A disciple waited on the guru for twelve long years but received no secret knowledge. Impatient, finally, he protested and threw a tantrum. The Guru agreed to teach him some serious and deep mystery.
One astrologically auspicious morning, the guru whispered into the disciple’s ear the mantra whereby the latter may call a giant to serve him on command. The disciple was overjoyed at having gained such power as a reward for his services to the Master.
“But”, said the Master, “do not rush to use the mantra yet, not until I have taught you all the controls. Do promise”.
The disciple promised not to use the mantra until the Master gives his final consent. The Master said: “It can be very dangerous to use the mantra without the controls.”
But the disciple could not wait. As soon as the Master left his forest cottage on some errand, the disciple recited the mantra and evoked the giant’s promised presence.
The giant appeared and bowed deeply, “I am at your command, my Master” – said the giant.
The disciple was ever so elated. “Controls-shuntrols, ungh! What danger? The giant is under my command” – thought the disciple.
The disciple ordered the giant to take him on his shoulder and transport him in a few strides to his village home. The giant obeyed.
Soon a series of commands followed. Cook my food; serve the food. Clean up my house and garden. The giant obeyed the commands in short order.
Finally, the disciple ordered his bed made which was done in a few seconds flat. “Well, it has been quite a day, giant; I am tired and will rest. Why don’t you, too, take some rest now?” – suggested the errant disciple.
“What, Master? Me? Rest? I don’t rest. I exist only to carry out my master’s tasks,” – replied the giant.
“Well, I will, however, rest; you are free for a while” – the disciple told the giant.
“But,” said the giant, “your Master must have told you the terms on which I am called to serve one who evokes my mantra. I have to be kept constantly occupied with my master’s chores. Whenever I have nothing to do, I get dreadfully hungry and usually eat my master. Sorry, master, I cannot help it. That is how the Nature has made me. In fact, I am now getting very very hungry and must eat you”.
At that, the disciple panicked. Imagine the scene. The disciple running towards his master’s hut and the giant confidently striding behind with his mouth wide open to swallow the disciple.
“Help, help, Master!” – shouted the disciple as he approached the Master’s hut.
The master came out and saw what was happening.
“Hmm! So you did do what I forbade !” – the Master scolded.
“I am so sorry, Master. Forgive me this once. I will implicitly obey you in the future. Just save me this once, please!”, and he fell at the Master’s feet.
The Master relented; whispered another secret into the disciple’s ear. The latter beamed. Turned around and told the giant, “Giant, I do have something for you to do”.
The giant bowed deeply again. “Thank you, master; that is all I wanted. I did not mean any harm, really”.
Well, a second time, the disciple was transported to his village home on the giant’s shoulder.
“Okay, Giant, go into the forest, strip the tallest and sturdiest tree of all leaves and branches and bring me the post.” The giant obeyed and was back in just a short while, lightly lugging the heaviest of the smooth logs he could create.
“Fine, Giant, dig a hole in the ground and set this tree trunk therein to be firm and steady”. The giant did so in a few seconds.
“Okay. Shake it to see if it is truly firm and unshakeable”. The giant pushed against the post a few times and found it to be very firm.
“Right, now bring the strongest sturdiest rope you can make or find.” The giant produced one.
“Tie it to the top of the trunk and do fasten it well.” The giant obeyed.
“Hold the lower end of the rope” – the giant held it.
“Now climb up”. The giant climbed up.
“Now, come down” – the giant came down.
“Up again,” – the giant went up.
“Down again” – the giant came down.
“Up. Down. Up. Down. Up. Down! Keep doing so until I have something else for you to do.”
So did the disciple bring the giant under control.
Mind is the giant. It will eat us if we give it no commands.
The spine is the tree trunk firmly placed in a meditation posture.
The breath is the rope.
The mind and the breath ascending and descending along the path of the kundalini in the spine is the meditation exercise that brings the mind-giant under full control.
That is one truth of the story. The other is: do not be in a rush to use half-baked spiritual powers or they will destroy you.