Mahanidhi Swami

Looking for Guru? Anyone, anywhere, at any time and every time can and should chant the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra:

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

If you sincerely chant these Divine Names, Krishna Nama Prabhu will be pleased. Nama will purify and qualify you, and then directly reveal your eternal Guru, guide and affectionate serving friend.

What is diksha?
Sri Jiva Goswamipada says, “Diksha means receiving transcendental mantras and knowledge from the qualified teacher or Guru. The word diksha comes from “da”, meaning give divine knowledge, and “kshi” meaning destroy sin. So diksha is the process of receiving divine knowledge from the enlightened master which then destroys the disciples’ sins. To receive diksha, one must surrender at the feet of Sri Guru (means physically submitting oneself before Guru) and offer one’s complete self (mana, tana, dana or mind, life and wealth/talents) to Sri Guru. Then one receives Vaisnava diksha mantras along with the proper procedures.

“Divine knowledge (divya jnana) also includes receiving clear understanding of Bhagavan Sri Krishna who is indicated in the diksha mantras, and one’s specific individual relationship with Sri Krishna, divyam jnanam srimati mantra bhagavat svarupa jnanam, tena bhagavat sambandha vishesha jnanam.” (bhakti sand. 283)

In other words, at the time of initiation, Sri Guru gives mantras to the disciple which eventually reveal the form, qualities and Vraja madhurya lilas of the disciple’s cherished ista-devata i.e. Radha-Govinda Yugala. In addition, the benevolent Guru teaches the disciple the ways of worship to unfold his/her eternal spiritual identity, seva, and sweet personal loving relationship with Radha and Krishna.

The Independent Power of Diksha Mantras
In Brihad Bhagavatamrita, Sri Sanatana Goswami clearly establishes the phenomenal power of the diksha mantras received from Sri Guru. He narrates how a Vrajavasi cowherd named Gopa-kumara received diksha into the gopal mantra during a brief meeting with a wandering mendicant.

The Guru then immediately disappeared, leaving behind only one instruction: “Chant your diksha mantra constantly!” Just by the power of that diksha mantra Gopa-kumara traveled all over the universe, met many shiksha gurus and eventually attained spiritual perfection in Krishna prema and the spiritual world, Goloka

The Vamana Kalpa shastra says, “The diksha is non different from the Guru and the Guru is again non different from Bhagavan Sri Krishna, mantra sa guruh sakshat, you guruh sa harih svayam.” Therefore those who wish to worship Sri Krishna should receive mantra diksha from a qualified guru.
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said, “The body of a Vaisnava is never material for it consists of pure transcendental bliss. At the time of diksha, one surrenders to Sri Guru, and Krishna then makes the devotee equal to himself by transforming the devotee’s body into one of spiritual bliss. In this spiritualized body the devotee serves Sri Krishna’s lotus feet. (Cc. 3.4.191-193)

Diksha kale bhakta kare, atma samarpana
Sei kale Krishna tare, kare atma sama
Sei deha kare tara, cid ananda maya
Aprakrta dehe tanra, carana bhajaya

Thus the inconceivable power of diksha mantras, and the absolute necessity of receiving proper diksha is proven to be essential for attaining spiritual perfection in Krishna prema.

Importance of Both Proper Diksha and Shiksha
Some say diksha is not important. And all you need to attain spiritual perfection is shiksha or spiritual instructions, transcendental books, teachings and the chanting of the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra. But actually one needs both proper diksha and proper shastric-based shiksha.

Perfection is impossible without the proper guru diksha parampara connection, correct shastric shiksha and the pure chanting of the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra.
If you accept shiksha and the traditional shastras as your guides, then you must also accept what the shastras and purvacharyas teach about the absolute necessity for receiving proper diksha.

