Spiritual literature is full of accounts of visions and voices, while the mystic is awake or sleeping. Let me first discuss the visions. There is no hierarchy in their occurrence and neither does one denote greater depth (of spirituality) than the other. It is just that some seekers see visions, while others hear voices and vice versa. However, if one has a vision of a person and the person talks to him also, while awake, it denotes a high level of spiritual growth.
Let me narrate some reliable examples. Here is an example of a vision, which is non-spiritual (worldly), the person who had the vision may or may not be holy (may be just a psychic), and the narrator is a worldly, materialistic, non superstitious, Westerner. There is an era of authenticity in the account.
Corbett, a famous hunter, worked as station master, close to river Ganges, in Indian Railways. Corbett Park in India is named after him. In his book ‘My India' he writes the following account from which I have chosen some excerpts:
“One afternoon, I met one of these special trains, which was conveying the Prime Minister of Nepal, his Secretary, and a large retinue of people…………ten days later the party returned and I saw them off.”
“A few days later……my friend, the Secretary, walked into my office. With his clothes dirty and creased, and looking as though they had been slept in for many nights…” “He accepted the chair I offered him and said, without any preamble, that he was in great trouble.
He had lost the suit-case containing the jewels! He was personally responsible for that suit-case.
The secretary said, ‘there is in Nepal a hermit who is credited with second sight….I went to him. I found the hermit, an old man in tattered clothing, living in a cave on the side of a great mountain, and to him I told my troubles……. He asked me to come next morning……. Next day he told me that as he lay asleep the previous night he had a vision. In the vision he had seen the suitcase, with its seals intact, in a corner of a room, hidden under boxes and bags of many kinds. The room was not far from a big river, had only one door leading into it, and this door was facing the east. I obtained permission to leave Nepal for a week and I have come to see if you can help me, for it is possible that the Ganges is the river the hermit saw in his vision’
There were many rooms at Mokameh Ghat in which a miscellaneous assortment of goods was stored, but none of them answered to the description given by the hermit. I did, however, know of one room , in another nearby station, that answered to the description, ….I sent the secretary, with an escort, to that room ( a parcel office ). The suit case was found over there with all its seals intact.” It had been placed in that room by a carriage sweeper, the lowest paid man on the staff.
To be continued