EAST - WEST
March—April, 1928 VOL. 3—3
SPIRITUALIZING THE NEWSPAPERS—By Swami Yogananda
"Blessed are those who do not indulge in sensational news."
Millions start the day with the gruesome sight of murder headlines in the morning newspapers. The sleep-refreshed young mentality starts the day’s race for success with the dark cloud of wrong thoughts hanging over his mind. The law of "All’s well that starts well" is trampled upon.
Newspapers have more or less become the tin gods worshipped by the mass mind. They can make or unmake a man, at least in the public eye. Human opinion, however, and God’s opinion are different. One forsaken by all humanity may not be forsaken by the God of Truth. One worshipped by all the world may not be true to himself. He may not be acceptable in the eyes of Truth. It is the duty of truth-loving people to reform the newspapers since they almost completely control unthinking, child-like mentalities.
Modern journalism originated in the desire of man to know all about his fellow man and about his environment. The busy man looks at a paper and at a glance knows in what relation his business and social affairs stand with the community. Newspapers are the gods of information. They are the soul of modern business. They are the epitome of the city news. The modern world cannot get along without them. They can act as the breath of life to noble human activities or they can react like chlorine gas to asphyxiate people’s independent thinking. Through the sluice-gates of newspapers the reservoir of human mentalities is constantly fed. That is why a truth-loving country should keep a strict eye on the operation of these gates through which the river of information flows into the public mind. Muddy and defiled water must not be allowed in when clean and sparkling streams are available.
Freedom of the press must respect the law by which true freedom can alone exist. Intoxicated with the wine of freedom, some newspapers often abuse their powers. They often do not know how to operate the gates of information. They have not learned how to exercise self-control and thus prevent the wild river of muddled information from overrunning and clogging the tank of human mentalities. Moreover, newspapers ought not to introduce poisonous news into the tank of human minds, for the thirsty, undiscriminative masses drink poisonous, unwholesome news wherever they find it and hence suffer with nervousness, worry, fear, and subconscious criminal suggestions.
In a few minutes a newspaper prints the headline: "Four hold-up men cleaned up a million. No trace of the robbers found." The weak and poverty-stricken, or criminally-bent mentality reads it and induces a few friends to join him to try to get rich quick by this unholy method. Unwholesome news whets the appetite for crime. Hold-ups at the point of the gun with the aid of automobiles were unknown in many parts of the world until the idea was unwittingly introduced into the minds of weak mentalities through the channels of western newspapers and movies. That is why sensational movies and newspapers should be gradually crowded out by educating the tastes of children and adults to a higher standard.
Some newspapers and some film producers, in order to be the best sellers of the day, vie with one another in breaking all gates of propriety, morality, purity, and truth in order to overflood and devastate human mentalities with their sensationalism. In order to reform sensational movies and newspapers we must first reform ourselves and our children. "Catering-ism" is the watchword in everything in America. Business, religion, lectures, all must be made to suit what is called "public demand." That is wrong, unless the demand is wholesome. If people want to eat cocaine, opium, cobra poison, or to indulge in a flattering religion which is afraid to even constructively criticize, or to hear only those lectures which gloss over and explain away their faults, should the business men, religious leaders and lecturers reason, let us give the people what they want, let us sell them poison, flattery and untruth, let us thus kill their souls and choke their mentalities of progress, it doesn’t matter since we are getting rich? No right-thinking man would want society to be run along such lines. The law of honesty should be the policy of newspapers, movie concerns, business men, religious leaders and reformers. They should only cater to the wholesome taste of people. That will bring out the latent good taste even in apparently lost souls who have artificially developed a bad taste for good things.
Who is responsible if the described-in-detail crime news, murder headlines and indirect divorce suggestions begin to influence and mould the clay mentalities of children, burning and hardening them into fixed habit-thoughts of evil? Is not sensationalism responsible for taking a large part in suggesting crime to children and to weak mentalities? Let us save the masses from the drug of sensationalism. Let us have more newspapers with aims and platforms like the Christian Science Monitor and a few other American papers who are trying to be fair and constructive. The New York World has a "Department of Accuracy and Fair Play" which investigates and gives publicity to cases of false and unjust publicity. This is a step in the right direction.
Some newspapers have grown bold and despotic in order to be the best sellers. They don’t stop at anything. They libel a man, writing half-truths or evading the true facts about him, just for the sake of sensationalism. They give head-lines to scandalize him, and syndicate their news, for most papers take it and swallow it wholesale. They murder a man’s life-long-earned reputation in a few minutes and go scot free, laughing. If the person is exonerated and the time for retraction comes, no more headlines. Most of the papers hide behind indifference, do not print the retraction, saying it has no news interest. If they do print it, they give it an insignificant place. If the man sues in court for libel, the process is endless and expensive, and some newspapers even encourage this as a publicity stunt. They employ the best attorneys to fight the libel case. If they lost some money they make up their losses by printing more sensational head-lines like the following: "Reverend John Denies He Was a Bandit and Criminal." The unthoughtful people are led to buy the papers out of curiosity and thus unknowingly patronize injustice. Some religionists will then raise a hue and cry and say, "Oh, don’t sue the papers; that’s against Christ’s principles." That’s a fine view, but why not root out the evil instead of allowing it to grow to be later endured by Christ principles?
Many people will remember the case in London a few years ago of "Mr. A.," Hari Singh of Kashmir, who was blackmailed by a woman and her accomplices. Under threat of blackmail and of newspaper headlines of scandal, the woman and her accomplices extracted seven hundred thousand dollars form the Prince. Later on we hear that the Prince told of this unfortunate experience to one of the English judges. The judge felt a righteous indignation and began to move heaven and earth to break the net of blackmailers who prey upon wealthy or noted people, public men and great ministers by falsely scandalizing them and extracting money from them on threat of newspaper head-lines. Thus we hear a law was passed in England by which all cases of blackmail involving noted persons are heard behind closed doors without the presence of newspaper men. When a case of this kind is settled, only a short correct report is given to the newspapers. No mention is ever made of the nature of the charge if the blackmailed man is found guiltless. Should not America enact such laws and safeguard the lives of public men and women which consist in their reputation? Besides, the English newspapers are very conservative and make thorough investigation before passing any remarks about a public man. The English libel laws are very strict and rigidly enforced, which is far from being the case in America.
No Public Man Is Safe
From a thorough study of the situation of public life in America, I am of the opinion that the reputation of no public man is safe from being wrongly newspaper-handled. Many newspapers try to create prejudice against individuals and nations to suit their nefarious ends of narrow, bigoted, short-sighted political views. Bad-motived newspapers, lecturers, books, movies and magazines can let loose all the messengers of evil—racial hatred, seeds of war, prejudice, too strict immigration laws based on pure injustice or political inequality or racial and color prejudice, gossip, scandal, love of criminal news, and thrills by the suffering of others. Such newspapers, instead of teaching Christ-love which promises forgiveness and spiritual help even to Mary Magdalenes, just try to foster intolerance and revengefulness, self-deception, and persecution of others for a fault which the persecutors themselves do not try to get rid of or sometimes for no fault at all.
Some syndicating news agencies at times make wholesale productions of lies and baseless scandals. I have studied and examined so many cases of untruthful exaggerations, whipped and bluffed untruths, that I wonder how the Sunday sheets of some papers containing sensational news can continue to exist.
However, one hardly ever sees any contradictions made by the persons persecuted. Why is this? I hear there is an unwritten law among some newspapers that when they are sued for libel they keep silent about it and that news is not syndicated. Since they control public opinion they don’t want to turn the wrathful spot-lights of public opinion on themselves, whereas they rejoice when they turn those furious burning lights on some innocent person. Most papers gloat at the prospect of scandalizing someone. They are too ready and willing to use the materials cunningly supplied by blackmailers, but often quite unwilling to print retractions and save the reputation of innocent people from being murdered at the hands of evil publicity. Do Christian newspapermen consider this is right?
Seeing this condition of evil present amongst some conscienceless sensation-loving newspapers, I have a suggestion to make. Let the leading business men, ministers, and worthy public men of each city come together to form a board for educating the newspapers. Any public man or society scandalized by any unscrupulous newspaper or syndicate of newspapers should be invited to state its case and give positive proofs of newspaper untruth or false insinuations, to the above-mentioned board. Let the board members investigate and, when the person or society is found to have been attacked without adequate grounds, let them write or visit the mischief-making newspaper publishers and editors and exercise their powerful influence to make the newspapers give the same amount of space, kinds of type, position and page to the retraction as they gave to the attack. The city fathers should also write to the syndicating news agencies requesting them to print retractions for maligned persons. The syndicates and local newspapers should be made to consult the members of the above-mentioned board before printing any scandal about a prominent man or society. Last of all the newspapers must be taught by the board to respect others’ freedom as they love their own.
Freedom of the press to print anything it chooses about anybody by writing in a clever insinuating way and distorting the truth should be accompanied by the freedom of giving the persons criticized a chance to reply in the same way. It is cowardly to attack a defenseless, forcibly-made-voiceless person. The same page, position, kind of types and forcible language used to criticize a person should be used in printing the reply of the person criticized if he so desires. There should be no putting off of the retraction or explanation by saying the news is old and uninteresting.
I once heard an account of a conversation between a reporter and an editor about a Peace Conference. The editor listened with disgust and obvious lack of interest in his eyes as the reporter related how smoothly the Peace Conference went along. At last the editor said, "Go put that news in ten lines of small type on the last inside page of the paper." The reporter realizing that he had not brought news of interest suddenly remembered a little incident which took place in the Peace Conference and exclaimed, "Sir, the President of the Peace Conference lost his temper in suppressing a crazy man who was saying irrelevant things and trying to disturb the Conference." The editor quickly turned to the reporter, his face beaming with the joy of evil smiles, and said, "Get busy, put headlines on the front page, ‘The President of the Peace Conference Loses Peace’."
If some newspapers want to make half truths or exaggerated truths sensational they should make the real truth prominent and interesting too.
A Friend’s Suggestion
A sincere friend of mine, Mr. Telford Groesbeck, a prominent citizen of Cincinnati, once said to me, "Please tell the newspapers in your lectures that we do not want the murder and scandal headlines at all. If they still think that some of the public need it or are interested in it, let them print about murders, arsons, divorces and gossip on a loose page and let them make the letters on that page as big and blood-red in color as they want, calling it ‘Red Scandal Page.’ When these newspapers are sent into good homes like ours let them be sent without that ‘Red Scandal Page,’ thus saving our children and homes from being infected with such destructive thoughts."
Half truths and distorted truths are worst than the blackest of lies. They are very hard to fight. Yet I believe that though evil travels with the wind, nevertheless truth has the power to travel against the wind. Catering to evil tastes will precipitate more evil, disorder, inharmony and suffering into society, and since newspapers are universally read by people, they should act like wholesome, reforming parents and not like murderers who secretly stab those who seek their protection. Of all social crimes, the crime of press distortion and giving prominence to scandals is of the most unfathomable harm to the rising world generation. Let us all by moral persuasion, love, determination and practical measures reform the newspapers and rid them of their epidemic of sensationalism.
Jesus and all world-teachers taught us to sympathize with and help people in error, whereas sensationalism creates the desire to rejoice in others’ shortcomings. Christian newspapers that have sinned and indulged in sensationalism should repent and cease from further blunders. Let us spiritualize the newspapers. Let the morning and evening papers carry headlines on the front page containing the brave sayings of Jesus or the great prophets. Let men, women and children wake up beholding words of truth. Let them sleep, dreaming thoughts of restful, peace-giving truth and lasting joy celestial that dwells within them.
