Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The 3 Kings and the Autobiography of a Yogi

GEORGE HARRISON: Musician, Lead guitarist - Beatles, Singer.

“ The moment I looked at that  picture of Yogananda,” George later said, “ His eyes went  through me.”

He had heard stories about men in the caves up in the Himalayas who are ancient and wise, people who could levitate…. Mystic stories that permeated his curiosity for years.

In 1966 George Harrison visited India: While I was in India with Ravi (Shankar), I kept saying, 'I want to know about the yogis of the Himalayas'...he and his brother, Raju, gave me.... Autobiography of a Yogi. It was an Indian copy- English text, but from India. I looked at the cover and Yogananda just zapped me with his eyes, and that was it- it was all over!

Then I read the book- and it gave me goose bumps. With some things you read you think, 'Well, I'm not sure about that.' But with Autobiography of a Yogi I was totally convinced about every word in the book; somehow his pureness and his heart just flowed out of it.

George Harrison is known to have carried with him a briefcase filled with copies of Autobiography of a Yogi, which he gave (and autographed) to anyone interested.

I keep stacks of Autobiography of a Yogi around the house, and I give it out constantly to people. When people need regrooving, I say read this, because it cuts to the heart of every religion.

He eventually composed numerous songs, including My Sweet Lord, which express Eastern mysticism more keenly than perhaps any other work by a popular Western artist. In many ways he was more Indian than many Indians, said Shankar.




The Final Gift :

The story of Sri Paramahansa Yogananda in this narrative begins with a small brown box that Marc (Steve's biographer) received at the end of the memorial service for Steve Jobs at Stanford.

“I knew that the box would be good, as Steve was very mindful and conscious of everything that he did, and he would have planned this, from the caterer, to who will speak during the ceremony, to the box that was handed. And whatever was inside the box was the last thing Steve wanted all of us to think about.” 

The box contained a copy of ‘The Autobiography of a Yogi,’ by the legendary Indian guru, Paramahansa Yogananda. His message was self-realisation, actualise yourself. Steve went to India, visited ashrams, was in quest for realisation, recounted Marc. Steve was a very spiritual person. 

Like most yogic journeys Steve’s journey was neither linear nor simple. But his interest in India and yogic life can be inferred from the fact that one of his most prized possession was the “Autobiography of a Yogi” by Yogananda that he read multiple times.

 This one book in particular stayed with Jobs his entire life, and Isaacson noted that it was the only book Jobs had downloaded on his iPad 2. Autobiography of a Yogi, the guide to meditation and spirituality that he had first read as a teenager, Isaacson writes, then re-read in India and had read once a year ever since.



(The image on the left is Elvis's personal copy of the Autobiography of a Yogi)

During the filming of Harum Scarum Elvis was delving into Autobiography of a Yogi, which, along with The Prophet and The Impersonal Life, became one of his favourite books.

Elvis was impressed by Yogananda’s tales and also by the universalism of his approach. One day, on a break during the filming of Harum Scarum, he looked up from reading the book and said:
“Lawrence, I think I’m ready to be initiated into Kriya Yoga; will you initiate me?”
To the stunned Geller, this was much like saying he thought now would be a good time for the Pope to name him a cardinal. Geller knew how demanding the training was because he had been through the two-year program himself. 
“You wouldn’t want me to break my sacred vows, would you?”
A devilish gleam came into Elvis’ eyes.
“The hell I wouldn’t.
I explained that he would have to go through successive stages of meditation for a prescribed period of time and study a series of lessons from the Self-Realization Fellowship headquarters. I told him this was not something to be entered into lightly, and those of us who had been initiated had promised not to encourage anyone to shortcut the requirements.
Seeing the concerned look on my face, he laughed reassuringly. “I’m only kidding. Well, half-kidding. I really want to know what Kriya Yoga is all about. How ‘bout that lady at Self-Realization you’ve been telling me about; think she’d help me?”
Geller called the SRF headquarters in Los Angeles and made arrangements for Elvis to speak with its head, Sri Daya Mata. 
SRF Headquarters - Mt Washington
Elvis loved the sylvan setting, and he had an immediate rapport with Daya Mata. In her features and demeanor she reminded him of his mother. The more she described the aims of the Fellowship, the more excited he became. He said he was ready to turn his back on his career and join a monastery or start a commune. She advised him to go slow that his development must be evolutionary. They discussed the process of training and meditation, and she gave him her personal lesson books to study. He accepted them gladly, but he had the unbridled enthusiasm of the novice. 
Once we were in the limousine, Elvis said, “These are her personal books of the lessons. She wants me to read one lesson a week until I go through the whole thing once. Man, I swear to God, Larry, I haven’t felt this good in I don’t know how long. You were right; Daya Mata’s something else—she’s like a saint.”
Then he acknowledged he had asked her for a “short cut” to be initiated into Kriya Yoga. “I love her! You know what she said to me? She said, ‘I don’t care if you are Elvis Presley. It doesn’t matter who you are, how much money you have. You’ve got to be ready; otherwise, it’s not going to work. Not only is it not going to work, but I can’t go against what is right.’”
Elvis came there often, and like others who know Daya Mata called her Ma—short for Daya Mata and for mother. Elvis thought of her as his “spiritual mother.” She saw in him an essence that was more deeply spiritual than he knew.

