(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 15 September 2012, Pretoria, South Africa, Initiation Lecture)
If we want to summarise the Bhagavad-gita in one sentence then it is, ‘We are an eternal spirit soul and the eternal servant of Krsna!’ Understanding this, initiation is meant to formally change our priorities in life.
Although after initiation we come out as a new person, in many ways we look quite similar to the one that we looked like when we sat down for the yagña. It is not that the initiates will stand up in their spiritual bodies and be all effulgent. No, they will continue in their material identities and will continue with their lives.
In one way, nothing changes; it is an anti-climax. There is a big ceremony and you go through the whole thing and you get a new name, and then the anti-climax is that life is still the same after that, in one sense. So yes, material life is still the same – still at the same address, still the same bills to pay, the same life and the same issues. But what distinctly changes is that Krsna formally becomes the first and foremost priority in our life.
At the point of initiation, we will still take care of the material things, that is to be done, but those things are secondary. Now, the interest of the soul comes to the forefront, more than it ever has been! Therefore initiation means we must make changes in our life. If after initiation nothing changes, then something is not right. Something is meant to change!