A Guru Initiates through Grace
A God realized Guru is God's grace giving power on this earth. Grace is the power that joins a soul with God. Every soul has a devotional potential which is enlivened only with the grace of a true Saint.
Imagine you want to start a business but have no money. You went to a venture capitalist who gave you starting capital. Even though you had the initiative, desire, and inspiration to do something great, you couldn't start without that initial investment. That starting capital didn't come from you; it came from those who had the money to invest.
Similarly, because the Saint has already attained supreme divine bliss, he has the power to inspire a soul with loving feelings for God. A soul can't activate this inner potential on his own. This relationship begins when a disciple accepts a Saint as his Spiritual Guide and surrenders to him. This all happens internally. The Saint then explains the form of devotion to the disciple and takes him under his spiritual care.
A true Guru initiates in this sequence::
- He inspires the disciple's heart with devotional feelings of love for God
- He explains the practice of bhakti
(the path that joins a soul with God)
- He takes the disciple into his spiritual care
True initiation is not a physical formality. It happens internally. If any word, name of God or mantra is given by a true Saint at this time, it is imbued with his divine grace. The surrender of the a seeker in following his Spiritual Guide's instructions is his discipleship. According to the depth of his surrender, a disciple should feel an internal change of heightened love for God.
It is always in a disciple's hands how much grace he gains from his Guru. A disciple's selfless love causes his Spiritual Guide to think about his disciple, and that Saint's favorable thinking takes the form of grace, which promotes the disciples feelings of devotional love.
Grace is not dependent on proximity. If a disciple is selflessly attached to his Spiritual Guide, he will receive his grace no matter what corner of the world the disciple lives in.
To enhance this remembrance, in bhakti yoga meditation, a Saint will create opportunities for his disciples to do mental service (devotional remembrance), physical service, and monetary service for the Saint's mission. A disciple's dedicated participation in service (seva) is the avenue through which he receives the grace of the Saint and progresses on the path of God realization.
By continuing his devotion with unbroken faith in his Spiritual Guide, a time comes when a disciple's heart becomes perfectly pure. The Spiritual Guide then imparts his divine power, and reveals to that disciple the form of God.
This is called the final initiation (prem-dan) which elevates the disciple to the divine status of his Spiritual Guide and imparts to him the supreme experience of God's bliss. Having attained this divine state, he now comes into the line of succession in his Guru's mission.