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A World of Yoga

Initiation

If you persist in asking for initiation, and show the Master that you are sincere and genuinely motivated, usually the Master will give you a task.

You then perform this simple task faithfully and well. The Master may ask you to do a specific form of meditation once or twice a day — or perform humanitarian errands, for example. If you are able to do your assigned task steadily and well every day, without fail and without excuse, your Guru-to-be will observe:

  1. You respect his instructions;
     
  2. You can do what he asks faithfully and well and;
     
  3. You are likely mature and responsible enough to do advanced spiritual techniques.

The Master Accepts You

In addition to performing your task, your cheerfulness, common sense, and attitude are studied by the Master. As you do your part faithfully and competently, the Master is pleased to go to the Lord prayerfully in your behalf.

When all continues well with you for a time, the Master will accept you as his own dear devotee. He accepts you unconditionally and forever — beyond time. Your period of asking is fulfilled. It’s a wondrous day for Initiate and Master.

Your beloved Master then states a specific, auspicious time when he will initiate you. The devotee is initiated personally, in almost every case.

During your period of asking, and between the time of acceptance and initiation, the Master studies you further. He determines and selects the best possible spiritual practices for your needs and your nature. He chooses practices which will most felicitously speed you toward higher consciousness and God-realization.

The Indescribable Day

On a special morning or evening — but usually a morning — you, a newly-accepted initiate, shower thoroughly, dress in clean clothes, and come to your Master’s place. An initiate usually brings flowers, fruit, and an offering in an envelope. Oftentimes other recently-accepted candidates sit in the waiting room beaming and in moods of devotion. One by one each goes to the Master and is initiated.

When your name is called, you enter the room where your Master is seated. He or she tends to look extremely beautiful in the love of the Lord and you. And you tend to look already saintly due to your aspirations and good will.

Usually you bow before the Master as a symbol of your obedience and also your willingness to receive God’s love and grace through the Master into your life. You offer him your flowers, fruit, and the offering in the envelope which he either accepts into his hands or gestures that you should place in the basket nearby.

He asks you how you are. Then he repeats some questions he has asked earlier regarding your understanding of your new commitment and responsibilities. He asks these questions so you will, as you remember your initiation, recall the solemn promises and agreements you made on your initiation day — mainly to practice your techniques faithfully and be a loyal devotee. He gives you the opportunity to leave, if you wish to change your mind.

Your Personal Technique for Enlightenment

If you choose to go forward and be initiated, your Master will likely do some purification practice, perhaps chanting some mantrams or prayers as a preparation for transference of spiritual light. Often, you, the initiate, join in these practices of purification which usually take a few minutes.

Then your Master asks your help in invoking, through prayer, the presence of God. The two of you sit quietly, meditatively. You are sitting a few feet in front of your Master.

Your Master then lovingly conveys your personal technique for enlightenment. It may be a word or phrase for you to chant and concentrate on; it might be a breath control practice; or, perhaps, you will be given a specific technique for awakening spiritual centers in your spine and head. Initiated techniques are usually personal, according to the seeker’s individual strengths, and very diverse.

The Master patiently does the practice over and over until you understand it. Then you, the initiate, repeat the practice over and over until the Master is satisfied you can do it properly. Sometimes an initiate, while first doing the practice, becomes superconscious or enters levels of higher consciousness immediately. The devotee sits in sweet samadhi, a flowing state of higher consciousness, or a wondrous bhava, a mood of spiritual relationship. The Master lovingly watches you to be certain all is well and developing smoothly.

A Marvelous Infusion of Higher Consciousness

Sometime during the initiation the Master, through a touch or a mantram, or in some other way, conveys his consciousness. That is, a seedling of his awareness is initiated into the consciousness of the initiate.

This marvelous infusion of higher consciousness has to be ever so carefully established in the mind and heart of the beloved initiate. As you sit performing the practice, the new infusion of life force develops and grows within you.

The Master Takes On Your Karma

During your initiation the Master will also lovingly take into himself what is called your "karma." (Usually this refers to the future painful consequences of your past actions.) The Master will take into himself the suffering which you have "contracted for" by your past actions and attitudes. Out of love, your Master will suffer for his initiates, making their lives easier, reducing their burdens so they can more easily and quickly find fulfillment. Masters, after giving initiations, are often very weak and it takes awhile for their vigor to return. Throughout their lives their bodies empathetically share in whatever suffering their initiates may be going through.

Not all Masters practice this sharing of the initiate’s suffering. In fact, a few Masters feel no man can suffer the karma of another. However, most Masters do. Because of their love, Masters find it unavoidable to help their devotees in any way they can — even if their assistance involves personal pain. But, remember, Masters have amazing resilience and phenomenal ability to recover.

Feeling Heavenly

Your initiation then concludes with the Master giving you further instructions and arranging the next appointment for checking your development.

You depart, feeling heavenly. You spend the day enjoying your new practice, having a light lunch and relaxing. You allow the new life to abide in you.

The seedling, your newly "planted" higher consciousness has to be watched over very carefully by the Master. You will have to return several — perhaps many — times to be checked. Your Master wants to be sure your practice is being done properly and your newly infused higher consciousness is steadily growing — if not thriving.

Sometimes it takes months for an initiate to do the practice properly. But both Master and initiate are a team and they work together very well.

You Will Prevail

Now your blessed life as an initiate becomes relatively simple. You do your duties in the world while keeping God and Master utmost in your mind. You follow your Master’s instructions and do your initiated practices with faith and steadiness.

Your life moves on. You simply maintain your devotion as you go through the daily events of your world. Circumstances may rock you a bit and tend to make you unsteady in your new life. But, with devotion, you apply those spiritual practices which are designed to enable you to be steady, devoted, and continually growing. You now have, through your initiated practice, a means for truly dealing with the vicissitudes and the paradoxes of life. You have something to do. You know how to do it, and you are doing your part on the team.

Weathering the Storms

Of course, many times the violent ways of the world or your ego will make the path seem more complex, or perhaps even impossible. But your team is able. With the help of your Master and your own effort at maintaining your spiritual practice, your character develops and you find inner strength. No storm of confusion or fear has the power to thwart your progress, not a one. Nothing can separate you from God. You will have victory over every frustration and obstacle. With your Master, you will prevail.

Still, there will be other storms from inside. Waves of old jealousies and memories, waves of pettiness, anger, and cruelty may flood your mind and heart from time to time. So, you simply do your spiritual practices, keeping God and your Master foremost in your mind. Like oil floating on the surface of water, your love is naturally uppermost. Whether you have spiritual experiences or not, you have, above all, a relationship with your Master and the extraordinary blessing of knowing a specific means to realize higher consciousness. You’re one of the richest people in the world already. You have what you truly need for the fulfillment of your life. In a sense, you have everything. Whether life brings outer storms or inner storms, you simply persist with sweet love and appreciation, knowing each day you are closer to realization of higher consciousness.

Into Continual Awareness of God's Presence

Also, you know through faith and growth you will enter into continual awareness of God’s presence. You will prevail, even though there are times you might forget this. You will prevail.

Know that your Master is alertly watching as higher consciousness manifests in your life. He eagerly awaits the day when he will see the clear light of God looking back at him through your eyes — the eyes of his beloved initiate.

He will walk with you eternally through the ups and downs of life, through all your ego storms and fears, until at last you are free of impediment. With joy the Master watches as you let go of your false self, with its limiting preoccupations, and enter into your true nature. For both you and your Master there is no greater joy on earth.
 

Reflection
 

Who will dispel my darkness, my misperception of everything?
 

  

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