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This year has been filled with a lot of blessings for me, the latest being an unexpected visit to Leh.
I never imagined that part of  our country is so beautiful., as the photos here will show.

The ladakh range of mountain reflected in the Indus river

The scene from a farm house.
I stayed there for three days.  Getting out of the plane, one can immediately feel the lack of oxygen in the air at that height of 11,500 feet.  But this is soon forgotten  while drinking in the beauty of nature all around you. 
The mountains change their appearance and colour as the sun travels its course and so do the clouds, casting their shadows on the ranges.  This is a paradise for photographers.

Wildflowers bloomed in the desert 
this year as there were sudden rains

Reflection scene near Shey Monastery
The landscape at Leh is peculiar. You have snow clad mountains, the Indus river with all the greenery along its banks, and desert land upto the montains.

Sindhu Darshan

Cows grazing on grass in the desert
The mountains change their appearance and colour as the sun travels its course and so do the clouds, casting their shadows on the ranges.  This is a paradise for photographers.
There are many Buddhist monasteries around Leh. One of the popular places to visit is the Shanti stupa built by a Japanese monks who has been in India since 1976 or so.

The Shanti stupa

Indus river at sunset

The Shey Monaster y reflected in a lake

Earthquake Relief Work at Urusa

Last year when a major earthquake struck J & K, YSS took up relief work in Jammu by supplying immediately needed materials like blanckets, and went on to repair four temples near Poonchch, which were badly damaged.

YSS also sent shelter materials to Urusa sector. Laater on this year, when we came to know that the Indian Airforce was reconstructing 11 schools in Urusa sector, we decided to give books and two steel almirahs for the libraries of these schools. The construction of some of these schools was ready by August this year, when I got an invitation to visit there to formally hand over the book and almirahs.
The day on which we arrived at the village of Urusa was a Sunday. Yet about two hundred or more children had gathered at the school. Their homes were in nearby villages on different hills.
Sweets were distributed to all of them. We came to know that they all read English and Urdu. We were also told that President A.P. J. Abdul Kalam had been there after the earthquake and it was very inspiring to learn that all the children sang “Saare Jahan Se Achcha” for him.
The President made arrangements for sending computers to this school. The new school buildings are made of prefab structures and well made to take care of the climatic conditions of the region.
We took this opportunity to visit the India-POK border at Kaman Aman Setu, where once in two weeks buses come from both the countires and exchange passangers.
An ancient 11th century temple of Datta happened to be on our way, which we entered for a darshan.
Magnet Hill
About 25 Kms from Leh on the Leh-Kargil-Srinagar highway, there is a hill calle "Magnet Hill", which looks somewhat like the photo below. It is more of a mountain than a hill, at least 2000' above the valley of Indus. The groves we see in the picture are made by the waters of snowmelt from the mountain flowing down to the Indus.
There is a notice board on the highway, which says that the hill is magnetic. It shows a spot on the highway where you can stop your vehicle, switch off the engine, put the gear in neutral, and see what happens. When we did this, the vehicle started moving on its own towards the hill, even though the road was sloping upwards in the direction of the hill!!

This was so interesting that we repeated this two or three times both while going and coming back, each time experiencing the same phenomenon. The driver of our vehicle told us that large army trucks and other fully loaded trucks also get pulled and start moving on their own in the direction of the hill.

When I was meditating on this experience, and wondered if it had any spiritual significance, it occurred to me that if, while we meditate, we switch off the engine of our minds and put it in neutral gear, allowing us to be taken up by God's love, the magnet of His love will pull the vehicle of our consciousness, with all the load of past karmas, up towards the Kutastha, against the pull of gravity of the earth centre--muladhara.

May we all experience this inner "Magnet Hill" of God's love. Jai Guru.
In our Ashramas at Ranchi and Purulia there is a plant now blooming and the flower is called "Sthala Kamala" in Sanskrit, which means "Land Lotus". It has an interesting behaviour. It seems to blush, as if in love, when the Sun-God progresses through the sky. The following photos were taken at different times of the day, from 8.30 in the morning upto 4.30 in the afternoon.

At 8.30 am

At 11.30 am

At 1.30 pm

At 4.30 pm
Will our souls blush in the same way as the Sun of God - Consciousness
will rise in us from Muladhara to Kutastha??

Sri Sri Shyamacharan Lahiri Mahasaya

1. Observe humility through service and regards for all and by considering yourself as one with the whole mankind.

2. Always keep the company of the ' Sat' – by association with the good souls and by reading good books.

3. Meet occasionally for discussion on good topics.

4. Never disrespect any form of the name of God.

5. Keep away from the every day work at least for once annually – for a month, a fortnight, a week or at least for three days.

