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Advanced Yoga Practices
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Lesson 146 - Shaktipat - Direct Transmissions of Spiritual Energy (Audio)
New Visitors: It is recommended you read from the beginning of the archive, as previous lessons are prerequisite to this one. The first lesson is, "Why This Discussion?
Q: Is it necessary at some point to receive shaktipat before one can experience samadhi? Even the great Paramahansa Yogananda received shaktipat from Sri Yukteswar before he could achieve samadhi. If this is necessary how does one go about obtaining shaktipat?
A: Shaktipat is direct transmission of spiritual energy from guru to disciple. Transmissions of spiritual energy can also occur in the form of darshan (blessing from a master), satsang (keeping spiritual company), through our chosen ideal by the intensity of our own internal bhakti, and even from reading inspired spiritual writings. It is all spiritual energy flowing in us by various influences, and it can happen in a lot of ways. It is our bhakti that determines the degree of flow more than anything. When the bhakti is intense, the energy will flow from somewhere, from everywhere. So, shaktipat really has its origin in the aspirant, not in anyone else.
There is another stimulator of spiritual energy in all of us these days, and that is the stars. The stars are giving us their darshan every minute of every day. This is because a new age of enlightenment is rising, and we are all increasingly being stimulated to open from within. In the past dark age, spiritual awakening stimulated by other people was more important than it is today. In those days, a sage was like a candle in a vast sea of darkness. That candle was a rarity, and only a few had any hope of being lit by it. It was a time of spiritual poverty, and the flame was kept alive by being passed between a very few. Thanks to them, and changing times, it is much different now.
In present times, we are all on the verge of enlightenment. It may not seem like it. There are still many obstacles to be dissolved inside, but it is much easier to do it now than it has been for thousands of years, or even only a few decades ago. The sun of God is rising. Hatred is making its last chaotic stand in the world, and it will not win. When the light comes, the darkness disappears.
It is important to see shaktipat and the traditional guru-disciple relationship in the light of these changing times. We are no longer wholly dependent on individual sages and teachers for our enlightenment. We are all becoming spiritually self-sufficient. We are all becoming capable of generating our own spiritual transformation.
The best way to become enlightened is by doing daily yoga practices. It is the surest and safest way, because it is we who determine how much energy will flow from within by our prudent self-pacing as we use powerful spiritual practices that were not available to most even a few decades ago.
There is another important spiritual influence working in the world today. It is now greater than the power of all the gurus on the planet. As more and more people come along on the way to enlightenment through their own efforts, the divine radiance of spiritual energy from so many opening nervous systems is increasing, and this is quickening everyone's opening. As more people do daily practices, the influence increases exponentially. So, doing your practices is not only good for you. It is good for the world. There is great strength in numbers, and this is how the world is being transformed spiritually. It is the ultimate shaktipat/darshan/satsang for everyone.
Is individual shaktipat still necessary to reach enlightenment? Maybe at some point we will get an individual infusion like that from somewhere, or maybe not. We don't have to go wandering around looking for it. Be wary of anyone who offers you a shaktipat shortcut. It does not work like that.
All we have to do is sit in our meditation room every day, and then go out and give our love away. Samadhi (unbounded pure bliss consciousness) comes in meditation. Full enlightenment comes by giving our samadhi to the world. The spiritual energy of transformation we need will come from inside and outside as we purify our nervous system by our own efforts. If our intense desire for enlightenment is there, everything we need to achieve it will be there too.
The guru is in you.
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Note: For detailed instructions on building a practice routine with self-pacing, see the AYP Eight Limbs of Yoga book, and AYP Plus.
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