I recently received an email from an initiate who inspired this writing. You know who you are. Thank you.
This issue is dedicated
to those of you who have taken shaktipat initiation
and continued with the sadhana of
I hear from many of you who share the experiences of your initiation and are inspired. I am happy to hear from you and hope you will share your experiences of initiation, as well as your daily sadhana, with other initiates on the “Experiences” page of this website.
Because we are each unique individuals, and because we are each in a different place in our journey through many lifetimes, the experiences of shaktipat diksha are naturally wide and varied. For some, initiation takes them into deep meditation; for some it is restful and they may even fall asleep; for some it is very physically active; for some there are “previews of coming attractions” and the experience of samadhi or other typically advanced states; for some, they feel that nothing has happened—but it has, it’s just that what happened was beyond perception.
An Initiation In Two Parts
It is important to remember that there are two parts to this initiation. One part is shaktipat, when shakti is transmitted and your ‘candle’ is lit by the candle of the one initiating you. This awakened state of energy allows for pranotthana, which in turn awakens kundalini. But this is just the beginning, for shakti can become dormant again if you don’t know what to do with it. This brings us to the other part of initiation, Surrender Meditation.
Surrender Meditation is the key to everything. In a way, it is more significant than shaktipat. Shaktipat is mostly useless without it, for it is this meditation that keeps shakti engaged and moving you forward to the ultimate goal. But people often forget or underestimate this step in their eagerness to have the experiences they associate with shaktipat diksha.
The transmission of shakti is not always apparent to the initiate. My own initiation felt like a dud, but I continued to do the meditation in spite of this. It took a whole month of daily one-hour meditations for me to realize any effect. This happens to some of us, but we keep meditating and the door eventually opens. On the other hand, there are those who have dynamic and inspiring phenomena during their initiation, but end up quitting the meditation to pursue other things. Go figure!
All of the fantastic tales we hear or read about shaktipat influence us because we want to make spiritual progress, to find God, become enlightened and Self-realized, attain Truth, samadhi, liberation, and we develop certain expectations based on what we have heard and read. But consider … how many people who think their initiations have been duds, go around talking about it? Do you think you are going to hear or read stories about these supposed ‘flops’? Not many, I think.
So in the end, what we hear about are the glorious things, and when they don’t happen to us, we think we are undeserving. This is not so. It does not follow that if you get bells and whistles during your initiation you are favored by God, and if you don’t get any bells and whistles you are somehow lacking. This is not so.
Pranotthana, which is the whole point of shaktipat because it causes kundalini to awaken, does not happen for everyone at the time of initiation. Sometimes pranotthana occurs weeks afterward. Sometimes it occurs before initiation, or even before you meet the person initiating you, or before you have even heard of shaktipat. Sometimes, due to your deep longing and devotion to God, you get shaktipat spontaneously and are consequently led to that person and then you take initiation in order to know what to do with it. It is as unpredictable as the lottery. So continuing with Surrender Meditation after initiation is essential for grounding your initiation, so that shakti can take you onward and upward.
Shaktipat initiation can be taken in a group setting or individually. These two are very different situations, and they will affect individual experiences differently. Generally, there is likely to be more phenomena in a group setting. This does not signify anything. It does not mean that being initiated in a group is better. After all, phenomena is just phenomena. The real gold is your progress, not how much phenomena you get.
Whether you have fancy phenomena or twiddle your thumbs for an hour, shakti is present for you. To make the most of your initiation, keep up the practice of Surrender Meditation aferward, continue visiting Mystical Tidbits, read the Shaktipat Intensive Documents, and use the Reply feature on these sites to connect with others doing this sadhana so that you are not isolated.
Our society is so overstimulated and speeded up everywhere we go, that during initiation the body may want to take advantage of not being made to see, hear, learn, and do things, in order to get a little peace … but your mind may think it is bored! Just stay with Surrender Meditation until the end of your meditation period. Your body may have something to teach your mind very soon.
Words and Terms
Shakti – The activating force of nature that initiates all action. Known in Christianity as the Holy Spirit.
Pranotthana – ‘Strong prana‘, or ‘prana up’.
Prana - Shakti in a body acting to sustain and maintain it.
Kundalini – Shakti acting in an evolutionary capacity.
Shaktipat Intensive Documents – Documents containing the material covered in Shaktipat Intensives. Available on a password protected site for my shaktipat initiates, upon request.