Sri Ramakrishna on Occult Powers - Siddhis
(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
too is possible', replied the sadhu. He threw another
pinch of charmed dust at the beast. The elephant writhed
about a litle 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. "Once a cross-eyed rich man came here. He said to
me: 'You are a paramahamsa. That is good. You must
perform a swastyayana ceremony for me.' What a
small-minded person he was! He called me a paramahamsa
and yet wanted me to perform that ceremony. To secure
welfare by means of the swastyayana is to exercise
"Art 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 to
Hazra, '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.
"The Lord said to Prahlada, 'Ask a boon of Me.' 'I have
seen You', repliedPrahlada. 'That is enough. I don't
need anything else.' But the Lord insisted. Thereupon
Prahlada said, 'If You must give me a boon, let it be
that those who have tortured me may not have to suffer
punishment.' The meaning of those words is that it was
God who tortured Prahlada in the form of his
persecutors, and, if they suffered punishment, it would
really be God who suffered.
Occult powers (April 12,
Sri Ramakrishna (to Girish and the
other devotees) : "People of small intellect seek occult
powers—powers to cure disease, win a lawsuit, walk on
water, and such things. But the genuine devotees of God
don't want anything except His Lotus Feet. One day
Hriday said to me, 'Uncle, please ask the Mother for
some powers, some occult powers.' I have the nature of a
child. While I was practising japa in the Kali temple, I
said to Kali, 'Mother, Hriday asked me to pray to You
for some occult powers.'
The Divine Mother at once showed me a vision. A
middle-aged prostitute, about forty years old, appeared
and sat with her back to me. She had large hips and wore
a black-bordered sari. Soon she was covered with filth.
The Mother showed me that occult powers are as
abominable as the filth of that prostitute. Thereupon I
went to Hriday and scolded him, saying: 'why did you
teach me such a prayer? It is because of you that I had
such an experience.'
A false teacher "People with a little occult power gain
such things as name and fame. Many of them want to
follow the profession of guru, gain people's
recognition, and make disciples and devotees. Men say of
such a guru: 'Ah! He is having a wonderful time. How
many people visit him! He has many disciples and
followers. His house is overflowing with furniture and
other things. People give him presents. He has such
power that he can feed many people if he so desires.'
"The profession of a teacher is like that of a
prostitute. It is the selling of oneself for the trifle
of money, honour, and creature comforts. For such
insignificant things it is not good to prostitute the
body, mind, and soul, the means
by which one can attain God. A man once said about a
certain woman: 'Ah! She is having a grand time now. She
is so well off! She has rented a room and furnished it
with a couch, a mat, pillows, and many other things. And
how many people she controls! They are always visiting
In other words, the woman has now become a prostitute.
Therefore her happiness is unbounded. Formerly she was a
maidservant in a gentleman's house; now she is a
prostitute. She has ruined herself for a mere trifle.
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