SHAKTIPAD or SHAKTIPADA – COMPLETE DETAILS INCLUDING TYPES, EXAMPLES IN SCRIPTURES, RULES, ETC!
Actual Question from Amrita Patra:
“jai shree Krishna… can you please explain what is shaktipat and it’s importance.”
WHAT IS SHAKTIPAD or SHAKTIPADA?
Shaktipada is a DIKSHA or INITIATION.
Shaktipad or Shaktipata means delivering the spiritual power from one person (usually, Guru) to another (usually, disciple).
Shakti means Energy; Pada means ‘to go’.
It is transferred by a guru to his disciple in many ways through a separate diksha process called Shaktipata Diksha.
In fact, we can call all the DIKSHAS or INITIATIONS as SHAKTIPADA because during every diksha, a guru transfers his spiritual energy to his disciple and hence a LINK is formed between that guru and disciple.
That is why, in the Indian Culture, all dikshas are performed keeping AGNI (Agnideva) as a witness.
However, SHAKTIPADA DIKSHA is particularly mentioned so in the dikshas related to YOGA SASTRA like Kundalini Yoga.
Even while chanting certain vibrations of the names of Lord, it has been observed that the kundalini energy awakens, raises and gets activated to work. That is why, chanting is able to purify the sathakas (practitioners).
HOW SHAKTIPAD or SHAKTIPADA DIKSHA IS GIVEN?
A guru or God Himself gives SHAKTIPAD or SHAKTIPADA DIKSHA to the disciple or recipient in many ways.
Here are some examples:
(1) DIKSHA BY SIGHT:
A guru or God can give diksha even by seeing the recipient. That is why, even having the darshan of saintly persons make many changes iin us and we are advised to have their darshan as much as possible.
Example: A story from Srimad Bhagavatham:
The two great demigods Nalakuvara and Manigriva were sons of the treasurer of the demigods, Kuvera, who was a great devotee of Lord Shiva.
Once, these two demigods, desiring to enjoy, entered the garden of Lord Shiva in the province of Kailasa on the bank of the Mandakini Ganges.
There they drank much and engaged in hearing the sweet singing of the beautiful women and enjoying themselves in the water in a naked condition.
Sage Narada happened to pass that way. Nalakuvara and Manigriva could not appreciate the presence of the sage Narada and therefore did not cover their bodies.
Narada desiring their welfare, showed his causeless mercy by cursing them that the two demigods Nalakuvara and Manigriva should remain for one hundred celestial years, in the form of trees, and after that they would be fortunate enough to see the Supreme Personality of Godhead face to face, by His causeless mercy. And thus they would be again promoted to the life of the demigods. Thus, they became two trees in the garden of Nanda.
Child Krishna was bound up to the wooden mortar, He began to proceed towards the twin trees in order to fulfill the prophecy of His great devotee Narada.
Lord Krishna knew that Narada was His great devotee and that the trees standing before Him as twin arjuna trees were actually the sons of Kuvera.
Lord Krishna began to pull the rope, which was tied to the mortar. As soon as He pulled, the two trees, with all their branches and limbs, fell down immediately with a great sound.
Out of the broken, fallen trees came two great personalities, shining like blazing fire.
The two purified personalities immediately came before child Krishna and bowed down to offer their respects and prayers.
(2) DIKSHA BY TOUCH:
A guru or God can give diksha by touching the recipient. We have read many stories in which even a touch of a divine person or great saints cure many problems of the persons.
(I) In Bible, many such incidents in which many people get reformed just by the touch of Jesus Christ.
(II) ANOTHER STORY FROM RAMAYANA:
Ahalya, specially created by Brahma Deva was married to the much older Gautama.
Indra Deva was attracted with her beauty and wanted to deceive Ahalya.
He came disguised as her husband, to her home (hut).
Ahalya saw through his disguise but nevertheless allowed and accepted his advances .
When Gautama Rishi returned, he came to know the fall down of Ahalya to Indra.
Ahalya and Indra were cursed by Gautama.
He cursed Ahalya to become a stone.
When she prays for redemption, Gautama said that she will be delivered when Lord Rama comes on this way and touches the stone with His lotus feet.
Ahalya thus became a stone and regained her human form after she is touched by Lord Rama’s foot.
When Lord Rama’s Lotus Feet touched Akalika, she got back her original life. This is the power of Divine Power getting btransfered by touch.
(3) DIKSHA BY THOUGHTS:
This is also possible because our thoughts are in fact the waves. When we think negative things, it gets reflected inb our face. When one always thinks divine things and God, it reflects in his face with a kind and merciful face.
Lord Krishna says that He is always thinking of His devotees. When Bhishma was lying on nail bed in Kurukshetra war field, Krishna was always thinking of Bhishmacharya. Thus, Bhishmacharya was energized with the divine power of Lord Krishna just by thoughts.
(4) DIKSHA THROUGH AN OBJECT:
A guru or God can impart his divine power into any object like a flower or fruit and give to a person. When that person receives that flowers or fruits, he gets the mercy of that guru or god.
(i) This is the concept of PRASADAM in Indian culture. When we honour (eat) the prasadam touched or seen by Krishna, we too get the mercy of Krishna. This is the diksha through an object in the form of prasadam.
(ii) That is why, in the temples, we are distributed the flowers or fruits offered to Lord.
(iii) Another example is very interesting. Srila Prabhupada, the founder of ISKCON, when he was in a position to give diksha to the devotees in distant places or even countries, chanted on a bead and sent to that country through post and the disciple accepted it.
How interesting this is!
CONDITIONS FOR SHAKTIPADA DIKSHA
Shaktipada Diksha or In general, ANY DIKSHA can not be received by force. That means, we can not force a guru to give diksha. This is an anugraha (mercy) of Guru and should be voluntarily given GRACEFULLY and WILLINGLY by a guru. Otherwise, transfer of divine power is not possible.
TYPES OF SHAKTIPADA DIKSHA
It is classified based on the depth of the effects of the diksha on the recipient. They are (From inferior to Superior):
(1) INFERIOR GRACE (MANDA):
The recipient of this diksha needs many more births to get liberated.
(2) MEDIUM INFERIOR GRACE (MADHYA-MANDA-SAKTIPATA):
The recipient of this diksha will have more material desires. He has to go to the higher stages.
(3) MADHYA-MADHYA-SAKTIPATA (MEDIUM MIDDLE GRACE):
The recipient of this diksha will give preference to spiritual matters than material matters.
(4) MEDIUM SUPREME GRACE (MADHYA-TIVRA-SAKTIPATA):
The recipient of this diksha will get the serious aspiration in spirituality.
(5) SUPREME INFERIOR GRACE (TIVRA-MANDA-SAKTIPATA):
The recipient of this diksha will get the total surrender to His guru. A guru is needed directly to get diksha.
(6) SUPREME MEDIUM GRACE (TIVRA-MADHYA-SAKTIPATA):
The recipient of this diksha will have intruition of having abandoned the duality. This diksha can be received only if the disciple has the mercy of God.
(7) SUPER SUPREME GRACE (TIVRA-TIVRA-SAKTIPATA):
The recipient of this diksha will get the serious willingness and capability to quit duality (good-bad, right-wrong, etc). This diksha can be received only if the disciple has the mercy of God.
Hope all of you have got the full details of Shakthipad Diksha in a simplified and customized format suitable for all the sects following the base of sanathana dharma.