March—April, 1930 VOL. 4—4
—BY SWAMI YOGANANDA
(From "Whispers from Eternity")
Thou Mother of Flames, show Thy Face, hidden beneath the veil of Cosmic Motion Pictures.
O Mother of time, space, forms, and relativity, Thou hast taken a finite form—the Kali Divine, colossal, symbol-idol of all-sheltering nature. The Spirit was invisible and took the shape of a visible Mother Divine—in whom throbs the heart of all-protecting, mothering kindness.
O Mother Divine! Thy beauty-mark of the moon is set between Thy two dark eye-brows of twilight and night. Clouds of eternity veil Thy Face. Gusts of prophetic lives often have fitfully dared to blow Thy veil of mystery away, momentarily revealing Thy Face hiding behind the stares of ignorance.
O Mother Divine, in the dawn of creation we beheld Thee on the track of time, roaming in the rustic attire of primitive culture, crowned with wild nature, and wearing the garland of unpolished minds and opaque, finite things.
In the noon-day of creation I beheld Thee, wearing a garment of sunny mentalities, scorching souls with the heat of their own material fire. Thy Body of Activity sweated with restlessness. All Thy children felt the heat of want, and implored Thee to send the cooling breeze of peace.
In Thy noon-hour of fulfillment, Thou didst travel through the fiestas of centuries: beholding the dream of human life and death, of the evolution and dissolution of plants, of the birth and death of civilizations, of the drama of the nebulae-moulding worlds—the dream of new-born planets and earthquakes and partial dissolutions. Then the dark night approached, and Thou didst wear the grim, dark veil of mourning, to put creation through the terrible but purifying ordeal of destruction’s fire. The sun burst and belched fire; the cosmic earthquake broke the vase of the sky, dropping embers of stars; and all creation was a furnace of flames. Everything was fire; for matter, sin, darkness, all things, were cast into it, there to become pure, luminous flames.
Creation came from fire: beneath the ashes of matter, the embers of Creation slept; and, rocked by the hands of Mother Divine, Creation awoke with its body of pure flames.
Thy one hand holds the lightning-sword of destruction: another clutches the severed head of ignorance: Thy third hand of power wakes Unseen Creative Force, to take finite, fairy forms: the wand of Thy fourth hand stops the storms of cosmic discord, ushering in the soothing rays of Peace.
O Kali, Thou wild Mother of creative activity, wearing a garland of human minds: the rhythm of Thy wild dance of creation ceases when Thy foot-steps touch the transcendental breasts of Thy Invisible Husband of Infinity—Shiva, in Whom all creation rests.
O Mother-Progress, the dance of Thy life we hear in the tinkling bells of little laughing, harmonious lives. On the floor of my tender thoughts, Thy inspirations softly dance in tune with the music of the spheres.
In the Hall of Creation, everywhere, O Kali, I hear the rhythm of Thy footsteps, dancing wildly in the booming thunder, and softly in the song of atoms.
The Infinite sleeps beneath the shroud of magic delusion, and then, O Goddess of Forms, Thy fantastic dances of finitude begin on His Bosom. Thou hast danced nearer than the throbs of my soul, and I heard the symphony of Thy steps on the farthest horizons of my mind. Divine Mother, Thou mayest dance everywhere; but O, I pray Thee, do Thou ever play the music of Thy magic footsteps in the sacred sanctum of my soul!
WAR AND THE CREATIVE LIFE
—BY MARSHALL E. DIMOCK, PH.D.
Thoughtful men are saying these days that another great war would probably mean the end of Western civilization. Hence one finds, especially in countries recently ravaged by war, a wide-spread fear of war among all classes of the population. This fear complex is one of the chief causes of war. Fear begets suspicion; suspicion creates a state of mind that demands "securities"; securities are translated into war armaments sufficient in size and destructibility to demolish another nation which possesses armaments of similar proportions. When gun-powder is stored in large quantities great destruction is likely to result. Preparedness means nothing unless it results in superiority. Thus the vicious circle commences; war is the inevitable end. This is especially true when the crowd mind is prepared, by fear of war, for such an occurrence.
If this brief analysis of the psychological element in the peace problem be well-grounded, it becomes extremely important in our teaching and living to eradicate fear. I speak now of fears generally; they and selfishness are the chief causes of most of the world’s ills. If fear is to be stamped out it will take a great deal of education in many ways, and over a long period of time. We need to begin in the home to discountenance parent-taught fears of the dark. In our spiritual lives there is no proper place for fear. How antiquated is the Biblical statement that Jehovah must be feared; that He is the God of War.
If fear is eventually to be eradicated it means that each individual should attempt to become rational; that he should fight a tendency to be swept away by crowd frenzy. But he must do more.
Negation will not suffice. outlawry of war either by individuals or nations is fine, but it is only a small beginning. The negative character will almost certainly lead to retrogression. We Americans are all too liable to be simply negativists. Scores say, "I will fear evil." Few say, "I will create good." What most of us need is a creative philosophy, a constructive way of living. In the field of international peace this way of life leads inescapably to certain acts: one wants to meet people, and to understand them; it is not enough to tolerate others’ differences, but we must learn to sympathize and have an interest in their problems. A man fears those he does not know simply because he does not know. One finds in every part of the world that there are human beings with desires, superiorities, and weaknesses like our own—people whom we find it natural to understand and befriend once we have the opportunity. Opportunity is made, not found. The individual that stands in a corner and wills not to be contaminated, and the nation that glories in its "splendid isolation" will never lead, will not create. Intercourse is the road to understanding; mutual interests are the surest guarantee of peace. Harmony will come as men are thrown together by commerce or by cultural exchanges. One of the most valuable features about the League of Nations is that statesmen learn by association that racial differences are superficial, that men are the same the world over. Under such circumstances popular myths, brought about by the fear which results from lack of understanding, cannot survive. A whole nation cannot be characterized as inherently good or evil. We need to think more about humans, wherever they reside by accident of birth, and less about nationals. East is not East and West is not West; the highest and most durable creations are founded on borrowing from the best that is found everywhere.
Peace is not an idyllic state of do-nothingness. It is a spirit and a will to live a good life, a creative life. It means the expending of energy. It means broad interests and wide understanding. It means self-control, the reverse of fear.
*Dr. Dimock is Professor in the Department of Political Science, University of California, at Los Angeles.
WHO CAN TELL?
—BY ELIZABETH SWALLER
Whither do songs of the nightingale drift
When the notes speed out on the air?
What is the goal of the spirit of flowers
That abides in their fragrance rare?
Is there a haven for all the great thoughts
That are born in the minds of men?
Do they continue through eons of time?
Do they ever return again?
The beauty we sense in this changing world;
The vision we daily behold
Of color, and motion, and life, and form;
Has their secret ever been told?
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—BY SWAMI YOGANANDA
(LECTURE DELIVERED AT MT WASHINGTON)
Jesus Christ was an Oriental. Therefore, His teachings were derived from Oriental environment and heredity. Truth is not a monopoly of the Orient or the Occident. The sunlight, though pure silver, appears to be red or blue when looked upon through red or blue glasses: so, also, does pure, undiluted Truth appear to be different when expressed through Oriental or Occidental civilization.
The original simple teachings of Jesus have undergone many changes, because of divers translations from language to language, and divers translations of translations. But all of the Great Ones have expressed Themselves simply, and I can find very little difference in the message of Jesus Christ and the other Great Teachers.
Now, I want to tell you something in the beginning, lest there be any doubt in your minds: What I received from the Great Oriental Masters, that same have I received from the teachings of Jesus, the Christ!
The Great Ones, like waves, bathe in the Eternal Sea, and become One with It. Disciples make all the trouble and differences. They begin to create narrowness and bigotry. The pure Message becomes diluted with ignorance. Humanity drinks of the polluted waters and then cannot understand why the thirst remains. Only pure waters can quench thirst. The time has come to separate truth from falsehood, knowledge from ignorance. All truth and knowledge must be sued to combat the black doubts and superstitions hedging humanity in the prison of unhappiness, that the mighty flood of Truth may inundate the gathered darkness of the ages, setting the soul of humanity free.
It amuses me when I hear my Western brothers say—"Do you believe in Christ?" I always say "Jesus Christ." And I picture Him in my mind as He really was—Oriental Christ. Many painters have tried to give Him blue eyes and light hair, but He was a pure Oriental. And you of the West have taken from an enslaved nation, Jesus Christ as your Preceptor, and the greatest gift of all—spiritual freedom, taught by this great Oriental.
Every human being is a product of his climatic conditions, heredity, family characteristics, and the pre-natal and post-natal actions performed by him, as influenced by right or wrong will, right or wrong judgment, right or wrong habits, right or wrong feelings, and by the soul’s intuitive guidance. No matter what Jesus Christ was Himself, as regards His own Soul—none can deny that He, being born in the Orient, had to use the medium of Oriental civilization, customs, mannerisms, language, parables, etc., in spreading His message. Hence, the teachings of Jesus Christ, no matter how universal they may be, are saturated with the essence of Oriental civilization.
Jesus was an Oriental, by birth and blood and training. The Wise-Men of the East, or East India, came to confer about Him when He was born, knowing Him to be one of the greatest message-bearers of Truth.
I am not saying that Jesus Christ learned everything from the Great Masters of India, because God never teaches directly through human vehicles. But it has been definitely proven that Jesus was connected with the High Initiates and the Masters of India. In the "Unknown Life of Christ," by Nicholas Notovitch,—the Russian author tells how he went to Tibet, hoping to study Tibetan literature, hand-written on papyrus scroll. Because of the secretiveness of the Lamas, it was impossible to find a trace of what he wanted; but a strange miracle happened. Just when he was returning fruitlessly to India, he fell from a cliff and broke his leg, and was taken back to the Monastery to receive the necessary care! The Tibetans are very hospitable to their invited or stricken guests. While the injured man was recovering, the had Lama asked him what he wanted. He said—"Read to me the papyrus scrolls!" From these sacred scrolls, he secured conclusive evidence that Jesus Christs’s name was Isa—meaning Lord, which afterwards was pronounced as Jesus. He conferred with the Masters on Yoga and great problems of human upliftment, living with them at the Monastery; but at the age of fifteen, it is said, they tried to get Him married, so he fled. I don’t blame him. But, alas, those who do not marry, repent; and those who do marry, repent. That is why I am glad I am married to the Infinite Nature and Spirit. There is never any hurt and disappointment in that kind of marriage.
The sacred scrolls further revealed that as Jesus Christ was visited by the Wise-Men of the East, so He paid them a return visit to Tibet, and conferred with the Great Masters. Jesus then went to India to commune with the Masters there; and after preaching the Message in India, he went to Asia Minor. He wanted to spread His message universally. Mr. Nicholas Notovitch, in order to prove the above fact about the trip of Jesus, challenged many missionaries to go with him to Tibet. But they did not want to do so. Jesus Christ gave His secret message in India, first of all. If you love Jesus, you must have some consideration for the Orientals. Do not give them nicknames, for you do not know what nicknames they will give you in return. An exchange of nicknames will not enrich you spiritually. Give wisdom, and wisdom will come to you. Give kindness and love, and kindness and love will be returned to you. You always get back what you give out.