LOVE—By Elmo Bate
Tranquil as a placid lake; constant as the most majestic mountain; deep as the soulful eye, which when gazed into, gives the thought of endless depth; stronger than the tide that sways mighty oceans to and from their shores; steady as the gaze of the Sphinx; tender as the soft, warm caress of the gentle breeze upon rose-hued baby cheeks; sweet as the air perfumed by delicate wild-flowers; pure as the tender thought of a mother for the babe at her breast; silent as the planets in their endless whirl through space; warm as the hearth that beckons to friend and stranger alike to come near and be comforted; swifter than sound, that speeds on the waves of the ether; dauntless as the sun in its golden pathway; illusive as fleecy clouds buoyed up by frolicsome breezes; tireless as the march of time; priceless, yet won with a smile, a warm handclasp, a work of encouragement or cheer; scarce to those who seek; abundant to those who give; near as breath to the nostrils; distant as the breadth of the earth; it does not grow, nor does it decrease; it is never more, nor is it less; merited, it is a bequest to all; accepted, it is selfish, unless it be returned; it can be enjoyed only when expressed. LOVE—the joy giver, the peace giver, the bliss giver; the blood of the heart of the cosmos; seeking to find human hearts to open their portals to it; shunned and shamed, yet always near, eager to sooth our hurts and wounds; expelled from hearts, yet always happy to return and glow anew; betrayed and scorned, yet always seeking in hearts to bloom and shine and cast its warm rays of light over the land. LOVE —endless as the eternal God in heaven.
CLEMENCEAU ON ACTION
"The only road," said George Clemenceau of France recently, "that leads to self-realization and complete peace is the road of work."
Clemenceau is a disciple of action. "Words!" he said, "words that kill the idea, words that suppress experimentation, words that make for us a false life in which we wander, passing among them as men without knowledge. Where you find the most words you find the least action. Words are, to a considerable degree, enemies to action, because they are made so often to substitute for action and masquerade as such. Action, not words, enlarges the soul and makes for harmony and contentment."
How true his thoughts are, especially when applied to the spiritual life! For example, reading the Scriptures of the whole world will not give a man the realization of spiritual truth that ten minutes’ daily practice of meditation will give. "Words that suppress experimentation." Many deluded souls there are who imagine they understand the truth of their own religion thru the intellectual pastime of reading, and who never use "experimentation" to discover whether there is any divine and immortal life principle within them. The practice of meditation alone can prove the existence of eternal verities. Reading should be an incentive to action, not a substitute for it.
Let every one do something, according to the measure of his capacities. To have no regular work, no sphere of activity—what a miserable thing it is! How often long travels undertaken for pleasure make a man downright unhappy; because the absence of anything than can be called occupation forced him, as it were, out of his right element. Effort, struggle with difficulties—that is as natural to a man as grubbing in the ground is to a mole.—A. Schopenhauer.
THE RELIGION OF HEALTH
By Mrs. John B. Henderson
Nothing so inconceivably and inexpressibly great as is the Divine Creation, and man divine is a part of it. None but the Deity could give the spark of life.
For mankind, the marvels of it all are so common, so cheap and so easy that they are unappreciated.
Again nothing can function apart from law, and the perfection of nature’s laws, equally applied to great and small, need to be better understood. The great misfortune is that man in his ignorance considers himself alone above the laws of nature.
In Burbank’s studies, applying nature’s laws of heredity to plants and lower animals, "he preached a lifelong sermon that all life is subject to the same simple, clear, changeless laws of nature; that nature’s laws are incredibly exact, marvelously correlated and infallibly just; that they afford a working basis for sound health, usefulness and happiness." In harmony with glad nature, Burbank supplied only the most perfect of seeds through several generations of plants for which might be called his thoroughbreds.
In a way, man in perfection of health, man divine, represents the Deity. Along with nature’s laws of inheritance, his ancestors gave him his health and he himself is biologically worthy of a like future posterity. In the exuberance of his natural life forces he feels his divinity, his royalty, his aristocracy, his efficiency. The joy of life to him is the natural thrill of life itself. He feels no need for poison stimulants and narcotics, this very desire meaning degeneracy. The world is his, the air, the sky, the flowers; his greatest natural joy is in accomplishment of anything worthy of his Divine Master. He is honest, kind and efficient, and what he touches is a success.
His body represents the most complicated and wonderful piece of machinery that God Himself ever designed. In tune with nature man is unconscious of its workings. It is only at the impairment or loss of an eye or two, or any part of the living mechanism, that man rushes for "the keys of the heavenly harmonies."
Of course many things contribute to perfect health:—pure air, pure water, pure dietary, etc.; but the chief curse of mankind, the, chief pervision of nature’s law is an almost universal habit of introducing into the complex living machinery anything that is a poison,—a poison being anything that tends to degenerate and destroy it,—such as alcohol, tobacco, opium, heroin, tea, coffee, et cetera.
Being equipped with greater powers than all other living creatures, man takes advantage of such privileges to defy or cheat the laws of nature,—this for coveted sensations beyond the natural and normal.
When anything that is a poison enters his living machinery, the Great Creator Himself quickly comes to the rescue to expel it. The Divine telegraphic system of nerves gives the quick alarm to all. The heart, the hard-working pumping apparatus, beats faster than normal, and every vital organ quickly responds. The army germs of defense rush to fight the army germs of death, and the man enjoys the excitement. He is getting a forced quiver of life for which he pays in his reserve bank of life, the bookkeeping of Nature being exact.
Man may force another sensation—a soothing feeling—by the introduction of a poison potent enough to partly paralyze the nerve, a still further application of which would produce death.
The world becomes more or less a hospital at greater national cost than that of the national government. The worst of it is that man sees the world through the viewpoint of blurred and cracked lenses, leading to abnormalities,—steel trap agonies and demonology in general.
Dr. John Harvy Kellogg (Superintendent of the Battle Creek Sanitarium) says editorially in "Good Health": "Serious thinkers are raising grave questions about the trend of modern life. At the second international Eugenics Congress the eminent Prof. Darwin (son of the late Charles Darwin), said with bowed head and a sad voice: ‘If our present civilization survives, and I fear that it will not, it will have to because the United States saves it.’ He saw no hope in any other part of the world; and Prof. C. P. Davenport said: ‘Of course we all know that the human race will ultimately perish.’" Dr. Kellogg further states that although race decay is a black cloud hovering over the world, race hygiene, applied with intelligence, can save us from the destruction that degeneracy threatens. Dr. Kellogg also feels that with national colors proudly flying America is going to save it . . .
Dr. Fiske (medical director of the N.Y. Life Extension Institute) stated some time ago that in the course of twelve years service some 140,000 persons had been examined physically without finding a single specimen of perfect health. Whether or not Dr. Fiske was over particular, the fact still remains that the present state of human health compares woefully with that of flocks of birds and herds of deer, all of such of their kind being equally beautiful and efficient.
There is still hope if mankind abandons the cultivation of death by disregard of nature’s laws and takes to cultivating life, when the glad Deity again comes to the rescue.
It is pleasant to personify the Great Creator and regard Him as loving Father full of kindness as well as justice. This redemption is occasionally illustrated by the weakling of the family who has naturally taken to life culture, who will not only probably outlive all the family, but will become a noted citizen of great public importance. Many such cases of great men come forcibly to mind; so let us take courage and do our best.
Let us in the interest of biologic living (science of life) also abandon worry which wears out nerves and disqualifies for setting things aright.
Let it be taken into account that churches and schools are not the only great educational moral forces of America. The Church is the one great organized moral police force for human betterment; but the cinema has the enormous advantage of giving lessons in the right and wrong by way of popular entertainment. They need censoring by the Church when their public influence is pernicious.
The heart and soul of America is respectable, and what respectability most enjoys is what is clean and uplifting. For the cinema what a wealth of delightful uplifting subjects are available for the keenest of popular enjoyment; no play on the stage was ever more popular than "The Old Homestead" given at a time when King Alcohol was most rampant.
The Church should not abandon the "Movie" as an unclean institution, but join, protect and control it. Abroad, business turns to high titles for patronage. The American cinema should advertize: "Under the Patronage of the Church."
On the subject of religion I am reminded of Lamartine’s conversation with Lady Stanhope at Saide in Lectures Pour Tout Lamartine. Lady Stanhope had isolated herself, Buddha fashion, to work out in solitary state a new religion. During Lamartine’s travels in Persia he sought an interview with this interesting woman. Said she, "but do you find the social, political and religious world well ordered? Do you not feel the need of a redeemer—a Messiah?" Larmartine replied that no one more than he suffered and groaned with the universal groaning of men and societies; that no one more than he desired a redeemer for the intolerable evils of humanity, and no one more than he was more convinced that the redeemer could only be divine.
It is such a pity that these hard worked philosophers could not have studied relationships between man and his physiological sins. Could they not see that not only the basis of life, but its viewpoints, relationships and accountabilities are physical, and that the Deity has done His part magnificently, if only the copartnership of mankind were well carried out; and that to develop God within us, we must respect the living mechanism by which God is known.
—By Swami Yogananda
I sought those two black eyes everywhere.
When my teacher or my brother rebuked me
Or were unkind,
I sought help every day
In the sweetness of those two black eyes.
In the harbor of those two black eyes,
I sought refuge.
She died. I cried, and I sought in the stars,
In the darkness of the night
For those two black eyes,
But I found them not.
Many other black eyes shone upon my childhood
But they were not those two black eyes
Which I had loved.
In the stillness of the forest
And the darkness of the night
I used to watch under the stars,
Watching in the darkness,
Looking for those two angelic,
Unapproachable black eyes,
But I found them not.
Now that my mind is awakened, I see
Those two black eyes everywhere.
In the eyes of the Divine Mother
I have found my own mother.
In the love of the Divine Mother
I have found my mother’s love.
TRANSPOSITION OF VALUES IN INTERNATIONAL UNDERSTANDING
—By S. L. Das Varma
It is a commonplace of ordinary social intercourse that you imbibe the attitudes and appreciations of the "set" to which you belong, and pari passu get out of tune with the viewpoint and ideals of other "sets" and social groups. No doubt it is the highest task of education and far-seeing statesmanship to keep human minds and activities free from the insidious bondage of prejudices and restrictions of every kind, to promote friendly relations and mutual understanding between various groups and peoples. But there is a definite limit to the receptivity of our nature to outside influences of any profound and permanent value: we cannot but orientate ourselves fundamentally in only one particular way. To have a perfectly open mind—open unto all the winds of doubts and opinions, disavowals and convictions that may blow from any possible or impossible quarter—is to transcend the inherent limitations of the normal human intellect, possible perhaps only to a few rare persons in a generation. For the generality of mankind the next best thing is the only feasible objective to follow—viz., to cultivate a tolerant mind.
What does tolerance of mind mean? It means that though we cannot appreciate or even understand the outlooks of other persons and groups upon certain matters, we do not irrevocably make up our minds that there is nothing to those outlooks and that we are the sole possessors of all light and virtue that there is in the world. It means that though we may not like such modes of thought and life as are very different from our own, we try to feel and show as much respect for them as possible. It means the practical recognition of the principle of individuality in the world of human standards and values. It is the ethical interpretation of the democratic ideal on the plane of personality and spiritual evolution.
We have looked at the question so far from the angle of psychology and our moral duty in regard to the direction of our views of others along the right lines in a world where diversity lives side by side with uniformity. But objectively speaking, we find that different tastes and tendencies, divergent aims and methods produce correspondingly different results in individuals as well as in societies—results that embody what you have worked for and, "here lies the rub," exclude what was not within the purview of your aims. There appears to be a law of "conformity and compensation" that prevents the leavening of the outcomes of your efforts in any other way than by the purposes which inspired them. It may as well be conceived as a law of "selection" which makes you choose one out of a competing variety of goals and stick to it, to the exclusion of the other goals, if you want to achieve anything at all.
