Vedic legitimacy of its ‘brahmin diksha’

By FPJ News Service - 28.9 2017

Ujjain: ISKCON, Brahmin groups at loggerheads over ‘brahmin diksha’

Ujjain: The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) responded to the objections raised on the Vedic legitimacy of its ‘brahmin diksha’, by quoting various shlokas of the Bhagvad Geeta. The objections were raised by Akhil Bharatiya Brahmin Samaj president, Pt Surendra Chaturvedi and Mahakaleshwar temple priest, Pt Mahesh Pujari who stated that giving someone ‘brahmin diksha’ is like changing ones ‘varna’. They further claimed the ‘varna’ changing by receiving ‘diksha’ did not find any mention in any vedic or spiritual text of Hinduism.

The community had written a letter to ISKCON public relations officer, Raghav Pandit and collector Sanket Bhondve, requesting them to look into the matter. The matter was also discussed during a meeting of the Brahmin community held at Chanakya Aashram on Tuesday.

Many Brahmin groups attended the meeting including, Mahakal Sena, Akhil Bharatiya Brahmin Samaj, Pujari Mahasangh, Mahakal Kshipra Yuva Purohit Samiti, Math-Mandir Sanatan Raksha Morcha and others. All these groups condemned ISKCON’s ‘Brahmin diksha’ claiming that it did not comply with Vedic ideology.

Responding to the allegations, ISKCON’s Pandit said on Tuesday that ISKCON was a verified Vaishnav sect which came under the umbrella of the ‘brahma-madhva-gaudiya’ sect and its ‘dikshas’ are given in accordance with the principles of that particular sect of Vaishnavism.

He further added that ISKCON’s ‘brahmin diksha’ laid the path for a disciple to attain true devotion towards the Lord and by giving ‘brahmin diksha’, ISKCON did not intend to change someone’s ‘varna’, caste or religion. Additionally, these disciples after receiving ‘diksha’ do not start performing Vedic sacrifices (karm-kand), and the sole purpose of ‘diksha’ was to help disciples establish connection with the supreme Lord, he added. He justified his arguments by saying, “Just as bell metal is turned to gold when mixed with mercury in an alchemical process, one who is properly trained and initiated by a bona fide spiritual master immediately becomes a brahmin”.

Tradition of liquor offering to continue

Brahmin groups in a meeting on Tuesday said that they supported the ancient tradition of offering liquor at the 24-khamba temple. Traditionally, the collector of Ujjain on the 8th day of navratri that is ‘ashtami’, performs worship at the temple, and offers liquor to the Goddess. Some organisations had objected to ritual some days ago but the brahmin community claims that traditions should not be changed and should continue.