Published on October 6th, 2023 | by Madhudvisa dasa105
“I’ve just looked at your web page and I would like to ask you a question. I know that you said that you have nothing to do with Iskcon but I have been visiting the temple for a while now but I have never really been told any thing about initiation. Is there any specific time that you can be initiated, I am already practicing the 4 renunciations.”
Hare Krishna! Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
One first needs to know what initiation is, what a bona fide guru is, what are his qualities and what are the requirements of a disciple. Otherwise there is a big chance that you will select [or be encouraged to select by the temple authorities] someone as your guru who is not qualified to take you back home, back to Godhead. There is a big history of unqualified gurus in ISKCON so there is a real danger that you may select someone who even himself is not a pure devotee. So how could such a person help you to become a pure devotee?
It is recommended in the Hari-Bhakti-Vilas that one should study under and live with his intended spiritual master for at least 12 months to make sure that he is actually qualified to take you back home, back to Godhead. And the spiritual master has to test you also to see if you are qualified as a disciple.
Accepting a guru means accepting someone as your master and becoming his servant. You have to find someone who you truly believe is greater than you and who you can truly surrender to.
And that person has to be himself a pure devotee who is really greatly advanced in Krishna consciousness.
In reality such great souls are very rare. It is a great fortune to meet a bona fide spiritual master as they are so very rare. We have the great fortune of associating with Srila Prabhupada through his Vani [instructions]. There are two ways of associating with a spiritual master. One is by Vapu [physical presence] and the other is Vani [by following his instructions]. Of the two following the vani is much more important. So we should take advantage of Srila Prabhupada’s vani. We should read all his books, listen to all his classes, watch all the Prabhupada videos, read all his letters, etc. That is Prabhupada’s gift to us. Prabhupada is still with us and still quite capable of initiating us if we really surrender to him.
It is a very bad idea to rush into being initiated just because you want to be “properly initiated.” First things first. You have to find a proper guru. That should be your main interest.
And the only way you can find a proper guru is if you have the knowledge and understand what are the qualities of a bona fide guru, and the only way you can know that is by hearing from Srila Prabhupada.
So at this point I think your main business should be reading Prabhupada’s books and hearing from Prabhupada.
To make this easy we distribute all Prabhupada’s Vani. We have all Prabhupada’s books, letters, conversations and transcripts of his morning walks, classes, conversations, etc on “The Complete Works of Srila Prabhupada” folio infobase and online at http://prabhupadabooks.com we have all the audio recordings ever made of Srila Prabhupada and all the video and film footage of Srila Prabhupada on DVD. You can get more information about all this at http://krishnastore.com
So my humble suggestion is that you should take it easy and not be in a rush to be initiated just for the sake of initiation. First you have to find a qualified guru, someone you can completely surrender to. If you can not completely surrender to someone it is a great mistake to accept him as your spiritual master.
Hope it is of some help.
Chant Hare Krishna and be happy!