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Resources for conscious living

The Initiation
by Dr. Donald Schnell, reviewed by Miriam Knight

The Initiation is an unusual love story told with refreshing innocence and candor. While it interweaves intensely personal glimpses of the love between the author, Dr. Donald Schnell, and his wife, it primarily relates the evolvement of his total commitment to God. Specifically it is a fascinating account of an intensely spiritual journey in India at the age of 42 that culminated in his initiation into the Order of Swamys where he received the name Prema Baba Swamiji.

The story has many parallels with Autobiography of a Yogi. Both Donald Schnell and Paramahansa Yogananda felt drawn to the service of God at a very tender age, both were favored with visions of Babaji and both were charged with bringing the spiritual messages of India to the West. Whereas Yogananda was a Yogi and celibate, Schnell, a married Swamy, was charged with integrating the male and female, the Mother and the Father in a balanced approach to spirituality.

In this short and engaging book (128 pages) Schnell rivets the attention of the reader as he describes fascinating encounters and mystical experiences. Interspersing the colorful narrative with the wise lessons of Babaji and his guru, Schnell provides the reader with an intelligent synthesis of universalist teachings of East and West as well as practical advice for those on the spiritual path. At the very least, it is a jolly good read.