Sunday, April 30, 2006

Status of chamatkaari babaas

Question: I’ve heard a lot abt these chamatakaari babas in India.....they do tricks like ...producing an egg from throat, getting things in their hands out of nowhere n other things....they also have a huge following. what’s there status n role in Hinduism......do they enjoy a strong religious position?

My Reply:
Yes its true that India has always been famous for such miracle men. One cannot find them so easily, but they do exist.

Its also true that there are some ppl who can really of such things, although many are just fakes, who cheat by different techniques.

But even if one can really do so, his status is not high in Hinduism.

Miracles and Mystery mongering are the symptoms of a weak mind, not a strong one. While one is on the path for Mokhsa, one naturally gets these powers. But if the person is weak, he becomes a slave to these powers, and forgets the higher goal, which is Moksha. But a real aspirant will be vigilant, and will not care for such powers.

So in Hinduism such type of miracle mongers do not have a very high status.

On one occasion Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa proposed to transfer to Narendranath (later Swami Vivekananda) many of the spiritual powers that he had acquired as a result of his ascetic disciplines and visions of God. Naren had no doubt concerning the Master's possessing such powers. He asked if they would help him to realize God. Sri Ramakrishna replied in the negative but added that they might assist him in his future work as a spiritual teacher. 'Let me realize God first,' said Naren, 'and then I shall perhaps know whether or not I want supernatural powers. If I accept them now, I may forget God, make selfish use of them, and thus come to grief.' Sri Ramakrishna was highly pleased to see his chief disciple's single-minded devotion.

So you can see that the so-called miracles are quite possible but there is nothing great in them. Greatness lies in not-using them. How can a person who displays such acts in exchange for some 10/- be great?

For more explanation on how such things are possible, you can read this lecture.

<<There's nothing wrong with Tantrik powers.>>

I did not say any such thing against tantrik powers.

I said using them is bad.

If the powers come, it is a symbol that that sadhaka is improving in his spiritual path. But it is wrong if the sadhaka starts using them, and gets lost of the real goal.

<<do u really believe in tantric powers n supernatural powers?>>

yes, such things seems perfectly possible in my view.

Agreed that there are lot of fakes, who do some simple tricks. But that does not undermine the tantrik powers.

There are some things like creating something out of nowhere, reading the mind, being at two places simultaneously, floating in air, living only on air etc etc.

Such things ARE possible. Don’t ask to rationally explain how they work. I don’t know, but they simply work.

Anyhow, I repeat, such things can never be the goal of spiritual sadhana.

Read the Autobiography of a Yogi book. Its really a great one, you will love it. Its also available online. What makes it great is that I can only quote or tell others experiences, but in this book, the author is a realized yogi, and writes his own experiences.

<<Surya, I am not sure about ethical correctness of using Tantrik powers.

For instance, using them to climb a rope suspended in thin air or to walk on water or to blow fire out of your mouth clearly does not serve any purpose; but what about using them to cure cancer or to find a medicine for AIDS?

On the face of it, such an effort seems laudable, but then it is interfering with natural course of events, and shouldn't be encouraged. But again, the whole of modern civilization interferes with natural course of events including modern medicine and building dams; so clearly there is a grey area here.

I am confused.
>>

good point! I never thought about this. I have my own doubts in this matter, but will try to share what I feel.

Helping or not is something which depends on what is the goal of human life. If it helps someone in that process, it is help; if it does not, it is not help.

If the difficulty of one is in the material place, then help also should be in material place. If the difficulty is in spiritual, the help also spiritual. But one cannot interfere with the ones' physical plane with something from spiritual plane. The basic idea is that everyone has to workout their respective Karma. There is no escape from this.

Hence the help which is offered is mostly spiritual in nature. It is better to teach the man to fish, rather than give him fish. That’s what they try to do.

In my above posts, I was straightly talking about people who have not realized. They are not eligible for help as they themselves need help, and also they do not know the nature of the workings of the infinite. Not everyone can be a doctor. We have to study the human anatomy first.

So such help by such ones' is ruled out, but as such help itself is not ruled out. Otherwise the concept of an avatara coming from time to time, coming and helping the humanity doesn’t make sense.

I think it is more about ones' ability to know how a person can be really helped. Giving him the medicines etc are not real helps, the real help is to show one's own treasures, the point out his real nature, which gita describes as "fire cannot burn, water cannot wet....."

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