In an inventory of the causes that have led to the formulation and adoption of divergent schemes of values among different peoples we must assign an important place to the conditions and factors set by physical nature. The physiographical features of a locality or country in a very real fashion leave their impress upon the standards and achievements to be found in it. One can almost say that the genius of a civilization is unavoidably the genius of the soil in which it is born. It is not so much the richness or poverty of the land for agricultural purposes, nor even the presence or absence of mineral and other resources within the area that makes a difference; it is the climate of the place in its effect upon the human constitution that surpasses in importance every other geographic factor.
As is the case with individuals, so is it with nations. An individual is born with certain capacities and incapacities; he inherits from his ancestors powers and resources that will help him forward, but he inherits from them definite handicaps also, such as will always pull him backward. Within the broad or narrow limits set by his inherited endowment he faces life’s situations and makes choices. His free will is in some measure circumscribed by the accident of his birth in a particular family, race, country; yet he goes through life with a certain measure of freedom to mould his destiny as he might desire. When in a certain situation he takes a certain decision, he selects one of a competing number of decisions; else, he is bound, not free. But after he has made the selection, he is debarred from the rewards that are attached to the other decision than those he has made. He has made his own rule, and he must abide by it. The same principles of freedom within limits and of reaping as you sow apply in the life of nations and condition their development and their decay. Their ideals and aspirations, their merits and shortcomings, their loves and repulsions cannot be expected to overstep the barriers placed by nature. Within those barriers a certain goal of life, a certain philosophy of conduct, out of many such goals and philosophies, is chosen. The consequences of that choice will follow, other results will be shut out except in a meager and incidental way.
With these preliminary concepts and conclusions let us study the outstanding traits of the present-day civilizations of America and India. The background of the preliminary concepts is necessary, since we are studying human facts and moral and social phenomena, not physical data that can be a-morally observed and need to be merely classified and described. The study of the civilization of a country means its ethical appraisal, it evaluation according to a definite set of norms, the passing of judgments as to right or wrong, if not quite consciously, at any rate unconsciously. We have already said that the human mind is normally incapable of regarding a multiplicity of things, if they are very different from one another, with the same eye of approval or disapproval. The only psychologically feasible frame of mind for one is that of tolerance, even though one may not like the other ideals or pictures.
The American, with his materialistic "mind-set" and his ideals of sanitation and science and democracy, should not, therefore, in my judgment, have his peace of mind disturbed, if he cannot help disliking and even condemning the appalling state of public health and the mediaeval methods of production of wealth and of human organization and government that prevail in India, because he must weigh everything different from his habitual surroundings by the measures of his traditional norms or conceptions of human values. Furthermore, here he is in the realm of certain universal standards accepted by all nations, including the Indians themselves. But I would go further and say that even when he cannot feel happy in contemplating that the people of India go about dressed in "draped sheets" or eat with their fingers, his unhappiness is quite natural and is to be expected. This kind of normal unhappiness assails his mind again and again and again as he goes on with his study of the Indian civilization. What he should do in this regard is not to let this feeling of dissatisfaction and spontaneous disapproval turn into contempt or hatred of the people who practise the customs or even of the customs themselves. Let us take an illustration from our every-day domestic relationships. My old mother may be accustomed to do many old-fashioned things which I do not like. I have grown up in an environment different from hers. But in spite of the difference in our outlooks we are mutually tolerant of each other’s tastes and systems of values: we respect each other’s likes and dislikes, though they may not be the same nor similar. Why cannot such a respectful agreement to differ characterize international estimates and understandings?
Let us now generalize as to the attitude which Americans should hold toward such traits of Indian civilization as present striking differences from the corresponding traits of American civilization, owing wholly or chiefly to dissimilar standards or norms of values and not to any omissions or shortages of performance according to the same standards. The attitude should be one of intelligent toleration, of suspended judgment, unless universal norms are applicable. The same may be said of the Indian estimate of American ways of living and American achievements. We from the East fail to understand, much less to appreciate, many curious and seemingly futile customs and movements that we observe in America; we may have an unconscious revulsion against some of them, because of our different standards, but we must not on that account fall into an attitude of contemptuous intolerance or hatred born of our incapacity to understand.
In the sphere of their respective achievements as nations, the American and the Indian have chosen different goals and therefore achieved differently—that is, in different lines. The American has set himself to harness the forces of physical nature to the furtherance of material ends. By the multiplication of mechanical appliances devised with the aid of science, he has increased and cheapened the comforts of the body and made their enjoyment by vast numbers possible. He has assiduously applied himself to the improvement of the techniques of production and organization of material as well as human resources. He has created stupendous worldly wealth and obtained everything that such wealth can buy. But wealth cannot procure certain essential things which belong and flourish in the world of spirit. Wealth cannot bring patience, tenderness, the impulse of self-sacrifice, the calm contemplation of goodness and beauty, the joy of a spiritual outlook upon life, the serenity of desirelessness. These latter have through the ages constituted the ideals which have beckoned the culture Indian away from the strain and strife for earthly advancement. And though practical realization has fallen far short of the staggering demands of the ideals, it cannot be denied that, more than other peoples, the people of India have stuck to their spiritual quest, lifted life on to a plane where material pleasures are of little moment, and stand today, albeit materially ragged and robbed, as the heir to the spiritual heritage of the ages.
But the law of "selection and compensation" catches both the Indian and the American in the cruel sweep of its operation. The nation that chooses the path of material advancement as its primary pursuit and seeks wealth and all that wealth can secure with all its energy and soul, reaches its goal substantially, but loses the finer things of the spirit in the meanwhile. When it awakens to its loss, wealth no longer pleases and it sighs for the things that belong and flourish in a different world. And its material prosperity and power are its compensation for its decline and fall from that world.
The Indian must also take the consequences of his choice. The peace and blessedness of an absorbing interest in the divine are his compensation for his lagging far behind the vanguard of the world in the march of material progress. Hundreds of thousands die in India of preventable diseases, funds are lacking for every worthwhile enterprise, cowardice and callousness of a sort have come in the wake of disease and starvation. But the great spiritual outlook upon life remains; the deep and inward understanding of the supreme spiritual truths of the ages abides still with the people of India.
Let us now look for a brief while at the stupendous effect which the physiographic environment has had and will continue to have over the shaping of the destiny of India and of America, aside from the free choice of the peoples inhabiting these countries, and sometimes in spite of great efforts made by one of these peoples to overcome the handicaps of its emasculating environment. The colonists and immigrants found America a virgin country with enormous natural resources, with a generally vigorous and temperate climate, and with an exceedingly light burden of population upon the soil. Except for a few aboriginal residents who were no match for the newcomers, no enemies had to be faced by the settlers; except for a few skirmishes no long and calamitous wars had to be fought. The possibility of external invasion was remote, and time, money and energy were hardly needed to be spent upon preparedness for it. There was a vast and magnificent coastline and scope for expansion and still further expansion across a whole continent. These favorable environmental situations and influences were there for the people of America to utilize or to waste; they chose to utilize them and to make of their country a miracle of material prosperity and the power-house of political democracy. But who can say that the absence of any crushing difficulties of a geographical character had not a great deal to do with their ability to make such good use of their resources and surroundings? Who can say that a damp, warm, enervating climate or a sandy, unproductive soil would not have made their material achievement comparatively poor and insignificant?
And what about the Indian people and their physiographic environment in its effect upon their achievement? A hot and moist land of plains and forests, teeming with hundreds of millions who exert a disproportionately heavy pressure upon the soil, an enervating climate which saps your vitality even without disease and makes you naturally shun physical labor, natural barriers dividing the country into somewhat disparate regional units, great bands of invaders periodically coming from the colder north and sweeping the less sturdy and more pacific people of the warm peninsula with their adventurous and irresistible arms, frequent natural calamities like drought, inundation and earthquake, the vision of death lurking in the murderous tiger and the snake of the thick jungles—these factors, all of them definitely unfavorable, played their part in the creation of Indian history and the making of what India is today. Who can overlook the effect of these handicaps upon India’s meagre achievement in the realm of material progress and collective pursuit of opportunities for worldly prosperity? Who can deny that even such handicaps as a warm climate and periodical natural calamities did not tend to produce qualities and institutions that led man naturally to search and find the satisfactions of a spiritual life?
(To be continued in the next issue)
*Mr. S. L. Das Varma, M.A., (Calcutta and London), deputed by the government of India to study the American educational system, has been in this country since last September. He has traveled widely in India and Europe, and plans to discuss in this and subsequent articles the outstanding traits of present-day American and Indian civilizations.
Will Durant, writing recently of child education in the Cosmopolitan, said, "He learns by imitation, though his parents think he learns by sermons. They teach him gentleness, and beat him; they teach him mildness of speech and shout at him; they teach him a Stoic apathy to finance, and quarrel before him about the division of their income; they teach him honesty, and answer his most profound questions with lies."
CHEAP—By Frances Wierman
God, we are cheap!
Satan has no coin so small
In value, but will tempt
Us to his thrall.
Esau in his hunger snatched
In his hairy hand,
A savory mess, paying
For it in kine and land.
Yet are we wiser? At least
He bartered kind for kind.
What of men who weigh
Lust against mind?
Men trade for a tinsel laugh
The golden power to weep,
And give their soul’s daybreak
For an hour’s sleep!
MEANING OF "SWAMI" AND "YOGI"
What is the difference between a "Swami" and a "Yogi"? A Yogi means "one who has achieved union with the Divine through Yoga practices." A Swami means "master" or "spiritual teacher."
A married or unmarried man, a woman, a child—all may be Yogis, regardless of their circumstances, position or responsibilities of life, if they follow Yoga methods under the competent guidance of a Guru (spiritual Perceptor).
A Swami, however, is one who has pledged his life, not to one family, but to the great human family. He does not marry nor carry on personal activities. He receives his Yoga training, and his title of "Swami," from another Swami, his Guru and superior. He belongs to some branch of the Order of Swamis reorganized in the 7th century, A. D., by Lord Shankaracharya, and is usually engaged in active humanitarian and educational work in India or occasionally in foreign countries. In certain respects, the Order of Swamis resembles the Christian monk orders.
(Sometimes students call themselves "Swamis" or "Yogi" without any real authority to do so, just as some people call themselves "doctor" or "professor" without having earned those titles).
It is foolishness to ask, which is greater, a Swami or a Yogi? It is not the taking on of a name which makes one a Swami or a Yogi—it is the living of the life. There are some great Yogis and Swamis living in American and European and other non-Hindu bodies today who, though they may never have heard the word Yogi or Swami, yet are true exemplars of those terms thru their disinterested service to mankind or thru their great powers of concentration and genius, or thru their control over their passions and thoughts. (Of course, such men would be even greater if they were taught the definite technique and scientific methods for conscious control over their minds and bodies, which they could easily master due to their superior present development.)
"Yogoda" teaches a combination of the Yogi and the Swami, taking the best of each without any formal limitations. It teaches the renunciation, like the Swami, of a solely personal life, and the method of scientific contact of Soul and Spirit as practiced by true Yogis.
