ਰਿਧਿ ਸਿਧਿ ਸਭੁ ਮੋਹੁ ਹੈ ਨਾਮੁ ਨ ਵਸੈ ਮਨਿ ਆਇ ॥:
Ridhi sidhi sabhu mohu hai Naamu na basai mani aai

Ridhi Sidhi are all emotional attachments (egoism); through them,
(Aatam Giaan, Spiritual Wisdom...) does not come to dwell in the mind (sggs 593).

All miracles (Karamaat-ਕਰਾਮਾਤ...) are illusion, the dictum of senses confined to time and space. Many bogus among the so called Baabaas, Pandits, saints, priest, astrologers, Saadhoos, Yogis, Swamis, or Sidhaas consciously display such powers for insignificant things like impressing upon unsuspecting people for making new disciples and followers, amassing money, gaining fame and honor, securing material welfare and comforts of life, gaining recognition, seeking people's appreciation and attention, etc. However, the life of such mean and deluded Moodha or rascals is no different than a prostitute: They sell their body, mind and soul just as a whore does! As it will become more clear in the following pages, so long one consciously and selfishly exercises supernatural powers to produce miracles, that person cannot and will not transcend Maya (illusion, duality etc.).

The religion or Spirituality is not meant to perform weird tricks or miracles. The only purpose of religion or Spirituality is to kill the false ego-sense (Hayume) and stay clear from the rule of the senses. The true spirit of religion, thus, urges man to raise his Spiritual, moral, and ethical standard so that he can practice Dharma in life. As we can see, the intention of religion is not to make us sorcerer, magicians or Madaaree! The Gurbani (Sri Guru Granth Sahib, SGGS) thunders: What is occult power? Also known as Sidhis, Ashvarayas, Tant Mant (tantar mantar or tantra mantra), miraculous powers, spiritual powers, supernatural powers, magical powers, psychic powers, super human powers, super sensory phenomena, extrasensory perceptions, and so on, are in fact divine powers which can be manifested by any living being who has obtained mastery over the forces of the creation or nature through special training and practice of certain substance or Mantraas.

Sidhis or Siddhis - supernatural powers - are said to be eighteen in number. Of them, the eight are known as major and the remaining are considered minor. The eight principle Sidhis are as follows: the power to assume form as small as atom (Anima), as large as mountain (Mahimaa), as light in weight as air (Laghimaa), and as heavy in weight as the Earth (Grimaa); the power to attain anything desired (Praapati), to bring all senses under one's control (Vasitva), to have unhampered will (Prakaamaya), and the lordliness (Isha). The minor Sidhis are namely the power to be immune from hunger and thirst (Anooram), to hear from afar (Door Sharavan), to see from afar (Door Darshan), to travel fast like thought (Manoveg), to assume any desired form (Kaamroop), to enter into another's body (Parkaayi Parvesh), to die at one's own will (Sai Maritayaa), to enjoy meeting with gods (Surkareeraa), the fulfillment of desires (Sankalap Sidhi), and to go anywhere unobstructed (Apratihat Gat).

But, the mind of a Gurmukh (a truly Spiritual Being who has transcended Maya...) is beyond all this.

In reality, occultists act only out of deeply deluded egocentric false convictions and self-serving ambitions for material enjoyment. So long one consciously practices occult powers, he cannot conquer Maya and unite with his Mool within (Source, Origin, Jot...). It is Maya that begets egoism. Thus, all psychic Sidhis are of great danger to the Spiritual aspirants. They are empty of Spiritual vibrations and have nothing to do with Spiritual-realization. Consequently, their practice is in direct contradiction with the Divine Will (Hukam or Eternal Law).

In other words, before the Mool-realization, the practice or development of occult powers is among the greatest obstacles on the Way to linking with one's Mool within (Source, Jot...). The reason being is that it further inflates egotism (Haumai), and rebels against unconditional surrender of all falsehood to the Mool within. To make us aware of this grave danger, in the very outset of the SGGS, Baabaa Nanak in Japuji Sahib indicates all Mayaic Ridhi Sidhi to be "Avaraa Saad" (lower or inferior in comparison to the Lord's Taste, hindrance, misleading...).

