003. Selected Aspects of Initiation
What is the essence of the process of giving and receiving the initiation? What profundity is hidden in it? Undoubtedly it is a blessing, one that appears in four inter-related, or blended forms. Initiation is a blessing given by a spiritual leader (Hierophant), it is a blessing bestowed by the Spiritual Leader of the School, i. e. The Teacher of the World: Mahadguru (Pir-o-Murshid). What is more, it is a blessing from the Entire Spiritual Hierarchy, i.e. from all the Masters, Saints and Prophets (from the Entire White Confraternity). Last but not least, it is a blessing given by God: one flowing from the Highest Being.
Its first form is audible and palpable: you receive it when you hear and feel Your Hierophant. This is kind of a conclusion of a whole line of transmission. The remaining three are less visible, but essential and the fourth form, God's blessing is the most significant one. I always strive to experience all the blessings that flow from God and His Saints.
Initiation is a transmission of individual practices as well as a holy sacrament, or a reconciliation with the Highest Being. In all spiritual traditions initiations are regarded as something holy. Esoteric schools aim at one main thing when conveying these blessings: to prepare one for receptive, intuitive stream of Grace, Bliss and Charisma. The Path of Grace and Receiving the Gift is in its essence a path of spiritual initiation. It is a mystical way in which God endows a soul with Light and Love.
Pondering and meditating on the mystery of sacrament may bring fruit in the form of profound comprehension of the initiation process. Basically, the word initiation alone means introduction, inauguration, reception, revealing something to somebody. The Persian word BAYAT means Reconcilliation with the Source, with the Utmost Unity, as well as the process of internal TRANSFORMATION. It means a manner of changing oneself, transformation. So, if we want to alter ourselves, this means that we are ready for initiation. Consequently, it is worth mentioning the fact of initiation alone and submission to changes that take place.
A change means our transformation into increasingly cosmic beings. Our consciousness expands and we experience God to a higher extent. With subsequent initiations we also receive a certain sacramentalisation, that is sanctification of our life. Sanctity means purity and integrity, taintless intentions, and their expression is a foundation of the path of spiritual transformation.
Dikshan (Bayat) is Your reconcilliation with God, which is the essence of a blessing, which brings energy, a sanctifying vibration that purifies the mind, emotions, intentions, desires, endeavours, tendencies, which purifies the whole so-called karma, i. e. the lifelong harvesting of the crop from the seeds we planted. Our life starts to refine itself and grow towards higher and deeper levels of feeling and understanding.
Man's nature is full of desires, which sometimes lead his away from God and at times bring him closer to God. A perfect example of this is the history of the Jewish nation, which has constantly renewed and dissolved the Alliance with God. God is merciful, forgiving and loving. You can always resume the relationship with Him if you have neglected it. The essence of the very Unity is reconcillation. I keep recallling the moment when I received the blessing, so that the protective robe of God's Light and Love could spread itself and let me approach the Holy Unity.
Initiation as a Holy Alliance develops the personal relationship, or the connection with the Hierarchy, with God. It provides assistance in your perfecting the communion with God's Saints, Masters and Prophets. Enlightened Beings form one big Collective Spiritual Confraternity. While passing gradually through subsequent levels of initiation, and in Esoteric Schools there are usually from seven to twelve, you become a part of this Great Confraternity of Enlightened Beings submerged in God. The initiation path is a history of man turning into a divine (angelic) being.
The first initiation comes at the request of a person who would like to receive it and usually, almost always, it is granted within a short time of submitting such a request. One can say that Initiation is a revival of subsequent energies of the soul and the self. Twelve heart petals revived by the respective twelve Initiations mean that the Heart-Soul has fully flourished , i. e. this is the way of the full manifestation of the true, higher Self. Sufis call the divine Self the Soul, and refer to its energy as the Spirit: this is a divine vibration, light. Seven Laya initiations are a revival of the seven circles or energy levels in the heart lotos, as well as seven chakras (fiery consciousness centres) in the soul.
The first initiation is granted to heighten consciousness, understanding and comprehension. Therefore, it leads to the revival of WISDOM ENERGY. It brings about an increase in the ability to understand life and draw proper conclusions. Studies in the School of Life become more effective and very creative. One's ability to cope with the problems of everyday life improves. In theory, this can be developed to an infinite degree. This is kind of the first vehicle guiding one towards Enlightenment. God's energy is orientated to this aspect and it develops you. When you meet the fundamental condition of the initiation, i. e. you systematically perform your everyday exercises recommended to you by the Hierophant who has initiated you, it becomes a very efficient process.