THE ETERNAL LIFE PRINCIPLE
—By Nicolai Husted
By matter ....science means substance of chemical elements, subject to gravitation. Speaking of life, intelligence, and consciousness, science has reference to inherent qualities of matter in certain degrees of unfoldment. Therefore, no force or quality manifesting on the physical plane is regarded by materialistic science as having originated outside of this plane or as having its existence independent of matter, hence its conclusion that all phenomena of life proceed from inherent qualities of matter. Scientists of this school find, therefore, no evidence in nature testifying to the existence of an invisible God and spiritual entities. Thus they hold that there is no support in facts for a belief in something that one cannot see, hear, feel, smell or touch; that for these reasons there is no purpose for creation or back of anything in life and nature; that man is merely a cosmic accident, and all religious beliefs are sheer nonsense.
However, all this reasoning can be shown to be faulty in its entirety and to constitute a most dangerous philosophy whose ultimate effect is corruption of soul and body and of the social life, besides being an obstruction to true scientific progress.
The Incipience and Evolution of Life and Matter
It can now be shown by conclusive scientific evidence that the ether of space consists of electric essence and is the origin and primal state of all cosmic matter; that the celestial bodies, the earth included, are formed by gyratory motion of electric force, which generates electro-magnetic energy out of the ether of space and converts this into chemical gases whose elements are the outcome of differentiated electric vibrations; that in each particular case the gaseous body assumes nebular form and condenses gradually by augmentation of mass, by heat and electric action.
Being thus able to trace matter to its imponderable state, we are forced by unshakable evidence to believe in the existence of invisible matter and to admit that things invisible and imponderable may yet be as real as anything visible and ponderable. Hence, it follows that invisibility is no evidence against the existence of spiritual forces and eternal consciousness.
It thus appears at a glance that the philosophic despair of much higher education is an effect of false and illogical reasoning.
Observing that matter itself has come from the invisible realm of nature, it follows that all qualities and potentialities of matter have likewise come from the same source. This realization brings us face to face with the fact that there is a soul-world back of the physical world, and that everything manifested in matter has its root in subtle and occult forces.
Inasmuch then, that evolution evolves only that which already exists in one state or another, man’s intellect and other mental and psychic qualities, attained by evolution, must have been present as potentialities at the incipience of the evolving form or being, and were therefore transmitted from an intelligent and self-conscious Power, pre-existing physical matter. That Power must therefore possess all mental and spiritual faculties of man in unlimited measure, since It could not otherwise have imparted Itself with these qualities to the world-matter and to human nature.
God and the Human Soul
The fact that the differentiated mental powers of man are traceable to potentialities derived through forms and agencies of matter from the invisible arcanum of the universe, proves conclusively the existence of an unexplored source of self-conscious intelligence and infinite power as the fountain-head, not only of the intellectual faculties of the human being, but as the originator of all which displays intelligence in forms, organisms, systems, and the laws of nature. It is the fountain-head of life we call God, whose existence is testified to by the whole creation as being a living intelligent Power which fills immensity.
As for the immortality of the human soul, let us observe, inasmuch as the self-conscious and intelligent life-principle of the universe proves to be independent of ponderable matter, that the individualized self-conscious and intelligent life-principle and soul of man, evolved from the universal life-principle as an offspring from its parent, must likewise be independent of matter and survive matter! Having thus inherited eternal life, the human soul will naturally continue its existence and the development of its inborn forces as an intelligent entity of divine origin, even after the earth itself shall have passed away and gone back to the imponderable state of matter. Thus man himself is that incontrovertible proof he has sought as demonstrative evidence of a self-conscious, intelligent and creative God of the universe.
The Pre-Existence of the Human Soul
In view of this cardinal fact that our individualized soul had its incipience in potentialities of divine nature, and is the product of evolution, it follows that we must have passed through numerous antecedent stages of human and sub-human consciousness before attaining our present state of brain-cell development.
This reveals the truth of reincarnation or re-birth of the human soul into new physical bodies, such as taught by the early Christian church Fathers until the revolution of the church doctrine by order of Emperor Justinian II, 553 A. D.
Be it so that we are now on the way from lower stages of mental and spiritual unfoldment, it is obvious that we are in need of training and experiences that might best be acquired in physical bodies. If this is not a sacred law of evolution, how can every one be made to reap what he has sown, or be made to meet the consequences of his deeds, be they good or bad? Or how can divine justice be done otherwise to all men? May not reincarnation be the gateway for readjustment of all wrongs, and for new chances for development and happiness for all victims of circumstances and injustice in this life?
May it not also be a fact that the master minds of every age are advanced souls that have returned to help to promote knowledge, justice and happiness on earth? This fact may be gleaned from the narrative in the New Testament that an angel came to announce the coming of both John the Baptist and Jesus of Nazareth as entities well-known to him, although they had not yet appeared on the physical plane.
Looking about in the world with this thought in mind, we behold in the various inferior races and types of man, now scattered over the earth, representatives of our past stages of physical incarnations along the highway of evolution, whence we all have come.
"Religion! ’Tis another name
For truth and charity;
Religious rite and sacrifice
Is kindness, purity."—King Asoka.
THE SCREEN OF LIFE—By Swami Yogananda
When roses bloom
And the dawn breaks the spell of darkness.
When fortune laughs
And praise weaves garlands
And glory makes the crown,
When little pleasures all dance around thee
When fickle festivity sings
The birth of a new born babe
In future sure to die,
When everyone shouts thy praises
And thousands follow,
You see His hands of showering blessings.
Yet there is a silent budding joy in every twig,
In the leafless limbs of the rosebush
O’er the snow;
There is a joy in waiting
For the streak of dawn in the darkness.
Through vapours of sorrow dim
Joy is seen with welcome.
Persecution sweetens long-tasted praise;
A bare head expectant of the crown
Has joy denied the head long-crowned.
The dance of darkness
Around each little flame of joy
Makes it burn brighter.
In monotony’s mine lies buried
The caged air of bursting festivity;
Old age thrills with the thought of youth;
Behind the veil of death
Hides the promise of new life.
Behind the shifting scenes of life
The real life hides;
Behind the screen
Of unreal changing pictures of things seen
Lies the real drama of stable, unseen, cosmic life.
Shadows are lined with light
Sorrows bulge with joy
Failures are filled with determination of success;
All cruelties urge us to be kind.
Passing mirth, fame, wealth,
Proud possessions given
Only to be taken away again,
And the straw fire of passions, joys
And intoxicating friendship
Oft do hide Thee.
But when all are gone we look for Thee—
In solitude by friends and foes avoided
There’s One unseen Who ne’er forsakes;
He may fly
When everyone shakes hand with thee—
When there’s none
He may come to take thy hand.
HUMAN AND DIVINE FREE-WILL
—By Brahmacharee Nerode
"Master, carest thou not that we perish?" sighed the disciples of Jesus, awakening him from sleep. An angry storm was howling around and proud waves were beating into the ship. He in his divine way rebuked the wind and commanded the sea to be still and lo! there followed a calm. He swung toward them and inquired, "How is that ye have no faith?" How could a ship, carrying a divine cargo, ever be drowned?
The anecdote is pregnant with a psycho-spiritual significance. The journey of a seeking soul across the glittering waters of Matter is often beset with high winds of emotions and lashed by bold waves of temptations and disappointment. Minds that are feeble and unpossessed of the single idea of Christ-consciousness, shiver with an unmerited fear of collapse, blindly doubting the unseen care. Behold the ardent seekers who have abundantly tasted of the cup of Realization! Unflinchingly sanguine about the ultimate goodness of all things and all events that may come to pass, they firmly stand rooted in their faith and tide over the boisterous seas of life. Flesh and Matter stop their bickerings, no sooner the Christ-within cries out, "Peace, be still"; a silent calmness gradually creeps into the mind-world of the seer. The faithful never perish; seeming destruction descends only on the faithless.
What is faith? Faith is knowledge, I mean the knowledge of Divine Laws that are behind causation of things and events. Scores of apparent and superficial reasons and causes may conspire for the occurrence of a certain event, but an intelligent enquiry thru the searching eye of the inner soul will make the astounding disclosure that everything is reducible to One Divine Will. One student remarked to me, "Ah, dear teacher, you are preaching the philosophy of fatalism." "Pardon me, dear student," I said unhesitatingly, "we are not preaching the philosophy of fatalism; rather fatalism of your philosophy, if you please."
Materialistic philosophy is very nervous about such teachings. It falsely accuses such a doctrine of taking the dominance of Free Will out of man’s activities that has spurred human progress, and claims that it hopelessly relegates everything to a blind-folded Cosmic Will.
What is the Divine Cosmic Will and what is your Free Will? What I so loudly proclaim as my individual Free Will is nothing but a ray radiating from the Cosmic Will. It is, of course, endowed with all possible freedom to pick up its own course in Space and Time,—because it is a part of the divine will which is ever-free—yet it is not without interference from other independent free-wills that also parade in the universe. For this account Jesus said, "Love thy neighbors as thyself;" that is to say, you must have respect for the rights of your neighboring free-wills. There you are. In this interaction of free-wills, what happens? The one that functions in conformity with its divine nature or in other words in co-operation with the Parent Will, ultimately wins. My loving mother used to say, "Good men live in God and the bad ones by themselves. Good men live the life while they live. Even when they die, in hearts of man they live. Bad men live and mark what life they live. And when they die, to the world a complete death they die." Free-willers, know first this Mother Will, then your free-will will be free.
A friend of mine once narrated a very interesting story to me: Somewhere in the other side of this world, while strolling seemingly all care-free, the spirit of Napoleon happened to meet the spirit of Caesar. Unceremoniously said Napoleon’s spirit to Caesar’s, "Friend! both of us were made of the same indomitable will-force while we trod on earth. I still feel proud to think that once we wanted a thing, we had it." Caesar’s ghost scratched his head in doubt and pointedly replied, "Well, I am not quite sure. But about one thing I am positive. You never wanted St. Helena." The free will of man conquers unceasingly countries after countries, but there comes a time when the Mother Will commands a halt. The human will is free, because it is a limb of the divine will, which is free. Human will is on the other hand unfree and bound, because it belongs to the divine will. It is free in its expression and movement. But the moment it takes a tangential flight away from the center, the divine will brings it back, holding it by its neck! Let free-will freely do mischief to the world and see how long it is free to deter its own annihilation. Such free-will kills its own freedom.
However, there is no waste in the scheme of God’s nature, may it be physical or moral. Even during the catastrophic march of Napoleonic free-will, blessings of human liberty were scattered all around, altho the wings of his free will were broken by the Parent Will for his betrayal of the divine task of man. The divine law takes its own care. It works out its own way. How strangely, even in the worst mishaps of man, there lies the seed of final good. Who knows that out of the fallen glory and torments of his powerful soul, in his solitary confinement, a new radiant soul of a different type was not born in the great son of Corsica, for a still more wondrous victory in a future life? God spreads His mercy thru the lava-storm of a volcanic crater as much as He does thru the sweet breath of a saintly soul, provided we have the eyes to see the viewpoint of His cosmic necessity.
What is faith then? Faith is Knowledge in the two Laws. The one acknowledges the infinite possibility of each unit, whereas the other establishes the truth of the ultimate victory and goodness of the whole. The whole contains all units. the whole is good, true and beautiful. So is the nature of each unit, the whole is contained of. The surface complexion or external behaviour of each unit or each individual may sometimes appear incongruent, tho at bottom each is fitting and beautiful in its own place. It is just a visual deception on account of the relative vastness of the whole. It is this way. Holding out a snatched petal of a rose, a child shrieked, "O gardener, you say the rose is so beautiful; where is its beauty?" The gardener looked up to the child and smilingly said, "Give me that, darling, I will show you." He went into the garden, plucked a full-bloomed rose and fingered that solitary petal into the crowd of happy petals. "Would you like to have this flower?" queried the old man. "Oh! how beautiful!" ejaculated the child. Take off a petal of one’s life or a petal of an event out of the conglomeration of cosmic events, at random, and you will assuredly miss the beauty, goodness and truth of the whole. Link it with the scheme of the whole and see what grandeur there is in the cosmic rose.
