This is a transcript of a recording from an early talk given
by Irina Tweedie in England, shortly after her time in India with her guru.
You can also listen to this talk online: Listen, Part 1 | Listen, Part 2
The subject for tonight is, I think, rather interesting, it deals with the powers latent in man. There are two great powers which we can achieve or which are rather our Divine heritage. It is the Divine power from God and it is the Power of Yoga. Yoga is really union. The Sanskrit word Yoga means Union, union with God. How the Yogic or Divine power is acquired, there are slight differences and a slight difference in working.
The Divine power is given. It is a state of grace. It is given only when the person has surrendered to the light within, which is One with God. Because we in the Theosophy, we believe that the soul of man is one ray of infinite truth. Or God. I use the word God deliberately because it is short and everyone knows what I mean. The word truth or infinite light is not always familiar to people. It is all the same thing. It is all light. It is all God within and without. Like fish in water, we are in Him and He is in our form. Now the Divine Power is given when the human being is completely surrendered to his maker. The Yogic power is acquired, by the yogi or aspirant, through concentration, meditation and stilling of the mind. It is a very, very difficult process.
My dear teacher, who was a very, very great yogi of India. I have just returned from India. He died on the 21st of July… He left his physical body. I had to go to the Himalayan Mountains to recuperate in solitude. It was a shock, a great shock to us disciples.
My dear teacher worked with both the Divine and the Yogic powers. You see the working of the Divine Power and Yogic Power are a little bit different. For Divine power you need faith. For Yogic power you don’t need faith. And you don’t need faith for magic. But magic is a very low subject. I won’t touch that subject tonight, I am only going to speak about the Yogic and Divine powers.
I always remember the words of Christ when St. Peter wanted to walk on water, when he suddenly lost faith and became afraid and began to sink. Christ pulled him up and asked him where was his faith. If you have no faith, the Divine power will not work with you. In other words, if you come to a great yogi for a healing or anything, if you do not believe in him, the power will not work.
People came to my teacher for healings and others for help with the process in the law court. They want to win the case. People come to the yogi for all sorts of things and if, like my teacher, the yogi is great, if he is One with God, he will know which human being can be helped and which cannot. You see, we in the Theosophy believe in the laws of karma. Karma is the law of cause and effect. If I did evil, then evil will come to me. If I did something which is considered good, then something good will come to me too. If the human being is sick and has great troubles and cannot be helped, this is something the person themselves have created. The yogi cannot help you. He will not hurt your feelings. He will not say I cannot help you. We disciples, we noticed one day, that our teacher use to sometimes say, “I can only pray.” This is a refusal.
If a person came to him with full faith and said, “my child is dying of smallpox or cholera,” which happens often. People just die away, they cannot be helped with these cases. They die. My teacher would look at the child and say "go home" and give him a glass of water. The father would say, "But he cannot keep the water down." My teacher would say, "He can take the water and he will be fine. Just go home and let him sleep for twenty-four hours and he will be fine." The next day the child would be well.
“We Yogis can do anything but we cannot heal everyone.”
I saw in my teacher’s house, a servant falling ill with smallpox. One day I arrived in his garden. There was no one there. This was very unusual. Someone came to me and said, “Mrs. Tweedie, our servant is ill with smallpox. You may be afraid to stay.” I was not afraid as I had been vaccinated against smallpox for my journey to India. I stayed in the garden. After some time, my dear teacher came out. He was a very old man, with a snowy white beard. He was all dressed in white. He said, “Mrs. Tweedie, you may like to leave because our servant is ill.” I said, “No, I want to stay. I have had a vaccination." He said, “Our servant has smallpox.” I said, “Would it not be better to send her to the hospital.” He replied, “Oh no, she will be alright. I gave her a glass of water. And tomorrow she will be well.” Now this was a little bit too much for me, quite frankly. Coming from the West, I had faith in my dear teacher but this was a little bit too much. I said nothing because I could not believe it. The next day the servant was washing dishes and she was full of smallpox marks. I asked, “For goodness sake, is she not contagious!” My teacher said, “Oh no, I gave her a glass of water and that was that.”
I have seen the case of a mad dog who had bitten six people. Five of those died. The one who got the glass of water from Guruji was alright. We called him "Guruji" because that is the term used in India. The word "guru" is teacher. The "ji" is used as a term of endearment. It is like saying "Sir guru" ... it is a Sanskrit word. Guru means the light and the dark…. Gu – ru. He gave her a glass of water and she was alright. Like Christ he did this work.
Here in the West, I have not seen anyone cast out spirits. I have been told that some priests do it. The R.C. church has priest trained to do this work. I have never seen it. I have seen my teacher cast out an evil spirit from a boy. It was a horrific sight. The boy was rolling on the floor, foaming at the mouth. He looked like he was suffering from an epileptic fit. My teacher said it is not a fit but a spirit. He then ordered the spirit to go out. It was a terrific sight. My teacher was all dressed in white and very majestic. He pointed with his finger to the outline of the boy and drew an invisible line around him. The boy was lying on the floor, foaming and shouting. My teacher was saying very sternly to the spirit, "Go out or I will burn thee and all thy family." Now, I did not know he was talking to the spirit. I thought he was speaking to the boy, and in my ignorance, I thought it was a terrible way to talk to this boy when he is in this condition. Then suddenly the boy became sort of blackish in his face, or blue rather and stopped shouting and was completely calm. I said to myself, the boy has died, Guruji has killed him! But after a few minutes, the boy sat up, with a perfectly normal expression on his face. He folded his hands in an Indian salute and said, “thank you.” It was so beautiful to see the boy well. He rose and left with his father. He was from one of the local villages and he went home. I turned to my Guruji and said, “Well, I never saw anything like this in the West.” He said, “Oh, this is nothing! When you stay with me you will see many such cases and much more of this sort of thing. It is nothing. It is the grace of God. We are given that. But we don’t care for powers, we are not after these things.”
