Last updated: December 21, 2023

What Does Diksha Mean?

Diksha is the Sanskrit word for "initiation." It can be used to refer to a ceremony in which a guru initiates a student into their teaching. This is a one-on-one ceremony which may be practiced in religions such as Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism, as well as in the yogic tradition.

It is said that the process of diksha allows the disciple to blossom in their spiritual development. They are able to transcend the intellect and find their happiness in the ultimate quenching of their thirst for knowledge.

Diksha can be used to introduce a student into yoga practice. Kriya yoga, for example, performs diksha to initiate its students.


Yogapedia Explains Diksha

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.

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