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Q & A: Severe rash, frightening reaction to Shaktipat
I had a frightening reaction to Shaktipat from Baba Muktananda. That night I developed a severe rash all over my body. I went to the emergency room and was given a shot of medication. I did not have Kriyas or spiritual experiences. I learned that others have had rashes develop after Shaktipat. I have asked Gurumayi, Swami Chetanananda and Swami Girijananda, who was authorized to give Muktananda’s Shaktipat. Gurumayi laughed and waved me away. Swami Chetanananda said I had received pollution from living in India. Swami Girijananda said that people have different kinds of reactions, and that I did not have a connection to Muktananda.

All my life I have been devoted to God, first as a Roman Catholic, then as a spiritual seeker, majoring in world religions and having mystical yearnings. In graduate school, I was a scholar of the Hindu Yogic traditions, especially Kashmir Shaivism. This was my sole experience of Shaktipat. It kept me from learning Siddha Yoga.

Kim (Name changed), USA

Sorry to hear about your experience and reaction after Shaktipat. I personally do not think it was Kundalini awakening (but I may be wrong). I cannot tell why the severe rash all over your body after Shaktipat.

Anyway, here are my general thoughts: Even though I am a follower of Siddha Yoga for several decades, these days I do not suggest too many people about Kundalini or Shaktipat. There are several reasons and couple of them being

1) It is difficult to find the right Shaktipat Guru and
2) Most important being an average individual (including me) do not have abilities to identify a “Jivanmukta” (realized soul)...and even if one finds a Jivanmukta as their Guru the initial progress fully depends on individual seeker’s own Samskaras (Karma impressions from past several lives). If the Karma impressions have a solid blockage in the Nadi system of the seeker (72,000 subtle energy channels carrying Prana), then even the Jivanmukta cannot initiate immediate Kriyas within the Sadhak. I can suggest you visit the following page where some capable Shaktipat Gurus are listed in the first part of it. But I know there is a limitation of no-meat-diet-for-rest-of-the-life condition in their case (which is difficult to maintain for several seekers) Shaktipat Guru

Now, even if we assume one has immediate Kriyas with the help of a able Shaktipat Guru, there is still a huge travel of several decades in the dark. This is because of the control of Maya on every individual. If you read page about divine experiences on the site you will realize that most of the seekers have no clear idea about God or do not know where they are in their travel towards the Divine. There is nothing wrong about this picture. In fact that is how it is in the initial stages...always. This is the power of Maya!

With the above in mind, these days I suggest seekers to follow Bhakti Yoga (Yoga of devotion) which is always the superior to Siddha Yoga (because Siddha Yoga is kind of dry while Bhakti Yoga is full of life – faith and Bhakti) For any Yoga, One first needs to understand the life, how it operates (law of Karma), the presence of God in our life and the limitation God faces while he helps us or is being with us every moment while we remember him through Japa or Naam (repetition of God’s name).

Generally this is how one travels on the Divine path (to God) – 4 Stages of Siddha Yoga. The same applies to other Yogas as well (with varying degrees).

How to achieve the final goal of Yoga? Final goal being - The union with God or being a Jivanmukta or attaining the Self-Realization.

Here are some useful resources I always recommend for serious Sadhak (seeker). These are absolutely must for those who are in search of God or Self-Realization (they are not about Siddha Yoga or Kundalini Yoga at all) but a generalized path towards the Divine (synergy of different Yogas)

In my view, God is all about application to daily life, not about gathering knowledge of God. There are millions who have some knowledge about God (with their own imagination) but there is only one in millions who is a "Jivanmukta" (realized soul) who has crossed the river of Samsara (worldly life). He is the only one who has overcome the Maya (grand illusion of mind) and the cycle of life and death. Everyone else is either a sufferer or a traveler...and most of the initial travel is in the dark engulfed with doubts about the existence of the God. After efforts of several decades or lives one starts seeing the dawn.

Life is absolutely blissful when one can be a spectator...Maya starts pulling the moment one slips into a role of an actor...which happens most of the times every day....that takes us away from the God....and the struggle continues.

Following resources teach us how to be a spectator (non-doer) rather than an actor (doer).

1) Yahoo group of Swami Sivananda. Swami Sivananda has written 200 books on the topic...most important being on the topic of mind. He teaches about how to tame the "cobra-of-mind" that pull us in all directions. Reading his daily emails will help immensely in your spiritual efforts and progress. Absolutely practical thoughts about how to apply God to daily life. In my view it is must for every serious Sadhak to read his daily mails. You can receive emails if you register here. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sivanandadaily Sivananada’s daily emails will also tell you how much more of a journey is left in your divine effort. If you can do everything that is told by Sivananda you will attain the God this very moment.

2) This is "Guru shopping 1 of 6" lecture of Anubhavananda in Melbourne...Excellent practical view on life. (You can search for his other 5 parts)


3) OmSwami another useful site – He writes blogs from his Ashram in Himachal Pradesh...wonderful thoughts: http://www.omswami.com

I am sure there are many more. But as long as you read the above they will keep you on track to the Divine....and the Key is reading, continuous reading, because the moment we lose touch with the God we are pulled away from the God. Also, there are several Q & A section on this site that will help in many aspects of Divine efforts, but the following will be more helpful:

I am Worried if I will have any spiritual progress or not?

I am learning meditation, Am I on right track to God?

I hope this helps in you search for the Divine.

Thank you.
Mahendra Joshi

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Q & A: Severe rash, frightening reaction to Shaktipat Topics: Kundalini and Shaktipat initiation

Yoga is an exact science. It aims at the harmonious development of body, mind and soul. Everyone should follow one Yoga as their primary Yoga (based on their character). Then we must combine Karma Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Raja Yoga, Bhakti Yoga and Gyan Yoga. This “Yoga Synthesis” will lead one to the God.
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Kundalini Yoga is also known by the names: Siddha Yoga, Sahaj Yoga, Shaktipat Yoga, Maha Yoga, Shakti Yoga or Kriya Yoga