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Supernatural powers

In this amazing new age, all humans are finding themselves powerful enough to control their lives.
PTI | By Veena Minocha
UPDATED ON AUG 07, 2004 03:08 PM IST

Vedic lore is full of tales of humans who have traveled the spiritual path, and found themselves laden with siddhis or supernatural powers, as a side effect of growing into their 'whole selves'! In this amazing new age, all humans are also finding themselves powerful enough to control their lives as they evolve into their spiritual selves. Many humans , fascinated by these phenomena, tend to think of themselves as complete Gods, and get into the illusion of having reached their goal,...therein lies their folly!

These siddhis, by themselves, are a by product of spiritual growth, not an end in themselves, and it is the wise man who is cautioned not to think otherwise. The fall from spiritual glory, for one who is foolish enough to inflate his ego with these siddhis, is much greater than expected, and he comes back eventually to square one.

If humans make the mistake of getting 'stuck' in this rut, and show off their newly acquired siddhis, it is like the charioteer who is proud that he can control the horse, but has forgotten the direction that he has to steer his chariot into.

The Panchatantra  , which is a collection of allegorical tales of ancient India, gives us this illuminating story on this subject.

There was a mouse in a forest, who would go daily to a sage, also living there, to listen to his wise preaching, and to be with him in his meditations.

One day, in his wanderings through the forest, the mouse came across a very big cat, who looked at him menacingly, as if he would attack the mouse. The frightened mouse ran to the sage and quiveringly asked for help. The cat followed the mouse, and asked the sage to allow him to eat the mouse. The sage was in a fix, but seeing that the mouse was his true devotee he turned him into a larger cat. On seeing the larger cat, the smaller one got frightened and ran away.

The mouse felt very brave and roamed the forest fighting and killing other cats and small animals, showing off his newly found powers. One day a fox pounced on him. He ran for his life, chased hotly by he fox, and reached the hut of the sage for protection. The sage, seeing the plight of the mouse turned him into an even bigger fox, which frightened the smaller one, into running away.

The same story as repeated when a tiger decided to kill the mouse turned into a fox. The scared mouse ran to the sage's ashram and begged for help. Once again the sage helped his devotee, and transformed him into an even larger tiger.

This large tiger now became vain as he was the largest and most powerful tiger of the forest. His cruelty to other animals only fuelled his thirst to show off all his tiger powers. His only fear was that the sage had the power to take away his power and reduce him to the original mouse body.

In his wisdom he decided to go and frighten and threaten the sage that he could eat him up and also acquire all the sage's divine powers. The sage, realising the mouse/tiger's folly quickly reduced him back into the original mouse body.

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