• Page 1 of 7

    (Occult Powers)

         Guru: Certain yogic practices enjoin Kalpaseva -techniques for living very long lifes and for performing certain prowesses (ocult powers)- on sanyasis -renunciates. It was well intended. Though gradually it became corrupt in practice.

        Kalpaseva was for keeping the body free from pain. As a result of its practice, the body became invulnerable to even harsh and adverse physical environments. This led to indulgence. There were several applications of this body occult, for example, practices of gaunamani and sthambhana mani. There were practices enabling one to levitate. There were techniques to retain vital energy too. Several yogis have made fatal mistakes in this practice. In some cases these caused premature death. Some who were passionate, caused death to their female partners. Bhogar, who was Subrahmanya’s Guru was one such adept.

        Human intelligence leads to trouble if applied in excess. Only optimal and responsible use of it can be rewarding.

         Disciple: Please tell us about Bhogar.

         Guru: It is better not to go into that story here. People might find it objectionable. Kalpaseva is intended to develop and preserve the latent qualities in the body, in order to make it invulnerable to adverse

  • Page 2 of 7

    circumstances. Certain varieties of gourds are cultivated with special manures. When the fruit appears, either the plant stem or the fruit itself is bored and certain medicines are introduced. Later the fruit which would have special properties is eaten as prescribed.

        Kalpa bases are several. From Tulasi to Kanjira leaves, this is Kalpa prescription with leaves. Another application is with herbs. There are crushed together and juices extracted. Yet another application is with the refined seed of Kanjira. There is the use of the ‘nine poisons’ -navapashana- like mercury, sulphur etc.

        The use of the leaves is fairly mild. The use of the ‘nine poisons’ however enables the adept to develop extraordinary powers and appear ‘divine’ in the eyes of common people. The nature of his body’s needs changes. The adept can survive without food or water, the moisture in the atmosphere is enough to sustain him. This can increase his longevity too. Ordinary mortals fall for it and start thinking that all this is by God’s grace. Kalpa techniques were established by Rajarshis, kings who took to yogic practice.

        An adept who completes kalpaseva might effortlessly remain seated on a block of ice or walk over water. They might levitate or hold fire in their palm. Ignorant people, and even scholars sometimes, are convinced that such feats are the signs of austere and ascetic sanyasis. Less discerning scholars who are thus convinced left descriptions of this ‘sanyasa’ for posterity. Posterity was deluded by what was thus written. Some people misinterpret

  • Page 3 of 7

    this as spirituality, but obviously they are far away from Truth.

       Sri Krishna is believed to be the most exalted in the knowledge of the attainment of spiritual liberation. He never took to such techniques. He merely ate and drank like a normal human. Yet his was a far greater life than that of all past great yogis. Buddha severely criticized some practices that lead to the attainment of siddhis -occult powers, such as levitation, walking on water, etc.- because he said that this could severely interfere with your spiritual growth. The great Indian sage Ramakrishna Paramahamsa said that the siddhis were an obstacle in the attainment of spiritual liberation.

        Krishna, Moses, Jesus, Ramakrishna, Vivekananda, Aurobindo, Dayananda Saraswati, Chattampi Swamikal and Narayana Guru are some of the great sanyasis of known times. All these had gone through pain at the time of death. Narayana Guru, Chattampi Swamikal, Ramakrishna and Vivekananda are closer to us in time. Quite a few people know about them -who can deny that they are great renunciates? They had followed the natural law (Dharma) of the body. They are out ideals. There is a belief that the laws of the body, drop once a man arrives at the science of self. It has its origin in the misconception of scholars.

        Misconceptions of this kind have not been cleared so far. We still do not have right understanding of what a pure Acharya, highly respected spiritual teacher, is like. People tend to misunderstand.

  • Page 4 of 7

        It is a handful of Rajarshis -kings who took up yogic practices- who discovered the Kalpa techniques. This system for attaining occult powers, came to be widely misunderstood as sanyasa, renunciation that can lead you to spiritual liberation. This is very much like the misconception that siddhi, working of miracles, is atmavidya, the knowledge or science of self. Even the learned are caught in this prevalent misconception. An excess of intellection is at the root of all this.

        Even science enthusiasts have fallen a prey to the same error of excess intellection. Resultant misconceptions are leading the World to disaster. Man should realize that he is still continuing to stockpile destructive devices, instead of discarding them. In spite of realizing that the knowledge he has acquired can annihilate life on Earth, man continues to build his defenses on that knowledge. And he is moving with force towards self-annihilation. This is not strength, but weakness, not realization but delusion.

         Disciple: Earlier mentioned practices that negate true renunciation, were like the self-defeating course science has taken today. Is this what you mean?

         Guru: Yes. We have yet to know many more things. There are errors both of the followers and the preceptors whom they follow.

        Normally brahmacharis -unmarried male spiritual aspirants- or renunciates have vastly evolved intellects and abilities. Sometimes less evolved or even crude renouncers will appear attractive. They might even

  • Page 5 of 7

    exhibit minor occult skills. People in their affection accept uncritically, without pondering over the spiritual distortion these practices entail. Such acceptance is true of both householder and renunciate. Affection blurs the vision of even the wise.

         Disciple: Are you cautioning brahmacharis and householders alike?

         Guru: Brahmacharis may have certain special virtues. They do not desire learning or wealth. It is a grace they have been given. And all who become associated with them find them lovable. When the renouncer is a woman, even if she is of some spiritual stature, she becomes vulnerable. Women are most vulnerable. A woman or man from an affluent background gets quickly attracted to a renunciate of the opposite sex. This may lead the renunciate astray.

        Brahmachari, householder or sanyasi, all can be equally vulnerable. Only if this problem is handled with knowledge of its root causes, can this be solved. It is the lack of such understanding that led to the breakup of the sangha -spiritual community- of monks, that was raised through the utmost self-sacrifice and striving of the Buddha.

        In our action, we should be mindful of these occurrences in the past. It does not mean that we should not interact with people. Gold is rubbed against the touchstone for testing. One can tell from the streak that is left on the stone if it is gold.

        Likewise only impart knowledge. Do not give out yourself. You should be

  • Page 6 of 7

    ever mindful and vigilant. Householders, brahmacharis, and renunciates, all should be mindful of pitfalls. There can be a repetition of the disastrous mistakes we have discussed.

         Disciple: You are well aware of these pitfalls, and yet you have dedicated yourself to the building of this spiritual community, often in the face of resistance and resentment.

         Guru: It is not with a total awareness that I have done all this. From childhood I had sensed that certain things were wrong. By the grace of God, I had the opportunity to live in an Ashram and to meet several great men. I had the chance also to see their work in perspective. At the same time, I was also able to see and understand those people who harmed me and those who instigated them to act in that fashion. I was able to see why they had done so. I have taken these experiences as examples of what a renunciate would have to go through.

         Disciple: Then would it not mean that it would take a life-time to reach this understanding?

         Guru: No, learn from those who have learned from life. Or just obey. Is that not the way of the Guru-sishya -master-disciple- relationship? If you learn this much carefully, you will be able to guard yourselves and people will be able to guard themselves. Human intelligence leads to trouble if applied in excess. Only optimal and responsible use of it can be rewarding. When we examine the inventions and discoveries of human intellect, we realize their

  • Page 7 of 7


        Thus we observe that the sages who handed down the systems were recipients of visions. It is paradoxical that these systems initiated into Vedic elitism, degenerated into ritual and misuse.

        We should take a firm decision to live according to the Will of the Almighty, live and work accordingly for the realization of that Will. Let us pray that all are inspired.

        Abide by that Will and hope that we will be granted the power to understand what It tells us.

        The revealed word, is our only weapon.

    Next Chapter: Terminology

    Any Questions?