Citing Vishnu Dharma, Sri Jiva Goswamipada further emphasizes the need for diksha in Hari Bhakti Vilasa (298): “Bhagavan Sri Krishna is pleased with one who performs these eight types of bhakti to Sri Krishna, his/her diksha mantra, and the guru who gives the mantra. These eight types of bhakti or devotional expressions are:
1) Showing affection toward devotees;
2) Feeling positive about Krishna worship;
3) Worshiping Krishna daily with a favorable mind;
4) Giving up false pretense to please Sri Krishna;
5) Being attracted to hari-katha;
6) Serving Krishna with body and mind;
7) Always remembering Sri Krishna;
8) Chanting Krishna nama with full dedication.
Anyone, even a degraded meat eater, will become a glorious and truthful sage by observing these eight forms of devotion.”

In his Srimad Bhagavatam (6.2.9-10) tika, Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti explains the necessity of taking mantra diksha from a Vaisnava Guru: “Without a Guru, one cannot attain Bhagavan very easily. Therefore it should be explained that there is no other way of attaining Sri Krishna than by becoming a devotee who has surrendered to the feet of a guru.
[to one who just chants Hare Krishna without guru Visvanatha Cakravarti says] Due to the power of their worship, such a diksha less person will attain a Guru in the next birth.

“What about the example of Ajamila who just chanted Hare Krishna without diksha? So then why take the trouble of accepting a Guru? In response, I (Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti) say that such a person will NOT ATTAIN Krishna because he/she is committing the third nama aparadha of ignoring and disregarding Guru and the Guru principle. However, perhaps later in this life or in a future life when this offense has been destroyed and one surrenders to Sri Guru, then one will attain Bhagavan Sri Krishna.”

Diksha: Living Guru or Audio Recording?
Some argue that since mantras are transcendental vibrations, they exist beyond the limitations of time and space. Thus anyone anywhere at any time can receive diksha mantras just by hearing an audio track or a mobile phone transmission. However, the sastras, purvacharyas and tradition all say that diksha means PHYSICALLY HEARING the diksha mantras in one’s ear directly from the lotus mouth of the living Sri Guru. This is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY.

In Hari Bhakti Vilasa part two, Sri Sanatana Goswami states that receiving the diksha mantra directly into one’s ear from the mouth of the guru is essential for Vaisnava diksha.

Srimad Bhagavatam (11.21.15) says, “A diksha mantra is purified when chanted with proper knowledge, mantrasya ca pari jnanam.” Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti tika: “The diksha mantra is pure when it emanates from the mouth of the sad guru, sad guru mukhat yatha vat pari jnanam mantra shuddhih.”

Thus taking a mantra from a book, mobile or audio track is not according to the teachings of Bhagavan Sri Krishna, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, shastra or Gaudiya Vaisnava tradition.

Is Following Guru Enough?
Sometimes devotees argue that, “My Guru’s word is final and I just follow whatever he says, BAS!” That’s good in principle as long as the Guru is transparent and clearly presenting the correct Gaudiya Vaisnava tattva siddhanta.

You must remember that your Guru also has a Guru who has a Guru and so on all the way up to the samasti guru, jagat-guru Bhagavan Sri Krishna or His Kali-yuga expansions, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Sri Nityananda Prabhu Sri Advaita Prabhu, etc.

And Sri Krishna Himself and all His expansions always speak and follow the shastra. Thus shastra, and not the shiksha of one’s immediate diksha guru, is the ultimate spiritual authority, proof and power to base one’s spiritual life upon.

