Recently, I have been reading about gurus, swamis, sannyasins, sadhus, and sages.
Swami Rama was the focus of my reading for a few weeks. I started with two books by his main disciple and Director of the Himalayan International Institute of Yoga Science and Philosophy in Pennsylvania, Pandit Rajmani Tigunait. The first was a wonderful story of his journey and struggles from rural India to the USA. It was called Touched by Fire.
Then, I read his biography of Swami Rama, The Eleventh Hour. Tigunait greatly reveres his teacher and puts him in the brightest light. At the same time, he reveals many layers of himself and his master and the knowledge they carry to the West.
In some ways, the best of the three is an old book by Doug Boyd, simply entitled Swami. The first part is about his time as special assistant to Swami Rama during their tenure with the Voluntary Controls Program at the Menninger Foundation in Topeka, Kansas in 1970. Part two details a long trip he made to India for his own personal searches and studies with gurus, swamis and other notables there.
Boyd told of keeping track of Swami Rama 24/7 in the midst of his many months in residence in Kansas. The scientific excitement of the time concerned Swami Rama’s ability to stop his heart (put it into atrial flutter) for many seconds. As well as to significantly change the temperature by a few degrees in different parts of his hand. He also showed his stuff in psychokinetic experiments, making metal needles move about a spindle from a distance of several feet. These and other feats were done under scientific control merely through Swami Rama’s mental efforts and volition. (Experiments are detailed in a PDF from Beyond Biofeedback by Elmer Green.)
A few years later, Mr. Boyd went on to sit at the feet of holy men in northern India, to see them in action and to experience some of their own minor miracles. Swami or not, we all use the power of will every day to accomplish a variety of things. We just don’t pay attention to them.
These books suggest that we all now limit ourselves to those miracles that we all do daily and that we take for granted. With proper training and discipline, we can and will do bigger things as Swami Rama and his fellows did. “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these...” John 14:12
Many moderns don’t believe any such things can be done. Even when forced to see such things, they believe trickery or fraud are the source. It is hard for any of us to see, if we don’t want to. Showing people from Missouri doesn’t necessarily make for proof.
It’s those Elementals at work, that John Rau talked about a couple weeks ago. You can ask John about them or study them on your own.
At the same time, you might want to ponder upon two words which came into the western vocabulary around the time of Doug Boyd’s books. Guru and Swami.
If you play with the words, you can be reminded that Gee, You Are You, and So Am I.We are all gurus and swamis in the making. All we have to do is look within, train our minds and hearts, and understand who we really are.
In the words of Swami Rama,
I bow to the Divinity in you.