Question: “We are told we can have many shiksha gurus, but only one diksha guru. So, we must be open to whomever Krishna sends us, who speaks something to help us along the way. That is why we can have unlimited shiksha gurus. But why only one diksha guru?”
Common sense, really, in light of the above discussion.
Question: “I have heard that in the Gaudiya Vaishnava sampradaya, there are several links that are shiksha guru links, not diksha. Obviously, that disciple’s primary source of enlightenment was his shiksha guru, not his diksha guru. So, I am confused why it is necessary to have only one diksha guru, and why the distinction between shiksha and diksha gurus is made if it is the instruction, not a ceremony, which is potent?”
Only one person will have the primary responsibility for taking us into the parampara. And because in the general run of things, this is an authentic and potent person, then the person is given some special distinction in the philosophy of guru tattva. It does not mean you cannot introduce common sense according to time, place, and circumstance.
So, if you have a qualified diksha guru, who guides you up to a point, then you move to another source of inspiration, there is no need to have another diksha guru. Just take the good instruction and keep on keeping’ on. On the other foot, if the diksha was not qualified, you can reject him outright and take re-initiation. It is up to you and the guru in question. But the philosophy does not deal with and address every exception or contingency. The philosophy mostly deals with the general norm. Exceptions and contingencies, we have to use our noodle, and as Prabhupada told one disciple, if you have no noodles, then ask someone who has.
Question: “What is initiation, really? It means the ‘beginning’, but really the beginning is up to the individual–the point at which he determines that from now on I will make self-realization my primary goal.?”
In some broad sense, this is surely true. In a contextual sense, it is when we make a deliberate resolve to pursue prema bhakti as our deliberate and specific number one agenda in this life. That is right. And this we do under the guidance of some more experienced soul, whose bedside manner usually works for us. So that’s the point of diksha. You accept the representative of Krishna and the rep accepts you. A contract is made. That is the “beginning.” This could have happened eons before the formality of a ceremony. Or with no ceremony at all.
Question: “It seems to me, that without that, the ceremony is meaningless. And with it, the ceremony is unnecessary. Arjuna was without a doubt Krishna’s disciple, without ceremony! Was there any deficiency in their relationship because of this?”
Yes, there was, actually. Because Arjuna runs the risk even to this day, that someone may criticize that he has no guru, he was never initiated.”
Thus, visible criteria should be sought. This we can use in ascertaining whom we may recognize as a bona fide advanced guru or teacher.
The current system wherein the institutionalized gurus just fly in to give a class once, twice, three times, four times or even five times a week for just one hour; and then flies away, and the institutionalized guru, is not heard from for months or even one or more years; is not the proper way for the guru & disciple relationship to evolve. Both are supposed to study each other prior to accepting one as guru, and accepting one as a disciple. This is the ideal relationship. One should be against blind acceptance from either side. Both should understand the temperament of the other. The only way that this can be done is that there must be some significant “personal association”, on a daily basis, and for many months; or even years.
 Noodle: “YOUR BRAIN, YOUR INTELIGENCE”