September—October, 1927 VOL. 2—6
THE FIRE—By Swami Yogananda
Penetrating dense dark forests of Ignorance
I created a Path of Light.
First I set fire to a few frailties
And bramble-bushes of prickly desires;
My fire grew,
It spread over tall vanities, thick arrogances.
The whole forest of World’s Delusion is ablaze.
The wild beasts
Of passions and mortal fears
Wading thru the ashes of past human errors
I shall create a path for all.
SING! OH, SING!—By Amelita Galli-Curci
All Nature, in a true and undisturbed state, sings and rings with harmony, rhythm and music. Law and order, in marvelous ...extent, operation and co-ordination, exist throughout seemingly limitless Nature. Everywhere throughout its vast and wonderful workings ...far-reaching natural law, countless activities, growth, successive progression and marvelous evolution ...seem the pervading order. "All is vibration," is a true expression, which can rightly be said to represent all Nature. And so incredibly vast is this vibratory activity, midst law and order, harmony and rhythm, that it is said that even the planets sing, and the expression, "the music of the spheres," is often used to convey the vastness of the existing marvelous harmony throughout Nature.
Wonderful though Nature is in every aspect, it is found that Man, can either through ignorance of her beneficent laws, or through wilful violations thereof, make slight interference with Nature’s operations and purpose, and bring about more or less serious consequences to the individual or so-called "sinner," either to health or happiness, or both. And it is in efforts to "remedy," "cure," or "restore," himself to the true "Lost Estate" of being in harmony with Nature’s laws and purposes, that countless means and systems of "cure" or "remedy" have come to exist. To see how serious and countless the infractions of Nature’s laws are, one needs only to make a survey of the world’s enormous mass of ill health, strife and unhappiness, to know that it is almost beyond human calculation to even half comprehend it. And since the need for some rational and effective remedy is great beyond words, one utmost simple but marvelous remedy, with a second one briefly added, will here be presented, which if ever fully tried, will bring wonderful results in human life at large. The first and main one of these remedies is to closely imitate Nature in her inner and higher harmony; and towards that high attainment, an abundance of good MUSIC is the most effective means. The second important remedy, largely to eliminate the ills of human society, such as wars and deadly strife, is to replace competition with true constructive cooperation everywhere, exactly as should exist throughout in true civilized Christian society.
Rhythm Means Health
Since Nature at large sings and rings with—vibration, rhythm and harmony ...it is utmost logical, that if the individual will joyously express himself in music, rhythm and harmony ...particularly through singing, he will thereby speedily restore himself to full alignment with Nature’s constructive principle in individual life, with the self-evident result ...that normal health and happiness will be restored. and in the serious matter of "crime" and "evil," so extensive and world-wide, our great Shakespeare has concisely and masterfully covered this point in his famous statement, "The man that hath no music in himself, nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds, is fit for treason, stratagems and spoils." And from the preceding or general argumental logic alone presented, the reader can confidently take the topic of this article and plea, and make "Sing, Oh, Sing," one of his or her prime objects in life. Feel assured, that every effort in that direction will bring rich and certain compensation. Therefore, Sing, Oh, Sing!
However much Classical music is generally considered to be utmost difficult ...something only great artists after intensive and extensive training can produce ...true music is the soul’s joyous outpouring. And just as birds sing with a joyous ring ...natural and unrestrained, so should humans sing with unrestrained joy, inwardly at least, if not outwardly. And could humans at large know the great inward joy which comes from the outpouring of some fine spiritual force or vibration from within and which flows out to listeners, from joyous singing ...they would know that my appeal to sing comes with great soul force. Therefore, take and carry far and wide my plea—Sing, Oh, Sing!
Should the reader happen to be one of the progressives who know that our fellow humans ...in inner finer realms of Nature, exist in a real world of extremely fine matter; and that communication by higher "Radio or Wireless," or through vibration, is possible and who desire to thus communicate, then, you are here informed ...that joyous singing is one of the best means to establish such new and larger communication. The foundation for this new science of communication and higher human intercourse was laid more than a century ago by the great scientist and philosopher, Emanual Swedenborg, through his twenty-seven years of actual contact with and exploration in ...inner finer realms of Nature. This is found embodied in his wonderful "Science of Correspondences" in inner and outer worlds. Therefore, as this new science of independent higher communication is rapidly being established among the more progressive of today, you will do well to put the soul plea of this treatise into a living practice for self and others. And to pass it on as well, in ways you deem best, so that long, and even centuries, after I have passed from your outer plane of activity, my great burning wish and plea for the world’s great good will go winging and ringing: Sing, Oh, Sing!
The main key to the secret of most poets’, writers’ and composers’ "inspiration," "Muse," or whatever their larger or inspired ability may be termed, has to do directly with music, rhythm and vibration, in one form or another. The great English lyric poet, Lord Alfred Tennyson, attained his "inspirational" state, or as he calls it, "an extraordinary state of lucidity," through the simple means of intoning or intensely repeating ...his own name, in which state of lucidity, he produced his masterpieces of lyric poetry. And Ralph Waldo Emerson attained his "inspirational" state through a similar process, by simply lifting his consciousness to a "transcendental state," which he tapped or drew from ...as if it were a cosmic or universal source. And many other true poets, writers and composers, are known to have reached their "Muse" or "inspirational" state, or raised their vibratory activity, by simply humming or entering a sing-song state, mentally at least, and have thus attained their lucidity or additional ability to write and compose. True poets and composers are not merely "born," as generally and ignorantly understood, but are actually made as well, and through quite rational means, provided the individual is willing to "tune up," "step up," or "lift" himself to more or less of that "extraordinary lucidity" or "transcendental state" which Tennyson and Emerson attained. It is hoped that sufficient has been presented in the statements made ...to cause every reader who has any aspiration to write, to seek his or her "inspiration" or "Muse" through rational means, and become an enthusiastic, yes, burning exemplar of my soul plea to: Sing, Oh, Sing!
Last, and most important of all, and this holds true regardless what your select religion may be ...Music ought to be the most important part of all religious worship, for the simple reason that it is the vibratory effect of true good music which raises the vibratory status of an individual to higher and larger consciousness of the inner finer realms of Nature, which in the language of old-fashioned theology is termed "God," "divinity" or a sacred holy state. World-wide, the use of music at religious service has come to be, (ignorantly understood to be), simply because "it somehow seems fitting to have music at such times," when, in reality, it is, or should be, or can be, when rightly understood, the most important part in all religious services.
India the Home of Religion
The main reason why India still holds the claim of being the home or origin of all the world’s great religions, which includes Christianity, is the simple fact that Jesus spent his important eighteen years of schooling and training, from twelve to thirty, among the "Wise Men of the East," or master-saints and sages, in India. And now, with due credit given rhythmic breathing and great control of breath, together with intensive meditation, so extensively practiced in India, the wide and intensive use throughout tens of centuries of intonation of the "sacred word OM," or "AUM," and other similar words, have through such means, more than any other, enabled the balanced devotee to reach extraordinary extensions of consciousness into the inner finer realms of Nature, and have thus laid the foundation for India’s leadership in spiritual enlightenment for the entire world. Thus, when all good and full reasons for true singing are considered, you will find that the appeal here presented carries a world-wide message of importance, so deep and far-reaching, and so sadly needed, that throughout centuries to come it should go winging and ringing: Sing, Oh Sing!
As final plea, dear reader take my message home to your own self, and there, with joy ...let music ring throughout your life, and prove to the world what I know well to be the truth. And as you prove how wonderfully true my message is for your great good, and as your thanks flow out to me, your singing thoughts will surely reach me where I am, and doubly glad I then shall be, if you will then pass the message on, both far and wide, to all the world. Then song shall be, in time to come, the greatest boon for all the world’s ills. Banished sure will be: disease, unhappiness, war and strife. Till human life—in outer world and inner realms ...will surely be, and shall ring throughout as one grand song or symphony, but ever with my ringing plea: SING, OH, SING!
THE SEARCH—George Herbert
When Thou dost turn, and wilt be near,
What edge so keen,
What point so piercing
Can appear to come between?
For as Thy absence
Doth excel all distance known,
So doth Thy nearness
Bear the bell,
Making two ....one.
THE LOVE THAT NEVER FALTERS—Cecil Spring-Rice
"I vow to thee, my country,
All earthly things above—
Entire and whole and perfect,
The service of my love.
The love that asks no questions;
The love that stands the test,
That lays upon the altar
The dearest and the best;
The love that never falters,
The love that pays the price.
The love that makes undaunted
The final sacrifice;
And there’s another country,
I’ve heard of long ago—
Most dear to them that love her,
Most great to them that know—
We may not count her armies
—We may not see her king;
Her fortress is a faithful heart,
Her pride is suffering.
And soul by soul and silently
Her shining bounds increase,
And her ways are ways of gentleness
And all her paths are peace.
One day we shall thank Thee perfectly
For every disappointment, pang, and shame,
That drove us to the bosom of Thy love.
REFORMING RELIGION BY SCIENCE—By Swami Yogananda
Like the slaves of yore, Religion is imprisoned and enslaved in the house of Dark Dogma. A great war on ignorance must be launched in order to declare the freedom of the bond-slave religion from the hand of superstition. Primeval religion was born in the womb of the unscientific seeking of man for the origin of the mysteries of his being, future life, nature’s violent phenomena, God, et cetera. A few prophets have risen during the ages, with their intuitive wisdom, exhorting people to believe in their doctrines. But did science ever uphold their doctrines by actual investigation?
Alas, there has seldom been, except sometimes in India, any real research on pragmatic, life-moulding universal religion, in a true scientific way. About the nature of water and electricity—all scientists are agreed, because they thoroughly investigated their constituents and properties, but few are sure whether Hinduism, or Buddhism, or Judaism, or Confucianism, or Mohammedanism, or Christianity, is the real means to ultimate salvation and the right solution to the problems of life. Why?
Because religion has never been taken seriously by real scientists (except in India anciently) as a matter of life-long research and scientific study in such a practical way as would show the origin, end and purpose of human life on earth.
Religion mostly has been handled by dogmatists, self-chosen reformers, self-elected members of God’s mystic counsel. Religion has been patented, trade-marked and peddled by quack spiritual doctors with unscientific but profuse advertisements of its efficacy. "Mine is the only one, the best," is the declaration of most cults. But there should be a standard for judging what is best, just as the standard of quality of goods determines which store is the best in town, even though all claim to be the best.
What is the Standard?
