By Murari Gupta Dasa
At any given time in India, a number of holy men claim they can cure all by their mystical powers. One such miracle man is in the news for all the wrong reasons. First the media and now the police are accusing him of spreading superstitions, charging money for his cures, and cheating. His faithful followers swear by his magical powers.
What is the truth? Can this miracle man see the past, predict the future, heal the sick, and give mercy through his supernatural powers? Or is he a crook?
Our answer may surprise you. He might possess supernatural powers, as many others like him do. Mystic powers that are beyond you, me, and modern science do exist. Srila Prabhupada explains: “There are eight kinds of yogic perfection (siddhis): anima, laghima, prapti, ishitva, vashitva, mahima, prakamya, and kamavasayita. A real yogi can become smaller than the smallest, lighter than the lightest, and bigger than the biggest. Whatever he wants he can produce immediately in his hand. He can even create a planet.” (Teachings of Lord Kapila, Verse 13, Purport)
So what? Do such powers make such yogis God? No. God is God, the supreme controller, enjoyer, and proprietor, the most beautiful, the all-attractive—Krishna.
But then why do people decide to turn to these godmen and not God? Lord Krishna explains their psychology in the Bhagavad-gita (4.12): “Men in this world desire success in fruitive activities, and therefore they worship the demigods. Quickly, of course, men get results from fruitive work in this world.” Srila Prabhupada elaborates in his purport, “To achieve such temporary things, people worship the demigods or powerful men in human society.” Nothing wrong here, we may feel; it’s a simple case of demand and supply. But surprisingly, Lord Krishna calls this approach less intelligent. (Bg. 7.20) Because there’s a catch: These boons and solutions are temporary, lasting only a short while. They are not eternal and are surely not powerful enough to help us escape the cycle of birth and death.
If we are sick and we eat some magical ash, we may find benefit. But if this simple cure turns us into swooning followers of miracle men, we are in for a rude shock. Either their powers will dwindle or, being mere mortals, they will have to succumb to all-powerful time and death. What, then, will be our shelter?
Surrender to Lord Krishna
If we are still in awe of mystic powers, let’s see how Srila Prabhupada responded to such cases. When told about someone’s mystic feats like levitation, he dismissed them by saying that even cockroaches fly. (TKG’s Diary: Prabhupada’s Final Days, July 26) Challenging those who claim to be God, he would often say, “When there is some tooth pain, you go to the doctor, and you are God?”
Srila Prabhupada’s point was simple: Instead of surrendering to these fallible miracle men, surrender to Krishna, who is infallible. He is yogeshvara, the master of all yogic powers and the original source from whom all powerful persons derive their power.
Therefore the Bhagavatam (2.3.10) implores us to be prudent and turn to Krishna: “A person who has broader intelligence, whether he be full of all material desire, without any material desire, or desiring liberation, must by all means worship the supreme whole, the Personality of Godhead.”
But we may have our doubts. Will Krishna free us from our terrible sufferings?
Like these miracle men, Lord Krishna may remove our miseries—or He may not. But He will surely strengthen us enough to bear them. Our apparent lack of direct access to Lord Krishna may also give us reservations. But thanks to a mentorship process He has arranged, as He mentions in the Gita (4.2), we can access His wonderful teachings through His bona fide representatives. These spiritual masters can guide us to live a holistic and harmonious life even in these turbulent times. The process is simple—mindful meditation on the holy names of the Lord: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. We can chant this mantra anytime, anywhere. It can deliver us from this world of miseries and take us to Vaikuntha, the place of all peace and love.
Try it. It’s free.