25 September 2009

How I was Initiated Into The Mahamantra By His Divine Grace A C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

How I revived my Krishna consciousness & was initiated into the Hare Krishna Mahamantra.

PS: The Face Book like button has been added in this blog. Please click on the individual blog posts by title/name for the button to be visible.


Dated:25-Sep-2009

By Swami Aniruddha !

The following events happened with me since the month of October 2006.

1] A book named “Some guidelines towards the goal supreme/inner life” written by Swami Gokulananda, a monk of the Ramakrishna Mission order landed in my house from some junk heap of a neighbour. In this book, the significance of Mantra diksha[initiation] by a bonafide Guru and Japa Sadhana was given so much importance that I visited the Ramakrishna Mission order. Co-incidentally, the author Swami Gokulananda was the secretary at the place I visited. He clarified, that, he was not in a position, to give mantra diksha and diksha could be given only by the president & vice president of the math who visited the local branch once in a year and one had to read the philosophy and pass the examination of the order before one was initiated. Hence I registered my name and purchased the necessary books of the order and came home.

2] For the last 20 years I was in possession of a book named Japa Yoga, written by Swami Sivananda of Rishikesh whose reference H H Bhakti Vikas Swami [ISKCON Guru] has given in his book “Brahmacharya in Krishna Consciousness” in which the entire process of Japa Yoga the various mantras etc has been given according to one’s Ishta Devata[Chosen Deity]. For many years, I tried to chant certain mantras like Om Namo Narayana, Om Sri Krishnaya namah, Even Hare Krishna Mahamantra etc but found that after a while, I could not concentrate on the mantra, nor keep up the chanting. After this I ran a search on the internet, because the name of the press that had printed Swami Sivananda’s book intrigued me which is: 

The "Yoga Vedanta Forest Academy" Press, Shivananda Nagar, Rishikesh" !

This search http://www.sivanandaonline.org & http://dlshq.org resulted in free PDF book downloads of Swami Sivananda’s works on various branches of Yoga like Karma, Kriya, Raja Yoga, Jnana & Bhakti Yoga Etc. Till date Swami Sivananda has written over 635 books from 1936-1964. His life history is a treat to be read & cherished like Srila Prabhupada’s. The search also yielded, information about, a 2 months residential, Basic Yoga Vedanta course conducted at the above academy at Sivananda Ashram Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India for which I instantly downloaded the application form and prospectus and applied immediately for this course. 

In the application form submitted, a 500 page letter had to be enclosed to the registrar of the academy stating my spiritual back grounds, future actions and purpose of doing the course, for which I quoted that I had read over 100 times Bhagavad Gita “As It Is” written by His Divine Grace Srila A C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada from 1995 and had completely obtained disillusionment from materialistic Life, being Liberated in the impersonal conception of the truth very well knowing that one’s own body is not one’s and that I planned on continuing my work further and be an asset to the poor the needy & suffering. My admission to the course was confirmed by the academy & I was very jubilant as the course involved study of Bhagavad Gita, Patanjali Yoga Sutras, Upanishads, Yoga Asanas, Karma Yoga etc and moreover it was free for 2 Months[Three Meals a Day & boarding Lodging] at a splendid place like Rishikesh.

In between, I was listening, to certain audio discourses of spiritual guru’s on world space satellite radio, where one Guru named "Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev", Founder of Isha Foundation Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu State, India was talking about spirituality as a science & by taking to Kriya yoga how he had attained Enlightenment and his talks were very logical akin to Buddhists. He was giving accurate descriptions of how one can find one’s guru, the symptoms, etc which were all very logical & seemed genuine and moreover he had a mesmerizing voice. He was saying that whatever he had attained had come to him by meditation & sadhana and not by any scriptural reading, He has till date not read the Bhagavad Gita nor does he accept Lord Sri Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Sadhguru's devastating logic was impeccable: "When Krishna spoke the Bhagavad Gita to Arjuna over 5000 years ago, Arjuna did not have a I-pod to record the whole conversation and are we hearing it now from Krishna's mouth. In 5000 years Krishna's message could have been distorted, as before elections, school texts books are changed".

Why do people want Rama Rajya for India. Don't they see how much suffering and pain Rama underwent in his own life. Does any women at present would like to have a man like Rama as their husband so that she is kidnapped by Ravana and has to give proof of her chastity by passing through fire.