So all the cult shops selling religion declare their goods are the best. What are you going to do? How are you going to find out the proper standard of judging the good, bad, better, best religions? Saying "my religion is best," believing in a mass of unproved statements, swelling the number of dogmatic followers, building big temples, or churches, or stupas, or mosques; hymning chants to emptiness, praying without receiving answers, will not make a religion true, good or lasting.
People sometimes say "O, join the - - - - Church and you will soon have your own automobile." Others are heard to say, "I just joined this, because the members give their business to their own people."
The Good religion has done thru the ages, by reminding people of an Ideal, either thru religion or reasoning, or thru fear and fanaticism, ....can never be denied. Yet, unscientific religion has been the cause of the tyranny of the caste system, et cetera, in the East, and of the class system, Spanish inquisition, burning of martyrs, in the West.
Cruel wars in the name of Crusades have been fought by Mohammedans, Christians and other religious bodies in the name of their God. Unscientific religion today expresses itself in Hindus calling Christians "heathens" and in Christians returning the compliment to them by the same epithet. Why don’t the orthodox Brahmins of India eat with the pariah (outcast) when his Scriptures say, "He is a man of realization who looks upon an elephant, a dog, a pariah, a Brahmin in the same way"? Why were Inquisitions and burning of people at the stake for their religious convictions, perpetrated in the name of the Bible, ....when Jesus taught such tolerance that he said his followers should offer the other side of the cheek when one side was hit? Why don’t the Bishop of Canterbury and the Pope of Rome exchange pulpits—are they not followers of the same Christ?
Why do I hear in America, "O, we have a nice class of well-dressed, well-to-do people belonging to our church." Is not religion and God for the rich, poor, intelligent, weak, illiterate alike, as a panacea for their disease of ignorance?
Why does the minister’s true soul freedom, his emancipating, independent thought, have to sleep on procrustean beds of dogma, there to be lopped off and amputated? Why has the minister to look for rich people, and cater to their whims, in order to support his church? Will expensive church-founding and bringing people, more or less unwillingly, and from a sense of "duty" merely, to attend them—will such methods solve the problems of life and salvation thru religion?
Why do most people more eagerly go to the "movies" and pack places of amusement, instead of the churches? Why? Many think that dancing, festivities, movies, Billy Sunday dramatics, or sensational sermons can draw crowds to the church, and urge their use there. But how can the churches, with their third-class performances, compete with first-class pleasure-haunts, dance-halls and movie palaces? It may not be entirely useless for a church to adopt such methods and some good may come of it. But the point is, why seek substitutes of true religion, deluding the unsatisfied Self? Religion should not try to compete with ordinary recreational activities—it should rather offer a distinct, individual and characteristic form of social service by giving peace, enlightenment and spiritual strength, and not merely offer temporary pleasure or outward stimulation, for these can be better afforded by the theaters and other pleasure agencies.
Churches and temples and all religious organizations must give more. They must be united in their efforts to find their goal instead of being torn by mutual jealousies and party feelings. "Ah, we are the best church because Rockefeller belongs to it!" some say. This is delusion. God makes the most powerful monarch as well as the "unknown soldier" to return to the same dust, bereft of all their material possessions, though still possessing their spiritual qualities.
Above all, church funds, instead of being completely tied up in heavy mortgages and ornamental edifices, could be better employed in inducing the greatest scientists of the East and West to make real investigations for a practical technique of making the body, mind and soul of man ...perfect, harmonious, ever-strong, quickly developing, better and happier.
Ideal of Yogoda
Such is the ideal of Yogoda, for it means, technique for balanced development of body, mind and soul. For the first time, this technique for, and emphasis on, the three-fold simultaneous development of body, mind and soul, is offered to the world.
Scientists should test, in the lives of growing children, the methods offered by all religions and should thus discover by practical application, the one which works the best and brings the greatest good to the greatest number. And then they should broadcast the knowledge they have earned, in the name of truth. The truth should be tested by the government of each people, standardized, and introduced into school, societies and universities, in order to bring the maximum results.*
Religions, or opinions and beliefs of men about religion, are many—but true religion or real spiritual experience by any human being, whether Hindu, Christian or member of any sect or school of thought, will be discovered, in the course of realizing God or truth, to be one and the same. There is only one Truth, there cannot be two or more truths.
In India, where much scientific truth has been discovered by Yogis and Swamis in religious experimentations, the word "Dharma" means "those immutable principles which protect man permanently from the three-fold suffering of disease, unhappiness and ignorance." Destruction of suffering, according to the Hindu Sankhya philosophy, involves the permanent destruction of all possibility of any return of suffering.
Life Still Uncertain
With all the modern inventions and comforts of present-day civilization, man’s life is still uncertain, unsafe. He does not know what is going to happen to him at any time, or when he is going to be unhappy or die without his desire.
That day, when man is able to dematerialize or convert his human body into its constituent electrons and basic consciousness, and then materialize it again into organized living physical flesh, as Christ did, and as Hindu Yogis do, then he will be free, and will suffer no more thru the collisions of other forms of matter, which result in pain, disease, disintegration, accident or death.
Religious effort must be applied to the conversion of the human body into life energy. "Man shall not live by bread (solids, liquids) alone, but by every word (vibratory energy) which falleth from the mouth of God (medulla oblongata)." Energy in the human body which converts food into energy, is the direct real source of life, and not food.
As electricity or pure energy cannot have automobile accidents, rheumatism, appendicitis, cancer, tuberculosis, nor can it catch cold nor be stabbed, killed by a sword, shot to death by a gun, nor burnt by fire, so, when practical religion teaches us to be energy, we will then attain immortality and will reclaim the lost God’s image in us—not until then.
Angels of Energy
God made us angels of energy, encased in solids—currents of life dazzling thru the material bulb of flesh. But we are now concentrated on the frailties and fragility of the bulb, and have forgotten to feel the immortal indestructible properties of the Eternal Life Energy within the changeable flesh.
Even protoplasm is immortal. So is thought. Everything is indestructible, even in the world of matter. Then why this illusion of mortality and death?
Listening to the muffled cries of millions of people stricken with a consciousness of disease, mental suffering, and Soul ignorance, let us cast aside party prejudices and formalities, let us unite our hearts to fight Ignorance—the Great Satan of all religions. Let science, instead of devising more articles of impermanent material comfort for human beings, be engaged in making man himself invulnerable to the destruction arising out of his inventions—death by airplanes, electricity and automobiles—and conscious of his own powers of superiority to disease, drowning, unconsciousness, pain and tragic or premature death. Let science discover and teach the method to consciously leave our bodies so that we may pass from this world to the next consciously and without struggle and pain.
Let us separate the dross of superstition from real religion by burning it in the furnace of Scientific Investigation and Realization, and by their practical application to life. Om! Amen!
*Count Keyserling, who believes that Yoga practices should be taught in all schools and universities, has introduced these Hindu scientific methods into his schools in Germany.
BEST CHRISTIAN BOOKS
The books on Christianity which have been the "best sellers" next to the Bible, and of the greatest influence in spreading the faith, are given by Albert C. Diffenbach in the Independent as:
"Stramota," by Clement of Alexandria"; "Confessions," by Augustine; "Summa Theologica," by Thomas Aquinas; "The Divine Comedy," by Dante; "Imitation of Christ," by Thomas A’Kempis; "The Bible in English," by John Wycliffe; "Die Werke," by Martin Luther; "Institutes," by John Calvin; "Paradise Lost," by John Milton; and "Pilgrim’s Progress," by John Bunyan.
BERNARD SHAW ON RELIGION
"This much I know, looking at life at seventy: men without religion are moral cowards, and mostly physical cowards too when they are sober. Civilization can not survive without religion. It matters not what name we bestow upon our divinity—Life Force, World Spirit, Elan Vital, Creative Evolution—without religion, life become a meaningless concatenation of accidents. I can conceive of salvation without a god, but I can not conceive of it without a religion. . . .
"An author of my sort must keep in training, like an athlete. How else could he wrestle with God, as Jacob did with the angel?. . . .
"Evolution is a mystical process. Darwinism, a mechanical doctrine, destroyed religion, but gave us nothing in its place. It gave an air of science to moral and political opportunism and to struggle-for-life militarism. It engulfed Europe yesterday in the World War. . . . The cause of Europe’s miseries was its lack of religion. . . .
"Natural Selection must have played an immense part in adapting life to our planet; but it is Creative Evolution that adapts the planet to our continual aspiration to greater knowledge and greater power"—Liberty.
OH WISE JUDGE!
A foreigner, it is related, entered a courtroom in a town in interior China and was amazed to find the room dotted by beautiful butterflies emerging from a box on the magistrate’s desk. He was told that the judge, instead of fining offenders in taels, exacted a fine of so many butterflies that should be brought to the court uninjured to expiate the crime. The judge was asked the reason for this novel penalty.
"The beauties of Nature," he said, "should be an antidote to crime. He who obtains his liberty through the intercession of the beautiful butterflies, and then commits another crime, must be incorrigible. I never have mercy on a second offender."—Nature.
LILLIAN GISH ON "INDIA" AND "RELIGION"
Lillian Gish, the incomparable artist of the screen, recently revealed her opinion on religion, on India, on her art and on various world problems, in a series of articles which appeared in Liberty, by Sidney Sutherland. Miss Gish tells of her faith in India in the following words:
"The earliest sciences are astrology and astronomy, and the Indian mystics have led the world in their study. These men have transcended all the ordinary ranges of human thought. They peer into the future because of their introspective powers, because of their centuries of comparing the event with the prophecy, because of their knowledge of what human beings will do under given circumstances. . . .
"When such groups have labored and struggled and suffered through the ages simply to attain one goal, it is not unreasonable to believe that they will contribute importantly to the eventual solidarity of the world. . . .
"A red rose is no more lovely than a white one. One breed is no more perfect than another, nor any worse. Who knows whether the spectrum of a million years hence will not permit another and more ravishing combination of color than any we have yet beheld? Who knows if we shall not develop yet another sense to add to the five we have today, and with that sense perceive beauties and truths in the universe we cannot even imagine now?
"Who, then, shall say what religion, what comprehension of the Creator, mankind is yet to know and embrace?. . . .
"I spoke a while ago about that exquisite thing we shall call the rose. Many things have combined to produce it—soil, seed, water, sunlight, cultivation, and a carefully respected pedigree of previous beauty.
"So I believe that each religion will contribute its quota of excellence to the final, world-girdling religion. From each, man will choose that which answers humanity’s age-old universal cry for beauty, truth, peace, justice, consolation and promise. . . .
