Yogis, Psychic Powers & The “Breakdown” of the Meditative State


Ritambhara Pragya is a state of complete synchronization with the universal nature, some say Mother Nature. It is a union. It is Yoga – a goal of the yogin.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi says this about Ritambhara Pragya.

This level of consciousness knows only Truth. It is possible to be established on this level, the finest level of feeling, between the fields of thought and pure consciousness of being. Since feeling is closest to Being, it is very powerful – and the finest level of feeling is the reservoir of all power, from where everything is possible- the field of all possibilities characterized by Sat – Truth. When we are able to function from this level, we are able to do so with the support of all the laws of Nature which make their home here. This finest level of feeling is that of Ritambhara Pragya. All knowledge at this level of consciousness is infused with Truth. When we meditate, we are able to more and more effortlessly get in touch with this level of functioning.

So this question concerning the breakdown of the meditative state when there is a desire for any achievement should be understood to have itself gone completely off the path of truth in so far as the strident negation of human desire is, from a nihilistic perspective, a perverted desire for achievement in its own right.

I have lived with the yogin, as a yogi, as a human being, for half of my life; this is what I’ve learned.

  • The meditative state, once achieved, doesn’t break down. Every perspective and operation is conducted from within that state and it can never be otherwise. It is impossible. It is like saying that you know something sometimes, or you are something sometimes, but not at others. This unsteady, bi-polar way of being indicates something is off altogether. It is not the subject of yoga or meditation.
  • Yogin enjoy chai. Sometimes with lots of milk. Sometimes only a little. Sometimes we stock up on cans of condensed milk because the sweet is very good for the body in its way. And it tastes good. And sometimes we go for lemon tea. Or straight black coffee. Sure, there is a rule. Two spoonfuls of dal and two roti – bas. That’s beans and bread. And it means just take a little; it is far enough. The desire is there for nourishment. It does not go overboard into gluttony.

So you see, this idea that the ego must be destroyed in order to achieve the meditative state, or a happy, satisfied, fulfilled life, is a severe misconception itself at the heart of a great deal of suffering. Ego means identity. Ahamkara in the terminology of the yogin. This is only one of four dimensions of mind, the others being manas, buddhi and chitta. It is a broad and deep study which leads into further dimensions and analytics including a system of Gunas and Tattvas and this and that. Point is, in short, there is no need to think about killing off parts of you. Simply not to be attached to any one part inordinately, while being all of that.

Besides, who is it that is attached to any of that? Who does Ahamkara belong to? Who is the Operator standing at the center of your operations?

  • Siddha Yogin will use meditation to develop psychic abilities. It is their purpose. Meditation is the tool and the process that allows them to do so. When you look at meditation from the perspective of Patanjali’s dharana>dhyana>samadhi, and consider that it is only samadhi that means meditation, it becomes necessary then to define the levels of samadhi in order to avoid the misunderstanding again that there is some state to break down. Same goes for the Buddhist jhana constructs.
  • It’s also incumbent upon anyone analyzing these mystical matters to properly define terminology as it is these definitions and the rigidity of the dichotomies themselves which lead to so much more confusion and further suffering. What, after all, is a psychic ability?

We have senses. How is it that the Five physical senses became central to the definition of reality? This is an important question.

Let’s take one example – the sense of smell. Olfaction happens when odorants bind to the receptors in my nasal cavity and information is transmitted to my brain. This happens in everybody. Now how my brain uses that information and how your brain uses that information may be slightly different. We all pick up the pheromone smell. But does it translate? Are you able to pick up the rise and fall of pheromone levels in the people around you? Is there ever a time you might want to understand that Jane or Joe are behaving in a particular way because of chemistry? A lot happens at the gut level and human interactions are given over to the sub-conscious; we allow our lives to run on auto-pilot and unconsciously glide through our day to day. The conscious man does not do that. I can smell you a mile away. But does that make me psychic? What is psychic?

How about the heat practices of the mountain-dwellers. The exothermic chemical reactions of the body are similarly one of the body’s physical senses along with sight and smell. Every cell in our body gives off heat, a by-product of chemical reactions. The endocrine system has a direct link to our chemical reactors; the brain a central processing unit. Nothing metaphysical going on here. And I submit that the more developed your gyana, your awareness, the more in touch with your body and brain’s natural abilities you will become.

When I started meditating in earnest, several years before I met my guru in the Himalayas and embarked on the path of the yogin, several years before I even knew the word yoga or had any education at all concerning these topics, I recall that one of the very first visceral experiences of my meditation was that heat was produced. And I played with that, fascinated. Very quickly I learned to manipulate and modulate my body heat at will. I viewed the energy flowing through and around my body long before I’d ever heard the term Vajrayana or Tantra and long before I learned of correlations between inspiration, intuition, intention, will and reality manipulation. The ebb and flow, the constant and consistent flux of the universal harmonics, the energies that define our existence in all states of being, are, in fact, the very bedrock of our being. At which point did it become akin to sacrilege to want to develop or otherwise know our Selves?

The meditative state is a state of knowing. Ritambhara Pragya is that state in which one settles, the meditation having achieved the goal. The desire to develop and achieve is an absolute must on the path of attainment. What can be attained without the desire to achieve? Not to get confused. In the Gita, Krishna exhorts us to do our jobs because it is for that reason we are here in the first place. When the Self cries out from the center of you to do this and that, develop this and that, want this and that – it is for that reason you are here. Not to force yourself in some other direction, tie yourself up in knots trying to accomplish something you are not meant to accomplish this time or trying to reject something which you are in fact here to do.

Adi Shankara tells us to do what we are doing and simply be as the beings that we are. Do what we are here to do. There’s a lot of sense in that and no meditation is going to get broken down living accordingly.

If upon sitting down into meditation one stumbles upon an inspiration of energy and quite accidentally learns that the physical rules of reality may be bent in response to an inflection of such energy, is it not like a child learning how to produce melodies with a song or a whistle for the first time? If from within your meditative state you were to discover the body becoming lighter allowing you to float or to fly, or the muscle mass become denser, or the intellect becoming more piercing or any number of manifestations of reality and nature taking shape through you, there are precisely two choices. One, see that. Acknowledge that. Be that. Bas. Two, do that. Develop that. Go further. Intend. Co-create with the universal creator and do your job. Either way you are not wrong and the desire to achieve or to go further is not going to break your meditative state all the way unto the point where the desire to achieve quite naturally falls away of its own accord.