Founder Acharya His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

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Superconsciousness – The Voice Within Sixth Sense or Gut Instinct?
By Caitanya Vihara   |  Jul 10, 2015

Gladys and Jane wandered deeper into the forest, as the distant winter sun filtered through the trees. They laughed and talked, relishing being released from parental observation. The sisters often went out for adventures together on Sunday afternoons, roaming carefree through the English countryside.

Following the path into a clearing, their eyes immediately came to rest on a run-down building a few hundred metres away. Having never come this far into the forest before, the girls spontaneously broke into a run, eager to investigate.

As they came closer, it became clear that the house was now derelict, although it still retained some charm and majesty. Built on two floors, the Georgian villa would no doubt have previously been a very desirable home. Now, however, it lay in a pitiable condition.

Keen to explore further, the girls entered the hallway, passing through the open threshold. The house was cold and damp, a perfect home for mice and spiders. As the girls moved through the downstairs rooms, Gladys felt uneasy. “Something is not quite right about this place,” she thought.

On returning to the hallway, Jane excitedly inspected the stairwell. Keen to explore further, she sought confirmation from her older sister.

“Should we go up?” Jane asked.

Gladys paused. Normally she was the first to jump at an opportunity for adventure, but today she hesitated.

“I’m not sure…maybe we should go home. It’s getting late, and you still have homework to finish,” Gladys replied.

“Awww! Don’t be such a spoilsport! Come on! Let’s at least have a quick look. You never know what might be up there. Or are you too scared?” Jane countered, starting up the stairs.

“Okay, okay. Wait—let’s go together then,” Gladys said, giving in to the sisterly pressure.

Hand in hand, the two girls slowly climbed up the open wooden staircase. With each step, the stairwell creaked and groaned. Gladys began to feel more and more on edge. Her feeling that this was a bad idea was growing with every step.

Reaching the top of the stairs, Gladys suddenly froze. Turning her head, Jane examined her with impatient eyes.

“Come on, we’re almost upstairs now. What’s wrong with you?” Jane challenged.

“No. We are not going any further. We have to leave now,” Gladys answered with finality and gravity.

Normally, Jane would have kicked up a fuss or even tried to disobey her older sister, but this time she felt compelled to submit. Treading carefully, they retraced their steps through the hallway and left the villa behind them. Arriving home, they quietly went about completing their evening duties and homework. Later on, however, Gladys explained why she had cut short the afternoon’s exploration.

“I just felt so uneasy. It was like we weren’t supposed to be there and as we came to the last step, a little voice inside me instructed, “Don’t go any further.” I don’t know where the voice came from, but I knew it was telling the truth for our safety. That’s why we had to leave.”

Surprised, but surrendering to her sister’s intuition, Jane wished Gladys good night.

Two weeks later, the postboy delivered the local evening newspaper. Picking it up, the front-page headline immediately caught Jane’s attention: “Boy paralysed in fall.” A few days earlier, two young boys had been exploring an old, dilapidated house in the forest. Upon reaching the second level, the floor had given way and the boys plummeted through the ceiling— a drop of over three and a half metres. Although one of the boys miraculously escaped with only a broken leg, the other broke his neck and was now completely paralysed. When she looked at the photo of the accident scene, Jane could recognise that this house was indeed the same house the girls had partially explored just days before.

Running to her sister, Jane burst into tears.

“Thank you so much for stopping us from going further. You saved our lives,” she sobbed.

“It wasn’t me,” Gladys replied. “I just followed my feeling and the voice within.”

Hearing the commotion from the next room, Molly, the girls’ mother, called out:

“What’s going on in there?”

Understanding that this was definitely something they should keep to themselves, the two girls smiled and chimed out in well-rehearsed unison,

“Nothing Mum, everything’s fine.”

So often in routine life we experience phenomena unexplainable by the current western paradigm. Out-of-body or near death experiences, reported UFO sightings, children who can remember past lives (to name but a few) leave mainstream scientists baffled. What then to speak of understanding superconsciousness, a phenomenon we all experience throughout our lives, whether we are aware of it or not.

In using the term “superconsciousness” I am referring to the experience of receiving knowledge internally that ordinarily we would not have had access to or could not otherwise have known. Whether this knowledge is passed through the medium of a voice, feeling, or intuition, the principle is the same. There are so many cases of people mystically receiving essential knowledge at critical times in their lives, as the above story illustrates.

This account is based on a true story that features my grandmother, Gladys, when she was a little girl. The experience and strength of the internal intervention, which practically saved her life, left a very deep impression on her. As such, she told the story to my mum, who then narrated the incident to me when I was a boy, no doubt hoping to curb any extreme explorative tendencies.

Another graphic example is the testimony of a good friend, Dave, who recalls how just before stepping on a poisonous snake he was suddenly impelled to look down, thereby avoiding a potentially lethal bite at the last moment.

Whether dramatic life and death situations such as these, or lesser every day cases, the natural question we might ask is, “Where is this knowledge coming from?”

