During the first week we where told that we could choose our own Mantra and get an Initiation. The Man(to think) tra (free or protect) is used in meditation and for protection. The mantra is chosen either for a special purpose or because the sound appeals to you. As I found my self singing the Mantra Om Namo Narayanaya I decided that the mantra found me without knowing the meaning... Later I found out that it is the Mantra for inner and outer peace and also for world peace. Works for me!
Everybody can use a Mantra without being initiated. The Initiation is a ceremony which strengthen the relationship to the Mantra.
So this morning we were asked to go at 6 o'clock in the temple with our offerings. I had a beautiful banana leave with two oranges and two bananas and some flowers. Swamije made the initiation for each Mantra. As I was the only person with this Mantra I had a private Initiation. We sang it together and later he put Ash, Sandalwood paste and Kumkum on my forehead. There are no words to describe the ceremony it was the most special moment!
After the Initiation we received our spiritual names. Mine is Janaki meaning tenderness, compassionate mother. I love it!