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In the age old Vedic tradition, the system of accepting a guru was an intrinsic part of spiritual development and has been continued to the present day without lapse. Accepting initiation from an authorised guru meant to receive one's personal mantra. Sage Patanjali's advice to those who have not received formal initiation from a spiritual master is to sincerely recite 'aum' with faith. This sacred Vedic single syllabic mantra is non-different from the Supreme Brahman; hence It has the potency to purify the consciousness, thus ensuring a desire for spiritual growth.

For the uninitiated there is no need for reciting any other mantra because a Vedic mantra must be received from an authorised guru, who represents an authorised, spiritual lineage of disciplic succession. Otherwise, the Vedas unequivocally declare, reciting such mantras will not have the desired effect. Here it is important to note that mantras never lose their potency, but the expected result or effect from reciting such mantras will only then manifest when it is accompanied with a purport. It is like entering a pitch dark room and not seeing anything inside it, but when the lights are switched on every piece of furniture, paintings etc. are clearly seen.

The not purported and uninitiated mantra is compared to the dark room which has all the furniture etc. whose spiritual potency can only be perceived through proper chanting with adequate understanding of its inner essence. The other analogy is a piece of live wire lying buried under a pile of bric-a-brac and the hand accidentally touches it, you are sure to receive a shock. Mantras are like live wire. The question may be raised here that when an uninitiated by reciting 'aum' can elevate his consciousness why receiving initiation with personal mantra is made obligatory? The reason is, mantras are given by the guru taking the students nature, aptitude and karma into consideration.

Furthermore, the guru explains in depth the essence of the mantra and its spiritual ramifications, and the kind of impact this will have on the unfolding of his character and general perception. Additionally the student is taught the technique to make incisive assessment of his/her development regularly; or, in case of a lack of growth, to pinpoint its reasons, and so on.

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