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(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Shaktipat is an experience available to devotees of those Hindu groups that focus their attention on kundalini, the innate divine power that, it is believed, lies latent at the base of the spine. Once awakened, this power travels up the spine to the crown of the head. Enlightenment is not possible without the awakening of the kundalini. Shaktipat (literally the “transfer of power”) occurs in the presence of a guru (teacher), who is believed to have the ability to awaken the kundalini of his or her follower. Shaktipat is believed to be the easiest of several methods in activating kundalini. In stimulating the devotee’s kundalini, the guru also creates a subtle link between him/herself and the devotee that allows further stimulation of the kundalini at future dates. This thus allows the devotee to overcome obstacles while moving toward full enlightenment.

Shaktipat may occur in one of several ways. Most often it is by simple touch. The energy is allowed to flow from body to body. At other times, the teacher may simply gaze upon the devotee and allow the energy to move out from him or her. When the kundalini is awakened, the devotee may have one of a number of experiences, though actually feeling the flow of energy along the lower spine is the typical sensation.

Among the more notable gurus who have offered shaktipat in the west in the last generation are Swami Muktananda (1908–1982), Yogi Amrit Desai (b. 1937), and Dhyanyogi Madhusudandasji Mahant Maharaj (1878–1994).


Kripananda, Swami. The Sacred Power. Oakland, CA: Siddha Yoga Dham of America Foundation, 1995.
Madhusudandasji, Shri Dhyanyogi. Shakti: Hidden Treasure of Power. Vol. 1. Pasadena, CA: Dhyanyoga Centers Inc., 1979.
Muktananda, Swami. Kundalini: The Secret of Life. South Fallsburg, NY: Siddha Yoga Dham of America Foundation, 1979.
Muni, Swami Rajarshi. Awakening the Life Force. St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 1994. Scott, Sarah. Darshan 67: Baba Muktananda and the Glory of Shaktipat. South Fallsburg, NY: Siddha Yoga Dham of America Foundation, 1992.
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