According to the Hindu conception which has been so ably clarified by our teacher, Swami Yogananda, in his Science of Religion, the Whole, the All, the Divine, or God, is ever-conscious, ever-existent, and ever-blissful. So is the human unit. This profound faith in the unit and the whole, self and all-self, unit event and great cause, a free will and cosmic will, or in other words man and God, brings what the sage says is "nectar of immortality." Once a neophyte pointed out, "You are free to act; but your free acts are also free to follow their course and reap fruits accordingly." A learned ascetic explained to me once in a terse way: "Move on, motion is life. But move around the point in a circle, then you will never slip and suffer." "What is that point," demanded I in my ignorance. "that point is God," came the answer. "Then am I a mere automaton, moving in the same path around the same God?" "No, my boy. Extend your radius and make the circle bigger and bigger every time until it disappears into the Infinite," explained the master. So if we have faith enough to know that we have the power to extend the radius of our life to move in a bigger and greater circle of responsibility and duty, around the center of our God, such powers are possible to us that may move mountains and bid to the ocean "Be still."
MASONRY IN INDIA
A very interesting article about India as the origin of Masonry appeared in The New Age, an official Masonic magazine, for March, 1928. The writer, Denman S. Wagstaff, in outlining what he learned form an Indian Mason in Lahore, says:
"In symbolic fashion and in accord with the science of numbers, the body of a man is figuratively supposed to be a temple with seven stars or openings in the head; and the various other orifices are the Sun and the Moon of the Verat, or the Macrocosm of ancient Philosophers, or man as a part of the Grand Lodge above. The Unity of Brotherhood with the Fatherhood of God has been fully recognized among Hindoo Masons."
Mr. Wagstaff quotes his Indian correspondent as claiming that while Masonry was revived after the Middle Ages in the British Isles, yet it must be conceded that all Masonry came from the East. "Ex Oriente Lux." "While it is admitted that Masonry deteriorated in the East," says the article, "in comparison with the high standard it attained in the West, yet the purity of the original, traced in Sanscrit documents and books, shows how the various ancient charges were taught by the high priests of old in the Upanishads and Puranas . . . ."
INTERESTING NEWS ITEMS
Chief of Police Quigg Arrested in Miami
It is well-known that in certain parts of the South, the life and reputation of negroes or other non-whites are not held in very high regard. However, the day of reckoning comes in its own good time. Recently H. Leslie Quigg, Chief of Police for Miami, Florida, brought himself into prominence in the press throughout America thru his race and color prejudice against non-whites and his high-handed methods of dealing with them. At the time, it seemed that this mistaken soul was going to continue unrebuked in his crimes against his darker-skinned brothers. However, as a result of the findings of a Grand Jury investigation into the Miami Police Department, the public career of Chief of Police Quigg has been brought to a halt. On March 23rd, Quigg was arrested on an indictment charging him with first degree murder of H. Kier, negro prisoner, alleged to have been killed two and a half years ago by members of the police department.
The Grand Jury recommended complete reorganization of the police department, declaring it had found an alliance between the department and the underworld and had learned details of "numerous crimes" committed by members of the department with the full cooperation and in some cases, the direction and leadership of high departmental officers. The report further states that "all sorts of indignities and insults and brutalities" had been suffered by citizens who had been arrested, sometimes without any reason, by the Miami police under Chief Quigg. The Grand Jury investigation report further revealed the existence in the Police Department of an "amazing growth of unlawful practices", "so unreasonable, so brutal, so inhuman and astounding" as to constitute an "unbelievable state of affairs." The report charged that the Miami police were guilty of employing "terrifying and damnable methods" and of inflicting "torture, indignities and inhumanities" on those in their charge. This reign of terror under chief Quigg has been brought to a halt by his long-deferred arrest, and the non-whites in southern Florida may now reasonably expect to receive justice for their many wrongs.
Indian Film Shown Here
"The Light of Asia," a picture produced in India and filmed around Jaipur in Rajputana amid the actual scenes of the life of the Guatama Buddha, has recently reached America and will doubtless be shown in the large cities of this country. The various parts have been acted by members of the Hindu nobility in view of the sacred significance of the film. The picture was recently shown in Washington, D.C., and was enthusiastically received.
Christian Humility in Spain
An Associated Press dispatch states that on April 5th, the King and Queen of Spain washed the feet of twenty-six beggars, in an annual religious ceremony betokening Christian humility. Similar services occurred in the palaces of every Archbishop and Bishop in Spain.
Senator Ferris Passes Away
Senator Woodbridgbe N. Ferris of Michigan, a dear friend of Swami Yogananda and a member of his Washington Yogoda class, died recently in Washington. The Senator, who was 75 years old, was the founder of the Ferris Industrial School in Michigan and was well-known as an educator. He was know as the "good gray governor" of Michigan, the man who rode thru the state’s normal Republican majority of 500,000 votes to be elected to the Senate as a Democrat in 1922, an achievement that had no duplication in Michigan’s political records for the past 70 years.
Explorer Finds Hindu Tribe
A Universal Service dispatch from Chicago, dated March 11th, recounted the following experience of an English explorer:
"With the discovery of the long-sought tribe of Hindu Yogis to her credit, Jill Crossley-Batt, famous English woman explorer, was in Chicago today, bound for her home in England.
"The tribe lives in the strongholds of the Himalaya mountains, a two months’ journey from the farthest outposts of civilization," she said. "These people, primitive in their ways of living, but versed in the age-old lore of occultism and Yogiism, are different from many of the known Indian tribes. They are a stalwart race and live to an incredible age.
"I talked with men who were at least 150 years old, yet they were straight as an arrow, active, with not a gray hair in their heads. The women live to correspondingly advanced ages and I saw some over 70 who were bearing children, married to men well over 100.
"Inculcated with the wisdom of the East from birth, they told me many things that were happening in my home and to my friends in far-off England at the very moment I was talking to them, which I later verified."
Super-Conscious Mind Recognized by Scientists
New York, April 4, 1928.—Jules-Bois, French lecturer and member of L’Ecole de Psychologie, or psychological department of the Sorbonne, arrived yesterday on the French liner Il de France. He told of the recognition on the part of French scientists of the so-called "superconscious" mind which is the exact opposite of Dr. Sigmund Freud’s subconscious mind and which he said was the quality "which makes man really man and not just a super-animal."
M. Jules-Bois said that the existence of a superconscious mind had long been recognized philosophically, being in reality the "over-soul" spoken of by Emerson, but that it was only recently that it had been recognized scientifically. He described it as the mental attribute which afforded inspiration to genius. He said that belief in this was not mysticism though it recognized and valued the qualities which mystics preached.
The new psychological quality had been investigated in French laboratories associated with the Sorbonne, he said. M. Jules-Bois added that it had practical applications and described how French psychologists had cured an habitual drunkard by arousing his sense of moral values through the awakening of this superconscious mind.
He said that the awakening of the moral consciousness was not to be confused with Coueism or hypnotism. These, though effective in some cases, he said, were relatively superficial. M. Jules-Bois, who has already spoken in this country under the auspices of the Alliance Francaise, will lecture on this subject in America.—New York Times.
Hindu Citizenship Bill in Congress
Congressman Celler of Brooklyn, New York, has recently introduced into Congress a bill intended to amend the naturalization law "to permit Hindus legally admitted to the United States to become naturalized". Last year, Senator Copeland of New York sponsored a bill in Congress intended to give a legal definition to the words "white persons" in order to include Hindus within the scope of that definition, since they are Aryans and Caucasians. These two congressmen have earned the gratitude of the Hindus in America for their efforts on behalf of the Hindus.
Swami Visiting His Centers
Swami Yogananda visited his Boston Center in March. He will spend the month of April in visiting his various other Eastern Centers. On April 12th he will address his Buffalo students on "The Power of Truth versus Untruth." On April 14th he will address his Pittsburgh Center, and on April 15th will attend the 2nd Annual Banquet of that Center in the Soldiers Memorial Hall. On April 22nd, the Swami will be the guest of the Cincinnati Center. He will also visit his Cleveland, Detroit and Washington Centers during April.
In May, Swami Yogananda will start his lecture series and class work again. Further details will be given in the next issue of this magazine.
Proposes All-Religions Center
The "New York Times" reports the following substance of a lecture given before the International Missionary Council now in session in Jerusalem, by Professor William Hocking, professor of philosophy at Harvard University:
"He drew an analogy between the technique of the psych-analyst and the religious practices. He concluded by declaring that in the future missionaries must add to the proclamation of the truth by the spoken word, the revelation of truth through action. Professor Hocking further suggested that there be established in various parts of the world centers where representatives of different faiths could live together, with chapel and library facilities, as well as places where those interested could talk together and share spiritual experiences and values, so establishing a spiritual community. Such institutions throughout the world, he said, would be an accomplishment of the missionary aim: that is, establishment of the spiritual community of the world. Thus, he asserted, might be realized the meaning of the ancient cry; "I am the vine; ye are the branches."
"Men travel to gaze upon mountain-heights and the waves of the sea, broad-flowing rivers and the expanse of the ocean and the courses of the stars, and pass by themselves, the crowning wonder."—St. Augustine’s "Confessions."
REVIEWS OF INSPIRING BOOKS
THE PRESENCE by E. Charles
Reviewed by Swami Yogananda
I wish to recommend to all my students and to the public in general this book by E. Charles. It is extremely interesting, bringing out the most profound truths in a simple, readable and entertaining manner. It uniquely weaves deep mysticism with an absorbing love-story. I enjoyed it immensely, for it held my attention and interest on every page. It is a beautiful story of Ideal Love and Truth. Everyone should read it. The deep underlying meaning of many mysterious passages in the Bible is explained in a fascinating way.
The author says in the Foreword: "The human brain operates on much the same principle as the radio. If the electrical energies (the life forces) of the individual are largely lifted into the brain for regeneration, the potential range, or area, of the brain easily embraces the Fourth Dimension—the Super-planes, Powers and Bliss of the Higher Consciousness. (Those who know the highest type of Marriage have little grossness to overcome.) If the electrical energies of the individual are largely dissipated in selfish, worldly pursuits, speaking in radio parlance, the brain only picks up ‘local happenings’."
This remarkable and engrossing story will be a wonderful inspiration to those seeking spiritual enlightenment as well as to those wishing to while away a happy hour in reading an interesting novel.
SOUL SYMPHONIES by James Warnack.
(Order form J. Warnack. The Times, Editorial Room, Los Angeles, Cal.) $1.00.
Reviewed by Countess Ilya Tolstoy
The poet loves to listen to the songs within the shrine of his soul. When he is saturated and completely one with his heart’s melodies, then the precious drops fall from the superabundance of his soul as rose petals fall when the flower reaches the splendor of its bloom.
When one is reading the poetry of Mr. Warnack, one feels the touch of eternal beauty coming from deeply hidden springs of the human soul; feels the direct communion with the beautiful longings of the ideal Self, with that Something in us which we fully realize when we are silently within our Self. We feel that we commune with the mysteries of our depths, which are longing for the beautiful, for the satisfaction of Self-expression and, finally, with the rays and wings of inspiration, are reaching to the realm of universality and all-inclusive comprehension.
The poet consciously leads, guides his thoughts; his words are mastered by wisdom, by universal understanding. His horizon is broadened by the heights of the soul’s summits, which are reversed depths that reflect themselves in the crystalline lakes of his poetry. He sees the stars and skies but he also knows the flowers of the valleys, all in one big, universal perspective. The joys of an impersonal ideal have reconciled the poet with the unsolvable conflicts of human life. Up and down, without and within, he finds the same essence of life—which is enchanting spirituality, which is love, tremendous stupendity of the Absolute, the Spirit—God.