From the archival papers of Doctor Lewis

(From the archival papers of Dr. M.W. Lewis)

Aggressiveness, a tonic good in conditions where citrus in fruits are not tolerated. A tonic to digestion. Apple juice also.
Calmness and humbleness, high in protein.
Increase blood cells.
Increase blood cells.
Devotional nature, good rheumatic remedy. Eat raw.
Nerve cooling (very good). Lime also.
High in fats and protein, good food in balancing
diet. Cottage cheese also. Brain food.
Rajasic, makes energy and power – 94% after used.
Vitality. (Gumbo Muscin). Green beans also.
Laxative, good for fever, also biliousness.
Tamasic quality (bad).
Bad temper, disturbing
(For rheumatism) Cooling drink for nerves and fever. A cure for scurvy.
Psychological food, good judgment, juice good for colds, quieting.
For biliousness, take one 3 times a day in water.
All round perfect food for force and energy. Basic food.
For deep thinking, nervous force and spiritual energy. Animal protein substitute. (Hard to digest).
Antiseptic, tend to idleness and sleep, rather stupid. Garlic also.
ORANGES Brain stimulant, also good for melancholia. (Sinus, Arthritis – no).
PEARS Calmness. Peace.
PRUNES Good disposition.
RAISINS Sympathy.
RICE Idleness.
RHUBARB Good for nerves.
SPINACH Simplicity, liver stimulus, good for intestinal troubles.
TOMATO Liver regulator, also ulceration of the mouth. Gives optimism and cheer.
WHEAT Hardy, tenacity.
SATTAIC Food for growing spiritual strength, good morals and constructive qualities
RAJASIC Material food develops business and industrial qualities. Active.
TAMASIC OR DEMONIC Bad qualities, darkness, lack of understanding.
MEATS Cause the thoughts of fear, hate, pain, dread, revenge,
etc. that possessed the mind of the animal at the time of its death
The best part of a plant is its root. The root is the brain of the plant.

Regulate the diet – to produce the kind of disposition you want. If bad temper is your problem, diet for opposite qualities, etc.

(These are not to be given out of Sat Sanga Circle).

Most of us have not reached to stage of TN. Saints in India.

We have to eat, so lets eat to our best ability.

Remember when all is said and done, it is this Cosmic Life Force in the body that connects to food.

Dr. M.W. Lewis was Master's first kriyaban in America. TREASURE'S AGAINST TIME is a book lovingly written by Mrs. M.W. Lewis (Mama Lewis) along with daughter Mrs. Brenda Lewis Rosser and her husband John Rosser. They spent years on this book for one reason - to share with devotees the life of this extraordinary disciple of Paramahansa Yogananda. Mrs. M.W. Lewis and Dr. Lewis lived in and ran the Encinitas Hermitage for many years until his passing. Brenda Lewis Rosser also served Master and this work for many years in and out of the Encinitas Hermitage. They currently live in Rancho Bernardo, CA where they continue to hold a Tuesday night meditation originally started in Hollywood many years ago. Each Tuesday evening they listen to a tape of one of many lectures Dr. Lewis gave at Encinitas Hermitage and S.D. and Hollywood Temple's. Mr. John Rosser serves at the Escondido Center.

For more information on the life of Dr. M.W. Lewis with our Master look us up on the web at:


In Chapter 26 of the Autobiography of a Yogi, Guruji describes the science of Kriya Yoga:

"The Kriya Yogi mentally directs his life energy to revolve, upward and downward, around the six spinal centers (medullary, cervical, dorsal, lumbar, sacral, and coccygeal plexuses), which correspond to the twelve astral signs of the zodiac, the symbolic Cosmic Man."

While this is a subtle psycho-physiological technique to be practiced internally, there are many things which man sees and does in his daily life of external activities which resemble it in many ways and in its principles. Though the technique itself is known to those who have received initiation into it, there are many levels of really understanding it.

Here are some of these parallels from our external lives:

2.0 Blasting off of the "spaceship" of consciousness from the earth centre through water, fire, air and ether; orbiting around the "sun" at the Kutastha, and descending back to the earth.

3.0 Pumping the "water" of prana from the underground sump to the overhead tank through the pipeline of the spine.

4.0 Going up the elevator of a seven story building, taking a peek at the sky from the door of the elevator and going back down the elevator again to the ground floor.

5.0 Mountain climbing: Climbing the vertical cliff of consciousness using the rope of the spine, with pitons fixed at the chakras along the spinal route.

6.0 "Internal combustion engine": Move the piston of consciousness along with the fuel of prana, through the cylinder of the spine, from bdc (bottom dead centre) to tdc (top dead centre), ignite the spark at the kutastha, generate energy from this spark, and move the piston back down to bdc.

7.0 "Tight wire rope walking": The "wire rope" of spine is tightly fixed between the coccyx and Kutastha. You have to walk back and forth along this rope, in perfect balance and timing.

