Throughout human history, many saints, prophets and visionaries have demonstrated an ability to foresee the future. While their lives attest to the fact that the power to sense and know amplifies substantially with evolution of consciousness, strangely, premonitions mostly make sense only in hindsight.
Most premonitions do not make sense when they are first revealed. This was the case when Sri Sri Ravi Shankar met Indira Gandhi in 1984, an eventful year for India in many ways. The government of India had organized the first Buddhist Conference inviting the prominent political, religious and spiritual luminaries of the day.
Indira Gandhi, India’s only woman Prime Minister, was a strong willed leader with extraordinary political acumen. Instead of toeing the lines of established power blocks led by Western and Middle Eastern nations, she sought to create a new power bloc in the East – the Buddhist bloc. The World Buddhist Conference was a part of this bold vision.
Though invited, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, still in his twenties, was reluctant to go. Indu Jain, the Chairperson of India’s leading media house, persuaded Sri Sri to attend the conference along with her.
As they entered the Conference Hall, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi approached and greeted the young saint. It was the month of September and General Elections were due. The Prime Minister’s face was shadowed with worries. As they were talking, Sri Sri had a very disturbing flash – he would not meet Mrs. Gandhi again. He told her to be careful with people around her.
Indira Gandhi had a deep interest in spirituality. Often, she would take part in Rudrabhishek performed at the house of Kamalapati Tripathi, her trusted lieutenant and a senior Congress leader.
The brief meeting with Mrs Gandhi loomed large on Sri Sri’s mind as a precursor to ominous forebodings. In India, people often approach saints for predictions about the future. With elections round the corner, a few people asked Sri Sri, “Will Indira Gandhi win?” They were surprised at his reply, “I don’t see her anywhere in the elections.”
This was not the first time that the young monk had said things that made them shake their heads in disbelief. In those days, the groups around him were smaller, but young Sri Sri would often say that millions of people were waiting for him around the world and he would meet them soon. It didn’t make any sense and his words were not taken seriously.
Sri Sri foresaw terrible things happening in the country. It was disturbing and he wanted to do something to stop the tragedy about to engulf the PM and thousands of people. But who would believe a young sanyasi without a concrete proof for an intuitive vision? He kept his thoughts to himself.
Upon his return to Bangalore, Sri Sri met an elderly saint and astrologer who confirmed his premonition. Hoping to avoid the calamity by the force of his sadhana, he went into 10 days of silence and meditation. The last time he had done this, the Sudarshan Kriya had been unveiled. However, before he came out of silence this time, Indira Gandhi was assassinated, the anti-Sikh riots had started and thousands of innocent people were being massacred.
Sri Sri has often said that the lines between premonition, vision and hallucination are blurred. One can easily be mistaken. When the dynamics of consciousness has not been comprehended, one can get trapped into the delusion of having acquired super natural powers.
Recently, a baba promised people that if they buy a black purse and keep it open during his program they would become wealthy with his blessings. Another baba made the archaeological department run helter-skelter after buried gold.
While believing blindly in such claims is certainly foolish, it is regressive to entirely deny the supernatural phenomena. The unknown facets of Consciousness can fascinate, surprise and reveal through the window of the supernatural.