So when one, after being freed from all designation, when one is actually engaged in the activities of Brahman, that is called bhakti, or devotional service. So initiation means to be engaged in that Brahman activities. How Brahman activities? The same example can be cited, that Arjuna remained active, engaged in the battlefield, but in the beginning his identification was with his country, family, and so many other things. But later on, after understanding Bhagavad-gītā, he identified himself with Kṛṣṇa. This identification with Kṛṣṇa means beginning of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. So ādau śraddhā, when one becomes firmly convinced that "By becoming Kṛṣṇa conscious or being engaged in the transcendental loving service of Kṛṣṇa, my life is successful, life will be successful," that is the beginning of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, or initiation. It is a stage. We have to go further and further till the stage of perfection. But initiation is the beginning. Ādau śraddhā. When one is firmly convinced, then he makes association with the devotees. Just like we have got this society, International Society for Krishna Consciousness. We are picking up persons who desire to be Kṛṣṇa conscious. This is a society.
So firm conviction, then association. Ādau śraddhā tato sādhu-saṅga. Unless there is good association, you cannot be strong enough. In every field of activities you must have good association, either in business field, or if you want to be licentious, then you have to mix with persons who are drunkards. So association has got some strength. If you want to become scholars, then you have to associate with scholarly persons in the university. And if you want to be a thief, then you have to find out the association of the thieves. Similarly, if you want to be Kṛṣṇa conscious, then you have to find out persons who are Kṛṣṇa conscious. So firm conviction, then association. After association, the next stage is regulated life for following the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. This is called initiation. Or initiation from the very beginning. This is called dīkṣā. The Sanskrit term is called dīkṣā. Dīkṣā means... Di, divya-jñānam, transcendental knowledge, and kṣā, ikṣā. Ikṣā means darśana, to see, or kṣapayati, explain. That is called dīkṣā. Ādau śraddhā tato sādhu-saṅga. First faith, then association, then beginning of regulative principles. And if one follows, then the next promotion is to the stage of anartha-nivṛtti, disappearance of all misgivings. Just like in our association we don't allow four kinds of sinful activities: illicit sex life, nonvegetarian diet, intoxication, and gambling. So by following the regulative principles one becomes freed from all these sinful activities. He does not any more indulge in illicit sex life, he does not indulge in nonvegetarian diet, he does not indulge in intoxication and he does not indulge in gambling. That is called anartha-nivṛtti. Unless one is above these four kinds of anartha, or sinful activities, one cannot be fixed up. When one is free from these four kinds of sinful activities, then he becomes fixed up. Ruci. Niṣṭhā, fixed up, and then ruci. Ruci means he increases the taste. Then āsakti. Āsakti means attachment. Then ecstasy, bhāva. Then the last stage is that he becomes a lover of Kṛṣṇa, and that loving stage of Kṛṣṇa, there are different stages: śānta, dāsya, sakhya, vātsalya, mādhurya. The highest stage is the loving affairs between Kṛṣṇa and the gopīs. Of course, that is postgraduate stage of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, but that stage is considered to be the most perfectional stage, how to love Kṛṣṇa in the bhāva, or in the position, of a gopī.
So two boys who are now ready to be initiated, my request to all, especially to boys who are just going to be initiated, that this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is authorized because, even taking it for granted that it has begun from Kṛṣṇa, then it is at least five thousand years old. Kṛṣṇa appeared on this planet five thousand years ago. So if you take history of any religious or any cultural program within this world, no religion, no cultural program is older than 2,000 years or 2,500 years. But this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, even according to history, it is five thousand years old, the older than any principles of religion or culture. And if you go above historical references, then it is coming down from millions and millions of years past, because it was first instructed, as we understand from the Bhagavad-gītā, that it was first instructed to Sūrya. Imaṁ vivasvate proktam: "I first of all spoke this science to Vivasvān, Sūrya." Sūrya means sun-god. So nobody can trace out history when sun-god took the lessons, but we can have little information from Manu-saṁhitā, because Manu's age, Vivasvān... This age is called Vaivasvata Manu. So in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said that first of all this initiation was given by Kṛṣṇa to Vaivasvata, and he instructed his son, whose name is Vaivasvata Manu. So Vaivasvata Manu, by calculation we can understand forty millions of years ago... So this is not a new system that we are introducing or manufacturing by our concocted imagination, but it is authorized, coming down by disciplic succession from time immemorial. It may be that in this country it is being introduced for the last two or three years, but this system is the oldest system, oldest system, just like we are nityaḥ śāśvataḥ purāṇaḥ. In the Bhagavad-gītā it is said that the soul is eternal and Purāṇa. Purāṇa means the oldest. Purāṇa. And in the Brahma-saṁhitā it is also said, advaitam acyutam anādim ananta-rūpam ādyam purāṇa-puruṣam (Bs. 5.33). So Kṛṣṇa is also the oldest. Either Kṛṣṇa or the living creatures, all of them are the oldest because they have no death, no birth. There is no history. Na jāyate na mriyate. Bhagavad-gītā says that the living entity, what to speak of God... They say, "God is dead." This is all nonsense. What to speak of God, even these living creatures, they are not dead. The death program is for this body, just like changing, changing the body, er, changing the dress. So if one changes one dress or apartment, that does not mean that he is dead. Similarly, if we change this body to another body... As we are changing our body constantly, every moment, similarly, if we change this body to another body, that does not mean death. So death is not accepted in the Vedic literature. So either God or the living creature, nobody dies. Every one is eternal, śāśvata purāṇa. Similarly, as we are the oldest and eternal; similarly this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is also the oldest and eternal.