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Initiation document compendium @ 21/04/2016 Melbourne Yatra




ISKCON MELBOURNE

Initiation Document Compendium

For a current edition of this Compendium, download from our Online Initiations Portal at http://www.harekrishnamelbourne.com.au/initiations





Contents





Introduction

Excerpts From ISKCON Law………………………………………………………………………………..

The Process Of Initiation……………………………………………………………………..…....………..

SIMPLE STEPS TO INITIATION IN ISKCON………………………………………………………..........

Candidate’s Checklist…………………...…………………………………………………………..……….

The Administration Of Exams, Arranging to Sit Exams and to Have Them Marked……………...……….

Re-sitting an Exam……………………………………………………………………………………………

Guidelines to Re-instating Your Candidature After a Fall Down…………………………………………...


Taking Shelter

Shelter Candidate’s Data Sheet…………………………………...………………………………..……........

Interview Questions for Shelter Candidates in Melbourne Yatra…………………………………………...

Shelter Exam……………………………………………………………………………….……………........

2013 GBC Paper on Srila Prabhupada’s Position……………………………………..……………………..

2013 GBC Paper on Harmonising ISKCON’s Lines of Authority……………………………..…………….


Hari-Nama Initiation

Cover Sheet (Office Use Only)……………………….……………………………………………………………

Official Recommendation (Office Use Only)…………………….………………………….…………………….

First Initiation Candidate’s Data Sheet…………………………………………...……………………….…

Practical Interview Questions For 1st. Initiation Candidates (Office Use Only)….………………………...........

Personal Interview Questions For 1st. Initiation Candidates (Office Use Only)…...……….…...…………..........

First Initiation Exam……………………………………………………………….………………................

2013 GBC Paper on Srila Prabhupada’s Position……………………………………..……………………..

2013 GBC Paper on Harmonising ISKCON’s Lines of Authority……………………………..…………….

Optional Essay…………………………………………………………………………………………….….

Required Reading for First Initiates…………………………………………………………...………….….

Initiation Oath…………………………………...…………………………………………………...…….....


Brahman Initiation

Cover Sheet (Office Use Only)…….……………………………………..…………………………………..........

Brahman Candidate’s Data Sheet………………………………...……………………………………........

Official Recommendation (Office Use Only)………………….………………………………..…………………

Practical Interview Questions For 2nd. Initiation Candidates (Office Use Only)……………..…….…………...

Personal Interview Questions For 2nd. Initiation Candidates (Office Use Only)…………….……..……...........

Second Initiation Exam……………………………………………………...………………………………

Required Reading for Second Initiates ……………………………………………………...…...…………






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Introduction
This document is intended to make the procedure for receiving çékñä (instruction) and dikçä (initiation) in ISKCON (Melbourne Yatra) clear and – as each step is completed - achievable. Please remember that the process of developing a service relationship with an ISKCON guru is a natural one that stands the test of time.



Excerpts from ISKCON Law on Discipleship in ISKCON
7.2.1. First (Harinäma) Initiation

7.2.1.1. Qualifications for First Initiation
7.2.1.1.1. One year preparatory period

In order to receive first initiation one must have been engaged favourably in devotional service, strictly following the four regulative principles and chanting sixteen rounds a day, for at least one year without interruption.


7.2.1.1.2. First Six Month Period

During the first six months of following the four regulative principles and chanting sixteen rounds daily, a new devotee who is aspiring for initiation should not commit himself to a particular initiating guru. Rather, he should chant Srila Prabhupada's praëäma-mantra and worship him as Founder-Äcärya of ISKCON and as his çékñä guru.


7.2.1.1.3. Second Six Month Period

After successfully completing the first six-month preparatory period, and after passing the required examination, the candidate may choose his future dikçä guru. Receiving permission from that guru, and notifying the local temple president, the candidate should take shelter and begin to worship that guru as his own spiritual master and chant his praëäma-mantra. Actual initiation may take place only after a minimum six-month period from the date shelter was taken and the local temple president notified.


7.2.1.1.4. Devotees Residing Within Temple Communities

In addition to satisfying the above requirements, devotees residing in temple communities must, during the one-year preparatory period, regularly attend the full morning program.