Sadhguru is a follower of Saivism+Sakthism+Shunyavada & has erected a 13.5’ Dhyanalinga, the only Siva Linga for meditative purposes in the whole world which has all the seven chakras activated akin to human body and locked to prevent energy dissipation for the next 5000 years. 

I decided to give this Sadhguru a shot as he was offering something more than what Bhagavad Gita offered, even though my faith in Bhagavad Gita was intact then & further enhanced now, I enrolled for his basic program [ donation Rs 1500/- with sunday lunch after initiation] called the 7 day Inner Engineering program as he was laying too much emphasis on experiencing the truth 1st hand than reading it from scripture. This 7 day program is held in almost all major parts of the India & also in the USA. 

The program went off good with sadhguru’s trained teachers imparting an ancient kriya yoga process called shambhavi mahamudra & sadhguru himself initiating us into the shambhavi via video CD. This is a 21 minute a day practice which is aimed at reducing stress strain and reduce sleep quota to just 4 hours a day and has to be done twice for the 1st forty days and there after once everyday.

This I completed successfully, as it involves simple yoga asana’s and breathing techniques. Before the program concluded, I was introduced to the other higher programs, of Isha Foundation named Bhava Spandana where one is transported to explosive states of meditativeness, and those who had done this program were very much vouching for it. This BSP was scheduled 2 months later at the Isha Yoga Centre, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India. However as I was already admitted to Sivananda Ashram Course I could not go.

I did the above only as a preliminary before leaving for Sivananda Ashram. The Basic Yoga Vedanta course went of splendidly at the Sivananda Ashram as it is a true Forest Academy on top of a Hill, with splendid view of the ganges flowing down. Even during the course, in a Indian philosophy class conducted by a professor Dr Kanchana Natarajan, I asked her why was it necessary to read three books like Bhagavad Gita, Upanishads, Vedanta Sutra when Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad Gita "As It Is" was sufficient, to which she replied! As to what was the need to even study 18 chapters of Gita, when simply surrendering to Krishna would solve all our problems. She challenged me would I be willing to surrender to Krishna! I simply took this one word from her mouth & returned home successfully having shed 10 kgs weight, due to the heat of summer and the stress of the course.

Every day I was telling my mother that I would simply surrender to Krishna. After this I decided to do the Bhava Spandana Program, of Isha, with just a curiosity as to what it involved?

I reached the ashram at Coimbatore & 1st Hand darshan of Lord Siva’s Dhyanalinga. However I felt a kind of fear/creeps, that I have never felt, in my whole life after reaching this Ashram considering the way it is located so away from the main city. My 3rd eye told me, that something was definitely wrong at that place and with people. I wanted to leave this place as early as possible. I felt that this Ashram was definitely for those in the mode of darkness/ignorance. It was so different and completely opposite to the Sivananda Ashram.

I felt tremendous energy coming from the Dhyanalinga. Sadhguru says that those who come in the sphere of the DL cannot escape the sowing of the spiritual seed of liberation and this could be true. This place has a 30 feet underground teertha kunda which has a copper tank with 660 kgs floating mercury linga. One can take bath before actually having a darshan of the Dhyanalinga. I having read Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad Gita As It Is nearly 100 times and myself being Krishna Bhakta was a little afraid!

The Bhava Spandana Program started and I would not have experienced such a nonsensical program, a pure agony for 3 days, a pure death experience, doing Siva Tandavam, awakening Kundalini Shakti & allied nonsense. Even while talking to the other participants I discussed with them about ISKCON being the best in terms of Bhakti Yoga, and as to how they have over 700 temples world wide. Even in a NDTV Program "We the People in 2005, about spirituality and guru's, one participant had expressed his view via SMS that all the present Guru's were all bogus who were charging money from people for their programs having the best of Life's comforts and talking spirituality to others. He had said that the best form of spirituality was to simply read Bhagavad Gita "As It Is" written by Swami Prabhupada. I had even admired this man and congratulated him for his views which I also felt was the best.

During the nonsense that was happening in the Bhava Spandana Program I even re-collected the above point and immediately thought of Bhakti Vinoda Thakur's face as published in the Bhagavad Gita "As It Is".