Some describe the source of this knowledge to be a sixth sense. Others call it gut instinct. Traditional religionists might argue it is our conscience. Members of new age groups might ascribe the knowledge as coming from guardian angels, or simply, the universe. Staunch followers of Darwin would no doubt claim that this phenomenon can be explained by evolution and that somehow all the knowledge we could ever possibly need is already automatically encoded in our genes.

“The Supreme Lord is situated in everyone’s heart, O Arjuna, and is directing the wanderings of all living entities, who are seated as on a machine, made of the material energy.” (18.61)

Of all these common explanations, this last one is inadequate. By their vague answers, all the other groups indirectly admit the possibility of another mysterious element being involved. Conversely, the false finality with which the scientists try to close the case, attributing everything to DNA and chemicals, can only be described as unsatisfactory at best. How and why should chemicals suddenly tell Dave to look down when he had not done so for the past one thousand steps? Also, given the practically unlimited variety of situations we may be confronted with in life, how can our limited sets of DNA possibly include all the potential knowledge we require to guide us through the myriad of unique and specific situations we encounter in each lifetime? Any unbiased person must at least consider further explanations offering deeper insight into the source of superconsciousness.

Unlike many other supernatural experiences, superconsciousness is such a common experience we can all relate to, so I’d like to share the breathtaking explanation Krishna offers in the Bhagavad-gita. Certainly, an unbiased reader will find Krishna’s words to be a vast treasury of essential knowledge.

So what does Krishna say about superconsciousness in the Bhagavad-gita?

Firstly, in the 18th chapter, He states:

“The Supreme Lord is situated in everyone’s heart, O Arjuna, and is directing the wanderings of all living entities, who are seated as on a machine, made of the material energy.” (18.61)

Krishna explains that as the omniscient and omnipresent supreme personality, he accompanies all of us, lifetime after lifetime, no matter which body we are currently occupying. He expands himself as the Supersoul to guide and encourage us no matter how lost we become in our excursions through the forest of material existence. How enlivening it is to discover that the source of our intuition is not some impersonal universal energy or dead chemical arrangement, but Krishna, the original, unlimitedly attractive person!

In the chapter entitled “Nature, the Enjoyer and Consciousness,” Krishna further illuminates:

“One who sees the Supersoul equally present everywhere, in every living being, does not degrade himself by his mind. Thus he approaches the transcendental destination.” (13.29)

The potential benefit that we as tiny, individual souls can derive from understanding and taking advantage of the presence of the Supersoul is immense. By way of analogy, let us consider how the rally car driver eagerly takes the counsel of his co-driver or navigator. Although dealing with the immediate situation, the driver is always hearing advance knowledge of the racing track from his partner, thereby avoiding potential hazards and improving his performance. Similarly, by becoming more “tuned in” to the constant advice coming from the Supersoul, we can also derive the greatest benefit.

Of course, at this point someone might intelligently question how it is possible that the world is in its current degenerate state, given the presence of the Supersoul’s perfect guidance in all of our lives. But when we consider that we all have free will and that the Supersoul never interferes with this, everything becomes clear. Although parents may advise their dependents, ultimately the children have the independence to choose whether or not to follow the good counsel. As Krishna warns in the closing stages of the Bhagavad-gita:

“If you become conscious of Me, you will pass over all the obstacles of conditioned life by My grace. If, however, you do not work in such consciousness but act through false ego, not hearing Me, you will be lost.” (18.58)

Understanding the great need and benefit of taking advice from a person with unlimited knowledge, who is also our greatest well-wisher, one might further ask: how do we become conscious of Krishna and His advice-giving Supersoul expansion?

This indeed is a subject of the greatest importance and relevance to us all. Without some standard in place, the agency of the Supersoul can easily be transformed into a cheap excuse to justify any action. Taking advantage of this, people might start to claim that anything and everything they whimsically desire to do is being recommended and sanctioned by the Supersoul. Even sincere people wanting to act appropriately might struggle to distinguish the advice of the Supersoul from the chatter of their own minds. So how can we tell whether the Supersoul is really communicating with us or whether we are just kidding ourselves in a naïve attempt at “being spiritual”?

The answer is that we require the guidance of qualified and experienced experts to help us understand things as they are. As this universal truth holds sway in every other area of life, so too in spiritual life do we require this same assistance. This is why in Bhagavad-gita, Krishna emphasises:

“Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized souls can impart knowledge unto you because they have seen the truth.” (4.34)

So Krishna recommends that we take the guidance of both the Supersoul, internally, and a genuine spiritual teacher, externally, to ensure all success. In this way we can have advance warning of upcoming obstacles on the path of our life’s journey and thereby avoid so many unnecessary difficulties. Simultaneously, we will also receive the knowledge required to help us pass over all the unavoidable challenges life presents.

In fact, by becoming truly superconscious we will not only benefit greatly as individuals, but also contribute to creating a peaceful and harmonious world of respect and understanding.

Thank goodness for the Supersoul!