In question time, a young devotee inquired about the importance of accepting formal initiation. Such initiation, Prabhupada explained, meant to officially agree to abide by the orders of Krsna and His representative.
"Officially accept: 'Yes, sir, I shall accept. I shall do whatever you say.' This is initiation, official acceptance of the job. That's all. Now you formally accept and if you do not do the duties, then where is the question of another function? There is no question. Initiation means this is the beginning of accepting the orders of Krsna and His representative. This is the beginning. This is initiation. Just like if you enter an office establishment, so you accept the terms of service. That is initiation. Then you go on serving. You become promoted. You get salary increase. You become recognised. You become officer. You become big officer, like that. That very word initiation suggests 'This is the beginning'.
- Srila Prabhupada - From "The Great Transcendental Adventure" by HG Kurma Prabhu