On the last day before the program was to end, I had the experience of my life[only intellectually, as I lost interest in the program in between, considering the agony & pain, wishing it to simply end ] Others had it really experientially, as each one was able to experience every other participant in the program as themselves and before closing we all danced happily to the tune of sweet Hare Krishna Maha Mantra. One totally bewildered participant akin to myself asked the brahmachari who had conducted the program as what was the lesson or teaching one had to learn from bhava spandana program, and asked as to which Bhagavad Gita Edition one should read, to which the brahmachari could not answer as he himself did not know anything about Vedanta akin to Sadhguru.

In the common area after the program was over, I answered this participant's question, and asked him to read only Bhagavad Gita "As It Is" written by His Divine Grace Srila A C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and to donate all other editions of Bhagavad Gita which he had to some temple or Library.Kindly see, even till this point I had not realized the fact that Srila A C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada was indeed my guru.

However, the intense physical activity, took its toll and I fell sick and returned home in an absolutely horrible state. I was in hospital for the next 15 days. I was repeatedly thinking, as to how I could go & attend such a nonsensical program and how a person like Sadhguru who himself had not read the Gita, could have created something so stupid and painful. As I was contemplating on this over lunch in a hotel, a poor boy came and asked me to buy him food, I could have said no but something told me otherwise and I asked him to have whatever he wanted. He only had one Dosa and I paid the bill and before I could speak to the boy, the boy had vanished! It seems Krishna was testing me.

I came home & was surfing Madhuvisa site  when suddenly the realization dawned on me that my spiritual process had indeed started in 1995 from Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad Gita “As It Is” & that I was in vain running after everyone else other than Srila Prabhupada. I had just travelled 11500 kms to hear Hare Krishna Maha Mantra which I could have done so at any ISKCON Temple. I now recollected how in 1995, I was a disgruntled man at a very low point in my career and contemplating on suicide & it was Srila Prabhupada’s Book that had saved the day for me then and in all these 12 years I had forgotten everything being so much engrossed in my work, motorcycle, computer etc.

I immediately decided to visit the local ISKCON Temple. I first saw the Vedic Expo and then when I went inside the temple hall and saw the beautiful deities of Sri Sri Radhaparthasarathi, I was stunned by the beauty and my whole body shivered. This was indeed the real Brahman of the Upanishads. In all these years, Lord Krishna had acted as my "Caitya Guru", without the external spiritual master and had so mercifully withdrawn his Illusionary energy[Maya] over me. I immediately surrendered to their Lord Ships in full intelligence and for the 1st time attended the evening tulasi & gaura aarti. Also attended Bhagavad Gita class and took Life Membership of ISKCON then and their and for the 1st time bought tulasi mala & japa bag and started doing japa and started devotional service at home.

In the history of the temple, I have visited it only twice but never have visited their Lord Ships Altars, being just content on purchasing, Bhagavad Gita from the book shop and returning even though I visit the temple locality almost twice a week. Now the question always arises, as to why I had attended the Bhava Spandana Program of Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev?

I was so hooked to the temple that I forgot all about Isha etc. When I read the book "The Spiritual Master & The Disciple" obtained with the life membership, 7 months later, I was stunned to realize that the purpose of Bhava Spandana Program was to awaken my Krishna Consciousness, to the transcendental sound vibration & I already had been initiated into the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra on the 4th Sept 2007, which was Sri Krishna Janmashtami day and had started doing Japa of 16 rounds. I had already been following the 4 regulative principles by themselves even without my knowing.

The above process proves that whatever has been stated in the Sampradaya Sun  in the past, that no formal initiation diksha ceremony is required and that one only needs to be awakened to the transcendental sound vibration in order to get the seed of devotion planted in his heart by the mercy of the spiritual master is correct & true 100%. Diksha given to a Madhyama Adhikari is not a Formality!

Lord Krishna and Srila Prabhupada were both testing me if I would reject them & accept Sadhguru as God. In the whole of his ashram no other photo not even of Lord Siva except that of himself [100% Mayavadi] .They also knew that I would not be willing to go and accept, any guru other than Sadhguru due to intellects. As I have studied sanskrit, self study and understanding Gita, Bhagavatam have never been difficult for me.

Both Lord Krishna and Srila Prabhupada initiated me at such a place which is completely opposite of Vaishnavism i.e Shaivism & Shaktism which only would revive and make my own faith in Vaishnavism more concretized.

