The receiving of diksha and the mantras of liberation from Sri Guru is the most significant event in the karmic wanderings of a conditioned soul.
Sri Ishvara Puripada explains the difference between mantra and nama: “O Sri Chaitanya! By chanting the Krishna mantra [gopala-mantra] one will be liberated from material existence. And by chanting Krishna’s name, one will attain His lotus feet,” krishna mantra haite habe samsara mocana, krishna nama haite pabe krishnera charan (Cc. 1.7.73) Thus, the diksha mantras and the holy name or nama work together to bring sadhakas to spiritual perfection. Mantras liberate, and Nama, the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra, gives Krishna and Krishna prema.
Usually at the time of initiation, Sri Guru will explain three aspects of chanting of the diksha mantras: the mantra devata (the divine personality addressed by the mantra); the mantra dhyana (meditation to accompany the mantra chanting); and the mantra artha (meaning of the mantra).
The Srimad Bhagavatam says that Bhagavan Sri Krishna is the mantra devata or the presiding Lord or Deity of all mantras, namo namas te, ‘khila mantra devata (SB 3.13.39) Chaitanya Bhagavata describes Lord Gauranga’s mantra dhyana or meditating on the meaning of the mantra. “One day Mahaprabhu sat down in a lonely place to meditate on His mantra, eka-dina mahaprabhu vasiya nibhrte, nija ishta mantra dhyana lagila (Cb. 1.17.14)
What follows are the mantra devata, meditation and meaning for the seven diksha mantras given in ISKCON. We hope this information will help devotees deepen their absorption in chanting their diksha mantras and gayatris.
- BRAHMA GAYATRI
- i) Mantra Devata: (presiding personality of the mantra) Radha-Govinda Yugala
- ii) Mantra Dhyana: (Meditation to do before chanting the mantra): I am a palya-dasi manjari (nourished maidservant) of Srimati Radhika, forever hoping to serve in the Vraja pastimes of Radha-Govinda Yugala.
iii) Mantra Artha (meaning of the mantra to meditate upon while chanting it):
“By the mercy of Radha-Govinda Yugala, I will transcend the three planes of material existence (sensual, mental, and intellectual). I meditate upon the brilliant light of Bhanunandini’s [Radha] ecstatic love, which shows me how to serve Kamadeva Krishna, the personified perfection of transcendental beauty and playful sports. May this mantra incite and inspire me to surrender to Sri Radhika, accept Her order and engage in Her eternal loving service in the groves of Vrindavana.”
- GURU MANTRA
- i) Mantra Devata: Sri Guru as Mukunda-prestha, one who is dear to Mukunda Sri Krishna and always pleases Him.
- ii) Mantra Dhyana: I meditate upon Sri Hari, Who has assumed the form of Sri Guru. Sri Guru has a sat-cid-ananda form filled with pure devotion, and his lotus feet are full of the nectar of mercy. Radiant with youth, Sri Guru has a golden complexion and he is adorned with sandalwood paste and a fragrant white flower garland. Sri Guru has lotus eyes and a very happy face. He is peaceful, ever delighting in his bhajana. He faithfully follows his line of gurus, and he is always very eager to serve Radha-Govinda Yugala.
iii) Mantra Artha: “I eternally meditate upon and respectfully dedicate myself to the service of my beloved Sri Gurudeva, who is the source of my transcendental knowledge, spiritual strength and bliss.”
- GURU GAYATRI
- i) Mantra Devata: Same as Guru Mantra.
- ii) Mantra Dhyana: Same as Guru Mantra
iii) Mantra Artha: “May I understand and realize the divine svarupa of my Guru whose heart is full of the beauty of ecstatic love for Krishna. I meditate on Sri Guru, as a purely devoted servant of Srimati Radhika, who gives unending pleasure to Radha and Krishna by her many intimate services. O Gurudeva! Please bless me with ecstatic love for Krishna.”
- GAURA MANTRA
- i) Mantra Devata: Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu
- ii) Mantra Dhyana: I meditate upon the golden-hued Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu. He has beautiful shiny black hair bound with a string of pearls, and a gentle smile appears on Gaura’s moon-like face. Gauranga’s body is anointed with aguru and chandana. Mahaprabhu wears beautiful, shimmering yellow cloth, a host of ornaments and with ornaments and a long, aromatic flower garland. Absorbed in madhurya-rasa, Gaurasundara dances in divine euphoria. Sri Gaurachanda is more beautiful than Cupid, and He is always surrounded by blissful loving devotees.
iii) Mantra Artha: “I repeatedly offer my humble obeisances unto Lord Gauranga, the combined form of Radha-Govinda, Who is freely distributing Krishna prema to everyone, even the lowest of the low.”
- GAURA GAYATRI
- i) Mantra Devata: Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu
- ii) Mantra Dhyana: Same as Gaura Mantra.
iii) Mantra Artha: “I meditate upon Lord Gauranga, the combined form of Radha-Govinda. Sri Chaitanya has given me real life, and he is nourishing me with drops of prema. And Lord Gauranga is always inspiring me to perform pure devotional service in the mood of Vraja.”
- KRISHNA/GOPALA MANTRA
- i) Mantra Devata: Sri Gopala, the sweet and playful loving Master of Vrindavana.
- ii) Mantra Dhyana: Bathed in the rays of the full moon, Krishna stands on the banks of the Yamuna. Syama’s face is beautified by pearl-like beads of perspiration. Govinda’s long eyebrows dance seductively as He casts a sidelong glance. A pearl dangles from the tip of Krishna’s nose; His radiant teeth glisten like moonlight, and Madhava’s attractive moist lips are as red as cherriest. Krishna’s hands are adorned with bracelets and a jeweled seal ring. Syama holds a murali in His right hand and a lotus in his left. A sash of small, jingling bells ornaments His slender waist, and splendid ankle bells jingle on His lotus feet.
iii) Mantra Artha: “I meditate upon and hope to attain the confidential service of Radha-Govinda Yugala in Vraja. As the Prince of Vraja, Nandakumara, attracts the hearts of the Vraja-gopis with His sweetness and playful sports, may Krishna also attract me. As Krishna thrills and pleases all the senses of the gopis (Govinda), may all my senses be fully engaged in pleasing the Lord of the cows, cowherd boys, and damsels of Vraja. And may I throw myself (swaha) at the feet of Krishna’s most beloved sweetheart Sri Radha, and fully engage in Her service.”
- KAMA GAYATRI
- i) Mantra Devata: Radha-Govinda Yugala in Their madhurya-lila.
- ii) Mantra Dhyana: Overwhelmed in ecstatic love for Radhika, Madhava triumphantly plays His murali as He is roams from grove to grove in Vrindavana. Syama looks very beautiful dressed in attractive garments. Srimati, Who completely subdues Shyama with Her love, is embracing Krishna. Syama is full of love for Radhika and He is completely attached to sporting with Her. Every so often, Krishna contracts His eyebrows and smiles wantonly to reveal the desires in His heart.
iii) Mantra Artha: “I meditate upon that Kamadeva Govinda, Who shoots arrows of flowers into the hearts of His selfless servants, and thus maddens them with His enchanting beauty and rapturous prema. May that Kamadeva Gopinatha, the king of all amorous mellows, be pleased with me and engage me forever in His blissful service in Vrindavana.”
Diksha Mantras ki jai! Sri Guru Nitai ki jai!
Jai Jai Sri Radhe!