The higher you are on the ladder of evolution, the graver becomes the impact of your thoughts and actions. So, a simple act of positivity bears manifold positive results. And a small negative thought or action can culminate into many births of penance to make up for it, as it happened for Jay and Vijay. Both of them were the gate keepers of Lord Vishnu. They would stay in Vaikunth with their Lord. Somewhere in being close to their Lord, their ego shot up and they started dictating who could see their Lord and when they could see him.
Once the four Kumars—Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatana and Sanatkumara—visited Vaikunth. These sons of Lord Brahma with their yogbal had stalled the ageing process of their bodies. As a result, they had the appearance of children, even though they were of great age. All four of them were ardent devotees of Lord Vishnu and desired to meet him. When they reached the gate of Vaikunth, they were interrupted by Jay and Vijay. Veiled by ego, they took the four rishis to be mere children and despite their repeated requests, denied them entry into Vaikunth saying that their Lord was resting at that time. The Kumars were enraged and told the gate keepers that Lord Vishnu was always available for his devotees, and it was inappropriate to prevent them from meeting Him.
The four brothers then cursed Jay and Vijay that since they kept devotees away from Lord Vishnu, they would have to give up their divinity and be born as mortals on earth, far away from Vaikunth and their Lord. Jay and Vijay were terrified. They went to Lord Vishnu and requested him to lift the curse. Lord Vishnu told them that the curse could not be reversed, and gave them two options—to be born as devotees of Lord Vishnu seven times, or be born as enemies of Lord Vishnu for three births. Wishing to return to Vaikunth as soon as possible, the two gatekeepers took the second option. In the first life they were born as Hiranyakashipu and Hiranyaksha in Sat Yuga and Lord Vishnu incarnated as Varaha (boar) and Narasimha (man-lion) to annihilate them.
In their next life, they were born as Ravana and Kumbhakarna, to be annihilated by the Rama avatar of Lord Vishnu in Treta Yuga. Finally, they were born as Shishupala and Dantavarka, who were killed by Krishna avatar in Dwapar Yuga.
As one progresses on the path of yoga, the proximity to the Guru increases manifold and siddhis (powers) increase proportionately. Often at this time, ego takes hold of the sadhak, leading her/him to think that s/he is superior to others and in trying to establish that supremacy over others, s/he forgets the basics of yoga. One needs to be extremely careful and avoid becoming egoistic like Jay and Vijay.
The writer is the spiritual head of Dhyan Foundation.