Sri Ramakrishna often used to warn his devotees about the pitfalls in Sadhana and how easily one can get distracted from the true goal of life.  He used to narrate the following story to illustrate this point.

Once there lived a young man who developed interest in spiritual life.  He came in contact with a holy person who initiated him into spiritual practices.  The young man did intense Sadhana and soon he found that he was developing Siddhis i.e. miraculous powers.  It was at this point in his life that he got distracted.  He started spending less and less time in Sadhana and became boastful of his miraculous powers.  He even started demonstrating them.  Once he was sitting on a seashore and suddenly there arose a great thunderstorm.  The young Sadhaka who had become a Siddha i.e. one blessed with magical powers, felt greatly disturbed by the storm.  He suddenly pronounced, “Let this storm cease” and instantaneously his words become true.  The wind stopped blowing.  Just then a ship which was sailing speedily at a distance (with all sails set) was suddenly arrested by this change in the atmosphere.  As the wind suddenly stopped blowing, the ship capsized drowning all those who were on board the ship.  Now the sin of causing the death to so many innocent persons deeply affected the young Sadhaka and as a result he lost all his occult powers

Thus Sri Ramakrishna used to emphasize again and again in his conversation with his devotees how important it was to remain focused in one’s spiritual Sadhana.  As one intensifies one’s efforts and progresses forward in one’s spiritual life, several distractions such as occult powers, etc come to the Sadhaka.  These can easily distract even the best of Sadhakas.  But, if one is focused and strives for the ultimate truth paying little or no heed to such distractions, such a Sadhaka is sure to reach the goal and enjoy unmitigated bliss.

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