FYI: Acharyas & Their Real Diksha Gurus
Although the following Gaudiya Vaisnava acharyas are sometimes listed as disciplic members of various modern paramparas, their actual diksha gurus and lineages are all different. The following accurate list is based on the authentic shastric references listed in brackets.
1. Sri Sanatana Goswami’s diksha guru is Vidyavacaspati (bhakti ratnakara 1.598-602)
2. Sri Rupa Gosvami’s diksha guru is Sri Sanatana Goswami (Laghu Bh. 1.5)
3. Sri Jiva Goswamipada’s diksha guru is Sri Rupa Gosvami (ref. bhakti ratnakara).
4. Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami diksha guru is was Yadunandana Goswami (disciple of Sri Advaita Prabhu) (vilapa kusu. 3; advaita prakash)
5. Sri Narottama Dasa Thakura’s diksha guru is Sri Lokanatha Goswami (not Sri Krishna Dasa Kaviraja) (prarthana 17,19; prema bhakti candrika 6)
6. Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti’s diksha guru is Radha Ramana Cakravarti, not Sri Narottama Dasa Thakura, who lived a 100 years before. (sankalpa kalpa druma)
7. Baladeva Vidyabhusana’s diksha guru is Radha Damodara Gosvami not Visvanatha Cakravarti. (vedanta syamantaka, epilogue)
8. Jagannatha das Babaji’s diksha guru is Jagadananda Gosvami of Sringaravat, Vrindavana, and he lived 150 years after Baladeva Vidyabhusana. (gaudiya vaisnava abhidana). He received babaji cloth from either Manasi Ganga Siddha Krishna Das or Madhusudana Das.
9. Sri Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s diksha guru is Vipina Bihari Goswami, not Jagannatha Das babaji. Gitamala (1893); Amrita Pravaha Bhasya (1895); Svalikhita Jivani (1896); Bhagavat Arka Marici Mala (1901).
10. Gaurakisora Das Babaji’s diksha guru is Nandakisora Gosvami of Shantipura (Advaita parivar), and his babaji guru is Bhagavata Das Baba. (gaudiya vaisnava abhidana).

Sri Guru Tattva ki jai! Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Swami

This article is a response to a devotee wanting to make a Russian translation of my original January 2017 MSO post titled “Reject Guru? My original post follows this article.

First of all, everyone must clearly understand that rejecting the DIKSHA Guru is a very, very rare and serious action. It should never be done whimsically or fancifully just because you don’t like him or he’s not a “Big Devotee”.

Rejecting a diksha Guru is a very serious decision, only to be taken after deep shastric understanding of what type of Guru should be rejected; discussing with sadhus, and speaking directly to one’s diksha Guru about the proposed rejection, and why you feel so.

I repeat: “This is a most serious decision!”

If such a decision i.e. to reject one’s Guru is taken prematurely or without sufficent knowledge or understanding of one’s guru disciple relationship, the disciple may destroy his/her spiritual life!


Sri Sanatana Goswami says in Hari Bhakti Vilasa (4.363-365 Bhumipati trans.)

“Those who reject an authorized spiritual master who comes in disciplic succession are so condemned that even carnivorous animals [i.e. eagles, vultures, dogs, fox, wolves, etc.] will not eat their flesh. If Guru rejects a disciple, Sri Hari automatically rejects him too.

“The disciple’s intelligence then becomes polluted and he/she starts showing great arrogance. Such disciples are the lowest among mankind, if after formally accepting a Guru they reject him out of illusion. Such disciples will rot in hell for millions of kalpas!”

Please deeply consider that if the Guru is well behaved, following all religious principles; inititated by a proper Guru; and teaching the correct Gaudiya Vaisnava tattva siddhanta—THEN ONE SHOULD NEVER LEAVE THAT DIKSHA GURU. Diksa Guru means the Guru who gives gopal mantra or kama gayatri to a disciple, which are the diksha mantras for all Gaudiya Vaisnavas.

It may be that one’s diksha Guru APPEARS LIKE a very simple person, even though he is a true Krishna devotee, and a pure, serious and dedicated disciple of his Guru and personal lineage. Sri Guru may not be a big scholar, a charismatic personality, a great kirtana leader or lecturer, or a shastra nipuna, who knows all the minute details of each tattva or spiritual truth.

But nevertheless, Guru is Guru and thus even the “simple” Guru is a real Guru. Therefore, all the sweet mercy and blessings of the samasti guru, Adi Guru Sri Krishna will flow through him FULLY AND COMPLETELY to the surrendered disciple who is loyal, faithful and sincerely dedicated to serving Sri Hari, Sri Guru and the beautiful Vaisnavas.


