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Initiation (Sanskrit: Diksha) is when a qualified Initiator of the International Nath Order transmits something of their own consciousness into the spirit of the initiate. Thus the initiation is a spiritual seed which the initiate may cultivate. This is an opportunity which if nurtured may lead to attainment, but if left unattended will remain dormant. The spark of spiritual transmission during the initiation is a manifestation of an unbroken spirit link with many Nath Sages and Saints of the past, currently offered by those who now tend the flame.
The Nath initiation is conducted inside a formal ceremony in which some portion of the awareness and spiritual energy (Shakti) of the Initiator is transmitted to the Neophyte. The Neophyte, now a Nath, is generally also given a new Name or Cryptonym with which to support their new identity. This transmission or “touch” of the Initiator is symbolically fixed by the application of sacred ash to several parts of the body.
In The Phantastikos, Shri Gurudev Mahendranath wrote,
The passage of wisdom and knowledge through the generations required the mystic magick phenomenon of initiation, which is valid to this day in the initiation transmission from naked guru to naked novice by touch, mark, and mantra. In this simple rite, the initiator passes something of himself to the one initiated. This initiation is the start of the transformation of the new Natha. It must not be overlooked that this initiation has been passed on in one unbroken line for thousands of years. Once you receive the Nath initiation, it is yours throughout life. No one can take it from you, and you yourself can never renounce it. This is the most permanent thing in an impermanent life.
Initiation and transmission are important, and those who wish to receive it can do so only from a properly qualified Initiator of the International Nath Order. Initiation is given into the International Nath Order only after a suitable period of study and acquaintance with the Order. Only after the aspirant has acquainted him or herself with the guidelines, concepts, and their personal guide within the Order, is initiation possible. Initiation is given only in person. This situation may require that the aspirant travel and present themselves in person to receive the initiation transmission.
The initial contact period is essential, and intended not only to give clarity to the aspirant, but to also allow them sufficient contact with their guide within the Order. This gives the aspirant the information and experience they need to decide for themselves whether or not the International Nath Order is something they are sincerely interested in, and able to integrate into their lives.
Initiation is not a prerequisite for communication with a guide within the Order. In fact, only a few go on to take initiation. Since everyone who comes in contact with the International Nath Order enters at a different level of development, there is no fixed program except the study of the basic manuscripts, and the translation of these concepts into a practical course for spiritual development and higher attainment.
After initiation, the Nath or Devi is free to continue their personal spiritual work in any way they find progressive. If the Nath or Devi finds by personal experience that they wish to continue contact with their guide and others in the International Nath Order, they are encouraged to do so.