7.2.3.1.1.5. Devotees Residing Outside of Temple Communities

Devotees who do not live in a temple community and who cannot come daily to the temple programs may be initiated provided they have regular morning programs at home or attend regular morning programs at the näma-haööa centre.


7.2.1.1.6. Pass Examination

Before a devotee can be permitted to formally take shelter of a particular ISKCON spiritual master and be subsequently recommended for initiation, he or she must demonstrate a basic understanding of Srila Prabhupada's teachings by answering an oral or written test administered by the temple president or other recommending authority.


7.2.2. Second, or Brähmiëical, Initiation

7.2.2.1. Qualification for Second Initiate
7.2.2.1.1. One-Year Wait Between First And Second Initiation

To be qualified to receive second initiation, a first-initiated devotee must have been steadily engaged in favourable devotional service, chanting sixteen rounds a day without fail, and strictly following the four regulative principles for a period of at least one year from the time of receiving first initiation. In addition, the candidate must have regularly attended a morning program, whether in a temple, preaching centre, näma-haööa centre, or at home.





The Process Of Initiation

Steady observance of vows to chant sixteen rounds daily and to observe the four regulative principles are the basis of a candidate’s qualification to accept initiation from a dikçä guru (initiating spiritual master) in Çréla Prabhupäda’s line. This process is described as follows.


Taking shelter of Srila Prabhupada

  • The first step toward taking shelter of an initiating guru is to take shelter of ISKCON’s Founder-Äcärya, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupäda, as one’s çékñä guru. Because Çréla Prabhupäda is the paraà (superior) çékñä guru in our sampradäya (school), he always remains ISKCON’s primary instructing spiritual master. A minimum period of six months under Çréla Prabhupäda’s shelter is required by ISKCON law. A candidate who desires to progress further on the path toward initiation should then sit and pass their shelter examination. In this way they prepare themselves to seek shelter of a dékñä (initiating) guru.


Taking shelter of an initiating guru:

  • A candidate should accept a number of çékñä gurus, both formal and informal. However, apart from a few exceptional circumstances, one will accept only one dékñä guru. The next step toward accepting initiation is to observe the example and realised teaching offered by the devotees serving as ISKCON’s dékñä gurus. Both by serving them and asking questions of them, you should determine which devotee’s instruction and example most fully represent Çréla Prabhupäda to you, and can deliver his mercy into your life. You may then request the guru to accept you into his shelter as a candidate for future initiation.

Upon request, the temple management may assist in this process by giving a reference for a devotee in good standing. Should the initiating guru accept you into their shelter, a further minimum probationary period of six months will apply following receipt by the temple president of written confirmation from the guru. The candidate is responsible for requesting this letter to be sent.



Accepting harinäma initiation:

  • Harinäma initiation strengthens one’s chanting and sädhana. The disciple’s service is purified by being offered directly to Çré Kåñëa through the disciplic succession. During his six month period of accepting shelter from his dékñä guru a candidate should develop his student-teacher relationship, by serving and seeking instruction from his guru. The aim is to allow both guru and disciple to develop conviction that the disciple is able to assist him in his service to Çréla Prabhupäda, and apply his instructions to his practice of sädhana. The disciple should also verify that the guru fully represents Çréla Prabhupäda to him. The test is whether you can honour this service relationship throughout this life (and beyond).

When one has demonstrated steady advancement in sädhana under the dékñä guru’s shelter (while continuing to uphold one’s vows relating to japa and the four regulative principles), one may request harinäma initiation. Should your dékñä guru offer you initiation (with the recommendation of the temple president), you will be required to sit a further exam to verify your qualification.


Accepting brahminical initiation:

  • Brähmiëical initiation strengthens one’s chanting and preaching, and qualifies one to worship the Deities directly. When - following harinäma initiation - a candidate demonstrates steadiness in sädhana and devotional service over a further (minimum) twelve month period, he may request brähmiëical initiation from his guru. Should his guru offer him second initiation (considering the recommendation of the temple president) a third exam will verify his qualification to accept.






