Sir, are psychic powers real? If yes what are some very common and easily attainable powers?
—Subhamay Sinha, India
Yes, psychic powers are real. They are as real as physical health is, and are a natural result of correct and deep spiritual living. But they are never the heart’s goal of the true yogi. Easily we lose ourselves in trying to obtain some fascinating result: radiant health, psychic powers, phenomena.
The path to God is not a circus, Yogananda stated. So it would be wrong to use the yogic techniques to gain such powers as our main goal and interest. Just as health is desirable to keep the body fit for Self-realization, so psychic powers are desirable to attain inner freedom. If however they enhance the ego, which powers easily do, they will be the cause of our downfall.
In short: psychic powers are a good and natural thing, but they are to be handled with great wisdom.
This being said, here are some psychic powers:
Telepathy, the power to read peoples thoughts. Yogananda actually taught a special technique to learn it. I once saw that Swami Kriyananda knew my thoughts. He once described how after a deep seclusion, he could perceive all the thoughts of all people around him. Not a very pleasant experience, though.
Creation, the power to manifest ones thoughts outwardly, into objective reality: this too Yogananda taught, explaining specific techniques to do it (sorry, not being taught here). Swami Kriyananda too used these principles to outwardly achieve his (nobel) goals. The powerful mind creates.
Physical Healing, curing others or oneself through strong thought: Yogananda taught how to do it. The mind is the door through which healing enters. A strong healer can effect mental healing on others, which results in physical healing. You can learn these practices in healing courses at Ananda.
Instant knowledge, tuning the mind intuitively to get any sort of knowledge: this psychic power too is part of Yogananda’s teaching. Once a pilgrimage group in India was in real danger, caught in a fire, and everyone in America was afraid. Nobody knew what happened, or if people had died. Swami Kriyananda went into meditation and shortly afterward came out with a smile. He knew: “Nothing happened, everyone is fine.” And so it was. The key to such true psychic pereption is inner stillness.
Influencing others: in the Autobiography of a Yogi we read how Sri Yukteswar explains the mind to be like a radio, which can not only receive all information intuitively, but can also be used as a sending station, influencing the minds and actions of others. You may read about it in the chapter “The Cauliflower Robbery”. This power should certainly not be used, except if you are a true Master. Free will is sacred.
There is much more: for example the control of the body through the mind, controlling to fall asleep when desired, or to stay awake for long periods of time, or even dematerialiing the body by mental command, and, and, and….
The best way to stimulate any of these powers is to meditate deeply on the spiritual eye, with profound concentration. You thereby contact the divine cosmic Mind. Mind creates matter. the stronger and deeper it is, the stronger its effect. But again, if you do it because you are after powers, you are treading a dangeous path.
Should any of such powers come to you naturally or by training, use them very wisely. One important mental power Yogananda advocates is to remain “unshaken in the midst of crashing worlds.” Try it. Remain completely calm when nothing works, when you fail, or when danger arrives, when people attack you, and even when death is close. Then you practice a psychic power which really helps you as a yogi.
Joy to you, jayadev