Nothing can exist by itself. The Mool within (Source, Origin, Jot...) is the sustainer and giver of all powers since they all exist in Him. Since all powers emanate from the Divine, they are also divine. However, when these powers fall in the hands of occultist or selfish and greedy people, they bring nothing but miseries to all involved. Such people have been around since time immemorial. For example, the ancient epics like Mahabharta and Ramayana, etc., exhibit numerous stories relating to occult practices. Many Biblical and Arabian stories relate to supernatural powers. Also, there are Saakhees or stories of Baabaa Nanak indicating his encounters with occultists.

Even today, occultism in India is widely practiced, particularly in villages. Many people of deluded intellect practice some Spirituality for the sole purpose of gaining witchcraft, sorcery or occult powers - evil magic, black magic, tantar mantar etc. - to earn wealth, win lawsuits in court, acquire property, bring downfall of others, inflict misery on innocent people, kill living beings, destroy which is virtuous and holy, promise children (particularly son!) to women, walk on water, fly objects in the air, predicts future events, to be-witch to whom we love, gain objects of desire, cure sickness, and other petty exhibitions of selfishness, foolishness, and delusion.

Although the aspects may be somewhat different, however, the practice of occult powers is no less prevalent in the West. In fact people in the West desire a conscious display of powers as well as training and instructions for their attainment. For example, Vatican (Catholic headquarters) does not recognize, beatify or declare any of its missionary as a "saint" unless a miracle can be attributed to him or her; and then that miracle must be approved by the members of the saint-making department known as the Congregation for the Causes of Saints! How strange! The Bible indicates that, whenever there was an astonishing event in his presence, Jesus did not want anyone to know about it. For example, he gave a stern warning to a leper after he was healed: "See that you don't tell anyone..." (Mat 8:3 and Mar1:44). Thus Jesus was apparently not only very reluctant to making any astonishing event, but he was also impatient with anyone awed by it.

In the view of Spiritual hypocrisy, it is of no surprise to see so many cheaters in the garb of so called Indian and Eastern Yogis, Taantric and mystics pullulating all over India as well the West. They have made the mockery of the sacred science of Yoga. The word "Yoga" comes from the root "Yuj", meaning "Join". So, Yoga means the joining of the false ego (I-ness and my-ness) to the Supreme Self. Today's so called Yoga practice — which involves various sense pleasures, make-show practice of gymnastic like feats, indulging in sex and intoxication — are contradictory to the Yoga's principles. Since many of the so called Yogis are simply attracted to the occult powers (byproducts of Yoga or devotion), they or their disciples will not and cannot attain the stage of Spiritual Perfection.

The Mool-Realized Men (the Gurmukh) and the Gurbani boldly declare that the conscious practice to display miraculous powers is mean, foolish, poisonous, dangerous, wicked, miserable, spiritual blindness, mental delusion, material slavery, and spiritual imperfection. For this reason, they all tell us that by acquiring one of the Sidhis one may add a little to his power, but he will not be able to realize the Truth.

Thus, even though the practice of occult powers is disapproved by the scriptures and the men of Light, still in the fit of rage many Sikhs, Hindus and others alike indulge in it either directly or indirectly by paying an outside occultist or sorcerer. How foolish!

The seekers can be divided into two types: (1) the truly Spiritual Beings (the Gurmukh), and (2) the seekers of occult powers, etc. (the Manmukh). To attain Spiritual Perfection or true success, the genuine seeker uplifts himself from sensory consciousness (Mayaic intellect...) to Cosmic Consciousness. By his true love and devotion, the full spectrum of spiritual powers over mind and matter in time become manifest as he gradually sheds his coverings of delusion. However, the true Spiritual Being (the Gurmukh) disregards all inferior powers for the Supreme Power. On the other hand, the seeker of occult powers (Manmukh) discards the Supreme Power for the inferior occult powers and thus loses his way. Hence, the attainment of mastery over phenomenal creation bound in the framework of time and space is not a goal of the Spiritually Wise.

