What is the significance of Initiation?

Sri Ramakrishna says, ‘One must have an awakening of the Spirit within in order to see the one unchanging Imperishable Reality.’ Mere reading and talking about spiritual truths is not enough. One should directly perceive the Light within.

How is the first awakening to be brought about? An illumined teacher does this for the disciple through a process of spiritual initiation. He does this through the process of “mantra diksha”— the granting of the Holy Name of God to the soul of the spiritual aspirant. Spiritual initiation brings the individual Self into harmony with the supreme Self. The power of initiation becomes manifest only in a pure soul who intensely yearns for God.

Extracted from ‘Meditation and Spiritual Life‘ by Swami Yatiswarananda