Don’t just give brahmin initiation to anybody-SP

January 20, 2023 in Articles by Damaghosa dasa

Jan 5 1972 letter to Niranjana

Please accept my blessings. I thank you for your letter dated 1st January, 1972 and am glad that you have received my letter. The four sinful activities which one must avoid if there is to be any hope for spiritual advancement are the eating of meat, fish and eggs, the use of intoxicants, illicit connection with women, and gambling. So these are the first four sins which I ask all of my students to strictly avoid committing. Practically the entire population of the world is entrapped by these four sinful activities. In our Krishna Consciousness Society we are training our students up to the standard of brahminical culture. So the great respect we are getting here in India and throughout the rest of the world is due to these restrictions. Actually our students have surpassed the category of brahmana because they are Vaisnavas which means they are transcendental to any material position, and brahmana is a material order of life, part of the Varna Ashrama system. Many times I have been told by other so-called holy men that I should not expect that foreigners will be able to avoid these sinful activities. But I have never compromised in any way and as a result of our sticking strictly to our principles our position is unique.
Jan 23 1974
Regarding second initiations, I have become very concerned lately, that some of our older students who have been given the second initiation, have not been strictly following the rules and regulations. So from now on I want our presidents to be very sure about the devotees they are recommending to me for second initiation. I think sometimes in the past devotees have been recommended chiefly because some more helpers were required in maintaining the deity work. Of course, necessity is there. It is just like in government, the government has need for a number of men to fill important posts, but first the persons must be qualified before they can award the post. Even though there may be a pressing demand, first the man must be qualified. Our system is that after one year from the first initiation, if the devotee is strictly following our principles without deviation, and if he will sign a statement in seriousness, that he will not deviate from the chanting and regulative principles, then, on your mature consideration you can recommend him to me. It is not that we are stopping second initiation, but I want to be sure it does not become a farce and names be sent to me without proper qualification. We are criticizing the caste brahmanas for saying that the Americans and Europeans cannot be awarded brahmanainitiation, because according to Vedic sastra, anyone who is properly trained up under a bona fide spiritual master, can become twice born. But if our brahmanas do not take their second initiation seriously, then we will be deserving of criticism. So on this basis, if your think the men you have recommended are still eligible, you can resubmit their names to me and I will accept them.
April 28 1974
Initiation should be given as a future hopebut we should be careful about the second initiationAs recommended by the president or GBC they should only do so when they are quite confident of a man. Otherwise, he should not be recommended. If you follow this principle it will be successful. Every day I am getting request for second initiation, but I do not know. The responsibility goes to the presidents who pick them. Unless they are thoroughly convinced second initiation should not be given. In the beginning we may be a little lenient. But if someone falls down after being initiated he should not be credited with second initiation.
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
May 27 1974
I am also accepting Jogindra vandana for second initiation who has been initiated for two years. I want to stress to you to be very cautious about giving me recommendation for second initiation. There are four orders of life, it is not that everyone has to be a brahmana just because he has been initiated 1 or 2 or any number of years. Especially if one cannot even rise early for mangalaarati he should never be given brahminical initiation. All your programs are encouraging to me and keep sending me information.

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