Darshan and Shaktipat
Question: What happens when we have darshan? How is it different from shaktipat?
Shri Anandi Ma: The word darshan literally means vision. When someone of high consciousness looks upon an object or person, then that process, that flow of energy from the being or from an image of God, whether we are in the church or wherever else, has an impact on our consciousness and helps us begin to reach that state of consciousness. It is a reminder. It reminds us of what we need to do, what we need to achieve. So in darshan when you look upon the teacher and the teacher looks upon you, there is a subtle transmission of energy through that meeting of the eyes. Simply by sitting in presence of a realized being, there is a spontaneous flow of energy helping the person.
But there is still not a complete, two-way transmission because there are various factors, which are restrictive. The individual sitting there may have a level of consciousness, which is naturally open, but still very restricted. Although the energy pours equally on all, like rain or sunlight, the person wearing a hat or holding an umbrella is blocking that process. In darshan, you are getting energy but it is in a very restricted way. Dhyanyogiji always said that when you come here and then leave, you do carry away energy, but it is like a little bucket that will soon be exhausted. Shaktipat means a conscious transmission of energy from the teacher to the student. It’s a two-way street; one is open and ready to receive when the teacher is ready to give. So it is more thorough than darshan; it is complete, it is permanent.
Shaktipat initiation works at three levels. First, it will give the absolute knowledge. The initiation or diksha is the seed that, when sprouted within, will bear the fruit of self-realization. Darshan cannot necessarily do that, though it may inspire the process. Secondly, it will help in the transcending of the mind from the lower to the highest state. The state of duality begins to be erased and reaching that state of “you and I are one,” adwaita as it is known. Finally, shaktipat initiation is the process to achieve what needs to happen so that all karma of the soul is burnt away. No seed should remain. If a single seed remains, good or bad, then it is going to sprout and bear fruit. But if the seed itself is totally destroyed, then nothing can sprout. So taking the soul to that state of akarma, no karma at all, and thereby liberating the person from the cycle of life and death is what shaktipat is all about. It is a much deeper, much more subtle process in the complete sense than darshan.
In shaktipat, the teacher is taking responsibility for the liberation of the student’s soul. That responsibility does not cease until the soul has achieved that state of liberation. It could happen in this lifetime, it could happen several lifetimes later, but the responsibility of the teacher is always there. In kundalini maha yoga, the scriptures state, and it is a guarantee of the great yogis, that if shaktipat is received, then by the end of the third lifetime, the soul will definitely be liberated. If the person is active, doing many practices regularly, then it is quite possible that the soul will be liberated in that very lifetime. As Dhyanyogiji said, the guru-disciple relationship is a partnership. The teacher’s love, grace, and guidance are always there, but the student also needs to practice regularly, so that the fruit of liberation will manifest.
Shaktipat is the true and absolute healing. Healing is nullification of all karma; it’s not only about moving one’s hands and removing pain. That is good and what we all desire, but the ultimate healing is to free the soul from the cycle of life and death. Then the permanent pain and suffering are gone. Dhyanyogiji many times experienced and said that shaktipat is a tremendous responsibility. He said it converts one’s blood into water; it has that much of an impact on the giver. The illnesses of other persons, for example, came upon His body causing Him to go through a process of suffering so that the other person was completely healed. But such healing, He always remarked, was not the goal of shaktipat; the goal is to liberate from the cycle of life and death. The very roots need to be dealt with and not the superficial.
There are very few teachers who have reached the capacity, and also have the ability to do shaktipat, in the true sense of the word and as the scriptures state. Unfortunately, the term has in recent times been misinterpreted, and many claim to give shaktipat without understanding its true depth. Dhyanyogiji Himself crisscrossed India barefoot for over thirty years going through much pain and suffering before finding one person who had that capacity and ability. After He received shaktipat, He felt that He wanted to help true seekers reach their goal in whatever way he could, and keep them from following the same long time frame and pain and suffering that he experienced. He wanted to dedicate the rest of His life to this. That didn’t mean He started doing shaktipat on His own even though He was given the authority to do so by His teacher.
Shaktipat comes from a lineage. Dhyanyogiji said that the lineage from which He received shaktipat, our lineage, is 25,000 years old. Masters have long practiced this very secretive science. In recent years, because of the energy, shaktipat has been brought out into the open, but very soon it will again become very subtle and a rare commodity. The energy is already beginning to go in that direction.