What are the mechanics of a natural object expressing supernatural or “divine” power?
The process begins with a soul, which has the power to express its own infinite energy in the natural, physical world. Using specific sadhana (spiritual techniques), this soul power, known as Shakti, is channeled directly into the object. It takes Shakti to fully activate the inherent power in Nature.
It is commonly promoted that good intentions or the use of mantram (sacred sound formulas) or religious prayers are enough to fully activate the divine power in Nature. But it’s simply not true. Anyone can have good intentions. And, there are books of mantram and prayers available for anyone to practice and use who wishes to. But, if the Shakti, one’s soul power, is not already present and sufficient, neither will be the desired results. Like the power inherent in Nature lies dormant or in a state of pure potentiality, our Shakti’s ability to express itself fully commonly lies dormant as well. In the spiritual traditions of India, a soul’s Shakti can reach such power of expression that Sankalpam Siddhi—the divine ability to spontaneously manifest one’s desires—becomes a living reality. For this to occur, the soul must reach a high stage of enlightenment.
Once an object has been empowered by Shakti, the activation process begins. Just as an apple seed grows into an apple tree, which eventually bears apples, not oranges or bananas, the process of activation is also specific and proceeds step-by-step until it bears its fully ripened fruits. Here is where the process becomes a concerted effort.
Let’s take the holy Rudraksha bead as an example. First, it is a seed found in Nature. Each seed, if properly matured and planted, will produce a Rudraksha tree. But, as in all of Nature, no two seeds or trees or fruits are exactly alike. They have general characteristics in common—and some specific ones—but they are not exactly the same. Therefore, while there will be many similarities in the ways they express their inherent divine energy, there will also be specific, individual differences.
The great sages of ancient India made a point of highlighting the value of this specificity, which is applicable to every aspect of spirituality.