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The Temple Slid into the Sea

A temple of bone is more than a temple of stone. (Proverb)

The Golden Lotus Temple was built on a bluff in Encinitas

The bone-temple normally refers to the living body, quite as in the Biblical "Your body is a temple . . . Therefore honour God with your body [1 Corinthians 6:20]" and "We are the temple of the living God." [2 Cor 6:16]. Or if you don't feel like a holy, living temple, try to make it cosy there. Good health and thriving may be made and retained as time goes by.

Ramakrishna saw these things all right too. He saw the Divine in humans, also in a prostitute, when he had been a temple priest for many years (Gra 586). A few encouraging words:

The realization of God is enough for me. What does it matter if I don't know Sanskrit? [Ramakrishna, Rap 407]

It is God Himself who plays about as human beings. [Ramakrishna, Rap 407]

He is revealed to me in human form . . . God is saying to me, "You have assumed a body; therefore enjoy God through His human forms." [Ramakrishna, Rap 432]

If you bear that in mind and stick to "superior biological value first," for example when sightseeing buildings and the like made of stone, much could go better for you, as you would have a good cue as to what to really appreciate. It could well be a happy little lamb rather than the stone temple behind it. Anyway, there may be some value in taking snapshots of Stonehenge too, for social reasons. But it matters to get one's values proper, and above conformity if needs be.

A Temple that Slid into the Sea

In her book "Only Love" [On] Daya Mata once communicated, in essence, that if thoughts come and disturb your meditation, it is temptation.

Figure you were among people who had the strange experience of attending a Yogananda service at the Golden Lotus Temple in Encinitas some time before the temple slid into the sea. Imagine you were sitting in meditation there and then, and suddenly the guru who led the Easter Morning Service called out:

"Get out of here at this very moment!"

Let us say they all ran out, and that the temple slid into the sea some time later. He disturbed the congregations's meditation, his thoughts of imminent disaster came to them in their meditation. He did the best he could. But it would have been temptation, according to Daya Mata, if you take her statement at face value. I hope you will not.

This tiny thought experiment about Yogananda's temple that slid into the sea is not wholly invented: The temple, built at the bluff's edge in Encinitas (twenty-five miles north of San Diego) in 1937, was "just like seeing paradise without dying," said one, over-emotionally.

Plants make paradise – clear gem-stones too, the Book of Revelation says – but most buildings may be found to be defective one way or another. Maybe studding them with gems is a good thing, maybe not – you do what you can afford, and what the insurance company requires of you in case. And slowing down speed goes a long way in keeping idyls idyls.

Revelation presents jasper and carnelian, a rainbow resembling an emerald, crowns of gold, flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder, lamps, a sea of glass, a measuring rod [Rev 3:3-5, 6; 21:15]. In heaven is "every kind of precious stone," it says: jasper, sapphire, chalcedony, emerald, sardonyx, carnelian, chrysolite, beryl, topaz, chrysoprase, jacinth, amethyst, pearls, and lots of pure gold [Rev 21:19-21] Do you seek "a foretaste of heaven"? Have you tried to get a home collection of them? I have! [More]

Polished stones may be ordered on-line, for example from John Brommeland and Co in Telemark or Fossheim Steinsenter in Garmo.

The temple was lost by landslide in 1942, when it slipped away from its foundations and fell. By then, water draining had softened underlying clay and resulted in shifting earth, which plunged the temple down the cliff.

Before the temple fell down the bluff overlooking the ocean, Yogananda was tempted to hold a last Sunday Service there, but refrained. He realized he and his congregation might all to go down with the temple. So he announced, even though the Golden Lotus Temple was still standing, "No meeting for a month."

Then, commending the temple to God, he left Encinitas, and God let this pet temple go down. More precisely, building movers [and God] were to take care of it. The guru told the movers that if they were late they could do nothing. They came late and saw the temple fall in front of them.

"All is finished," said Yogananda afterwards on the phone. He also wrote some tommyrot about it:

O thou Golden Lotus Temple . . .,
Thou wert too perfect and beautiful
To stay in an imperfect earth for long.
. . . . . . . . . . . . .
And many temples like thee
Will arise
Through thy crucifixion by Satan's hand,
And test of God in evil's land.

Have you ever heard of a crucified temple before? And evil's land, that would be the United States and California, where SRF has most of its members. Now, the problem was not that the temple was too good to last, but that it was built on a risk spot, out on a bluff.

The guru of "All is finished," said on another occasion, "The Lord can turn the motion picture of creation backward . . . in an eternal now [Spa 58]." But see what happened, and to whom, and beware of opportunistic swiveling.

The healthful man can give counsel to the sick. (British) [◦Link]

- but there is more to this

In an old Self-Realization Magazine, Yogananda recounts he was told by Divine Mother herself to seek him in some valley in the USA. He took it to mean that he should go for getting an SRF site in a valley. But when he was given a newly built SRF house and a temple and his own swimming-pool on the bluff over the Encinitas beach, he felt satisfied and dropped the valley beckoning.

Not many years later the pool was destroyed and Yogananda's temple slid into the sea. Down it went. If he had been persistent and found his valley, a temple might not have been built on a risky spot, a bluff. In time it might be devastated by escalated Californian wildfires though. Ah, but that is quite another story.

Today SRF has a 100-acre ashram, Hidden Valley Ashram in Escondido. It was or was part of the Hidden Valley Health Ranch of a former acquaintance of mine, Dr Bernard Jensen (1908–2001), who had served over 350,000 patients. I may not say how well they were served, it is just a number count . . . An SRF member donated the renowned health ranch to SRF in 2007.

Further gist

Yogananda became the head of many nuns, and some of them were of Mormon upbringing. At least three of them became members of the Board of Directors in Self-Realization Fellowship. How to deal with many monastics: it hardly pays to intrude. Or maybe get well paid for your services up front.

Sound proverbs and neat fables might counteract unhealthy abandonment of a fulfilling, rewarding personal life. Sweet fables may be fit for all who are to grow up, and Arabian Nights contain many tales on how to deal with bad guys and influences.

Let natural and frisk development come first. If your innate libido system gets soundly developed, it hardly turns kinky. So: "Hello, Eye in the depth. Let me have good enough understanding to love and play frivolously as is fit: to really thrive."

Life catches its counsel by deep-going means at times. But whims may grow unshapely on top of losses.

A whole lot of freakish customs have to be done away with for the sake of all right living. Hot things are hardly good for anyone. Serenity goes for a climb toward the bright light within, but heart-piousness has arrived there already and may yet be unaware of it.

Pregnant worship glides inside – a good climb is into heaven.


SRF Golden Lotus Temple in Encinitas, former Yogananda temple into the sea, A temple of bone, Literature  

Gra: Jagadananda, swami, tr. Sri Ramakrishna: The Great Master. 4th ed. Mylapore: Ramakrishna Math, 1970.

On: Mata, Daya: "Only Love". Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 1976.

Rap: Gupta, Mahendranath. The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna. Tr. Swami Nikhilananda. New York: Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center, 1942.

Spa: Yogananda, Paramahansa. Sayings of Paramahansa Yogananda. 4th ed. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 1980.

Harvesting the hay

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

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