This is a true story that I witnessed myself when on a trip to India, that fabled land of mystery and paradigm some years ago.
We were staying in a friend’s house in Rajasthan, having attached ourselves to an organised trip by a great travel company called Royal Rajasthan Tours, whose Director was travelling with us as well…very cool gesture!
Anyways, we were at a dinner party there and at some time during the celebrations, a guy mentioned that as we were foreigners, we might be interested in looking at something rather unusual in the next few days. Of course, soon as I heard that, I couldn’t wait to see what it was…. call it curiosity killed the cat!
The guy explained that a very powerful tantric yogi was visiting the town and will be having a few shows there before moving onto another town. Ticket prices to his show were very low by western standards…just $5…so we asked him to buy two tickets for us.
A couple of days later, we had our tickets in hand for the show…it was to be at 12 noon the next day.
The following day, we had a light breakfast with our friends, who were also coming to the show with us, passed the time for a while and then it was time to leave for the show. We arrived at the venue in plenty of time and decided to go inside the large tent that was pitched in a large school playing field, and get the best seats in the house!
When we got inside, the place was almost full, but as we were tourists, the organisers managed to get us 4 seats right at the front next to the wooden stage. The time was 1145am.
We sat around, waiting for a few minutes, just like the rest of the audience, for the tantric guy to appear. Time ticked away and soon it was 12 noon.
Again we all waited…waited..and waited some more, but nothing was happening on the stage. So we waited a little more but by now, the crowd was getting a little annoyed, as the time was 1215 now.
I had already written of my 5 buck ticket as a rip-off and so just sat there waiting for the next move by our friends who had taken us there. The time moved on to 1230pm, with the crowd ready to riot unless their money was refunded and the 2 of us rather angry as well, a man dressed in ragged, but clean clothes suddenly appeared from behind a curtain and onto the stage. The time was 1230pm.
Our tantric man at last! But even so, the crowd was not amused at all, as we had all been waiting for the act for over 30 minutes by now and wanted an explanation.
As the protests reached fever pitch, and we were busy working out which exit we should rush to, should there be a riot inside the tent, the man raised his arm, asking everyone to allow him to speak.
Slowly, the shouting and jeering died down. The man spoke in Hindi, which I am glad I understood, having been to India many times before. He asked the crowd what time the show had been set for, to which everyone replied 12 noon, but they had been waiting for more than 30 mins now.
But what are you all complaining about, he said….look at your watches now and tell me what the time is? We all did as he asked….and …well…blow me down…my watch showed the time as 12 noon! I frantically looked again and again at my watch…12 noon. I asked those with me to confirm what time it was…they all looked at their watches and were speechless too, just like us! Their watches showed 12 noon, too! In fact, everyone who had a watch on in that tent, checked their watches and confirmed they all showed 12 noon!
The crowd fell silent…you culd hear a pin drop in there. So you see, my friends….it is YOU who are late, not me! And with that statement, the tantric guy bowed to us all with his hands clasped in the usual Indian namaste manner, and calmly walked off the stage! The time was 1205pm.
We all joined the crowd in leaving the tent slowly, but once outside, we were hit with another unexplained phenomenon…all our watches showed the time as 1205pm, but when we asked passers-by the right time, they all told us it was 1245pm!!
So we had entered the tent at 1145am, waited for the tantric guy who appeared at 1230pm, he enthralled us for around 15mins, and now we were outside the tent at 1245pm, but our watches showed 1205pm!
That was more than enough for that day, and we went back home trying to figure out what had happened. Had the guy hypnotised us all and made us think the time was wrong…or right? Or had he twisted our minds instead. making us believe the time on our watches was wrong? None of these explanations fitted. And anyways, how did our watches show the time as around 12pm, when the people walking by outside had watches showing 1245pm?
Some days later, we mentioned this to another friend of a friend, and he looked at us very solemnly for a few minutes and then smiled. He said he himself had been at shows held by many tanrics, not just the one we saw…and he has never, ever been able to explain how these people manage to pull off their acts. It has been said that tantrism is a method of advanced mind control, which, once the devotee has reached the highest levels, can indeed manipulate physical, spiritual and time realms at will.
All I can say is that I saw it with my own eyes and have never been able to explain it. And I’m as rational and full of scepticism as any westerner can be!