In continuation to his instructions, Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj states another gem of Divine wisdom for the benefit of spiritual aspirants. He states:
“nahiṁ r̥iddhi siddhi ura rākhē”
“Such a devotee shall attain Divine Love who desires neither material opulence nor mystic powers.”
We are all acquainted with riddhi, it refers to the material wealth and opulence. Everyone in this world wishes to possess riddhi, so much, that one is never quite satiated. There is yet one another thing in this keertan that Shree Maharajji draws our attention to. He talks about siddhis which refers to mystic powers. The mystic abilities are of two kinds: fraudulent and genuine.
There once lived an ascetic in Mumbai who used to manifest objects. He would sit on a sofa with his arms resting by the sides and a list of fruits placed next to him. He would ask, “What fruit do you want?” If someone asked for a kela (banana), he would loudly say “Kela!” and he would manifest a banana with his hand.
Once, a person came to meet the babaji. The babaji asked, “What fruit do you want?”
The man said, “Santra (orange).”
So, the ascetic said, “Santra!” But nothing happened. He spoke a little louder, “Santra!” Again, nothing happened.
The babaji then shouted, “I am saying santra! Can’t you hear me?” A voice answered from below, “Guru Ji, the santras are all finished!”
There are many people who display such fraudulent powers to lure people. But then there are people with genuine siddhis as well. For e.g., through the spiritual path of Ashtang Yog, people develop mystic abilities when they concentrate their minds. If mystic powers come naturally, it’s a different matter. If however one runs towards mystic abilities, then he or she gets deviated from the true path of Divine Love.
Once, Swami Vivekananda was talking to a Yogi and as they were walking, they came across a river. The Yogi had practiced his sadhana, and he started crossing the river by walking on the water. Stopping halfway across the river, he called out to Swami Vivekananda, “Come on! Come with me across the river!”
Swami Vivekananda said, “No.” He walked a few yards along the river to a boatman. Swami Vivekananda gave the boatman 2 paise, and the boatman took him across the river in his boat.
On the other side of the river, the Yogi taunted the Swamiji, “What has your God given you? You can’t even walk on water! What sadhana have you done?” Swami Vivekananda said, “The sadhana that you have done is worth 2 paise, because I only needed 2 paise for the boatman to take me across the river!” And each time one uses these material Siddhis, they will keep on reducing.
Furthermore, they create a very big defect in the heart. This is the pride of doer-ship: ‘I am doing this, I am doing this!’ This pride immediately blocks out God. The German scholar Paul Deussen said, “Egotism is like a cloud that keeps God hidden from our sight. If egotism vanishes by the mercy of the true Guru, then God is seen in His full Glory.”
You see – we people find it difficult to avoid the pride of doer-ship even though we only do little things. How will a Yogi with these great mystical powers avoid it?
That is why it is said in the Bhagavatam:
na yoga-siddhir apunar-bhavam vā
The aspirant of Divine Love never desires these mystic powers.