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At the Feet of The Mother

VII DHARMA. Prakamya (IX)

When people speak of the eightfold acquisitions (siddhi), they think of a few extraordinary powers gained through a supranatural yoga. Although it is true that a full play of the eight acquisitions can happen only in a yogi, still all these powers are not outside the common laws of nature; rather what we call natural laws are a disposition of these eight-fold powers.

The names of these eight powers are ‘Mahima’ (greatness), ‘Laghima’ (lightness), ‘Anima’ (smallness), ‘Prakamya’ (penetration or projection), ‘Vyapti’ (extension), ‘Aisvarya’ (splendour), ‘Vasita’ (control), ‘Iseeta’ (mastery); all these are known as the eight powers inherent in the nature of the Supreme. Take, for example, ‘prakamya’; ‘prakamya’ means the full expression and free working of all the senses. In fact, all the working of the five senses, instruments of senseknowledge and mind are included in prakamya. It is through the power of prakamya that the eyes see, the ears hear, the nose smells, the skin feels touch, the tongue tastes and the mind receives all outside contacts. Normally people think that it is the physical senses that are the powers that hold knowledge; but the wise know that the eye does not see, it is the mind that sees, the ear hears not, it is the mind that hears, the nose smells not, it is the mind that smells. Men of still greater knowledge know that even the mind sees not, hears not, smells not, it is the being that sees, hears, smells. The Being is the knower, the being is God, part of the Supreme. The eight powers of the Supreme Divine are also the eight powers of the being.

An eternal portion of the Divine, in the world of souls, becomes a soul, then meets the mind and the five senses in Nature, and draws them towards itself, uses in its own service and possesses for its own enjoyment. When God as a soul takes up a body or goes out of the body, then, as the wind takes away the perfumes from flowers, even so it takes away all the senses from the body. The Supreme Divine arches over the ears and eyes, the touch and taste and smell and the mind and enjoys their objects. Seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching, thinking (meantalising) are all functions of prakamya. The soul, an eternal portion of the Divine adopts all this working of Nature and in the course of Nature’s transfiguration puts out the five senses and the mind in the subtle body. And as it takes up the physical body it enters there with all the six senses and at the time of death it departs taking with it the six senses. However, whether in the subtle body or in the physical body it is he who inhabits these six senses as their master and enjoys all their objects. In the causal body prakamya is there in its fulness. That power manifests itself first in the subtle body and then in the physical body. It does not from the very outset express itself wholly in the physical. The senses evolve gradually with the gradual evolution of the world. In the end they attain in some of the animals the degree of expression and intensity helpful for the human evolution. But in man himself the senses get somewhat dulled because we spend more energy for the development of the mind and intelligence. But this imperfect manifestation of prakamya is not its final stage. By the force of yoga all the powers of prakamya that have developed in the subtle body can be expressed in the physical body. This is the realisation of prakamya gained through yoga.

 

II

Infinite and invincible is the might of the Supreme Divine. And the power that is inherent in his nature has an infinite field and unhindered working. The soul is God, a portion of the Divine bounded in the subtle body and in the material body. He slowly unveils his divine powers. The senses of the physical body are particularly limited; and so long as man is limited by the powers of the physical body, he is superior to the animal only because of the development of his intelligence. Otherwise in the matter of the intensity of the senses and the faultless working of the mind — in one word in the realisation of prakamya, power of projection — the animal is superior to man. What the scientists call instinct is this prakamya. In the animal, the intelligence has developed to a very small extent and yet if one is to live in this world then one has need of a faculty that will show the way in all things as to what is to be done and what is to be rejected. The mind of the animal does this. Man’s mind decides nothing, it is his intelligence that decides, it is his intelligence that settles, his mind is only an instrument, for registering impressions. Whatever we see, hear, feel turn into impressions in the mind. The intelligence accepts these impressions or rejects them or builds thoughts with them. The animal intelligence is incapable of taking decision in this way. Not by the intelligence but by the mind the animal understands and thinks. The mind has a curious capacity, it can understand in a moment what is happening in another mind. It does not argue but comprehends just what is happening in another mind. It does not argue but comprehends just what is necessary and chooses the right way for the work. We may not have seen anybody entering the room, still we may know somebody is hiding there. There is no cause for fear, still we are full of anxiety, as though there is some secret reason for fear somewhere. Our friend has not uttered a word, still before he opens his mouth we guess what he is going to say. Many instances of this kind may be given. All these are powers of the mind, the natural unfettered working of the eleventh sense. But we have been so accustomed to act through our intelligence that we have almost lost the other power, the power of prakamya. If the animal did not possess prakamya, he would die out in a day or two. What is eatable, what is not, who is friend, who is foe, where is danger, where safety, all this knowledge, it is prakamya that gives to the animal. It is through prakamya that the dog without even understanding the language of the master can understand the meaning of his words or the idea in his mind. It is through prakamya that the horse always recognises the road on which it has gone once before. All these powers of prakamya belong to the mind. But even with regard to the power of the five senses the animal beats the man hollow. Which man is able like the dog to follow a scent through a hundred miles, and rejecting all other ways to pursue unfailingly one particular animal? Or which man can see like the animal in the dark, or can discover through hearing only the sound made by some one from a secret place? An English newspaper while speaking of telepathy, that is, receiving thought from a distance, says it is a function of the mind. The animal has this capacity, man has not, therefore through the development of telepathy man will go down and not go up, an argument that befits very well a thick-headed Briton. True, in order to develop his intelligence man neglected the full development of the senses, but it was for his good, otherwise his intelligence would not have developed so quickly, if there had been no need of it. But once the intelligence has developed fully and faultlessly, it is now man’s duty to develop again the eleventh sense. By this the knowledge ascertainable by the intellect will be widened and a full culture of the mind and intelligence will develop them into fit instruments, for the manifestation of the inner Divine. The development of any power whatsoever can never be a cause of decline, decline is possible only when the power is applied in the wrong way, when it is used in a false manner, when it is tainted with disharmony. Many are the visible signs that are seen today which make us understand that the day is come for the eleventh sense to manifest again, for the power of prakamya to begin to grow and increase.

(Dharma, Nos, 17 and 18, 1909-1910)

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