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Slain in the Spirit & Soaking in the Spirit

By R. Davis

Contents :
Transfer of spiritual experience through touch 
Shaktipat and Samadhi
Similarity with Charismatic practice
Is it wrong or unfair to compare kundalini yoga and Charismatic practices?

Soaking & being slain in the spirit are occult

Transfer of spiritual experience through touch

The exact parallels between kundalini yoga and Charismatic practices of being slain in the spirit & soaking in the spirit must be explored by any serious believer.

Kundalini yoga students strive to arouse an energy or spirit they call "the force of the serpent" through a kundalini awakening. This is a spiritual experience that marks the beginning of a process believed to purify the soul and free it from earthly bondages as the seeker reaches for God. A kundalini awakening is sometimes referred to as a "baptism." Following is a teaching on these awakenings from a guru:

Now I would like to tell the secret knowledge of our inner being which was known in India thousands of years back. For our evolution and spiritual ascent there is a residual power within us which is located in the triangular bone at the base of our spine... When this Kundalini rises it connects you to the All-pervading Power, which is vital and which is an ocean of knowledge as well as an ocean of bliss. After the awakening of Kundalini, you experience many coincidences which are miraculous and extremely blissful. Above all, Kundalini is the ocean of forgiveness.1

There seems to be no doubt that the experience of awakened kundalini is very real and often life-changing. Another testimony confirms the delight it can bring:
 Since this awakening I have lived in this state where everything that happens is just the pure and natural expression of the will of God which one is in constant awe and gratitude for... It is beyond beautiful. It is cosmic perfection, it is perfect harmony and integration of a magnificent diversity that is beyond all human description. It is all the expression of the will of God and it is our very own Self. And the universe sings the praise of your existence in the eternal light and glory of God.2

Yoga exercises and meditation are often used to arouse kundalini. However, there are other ways. One is by contact with an empowered yoga master. Kundalini/shakti can be aroused by a touch from a guru, especially a touch to the forehead. The guru again:

in India, the awakening of the Kundalini was done, traditionally, on an individual basis only. One guru would give awakening to one disciple.3

It is this transferability of kundalini by touch that first caught my attention.   Shaktipat and Samadhi

Pat is a Hindi word meaning to "transfer" or "descend." A shakti pat (or, as one word, shaktipat) is a touch, usually on the forehead or crown, which transfers kundalini/shakti power from one person to another. Gurus give shaktipats to bless their disciples, often at meetings held for this purpose. See this advertisement:

... come to this rare and special evening with Grand Master Choa Kok Sui... we shall request him to give a Shakti Pat to each attendee. One Shakti Pat from him is equal to 20 years of spiritual practice... WOW!... It has been known that when we are in the presence of those who are highly developed spiritually and partake of the Divine energies that they can access and bring down, we have only to make the necessary wishes and, if we are entitled to it, these will manifest. This phenomenon has been observed, particularly, in relation to those who are seeking healing for different aspects of their lives.4

Note the emphasis on healing, also typical among Charismatics, which leads people away from the issue of grave concern to our Lord: our sin.

Hindus believe the forehead is spiritually significant, a very special chakra point because it is the "third eye," or "spiritual eye," through which men and women can see into the spiritual realm. A shaktipat, being a touch to the forehead, is considered important because it has the potential to open the third eye. Says one writer:

Shaktipat means "touch of the shakti" or Initiation. Shaktipat is the spiritual initation given by a divine Master; the inner quickening. Shaktipat is synonymous with the baptism of Christianity, and the annointing [sic] of Judaism... It represents the beginning of the awakening and unfolding of the inner power of kundalini - shakti, and is often accompanied by marvelous events and perceptions.5

After receiving shaktipat a person sometimes falls on the floor and lies in a trance-like state called samadhi. This is a peak spiritual experience. During samadhi, practitioners receive supernatural peace and love which is apparently joyful and soul-expanding; a very precious experience. Following are excerpts from a poem in praise of samadhi in which we find references to mystic "waves," mirth and laughter. This blissful samadhi was apparently "guru-given," i.e., imparted by a guru:

By deeper, longer, thirsty, guru-given meditation comes this celestial Samadhi... From joy I came, for joy i live, in sacred joy i melt... A tiny bubble of laughter, I am become the Sea of Mirth Itself.6

Following is a description of the samadhi experience from guru Ching Hai:

 Samadhi means that you are in ecstasy, in bliss, tranquility and light. You can be in ecstasy while living in this world. There are two kinds of Samadhi: One is after you leave this world, you are forever in ecstasy, in bliss, in the Kingdom of God. You are one with God or the Ocean of Love and Mercy. The other type is a smaller ecstasy that you experience every day through meditation, through devotional longing, or any type of ritual in order to reach ecstasy... When you are in a deeper ecstasy, the whole world disappears, and you only see light and God, and feel peace, bliss and ecstasy.7

 Obviously, a person in samadhi feels like he has met with God.