Now, to come back. Jesus Christ was an Oriental. His teachings were Oriental, expressed in Oriental language. The Occidental tries to monopolize Jesus Christ, but completely ignores the influence of Eastern customs, culture, and Eastern lessons in Christianity, and thus becomes one-sided. It is not possible to separate the Teacher from His nationality, without causing great misunderstanding and confusion.
I shall tell you a few things which will help you. I am going to tell you frankly, openly,
without any prejudice or partiality, about the Western adaptation of the teachings of Jesus Christ—its defects and its merits. The Western adaptation emphasizes brotherhood; yet, whenever you think of a Church, you think of a band of secretaries collecting money, instead of thinking of their deeds of mercy and good. You think of sermons about Jesus, not sermons giving the revealed message of Jesus Christ, the Great Master. The Western spirit lacks much which the spirit of the East can supply. Granted, that the East is not practical enough! The West is too practical to be spiritually practical. That is why I am trying to unite the two. They need each other.
The pride of materialism should be destroyed, though material efficiency is necessary and right. This is a lesson for the West to learn. Not the complete ignoring of the practical, though the philosophy of idealism should be continually practiced, blended with enough practical commercialism to avoid hardship and suffering—this is the lesson to be learned by the East.
To understand Jesus Christ and his teachings, one must sympathetically study the Orientals—their ancient and present civilization, religious scriptures, traditions, philosophies, spiritual beliefs, and intuitive metaphysical experiences. Though the teachings of Jesus are universal and have been made adaptable to Western environment,—still, in order to understand Christianity, one must first take away its Western veil, and then its Oriental veil. Behind the two opaque veils, real Christianity hides. Western Christianity is the outer crust and Eastern Christianity is the inner crust. The Oriental Christ always emphasized: Take no heed for the body,—what ye shall eat, what ye shall wear. Bread, the men of the world seek after; seek ye the Kingdom of God, and all these things will be added unto you. The Occidental Christian might say instead: Take heed of the body first, that in a healthy body temple ye may find god. Bread, ye men of the world, seek first,—and afterwards, seek ye the Kingdom of God.
In the warm Oriental climate, in a by-gone age, it was easy to get bread without much thinking or much laboring, and thus it was easy to meditate on God in leisure and solitude; whereas, in the Occident, one has to think of bread, hard and fast and successfully, or he will not have time at all, or strength, to seek the Kingdom of God.
Oriental Christ and His teachings are suited to the Orientals and the Oriental climatic conditions. Therefore, the teachings of Jesus must be so judiciously adapted, that they may become possible for the Occidental to follow. Otherwise, it would happen that, as some doctors say, "the operation was successful," but the patient peacefully died on the table. The universal teachings of Jesus Christ should be adapted according to the needs of the Oriental and Occidental—emphasizing the principles of Christian religion, and omitting the non-essential forms added to them from time to time.
Great care should be taken, however, to embody the essential, living principles of Christianity, while it is being transplanted from Oriental atmosphere to Occidental environment. No difference must be made between Oriental Christian religious methods of salvation and Occidental Christian religious technique of salvation. Rather, the distinction should be made between true Christian principles and false, formal, dogmatic Christian creed-bound beliefs. Eastern Christianity considers church-going and intellectual study of scriptures, as spiritual kindergarten work, these only emphasizing the necessity of testing out religious beliefs in the laboratory of meditation, under the guidance of a real man of self-realization, who has found God in the light of his intuition, through deep and unceasing scientific spiritual efforts.
Occidental Christianity advocates formal but beneficial moral and religious welfare and organization work. Western Christianity appears satisfied with theological beliefs and the production of victrola-record, cut-and-dried sermons, and the erection of huge edifices and churches, with a wonderful business system to run them. But while Western Christianity has saved Western civilization from Atheism and immorality, it has failed to awaken the desire to obtain intuitional metaphysical experiences about God, evolved out of the self-created efforts of meditation. Occidental Christianity advocates too much formal, congregational worshiping of God. Oriental Christianity emphasizes individual contact of God, but is utterly lacking in philanthropic organization and social welfare work.
That is why the West, with all the wonderful devices of the practical Occidental mind, is in the East today, dominating it. But mark you, the Eastern soldiers are not silent. The West has power and strength; but the East is armed with silent philosophy—not to conquer lands, but to conquer souls, with love, service and kindliness. We are all children of God,—we have always been,—and will be always. The differences come from prejudices, and prejudice is the child of ignorance. We should not be proud of being Americans, or Indians, or Italians, or any other nationality, for that is but an accident of birth. Above all else, we should be proud that we are children of God, made in His Image. Isn’t that the message of Christ?
The East must learn from the West, and the West must learn from the East. The West preaches practicality! The East teaches spirituality! Without idealism, material practicality is the harbinger of selfishness, sin, competition and wars. Without practicality combined with idealism, there is confusion and suffering and lack of natural progress. Let us combine forces and conquer together, instead of one nation conquering the other.
The Orientals revere and acknowledge Jesus as Leader of humanity, Son of God and Truth,—only, they interpret Him differently. The community religious service of the West is marvelous, but that is not enough—for the Western service lacks metaphysical meditation and the knowledge of the methods of direct communion with God. On the other hand, the East lacks organization, but emphasizes direct, first-hand knowledge from God. Therefore, in order to understand Jesus Christ’s doctrines, it is necessary to combine the organization efficiency and social welfare philanthropy with personal verification of Christ’s teachings by metaphysical study and contacting God individually in the temple of meditation. Then each one can, himself, understand what Jesus Christ was, through the intuitive self-verification of His teachings.
Both organization and spirituality are necessary for normal and satisfactory human progress. I shall give you a picture:
In one place, a ten million dollar temple with marble decorations and a sky-scraper golden dome, allowing ten thousand to be seated comfortably, with a million dollar organ and famous choir chanting hymns to God. It is all impressive and enjoyable, and I appreciate and admire such. But, mind you—God cannot be bribed by big churches, by wealthy people, nor by sermons, songs and formal prayers.
Now, behold: sitting under a tree, beneath a canopy of free skies, a Christ-like man, with only three disciples—but all in conscious contact with God! Would you not prefer to be there, to feel God, and not be overpowered by admiration of the evanescent glory of a gorgeous church? That does not mean that God is not in the churches. God is in the temple, and He is under the tree. But only by earnest, scientific meditation, by spiritual strength, by unceasing desire—can the closed spiritual door of inner Silence be opened to the congregation in the temple or to the devotees under the tree. Pomp and show are not able to open that door, nor is hardship of any kind necessary. It swings on magical hinges, only when the seeking soul’s high vibration turns the fairy key. And behind the unseen door lies REALIZATION, the Divine Realization of Jesus Christ.
Hidden away in a Monastery of Tibet, priceless records lie. The world is not yet ready for them. Religious fanatics would only destroy them, should they be given too soon to the world. But no other history of the life of Jesus between the ages of fifteen and thirty, has ever been found. Because of the custom in Tibet, that a sick guest may have his desire granted when possible, the hospitable Tibetan Priests or Lamas have shown the Sacred
Scrolls to one man who is living today. They will belong to the world eventually, when the world is ready for them.
Meantime, the Great Message of Jesus Christ is living and thriving, in both East and West. The West has been perfecting the physical man, and the East has been developing the spiritual man. Both East and West are one-sided. And is it not strange to note that, perhaps due to God’s secret Plan,—since the East needs material development, it has been invaded by Western material civilization! And since the West needs spiritual balance, it has been silently, but surely, invaded by Hindu philosophy!
Verily, the West invaded the East to conquer its lands with guns and material force. But the East, in return, has invaded the West with love and philosophy, to conquer souls.
Jesus Christ is the model for both East and West to follow. God’s stamp, as Son of God, is hidden in every soul. Do away with masks! Come out openly as Sons of God! Not by talk and learned-by-heart prayer, intellectual fireworks of worded-sermons to please God, but by REALIZATION! Indentify yourself with Christ-consciousness, not with narrow bigotry, masked as wisdom. Identify yourself with Universal Love, by serving all, both materially and spiritually; and then you will know who Jesus Christ was, and can say in your soul that we are all one ban, all Sons of the One God!
Peace! Bliss! Peace!
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OPEN LETTER TO SUBSCRIBERS
East-West is your magazine. Suggestions for its improvement will be welcomed. When you especially like an article, write us about it, and we will contract for more articles by the same author. If you desire to offer constructive criticism, feel free to do so.
Our own suggestion is as follows: the addition of a "Question and Answer Department," so that all readers of East-West may receive the benefit of Swami Yogananda’s personal advice, without overtaxing him by having him answer so many personal letters, as is now the case.
Should you like the above suggestion, send us in your questions promptly and they will be answered in the May-June issue, which will be ready for mailing by May fifteenth.
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—BY DOROTHEA FELDHAUS
I have played and gambled
With the restless forces in myself,
And harnessed them into efficiency, at last!
But let my little victories,
Though heralded by millions as supreme,
Come not between me and my God.
Let all my victories vanish into air before Thee;
Let me smite them with my laughter,
And ignore their presence.
For I want to know but Thee, my Lord,
Thy presence and Thy blessed peace.
With measureless contempt for all my talents,
Though driving them to uttermost perfection;
With silent scorn of all attainment
In the realm of thought,
But with an ever-growing,
Fierce smold’ring passion,
I shall pursue Thee, Blessed One!
All I possess shall burn upon Thy blazing altar;
Speechless in Thy presence,
And in bowed devotion,
I shall adore Thee;
Until that day when all duality shall vanish,
And I shall feel myself in Thee, as One!
THE MESSAGE OF INDIA
—BY BR. NEROD
Every nation plays her part in the world-drama in a way which no other nation can do as well as she does. Destiny has also placed on India a noble part to play, which is not so hard to detect from the thought-movement of the age.
Anthropologists define civilization as the sum-total of human achievements. A slight insight into the history of civilization will reveal the fact that the aggregate of man’s achievements as we have it today, has been made possible by the progressive accumulations of precious contributions made by different nations at different periods of history. The clouds of ignorance and narrow nationalism blind people from taking a broader outlook of culture and civilization, which has been one of the productive factors that create international hatred and misunderstanding. As for example, to trace back the first use of fire, one has to go back to the dim past when people used to live in woods or caves, and by friction of flints incidentally discovered fire. So to find out the genesis of the numerical numbers, one has to look back to ancient India when sages for the first time brought them to use. Similarly, for gunpowder, one has to compliment ancient China; for the use of paper, old Egypt; for the first painting, the cave-dwellers of France, Mexico or Egypt, and so forth and so on. Examples can be multiplied by thousands, So it is evident that this complex civilization has been built gradually by a cumulative process. It is no one nation’s or one race’s individual contribution. However, every nation, like every individual, creates a personality and individuality of her own through the long course of experiences and vicissitudes of her life. This personality is better known as the genius of a nation. What is the genius of India? Has she any message to give to the world?
