Not occult power, but self-realisation

A spiritual Master who had tremendous occult powers was always very reluctant to use these powers. Some of his dear disciples believed that he had occult powers although they did not have firsthand experience of them. Others thought that he had no occult powers, but was just bragging. There were others yet, who thought that it was of no importance whether he had occult powers or not. These last thought, "Our Master loves us. He has tremendous concern for us. He has boundless compassion for us. He has light, peace, and bliss. That is more than enough. We don't have to see his occult powers."

One day, God asked this particular teacher to show some of his occult powers. For years and years he had not shown any occult power in public, but he had used it in silence many, many times, secretly, in the inner worlds. It was not the disciples' fault that they doubted his powers. They simply had no awareness of the Master's occult power.

In accordance with God's command, the Master invited all of his disciples (there were about five hundred of them) to assemble, and said to them, "Today I am going to use my occult power to tell you a few things about yourselves. But don't blame me afterwards if you are embarrassed by what I say, and if you are exposed." When the disciples heard that they might be embarrassed or exposed, all of them moved away except four disciples — three men and a woman. They thought that they were strong enough to accept any embarrassment.

The Master pointed to one of the three men who had stayed, and said, "Come in front of me." All the other disciples were watching from a distance, about fifty yards away. They did not want to come closer, but they were very curious and wanted to enjoy the others' embarrassment.

The Master said to the man, "In your immediate past incarnation you were the worst possible thief. Not even one night passed when you did not commit a theft. Now I will show you your face." The Master showed him his appearance in the past incarnation: dirty, dishonest, absolutely thievish consciousness. The disciple clearly saw the difference between his present consciousness and appearance, and that of his past incarnation.

He was horrified that he had been that way. He thought, "How can I be spiritual now if I was such a thief then?" He was extremely upset, and in his embarrassment he got very angry at the Master. "You have exposed me!" he cried, and ran away from the Master's place.

Then the Master pointed to the second one. "In your past incarnation you were a real drug addict. You took all kinds of drugs — most powerful drugs. You were absolutely addicted, totally degraded." In this incarnation the man was very good-looking, and prided himself on being well-groomed, smartly dressed, polished, and sociable. He was a pride of society. The Master showed him his past incarnation, his irresponsible, distorted consciousness, his filthy habits. He even showed him how he used to look when he was taking drugs.

This man, too, was horrified and embarrassed, and he grew very angry. "Oh Master, what have you done?" he cried. "Five hundred people have heard that I was a drug addict!" And he rushed away from the Master, angry and upset.

Now the third one came, and the Master said, "In your past incarnation you were a drunkard, a drunkard of absolutely the worst type." And the Master showed him the friends with whom he used to drink, and his own drunken face and undivine consciousness. The man was mortified: "Oh, was I like this?" he exclaimed. "How can I be a good spiritual man if in my past incarnation I was such a drunkard? It is impossible." He was depressed and disheartened, and he, too, became angry at the Master for exposing him in front of so many people.

The last brave one was the woman. When she came up to the Master, he said, "Now, what is that ring you are wearing? Where does it come from? Where has that Muslim gone? Is he not in France anymore?"

"What, Master! What Muslim? You know that I am unmarried."

"Yes, I know that. It is absolutely true. You are thirty-five years old and unmarried. But what about the Muslim who gave you this ring in France? He has a wife and children. Why are you wearing his ring?

The woman became terribly upset and angry, and she was ready to strike the Master. "So this is your occult power!" she exclaimed.

The Master said, "I told you I would show you my occult power. Five hundred people are loitering there. They are observing and enjoying everything. You have been showing off your celibacy, your chastity. Now, why don't you cast out his present wife and marry the Muslim if you love him so much? You have been a thorn in his wife's side for many years. Why don't you go and marry him?"

The woman was furious, and insulted the Master. Finally, saying "All right, I shall teach you a lesson," she rushed away, embarrassed and ashamed because her emotional life had been exposed.

Later, these four disciples met together and decided to punish their Master. They worked out a plan. One of the four was very close to the Master, and he had a key to the Master's room. That night, around one o'clock, when they thought the Master would be fast asleep, the four of them went to the Master's room.

When they stole in very carefully, the man who had been a thief looked into the closet, where he knew the Master kept some money. He saw the Master lying still, snoring, so he stole away five hundred dollars from the Master's safe. The Master continued to snore.

Then the man who had been a drug addict brought out several kinds of powerful drugs, and placed them all on the Master's bed, arranging them just as if somebody had used them. Still the Master continued to snore.

Now the one who had been a drunkard brought four bottles of wine. He opened two bottles and spilled the wine very quietly on the Master's bed. The other bottles he put unopened on the bed.

The woman who had been embarrassed about the ring had gone to the goldsmith that day and had a heart-shaped ring made to fit the Master. She had her own name engraved inside the ring, and she carefully put it on the Master's finger while he slept.

Then they all left together while the Master lay motionless, still snoring. Actually, he was merely pretending to be fast asleep.

The four stole away, but did not want to stop here. They said, "Now that we have played this trick, he has to be exposed." They had been exposed by the Master in front of five hundred people. When morning came, they said, "Now let us make him feel ridicule. Let all his disciples see him in this condition."

