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Diksa (Sanskrit: dīkṣā, "preparation or consecration for a religious ceremony")[1] is the giving of mantra or initiation by the guru in Indian religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. Diksa is given in a one-to-one ceremony, and typically includes the taking on of a serious spiritual discipline.[2] The word is derived from the Sanskrit root ("to give") plus kṣi ("to destroy") or alternately from the verb root dīkṣ ("to consecrate").[3]

Diksa can be of various types, through the teacher's sight, touch, or word, with the purpose of purifying the disciple or student. Initiation by touch is called sparśa dīkṣā. The bestowing of divine grace through diksa is called śaktipāt.[3]

Vishnu Yamala (tantra) says: "The process that bestows divyam jnanam (transcendental, spiritual knowledge) and destroys sin (pāpa), the seed of sin and ignorance, is called diksha by the spiritual persons who have seen the Truth (desikais tattva-kovidaih)."[4]

Different traditions and sects treat diksa in various ways. Tantra mentions five types of initiation or diksa: initiation by a ritual or samaya-diksa; sparsa-diksa is an initiation by touch and is done without a ritual; vag-diksa is done by word or mantra; sambhavi-diksa is arising from perception of external appearance of the guru; mano-diksa is when initiation is performed in the mind.[5] For ISKCON members first diksa, or harinama-diksa initiation, is performed as part of a fire sacrifice where grains, fruit, and ghee are placed on an open fire of the sacrifice.[6] In the tradition of Lahiri Mahasaya, initiation into Kriya Yoga is given as diksa.[7] The Bengali saint Anandamayi Ma often gave sparśa dīkṣā (divine touch) or drik diksa (through her look), in which she would bestow śaktipāt (divine grace).[8]

Another type of diksa, into a monastic order, involves a vow of celibacy, renunciation of all personal possessions and of all worldly duties, including family ties. Diksha has the same meaning in Jainism. Diksha is also called Charitra or Mahanibhiskraman in Jainism.

See also


  1. "Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary". University of Cologne. pp. d. Retrieved 2009-04-19. 
  2. Coward, Harold G.; David J. Goa (2004). Mantra: hearing the divine in India and America. Columbia University Press. ISBN 9780231129602. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Grimes, John A. (1996). [ttp:// A concise dictionary of Indian philosophy]. SUNY Press. pp. 117. ISBN 9780791430675. ttp:// 
  4. Pandey, Vraj Kumar (2007). Encyclopaedia of Indian philosophy. Anmol Publications. ISBN 9788126131129. 
  5. The madness of the saints by June McDaniel, University of Chicago Press, (1989) p. 106 ISBN 0226557235
  6. Introduction to New and Alternative Religions in America [Five Volumes]Eugene V. Gallagher, W. Michael Ashcraft (2006) Greenwood Publishing Group, p. 23 ISBN 0275987132
  7. Yogananda, Paramhansa (2003). Autobiography of a Yogi. Sterling Publishers Pvt. Ltd. pp. 102. ISBN 9788120725249. 
  8. Hallstrom, Lisa Lassell (1999). Mother of Bliss: Ānandamayī Mā (1896-1982). Oxford University Press US. pp. 140–144. ISBN 9780195116472. 
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Diksa. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

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