The Universal Faith of India
"Frankly, I believe that the first glimmer of this universal faith will come out of India, mother of so many of our mental processes, incubator of so much of mankind’s present spiritual heritage, first guide to so much of what we know and think today. There the germ may start, gathering body and strength from every current faith as it slowly circles the world—disclosed at last to humanity by means of that infinitely greater moving-picture art which is coming tomorrow, and capturing and holding at last the minds and hearts of all men everywhere.
"Long before this comes to pass, I think that patriotism, as we know and practice it today, will have succumbed before the logic of a finer world-understanding, and be replaced by an international sense of unity and justice and peace. When this has been achieved, it will not be so difficult for the idea of a common religion to find acceptance in minds already attuned to understanding, tolerance and friendship. Just as the thousand national flags of today will be merged in one banner ...that all humanity can serve under, so will the religions of today be amalgamated with the newer beliefs in one faith that all men will comprehend, approve and practice. . . .
"I think it is high time for humanity to wipe the madness from its eyes and acknowledge that all the old experiments and practices, both in religion and in nationalism, are failures, and that they must be altered to include a new conception of religious relations and social obligations—that, under one deity and under one sense of human duty, the world folk may dwell together in sanity and tolerance and harmony."
The more I give, the more I have:
It is infinite—Shakespeare.
"Fulfill thou the perfection of truth.
Though the thunder bolt descend upon thy head, Yield thou never to the allurements
That beguile men from the path of truth.
As the sun at all seasons
Pursues his own course,
Nor ever goes on another,
Even so if thou forsake not
The straight path of righteousness,
Thou shalt become a Buddha."
—The Gospel of Buddha.
INDIA AND HER CRITICS—By Dale Stuart
Recently a great propaganda against India has broken out in certain books, newspapers and magazines. These books and articles emphasize, magnify and distort the dark side and certain isolated evil features of the religion and social customs of India, without any mention of the good qualities and achievements of that land.
While it cannot be denied that many unworthy customs have crept into the ancient and wonderful Hindu structures of religion and social organization in the course of the centuries and under the domination of foreign rulers, when the worst side of a country is naturally manifested, still critics of India should remember that the pot cannot well call the kettle black, and that America and every other civilized country offer as many instances of social degeneration, religious ignorance and individual folly, as does India, even though they may be in a different direction and assume a different form in the various countries.
One recent writer especially stressed the immoral conditions she professed to have found in India. Of course there are many individual exceptions, but as a whole the Indian people are the most moral on earth, and the ideal of continence and self-control is taught in every home down to the lowest and most illiterate. There is more immorality in any large American city than in the whole length and breadth of India today.
Fear is Basis of Hatred
Most of these books are written with hatred against the Hindus. Fear is the basis of hatred. These writers fear the spread of India’s life-giving, profound and scientific philosophy, and they adopt these unfair methods to prejudice foreigners against all things Indian. India has her faults, but she also has her own great leaders who are working heart and soul to restore India to her ancient glory and righteousness. And has not India produced the greatest political leader of this age, Mahatma Gandhi, whom Rev, John Haynes Holmes of New York called "the greatest man since Christ"? India is struggling to free herself of her evils and in this she needs the world’s sympathy, not its intolerance and contempt which are the emotions these one-sided authors attempt to arouse by describing in disgusting detail certain abnormal and criminal practices. Every nation has its faults but each has its virtues too, and when a book is written passing judgment on a nation, it is deliberate injustice and malice to omit all mention of the good and dwell at length on the bad.
Hindus find many things, too, in customs of foreign countries that disgust and repel them. The fact is, that ideal conditions are not found anywhere in this world, even in countries under their own rule and with every opportunity for education and economic development. A recent writer said in the New York Herald Tribune, speaking of American conditions:
"When over 1,200 young people between the ages of fifteen and twenty-four take their own lives in one year (in America); when, with the present rate of statistics, every marriage will end in divorce in eleven years; when 80 per cent of all crimes are committed by children under eighteen; when 42 per cent of unmarried mothers are schoolgirls under sixteen, is it not time to ring the changes on self-denial instead of self-expression?"
Characteristic Faults and Virtues
As America has her special faults, which are the outcome of her individual history and conditions, so she has her characteristic virtues of broadmindedness, religious tolerance, and love of progress and freedom.
So Americans should remember that India’s failings are due not only to the ordinary weaknesses of human nature and the inevitable decadence of human institutions, but also in part to special handicaps like her very hot climate, her calamitous history and her economic plight; and they should also remember that her faults, glaring though they are, are counter-balanced by development in other directions. Illiterate and famine-stricken a typical Indian may be, but he possesses a racial consciousness of culture, a spiritual dignity, that many Western millionaires do not possess.
While it is right and desirable that evils should be exposed and eradicated, yet the best and most effective way is to condemn the conditions without damning the people and their whole culture.
One recent American writer against India, after exhausting the records of criminal trials, hospitals and other sources of abnormal, not typical, conditions, but which she presents as though nationally prevalent, then proceeds to mention in detail about the killing of goats at a Kali temple in Calcutta. This writer fails to inform her readers that this barbarous custom is of extremely rare occurrence in India and that animal sacrifice is no more a part of typical Hinduism than it is of Christianity. This writer can see the mote in another’s eye but is unaware of the beam in her own. She dilates upon the horror of religious sacrifice of goats at one temple in India, but did it occur to her that in America hundreds of thousands of animals are killed daily in the worship of the stomach?
Understanding Is Needed
So it can be seen that all nations have their dark sides for which their members must hang their heads in shame. But what is needed is sympathy, understanding, cooperation and clear vision between nations, not hatred and violent prejudice due to one-sided presentations of any land.
Just as poisonous liquor and drugs are prohibited, so should be such books that vilify other nations and plant the mental disease of hatred and intolerance. The light of love and reason will clean up the dark spots of all the earth—but hate, fear and prejudice are powerless to do so.
Let every one who wants to know the real India ...read books by such Indians as Tagore and Sarojini Naidu, who present the poetic side of the Indian temperament, and by such Europeans as Margaret Noble (Sister Nivedita) who lived many years in India and came to understand the people and their life with a rare and beautiful understanding. And, since the message of India to the world is a spiritual one, let those who would understand her contribution to civilization and her claim to immortality, study her philosophy, her sublime presentations of cosmic truth, and her practical systems of God-realization.
It is true that India today cannot boast of material wealth and scientific progress, but she still has the fountain that can quench the soul-thirst of those who are weary of materialism and who would find the ...inner peace and eternal wisdom. And America can help India with her superior knowledge of organization, machinery, invention, sanitation and material progress. Is there not a beautiful harmony in this cosmic plan, the one nation shall furnish what the other lacks, so all may realize their interdependence and common brotherhood?
"Shall He that made the ear ...not hear?"
A HERMIT AND AN INFIDEL—The Syrian World
Translated from the original Arabic:
There was an old hermit who lived in the pine forest of Mount Lebanon.
He was very devout and learned and people flocked to him from miles around. They regarded him as a saint.
In a neighboring town lived a rich man who was very worldly and loved his pleasures. One day he called some of his gay friends and had an elaborate banquet for them. They ate and drank and became merry. After a while the host suggested jokingly that they all go to the hermit, because he had three important questions he wished to put to him.
When they met the old hermit, the rich man smiled at him and said: "Father, I have come a long way to learn something from you which has puzzled me for a long time."
The hermit felt that the man was a hypocrite, but he answered politely: "Pray, be seated and I will gladly answer your questions and enlighten your mind."
The rich man then said, "There are three things I’d like you to convince me of—first, you say that there is a God, but how can you prove it when no one is able to show Him to me; secondly, you say that devils are angels of fire. If it is so, then there is no danger of hell fire to burn them up; you also say that God knows every hair on our heads. He knows what we are going to do and He creates us and maps out a career for us. In other words, fate places us and our destiny is mapped out for us. Why, then, are we to be blamed for our actions?"
The hermit took a big, heavy lump of damp earth and hit the rich man with it on the head. The man cried with pain, and the hermit was brought to court. The judge asked him why he did that, and he answered, "My action was the correct answer for his three questions. He said he could not believe in God without seeing Him. That was the proof that he wanted. Now he said I caused him a lot of pain. Well, let him prove it to me and show me the pain. He feels it, but cannot show it to anyone. Secondly, he said if the devils are made of fire, the fire of hell should not hurt them. Well, I hit him with earth, and he himself is made of earth also, so he should not have been hurt. Then again, if it is my fate to hit him, I am not to be blamed for it, neither am I responsible for my actions."
The judge was well pleased with his wisdom and the case was dismissed in his favor.
DEVOTION—By A Disciple
Whoever with devotion offers Me a leaf, a flower, a fruit, water—that I accept—the devout gift of the pure minded.
Whatever thou doest, whatever thou eatest,whatever thou offerest in sacrifice, whatever thou givest away, whatever austerity thou practicest, O Son of Kunti, do that as an offering to Me—Bhagavad Gita IX, 27-28.
Devotion to the most High? Dip your heart into the nectar of the thought that there is One Presence, One Reality, and hold it there. It will be saturated. Saturation is devotion. Your heart will undergo a change .........sensing which it will sense not. Your mind will fling itself at the feet of wonder and, worshipping it, it will conquer its influence. Devotion is transformation of the heart and strengthening of the mind. Worshipped wonder will stoop to help you to commune with the object of wonder—the Most High. But that devotion that forever treats wonder as a god cannot claim communication as a kinsman. Wonder often starts devotion but will have to quit the field before full communion with the Most High is possible.
The leaves of the tree are devoted to the roots, the roots are devoted to the leaves. The branches cling to the trunk. the trunk holds the branches. The sky expects devotion from the ocean and receives the clouds as its offering. The dry dust looks up to the clouds to allay its thirst and in bounty drips the devotion of rain from them. The lotus displays its beauty, sweetness is poured into the throats of birds when the devotion of dawn breaks through radiant rays. The atom marches with its comrade atom or leaves another one because of its age or experience to join the third. It is all devotion. The skylark sings from the clouds to its young ones lying on the meadow, through devotion.
Devotion is the law of nature. It is not a matter of heart alone. It is the law of reciprocity. Devotion is Love. Love is the law of attraction, or rather it is the equilibrium, the trophy, that the law of attraction snatches away from that of repulsion.
