(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 28 February 2013, Vrndavan, India, Caitanya Caritamrta Seminar 3)
In our sampradaya, we see siksa connections but these siksa connections existed between maha-bhagavats, between great devotees. Because for a great self-realized devotee, it maybe enough to accept a guru with full dedication and with full devotion through siksa. Not for us though, oh no! There is a need for a promise.
It is interesting that Srila Prabhupada formalised initiation as it was never formalised before, not even by Bhaktisiddhanta. In the Caitanya Caritamrta, we see that initiations were virtually happening by some kind of acceptance – no yajna, sometimes not even chanting on the beads and handing-over beads – just simply by acceptance. We see such connections and they count as guru-disciple connections!
The six Gosvamis count as the disciples of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and are referred to many times. Some identify others as their guru. Some say that Vidyavachaspati was the guru of Sanatana Gosvami. Yes, he did instruct him but he was not the guru of Sanatana Gosvami. Caitanya Mahaprabhu was like his life and soul. Every instruction of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, was the essence of his life. Sanatana Gosvami heard the instructions of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, understood them, absorbed them and remembered them but that was not it.
It is said that Sanatana Gosvami was very intelligent because Sanatana Gosvami approached Caitanya Mahaprabhu and he said, “Please let all these instructions be manifested in my heart.” So, he did not just ask for instructions, he also asked for blessings. It is very interesting how instructions alone will not do, that is a crucial point.
For us, initiation is essential. For us, it is very important that the question is asked, “How many rounds are you promising to chant everyday of your life without fail?” Then, okay sixteen minimum and so on. So there is no loop holes.