Is it possible to become Krishna Conscious without Initiation?
Yes, it is possible to become Krishna Conscious without Initiation, but initiation means help. If you don’t know your way then you may go to a different track and maybe you get lost but initiation means you get a help. One who is experienced, he is going to hold your hand and write a contract that if you follow me then I’ll take you back home, back to Godhead.
So, initiation means you get trained by those who got trained up by their masters. Initiation means having relationship with the spiritual master and that way you can become Krishna Conscious or otherwise, you can read Bhagavatam or follow other many ways by which you can become Krishna Conscious also. But, if you want to go back to home, back to godhead, then there is no question of going there without initiation because Krishna says,
“Na me bhakta janah partha na me bhakta achye janah mad bhaktanaam cha bhakta teme bhakta tamo matah.
A devotee of my devotee is my true devotee but one who says I’m a devotee of Krishna is not my devotee. Krishna has organized His devotees in lineage, in disciplic succession.
Sampradaya vihina ye mantras te nishphala mataah, without the sampradaya and guru in sampradaya, the mantra becomes nishphala and doesn’t give any fruit.
Hare Krsna mantra is different, you don’t need a guru but if you have a guru, it is a help. Guru is serving you to go back to home, back to godhead. He is holding your hand, protecting you, he is checking you, he is keeping you on track all the time. Guru is like a transparent via media, glasses. So, without glasses, you see everything blurry but when you put glasses, everything is manifested crystal clear. Guru is ‘Krishna Kripa Murti’, Guru is the mercy incarnation of Krishna, Guru can bestow mercy of Krishna and Krishna to us. Guru makes our life easy in spiritual Life.
If an ant wants to go to different pilgrimages in India from top to bottom, from Jagannath puri to Dwarka, it is very difficult for the ant to just go around India but if it sits down in a sadhu or Guru’s bag who is going to these pilgrimages, sits down in his bag of begging bowl, then everything is in it, eating, sleeping, walking, seeing- everything is included so, it becomes so easy. Just like it is “samsara dava nala lidha loka tranaaya karunya ghana ghanatvam praptasya kalyaan gunarnuvasya vande guru sri chranarvaindam”, Guru is receiving cloud of benediction from Krishna and pouring it on us, we are not putting any efforts, it is just causeless mercy why not take it? This is the help.
Of course, you have to pick and choose your Guru that you’re enlivened by Him and your heart is matching with His heart’s frequency and He’s tuned into love of Krishna and he is practicing. We have to see all these qualities of a Guru and then we can choose.
So, you can become Krishna Conscious but for Krishna to accept you, you need connection because many places he says ‘aacaaryam maam vijaaniyaan maavanmanyeta karhicit na martya buddhyaasuuyeta sarva-deva-mayo guruh’. That, I’m the acarya, acarya is my representative and you can come to me through him and that’s the easiest way. It is up to you to get easy mercy, easy help, easy everything or else you go a little hard way, it is up to you. Holy name can bestow you Love of Krishna if you chant without offences, without Guru. But, if you get some help, someone can make things easy for you, why not?