8.0 "God's Yo-Yo": God pulls the "yo-yo ball" of our consciousness along the string of the spine, holds us in his hands for a few seconds at the kutastha, and then lets us descend down the spine till we reach the bottom and again lets us pulls ourselves up. There is no halt at the bottom of the spine, but there is a halt at the kutashtha where He holds us for a short while before letting us back down.

9.0 Migratory birds find their way back to the place they were born, even thousands of miles away and across oceans. The secret of this is still not clearly known to science. The secret of how the soul returns to its place of birth is Kriya Yoga.

10.0 "Particle accelerator": To accelerate the "particle" of ego consciousness along the tunnel of the spine with the magnet of God's love, and change its quantum state from chakra to chakra until it experiences its own original nature as pure consciousness beyond the wave-particle duality.

11.0 To move the cursor of attention along the spine, from the "window" of coccyx to the "window" of Kutastha, is thus like "dragging and dropping" the ego at the feet of God.

12.0 "Alice", our soul, falls "up" the Rabbit-hole of the spine, and emerges into freedom when she realizes her true nature as pure consciousness, existence and bliss.

The Story of Lahiri Mahasaya at Lakhanpur

There are only two or three direct disciples of Paramahansa Yoganandaji still in their physical bodies in India. One of them is Acharya Swami Bidyananda Giriji Maharaj, who will be completing 104 years on April 9 this year. He has been serving Guruji's work in India ever since he received his initiation into Kriya Yoga in 1936, particularly in the field of education. He founded and successfully managed three semi-residential schools in and around the village of Lakhanpur, West Bengal, which lies about 20 kms from the city of Purulia.

There is a beautiful small ashrama also at Lakhanpur, where there was a small dilapidated temple of Lord Shiva when I first visited the place in 1975. In the beginning of 1994 Swamiji decided to renovate this temple, also making it bigger. He had decided that this temple would be inaugurated in July that year, on Guru Purnima day.

In April that year, a devotee asked him: "Swamiji, would you not like to install a statue of Lahiri Mahasaya in the new Shiva temple? There seems to be enough room for him also. Moreover, Lahiri Mahasaya is considered an incarnation of Lord Shiva, the Lord of Yogis."

Swamiji replied: "Why not? How much will it cost? How long will it take to get it ready?"

He then asked me to consult a sculptor, Sri Dhruba Das of Purulia, who was known to him and whose daughter was studying in the school at Lakhanpur. When I went to talk to the sculptor, he told me that two months' time was too short, but still he will do his best. He told me the price, which at that time, was Rupees. 45,000/-. He also said that he will need one month to get the clay model ready, and after its approval, he will need another month to get the statue ready. I went back to Swamiji at Lakhanpur and told him this.

There were two or three devotees around Swamiji at that time, who, one by one, offered their donations instantly and spontaneously. Swamiji gave the go-ahead, which I conveyed to the sculptor. He asked me to visit him after one month to inspect the clay model. When I went to see the model in May, it was so beautiful, that I virtually fell in love with it!! From that day onwards for the next six months that form of Lahiri Mahasaya never left my mind and consciousness.

Around that time, i.e. April-May, 1994, I was going through enormous problems in the construction of the Smriti Mandir at our Ashrama in Ranchi-- problems with labourers, marble suppliers, problems in finalizing design features etc.

Then sometime in May I received an unexpected phone call from a long-time devotee from Bombay, in which she told me that she was having recurring and vivid dreams which she was unable to understand, which, she felt, only I could clarify. She said that she was being told: " Unless Lahiri Mahasaya is established in one of YSS Ashramas, Guruji cannot be established in Ranchi!". This surely was difficult to comprehend, because Guruji himself had established the Ranchi Ashrama; so how could the question of establishing him arise? But intuitively I realized its import, and told her not to worry and that it would come to pass as per her dream, and that I will explain about it afterwards.

The temple of Lord Shiva
Exactly on the day before Guru Purnima of 1994, the beautiful statue was brought to Lakhanpur and received by hundreds of devotees and school children with all due honour, with the sounding of conch shells and drums and gongs, following the traditions. The next morning it was established in the newly completed Shiva temple, following the Vedic procedure of "Prana-pratishtha".
In front of the temple is a large bel tree. Soon after the temple was established, many more shoots of this tree, whose leaves and fruits are the favorites of Lord Shiva, sprang forth all around the temple.
Within six months of this, all my problems relating to the Smriti Mandir at Ranchi got solved one by one, and it was completed and inaugurated in March, 1995. For me this was the meaning of the dream that the devotee of Bombay was having.

