By Ashok Mehta
Write the Mantra on a piece of paper. Keep it in front of the respective God or Goddess, chant the Mantra, and imagine that God is giving you the initiation. If you see the Mantra in a dream then that means, you have got the perfect initiation. If that doesn't happen, you can start with the Mantra. However, before you start with your Isht Mantra, chant Brahma Vishnu Mahesh Mantra I.E. Guru Mantra as per your ability but not less than 11 times. After that, chant the Gayatri Mantra.
After this, pray to Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, Gayatri and Surya Dev to guide you and give you success in the Mantra or Sadhana. Within 3 days of beginning the Mantra or Sadhana, you'll get to know whether you are going to get success or not. If you can't do this, then just pray to the God who's Mantra or Sadhana you are going to do and request him to guide you through the Sadhana and be your Guru. This always works.
I do not support most of the Gurus. This is because when you have God as your Guru then why would you need a human Guru. Gurus had importance in the previous Yugas when they had a really high level of consciousness. You can't expect the same from Gurus who have websites. If you want, a real Guru then one should go the Himalayas where one can find Gurus doing Sadhana since years. I am not denying the importance of a Guru. However, it's better to have God as your Guru then to have a human Guru.
I have seen cases where people got initiation of Mantra in dreams but still Gurus told them to get their initiation or else they will not be successful. What the Gurus only do is give you procedure and blessing to start the Sadhana and for this, they charge you thousands of rupees. Such halfhearted initiations do not work. Instead, it is better to pray to God and make him your Guru.