It is better to leave the hoary past out of our survey, when Greece, the main inspirer of the Western civilization, and India, the spiritual mother of Asia, used to have intellectual intercourses as well as trade communications. It would however, not be out of place to mention that the works of Plato, who joined the Pythagorean school in Egypt, and wandered incognito for over a decade, there are unmistakable traces of the Hindu thought. The "guardians" of his Utopia are nothing but the portraits of the ascetic Brahmins who owned no earthly possessions, but yet ruled India by their spiritual and intellectual domination over the minds, thoughts and actions of the actual rulers and potentates of the indian states. Plato’s tutelage under the Pythagorean thoughts and his unrecorded intellectual trampings, together with the close affinity of his idealism with Vedanta, suggest forcibly the filtration of Hindu thought into the Greek mind, rather than the Grecian thought to the Hindu mind, as held by certain scholars.
Science makes man civilized. Aesthetics, music, fine arts and literature, give him culture. But it is left to philosophy to infuse the spirit of unity and idealism into the arteries and veins of his culture. But there are two branches of philosophy. Philosophy of matter delves into life and its successes; but philosophy of spirit unearths the values that add happiness and service to human success. Man is not satisfied with mere solution of the economic and political problems of life. In spite of himself, his soul hungers for something more than mere satisfaction of his wants. His curiosity has to find out a possible or even a probable answer to mystery of life and death. Of all nations, India has a message to give to the world on these higher values of life. Her historical and traditional ascetism and idealism have kept her alert to the vibrations of the higher thoughts and higher institutions as no other nation on earth can claim to have endeavored, as she has done, by a conscious and rigorous self-discipline.
Optimistic, delightful and agnostically inclined Will Durant puts the following words in the mouth of his Siddha in "The Mansion of Philosophy": "But industry will destroy itself with war, and suffering will drench all Europe and America; then the pride of personality and individual wealth will pass away; and in the fever of suffering, men will again become conscious of God—that nameless Spirit and life which the Hindu sage described, as Nothing that remained of the tree when all its part had been taken away. Even now the Orient came back to you as you tire of physical things and the flesh; Christian Science grows among you faster than Christianity every grew; and Theosophy is capturing millions upon millions of men and women who know how vain the separate life must be. Some day you will understand India and religion." Then Prof. Durant closes the topic with the remark in the mouth of Theodore that "It is possible. The history of religion is an eternal battler between the spirit of the Orient and the Spirit of Greece." By the Spirit of Greece he means the appreciation of beauty and life and the Spirit of the Orient, "Nothing" or "Nirvana," quite misunderstood.
In the first quotation, Professor Durant has sounded the truth. He is more serious in his statement than Nietzsche, who said, in purport, that rice makes for Buddhism, and German metaphysics is the result of beer. The most of the new-thought movements in America and Europe can be traced back to their original source, the Hindu thought. Hindu religion is philosophical, and Hindu philosophy is religious. Therein lies the strength and rationalism of Hindu religion, and this is exactly what gives her the survival value. Divinely-gifted Ralph Waldo Trine and clear-minded Dr. Drummond have brought to prominence the ideas that they have knowingly or unknowingly gathered through theosophical or other sources. Reincarnation theory has already made inroads into the industrially-minded Henry Ford, and most of the new-thought movements have incorporated the same into their body of thoughts. Ideas and thoughts are nobody’s or no nation’s exclusive property. But ideas need some vehicles for their expression. It is evident that scientific thoughts find better vehicles through western minds, and rationalistic spiritual ideas through the Oriental minds, especially through the Hindu. Mysticism of the Orient may be mysterious to many westerners, but it is very real to the Oriental, because he lives it and proves its value in his own life.
Emerson’s "Over-Soul" or his poem on Brahma, indicates his intimacy with the ancient wisdom. His Law of Compensation is what Hindus describe as the Law of Karma. Whitman’s "Song of Myself" is the immortal song of the Vedanta Truth. Men like Roman Rolland, Count Keyseling, Irish Poet A. E. and many others, are captivated by the idealism of the Hindu thought. While Rabindra Nath Tagore has awakened an intellectual interest in the minds of the western intelligentsia for the wisdom of India, Mahatma Ghandi has hit hard on the Christian consciousness for a new Orientation of Christ-principles throughout the Occident. A great yearning among the masses has been aroused for the Occult knowledge, so much so that many interested in the Oriental thought are led to believe that Yoga is nothing but the quest of psychic powers. The ideal of the real spirituality, God-quest and harmonious development of body, mind and soul, has been lost sight of. The demand for this knowledge is so widespread, yet there are so few competent to impart the truth.
Late Leister Ward, the noted American sociologist, in his Dynamic Sociology, mentions somewhere that Schopenhauer was the first to introduce the doctrine of Will into the western philosophy. Consciously or unconsciously, he did not mention the possible source where the German pessimist got his idea originally. Schopenhauer was born of German parentage, but he fed his intellect on the milk of Indian thought. He used to call his little dog "Atman" or "Soul." But unfortunately for himself and the Hindu thought, he did not touch the fount of Hindu Idealism,—and thus through the dominant note of his pessimism gave the gross misconception to the world that Hindu or Buddhistic philosophy is a song of death and evil, and nothing more. That positive aspect of the Indian thought which runs after the realization of bliss-consciousness, has been always ignored by the western students, who hear nothing but the dirge of annihilation of Nirvana from the heart of Hindu philosophy.
What Will Durant describes as "Nothing" is really Something which is the substratum of Nothing, and positively called Sat-Chit Ananda or Ever-Existence, Ever-Consciousness, and Ever-Bliss. Another misconception that is very prevalent in the West is that many people do not distinguish between Hindu philosophy and Buddhistic philosophy, which are not synonymous. Yet the influence of Hindu philosophy has been immense on the new awakening of the scientific spirituality through the West.
Dr. Karl C. Waugh, a genuine friend of India, and Dean of the Arts and Sciences of the University of Southern California, told me once that we preach the philosophy of Vedanta and Yoga, but none teaches Samkya. The reason is very simple. We Hindu teachers preaching aborad, aim at bringing the subjective exaltation and ethical elevation to those who come for spiritual understanding of life. Dualistic Samkya, which admits dualism of Purasha and Prakriti and a plurality of infinite purasha, cannot satisfy the ultimate searching of man, which is everlastingly aiming at the unity in diversity. But, on the other hand, Yoga Sutra has adopted the metaphysics of Samkya, with its twenty-five principles, with slight variations. Even Badarayana, the author of Vedanta Sutra, accepted some of Samkya doctrines. In Bhagavat
Gita, the finest conception of life and death ever given by any mortal, has been ascribed to Samkya Yoga. There is one very important point to be observed—that we always combine Vedanta, Samkya and Loga in our search for spiritual experiences and for one reality that embodies all values.
Buckle, the noted author of the introduction to the History of Civilization, attributed the origin of Hindu religion to the inclement environment of India. Gathering some symbolic stories from the epics, Buckle built his Environmental Theory of Religions, which many thinkers have swallowed up without much thinking. The Hindu philosophy is much bigger and deeper than her Epics or stories described therein. Yet Epics of the Hindus, especially the Mahabharata, is a monumental work of the human mind. The thinkers of the type of Buckle and his ilk are as bad as those rationalists who pooh-pooh all teachings of Jesus on account of His miracles. The essence is much more valuable than the superficiality. Those who do not go beneath the surface can never find truth. Such is the misfortune of many thinkers of today, and Buckle is one of them.
Today or tomorrow, India, will have her political self-determination. But her mission in the family of men is not along the political lines, although politics and economics she must attend, too. Her genius lies in the direction of Active Idealism. This Active Idealism finds its expression through Mahatma Ghandhi’s political ascetism, Rabinda Nath Tagore’s Social Idealism, late Swami Vivekananda;s Ascetic social service and Swami Yogananda’s robust philosophy of Health, Concentrated Activism and God-contact.
Dr. Suhindra Nath Bose was reported to have rightly mentioned to one of the newspaper correspondents in India that Swami Yogananda has a vital message to give; and he has. Combine all these active idealisms of all these Indian thinkers and doers, there you have the message of India. Whatever India does, let not her Spiritual Idealism be sacrificed to any lesser aim. The world is thirsty for the living waters of spirituality, and India alone can quench this universal thirst.
This is the message to the youth of India and India’s message to the world.
* * * * * *
THE UNIVERSAL CONSCIOUSNESS
—By J. M. STUART-YOUNG
"TONGUES IN TREES; BOOKS IN THE RUNNING BROOKS; SERMONS IN STONES; AND GOOD IN EVERYTHING!"
I hold it true—conscious of thought or not,
The rose exhales its breath
In joy of being; and the ferny grot
That guards the violet
Knows naught of sorrow and of vain regret,
Nor fear of Death!
I hold that Man was placed not here alone
With spirit-wings unfurled;
But flower and blade, and cold unshifting stone,
When they but dare,
May one and all in hope and gladness share
God’s beauteous world!
So, when the speedwell’s azure eyes
Look upward into mine,
Visions of Joy in both arise;
And we, each one,
In our own little separate spheres have won
The Love Divine!
HEALING THE SICK
—BY ORIN W. JOSLIN, M.D.
BRIDGING THE GAP TO THE ETHERIC WORLD
If there is any one subject above all others that the great majority of people are agreed on, it is probably that the greatest immediate need of the people of earth is—to heal their ills. If it could be announced and proved to the world, that some means, no matter of what sort, could now be supplied that would relieve their suffering and make them perfectly well, the news of it would probably cause a chaotic turmoil from sufferers seeking relief.
Everyone knows that the world is sick, and that very little is being done for its relief. The medical profession admits that it does not even know the cause or cure of a common cold.
There are many and various types of "healers," now scattered quite thickly over the land, and rapidly growing in numbers. It is but the natural expression of the law of supply and demand; supply as a result of demand from the desperate, suffering multitudes, grasping at the straw,—for they have arrived at the stage of realization of Truth, where they see that they are out in the deep-sea of ill-health, with no shore in sight, and that they are devoid of even a raft to keep them long afloat.
The results of the efforts of the healers vary in proportion as they are numerous and different in their spiritual development, ranging from nil to instantaneous "miracle" healing.
There is no doubt that the time will come when all illness, if or when one is careless enough to allow himself to get sick (which at that time will be considered inexcusable), will be eradicated through the powers of mind, and by most cases by the mind and will of the patient alone. This is the ideal—the Utopia that the race is moving toward.
In the Lemurian Age, we passed through the stage of physical development; in the Atlantean, the emotional development; while now we Aryans are developing the mental and spiritual. So mental control of our bodies is the next step due on our evolutionary program.
But the knowledge that all want is—where do we stand now,—and what, if anything, is to be offered us for our present relief? Although it is distressingly obvious that there is a very large gap yet to be spanned between disease and its relief, we now realize that we are rapidly bridging across to the Etheric World. Evidence of it is daily manifested on all sides of us. Every day, through the various news medii, from the printed to the radio, we are told about some discovery, or rediscovery, as it always is (since "there is nothing new under the sun"), where a new force has been demonstrated in chemistry, physics, or engineering: and this "new force" is the Etheric. Now, thinking people are beginning to ask, if this force can be used with such unheard-of benefit in the world of commerce, and in so many other ways, then—since all matter is amenable to the same cosmic law—why can this Etheric force not be used to build and repair our bodies? A perfectly reasonable question, indeed.