This poetry is a poetical synthesis of the subjective beauties of the soul and the depths of philosophical thought. These "symphonies of the Soul" are dear to the hearts of those who have chosen the path of roses and thorns of the mystic.
THE DANCE OF SIVA—by Ananda Coomaraswamy.
(Order from Holliday Bookshop, 49 E. 49th St., New York)
In the fourteen essays comprising this book, the author has given a cross-section of Indian life and has analysed the influences that have shaped it from most ancient times. He writes on art, sociology, the status of Indian women, binding these subjects together with the strong, long thread of Hindu thought, which in all its phases of development has as its converging point the search for God and union with Him. It was this aim, he says, that gave purpose and meaning to Indian life. The religious basis of society seemed the only practical one to a Hindu, and on it developed the caste system, the vital nucleus of Indian civilization and the secret of her stability during the changing centuries. This system of society is based on the twin theories of rebirth and karma, i.e., that each individual is born into those conditions of heredity and environment wherein he can reap the rewards and pay the debts of action performed in previous lives and where he will meet the new experiences which will open his eyes to the guideposts on the Way to God.
The most tangible evidence of this all-pervading, mystical impulse is seen in Indian art. Coomaraswamy gives a scholarly and detailed discussion of the philosophy of aesthetics and shows how the idea of Absolute Beauty is the apprehension of a profound religious truth. This is realized in the concept of Art as Yoga, the outward expression of the inner union with God. The ideal was the identification of the artist with the object of his devotion, the Deity revealing Himself as model to his love. Thus to see God was in itself the glorious reward of work. There was no desire for personal fame (for it is rare indeed that the name of any individual Indian artist has come down to posterity). One can thus understand the grand impetus that led men to serve their God by picturing in song or stone His glorious incarnations. This is ideally represented in the perfect frescoes of Ajanta, although Buddhism had to develop from a philosophy to a religion before this mellow and lyrical art was possible. In the early Himayana days of Buddhism, the figure of Gotama was never represented except symbolically, either by his footprints or the Wisdom Tree or some event in his life. But the great concourse of monks in various caves throughout India gradually gave rise to different schools and different interpretations of the Buddha’s doctrine until, conceived a deity, his image gave fresh inspiration to Indian art. As the Buddha-yogi, seated cross-legged in profound meditation, his figure has influenced Eastern art and thought to this day. This conception, writes Coomaraswamy, is the greatest ideal which Indian sculpture has ever attempted to express.
Throughout the book, there are finely chosen plates representative of sculpture and painting, ideally picturing the author’s themes. Of significant interest are those illustrating various stages in Buddhist art and its connection with Indian art per se. The chapter on "Buddhist Primitives" is an inspiration to further knowledge of this intricate and fascinating field. But art is so woven into the fabric of Indian thought and feeling that one must understand the latter in order to fully appreciate the former. These, to Westerners, bizarre figures with many arms have an amazing rhythmic unity to the eye that sees art in terms of the universal. This is most deeply felt in the figures of Siva who is so often conceived of as Nataraja, the god who dances in the heart of man and in whose infinite rhythm the order of the cosmos is expressed. Time is but the shadow cast by the eternal Mahadeva and in the circle of His ceaseless and beautiful activity there is room for all conceptions and expressions of the universe, since it is His dancing that motivates them all. It is this unity in diversity that illumines the pages of Coomaraswamy’s book whether he discussed music (and this is indeed a brilliant chapter) or politics, his whole book showing India’s contribution to the world. He explains her view of life and describes her heritage of art. He does not hark back to the past as the building stone for the future but from that post, captures the beauty in thought and art. The secret of this beauty is unity. This is the goal of East and West. One cannot live without the other and India’s faith in her religious philosophy as a key to the solving of social problems is a challenge to Europe. That Western achievement may be tempered by Eastern philosophy and vice versa is the hope of the future and Coomeraswamy’s book is one of a series of causes that should bring about the great result.
YOUNG INDIA—by M. K. Gandhi.
This book is a compilation of Mahatma Gandhi’s editorials in his weekly, "Young India". It is intensely interesting as a guide to the author’s moral, intellectual and spiritual growth. His amazing honesty, humility and spiritual strength transfigure each page with the glow of beauty and inspiration.
The text of his articles concern themselves mainly with the theme of salvation for India thru Hindu-Moslem unity, the relief of the "untouchable" class, and the re-establishment in every Indian home of the daily use of the spinning-wheel for economic independence and the restoration of India’s ancient village glory.
Beautiful thoughts like the following bejewel the book throughout:
"Non-violent resistance is the resistance of one will against another. That resistance is possible only when it is freed from reliance on brute force. Reliance on brute force as a rule presupposes surrender when that force is exhausted . . . I admit that the strong will rob the weak and that it is sin to be weak. But this is said to the soul in man, not of the body. If it be said of the body, we could never be free from the sin of weakness. But the strength of soul can defy a whole world in arms against it. This strength is open to the weakest in body . . . Nor need love be reciprocal. It is its own reward. Many a mother has tamed by her love her erring defiant children. Let us all prepare to get rid of the weakness of love. There is chance of success there. For rivalry in loving is conducive to health. The world has been trying all these ages to become strong in the wielding of brute force and it has miserably failed. Rivalry in generating brute force is race suicide . . . Frightfulness, exploitation of the weak, immoral gains, insatiable pursuit after enjoyments of the flesh are utterly inconsistent with soul-force."
"The law of love—call it attraction, affinity, cohesion, if you like—governs the world. Life persists in the face of death. The universe continues in spite of destruction incessantly going on. Truth triumphs over untruth. Love conquers hate."
A correspondent of Gandhi writes him as follows:
"Mahatmaji, you admit that the people of India have not followed your creed. You do not seem to realize the cause of it. The truth is that the average person is not a Mahatma. History proves this fact beyond doubt. There have been a few Mahatmas in India and elsewhere. These are exceptions. And the exceptions only prove the rule. You must not base your actions on the exceptions."
To this Gandhi replies:
"It is curious how we delude ourselves. We fancy that one can make the perishable body impregnable and we think it impossible to evoke the hidden powers of the soul. Well, I am engaged in trying to show, if I have any of these powers, that I am as frail a mortal as any of us and that I never had any thing extraordinary about me nor have any now. I claim to be a simple individual liable to err like any other fellow mortal. I own, however, that I have humility enough in me to confess my errors and to retrace my steps. I own that I have an immovable faith in God and His goodness and unconsumable passion for truth and love. But is that not what every person has latent in him? If we are to make progress, we must not repeat history but make new history. We must add to the inheritance left by our ancestors. If we may make new discoveries and inventions in the phenomenal world, must we declare our bankruptcy in the spiritual domain? Is it impossible to multiply the exceptions so as to make them the rule? Must man always be brute first and man after, if at all?"
"THE SANCTITY OF POLITICS"
Dr. Glenn Frank, President of the University of Wisconsin, is reported to have delivered at the opening session of the Wisconsin Senate the following prayer:
"Almighty God, Lord of all governments, help us, in the opening hours of this legislative session, to realise the sanctity of politics.
"Save us from the sins to which we shall be subtly tempted as the calls of parties and the cries of interests beat upon this seat of government.
"Save us from thinking about the next election when we should be thinking about the next generation.
"Save us from dealing in personalities when we should be dealing in principles.
"Save us from thinking too much about the vote of majorities when we should be thinking about the virtue of measures.
"Save us, in crucial hours of debate, from saying the things that will take when we should be saying the things that are true.
"Save us from indulging in catch words when we should be searching for facts.
"Save us from making party an end in itself when we should be making it a means to an end.
"We do not ask mere protection from these temptations that will surround us in these legislative halls; we ask also for an even finer insight into the meaning of government that we may be better servants of the men and women who have committed the government of this commonwealth into our hands.
"Help us to realise that the unborn are part of our constituency, although they have no vote at the polls.
‘May we have greater reverence for the truth than for the past. Help us to make party our servant rather than our master.
"May we know that it profits us nothing to win elections if we lose our courage.
"Help us to be independent alike of tyrannical majorities and tirading minorities when the truth abides in neither.
"May sincerity inspire our motives and science inform our methods.
"Help us to serve the crowd without flattering it, and believe in it without bowing to its idolatries."
"Seek for beauty—she only
Fights with man against Death."
THE MALADY OF THE IDEAL
—By A. S. Wadia
(In the following article, which appeared recently in "The Indian Review", the author has pointed out the prevalence, in gifted persons, of the "malady of the Ideal" but he has failed to realize the true significance of this "malady", which in reality is the human yearning for perfection, the hunger after forgotten spiritual verities. This submerged but forever existent and inescapable urge within each human soul is alone, of all man’s forces, powerful enough to drive him on and on to perfection, never satisfied, never content, never at rest until the lost divinity is regained.)
"O mine is still the lone trail,
The hard trail, the best,
Wide wind, and wild stars,
And the Hunger of the Quest."
—I. R. McLeod.
Modern Psychotherapy has brought to our knowledge new and mysterious maladies of the mind. There is, however, one that no psychopathist has ever cared to classify nor any psycho-analyst has yet attempted to analyze. And that malady is the Malady of the Ideal. And well it is that they have left it severely alone for in nothing would their labors, so fruitful in many directions, prove so futile as in tackling a mental ailment that has prevailed in the world from the beginning of time, counts among its victims the greatest minds that have ever lived and, in consequence, remains one of the most obstinate and incurable of mental diseases known to us. And yet it is not exactly a mental disease; it is rather a mental distemper or distress. For the malady lies in a certain morbid condition of a really healthy and powerful mind, often of the most exceptional vigor and depth.
The Malady consists essentially in carrying things to extremes, in working out an idea to death. Herein lies its ingrained and unmistakable morbidity or, as some would say, its distinguishing and irrepressible intrepidity. For it all depends on the way we look at the malady. The fact is that a certain grand idea finds entrance into the mind of these superior spirits and there it ferments and matures into an ideal and takes complete possession of the mind to the exclusion of all other ideas. Once the idea, now converted into an ideal, has acquired a mastery over these singular people, it gives them no peace nor rest, but lashes and drive them on till they submissively carry out what its tyrant-will urges them to do.
Napoleon is a fine instance of this Malady. He was throughout his long and dazzling career lashed on but by one ideal—namely, of evolving out of the waste and confusion of his times a common general idea, a common general purpose among the nations of the West, by bringing about a grand synthesis of its moral and intellectual forces, having first reduced the whole of Europe under one system of law and Government with France as its sovereign authority and all powerful arbiter and Paris serving at once as the repository of its past art and culture and the radiating centre of all its future civilizing influences in the world. This was the ideal which, as he himself said to the faithful companions of his exile, lured him on all through his life, and in fact, it was the intense and unscrupulous pursuit of it that inevitably ended his meteoric career and entombed him alive in St. Helena. Coming to our own times, the finest living instance is, as the reader will have guessed, Gandhi. The dominant ideal in his case has been Non-Violence. Not to defend one’s self, not to show anger, not to hold anyone responsible; on the contrary, to pray for, to suffer with, and even to love those who use us ill—that is Gandhi’s mode and ideal of life. This modern prophet of non-violence has lived as he has preached and in fact it was the reckless pursuit of this noble ideal that made him find his lodging for two years behind the bars of an English jail.
