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Can 64,000 People Get Enlightened by 2012?


From What Is Enlightenment Magazine


Millions of people have experienced it, many thousands the world over are flocking to India to learn how to administer it, and celebrities—from movie actors to high-tech executives to self-help gurus such as Tony Robbins—are swearing by it. It’s called deeksha, and if you believe its proponents, this new form of spiritual transmission is going to have quite an impact on spirituality in the new millennium.

Deeksha, which means “benediction” or “initiation” in Sanskrit, was created by a South Indian couple known as Amma and Bhagavan, founders of the Golden Age Foundation. Similar in some respects to the traditional transmission of shaktipat (the conferring of spiritual power from guru to disciple), deeksha is generally conferred through touch, with deeksha givers (who undergo a twenty-one-day training) laying their hands on initiates’ heads in order to pass on the energy. Current initiates include Arjuna Ardagh, author of The Translucent Revolution, and Catherine Oxenberg, actress, reality TV star, and daughter of the princess of Yugoslavia. While recipients’ experiences vary considerably, many reports are beyond exuberant, crediting the process with all manner of illumination and awakening. Some visitors to the new Golden City ashram near Madras even report that in addition to deeksha, they were told exactly when they would reach final enlightenment.

As word of deeksha has spread in the West, Golden City has become a popular destination point for Western seekers traveling in South Asia, no small boon to the reputation of Amma and Bhagavan. Devotees’ numerous websites describe them as twin avatars (incarnations) of Lord Vishnu. That title might seem more than a little suspect these days with self-proclaimed avatars proliferating like colors on a Hindu holiday, but there is, in fact, scriptural validity to the term. Indeed, Hindu texts tell us that the Kalki avatar will help humanity transition out of the current dark age, or Kali Yuga, and no doubt that’s why Bhagavan’s students spent many years referring to their teacher as the Bhagavan Kalki. But no longer. Today, the Kalki references are out and deeksha is in. And Bhagavan has speculated on how the transmission of deeksha may be leading to a global awakening. He suggests that all we need is roughly sixty-four thousand people, or one-thousandth of the world’s population, to become transformed, and a sort of golden age tipping point will trigger the arrival of the prophesied Sat Yuga (blessed age).

What does this popular avatar mean by “transformed”? According to one longtime disciple, “changes will occur in the parietal and frontal lobes of the brain” that will allow people to experience “oneness consciousness.” Bhagavan has also made it clear that humanity’s transition to the Sat Yuga is on the fast track, destined for none other than 2012—that infamous year known for being, among other things, the end of the Mayan calendar. And in the “truth is stranger than fiction” category, the Golden City guru is reported to have already met with Mayan elders about the significance of this date. So what will 2012 bring? Whatever the case, expect to see a flood of materials on deeksha and the Golden City between now and then.