The Aghori Vimalananda, spiritual mentor of Robert Svoboda was well learned in the ways of karma and also very passionate about testing and uncovering the falsity of saints and teachers who overestimated their own spiritual stature. Robert Svoboda reports, "Almost without exception, every time he ran across somebody who he thought was too big for his spiritual britches, he regarded it as being his responsibility to ensure that they came down towards earth, if not all the way down to the ground." The following story was told by Vimalananda to Robert Svoboda about how he "tested" an Indian spiritual teacher named Taat Maharaj.I think I’ll bring up this nail in the foot story at Wednesday night’s satsang. Listen in if you like, Vaj.
"I was hard on Taat Maharaj ... One of my friends brought me to Taat Maharaj by telling me he could sit in samadhi for hours at a time while his followers sang and chanted. I didn't believe it, so I went to have his darshana (the viewing of a saint or deity). Sure enough, I could see that he was merely closing his eyes and fooling everyone. On top of that I was supposed to bow down to him! While I waited there I examined the room carefully and came up with a plan. Back at home I sharpened the point of a long iron nail until it was razor sharp. A few days later I returned to Taat Maharaj and got into the line to touch his lotus feet. When I got to the head of the line I bent down, raised the nail high above my head, and jabbed it into his foot. My God! What a howl came from that charlatan! His bellowings even drowned out the warbles of his singers.
"Wouldn't most people have responded to a nail in the foot even if they were in samadhi?"
No, not if the samadhi is genuine. A person who is in samadhi has no knowledge whatsoever of the outside world so long as he remains in samadhi. If Taat Maharaj had actually been in samadhi he would have felt nothing from that nail, not even a pinprick. But he was just pretending, so he felt it all. Everyone was so stunned that I had time to rush out the door to where an accomplice was waiting in the getaway car, and off we sped. I don't like to think about what might have happened to me had I been caught!"'"
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