J. Nehru
(Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru)

MIND POWER I: Pandit Power

Recently, I have been plowing through books - one or two lighter ones each week, which is a lot for a slow reader like myself. I am also plodding through other larger tomes. Some of both have astounding stories and amazing information which will be used in writing projects on the drawing boards.

These tales may be beyond belief for people who are bound to materialistic thinking and focus only our one-dimensional APPEARING world. Part of life  is about expanding our horizons - physical, metaphorical and beyond. Since there are seven levels of meaning to every symbol, that idea suggests seven planes of consciousness available for our exploration and study. Coming revolutions certainly will be more about consciousness than about material advancement.

Thus, we begin a once-a-month series on Mind Power with this particular article entitled Pandit Power. The word pandit is fairly new to me. I have known of “pundit” for a long time, a pundit being (for westerners) a critic, commentator, expert on a particular subject.

The word “pundit” derives from the Sanskrit word “pandit.” The title of Pandit originally was given to Brahmins who dedicated themselves to memorizing substantial portions of the Indian Vedas (scriptures) along with their melodies and rhythms. Former Indian Prime Minister Nehru was often called Pandit Nehru apparently because of his ancestry.

The following tells about the memorizing abilities of the Pandit Vedanta Dasigacharya who demonstrated his abilities before an interested group in Hyderabad, India, 14 September, 1885.

“The Acharya, having arranged ten of us in two lines, SIMULTANEOUSLY kept in mind and did the following eleven things:
I. Played a game of chess, without seeing the board.
II. Carried on a conversation upon various subjects.
III. Completed a Sanskrit sloka (verse) from the first line given.
IV. Multiplied five figures by a multiplier of four figures.
V. Added a sum of three columns each, of eight rows of figures.
VI. Committed to memory a Sanskrit sloka of sixteen words -- the words being give him out of their order, and at the option of the tester.
VII. Completed a ‘magic square,’ in which the separate sums in the several squares added up to a total named, whether tried horizontally or vertically.
VIII. Without seeing the chess-board, directed the movements of a knight so that it should make the circuit of the board within the outline of a horse traced on it, and enter no other squares than those.
IX. Completed a second magic square with a different number from that in the above named.
X. Kept count of the strokes of a bell rung by a gentleman present.
XI. Committed to memory two sentences in Spanish, given on the same system as No. VI, and correctly repeated the same at the end.

“Signed H.S. Olcott, Bezonji Aderji, G. Raghoonath, M. Gaghunayekaloo, A.T. Muthukistna, Darabji Dossabhoy, Hanumant Row, Bhimaj Raojee, and Iyaloo Naidu.” (Henry Steel Olcott, Old Diary Leaves, Vol III, pp. 311-313, TPH, 1904)

I am reminded of chess masters who can play several games of chess at one time with the boards and opposing players in their sight. But, this fellow played the game without seeing the board while doing ten other chores some of which sound even more difficult.

I share this story with the thought that the REAL world is a whole lot larger than we often imagine it to be.