By Swami Harshananda
Sometimes transliterated as: Diksa, DikSA, Dikshaa
Dikṣā literally means ‘observing a vow’.
Dikṣā is derived from the root ‘dīks’ which means ‘to destroy ignorance by giving knowledge and wisdom’. It's meanings include:
- Observing certain rules for a period of time
- A rite to be performed at the beginning of a holy venture like a Vedic sacrifice
- The sacrament of upanayana
- Receiving a mantra (sacred formula) from a qualified guru
- Shaving the head as a part of a religious vow
Significance of Dikṣā in Somayāga
Dikṣā is must in all ritualistic acts. Dīkṣā is the consecration of the sacrificer at the beginning of Somayāga. It takes place after preliminary rites like iṣṭi and āhuti. The sacrificer has to wear a particular garment, a girdle of muñja grass and a piece of cloth as head-dress. He should also keep a daṇḍa as staff. His wife should wear a yoktra (a belt of muñja grass). They are expected to follow certain rules during the period of the sacrifice.
Dikṣā in Tantra
Imparting mantra to a worthy disciple is called ‘dīkṣā’ in tāntrik works. It is of several varieties. The guru can rouse the spiritual potential of the disciple by just a look or touch.
- Āhuti is offering a ladle full of ghee into the fire.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore