Diksa, Dīkṣā, Diksha: 35 definitions


Diksa means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, the history of ancient India, Marathi, Hindi. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

The Sanskrit term Dīkṣā can be transliterated into English as Diksa or Diksha, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

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In Hinduism

Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

Source: Wisdom Library: Śaivism

Dīkṣā (काम्य, “दीक्षा”) refers to the Śaiva “initiation rite”.

Source: bhagavadgitausa.com: Kashmir Saivism

Diksa: In Kashmir Saivism Diksa means to give spiritual knowledge and destroy the fetters of Pasa-hood. Guru initiation is lighting the Divine flame in the spiritual heart of the disciple.

Source: Shodhganga: Temple management in the Āgamas

Dīkṣā (दीक्षा, “initiation”) is performed by a healthy Ādiśaiva as part of his essential priestly duties in the Śiva temple.—Dīkṣā is popularly understood as “dīyate kṣīyate iti dīkṣā”—“that which grants mokṣa, while destroying the karma of the initiate”. The process of dīkṣā burns the good and bad karma of the initiate with the fire of jñāna. Dīkṣā is a process of spiritual progress that was offered to all the four varṇa. The Ādiśaiva dīkṣā is considered in detail here, with an end note on the other varṇas. Dīkṣā can also be understood as a process of cleansing and energy transfer.

Dīkṣā is performed in many ways by a qualified Guru and classified into many categories:

  1. Cākṣuṣī-dīkṣā
  2. Sparṣa-dīkṣā
  3. Vācikī-dīkṣā
  4. Mānasī-dīkṣā
  5. Śāstrī-dīkṣā
  6. Yoga-dīkṣā
  7. Hautrī-dīkṣā

The Ācāryābhiṣekavidhipaṭala of Kāmikāgama states that the Ādiśaiva Guru is the most superior in dīkṣā for everyone and in rituals of pratiṣṭhā, utsava, snapana, prāyaścitta, abhiṣeka, vyākhyāna and in both ātmārthapūjā and parārthapūjā. In dīkṣā, a Brāhmaṇa can initiate the other three varṇas, a Kṣatriya can initiate Vaiśyas and Śūdras, and a Vaiśya can initiate a Śūdra. They can also initiate those from their own jāti. In case of sthāpana of a calaliṅga (for ātmārthapūjā), all three varṇas, starting from Brāhmaṇas, are qualified. Śudras can also undergo śūdra-dīkṣā and establish their own calaliṅga for ātmārtha worship. Naiṣṭhikas can also establish bāṇaliṅga and kṣaṇikaliṅga.

Source: academia.edu: Religious Inclusivism in the Writings of an Early Modern Sanskrit Intellectual (Shaivism)

Dīkṣā (दीक्षा) refers to “initiation”.—Śaiva scriptures promote an initiation (dīkṣā) whose purpose is precisely to cut out the potential of these actions, and since initiation rituals aim to free the initiate from a cosmic hierarchy which includes lower principles of existence (from kalā down to earth).

Source: Brill: Śaivism and the Tantric Traditions

Dīkṣā (दीक्षा) refers to “initiation”, according to the Guhyasūtra, the largest book of the Niśvāsa-corpus (a collection of early Śaiva Tantras comprising the Niśvāsamukha, Mūlasūtra, Uttarasūtra, Nayasūtra, and Guhyasūtra).—Accordingly, “[...] (110) Knowing this, one should not give [lightly] the supreme nectar of Lord Śiva. (111) According to this scripture of the Lord, one may attain Śiva by each of the following [practised individually]: initiation (dīkṣā), knowledge, yoga and caryā in due order. (112) By initiation (dīkṣā) one attains liberation easily, since it is the guru who invariably accomplishes it. [...] (114) This tetrad has been taught to destroy the dangers of saṃsāra. It should not [lightly] be given to others if one desires supernatural power for oneself”.

Source: SOAS University of London: Protective Rites in the Netra Tantra

Dīksā (दीक्सा) refers to a “initiation”, according to the Netratantra of Kṣemarāja: a Śaiva text from the 9th century in which Śiva (Bhairava) teaches Pārvatī topics such as metaphysics, cosmology, and soteriology.—Accordingly, [verse 4.1-2ab]—“Now, I will teach about initiation (dīkṣā), [which] gives the fruits of experience (bhukti) and liberation (mukti). It may be done, for the expansion of the transcendent and immanent (parāpara) with thirty-six tattvas or with half that many [eighteen], half that [nine], or with five or three or one”.

Note: During Dīkṣā (“initiatory rites”), Ācaryas place mantras on both maṇḍalas and the bodies of initiands. This empowers and Tantricizes the place on which the ācaryas position the mantras, demarcating the Tantric ritual space. Religious marking of bodies occurs in various forms across world religions. In Hinduism, we often find such markings on the forehead. This indicates one's alliance to Śaiva or Vaiṣṇava religious orders

Shaivism book cover
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Shaiva (शैव, śaiva) or Shaivism (śaivism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshiping Shiva as the supreme being. Closely related to Shaktism, Shaiva literature includes a range of scriptures, including Tantras, while the root of this tradition may be traced back to the ancient Vedas.

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Shilpashastra (iconography)

Source: Wisdom Library: Elements of Hindu Iconograpy

Dīkṣā (दीक्षा):—The consort of Ugra (aspect of Śiva, as in, one of the eight names of Rudra) according to the Pādma-purāṇa. (according to the Viṣṇu-purāṇa she is called Vikesī)

Shilpashastra book cover
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Shilpashastra (शिल्पशास्त्र, śilpaśāstra) represents the ancient Indian science (shastra) of creative arts (shilpa) such as sculpture, iconography and painting. Closely related to Vastushastra (architecture), they often share the same literature.

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: archive.org: Puranic Encyclopedia

Dīkṣā (दीक्षा).—Dīkṣā is the vrata that expels sin and increases Jñāna (wisdom). Those who are to be blessed fall into three categories. The person who belongs to the first category is called Vijñānakala; the second is Pralayakala; and the third is Sakala. Vijñānakala is free from sin alone. Pralayakala is free from sins and Karmans. Sakala has everything from Kalā to the earth. The Dīkṣās to be practised by the three classes of persons are of different kinds. Dīkṣā is classified into two: "Nirādhāra and Sādhāra.

Nirādhāra Dīkṣā is performed for the sake of Vijñānakala and Pralayakala. Sādhāra Dīkṣā is prescribed for the third class of people, the Sakalas.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

1a) Dīkṣā (दीक्षा).—Wife of Ugra, (Dīkṣita) son Santāna.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 10. 83; Vāyu-purāṇa 27. 55.

1b) In connection with Lalitā's worship; Śāmbhavī Dīkṣā is the knowledge that comes at once by the Guru's look, speech or touch; Mānasi Dīkṣā where the disciple is initiated by the Guru in secret being pleased with his conduct; first was Kriyā Dīkṣā which consists of purificatory bath and recital of devīsūkta and puruṣasūkta with 16 upacāras; offering of the puṣpāñjali with sahasrākṣara vidya; samādhi; the poor and disabled worship with bhāvanadravyas (i.e.) meditation in mind as if doing all of them; place of meditation or japasthāna; thinking of Bhaitrarī, then the ŚaṢa-Sa group of 42 letters, Pañcākṣara, Caturakṣara, etc.; contemplate on Varamūrtis and then Svaraśaktis and Varṇaśaktis; installation of Cakreśvarī and of Ananga Kusumadevī in the heart seeing the Mudrā; meditation of Manujapam pleases Devī.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 43 (whole) and 44, 1 to 151.

1c) As consort of a Brahmana Soma.*

  • * Viṣṇu-purāṇa I. 8. 8.
Purana book cover
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The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

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Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

Source: JSTOR: Tāntric Dīkṣā by Surya Kanta

Dīkṣā (दीक्षा) is one of the most important rituals of the Śāktas. It is described in detail in Śāradātilaka-tantra, chapters III-V, Prapañcasāra-tantra V-VI, and Śrītattva-cintāmaṇi II-V. The ceremony includes some preliminary rites. Dīkṣā is so called because it imparts divine knowledge and destroys evil. The Tāntrikas derive the word dīkṣā from √dā ‘give’ and √kṣi ‘destroy’ for which cp. Prapañcasāra V. 2.

Dīkṣā is of four kinds:

  1. kriyāvatī,
  2. varṇamayī,
  3. kalātma or kalāvatī,
  4. vedhamayī.
Source: Addaiyan Journal of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences: Tantra Literature of Kerala- Special Reference to Mātṛsadbhāva

Dīkṣā (दीक्षा) refers to one of the topics dealt with in the Mātṛsadbhāva, one of the earliest Śākta Tantras from Kerala.—Mātṛsadbhāva is a Kerala Tantric ritual manual dealing with the worship of Goddess Bhadrakālī (also known as Rurujit) along with sapta-mātṛs or Seven mothers. The text is believed to be the first Śākta worship text from Kerala. The text is a summary of Southern Brahmayāmala texts and it systematizes and organizes the Yāmala cult of mothers in twenty-eight chapters. The text includes the topics such as [e.g., dīkṣā, ...] The Mātṛsadbhāva was written based on the South Indian version of Brahmayālatantra. [...]

Shaktism book cover
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Shakta (शाक्त, śākta) or Shaktism (śāktism) represents a tradition of Hinduism where the Goddess (Devi) is revered and worshipped. Shakta literature includes a range of scriptures, including various Agamas and Tantras, although its roots may be traced back to the Vedas.

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Vaishnavism (Vaishava dharma)

Source: Pure Bhakti: Bhagavad-gita (4th edition)

Dīkṣā (दीक्षा) refers to “initiation from a spiritual master. In Bhakti-sandharbha (Anucceda 283) Śrīla Jiva Gosvāmī defines dīkṣā: learned exponents of the Absolute Truth declare that the process by which the guru imparts divya-jñāna to the disciple and eradicates all sins is known as dīkṣā”. (cf. Glossary page from Śrīmad-Bhagavad-Gītā).

Source: Pure Bhakti: Bhajana-rahasya - 2nd Edition

Dīkṣā (दीक्षा) refers to:—Initiation from a spiritual master. (cf. Glossary page from Bhajana-Rahasya).

Source: Pure Bhakti: Arcana-dipika - 3rd Edition

Dīkṣā (दीक्षा) refers to “initiation” (being initiated into the viṣṇu-mantras by a bona fide Guru), according to the Arcana-dīpikā (manual on deity worship).—Without undergoing the purificatory procedure (saṃskāra) of receiving a sacred thread, the son of a Brāhmaṇa is not eligible to study the Vedas. It is only after accepting initiation (dīkṣā) that he obtains the necessary eligibility. Similarly, an uninitiated person does not possess the necessary qualification to perform the arcana of Śrī Bhagavān. Only after accepting dīkṣā does he obtain that eligibility. The effect of receiving dīkṣā is that transcendental knowledge awakens in one’s heart and one truly becomes a human being.

Dīkṣā-saṃskāra (receiving initiation) enlightens a person in transcendental knowledge and destroys his accumulated unlimited sins. Therefore, those who are conversant with these philosophical truths call this process dīkṣā.

Source: Pure Bhakti: Brhad Bhagavatamrtam

Dīkṣā (दीक्षा) refers to:—Spiritual initiation. (cf. Glossary page from Śrī Bṛhad-bhāgavatāmṛta).

Vaishnavism book cover
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Vaishnava (वैष्णव, vaiṣṇava) or vaishnavism (vaiṣṇavism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshipping Vishnu as the supreme Lord. Similar to the Shaktism and Shaivism traditions, Vaishnavism also developed as an individual movement, famous for its exposition of the dashavatara (‘ten avatars of Vishnu’).

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Vedanta (school of philosophy)

Source: Shodhganga: Siva Gita A Critical Study

Dīkṣā (दीक्षा) refers to “initiation”.—Solemn induction by which one is entered into a new realm of spiritual awareness and practice by a teacher or preceptor through bestowing of blessings. Denotes initial or deepened connection with the teacher and his lineage and is usually accompanied by ceremony.

Vedanta book cover
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Vedanta (वेदान्त, vedānta) refers to a school of orthodox Hindu philosophy (astika), drawing its subject-matter from the Upanishads. There are a number of sub-schools of Vedanta, however all of them expound on the basic teaching of the ultimate reality (brahman) and liberation (moksha) of the individual soul (atman).