Priscilla Presley recounts a revealing incident in her book Elvis by the Presleys. One evening Elvis and Priscilla visited Sri Daya Mata.
“Beyond talking of joining a monastery, he wanted to form a commune. He wanted to devote his life to helping others fulfill themselves through devotional discipline. In fact, he wanted to be a leader of the Self-Realization Fellowship. In this regard, Daya Mata was especially wise.
‘This higher level of spirituality,’ he’d tell her, is what I’ve been seeking my whole life. Now that I know where it is and how to achieve it, I want to teach it. I want to teach it to all my fans-to the whole world.’
‘You say that now, and I know you mean it.’ (Daya Mata would say). ‘But tomorrow you will wake up and remember that you’re an entertainer. That’s wonderful work. And in your case, it’s doubly important because of the bond between you and your fans. But the work of the entertainer is different than the work of the spiritual teacher. It’s neither worse not better. Simply different. The inner peace you seek can be yours no matter what your work.’”
Elvis listened. He had enormous respect for this woman. Part of him understood what she was saying. But part of him—the impatient part—wanted another answer. He wanted instant evolution. Accustomed to having everything he wanted when he wanted it, it was emotionally difficult for him to see why this would be any different. At the same time, he was able to be completely honest with Daya Mata. She was perhaps the only one who understood the enormity of Elvis’ fears. She understood because he told her. The pressure of staying in the limelight, retaining his popularity and pleasing his fans—not to mention placating the manager who helped establish his fame—was gut wrenching."
Throughout the rest of his life Elvis maintained his connection with Daya Mata, frequently calling her for advice and guidance. When his marriage to Priscilla ended in 1972, he asked if he could see her privately.
“There’s no hiding from her, Lawrence, that’s for sure,” he told me later. “The minute I walked into her room she knew exactly where I was at. We just sat together for a while, first not talking at all, and then meditating. She knew I was hurting without my saying a word, and she didn’t judge me or ask me questions; just held my hands. It was so beautiful, like she was giving me love and strength with her eyes and her touch. ‘Course she didn’t let me off scot-free. She said my mind and my spirit would be fine, as I meditate and grow calmer, but she was concerned that I was neglecting my body. I promised her I would work on it but, let’s face it, that’s one area where I need some serious help. I’d like to see her again, but I know she’d come down heavy on me for not doing what she wanted me to.”
Over the coming months he returned to the site often for solace. 

Elvis often walked around the mirrored lake at the Shrine to the World Peace Memorial. He reverently kneeled at the stone sarcophagus containing a portion of the ashes of the martyred Gandhi. He also liked to visit the Fellowships fourteen-acre retreat by the ocean in Encinitas, where Yogananda had written most of his autobiography. (George Harrison, another admirer of Yogananda, also liked to visit the retreat when in Los Angeles.)

Monday, May 12, 2014

Secrets of the Inner world.

You are Spirit essence who is on Earth in a physical body. You were created as a Soul being first, not as human being. The human form is a temporary uniform that you don in your journey through this school of Earthly life.

The soul has a subconscious mind to guard and guide it. It is also known by some as the Spiritual mind, Higher Self, Inner Voice or Conscience.  Similarly when the soul takes a human form, it also gets a physical/ Ego mind to guide it in this physical dimension. In giving him an ego-mind, it was the Creators wish that man exercise his free will in following the Conscience.

In the ideal scenario – the body and ego should work under the guidance of the Conscience. But this rarely happens as the ego wishes to enslave the being under it. In most humans there is a constant war between the ego and the Conscience. This war continues over lifetimes. It is view of this war that humans feel the constant need for – Peace of mind. But such peace can come only when the Conscience is guiding the being.


To understand the nature of this inner war, a human must learn to differentiate between the ego and the Conscience.

The ego works selfishly from body awareness. Unless disciplined and trained well, the powerful ego-mind becomes negative and works against the interest of the soul. It ever seeks to attract the soul towards the lesser joys of this world by misuse of the senses. The ego uses desires, whims, fancies, logic and rationality as its tools. Hence brain is its working center. It looks for easy ways out. The ego loves restlessness. Those who are enslaved by the ego are attached to this world and ever fearful of death and the beyond and seek desperately to cling to their body and life.

