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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.
The Encyclopedia of Religious Phenomena © 2008 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.
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Over the years Michael has spent time with masters, adepts, shamans, healers and teachers from many traditions and has received numerous transmissions and initiations including: Tao Ahn Pai Nui Gung, Siddha Yoga Shaktipat, Kriya Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, Tantric Yoga, Tibetan Kagyu Buddhist, Theravada Buddhist, Transcendental Meditation, Christian Charismatic, Orthodox Catholic Holy Orders, 3rd Degree Usui Reiki, Oneness Deeksha, Ishayas Ascension and others.
* hyperquiescence/hyperarousal--a mystical experience of oneness, e.g., a meditative state that ignites soaring ecstatic inspiration such as Kundalini shaktipat.
Asahara styled himself as a siddha (a perfected being, a saint), who had the power to bestow shaktipat (a transfer of the spiritual energy, shakti) to devotees, causing the raising of their kundalini (shakti energy understood to be dormant at the base of the spine), so that they achieved enlightenment.
a baptism in Christianity or a transmission of spiritual power called shaktipat in the Hindu tradition.