādhana is far removed from one who does not take shelter of the lotus feet of Śrī Guru, because this is the gate through which one enters the path of bhakti. This does not only count for the path of bhakti, there is no practice in the world that does not require the shelter of a Guru’s (teacher’s) feet! If it is necesary to take a learned and experienced teacher to learn something in this mundane world, then it is needless to say that one needs a Guru to learn bhakti from, which is the highest science in the spiritual world. (Śrīmat Ananta Dāsa Bābājī – Guru tattva vijnana)



Question 30 :

Can you provide some additional references stating the necessity of taking shelter of a sad guru ?


ato guruṁ praṇamyaivaṁ
sarva-svaṁ vinivedya ca
gṛhṇīyād vaiṣṇavaṁ mantraṁ
dīkṣā-purvaṁ vidhānataḥ
(Hari-bhakti-vilāsa 2.10)

“It is the duty of every human being to surrender to a bona fide spiritual master.
Giving him everything-body, mind and intelligence-one must take a Vaiṣṇava initiation from him.”


adikshitasya vamoru kritam sarvam nirarthakam;
pashu-yonim avapnoti diksha-virahito janah.
(Hari-bhakti-vilāsa 2.6)

“Unless one is initiated by a bona fide Spiritual Master, all one’s activities are useless.
A person who is not Initiated will surely descend again into the animal species in his next life.”


tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta
jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam
śābde pare ca niṣṇātaṁ
brahmaṇy upaśamāśrayam
[SB 11.3.21]

“Any person who seriously desires to achieve real happiness must seek out a bona fide spiritual master and take shelter of him by initiation.
The qualification of his spiritual master is that he must have realized the conclusion of the scriptures by deliberation and be able to convince others of these conclusions. Such great personalities, who have taken shelter of the Supreme Godhead, leaving aside all material considerations, are to be understood as bona fide spiritual masters.”


guru-pādāśraya, dīkṣā, gurura sevana
sad-dharma-śikṣā-pṛcchā, sādhu-mārgānugamana
( CC Madhya-lila 22.115)

“On the path of regulative devotional service, one must observe the following items: (1) One must accept a bona fide spiritual master. (2) One must accept initiation from him. (3) One must serve him. (4) One must receive instructions from the spiritual master and make inquiries in order to learn devotional service. (5) One must follow in the footsteps of the previous ācāryas and follow the directions given by the spiritual master.


tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet
samit-pāṇiḥ śrotriyaṁ brahma-niṣṭham

“In order to learn the transcendental science, one must approach the bona fide spiritual master, who is fixed in the Absolute Truth.”
Muṇdaka Upaniṣad 1.2.12


grhita-visnudiksako visnu-pujaparo narah
vaisnavo ‘bhihito ‘bhijnairitaro ‘smadavaisnavah

One who is initiated into the Vaisnava mantra and who is devoted to worshiping Lord Visnu is a Vaisnava.
One who is devoid of these practices is not a Vaisnava. (Hari-bhakti-vilasa, 11, quoted from Padma Purana)


tad viddhi praṇipātena
paripraśnena sevayā
upadekṣyanti te jñānaṁ
jñāninas tattva-darśinaḥ
[Bg. 4.34]

“Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him.
The self-realized soul can impart knowledge unto you because he has seen the truth.”


brahmāṇḍa bhramite kona bhāgyavān jīva
guru-kṛṣṇa-prasāde pāya bhakti-latā-bīja
[Cc. Madhya 19.151]

“According to their karma, all living entities are wandering throughout the entire universe. Some of them are being elevated to the upper planetary systems, and some are going down into the lower planetary systems. Out of many millions of wandering living entities, one who is very fortunate gets an opportunity to associate with a bona fide spiritual master by the grace of Kṛṣṇa. By the mercy of both Kṛṣṇa and the spiritual master, such a person receives the seed of the creeper of devotional service.”


sarva-deśa-kāla-daśāya janera kartavya
guru-pāśe sei bhakti praṣṭavya, śrotavya
( CC Madhya-lila 15.22)

“It is therefore the duty of every man-in every country, in every circumstance and at all times-to accept a spiritual master,
question him about devotional service and listen to him explain the process.”