The rise of false ego-sense is the birth of man and his limited mind. Since occult powers are the functions of the wandering mind, they are limited to the realm of the mental delusion only. On the other hand, the Mool within (Source, Origin, Jot...) is beyond the reach of the body, fickle mind and intellect. Seen thusly, the miraculous powers are not natural to man's True Nature (Joti Svaroop) at all. Anything that is not natural is impermanent and has no Being. Since the occult powers are acquired, and as they depend upon the mind for their existence, they cannot be permanent, hence not worth striving for. Accordingly, the Gurbani teaches us to only strive for that which is most intimate and Eternal, the Unconditioned Consciousness. Impermanent things cannot give permanent happiness. However, due to mental concoctions, man thinks that by increasing his powers he may be more happy. No, say the scriptures. On the contrary, with the expansion of one's powers, his misery increases proportionately and thus becomes more wretched in the process! A wise knows that the body and wealth are impermanent. Therefore, he does not go such troubles as acquiring occult powers for their sake.

The mind of an occultist is like a shameless, wandering street-dog. Occult powers are gained only by those who are full of worldly desires and fear. Those who are tainted with ignorance, acquire these powers for the sole purpose of sense-gratification. Thus, occult powers come to those who specifically seek them. These powers are in no way indication of one's Spiritual Progress; because supernatural faculties can be developed even by those who are devoid of any wisdom. It is like a person who never enjoyed power and riches become impatient for them!

Death of the conditioned mind through the Shabad-Vichaar is the birth of the Spiritual Wisdom. Since the psychic powers are limited to and consciously displayed by the imperfect or untrained mind, the Spiritual Beings (the Gurmukh) and the Gurbani teach sincere aspirants to avoid their temptations; for they are hindrance to one's Spiritual Unfoldment. Therefore, all inferior powers do not interest the man of Spiritual Wisdom for he is perfectly content in himself. As Wisdom is the greatest gain, the man of such Wisdom is free from the least desire for anything.

In fact, there is nothing so wonderful or extraordinary about the attainment of occult powers. To make the point, here is a parable. Once, a Self-realized Man was standing at the river-shore; waiting for the boat to go across the river. Meanwhile, a Yogi approached him and asked: "Why are you standing here, Sir?" The Holy Man humbly replied: "I am waiting for the boat to take me across the river". The Yogi sarcastically laughed at him and said: "Don't you know how to walk on the water?" "No, Sir", said the Holy Man. "You don't even know how to walk on the water, what kind of Holy Man are you?", inquired the Yogi. Before the Holy Man said anything, the Yogi jumped into the river and started walking on the water. To make a big show of his inflated ego, he traversed the river in every direction. Meantime the boat showed up. Before embarking on the boat, the Holy Man asked Yogi as to how long it took him to master this supernatural feat. "Twenty years", pompously replied the Yogi. The Holy Man asked: "Dear Yogi, tell me how much the boat costs to go cross the river". "Five pennies", replied the Yogi. "That means you earned only five pennies in twenty years!" Saying this the Holy Man left!

The person of Spiritual Wisdom is indifferent to psychic powers, while the deluded person considers them desirable! Therefore, it is when there is a partial awakening or partial spiritual immaturity that one enjoys occult powers. However, the one who is intent on the cultivation of Self-knowledge is always keen to avoid their temptation. He knows that the person who attains various occult powers through certain practices or boons is subject to ignorance and bondage.

The nature of the spiritually ignorant is the absence of equanimity. Equanimity is seeing unity in diversity. In the absence of equanimity, the universe is seen to be diverse. When the common factor, the All-pervading Presence, is seen in all objects, the duality departs and the equality in the pairs of "likes and dislikes" spontaneously follows. The true devotee (Gurmukh) possesses such equanimity. Such enlightened one has purity of mind and absence of craving. He is devoid of confusion, doubt, fear, delusion and sensual desires. The evil qualities such as lust, anger, greed, emotional attachment, self-conceit, stubborn mindedness and enviousness are greatly weakened in him. After maintaining a pure Sahaj Samaadhi, when he comes back into the mind, he may realize that he has had some extrasensory perceptions, but he does not use them consciously. He does not dwell on such powers as anything special.

