What are these Exceptions?
Recently I was watching a blog in which a 3 year old child was giving a performance to a huge audience of more than a thousand music lovers and music pundits in Chennai. The anchor, highly talented in music would sing a raga (a traditional classical Indian musical note) and in less than a minute the child would identify the name of the raga and would give accurate technical details of the characteristics and even the exceptions that characterizes that particular raga. Not even on a single occasion the girl never faltered! These are child prodigies. We had a similar child prodigy in our house. My cousin’s son had a very unusual mathematical brain. He was only three years old. You give him any date which may be more than hundred years ago, within seconds he would tell you the name of the corresponding day of week. We would keep very old calendars and play with him! How do we explain this phenomenon? One can say that these things are some accidental neurological aberrations. Is this really an accident in nature? This may be a very sophisticated terminology but by saying so we have not explained any thing; we are only saying that we do not know what is happening! Is there any model or logical explanation that is available to explain such exceptions? Can this model help in predicting such phenomena? Is there a different set of laws for these phenomena? What is the nature of this unmanifest? These are all questions that are addressed in Indian scriptures. The answers and models were revelations during intense meditation. Several researchers went on adding to the knowledge base. These revelations dawned on them when they could go beyond the intellect and tune themselves to higher laws of nature. Such rare insights are possible even today if you can go into such deep meditative states.
Self effort vs genes
We can see such unusual talents happening not only in case of music but in so many other areas. Let us take the example of sports. We watch great talents in people like Diago Maradona in football or Tiger Wood in golf or Tendulkar in cricket. When one watches them play we can see the beauty in their game .You feel that this is not mere training that made them such a great genius. If a football dances on is foot all the time in case of Maradona, tiger wood has such a powerful eyes that hundreds of yards he can hit the golf ball to go directly in to the hole and for Tendulkar there is no bowler whose balls are not punished We say, ‘wow! He is a born genius’! What are the common features and what are the differences between the prodigal girl and these genius players? In the case of the girl the genetic talent has revealed itself later in life at a tiny age and in case of the players the talent manifested after going through a formal training in sports. But there are also several players who have undergone similar or much more rigorous training. But not all can become great sportsmen or musicians with training alone. The genetic tendency that is carried over helps one to manifest it through training. Thus the genetic tendencies that are carried over from the previous birth may manifest right from birth or it may need more training to unfold itself. Thus we see that there are two aspects in any performance: the nature and nurture. The nurture or the training makes the nature (the genetic tendency) manifest itself to create a genius. And they show up as the miracles of creation!
In these singers or artists or players, even though they had extraordinary talents they had to put in their efforts to actualize the possibilities. A gifted singer like Lata Mangeshkar had to put in an enormous amount of sadhana before she became famous even though there was an inborn talent. When we look at this way, we can understand that there must have been so many more people, who had the possibility to manifest their extra ordinary talents but they would have remained as ordinary people. The talent that is hidden in them found no avenue and has no chance of flowering. This is simply because they did not put in the necessary effort to flower out. In many cases we find that the parental pressure in trying to put the child in the so called right path becomes so strong that it would have put them off and undermined their talents! Every flower that is on the mango tree has all the ingredients to become wonderful fruit! Every seed has a tree in it but how many seeds actually become trees? Only those seeds which got the right nurture right from the time they fell from the tree can bring out the tree hidden in it. The factors are too many- the time of falling, the ground, the water, the nutrition, the weather, the fauna around, animals around etc. If the factors involved in unfolding a tree (that has no free will and is completely programmed) to its beauty is so complex , think of how many factors (environmental ,social and self effort) will be necessary for a human seed which is endowed with free will to manifest its talents!.
In these two examples we saw the talents that are possible in normal people but show up in an extraordinary way in prodigies or geniuses. But there are some unusual talents such as paranormal powers which appear to defy the nature’s laws completely because a normal person just cannot perform such feats. I have a good friend of mine Mr. GS who has amazing ability for psychokinesis. He can show all the feats that we see in a magic show right in front of your eyes without any stage arrangements. One day we were having a casual chat on philosophy over a cup of tea and he just picked up the fork from the table and by looking at it in a focused way he bent it as if it was made of a flexible wire. Bending spoons and forks and keys is a very simple feat that he can demonstrate apart from moving objects as if he has a remote control button in his hands. Though he can perform all these things GS is such a simple and honest person that he says that these are the special abilities that he discovered and he has been able to improve upon them by repeated practice. He told that one day when he was a kid he looked at the spoon intensely and it could bend! He says ‘in my teens when I discovered this unusual talent within me I had a great temptation to exploit this talent and declare that I am a God’s messenger and can demonstrate God’s miracles .But thank God I did not cheat people by yielding to my adolescent temptation’.
He went into true path of spirituality to understand reality and is deeply involved in meditation and doing good to people. He says these powers have nothing to do with spirituality!
Having these abilities is not necessarily a sign of spiritual growth. Scriptures bring out this clearly in our epics through examples of demons (rakshasas) like Ravana and his son Indrajit who acquired special powers which could overwhelm even the godly powers of Rama and his brother Lakshmana for a while; but Ravana and Indrajit were demons because they did not have any spiritual growth and they created problems to the rishis who were silently doing tapas in the forest for the good of mankind! Whether they are ordinary powers which can appear like extra ordinary talents, or some kind of special abilities, both of them are part of creation which fall under the category of exceptions but they have nothing to do with spirituality. But it will be interesting to further understand them with reference to factors involving our lives.
- to be continued...
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