The Bhakti-sandarbha (298) gives the following quotation from the Tattva-Sagara:

yatha kanchanatam yati kamsyam rasa-vidhanatah; tatha diksha-vidhanena dvijatvam jayate nrinam.

“By chemical manipulation, bell metal is turned into gold when touched by mercury; similarly, when a person is Initiated by a bonafide Vaishnava Spiritual Master, he or she acquires the qualities of a brahmana or second birth.”


“A Mantra is purified when chanted with proper knowledge.” (SB 11.24.32). In the purport to this verse Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says, “A Mantra becomes very effective when it issues from the mouth of a bonafide Spiritual Master who instructs the disciple in the method, meaning and ultimate purpose of the Mantra.”


yo mantraḥ sa guruḥ sākṣāt yo guruḥ sa hariḥ svayam
gurur yasya bhavet tuṣṭas tasya tuṣṭo hariḥ svayam
Vāmana-kalpa/Hari Bhakti Vilasa 4.353

The mantra (received from Śrī Guru) is the Guru himself, and Śrī Guru is directly the Supreme Lord Hari.
There is no difference between Śrī Guru, the mantra given by him, and Śrī Hari.
He with whom Śrī Guru is pleased, also obtains the pleasure of
Śrī Hari Himself.


svayaṁ brahmaṇi nikṣiptān jātān eva hi mantrataḥ
vinītān atha putrādīn saṁskṛtya pratibodhayet
Nārada Pañcarātra/Bharadvāja-saṁhitā 2.34

When the Guru gives the mantra to his disciple according to the rules and regulations of pāñcarātrika vidhi,
then, by the influence of that mantra, the disciple never takes birth again.

A humble disciple conducts himself with great respect for his spiritual master as if he is son of the Guru.
To such a humble disciple, who has been purified by the appropriate saṁskāras, the Guru teaches the meaning of the mantra.
This is the way that spiritual initiation is performed according to the rules and regulations of scripture.


yathā kāñcanatāṁ yāti kāṁsyaṁ rasa-vidhānataḥ
tathā dīkṣā-vidhānena dvijatvaṁ jāyate nṛṇām

Just as bell metal is turned to gold by a particular alchemical process,
a person can attain to the state of dvi-ja (second, spiritual birth) by the process of Vaiṣṇava dīkṣā.

Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura:
There are three kinds of birth:
(1) śaukra-janma— seminal birth by mother and father,
(2) sāvitra-janma—a ceremony in which a boy is initiated into one of the three twice-born classes by being invested with the
sacred thread,
and (3) daikṣa-janma—birth by the process of dīkṣā or spiritual initiation.
Even a śūdra or an untouchable person (antya-ja) who is born in the lowest family obtains the saṁskāras for being a dvija upon being initiated in accordance with the regulations of the Pāñcarātra.


guru-dīkṣā vihinasya na siddhim na sad-gatim
tasmat sarva-prayatnena guruṇā dīkṣitaṁ bhavet
Purāṇa vakya

Without proper dīkṣā from Śrī Guru, no one can attain perfection or the supreme destination.
Therefore, with utmost care and attention one should accept dīkṣā initiation from Śrī Guru.


adīkṣitasya vāmoru kṛtaṁ sarvaṁ nirarthakam
paśu-yonim-avāpnoti dīkṣā virahitī janaḥ
Skanda Purāṇa/Hari-bhakti-vilāsa 2.6/

O Vāmoru! All the auspicious activities of men are worthless without accepting
dīkṣā. A person who is bereft of dīkṣā obtains birth in the animal species of life.

Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī states: “As illustrated by Dhruva’s history, the acceptance of dīkṣā is absolutely necessary
in order to perform the sādhana and bhajana for realising
Śrī Bhagavān.”

nṛṇāṁ sarveṣām eva dvijatvaṁ “vipratā”

Sanātana Gosvāmī’s Dig Darśinī commentary on the above śloka:
“The purport is that anyone can become twice-born if he is properly initiated
(that is, by hearing the dīkṣā mantras directly from a bona fide Guru).”


Lord Brahma instructs Shrila Narada in the Skanda Purana, Kartika-Mahatmya:

te narah pasavo loke, kim tesam jivane phalam; yair na labdha harer diksa, narcito va janardanah.

“Unfortunate people do not accept Hari Mantra Diksha (harer diksha) and thus they remain unqualified to worship Lord Krishna(Hari). Such people are simply like animals since there is no higher purpose for their human form of life.”


tapasvinah karma nistha, sresthaste vai nara bhuvi; prapta yaistu harer diksa, sarva dukha vimocani.

“Those persons who accept Hari Mantra Diksha (harer diksha)  are completely delivered from all the miseries of material existence. In this world, they become superior even to the great ascetics and karma-nistha yogis.”


pustaka-pratyayādhītaṁ nādhītaṁ guru-sannidhau |sabhā-madhye na śobhante jāra-garbhā iva striyaḥ ||

Learning taken from books according to one’s own impressions, but not learned with a guru, is unfit for the public space, like a woman who is pregnant with an illegitimate child. (Chanakya)

Question 31:

So if one wishes to progress in raganuga bhakti does he has to take re initiation from some of traditional parivaar and take siddha pranali ? changing diksha guru is not recommended .


Guru is one that is Krishna and all are his representatives. If one is strongly motivated to practice raganuga bhakti in manjari bhava  which is the unique gift of Sriman Mahaprabhu he might take additional mantras containing the swarupas of the associates of lord whom the sadhakas will be directly interacting and take orders in the nitya lila from a different guru who is connected directly to them via siddha swarupa and has revealed this information to his disciples.

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta has not given or revealed all the mantras received from his guru Srila Gaurkishore Das babaji to his disciples. So it is not a sin to receive additional mantras from another guru . Srila Kunjabihari Das Babaji Maharaj received additional mantras required for raganuga bhajan from another guru(Srila Krishna Caitanya Das Babaji) of the same parivaar. Mantras contains the swarupa of mantra istha. So it is completely fine . As Srila Kunjabihari Das ji and Krishna Caitanya Das Babaji belong to the same parivaar so the siddha pranali of Srila Kunjabihari Das ji contains Gopal Chandra Thakur Goswami’s siddha swarupa and his lineage as it was revealed by Gopal Chandra Thakur Goswami.

But if only the siddha pranali of the guruvarga is not known or followed then only the name of guru in the siddha pranali changes and the disciple is connected to the parampara of the new guru . In that case also the disciple is allowed to worship his previous diksha guru .

In a school one goes to another class then collage then post graduation then PHD etc. In this process there are different teachers . So does any one changes the teacher ? No . The process takes him to the next teacher. It is not that the student has rejected his previous teacher. But once one is connected to the siddha swarupa pranali which is leading one to Krishna i.e. sambandha is established then that guru becomes his eternal master.

If one is not interested in raganuga bhakti  and is satisfied practicing vaidhi bhakti then there is no issue . The also by the means of the mantras received from guru one will attain bhava and prema and attain Vaikuntha or Mathura or Dwaraka. Goloka is attained only by practicing raganuga bhakti . For more reference consult Madhurya Kadambini by Srila Vishwanath Chakravarty Thakura.


So ultimately it depends upon the student what they are aspiring .

I would like you see the video to understand the philosophy.


Question 32:

What about those who practice manjari bhava sadhana but are not aware of siddha pranali or not interested. They prefer to create their own siddha deha based upon inclination. Isn’t it an alternate solution ?


Certainly it is an alternate solution. One can certainly progress in raganuga bhakti by the mercy of mahatmas even without the siddha pranali .