Sri Sanatana Goswami says, (Hari Bhakti Vilasa (4.369-371 mmgd trans.):

“If, due to illusion about one’s Guru (gurum moha), a disciple considers that the Guru is an ordinary human being and thus chastises him, then such a disciple must take the body of a pig for one hundred births, shukara bhavatyeva tesham janma shateshvapi).

“Without a doubt, a foolish disciple, who rejects his/her diksha Guru (guru drohino mudhah), will constantly perform sinful activities (satatam papa karinah), and all their accumulated piety will transform into sin (teshanca yavat sukrtam dushkrttam syanna samshayah).”

“Therefore, an intelligent disciple, considering that his/her Guru is nondifferent from Bhagavan Sri Krishna, (krishna abhavena buddhiman), should worship Sri Guru at least three times a day and offer dandavat pranams.”

Now we present our previous post from March 2017 on the subject of rejecting one’s Guru:

Find Reject Guru article below:



Reject Guru?

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

#Guru #SpiritualMaster #Bhakti #Disciple #RejectingGuru

Sometimes a disciple may have to reject his/her Guru, move on and take another Guru.

Regarding this principle, I have counseled many sincere, pure-hearted Krishna bhaktas who feel unhappy, frustrated, dissatisfied, and spiritually suffocated in their Guru-Shishya relationships.

They are confused and stuck; not knowing how to get out or improve their spiritual lives. Hopefully, the light of the sastric knowledge provided herein will help such surrendered souls find their true mentor—the sad guru—and again smile with the satisfaction produced from serving and loving a real spiritual teacher.

Citing various Gaudiya Vaisnava scriptures, this article will give eleven reasons for rejecting a Guru and taking another.


Quoting from Mahabharata (5.178.24) and Narada Pancharatra (1.10.20) in Bhakti Sandarbha (anu. 238), Sri Jiva Goswami says a disciple can reject a Guru (parityago vidhiyate) who:

  1. Gives irrational guidance ie. speaks against the conclusions of Srimad Bhagavatam and other Gaudiya Vaisnava scriptures.
  2. Is proud
  3. Cannot explain the difference between right and wrong i.e. gives improper guidance.
  4. Starts following a wrong path (utpatha-pratipannasya) due to bad association or the Guru becomes addicted to sinful life.
  5. Is envious or antagonistic toward other Vaisnavas (vaishnava-vidveshi cet parityajya, BS anu. 238)

Tika Bhakti Sandarbha 238:

“If due to envy, a Guru forbids his disciple to associate with or serve an advanced devotee, the disciple should humbly bow and ask the Guru to retract that prohibition.

“But if the Guru still forbids him, the disciple should just take shelter of Krishna and continue serving his Guru from a distance without abandoning him or behaving inimically toward him.

“If some instruction of Sri Guru is inconsistent with sastra, the disciple should leave his Guru’s association [and take association of a sastric Guru], and serve his diksha Guru only from a distance.

“If the Guru slanders or becomes hostile toward Vaisnavas, he is not qualified to be a Guru and should be abandoned immediately.

“A Guru attached to sense enjoyment, ignorant of right and wrong and deviated from the bhakti marga should be abandoned because he is not a Vaisnava.” (Guru Tattva Vijnana, Sri Ananta Dasji Maharaja)


Introduction: Please note****

We are fully aware that different Sanskrit translators and wisdom teachers give different translations and explanations of the following verse from Bhakti Sandarbha. The following translation and explanation is based on Shri Kushakratah Dasji’s translation of Bhakti Sandarbha published by the Krishna Institute.

My personal teachers also agree with this translation, so we offer it for your understanding. Jai Jai Sri Sri Radha Govindaji!

  1. Not satisfied with Guru.

This most amazing point is discussed by Sri Jiva Goswami in Bhakti Sandarbha (anu. 207.1-4). First Sri Jiva says one cannot reject his diksha Guru. And then he says, ‘Well, Yes you can reject your Guru in this particular circumstance’:

Sri Jiva Goswami said, “One may accept only one diksha Guru as described in (SB 11.3.48). The disciple is not allowed to reject his diksha Guru. However, IF ONE’S GURU IS NOT SATISFACTORY, ONE SHOULD REJECT HIM AND ACCEPT ANOTHER GURU, tad-aparitoshenapy anyo guruh kriyate tat aneka guru karane purva-tyaga eva siddhah. In this way one may reject many (aneka) unsatisfactory spiritual masters.”

