In common parlance when one says that Dr. Tagore has a good personality, he means that Dr. Tagore has a strong, stalwart, tall figure, a beautiful complexion, a fine nose, sharp and lustrous eyes, broad chest, a muscular body, symmetrical limbs, curly hair and so on. That which distinguishes one man from another is personality. In reality, personality is something more than this. It includes a man's character, intelligence, noble qualities, moral conduct, intellectual attainments, certain striking faculties, special traits or characteristics, sweet powerful voice, etc. All these things put together constitute the personality of Mr. So and so. The sum total of all these things makes up the personality of a man. Mere physical characteristics cannot make up the personality.
What you call an umbrella is really a long stick plus a black cloth and some thin iron pieces. Similarly, what you call 'personality' is really the external physical body, plus brain and the nervous system and the mind which has its seat in the brain.
If one man is able to influence many people, we say that such and such a man has a magnetic personality. A full-blown Yogi or Jnani is the greatest personality in the world. He may be of a small stature. He may be ugly also. He may be clad in rags. And yet he is a mighty personality, a great Mahatma. People flock to him in thousands and pay homage to him. A man who has attained ethical perfection by the continued practice of right conduct or Yama and Niyama has also got a magnetic personality. He can influence millions. But he is inferior to a Jnani or a Yogi who has got full knowledge of the Self.
Dr. Samuel Johnson had an awkward figure, a pot belly and unsymmetrical limbs. But he was the greatest personality of the age. He was neither a Yogi nor a Jnani. But he had intellectual attainments. He was a great essayist. He had good command of the English language. He was famous for his bombastic style. It was called Johnsonian English. Just hear some of his lines: Will you be kind enough to allow my digits into your odoriferous concavity and extract therefrom some of the pulverised atoms which, ascending my nasal promontory, cause a great titillation of all my olfactory nerves?
Rich people also have some personality. This is due to the 'Money-power'. They may be licentious. Money has its own share in the making up of the personality of man. It infuses in him a sort of colouring. The charitable nature may cover up their licentious nature and may send some fragrance abroad. People flock to them. Lord Jesus says: Charity covereth a multitude of sins.
Character gives a strong personality to man. People respect a man who has a good character. Moral people command respect everywhere. He who is honest, sincere, truthful, kind and liberal-hearted always commands respect and influence at the hands of people. Sattvic virtues make a man divine. He who speaks truth and practises Brahmacharya becomes a great and dynamic personality. Even if he speaks a word, there is power in it and people are magnetised. Character-building is of paramount importance if a man wants to develop his personality. Brahmacharya is the root of a magnetic personality. No development of a strong personality is possible without celibacy.
Personality can be developed. Practice of virtues is indispensable. One should try to be always cheerful. A morose, gloomy man cannot attract and influence people. He is an infectious parasite amidst society. He spreads gloom everywhere. A man of a jolly nature with the spirit of service, with humility and obedience can influence millions. The law of like attracts like operates in the physical and mental planes. A man of strong personality need not send invitations to people. Just as bees come and perch as soon as flowers blossom, so also people of lesser mind are attracted to men of strong personality, of their own accord.
A powerful, sweet voice, knowledge of music, knowledge of astrology, astronomy, palmistry, art, etc., add to the personality of a man. One should know how to behave and adjust himself with other people. You must talk sweetly and gently. This produces a tremendous impression. You must be polite, civil, courteous. You must treat others with respect and consideration. He who gives respect to others gets respect. Humility brings respect by itself. Humility is a virtue that subdues the hearts of others. A man of humility is a powerful magnet or loadstone.
You must know the ways to approach people. You must know how to talk with them and how to behave towards them. Behaviour is most important. An arrogant, stubborn and self-willed man can never become a man of strong personality. He is disliked by all.
Develop joyful nature. Always keep a smiling and cheerful face. This will give you a good personality. People will like you much. Your superiors will be very much pleased. Have an amiable nature, a modest and unassuming temperament. You will succeed in your interviews with all big guns. Take down notes of what you want to speak with them in the course of the interview. Keep a small memorandum slip in your pocket. Remember the points well and talk slowly and gently. Then the man will patiently hear. Do not be agitated in your talks. Do not become nervous. Be bold. Pay respects with sincerity as soon as you see the person. Do not stand erect like the proverbial man who holds the gas-light in a marriage procession. Gently bow your head with feeling. The man will be immensely pleased. He will be glad to receive you with a depth of feeling and you will get success in your interview. Talk about the important points first and just review in your mind whether you have finished all the points you wanted to talk. In the West, people care for personality. In India, people care for individuality and assert: Aham Asmi - which means I exist. They try to destroy the personality to realise the Self.
