Occult Powers

ONCE upon a time a sadhu acquired great occult powers. He was vain about them. But he was a good man and had some austerities to his credit.

One day the Lord, disguised as a holy man, came to him and said, “Revered sir, I have heard that you have great occult powers.” The sadhu received the Lord cordially and offered him a seat. Just then an elephant passed by.

The Lord, in the disguise of the holy man, said to the sadhu, “Revered sir, can you kill this elephant if you like?” The sadhu said, “Yes, it is possible.” So saying he took a pinch of dust, muttered some mantras over it, and threw it at the elephant. The beast struggled a while in pain and then dropped dead. The Lord said: “What power you have! You have killed the elephant!” The sadhu laughed. Again the Lord spoke: “Now, can you revive the elephant?” “That too is possible,” replied the sadhu. He threw another pinch of charmed dust at the beast. The elephant writhed about a little and came back to life.

Then the Lord said: “Wonderful is your power. But may I ask you one thing? You have killed the elephant and you have revived it. But what has that done for you? Do you feel uplifted by it? Has it enabled you to realize God?” Saying this, the Lord vanished.

Subtle are the ways of Dharma. One cannot realize God. if one has even the least trace of desire. A thread cannot pass through the eye of a needle if it has the smallest fibre sticking out.

Source: Tales and Parables of Sri Ramakrishna

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