I speak not here of devotion to human beings. I speak of devotion to the Great Uttermost. Your devotion to the great Spirit is a proof of His devotion to you. We cannot love Him if He did not love us. But He can love us without our loving Him and there is the trouble. His love for us and trying to help us and our treating Him with indifference ...entails a penalty which is imposed on us to the limit. Pierced with shafts of ignorance we lay moaning on the ground with our heads buried within our arms and call it a cruel fate. The stone offers you a cool and smooth seat, but you are careless and bump into it and get hurt. It is not the fault of the stone. It is your fault. That we suffer is because we do not rest on and return God’s love. He is not anxious to get it or exact the punishment. The stone itself does not want you to get hurt, though you are careless. But it happens just the same. God is beneficent power. For the weak to oppose that power or carelessly fool with it .....is to get hurt. And our getting hurt is God’s mercy, too, as we then learn how to work under that power and co-operate with it.
We can return God’s love by being one with His law and with His life. "Law is—Life explained ...and Life is—Law lived." We can return God’s love by praying ...not with a sense of poverty or beggary of the soul, but with a sense of power and claim our divine heritage. True prayer is not obsequiousness. True prayer is the sweet demand on a valuable claim half-forgotten. True prayer is communion of the best in us with the best of the universe.
With Knowledge Comes Love
Can you love anyone without knowing him or of him? No, you cannot. Can you love God without knowing Him? No, you cannot. Can you love Him by simply knowing of Him, of His attributes, of His expressions, and not knowing Him? If you can, that love is not very deep, it is still theoretical, not living. To the extent your knowledge of Him is remote and not immediate, to that extent your love of Him is shallow. True love of Him is based on compete knowledge of Him. Speaking from the highest standpoint, love is knowledge, and knowledge is love. In God, our feeling and intellect merge—in one nameless intuition. Those that have touched Him a little bit, seen Him or seen His operation in flashes or glimpses ...have that much power to love Him. Love for humans may be blind, but Love of God is founded on knowledge.
But if that is the case, if love requires knowledge, why the repeated injunction: Love God, Love God. If we do not know Him how can we love Him? If we know of Him slightly, that does not get us very far either. The fact of the matter is, when we say love we mean devotion. Rigorously speaking, devotion is not true love, devotion prepares the way for true love of God. Without devotion to start with, true love of God cannot come. When we are told "Love God" it is meant that we should have devotion toward God, for at the beginning we have no capacity for loving God. Devotion ripens into Love when the Sun of Knowledge shines on it. Devotion is the heart’s wave beating on the unknown shore of the Divine. Devotion is the unstinted giving to an elusive Being whose "center is everywhere and circumference nowhere." Devotion sweetens action and cleanses thought. It is this devotion that is spoken of in the verse at the beginning. The Lord says: "Do everything with devotion toward Me." Think of everything that you are doing—even the most commonplace things—as an offering to Him. Consider your life as a bouquet to the Divine. If there is any dried flower, any wilted petal, any wrong thought or action, try your best to throw it out from the bouquet. If your hand is too weak to discard it, still somehow venture to put the bouquet on the altar of your Higher Self—God. Hands folded, lift your heart-moistened eyes and say in silence, "Lord, accept my bouquet, my offering of life. Forgive me, if I am not yet able to make it more beautiful."
Poor Man—Christopher Harvey
‘O ignorant poor man! what thou dost bear
Locked up within the casket of thy breast!
What jewels and what riches hast thou there!
What heavenly treasure in so weak a chest."
Lord, empty all Thy quivers;
Let there be
No corner of my spacious heart left free,
Till all be but one wound,
Wherein no subtle, sight-abhorring sin
May lurk in secret, unespied by Thee;
Perfect Thy purchas’d victory,
That thou may’st ride triumphantly,
And leading captive all captivity,
May’st put an end to enmity in me.
ANIMALS DISLIKE JAZZ
Poetre, a twelve-year-old Asiatic elephant at the Philadelphia Zoo, blew a trunkful of water over an orchestra which had come to play for her in behalf of science recently. The act was done during the playing of a ragtime piece. Poetre, chained ten yards from the orchestra, stretched forward until the end of her trunk dipped in the water of the pool in which the elephants bathe each afternoon. With deliberate movement the elephant’s trunk was raised and aimed at the musicians. Having reached the proper elevation Poetre blew and the ragtime piece ended with a discordant burst of sound as the musicians upset their chairs in a scramble to escape a bath. That was Poetre’s reaction to jazz music.
The orchestra played for the animals at the zoo so that C. Emerson Brown, director of the Zoological Garden, could record their actions. Classical music achieved a victory over jazz in the monkey house. The first rumbles, squeaks, chirps and bleats from the instruments as they were tuned up in the monkey house brought consternation to the occupants. Big and little monkeys, chimpanzees, orang-outangs, mandrills, marmosets and all the others betrayed the most lively curiosity, mingled with other emotions.
Noticing the diverse reactions, the musicians tried each instrument separately. So the drummer tapped a rat-a-tat-tat on his drum and monkeys cowered in corners of their cages in evident fear.
The violinist swung his bow over the strings and instantly the monkeys became quiet. Some came forward to the bars of their cages and gave evidence of finding the sound soothing. But the saxophone and the trumpet, each in turn, sent shivers of fear once more over the audience and the moment the musical instruments were stilled the monkeys set up an angry chattering—New York Herald Tribune.
Beethoven’s musical genius owed much to his spiritual insight. The composer wrote to a friend that he strove "to fulfill all the duties imposed on him by humanity, God and nature." He copied out the following passages of Vedanta thought, and kept them constantly before him: "I am that which is! I am all that is, that was, and that shall be. No mortal man hath lifted my veil." "He is alone by Himself, and to Him alone do all things owe their being."
SAMADHI—By Swami Yogananda
Vanished are the veils of light and shade,
Lifted the vapours of sorrow,
Sailed away the dawn of fleeting joy,
Gone the mirage of the senses,
Love, hate, health, disease, life and death,
Away are these false shadows
On the screen of duality.
Waves of laughter, scyllas of sarcasm,
Whirlpools of melancholy,
Melting in the vast sea of Bliss.
Bestilled is the storm of Maya
By the magic wand of intuition deep.
The universe, a forgotten dream,
Ready to invade my newly-wakened
I exist without the Cosmic Shadow
But it could not live bereft of me,
As the sea exists without the waves
But they breathe not without the sea.
Dreams, waking, states of deep Turia, sleep,
Present, past, future no more for me,
But the ever-present, all-flowing I,
Beyond the imagination of all expectancy
Is this, my Samadhi state,
Planets, stars, stardust, earth,
Volcanic bursts of doomsday cataclysms,
Creation’s moulding furnace,
Glaciers of silent x-rays,
Burning floods of electrons,
Thoughts of all men past, present, future,
Every blade of grass, myself, and all,
Each particle of creation’s dust,
Anger, greed, good, bad, salvation, lust,
I swallowed up, transmuted them
Into one vast ocean of blood
Of my own one Being.
Oft-puffed by unceasing meditation
Which blinded my tearful eyes,
Burst into eternal flames of Bliss
And consumed my tears,
My peace, my frame and everything.
Thou art I, I am Thou,
Knowing, Knower, Known as One
Tranquilled, unbroken thrill
Of eternal, living, Ever-new Peace.
Not an unconscious state
Or mental chloroform
Without wilful return.
Samadhi is but an extension
Of my realm of consciousness
Beyond the limits of my mortal frame
To the boundaries of Eternity,
From whence I, the Cosmic Sea,
Watch the little ego floating in Me.
Every sparrow, each grain of sand,
Falls not without My sight.
All space floats like an iceberg
In My mental sea.
I, the colossal container of all things made.
By deeper, longer, continuous, thirsty,
This celestial Samadhi is attained.
All the mobile murmur of atoms were heard,
The dark earth, the mounts and seas
Were molten liquid,
The flowing sea changed
Into vapours of nebulae,
OM blew o’er the vapours
And they opened their veils
Revealing a sea of shining electrons,
Till, at the last sound of the Cosmic Drum,
Grosser light vanished in eternal ray
Of all-pervading Cosmic Joy.
I, the ocean of mind, drank all creation’s waves.
The four veils of solid, liquid, vapour, light,
Myself in everything
Entered the great Myself.
The fitful flickering Shadows
Of mortal memory.
Spotless is My mental sky,
Below, ahead and high above.
Eternity and I—one united ray.
I, a tiny bubble of laughter
Have become the sea of mirth itself.
*Super-consciousness, in which the One Reality in all substance and phenomena is perceived.
PRESIDENT COOLIDGE URGES SPIRITUAL STUDY
The following words are the conclusion of a long address given by President Coolidge at the dedication exercises of the Lincoln Memorial Library at South Dakota State College on September 10th:
"We have been excessively busy seeking for information that could be turned to practical advantage in the matter of dollars and cents, rather than for that wisdom which would guide us through eternity. Our higher educational institutions have turned their thoughts especially to the Sciences and our secondary schools to Vocational Training. How important these are in my estimation will appear from what I have already said. How poor and weak and generally ineffective we should be without these advantages can be at once seen by the most casual observation of those nations among which they have been neglected.
"This is by no means all that is to be expected from American education and American institutions. I cannot conceive that the object of Abraham Lincoln was merely to instruct men how to raise more corn, to feed more hogs, to get more money, to buy more land, and so on in the expanding circle, as the story goes. Of course, he wanted to teach men to raise more corn, but his main object must have been to raise better men. We come back to the query that is contained in the concentrated wisdom of the ages, "What shall profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?"
Wants Spiritual Reality
"All our Science and all of our Arts will never be the means for the true advancement of our nation; will never remove us from the sphere of the superficial; will never give us a civilization and a culture of any worthy and lasting importance, unless we are able to see in them the outward manifestation of a Spiritual Reality. Unless our halls of learning are real Temples which are to be approached by our youth in an attitude of reverence, consecrated by worship of the truth, they will all end in a delusion. The information that is acquired in them will simply provide a greater capacity for evil. Our institutions of learning must be dedicated to a higher purpose. The life of our nation must rise to a higher realm.
"There is something more in learning and something more in life than a mere knowledge of Science, a mere acquisition of Wealth, a mere striving for Place and Power. Our colleges will fail in their duty to their students unless they are able to inspire them with a broader understanding of the spiritual meaning of Science, of Literature, and of the Arts. Their graduates will go out into life poorly equipped to meet the problems of existence, to fall an easy prey to dissatisfaction and despair. Many of our older universities were founded by pious hands, at great sacrifice, for the express purpose of training men for the ministry to carry light to the people on the problems of life. Unless our college graduates are inspired with these ideals, our colleges have failed in their most important function and our people will be lacking in true culture. Abraham Lincoln, who was the most spiritual of our Presidents, had a true appreciation of this principle. In closing the address to which I have referred he expressed his belief that ‘by the best cultivation of the physical world beneath and around us and the intellectual and moral world within us, we shall secure an individual, social and political prosperity and happiness whose course shall be onward and upward, and which, while the earth endures, shall not pass away.’
