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Thread: Initiation

  1. #1

    Initiation

    Namaste all,

    What can you tell me about initiation? When it is offered, how do you determine if it is the right guru for you?

    I was recently blessed by this offer and part of me wants to jump at the opportunity immediately! But first I'd like to know what considerations I might want to entertain. I greatly respect the swami who agreed to be my guru. I have no doubts about his capacity as a teacher nor of his knowledge and genuine humility and service to God. What other things should I reflect on?

    Thank you so much.

    Anasuya

  2. #2
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    Re: Initiation

    Vannakkam: I'm sure it varies a ton. Some swamis or sampradayas will initiate at a moment's notice (and often a fee) with no actual exploration of the individual's character to see whether they are ready. Others will take a few years, having you take courses, getting to know you personally, and not charge any fee, other than acceptance of a gift.

    So in the end it is your choice. Whims aren't necessarily the best way, as they can get you into later trouble, but this doesn't sound like a whim either. For me personally, it would really have to be clear, and the most obvious aspect of that would be that I'm in total agreement with the particular philosophy within this massive circle of Hinduism.

    Best of luck with your decision.


    Considerations:
    - Does it involve a lifetime commitment ... a daily round of japa for instance, can you maintain it?
    - Is it in alignment with what I actually believe?
    - Which initiation is it? Will here be more coming, at deeper levels?
    - Does it mean this person is now my Guru? (There are spoken or unspoken loyalties involved.)

    Aum Namasivaya

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    Re: Initiation

    Namaste,

    EM has given some very thoughtful and valid comments on initiation. If I may add some of mine,

    What is your standing as a Hindu?
    Do you do your puja/meditation/chanting on a daily basis?
    How long have you practiced it?
    How often do you go to a temple?
    How attached are you to it?
    Does your life revolve around the Hindu philosophy?

    Without knowing your commitment, your passion, your lifestyle, it is hard to say if you are ready for initiation.
    To me initiation is like getting married - do you like it enough to make a lifetime commitment? If not, date it some more till you feel comfortable with it.
    Hinduism will wait for you till you are sure of yourself; no need to rush!

    Pranam.

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    Re: Initiation

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namasté


    Quote Originally Posted by Anasuyaa View Post
    Namaste all,
    What can you tell me about initiation? When it is offered, how do you determine if it is the right guru for you?

    I was recently blessed by this offer and part of me wants to jump at the opportunity immediately! But first I'd like to know what considerations I might want to entertain. I greatly respect the swami who agreed to be my guru. I have no doubts about his capacity as a teacher nor of his knowledge and genuine humility and service to God. What other things should I reflect on?

    Thank you so much. Anasuya
    If it were me I'd consider the following ( also, I think EM's post did nice job on a list):


    • what school is the svāmi aligned to ( example dual, non-dual ) ?
    • What do you know of that school ?
    • do you feel comfortable around him ? at home with him ? does he uplift you ?
    • do you know others that are aligned with his teaching? and what do you see in them?
    • can you make a commitment and keep it for a long time ?
    • what are your expectations ? Of yourself? Of him ?



    इतिशिवं
    iti śivaṁ
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

  5. #5

    Re: Initiation

    Very helpful questions! Thank you!

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