Today a friend introduced me to a video, which I had seen sometime back and brushed aside. The video shows Mr. Rajiv Malhotra discussing “Third eye awakening” and Siddhis that some kids in the Ashram of Swami Nithyananda have attained to.
Without going into the abilities of Swami Nithyananda as a Guru, one needs to look at what was offered by him in the video and what he suggested. Before, I go into that, let us go and listen to the highest of the enlightened beings that have walked the planet.
Sage Vasistha’s take on Siddhis of Vipascit
In Yoga Vasistha, Sage Vasistha introduces a “fourfold” being, Vipascit to Ram. Vipascit is one being but lived as four different persons, where all four were doing different things. As the mighty Sage explained:
Thus the diverse appears to be one, but it is both diverse and non-diverse (one); becuase it is neither diverse not non-diverse, it is both diverse and one. Therefore whatever appeared before each of the four Vipascits reflected in his consciousness and was experienced by him. Yogis can perform actions everywhere and experience all things in all the three periods of time, though apparently remaining in one place.
That was the Siddhi acquired by the Yogi called Vipascit. He baffled Ram, who still further pushed his Guru Sage Vasistha asking him how could such yogis perform totally different actions in so many different places and time? Sage Vasistha explained:
Whatever be the explanation that the unenlightened people may give for this, let them; but listen to the enlightened explanation.
In the vision of the knowers of truth, there is nothing other than the pure and infinite consciousness, and the objective universe is completely and totally non-existent. There is neither a creation not its opposite. He who rests forever in this pure and infinite consicouness is the omnipresent and omnipotent Lord; he is the all and he is the self of all at all times.
Vipascit, despite seeming like a miraculous being because of his powers, holds little value in the eyes of Sage Vasistha – in terms Spiritual standing! He says that even though Vipascit is “awakened, but his consciousness had not attained the supreme state”. For someone with such Siddhis that baffled even Ram himself, that looks like a gross underestimation – right? Well, not quite. Sage Vasistha further lays it out clearly.
Whatever Vipascit had attained had been attained through contemplation, not because he had reached the supreme state. All these siddhis or psychic powers are had by such contemplation.
In those who have reached the supreme state, there is no ignorance or delusion. How can they have a deluded vision and how can they see falsehood? The yogis who practise contemplation and who attain various psychic powers through grace or boons are subject to ignorance which is noticed in them. Hence, they contemplate not the truth but something which is other than the real.
Here are the major takeaways:
- Goal of all Spiritual work is Supreme State.
- Siddhis are attained on the Spiritual path, but those who hold them as important or even significant are suffering from ignorance. They are going away from the truth!
Why would this be? Why would the greatest of Gurus always shun the significance to Siddhis, when they are a natural consequence of the Spiritual path?
To understand this, you need to understand the goal. The goal is to go beyond your physical sense of being. That we are rooted in our physical sense – mind and body – is the very reason we find it hard to go to the innermost core of our being. The i-ness, our identity is what keeps us rooted. Our need and urge to take up identities doesn’t allow us to go beyond that superficial self and dig further.
Occult and Siddhis happen at a subtler level of our physical being, but physical nevertheless. One who is startled by the jazz of the natural state that lies at the border of physical and non-physical. That place where we enter the area of no-space and no-time, changes the very game of existence (as even Einstein was to tell us in the last century!).
In that area, what happens as a natural consequence appears a miracle or a startling experience to ONLY those who are mentally and emotionally still rooted in the physical. For, one who has himself reached that level of consciousness where he is about to step into the non-physical, such Siddhis would look as natural and obvious as Sun is to us. There will be no interest of significance for him. Only those yogis who have only stumbled into that realm without being fully prepared or properly guided – make a big deal out of those Siddhis. It is ok for a kid to be vowed by his Dad jumping and touching the ceiling fan, but for every adult that is just a natural factor of one’s height. No big deal! Only a tall kid with a toddler’s mind would be amazed at the miracle of touching the fan! Here is how Sadhguru discusses Siddhis and their importance:
So, significance to Siddhis is the work of an immature mind. It is the work of someone who is further getting rooted into his physical as opposed to transcending beyond it.
How Matsyendranath Admonished Gorakhnath for Using His Siddhis!
Sadhguru explains the disdain with which highest of the Gurus have looked at Siddhis and their use (rather misuse) by some. He discusses the story of Mahasiddha and Maharishi Matsyendranath and his disciple Gorakhnath. As per many Yogis, Matseyendranath was no less than Shiva himself and is said to have lived in his physical body for over 600 years! Here is the story of Rishi Matsyendranath and his disciple Goraknath.
Matsyendranth saw that Gorakhnath, an immense possibility for the world, was getting very attached to the person of the Guru. So, he sent him away for fourteen years. “Go away to some other mountain and do your sadhana. Come back after fourteen years.” Gorakhnath left, and was in intense sadhana – but counting days as to when he would set his eyes upon his Guru again. Exactly after fourteen years, he came back to where he expected his Guru to be and found another disciple guarding the door. Gorakhnath told him that he had come to see Matsyendranath. The disciple said “No, you cannot enter.” Immediately, Gorakhnath flew into an intense rage and said “How can you stop me? I have been waiting for fourteen years.Who are you to stop me?” The disciple said “It doesn’t matter who I am, you cannot enter.”
Gorakhnath pounced upon the man, put him down physically and entered the cave in which his Guru was supposed to be staying. But when he went in, it was empty. He came out weeping and asked “Where is he?” The disciple said “I have no intention of telling you. You are too crude.” Gorakhnath begged him, but to no avail. Then, using his occult power, Gorakhnath read the other yogi’s mind, found out where his Guru was and went straight there.
The moment he got there, Matsyendranth knew how he had come to know. Matsyendranath told him “You misused the sadhana I gave you. You misused it to enter the mind of your brother yogi. You had no business to read his mind. You have found the lowest expression to the yoga I gave you.”
Occult is the lowest expression of yoga, but that is the first thing people would like to do. They want to see something or do something that others cannot. In yogic terminology, it means he expressed himself through the Muladhara. So Matsyendranth said to Gorakhnath, “Go away, block your Muladhara and sit for another fourteen years.”
This is why the idea of Siddhis and Occult is largely shunned on the Spiritual path.
“Third Eye Awakening” and Nithyananda: Bastardizing the highest Spiritual state
In a video, Rajiv Malhotra demonstrated how the kids are attaining to “Third Eye Awakening” and using that to read stuff with blindfolds. Interestingly, and thankfully, they haven’t reached the state of the celebrated Vipascit or Gorakhnath.
To understand what the Third Eye awakening means, one has to go into how the legend is told. It is always said that Shiva opened his third eye and dissolved the creation. Now it says something that – if understood from the basic understanding of Yoga – says something very clearly. Please go back and read what Sage Vasistha told Ram about the difference between the pure infinite consciousness and the objective Universe. When one attains to Enlightenment, Sage Vasistha clarifies, there is neither creation nor its opposite for him. All is one. The creation is dissolved for in reality there is none.
One that takes you to the point of highest state of enlightenment by helping you experience that which is beyond creation and non-creation, cannot be something physical. “Third Eye” cannot be a physical mechanism, despite it happening within “you” and to “you” at the point of enlightenment. That awareness and level of consciousness would be yours to experience even if you were to shed the body at that very moment. The level of that consciousness has nothing to do with the body at all in the first place.
For Nithyananda and Rajiv Malhotra to tout reading a book blindfolded as “Third Eye Awakening” is not only irresponsible, but it is height of their ignorance and lack of basic understanding of Yoga and Spiritual path.