Diksha – Initiation, Dedication, New Beginning
Diksha, or Deeksha, is a simple and short sacred ceremony for a serious student or aspirant of Yoga. It is a solemn induction by which a disciple is accepted into a new realm of awareness and practice by a Guru, teacher or preceptor through the bestowing of blessings. It denotes acceptance and initial or deepened connection with the teacher. Please note that Yoga is not a religion, and, diksha is not a religious ceremony/ activity. At SAVY, the purpose and intent of Diksha is purely academic.
Diksha means a transfer of divine, or brilliant, knowledge. Vishnu Yamala (tantra) says:
‘divyam gyanam yato dadyat kuryat papasya sanksayam
tasmad dikseti sa prokta desikais tattva-kovidaih’
“The process that bestows divine, or brilliant, knowledge, and destroys papah (sin, ignorance), the seed of sin and ignorance, is called diksha by the knowledgeable persons who have witnessed the truth.”
In Sanskrit ‘di’ means intellect, and ‘ksha’ means the horizon or the end; so, diksha means transcending the intellect. A Guru takes you beyond the fetters of intellect. Blossoming beyond the intellect is diksha. Bliss is beyond intellect. If you don’t go beyond intellect, you won’t experience bliss. It is a journey from the Head to the Heart. It has another root word diksh, which means ‘to dedicate oneself, and is actually derived from a combination of two roots, diks, which means ‘to consecrate’ or ‘dedicate’, and daks, which means ‘to grow’, ‘to become strong’ or ‘to expand’. It could therefore also be said to mean ‘to expand (one’s consciousness) through a process of dedication (to discovering one’s own self)’. Diksha involves both giving and receiving – giving of one’s self, and receiving from the guru. It also means ‘to see’, and when one takes diksha one receives the ability to ‘see’ or ‘understand’. We ‘see’ with the ‘inner eye’ due to the awakening and discovery of spiritual energy and the self. The more we dedicate ourselves, the more we see. Diksha marks an auspicious beginning. Diksha or initiation is like that extra burst of energy which is required to propel you into the infinite.
The word ‘diksha’ carries the same type of implication as the word ‘yoga’. Yoga is also a process of re-uniting or merging with one’s true being. It will also help to keep you balanced mentally and emotionally, and will give a centre and focus to your existence. It is an ongoing process which awakens the vast potential lying dormant within.
According to Mundakopanishad,
Shaunaka approaches sage Angiras and asks:
कस्मिन्नु भगवो विज्ञाते सर्वमिदं विज्ञातं भवतीति
” Revered Sir, what is that by the knowing of which all this becomes known? “,
He is told by Angiras that:
- द्वे विद्ये वेदितव्ये इति ह् स्म यद्ब्रह्मविदो वदन्ति परा चैवापरा च |
- तत्रापरा ऋग्वेदो यजुर्वेदः सामवेदोऽथर्ववेदः शिक्षा कल्पो व्याकरणं निरुक्तं छन्दो ज्योतिषमिति |
Two kinds of knowledge should be known:
- Apara (the lower, knowledge of the material world), and
- Para (the higher, transcendental, the great, brilliant or divine knowledge)
The former is founded on the four Vedas and the six Vedangas – Ṛig Veda, Yajur Veda, Sama Veda and Atharva Veda, along with their corollaries, known as sikṣa, kalpa, vyakaraṇa, nirukta, chanda and jyotiṣa (the code of rituals, grammar, etymology, metre and astrology).
Para vidya refers to Brahman which is all-pervading, immortal, indivisible and self-luminous. This higher knowledge is by which the immutable and the imperishable Atman is realized, which brings about the direct realization of the supreme reality, the source of all. The knowledge of the Atman is very subtle; it cannot be obtained out of one’s own effort; the Atman cannot be intuitively apprehended by mere intellectual equipment. Thus, Angiras draws the distinction between the way of knowledge and the way of realization, as between opinion and truth. For understanding this for realizing the Reality the aspirant must seek a teacher. The teacher who has already realized his identity with the Atman alone can impart this much sought-after wisdom on the strength of his own experiences.
Though Apara Vidya enables one to earn one’s bread and helps one to understand each object of universe separately, it does not show the Ultimate Reality (Akshara) or Root Cause of this universe. While Para vidya doesn’t teach objects of this universe but enables one to understand underlying fabric of it. Like by knowing gold all the gold ornaments could be known, by knowing Akshara, its another manifestation, the universe is known. This Upanishad expounds the greatness of Para Vidya.
Even knowing the sciences of this world is not a mean feat, but the knowledge which is a means to the attainment of the highest Brahman can be attained only by the grace of the preceptor, after one’s having renounced all desire and ego, and having acquired the four means of salvation. Without the guidance of a guru, one cannot progress in sadhana (practice) beyond a point. The disciple needs the guru in order to learn, who bestows grace through diksha. Diksha is the guru’s formal acceptance of an aspirant. The guru is the motivator; he gives the initial boost to the seeker to start the quest, the great adventure towards discovering who one really is. He ignites the flame of inspiration, which must be kept alive by constant and continuous abhyasa (practice) according to the level of spiritual readiness. The intimate bond between guru and disciple which is formed through diksha, works as a transmitting line of spiritual flow, of spiritual awareness and of spiritual energy. Guru is a source of perpetual motivation. To do full justice to Diksha, one must be committed.
Knowledge is potential power. It is imperative for the disciple to be responsible towards the use of acquired knowledge. Diksha also involves making the disciple aware of the potential of the knowledge to be acquired and to ascertain its judicious employment.
Essentials for Diksha:
- Keeping and safe-guarding the vows and intention of Diksha
- Keep the integrity of your Spiritual Name and Beej Mantra
- Honesty, Integrity, Transparency with Guru
- Maintain a minimum daily practice
- Moderation in life
- Seek Guru’s guidance
- Pay your respects to Guru at the start and end of your daily practice
As you advance in practice, you receive guidance and diksha for next stages. There is no specific time to progress from one stage to the next. This depends on the calibre, dedication, devotion and sincerity of the aspirant, and blessings of the Guru. The urge, motivation and desire for spiritual unfolding, for discovering and walking the inner path, has to be there. Along with an unflinching devotion to the Guru, one has to have a clear direction in life, along with the practical understanding of one’s path and aim, and to know exactly for what one aspires.
Diksha is an integral part of Yoga history and philosophy. It marks an auspicious beginning to learning.
First Diksha involves:
- Offering prayers to the Guru(s), past and present
- Formal acceptance of the disciple for training by the Guru
- Bestowing disciple with a Spiritual Name
Subsequent Dikshas involve:
- Offering prayers to the Guru(s)
- Formal acceptance of the disciple for the advanced training by the Guru
- Bestowing disciple with a Beej Mantra
- Depending on the advanced training, bestowing disciple with practice(s) that go along with the Beej Mantra
What You’ll Learn
- Relevant parts of Yoga History and Philosophy
- Your Spiritual Name based on beej mantra
- Learn your Beej Mantra and how to chant it, and pave a way for a more healthful, fulfilled, accomplished and blessed living
Fee for First Diksha
- $550 (plus HST)
HST applicable with all payments