Letter to: John Darsinos , Los Angeles , 1968-11-23
My Dear John Darsinos,
Please accept my blessings. I have read your letter (undated) and am very pleased that you are appreciating this movement of Krishna Consciousness. Please continue this attitude of appreciation for Krishna's mercy and your life will be successful with no doubt.
In answer to your question about the importance of initiation, it is to be understood that initiation means that power is coming from the Supreme by the bona fide disciplic succession. This is required. Of course, for anyone to hear the message of Srimad-Bhagavatam will produce a favorable result but formally one should receive this knowledge from the disciplic succession. For example, Arjuna and Krishna were friends but still Arjuna submitted himself formally as Krishna's disciple. This is essential. We should take example from these great Personalities. Arjuna was hearing Krishna speaking Bhagavad-gita but still he submitted as Krishna's disciple. "Now I submit unto You, please teach me." So this is the process. I hope this will clear up your question sufficiently.
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami