Can Mantra Chanting Bestow Siddhi (God-Realization)?-2
After saying this Gurudev narrated an incident which he himself had witnessed. “Two ascetics were doing Tapa-Sadhana (meditation, mantra chanting and austerities) in the Himalayas. Both lived without clothes and observed complete silence. There was a small piece of land on which roots, vegetables and fruits could be grown. They lived in the caves and ate these fruits and vegetables.
Once during the summer both of them started cleaning out the area around their caves. This operation continued for 2 days. One day one of them occupied a small portion of the land that was supposed to belong to the other.
Seeing this the second ascetic got very angry. Frowning he asked the first fellow to vacate the land immediately. Although they were both observing a vow of silence, the quarrel escalated and reached the stage of kicking and punching. The first one plucked out the beard of the second and as a result his chin started bleeding.”
Revered Gurudev continued: “I wondered what kind of ascetics doing sadhana (spiritual practice) in the Himalayan caves were these?”
“Shame on such a sadhana! Unless a person can refine his mind (his thoughts, his ego and greed) nothing worthwhile can be achieved in spirituality, what to talk of mantra siddhi. Even if some spiritual powers are attained they will serve no purpose other than destroying oneself like Bhasmasura.”
Detour: The Story of Bhasmasura
The story of Bhasmasura for those who are not familiar, is the story of a demon who had performed such a great penance that Lord Shiva became pleased and appeared before him. Upon seeing the Lord, Bhasmasura asked for an unusual boon. He requested that anyone upon whose head he placed his hand, would immediately be turned to ashes.
Lord Shiva granted him this boon, but Bhasmasura being a demon (meaning a person who had not purified his inner self) could not properly digest the immense spiritual power so granted. Uncontrollable greed and lust immediately rose up in his egotistical heart.
He began to eye Lord Shiva’s wife, the beautiful and talented Goddess Parvati and decided that if he got Lord Shiva out of the way, he could marry her. So he began to chase the Lord trying to turn him to ashes. Shiva helplessly began to run, and soon took shelter with Lord Vishnu.
After listening to Shiva’s predicament, Lord Vishnu decided to help and turned himself into an exceedingly beautiful lady, Mohini. Then he appeared before Bhasmasura. Mohini was so charming and pretty that Bhasmasura could not control himself and immediately fell in love with her. He wanted to marry her, but Mohini had a condition – she would only marry the man who could replicate her dance moves perfectly.
Bhasmasura agreed and began to dance with her. The dance went on for a long time. Engrossed in dancing, with his mental processes entirely clouded by an insatiable lust for Mohini, Bhasmasura soon forgot about the boon of Lord Shiva. When Mohini struck a pose, placing her hand on her head, he thoughtlessly copied her move and was immediately reduced to ashes.
In this way the spiritual power attained by the egotistical, greedy and lustful Bhasmasura, ultimately worked against him and became the cause of his own demise. For this reason, refinement of thoughts, deeds and character are the essential foundation upon which any successful spiritual endeavour rests.
Om Namah Shivay