When searching for the Self, there is very little help on the way, however, help is there, waiting to be discovered. One can become overwhelmed by the amount of practices and paths that claim to lead one to the Self. This may lead one to think there is an abundance of help in reaching the Self. However, there is virtually no help what so ever and one has to make it on one’s own. The reason is: All practices have to be given up. No practice will lead you to the Self. You have to give up practices and stand on your own, then give that up also. It is a frustrating fact of spiritual life that one is trying to get to something that one has no idea what is, nor how to find; so one clings to practices and methods.
Faith in teachings is another trap. If you have too much faith in teachings, you become attached to them and can’t let go. The Self is indescribable, so no teaching will ever be able to catch or describe it, no matter how erudite or simple the teaching may be. So, apparently there is nothing left but to give up? If one can truly and utterly give up, that might be a way, but for most people giving up is not an option. One may give up for a while, but problems and questions have a way of sneaking in on one again and then effort is back. The ultimate question is: Who am I?
Everyone asks that question in one form or another at various times in life. Some are obsessed with the question and they are the real seekers. Many are satisfied with the answers the mind can provide and they go to workshops, seminars and therapists for answers. Others are never satisfied and they are the real seekers. Many find building up a personality is the answer. Others know that no matter what personality, it will always be a lie about who you really are; they are the real seekers. This text is meant as an outstretched hand to the real seekers of this world.
Though there is no help for the final jump into the Self, there is plenty of help on the way. In fact too much since one may become so fundamentally confused, one may despair. However, one special kind of help stands out from the mass. That is shaktipat. Shaktipat is not a means, a system or a practice, therefore it does not fall in the category of conflicting advice and dogma. Shaktipat is divine grace passing through a qualified master to a qualified student for the sake of granting the student Self-
The master may do his best for any random student to receive shaktipat through him, but the truth of the matter is that though the master may be a fine channel for divine grace, it is not certain that divine grace will flow to the student. In other words: though the master may be able and willing to give it, it is not sure the student is ready or capable of receiving it or holding on to it. Some get it who have not even asked for it, others ask and ask and will only get it after years of patient waiting. It is mysterious. The real master will know if someone is ready, but will seldom say anything about it in order not to disillusion the student or make him or her give up hope. A certain readiness is required. A certain purity of heart and mind must be there for the Shakti to enter and grab hold of the student.
It is a bit like unscrewing a screw; if the screw has rusted into the wood, you can’t get it out. Or maybe the person wants the screw out and the screw is loose enough, but the person does not want to lose what ever the screw is holding in place, so he or she unconsciously fights the unscrewing. Or maybe the ignorance held in place by the screw is so smart, it screws the screw back in when ever you turn it out. Or maybe the screw is ready to be removed and the ignorance held in place ready to fall off. Such is the happy meeting between a shaktipat master and disciple. Practices may help prepare the disciple for the “unscrewing”, on the other hand, they may become an attachment and thus hinder the “unscrewing”. So how do you prepare for shaktipat? You don’t! You just pray and hope you are ready for it. But in general you have to be pure and gentle of nature. Long for God or Self and be unselfish. Be kind to others. Don’t be arrogant. And don’t be attached to any sadhana or spiritual belief system you may have been involved in. Be humble in all respects. Yet all this is not enough and is even irrelevant. What matters is quality of heart and purity of soul. And what really matters is surrender. Surrender! This is such a mysterious quality, you will have to learn about from inner experience.
When someone receives shaktipat, it is more a question of the master experiencing the Shakti in him grab the student. The master does not do much. Shakti is all-
The body is a repository of sacred energy, known as kundalini. Kundalini is Shakti that has individualized into you as an ignorant person. This means that undoing you as an ignorant person is a matter of undoing kundalini. This undoing is known as merging kundalini with Shakti and Shiva. This merging happens in the brain. Before it happens, though, kundalini has to awaken and journey from its hiding place in the root chakra up through the spine and into the brain. Kundalini can awaken in three ways: spontaneously, through practices or through grace. Shaktipat awakens kundalini and belongs to the category of grace. Once awakened by grace, it is wise to support kundalini’s unfoldment with practices. Similarly, if kundalini awakens spontaneously or through practice, it is wise to support it with shaktipat.
After shaktipat, during practice, one will experience kriyas. Kriyas are spontaneous manifestations of Shakti and can be body movements, inner visions, sounds uttered, etc.. Do not be alarmed by kriyas; they are in all cases a manifestation of Shakti cleaning and improving the system. After shaktipat ones sadhana becomes automatic. One practices to allow Shakti to work in and on one, and also to support shakti’s journey rising up the spine.
Shakti is not something abstract or difficult to feel. Try this: Feel the centre of your chest, your spiritual heart. Feel the air moving out on your in-
Kundalini is not simply energy, it is your pure being. As such enlightenment in inherent in kundalini. Kundalini is the immense power of consciousness and it may scrutinize dark places in your system. This may be painful for a time, but bliss lies behind it all the while and will eventually break through. You can not get fully enlightened without kundalinishakti. Many maintain this is not the case, but I say from experience, it is. Enlightenment without Shakti is dull and lifeless; with Shakti you are full of supreme devotion and love. Kundalini is an initiation mechanism, but not only that, it will take you all the way to the Self, to God. It is not some occult energy, as some claim, it is love divine.