The problem is unless one is connected with the siddha swarupa of guruvarga along with one’s own ekadash bhavas the sambandha is not complete . It is the process as a next step of initiation. For more information on this please see our other blog .


However if one is reluctant to take siddha pranali then he can surely follow the remaining process  . He can certainly progress. May be in a later lifetime he will be connected in the line or mercy will take care of everything.  Anything is possible.  Krishna will take care of that. But you know the raganuga bhakti process itself is very sweet even without the siddha pranali . Progress is guaranteed without siddha pranali . We understand due to such statements many turn against us but we can’t help it . We are just preaching what the acharyas taught. Kindly refer to the above blog.

Question 33 :

So you mean to say if one receives siddha pranali then he is guaranteed to achieve perfection in this lifetime and go to prakrata Krishna lila in next birth.


No it is not guaranteed. Knowing one’s siddha swarupa is a part of sambandha gyan. Then comes abhidheya “the process of devotion” as suggested by guru. If one is not sincere or neglects the process then he is not progressing and hence not achieving the prayojana “the goal”. To get success one has to stick to the bonafide process . If he does then it is certainly possible . But if sambandha gyan is not complete then there is no chance of going to prakrata Krishna lila in the next birth. For raganuga bhakti in manjari bhava  this specific information  is most essential . You know Sriman Mahaprabhu has opened the door for us and it is up to us whether we are willing to take it or not.


 Question 34:

What if the devotee follows the entire process but at the end of life does not attain prema stage and ends at asakti.


Guru will come in next birth and help him . A siddha guru can simultaneously be present in goloka and in another swarupa in this material world. It is the role of Guru to help his disciples. It may or may not happen in this universe. One might be transferred to another universe.  The disciple will again know the same swarupa and complete the process . Why so much worry ?  Radharani will take care of this . Why not become motivated to attain perfection in this life itself ? Follow the entire  process and have faith in the mantras  given by guru .

Brahma Sutras 4.4.12 – Therefore Badarayana holds that muktas are of both types, those without bodies and those with bodies.

Govinda Bhashya:

ye brāhmaṇa-vapuṣā nityaṁ brahmānuvṛttim icchanti, teṣāṁ tu tac-cic-chakti-mayaṁ tad āvirbhavatīti kil nityaṁ tadvantas tad anuvartanta iti mantavyam |

Those muktas who through their celestial bodies always wish to carry out the will of the Supreme Brahm, manifest in their acts the cit shakti of the Lord, and with that shakti they work simultaneously in different places.


Question 35 :

So ultimately you are saying come join us and take initiation from your guru.


I was expecting this question . There are different parivaars in gaudiya tradition . Each parivaar has several branches .Each branches has several subbranches . One can find a suitable advanced raganuga guru in any parivaar according to own inclination . One must inquire and know the process followed by that sub branch and be sure if there is any deviation or not .  Our aim is just to make people aware of the process . In Vrindavan , Radhakund and other places  you will find all parivaars existing. Srila Ananta Das ji no longer intends to give initiation nor he is the only genuine guru .There are others also . Devotees and disciples literally force him emotionally to give initiation to others . Just go to Radhakund and stay for a week . You will be able to witness such incidents.   As the mahanta of Radhakund and as per the instruction of his gurudeva he is just preaching authenticated raganuga bhakti so that people interested in raganuga bhakti do not become sahajiyas or become deviated . He plays the role of a siksha guru to the entire world who are interested in manjari bhava . Siksha guru may or may not be a diksha guru.   .

If one is following only the vaidhi bhakti properly without offense as per Srila Prabhupada’s instruction related to vaidhi bhakti and promoting his mission then also he will attain prema in vaidhi bhakti and go to Vaikuntha ,  Mathura or Dwaraka . So you see there is also nothing to fear. In vaidhi bhakti this specific sambandha gyan is not essential  as the mood is vaidhi oriented .   Krishna has made perfect arrangement for everything.  It is not our personal opinion but opinion of the acharyas . However Srila Prabhupada has also recommended raganuga bhakti as it the goal of gaudiya vaishnavas. You are all aware Krishna sends different mahatmas to perform different role. Srila Prabhupada and Srila Ananta Das ji have been send as jagat guru for different kind of preaching for different types of devotees . There is no conflict .

