By performing samyama on the two types of karma,
active and dormant, or upon omens and portents,
the exact time of death can be predicted.
By performing samyama on friendliness, or any other attribute,
great strength in that quality is obtained.
By performing samyama on the strength of an elephant,
the strength of an elephant is obtained.
By directing the light of the superphysical faculty,
knowledge is gained of the subtle, the hidden, and the distant.
By performing samyama on the sun,
knowledge of the solar system is gained.
I have heard a beautiful story. Once there was a great sculptor, a painter, a great artist. His art was so perfect that when he would make a statue of a man, it was very difficult to say who is the man and who is the statue; it was so lifelike, so alive, so similar. An astrologer told him that his death was approaching; he was going to die soon. Of course, he became very much afraid and frightened, and as every man wants to avoid death, he also wanted to avoid. He thought about it, meditated, and he found a clue. He made his own statues, eleven in number, and when Death knocked on his door and the Angel of Death entered, he stood hidden among his own eleven statues. He stopped his breathing.
The Angel of Death was puzzled, could not believe his own eyes. It had never happened; it was so irregular; God has never been known to create two people alike; he always creates the unique. He has never believed in any routine. He is not like an assembly line. He is absolutely against carbons; he creates only originals. What had happened? Twelve people in all – absolutely alike? Now, whom to take away? Only one has to be taken away. Death, the Angel of Death, could not decide. Puzzled, worried, nervous, he went back. He asked God, “What have you done? There are twelve persons exactly alike, and I am only supposed to bring only one. How should I choose?”
God laughed. He called the Angel of Death close to him, and he uttered in his ear the formula, the clue how to find the real from the unreal. He gave him a mantra and told him, “Just go, and utter it in that room where that artist is hiding himself among his own statues.”
The Angel of Death asked, “How is it going to work?”
God said, “Don’t be worried. Just go and try.”
The Angel of Death went, not yet believing it was going to work, but when God had said, he had to do it. He came in the room, looked around, and not addressing anybody in particular, he said, “Sir, everything is perfect except one thing. You have done well, but you have missed one point. One error is there.”
The man completely forgot that he was hiding. He jumped; he said, “What error?”
And Death laughed and said, “You are caught. This is the only error: you cannot forget yourself. Come on, follow me.”