The Conscience works selflessly from soul awareness. Its purpose is to ever elevate the soul by guarding and guiding it towards the right action in everything. It uses Dharma, Truth, Love and wisdom as its tools. Hence heart is its working center. It doesn’t hesitate to accept difficult paths for soul growth. The conscience loves peace.  Those guided by the Conscience view death as a natural occurrence and accept without reservation their journey beyond to the Astral and Spirit world, knowing it to be their true home.


The ego controls a person making them go wrong, the Conscience rises in defense. It is your free choice that decides who wins. If the human chooses spiritually wrong actions continuously in all his dealings, the Conscience resists but eventually goes dormant after a period of futile resistance and the ego takes full charge. Thus there are 3 classes of humans–

    1.  The spiritual and saintly who are guided by the Conscience.
    2.  The Humans whose Conscience and egos are at constant war.
   3.  The human considered evil from a social perspective, whose conscience is dormant.

It is difficult to brand every human in these 3 grades. In most cases humanity is a combination of these 3 in various shades. The law of Karma keeps precise track of every action and thought.


When you wrongly hurt someone in thought, word or deed, your conscience warns you and you feel guilty. The sole purpose of guilt is to help you recognize wrong; just as the sole purpose of disease to is help your realize your wrong way of living in the body. Guilt should not be entertained but be used as a warning sign for immediate self correction.

However be warned that not all guilt comes from the conscience. The ego can also camouflage guilt in order to control you. But it requires a pure and keen heart to be able to see through the two forms of guilt. One is a sign, the other is a trick. One is to release you, the other is to enslave you. One leads you to higher awareness, the other leads you to low self esteem. Embracing the wrong guilt or ignoring the right guilt both lead to further delay in inner growth. To help differentiate between the two, you can also take the help of someone you trust, who can view things in neutrally and who will not hesitate to tell you the truth for your highest good.

It is your primary duty to introspect and analyse your actions always. Such analysis constitutes vital learning for which man has undertaken this journey on earth.


When a human errs, his conscience warns him. Just as the human is about to rectify his mistake, the mind puts its greatest weapon –ego, into action. The ego justifies your wrong actions, tricking you through logic and even rationale to justify your errors. The Conscience protests but because a human is identified so strongly with the body, he disregards his souls needs to the needs of his ego.

We do not mean that logic is bad, but logic and truth are not the same thing.  The ego-mind uses logic to take you away from truth. The mind will also use brilliant logic to lure you into temptations and habits. Look truthfully into your past and you will recall various instances from your own life.

Another such weapon used by the ego-mind is Doubt. Doubt is a tool which serves a purpose of leading you to the truth. But doubt is not an end in itself. Healthy doubt should lead you further towards sincere investigation. Blind doubt is undesirable. Similarly Faith is a tool of the conscience which leads you to access Greater truth.

To go from doubt to faith you need the help of your higher mind. Over indulgence in doubts leads to weakening of you connection with your higher self and God. The ego-mind is often successful in planting doubt in a human regarding his own higher self. Hence we find a state where humans are disconnected and clueless about who they really are and are content to live life blindly assuming themselves to be a body, its desires and achievements. From a higher perspective, such a life is a waste of the opportunity one has as a human.

Remember the ego-mind is quick in forming habits. Once bad habits make place in your life, it may take incarnations of waging an inner war before you may be able to dislodge them. Hence living a life of spiritual balance, discipline and introspection is highly advocated by your ever-free saints.


One may wonder that if the ego gives a human worldly happiness – why change it? You must change in view of the fact that your earthly life is not your only existence. You exist at the higher mental and spiritual dimensions as well. Life on earth is a risk. Your actions on earth are capable to absolving you on all levels as well as tainting you on all levels. Also wrong actions lead to heavy karmic reactions which the human must eventually suffer. Know, that EACH and EVERY suffering on your earth – be it diseases, deaths, murders, rapes are a Karmic result.

It takes minimum effort to stain a pure piece of white cloth, but tremendous effort to remove that stain and bring the cloth back to its original pure state. Hence, be aware.


Humans are known to complain as to why they are not aware of their past life errors, knowing which will encourage them to take to good actions in this life.

Life on earth is a test. If you became aware of your past karma, the testing and training you are to go through, then your journey on earth would have no meaning. You are here to purify your self and help rise into highest divine awareness. If you were aware of your past mistakes then the choice of exercising free will in doing good will be absent. You must do good not out of fear of past actions but for its own sake.

REMEMBER: Even if you have lived a wrong life, it is never too late to change.. reawaken your Conscience by your sincere repentance. You need not confess to a priest, confess to the Self within and it will come to your aid again. Repentance also does not mean to be sorry for what one did, but it means to truly change and rectify the wrongs and to never repeat that mistake again.

If not this, then the only other way the Conscience has a chance of awakening is if a drastic tragedy hits and shatters your life, and the Conscience is then awakened by your tears.

To learn more please read the wonderful book - The Laws of the Spirit World - Khorshed Bhavnagri