The other day when I was putting the soiled dishes in the dishwasher, it occurred to me that the principle behind a spiritual Initiation or “Diksha” can be explained through the analogy of the dishwasher. 

The mind of a seeker is like a dishwasher filled with soiled dishes. These soiled dishes represent the fear, the anger, the bitterness, the suffering and the general disturbance in the seeker’s mind. This dirt of ignorance prevents the seeker from achieving sustainable peace and happiness. 

All beings desire happiness. Therefore, the seeker tries to acquire and use the water of knowledge to cleanse his or her ignorance and understand the cause of his or her unhappiness. The worldly oriented seeker becomes learned by reading and watching all the books and videos he or she can find, and by collecting all the degrees and titles he or she can acquire. However, the theoretical knowledge gained from books and videos is just like the water in the dishwasher. Even after running the dishwater with plain water, the tough grease of unhappiness and mental disturbance is not removed. 

Initiation, or “Diksha” in Sanskrit, is the process by which the Master introduces a little packet of spiritual soap into the mind of the seeker. The word “Diksha” is derived from the Sanskrit root dā ("to give") plus kṣi ("to destroy"). Initiation or “Diksha” can only be given by the Master with Divine’s sanction. It cannot be acquired even after reading all that there is to read or by chanting all that there is to chant. The little packet of spiritual soap converts the knowledge in the seeker’s mind into the cleansing foam of realization. This is when the toughest stains of hard Karma are burnt or dissolved and the root cause of mental and physical disease is eradicated. This is when the actual spiritual journey begins. 

For example, “AUM” is a powerful chant. There is no doubt amongst the Vedic scholars that “AUM” is the primordial sound of creation. I see a lot of Yoga teachers and novice seekers in the West chanting “AUM” because they have read about Its power. However, while the chanting of “AUM” by the uninitiated has positive effects, it is nowhere near to the power that this chant unleashes when It is whispered in the seeker’s right ear by a realized Master during an initiation. This is because the Master puts the little packet of spiritual soap in the chant of “AUM” which then circulates in the seeker’s system. This potent combination cleanses and refines the seeker 24X7. Even while the seeker sleeps at night, he or she progresses towards happiness and peace. 

Some initiates get worried when they are not able to practice as much as they should due to time constraints. Sincere initiates should rest assured that the “spiritual soap” introduced into their system keeps working 24X7 and continues to refine them even during days when they are unable to practice as much as they should. This is the power of the initiation or the “Diksha”. 

During genuinely busy days, all that the initiate needs to do is to push the button of surrender and love -so that the Divine electricity can turn his or her dishwasher on!