In this letter Swami Kriyananda responds to questions about seeing “visions,” hearing “voices,” and spiritual “powers.”


swami-IOW-fall-01Thank you for your letter. First, let me tell you that I am praying deeply for you that you see this situation clearly.

When one receives visions and voices, such as you have experienced, it becomes very difficult to distinguish how real they are. I cannot tell just how real your own experiences have been, but I do have certain doubts concerning them. My strong advice to you is that you not give them too much attention.

There are many subtle forces seeking to influence people. Some of those forces are evil. Some of them may be disembodied souls who are just confused, selfish, or petty. And sometimes a part of our own mind tries to fool us, by telling us what our ego would like to hear. Voices and visions do come on the spiritual path, but we shouldn’t think of them as goals in themselves. Nor should we pursue them too seriously. In any case, try to be absolutely sure of their divine origin.

It is a lot more helpful simply to develop our devotion and love for God, and our attunement with Him and with those who serve Him sincerely. When we seek devotion and humility, we are not tempted by the powers and spiritual attainments that are more fascinating to the ego than to the soul.

We can lose our spiritual powers very easily, if they mislead us into spiritual pride. A much more lasting and useful spiritual goal is to develop love and devotion for God, and the ability to manifest love every day in our lives. This is the way of the masters.

In divine friendship,

Swami Kriyananda