At the Centennial celebration of Philadelphia, in 1987, John Worrell Keely demonstrated his 25 horse power engine propelled by this same Etheric force. In giving the history of it in Blavatsky’s "Secret Doctrine," there is a comment as follows: "Should he (Keely) demonstrate, to the destruction of materialism, that the universe is animated by a mysterious principle, to which matter—however perfectly organized—is absolutely subservient—he will be a greater spiritual benefactor to our race than the modern world has yet found in any man. Should he be able to substitute, in the treatment of disease, the finer forces of nature for the grossly material agencies which have sent more human beings to the grave than war, pestilence and famine combined—he will merit and receive the gratitude of mankind." This record was made in 1886.
There is every evidence to prove that the force discovered, and now being both consciously and unconsciously used, is the same as Keely was using, and the two great gaps are being spanned—first, that great gap between the defunct and helpless, hence hopeless System of Medicine, and the as yet still undeveloped newer systems of practice,—second, that still greater gap, between the Physical and the Etheric Worlds.
Note. Dr. Joslin is the director of the Joslin Research Laboratories, Inc., Hollywood, California. He is acclaimed as being one of the world’s most advanced scientists.
* * * * * *
THE GOD UNIVERSAL
—BY ADELAIDE WAYLAND
(DEAN OF WOMEN, CRESCENT COLLEGE, EUREKA SPRING, ARKANSAS)
Is God in everything and everywhere?
In the gray clouds that hover near the earth;
Or, when they break, in all the azure blue;
And in the stars that in the heavens have birth?
Is He beside the quiet, running stream,
And in the depths of lily-padded pool?
Was it His Mind that planned the silent woods,
Their ferns and flowery knolls and shadows cool?
Was’t He who put the strength in seagulls’ wings,
And taught the squirrel how to rear her young?
Is He the motive power of granite rock?
Was’t He Whose praise
The morning stars have sung?
Till I can reproduce the voilet’s bloom,
Or clothe the lily with her glory fair;
Till I can make the grass’ emerald blade:
I’ll know that God’s
In everything and everywhere!
A DREAM OF THE EVERLASTING
—BY JAMES M. WARNACK
In majesty, walking the fields of Forever, in darkness and silence and space never-ending, the Infinite One grew weary and lonely, and paused for a moment to rest and to dream. For the Spirit of Life, including all things, comprehends even dreams and illusions.
And the dream flew straight from the Dreamer’s heart, like a bird from its home in the heart of the hills. And strange was the dream of the Infinite One, for He thought that He, Who had ever been lonely, was espoused to a Goddess, divine as Himself—and He called her the Holy One. Trembling with joy, the Spirit drew near Her, till His breath was on Her lips, and She nestled close to His mighty heart. And in the silence She conceived and gave Her Lord a Son. Gentle and fair and innocent was he, and yet he had a wisdom above worlds. His thoughts were like the lilies of the valley, and his face was radiant as a new-born dawn.
Then that Ages heard a voice that said: "that which is and has been, shall no longer contain us, Beloved! I will set a bound to darkness! And now, let there be light!"
Then out of the chaos around them came the warmth and whiteness of light. Over immensity it spread, and yet it seemed space could not hold it, for the glad flames rushed together in love, and a billion suns were born. And one of the suns could not bear the vibrant beauty of itself, and it dropped a portion of its intense light back into space. Lost from its parent sun, the strange, detached light fell, cooling as it descended—for all the blazing worlds were formed and it found no rest in any heart of flame.
On and ever onward sped the lost child of the sun, seeking a home for its wandering feet. Growing weary at last, it paused, and, pausing thus, it cooled more rapidly, and at last its white light died. The purity of its whiteness was changed to red, and the red turned gray, and at last there was naught but a cold, gray mist, the ghost of what had been.
But strange things happened in God’s universe, and the Infinite One dreamed on, and no part of His dream was ever lost. In wonderment, He watched the gray mist thicken until it became substance. The substance quivered and all the colors were born, and Music uttered its first baby-cry. And Music grew into harmony, and this is the song she sang: "Come down, come down, ye children of the sun! Come, ye are needed on this darkened earth. Descend to the lost orphan of the skies!"
Then, taking pity on the darkened world, the children of the sun came trooping down and, by the wondrous alchemy of heaven, the flowers began to spring up from the earth, the grass began to grow upon the hills, the trees began to bear the richest fruits. The blackened earth held close its hidden gold, and spread bright mosses over shining gems.
The earth had come into its heritage. Nor could the gladdened world contain its joy; its general consciousness became so strong that it gave birth to special forms and lives. Up from the ground came creeping, nameless things, creatures that lived and moved and felt the pulse of all that made the glad earth whirl and sing. And lo! these creatures grew to nobler forms. They came, they lived, they crawled, they ran, they flew—and yet, ere they had crept back to the dust, they had created new and better forms to carry on the plan of the vast dream.
And lo! at last the form of man was reached! This form was so divine that, in His dream, the Spirit turned and, smiling on His bride, whispered "Let us make Man like unto ourselves."
His word with Her was law, so down they flew and, hovering o’er two lovers as they slept, breathed into them the everlasting Life. Then back they swept into eternal space and watched the lovers wake into new joy.
In wonder she arose and took his hand and whispered: "Oh, my love, what can this mean? Look out upon the world—behold the flowers! They were not blooming so before we slept! The grass is greener and the skies more blue than they were wont to be. I dreamed that earth was fairer than I knew—and now I find it so!"
Then the man said: "We are no longer man and woman, love! Lo! we are gods—and all the earth is ours!"
Then man began to multiply on earth—but vanity became his stumbling block. Imagination furnished him with dreams, and reason was to him the all-in-all. He proudly boasted that he had all power, and sought to find the origin of life. He foolishly took up the Book of Life and wrote therein his name and all he thought. He called philosophy and science to his aid, espoused the beautiful and called it Art, gave to the myraid flowers a million names, counted the time by minutes and by hours, gave boundaries to that which has no bounds, told the substance of the shining stars, divided life into its "elements," talked of "first principles" and "destiny"—and closed the Book by doubting his own soul.
Then God grew weary of man’s vanity and, calling to His side his blessed son, He said: "Go, take this message to the earth. Tell men they live within illusion’s snare; tell them they do but dream; give them the light. Tell them that there is only One who knows—and tell them I am He. Tell them their struggle is a futile thing. Then tell them this, and make my message plain: No man contains Me—I contain all men. The way to Me is not through fevered thought, nor stubbornness of soul nor fear of Me. Those who would know Me must forget all else. Now, take my love and go, and point the way."
Then to the earth the son of Love came down and gave his Father’s message unto men. At first man would not listen—even scorned the messenger that brought them the good news.
"Lo, I have told you," said the son—and back into his Father’s heart he crept to rest.
Stubborn and proud, doubting and fearing still, year after year men still resisted light—closing their eyes, knowing not what they did. At last, all other methods having failed to bring relief from madness and from pain, all men bethought them of the Messenger and of his wondrous message. Then, round about the world the whisper went: "Oh, brothers, let us trust!"
A billion bright dreams were forgotten then, a billion thoughts of joy abandoned. A billion books were thrown into the sea, a billion golden idols broken down. A billion souls stood naked—dispossessed of all that they had clung to through the years—and, leaping quickly from the Mount of Pride, they fell into the glowing heart of God.
* * * *
"A deep below the deep;
And a height beyond the height!
Our hearing is not hearing;
And our seeing is not sight."
ITEMS OF INTEREST
With the aid of a cathode oscillograph, St. Louis psychologists render visible the impulse, or message that travels along the nerve every time you move any part of your body.
"You see a mosquito on the back of one hand. The brain through the nerves orders the muscles of the other hand to slap that mosquito. That message of command, you are assured, electric in character, and multiplied in intensity 100,000 times, is seen as a wavering line of light.
This confirms the statement that you are ‘fearfully and wonderfully made.’"
The above is quoted from Arthur Brisbane’s Column. It is a matter of interest to all Yogoda students, since it bears out scientifically thru Western channels, the Eastern wisdom and philosophy of our Swami Yogananda, taught by him for so many years in both East and West. The Swami has repeatedly stated that we are "electricity in the bulb of flesh." And his Yogoda exercises prove this by actually creating greater electrical life-power in the body, at the will of the student.
UNDERSTANDING A TREE
—BY HARRISON GRAY
When I approach a tree,
I am astounded that it does not speak—
For there it stands in its magnificence.
The same life pulses thru it as thru me;
It breathes; it eats; it drinks;
It casts off refuse.
If a twig is broken, it bleeds;
In spring, it rustles with verdure;
In summer, it stretches its full-sleeved arms
To the elements;
In the fall, it hallowe’ens in colors;
In winter, it closes the hundreds of little portals,
That it may stay warm within.
Ah! But it does speak to me. . . . . .
Beckoning me to come into the open spaces. . . . To get in harmony with God’s beginnings of Life!
THE ANCIENT PERU
—BY DR. FRED VALLES, M.D.
Far out in the Night of Time, a man in his rustic laboratory was investigating past events, unearthing written books and papers, and from these forming and reconstructing the maps of the ancient Continents. He discovered data even about the cataclysm that originated the Continent Atlantis, and the cataclysm that produced the island of "Poseidonis," and found descriptions of the emigration of Man and beast to the new climates.
Yellow and half-destroyed papers told how brightly the sun illumined the continent of Atlantis, whose people were called —"The Sons of the Empire of the sun," and whose capital city was called the city of the "Golden Doors."
But unlike the magnificent climate of the empire, in the extreme part of the continent life was hard, there was less civilization, and the people were slow, and in one of these parts there was an exile by the name of Padmi, living in the woods and suffering the rigors of a hard life.
Absorbed in his memories of his native country, his laziness there, and the penalty of exile that he must suffer in atonement, Padmi was surprised by the appearance before him of a woman of singular beauty, the Princess Sama, followed closely by the savage Tec, who loved her in secret and was exceedingly jealous. The Princess asked Padmi to tell her about himself, so he explained his situation to her. Sama became very much interested for the sake of her own country and asked the exile from the "Empire of the Sun" to tell her in detail all about his great country. So Padmi described the form of government; also the different ranks of the people—Monarch, Virreyes, Lieutenants, Governors and Magistrates. And while talking to Princess Sama, Padmi wept, regretting the mistakes he had made in the past. Eyes dim with tears, he told how of the Natives of the Sun there were no written laws and no jails of any kind, the only punishment for violation of the country’s laws being temporary exile from that beloved land, as in his own case.
He went on to explain that the property of the country was divided into two parts, Private and Public. The first part was for the married people, the second for the State. The married man had two private properties, if he had no children, but if there were children, there was a part provided for each child. A widower with two single daughters was allotted triple portions; but when the daughters married, they took with them their portions, in order to increase their husband’ land.
The families were neighborly, always ready to assist one another. Cereals, vegetables and fruits were the main products for domestic uses, the surplus being sold or exchanged for clothing or other goods, which the Government supplied at low prices. These supplies thus secured by the Government were stored away to be used in case of strife or other emergencies.
