What are extra sensory powers? We have extra sensory powers when we are able to receive information about objects not from the sense organs but from our chitta. Our chitta in this case is expanded beyond the physical limitations of the body. Many people have these powers in varying degrees. We will look at the following 5 extra sensory powers and how they manifest in a yogi.
- Divine hearing
- Divine touch
- Divine sight
- Divine taste
- Divine smell
Patanjali in sutra 42 of Vibhuti pada says that when we do intense concentration on the relationship between our organ of hearing and Akasha we develop the ability to listen to divine sounds.
As per Samkhya philosophy our sense organ of ear, tanmatra of sound, power of hearing and gross element of Akasha are related. When a yogi does intense concentration on this relationship he acquires the power of divine hearing. With Samadhi the yogi enters the chitta which is all pervading. Now his chitta is spread all over in Akasha as it is subtler than Akasha. He acquires the ability to listen to sounds from anywhere in the cosmos. It may be from other loks or realms or it may be from any distance. Such a yogi can pick up a conversation between two people from a distance of maybe 5 Km.
HOW DOES IT HAPPEN?
When a yogi after intense concentration on an object enters into Samadhi then first of all he forgets who he is, then he forgets the name of the object he was concentrating on, he forgets the description of the object, he forgets the time and space he is in. Only what remains is the object. The mind has dropped off. This object is no longer sensed through the sense organs. The sense organs are connected to the mind. With the mind having dropped off the sense organs stop functioning. The object is now not perceived through the sense organs but experienced through the tanmatras the subtle powers of sensing which operate at the subatomic level. A yogi on further concentration dives deeper and reaches the state of all pervading chitta from individual chitta. Now the Yogi’s chitta has crossed the barrier of the body and is infinite now. It is present all over the cosmos. The sense organs which were limited to operation in the physical limits of the body acquire extra sensory powers. Now the Yogi can sense across any distance and his power of sensation also knows no bounds.
Let us look at the other divine sensory powers which a Yogi can exhibit
As per Samkhya philosophy our sense organ of skin, tanmatra of touch, power of touching and gross element of Vayu are related. When a yogi does intense concentration on this relationship he acquires the power of divine touch. With Samadhi the yogi enters the chitta which is all pervading. Now his chitta is present all over the creation in Vayu as it is subtler than Vayu. He acquires the ability to touch objects anywhere in the creation and the touch is so sensitive he can read the past and the future out of touching that object
As per Samkhya philosophy our sense organ of eye, tanmatra of form, power of seeing and gross element of Agni are related. When a yogi does intense concentration on this relationship he acquires the power of divine sight. With Samadhi the yogi enters the chitta which is all pervading. Now his chitta is spread inside light as it is subtler than light. He acquires the ability to see from a distance. Sanjaya in Mahabharata is one such example who was gifted with divine sight and divine hearing. Sitting in Hastinapura he narrated all the incidents happening in Kuruskshetra, in vivid detail to Dhritrashtra,
As per Samkhya philosophy our sense organ of tongue, tanmatra of taste, power of tasting and gross element of water are related. When a yogi does intense concentration on this relationship he acquires the power of divine taste. With Samadhi he enters the chitta which is all pervading. Now his chitta is universally inside water as it is subtler than water. Now such a Yogi can taste any object in the creation without being physically there with his tongue. His chitta is universally present and it picks up the taste for him without any limitation of distance or time
As per Samkhya philosophy our sense organ of nose, tanmatra of smell, power of smelling and gross element of earth are related. When a yogi does intense concentration on this relationship he acquires the power of divine smell. With Samadhi he enters the chitta which is all pervading. Now his chitta is all over inside earth as it is subtler than earth. Now he has the ability to smell anything he desires anywhere with no limitation of distance. He can smell the soil of Mars sitting here on earth and going in Samadhi.
OTHER METHODS OF ACQUIRING EXTRA SENSORY POWERS
- By Birth
- By Drugs
- By Mantra
- By Tapasya
The above methods are mentioned in Patanjali yoga sutras. Some by birth are gifted because of their karma in previous lives and they carry forward it into this life. There are certain herbs and drugs through which one can attain these states temporarily. Asuras used elixirs and the devas used soma rasa as per scriptures. Modern day drugs are also available for extra sensory performance. Mantra has been a very ancient method practiced in our country. It also gives mystic powers. There are many mantras which people practice today also with good effect. Tapasya or penances again has been ancient method to force the body into rigorous discipline over long periods of time. But Tapasya gives extraordinary powers to the practitioner which people who practice the gyana marg do not get.
In modern parlance these powers are called as
- Clairvoyance – Clear vision
- Clairaudience – Clear hearing
- Clairscent – Clear smell
- Clairgustance – Clear taste
- Clairtangency – Clear touch
You will find the above listed as psychic powers in lot of literature available from the western world. Psychics are a prominent part of their culture and life style today and there have been few popular TV shows too with psychics as the central characters in real life.
We saw by intense concentration and Samadhi on the relationship between the 5 sense organs and its respective tanmatras and the gross elements our Yogis would develop these extra sensory powers and the mechanism by which these powers are obtained is simple. But it requires Sadhana and is doable. We naturally have these extra sensory powers in varying amounts but it varies widely in power from person to person. There are other ways also of acquiring these powers through herbs, drugs, Mantra chanting and Tapasya. Our Human powers are not limited to our physical body but can go much beyond all this if we journey on the path of Yoga as explained by Patanjali Yoga Sutras.