Ideal of Lincoln
"While he did not fail to place a proper emphasis on the cultivation of the physical world around us, he thoroughly understood that this must be supplemented by a cultivation of the intellectual and moral world within us. The human soul will always rebel at any attempt to confine it to the physical world. Its dwelling place is in the intellectual and moral world. It is into that realm that all true education should lead. Unless our scholarship, however brilliant, is to be barren and sterile .....leading toward pessimism, more emphasis must be given to the development of our moral power. Our colleges must teach not only Science, but Character. We must maintain a stronger, firmer grasp on the principle declared in the Psalms of David and re-echoed in the Proverbs of his son Solomon, that ‘The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.’ "
ALL IS ONE—Francis Thompson
All things by immortal power,
Near or far,
Hiddenly to each other ...linked are,
That thou canst not stir a flower
Without troubling of a star.
INTERESTING NEWS ITEMS
Mustapha Kemal Pasha has recently accomplished one more radical reform in the rehabilitation of Turkey, by providing for freedom of worship throughout the land. A prison term is imposed on anyone publicly ridiculing or reviling any form of religion.
Zaro Aga of Constantinople has recently celebrated his 146th birthday. He has been married ten times.
Buddhism in Russia
Preparations are well under way for the opening in Leningrad of a special institution for the study of Buddhism. Its establishment with the status of an Academy, will mark it out as the only institution of its kind in the world. It will be organized in four departments—Japanese, Indian, Chinese, Mongolian—at the head of which will be four eminent Sanskrit scholars, one from each of the nationalities mentioned. The Soviet Government has borne initial cost and guarantees the Institution financially for the future—The British Buddhist.
Holds Breath 14 minutes
Middletown, Conn., Aug. 6—A world record for holding breath has been established by Earle L. Gaylor, Jr., of Cliftondale, Mass., a student at Wesleyan University. Professor Edward L. Schneider, of the biology department was in charge of the experiment and recorded 14 minutes 2 seconds for the trial. The previous record was 10 minutes 10 seconds, and was made at the University of California in 1916. A graphic of chest and diaphragm motion over the entire period gave convincing evidence that at no time could air have been taken into Gaylor’s lungs.
Gaylor used oxygen and breathed excessively over a short period before the test in order to rid the blood of carbon dioxide. He then took three deep breaths of oxygen the last of which he held for the record time—New York Herald Tribune.
One of the large daily papers of Tokyo, Japan, started a fund to help the Florida hurricane victims some months ago. Soon over forty thousand dollars were contributed by Japanese who wanted to show their gratitude to the American people for the assistance they gave the Japanese at the time of their recent earthquake calamities.
Maharaja of Mysore
The Maharaja of Mysore has recently completed twenty-five years of a reign that has called forth from all parts of India expressions of the highest praise and admiration. Due to the wisdom, piety, statesmanship, democratic understanding, strong character and unremitting labor of this enlightened ruling prince of India, his state and people of Mysore may be counted among the most progressive, prosperous and contented in the Indian Empire.
Hindus’ Right to U. S. Citizenship
Senator Royal S. Copeland, speaking recently at a testimonial dinner given him in New York in recognition of his good work in Congress on behalf of the Hindus’ right to citizenship in America, urged abolition of the immigration quotas and "barred geographical zones" and the substitution therefor of the principle of physical, moral and mental tests of individual immigrant aliens, restricted to a definite annual total, regardless of nationality or race. In reference to the Hindus’ Nordic heritage, he said;
"The Hindu has the skull, the features, the hands, the figure and above all else, the intelligence of what we call the American. He is as truly ‘Nordic’ in the final analysis as the blonde citizens of Norway and Sweden. At least he possesses every physical trait of the northern European races except his possession of a tinted skin....
"We should admit to the country and bring into citizenship only such persons as are mentally, morally and physically qualified to be good American citizens. This will be better done by dealing with individuals of all races than by nationals."
Mr. A. H. Hays, who presided, insisted that there was no element in America "more cultured, with finer traditions and more spiritual heritage, than the people who have come from India."
"The Garden of Allah"
"The Garden of Allah," a Metro-Goldwyn picture starring Alice Terry, is an exceptionally interesting film, photographed against beautiful panoramic backgrounds of the Sahara Desert. The story portrays the spiritual struggle of a young priest torn between his vows and his worldly desires. This theme is handled by the director, Rex Ingram, with a fine restraint and dignity.
When Sid Grauman opened his magnificent Chinese Theatre recently in Hollywood, he chose DeMille’s beautiful picture of the life of Christ, The King of Kings, to present as his first offering in this Oriental setting of authentic Chinese architecture.
"Yogoda" in German Newspapers
A long article of three columns has been appearing recently in German newspapers in America, describing Yogoda and the message brought to the western world by Swami Yogananda. This article appeared in the "Philadelphia Gazette-Democrat," also in the "New Jersey Freie Zeitung" of Newark, N. H., also in the Waechter und Anzeiger" of Cleveland, and in the "Buffalo Volksfreund" and other influential German-American dailies. The author, Max Heinrici, points out that Yogoda is "not a cult, but philosophy applied to practical life."
DUAL LITERARY PERSONALITY
A series of articles on Oriental wisdom is appearing at present in the Cosmopolitan magazine. "Experiences in the Occult," "Diet and Mystic Wisdom," and "The Road to the Occult," are some of the titles in the series and are by L. Adams Beck, who has written several striking books on the Orient, including "The Splendour of Asia" and "The Perfume of the Rainbow." Mrs. Adams is better known by the pen-name of E. Barrington, under which she has recently written a number of historical romances which proved instantaneous best sellers—"Glorious Apollo," "The Exquisite Perdita," et cetera.
In her first Cosmopolitan article, Mrs. Adams tells how her career as a writer was prophesied by mystics in India and Japan, and how she gained the background and knowledge to live her dual literary life, from her study of Eastern philosophy, and the power to write her historical novels in the record time of five weeks each.
Mrs. Adams writes: "For my success I have to thank the knowledge I acquired in India. For that and for much else, I owe a debt which I have striven to pay in making her magnificent attainment in thought and knowledge known, so far as lies in my power, which I hope to increase very greatly as time goes on."
There is nothing which cannot be obtained
By constancy. Each day I can bring a basket
Of earth, and if I persist in it,
Finally I shall erect a mountain—Confucius.
THE RAMAKRISHNA SWAMIS—By Swami Yogananda
Sometimes there is a kind of professional jealousy even in spiritual work and religious organizations of all types. Certain ministers and priests, as well as amateur "Swamis" and "Yogis", betray narrow-mindedness in this respect. Even an average good man belonging to one sect often will not speak well of another good religious man like himself, because the latter happens to belong to another sect. "O, well, find out for yourself how he is," says this kind of religious man, even though he knows in his heart that his brother of another sect is really good.
Such intolerance and jealousy is nowhere out of place so much as in spiritual work. In this country, where true religious teachers often have to undergo various forms of soul-crucifixion and trials of all kinds, it is with sympathy and understanding that I view the efforts of other teachers to bring the message of spiritual knowledge and freedom to America.
So I take pleasure in announcing to East-West readers and Americans in general, that the Ramakrishna Centers in America are bringing a beautiful spiritual message to this country.
One very fine Ramakrishna Swami, Paramananda of California I have known since 1920 in Boston. He invited me to his Asrama (hermitage) in Massachusetts and California several times. He is doing much good in America thru his devotional teachings.
TRUTH—James Russell Lowell
Then ...to side with Truth is noble
When we share her wretched crust,
Ere her cause bring fame and profit,
And ’tis prosperous to be just;
Then it is
The brave man who chooses,
While the coward stands aside,
Doubting in his abject spirit,
Till his Lord is crucified
And the multitude
Of the faith they had denied.
Good and Beauty—Lecky
The close connection between the good and the beautiful has always been felt. So much so, that both were expressed in Greek, by the same word. In the philosophy of Plato, moral beauty was regarded as the archetype ...of which all visible beauty— is only the shadow or the image. We all feel that there is a strict propriety in the term, moral beauty.
NEWS FROM INDIA
A Letter from the Maharaja of Kasimbazar
Sir Manindra Chandra Nundy, K.D.I.E., Maharaja of Kasimbazar, Bengal, India, Member of the Imperial Council, Government of India; patron of the Ranchi Brahmacharya School founded by Swami Yogananda in India in 1917, recently wrote to Swami as follows:
Kasimbazar, June 15, 1927
"My Dear Swami Yoganandaji:
"Although I have not heard from you directly nowadays, I feel gratified to read so much news about you from the papers. I acquire much pleasure in learning that you are doing much in the line of propagating Eastern culture into the Western world. The steady progress you are making there and the popularity you are gaining amongst the people, are proofs positive, that the Americans are begining to take interest in our culture and civilization.
"I hope the process and demonstration, shown and taught by you, in the Yoga system of the Hindu Shastra, are much appreciated. East-West Magazine, which comes here, speaks of your interesting and illuminating activities. I shall be very thankful to you, if you will satisfy my curiosity by furnishing me with an elaborate routine of your work there.
"Trusting you are enjoying the heavenly bliss, I remain,
(Signed) "Manindra Chandra Nundy."
Celebration for Master Lahiri
A great all-India anniversary celebration to honor the memory of the Great Master, Sri Shyma Charan Lahiri Mahasaya, better known as Lahiri Maharaj, guru of Swami Yogananda’s Master, Swami Sri Yukteswar Giriji, is being organized for September 18, 1927, by one of Lahiri Maharaj’s descendants, Ananda Mohun Lahiri, who has followed in the spiritual footsteps of his great relative.
Swami Yogananda will be present in spirit. He and the twenty thousand American Yogoda Sat-Sanga students send their deepest love and reverence on this occasion of commemorating the coming of the Great One, Lahiri Maharaj.
Praise and gratitude is due to Ananda Mohun Lahiri for his splendid work in organizing this great festivity in honor of the great one.
Lahiri Majarah was known far and wide in India as a great Yogi. He taught a wonderful system of Kriya-Yoga for spiritual development in every-day life. Ananda Mohun Lahiri, writing a short sketch about Lahiri Maharaj, says: "The truth of Kriya-Yoga is eternal. His system of Kriya-Yoga, in its main aspect, is true ...like mathematics. It is both practical and theoretical. Just like the two simple rules of addition and subtraction, it can never be destroyed. Burn to ashes all the books on mathematics—the mathematically-minded will always find out the truths of mathematics more or less; and similarly, burn all the sacred books on yoga, the fundamental truths of Kriya-Yoga will come out to the spiritually-minded whenever there would appear a true yogi who comprised within himself pure devotion and consequently pure knowledge and pure Kriya-Yoga and the very science of moral self-control."