All land was divided into three parts—private, public and for the Sun, and the public land was divided into two equal parts, one for the King and the other for the Sun. It was obligatory to cultivate first the land of the Sun, then the private, and finally the land for the King. If bad weather delayed the crops, the first land to feel it would be the King’s, then the privately owned portions. But the land belonging to the Sun was always taken care of with religious fervor, because its crops were destined generally for the sick, the old and the retired people. This distribution was arranged so as to give two parts to the working man, with one part reserved for the Sun, and one part for the King.
The King would donate large amounts from his share to cover expenses of all public works of the Empire and to pay all employees of the State; also, large amounts were given for the upkeep of hydraulic and agronomic stations for the tests of the soil. There was no sterile soil, as it was all scientifically treated and cared for. And in cases of poor crops, the great warehouses of the King were bountifully stored with enough provision for two years, which would insure the people against suffering through need of food.
A formula for concentrating food was discovered by the chemists. The majority of the inhabitants were farmers, from twenty-five to forty-five years old. They were strictly prohibited from working either before or after these ages; also, the sick, weak and disabled ones were forbidden to work.
The treasure of the Empire paid the army, which in peace times was used as posts. The priests of the Sun used their immense income as follows: in care of the splendid Temples of the Sun, which were scattered all over the country and were decorated with gold ornaments and precious stones; for gratuitous education of the young of the country, up to the age of twenty years or more; for the care of all the sick people of the country, who were guests of the Sun while ill, and were excused from all labor, and relieved of all indebtedness to the national treasure and Temple of the sun. In case of a sick father, the wife and children were also guests of the Sun.
Any citizen reaching the age of forty-five years became thereafter a guest of the Sun. He might attach himself to one of the Temples, spending his time in studying; or he could continue living with his family and employ his time as he might choose. He did not work officially, and the priests of the Sun were in charge of his support. The retired citizen made the most important discoveries and inventions, because he was relieved of all responsibilities by the State, thus having plenty of time for study and research work. The State officials and priests, however, were not allowed to retire. It was considered that their knowledge was too valuable to be wasted, and their experience was needed indefinitely; so they often passed away in charge of their duties.
Every citizen, man or woman, possessed his or her portion of land, allotted at birth. Education was assured, and the aged were protected from privation. There were no crimes, and misery was unknown. For this reason, exile was the greatest punishment possible for the country to give, Padmi declared.
Princess Sama tried to console him. Then she returned home to her Father, King Uma, and explained Padmi’s sorrows to him. King Uma, old and sick, listened to his daughter with attention. But unfortunately he became ambitious to fight his neighbor country, and at once began preparations for war.
Princess Sama immediately notified Padmi of her father’s intentions and was persuaded by him to force King Uma to change his plans. Tempted because to his love for Sama to remain near her, yet anxious to warn his own country of danger, Padmi was greatly troubled; but finally, love for his country won and he returned home as quickly as possible. He informed a laborer whom he met in the outskirts of the city, and the laborer took his message to the Governor, the Governor and other high officials passed it on until at last it reached the Monarch. The grateful King forgave Padmi his old offense, revoking his exile. Then he convened his Board of Ancients and sent an invitation to the strange country of "no law" to officially visit the Empire of the Natives of the Sun.
(To be continued)
*Dr. Fred Valles, eminent medical physician and humanitarian, is a world-famous occultist. The above article is historical.
* * * * * *
INSPIRING NEW BOOK — SWARAJ
CULTURAL AND POLITICAL,
BY PRAMATHA NATH BOSE
(W. NEWMAN & CO. L.T.D. 3, OLD COURT HOUSE STREET, CALCUTTA).
Mr. Bose shows at the very outset (in his new book) that Western standards and habits of life should not be introduced in India. He does not agree with superficial Western writers who think that India is very, very sick. He says, and seems to prove his case, that whatever was the matter with India fifty years ago, she certainly had not improved by accepting Western habits.
The author believes that India should remain India, with her spiritual, ethical and altruistic atmosphere; and that the West should not try to foist upon the East, its cigarettes, tea and restlessness.
After reading the Western idea of India, it is quite a relief to get the other side of the picture by a profound student of the East.
HOW TO ACQUIRE INITIATIVE
—BY SWAMI YOGANANDA
When you look at the vast panorama of this world, when you look at the vast crowds of humanity rushing hot-haste throughout their string of life, you wonder what this is all about. Where are we going, what is the motive, what the best way to get to our destination? Most of us rush aimlessly, regardless of our destination, like a runaway automobile, driving heedlessly in the pathway of life, never realizing the purpose of the path, the winding ways and straight paths that lead to our destination. How can you find your destination, if you never think of it? Many people, though they don’t know their destination, still have initiative enough to find out and seek the thing they need—in connection with their desires, in connection with their environment, they always try to use the initiative within them. What is initiative within a person, what is it? Initiative is some creative faculty within you, a spark of that Infinite Creator within you.
America is a land of initiative in business, applied mechanism; India is a land of initiative in spirituality. What is this mysterious faculty? Examine a dozen minds; they all remind you of one horse-power engines. Most people are like that; the whole process, the whole activity of their life consists in waking ,eating, amusements and sleeping. What is the difference between yourself and the animals? One difference, psychologists say, is that man is a laughing animal. It is good to laugh. You need this consciousness of being human beings—if you cure yourself of your laugh, you lose one human evolution. Some people, day in and day out, take life seriously,—they don’t enjoy life at all, are afraid to smile. One quality of human beings is to laugh. Another quality, the greatest of all qualities, is initiative.
Initiative means power of creation, the power of creating something nobody else has ever created. What have you ever done in this life, something nobody else has done? Initiative means trying to do things in new ways and trying to create new things. Initiative means creative ability, which is derived from your Creator directly. How many people try to use that ability? Weeks, months, years pass, and they are always the same, they have not changed, except in age. The man of initiative is like a shooting star—creating something from nothing, making the impossible possible by the great inventive power of the Spirit. There are three kinds of initiative people—the extraordinary class, the medium class and the common class, and in "no-man’s land" are hundreds huddled together. Ask yourself this question—"Have I ever done anything new in life, have I ever done something new which nobody else ever did?" That is the starting point of your initiative, you must know that, before you can start at all. Some people think they have absolutely no power to act differently; they are walking in their sleep, affected by somnambulism. Their subconscious mind has suggested them into one horse-power people. In order to wake up, you must say: "I have man’s greatest quality, every human being has some spark of power by which he can create something new which the world did not create before." How easily I could be deluded with the consciousness of the world, if I let myself be hypnotized by my environment! "Every line is crowded, why try at all?" That is why in every walk of life so many remain unsuccessful, because of lack of initiative, hypnotized by the consciousness of the world.
How to have initiative? The first quality of initiative is the common quality—the man with little initiative tries only to improve on others, somebody’s else invention. And in spiritual things, many people just follow the same path,—they were born in some denomination and they die in that denomination. Or, "I was born a Baptist, but when I changed my residence, I happened to be near the Congregationalist Church, so I became a Congregationalist." You have a spark of Divinity within yourself, and you want to adapt yourself conscientiously according to its dictates.
My Master used to say, "Remember this, if you have that faith within you, and if there is something you desire which is not in the universe, it shall be created for you." And I had that peculiar belief in my own strength, in the strength of my will, and I found that some new lines were created to give me the things I wanted. The power of initiative within you remains undeveloped, unformed, unexploited, unused,—and that power is native to the soul, actually given to all of you, but you have not used it. You have lots of solar energy in you. Your first attempt is to try to improve on somebody else, if you have not developed the power to think for yourself, the initiative to have your own way.
The second quality of initiative, the medium quality, is shown by people who write a little new book, make some new inventions, something new, but small. That is the medium quality. The extraordinary quality of initiative is that which makes you stand in blazing fame before the world, like Burbank, Edison, men of initiative, spiritual initiative. Is God partial to these great men, that they had this particular greatness? Were they chosen by Divine will to take so much glory? Those who look for glory are never great,—in their inflated pride, they never receive the strength of God. Those who enjoy giving,—giving strength, courage, music,—they are great.
There is one way to be great, to have this extraordinary power of initiative, which not only gives you a medium quality, but can give you an extraordinary quality of initiative by which you can stand blazing before the eyes of the world. Most people who have become great have been subconsciously guided, have had a tinge of heredity which gave them the initial advantage,—and they used that in their life and thereby became extraordinary. Remember, if you have that extraordinary quality, you are led by unconscious forces of mind by which you change your environment, and in that new environment you can bring forth that great quality.
I believe, and I know, that great men can be made. By training and practice of Yogoda, they can develop that initiative quality and bring it into play. The ones who struggled long ago, see now the fruition of their activities. You must step out of that great horde who are just like automatons, step out and discover how much power you have, overcoming apparent impossibilities. At first, I was afraid to be a teacher—the name of teacher frightened me. You have to be a shock-absorber, love everybody and understand humanity. The moment you get disturbed, you are one with the one who has come to get help from you. You must always be ready to withstand the opinion of the world, in order to succeed. Stay away from one horse-power people; and then think differently, speak a little differently. And you must be untiring in your zeal. The man of extraordinary initiative swallows all difficulties, and says, "I am right." With unflinching steadiness march on your path, believing that the Infinite Creative Power is behind you. You must first get yourself in conscious contact with that Infinite Power. When you contact that Power, which is the source of all initiative, your subconscious mind becomes super-powerful. I used to be apprehensive that if I created a little initiative it might run out quickly under different tests. I know now that within myself is that great Infinite Principle, which is the source of all art, all music, all knowledge. If that is behind me, how can I fail? Whenever you want to create something wonderful, sit quietly and go deep. That Infinite Power, that inventive, creative power is within you. Try something new, and always be sure that that great creative principle is behind anything you do, and that creative principle will see you through. Every human being is guided by the great creative power of Spirit. You have choked your fountain—clear it out. Show infinite determination in everything you do.
People live in dead quotations, go on collecting ideas of others without ever showing themselves. Where are you? Where is the distinctiveness in you, where is the great distinctive power of God in you? You have not been using it. I made up my mind I would not lecture by
learning but by inspiration, believing that the Infinite Creative Power was behind my speech. In other things, too, I have utilized that, helping others in business, etc. I have used mortal mind to bring immortality. I did not say: "Father, do it," but "I want to do it! only, Father, You must guide me, You must inspire me, You must lead me on!"
Do little things in an extraordinary way, be the best one in your line. You must not let your life run in the ordinary way—you have got to do something which nobody else has done, which will dazzle the world, do something that will show that God’s creative principle works in you! You may get the power of that great principle. Never mind the past. Errors as deep as the Atlantic Ocean cannot stop you, because the soul can never be darkened. Have unflinching determination to move on your path unhampered. Life may be dark, difficulties come, all chances may go, but never within yourself say—"I am gone, God has forsaken me." One cannot do anything for that kind of a person. Your family may forsake you, destiny seemingly forsake you, all the forces of nature be against you; but by that initiative quality you can go into paradise and defeat the invasions of fate created by your own wrong actions. I may be defeated one hundred times, but I am going to conquer! Defeat is not meant for eternity, defeat is a test for you. Disease, lack of prosperity, are not meant to crush you. Naturally, God wants to make you invincible, bringing into play the almighty power that is within you, so that on the stage of life you can fulfill your destiny. How are you going to find out what suits you! If we all want to be kings, who will be the servants? On the stage, king’s and servant’s parts are all the same if they play them well. Only remember, that is why we are sent into this world with various desires, various vocations. God meant the world to be a play, an entertainment, a huge show to entertain us. But we forget the Stage Manager and want to play our own parts. So on the stage of life, you are failing because you are trying to play a different part than the one designed for you. Tune yourself with Spirit, and in this earth-play play your part well! Sometimes, the buffoon attracts more attention than the king; so no matter how little your duty is, do it conscientiously.