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Yoga (school of philosophy)

Source: academia.edu: Meaning of haṭha in Early Haṭhayoga

Dīkṣā (दीक्षा) refers to “initiation”.—In contrasting tranquility (śānti) with haṭhapāka, the commentator, Jayaratha, describes tranquility as a “process of pleasant combustion” (madhurapākakrama). When the Guru has been propitiated, the “tranquil” methods of initiation (dīkṣā-sādhana) and devotion to a religious practice (anuṣṭhāniṣṭhatā) will bring about transcendence (atyaya) at the time of death. However, haṭhapāka is a sudden and violent process that burns up all things (bhāva) in the fire of intelligence. It destroys duality and is likened by Abhinavagupta to the enjoyment (rasa) of devouring enough (alaṅgrāsa). The commentator notes that haṭhapāka is a forceful action (balātkāreṇa) that transgresses the normal order (kramavyatikramarūpa) and, as noted earlier, this connotation of haṭha is implicit in Haṭhayoga’s effect of raising the downward-moving breath (apāna) and the normally dormant Kuṇḍalinī.

Source: ORA: Amanaska (king of all yogas): A Critical Edition and Annotated Translation by Jason Birch

Dīkṣā (दीक्षा) refers to “initiation”, according to the the Amanaska Yoga treatise which deals absorption, yogic powers and liberation.—[...] The ritual system of Śaivism was superfluous for the Rājayogin, and the Amanaska is silent on matters of initiation (dīkṣā), preliminary observances for mantras, daily rites and the like. On the whole, one may conclude that the Rājayogin was probably indifferent to Vedic and Tantric ritual.

Yoga book cover
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Yoga is originally considered a branch of Hindu philosophy (astika), but both ancient and modern Yoga combine the physical, mental and spiritual. Yoga teaches various physical techniques also known as āsanas (postures), used for various purposes (eg., meditation, contemplation, relaxation).

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Mantrashastra (the science of Mantras)

Source: Shodhganga: Kasyapa Samhita—Text on Visha Chikitsa (mantra)

Dīkṣā (दीक्षा, “initiation”) refers to the “transference of the supreme power” (residing in the guru’s body) [Cf. the Lakśmītantra (verse 23.5ab)].—Mantras refers to “that which is chanted by people to obtain their spiritual aspirations”. Mantroddhāra is the culling, extracting or invoking of the mantra when an aspirant seeks dīkṣā or its initiation. Any mantra, to be effective, must be imparted by a competent guru to an aspirant. It must be learnt and practised by the Sādhaka, with utmost devotion and dedication as prescribed. Dīkṣā is not mere verbal guidance to the aspirant, but the transference of the supreme power residing in the guru’s body into that body of the aspirant.

context information

Mantrashastra (शिल्पशास्त्र, mantraśāstra) refers to the ancient Indian science of mantras—chants, incantations, spells, magical hymns, etc. Mantra Sastra literature includes many ancient books dealing with the methods reciting mantras, identifying and purifying its defects and the science behind uttering or chanting syllables.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Hinduism

Dīkṣā (दीक्षा)—One of the eleven wives of Rudra, called a Rudrāṇī.

Source: krindology.com: On Three Images of Dīkṣā: entering, purifying, dedicating

Dīkṣā (दीक्षा) which is usually translated into consecration and initiation, was used with words such as tapas, brahmacarya, upnayana. It is a result of various meanings and usages in the process of changing the terms that were originally used in relation to the purification of a sacrificer in the Vedic rites. [...] And in the early Brahmāṇa ages, dīkṣā was used primarily as the meaning of purification and consecration. However later, by the meaning of rebirth and initiation it became to be emphasized and considered as a synonym term of upnayana or as a technical term of initiation rituals in non-orthodox schools like Jaina and Tantra.

Dīkṣā has implications such as purification, consecration, rebirth, and initiation. Among them, the purification and consecration are the primary meaning, and the rebirth and initiation are the secondary meaning. These four implications were emphasized differently according to the ages and religious sects. As a result, it became a factor which brought a difference in various meanings and usages.

India history and geography

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Indian Epigraphical Glossary

Dīkṣā.—(HA), initiation as a monk or recluse; initiation into any doctrine. Note: dīkṣā is defined in the “Indian epigraphical glossary” as it can be found on ancient inscriptions commonly written in Sanskrit, Prakrit or Dravidian languages.

India history book cover
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The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as mythology, zoology, royal dynasties, rulers, tribes, local festivities and traditions and regional languages. Ancient India enjoyed religious freedom and encourages the path of Dharma, a concept common to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.

