20th December, 1938
A Swiss lady, Mrs. J. C. S. Hick-Riddingh, asked:
“Does Self-Realisation imply occult powers also?”
M.: The Self is the most intimate and eternal Being whereas the siddhis are
foreign. The one requires effort to acquire and the other does not.
The powers are sought by the mind which must be kept alert
whereas the Self is realised when the mind is destroyed. The
powers manifest only when there is the ego. The ego makes
you aware of others and in its absence there are no others to be
seen. The Self is beyond the ego and is realised after the ego is
eliminated. The elimination of the ego makes one unaware of
others. How can the question of others arise and where is the use
of occult powers for a Self-Realised Being?
Self-Realisation may be accompanied by occult powers or it may
not be. If the person had sought such powers before Realisation,
he may get the powers after Realisation. There are others who had
not sought such powers and had attempted only Self-Realisation.
They do not manifest such powers.
These powers may also be sought and gained even after Self-Realisation.
But then they are used for a definite purpose, i.e. the
benefit of others as in the case of Chudala.
Sikhidhvaja was a pious king. His spouse was Chudala. They
received instructions from a sage. The king, being busy with
the administration of his kingdom, could not put the instructions
into practice, whereas Chudala put them into practice and gained
Self-Realisation. Consequently she appeared more charming than
before. The king was struck by her growing charm and asked her
about it. She said that all charm was due to the Self and he was
only noting the charm of Self-Realisation in her. He said that she
was silly. There were great tapasvis who could not realise the Self
even after long periods of tapas and what about a silly woman who
was all along in the family and in the worldly life?
However, Chudala was not offended because she was firm in the
Self and only wished that her husband should realise the Self and
be happy. She then thought that unless she could prove her worth by
manifesting some extraordinary powers he could not be convinced
and she began to seek occult powers and gained them. But she did
not betray them just then. Constant association with her made the
king dispassionate. He began to dislike the worldly life and desired
to retire into the forest for performing tapasya. So he told his wife
that he wanted to leave the world for the forest. She was delighted
at the development, but pretended to be very much concerned with
his unkind decision. He hesitated out of consideration for her. In
the meantime, his dispassion gained in force and he decided to
leave home even without her consent.
When the queen was sleeping one night he suddenly left the palace
by stealth and retired into the forest. He was seeking some solitary
spot where he could perform his tapas. When the queen woke up she
did not find her husband and immediately found out by her occult
powers what had really happened. She rejoiced in her husband’s
determination. She called the ministers and said that the king had
gone on some important business and that the administration should
be carried on as efficiently as ever. She herself administered the
state in the absence of the king.
Eighteen years passed. She then knew that the king was fit for
Self-Realisation. So she appeared to him disguised as Kumbha and
so on. He then realised the Self and returned to rule the kingdom
with the queen.
The point is that occult powers are sought and gained for the
benefit of others by Self-Realised persons also. But the sages are
not deluded by the possession of such powers.
D.: Does the sage use occult powers for making others realise the Self
or is the mere fact of his Self-Realisation enough for it?
M.: The force of his Self-Realisation is far more powerful than the
use of all other powers.
Inasmuch as there is no ego in him, there are not others for him.
What is the highest benefit that can be conferred on others? It is
happiness. Happiness is born of Peace. Peace can reign only when
there is no disturbance. Disturbance is due to thoughts which arise
in the mind. When the mind itself is absent there will be perfect
Peace. Unless a person had annihilated his mind he cannot gain
peace and be happy. Unless he himself is happy he cannot bestow
happiness on others.
When there is no mind he cannot be aware of others. So the mere fact
of his Self-Realisation is itself enough to make all others happy.
D.: Can samadhi come and go?
M.: What is samadhi? Samadhi is one’s essential nature. How then
can it come or go?
If you do not realise your essential nature, your sight remains
obstructed. What is the obstruction? Find it and remove it. So one’s
efforts are meant only for the removal of obstructions which hide
the true vision. The real nature remains the same. When once it is
realised it is permanent.
D.: But Mr. Brunton says that he had one hour’s samadhi. Therefore
I asked the question.
M.: A practiser gains peace of mind and is happy. That peace is
the result of his efforts. But the real state must be effortless.
The effortless samadhi is the true one and the perfect state. It is
permanent. The efforts are spasmodic and so also their results.
When the real, effortless, permanent, happy nature is realised it
will be found to be not inconsistent with the ordinary activities of
life. The samadhi reached after efforts looks like abstraction from
the external activities. A person might be so abstracted or live
freely among people without detriment to his Peace and Happiness
because that is his true nature or the Self.