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Person who have not yet reached the highest, but practicing sadhana and have acquired some siddhis can intiate people?

  • Depends on what/whom you consider enlightened. – Yogi Sep 26 '17 at 7:31
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    Ramakrishna Paramahamsa says in the Gospel that only a person that has been told directly by God should give initiation. One doesn't need to have attained the highest, but a 'license' from God is needed; otherwise it is the blind leading the blind. – Swami Vishwananda Sep 26 '17 at 15:04
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    So how do we know who has the license? – Just_Do_It Sep 26 '17 at 15:16
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    @Just_Do_It, not everyone can talk to the CEO of a company directly. If you do well in your current role and team, and your manager is happy, he will promote you, and if you do well in that role, more promotions, so on, finally you can be directly under CEO. Same way, first, do what your parents tell you, obey what dharma shastras you know, practice self-control etc. These are first-level guru. Don't say "I will only talk to enlightened directly or I won't talk to anyone" - It won't work unless u r Dhruva... Later, you approach a swami, who gives initiation in mantra. Faithfully chant it. – ram Sep 27 '17 at 15:49
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In the most ideal situation, a Guru himself should be self-realized. Because, the end-result of all forms of initiation (DikshA) is Mukti or liberation and one who himself is not self-realized can not liberate others.

For proofs, we can cite the following verses:

SarvAsAmeva dikshAnAm muktih phalamakhanditam |
AvisheshAd bhavatyeshA prAsangikyastu bhuktayaha ||

..........

The end result of all DikshAs is liberation. And, everyone can achieve the same without any discrimination. However, sometimes it can result in Bhoga (worldly pleasures) too.

Navaratneswara Tantram.

AND

BrahmAkAram manorupam pratyaksham swatanusthitam |
Yo na jAnAti chAnyasysya katham moksham dadAtyasau ||

...

How can one, who himself don't know about the existence of Brahman in his own body, liberate others?

KulArnava Tantram 13.120

OR

Na NarenAvarena Prokta Esha Suvigyo VahudhA ChintyamAnaha|
Ananyaprokte Gatiratra NAsyaniyAn HytharkyamanupramAnAth||

...........

BrahmaVidya should be obtained only from a Guru who is himself BrahmaGyAni. BrahmagyAna (or the knowledge of the Self) is not obtained from that Guru's upadesha who himself is not self-realized.

Kathopanishad 1.2.8

OR

TasmAtattva videveha mukto mochak eva cha ||

..........

One who is self-realized is liberated and he can only liberate others.

KulArnava Tantram 13.121

So, ideally a Guru should be having the knowledge of the self. But that does not mean Gurus who have not attained that highest state are not fit to be Gurus.

This can be understood when we realize that there are different kinds and levels of initiations. And not all forms of initiations immediately bestow Mukti.

They just mark the first step (or some intermediate steps) towards liberation.

So, likewise, there has to be different kinds of Gurus each suitable for each steps. For example, we have the following six preliminary types of Gurus:

Prerakah suchakaishchava vAchako darshakas tathA |
Shikshako bodhakaishchava sharete guravaha smritAh ||

.....

Gurus are of six kinds-- Preraka, Suchaka, VAchaka, Darshaka, Shikshaka and Bodhaka.

KulArnava Tantram 13-129.

  • Preraka Guru

From the word preranA (inspiration), One who inspires the disciple into initiation.

  • Suchaka Guru

From Shuchana (indication)- One who, according to the disciples mentality and aptitude, indicates the correct (or suitable) path for SAdhana for the disciple.

  • Darshaka Guru

One who shows the disciple how to perform the various rituals associated with the particular SAdhana and also who is capable of explaining their underlying significance.

  • Shikshaka Guru

One who practically teaches the disciple the various rituals associated with the SAdhana

  • Bodhaka Guru

One who inspires the disciple, and one who is capable of enlightening the disciple as well.

So, understandably, few such Gurus can very well do without being self-realized.

Also, DikshA is given utmost importance in all scriptures. For example:

VinA dikshAm na mokshah syAttaduktam shivashAsane |

......

Without dikshA there is no liberation-- This is Shiva's order.

KulArnava Tantram 14.3

OR

Devi, dikshAvihinasya na siddhirna cha sadgatihi

......

Without DikshA, there is neither Siddhi nor Sadgati (liberation).

So, the act of DikshA is the priority for everyone. Now, in case, we are to take Diksha from only self-realized Gurus, then that means we all are likely to remain un-initiated throughout our lives.

Because, the number of such self-realized Gurus in the world can be counted on fingers, if at all they are available to us and most importantly recognizable.

So, IMO, it is not necessary that we impose such severe conditions on our Gurus. As long as we can verify that he is carrying the mantra or the knowledge from Parashiva (the Adi Guru) in an unbroken chain, to us, we should be ever ready to get initiated by him.

Besides, we should also check and test the Guru for signs (Guru Lakshanam). The Guru, in the same way, must verify some preliminary signs among the would-be-disciples.

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