Over the last twelve years hundreds of devotees from all parts of the world have visited Lakhanpur Ashrama and felt the living presence of Lahiri Mahasaya in this shrine. Some even make it a point to stay at Lakhanpur ashrama overnight in order to meditate in this temple all night long!!

In the Autobiography of a Yogi, in the Chapter 40, "I Return to India" Guruji wrote, describing the Ranchi Ashrama:

"In the orchard stands a Shiva temple, with a statue of the blessed master, Lahiri Mahasaya. Daily prayers and scripture classes are held in the garden under the mango bowers."

On the 105th birth anniversary of Acharya Swami Bidyanandaji, I offer my thanks to him for this temple, which will be a place of pilgrimage for thousands of devotees over the years to come. They only have to look into the eyes of Lahiri Mahasaya to receive his blessings.



Sri Ananda Mohan Lahiri, a grandson of Lahiri Mahasaya, was closely associated with Paramahansa Yoganandaji during the days of Brahmacharya Vidyalaya at Ranchi. They had great love and respect for each other. Guruji has also quoted from the writings of Sri Ananda Mohan Lahiri in the Autobiography of a Yogi.

The following rare photos were published by him.

This is a photo taken at the time of birth centennary celebration of Sri
Sri Lahiri Mahasaya, at his place of birth, Ghurni, in 1927.

Srimat Swami Keshabanandaji Maharaj, founder of Sri
Sri Lahiri Mahasaya's shrine at Haridwar and of Katyayani
Mah at Brindaban.

Swami Pranabananda Giri, an advanced disciple of
Lahiri Mahasaya, described in the Autobiography of
a Yogi as the "Saint with two bodies".

This is a photo of a text regarding the birth of Lahiri Mahasaya. The translation of the second, printed paragraph is:

"Photo of handwritten details kept in a notebook by late Radhanath Lahiri, about the date, time, place, day and year of Sri Sri Shyamacharan Lahiri's birth. This is the only available document/information about the details of Yogiraj Shyamacharan Lahiri Mahasaya's birth."

The handwritten details of birth are:

"In 1235 Bengali era, on the 16th Ashwin, in the first hour of the morning of Tuesday, Saptami tithi, Krishna paksha (i.e. the 7th day of waning moon), a son was born to Sri Gour Mohan Sarkar, (who was named) Sriyut Shyamacharan Lahiri. The expectant mother was lying with her head to the East. There were three persons in the delivery room--the mother and two mid-wives."



The Autobiography of a Yogi is such a book that it could be quoted in its entirety for various purposes, such as exemplary pieces of literature, to illustrate some specific point such as the history of India, or on Guru-disciple relationship. However, some parts are so specially striking that they leave a permanent impression on the heart, mind and soul. Here an attempt is being made to select these quotations with subject-wise classification. All these selections are available on the internet at various sources.

On Guru-Disciple relationship:

Chapter 1, first line:

"The characteristic features of Indian culture have long been a search for ultimate verities and the concomitant disciple-guru relationship."

Abinash babu, when prevented by Yoganandaji's father from going to Benares:

"My heart was repeating: 'Lahiri Mahasaya! I cannot live without seeing you!"

Chapter 3: Yoganandaji on Swami Pranabananda:

"Inasmuch as I was destined to undertake my divine search through one particular guru--Sri Yukteswar, whom I had not yet met--I felt no inclination to accept Pranabananda as my teacher. I glanced at him doubtfully, wondering if it were he or his counterpart before me."

On the Importance of a Guru:

Swami Pranabananda:

"I will tell you how priceless are a guru's help. I used to meditate with another disciple for eight hours every night. We had to work at the railway office during the day. Finding difficulty in carrying on my clerical duties, I desired to devote my whole time to God. For eight years I per¬severed, meditating half the night. I had wonderful results; tremendous spiritual perceptions illumined my mind. But a little veil always remained between me and the Infinite. Even with superhuman earnestness, I found the final irrevocable union to be denied me. One evening I paid a visit to Lahiri Mahasaya and pleaded for his divine intercession. My importunities continued during the entire night............

"Lahiri Mahasaya extended his hand in a benign gesture.’you may go now and meditate. I have interceded for you with Brahma.'

