"The first stage in guidance is an initiation into a specific mantra..." - Swami Rama
Initiation is a fundamental element within the Himalayan Tradition
Swami Veda Bharati invites people to prepare themselves for initiation and urges teachers to “prepare your students to become linked to the Guru lineage by way of initiation.”
“The first stage in guidance is an initiation into a specific mantra… The word mantra means that which liberates the mind from all griefs, sorrows and agonies. A mantra consists of one or more words chosen specifically for leading a particular aspirant to the final Truth. Not every word can be a mantra. Mantras are not composed by the initiator. They have been handed down to him through his tradition, having been revealed to great Yogis and Seers while they were in a superconscious state. The science of mantra is very exact, but very few people know or understand its significance. Once initiated the disciple repeats and meditates upon his mantra throughout his life. And gradually the mantra leads him to the stage of samadhi.” – Swami Rama, Lectures on Yoga.
Four Conditions for Mantra Initiation
Keeping a fixed daily meditation time.
Living a life conducive to meditation.
One must renounce the use of all mind-altering substances. In some cases, the would-be initiate may be asked to wait a few months if he/she has been taking such substances.
Completing a course of classes in breathing, sitting, and other preparations of Yoga Meditation with the teachers so to establish ability in the basic practices.