The former thief, who had taken money from the Master, asked some of his friends to give him some more money. They gave him five thousand dollars altogether. Early in the morning he threw the money on the Master's bed. Then they said to each other, "We will phone the other disciples and say that the Master has had a heart attack. We'll say that when he was in terrible agony, he phoned one of us up and said, 'Come! Help me! I am suffering.' But when we came, the Master had already died."

They phoned all the other disciples, and although it was early in the morning, all of them went to the Master's room. Because the four disciples had said that the Master was dead, the other disciples did not come near his bed. From a distance they looked at him. They could not see what was on his bed.

The Master still seemed to be fast asleep. This time he was not snoring because he knew the trick they were playing and he wanted the other disciples to believe them for a while. The disciples, seeing his relaxed, composed body, really thought that their Master was dead. They all began shedding bitter tears because their dear Master had passed away out of their reach. When the Master saw that many disciples had gathered together, he jumped up suddenly from his bed. Some of the disciples became frightened, because they had been so sure that the Master was dead. Some were thrilled that resurrection had taken place. And some wanted to scold and insult the people who had deceived them.

The Master said, "I am so glad to see all of you. Now, what is the matter?" But nobody had the heart to say that they had been told that he had died.

So the Master said, "Now, while there are so many of you here, I want to bless four people. Yesterday, you know, I embarrassed those people, and today I feel that they should get some sympathy, some concern from me. I will give them my blessing."

The four who had done wrong were trembling. They thought, "Oh, the Master is inviting us, but what is he going to say? God knows." Perhaps the Master would expose them again, seeing the things they had done. So they hesitated and did not want to come.

The Master said, "Come, come, come."

They said to themselves, "Now we are caught. Whether we go or not, he will tell them all that we have done these things." They were afraid of being embarrassed again, but then they thought that perhaps the Master really wanted to bless them, and did not know that they had done all those things. The Master had been snoring. Maybe he didn't know about all their tricks. Since he was insisting with such smiling compassion and concern, they came to him one by one.

The former thief came. The Master blessed him with sincerity and great power. Then came the one-time drug addict, then the ex-drunkard, and finally the woman who had the problem with the Muslim.

The Master blessed them all and then said to them, "Now I have forgiven you all. All, all, all, all of you I have forgiven."

They knew when he said he had forgiven them, that he knew all about the tricks they had played the night before.

Then the Master turned to the one-time thief. "If I get five thousand dollars I will be really rich," he said, "But this money is not mine. Kindly take it away. It is all your money." Then to the ex-drug addict, who had put all kinds of drugs in his room, he said, "Look here, how can I use your things? Is it possible for me? I never take anybody else's drugs, whether they are good or bad. These are your possessions. Kindly take them back."

To the former drunkard he said, "Everybody knows that I don't drink. It is you who brought everything. I am sorry that you spent money and spilled two bottles of wine on my bed. These two bottles are still intact, though. You can return them, or you yourself can drink them. They are yours."

Then the Master turned to the woman, and taking off the ring, said to her, "If I wear your ring, it means that we love each other. Yesterday, unfortunately, I could not prove to you that I really loved you. Had I loved you in that way, then I would not have embarrassed you so badly yesterday. I would not have said what I did.

The woman was terribly ashamed, and could hardly look at him. He added, "Please take back your ring. It does not fit and I'm sure you know that I don't want to fall in love with you."

Once again these four disciples were humiliated. "What can we do now?" they wondered. They had shown themselves for what they were. Previously the Master had only shown them what they had once been. This time they themselves had shown everybody that he was right.

What could they do? Hundreds of people were around them. How could they show anger when they had really done wrong?

The Master then blessed them all once again. One by one he blessed all four. Then he said, "Look here. I told you that I had forgiven you. It is absolutely true. You wanted to know about my occult power. I always say that with occult power the tendency is curiosity. Most of you are curious, curious, simply curious. This curiosity has to come to an end. I want you people to be really sincere in the spiritual life, to aspire, and to inspire others. But you don't aspire; you don't inspire others. You only want to know what you were, what others were, and what you are going to be.

"What you are going to be, you will definitely become through your aspiration. You don't need occult power to know what you are going to be tomorrow. Aspire. As soon as tomorrow comes, you will see what you have become. If you know what you are going to be tomorrow, what will happen? You will relax. Then you delay the process. And if you know that tomorrow something painful or frightening is going to happen in your life, you will be horrified. Before the actual event takes place, you will be half dead.

"When you don't know the future, your life can be all bliss if you are aspiring. Your aspiration will give you the thing that is best for you tomorrow. Tomorrow means the future. But you don't want that. You only want to be a curiosity-monger.

"For a long time you have been bothering me. Some of you believe that I have occult powers; most of you do not. I wanted to show even the sincere ones who have faith in me, that by having faith in my occult power they don't gain any spiritual experience, they don't make any progress. And you people who doubt my occult power, I embarrassed you because this will be of great help to humanity. There are millions of people on earth who are like you. You represent them, and I am most grateful that through you I have been able to give them the proper experience — to show them that they should not try with occult powers to know anything about their past. It only creates more problems. It does not help you at all in your aspiring life."

All the four touched the Master's feet, and the Master said, "From now on you will be my true disciples. Not occultism, only aspiration, spirituality, realisation, will be your Goal."

From:Sri Chinmoy,In search of a perfect disciple, Sri Chinmoy Lighthouse, New York, 1972
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