One day a middle-aged man and his wife went to Gambhirananda and asked to be initiated. The Master said, “Not today, but in a few months’ time I shall initiate you.”
It happened that the wife was attacked by a severe illness very shortly afterwards and died. The man was very sad, but he still wanted to become a real disciple of Gambhirananda. So he went to the Master and again asked to be initiated. The Master agreed, and set the date.
At the time of initiation, the man begged Gambhirananda to initiate his deceased wife as well. The Master said, “How can I do that? She is dead; she is no longer with you.”
The man said, “No, her soul is not dead. You promised you would initiate both of us. While initiating me, you can initiate her too. Please do me this favour.” He began crying, and finally the Master agreed.
Gambhirananda placed two small cushions side by side. The man sat on one, and the other remained unoccupied. While the Master was initiating the seeker, he placed one of his hands on the seeker and the other in the space above the empty cushion. In a few minutes’ time people saw that the cushion was moving, and they felt certain that it was the wife’s presence. In this way, Gambhirananda initiated both of them together.
The true operation of initiation takes place mostly in the soul and not in the body-consciousness. When the Master initiates a seeker, he immediately helps the seeker remember his soul’s promise to the Absolute Supreme before the soul entered into the world-arena. When the Master initiates the physical in a seeker, he purifies the seeker’s outer existence by touching the seeker’s physical-reality. When he initiates the spiritual in the seeker, he pours a stream of illumining light into the seeker’s system. Physical initiation reminds us of our spiritual duty. Spiritual initiation reminds us of the immortality of our consciousness-light.