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Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

dīkṣā (दीक्षा).—f (S) A course of austerities or of the rites and ceremonies of some religious vow. v ghē. 2 fig. Conduct, practice, a course of proceeding. v dhara. 3 fig. Engagement in or entrance upon a great undertaking gen. v ghē. 4 fig. Initiation in the mysteries of any art or sect. v kara, hō.

Source: DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English

dīkṣā (दीक्षा).—f A course of austerities or of the rites and ceremonies of some religious vow. v ghē. Engagement in or entrance upon a great undertaking gen. v ghē.

context information

Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.

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Sanskrit dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Dīkṣā (दीक्षा).—[dīkṣ-bhāve-a]

1) (a) Consecration for a religious ceremony, initiation in general; अजस्रदीक्षाप्रयतस्य मद्गुरोः क्रियाविघाताय कथं प्रवर्तसे (ajasradīkṣāprayatasya madguroḥ kriyāvighātāya kathaṃ pravartase) R.3.44,65. (b) Receiving the initiatory mantra.

2) A ceremony preliminary to a sacrifice; Bhāgavata 3.13.37.

3) A ceremony or religious rite in general; विवाहदीक्षाम् (vivāhadīkṣām), R.3.33; Kumārasambhava 7.1,8, 24.

4) Investiture with the sacred thread.

5) Dedicating oneself to a particular object, self-devotion; विश्व- त्राणैकदीक्षाः (viśva- trāṇaikadīkṣāḥ); विष्णुपादादिकेशान्तवर्णनस्तोत्रम् (viṣṇupādādikeśāntavarṇanastotram) 33.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Dīkṣā (दीक्षा).—f.

(-kṣā) 1. Sacrificing, offering oblations. 2. Worshipping in general. 3. Engaging in a course of austerities. 4. Certain ceremonies preliminary to a cacrifice. 5. Receiving the initiatory Mantra or incantation. E. to give, (knowledge,) and kṣi to destroy, (sin;) deriv. irr. or dīkṣ to initiate, &c. affixes a and ṭāp .

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Benfey Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Dīkṣā (दीक्षा).—[dīkṣ + ā], f. 1. Consecration, Mahābhārata 1, 8135. 2. Undergoing religious observances, engaging in a course of austerities, [Rāmāyaṇa] 1, 32, 4. 3. Religious observances, [Mānavadharmaśāstra] 6, 29. 4. Devotion, [Bhāgavata-Purāṇa, (ed. Burnouf.)] 4, 2, 29.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Cappeller Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Dīkṣā (दीक्षा).—[feminine] preparation or consecration for a religious ceremony, initiation; dedication, devotion to (—°); personif. as the wife of Soma.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Aufrecht Catalogus Catalogorum

1) Dīkṣā (दीक्षा) as mentioned in Aufrecht’s Catalogus Catalogorum:—vaid. Oudh. X, 4. Xix, 22.

2) Dīkṣā (दीक्षा):—vaid. Oudh. Xx, 2. Xxi, 20. Xxii, 36.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary

1) Dīkṣā (दीक्षा):—[from dīkṣ] f. preparation or consecration for a religious ceremony, undertaking religious observances for a [particular] purpose and the observances themselves, [Atharva-veda; Vājasaneyi-saṃhitā; Brāhmaṇa; ???] etc.

2) [v.s. ...] dedication, initiation (personified as the wife of Soma, [Ṛg-veda 25, 26], of Rudra Ugra or R° Vāmadeva, [Purāṇa])

3) [v.s. ...] any serious preparation (as for battle), [Mahābhārata; Harivaṃśa; Kāvya literature]

4) [v.s. ...] self-devotion to a person or god, complete resignation or restriction to, exclusive occupation with ([compound]; cf. viraha-, śāka-, śṛṅgāra.).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Yates Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Dīkṣā (दीक्षा):—(kṣā) 1. f. A sacrificing; ceremony, worship; Durgā.

Source: DDSA: Paia-sadda-mahannavo; a comprehensive Prakrit Hindi dictionary (S)

Dīkṣā (दीक्षा) in the Sanskrit language is related to the Prakrit word: Dikkhā.

[Sanskrit to German]

Diksa in German

context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family (even English!). Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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Hindi dictionary

Source: DDSA: A practical Hindi-English dictionary

Dīkṣā (दीक्षा):—(nf) initiation; ~[guru] the initiator, preceptor.

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