Monthly Archives: February 2013

Material Profit

“Why be elated by material profit?” Father replied. “The one who pursues a goal of evenmindedness is neither jubilant with gain nor depressed by loss. He knows that man arrives penniless in this world, and departs without a single rupee.”

How many of us have as our main daily priority ‘evenmindedness’? It is a possibility.. To be neither depressed by the bad, nor jubilant with the good will have a profound effect on your day!

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Two Kites

People will often say ‘I need to see it to believe it.’ I urge you to reverse this saying. Ultimately, what we believe is far more important than what we see. A perfect example is given here in another tale of the life of Paramhansa Yogananda.

Take from it what you will. But know that there are forces working at all times bringing into your life what your thoughts revolve around the most.

Our family moved to Lahore in the Pubjab. There I acquired a picture of the Divine Mother in the form of the Goddess Kali. It sanctified a small informal shrine on the balcony of our home. An unequivocal conviction came over me that fulfilment would crown any of my prayers uttered in that sacred spot. Standing there with Uma (Yoganandas sister) one day, I watched two kites flying over the roofs of the buildings on the opposite side of the very narrow lane.
“Why are you so quiet?” Uma pushed me playfully.
“I am just thinking how wonderful it is that Divine Mother gives me whatever I ask.”
“I suppose She would give you those two kites!” My sister laughed derisively.
“Why not?” I began silent prayers for their possession.
Matches are played in India with kites whose strings are covered with glue and ground glass. Each player attempts to sever the string of his opponent. A free kite sails over the roofs; there is great fun in catching it. Inasmuch as Uma and I were on the balcony, it seemed impossible that any loosed kite would come into our hands; its string would naturally dangle over the roofs.
The players across the lane Began their match. One string was cut; immediately the kite floated in my direction. It was stationary for a moment, through sudden abatement of breeze, which sufficed to firmly entangle the string with a cactus plant on top of the opposite house. A perfect loop was formed for my seizure. I handed the prize to Uma.
“It’s just an extraordinary accident, and not an answer to your prayer. If the other kite comes to you, then I shall believe.” Sisters dark eyes conveyed more amazement than her words.
I continued my prayers with a crescendo of intensity. A forcible tug by the other player resulted in the abrupt loss of his kite. It headed towards me, dancing in the wind. My helpful assistant, the cactus plant again secured the kite string on the necessary loop by which I could grasp it. I presented my second trophy to Uma.
“Indeed, Divine Mother listens to you! This is all too uncanny for me!” Sister bolted away like a frightened fawn.

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Understanding

A noted chemist once crossed swords with Sri Yukteswar (Yoganandas Guru). The Visitor would not admit the existence of God, inasmuch as science has devised no means of detecting Him.
“So you have inexplicably failed to isolate the Supreme Power in your test tubes!” Masters gaze was stern. “I recommend an unheard-of experiment. Examine your thoughts unremittingly for twenty-four hours. Then wonder no longer at God’s absence.”
A celebrated pundit received a similar jolt. With ostentations zeal, the scholar shook the ashram rafters with scriptural lore. Resounding passages poured from the Mahabharata, the Upanishads, the bhasyas of Shankara.
“I am waiting to hear you.” Sri Yukteswars tone was inquiring, as though utter silence had reigned. The pundit was puzzled.
“Quotations there have been, in superabundance.” Masters words convulsed me with mirth, as I squatted in my corner, at a respectful distance from the visitor. “But what original commentary can you supply, from the uniqueness of your particular life? What holy text have you absorbed and made your own? Are you content to be a hollow victrola, mechanically repeating the words of other men?”
“I give up!” The scholar’s chagrin was comical. “I have no inner realisation.”
For the first time, perhaps, he understood that discerning placement of the comma does not atone for a spiritual coma.
“These bloodless pedants smell unduly of the lamp,” my guru remarked after the departure of the chastened one. “They prefer philosophy to be a gentle intellectual setting up exercise. Their elevated thoughts are carefully unrelated either to the crudity of outward action or to any scourging inner discipline!”
Master stressed on other occasions the futility of mere book learning.
“Do not confuse understanding with a larger vocabulary,” he remarked, “Sacred writings are beneficial in stimulating desire for inward realisation, if one stanza at a time is slowly assimilated. Continual intellectual study results in vanity and the false satisfaction on an undigested knowledge.”

pg. 130, Autobiography of a Yogi

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Improbable Phenomena

A quote one could find, if they were looking in Yoganandas autobiography is as follows. It describes the advances in technology, and the phenomena which will become common place as the passage of time continues ever onwards. It urges us to open our eyes, hearts and minds in order to see things as they truly are:

“Very strange, very wonderful, seemingly very improbable phenomena may yet appear which, when once established, will not astonish us more than we are now astonished at all that science has taught us during the last century. It is assumed that the phenomena which we now accept without surprise, do not excite our astonishment because they are understood. But this is not the case. If they do not surprise us it is not because they are understood, it is because they are familiar; for if that which is not understood ought to surprise us, we should be surprised at everything- the fall of a stone thrown into the air, the acorn which becomes an oak, mercury which expands when it is heated, iron attracted by a magnet, phosphorus which burns when it is rubbed… The science of today is a light matter; the revolutions and evolutions which it will experience in a hundred thousand years will far exceed the most daring anticipations. The truths- those surprising, amazing, unforeseen truths- which our descendants will discover, are even now all around us, staring us in the eyes, so to speak, and yet we do not see them. But it is not enough to say that we do not see them; we do not wish to see them; for as soon as an unexpected and unfamiliar fact appears, we try to fit it into the framework of the commonplaces of acquired knowledge, and we are indignant that anyone should dare to experiment further.”

Charles Robert Richet, Nobel Prizeman in physiology

Do we wish to see these unforeseen truths? Or do we have blinkers on which keep us blinded to what is happening all around us?

How exciting are the times in which we are living? I am communicating with you with relative ease. Information is available in an instant, even quicker than that..

We must create a new framework of what exists and of what is possible. The power of the mind; great men who have existed and will come to exist; the stars and their effects on mankind; the positive benefits of faith, prayer and meditation to name but a few.

Yogananda helps us to see things clearer, if we choose to accept the challenge of course. Alternatively we can tighten our blinkers and continue to live in the dark. I know which I prefer. Now for you to choose…

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Paramhansa Yogananda

I have arrived home safely and enjoyed my time away in the sun with my family and reading companion. This post is simply to summarise my impression of the autobiography of Yogananda.

I see from several of the comments that many of you have read the book, and others are interested to know what its about.

Yogananda was a Yogi, a Swami and a Guru. Yogananda was a great man and made many efforts to better the lives of others. But I like to remember that at the beginning of his life, he was a small child, growing up with his parents and brothers and sisters like many of us would have. It was only through the progress of time, and his interest in ‘something else’, ‘something higher’ that he got to where he was when he passed on.

I wont be sharing all of the wonderful stories as some of them are beyond the scope of this blog. These stories I will leave for you to find for yourself if you ever read the book. But many ideas and stories are within the scope of this blog.

Also, I have revised the ‘About’ page for those of you who care to read it. And please don’t think that the blog is going to turn into a Yogananda tribute page. I simply feel there is much benefit to be gained from his world. Take care, and have a good day!

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