Simple Steps to Initiation in ISKCON

First six month period:



  • take shelter of Srila Prabhupada as your instructing guru and chant his praëäms

  • chant 16 rounds daily

  • strictly follow the 4 regulative principles

  • maintain steady sädhana and service

  • develop a steady service relationship with Srila Prabhupada

  • at the end of six months, ask permission to sit your shelter exam

  • sit and pass your sädhana interview

  • sit and pass your shelter exam

Then


  • develop a relationship with the initiating spiritual master of your choice

  • ask him for shelter

  • arrange for his written confirmation of giving you shelter to be sent to your temple president and your examiner

  • your minimum 6 months as a sheltered disciple begins from their receipt of your guru’s written confirmation

Second six month period:



  • chant your initiating spiritual master’s praëäms

  • chant 16 rounds daily

  • strictly follow the 4 regulative principles

  • increase steady sädhana and service

  • develop a steady service relationship with your spiritual master

  • request your temple president’s permission to sit your first initiation exam and interviews

  • sit and pass your interviews on sädhana, personal behaviour and required reading

  • sit and pass your exam (Bhakti Sastri course graduates are exempt from the exam)

  • receive your temple president’s recommendation for your initiation

  • request first initiation from your spiritual master

  • receive first initiation

Following 12 month period:



  • chant 16 rounds daily

  • strictly follow the 4 regulative principles

  • increase your steadiness in sädhana and service

  • increase your steadiness in your service relationship with your spiritual master

  • request your temple president’s permission to sit your second initiation exam and interviews

  • sit and pass your interviews on sädhana, personal behaviour and required reading

  • sit and pass your exam (Bhakti Sastri course graduates are exempt from the exam)

  • receive your temple president’s recommendation for your initiation

  • request second initiation from your spiritual master

  • receive second initiation

Inquiries to: Rasanandini dasi (rasanandini@gmail.com)





Candidate’s Checklist For candidate’s use


Minimum timeline

Steps in discipleship

Minimum qualifications



Procedure to follow ( indicates a document is required)

First six months

Shelter of Srila

Prabhupada



● Chant 16 rounds daily,

● Follow 4 regulative principles,

Maintain steady sädhana and service






Download Initiation Compendium from http://www.harekrishnamelbourne.com.au/initiations

Begin to complete the requirements for candidates. You may receive as much help to learn as you require.

At the end of six months, ask permission to sit your shelter exam


Second six months

(starting from Temple President’s receipt of Guru’s confirm-ation of giving shelter to candidate)

Shelter of

dékñä guru

● Chant 16 rounds daily,

● Strictly follow 4 regulative principles,

● Maintain steady sädhana and service

● Develop steady service relationship with dékñä guru










Supply contact details for 2 SADHANA REFEREES 

Supply/have DIGITAL ID FOR YOUR FILE taken 

Sit for and pass your sadhana interview

Sit for and pass shelter exam

Choose your dékñä guru, request his shelter & ensure that his written confirmation is sent to the Temple President (copy to examiner). Date of receipt = start of minimum 6 month period before 1st. initiation.

Complete 1st. initiation candidates’ requirements within the 6 months or more taken to prepare for initiation. You may receive as much help to learn as you require.

At the end of six months, ask temple president’s permission to sit first initiation interview and exam.



Twelve months

First initiation

● Chant 16 rounds daily,

● Strictly follow 4 regulative principles,

● Maintain steady sädhana and service

● Develop firm service relationship with dékñä guru









Complete disciple census form, bio-data and address

Attend & pass interview on personal knowledge & behaviour

Complete & pass personal questionnaire (in interview)

Sit for and pass first initiation exam

Complete initiation oath

Receive temple president’s written recommendation for first initiation

Request dékñä guru to give first initiation

Attend personal interview with guru as he requires

Complete 2nd. initiation candidate’s requirements within the 12 months or more taken to prepare for second initiation. You may receive as much help to learn as you require.

At the end of twelve months, ask temple president’s permission to sit second initiation interview and exam.



Second initiation

● Chant 16 rounds daily,

● Strictly follow 4 regulative principles,

● Maintain steady sädhana and service

● Demonstrate steadiness in practical service to guru











Update disciple census form, bio-data and address

Attend & pass interview on personal knowledge & qualifications for being a brähmaëa

Complete & pass personal questionnaire (in interview)

Sit for and pass second initiation exam

Receive temple president’s written recommendation for second initiation

Request dékñä guru to give second initiation



Attend personal interview as he requires
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