Oftentimes, a diksha ceremony will involve the presentation of a mala (mantra beads) as a sacred gift from the guru to initiate. This mala is used for the repetition of a mantra, which is also given during the ceremony. Other types of diksha may include the use of sight, touch, fire sacrifice or words that are believed to purify the student, bestowing divine grace upon them.
There are several possible origins of the term diksha. The word comes from the Sanskrit roots da, meaning “to give,” and ksi, meaning “to destroy.” Alternatively, it may be derived from the verb diks, meaning “to consecrate.” Finally, it can also be taken that di means “intellect,” and ksha means “the horizon” or “the end." The idea behind this is that when the disciple is initiated by the guru, the mind of the guru and the mind of the student become one. Then the mind is transcended and the journey becomes one of the heart.
Diksha can also be translated as meaning “to see," which implies that after diksha has been taken, the disciple can see their true goal and path of spiritual development. This is an internal journey, so diksha is directed toward the inner eye.