In Sadhguru's words; "The Fight is between one man's belief  Vs other man's belief". "A good hindu fights a good muslim, A good jew fights a good nazi, A good indian fights A good Pakistani".

From the movie "Death Train" quote by actor Ted Levine;

"This is not about money. It's about patriotism! I am an American, I love my country, America's lost right now, So we define ourselves by who we hate right! This new world order thing, they can't use that! Once you know who you hate then everything works.

"Similarly a good "vaishnava" fights a good "shaiva" and a very good saktha” ! 

At the same time, Lord Sri Krishna knew, that I would have never taken and undergone any formal initiation ceremony from any Live Guru in my whole life considering all of them to be Bogus. I had to be initiated 1st without my knowing the same and then given knowledge later and A Guru like Sadhguru who makes fun of Krishna[ Words of Sadhguru in his book “Encounter the Enlightened"] “If a man like Krishna were to appear, and walk amongst us now, he would make all our lives very un-comfortable. Your mother would want to dance with him, your sister would want to chase & play with him. So such a man would be stoned and persecuted and not worshipped now. It was because all this happened over 5000 years ago, you can now worship him as God. If he appeared now you wouldn’t. So your worship is False!

And then asks people to dance to Hare Krishna Maha Mantra would only invoke Bhakti within me and therefore he sent me. The price I paid for initiation in terms of the agony and pain suffered for the 3 days now seem worth it. Had I simply followed Srila Prabhupada's instructions in 1995 when I 1st read his Bhagavad Gita "As It Is" and started chanting all would have been much easier !

Please note the timing of my initiation also! After I finished the course at Sivananda Ashram! In all these years, I never knew who Mayavadi’s were nor their philosophy even though I had read about it so many times in the Bhagavad Gita “As It Is”. But now I know and hence avoid them. Isha Foundation and Sadhguru are the truest living examples of Mayavada Philosophy!

Even though Sivananda Ashram is based on Sankaracharya tradition it is not a 100% Mayavadi as the founder emphasized Bhakti[He was called sankirtan samrat in early 1930’s] more than Jnana & stressed on Yoga of synthesis. Even now morning aarti for Lord Krishna in vishwanath temple is held at 0600 hrs daily at Sivananda Ashram, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India & mahamantra chanting happens 24 hrs a day. The year 2009 would be the 68thAnniversary of start of 24 Hrs akhanda Maha Mantra Japa in Sivananda Ashram Bhajan Kutir. This is about 2 Kms from Madhuban Rishikesh run by Ex-ISKCON Zonal Acharya, Kirtananda Swami's Disciple Bhakti Pada Maharaj.

So Srila Prabhupada is my vartma pradarsaksha/1st [knowledge giving] and only diksha Guru[initiating Guru], Swami Sivananda the second shiksha[elevating] Guru, Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev the sole & only patha pradarsaksha [One who puts the seeker on the correct track/ school of spirituality] & Ritvik Representative of the Diksha Guru. I first do Guru Pooja of Sadhguru, then Srila Prabhupada & then Swami Sivananda. So no contradiction! Ultimately as Srila Prabhupada has written in his book "The Spiritual Master & the Disciple" that the Siksha Guru who constantly instructs the disciple later on becomes the Diksha Guru of the disciple is 100% correct.

Please note the Achintya Bheda Abheda Philosophy in my Guru’s also. Since Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, acted as a Ritvik-Representative of His Divine Grace A C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada & Revived my Forgotten Krishna Consciousness & showed me who my actual Guru was and endorsed the spiritual process that was working for me already [ISKCON] he is in one sense my Guru. But in other sense he is not my guru as he simply linked me to the ISKCON Guru Parampara & took me to Srila Prabhupada. Now Srila Prabhupada takes me back to Lord Krishna.

The words of Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, "Guru is not somebody whom you meet and shake hands with, It is a certain space, A certain energy field". “You cannot choose your guru, you just deepen the longing to know, the Guru will choose you”. This is completely true in my own case both siksha as well as diksha Guru.