"Immeasurably uplifted, I returned home. In meditation that night, the burning Goal of my life was achieved. Now I ceaselessly enjoy the spiritual pension. Never from that day has the Blissful Creator remained hidden from my eyes behind any screen of delusion." (Ch.3)

Swami Kebalananda:

"An indescribable peace blossomed within me at the master's glance. I was permeated with his fragrance, as though from a lotus of infinity. To be with him, even without exchanging a word for days,
was experience which changed my entire being. If any invisible barrier rose in the path of my concentration, I would meditate at the guru's feet. There the most tenuous states came easily within my grasp. Such perceptions eluded me in the presence of lesser teachers. The master was a living temple of God whose secret doors were open to all disciples through devotion. (Ch. 4)

Yoganandaji on the importance of a Guru:

"Sri Yukteswar chose the following morning to grant me his Kriya Yoga initiation. The technique I had already received from two disciples of Lahiri Mahasaya--Father and my tutor, Swami Kebalananda. But Master possessed a transforming power; at his touch a great light broke upon my being, like the glory of countless suns blazing together. A flood of ineffable bliss over¬whelmed my heart to an innermost core." (Ch.12)

"I always thrilled at the touch of Sri Yukteswarji's holy feet. A disciple is spiritually magnetized by reverent contact with a master; a subtle current is generated. The devotee's undesirable habit-mechanisms in the brain are often as if cauterized; the grooves of his worldly tendencies are benefi¬cially disturbed. Momentarily at least he may find the secret veils of Maya lifting, and glimpse the reality of bliss. My whole body responded with liberating glow whenever I knelt in the Indian fashion before my guru." (Ch.12)

" A healing calm descended at the mere sight of my guru. Each day with him was a new experience in joy, peace, and wisdom." (Ch.12)

" A master bestows the divine experience of cosmic consciousness when the disciple, by meditation, has strengthened his mind to a degree where the vast vistas would not overwhelm him. Mere intellectual willingness or open-mindedness is not enough. Only adequate enlargement of consciousness by yoga practice and devotional bhakti can prepare one to absorb the liberating shock of omnipresence." (Ch.14)

Ram Gopal Mazumdar on the importance of the guru:

"Young yogi, I see you are running away from your master. He has everything you need; you should return to him." (Ch.13)

"As soon as the devotee is willing to go even to the ends of the earth for spiritual enlightenment, his guru appears nearby." (Ch.13)

Ram Gopal: Samadhi is given only by one's guru:

" `Sir, why don't you grant me a Samadhi?'

" `Dear One, I would be glad to convey the divine contact, but it is not my place to do so.' The saint looked at me with half closed eyes. `Your master will bestow that experience on you shortly........' " (Ch.13)

Yoganandaji's flight to Himalayas:

2.5.1 "I hoped to find, amid the Himalayan snows, the master whose face often appeared to me in visions." (Ch.4)

2.5.2 Ram Gopal to Yoganandaji: ""Mountains cannot be your guru.....Masters are under no cosmic compulsion to live on mountains only.....The Himalayas in India and Tibet have no monopoly on saints. What one does not trouble to find within will not be discovered by transporting the body hither and yon." (Ch.13)

Yoganandaji's Search:

"I gazed searchingly about me, on any excursion from home, for the face of my destined guru. But my path did not cross his until after the completion of my high school studies."

Master Mahasaya to Yoganandaji:

" I am not your guru; he shall come a little later. Through his guidance, your experiences of the Divine in terms of love and devotion will be trans¬lated into his terms of fathomless wisdom." (Ch.9)

Yoganandaji’s first meeting Swami Sriyukteswarji.:

" `Gurudeva!' The divine face was the one I had seen in a thousand visions. These halcyon eyes, in a leonine head with pointed beard and flowing locks, had oft peered though the gloom of my nocturnal reveries, holding a promise I had not fully understood." (Ch.10)

Swami Sriyukteswarji’s first words to Yoganandaji:

"O my own, you have come to me! How many years I have waited for you!" (Ch.10)

Yoganandaji's faith in Swami Sriyukteswarji:

"With an antenna of irrefragable insight I sensed that my guru knew God and would lead me to Him. The obscuration of this life disappeared in a fragile dawn of prenatal memories. Dramatic time! Past, present, and future are its cycling scenes. This was not the first sun to find me at these holy feet!" (Ch.10)

"No other healer (and I had tried many) had been able to arouse in me such profound faith." (Ch.12)

Unconditional love:

In the first meeting of Yoganandaji with his Guru:

Swami Sriyukteswarji: " `I give you my unconditional love.'

"Precious words! A quarter century elapsed before I had another auricul¬ar proof of his love. His lips were strange to ardor; silence suited his oceanic heart."

" `Will you give me the same unconditional love? He gazed at me with childlike trust.

" 'I will love you eternally, Gurudeva!'

