Is Harinäma Dékñä ??
Some people think that acceptance of Hare Kåñëa Mahämantra is also Dékñä.
Some people equate Harinäma as Dékñä.
It is certainly not so!
If one sees Dékñä-paddhati in Gauòéya Vaiñëavism history, one will not see Mahämantra as Dékñä Mantra. Moreover, if a mantra is chanted loudly in Kértana, then how can that be a Dékñä Mantra? Ask Yourself!
Çréman Mahäprabhu loudly sang His own name in topmost ecstasy. Çréla Rüpa Gosvämé has written ‘hare kåñëety uccaiù sphurita-rasano’ (Stavamäla, Verse 5). His tongue always loudly vibrates the holy names “Hare Kåñëa”. Çréla Baladeva Vidyäbhüñaëa comments on this verse- ‘sodaça nämätenä dvätrimçad aksarena mantrenoccair uccaritena sphuritä kåta nåtyä rasanäyasya saù’. The Mahämantra consisting of 16 words and 32 syllables was always dancing on His tongue. The Lord danced restlessly while chanting the Holy Name. But He did Mantra smaraëa (remembrance of Dékñä mantras) silently.
Though in some places before giving Dékñä (Mantra initiation), Harinäma is given for karëa-çuddhi etc., for preliminary purification but it cannot be termed as Dékñä.
Now the question arises- When 16-word mantra Hare Kåñëa is called Mahämantra, when accepted by a devotee from a Mahätmä, why it is still not called Dékñä?
It’s answer is :: Hare Kåñëa Mahämantra has unlimited potency. For this reason, it is called Mahämantra. Still because it doesn’t have caturthya anta pada and åñi ädi çadänga, it cannot be counted as Dékñä mantra.
Some feel I have accepted Harinäma, Dékñä is not necessary, Mahämantra itself will bestow prema.
One must understand that Mantra Dékñä is extremely important for everyone. Even Çréman Mahäprabhu took Mantra Dékñä. By the exemplary act of Mahäprabhu, He showed everyone how important is Mantra Dékñä. Çréla Kåñëadäsa Kaviräja tells:-
dīkṣā-kāle bhakta kare ātma-samarpaṇa sei-kāle kṛṣṇa tāre kare ātma-sama (Caitanya Caritämåta, Antya 4.192)
At the time of Initiation, the devotee surrenders himself, and at that time Kåñëa makes him equal to Himself.
The mantra is given by the Lord and the great sages. It starts with the invocatory syllable and ends with a sign of obeisance, which is decorated with béjas. It contains a special power to establish a certain relationship between the practitioner and the Lord. It blesses the devotee in freeing him from the bondage of physical body and bestows a spiritual body, which is suitable for serving the Iñöa deva, the Lord of that Mantra. As the Mantra Dékñä emanates from the mouth of the Dékñä Guru, there is a special divine power called ‘manträtmaka bhagavadçakti’ infused within the sädhaka that gives him the ability to do bhajana.
‘çré kåñëä karsakasya mantrasya tad viçaya prema mulatvät sarvathä japtavya eveti bhäva’
The mantra attracts Çré Kåñëa and is the root cause for the attainment of prema, hence it should be practiced.
The wonderful result of practising these mantras will be experienced by someone who practices it with great affection. Çré Gopa Kumära in Çré Båhad Bhägvatämåta was able to travel through the entire spiritual sky by devoutly practising the Gopäla Mantra.
Çréla Raghunätha Däsa Gosvämé in Manaù Çikñä tells devotees to develop tremendous love both for Dékñä Mantras and the Holy Name.
gurau goñthe goñthäloyiñu sujane bhüsura gaëe
sva-mantre çré nämni vraja-nava-yuva-dvandva-çaraëe
sadä dambhaà hitvä kuru ratim apürvam atitaräm
aye sväntar bhrätaç caöubhir abhiyäce dhåta padaù
Çréla Däsa Gosvämé here gives Çikñä to mind- to develop love for Gurudeva, Vrajadhäma, Vrajaväsés, saints, brähmaëas, own Initiation Mantras, Holy Name and Çré Yugala’s Shelter.
For devotees who are innocently chanting Lord’s holy names, Çréla Raghunätha Däsa Gosvämé explicitly mentions to develop love for-
1) Initiation Mantras
2) Holy names
In fact, he first mentions Initiation Mantras. The devotees should develop love for both the Dékñä mantras and the Holy Names of the Lord. Holy Names and Dékñä Mantras are two separate things. When we actually practice these ESSENTIAL instructions of Manaù Çikñä, they will take us by the Lord and bring us to the lotus feet of the beloved Deity. It is the duty of the sincere sädhaka to follow these instructions and to make them a necklace to wear around his neck.
kåñëa kåpä sancärita dékñä mantra guru datta
japa mana loyia çarana
mantra raja äkarsane, prakäçiyä våndävane
dekhä dibe madana mohana
The Dékñä mantras are invested with the grace of the Gurudeva. Practice this mantra and take shelter of it. Madana Mohana will be so attracted to this king of mantras that He will reveal Himself to you in Våndävana.