Its Western Misconceptions—By S. Y

Hypocrisy and Hats?

It was while applying for a passport to go to Vancouver, B. C., that an immigration official became sarcastically fascinated with my yellow turban, the national headdress of the Hindus. The officer looked at me with pity and said, "Do you gaze at crystals, tell fortunes, swallow swords? Are you a snake charmer?" I said nothing but presented him with one of my books, and when he had read a few lines and had a look of apology in his eye for his rash inference, I looked at him smilingly and said, "Dear officer, did you know that the Hindus never had any factory where they knew the art of making crystals? Crystals are of western origin. Hence it is news to me that the Hindus gaze at crystals.

"As regards fortune telling, you have quite a number right here in America as well as in India. But whenever you meet an American gentleman do you ask him, "Are you a fortune teller?" Every Hindu is not a fortune teller. They don't believe in flattering an unmarried woman by telling her fortune, saying that she is going to have a good wealthy husband, and then relieve her of three or four dollars. Wise Hindus can teach you how to solve the problem of life. Your present poverty or opulence, disease or health, is brought about by your own past actions. Your present life will determine your future life. They diagnose scientifically how the law of cause and effect apply to human actions and lives. They do not believe in fate, i.e., anything happening without cause. Hence the Hindus do not like fooling people by telling them what is going to happen through the trickery of imagination, equivocable words, or by fraud. The real Hindu astrologers make a scientific study of the law of causation governing human actions and they are not satisfied with telling you the past or predicting your future only. They teach you the art of averting an unwelcome event or stimulating the fruition of a desirable event coming to you as a result of your past evil or good actions. Good astrologers tell their students only what will benefit them, and do not like to satisfy idle curiosity. They say there is no use in telling you what is coming to you anyway unless one can also show you the way to control or regulate your self-created destiny. Otherwise ignorance is bliss."

I said to the immigration officer again, "Sir, I haven't had the singular, dangerous experience of swallowing swords or taming cobras, which our wonderful street magicians often do in open daylight before the gaze of people." These snake charmers and sword swallowers are our street magicians. They are skilled in slight-of-hand tricks at the same time. They do perform magic by producing optical illusions. Herein the eastern magician is superior to the western magician."

Then smilingly I asked the officer again, "I have seen some hypocritical western people wearing hats and dress suits, but I never connected hypocrisy with the wearing of hats. How did you happen to connect snake-charming with my turban?"

By this time the officer was smoothed out and in a very friendly tone he said, "I am sorry. Many good turbaned Hindus have to suffer the persecution of public opinion because some turbaned Hindu fakers have produced a wrong impression on our people."

I replied, "Well, but you cannot expect all Hindus to forsake turbans because some Hindus have not done right, just as I cannot expect all western brothers to forsake their hats because some practiced hypocrisy while wearing hats. Western tourists go to India and watch our poorly dressed coolie laborers, and see the performances of the street magicians or fakers, and they think the Hindus need to wear swallow-tail coats and neckties to be civilized. Well, you can dress a cow with a swallow-tail coat and necktie, but that would not make it civilized. Neither would a turbaned cow dressed in a robe become a spiritual Hindu."

Customs and mannerisms are non-essentials resulting from certain climatic influences. The real development of man consists of the development of his mind-power.

So the American tourist visiting India must take care not to misconceive the real Yogis of India. The real Yogis are distinctly different from the magicians, sword-swallowers, instantaneous mango tree growers. The latter are our magicians and street entertainers. The former are Great Men, very difficult to recognize due to Their child-like simplicity, yet possessing miraculous powers like those of Christ.

Physical and Mental Miracles

There is no difference between physical laws and super-laws or miracles worked by the knowledge of the mechanism of the human mind. The Americans work miracles through use of physical laws; the Hindus work mental miracles. The operation of radio and tele-photo cameras are still miracles to many Hindus, and the workable miracles of the mind ...so often displayed by the Yogis of India are unknown to the Americans. In these days of marvels of constant inventions it would be wise for the Americans to at least investigate thoroughly the discovery of spiritual miracles by their Hindu brothers. Miracles are nothing but the operation of super-mental and cosmic laws. Jesus and the master-minds of India know how to operate them. To ordinary people such work appears as miracles, but they are really the result of the natural operation of certain higher, hidden laws.

Need for Raja Yoga

Yoga means uniting Mind-Power with Cosmic Power. Raja Yoga consists of those principles of concentration which were easily practiced even by the Rajas or royalists of India who were engrossed with the multifarious duties of their states.

These methods of concentration, or Raja Yoga, which bring power over one's own destiny and which can turn failure—material, moral, social or spiritual—into success ...can fit in with the busy and worried life of the American Rajas and Maharajahs, the American millionaires and billionaires. Human nature is everywhere the same. The American needs poise and spiritual strength just as much as the Hindu does. The American, because he makes the machine work hard for him, has more time than the Hindu, who has to work with his hands for his living. The American business man has more time than the proverbially spiritual Hindu to devote to developing mental miracles.