The first initiation energy doubtlessly purifies your mind so that it can become an adequate vessel for WISDOM ENERGY. How easy it is to flow in the stream of life! Your freedom from life's hardships and sufferings increases, and you find that you are faster and faster in finding miraculous solutions to your problems. Day-to-day, morning practice lasting 15 to 40 minutes, recommended by Spiritual Schools, is a marvellous tool which helps realise this aspect of manifesting the divine Life, the higher Self, the Soul.
In general, blessings are poured out on those practices that have been permitted. Great Teachers have always warned and they keep warning against individual choice of practices. Ego forces like to choose something that does not always serve the purpose of spiritual development and, on the contrary, it helps blow up false, external ego. Its vanity and pride become strong and hardly noticeable. Therefore, we firmly insist that one should keep to the pratices that have been recommended. Another reason for that is that in such a case the protective power of the four-form blessing wave (Tetragramon) is activated.
Essentially, Hierophant serves as the mouth and hands of God and His Saints. The understanding that the one who grants the initiation only conveys the power and the will of God is the key to a profoundly meaningful realisation that one has been granted the permission by God Himself, it only happened via another man's lips. Morning practice is like energising morning dew which sprinkles and moistens the whole matter (nature) with spiritual substance (rain). It alters the whole day's energy.
Basic spiritual practice (which in yogas is called SADHANA) in its essence includes: a breathing exercise (RAIJU), holy words, i. e. work with sounds (MANTRAM), as well as meditation on light (JYOTI). Breathing is a fundamental practice in the "Confraternity Brotherhood" and a basis for performing all other esoteric spiritual exercises. We can recognise three aspects within one whole: BREATH, SOUND AND LIGHT. This sequence is also the most recommended one and, judging by experience, it seems to be the most effective one in the Laya Yoga process as well as other transformative methods. Listening to Silence in peace of mind is the fourth practice in the set of Sadhana. It wholly corresponds with the Earth's Fire, i. e. the element of fire aspect within the heart centre, as well as the root centre at the base of the trunk. Earth's Fire becomes stimulated.
Invocation and prayers may be added to this basic practice in an arbitrary way. One can pray by using a rosary: repeating one prayer over ten times. It brings a lot of benefit to the soul and in the East it is referred to as JAPA. One may start the practice with invocation of the "Opening Prayer" and end with other, individually chosen, prayers. Sufis call such a series of esoteric spiritual exercises RYAZAT and claim that it helps establish one's link with WISDOM ENERGY, until one's life becomes gradually life filled with the light of understanding.
Breathing mildly prepares the body and the psyche for work with holy sounds and meditation on Light dissolves negative mental states, the veils and the negative karma. If you understand that Hierophant is only an assistant, a God's servant, and through his mouth God is giving you a tiny task to fulfil on everyday basis, and if you are a devoted disciple, it will surely help you accomplish it.
Abhyasa, the second subsequent Initiating Energy, energises the second petal of the heart/soul lotus. It is the energy of love, liking and sympathy. It brings about the retransformation of one's whole emotional nature. A lot of negative passions, aggression and other emotions become dissolved and one's emotions become purer and more beautiful. This is a blessing in the exploration of the light of love and compassion.
So, doubtlessly, the second initiating energy purifies the astral, emotional and passionate nature. A lot of suppressed pain becomes released, the heart becomes light and radiant. Ego declines at this point, together with its whole source of energies that contradict God. Love, faith and submission grow. Sympathy and mercy, friendliness and liking are the main emotions that strike roots in man's heart. The second initiation in Laya Yoga touches the water lotus in the lower belly region, as well as the water element located in the heart, which element is the central principle of the heart. In this manner Abhjam: the Self's Heart becomes founded and revived. The remaining anxieties, fears and phobias (particularly those religious ones) must be subject to purfication and dissolution. Then we set off on a further spiritual journey along the mystical Himavanti Path.
Pradjna-sadhana, the third Initiation energy, may be in fact called WILL or the DISCIPLINE ENERGY. It complements the stmulative cycle of the first Triad of the heart flower petals. Responsibility and discipline are key words necessary for understanding the energy that becomes awakened here. A general key for growth on the initiation path is SHRADDHA (Yaquin), i. e. faith, trust, devotion. We will not be ready for higher initiations without trust put in the four jewels of the transmission line: Hierophant (Acharya, Shaikha), Mahaguru (Pir), the Hierarchy (the Communion of Saints) and God. When we lack trust, otherwise efficient influence of the divine energy, which always flows to us via this Tetragrammon, becomes blocked. Rejection of initiation blessings is a symbolic sin against the Holy Spirit, which is not subject to absolution (so one has to face its consequences). Fear of initiations is particularly felt by egos (egoists), who stick to their sinfulness and wickedness. It reflects fear of God's punishment and a syndrom of unnecessary guilt felt with respect to God. Initiations into Yoga are a quantum leap, an incomprehensibly powerful leap in the journey towards God. Abandonment of the initiation path equals to downfall, expulsion from the Paradise, and aversion to God's blessing called Initiation is virtually nothing but aversion and animosity towards God Himself. People who sometimes condemn initiation paths are essentially confused souls contaminated with arrogance and disrespect towards God, the Creator of heaven and earth, which is Lucifer's sin (a taint and a fault).
