Being at one with the universe is mostly a great joy but sometimes it is great suffering. I began to experience tremendous bliss in meditation while I was with my mentor Chidghananda when I was in my early twenties. He told me my experiences were rare and that I would probably never have a normal life again. I did not worry about that as the bliss was so intense that I thought I could dissolve into light at any time. Then the Purulia Arms Drop happened and I went to jail. Chidghananda voluntarily went to the police station and said that he was my host and so he should also go to prison. We were released under house arrest a week later. He gave a brilliant press interview and later when the BBC and India Times reporters cornered me I tried to mimic his style of interview. A reporter asked if I was tortured. I said no and then later heard of so many stories of monks and nuns being tortured while in the very same prison during the Indira Gandhi regime. It was then that I realized how great of a risk Chidghananda made by voluntarily going to jail to protect us. Soon after this I began to hear confessions of monks who were tortured. To this day I am still trying to neutralize the painful effects these accounts created in my mind.
I had to report to the Indian CBI (the equivenent of the CIA in India) weekly in Calcutta. Travelling to Calcutta on the overcrowded, “cattle car” trains was torture. Being at one with the sky and river and mountains was great bliss but being at one with everybody on the train in order to report to the CBI was hell. I looked and saw Chidghananda grimacing with discomfort. I asked him what we could do. He said to simply withstand it and send love to everybody. A yogi cannot hate anybody, even the crudest of people, he told me. However, after a few weeks of travelling he found a doctor to write a note that he had a motorcycle accident in which he broke his leg and could not travel. I still had to take that journey weekly for several months. After seeing my interviews the organizational leaders arranged for me to speak to the press at their headquarters. I was so innocent, they told me. Really, it was because I was so ignorant that I gave such good interviews, or as I see it now, “spin doctoring.” I later discovered that some dirty monks sold out to Big Brother to frame the pacific revolutionary organization of Ananda Marga as a terrorist organization. I already wrote about this in “The Debate.”
After being cleared of all charges in the Indian Supreme Court I was deported and sent back to the U.S. I remained on the outskirts of the monastic order for several years, close to the monks, practising celibacy and simple living. I slept alone in my own room. Chidghananda always recommended this and I was very sensitive to the vibration of other people. Once, the person who was once known as my work partner, yet before we were together, started healing people in my room and even used my bed for their treatments. A lot of healing occurred but I got very ill. People noticed this and thought we worked well together. Ironically, I came to Mexico to treatments with her to recover from these experiences, however I ended up becoming bound to her more in her healing work. I was being drawn into this work but at the same time was learning ways to do this without becoming ill, and then later confront new healing challenges and become ill again and then find new ways to heal myself. She became a famous healer while I would battle the illnesses. Later I realized this vicious cycle and decided that I needed to leave it because it was really wearing on me.
Only recently, in the past few years, did I learn that some monks spoke with her about teaming up with me to work together in Mexico and connect with her friends on the political left. I always thought that she and I decided this on our own but actually she and some monks had spoken of this years before we got together, before I even really knew her. They gave her the encouragement to convince me.
She later admitted that the monks had contrived the idea of us being a team with the idea that I would see that it was really meant to be and that I should not go against a higher order. I simply saw it as priest craft and manipulation and said that I had my own promises to keep. I had conceded to it as long as I thought I had chosen it freely and there was no manipulation. However, everything changed when I realized the truth and things turned for the worse.
She became jealous of everybody who came near me. I tried to remain in this torturous situation with her for the sake of our social work but it simply became impossible because she tried to keep everybody away from me. I could not see my friends or students because she ran them away from me and told everybody I did not want to see them.
A similar situation happened with my first yoga teacher who told people I was the next step in human evolution. He was so proud of being my mentor, the one who discovered and developed me. Later, when I confronted he and his dirty monk friends of being playboys and hypocrites he said that I was an emotionally troubled person!
I began to learn about microvita, or discarnate spiritual force, with Chidghananda. In the process of healing one may connect with certain microvita in order to get information on how to heal another mind. This information and spiritual force is useful in that the distorted mental patterns that create physical illness do not affect the healer. This is not the same as channelling. Channelling is when one opens one´s mind as a vehicle for discarnate force and one´s will is suspended while the will of the microvita takes temporary control of the mind and body. Channelling is always a dangerous and inferior healing process that eventually creates mental imbalances. A strong healer does not succumb to the “possession” of the spiritual force that helps in the process, nor does the strong healer succumb to the mental patterns that create illness in the mind of the one being healed. Instead, a spiritual healer connects to the information and force to use it in the process of healing. This proper use of spiritual force helps diminish the influence of the negative patterns of the mind being healed upon the mind of the healer.
Spiritual healing and working with microvita is not so much different in principle than leadership in the mundane social world. A leader must be open and receptive to his or her subordinates. One must be understanding and take into account all opinions. However, a leader must have the strength to make decisions based on a greater discernment and insight that, while being considerate to all opinions, must have the strength to decide and override divergent aims when the decisive moment arrives. A weak leader may be too influenced by all of the voices one hears and cannot make clear decisions because one wants to please everybody and has no strong resolve. Similarly, a weak healer may be overcome by the influences of the infirm mental patterns and may become ill while trying to transmute them. The weak healer may also invoke a discarnate force or microvita to do the healing work through their own mind and body. Ramakrishna made a very relevant analogy when referring to a weak guru as a small serpent trying to swallow a fish but cannot and both the serpent and the fish are stuck in a process of suffering. The serpent cannot swallow and the fish remains squirming in its jaws. A strong guru is one who can swallow it in one bite.
My friend became a channeller. Her information was always surprisingly accurate. She could know secret details about the private lives of her patients. Time and time again she was right on the mark. I believe this worked for her when she was only channelling one strong microvita. However, with time she began to channel other forces. At the same time she became more famous and her ego became too powerful and imperious. Gradually, she began to lose her power and her mental equilibrium and nearly lost her sanity. Fortunately, she lost her power before she entirely lost her mind. It is a blessing that the Macrocosm takes occult power away from people when they misuse it.