The world is a stage wherein you are not meant to suffer—the ones who play the tragedy parts must know they are but play. Never mind, always strive to play your part well, in tune with the Stage Manager, so that your little play will dazzle the world. Play your part well, realizing that on the stage of the world the Infinite Power of the Spirit is there! Infinite Spirit creates new success! Infinite Spirit does not want you to be a mechanism! Tune yourself with Cosmic Power, and whether in the factory or the business world mixing with people, always say, "Infinite Creative Power is within me, I shall not go into the grave doing nothing. I am God-man, a rational animal; I am power of Spirit, dynamic source of soul; I shall create revelations in the world of business, in the world of thought, in the world of wisdom—I and my Father are One: what He can create, so can I!"
* * * * * *
VOICES—BY BR. NEROD
I hear many voices, auditions from nowhere
They emerge from far beyond
The threshold of my subliminal mind
That is saturated with transcendental perceptions.
Are they messages from the other shore,
Or inarticulate whisperings
Of my beloved and in-dwelling God?
They come afloat on the depths of my inner self;
They vivify and energize my mind and soul!
Are they only fluid hallucinations,
Or born of such illusions
As create mirage on desert sands?
Are they illusive tricks of my subconscious mind,
Or mere reproductions
Of my subjective thoughts?
Or are they vague intuitions
Or intellectual imaginings,
Sterile and false?
No! No! They speak to me
As clearly as the voice of the Soul!
I feel the rhythm of the Divine Echoes!
I feel the subterranean communication
Of a larger life,
I feel the mystic companionship
Of Divine Beauty and Divine Selfhood!
I know that on the ears
Of my super-conscious mind
Have fallen the voices of Spirits and of God.
* * * * * *
DIVINE HARMONY—BY BR. NEROD
From "Message of The East"
Each morning as the glad sun steals into my sleeping room and by a touch of his soft rays gently wakes me, I rub my eyes that are still filled with sleep, and looking up to the sky, which is bathed in light, I say, "O God of light, spread Thy finger of light on every key of my life. Let all notes unite in one song of harmony and love. Let no enemy note kill the concord of this song. Let no discordant note mar this musical piece which I strive to make of my life."
LIVE A FULL LIFE
Prayers I pray to God, not for things temporal, but for things which abide. Fame which vanishes away like a dewdrop of the morn, or wealth which passes by like a breath of wind, interests me not. What I want is a life more abundant and more serviceful. Nothing is more desirable than the desire to live a full life, to live a harmonious life, to live a life, all-reaching and all-giving. Harmony is the joy of life. In harmony are life and happiness; in disharmony, misery and death.
—BY HARRISON GRAY
When you stand upon a Cosmic Pinnacle and watch an independent Soul flash into existence, you are struck dumb with his daring. He is out of harmony with the thought of the day. The gentle flock is frightened, as if a lion from the jungle sprang into its midst. Like a mother bird over her brood, the clergy (mistaking him for a hawk) warns the chicks as that eagle-souled one, nearer to Cosmic Truth than they, circles in the heights, unwittingly casting the shadow of fear upon the innocent, unthinking, orthodox brood.
Like the comet, he harmonizes not with the galaxy, but follows the path of the parabole. He suddenly flashes glitteringly into sight from the unknown, and blazes across the cosmic sky. And no master of Cosmic Truth is able to follow his Parabolic Path back into the unknown, and bring him forth again within the spotlight of Time.
The gentle brood fears there may be a cosmic clash; or imagines unutterable things, as the ignorant feared for Columbus when he took off into the deep.
And yet, this thunderbolt from the blue heavens, harmoniously follows Cosmic Law. Like the subconscious, he does not have to laboriously reason through the intricate problem, to find the logical answer. The answer flashes intuitively across the horizon of the mind, following a deeper law than logic.
Because Jesus blazed His own trail, He was feared and persecuted and crucified, then worshiped as God. Socrates was forced to drink the hemlock, yet he glows today in the intellectual sky, as the guiding star of logic. Galileo was hounded by Churchianity, yet the new conception of the true circulation of heavenly bodies is a simple fact, taught in our kindergarten classes of today. It took fifteen hundred years of struggle, before the conformists would yield the simple fact of the spherical shape of the earth, because the Bible seemed to say the earth is flat. The creed-bound ones lost, as they will always lose, as Truth continues to be revealed by fearless efforts in research work.
The conformists have not yet gotten a true conception of Shakespeare as he smiles upon their smug minds. To them, Shelley is merely a rhymester, saying pretty things; Ibsen is just an upstart, and Shaw is only joking; great Whitman "wallows in the flesh"; and Emerson "peeks behind the curtain of Oriental lore."
Every step of the way, as these independent Souls blaze their way across the intellectual skies, lighting the ignorance-clouded road to Truth,—they are attacked by the orthodox conformists, who parrot a little narrow plan, that they unthinkingly believe was conceived by a capricious Anthropomorphic God.
But these comet-like Souls continue to come from the infinitude of space, darting across the horizon of human consciousness, and leaving a trail of light in their wake. They smack of eternal things. Their light comes from the Eternal Kingdom. They are of the Wise Ones. Their light is generated from within, and so they light their own way, and thousands follow in the after-glow, for centuries to come. Their own generation consumes, while following generations worship them.
By going further toward the Eternal Secret, the inspired ones blaze a new trail, and as far as they light that path, the afterglow remains forever.
There independent Souls come to "bring a sword to the earth," a sword to cleave the cords of ignorance and free humanity from spiritual prison. They are the eternal spotlight, moving upon the margin of Time. They carry the torch of Truth over from the eternal past to the eternal future. Like a Hercules, they keep two eternities from colliding.
They are the Way! Yet we continue to crucify them! Every step forward is made upon the dead bodies and bruised hearts of the Great.
* * * *
—BY SWAMI YOGANANDA
—Bathing Daily in God’s Ocean of X-ray
When the sun shines everything seems to smile with its halo of golden rays. Gloomy, dark places seem to forsake their mystery-dreaded atmosphere. The sun seems to cheer the mind. It is the life of all Nature’s living children, the trees, flowers, and human being.
We are proud of our sky scrapers and often remain there with seeming satisfaction, banished, imprisoned, and pigeon-holed, walking on velvet cushions, stuffed with rich food, without exercise and above all without the life-giving sunlight.
Scientists put some chickens in ordinary glass houses, and some others in small glass houses fitted with quartz glass. Within a month, the chickens in the quartz glass houses were twice as healthy as the chickens in the ordinary glass houses. The latter began to decline fast. Ordinary glass shuts out the ultra violet rays, whereas the quartz glass does not. The ultra violet rays are not only life-giving but they are the best killers of all forms of bacteria. How can we live safely in rooms fitted with ordinary glass? This is the reason that most indoor resorters, self-elected prisoners of darkness, business men and women, suffer from catarrh and colds and emaciation.
An ordinary bath cleans the body pores and keeps the sweat glands working properly, eliminating impurities. So the Hindu savants say that the person who bathes daily and keeps the pores of his body open, helps his increased body heat to escape through these pores.
Sunlight and ultra violet ray baths are also necessary to fill the tissues and pores with life-giving energy from without. They redden the hemoglobin of the blood, recharging it and making it richer and healthier. As an ordinary bath washes away and clears the bacteria and dirt from the human body, so also the ultra violet rays in the sunlight not only cleanse the body of bacteria but also destroy them. The ultra violet rays are the death rays which penetrate the homes of enemy bacteria hiding in the finger nails and body pores, and scorch them out.
By all means, if you have not time for a walk, open your glass windows and let your life-giving, soliciting friend, Sunlight, fall on you and bathe you all over. Keep on jumping up and down, if you are afraid of catching cold, but each morning do bathe in the ocean of X-Ray which God has created for you. Without a daily bath in God’s sea of X-Ray, you cannot be healthy. And remember, only healthy persons are happy.
* * * *
—Beware of Jealousy, the Mental T. B.
People are afraid of decaying diseases which beset the body. But few seriously hunt for a cure when they contract the decaying psychological fell disease of jealousy. Shakespeare called it the canker eating at the roots of love. It is worse than that.
This jealousy epidemic seems to be raging in the minds of all nationalities. Jealousy is the matrimonial T. B. It eats into happy, healthy married life and utterly destroys it by suspicion hemorrhages. Continuous mutual nagging acts like bronchial outbursts, affecting the lungs of happiness. Get rid of it. Many youthful lovers have perished under its cruel stroke by exchanging bullets.
It is also the business T. B. when it enters into a business concern, the tissues of co-operation and unity, which are the life of an organization, begin to slowly or rapidly decay. It is this decaying disease of which all healthful political and religious organizations should beware.
This fell disease of jealousy consists of two kinds, the galloping kind and the slowly decaying kind. The first one speedily destroys organizations by wasting all their unifying power. The second one can gradually destroy the fibers of the most wonderful and powerful organization in the world. Unmarried lovers, happily married couples, political and religious organizations, beware! From the foils of jealousy guard your happiness.
* * * *
"Every man has in himself
A continent of undiscovered character.
Happy is he who acts the Columbus
To his own soul."—Sir J. Stevens
HYMNS OF THE HEART
—BY ETTA WALLACE MILLER
Little things,—so many, many little things,
—Mountains of them, heart-high, soul-high,
—Fencing me in, so that I am a prisoner
Behind unyielding steel bars of "little things."
They began to accumulate so inoffensively,
And now they wall me in.
I cannot break thru them, tho’ I bruise my heart
Beating ceaselessly against their solid mass,
And wring my restless hands
And weep for the bright fields beyond.
Oh, now my Soul sees its way.
It will levitate itself
On the wings of passionate desire,
And sweep to freedom in a burst of song
That knows no confining bars.
Oh, blue skies,
Sun-lit, star-gemmed, moon-kissed.
Oh, green fields, violet-decked and lily-breasted!
Oh, dear rivers,
Song-blessed and blossom-bordered,
Like wise silver ribbons
Around Nature’s motherly waist!
Welcome me with laughter,
Even tho’ my singing lips be still salt with tears.
Your playmate returns,
Free to race with the running rivers
On their rhythmic way to the sea;
Free to lie in green pastures and drink dew-wines
As they drip from the petals
Of newly awakening flowers;
Free to ride on the cloud-chariots
Of the limitless skies: free to smile with the sun
And chat with the stars.
From the binding tyranny of "Little Things."
* * * * * *
Life broke my heart one day,
And I watched it open in slow agony,
Letting the salt of my burning tears
Mix greedily with its red blood.
Oh, there were so many things
To fall out in the dust,
—Shattered roses of dead dreams,
Withered lilies of lost hopes!
