At Janakpur, Richard (now Radhanath Swami) met Vasudev, a handsome sadhu in his early thirties. Vasudeva had the manners of an aristocrat and his speech rang with the distinction of the Queen’s English. He wore immaculately clean robes. Richard had never met such a well-groomed mendicant. He was learned in both spiritual and material subjects, and when he invited Richard to travel by foot for three days to reach an obscure holy place, Richard agreed. They journeyed through countryside the whole way, and whomever they met along the way was charmed by Vasudeva’s gentle nature. But something puzzled Richard.
Behind a mask of cheerfulness, Richard (now Radhanath Swami) sensed that this man was tormented.
Vasudeva shared with Richard that he had been born to a well-to-do family in Calcutta and received a Ph.D., becoming a popular, celebrated professor. However a leader of the powerful black tantric cult controlled Vasudev’s life, and demanded him to surrender. Tantric mysticism, Vasudev explained was extremely powerful, and could be either beneficial or sinister. There are the white tantrics who use their powers to serve humankind. Then there are the black tantrics who use their powers to exploit people’s lives for their own diabolical purposes. They gain terrible influence through unspeakable sacrifices, tantric sex rites, and yoga. This guru was an extremely powerful black tantric, endowed with the power to control people’s minds and manipulate their lives. Vasudev had by the power of the holy name saved himself from the tantric’s effects, and although the tantric was killed, his soul sought revenge and in his astral body he sent his men to hunt for Vasudev, and seek revenge. Vasudev led a tormented life, constantly running in fear of the tantric and his evil men.
For most moderns black magic is part of fiction as in Shakesphere’s Macbeth or the more recent J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. But there’s more to it. I had heard of a lot of cases of evil spells on different people by tantrics. Radhanath Swami’s memoir reminded me of what my grandfather would tell me about these tantric spells. Tantric spells are ineffective on us if we follow two principles- develop confidence in divine, and cultivate strength of the mind. Radhanath Swami encourages people to be under the shelter of the divine. It’s important that we keep our external surroundings clean and also our mind pure by cultivating positive thoughts of love, and service. Reading spiritual books and associating with people aspiring to lead a pure life gives us the immunity from black magic spells.
One sure method that Richard (now Radhanath Swami) discovered was mantra yoga, chanting of the Holy names of God. Radhanath Swami gives interesting logic, “Since God is absolute, His names are non-different from Him. Therefore associating with the Holy names gives us the same benefit as associating with the Lord Himself.” Radhanath Swami’s advice therefore is, “constantly remember God and chant His Holy names.” This not only removes evil spells, it also helps keep them away.
Since we are associating with the Supreme Lord by chanting His names, our lives are filled with spiritual happiness. The occult phenomenon relegates to the background in the face of divine joy that springs from a loving relationship with God.