If you want to enjoy the emotion and fullness of life, you will have to travel the path of kundalinishakti. Others emphasise the stillness and emptiness of Brahman, the Self, the void, but they only have half the truth. Shakti is not some human event, it is the divine laughter in creation, it is supreme devotion and it contains the stillness and emptiness of Brahman, but also the flow of life in supreme devotion and supreme bliss. Those who have merged in the stillness of Brahman, the void, do not understand kundalinishakti, they only recognize the divine as void within themselves. Those who have Shakti in their sadhana and have realized Shakti, recognize the divine in not only the Self, but in everything around them also.
Technically, when the master gives shaktipat, he goes into oneness with the recipient. He not only is in internal oneness within himself, but he has to be able to go into oneness with someone else and so to speak pull the other into bliss and pure being.
It is a general impression that kundalini can be awakened with various hatha yoga practices like concentration, pranayama or bandhas. However, this is not so as can be concluded by the innumerable amount of people doing these practices and the small amount of them who actually succeed in awakening kundalini. It is also a general impression, that a competent master can awaken kundalini in anybody by a mere touch, or glance. This is also not quite so; the recipient has to be ripe for a kundalini awakening to occur even through shaktipat. But yogic practices and shaktipat both will help prepare the way for a kundalini awakening to happen. Shaktipat will do so by arousing the sleeping kundalini, pranayamas and bandhas by cleansing the spinal channel and also arousing kundalini, asanas (postures) have hardly any effect on kundalini but keep the body fit.
It is not known why some are disposed for kundalini awakening and some are not; sure, practices will help and strong visualization of an awakened kundalini combined with a genuine longing for kundalini to awaken are the most potent aids for an awakening; but again: how many have such a strong longing? Also this can be developed, however, with strong visualization repeated day after day with love.
An aroused kundalini is not an awakened kundalini. An aroused kundalini will give some sensations of pressure at the root chakra and also lights in the head and bliss, etc. but this can not be compared to the radical shift in kundalini’s activity when kundalini is fully awakened. With the awakening of kundalini begins a whole new kind of process in the body that aims at transforming consciousness from ignorance to Self-
One must not, however, think of kundalini as an occult or mystical force. It is the force that keeps the body and mind going every second of the day, only in a restricted form. The awakening of kundalini is merely the removal of the restrictions. The energy released from a sleeping kundalini is what upholds the functions of the mind and body and allows regular learning, but once awakened the energy released will act as an evolutionary force transforming the regular consciousness to an enlightened one.
The transformation is not finished until kundalini has dissolved itself in the awakened brain. The brain is the seat of the crown chakra (sahasrara) and kundalini not only opens this chakra, but also dissolves into the pure being accessible there. This is traditionally known as the merging of Shakti with Shiva. This is a revolution in human consciousness and awareness beyond mere Self-
The awakened kundalini will purify the energy channels of the body, the nadis, and this may lead to spontaneous movements of the body, called “kriyas”. Kriyas can also be mental or emotional. At first it may seem odd that a sadhana and mystical process designed to give liberation results in weird movements of the arms and spine, but on second thought it just proves how profound the process is. Other systems try to purify the nadis through postures, pranayamas and bandhas, thus forcing the prana shakti into the nadis in order to cleanse them. The shaktipat kriyas are a result of the shakti automatically entering the nadis and purifying them. Thus shaktipat sadhana is the most supreme sadhana since it fulfils the goal of all other sadhanas automatically and effortlessly.
It is noteworthy that the source of human evolution lies dormant in every human being, and is awakened in a few lucky souls. This contradicts Darwinism that says evolution is a result of selection. For the person living with an awakened kundalini it is only all too obvious, that he or she is in the midst of a process of accelerated evolution.
Undoubtedly the state of samadhi is either a result of changed brain activity or samadhi forces the brain to behave differently; but either way there must be neurological correlates of the spiritual changes happening along with the process of kundalini arousal. Perhaps the nervous system of man is evolving in such a way as to allow samadhi to occur more and more frequently; certainly this was the conviction of Bucke as expressed in his book Cosmic Consciousness and by Gopi Krishna in his many books.
The direct result of a kundalini awakened through shaktipat is kriyas. The secondary, but most important, aspect is samadhi. Samadhi is a state where awareness has freed itself from identification with the small self and merged into the pure being of the Self. This merging is extremely blissful. Usually a bright light fills the brain and a kind of prolonged super-
The inner light is a common feature of all mystical experiences in all cultures and ages. The Christan mystics speak of illuminating glory of God and saint Symeon even identified Christ with the blazing inner light. The Taoists speak of circulating light. Hindus speak of the blazing radiance of a multitude of suns that characterizes Brahman (the Self) or the self-
The ecstasy, or cosmic orgasm, that takes place when kundalini reaches the brain for the first times, with practice changes to soft, calm and quiet bliss. Ecstasy has to be transcended and the coscmic orgasms are in no way a goal in them self. This is where so many western so called “tantrics” go astray. The goal is not ecstasy or sexual bliss, but samadhi.
Samadhi is a state where the awareness has been pulled out of the senses and merged with the Self. The samadhi that may arise as a result of merging with sensual experience is inferior to the samadhi that arises, when kundalini in its fullness enters the brain.
Visions of various kinds may arise before the inner eye, but the most common are various dots of light. Of these the blue pearl is the most precious; it is the gateway to the Divine, to the pure Self.