The above is one phase of the Malady, when the ideal cherished is more or less definite and aims at a goal which however distant is more or less fixed. There is another phase in which it becomes quite vague and intangible, when the ideal aimed at is a kind of pure fantasy and the goal set is a kind of will-o’-the-wisp which recedes the further, the further one goes in pursuit of it. Amiel well expresses the nature of this phase of the malady, when he says:—
"I have not given away my heart, hence this restlessness of spirit. I will not let it be taken captive by that which cannot fill and satisfy it: hence this instinct of pitiless detachment from all that charms me without permanently binding me; so that it seems as if my love of movement, which looks so like inconstancy, was at bottom only a perpetual search, a hope, a desire, a care, the Malady of the Ideal."
"The smallest dew-drop on the meadow
at night has a star sleeping in its bosom."
MORE ABOUT "MOTHER INDIA"
One good effect which Miss Mayo little expected when she wrote her false and vicious book against India, was that the friends of India would rally to her banner to defend her. Everywhere hosts of real lovers of India have rushed to expose the falsehoods of Miss Mayo’s book—teachers, missionaries and foreign residents of India who have lived many years or in many cases all their lives in India have not hesitated to state that the conclusions of Miss Mayo are entirely wrong, based on false, untrustworthy or insufficient data due to the fact that Miss Mayo spent only a few months in India, devoting herself exclusively to hospital and other morbid records instead of observing India as a whole.
Atlantic Monthly. The February, 1928 issue of The Atlantic Monthly contains an excellent article exposing the worthlessness of Miss Mayo’s book "Mother India." It is written by Rev. Alden H. Clark, who for seventeen years has worked as an educational and evangelical missionary in India. He has served on the Executive Committee of the National Church Council of India and is now chairman of the oldest mission of the American Board. He says in his article, "‘Mother India’ has struck a blow both against truth and against interracial understanding and good-will . . . The influence of this book is, indeed, calculated to lower the tone of civilization by stimulating people in both East and West to interpret each other by whatever is indecent and beastly . . . Omissions, misstatements, and misunderstandings that everyone who has lived in India must recognize, bob up so frequently that if one were to hit them all he would have to be a ten-armed Irishman with a shillalah in every hand . . . Miss Mayo has ignored and minimized the great mass of favorable evidence that lay ready to a writer’s hand . . . The book’s main contention is definitely disproved by statistics."
Mrs. Cousins, who has lived in intimate friendship with the women of India for twelve years, says: "I aver that the total impression she (Miss Mayo) conveys to any reader, either inside or outside India, is cruelly and wickedly untrue." Miss M. M. Underhill, a well-known missionary in India, writes in the International Review of Missions for October, 1927: "the book shows throughout a lack of any background knowledge of India; and, what is more serious, it shows a lack of appreciation—one might almost say of power to appreciate—in face of a civilization foreign to previous experience . . . One cannot help asking, ‘Does Miss Mayo know even now much more of India than she did before going?’ We doubt it."
Mahatma Gandhi writes: "the book is without doubt untruthful . . . The book is brimful of descriptions of incidents of which an average Indian, at any rate, has no knowledge . . .it is the report of a drain inspector." Mahatma Gandhi gives the following quotation from an Indian poem to illustrate Miss Mayo’s unworthy attitude:
"On the lips of the good, vice becomes virtue.
And even virtue appears as vice
In the mouth of the evil-minded;
This need not surprise us.
For, do not the mighty clouds
Drink the salt waters of the ocean
And return it as sweet refreshing rain,
And does not the cobra, drinking sweet milk,
Belch it forth as the deadliest poison?
Rivers drink not of their own waters,
The trees do not themselves eat the fruit
Which they bear,
Nor do the clouds
Partake of the grains they grow;
Even so the good
Devote their powers to the good of others."
Father India By C. S. Ranga Iyer.
(Selwyn and Blount, Ltd., 6 Duke Street, Adelphia W. C. 2, London—$2.00). This book by a member of the Indian Legislative Assembly is a reply in detail to Miss Mayo’s book, and exposes all the falsehoods of her cleverly but viciously written book. Mr. Iyer’s book gives a mass of very interesting and instructive information on India and present-day conditions.
A Son of Mother India Answers: This book by Dhan Gopal Mukerji published by E. P. Dutton, New York ($1.50) is a small book but effectively and very calmly and tolerantly answers Miss Mayo’s charges against India. It exposes the false structure on which the whole of "Mother India" is based, showing that Miss Mayo has failed to give the names of those whom she quotes, has put her words into the mouths of anonymous critics, and has used quotations from a critic who has been dead a hundred years as though he were yet living and speaking of present-day conditions. Mr. Mukerji’s book is beautifully and sanely written and will be enjoyed by its readers. Mr. Mukerji concludes his book with these words from an Indian sage:
"India needs love. The West has given her criticism these many years. I am quite clear in what I am saying: love her and she will fulfill her destiny . . . The world is suffering from judgment. Men talk philosophy to their brother writhing and bleeding on the ground, a spear planted in his heart. What the poor wounded man needs, they, the instructors of mankind, do not see; it is not the salt of judgment on his wound, but the strong hands of affection. East and West are words that stab with criticism—drop thy words, like daggers by the roadside, and rush to thy Brother’s rescue . . . Bring out the Face of Compassion from within thy heart!
Bathe the wounded body of man in the cleansing currents of thine inward peace."
MUSSOLINI SINGS OF BREAD
Premier Mussolini, who has brought the dark whole wheat bread back into favor in Italy, has other sensible and health-giving ideas on diet. He himself drinks milk daily with his meals, and avoids meat, tea, coffee and wine.
The proclamation in Italy of National Bread Days in April has called forth from Il Duce the following poetic lines:
"Italians! Love bread, heart of the home,
Savor of the repast, joy of health;
"Respect bread, sweat of the brow,
Pride of labor, poem of sacrifice;
"Honor bread, glory of the fields,
Fragrance of the earth, feast of life;
"Do not waste bread, richness of the fatherland,
Sweetest gift of God, most holy reward of human toil."
TO A DEVOTEE
—By Charles H. Hubbard
O ecstatic one, why do you thrill with bliss?
The summer is past
And yet to you there are flowers.
The winds have ceased
To be laden with nature’s soft sweetness,
Your garments are thin,
While others shiver full-robed.
Your voice is strong and your step is firm
Yet you are ecstatic, drinking sweet nectars
That come to you in the form of sweet words
From the Lord.
O devotee, why is thy passion so great?
What is He, thy God,
That you should seek for Him always,
Overcoming all obstacles
That stand in your way to Bliss Union with Him?
"Be not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; Serving the Lord."—Romans 12:11.
OM PRAYER—By Stanley S. Staring
(Suggested by "Om" by Swami Yogananda)
Father, we thank Thee for this soundless roar,
Of the booming Om breaking on bliss’ shore.
We thank Thee
These vibrations loosen all our wealth,
And the heart and breath
No more disturb our health.
Our house is lulled in darkness
But for Thine Infinite Light;
Thy flute, Thy harp, Thy bell,
Do wond’rously resound this night;
And upward soar our thoughts
Through Thine ethereal sea.
To join with Thee, our God,
In one grand symphony.
PRAYER FOR TABLE BLESSING
—By Swami Yogananda
Heavenly Spirit, receive this food—
Make it holy.
Let not the impurities of my thought
In any way defile it.
It is for Thy temple.
Spirit to Spirit goes.
WHOSO HATH FELT
So even I athirst for His inspiring,
I who have talk’d with Him, forget again;
Yes, many days with sobs and with desiring,
Offer to God a patience and a pain.
The mid complaint of my confession,
Then through the pang and passion of my prayer,
Leaps with a start the shock of His possession,
Thrills me and touches, and the Lord is there.
Whoso hath felt the Spirit of the Highest
Cannot confound, nor doubt Him, nor deny;
Yea, with one voice, O world,
Though thou deniest,
Stand thou on that side, for on this am I.
"To me the meanest flower that blows
Brings thoughts that often lie too deep for tears."
NEW YOGODA TESTIMONIALS
"I have been deaf in my left ear for about 15 years. After attending your lectures a few times, I tested my hearing. I can now hear the faint tick of a watch."—Julius Edwin Snyder, 3069 S. W. 7th Street, Miami, Fla.
"The teachings of Swami Yogananda have been a revelation to me in the art of practical concentration, and also in the art of living. The lesson on the spiritual contact of Cosmic Vibration is alone of inestimable value, and I am truly grateful for this great message from India."—Mrs. L. M. Raine, 153 N. W. 2nd Street, Miami, Fla.
"Since your healing meeting, I can now leave off my glasses on the street, for the first time since I was a child. I sincerely hope all will receive the vibrations from heaven as I have at the Swami’s Yogoda classes."—E. L. Thalmer, 133 N. E. 3rd Avenue, Miami, Fla.
"Your lectures and lessons have been a revelation to me; they have been most inspiring."—Mrs. J. Rutherland, 130 N. W. 35th Street, Miami, Fla.
"I had severe pain in my side. After attending your lectures, I was healed. I also had trouble with both my arches, but after taking the Yogoda class, and practising regularly, I am now cured and can send the energy there without pain. I thank God for the wonderful teaching He has sent."—H. King, 30 Smith Cottage, Miami Beach, Fla.
"Yogoda came to me, as sent from Heaven, after a lifetime of longing, praying and dissatisfied study. Truth is everywhere, but Yogoda is the essence."—H. S. Nelson, 812 N. W. 31st Street, Miami, Fla.
"His teachings of Yogoda, so conscientious and painstaking, have restored the health of two members of my family. My brother, a World War veteran, was wounded overseas and has never been well since. It was only after he became an enthusiastic student of Yogoda that he began to show marked improvement.
"My father suffered from stomach trouble for many years, and although he interviewed the most prominent men of the medical world, he could find no relief until he followed the directions of diet and exercises of Yogoda. I have been a superintendent of one of the northern hospitals, coming in close contact with suffering humanity. With the great inspiration of inestimable value that I have received from the Yogoda class, I feel I will return to my beloved work and give more than ever the helping hand that humanity needs.
"The teachings of Yogoda help one to check the minor strain, and sould the note of physical, mental and spiritual culture and beauty. It also gives one full power to transform all fruitless wastes into gardens of promise and gladness."—Marion Greenberg, R. N., 722 Palm Avenue, Hialeah, Fla.
"Yogoda rejuvenates ideals, and spiritual, body and health activities. It is a vital, authentic method of adding zest to the joy of living, coupleD with sane methods of simplified instruction for blending spiritual, mental and physical forces in daily life. Yogoda proves to be a revelation of joy and peace, as testified to by hundreds of pupils of Yogoda in Minneapolis and St. Paul."—E. F. Hall, 2720 W. 44th Street, Minneapolis, Minn.
"Must express my appreciation of all the benefits received from Yogoda—both mentally and physically, each day overcoming wrong habits. I have practically laid off my glasses which I have worn over ten years."—H. Treat, New Brighton, Minn.
"I have received great spiritual benefit under the tutorship of Swami Yogananda and hope for great development through practice of the lessons."—Boel Refsum, 1312 15th Ave., N., Minneapolis.
"I have had eczema on my hands for twenty years. Since attending Swami Yogananda’s class, I find that I am cured, for which I thank God."—L. DuBay, 3820 Cedar Ave., S., Minneapolis.
"Words cannot express my feelings and the results of your wonderful teachings. I have been healed of a very bad case of sinus infection, from which I had suffered for six years."—E. Unterfenger, 948 Kensington Ave., Buffalo, N. Y.
"I received such wonderful results from Yogoda, that I want you to know about them. Before Yogoda came, I suffered pain and numbness in my thigh—this has now all left me. I also had my hearing restored, for which I am so grateful."—M. L. Haas, 204 Bidwell Parkway, Buffalo, N. Y.