I watched them one by one, as their petals fell
—Dust returning to dust.
My ravished heart was empty.
Every little red corner was left bruised
By the up-torn roots of my ruined ambition-tree
And its blossom-dreams.
And then, oh, then,
—A host of Angels appeared
From out the vibrating mist of my tears,
And each bore a holy gift
In compassionate hands.
THRU THE READ BREAK IN MY HEART,
THE GIFTS OF THE ANGELS
POURED IN A SHINING STREAM!
Love for all, in place of love for the few;
Faith in the unseen and unheard,
Instead of the seen and heard;
Immortalize of divine love,
For shadow roses of mortal love!
All these and more, and still more,
And yet still more . . . until now
The break in my heart is so wide
That it is no longer a break, but a luminous,
Limitless door, wide enough and high enough
For all of creation to pass thru.
North, South, East and West,
There are no boundaries to my heart, this day.
So long as it remained whole,
It only shut out the precious gifts
That God’s Messengers were wanting to bring.
Oh, Wise One!
How wonderfully dost Thou work Thy miracles
With such poor tools.
My door was locked against holy guests,
Until Thou didst force a way thru.
Now, I thank Thee, oh, I thank Thee—
That Thou didst order Thy servant, Life,
To bless me with a broken heart!
BY SWAMI YOGANANDA
My fresh-cut flowers
Of mental whispers of devotion,
I offered in my Temple of Silence.
Those blossoms of love
Through their silent voice of fragrance,
Their love for Thee.
In the Temple of Peace,
At last Thy Light hovered over
And settled upon the altar of my prayers.
Thy invisible veil of secretiveness
Was burnt in the flames of wisdom.
And, lo: I behold thy glory!
Oh! Mutely shall I ever worship Thee,
With never whisper of complaint;
For I have found in Thee
All that I thought I had lost,
All I had so long sought in the Forest of Time.
Now, my roamings will cease,
—For in Thy Face of Nature and Inner Light,
All the beauties and dreams
Of my fulfilled ambitions of all incarnations,
I behold painted brightly there.
* * * *
On the white altar of my love,
I shall ever keep for Thee
My fresh-cut flowers of devotion.
The silent song of their fragrance
Will eternally chant of Thee
To winging winds and storm-tossed seas,
—Until all creation shall ring
With the divine echoes of Thy Name.
From mountain peak to coral reef,
—From highest tree-top to sea-shell’s heart,
—From East to West, and North to South:
My soul shall garner
And imprison on the altar of its prayers,
The fragrant echoes of one beloved Name . . .
Om! Om! Om!!!
ACTIVITIES AT THE LOS ANGELES YOGODA HEADQUARTERS
Mount Washington Center, National Headquarters of Yogoda and the Sat-Sanga Society, has been very active during the last few months. First and foremost, Swami Yogananda has been almost continually present in person, having moved his Correspondence Course and all other publishing activities from New York City to Mount Washington.
Early in December, the Center was visited by Madame Galli-Curci and Homer Samuels, who have recently bought an estate here and will soon be permanent residents of California. When the famous visitors stepped from their limousine, they were welcomed by Swami Yogananda and Brahma Chari Nerod, surrounded by all the residential students of the Center, who chanted and scattered flowers.
Lunch was served in the large sun-room, facing the mountains. Later, moving pictures were taken, as the visitors were shown about the grounds. The Center is looking forward to many more such pleasant visits, when Madame Galli Curci and Mr. Samuels finally make their home in Los Angeles.
About the middle of December, Dr. D. K. Karve, world-known founder of the Widows’ Home and Girls’ School, in India, gave a lecture at the Center, winning many friends for himself and his noble work.
Swamiji's First Christmas at MT Washington 1929
From the first time since the founding of the Center by Swami Yogananda in 1925, the Swami was able to spend Christmas there. Heretofore, his lecture activities would not permit him this indulgence. Now that he is devoting the greater part of his time to the writing of new books, he expects to celebrate Christmas every year at the beautiful and inspiring home of Yogoda.
Christmas dinner was served in the large, elaborately decorated lecture hall, facing a tree blazing with lights and surrounded by presents. Some dishes of the Swami’s own invention were served and greatly appreciated. Between courses, there were songs and chants.
After dinner, all the guests were seated around the tree, and a brand-new conception of Santa Claus was introduced. Instead of the usual figure, with long white beard and silvery hair, the Santa Claus of Mount Washington appeared on the scene with dusky floating hair, midnight eyes, and the step of a conqueror—Swami Yogananda, swathed in trailing yellow draperies, saying—"Santa Claus has come!"
This time, all well-known ideas of Christmas seemed to be turned topsy-turvy. First, a new kind of Santa Claus. Second, an avalanche of presents for the much-surprised Santa himself. Finally, when all the gifts had been distributed, our Swamiji was almost hidden behind three big chairs of packages and mountains of bundles on the floor all around him. With misty eyes and a voice with a little tremble in it, the deeply touched Swami tried to tell his feelings. He had said he wanted no presents for himself, and his word is usually law at Mount Washington; but this one time, he could not have his way.
There were presents for all in abundance, and time was forgotten as the Swami led in song after song of devotion. Darkness fell and only the lights of the little tree gleamed like stars and showed the most beloved Swami in the world seated in their glow.
The next celebration was New Year’s. All evening, the Swami and his students were gathered near the big open fire in the Hall, talking and singing together. Just before midnight, the Swami led the way to the big front porch. Each one was armed with an instrument of noise (an unusual occurrence in quiet Mount Washington Center), and at the stroke of twelve, Swami gave his big Indian drum full voice, Brahma Chari let out the pent-up noise of the small organ, and the students followed with bells, alarm clocks, horns, etc. Then, when the last of the racket was stilled, Swami Yogananda ushered in the little New Year with song and prayer.
The regular monthly Hindu-American dinners have been very well attended. Sometimes many being turned away. On November 10, Mount Washington celebrated its fourth anniversary, as described in the following clipping from The Western Citizen:
Mount Washington Center Celebrates 4th Anniversary—November 10, 1929.
Mount Washington Center, established by Swami Yogananda, October 25, 1925, celebrated its fourth anniversary Sunday, November 10, 1929.
It began with the children’s hour at two o’clock, conducted by Brahma Chari Nerod, Yogoda teacher and residential leader. Swami Yogananda’s lecture at 3 P. M. was followed by the Hindu American banquet at 5:30 P.M. Many noted citizens of the country participated in this unique function, tinged with the colorful features of the East and the simplicity of the West. Among the distinguished speakers and guests of honor, were Mr. Ralph Waldo Trine, well known author of "In Tune with the Infinite," and Mrs. Grace Trine. Dr. Marshall Dimock, Ph.D., professor of political science, University of California, L.A., who talked on "World Peace." Dr. Karl T. Waugh, dean in U. S. C. will tell of India; former Judge Robert L. Hubbard, Judge Guy Bush, Mr. Micho Ito, famous Japanese dancer; Mr. George Liebling, the world famous pianist-composer and Mr. William E. Johnson, bass-baritone.
Mr. William Edward Johnson, accompanied by Mrs. Ruth C. Brady, sang:
1 (a) Prayer................George Liebling
(Words by Grace Hyde Trine)
(b) At Calvary...................George Liebling
(c) Magic Song..................George Liebling
(Words by Swami Yogananda)
2 Piano solo by George Liebling.
(a) On Wings of Song......Mendelssohn-Liszt
(b) La Campanella....................Liszt
3 Mr. William Johnson.
(Words by James A. Warnack)
(b) Spring in Manhattan...............Liebling
(Words by Grace Hyde Trine)
In December, the following well-known artists entertained: Professor Colin H. Crickmay, Geology Department, University of California, at Los Angeles; Dr. Hari, Japanese Lecturer. Mrs. Dana O’Brien Wells, Past-President of American Legion Auxilliary, Philanthropist and Social Worker, Mr. Liebling, famous Pianist-Composer; Mrs. Beulah Storrs Lewis, President Cadman School of Expression, New York City; Mrs. Victor Graham, wife of the Governor of Samoa; Brahma Chari Nerod Resident Teacher and Lecturer at Mount Washington; Professor Marshall E. Dimock, Department or Political Science, University of California at Los Angeles; Dr. Waugh, Dean of the Arts and Sciences, University of California; Mr. Billy Benners, Traveler and Financier; Captain Victor Graham, Governor of Samoa; and Mr. James Warnack, well-known poet, who was chairman of the occasion.
Altogether, the program was a feast of delight, physically, mentally and spiritually. Presided over by Swami Yogananda, each number was a harmonious note in the symphony of a perfect evening.
In January, there were pictures of the classic, The Light of Asia, made in India and with all-Indian actors; the regular Sunday afternoon and evening lectures by Brahma Chari Nerod; heart-to-heart talks by Swami Yogananda; a visit from Mrs. Grace Thompson Seton, internationally known writer, lecturer and traveler; a three-day trip to Stockton, with several carfuls of students as guests of the Swami, to attend the opening of the Sikh Temple.
The principal happening, however, was the advent of "Whispers From Eternity," Swami Yogananda’s inspired new book. Only once in many years does such a book come into existence, striking an answering chord in every heart. Below are some excerpts from personal letters to the Swami and an extract from a local review:
LOS ANGELES TIMES: "‘Whispers From Eternity,’ a book of prayers and poems by Swami Yogananda . . . a strength seldom found in the honey-sweet poems of the Orientals, and exceeding in vigor even the majestic verses of Tagore, permeates almost every page of Yogananda’s new book."
Letters of Appreciation for "Whipers"
The following extracts are from letters of appreciation and praise received from readers of "Whispers From Eternity":
"My heart overflows with thanks for having your ‘Whispers From Eternity.’ It is beautiful, with the beauty of Eternity."—F. F., Jan. 15, 1930.
"It is beyond my ability to put into words my concept of your ....more than book. As a baby is soothed, nourished and wholly satisfied with his bottle of life-giving food, so is your wonderful book, ‘Whispers From Eternity,’ my completely satisfying soul-nourishment. I cannot begin to tell you how satisfying it is . . . and will be to thousands. It is your voice—with us every day. It will, I believe, mould our souls more than through any other medium, because it teaches us how to meditate — guides our desires — awakens us, and holds us. This divine book is in my hands many many times a day—and is under my pillow at night—its holy presence whispering to me in my dreams—or influencing my soul whilst my body sleeps. It is the Golden Chariot of Light—taking me to God. And what it is doing for me it will do for all. It is utterly beautiful. Beautiful and inspiring beyond words. How can we thank you? We can’t. Only God cay repay you."—S. M. M., Jan. 18, 1930.
"I spent an hour and a half looking ‘Whispers From Eternity’ over and catching up into myself so often one of the vital thoughts that make every page alive and full of stimulation. I commenced first at the preface and was thrilled with the words of Galli-Curci’s tribute. Then began the ‘Hints to the Reader’ and went on to the "Prayers and Demands’—oh, I am going to get so much out of the book, I realize it already."—U. D., Jan. 25, 1930.
"Your divine book is indeed a light shining on the path. It is now getting a ‘real hold on my inner life’—as it will with all who read it—and no one could possibly read it and not become one with it. It is my constant companion."—B., Jan. 29, 1930.