Prajna-abhyasa, the fourth Initiation, in Laya Yoga has the significance of entering into a Sage's Mind, into a space of Principles and Laws of Nature. It is a synthesis and an expansion of the three energies mentioned so far. We have to be globally and potentially ready, as it means that the three previously described energies now work in conjuntion and become mulitplied. The process of sanctifying and transforming life becomes strenghened. Devotion to God and trust in God, love for God are automatically tested through the involvement and devotion shown to Spiritual Teachers, involvement, through trust and respect for them, in their paths and methods. These attempts prepare us subtly for even higher energies of blessing, but they also prove effective in making us realise our egoistic hindrances and restrictions.
Blessing always brings bliss, sort of an ecstasy (HAIRA), which is called ANANDA by Yogis. Bliss or happiness mean that we can wonderfully assimilate the presents and gifts given to us by God. Spiritual joy, or bliss, is a state that is neither joyful nor sad. If one is neither joyful nor sad and evrything goes wonderfully, this is exactly what we call Ecstasy, Haira (a Persian term), or Ananda (a Sanskrit term).
God's message always contains the same points. Principles of initiation in all spiritual traditions are the same and the manner of realisation is also similar. Initiation usually means that an obligation has been assumed, an oath has been sworn. Whether you meet these obligations with pleasure or not, is a question of willigness, endeavours and aspiration towards God.
It is worth studying the conditions of the alliance entered into by Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Mohammad. . . There is a mystery hidden within, a mystery of reconcilliation with God. It is interesting that both Jesus and Muhammad refer mainly to the Abraham's Alliance, i. e. to BELIEF, TRUST, SINCERITY AND DEVOTION. These must really be crucial values in terms of developing the power of sacrament. The alliances of Vamana, Rama, Krishna, Buddha, Shankara are all, without exceptions, based on the highest forms of trust and devotion, on utmost submission to God.
There are many signs which let Hierophant deduce that you are prepared for any of the higher initiations. Of course, one swallow does not make summer - there must be a sufficient number of these "swallows", (i. e. signs). A sign of one's readiness to receive the energies of the third initiation is also eager participation in systematically held group meditations. Willingness to undertake the discipline of group practice in the Esoteric School where one has received initiation is one, a very distinct one, sign. Transient interest in group meditations is one of those fictitious swallows. Transience means temporariness, so in fact it testifies to lack of maturity. Another swallow is eagerness, as well as tendency, to listen to the teachings representing a transmission line and to meditate on them. This is a threshold of the Prajna Sadhaka Circle and a sincere, faithful spiritual disciple. Consequently, constant aspiration and group practice is a test which allows us to separate the grain (good) from the chaff (bad).
Therefore, the ones who have participated in the same form of group pratices for a number of years, turn out to be ready for the third initiation in one essential aspect. The swallow of the second initiation is a deep involvement in the practice recommended by Hierophant, i. e. in an individual form of meditation. This is a sign of those who search for God in loneliness: Pratyekabuddhas.
Willingness to meditate collectively for many years and to listen to teachings is willingness to serve in the group task of transforming the world. This is a swallow of the fourth initiation energy, where one sees the need to attend collective meditations and maintain discipline. Group meditation generates energy which changes the mental atmosphere of a neighbourhood, city, country, and which, in global terms, is a portion of work done by all those who meditate with a view to changing mankind. The energy of group meditation is more powerful than the total energy of separate meditations by individual persons. Persons who are able to maintain constant discipline to participate in group meetings make others realise and prove that their goal is to transform themselves deeply and intensely. It proves that one aspires to reach God. And this is a swallow!
Fleeting interest in group meditation practices as a temporary solution to some problems only shows that one lacks the readiness to follow a spiritual path. Such people keep coming and going. And they do not make any specific steps forward. Apparently they must still be asleep, but one day they will surely reach maturity and show signs of readiness.
Yes, initiations are a very vast topic. We have discussed only a few aspects here. I hope that you will find them inspiring and that they will fill you with courage to proceed on the path. We will discuss other aspects of the initiations path on another occasion.
Let God Bless You. I pray every day so that your divine soul searching for Living God may receive Grace...
Acharya Lalit' Mohan G.K.
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