“As bell metal can be turned into gold when treated with mercury, a disciple initiated by a bona fide guru immediately attains the position of a brāhmaṇa.”As far as the time of dīkṣā (initiation) is concerned, everything depends on the position of the guru. As soon as a bona fide guru is received by chance or by a program, one should immediately take the opportunity to receive initiation. In the book called Tattva-sāgara, it is stated:
- durlabhe sad-gurūṇāṁ ca sakṛt-saṅga upasthite
- tad-anujñā yadā labdhā sa dīkṣāvasaro mahān
- grāme vā yadi vāraṇye kṣetre vā divase niśi
- āgacchati gurur daivād yathā dīkṣā tad-ājñayā
- yadaivecchā tadā dīkṣā guror ājñānurūpataḥ
- na tīrthaṁ na vrataṁ hemo na snānaṁ na japa-kriyā
- dīkṣāyāḥ karaṇaṁ kintu svecchā-prāpte tu sad-gurau
“If by chance one gets a sad-guru, it doesn’t matter whether one is in the temple or the forest. If the sad-guru, the bona fide spiritual master, agrees, one can be initiated immediately, without waiting for a suitable time or place.”Concerning prātaḥ-smṛti, remembrance of the Lord in the morning, in the early morning hours (known as brāhma-muhūrta) one should get up and immediately chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, or at least “Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa.” In this way, one should remember Kṛṣṇa. Some ślokas or prayers should also be chanted. By chanting, one immediately becomes auspicious and transcendental to the infection of material qualities. Actually one has to chant and remember Lord Kṛṣṇa twenty-four hours daily, or as much as possible:
- smartavyaḥ satataṁ viṣṇur vismartavyo na jātucit
- sarve vidhi-niṣedhāḥ syur etayor eva kiṅkarāḥ
“Kṛṣṇa is the origin of Lord Viṣṇu. He should always be remembered and never forgotten at any time. All the rules and prohibitions mentioned in the śāstras should be the servants of these two principles.” This is a quotation from the Padma Purāṇa, from the portion called Bṛhat-sahasra-nāma-stotra.
The word prātaḥ-kṛtya in the present verse of the Caitanya-caritāmṛta means that one should evacuate regularly in the morning and then cleanse himself by taking a bath. One has to gargle (ācamana) and brush his teeth (danta-dhāvana). He should do this either with twigs or a toothbrush—whatever is available. This will purify the mouth. Then one should take his bath. Actually householders and vānaprasthas should bathe two times a day (prātar-madhyāhnayoḥ snānaṁ vānaprastha-gṛhasthayoḥ). A sannyāsī should bathe three times daily, and a brahmacārī may take only one bath a day. Whenever one is not able to bathe in water, he can bathe by chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. One also has to perform his sandhyādi-vandana—that is, one has to chant his Gāyatrī mantra three times daily—morning, noon and evening.