One reads in the books from the East about the different
miracles performed by great souls, and one wonders if there
is some truth in them. One hears that there are people who know
what is going on far away. That there are people who can send
their thought from a very great distance. That there are people
who can create things, produce things in
a moment without having any materials. That there are
people who can make things disappear. One even reads and hears
that there are some who can command the rain to fall and who
can make the multitude move according to their command, their
will, and who can inspire the multitude in a flash. That there
are those who can prevent plagues and who can perform wonders
No doubt there are many jugglers among them, but whenever
there is truth, there is falsehood on the other side to laugh
at it. Nevertheless, the truth remains just the same. There
are stories of the wonder-workings and phenomena which occur
in the East. Many of those stories no doubt are of the jugglers
who by sleight of hand or by some hypnotic influence can perform
wonders. But there are others who are genuine. Wonders are performed
during their lives, and people see them performed. But the genuine
ones never say that they can perform wonders. Neither do they
seek such powers. These powers come naturally. Man generally
is not conscious of the power he has. When a man becomes conscious
of that power, he is able to do things which people cannot ordinarily
There are two powers: one is called in Sufi terms Qaza
and the other Qadr. One is individual power and the
other is God power. The individual power can work and can accomplish
things as long as it is working in consonance with God's power.
But the moment the individual power works contrary to God's
power the man begins to realize that his strength is diminishing
that he cannot accomplish anything. Therefore the first thing
that masters seek is the pleasure of God, to be in consonance
with the will of God. And just as a person who has practiced
a gambling game or any kind of sport has learnt the way in which
to practice it, so the man who has it continually in mind to
do everything in consonance with God's power is helped by the
will of God.
Very often people have misunderstood the will of God. They
think that what they consider good is the will of God, and what
they consider not good is not the will of God. But their idea
of good and wrong has nothing to do with the power of God, because
God's outlook is different from man's outlook. Man only sees
so far and no further, whereas God sees all things.
But one wonders, if we all belong to the body of God, if
we are all as atoms of His Being, why do we not understand,
why do we not readily know what is in consonance with the will
of God and what not? And the answer is that each atom of our
body is conscious of itself. If there is a pain in the finger,
the ear does not feel it. If there is a pain in the toe, the
nose does not feel it; only the toe feels it. But in both cases
the man feels it because the man possesses the whole body.
Man lives in a narrow world he has made for himself. According
to it he sees right and wrong, and his interests in life depend
upon it. Therefore he is not always able to work in consonance
with the will of God unless he makes it a habit to work in consonance
with God's will.
What is man? Is man only his body? No, man is his mind, man
is the soul. And therefore the power of man is greater than
the power of the sun, for the sun we see is only a body, but
man is body, mind, and soul. Once man has become conscious of
his body, mind and soul, his power becomes greater than the
power of the sun. Because the sun is the material manifestation
of the light, but man has all light within him. The body of
man is radiance; a radiance, which is so great that all the
invisible beings which live in space, are hidden by the glow
of the human form. Nothing exists which is not visible; only,
one thing which is more visible hides the other which is not
so visible. It is the glow and radiance of the human body which
is so great that it hides the beings in space. In reality they
are all visible. But the radiance of man's form stands out and
hides all that is less visible compared with it. When we look
at life from this point of view, there is nothing that is invisible.
It is only that there are things, which our eyes have no power
to see, but this does not mean that they are formless.
Besides man's mind has a still greater power, and that is
the power of will, of mind, that can bring about change in conditions,
in environments; it can have power over matter, over objects,
over affairs; it can even work so wonderfully that one cannot
explain it. The power of mind can work on the multitude, as
the following story of Muhammad shows.
In one of the great wars that the Prophet had to fight the
whole army was defeated, and there only remained ten or fifteen
friends by the side of the Prophet and all the others ran away
or were dead or wounded. Then the Prophet turned to his people
and saw that they were all downhearted and despairing. So he
said, 'Look, before us there is an army and here are we, fifteen
men. You do not see any hope; now you must retreat. But I, I
will stand here whether I am to come back victorious or lose
my life here on the battlefield. Now you go. Many of you have
already left, so you go also.' They said, 'No, Prophet, if your
life is to be ended here on the battlefield our lives will be
taken first. What are our lives after all! We shall give our
lives together with you, Prophet. We are not afraid of this
enemy.' And then the Prophet threw away the sword he had in
his hand and bowed down and took a few pebbles from the earth
and threw them at the army. And the army began to run for miles
and miles. They did not know what was behind them. It was only
a few pebbles. But what they saw were great missiles and they
began to run.
