Liberation is the ultimate goal of all tantric cults. Though the means are different all tantras unanimously declare that it is possible only for those who are subjected to the grace of god. In simple terms initiation can be defined as the grace of god (saktipatha). It can happen in two ways. Some are initiated by the lord himself. They are liberated while living in the world. In the case others, the god acts through a medium. The one who initiates is known as Guru in scriptures. Usually initiation consists of elaborate rituals. Some rituals take even weeks to finish. It is to be noted here that scriptures also speak of initiation methods which are completely independent of rituals. Guru is the sole authority in this matter and he decides the appropriate initiation method after taking many factors into account. A particular mantra or a set of mantras are imparted to the disciple during the time of initiation. Thereafter the Guru explains the code of conduct to the initiate and he is expected to conform to it until the Guru leaves him free to pursue his own path. All rituals of initiation culminate in the consecration (abhisheka) of the disciple. By this he is made eligible to practice all sorts of rituals prescribed in the scriptures.
The real problem is of finding a proper Guru who is capable of opening the door of mystical experiences. Initiation has its impact on the consciousness. It changes the outlook. So the life after the initiation is like living another life. If everything remains same then it is very difficult to say that initiation has taken place. So the real journey begins after initiation. It begins from the consciousness of a limited being to the realization of one’s own real nature, which is the infinite consciousness. [Atmajnanat na param vidyathe – Parashu Rama Kalpasutram].