An excerpt from a satsang in Europe in 2013
Q: I have learned that it is possible as a yogi to obtain special psychic abilities or siddhis. Since I work as a therapist, I am wondering about using these powers to help my clients in my practice, even though using these powers may obstruct my progress on the spiritual path…
In Swami Rama’s book on Himalayan Masters, he mentions a man who performed a particular practice to obtain a siddhi, or the power to spit fire. When the man told his Guru about this, the Guru asked him how many years it had taken him to attain this siddhi. The man replied that he had practiced for ten years. The Guru then retorted that he himself would simply have purchased a matchbox to achieve the same! (laughter)
I would like to speak about my own experience in this regard, which I have already written about in the Babaji blog. This goes back to 2003-2004, when I was doing spiritual practice on my own, in seclusion and detached from the work-world (I have always worked for a living). Understand that during the course of the spiritual journey, siddhis will just happen, whether you like them or not. Over time I came to realize that every time I met a person, I could “see” through them completely, through all of their past and future lives. If I perceived that they were going to meet with some kind of mishap in the future, I used to feel an inclination or sense of responsibility to inform them about it. Of course this was done without any expectation of personal gain, as always. I could have possibly consulted a guru regarding this, but I never had one, not even during my time in the Himalayas.
A siddhi-related experience I recall happened during a visit to a friend’s house where I was going to be staying as a guest. The maid, a young lady in her twenties, opened the door. The moment I looked at her, I foresaw a terrible incident involving her — a man of age 55-60 would take her away to some place and sell her into prostitution. So I spoke to my host friend,
giving him a description of this person and his nature, and asked him to pass on this information to the young lady, so she could be wary of him and avoid any interaction. My friend then communicated this to the maid in her language. Hearing that she burst into floods of tears. She had in fact, already met that person. And it so transpired that in a month’s time she did in fact leave the house and ran away with that man. No one knows what happened after, but I am afraid that what I warned her about may unfortunately have come to pass.
Also during that time, I had a communion where I was told that my job was just to convey the message, and not concern myself with the consequences. In 2007, during my second communion with Babaji, I was told that this could be a possible trap for me in this lifetime (please refer to this story in the blog “Babaji beyond definitions”. I was told that because of my siddhis or powers, people might come to me not because of who I am, or because of any interest in my consciousness, but only out of interest in knowing their futures. This might keep the real seekers away, leaving only the fake or pseudo-seekers looking for predictions.
One person in India recently asked me why I didn’t use this siddhi to gauge the nature of people even before I met them. I replied saying that I did not want to be caught in any kind of binding. I would like to stay liberated and help liberate others. With the gain of siddhis, there is a possibility of addiction similar to how some people get dependent on marijuana. If the usage of siddhis happens spontaneously and without premeditation, it is all right. The mind naturally desires these siddhis or powers, but they can be detrimental if not handled with maturity. It’s just like when you reach the position of CEO, you automatically get the attached perks and privileges. Similarly, in the spiritual journey you will also easily obtain siddhis upon attainment of subtle levels or elevation.
So, whenever I meet someone, I prefer to learn about them in the usual way – from what they themselves tell me, rather than employing my powers to divine the details. Operating at the lowest available point keeps ego in check and prevents misuse of siddhis.