Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Kundalini and Occult Powers

I am often asked about Kundalini and occult powers. It's an issue that fits well with western conditioning — the idea that there must be some reward at the end of the rainbow, the notion that one who has fought the good fight deserves an exceptional reward. Post proelium praemium.*

Because it stimulates intensive neuroplastic activity, Kundalini can change the being either permanently or temporarily, depending on the type of awakening. It may awaken certain talents or stimulate creativity; it usually does. It may also bestow certain powers, such as clairvoyance or metanormal cognition. However, to go into it thinking in terms of occult powers, hoping for some reward is self-deception. It's not just counter-productive in a religious sense; it's psychological and social self-deception, too. Don't let Bruce Almighty fantasies distract you.

You don' need no stinkin' occult powers. What comes to you comes out of the being you already are. You can't make yourself more than you are; all you can do is refine what you already are. And that, in and of itself, is a lot. So just because you have a big ego, don't count on Kundalini to improve your standing or your self-image. In fact, it will probably put your whole being in perspective for you — perhaps for the very first time.

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If you've been thinking in these terms, read the following:
Sri Ramakrishna on Occult Powers  (Sunday, September 21, 1884)
"Radha had attained mahabhava. There was no desire behind the ecstatic love of the gopis. A true lover does not seek anything from God. He prays only for pure love. He doesn't want any powers or miracles.

"It is very troublesome to possess occult powers. Nangta taught me this by a story. A man who had acquired occult powers was sitting on the seashore when a storm arose. It caused him great discomfort; so he said, 'Let the storm stop.' His words could not remain unfulfilled. At that moment a ship was going full sail before the wind. When the storm ceased abruptly the ship capsized and sank. The passengers perished and the sin of causing their death fell to the man. And because of that sin he lost his occult powers and went to hell.

"Once upon a time a sadhu acquired great occult powers. He was vain about them. But he was a good man and had some austerities to his credit. One day the Lord, disguised as a holy man, came to him and said, 'Revered sir, I have heard that you have great occult powers.' The sadhu received the Lord cordially and offered him a seat. Just then an elephant passed by. The Lord, in the disguise of the holy man, said to the sadhu, 'Revered sir, can you kill this elephant if you like?'

The sadhu said, 'Yes, it is possible.' So saying, he took a pinch of dust, muttered some mantras over it, and threw it at the elephant. The beast struggled awhile in pain and then dropped dead. The Lord said: 'What power you have! You have killed the elephant!' The sadhu laughed. Again the Lord spoke: 'Now can you revive the elephant?' 'That too is possible', replied the sadhu. He threw another pinch of charmed dust at the beast. The elephant writhed about a little and came back to life.

Then the Lord said: 'Wonderful is your power. But may I ask you one thing? You have killed the elephant and you have revived it. But what has that done for you? Do you feel uplifted by it? Has it enabled you to realize God?' Saying this the Lord vanished. "Subtle are the ways of dharma. One cannot realize God if one has even the least trace of desire. A thread cannot pass through the eye of a needle if it has the smallest fibre sticking out.

"Krishna said to Arjuna, 'Friend, if you want to realize Me, you will not succeed if you have even one of the eight occult powers.' This is the truth. Occult power is sure to beget pride, and pride makes one forget God. An egotistic person cannot realize God. Do you know what egotism is like? It is like a high mound, where rain-water cannot collect: the water runs off. Water collects in low land. There seeds sprout and grow into trees. Then the trees bear fruit. "Therefore I say, 'Never think that you alone have true understanding and that others are fools.' One must love all. No one is a stranger. It is Hari alone who dwells in all beings. Nothing exists without Him.""
I'm not saying that Kundalini could never bestow such amazing metanormal powers on an individual. After a massive neuroplastic reengineering of the brain, anything is possible. All I ask those who ask me about occult powers is: "Suppose you acquire such powers, how do you visualize your life with such powers? In what way do they change the way you live, the way you treat others and the way you think about yourself?"

* 'After the battle, the reward.'


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