The superiority of acquiring miraculous mental powers over the acquirement of business skill is this, that the former has no limitations, whereas the latter has. The ordinary intelligent business man may be broken down by hard competition. When his business intelligence is exhausted he utterly fails. But the Hindu savant says that when your intelligence gives out you don't need to give up. One can use his unlimited super-powers for the materialization of a desire. As God is all-powerful, so also, by Raja-Yoga, or uniting with Him consciously, man becomes likewise powerful.

Miracles Historically Recorded

I will give below a few authentic, historically true, miraculous achievements of the Yogis of India ...showing that they lived far ahead of the modern times and performed miracles still far remote from even the comprehension of modern material science.

About seventy years ago, the holy city of Benares was agog with the miracles of Tailanga Swami. He was two hundred fifty years old, and it is said He used to remain below or floating on the surface of the Ganges two or three days at a time; He read peoples' minds like books; He drank poisonous liquids by bowlfuls without dying, and seemingly had done all the miracles of Jesus Christ. The story goes that once, for disregarding the laws of the city, He was put in jail. He was seen the next minute walking on the roof. He had many wonderful powers. Can science tell us of anyone else who has lived for two hundred and fifty years?

The Miracle of Sadhu Haridas

Another miracle of Raja Yoga was demonstrated when Sadhu Haridas permitted Himself to be buried alive under-ground for five months. In the sixteenth century, in the court of Prince Ranjit Singh—emperor of the Punjab—and under the seal of French and other European doctors, the miraculous performance of Sadhu Haridas was historically recorded. The emperor buried this Saint Haridas (after waxing the body all over and then sewing it in a sack which was then sealed in a stone chest) several hundred feet below the earth in his own courtyard for five months. Millions of people waited for the news about the Saint when He was disinterred after five months had passed. The stone chest was opened, the clothing and wax were removed, and the body was examined by French and English doctors and pronounced dead. Yet in a few minutes the Saint Sadhu Haridas blinked His eyes and came back to life. Boom! went the cannon from the ramparts of the emperor's fort at Lahore (Punjab, India), heralding and declaring that the Saint Haridas had come back to life. Millions witnessed this event, and in any comprehensive historical book on India this occurrence will be found recorded.

There are such Saints who once in a while publicly demonstrate these powers even to this day. My teacher's teacher gave a demonstration similar to that mentioned above, to my mother. But it is considered a spiritual degradation and blasphemy against God's laws for great Yogis to give such above demonstrations merely to satisfy the idle cravings of curiosity-seekers.

It took me a long time to understand my Master and His miraculous power, though I had close contact with Him. I have seen miracles, and of all the wonderful things witnessed, I shall declare to the world that I secured my A.B. degree through this miraculous power. I used to always visit and stay with Him, and neglected my college work so much that I hardly knew where my college books were. Two days before the university examination, I told my Master I wasn't going to appear at the examination. His demeanor changed suddenly and He said, "Then all My relations with you cease this instant." He insisted and said, "All I ask of you is to appear at the examination." He declared I would pass even though I had not studied. I agreed reluctantly, thinking I would write about His teachings in the answer paper to questions on the writing of Shakespeare. I just agreed literally to carry out His behest.

Next He asked me, at first gently, then vehemently, to go to a certain friend of mine and ask certain questions of him every morning of all those days that my A.B. examination lasted. This Calcutta University A.B. degree, in some respects, is more difficult to obtain than a Harvard A.B. degree. There is so much injustice and difficulty set in the path of those being examined. I did as my Master told me; and strange to say, whatever questions this friend of mine unconsciously told me to prepare for, I found those very questions in my examinations. After the first day I declared to the world that I was going to pass, and when I received the A.B. degree, my parents and friends, who had given up all hopes about the success of my college life, told me I had performed a miracle. That is why I am fond of putting the A.B. after my name in all my books and articles. The A.B. title reminds me of this singular experience. When I questioned my Master, Sri Yukteswar Giriji, He just replied that faith, works and knowledge of super-mental law can work miracles, where physical efforts of man fail.

I remember that a friend of mine, seeing me a devout follower of my Master and negligent of my studies, had once ridiculed me and said, "I am sorry to tell you that your Master and God won't make you pass your examinations." And half in faith and half for the sake of argument, I replied, "Why not?" Little did I dream I would see the fulfillment of my saying later on.

My Master is still living in flesh and blood in India and I dare not tell all the wonderful things I have seen. This much I can say: throughout the whole western world I have not found a single one like Him. I would accept all the poverty, famine, and inconveniences of life in India ....in preference to the comfortable American life, just to sit at the feet of one like my Master. Americans who are good listeners and love real progress now ought to go deeper than mere listening to the philosophical message of India's spiritual science. They should learn the technique by which the super-miracles of the mind can be understood and the higher laws applied ...to make life not only financially successful, but blissful in every way.

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