Sadhaka : What is the place of various occult or mystic powers in Yoga practice?
Swamiji : One of the most important things that you have to know about them is that they are by-products, all of which have to be passed by on way, since none of them is your destination. They are a sure sign that you are progressing. They serve as encouragement.
These powers come as temptations to test your moral worth and they are the greatest barrier to Self-knowledge. These powers gain entry into you so subtly, so insidiously, that unless you are extraordinarily introspective, watchful and extremely careful, even without your knowledge you may succumb to them and become vain. The seeker has to be very careful that he does not encourage these powers at all, that he does not have any thoughts about them, and that he brushes them aside.
Right from the beginning of the spiritual path, beware of occult powers. If you are caught in their fascination, you are lost. Your spiritual life is destroyed and all of your Yoga will simply go away. If you want God, shun ruthlessly all powers, all occult phenomena, as poison. These occult powers can become the greatest of corrupters, the greatest of obstacles for the true seekers. Do not be diverted by them. The only thing the true aspirant should do is to completely become blind to all these phenomena and think only of the Lord. Live only for the Lord. Seek God alone and never allow yourself to be diverted even one whit towards anything other than God.
Take from me, if you have God, you have everything. If you want God, do not have the least desire for anything else; and if these occult powers come in the way, then just ignore them.
To seekers, to aspirants, to those who want God, there is no question of the uses of those powers, for the true seeker just ignores them. Do not run after shadows; hold on only to the substance. Do not go after the chaff, go only after the grain that nourishes and gives life. Do not be diverted from the path of truth by all that belongs to the realm of untruth.