In the afternoon, when in his garden, I asked him what he meant by the words,"I will burn thee and all thy relations." He said, "Well, those evil spirits are part of evolution, just as we are part of evolution. There are human beings, there are evil spirits, there are angels, there are all sorts of things. There are birds, and animals. These spirits are of a group soul. They are never alone. They are like a whole family. So when one is killed the others die too. I have no rights to kill a spirit. When an evil spirit enters a human being then I have a duty to help the human being because he is one of my own kind. So I cast out the spirit. But if the spirit disobeys me and comes again, I have the right to kill it. Although I will not kill it without warning. I have to give it a warning, But if the spirit is disobedient then I have the right to kill it. I first have to give the evil spirit a warning and I give it three times. But with me it never happens. I give the warning once, it is enough. When a saint has great powers, the spirits dare not return." Actually the young man and his father never returned...
The yogis are very great people. They work with the Divine power. For the Divine power, you have to have the permission of God; in other words you have to ask for permission. But actually, with the spirit, there are no words, you tune in. You listen in to God, and you know which human being is allowed to be healed or not. If his deeds are such that he cannot be helped. Remember Christ’s words when he saw the blind boy. "Who has sinned, he or his family?" You never know how karma works, but someone had committed the sin and the child was born blind. I remember, one day my dear teacher said these words, “I can only pray,” and it was a refusal. He will say as I told you before, “my child, all I can do is pray.” And then the help is not given. We asked him why this is and he smiled and said, “We can do anything, but we cannot heal everyone.” Here lies the answer. Some people must not be helped because it is not the intention of God they should be healed at this time. They have to learn a certain lesson from a certain suffering. Besides, we must not forget that ultimate healing is death. This again is a very interesting point. In the healing groups, we pray for health but we must also consider that ultimate healing is sometimes death. So when you pray in the healing groups – pray that "His Will" will be done. In a spiritual healing group, ask that "His Will" will be done. Whatever it is, if He wishes the person to die alright. Pray that he or she should get well but if God’s will is not like that, then alright. Surrender to thy Will…and thy Will, will be done.
Now with the yogic power you can do exactly the same as with the Divine power. There is one difference. The effects are the same, you can walk on water, you can fly in the air, you can think you are in America and you will be there. My dear teacher knew exactly where all of his disciples lived. I have found through many proofs that my teacher knew exactly what I was doing during the day and when I was not with him.
One day I received a letter from a friend. She was not exactly a friend as she had hurt me very much. She was an ex-friend and then she became a sort of enemy. I did not like her because she hurt me very much. I remembered when I got this letter, how much she had hurt me and caused me pain. The letter was not that unfriendly, but I remembered the hurts and I had very evil thoughts against her. Thoughts of hate… I felt very unfriendly toward her. Then I remembered Guruji. Oh my God, if I come into Guriji’s presence, he will know I was thinking these bad thoughts and it is bad for me. So I tried to forget it.
Sure enough two hours later, it was five o’clock in the afternoon, I came to the garden where all the disciples were already sitting. Guriji came to speak to someone else. You see, a teacher will talk in parables, he will not speak directly. This again is one of the important points, no great teacher in the Orient will speak directly, including Jesus. They speak in parables and you have to understand. So my teacher began to say to somebody, to a man, “You know, there are some disciples who are terribly foolish. They don’t think I know what they are thinking. They receive certain letters and have evil thoughts.” This poor man sat there looking at our teacher, because he had not received a letter and he did not know what Guruji was talking about. I sat there feeling dreadful, thinking that if Guriji had told everyone there it was me, I’d be very upset. But he did not do that. He only said, “Yes, some people are like this.” Luckily, he changed the subject to something else.
And sometimes he would speak to me about something I knew nothing about. He often had fifty to a hundred people sitting near him. He was a very great teacher. He had about three thousand followers. Sometimes his words were confusing. You had to feel it out in your mind and decide what was for you and what was not and that is how the disciple learns to listen in to the guru, which is, in other words, a school of thought of listening in to the teacher and listening in to God. Mind you, the modern word for prayer is "listening in." This is really the prayer of our line of yoga, which is the Bhakti yoga line. Bhakti yoga is the line of devotion. It is very similar to the Christian way of devotion. Ánd for us Christians, it is the easiest way. The yogic powers, you sit in a certain way, you control your posture, which is called asana, you control your mind, you have to have concentration and meditation. It is a very difficult process.You will acquire it, of course. And it works, on the surface, very much like the Divine power. But the mechanics of it are different. Here we work only with Divine power and it is given. The human being does nothing, only prays. But the Yogi wills and it will be done. With magic, they recite certain words of power and make certain circles and it is rather low. Magicians cannot have this power like my teacher had. They can do certain things but not completely and absolutely like the Almighty. We had proof that our dear teacher could do absolutely anything. There was no limit to his power. But he didn’t do it always only when permission to him was given from the Divine. This is a very interesting subject and I have only touched upon it. Now I hope you will ask me interesting questions. I can speak for another hour but I don’t know if what I say will be interesting to you. So if any one of you has a question, I will answer it to a certain satisfaction…. Thank you.