Swami Satyananda Saraswati
When the guru and disciple are linked, then the gurus' power automatically flows to the disciple. This is shaktipat - the transmission of high frequency waves from guru to disciple. When the guru transmits a little of his own shakti to the disciple's mooladhara, kundalini feels a pull. But that pull is not an actual awakening. Kundalini gets a little scratch and it frowns. That frowning is the experience of shaktipat. The body trembles as sushumna becomes activated. The whole nervous system jerks and the disciple goes, 'Oh, Ou, Ah'. The eyes go up into automatic shambhavi, and the disciple begins to dance like Kali. It is really very funny sometimes. After guru gives his blessings, kundalini gets addicted to frowning. Everyday when the disciple sits for japa or meditation, the whole body starts shaking.
This experience of shaktipat can take place at any distance whether in the presence of guru or from afar. Distance is not a barrier. Distance relates to time and space; it does not relate to the transcendental state. Time and space are created by the mind. But if there is no mind, there can be no time and no space. It is something like Einstein's theory of relativity. So the transmission of guru's energy is not dependent on time and space. However, it is necessary that the guru and disciple are linked, that the guru's power automatically goes to the disciple. As long as guru and disciple retain their separate individuality, shaktipat does not take place.
There is a type of innocent aspirant who can easily accept this process of linking, and when he is in the presence of the guru this link is established automatically. Then the powerful thought waves, energy waves and spiritual waves of the gum pass through that link to the disciple. These energy waves go straight down to mooladhara chakra and there they disturb the sleeping kundalini. The nature of kundalini is not sattwic; it is tamasic. If you do not wake up kundalini, it will remain dormant, not only for one lifetime but for many lifetimes together. The nature of sushumna, the channel through which kundalini ascends, is also tamasic. So when guru and disciple are linked, and the energy waves of the guru pass through the disciple, they go straight to mooladhara chakra where they disturb the sleeping kundalini.
The next important point which should be understood is that shaktipat can take place through the medium of an object. For example, the guru can send you a mala and when you receive it shakipat is transmitted. Shaktipat can come through a magnetised flower, a scarf or anything that the guru may send you. This is why disciples go to the guru and request him to give his dhoti or some garment and they give him another in return- it is a custom which is still honoured today. When the disciple sits for meditation, he puts on this robe and it has an effect. So there are many ways of transmitting the power of guru to disciple.
Some disciples receive instant shaktipat, while others never receive it, because they are insulated. Even a wretched sinner can have shaktipat. However, the one type of person who is totally insulated from shaktipat is the intellectual- he who thinks he knows everything, but has experienced nothing.
The type of aspirant who receives shaktipat most easily is the one who is innocent and childlike. Such disciples who accept the gum completely are like copper wires. Copper wire is more efficient than zinc. Likewise, the guru and disciple must have the copper link. It requires a lot of faith, love, surrender and childlike simplicity, but the result is wondrous.
Ganga river has plenty of water but in order to take it away, you need a suitable container. If you bring only a one litre bottle, you will get only one litre of water. If you bring a barrel, you can take away a barrel of water. You can't say that the water supply is limited; it is only your vessel which is limited. Likewise, shaktipat is really nothing but the transmission of the guru's infinite energy waves. If the disciple is open and ready, there is no limit to which the guru can fill him.
(Recorded during a satsang in London on 6.4.82)