Mahavir – the Jain Tirthankar – was traveling – walking – for his rainy season retreat (Chaumasa). As is the case with any enlightened master in India, Mahavir too had followers traveling with him. One of his followers – named Gaushalak – was mischievous and wanted to have Proof of his enlightenment.
While they were crossing a rivulet. Gaushalak asked Mahavir, do you see that plant? Mahavir responded in the affirmative. He further asked Mahavir, would this plant grow into a tree? You know all, you can see the future, and you are enlightened can you please confirm this?
It is said that enlightened people can talk to even the non-living, or in other words, they can understand beyond the perceived too. In fact, someone told me that in Indian Ayurveda, Rishi’s came to know about some of the herbs when they asked the plant for a cure.
So, Mahavir reached to the plant, apparently, he asked the plant would you grow into a tree? The plant responded to Mahavir in a Yes. Only Mahavir was at the consciousness level to hear the plant, none of the others. He continued his walk and responded in another affirmative to this follower.
As this follower wanted to test Mahavir, he went to the plant, pulled it off the ground, and threw it aside. Further, he said – I have removed the plant; I am proving you wrong right now itself. Mahavir continued his walk.
The rain retreat was over. Mahavir and his followers walked back, cross the same rivulet. Mahavir pointed to a plant and told Gaushalak – do you see the plant? This is the same one, it has not only found another ground but also grown within the past few months. Gaushalak was ashamed of his deeds and doubting the master.
If I related this story to us as professionals, it is the will to cross the hurdles and blossom in adversities when you have been uprooted.
What makes enlightened masters different than the others? They have a consciousness level of super-consciousness. Super-consciousness can be defined as omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent. It may sound a bit off from the spirituality where God is not a matter of discussion. The Buddha did not answer the question of the existence of God. Consciousness has a higher level that is beyond the manifested world.
I attended a meditation silence retreat of the art of living foundation during the new year’s weekend. It was a wonderful experience. It helped me to understand and experience some unique things. Many experiences cannot be expressed in words. However, the concept of spirituality connected to present-day physics (quantum mechanics) was very easy to grasp and experience. We are all wave functions. Hinduism states that we are made of five elements – Earth, Air, Water, Fire, and Space. Space is omnipresent. All the other elements according to the Mass Energy equation of Einstein are interchangeable to mass (I would call it manifestation) to energy and vice versa.
The Indian sages have achieved multiple manifestations and changes of form. Read Autobiography of a yogi or At the 11th hour for some examples. Basically, we believe in things that we can comprehend or think are possible. We call things as miracles that are incomprehensible or beyond our perception “as possible”. Slowly science and spirituality seem to be merging. Now our experience can connect the dots to scientific proofs. Slowly our perception of miracle, manifest and unmanifest will be even more blur.
In a place named Agar Malwa in MP, there is a Samadhi of Swami Jaynarayan Ji Upadhyay. He was a lawyer and a meditation practitioner. It is an incident of July 1931. Once he was in deep meditation (Samadhi) and missed attending the final hearing of one of his clients. When he came out of meditation, he ran to the court. There he came to know that his final arguments were unbeatable, and his client is acquitted. He was physically in meditation at a temple and there he was in the court too. He knew he missed the session. People say that after hearing this about himself, he left everything and became a monk. Recently, in the same city a law college started and it is named after him.
Similarly, there is another incident of Guru Nanak dev’s manifestation. It is said that when Guru Nanak dev Ji died, His mortal remains turned into flowers. There was a dispute about his last rites. His Muslim followers wanted to bury, Hindu and Sikh devotees wanted to cremate the remains. Guru Nanak dev Ji avoided this dispute by suggesting the followers bring flowers and keep the same on either side of his. Whichever side’s flowers remain fresh, that sect’s custom should be followed with mortal remains. After his death, only flowers remained, the body could not be found. It is documented as well.
Spirituality and science
Some things are beyond comprehension – at least as of now. However, those things can be possible. Science is able to provide an explanation for some, during and after the silence meditation retreat course, I could connect some dots relate to some experiences. Earlier I used to dismiss such stories as fiction. Now, I feel that there is something unexplained for science – call it the ether or Space element – that can be experienced with deeper meditations.
The point I want to drive home is, we are spiritual beings in physical forms. The idea is not to discuss miracles but the possibilities. Finally, each one is a wave function condensed into a manifestation. In some cases those who are evolved can make change manifestation too. Probably, the self-realization spirituality talks about is the realization and experience of the wave function – that is the omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent.
Image source – https://letstalkscience.ca/educational-resources/stem-in-context/introduction-quantum-mechanics