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  1. A "Perfume Saint" Performs his Wonders – 43
  2. The Tiger Swami – 52
  3. The Levitating Saint (Nagendra Nath Bhaduri) – 62
  4. India's Great Scientist and Inventor, Jagadis Chandra Bose – 68
  5. The Blissful Devotee and his Cosmic Romance (Master Mahasaya) – 78

5 - A "perfume saint" displays his wonders

Mukunda visited the house of Vishudhananda, who was sitting on a leopard skin, saying: "God makes perfume . . . I materialise perfumes."

Mukunda: "Why should I desire that which pleases the body . . .?"

Later Mukunda 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."


6 - The tiger swami

Amusements are of many sorts.

Big words and hopes are hardly all you need when confronting a tiger's teeth.

Soham Swami
Sohong Swami

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.

This advocate of common sense used to wrestle with tigers with bare paws with bare hands. [◦Wikipedia article]

"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.


7 - The levitating saint

Levitation is something solidly attested, believe it or not.

Mukunda 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 Mukunda.


8 - India's great scientist, J. C. Bose

  1. Great powers of imagination can become friends of the foremost scientists, like Albert Einstein.
  2. Helping wildlife and habitats is utterly needed, and more than electrical "animals" - toys, robots or otherwise.
  3. Active, mature persons tended to enrich the world many decades ago. Active and greedy people today tend to take part in exploiting and abusing it. That is not as it should be.

So: To tend to helpful imagination in fit ways fosters future education. That is a tenet of Waldorf Education. Its pedagogy emphasises and integrates the role of imagination for learning and development. Waldorf elementary schools (ages 7–14) emphasise cultivating children's emotional life and imagination by such as story-telling. Stories that embed useful lessons and tips, are worked on artistically, and can be drawn on later when the mind develops more abstract powers, including reasoning skills. (WP, "Waldorf Education") 

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.

Bose made a number of pioneering discoveries in plant physiology. He used his own invention, the crescograph, to measure plant response to various stimuli. and to facilitate his research, he constructed automatic recorders. These instruments produced some striking results, which Bose interpreted as a power of feeling in plants.

Bose's place in history: His work may have contributed to the development of radio communication. He is also credited with discovering millimetre length electromagnetic waves.

Many of his instruments remain largely usable over 100 years later. They include various antennas, polarisers, and waveguides, which remain in use in modern forms today. (Wikipedia, "Jagadish Chandra Bose", excerpts)

Mukunda 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, Mukunda attended the dedicatory services. Sir Jagadish told the audience:

"In time the leading scientific societies of the world accepted my theories and results."

"All creative scientists know that the true laboratory is the mind.

"Science is neither of the East nor of the West but rather international."


9 - The blissful devotee and his cosmic romance

  1. Very much adoration and reverence is rooted in calculation.
  2. Showing another much allotted reverence and honour can be tinged with hidden selfish cunning.
  3. Reverence alloted to authority figures at fault, seems marred by strategic cunning. Sincerity goes deep.

So: Beware of the reverence that stems from calculation. Sincerity and being oneself well should be more treasured. 

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 Mukunda visited him and fell moaning to the floor.

"Quiet yourself!" said M, but Mukunda 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, Mukunda begged him again and again for an intervention.

M capitulated.

Mukunda went home and meditated till ten o'clock. During his meditation he saw and heard the goddess Kali.

It was the goddess Kali ["She who is black"] that Mukunda had a vision of at that time, writes Yogananda's biographer Sailendra Dasgupta. [Psy 21]. That is to say, Mukunda saw a black figure late at night.

Her "iconography, cult, and mythology commonly associate her with death, sexuality, violence, and, paradoxically [more recently] motherly love . . . Kali is most often characterised as black or blue, partially or completely naked, with a long lolling tongue, a skirt or girdle of human arms, a necklace of decapitated heads, and multiple arms," tells Encyclopaedia Britannica [sv. "Kali"].

Next morning he sought to test M. "Must you test me?" the other asked. Again Mukunda 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 Mukunda on his chest over the heart. At once he became immovable As they later walked away from there later, an observer would have "suspected us of intoxication."

"Enshrined in [my] memory is . . . Master Mahasaya!" writes Yogananda.


Autobiography of a Yogi chapters, Swami Paramahansa Yogananda life, paramhansa Yogananda, digest, Literature  

Dasgupta, Sailendra. Paramhansa Swami Yogananda: Life-portrait and Reminiscences. Lincoln, NE: iUniverse, 2006.

Symbols, brackets, signs and text icons explained: (1) Text markers(2) Digesting.

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