" ` Ordinary love is selfish, darkly rooted in desires and satisfac¬tions. Divine love is without conditions, without boundary, without change. The flux of the human heart is gone forever at the transfixing touch of pure love.' He added humbly, `If ever you find me falling from a state of God-realization, please promise to put my head on your lap and help to bring me back to the Cosmic Beloved we both worship.' " (Ch. 10)

Adi Shankaracharya's prayer to the Divine Mother for forgiveness of sins:

"Though bad sons are many, never has there been a bad mother." (Ch.10)

Yoganandaji after returning to Sri Yukteswarji from Ram Gopal's place:

Yoganandaji to Swami Sri Yukteswarji:

"Sir, one hears of divine love in a vague way, but today I am indeed having a concrete example of it from your angelic self! In the world, even a father does not easily forgive his son if he leaves his parent's business without warning. But you show not the slightest vexation, though you must have been put to great inconvenience by many unfinished tasks I left behind."
"We looked into each other's eyes, where tears were shining. A blissful wave engulfed me; I was conscious that the Lord, in the form of my guru, was expanding the limited ardors of my heart to vast reaches of cosmic love."(Ch.¬14)

Adi Shankara's words on the Guru:

"No known comparison exists in the three worlds for a true guru. If the philosopher's stone be assumed as truly such, it can only turn iron into gold, not into another philosopher's stone. The venerated teacher, on the other hand, creates equality with himself in the disciple, who takes refuge at his feet. The guru is therefore peerless, nay transcendental." (Ch.10)

Yoganandaji’s first disciple at Agra:

" `You are my guru.' His eyes sought mine trustfully. `During my midday devotions, the blessed Lord Krishna appeared in a vision. he showed me two forsaken figures under this very tree. One face was yours, my master! Often have I seen it in meditation. What joy if you accept my humble ser¬vices!' " (Ch.11)

"A guru must be on intimate terms indeed with the Creator before he can obligate Him to appear!" (Ch.12)

Yoganandaji on Swami Sriyukteswarji:

"Like a divine mirror, my guru apparently had caught a reflection of my whole life." (Ch.10)

"I was conscious always that I was in the presence of a living manifes¬tation of God. The weight of his divinity automatically bowed my head before him." (Ch.12)

"He was incapable of striking a pose or of flaunting his inner withdraw¬al. Always one with the Lord, he needed no separate time for communion. A Self-realized master has already left behind the steppingstone of medita¬tion.....But saints often cling to spiritual forms in order to set an example for disciples." (Ch.12)

"Master never arrogantly said: `I prophesy that such and such an event shall occur!' He would rather hint: `Don't you think it may happen?' But his simple speech hid vatic power. There was no recanting; never did his slightly veiled predictions prove false." (Ch.12)

"His feet were firm on the earth, his head in the haven of heaven. practical people aroused his admiration." (Ch.12)

"His only `marvelous' aura was that of perfect simplicity. In conver¬sation he avoided startling references; in action he was freely expressive." (Ch.12)

"Many disciples have a preconceived image of a guru, by which they judge his words and actions. Such persons often complained that they did not understand Sri Yukteswar." (Ch.12)

"I was touched at his great respect for his mother even in her un¬reasonable moods. She saw him only as her little boy, not as a sage. There was a charm about the trifling incident; it supplied a sidelight on my guru's unusual nature, inwardly humble and outwardly unbendable." (Ch.12)

"A brilliant conversationalist, he enjoyed an exchange of views on countless topics with his guests. My guru's ready wit and rollicking laugh enlivened every discussion. Often grave, Master was never gloomy. `To seek the Lord, men need not disfigure their faces, he would say, quoting from the Bible. `Remember that finding God will mean the funeral of all sorrows.' " (Ch.12)

"Amazing it was to find that a master with such a fiery will could be so calm within. he fitted the Vedic definition of a man of God: `Softer than the flower, when kindness is concerned; stronger than thunder, when principles are at stake." (Ch.12)

"Master would never display his powers when challenged, or for a triviality." (Ch. 15)

“As I knelt before Sri Yukteswar, and for the first time heard him pronounce my new name, my heart overflowed with gratitude. How lovingly and tirelessly had he labored, that the boy Mukunda be
someday transformed into the monk Yogananda!” (Ch. 24)

“Sri Yukteswar showed no special consideration to those who happened to be powerful or accomplished; neither did he slight others for their poverty or illiteracy. He would listen respectfully to words of truth from a child, and openly ignore a conceited pundit.” (Ch. 12)

“His financial independence was one reason why my alarmingly outspoken Master was innocent of the cunnings of diplomacy. Unlike those teachers who have to flatter their supporters, my guru was
impervious to the influences, open or subtle, of others' wealth. Never did I hear him ask or even hint for money for any purpose. His hermitage training was given free and freely to all disciples.” (Ch.12)

Amazing it was to find that a master with such a fiery will could be so calm within. He fitted the Vedic definition of a man of God: "Softer than the flower, where kindness is concerned; stronger than the thunder, where principles are at stake." (Ch. 12)

Master expounded the Christian Bible with a beautiful clarity. It was from my Hindu guru, unknown to the roll call of Christian membership that I learned to perceive the deathless essence of
the Bible, and to understand the truth in Christ's assertion-surely the most thrillingly intransigent ever uttered: "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away." (Ch. 16)

Training of a disciple:

On restlessness of the mind:

Yoganandaji to Swami Sri Yukteswarji: "What can I do with such a master--one who penetrates my random musings?"