That is called power; that is man's power. It is not only
that man has power over objects, but also man has power over
beings. It is only a little touch of power that the master of
the circus uses to make the elephants work and tigers and lions
dance before him. When his power is greater, he has only to
look at them to make them work as he wishes them to.
When it is told in the story of Daniel that he went into
the lions' den and made them all lie tamed at his feet, that
is again the spiritual power. It shows what power man has; at
the same time, not knowing of it, not being conscious of it,
not trying to develop it, he debars himself from that great
privilege and bliss that God has given; and with his limited
powers he works in the world for money. In the end no money
remains with him, nor has he ever known power. Power depends
greatly upon the consciousness and the attitude of mind. A guilty
conscience can turn lions into rabbits. They lose their power
once they feel guilty; and so it is with man. When a man is
impressed by what others think, if that impression is of disappointment
or distress or shame, his power is diminished; but when he is
inspired by a thought, a feeling, an action he performs, then
he is powerful.
It is the power of truth that makes one stronger. Apart from
those who know truth, even those who do not know truth, if they
think rightly will have some power, the power of sincerity.
Very few realize what power sincerity carries. A false man,
however physically strong he is or however great is his will
power, is kept down by his falsehood; it never allows him to
rise. It eats into him because it is rust. Those who have done
great things in life, in whatever walk of life it be, have done
them by the power of truth, the power of sincerity, of earnestness,
of conviction; when that is lacking, power is lacking. What
takes away man's power is doubt. As soon as a person thinks,
is it so or not? Will it be or not be? Is it right or not right?
Then he is powerless. And this is so contagious that every mind
catches it. You can go to a doubting person when you have great
enthusiasm and hope; and he may so impress you with darkness
that you end in the same boat. Doubt takes away courage and
hope and optimism.
There are three grades of evolved human beings. In Sanskrit
they are called Atma, Mahatma and Paramatma; in
other words, a holy person, a divine soul and an almighty soul.
In the case of the first, an illuminated soul can show five
different powers. These powers are magnetic powers. The first
aspect is the revivifying of the physical body. The next is
brightening the intelligence. The third is deepening the love-element
in the heart. The fourth is etherealizing and deepening insight;
and the fifth aspect is uniting with God. With the fifth aspect
the illuminated soul shows the greatest power.
The power can also be divided into two parts: one is the
power of insight, the other is the power of will. The power
of insight does not construct, does not make anything. It only
sees; it is a passive power. The one who has the power of insight
can see into human nature. He has an insight into the heart
of another person, into the soul of another person, into his
life, his affairs, into his past, present, and future. What
inspires him in this way? What is it that he sees? He seems
to understand the language of nature, the language of life.
He seems to read the form, the feature, the movement, the atmosphere,
the thought and feeling. This is because everything has certain
vibrations and a certain tendency. Therefore, to have insight
is to know the language of life. And such a one can see to such
an extent that the other does not know so much about himself
as the one who sees. For everyone is blinded by his own affairs.
When he is told he may know it, but if you do not tell him he
does not know. It seems as if the knowledge of his own being
is buried within himself.
Where does this science come from? Also from the knowledge
of insight, at least at the beginning. Other things improve
upon it; but this science which begins with intuition is insight.
The great inventors of the world have insight into things. They
may not believe this, but all the same they have it. They penetrate
through the object and its purpose, and they utilize it towards
its purpose. In that way they make use of insight for scientific
inventions. If they knew, they could make use of the same insight
a thousand times better.
The Mahatmas are different. It is not only that they have
magnetic power but also they have divine instinct, divine inspiration.
Stories are told about the constructive power of Mahatmas; one
is very interesting as it shows what this power can achieve.