Endeavour to possess a magnetic personality. Try to possess that strange and mysterious power, personal magnetism which charms and fascinates people. Understand the secrets of personal influence. Develop your will-power. Conserve all leaking energy. Enjoy robust, blooming health and a high standard of vigour and vitality and achieve social and financial success in every walk of life. If you can understand the amazing secrets of personal influence, you can increase the earning capacity and can have a broader and happier life.
A strong personality is a very valuable asset for you. You can develop it if you will. Where there is a will there is a way is a maxim which is as true today as it was from the time of Adam. Win laurels of name and fame and attain success in life through a dynamic personality. You can do it. You must do it. You know the science now. I shall back you up.
2. POWER OF SUGGESTIONS
You should have a clear understanding of suggestions and their effects upon the mind. You should be careful in the use of suggestion. Never give wrong suggestion which will have destructive results to anybody. You will be doing a great harm and a disservice to him. Think well before you speak. Teachers and professors should have a thorough knowledge of the Science of Suggestion and Auto- suggestion. Then they can educate and elevate students in an efficient manner. In Southern India, when children cry out in houses, parents frighten them by saying: Look here, Balu! Irendukannan has come (The two-eyed man has come). Keep quiet. Or I will hand you over to this man. Puchandi (or ghost) has come and suggestions of this sort are very destructive. The child becomes timid. The minds of children are elastic, tender and pliable. Samskaras are indelibly impressed at this age. Changing or obliterating the Samskaras becomes impossible when they grow. When the child grows into a man, he manifests timidity. Parents should infuse courage into the minds of their children. They should say: Here is a lion. See the lion in this picture. Roar like a lion. Be courageous. See the picture of Shivaji, Arjuna or Clive. Become chivalrous. In the West, teachers show the pictures of battlefields to children and say: Look here, James! See this picture of Napoleon. Look at his cavalry. Won't you like to become a Commander-in-Chief of the army or a Brigadier-General? They infuse courage into the minds of children from their very childhood. When they grow, these Samskaras get strengthened by additional external stimuli.
Doctors should have a thorough knowledge of the science of suggestion. Sincere, sympathetic doctors are very rare. Doctors who have no knowledge of suggestion do more harm than good. They kill patients sometimes by unnecessarily frightening them. If there is a little cough of an ordinary nature, the doctor says: Now, my friend, you have got T.B. You must go to Bhowali or Switzerland or Vienna. You must go in for a course of tuberculin injections. Poor patient is frightened. There is not at all any sign of consumption. The case is an ordinary one. It is simple catarrh of the chest from exposure to chills. The patient actually develops phthisis by fright and worry owing to the wrong destructive suggestion of the doctor. The doctor ought to have told him: Oh, it is nothing. It is simple cold. You will be all right by tomorrow. Take a purgative and inhale a little oil of eucalyptus. Adjust your diet. It is better you fast today. Such a doctor is God Himself. He must be adored. A doctor may say now: Well, sir, if I say so, I will lose my practice. I cannot pull on in this world. This is a mistake. Truth always gains victory. People will run to you as you are sympathetic and kind. You will have a roaring practice.
There is healing by suggestion. This is a drugless treatment. This is suggestive therapeutics. By good and powerful suggestion, you can cure any disease. You will have to learn this science and practise it. All doctors of Homoeopathic, Allopathic, Ayurvedic and Unani systems should know this science. They can combine this system along with their own systems. They will have a roaring practice by this happy combination.
Do not be easily influenced by the suggestions of others. Have your own sense of individuality. A strong suggestion, though it does not influence the subject immediately, will operate in due course. It will never go in vain.
We all live in a world of suggestions. Our character is daily modified unconsciously by association with others. We unconsciously imitate the actions of those whom we admire. We daily absorb the suggestions of those with whom we come in daily contact. We are acted upon by these suggestions. A man of weak mind yields to the suggestions of a man of strong mind.
The servant is always under the influence of the suggestions of his master. The wife is under the influence of the suggestions of her husband. The patient is under the influence of the suggestions of the doctor. The student is under the influence of the teacher. Custom is nothing but the product of suggestion. The dress that you put on, the manners, the behaviour and even the food that you eat are all the outcome of suggestions only. Nature suggests in various ways. The running rivers, the shining sun, fragrant flowers, the growing trees, are all incessantly sending you suggestions.