"You have given me that right. The subtle truths I am expounding cannot be grasped without your complete concentration. Unless necessary I do not invade the seclusion of others' minds. Man has the natural privilege of roaming secretly among his thoughts. The unbidden Lord does not enter there; neither do I venture intrusion."---Swami Sri Yukteswarji. (Ch.12)

When Yoganandaji’s friend could not receive the telepathic message from Sriyukteswarji:

“As Sri Yukteswar, a modern Yogi-Christ, reached the spot where Dijen and I were speechlessly rooted, Master smiled at my friend and remarked:

"I sent you a message too, but you were unable to grasp it."

Dijen was silent, but glared at me suspiciously. After we had escorted our guru to his hermitage, my friend and I proceeded toward Serampore College. Dijen halted in the street, indignation streaming from his every pore.

"So! Master sent me a message! Yet you concealed it! I demand an explanation!"

"Can I help it if your mental mirror oscillates with such restlessness that you cannot register our guru's instructions?" I retorted.

From Hindu scriptures:

"In shallow men the fish of little thoughts cause much commotion. In oceanic minds the whales of inspiration make hardly a ruffle." This observation from the Hindu scriptures is not without discerning humor. (Ch. 12)

On spirituality and practical life:

Swami Sri Yukteswarji: "Saintliness is not dumbness! Divine percep¬tions are not incapacitating! The active expression of virtue gives rise to the keenest intelligence." (Ch.12)

"A perfectionist, my guru was hypercritical of his disciples, whether in matters of the moment or in the subtle nuances of ordinary behavior." (Ch.12)

"Under Master's unsparing rod, however, I soon recovered from the agreeable delusions of irresponsibility." (Ch.12)

" `Those who are too good for this world are adorning some other,' Sri Yukteswar remarked one day. `So long as you breathe the free air of earth, you are under obligation to render grateful service. Only he who has fully , mastered the breathless state is freed from cosmic imperatives.' He added dryly, `I shall not fail to let you know when you have attained the final perfection.' " (Ch.12)

Swami Sri Yukteswarji to Yoganandaji after granting him an experience in Cosmic Consciousness:

"You must not get over drunk with ecstasy. Much work yet remains for you in the world. Come, let us sweep the balcony floor; then we shall walk by the Ganges." (Ch.14)

On Disciplining of Disciples:

"My guru could not be bribed, even by love. He showed no leniency to anyone who, like me, had willingly offered to become a disciple. Whether Master and I were surrounded by his students or by strange¬rs, or were alone togethe¬r, he always spoke plainly and upbraided sharply. No trifling lapse into shallowness or inconsistency escaped his rebuke. This flattening -to-the-ego treatment was hard to endure, but my unchangeable resolve was to allow Sri Yukteswar to iron out all my psychologi¬cal kinks. As he labored at this titanic transformation, I shook many times under the weight of his discipli¬nary hammer." (Ch.12)

Sw. Sriyukteswarji to Yoganandaji:

" `If you don't like my words, you are at liberty to leave at any time,' Master assured me. I want nothing from you but your own improvement. Stay only if you feel benefited.'" (Ch.12)

Yoganandaji on his Guru’s disciplining:

"I am immeasurably grateful for the humbling blows he dealt my vanity. I sometimes felt that, metaphorically, he was discovering and uprooting every diseased tooth in my jaw." (Ch.12)

" `I am hard on those who come for my training,' he admitted to me. `That is my way. Take it or leave it; I never compromise. But you will be much kinder to your disciples; that is your way. I try to purify only in fires of severity; these are searing beyond the average toleration. The gentle approach of love is also transfiguring. The inflexible and the yielding methods are equally effective if applied with wisdom." (Ch.12)

"It was Master's practice to point out the simple, negligible shortcomings of his disciples with an air of portentous gravity." (Ch.12)

" `Tender inner weaknesses, revolting at mild touches of censure, are like diseased parts of the body, recoiling before even delicate handling.' This was Sri Yukteswar's comment on the flighty ones." (Ch.12)

Famous quotation on"Ego-balm":

"Students came, and generally went. Those who craved an easy path--that of instant sympathy and comforting recognition of one's merits--did not find it at the hermitage. master offered his disciples shelter and shepherd¬ing for the eons, but many students miserly demanded ego-balm as well. They departed, preferring, before nay humility, life's countless humiliations." (Ch.12)

On the Sensitivity of a disciple:

"During my early months with Master I experienced a sensitive fear of his reprimands. I soon saw that his verbal vivisections were performed only on persons who, like me, had asked him to discipline them.....After I had abandoned underlying resentment, I found a marked decrease in my chastisement. In a very subtle way, master melted into comparative clemency. In time, I demolished every wall of rationalization and subconscious reservation behind which the human personality generally shields itself. The reward was an effortless harmony with my guru. I discovered him then to be trusting, considerate and silently loving." (Ch.12)

On spiritual training :

"A Self-realized master is fully able to guide his various disciples along the natural lines of their essential bias." (Ch.12)

"Sri Yukteswar ...never authoritatively controlled his disciples' movements." (Ch.12)

On the nature of a true Master:

“Many people imagine that every spiritual master has, or should have, the health and strength of a Sandow. The assumption is unfounded. A sickly body does not indicate that a guru is not in touch with
divine powers, any more than lifelong health necessarily indicates an inner illumination. The condition of the physical body, in other words, cannot rightfully be made a test of a master. His distinguishing
qualifications must be sought in his own domain, the spiritual.” (Ch. 21)

“Numerous bewildered seekers in the West erroneously think that an eloquent speaker or writer on metaphysics must be a master. The rishis, however, have pointed out that the acid test of a master
is a man's ability to enter at will the breathless state, and to maintain the unbroken SAMADHI of NIRBIKALPA. Only by these achievements can a human being prove that he has "mastered" MAYA
or the dualistic Cosmic Delusion. He alone can say from the depths
of realization: "EKAM SAT,"-"Only One exists." (Ch. 21)

“Masters who possess the Divine Vision are fully able to transfer their realizations to advanced disciples, as Lahiri Mahasaya did for Sri Yukteswar on this occasion.” (Ch. 12 fn)

“The impartiality of saints is rooted in wisdom. Masters have escaped MAYA; its alternating faces of intellect and idiocy no longer cast an influential glance.” (Ch. 12)

"A man of realization does not perform any miracle until he receives an inward sanction," Master explained. "God does not wish the secrets of His creation revealed promiscuously. Also, every individual in the world has inalienable right to his free will. A saint will not encroach upon that independence." (Ch.12)

“Among the trillion mysteries, breathing every second the inexplicable air, who may venture to ask that the fathomless nature of a master be instantly grasped?” (Ch. 12)

“Brave indeed is the guru who undertakes to transform the crude ore of ego-permeated humanity! A saint's courage roots in his compassion for the stumbling eyeless of this world. (Ch. 12)

“A self-realized master is fully able to guide his various disciples along natural lines of their essential bias. (Ch.12)

“The unfailing composure of a saint is impressive beyond any sermon. "He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city." (Ch. 12)

Eternal, Life after life nature of Guru-disciple relationship:

Mahavatar Babaji to Lahiri Mahasaya:

"'For more than three decades I have waited for you here-waited for you to return to me!' Babaji's voice rang with celestial love. 'You slipped away and vanished into the tumultuous waves of the life beyond death. The magic wand of your karma touched you, and you were gone! Though you lost sight of me, never did I lose sight of you! I pursued you over the luminescent astral sea where the glorious angels sail. Through gloom, storm, upheaval, and light I followed you, like a mother bird guarding her young. As you lived out your human term of womb-life, and emerged a babe, my eye was ever on you. When you covered your tiny form in the lotus posture under the Nadia sands in your childhood, I was invisibly present!

Patiently, month after month, year after year, I have watched over you, waiting for this perfect day. Now you are with me! Lo, here is your cave, loved of yore! I have kept it ever clean and ready for you. Here is your hallowed ASANA-blanket, where you daily sat to fill your expanding heart with God! Behold there your bowl, from which you often drank the nectar prepared by me! See how I have kept the brass cup brightly polished, that you might drink again there from! My own, do you now understand?' (Ch. 34)



Brother Bhaktananada's Peace and Harmony Prayer

"Question: I have run into difficulties in reaching true forgiveness with my family. Every family gathering awakens old hurts. What do you recommend?

"Brother Bhaktananda: You will not be able to forgive them as long as you are holding on to the thought of your past hurt. Instead, as often as such thoughts arise, just let them go by; let them fly away; do not entertain them anymore. Realize that until you let go of those past grievances, you are hurting yourself, not the others. The matter is past and gone with them; you are the one holding on to it.

"Many have healed difficult relationships by using what I call the "peace and harmony prayer". Visualize all those in the group who hurt you, and mentally surround them with divine light. Then deeply pray, "Lord, fill them with peace and harmony, peace and harmony, peace and harmony," over and over, for about a minute. Afterward, visualize yourself in a divine light, and pray, "Lord, fill me with peace and harmony, peace and harmony, peace and harmony," for about 15 seconds. Do this five times a day, and you will see a change in individuals... It not only changes the person being prayed for, but also the one who uses it."

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