Swami Muktananda: the Man Who Revitalized Shaktipat Tradition In India and Abroad
On a basic level, Shaktipat involves the process of transmitting spiritual energy from one person to another. Many spiritual seekers, who want to evolve spiritually, are increasingly looking for Shaktipat Transmission to supplement their spiritual sadhana. There are quite a few numbers of people who provide shaktipat transmission, either online (through remote Shaktipat transmission) or offline (through public or privately held group satsangs). In this way, the concept of Shaktipat is becoming more and more pronounced.
Take a look at the evolution of RASA Shaktipat tradition as an example. Initially, Ramaji was the only one who was providing the Shaktipat transmission of RASA since 2012. He gain real traction when he published his book "1000", where he described how spiritual seekers tend to stay at various levels of consciousness and how RASA helps them to realize the nondual level of consciousness through RASA Shaktipat Transmission. Later, he and his teaching partner Ananda Devi trained some of their students to give RASA. Fittingly, these students are called as “RASA Givers”. These RASA Givers are located all over the world. They are helping spiritual seekers to stabilize into nondual consciousness shaktipat to students And just like that, RASA Shaktipat is becoming a global movement.
However, it was Swami Muktananda who actually popularized the Shaktipat movement on a global scale and initiated a wave of Kundalini awakening globally. So, who is Swami Muktananda?
Before we go any further to understand how the Shaktipat tradition got global, it is important to understand who ‘Swami Muktananda’ actually was.
Swami Muktananda was one of the Siddhars (evolved Saints of South India), who had a deep knowledge of the subjects of Vedanta, Kundalini Shakti, and Kashmir Shaivism. He was born near Mangalore, as Krishna Rai and was a disciple of Bhagavan Nityananda. Although he received recognition for many of his yogic attainments, yet he often said during his interviews that his spiritual journey began after he received Shaktipat from Bhagavan Nityananda. It was then when he experienced Kundalini awakening and attained the state of God-realization.
Few years later in the 1970s, he introduced this tradition to the West. This marked his first step in globalizing Shaktipat.
He used to give Shaktipat initiations to thousands of people in the West, who wanted to walk on the path of spirituality.
Slowly and steadily, he established Gurudev Siddha Peeth in India and the SYDA Foundation in the US for administering the work of Siddha Yoga at respective places.
Siddha Yoga: The Revitalized Form Of Shaktipat
Siddha Yoga was founded by Swami Muktananda to help siddha yogis (one who practices Siddha Yoga) to explore the path of self-realization. The central element of this spiritual path is Shaktipat, which involves awakening the Kundalini shakti by transmitting divine power from a realized guru to his disciple.
Hence, without any doubt, Siddha Yoga can be termed as the revitalized form of Shaktipat, introduced by Muktananda.
As mentioned above, the sole purpose of practicing this yoga is to help the siddha yogis expand their inner mystical state, until they achieve oneness with God. It involves sitting in a quiet place and concentrating on a mantra - majorly Om Namah Shivaya - and the flow of breath.
The sacred mantras chanted during the meditation helps the person enter into a dialogue with the Almighty. There are two major types of chants, namely namasankirtana and swadhyaya. The former refers to the chanting of Sanskrit mantras, while the latter refers to the chanting of scriptural texts in Sanskrit. If you ever visit Siddha Yoga meditation centers and ashrams, you will easily find people chanting swadhyaya in the morning and evening Arati, Shree Rudram, the Guru Gita and the Kundalini Stavah.
Principles of Siddha Yoga
Helping you explore the path of harmony and self-realization, Siddha Yoga is based on five major principles mentioned below -
1. Meditation: Every siddha yogi chants a specific mantra, as a first step towards finding the inner self and peace within the mind.
2. Service: This principle focuses on selfless service to explore the path of enlightenment.
3. Dakshina: A gift or dakshina is given to the guru as a token of gratitude for helping the disciple learn different values and ethics.
4. Satsang: Satsang or preaching is undertaken to help others know about Siddha Yoga, enlightenment and meditation.
The entire credit goes to Swami Muktananda, who actually thought of spreading the wave of Shaktipat (in the form of Siddha Yoga) across borders. Today there are numbers of meditation centers in different countries (like the United States, France, Belgium, Australia, Japan etc.), where people can learn and practice Siddha Yoga, under the vigilance of Gurumayi Chidvilasananda - The present head of Siddha Yoga.
The cover image of this article was collected from here.
The image of Swami Muktananda used in this article was from here.