Once a prince was sent away from his country, his father
having disapproved of his conduct. And he went and lived in
the forest for a long time under the training of a Guru, a teacher,
and developed spiritually. And when the time came that he should
be given initiation into the higher power, the Guru asked, 'My
Chela, have you any relatives?' He said, 'Yes, my father and
mother.' The teacher said, 'You must go to them and ask them
first if you may take the initiation; because once you take
it, you will have to live the life of solitude.' The teacher
thought it was better that he should first go to his people
and see all the possibilities of worldly life. Then, if he did
not want such a life, he could come back. And the Chela was
so developed at that time that he had no desire to go to his
parents in that kingdom and see them again. But since the Guru
told him to do it, he went. When he reached his kingdom, he
went to the garden where he had lived before, and which had
been neglected for many years. There was nothing left in the
garden. He went there and sat down and was very sorry to see
his garden so neglected. He took the water in his pitcher and
sprinkled it on both sides; and the garden began to flourish.
And so it was made known to the whole kingdom that a sage
had arrived; the place where he stayed for a few days had begun
to flourish. The story goes on to relate that the king heard
that his son was there; that he came and wanted him to take
over the kingdom, to work for the country. But he refused and
This story gives an example of the constructive power of
the sage; it shows how constructive the soul of the Mahatma
is. It is not true that Mahatmas can only be found in the caves
of the Himalayas and that one cannot see them in the midst of
the world. They can be found anywhere; they can be found in
a palace, in the midst of riches, of comfort, and in remote
places. They can be in any situation, in any position. But what
comes out of the Mahatmas is a continual spreading influence
of construction. They are a protection against illnesses and
plagues, wars and disasters. Their constructive power is working
and helping people to flourish. Today man is ready to believe
that a Prime Minister or a great statesman can be such a help,
that he can raise up the country, put the finances of the country
in good order or guard the country against other nations. But
a hidden soul which is not known can have a greater influence
still on the whole country. It has been known and seen by millions
of people in the East at different times when divine souls lived,
that their influence spread through the whole country and uplifted
The third aspect of sages is Paramatma, the almighty one.
He is still greater; he is no longer a person, he is God-conscious.
We all are that of which we are conscious. A man in prison is
conscious of the prison. A person who has a lot of money in
the bank and is not conscious of it, is poor in spite of his
wealth. We only have that of which we are conscious. Therefore
our greatness or our smallness depends upon our consciousness.
Even to become an illuminated soul is only a difference of consciousness.
It is not how much good a person has done. There are many good
people, but they do not always know what they themselves are.
Besides there are some who believe in God and others who
love God; and there are others who are lost in God. Those who
believe in God, they are on earth and God is in heaven for them.
Those who love God, for them God is before them; they are face
to face with their Lord. And those who are lost in God have
gained their real self. They are God themselves. I know of a
God-conscious soul who was once walking in the city of Baroda
where the rule was that no one should go about after ten o'clock
at night. And this sage was wandering about unconscious of time.
A policeman asked him,' Where are you going?' But he did not
hear. Perhaps he was far away from the place where he was wandering.
But when he heard the policeman say, 'Are you a thief?' he smiled
and said, 'Yes.' The policeman took him to the police station
and made him sit there all night long. In the morning the officer
came and asked, 'What is the report?' This policeman said, 'I
have caught one thief. I found him in the street.' When the
officer went and saw this man, he knew that he was a great soul
and that people respected him very much. He asked his pardon.
'But,' he said, 'when the policeman asked you that question,
why did you say that you were a thief?' The answer was, 'What
am I not? I am everything.'
We try to become spiritual, to raise our consciousness. But
when it comes to an insult, we do not like it. As long as everybody
flatters us we are glad to attribute those things to ourselves.
But as soon as it comes to an insult, we do not like it; then
we say, 'It is not me.' The Paramatma, the high soul, is united
with God; he is God-conscious, all conscious. Everyone is his
own self. Whether he is a good person or a wicked person, whether
he is right or wrong, he is his own self; he looks at that person,
as his own self. Even if he were given the name of a thief,
he could say, 'Yes. All names are my names.'
In conclusion, spirituality is not a certain knowledge, spirituality
is the expansion of consciousness. The wider the consciousness
expands the greater is one's spiritual vision. And when once
the consciousness expands so much that it embraces the whole
universe, it is that which is called divine perfection.