Since, I am celibate till date, and there is no question of marriage for me & as I have very deep appreciation for Lord Chaitanya’s sublime philosophy that he has given us; that even now I sometimes contemplate on taking bhajanandi "Babaji" initiation from his sampradaya. But Srila Prabhupada & Lord Chaitanya themselves have rejected this and said that it is better to be in one’s own position than become a "Babaji" or "Sanyasi" in Kali Yuga.I am regularly praying to Lord Sri Krishna and Srila Prabhupada to send some bonafide Gaudiya Vaishnava Guru and Initiate me as a "Babaji".

Regrettably, I came to know about the sad state of Prabhupada’s ISKCON & its past in July 2009 before Sri Krishna Janmashtami, after seeing ISKCON IRM and further links. Here also I was saved by Lord Krishna & Srila Prabhupada since I learnt this, just before, I had decided to join, the local temple full time, after purchasing my new laptop in which, I am typing this.

Since my 1st Visit to the Local ISKCON Temple, I myself could see that no inmate of the temple was truly following the 4 regulative principles sincerely[I am not boasting about my being a Uttama Adhikari, I am not!] and all were just passing time in the temple. Till date it seems that the Zonal Acharya regime is continuing in the temple!

I have not associated myself with anybody in the temple and neither will in the future even though I purchase Srila Prabhupada’s Books Pre-1977, in advance and distribute them. It was Krishna’s Plan to keep me engrossed in Maya [Motorcycle, Internet, Work, Computer] deliberately to avoid the ISKCON Local Temple in all these years from 1998- 2006, as other wise I also would have wasted my youth in the service of bogus guru’s. Much damage has happened during this time in ISKCON. It is not that I was unaware of the problems in ISKCON, as previous newspaper articles had shown tremendous sense gratification, criminal activities by ISKCON Guru's and so it was good that I used my Intelligence and avoided the organisation in all these years.

The way my initiation and revival of Krishna consciousness happened, it is completely in tune with the Final Order  of ISKCON IRM 

I am in full agreement with Sri Krishna Kant Desai and Sri Mahesh Raja that Srila Prabhupada is the sole and only Siksha & Diksha Guru for ISKCON for the next 9500 years the time period for which ISKCON is supposed to last on this planet as predicted by Srila Prabhupada himself and Srila Prabhupada is fully available to his genuine and sincere followers via his books and can arrange for their Initiation at the proper time, place, circumstances after testing them.

All the above[Isha Yoga, Sivananda Ashram] was pre-arranged and set for me by both Srila Prabhupada and Lord Krishna in order to test my loyalty towards them! Lord Krishna & Srila Prabhupada tested me and initiated me in such a way, that I need not have any institutional loyalties, to anyone, No annual guru dakshina to any guru, No vyasa pooja and milk feet wash for any Guru. No bogus Re-Initiation, in case of Guru Fall Down! Simply pure Krishna Consciousness with no strings attached.

I wish to thank & bow down at the feet of Sri Puranjana Dasa of http://harekrsna.org & http://krishna1008.blogspot.com in exposing ISKCON's evils and the Bogus Guru's Program, but it seems there is not going to be any respite for any one. I would advise everyone to simply follow Krishna consciousness at home and blend all the 4 Yoga’s for their own growth as per sadhana schedule given by Swami Sivananda in his book "Essence of Yoga"[Downloadable free from [http://dlshq.org] like I am doing even though I fully agree that Sankirtan and Bhakti is the easiest and the most effective.

Anybody wanting to communicate with me can send me an e-mail & I shall respond within 24 hrs.

Hare Krishna!

Swami Aniruddha !

Updated/Added On:11-March-2014.

In 2010, I had sent the above experience of mine to Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, requesting himto select a spiritual name and send it by post e-mail or SMS. He has read my letter & request but ignored it till 07-03-2014.

Since January 2014, I was reading the teachings of Bhagawan/Acharya Shree Rajneesh/Osho, and I was amazed, at his philosophical wisdom, and depth on Human Life and his modernviews on Sanyaasa.

On the 8th March 2014, Lord Krishna and His Divine Grace ACBSP satisfied my long standing quest to take Sanyaasa. I learnt that Bhagawan Rajneesh had instituted this type of Neo-Sanyasa and immediately, I checked a particular name/quality, on the Sanyasa names, givenby Bhagawan and the first name, I chose myself, depicted my Quality of Unobstructed, Unbound, Self Willing. 

My Sanyasa name is now: "Swami Aniruddha" ! It was a coincidence that my Legal name was/is also Anirudh !