New School at Gidni
We have received a very interesting printed folder from Swami Satyananda, in charge of the Ranchi Vidyalaya (School) founded by Swami Yogananda i 1917. It reads:
"The name of the Ranchi Brahmacharya Vidyalaya is now well known to the people of our country. The main features of that institution are: (1) that it is a residential school where the students reside with their preceptors; (2) that the education imparted is based on Hindu religion and Hindu ideals, and the essential principles of all religions, and (3) that luxury is not allowed to enter in its precincts. The entire expenses of his Vidyalaya are borne by the Maharaja of Kasimbazar (who gave one of his palaces and other surrounding buildings, possessing spacious grounds and suitable country environment, to be used as the Ranchi School). The organizers and the teachers are a band of young men of Bengal who have taken the vow of celibacy and who live the life of a Brahmacharin (seeker after spiritual wisdom)." (Further information and pictures of the Ranchi School may be found in the Nov.-Dec., 1925 issue of "East-West.")
The leaflet then explains that a new School is about to be started at Gidni, a very healthful spot rich in natural scenery, not far from the hills and Sal tree jungles. The objects of this institution, according to its Registration permit, is to "educate children, maintain schools and other educational institutions, libraries and clubs, to train, maintain and employ a band or bands of teachers conversant with such ideals, to buy or acquire on lease or otherwise ...lands, buildings, etc., and to receive gifts and bequests of properties, to erect and maintain buildings, gymnasiums, playgrounds, etc."
The Trustees of this new undertaking are Sj. M. N. Mukherjee, Judge of the Calcutta High Court; Jogendra Narayan Sahasrai, Raja of Lalgurh; Sir Nalini Ranjan Chatterjee, ex-Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court; Sj. N. C. Chunder, attorney of the Calcutta high Court; Sj. B. K. Bose, Superintendent of the Zoo, Alipur; N. N. Sett, attorney of the Calcutta High Court, and Swami Satyananda Giri, principal of the Ranchi School.
Aims of the School
The leaflet outlines the aims of the new Gidni School as follows: "The special aim of this Vidyalaya is to train the boys in such a way that they may become bold, robust and self-reliant young men of absolutely pure character. It is well-known to the people of our country that the boys in ancient times in India were brought up under the fostering care of their preceptors and taught to discriminate between necesseties and luxuries and to eschew the latter, so that they might develop a capacity to adapt themselves to any environment in the future. Under the present educational systems followed in this country, there is no such provision. Boys grow up as circumstances allow, and the result is that while attention is devoted to the intellect of our children, the other good qualities of their mind, which can and should be developed at the impressionable age ...are ignored, and so when the struggle of life begins, most of them succumb.
"The present Gidni institution has been established to remove that defect. While every attention is paid to the intellectual side of their education by gradually preparing them year by year for the Matric Examination of the Calcutta University, the moral and religious side are fully attended to. In fact, a psychological chart (originated by Swami Yogananda) of each boy is made by the preceptors when he is admitted into this institution with the help of the boy’s guardian as far as practicable. (This procedure is also in force at the Ranchi School). Information on the following subjects are gathered for this chart: (1) General information; (2) Constitutional information; (3) Psycho-Physiological Information; (4) Attention; (5) Memory and Imitation; (6) Reason; (7) Imagination; (8) Obedience, and (9) General Nature. This chart is developed gradually so long as the boy remains in the institution, by constantly watching his mind and body.
Training of Boys
"The boys are made to feel that they and their preceptors form one family. They generally perform most of the household duties themselves. They are taught to serve their preceptors, serve the guests, nurse the sick, work in kitchen, look after their health and hygienic condition. They are trained in spinning, weaving, gardening, plantation and other manual work. Industrial and commercial training is also given in tailoring, book-binding, cane-work, modelling, typing and bookkeeping. Languages, Sciences, Mathematics, History and other regular school subjects are taught. There are story classes and other special provisions for the entertainment and instruction of the younger children, and dramatic and debating societies for the older boys. Excursion outings to distant places form part of the regular routine, to encourage love for natural beauty and to accustom the body to bear exertion and fatigue."
A sum of Rs. 15,000 (about $5,000) is needed at present to enable the Gidni School to construct buildings to house about 100 boys and their preceptors. Donations may be sent to Swami Yogananda, 3880 San Rafael Avenue, Los Angeles, California. They will be forwarded from there to India, and an acknowledgment with thanks will be sent to donors from the Gidni trustees in India.
Reforms In Hinduism
Dispatch from Poona, India, June 18, 1927: One of the most startling religious developments in years is embodied in the announcement here that the ancient religion of Hinduism will be revised to suit the requirements of the new age, including the spirit of democracy.
His Holiness, the Swami Shankaracharya of Kaswirmathe, whose position corresponds to that of the Pope of Rome, already has appointed a committee of priests and laymen to draft a new Smriti (book of Scriptures) as well as a new constitution. This action of the Hindu society means that the most orthodox religion in the world will undergo changes surpassing the dreams of the wildest reformers.
This step is considered the most revolutionary ever taken by an Shankaracharya (head of the Order of Swamis founded by Lord Shankaracharya thirteen centuries ago) since Lord Shankaracharya organized Hinduism in the 7th century A.D. in order to meet the situation caused by the advent of Buddha.
The only explanation the present Shankaracharya will make, is that he has been influenced by western ideas, and has decided to introduce progressive views, with the full backing of his followers. An interesting item of the reform will be the elimination of "untouchability" and certain other caste restrictions.
THREE RECIPES—By Swami Yogananda
Masticate your food well; drink no ice-water while eating, as it cools down the temperature 30 degrees and may cause indigestion. Do no mix starchy foods with liquids (i.e., eat no bread with milk, et cetera) as liquids dilute the saliva required to assist digestion.
Fast one day a week. If complete fasting is difficult for you, then fast on orange juice.
Reducing by fasting sometimes upsets the stomach. This condition can be prevented by frequent drinking of a small glass of buttermilk or orange juice mixed with a small amount of lemon juice.
A glass of orange juice with a beaten yolk of one egg makes an ideal breakfast.
Mash up two tablespoonfuls of raisins which have been soaked in hot water. Mix with one glass of water and a quarter of one lemon. Shake. This drink gives. "pep."
Many investigators claim that most young men and women are drinking more than in pre-war days. They say that everybody nowadays is expected to offer his friends liquor at dinner-parties. Some say that rich people have their cellars and vaults filled with this liquid of Satan. The poor say, why deny us when the rich have it? Some say the prohibition law was passed by a trick when the boys were away fighting. Others say family life has improved since prohibition. Some say the bootlegging of poisonous liquor is killing many good but thirsty people and that light wines and beers should be given.
Anyway, it is true that right education instead of clubs and machine-guns and prison, is the best method of eradicating a deep-rooted popular habit. Yet people should not break a law when it has been passed by their own representatives.
In India, certain licensed shops sell liquors. A few rich people and some laborers are addicted to drink. The vast middle class and lower classes never touch it. Ninety-nine per cent of India’s young men are free form the liquor-habit. One Hindu girl in a hundred thousand will not be found drinking. Why? Not because of a law but because of their family training and moral consciousness.
American parents should look after the moral health of their children. Parents should chaperon their children at dances and on automobile rides, and should protect them from friends who have a bad influence on them and who urge them to form injurious habits like drinking.
Liquor benumbs the senses, deadens the reason, inflames the baser passions and animal instincts, and young people under its influence may turn into reckless drivers, hold-up criminals and moral degenerates. Liquor is the enemy of reason, the great paralyzer of good judgment, a destroyer of mankind and the seed of a million evils.
"Never Fed, Ever Satisfied"
Once the liquor habit is formed, it is hard to get rid of. In the feeble-minded or emotionally unbalanced, even one drink may form a formidable habit. As with most habits, the law is "Never fed, ever satisfied—ever fed, never satisfied." The best way for a man to kill a liquor habit is not to go near drinking places or drinking people, and to associate with stronger and better people than himself.
Liquor corrodes the stomach, benumbs the senses, and destroys intuition. It anaesthetizes the spiritual brain-cells, and eventually destroys permanently their "radio" quality of tuning into God-consciousness. No instrument can ever be devised fine enough to perceive God—only spiritual brain-cells of man can do that.
Awake! Young men and women! Fight the liquor habit! You can never really like it, only your habit compels you to indulge in it. Separate your death-bent, destructive inclinations from your true inclinations which always want to take you Godwards.
So remember always that it is for your own best interests to avoid liquor, regardless of what the law may be. Do that which will bring you lasting happiness. The Bhagavad Gita sings:
"Good pleasure is the pleasure that endures
Banishing pain for aye; bitter at first
As poison to the soul, but afterward
Sweet as the taste of Amrit. Drink of that!
It springest in the Spirit’s deep content.
And painful Pleasure springeth from the bond
Between the senses and the sense-world.
Sweet as Amrit is its first taste,
But its last
Bitter as poison."
The following books should be read by those who want to know the real India and her people—their manners, customs, daily life, religion, home influences and India’s real soul as expressed in the average life of the Hindus.
These books were written by Margaret E. Noble (Sister Nivedita), an English-woman, who conducted a Girls School in Calcutta and who travelled throughout India and lived there many years and was accepted by the people as one of themselves. In that way, she came to know India’s inner life and home life and religious life in a way that is not open to the vast majority of writers on India, who find the real life of the people a mystery that they cannot penetrate, due to the lack of understanding and sympathy with which many writers on India approach their subject.
The following books by Miss Noble, published by Longmans Green & Company, London and New York, and procurable in most public libraries and thru any bookstore, are recommended to my students and their friends as giving a true and fascinating picture of Indian daily life and thought:
"The Web of Indian Life."
"Footfalls of Indian History."
"Studies from an Eastern Home."
"Cradle Tales of Hinduism."
"An Indian Story of Love and Death."
"Religion and Dharma."
Try to attain the state of realization described in the poem "Samadhi" which appears in this issue of EAST-WEST, by repeated, deeper, continuous meditation, with the help of a true Guru (preceptor), if you want to feel God in this life. Forsake self-delusion, self-deception, false satisfaction of thinking you can know God thru the outward formalities of any cult or "ism" merely. The eternal fountain is within yourself, and there it is you must seek it, patiently, persistently and unswervingly.
