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Full text of "Sri Sai Baba`S:Charters And Sayings"

20    TALKS ON <( AT THE FEET bF THE MASTER ??

is our first important point, what exactly is meant by
Initiation ? The word, I may tell you, has been very
much misused. Madame Blavatsky^ herself in the
earlier days was made to use it somewhat loosely^
when her thought was translated by those who only
partially understood it; and many other Theosoph-
ical writers, with very far less excuse, have followed
in her steps in that way. The word " Initiation "
ought to be confined to the real Initiations, to the
definite steps, or shall I say, the definite ceremonies,
which separate the steps on the Path Proper, the old
term. You may remember that in older writings we
spoke of the Probationary Path, the Path Proper
and the Official Period, as three stages in the devel-
opment of man.   I remember that I used that
classification myself in Invisible Helpers, which
was one of my first books. The Probationary Path
means the period of probation for Initiation; the
Path Proper is the (< Path of Holiness?' of the
Buddhist and the Hindu—that Path which begins
with the first of the Great Initiations, and ends
with the attainment of Adeptship.  It is only for
those steps, the five steps on that Path Proper, that
the word u Initiation " ought to be used. People have
unfortunately employed it for stages on the Proba-
tionary Path. I remember when I joined it we^used
to talk about initiation into the Theosophical Society.
People still use the word in connection with masonic
and similar ceremonies. There is no harm in that, if