"This new book is emphasizing that we must expand and try to share with others the light of Yogoda’s teaching."—M., Jan. 25, 1930.
MADAME GALLI-CURCI says: "In Whispers From Eternity, by our Swami Yogananda, we are shown how to resurrect dead, old-fashioned prayers . . . The prayers in this book serve to bring God closer . . . Followers of all religions can drink from this fountain of universal prayers. They are an answer to the modern scientific mind, seeking God intelligently. This book gives a great variety of prayers, which enables one to choose that prayer most suited and helpful to his particular need . . . With reverential and meditative study, you will find the priceless gem of self-realization."
"Whispers From Eternity came yesterday . . . and it seemed to scintillate the personality of its author. It was like a box of freshly cut flowers with the dew of dawn on them. It seemed almost as if the Swami, himself, was visiting me."—O. M., Jan. 25, 1930.
"The copy of Whispers From Eternity has just arrived. The Divine thoughts in your book will sink deeper and deeper in my heart. . . my heart will melt in them. I fell that I ought to read each word on my knees. I will strive to meditate deeper and deeper on them every day."—S., Jan. 15, 1930.
"Words cannot express my appreciation for those sacred prayer-demands contained in Whispers From Eternity, and its author, that all-wise Indian Saint, Swami Yogananda. The Swami is showing me the way to God and real happiness."—J. B. Feb. 5, 1930.
I want to give you an idea of our impressions . . . The poem to his mother’s eyes is very touching, and the wonderful poem on India! The glossary is a valuable innovation . . . and on every page we find something to hold our attention . . . I know more is sure to come—as the words penetrate the outer shell of my understanding and get real hold of my inner life."—A. C., Jan. 25, 1930.
"I was glad to spy your book, Whispers From Eternity, as I opened the door this evening . . . God’s love in your heart speaks clearly and will awaken His great Love in the hearts of us and those who shall use them.
"You speak truly, that the words of prayers are made alive by devotion that is in the hearts of those praying, no matter where we meet in Our Father’s Home."—E. W., Jan. 10, 1930.
"Each sentence is almost overpowering in beauty and depth of meaning. I select a sentence—or a word or two, and keep it in my thought and heart all day. I have memorized a number of the shorter ‘Whispers’ and at night I must have the book near me—its ‘Whispers’, instantly on my waking, bring the lovely awareness of God to me."—E. W. M., Jan 29, 1930.
REVIEW OF SWAMI YOGANANDA’S BOOK OF GLORIOUS PRAYERS
—BY JAMES W. WARNACK
Almost startling in its deviation from orthodox conceptions, Swami Yogananda’s new book—"Whispers From Eternity"—blazes a new trail of thought about prayer. The Swami contends that the average supplicant for God’s favor goes to Him like a beggar, and that he receives, therefore, a beggar’s pittance, instead of his rightful heritage as a Son of God. . . . . . . ... In "Whispers From Eternity," there are no set forms but a bubbling stream of fresh fountain-spray of new ideas, falling on the heart like dew and wine.
The book is dedicated: "Unto all the soul-temples of Christians, Moslems, Buddhists, Hebrews, and Hindus, wherein the Cosmic Heart is throbbing equally, always." The introduction is by Amelita Galli-Curci, noted singer.
In one of his prayer-demands to the Eternal Spirit, the author writes:
"I will not offer unto Thee an intellectual, man-tortured and disciplined song; I will offer unto Thee the wild songs of my heart. I will not offer unto Thee civilized, emotion-born music or brain-made song-flowers, but I will offer unto Thee the wild blossoms which grow on the high tracts of my soul."
A strength, seldom found in the honey-sweet poems of the Orientals, and exceeding in vigor even the majestic verses of Tagore, permeates almost every page of Yogananda’s new book. (From Los Angeles Times). For instance, take this invocation:
"Be Thou my General in my invasion of Ignorance. I bled for Thy name’s sake, and I will ever bleed. With gory limbs, broken body, slapped honor, and wearing the thorn-crowned of derision, I will fight, undismayed, through the thickest skirmish of trials. With the sword of peace, I will smite the soldiers of persecution."
Or, consider the following, another example of strength wedded to beauty and gentleness:
"I am the flitting butterfly of Eternity, sweeping through immeasurable time. The beauty of my nature-wings I spread everywhere, to entertain everything. Suns and star-dusts are daubed on my wings. Behold my beauty! Cut the silken threads of thy shrouding folly—and follow me in my flight to myself."
In still another unusual poem, Swami Yogananda appeals to God to "be the President of the United States of the World":
"O Cosmic President, bless us that we may obey Thy laws of life; and respect, with kindness, the freedom of all Thy free-born children-citizens: not only the good, and the error-intoxicated men, but also the mammals, birds, and beasts, frail flowers, mute grasses and jungle weeds, crushed low under the tread of our cruel, unheeding feet."
The Western mind, which considers such ways of approaching the Supreme Being to be not in keeping with the spirit of reverence, should strive to remember that, to the Hindu, "Brahma" is everywhere, at all times, imminent and pre-eminent,—and that He is called "Father, Mother, Brother, Sister, Friend," all in a breath, and—to the Hindu—not inconsistently.
When the Hindu sings, "I am the bubble, make me the Sea" (one of Yogananda’s favorite original songs), he is praying not for absorption in the sense of self-destruction (as is erroneously imagined by many critics of Hindu thought), but rather, he is seeking the expansion of the personal self into the greater Self, his own true Selfhood., "Nirvana," instead of meaning a state of nothingness, means, instead, a consciousness of the All-ness of life—a difference so vast as to be incalculable by finite mind.
One soul, out of many thousands, reaches in this phase of existence what the Hindus call the state of "Samadhi." When that height of development is at last the reward of many centuries of God-craving, the man becomes a "Master." Swami Yogananda is a Master of Masters, a Swami of Swamis. He cannot be compared with lesser teachers. Every line in "Whispers From Eternity" tells a story of greatness. One has only to read these prayer-demands, in order to feel a definite spiritual growth within himself. The book cannot be recommended too highly.
During the months of January and February Br. Nerod spoke at the Blackstone Hotel, Long Beach, to an audience of approximately three thousand, giving a series of inspiring lectures. Following these lectures his private class included a very enthusiastic gathering of devoted students. It is planned that a permanent center will be established in Long Beach.
SURGERY, ANCIENT AND MODERN
Below is a verbal picture which Arthur Brisbane gives of the Ancients’ ideas on health and how they used to treat their sick:
In South America, they are finding skulls with little round pieces cut out in modern "trepanning." When the South Americans of ancient days had a bad headache, the "medicine man" said to him: "There are evil spirits in your head; I will fix that." He cut off a small round piece of the sufferer’s scalp and took out a round piece of bone to "let the evil spirits out."
Strange, barbarous, but it is not so long since, in Christian lands, the insane and the epileptic, supposed to be possessed of evil spirits, were often beaten with horrible brutality, even beaten to death, in an effort to discourage the spirits and drive them out.
How far from nature and health were those witch doctors with their black magic syrups, serums and torture? But how close were those ancient practices to those going on in every hospital in this country today?
More ridiculous than the ancient practice of opening up the heads of their victims to let out "evil spirits," is the modern practice of opening up bodies, cutting out tonsils and appendices and unnecessary human mutilation that is every day in hospitals going on under the name of modern surgery. The cost, the suffering, and the deaths reach a magnitude that the public is not conscious of.
Instead of allowing this commercialization of surgery on humans to continue, it should be part of public education to teach people how, through natural elimination, to drain off these body poisons or so-called "evil spirits."
London’s great physician, Sir Arbuthnot Lane, says that health is the simple matter of diet and drainage. Medical doctors are not entirely to blame for the human suffering going on today because they rarely come into contact with sickness until diet and drainage have ceased to function; and the blood stream and vital organs, choked and blocked with poison, have to be relieved with operations. Even in advanced sickness, in nine cases out of ten, surgical operations are unnecessary, provided food is stopped and common sense eliminative measures taken to relieve the suffering body of those accumulated poisons. That is the great charge against medical doctors.
At this moment there is under way in America a hospital building program involving $50,000,000. The buildings for most of that money will be used to operate upon and take care of people after they are sick. If $1,000,000 of that money were spent, not by serumizers and medical-minded surgeons, but by diet and "health" doctors who would teach children and parents the simple problem of what food to put into their bodies and how to keep the inside of their bodies clean and healthy through proper elimination of food wastes, the chances are that not one dollar of the remaining $49,000,000 would have to be spent.
Health, or immunity from disease, will never come from surgery, nor from injecting into the body filthy pus contained in serums. Man’s body is made up one hundred per cent of the food that goes into that body. When, through BAD foods and BAD combinations of GOOD foods, the organs of that body refuse to work, and the body becomes choked with filth and poison, it is easy to understand how the injection of certain other kinds of filth contained in serums would serve as a counteractant that would, for a time, neutralize and prevent those body poisons from expressing themselves in filth diseases like cold, fevers, diphtheria and smallpox. But it is not easy to understand how the doctrine of disease immunity through filthy serums will ever do anything towards relieving humanity’s present condition of ill health.
The public is fast waking up to the merits of diet and natural living, and a few years from now people will look back and read of today’s suffering from modern surgery and black magic serums with the same horror that they now read of the South American surgery of two hundred years ago.—Reprinted from The Vancouver Sun.
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NOTICE TO SUBSCRIBERS
November-December, 1929, issue of EAST-WEST was the last published, before this present issue of March-April, 1930. The January-February number had to be omitted due to change of publishing headquarters by Swami Yogananda from New York City to Los Angeles. However, subscribers will receive an extra issue, after their regular subscription has expired, to compensate them for the loss of the unpublished January-February, 1930, issue.
A N N O U N C I N G
SWAMI YOGANANDA’S NEWEST BOOK
"WHISPERS FROM ETERNITY"
WITH A FOREWORD
BY AMELITA GALLI-CURCI
—because it tells you how to resurrect dead prayers, in order to find tangible response from God.
—because you learn how to have a heart-to-heart talk with God, Who is otherwise often silent.
—because of its freshness and humanness.
—because Amelita Galli says—
"Followers of all religions can drink from this fountain of Universal Prayer."
—because Los Angeles Times says—
"Whispers From Eternity, a book of prayers and poems, by Swami Yogananda . . . a strength seldom found in the honey-sweet poems of the Orientals, and exceeding in vigor even the majestic verses of Tagore, permeates almost every page of Yogananda’s new book."
I M P O R T A N T
—for it provides the reader with the KEY to perfect health, happiness and success.
—for it is a gateway to the art of consciously contacting God, and to new achievements.
—for it is applied philosophy at its best.
—for it is a book that every man and woman will treasure.
—for it is a manual for which the whole world is craving.
HUNDREDS OF COPIES SOLD BEFORE PUBLICATION!
256 Pages — Frontispiece of the Swami — Price Only $2.50 Postpaid
Handsomely bound in fine cloth, with gold titles and decorations. A limited thin paper edition, in deep red morocco, with gold titles and decorations, autographed by the author—$4.00 postpaid.
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