Yogic Powers and Spirituality

Punditt, Patanjali and the Yoga Sutras

Before I met Punditt I had been practising the TM-Sidhi program - the most important aspect to my life. In the early days I would often ask Punditt when we would start ‘flying’, to which he would give a suitably ambiguous answer. Over twenty years later, those who practise the ‘flying technique’ are still only hopping like a frog. Once I started to see Punditt on a regular basis, my own spiritual experiences intensified and accelerated — not surprising you would think, but from an early time, he rarely took an interest in my spiritual experiences, and he began to make it difficult for me to practise the Siddhis.

The TM-Sidhi program was taking three hours twice a day at the TM Centre where I lived. This was fine when I was seeing him for maybe half an hour several times a week, but my circumstances changed, and very soon I was visiting every day. The length of visits increased, so that I would spend the whole afternoon sitting in his tiny office on Brighton seafront, not saying very much.

I was teetotal and vegetarian, so it was something of a surprise one day when he produced a bottle of Baileys, and I gingerly drank a thimbleful. Having survived the experience, I would have another thimbleful the next day. Thus began the slippery slope. Punditt took me to the Royal Albion Hotel just over the road. He had a pint of Tennents Extra lager, and I had a half of the same. Soon the half became a pint, and the pint became pints. I was still living at the TM Centre, and I felt it my duty to go back there to do the program, so I would often find myself staggering back and falling asleep during the program. During one evening session the phone rang — it was for me. My girlfriend rang me to say that Punditt was at her house — come quick. I stopped meditating, and twenty minutes later, I was at her house. Punditt was merry. He produced a bottle of Smirnoff, and liberally poured me a very large vodka with a little coca cola. In the carrier bags at his feet were the ingredients for a chicken curry. What a party!

From then on my evening meditations became more and more erratic, as I found myself regularly propping up the bar with Punditt, along with the Curry and Qawali parties, when I should be sitting on the foam with my eyes closed with all the other meditators. Coupled with my expulsion from the TM Centre for entirely spurious reasons, my practice of the Siddhis waned. This is not to say that my questions were answered. Far from it. If Punditt is the Spiritual Master I believed him to be, there had to be other methods of spiritual development, and his rather unorthodox methods of social drinking were certainly working. For the next twenty years I would be desperately studying and researching, ransacking every spiritual system I could think of for the answers.

Punditt has now been in silence for several years, leaving me to continue my journey. In contrast to his silence on almost everything spiritual, except to occasionally instruct me on a new mantra, I realise I have to discuss my experiences and find new Masters to work with and instruct. Recently, I have been receiving a few nudges to look again at the siddhis, so I reached for my copy of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, and what a revelation it was!

Despite the historical disdain Punditt had for my own spiritual experiences and practises with the TM-Sidhi program, getting me too drunk to return to meditate in the evening, I was shocked to realise that Patanjali provides a perfect technical description of the methods and practices of the Punditts! Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras is an aide memoire or checklist of spiritual techniques used by Punditts. What this means is that the Yoga Sutras do not describe ‘how to’ do anything — the Yoga Sutras do not provide the techniques for Yoga or spiritual development. What the Yoga Sutras do provide is a reminder for Punditts on their spiritual work, in technical language that is easy to understand when in regular higher states of consciousness, not the means to achieve higher states of consciousness.

When in higher states of consciousness the ability to perform Siddhis is spontaneous and natural, however that is not the real aim, as the Yoga Sutras are a practical manual on spiritual magic. The last two words are significant here, as it is being in a high spiritual state, in the awareness and maintenance of a pure state of consciousness that gives the spiritual powers. Established in Being, perform Action, as the Bhagavad Gita says. The Yoga Sutras do not tell the Aspirant how to perform the Siddhis any more than it describes how to do pranayama or hatha yoga or samyama. However, once the technique of using the siddhis is natural and effortless, and can be performed at any hour of the day, whether in the waking dreaming or sleeping state (and yes, sometimes inebriated…), the real work of the Yoga Sutras begins. The siddhis are merely an interregnum on the path.

This places me in a unique position, since I went through the TM-Sidhi program, so I know Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s techniques for achieving this. Don’t get me wrong, Maharishi’s methods work — I met Punditt!

Patanjali does not describe the techniques — they are incomprehensible from the viewpoint of lower states of consciousness. When consciousness is at the right level, the siddhis can be activated, and it is only after a number of years while the physiology is prepared for the arduous and difficult experience of continual awareness of the Transcendent or Ghayb, that the real work of Patanjali can be continued.

The Flying Technique revisited

In this light, I looked again at the ‘flying sutra’. The purpose of the flying technique is not about physically lifting the body off the ground, floating around in the lotus position. I can see why Maharishi would want to promote the technique as such because it would make brilliant television, and provide physical proof of his brilliance. Unfortunately, Maharishi’s followers have never had the real talent to achieve such a thing. I did the flying technique, and I regularly hopped around like a frog on the foam with everybody else. I never did manage to float, even for a nanosecond. Looking at the sutra today, I see an entirely different interpretation of the technique — the purpose is to transform the body into Akasha so one can visit anywhere in the universes (note the plurality). This brings to mind something that was told to me by several Governors while I was on ‘workstudy’ at Mentmore Towers. Maharishi apparently had a secret program, the Galactic Ambassadors, who would communicate with Spirits and entities in other universes. There was only rumour, but it is possible that the technique of transformation of internal awareness became externalised for publicity purposes. Understanding this difference casts light on the failure of Maharishi’s organisation to bring peace on earth — an ideal I still aspire to.

Once again, Punditt’s teaching brilliance comes to the fore. He continued my training of Patanjali without ever referencing or discussing Yoga with me, and it was not until after he went into silence that I discovered that is what he was doing.

In the West, while magicians desire the powers of the Spirits, they are simultaneously terrified of being ensnared by the same Spirits, for good reason. It is the achievement of higher states of consciousness that eventually result in the emergence of those powers, which then have to be transcended. Although the siddhis are available to me at any time, it is the other techniques I use, hinted at in the Yoga Sutras that are far more important. The fact that commentators rarely discuss those other techniques suggests that they may not be in such a higher state of consciousness as you may think.

NLP and the CIA

NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) uses a version of some of the techniques of consciousness expansion, derived from the Yoga Sutras, and of course the CIA is desperate to use the siddhis for Remote Viewing. Some progress is possible, but only at a low level. The reason is obvious — Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras are for the transformation of consciousness in the state of Union of Consciousness, or Yoga. Yoga is the pre-requisite — you cannot raise yourself by your bootstraps. The Yoga Sutras describe the Yogic techniques for transformation of consciousness for the purposes of transformation not only in the lower, more material realms, but for the transformations within the Highest Realms of consciousness. Armed with this knowledge, do you think if he were alive today, would Patanjali have any interest in finding Osama Bin Laden?

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