Hinduism is a religion of profound magic, the most precious and truly supernatural religion on planet Earth. It has always been so and should be perpetuated as such for centuries and centuries into the future. The Vedas glow with the wisdom of the "magic mind," the seeing of the interconnectedness between Deity, devas, nature and man. In the Hindu Vedic perception, nature is alive with beings; nature is actually the energy expression of deva-like beings. The great yajnas of fire and offerings sought to establish communication between man and God and the Gods.

Hindus are supernatural people. We know our physical body is a fraction of our real being. We know ourselves as a soul functioning through several inner and outer bodies. We know that through the magic of our higher mind we can expand out consciousness into the Allness of God. It is that magic, that Hindu mysticism to which this column is dedicated.

Crystals: Energy Amplifiers

There are various aids to communication between our physical world and the inner world of the devas and Gods. One of the most celebrated of these is the crystal. Hindus will recognize "crystal power" in the traditional use of gems (most of which are crystals) in temples. In Chidambaram, South India, is found the most famous example. Here the Siva Lingam for daily worship is a small quartz crystal, while the most celebrated image is the six-inch ruby Siva Nataraj brought out on special occasions. The Sanskrit term for a crystal is spatika, as in spatikalingam.

Gurudeva, Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, explains that crystals are a means to transmit thoughts and energies between the Devaloka and our physical plane. Thus a crystal Siva Lingam, such as the very large one installed in the Kadavul Hindu Temple In Hawaii, will amplify the normal interaction of these two worlds brought about by the worship of the image. He recommends a small crystal lingam for a Saivite's home altar which, properly treated and cared for, can facilitate contact with the guardian devas of the home.

Crystals were a big part of the New Life Expo held in San Francisco recently. They were put forward for a bewildering number of uses: growing gardens, contacting spirit guides, opening the Saraswara Chakra, becoming successful in business, healing, psychic protection, thought transference, increasing the memory, reading the Akashic records-to name just a few.

In his book "Cosmic Crystals: Crystal Consciousness and the New Age," (Turnstone Press Ltd., England) Ra Bonewitz gives a typical explanation of crystals: "All of the energies of the crystal are in perfect balance, both the spiritual and physical…When energy passes through a natural crystal, it becomes harmonized with it…It is this tendency of crystals to balance energy that provides the mechanism through which transformation takes place, and this natural tendency of crystals to transform energy applies at spiritual as well as the mundane levels of energy.

"In practical terms, if the energies embodied by the user of the crystal are not quite in balance and harmony, there will be a natural tendency in the crystal to correct and rebalance any energies that the person sends through the crystal. This, then, is a tendency to focus more precisely the user's energy, and often gives the impression that the crystal has amplified this energy."

Another popular writer on the subject, Dael Walker, adds a more metaphysical explanation: "The crystal is a corridor between the physical dimension and the dimensions of the mind. We can use it to communicate with minerals, plants and animals. We can also communicate with intelligence outside the physical dimension. We can talk to angels, talk to masters, teachers, healers. Many of these have great wisdom to impart. They are eager to do so, but cannot until you have the means to listen. Some people have their inner hearing open and can and do receive. Others need help. The crystal can be the means to enable you to communicate."

Crystal healing involves placing different types of crystals – quartz, azurite, amethyst, celestite, etc-in arrangements on each of a person's seven chakras. Katrina Raphaell says, "Crystal healing will prove to be the most powerful method of healing not only the body, but also in relieving ailments of the mind and heart which cause physical dis-ease."

An exciting development for crystal buffs has been the recent (1986) mining of "awesomely large quartz crystals"-five to seven feet in length and weighing in at 7,000 to 8,500 pounds. Called "The Earthkeepers," they are thought to contain knowledge which will awaken the entire human race to its divine past. One of these would make a spatikalingam worthy of Tanjore Temple!

A unique property Of crystals is their "personality." Each has a different vibration and people can relate better to some crystals than to others. People often become attached to their crystals. Walker advises, "Treat your crystal as a dear and precious friend; know it is a living entity. Treat it with love and care and it will reward you with a lifetime of service."

As with any physical object used for mystical purposes, there can be both "higher'" and "lower" intentions in its use. Any method capable of contacting the higher worlds can contact the lower as well. Also, once an object is taken and used for Hindu worship, the worship must be continued or the object must be disposed of through certain rites. It is incorrect to simply ignore it because negative, asuric forces will begin to use the object as soon as regular worship is biased. Western writers often warn about this, saying misuse of crystals led to the destruction of the ancient civilization of Atlantis.