HEALING SERVICE FOR ALL
Every morning at seven o’clock Swami Yogananda sends a Divine Healing Prayer Vibration to his students and all who ask his help in healing and liberating themselves from physical or mental disease or the spiritual suffering of ignorance. Anyone who wishes to avail himself of this help, which the Swami is happy to extend to all, may write to the Los Angeles headquarters, briefly stating the nature of his or her trouble. This service is supported by love-offerings.
The Mount Washington Educational Center, headquarters of Yogoda Sat-Sanga, is supported by donations and pledges and by Swami Yogananda, who has already given more that $32,000 of his own earnings from class-receipts to support the Institution, which is established and maintained for the good of all, being a non-sectarian spiritual Center for Yogoda (harmonious development of all of Man’s faculties and Sat-Sanga (fellowship with Truth). Those who will help to support this work and Institution are helping God’s work. Donations and pledges are needed and will be greatly appreciated.
TWO RECIPES—By Swami Yogananda
Judge no one save thyself. Clean thy own mental house. Seeing thee, many others will be inspired to clean their own houses.
Look not for thy spiritual flower every day. Sow thy seed, water it with prayer and right endeavor, and when the sprout will come, busy thyself with the health of thy plant, picking out the weeds of doubt, indecision and laziness. Some morning you will suddenly behold thy long-looked-for spiritual flower of realization!
The Satan of the spiritual path has claws of bad habits, in which he tightly holds his victims to the rut of sense pleasures, away from the joys of eternal life. Do not be tempted by this Satan to forget God and your daily meditation. On the altar of prayer and meditation, lay your offering daily to God, and soon the Satan of bad habits will have no power over you. Before your strength, his hold will weakly relax. There is hidden strength within you to overcome all obstacles and temptations. Bring forth that indomitable power and energy!
Grate a fresh coconut fine. Mix it with one cup of cream whipped with the yolk of an egg. This is an excellent substitute for meat in strength-giving qualities.
Sliced egg-plants slowly baked in the oven, covered with a little tomato sauce, make a delicious and healthful dish.
Whole Wheat Grains
Whole wheat grains, mixed with a little honey, and topped with whipped cream, is a meal in itself.
Eat less, chew well. Think not of your taste alone, but of your health. Summer is coming; eat fruits plentifully. Walk or run daily. Bathe daily. Avoid starches. Life can be much simplified by a simple diet. The time saved can be used on better things than catering to the body.
Otto H. Kahn Stresses Service
In an interview which was published recently in the "Miami Herald," Edgar Hay says of the famous banker, Otto H. Kahn;: "You suspect that the world to him is a rose, to be studied and enjoyed, in all its color and fragrance, rather than an oyster to be opened. His undoubted energy is a quiet, dynamic energy, not the restless kind that wastes itself in undirected action. He impresses you as a man who has found the center of his being. You suspect him of a profound continual happiness. He has found beauty. This is Otto Kahn, the patron of the fine arts, who has done more for cultural America than perhaps any other man living. This is the man who is president and chairman of the Metropolitan Opera Company, vice-president of the Philharmonic Orchestra Society and director of the American Federation of Arts."
"The interviewer quotes Mr. Kahn as having made the following remarks on service, beauty and spirituality:
"The man to whom money is everything has no heart. When a man achieves material success and piles up possessions, he owes something to the community that provided his opportunities. The community invests in a man by allowing him opportunities for success. It has a right to expect dividends in service from that man when he attains his goal. The whole method by which rewards are given and the basic idea of opportunities for all are based on that principle of the community’s benefiting by the individual’s success. It means just a fair deal to the community. It is not an altruistic, nor a quixotic idea. It is a self-evident principle of society. It is just the same as when I invest in bonds or stocks. I expect them to pay dividends The man who wins success and does not pay dividends to his community in some sort of service is a dead one—a worthless investment.
"This service to the community may be manifested in constructive business activity, in helping community interests, or in furthering cultural and artistic growth. With me, it has happened that I am particularly interested in the latter. Culture is gaining ground in America. It is steadily becoming of greater importance to America, and there is as much artistic talent to the square inch in America as in any other country of the world.
"The Americans are yearning more and more for the fine things of the spirit. They want to give their souls an airing. They are seeking nourishment for their inner selves. They are finding an outlet for their emotional longings in producing art. They realize that you must add something spiritual to a man beside his material needs and possessions. In art, culture and all spiritual affairs America now is going forward rapidly in the great upward movement."
A Mathematician’s View
Professor Charles Henry of the Sorbonne, famous French mathematician, recently declared to the world of science that after a lifetime of scientific research he believed that reincarnation was mathematically justified and that the human soul could definitely be measured by higher calculus.
"Water is a compound of oxygen and hydrogen," said the professor. "Combine these two gases and you have water. It is possible to resolve water back into its ingredients . . . you have destroyed the water, done away with it. But you have not destroyed or done away with the oxygen and hydrogen. They exist; they are free of each other; they can make new combinations. That is what happens to the soul . . . None of us ever dies. That electrical radiation—call it personality, individual characteristics, soul if you like, or ‘biological vibration,’ goes on and on. Set free by death, it seeks another envelope, because only so can it establish equilibrium. All our souls have been used before. They will all be used again."
"THE DANCE OF THE TREES"—Charles M. Crocker
"Charles Crocker does not paint directly from nature. He uses form only as a means to an end, that is, to embody his thought emotions. His paintings are individual expressions of mood vibration. He consciously combines colors to produce whatever vibration corresponds to the feeling he wills to express, for he understands the relation between the vibration of color and the vibration of moods.
"This artist uses form only as a means to an end, that is, to embody his thought emotions, and one unconsciously forgets the forms and becomes one with the mood, to again lose himself in the silence that pervades it. His paintings have rightly been called ‘spiritual dynamics’. As the violet-ray tube in the world of science has made visible the healing violet-rays to serve mankind, so Mr. Crocker in the world of art makes himself a vehicle, by his skillful use of color in rhythm, to bring from the universal reservoir of thought-supply certain thought-concepts otherwise intangible."—Kamala Devi.
AIMS AND TENETS OF THE YOGODA SAT-SANGA MOVEMENT
1.—Universal all-round education, and establishment of educational institutions for the development of man’s physical, mental and spiritual natures.
2.—Contacting Cosmic Consciousness — the ever-new, ever-existing, ever-conscious Bliss-God—through the scientific technique of concentration and meditation taught by the Masters of all ages.
3.—Attaining bodily health through the "Yogoda" technique of recharging the body-battery from inner life-energy.
4.—Intelligently maintaining the physical body on unadulterated foods, including a large percentage of raw fruits, vegetables and nuts.
5.—Physical, mental and spiritual healing.
6.—Establishing, by a scientific system of realization, the absolute basic harmony and oneness of Christianity, Hindu Yoga teachings, and all true religions.
7.—Serving all mankind as one’s larger Self.
8.—Demonstrating the superiority of mind over body, and of soul over mind.
9.—Fighting the Satan of Ignorance—man’s common enemy.
10.—Establishing a spiritual unity among all nations.
11.—Overcoming evil by good, overcoming sorrow by joy; overcoming cruelty by kindness.
12.—Realization of the purpose of life as being the evolution from human consciousness into divine consciousness, through individual struggle.
13.—Realization of the truth that human life is given to man to afford him opportunity to manifest his inner divine qualities, and not for physical pleasure nor selfish gratifications.
14.—Furthering the cultural and spiritual understanding between East and West, and the constructive exchange of the distinctive features of their civilizations.
15.—Uniting science and religion through study and practical realization of the unity of their underlying principles.
MY NATIVE HOME—John Norris
But ah! I’ve lost the little sight;
The scene’s remov’d, and all I see
Is one confus’d dark mass of night;
What nothing was, now nothing seems to be.
How calm this region, how serene, how clear;
Sure, I some strains of heavenly music hear.
On, on! The task is easy now and light;
No steams of earth can here retard thy flight.
Thou needst not now thy strokes renew;
"This but to spread thy pinions wide
And thou with ease thy seat wilt view,
Drawn buy the bent of the ethereal tide.
‘This so, I find; how sweetly on I move,
Not led by things below,
And help’d by those above!
But see! To what new region am I come?
I know it well; it is my native home
Here led I once a life divine,
Which did all good, no evil know.
Ah! Who would such sweet bliss resign
For those vain shows which fools admire below?
’Tis true; but don’t of folly past complain,
But joy to see these blest abodes again.
A good retrieve—but lo! while thus I speak,
With piercing rays the eternal day doth break;
The beauties of the Face divine
Strike strongly on my feeble sight.
With what bright glories doth it shine!
’Tis one immense and ever-flowing Light.
Stop here, my soul;
Thou canst not bear more bliss;
Nor can thy now rais’d palate ever relish less.
THE ISLE—By Frances Wierman
Sometimes I see myself in dreams, a tiny isle
Awash with tidal waves of all eternity,
Alone and drear—I wonder if, upon God’s map
A dot reminds him of the island I call me?
And then—a laden ship appears,
Bearing a course that leads it straight and true
Across the mighty sea,
To anchor snugly in my harbor
And I know God has my name upon his map—And thinks of me!
A famous formula—centuries old— from India, upon analysis and from use meets the most modern scientific requirements.
The flashing, white teeth and healthy gums seen in the Orient are kept free from decay and disease by the daily massaging of the gums with a Powder. Soroda Tooth Powder has distinct astringent qualities which increase blood circulation of the gums, combating the dreaded pyorrhea.
Soroda Tooth Powder is safe. Start using Soroda, morning and night—everyday. You will be amazed at results.
Send for Soroda Tooth Powder today.
In 3 Oz. Cans—65c can
24 STONE ST., NEW YORK
Secrets of the Orient—TONIQUE d’ORIENT "For The Hair"—$1.75.
An introduction to Hindu Dancing
by SRI RAGINI
NRITANJALI is a treatise on the classic Hindu Dance—an ancient and divine art which has drawn expression from vast spiritual resources.
Illustrated with dancing postures and gestures posed by Sri Ragini.
Order from R. B. BAJPAI,
209 Sullivan Place Brooklyn, N. Y.
AN UNIQUE TANTRIC CHAKRA
From the Collection of A Prince of Nepal. Exquisitely set with mystic stones, opals, beryls, amethyst, etc. An apparatus for Yogic and other spiritual exercises. A Veritable work of Art, Scarce and Unique. for Photographs and other particulars, write to
MANAGER: R U P A M :
6 Old Post Office Street,
Edited & Published by Dr. Benedict Lust
A monthly journal of approved methods for gaining, renewing, and maintaining superb health and power of body and mind. A frank, but clean, exponent of the attainment of what human beings want most, through better ways of living, healing, thinking, planning, working, saving, hoping, loving, conquering, and achieving.
This magazine is devoted to the proper care, use, knowledge, development, and enjoyment of life. It covers, in particular, all rational, safe, and effective methods of healing, and it opposes all irrational, unsafe, and ineffective methods. It offers a means of proper health education and acquisition for everybody, and is the only authorized Naturopathic Journal of a popular character in the United States.
With NATURE’S PATH is consolidated the former NATUROPATH and HERALD OF HEALTH, the original Naturopathic magazine, published since 1896 by Dr. Benedict Lust.
NATURE’S PATH is the official Journal of the American Naturopathic Association, the American School of Naturopathy and Chiropractic, and several other societies devoted to the Natural Life, Nature Cure, and Medical Freedom.
Subscription $3.00 per year. 25c copy.
NATURE’S PATH 124 East 41st Street, New York, N. Y.
Return to Index