Yogananda visited the house of Vishudhananda, who was sitting on a leopard skin, saying: "God makes perfume . . . I materialise perfumes."
Yogananda: "Why should I desire that which pleases the body . . .?"
Later Yogananda heard that Vishudhananda "was reputed to have the power of extracting objects out of thin air."
Yogananda: "Hypnotism is trespass into the territory of another's consciousness."
The Tiger Swami, or Sohong (Soham) Swami (d. 5 December 1918), was a guru of India. He was originally named Shyamakanta Bandopaddhyaya. When he was in college, he started bodybuilding and later started a circus. In 1899, he left home to become a monk, and became known as "Soham Swami" (Sohong Swami). His teachings are found in books. In one of them, Common Sense (1923), he tries to prove that all religions of the world are full of absurdities, inconsistencies, and fallacies, and stresses development of common sense and realisation of divinity.
"How it is possible to subdue with bare fists the most ferocious of jungle beasts, the royal Bengals?" the the Sohong Swami was asked.
He said, "My father warned me. And then policemen came gallopping. "All things are possible to these creatures of human law," he thought. In this case they invited him to a princely palace.
"It is going to cost me something!' the swami thought.
The sadistic prince in the palace wanted him to fight a tiger who had been fed sparingly. The day of battle came soon enough. The place was a cage with iron bars. The swami wore only a loincloth. Blood splashed in all directions. At last the swami bellowed fiercely and landed a final concussive blow. The tiger collapsed, and the swami chained the tiger by his neck to the cage bars and moved toward the door.
But the tiger snapped the chain and leaped on his back. After some goring, it lay semiconscous. This time the swami secured him more carefully.
After his wounds were treated, hundreds of gold pieces were showered at his feet. The whole city entered a holiday period. However, the swami had a change of heart as he lay near death from blood poisoning for half a year afterwards.
Today, the Bengal tiger is an endangered species.
Yogananda met a man who was remaining in the air, several feet above the ground, and had lived indoors for twenty years. The only exception was at Hindu festivals.
"Take the dignity of hoary India for your shield," he advised Yogananda.
Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose (1858–1937) was a Bengali polymath, physicist, biologist, biophysicist, botanist and archaeologist, and an early writer of science fiction. Living in British India, he pioneered the investigation of radio and microwave optics, made significant contributions to plant science, and laid the foundations of experimental science in the Indian subcontinent.
Yogananda visited Sir Jagadish. "Come someday to my laboratory and see the unequivocal testimony of the crescograph," said Sir Jagadish, and when the Bose Institute was opened, Yogananda attended the dedicatory services. Sir Jagadish told the audience:
"In time the leading scientific societies of the world accepted my theories and results."
Mahendranath Gupta (1854–1932) is also known as Master Mahasaya and M. He was a teacher, and also a disciple of Ramakrishna (1836–86). M used to keep a personal diary. After he first met Ramakrishna in 1882, he started to keep a stenographic record of Ramakrishna's conversations and actions in his diary. It finally took the form of the book, Sri Sri Ramakrishna Kathamrita. The Bengali classic is online today, in English translation: [◦The Gospel of Ramakrishna]
One day Yogananda visited him and fell moaning to the floor.
"Quiet yourself!" said M, but Yogananda clutched his feet, imploring, "Holy sir, your intercession! Ask divine Mother if I find any favour in her sight!"
Shamelessly gripping his feet, deaf to his gentle remonstrances, Yogananda begged him again and again for an intervention.
Yogananda went home and meditated till ten o'clock. During his meditation he saw and heard the goddess Kali.
Next morning he sought to test M. "Must you test me?" the other asked. Again Yogananda plunged prostrate at his fee, in tears.
"I am not your guru," M told him. "Let us go tomorrow to the Dakshineswar Temple."
The next morning the two of them went there by boat on the Ganges, strolled through the precincts, halting in a tamarisk grove.
One day M gently slapped Yogananda on his chest over the heart. At once he became immovable for a while, and it was to his liking. If anyone observed them as they walked away from there later, that person would "surely suspected us of intoxication."
"Ever enshrined in memory is . . . Master Mahasaya!" writes Yogananda.