There are 4 authenticated sampradayas  and its branches . If one is following the method of one branch then he has to follow it fully to achieve perfection. Mixing everything is not going to yield desired result. Similarly the goal of gaudiyas is raganuga bhakti and if one wishes to achieve perfection in raganuga bhakti he needs to follow the entire process suggested by acharyas . self innovation or self creating siddha deha is not bonafide process.

For understanding the difference between raganuga and vaidhi bhakti please refer to

Question 36:

What about those interested in raganuga bhakti in other bhavas ? What about their siddha pranali ?


All other bhavas except Krishna adhika sneha sakhi bhava is accepted in Gaudiya parampara but manjari bhava is recommended . It is the choice of devotees. There might be gurus in some parivaar following other rasa . It may be it is available in other universes . So devotees will be connected to specific guru in those universes . Unfortunately we don’t have much information on this. There are difference of opinion on this due to lack of proper evidences for other rasas. Let us state some of them.

Siddha pranali is available only for Manjari bhava  as it is the special gift of Sriman Mahaprabhu which is followed by all acharyas and the central goal of gaudiyas.
Other rasa does not need siddha pranali as our gaudiya acharyas have not discussed about siddha pranali in other rasa. They have only discussed about manjari bhava. followers of other bhava may follow generalized mood as an associate. Siddha pranali  is specific for nikunj seva only which is unique for gaudiya sampradaya.
There are gurus in other rasa giving siddha pranali but very rare and not openly disclosed in internet due to less followers.
Available in other universes.
May follow other sampradayas like Vallabha and Nimbarka to attain perfection in those bhavas and follow their process sincerely .

Question 37 :

What about guru in madhurya rasa giving siddha pranali in other rasa ?  there are similar incidents in Jaiva Dharma .


That the sadhaka follows his guru in nitya lila is clearly mentioned by acharyas . You will find the detail in other blogs the link of which is given above. Similar statement like the above in Jaiva Dharma is not mentioned in any  books of  acharyas . As we have already mentioned in the last question siddha pranali in other bhavas have not been commented by acharyas. So honestly it is difficult for us to comment on guru giving pranali in other bhavas due to lack of evidence from previous acharyas and practical examples .

Question 38 :

So you do not accept Srila Bhaktivinode as previous achaya ?

Answer :

Yes we certainly do accept him as a bonafide acharya . But for statement authority as the conclusive evidence , ALL parivaars after Baladeva vidyabhushan accept last acharya as Siddha Krishna Das Babaji of Manasi Ganga of Narottama parivaar.

After Siddha baba’s time there were several independent preaching processes implemented by several of later  acharyas . The statement authority of such  acharyas  is limited to that parampara  for their disciples at that time . They are not taken as conclusive evidence  IF  such statements are not in sync with acharyas. In such case such statements are considered as their personal opinion  or strategy for preaching . Some of such great reformers  are Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura , Srila Radharaman Charan dev of Bhaja Nitai Gaur Radhe Shyam fame , Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati , Srila Prabhupada etc .




1. Major portion of this blog consists of the words of Sri  Madhavananda Das

2. A large section is taken from the blog of Sri Tarun Govinda Das
3. Reference by Sri Advaita Das is also taken
4. Reference by a disciple of Srila Parbhupada has been taken to understand why did Sri Saraswati Thakura chose a different path. (Realization and manifestation of your eternal identity )by Sri Uttamasloka Das .

5. I thank my God brothers and devotee friends from Iskcon and Gaudiya math . They have provided me many links and materials which I collect and present in all my articles. They do not wish to be named so I have not revealed their name here.