Q. How does one know that one is ready for initiation? And can people switch their Gurus?
Ans. Initiation, in a way, is Inner Calling. When you are ready for it, then the voice of the soul is so loud that you cannot ignore it! And because you cannot ignore it, you know you are ready for initiation.
At a practical level, some things worth considering when you are thinking about Initiation is : Have you thoroughly checked your Guru? Is yours an emotional response out of fascination, or is yours a very spiritual response because you’re seriously longing to either be associated with somebody you look up to or you’re really willing to progress on the spiritual path?
So these things you’ll have to keep in mind. As far as taking initiation from me, you’ve asked if you have to approach me or you have to wait for the call, you’ll have to approach me because this is how the Vedic tradition works – You approach the prospective Guru and you request for initiation, and He/She then gives you the next step.
The other question is : What if you grow out of your Guru. or you feel attached to some other Guru? I would say – Give it some time. If that feeling persists, feel free to move on, because it could easily be that the Guru you had earlier in your life was simply a stepping stone or a medium to help you reach a higher Guru, or a different form of attainment. So, it’s absolutely not an issue whatsoever.
Q. You have had experiences since childhood, and I haven’t had any. Do I bear any chance of getting enlightened?
Ans. Well, experiences on their own, don’t have much meaning. Experiences really don’t mean much, at the end of the day. They can be milestones, and they can somehow motivate you, but nothing beyond that. My state of mind, I did not get this because I had certain experiences while I was growing up. It was simply :
- A lot of Grace, which I have never discounted.
- Relentless Effort, with a great Self-Discipline.
That’s all. It is never too late to begin or to embark on this journey.
Q. Do we take birth on a pre-planned purpose in this life, or do we have to find our own purpose?
Ans. I think, to say that you take birth on a pre-planned purpose may not be right for everybody. Depending on where you are on the spiritual evolution, people take birth differently. Read Chapter 6 and Chapter 8 of Bhagavad Gita.
Extras : Some Interesting Shlokas of Chapter 6
प्राप्य पुण्यकृतां लोकानुषित्वा शाश्वती: समा: |
शुचीनां श्रीमतां गेहे योगभ्रष्टोऽभिजायते ||
अथवा योगिनामेव कुले भवति धीमताम् |
एतद्धि दुर्लभतरं लोके जन्म यदीदृशम् ||
The unsuccessful yogis, upon death, go to the abodes of the virtuous. After dwelling there for many ages, they are again reborn in the earth plane, into a family of pious and prosperous people. Else, if they had developed dispassion due to long practice of Yog, they are born into a family endowed with divine wisdom. Such a birth is very difficult to attain in this world.
– Chapter 6, Verse 41-42
तत्र तं बुद्धिसंयोगं लभते पौर्वदेहिकम् |
यतते च ततो भूय: संसिद्धौ कुरुनन्दन ||
On taking such a birth, O descendant of Kurus, they reawaken the wisdom of their previous lives, and strive even harder toward perfection in Yog.
– Chapter 6, Verse 43
पूर्वाभ्यासेन तेनैव ह्रियते ह्यवशोऽपि स: |
जिज्ञासुरपि योगस्य शब्दब्रह्मातिवर्तते ||
Indeed, they feel drawn toward God, even against their will, on the strength of their past discipline. Such seekers naturally rise above the ritualistic principles of the scriptures.
– Chapter 6, Verse 44