Seenath Chatterjee – A Self Levitated Lama
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Seenath Chatterjee – A Self Levitated Lama - The Theosophist September 1887.
For some weeks there was stopping in my house a Lama from Tibet, a true ascetic who daily practised his Yoga and spent hours, sometimes several days together, in meditative seclusion in the room I had assigned to him.
I had found him one morning at my door begging his food after the custom of Buddhist religious mendicants, and, liking his appearance, asked him to come in. I had just taken him into the house and ordered food to be given him, when my milkman, a Bhootanese who spoke the Tibetan language, happened to call. Through him as interpreter I asked the Lama if he possessed any siddhis, or psychic powers. He enquired what phenomenon I should like to witness. I replied that it would be very instructive if I could see him rise into the air.
He asked for a private room, called me in alone, shut the door, and drew the curtains before the window. Then, stripping off his clothing to the languti, or breech-clout, he took his seat upon an asana, or small board, that I had placed for him. Crossing his legs upon the thighs, close to the body - the usual posture of padmasana in Yoga - he brought the thumb of each hand into contact with the ring-finger and, his hands against the abdomen, sat erect, turned his eyes upward, and remained for awhile motionless.
His next action was to work his body with a wriggling motion, at the same time drawing several very deep breaths. After the third or fourth inhalation he seemed to retain the breath in his lungs, and for a half-hour was as motionless as a statue of bronze. Then a succession of nervous shiverings ran through his body, lasting perhaps three minutes, after which he resumed his state of immobility for another half hour. Suddenly he, still retaining his sitting posture, rose perpendicularly into the air to the height of, I should say, two cubits - one yard, and then floated, without a tremour or motion of a single muscle, like a cork in still water.
His expression was placid in the extreme, that of a rapt devotee, as described by eye-witnesses in the biographical memoirs of saints. After I had regarded him in amazement for at least a couple of minutes, I thought to myself that that was quite enough to satisfy my curiosity, and I hoped he would not give himself any more trouble on my account. At once, as though my thought had been read, he gently descended to his place on the asana. He then emptied his lungs by three or four strong expirations, opened his eyes, stood up as easily and naturally as though he had done nothing extraordinary, and laughed upon noticing my signs of bewilderment.
When he had resumed his clothing, the milkman was called in and the Lama bade him tell me that this sort of 'common-place Siddhi' could be performed by even Lama-pupils in his Guru’s monastery who were not very far advanced!