All the prophets of yore were hypnotists. They knew the science of suggestion fully well. Their words had tremendous powers. Every word they uttered had magic power and a peculiar charm. All the hearers remained spell-bound. A spiritual preacher produces a sort of hypnosis in the minds of others. The hearers come under the influence of his suggestions.
There is power in every word that is spoken. There are two kinds of Vrittis, viz., Sakti-Vritti and Lakshana-Vritti in words. In the Upanishads, the Lakshana-Vritti is taken. Vedasvarupoham does not mean embodiment of Vedas. The Lakshana-Vritti does denote Brahman who can be reached by the study of the Upanishads alone: by the Sabda Pramana alone.
Mark here the power in the words. If anyone calls another Sala or Badmash or fool, he is thrown into a state of fury immediately. Fight ensues. If you address anyone as Bhagavan or Prabhu or Maharaj, he is immensely pleased.
3. HYPNOTISM AND MESMERISM
A greater mind can influence a smaller mind. This is mesmerism or hypnotism. This is not at all a new science. It is also Anaadi. It has existed from beginningless time. It was only Mesmer and Braid who popularised this science in the West. Hindu Rishis knew this science in days long gone by. Demosthenes and Socrates, Visvamitra and Patanjali Maharshi used hypnotism and mesmerism in olden days. It was James Braid, the Manchester surgeon, who gave this name hypnotism to this science and who first founded this science in the West. The term 'hypnotism' has a Greek origin which means sleep.
Mesmer was a philosopher, physician and astrologer. He was born in 1784. He died in 1815. He brought in the theory of animal magnetism. He believed that man had a wonderful magnetic power by which he could heal and influence other people. He made use of this power in the treatment of various diseases. The system of mesmerism is known after his name.
All orators possess the power of hypnotism. Consciously or unconsciously they subdue the minds of hearers. The hearers are swayed by the powerful speech of orators. They are charmed, as it were, for the time being. All the religious preachers and prophets of the world possessed this power to a remarkable degree.
Suggestion is the master-key to hypnotism. The hypnotist suggests and the operator acts implicitly. The lesser mind implicitly obeys the higher mind. Suggestion is an idea communicated by the operator to the subject. Suggestion is a science. One should be very clever in putting the suggestion in a skilful manner. We live in the world of suggestion and under the magic spell and influence of hypnotism. Hypnotism is a mighty power in the world. We are all hypnotised by the spell of Maya. We will have to dehypnotise ourselves to obtain a knowledge of the Self. Vedanta gives powerful suggestions to dehypnotise ourselves. Hypnotism is a state of mind in which suggestions, verbal and visual, are received as true whether they are true or not. There is an irresistible desire to carry out the suggestions. The power of will and the power of suggestion are very closely linked together.
The operator develops his power of hypnosis through the practice of crystal-gazing and other methods of concentration. Pranayama also helps a lot in the development of this power. Brahmacharya also is very essential. A man of loose character cannot become a powerful hypnotist.
A man can be hypnotised by gazing or suggestion or passes. The operator makes some 'passes' in front of the subject and the subject passes into a hypnotic state. The passes in the reverse direction will bring back the subject to normal consciousness. Sometimes, if the hypnotist is a powerful man, he can hypnotise several persons in a group or bunch. That man who resists the suggestions of the hypnotist cannot be hypnotised so easily. If one believes in the hypnotiser and thinks he can be hypnotised, he can rapidly come under his spell and operation.
There is also another variety of hypnotism called the stage hypnotism in which the hypnotist hypnotises the whole audience and shows several tricks. He puts a lady in a small tight box in standing posture, ties her hands and closes the box and then cuts the box with a saw. Afterwards he opens the broken box and the lady comes out without any injury. A famous Fakir ascended the platform in England with a red rope in his hand, threw it in the air and climbed up through the rope and then vanished in the air. This is stage-hypnotism. This is the famous 'rope-trick' of the Fakir. There was no impression in the plate of a camera. This is a trick only after all. A hypnotist hypnotises a boy and places his head and feet over two chairs. He then places a large weight over his body. The body does not bend. He asks the audience to clasp the fingers of both hands and makes a strong current of electricity to pass. They all actually feel the shock of the current. He first starts the current in his own hands and thinks strongly that the current should pass to the hands of others.
