Initiation Guidelines

These are UK ISKCON Initiation Guidelines.  One must have a initiated mentor and be following the below standards.  If you are interested further then please get in contact with the Temple President.

1) Sadhana

a) Chanting Sixteen rounds and following the four regulative principles.
b) Rising early (4 – 6.30am).
c) Morning Programme:
i) Performing simple arati at home altar.
ii) Chanting four rounds minimum before leaving for work (Srila Prabhupada asked his disciples to chant eight before ten o’ clock, but not to chant while driving).
d) Study Srila Prabhupada’s books daily – at least thirty minutes.
e) Maintain devotional dress and tilaka during worship at home and visiting the temple.

2) Service

Regular service to the temple (minimum two hours once a week)
Menial service once a month (for instance cleaning, kitchen, shop, gardens)

3) Sanga Group

You are required to be a member of a local Sanga group. Each person must have a counsellor and be in regular communication with that person.

4) Sankirtan

Required to perform two hours local door-to-door preaching or home visits or outreach programme at least once every two weeks.

5) Morning Programme

Minimum is to take part in a full morning programme at the temple once a month.

6) 13 Questions

Give satisfactory answers to ISKCON GBC 13 questions. Checked by the counsellor.

7) Sadhana Chart

Weekly submit Sadhana Chart to their counsellor via email or printed copy.

8) Spiritual Master and Disciple Course

Complete full course.


1. Candidates must develop relationship with Srila Prabhupada, chant 16 rounds and follow the 4 regulative principles for minimum of 1 year.
2. Then they should undertake a one-day course on guru-disciple relationship; at the end of the course they should take the 13 Questions test.
3. Then they can start developing a relationship with a particular guru, begin correspondence with that guru and ask relevant questions under the guidance of a counsellor, lasting minimum 6 months.
4. Then they can start chanting guru’s pranama mantra, lasting minimum 6 months.
5. Then they can be recommended to Board of Counsellors for first initiation.

Please note candidates cannot be put forward for initiation less than two weeks prior to
the initiation. Also all candidates must have written consent from the legislative body of the Temple they are associated with.


1. Regard Srila Prabhupada as guru in the first instance (study his books and discuss questions that he has with his counsellor and other experienced devotees).
2. Learn about the qualities of a bona fide guru.
3. Learn how to submissively hear and properly inquire from a guru, according to Vaisnava etiquette.
4. Attend classes and listen to lectures by various gurus and discuss with the counsellor his feelings and thoughts about the different gurus.
5. Learn what attraction to a guru is due to sentiment and what is due to intelligent discrimination (if necessary). Over time one guru is likely to have a more prominent influence on his spiritual life.

13 Questions

1) What are the qualifications of a bona fide spiritual master?
2) Why are you convinced to follow the orders of the spiritual master in this life, and even life after life?
3) Why does one worship the spiritual master like God?
4) Do you believe the spiritual master speaks the Absolute Truth? If so, why?
5) Under what circumstances should the spiritual master be rejected?
6) What are the qualifications and responsibilities of a disciple?
7) What is the unique position of Srila Prabhupada in ISKCON?
8) Why do you accept Lord Krsna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead?
9) Why do we follow the four regulative principles?
10) Why do we chant Hare Krsna?
11) What is the position of the GBC Body?
12) Explain the difference between the body and the self.
13) What is ISKCON, and why should one remain in ISKCON?

Second Initiation Standards

1. For at least one year after first initiation, continues fulfilling all requirements for first initiation.

2. Continually develops good relationships with other devotees.

3. Demonstrates the qualities of a brahmana (Bg 18.42) and a tendency to continually improve in those qualities.

4. Practices the threefold austerity of the mode of goodness, as described in Bg 17.14-16

5. Exemplifies religious principles to the public, representing ISKCON and Srila Prabhupada.

6. Fits into and represents ISKCON’s organisational structure; i.e., GBC to Regional Governing Bodies (and similar local councils), Temple Presidents, etc.

7. Has read the following of Srila Prabhupada’s books: Bhagavad-gita As It Is, Srimad Bhagavatam, Caitanya Caritamrta, Nectar of Devotion, Nectar of Instruction and Isopanisad.

8. Has passed either the ISKCON UK Brahminical Test or the VTE Bhakti Sastri exam.

9. One should actively assist in some preaching or outreach activity.

10. One should perform some service for the Deities through the Deity Department on a regular basis (e.g., transfers, dressing Srila Prabhupada).


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Hare Krishna