You said at the Nargol meditation camp that the meaning of shaktipat – transmission of the divine energy – is that the energy of the divine descends into the meditator. Later on you said that there is a difference between shaktipat and grace. These two statements seem contradictory. Please explain.
There is a slight difference between the two and there is a little similarity between them also. Actually the field of each extends into the other. Shaktipat means the energy of the divine, and in fact there is no other energy except the energy of the divine. In shaktipat, however, someone functions as a medium. Although ultimately that person is also a part of the divine, in the initial stage the individual functions as a medium.
It is just like the lightning that flashes across the sky and the electric light that lights the house: they are the same but the light that burns in the house is brought about through a medium and the hand of man is clearly evident behind it.
The lightning that flashes in the rain is the same divine energy but it is not brought about by man. If man were to become extinct the lightning would still flash across the sky but the electric bulb would no longer work. Shaktipat is like the electric bulb in which man is the medium. The lightning in the sky that comes without the help of a medium is grace.
A person who has attained to this energy level, one who is in contact with the divine, can function as a medium because he is a better vehicle than you are for this event; he is familiar with the energy and its workings. The energy can enter you more quickly through him. You are totally unacquainted, immature; this man is a well matured vehicle. If the energy enters you through him, it happens easily, he is an efficient medium.
Secondly, that person is a narrow channel from which you will receive energy, but only according to your capacity. You can sit under the electric light in the house and read because it is a regulated light; you cannot read under the lightning in the sky because it follows no regulation.
So if by chance a person suddenly happens to be in a state in which grace can descend on him or a sudden situation is created in which shaktipat happens to him without a medium, then there is every possibility of his going crazy or becoming insane. The energy that has descended on him may be too much and his capacity to hold it too little; hence he can be completely shattered. Then unknown, unfamiliar experiences of joy become painful and unbearable.
It is as if a man used to staying in darkness for years is suddenly brought out into the daylight; the darkness will deepen all the more and he will not immediately be able to see the light of the sun. His eyes were accustomed to seeing in the darkness, so they cannot stand the glare of light and will close.