Guidelines regarding Initiation

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Becoming interested in getting initiated?

Please have a look at the following procedure:

1st Step: Shelter

The following requirements are necessary for becoming duly “sheltered” at the feet of an acting ISKCON Guru:

 1.    Having followed the 4 Regulative Principles and chanted 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra daily, trying to avoid the 10 offenses to the holy name, everyday for at least 6 months. The 4 Regulative Principles are:

The 4 Regulative Principles are:

  • No eating of meat, fish, eggs, onion or garlic
  • No consuming of any drugs, alcohol, tea, coffee, or cigarettes
  • No gambling
  • No illicit sex, (having relationships only within marriage and for  having children)

2     Having been offering obeisances to HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada during at least 6 months, saying his pranam mantras aloud every time seeing his photo, entering the temple room or in front of one’s altar.

3     After having completed the above 2 points, secure an appointment with the temple congregational secretary to complete the 13 question-shelter-test verbally with the Temple President, Adikesava das, within no more than 3 weeks.

4     Once the shelter test is approved, ask the ISKCON acting Guru you are interested for his mercy. If he accepts to guide you and gives you shelter, inform the congregational secretary of the temple management by handing in a written letter or printed out e-mail from the Guru saying that he has accepted you as an aspirant.

5     Fill out the “1st Initiation procedure form” and sign it, together with the congregational secretary.
Important notice: The temple management is not responsible from this point onwards if no “1st Initiation procedure form” has been filled out and therefore no further procedure for initiation undertaken.
(Best when having fulfilled points 1 – 4, get a copy of the form signed both by you and the congregational secretary as a proof for the future.)

6     After the form has been signed, your name must appear on the notice board in the entrance hall under the section “approved sheltered devotees” within 1 week. If your name does not appear on the notice board, please contact the Temple congregational secretary, Krishna Bhavana dasi, immediately.

Once your name appears on the notice board, you’re now an officially recognized sheltered devotee. From now on a 6 months period starts where the next requirements are necessary to become a “recommended devotee” by the temple management .

 2nd step: Recommendation

1  From now on offer your obeisances to your “Guru-Maharaja”, saying his pranam mantras aloud every time seeing his foto, entering the temple room or in front of one’s altar. Also repeat Srila Prabhupada’s first pranam mantra after your Guru’s pranam mantra.

2  Continue to follow the 4 Regulative Principles and chant 16 rounds of the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra, trying to avoid the 10 offenses to the holy name, every day.

3  From now on you should have a regular morning program at your home or attend the temple morning program every day. A morning program at home should include:
 

  • Chanting as many as possible of one’s 16 rounds early, and preferrably before going to work.
  • Chanting to the deities/pictures daily some of the prayers that are offered in the temple morning program.
  • Keeping your altar clean and tidy.
  • Reading something of Srila Prabhupada’s books every day.
  • Daily offering of your cooked foodstuffs.
  • Offering of incense and flowers on the altar. 

 
The temple management will also consider for your future recommendation if the candidate is fulfilling the following:
 

  •  A favourable attitude towards ISKCON, its devotees and its management.
  •  Doing some significant and regular service to the Vaisnava community.
  •  Visiting the temple regularly and/or helping ISKCON to expand its purpose.
  •  Observing fasting days like Ekadasi and Festivals

 
If these points are considered not to have been fulfilled satisfactorily, you will be informed by the representativ of the temple management where to improve, and it might lead to your recommendation being delayed significantly. It is therefore important that the candidate responsibly makes sure to keep a good communication with the congregational secretary and other representatives of the temple management. 

4  Prepare yourself and give the first initiation test. For seminars and help on the first initiation test please contact the secretary for initiations of the temple management, Krishna Bhavana dasi. Important notice: The test has to be given at least 3 weeks before the Guru’s visit. The temple management can’t take responsibility for latecomers.

5  Following and having fulfilled the above mentioned points for recommendation at least during 6 months, without interruption, you should become approved for recommendation by the temple management, and your name shall appear on the notice board under the section “approved recommended devotees”. If your name does not appear on the notice board after 6 months, please contact the Temple congregational secretary, Krishna Bhavana dasi, immediately.
 

Once your name is on the board, unless any complaints or deviations come up, you are ready to be recommended by the temple management for initiation in the next visit of your Guru Maharaja. It is up to him now to initiate you, or to wait to do it in the future.

Brahman Initiation – 2nd initiation

After having been initiated, following the 4 regulative principles and having chanted 16 rounds every day for at least a year, one becomes eligible to take 2nd initiation in order to worship the deity.
Still you have to pass the 2nd initiation test. Ask the congregational secretary for the questions and get a date to submit it. Important notice: the test must be written at least 3 weeks before the actual initiation might take place. The temple management can’t take responsibility for latecomers.
The ISKCON Management Board will also decide whether to recommend you, by taking into consideration if you have fulfilled most of the following points during 1 year:

Chanting of good japa trying to avoid the ten offences to the holy names
–   
Reading of Srila Prabhupada’s books regularly
–    Having a regular program for your deity at home
–    Observing fasting on Ekadasi and festival days
–    Visiting the temple regularly (according to circumstances)
–    Performing minimum one of the following steady services to ISKCON at least once a week like:
              o    Cook for the deities
              o    Do pujari service related to the deities or make garlands
              o    Give regular classes at the temple
              o    Have a regular home preaching program connected to ISKCON
              o    Having a management role withing Hare Krishna Food for Life Inc. or ISKCON Inc.
–    Following the vaisnava behavior etiquette and associating with devotees
–    Being steady, punctual and clean.

If the management board thinks you have to improve some of these points, they will let you know in writing, indicating the time until the next consideration. (probably between 3-6 months)
Once the management board approves that you are fulfilling satisfactorily, your name must appear on the notice board in the section “approved devotees for 2nd initiation”. If your name does not appear on the notice board, please contact the temple  congregational secretary,
Krishna Bhavana dasi, immediately.

Unless any complaints or deviations come up, you are ready to be recommended by the temple management for 2nd initiation in the next visit of your Guru Maharaja. It is up to him now to initiate you, or to wait to do it in the future.