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There is nothing more powerful than the human mind. The mind has a tremendous capacity, so it can be trained to do anything. We can see this in the mental accomplishments or siddhis. If your thought force is strong enough, just by simply looking at an ordinary piece of paper it could become a sheet of gold or it can be made invisible. You don’t need alchemy for this. Your thought force can change the molecules. After all, the paper is just a lot of molecules put together. Is it not? Because the molecules are moving at a particular velocity you see paper. If you change the velocity through your thought force, the paper changes into something else.

Saint Ramalingam had a powerful thought force. He could make himself vanish. He could make himself appear in more than one location, all at the same time. People would come and take photographs, but nothing would show up in the film. He had that much power over his own physical molecules. When he walked, there was no shadow.

Your mind is part of the Cosmic Mind. The entire universe is a big mind, a universal mind. And a portion of that universal mind functions in you, as your mind. This little mind has all the capacity of the universal mind. It knows everything that is present in the universal mind or the Cosmic Consciousness. That is why if the individual mind is tuned more closely with the universal mind it can understand so much more. There is no past or present or future then. The more it can communicate, the more it knows. If there are blockages, it will be more limited.

The main purpose behind all the Yoga practices is to expand the mind and to break all the divisions that separate your individual consciousness from the Cosmic Consciousness. The purpose is not necessarily to develop certain siddhis, or mystical powers. Siddhis will come, but it’s better if the ego doesn’t even know about them. If you allow the ego to recognize a siddhi a problem will be created. The ego will immediately say, “Oh, see, I can do this. I can do that.”

Certain people have developed the capacity or the siddhi to observe a multitude of things at the same time. Such an individual once came to the house of my parents. He was presented with a complicated mathematical problem. At the same time, another person handed him the last line of a sixteen-lined poem. It is very complicated and challenging to write Sanskrit or Tamil poetry. A certain number of letters must be in each line and the first letter and eighth letter should be the same. And it should have a particular meaning. So, he was given the last line and told to compose a complete poem of fifteen lines.

As he was given the last line of the poem and told to come up with the first fifteen, he was also giving the answer to the previous mathematical problem. At the same time, somebody was standing behind my back, dropping pebbles. He said, “There are eighteen stones being dropped behind you.” He had no way of knowing because he could not see them. So, that’s why we can say that there is no limit as to the power of the mind. All great scientists use their mind to probe into the nature of matter and its secrets. It is the mind, not machines and test tubes, that has discovered and even invented things.

But none of these things are the greatest of achievements. The most difficult thing is to have a calm, quiet mind. You can do anything and everything but the most difficult thing to do is not to do anything. It is only with a calm, peaceful mind that you can experience the Spirit. When you relax the mind, the waves and turbulence will recede; you can then recognize your true, peaceful nature. All the so-called siddhis come from turbulence, from wanting to accomplish this and that. It is in no way different from the people who can do amazing physical and mental feats like walking from skyscraper to skyscraper on a thin wire. The question is: Can they do nothing? More things can happen if the mind is quiet.

It is difficult to keep the mind at ease and in balance always rather than being pulled here and there, wanting to do this, and running after that. It’s very challenging not to want anything. When a person reaches that state of not wanting anything, then they experience their Divine nature. Even the desire to experience peace can create a restlessness in the mind and should be avoided. A peaceful mind has no desire. Can you sleep if you are wanting to sleep? As long as you are wanting to sleep, you will be awake. And when you are sleeping what happened to the want? You sleep only when your mind isn’t preoccupied with wanting to sleep. Right? Self-Realization is like that. If you want to realize your True Nature, your essence-nature, then any clinging to that want should also dissolve.

By Sri Swami Satchidananda