Hypnotism is very beneficial in the correction of bad habits of boys and in the treatment of hysteria and other nervous diseases. The opium habit and the drinking habit are also removed. The hypnotist should not misuse the power in wrong channels. He will get a hopeless downfall. Wherever there is power, there is side by side a chance for misuse. There are temptations also. One has to be very careful.
A hypnotist looks at the second-hand of a watch and the second-hand stops immediately. He asks a subject to look at the second-hand of a watch and stops his thinking. His eyes becomes listless. A hypnotist makes the body of a hypnotised subject to levitate and move in the air through a big iron ring. The hypnotised person is blindfolded. He is able to walk over a rope that is distributed on the ground in quite a zigzag manner. He is able to read the contents of a sealed letter and give proper answers to questions. Here the unconscious mind of the subject operates. He can see through an opaque wall. Marvellous are the mysteries of the science of hypnotism! Thanks to Mr. James Braid of happy memory!
Telepathy is thought-transference from one person to another. Just as sound moves in the ethereal space, so also thought moves in the mental space, Chidakasa. There is an ocean of ether all round. There is also an ocean of mind all round. Thought has shape, colour, weight and form. It is as much matter as this pencil. When you have some good thought of an elevating nature sometimes, it is very difficult to say whether it is your own thought or the thought of some other person. Thoughts of other persons enter your brain.
Telepathy was the first wireless telegraphy of the Yogis. Yogis send their messages through telepathy. Thought travels with electric speed that is unimaginable. Sometimes you think of a friend with such intensity in the evening that you get a letter from him early in the morning. This is unconscious telepathy. Your powerful thought has travelled and reached the brain of your friend immediately and he has replied you then and there. So many interesting and wonderful things are going on in the thought-world. Ordinarily, people who have not developed the power of telepathy are groping in the darkness.
Telepathy is communication of mind with mind. The pineal gland which is considered by occultists as the seat of the soul plays an important part in telepathy. It is this pineal gland that actually receives messages. It is a small piece of nervous matter that is imbedded in the brain or hind-brain in the floor of the mind ventricle. It is an endocrine gland that is ductless. It has got an internal secretion which is directly poured into the blood.
Practise telepathy in the beginning from a short distance. It is better to practise at nights, to start with. Ask your friend to have the receptive attitude and concentration at ten o'clock. Ask him to sit on Virasana or Padmasana with closed eyes in a dark room. Try to send your message exactly at the appointed time. Concentrate on the thoughts that you want to send. Will strongly now. The thoughts will leave your brain and enter the brain of your friend. There may be some mistakes in the beginning here and there. When you advance in practice and know the technique well, you will always be correct in sending and receiving messages. Later on, you will be able to forward messages to different corners of the world. Thought-waves vary in intensity and force. The sender and receiver should practise great and intense concentration. Then there will be force in sending the messages, clarity and accuracy in receiving the messages. Practise in the beginning telepathy from one room to the next room in the same house. This science is very pleasant and interesting. It needs patient practice. Brahmacharya is very essential.
You can influence another man without any audible language. What is wanted is concentration of thought that is directed by the will. This is telepathy. Here is an exercise for your practice in telepathy. Think of your friend or cousin who is living in a distant land. Bring a clear-cut image of his face to your mind. If you have his photo look at it and speak to it audibly. When you retire to bed think of the picture with intense concentration. He will write to you the desired letter the following day or so. Try this yourself. Do not doubt. You will be quite surprised. You will get success and firm conviction in the science of telepathy. Sometimes, when you are writing something or reading a newspaper, suddenly you get a message from some one near and dear to you. You think of him suddenly. He has sent you a message. He has thought of you seriously. Thought-vibrations travel faster than light or electricity. In such instances, the subconscious mind receives the messages or impressions and transmits the same to the conscious mind.
Great adepts or Mahatmas who live in the Himalayan caves transmit their messages through telepathy to deserving aspirants or Yogis in the world. These Jijnasus or Yogis carry out their orders and disseminate their knowledge far and wide. It is not necessary that Mahatmas should come on the platform and preach. Whether they preach or not, it does not matter. Their very life is an embodiment of teaching. They are the living assurance for God-realisation. Preaching on the platform belongs to the second-class type of men who have no knowledge of telepathy. The hidden Yogis help the world through their spiritual vibrations and magnetic aura more than the Yogis of the platform. In these days, worldly people expect even Sannyasins to work on the political platform. They even force them. As their minds are saturated with Karma Samskaras, they are not able to grasp and understand the grandeur, utility and magnanimity of pure Nivritti of Dhyana-Yogis. The field or domain of activity of Sannyasins is entirely different. They cannot become presidents of Sabhas or Mandalas. Their sphere is of a cosmic nature. Their field is Adhyatmic that relates to the science of the Self. Let me repeat the words of Bhagavan Sri Krishna:
Lokesmin dvividha nishtha pura prokta mayanagha,
Jnanayogena samkhyanam karmayogena yoginam.