ROMAIN ROLLAND on ASIA
"Asia, the great continent, of which Europe is only a peninsula, the vanguard of the army, the prow of the heavy ship, loaded with wisdom of thousands of years. From her have always come our gods and our ideas. But in losing contact with the native East, in the wild marches of our people always following the sun, we have deformed the universality of these vast thoughts for our own ends of limited and violent action.
"And now the races of the Occident find themselves cornered in a blind alley, and they crush each other ferociously. Let us wrench our spirit from this mob of bloody chaos. Let us try to regain the great cross road of the highways from which the streams of human genius have spread to the four points of the horizon. In order to find air let us mount again to the high plateaux of Asia."
Heredity is a condition, not a destiny.
HAMID BEY, "MIRACLE MAN"—By Swami Yogananda
I met Hamid Bey, with his good friend, Dr. Hereward Carrington, in Buffalo recently. I was quite impressed with the beautiful spiritual gleam in Mr. Bey’s eyes. I sang the song, "O God Beautiful!" for him. Ever since then he has been singing it.
Hamid Bey is an Egyptian from the Soudan, famous land of sheiks. He was reared under an austere mystical training, and the feats he performs are a part of the religious rites of his sect.
Mr. Bey showed me that by touching anyone’s wrist he could divine his thoughts. Each thought has a certain vibration, and by contact with the pulse of the person thinking the thought, Mr. Bey receives the same vibration and consequently thinks the same thought. Later, he demonstrated to me his method of physical trance, in which he fell into my hands, breathless and almost lifeless. The stethoscope revealed that his heart-beat, at first fast, slowed down to an intermittent beat, and then got very slow.
Mr. Bey can remain underground, buried for twenty-four hours, sealed in a air-tight casket, and can hold a thousand pounds on his chest. He controls his pulse at will—its beats appeared and completely disappeared at his will. He also pierces his body with long needles without bloodshed. The marks almost instantaneously disappeared after the needles were withdrawn. He thrusts these needles into his throat, cheeks and tongue without pain. He can produce blood from one puncture and withhold blood from another. Most of these things he performed right in front of me. In the various cities where he visits he often gives demonstrations before gatherings of eminent physicians and surgeons. In New York City he submitted for burial for three hours. On this occasion his body was sealed in a casket and placed six feet underground. The doctors who were present admitted that they could not explain the feat other than by Hamid Bey’s declaration that by self-imposed catalepsy, he renders his body almost lifeless.
Passing needles thru his cheeks and certain other of Mr. Bey’s feats are performed, after long practice, by manipulating glands of the throat and by pressing certain nerves on the head. These are very interesting physiological phenomena showing that man can control the functions of the heart and all other organs of involuntary action. This is known to Hindu Yogis and Swamis who practice Yoga, as well as to mystics of other sects.
Of course, it must be remembered that without the love of God and without wisdom, such control and feats are just physiological jugglery and a detriment to spiritual realization. But Hamid Bey loves God, and he tells me he loves Him more and more since he heard the song, "O God Beautiful."
He has a good wife. "I often wake up in the night, sit upright, rebuke sleep away, and talk to Him," he told me. "At first my wife did not understand to whom I talked. But now she does, and we both love ‘God Beautiful.’ " O, how I love to hear him say that! I told him to tell everyone wherever he goes, that prayer without love of God is meaningless and that people should talk to God every night when no one is watching or listening. That is a sure way to know God easily. Otherwise, a thousand shows of prayer will fail to accomplish any spiritual result.
I told Mr. Bey to produce trance by love of God, rather than merely by glandular pressure, as results produced by devotion are safer and greater. Generally, it takes another person to arouse Mr. Bey from his trance. But, in the conscious trance of devotion, or Yoga, one never loses consciousness but transcends the material consciousness and comes back to consciousness of matter at will again. That is the conscious communion with God the Yogoda aspires to teach.
Mr. Bey can put small animals and sometimes certain types of men into the cataleptic state. Medical science as well as metaphysical science should investigate the results and possibilities for usefulness of such phenomena.
NEW YOGODA TESTIMONIALS
(The following are a few of the thousands of Yogoda testimonial letters that we have on file. These are from students in the recent Yogoda classes in Cincinnati and Buffalo. Many students have been healed of all kinds of physical, mental and spiritual ailments and inharmonies. The healings are due to the power of God, manifesting thru the Yogoda teachings and technique.)
"I suffered for years with stomach and heart trouble. Had the best specialists but had given up all hope of receiving relief when Yogoda came to Buffalo. I was completely cured thru the wonderful teachings."—M. Muma, 136 Crowley Ave., Buffalo.
"I have been greatly strengthened, vitalized and have gained poise. From now on fatigue will be merely a word in the dictionary for me."
—Ilona Minks, Public School Teacher, 191-14th Street, Buffalo.
"Stomach and rectal trouble of long standing have been cured thru Yogoda. Also have been able to remove my glasses after wearing them for 20 years."—Clara Pasel, 61 Elm St., Tonawanda, N. Y.
"I have had to wear glasses since I was 12 years old. Thru Yogoda I have been enabled to do without them."—Lucille Hill, 731 Prospect Ave., Buffalo.
"I have had 4 years of every treatment known to medical science and all the isms besides. I have received my first help thru Yogoda."—Mrs. W. Fleming, 581 Breckenridge St., Buffalo.
"I have been a nervous wreck for years. Doctors could not help me. But Yogoda has saved me. I have never felt so happy in my life."—Lavina Volk, 131 N. Pearl St., Buffalo.
"Yogoda has given to me truths I have not found in any other classes that I have taken from many other teachers and I have been a student for over 30 years."—W. B. Bickett, 2710 Cleinview Ave., Cincinnati.
"Physicians said my spine trouble was incurable. Since taking Yogoda, I find a wonderful improvement."—Julia Bell, 221 Grant St., Cincinnati.
"For 16 years, I have suffered with a misplaced knee-cap. Was losing entire use of limb. Yogoda has put the parts back into place; I can now walk without pain; and my whole system has taken on a new lease of life."—Alice Kuhlmeyer, 3859 Trevor Ave., Cincinnati.
"In ‘Psalms’ we read, ‘Be still and know that I am God.’ Yogoda teaches precisely that—to be ‘still’ and to ‘know.’ All other system fall short in that respect. Yogoda teaches the exact Science of Knowledge. I consider Yogoda the supreme experience of my life."—Bertha Henrich, 2217 Ohio Ave., Cincinnati.
"The doctors said my deafness was incurable. Yogoda has cured it."—Mrs. Helen Collins, 132 Beahles Ave., Lockland, O.
"I have been cured of chronic throat trouble. The doctors could do nothing for the cataracts on my eyes. With one Yogoda treatment they are better than they have been for 3 years."—L. A. Hughes, 200 Bell Block, Cincinnati.
"I consider the Yogoda Course the best investment I have ever made."—Joseph Perin, 1207-1st National Bank Bldg., Cincinnati.
"May we soon have the Yogoda teachings in a school for our children. What greater heritage could be given them? In two weeks they have overcome my physical ailments of years’ standing."—Countess Vida Gatteschi, 3690 Kendall Ave., Cincinnati.
"Yogoda cured me of bronchitis of long standing."—Carrie Barth, 263 W. McMicken Ave., Cincinnati.
"Yogoda is the greatest educating force in the world today. I used to feel tired all the time, now I never am fatigued. The lesson on recharging the body is worth the price of the entire course."—Mrs. C. W. Mathis, 2079 Sherman Ave., Sherman, O.
"Swami Yogananda’s lectures are intellectual treats. His class instruction has a physiological and common-sense basis for the training of the body, and psychological foundation for mental development. To know how to tap the source of energy and knowingly do that which can be done momentarily under excitement, is the key to the problems of life and health, physical, mental, moral and spiritual.
"The Swami’s sincerity is clearly to be discerned, for his love of God radiates, as he teaches by example, how to make one’s own Will the motive power in physical action through exercise; direct action in the mental realm; and devotional action in the power of real prayer in apprehending the Way, in comprehending the Truth, and in enlarging the Life."—Thomas M. Stewart, M.D., 901 Union Trust Bldg., Cincinnati.
"SAYINGS OF SWAMI YOGANANDA"
IN WASHINGTON "HERALD"
The following "Sayings of Swami Yogananda" were featured in the "Washington Herald" each day from February 15th to March 2nd, 1927:
"Possession of material riches without inner peace is just like dying of thirst while bathing in a lake.
"If material poverty is to be avoided, spiritual poverty is to be abhorred, for the latter is the cause of all human suffering."
"Wealthy parents who leave too much money for their children, in most cases have choked the development of their self-earned evolution and happiness."
"Life must be service. Without that ideal for all the world, for all human beings, the intelligence which God has given men is not reaching out toward its goal."
"Business is service. And only that article is fit to sell which is a good article and helps the world."
"Business is necessary, and it is a great impetus to man’s ingenuity. But if it is devoted solely to money-making it is unworthy of its mission."
The Battle of Life
"As the art of war needs certain training, so does our battle with active life need certain training."
"Untrained warriors are soon killed on the battlefield; so also men untrained in the art of preserving their poise and peace, are quickly riddled by the bullets of worry and restlessness in active life."
"People need more time to enjoy nature, to know their children and friends better and, best of all, to get to know THEMSELVES."
"Every tomorrow is determined by every today."
"We should analyze the life of man, as it were, in a laboratory, find out what it is, and then devise means to make it what it ought to be."
"Customs and mannerisms are non-essentials. The real development of man consists of the development of his mindpower."
The Fire of Concentration
"The sun’s rays, concentrated by a lens to a fine point, produce heat of such intensity that it will ignite wood, cloth or paper. Similarly, the mind, concentrated by scientific methods, burns up the veil of doubt, the cause of all failures, and makes shine the light of discrimination."
"The all-accomplishing, all-mighty power of attention can only be felt when one knows the technique of concentration."
Training Needed by Children
"Modern children are mostly brought up in a wrong atmosphere where money-making is the goal, so they try to get rich quick, often by the hold-up method. If making money IS the Goal, then why shouldn’t hold-up methods prevail?"
"As long as adults remain intoxicated with a one-sided material life, so long will the children’s hopes remain unfulfilled."
"In order to save the world of the future by saving the children, the modern adult must wake up and cultivate habits of a balanced material and spiritual life."
Cause of Crime
"Crime is caused from lack of equal opportunities, unbalanced material and spiritual life, lack of knowledge of the art of living, bad company, want of ideals, and, above all, early bad habits."
"Its only remedy is right education and cultivation of good habits at a plastic period of the child’s mind."