Thus, occultism is intriguing to ignorance, therefore, only people of small intellect seek them. All these powers are mechanism of the mind which is restless like a ghost. When one gets fascinated with the phenomena of occultism of the mind, then he loses the power to bring others along the path into Pure Spirituality. For a trifle of money, honor and fame, such people ruin themselves and others. Occult powers unfailingly increase the fire of pride; especially of those who are not Mool-realized. And pride makes one forget his True Nature (Joti-Svaroop). The Gurbani asks us not to want occultism; for it leads us away from the mental purity, which is of paramount importance for Mool-realization. All sorts of psychic phenomena result in lowering of the consciousness. Consequently, the seeker is led away from the goal, and next thing he knows he has lost the way. We cannot afford that. The Mool within (Source, Origin, Jot...) cannot be realized if we possess even one of the occult powers. Since supernatural powers are fetters, a genuine devotee never asks for them.

The mind exists as long as there is curiosity of mundane objects. Occult powers, for example, is the result of this material curiosity of the mind (i.e., "filth"). It is said that this curiosity of worldly things is the last thing to leave the mind, which it does after Mool-realization. Upon Mool-realization, the curiosity of things goes away, leaving the mind free from all contamination.

Actually, a person can have psychic powers just with the concentration of the mind without any mental purity. However, without mental purity, he cannot have Mool-realization! Accordingly, the Gurbani teaches us to shun them ruthlessly as they try to manifest in the mind. They are absolutely useless; for they only mislead seekers and cause their downfall.

Once the seeker becomes firmly established in Spiritual Wisdom (Aatama-Giaan), then all spiritual powers wait for him with outstretched hands. He cannot lose his way or have a downfall then; because he never misuses these powers. Since actions of true Sidhaas or godly Beings (the Gurmukh) are devoid of false ego-sense or selfishness, their Spiritual energies or powers and actions spontaneously (Sahaj) work for the betterment of the mankind — to take people closer to God. They never use them for their selfish ends, display or exhibitionism.

How can one avoid the spell of occult powers? The superior power of the Gur-Shabad or Divine Name (Naam: Aatam Giaan...) is the antidote to all inferior or negative powers. An Illumined Being (the Gurmukh) is above and beyond the influence of Sidhis or Ridhis, thus immune from their effects, temptation or spell. For example, once a witch tried to put spell on Baabaa Nanak, but failed. Because nothing affects or sticks on an Enlightened Mind! On the contrary, everything affects or sticks on a contaminated mind. The antidote to a venom from a snakebite is the venom that comes from the same snake! Similarly, as declared by the scriptures, the occult powers (snakebite) as well as the power of the Gu- Shabad or Naam (antidote) also come from the same Original Source. As such, the magic spell of the Gur-Shabad or Naam is said to be the antidote to the magic spell of super sensory phenomena or omens. For it to be truly effective, however, the scriptures advise us for an early preparation — build raft before flood, or dig out well before fire! The greater Enlightenment and Peace is possible without the Sidhis than with them. However, as repeatedly pointed out in the Gurbani, the ways of Spirituality are very subtle, hence most difficult and melancholic. To lure the devotee into darkness, away from the spiritual path, the mind's curiosity as well as temptations of Ridhis and Sidhis are there every step of the way. A thread that has the smallest fiber sticking out cannot pass through the eye of a needle! Similarly, one cannot fully realize the Mool within (Source, Origin, Jot...) if he has even a least trace of egoism, bondage, material craving, fear, and sensual desires to enjoy Ridhis and Sidhis. Therefore, a true seeker prayss:

— T. Singh

Updated on Wednesday, September 25, 2013 3:14 PM (PST)

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