Throughout August, Meher Baba would often go to Ahmednagar to visit his devotees. During one occasion, on August 30th, he explained the difference between the powers of a God-Realized Master and a yogi: (Aug. 30, 1927)
Divine miracles are generally attributed to Avatars, Sadgurus, or Realized human beings, while occult powers belong to yogis. The former is the outcome of extremely high and unselfish motives, while for the latter the mainspring is invariably the worst kind of selfishness. An Avatar or Sadguru performs miracles when he intends to give a general push to the world toward spirituality, but a yogi generally enacts his supernatural powers to serve his own ends.
For example, a child is tightly holding a parrot by the neck to the point of strangling it. Now in order to save the bird’s life it will not be advisable to try to snatch it from the hands of its young captor because there is the chance of his tightening his grasp. The child must therefore be offered a coin, which will make him let go of his hold on the parrot. In this instance, the offering of the coin means performing a miracle, and saving the parrot from the child’s grip means saving the mind from ignorance and Maya’s grip. Such is the way of Avatars and Sadgurus. However, if a yogi sees a very beautiful woman and desires her, he will materialize gold jewelry in order to attract her. It is evident that there is a world of difference between the motives involved in both these actions.
To give another example, a man has put on spectacles of white glass which make him see everything white, though in reality all things are colorless. A yogi’s powers consist in putting red or green spectacles before the man’s eyes, and to the man’s amazement everything appears red or green. A Sadguru, knowing that every thing has no color, not even white, and that everything is nothing, does not believe in wasting time over changing the color of glasses. He works toward removing a man’s spectacles that he is wearing, thereby enabling a person to see things as they are; however, the yogi only adds to the illusion which a person sees by putting yet another pair of glasses before his eyes.
Lord Meher, American ed., Bhau Kalchuri, Vol 3, p. 958.