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The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali - Book 3 - Union achieved and its Results
37. These powers are obstacles to the highest spiritual realization, but serve as magical powers in the objective worlds.

One fact continuously emerges in this text book of spiritual development, and that is, that the psychic powers, higher and lower, are hindrances to the highest spiritual state and must be left behind by the man who can function freed from the three worlds altogether. This is a hard lesson for the aspirant to grasp. He is apt to think that a tendency towards clairvoyance or clairaudience is indicative of progress and a sign that his practice of meditation is beginning to take effect. It might prove just the opposite and [326] inevitably will, should the aspirant be attracted by, or attached to, any of these forms of psychic faculty. An old Hindu writer says in connection with these powers:

"A mind whose mind stuff is emergent thinks highly of these perfections, just as a man born in misery considers even a small bit of wealth a pile of wealth. But a yogin whose mind-stuff is concentrated must avoid these perfections, even when brought near to him. One who longs for the final goal of life, the absolute assuagement of the threefold anguish, how could he have any affection for those perfections which go counter to the attainment of that goal."

Dvivedi says:

"The occult powers described hitherto and to be described hereafter... serve as obstacles because they become the cause of distracting the mind by the various feelings they excite. But they are not quite useless inasmuch as they are great powers for good in moments when samadhi is suspended."

It is of value to the aspirant to know what these powers are, how to control them and not be controlled by them, and how to use them in the service of his brother and of the Hierarchy, but they must be regarded as instruments and be relegated to the form side. It must be realized that they are the qualities or capacities of the sheaths or the form aspect, otherwise they will assume undue importance, engross undue attention and prove stumbling blocks to the progress of soul unfoldment. [327]

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