Similarity with Charismatic Practice 

Parallels between kundalini and Charismatic practice, including blessings and healing imparted by touch, cannot be denied. Shaktipat parallels being slain in the spirit. Samadhi resembles soaking prayer or soaking in the spirit. Both yogis and Charismatics believe they are meeting with God during these experiences.

I was shocked and concerned when I learned about shaktipat and samadhi. I have seen Charismatic leaders teach people where to touch others, particularly on the crown and forehead, but also the chest and belly, which are chakra points in Hindu theology. When I was a new Christian, TB leaders would seat me in a chair and pray, with one hand on my forehead and one on the back of my head, exactly like yoga masters do. The purpose is the same: to transmit spiritual power. Often the result is also the same, and the worshiper falls to the ground in the samadhi-like state Charismatics refer to as being slain in the Spirit.

Interestingly, some Charismatics have altered their practice to avoid touching for transferring the "Spirit." Others don't even need to touch a person: they are so empowered, they can invoke spirit by waving an object over a crowd or by prayer, as Todd Bentley and Benny Hinn apparently can do. It is the same with yogis who are advanced in occult practice.

Is it wrong or unfair to compare kundalini yoga and Charismatic practices?

Some may say it is wrong for me to compare kundalini and Charismatic experiences. But it is not wrong, not if we want to know the truth. Others say that resemblances between pagan and Charismatic practice only show that Satan is copying the work of God. I'm aware of that possibility; in fact, that is the assumption we need to check out. Believers need to know for sure: is it of God, or is it of Satan? Can we sluff off these eerie similarities?

Others say that Satan manifests at Charismatic meetings sometimes, because he wants to be where God is, and so we have to be alert to try to discern if it is God or Satan who is present. Both God and demons apparently, so they say, cause jerks, howlings, etc. But then we have to ask: If both God and Satan are at work in these manifestations, then how much of each? Can we measure it? Should we be able to measure it so we know when enough is enough? And is it really true that the Holy Spirit and Satan's unholy spirit manifest at the same time, side by side, during worship and prayer? If so, how can we know the difference? If it is true that we can pass on the Holy Spirit by touch, and Satan counterfeits this by allowing gurus to pass on an unholy spirit the same way, how can we be sure our leaders are of God and not of Satan? Wouldn't all this be crucial to understand, so we can be sure we don't receive an unholy spirit?

Soaking & being slain in the spirit are occult 

There is a short answer and a long answer. The long one is given in True to His Ways. The short one is that it is Satan and his demons only who are at work in both yoga and Charismatic spirituality. We know this, because both are occult. The occult is Satan's territory, and is where we meet with him and his demons. God simply cannot be found in the occult. Occultism is how Satan and his angels deceive, seduce, beguile, terrorize and defile their victims.

We do not test spiritual experiences by how they feel, for Satan comes as an angel of light, and his emissaries as ministers of righteousness.  We test our experiences objectively, considering if they are occult or biblical. For a careful, well-researched discussion, order True to His Ways. You can also go to the article on this Website, What is Occult, What is Biblical?

This is the short definition of occult (one or more aspects may be present):

 1) Occult practice includes seeking God or truth beyond nature, reason and the rational mind - that is, in the supernatural realm.

 2) Occult practice is based on a belief that communion with God comes through subjective, supernatural experience.

 3) Occult practice involves seeking supernatural energy, spirits, power, presence, influence, action or enchantments.

 Being slain in the spirit and soaking in the spirit are occult because they involve seeking direct contact with supernatural spirit, and they seek the action, power, presence, enchantments and influence of supernatural spirit. It's that simple.

These practices are all counterfeits of true, biblical spirituality. Among other things, they (a) lead people away from the life-giving Scriptures, the Word of God, and (b) distract them from the issue of their sin; for it is only the spiritual infirmity of sin which is of eternal consequence and significance.

© R Davis, Baruch House publishing, 2008. Adapted from part of the book True to His Ways.

Endnotes (Some website references removed or condensed as I do not want to refer people to occult Websites.):

1. Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi, quoted in "Human Subtle System (Tree of Life),", "subtle_system - kundalini
2. posted at
3. Devi, "Human Subtle System" (Tree of Life)
4. For a meeting held April 2003
5. Sacred Word Trust, "shaktipat info"
6. Paramhansa Yogananda, "Samadhi,"
7. Ching Hai, "Samadhi,"


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True To His Ways is a publication of Baruch House Publishing