In this world there is a twofold path, as I said before, O sinless one, that of Yoga by Knowledge, of the Sankhyas, and that of Yoga by action, of the Yogis (Gita, III-3). The glory of Hinduism will be lost, if Sannyasins become extinct. They can never become extinct from India. The Samskaras of Tyaga and renunciation are ingrained in their cells, nerves and tissues. Buddhists have got monks. Mohammedans have their Fakirs. Christians have got their priests, clergymen and reverend fathers. Every religion has people in the world with the spirit of renunciation. There must be a set of people in every religion who are entirely devoted to divine contemplation. It is the duty of householders to attend to their wants. They will receive their blessings. It is these people who lead the life of Nivritti Marga, who can make researches in Yoga and give to the world new messages. It is these men who can really help the world at large and do Loka-Kalyana.
Clairvoyance is vision of distant objects through the inner astral eye or psychic eye. Just as you have physical sense in the physical body, there are astral counterparts of these Indriyas in the inner, subtle, astral body. The Yogi or the occultist develops these inner organs through practice of concentration. He develops clairvoyant vision. He can see objects in far-off climes. This Siddhi or power is called Dura Drishti.
Just as light rays penetrate a glass, just as X-rays penetrate solid, opaque objects, so also the Yogi can see the things through a solid wall, can see the contents of a sealed envelope and the contents of a hidden treasure underneath the ground through his inner psychic eye. This psychic eye is the eye of intuition or Divya Drishti or Jnana-Chakshus. One has to develop this inner eye through concentration. Just as the microscope magnifies the small cells, germs, etc., so also he can see things of the astral world very clearly through this inner eye and can magnify them also by special focussing of the inner astral lens.
He creates an astral tube by willing and the strong wishing and thinking and, through this astral tube, he sees things at a distance. The vision may not be very clear in the beginning. Just as the new-born baby learns, so also he learns in the beginning. As he advances in his practice, his inner vision becomes quite distinct. There is another method. The Yogi takes astral journey and sees things during his astral travelling unconsciously.
Just as light rays travel in space, so also astral light rays travel with tremendous velocity. They are caught up by the astral eye. Every one of you has got these astral senses. But few only consciously develop them. A clairvoyant can see the events of the past by looking into the Akasic records and have Trikala Jnana also. The degree of power varies in different individuals. Advanced clairvoyants are very rare.
Clairaudience is the hearing of distant sounds in the astral plane by means of the astral ear. The process is similar to clairvoyance. The astral sound-vibrations are caught hold of by the astral sense of hearing. A clairvoyant need not necessarily be a clairaudiant. These are two distinct powers.
Patanjali Maharshi gives the method to develop this power of distant hearing. Srotrakasayoh sambandha- samyamaddivyam srotram (Patanjali Yoga Sutras, III-42). By Samyama on the relation between the ear and Akasa (ether), comes divine hearing. Samyama is concentration and meditation combined.
All the inhabitants of the Pitriloka possess this power. Where their descendants perform Sraaddha and Tarpana in this world, they hear these sounds through the power of clairaudience and they are highly pleased.
These psychic Siddhis are all by-products of concentration. Just as there are various coal-tar derivatives and various petroleum preparations, so also there are these Siddhis manifest in a Yogi when he concentrates. These are all obstacles in the path of spirituality. The aspirant should ignore them and develop Vairagya. Then only will he be able to reach the goal.
All the sound vibrations of the past are in the Akasic records. The Yogi can hear these sounds nicely. He can hear the sounds of Shakespeare, Johnson, Valmiki, Visvamitra, etc. Just as you can hear now the music and song of a songster who died fifty years ago in the gramophonic records, so also the Yogi can hear the sounds of those persons of the past by concentration connecting his astral hearing to the Akasic records. Just as impressions of your boyhood remain in your brain and the subconscious mind, so also the impressions of old sounds remain in the Akasic records. One should know the Yogis' technique only. Just as the experienced record-keeper in the office can bring out in a short time any old record, so also the Yogi can hear the sound of good old days in the twinkling of an eye.