A diksha is an initiation, of which there are many sorts in the Hindu context. For instance, many sects and traditions require the transmission of a MANTRA to members, in some cases by one’s father, in other cases by the GURU. Most mendicant orders require a formal ordination that involves a ritual that is also called a diksha. A SANNYASI, one who renounces the world, is required to undergo a dik-sha that includes rituals usually done at a person’s cremation after death. The Hindu ceremony at which the SACRED THREAD is invested on young boys is also formally called a diksha.
   A person may quite easily undergo several dikshas during his or her lifetime. TANTRIC prac-titioners, for instance, will almost always have an initiation after leaving their original traditions and a second one when entering a tantric circle.
   Further reading: Sanjukta Gupta, Dirk Jan Hoens, and Teun Goudriaan, Hindu Tantrism (Leiden: Brill, 1979); Brian K. Smith, “Ritual, Knowledge and Being: Initia-tion and Veda Study in Ancient India,” Numen 33, no. 1 (1986): 65–89.

Encyclopedia of Hinduism. . 2007.

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