Today is a red-letter day. Three sincere seekers — Leonid, Aleksander, and Valeriya — request harinama ritvik initiation from Srila Gurudeva.
After my most recent lecture tour of the Ukraine where some sincere seekers requested initiation from Srila Gurudeva, Sripad Avadhut Maharaj wrote to Srila Gurudeva requesting that I be given permission to perform ritvik initiations on Srila Gurudeva's behalf.
Srila Gurudeva's secretary replied: "In response to Avadhut Maharaj's question on ritvik, Srila Gurudev is giving his permission and blessings for Akinchan Maharaj to give ritvik initiations. As Avadhut Maharaj requires for the Russian Mission, His Divine Grace 'happily accepts.'"
I lecture the three aspirants on the gravity of their decision to surrender to Sri Guru. I remind them that they are finished with the charm of this mortal world (pranipatena), and that all their inquiries (pariprasnena) should be only how to serve (sevaya) that higher plane, how to serve Sri Guru and Vaishnava.
I stress that I am only the instrument for conferring Srila Gurudeva's grace. If you call Srila Gurudeva on the telephone, the telephone connects you to Srila Gurudeva, brings you into his presence. When you speak to Srila Gurudeva you are not even aware off the telephone in your hand — only of your connection to Srila Gurudeva. I am an instrument, just like that telephone.
With all the humility at my command, acting as a transparent medium for the grace of Sri Guru, I initiate Leonid, Aleksander, and Valeriya into the family of Krishna on behalf of Srila Gurudeva, connecting them, through service, to the flow of that divine current, and conferring upon them the names Lilashraya das, Agha-hanta das, and Vrindadevi dasi.