Satyananda Yoga articles

Diksha or Initiation

The simple or common meaning of the word 'initiation' is 'to begin' or 'to start'. This new beginning involves a new perception and a desire to discover new things, and represents the effort that a person makes to go in that direction.

Initiation marks the beginning of a new life and the act of formally committing to a particular goal. It is an ongoing process, which awakens the willpower and ability to manifest the dormant potential within.

Types of Diksha

Mantra Diksha

According to Swami Satyananda the meaning of the word mantra is “by repetition of which the mind becomes free from external experiences.”

Initiation into mantra by a guru is the first or simplest type of initiation taken when the aspirant has an inspiration or curiosity towards spiritual growth. It is the mantra that forges the link between guru and disciple, both in the initial and the more advanced stages of the disciple’s spiritual journey. The purpose of the mantra is to awaken the dormant faculties of the human being. It can stabilise, harmonise and balance the personality and create a state of harmony between external and internal life. The mantra is the food on which your psychic body is nourished and can open the possibility of higher awareness.

Spiritual Name

“The spiritual name links the mind with our inner soul.” Swami Niranjanananda

The second stage of initiation is the receiving of a spiritual name which is full of meaning. It is chosen intuitively by the guru to awaken the dormant potential of the initiate’s true nature. It represents the connection with the inner Spirit or quality of the Higher Self, which manifests in life bringing to the surface the connection with our higher inner nature.

Sannyasa

One who is dedicated to spiritual knowledge.

The third type of initiation into Sannyasa means being born again so that your life can take a more spiritual direction. This signifies a life of inner dedication and transformation and a life of commitment to the Self, to humanity and to the Divine. Self-development is the first aspect, service to uplift society to the best of our abilities is the second aspect, and inner commitment to the realisation of a Divine force is the third aspect.

Jignasu Sannyasa

Jignasu means 'aspirant', or 'spiritual seeker'.

This is the preliminary sannyasa step in which the aspirant becomes a good citizen, serves humanity and performs sadhana to cultivate certain qualities in life.

Karma Sannyasa

Karma Sannyasa is the second sannyasa step for those aspirants who have a strong inclination to the spiritual path and who may also have duties to family, the community and society. Karma Sannyas is an attitude towards life and aids the aspirant to lead a more purposeful life and become instrumental in the upliftment of family and community.

For further information please refer to Bihar Publications:

 

‘You do not practise asanas and pranayama to gain big muscles. Muscles do not give mental health. Harmonious working of the endocrine glands and internal organs, and more so the nervous system and mind is what you need and what the regular practice of asanas and pranayama will bestow upon you’

Swami Sivananda Saraswati

Swamis