Initiation is not only a formal ceremony. It is an outside form of something which is meant to take place. As all things in life are appointed and fixed on a certain time, so initiation is fixed on a certain time. And when that time comes, you are brought to your teacher, who gives you initation. Many in the mystical path have this experience, if not all, that after the yearning of many, many years to come to some person who will give them his guidance on the spiritual path, that they were brought to him after many years' time. Some had visions and warnings in the form of dreams, or in the form of inspiration.
If i were to tell you my own experience, that i was meditative from childhood and that tendency grew by my growing. And there was a certain time in my life when i felt more urge from within to be contemplative. Since i had no teacher whom i could call my spiritual guide, still i had learned as every child in the East, who knows more or less the path of discipleship. But there came a certain time when the inner urge began to be more concrete, more clear, even to such an extent that it became audible, louder than a spoken word, it became visible in the form of vision. And when i was looking for some soul in the eagerness of being guided on the spiritual path, i happened to come in the presence of a soul that at my first sight i recognised that this was the person whom i had seen in my meditations. I knew this was my teacher.
You need not be surprised about it. In the spiritual path it is natural to have this phenomena. But even in everyday life we have that phenomena. If we are serious, earnest that, in business, in our profession, in our work of wordly life, when we meet someone who is really meant that we must meet, is always a feeling we have always known this person. And if there is not that feeling, then people may come and be together for hundred of years and they will remain strangers. And another time, once a person may meet someone and he feels, "I have known that person for thousand years."
(New York, January 15th 1926)