Letters of Sri Aurobindo
9. Fate and Free-Will, Karma and Heredity, etc
Fragment ID: 766
It is not possible to put any credence in the stories about this Swami.... It is possible that he has practised some kind of Tantric Yoga and obtained a few occult powers, but in all that you have said about him and in the printed papers there is no trace of any spiritual realisation or experience. All that he seems to think about is occult powers and feats of thaumaturgy. Those who take their stand on occult powers divorced from spiritual experiences are not yogis of a high plane of achievement. There are yogis who behave as if they had no control over themselves – the theory is that they separate the spirit from the nature and live in their inner realisation leaving the nature to a disordered action “like a child, mad man, piśāca or inert object”. There are others who deliberately use rough or violent speech to keep people at a distance or to test them. But the outbreak of rage of this Swami which you recount seems to have been simply an outburst of fury due to offended egoism. His judgment about Ramana Maharshi is absurd in the extreme1. As to his asking for the nail, hair etc. and his presenting of clothes or jumper, it was probably to establish a physical means of establishing an occult influence on you and your wife possibly by some Tantric or magic kriyā – in Tibet such magic processes are well-known and in common use.
1 Absurd because the greatness of a yogi does not depend at all on how long he lives or his state of health, but on the height or the depth of his spiritual realisation and experience.