“These tantric powers have nothing to do with the spiritual path”

Dr Bharucha seated on the right side of Baba holding a fan

 

Dr. Bharucha told Baba of a man in his hometown (Navsari) who professed to have the power to drive out evil spirits from people possessed by them. Bharucha asked Baba, “How are such powers developed, and are the people who have them really advanced souls on the path?”

In reply, Baba stated:

It is possible to derive such powers if you gain tantric knowledge [mystical formulas for attainment of supernatural powers]. These powers may then be utilized for good or bad purposes — good when they are used for removing evil spirits from people and ghosts, bad when they are used for selfish ends and self-aggrandizement. These tantric powers have nothing to do with the spiritual path and the divine powers of the planes. Miracles performed by people possessing such powers are very childish. Even Vivekananda got himself in a terribly bad predicament when he began to crave such powers. His guru, Ramakrishna, saved him in the nick of time.

Regarding miracles, Baba narrated the tale of Baba Farid Shakkar Ganj:

Baba Farid did a lot of penance in order to gain powers. He did not eat for days on end and developed a severe gripping pain in his abdomen. As a last resort, he hung himself upside down deep inside a well. After several days, he was miraculously brought out of the well and found to his utter astonishment that he had derived some great powers. He at once began using them. Some birds were sitting on a nearby tree. He uttered: “Let the birds fall dead,” and all the birds fell to the ground dead! He then said: “Let the birds come to life and fly away,” and immediately the whole flock was alive and flew away!

He went from village to village, showing off his powers and thus feeding his ego. At a particular village, he saw an old woman drawing water from a well and splashing it just outside the well. The woman continued this monotonous procedure for a long time. Farid, desperately disgusted with the seeming madness of the woman, confronted her and asked her why she did such a foolish, time and energy-consuming action. She replied, “Son, by splashing water here, I am trying to put out a fire raging in a village ten miles from here! This action is not as easy as making dead birds fly away again!”

Farid realized at once that the woman was not an ordinary person and asked for forgiveness for his past deeds. She directed him to a Perfect Master sitting underneath a tree some distance away. Farid approached him and found that the tree he was sitting under was totally dry, and the hot sun was beating fiercely upon him. At once, he made use of his powers, turning the tree’s branches full with green leaves.

The Master just looked up at the tree and the branches became barren again. Farid again made the tree green, but a glance from the Master denuded it again. This happened five times. At last Farid realized that his powers were nothing compared to the Master’s, and he surrendered himself to him. The Master advised Farid to become a real fakirand not to play like a child with such powers. He said that miracles are not the criterion of fakiri [fakirhood].

Baba Farid Shakkar Ganj eventually became a Perfect Master.

Baba concluded, “Powers have no importance. Only love counts on the path. This requires the daring to annihilate oneself. Miracles are childish things.” [p4969]

-www.lordmeher.org, p4966
Apr, 1963; Guruprasad

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