"The material scientist uses the forces of the body and of nature to make the environment of man better and more comfortable, and the spiritual scientist, who uses mind-power to enlighten the soul of man, can be of even greater service."
The Cost of Luxury
"How people forget that increase in cost of living too luxuriously means the corresponding increase in using too much nerve and brain energy, and the expenditure of longevity, to gain the conditions of a luxurious life!"
"Most people become so engrossed and engaged in making money that they cannot utilize the conditions of comfort after acquiring them."
"Break your self-satisfied immovable, old dogged bad habits of idolizing your less important engagements and utterly ignoring the most important engagements with wisdom."
A Balanced Life
"Engagements with Over-activity and Idleness both lead to misery. Let the secretary of your true judgment arrange your life’s daily itinerary."
"The one-sided business man, forgetful of his other duties of life, is not the truly successful man."
"First come first served. That has been mostly your worst calamity. The unwelcome habits that came earliest in your life have kept you quite busy now and have crowded out many worthwhile things of life."
The Light of Friendship
"True, sincere friendship is the light with which we can help one another to see and pass through the door of heaven."
"When in mutual service we forget the little self, then only will we see the one big Self of the Spirit running through us."
"All the pursuits of life offer only partial joy, though crowned with utmost fulfillment. But in finding God we have found the reservoir of perennial, unending Bliss."
Your Own Responsibility
"It requires greatest skill to live life evenly, rightly and successfully."
"No one else will answer for your actions, though others often become instruments in keeping you enmeshed in useless frivolities and so-called important engagements."
"The world creates in you bad habits, but the world will not stand responsible for your actions springing from those habits."
Know God Thru His Law
"If we praise God all day long, He does not come. If we blame Him, He does not come. Praise and blame do not move God. We find God through His law."
"God shows no partiality at any time or place. He is everywhere. We cannot cage God."
"Heaven does not come to us by aeroplane or special delivery. We have to bring Heaven here ourselves."
The Power of Attention
"Every action, insignificant or important, should be performed with quick, alert attention."
"Absent-mindedness blunts the needle of attention."
"Attention is the needle that cuts the grooves in the record of the memory cells."
THE ROSE—By Swami Yogananda
There is the rose—its petals, perfumed gloriously with the perfume of the Soul behind the veil. Behind the veil of petals, we find Beauty; behind the veil of perfume, we find the suggestion of some attractive secret; behind the color, the resplendent color of some hidden beauty.
The rose came, born of the Great Beauty; the rose dies, melting into a Great Beyond; the rose is the language of the hidden Soul; the rose is soft, tender, alluring, everlastingly giver of joy, and as such the rose will not fail to give joy to all those millions of human beings that are going to come in the future; the rose has charmed and pleased millions of Souls who have gone beyond; the rose is still charming millions of Souls that are now here; the rose is the preacher of eternal Joy; the rose is a bringer of pleasure; the rose is a reflection of God; the rose is sweet, because the God in it is sweeter still.
Love the rose, but love the Maker of the rose more, much more, for without His beauty, the rose could not manifest in its resplendent beauty; the rose is visible ...visibly alluring, but the beauty behind the rose is invisible. With Vision behind the mortal veil, watch the INVISIBLE BEAUTY, the Beauty which is invisibly alluring, which is the home of all roses, all flowers, all beauty, all life.
CHRISTIANITY AND HINDUISM
A disciple of Swami Yogananda recently spoke over the TIMES radio KHJ on "Christianity and Hinduism." Part of his address is given here:
The Bible does not exhaust Christianity nor do East Indian Scriptures exhaust Hinduism. Christianity and Hinduism cannot be buried in books; they live in self-sacrificing men and women, they live in soul-intoxicated saints. There are many Christians who are Hindus and many Hindus who are Christians without either changing their outward garb of faith. The brand of a particular faith is put on men by birth, geography or dogma, and if one or more of the above three determine our religion we have little to boast about. There is no religion superior to truth, and truth can only be expressed in different ways by ‘isms’ but it is never exhausted by them.
The missionary zeal of orthodox Christians preaching in India, and English-educated Hindus preaching in America ought to be tempered by the consideration that heathenism does not consist, on the one hand, in using a different form of prayer unknown to Christians nor, on the other, in living in a comfortable house, raised, finished and maintained by the magic hand of modern materialism undreamed of by the Hindus. Heathenism lies in the absence of soul qualities, no matter what faith we profess or what country we live in.
If we feast our minds fully on the soul qualities, good qualities of men, we will have no appetite left for their bad qualities. This feasting is the foundation of tolerance, it lies at the root of recognition of the brotherhood of man. This is Christ’s teaching. Can you preach anything to anybody and expect to be heard without loving what good thing they have already in them?
Change of prayer book or ceremonies should not constitute the principal missionary work either of Christians of Hindus. Wholesale importation of customs and dogmas and indiscriminate banning of the existing ones are not taught by Jesus. There are expressions of soul qualities in the East and the West, and there are good customs, traditions and philosophies in both hemispheres.
In spite of meaningless superstitions and pitiful provincialism in religious thinking that have crusted on Hinduism and Christianity during all the ages, both of them have done immeasurable good to mankind; both have brought peace, happiness, consolation ...to millions of suffering souls; both have inspired people to hazardous spiritual endeavors, both granted salvation to many. But Christianity did not prevent the calamity of 1914, nor did Hinduism keep the sun of political independence from setting on the horizon of India 700 years ago. It is not the fault of these faiths; they were not rightly applied.
Christianity and Hinduism, by their different sects, have committed the blunder of emphasizing the personality, not so much the eternality, of Christ and Krishna. Once we stress the eternality of both, we become members of the Universal Religion—because there cannot be two eternalities—one of Christ and one of Krishna. There are other aspects of Christianity and Hinduism, such as resurrection, sowing and reaping, and karma and reincarnation, that can be explained to be identical too.
MYSTICAL EXPERIENCE—Sir Henry More
Sir Henry More, an English mystic of the early seventeenth century, claims to have "sat and sung" under a direct light from God,
A "true chemical fire
That has purged my soul and purified it,
And has crystallized it
Into a bright throne and shining habitation
Of the Divine Majesty.
This free light is that which,
Having held my soul in Itself for a time,
Taught me ...in a very sensible manner
That vast difference
The truth and freedom of the Spirit
Anxious impostures of this dark personality
And earthly bondage of the body.
This is my oracle, my counsellor,
My faithful instructor and guide,
My Life, my Strength, my Glory,
My Joy, my communicated God. . . .
He that is come hither,
God hath taken him
To be His own familiar friend;
And though He speaks to others aloof
Oft in outward religions and parables,
Yet He leads this man by the hand. . . .
He hath made me
Full Lord of the Four Elements,
And hath constituted me Emperor of the World.
I am in the fire of choler and am not burned
In the water of phlegm; and am not drowned
In the airy sanguine; and yet not blown away
With every vain blast of transient pleasure
Or false doctrines of men;
I descend also into the sad earthly melancholy
And yet am not buried from the sight of my God
. . . . I still the raging of the sea.
I clear up the lowering beasts of the earth;
The lion licks my hand like a spaniel,
And the serpent sleeps upon my hand
And stings me not.
I play with the fowls of heaven,
And the birds of the air sit singing on my fist.
All the Creation is before me,
And I call every one of them
By their proper names."
THE PRISONER—Emily Bronte.
A hush of peace, a soundless calm descends;
The struggle of distress,
And fierce impatience ...ends;
Mute music soothes my breast
That I could never dream,
Till earth was lost to me.
Then, dawns the Invisible;
The Unseen ...its Truth reveals;
My outward sense is gone,
My inwards essence ...feels;
Its wings are almost free
—Its home, its harbour found;
Measuring the gulf,
It stoops and dares the final bound.
Oh! dreadful is the check—intense the agony—
When the ear begins to hear,
And the eye begins to see;
When the pulse begins to throb,
The brain to think again;
The soul to feel the flesh,
The flesh to feel the chain.
NEWS OF THE LOCAL YOGODA CENTERS
During his vacation period, Swami Yogananda paid a short visit to Los Angeles, where he gave a class on the Higher Art of Realization to his Los Angeles students. On August 14th he addressed the regular Sunday meeting at Mount Washington Center, on "Concentration."
While in California, Swami Yogananda visited a secluded spot near the ocean, where he remained in solitude for some time.
On July 3rd, the Los Angeles Center held its regular monthly Hindu dinner. The Countess Ilya Tolstoy was a speaker on this occasion.
Swami Yogananda joined about 300 of his Cincinnati students at a Picnic at Muth’s Grove on August 21st. There was an Oriental atmosphere about the meeting, with teacher and students gathered together under the trees and sky, as in India. The Swami spoke on the difference between man’s needs and his wants. The Swami gave a class on the Higher Art of Realization for his Cincinnati students.
The Detroit Center continues to prosper under the leadership of Brahmacharee Nerode. New classes in Yogoda and two meetings weekly with good attendance were conducted during the summer. Two successful picnics were held; one in picturesque Palmer Park and the other along the green banks of the Detroit River.
Swami Yogananda visited the Pittsburgh Center on September 6th and held a Meditation Service with them. He then went to Cleveland to see his students there.
The Washington Center held their opening fall meeting on September 11th with Mrs. J. B. Freeman and Mr. Louis E. van Norman conducting.
The Boston Center sent in their yearly report. This harmonious group meets under the inspiring leadership of Dr. Lewis.
Swami in Minneapolis
During October Swami Yogananda will give lectures and classes in Minneapolis, Minnesota at the Lyceum Theatre. He plans to visit Washington, D. C., in December.
God's Plan—William Blake
To see the world in a grain of sand,
And a Heaven in a wild flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand,
And Eternity in an hour.
A robin redbreast in a cage
Puts all Heaven in a rage.
A dove-house fill’d with doves and pigeons
Shudders Hell through all its regions.
A dog starv’d at his master’s gate
Predicts the ruin of the State.
A horse misus’d upon the road
Calls to Heaven for human blood.
Each outcry of the hunted hare
A fibre from the brain does tear.
A skylark wounded in the wing,
A cherubim does cease to sing.
* * *
A riddle, or the cricket’s cry,
Is to Doubt ....a fit reply.
The emmet’s inch and the eagle’s mile
Make lame Philosophy to smile.
makes an ideal and inexpensive
GIFT TO FRIENDS
and relatives, and is a worthy indication
of your interest in their welfare.
Pins and Lapel Buttons
Yogoda Students everywhere!
Proclaim to the world your adherence
To Yogoda principles by wearing one of these Beautiful little pins or lapel buttons.
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