My initiation as a swami took place on the day of Chaitra Shukla Purnima in the year 1942 (1999 according to the Indian calendar). On this occasion, Mahaprabhuji organised a large satsang to which he invited many swamis, yogis, pandits and devotees. In his generous way, Thakur Revat Singhji took care to accommodate all the guests.
In the early morning the fire ceremony (havana) began and Mahaprabhuji had given me instructions.
"Madhavananda, put on your festive dress of Vishwapati (Lord of the universe), for in these garments even kings will bow before you. May you be Liberated from the influence of the stars, from birth and death."
I had the traditional seven baths (sapt bhumika), which signify the purification of the seven states of consciousness and after that Mahaprabhuji gave me a new mantra and performed the paramhansa sannyas diksha. During this most high and honoured ceremony, the aspirant, guided by the Divine Master, instantly attains samadhi.
Mahaprabhuji laid his holy hands upon my head and blessed me and explained the sacred duties of a sannyasi who has renounced the world.
"A sannyasi must weed out all impure qualities from the roots and rid himself forever of desire. Constantly filled with the Light of Truth, he ought to pass this on to all. The highest duty of a sannyasi is to remain attached to nothing and to live and work for the good of the entire universe.
"The sannyasi must show the path of Truth through realization to those who still wander about in the jungle of the world. He ought to serve without prejudice or discrimination between race, position or religion. The atma is in every consciousness, the same in all living beings. The duty of the sannyasi is to lighten the burden of people, not to become a burden for them. To serve me in truth means to serve all. Madhavananda, constantly remember these precepts and never swerve from the Truth!"
I took these words deep into my heart and with folded hands I prayed:
OM NAMO PRABHU DEEP DAYALAM PARAM KRIPALAM
OM, I bow before Prabhu Deep Dayal,
The kind preserver and protector of his devotees,
The radiance of Vishwa Deep pervades
the whole universe.
You know the longing of my mind,
My Beloved God, may you live in my heart,
Remove the darkness and spread the Light.
I, Madhavananda, bow before you,
Whose immense grace has been bestowed upon me,
To receive the most precious jewel of your name.
You defeat all evil,
You create the world and make it go 'round,
Protect me and my every breath.
Mahaprabhuji then said to me, "Madhavananda, with this I have placed into your hands the keys of the kingdom. Now it is up to you to guard them. Onto your tongue I have poured the gold of truth. It now lies with you to prove yourself worthy."
sannyas diksha = initiation ceremony of a swami
This initiation symbolises the seven steps of consciousness that the initiate has to pass. The first six steps are good wishes, good thoughts, control over the body and mind, selflessness, realization of the Truth, non-dualism or realization of immortality. These the initiate must reach through inner purification, selfless service and spiritual sadhana (practices). Through the grace of the Guru (s)he finally achieves the seventh state, turiya — liberation and unity with God.
paramhansa sannyas diksha = initiation to paramhansa, highest spiritual initiation
In this ceremony the Guru bestows the experience of highest consciousness on the initiated swami, which henceforth (s)he should attain by spiritual work.
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Overview: My life with Sri Mahaprabhuji