The key word here is apari toshen which means “dissatisfied or displeased with one’s Guru.” However, one must understand that rejecting a Guru is an ultra serious matter. It should only be done after deep deliberation and personal realization, discussion with learned devotees, and meeting with one’s Guru if possible.

Here Sri Jiva Goswami gives what seems like a simple, innocent reason for leaving one’s Guru; just plain dissatisfaction. For many different reasons, excluding the serious one’s mentioned above, a disciple may just not feel happy about his Guru, his spiritual progress, future prospects, and his life in general in relation with a particular Guru.

If that’s so, then it’s time to move on and accept another Guru. Acharyas say that when one receives a new diksha from another Guru, then the prior Guru’s diksha and relationship are automatically cancelled without incurring any aparadha, offense or negative reaction.

In this regard, one Guru commented after giving diksa to two unsatisfied disciples of a another Guru, “If it’s not working out—it is not working out. You just have to move on to make spiritual progress.”

More Pramana on Rejecting Guru


Here Sri Sanatana Goswamipada says a disciple may reject a diksha Guru who:

  1. “Is envious of real Vaisnavas, and thus prevents the disciple from honoring advanced Krishna bhaktas. Is unqualified due to poor shastric knowledge, and thus speaks wrongly not in accordance with Gaudiya Vaisnava tattva siddhanta.” [mgd: This means the Guru can’t answer the spiritual queries of a disciple, and thus the disciple remains doubtful and unsatisfied.


In Krishna Bhajanamrita (v. 17-18), Sri Narahari Sarakara Thakura (an eternal associate of Gaura-Govinda), says a disciple may reject a Guru who:

  1. Is ignorant about the position of Krishna and has misconceptions about the truth.
  2. Does not accept Krishna’s pastimes, imitates Krishna or calls himself God.


In Jaiva Dharma (chapter 20), Sri Bhaktivinoda Thakura says a disciple can reject a Guru who:

  1. Opposes Vaiṣṇava philosophy and practice.
  2. Was prematurely accepted without careful examination. And as a result, the disciple sees that all his sadhana efforts are not producing the desired result.

According to sastra, a disciple may reject a Guru who meets the above criterion without seeking his permission or agreement. The Guru and disciple may also part company by mutual consent and thus dissolve their relationship.

A genuine Guru always desires the best for his disciple, and thus he will not block or prevent the disciple’s spiritual progress. But rather Sri Guru will compassionately bless the disciple in his/her forward march to the lotus feet of Radha Govinda Yugala.


The Vedas describe that for various good reasons, including personal dissatisfaction, disciples have been rejecting their Gurus for millions of years! The Puranas, Mahabharata, Srimad Bhagavatam, Sandarbhas and Gaudiya Vaisnava acharyas discuss the unfortunate condition wherein a disciple must abandon, leave or reject a Guru.

The Bhagavatam Eight Canto describes how Bali Maharaja rejected his Guru, Shukracarya, because Guruji preached against Sri Vishnu in the form of Vamanadeva.  Thus rejecting the Guru is not a new practice. Sometimes it must be done in order to save one’s spiritual life. Again, I repeat this is a grave matter not to be taken lightly.

It is rightly said that, “Fools Rush In Where Angels Dare Not”.

Thus, any disciple contemplating rejecting his/her  diksha Guru, must only do so after deep thought, sastric study, counsel of the wise and personal realization.

Finally, one must offer intense prayers to his beloved Thakurajis. Surely, the all merciful Radha Govinda ji will give the strength, crystal-clear guidance and direction a sincere devotee needs to carry on in progressive, happy, and successful Krishna consciousness.

Sad Guru ki jai! Happy, fulfilled and enlivened disciples ki jai! Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!