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Darshan and Shaktipat

21 April 2010 11 Comments Print article Print article

This satsang question was asked at the September 12, 2009 public program in Northampton Massachusetts.

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.



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  • Shakti Staff said:

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  • Shakti Staff said:

    Editors note: In the original posting of this article although it was described as an answer in a satsang, it was not made entirely clear that the answerer was Shri Anandi Ma. That attribution has now been clarified in the article. Since this is a reader-to-reader comment area, any question about the meaning of Ma’s answer should be addressed directly to Ma, either in satsang or by mail, and not in the comments section. We apologize for any confusion.

  • satya said:

    Don’t think i can accurately count how many times i have heard Ma give us an explanation of just what shaktipat is and it’s purpose. No matter that on a superficial level Ma and Bapuji are usually saying the same things over and over, it always feels fresh and new to me. Probably a reflection of how hard it is for the truth to penetrate our resistance that they need to do so. And now to learn that the shaktipat initiation window is starting to close, i’m trying to fathom how i could be so blessed to have received it in the brief time the energy was available. One of my favorite old Grateful Dead songs is “I Need a Miracle Everyday” and now i see i do have it.

  • Mital said:

    @ Satya, you took the words right out of my heart. A miracle it is, and luck we are!

  • John Joesph Semon said:

    Oh Ma…I feel humbled by your teachings and truly blessed as much as I sometimes resist your grace…I play and play and you are always there to welcome me …I thank you for Shaktipat…Your words are energy to me and move me to tears …thank you and aid us all in our pursuit of Divine Love and Liberation

  • Thakur said:

    Satya, I never thought that I would hear Grateful Dead referances in this forum. I received Shaktipat way before I experienced the Dead, but it is true. It is a miracle, yet at the same time a simple experience of being a divine being in the divine play of life.

  • Thakur said:

    By the way, I’d have to say that my all time favorite Grateful Dead song is “looks like rain” (ironically enough)- “easy wind” a close second. Peace.

  • rafael 'jayram' monfort said:

    learning the energy of kundalini will come to it’s end… how about the rest what will happen to them? I feel so sad about this. There are still a lot of souls there. Please come seat and meditate then experience…

  • Victor said:


    Having been the reciptient of shaktipat three times by Gurumaya, once in New York and twice in Ganeshpuri, India, I feel saddened to read here that the giving of it is coming to an end. I wonder why that is?
    There are so many seekers in the world at this period in its history that, instead of closing the door to it, more should be opened giving it. It should also be made easily affordable for those who are forced to bypass high priced teachers.

    The way I see it anyway.

  • Parker said:

    With the greatest and humblest respect there is one thing that needs to be made understood, corrected in all of this.

    The Shakti Kundalini is a universal energy in us all. It is part of our evolutionary turning. As long as there are humans, there will be what we call kundalini, or Awakening. As for giving of this energy, there is no end. No end at all. There is no end to us, no end to our energetic connection to All. Shaktipat is the nature of this energy, and the writer is correct that there is a great deal of responsibility taken on by those who give shaktipat. You literally take on your student’s karma in all of this and when over, you need to be able to release that karma. This is a loving thing, the willingness to stoop to lift up others. In truth, I think the best way is for us all to find the blessed path so that we can all learn what is our birthright. This is not something meant only for the elect. This will continue to increase as it has been increasing. We are creating a growing resonant field of this aware energy. With each awakening, there is more and more love, more of this bliss that kundalini can confer. But no one is elect or chosen above another. Shaktipat can also be an egoic enterprise, so be careful because the energy in which this is done can be important.

  • sue rama said:

    Shri Anandi Ma will be resuming Her program schedule, including shaktipat initiation, in the fall after She and Bapuji return from their planned hiatus.

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