Question: Can a spiritual Master use occult power to destroy wrong forces and expedite a seeker's progress?

Sri Chinmoy: In the past the Masters used occult power not so much to elevate the seekers’ consciousness as to destroy wrong forces. Destruction is very easy. It takes just a few minutes to destroy a building. But if you want to rebuild the building and make it better, it takes a very long time. This body, vital and mind we have built over many years. If there is some dislocation inside the body, inside the vital, inside the mind, we try to cure it. We try to repair the house and make it into a good, strong house.

This is what the spiritual Masters are trying to do today. In the past they did not have this kind of compassion or patience. They would tell the seeker once or twice what he had to do, and if he did not listen, they would just destroy! In the twentieth century we are a little wiser. We give someone many chances, and if he does not do the needful, we just let him linger and linger without making much spiritual progress. The destruction part does not come from the spiritual Masters. People sometimes have seen me looking very powerful during meditation. You may have seen how powerfully I have meditated on someone. But you have no idea what kind of power you would have seen if I had opened my third eye!

Many years ago when I was a teenager living in the Ashram, I showed this power to the Ashram’s strongest boy. He was a close friend of mine, very fond of me, but he did not believe in occult power. He felt all swamis and sadhus were fakes. I insisted that some people do have occult power, but he did not believe me; he challenged me to show him. So I was caught. I told him to come the next morning to a small room where I used to work in the library. When he arrived, I asked him to stand against the wall, and then I used my occult power to take away all his strength. I thought he would just fall against the wall and nothing serious would happen. But after three or four seconds he collapsed at my feet, absolutely unconscious. When he woke up, he was terrified, and he ran away. He told people that I had tried to kill him with my eyes. After that he was always afraid of me. If he saw me walking on the sidewalk, he would cross to the other side of the street. So I lost a good friend because I misused my occult power.

Because of my love for mankind, I do not use my occult power much in this incarnation. But occult power does exist. Just because you do not have a million dollars you cannot say that millionaires do not exist on earth. The power I use to help my disciples is not occult power but spiritual power. Spiritual power is infinitely stronger than occult power, but it does not destroy, and usually it takes more time to act. Occult power is like a ferocious wave, whereas spiritual power is like the ocean itself. So you can see the difference between a powerful, tumultuous wave and the entire ocean.

Spiritual power has only one task: to raise the consciousness of humanity. Occult power does not do that; it mainly destroys. If occult power is properly used, and if the seeker is ready, in the twinkling of an eye it can destroy the wrong forces in the seeker. But if it is used improperly, it can be very destructive in an uncontrollable way. Spiritual power is slower, but slow and steady wins the race.