When I first met Dr Shastri, I had done meditation for about seven years, on the lines of practising casting off thoughts including desires at any time, while being able to entertain them at other times at will.  My interest was to develop some powers and knowledge over self, and perhaps over external things directly.  This was the subject of repeated experiments.  I did pranayama and hatha yoga postures, and did transform physique and physical energy, after never playing sport up to fifteen.  I was practising ‘reading’ playing cards, shuffled and dealt face down: in spite of a few remarkable successes (e.g. two successive correct and the third one near (jack of clubs instead of king), I rated the results as poor; they did not seem to improve. The visual images were mostly blurred and shifting:  the few clear ones seemed to turn slowly up before the inner eye, as if fixed on a big wheel.)

At an early interview with him, I spoke about this, and he said:  ‘It is a frustration.  I have known men who developed capacity for reading thoughts, but then could not increase their range.  (He did not say whether the ‘range’ meant a physical range, or scope of thought.)   He concluded by saying:  ‘Seek ye first the Kingdom of Heaven, and all these things …’

Once much later the point of siddhi perfections came up, and I said:  ‘But you are all in favour of removing limitations.  And to some extent these people are removing limitations.’  He replied;  ‘New ones will be added.’  This made me take note how many of the ‘Mayavin’ magicians could not keep away from drink, e.g. Gurdjieff.   He said once of him:  ‘Ouspensky had something to teach.  As for Gurdjieff – drink is the ruin of an individual, what to say of a group.’

© Trevor Leggett

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