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My Master, in Calcutta, Appears in Serampore
"I am often beset by atheistic doubts. Yet a torturing surmise
sometimes haunts me: may not untapped soul possibilities exist?
Is man not missing his real destiny if he fails to explore them?"
remarks of Dijen Babu, my roommate at the Panthi boardinghouse,
were called forth by my invitation that he meet my guru.
Yukteswarji will initiate you into Kriya Yoga," I replied.
"It calms the dualistic turmoil by a divine inner certainty."
Dijen accompanied me to the hermitage. In Master's presence my friend
received such spiritual peace that he was soon a constant visitor.
The trivial preoccupations of daily life are not enough for man;
wisdom too is a native hunger. In Sri Yukteswar's words Dijen found
an incentive to those attempts --- first painful, then effortlessly
liberating --- to locate a realer self within his bosom than the humiliating
ego of a temporary birth, seldom ample enough for the Spirit.
As Dijen and
I were both pursuing the A.B. course at Serampore College, we got
into the habit of walking together to the ashram as soon as classes
were over. We would often see Sri Yukteswar standing on his second-floor
balcony, welcoming our approach with a smile.
Kanai, a young hermitage resident, met Dijen and me at the door
with disappointing news.
is not here; he was summoned to Calcutta by an urgent note."
day I received a post card from my guru. "I shall leave Calcutta
Wednesday morning," he had written. "You and Dijen meet
the nine o'clock train at Serampore station."
on Wednesday morning, a telepathic message from Sri Yukteswar flashed
insistently to my mind: "I am delayed; don't meet the nine
I conveyed the
latest instructions to Dijen, who was already dressed for departure.
your intuition!" My friend's voice was edged in scorn. "I
prefer to trust Master's written word."
I shrugged my
shoulders and seated myself with quiet finality. Muttering angrily,
Dijen made for the door and closed it noisily behind him.
As the room
was rather dark, I moved nearer to the window overlooking the street.
The scant sunlight suddenly increased to an intense brilliancy in
which the iron-barred window completely vanished. Against this dazzling
background appeared the clearly materialized figure of Sri Yukteswar!
the point of shock, I rose from my chair and knelt before him. With
my customary gesture of respectful greeting at my guru's feet, I
touched his shoes. These were a pair familiar to me, of orange-dyed
canvas, soled with rope. His ocher swami cloth brushed against me;
I distinctly felt not only the texture of his robe, but also the
gritty surface of the shoes, and the pressure of his toes within
them. Too much astounded to utter a word, I stood up and gazed at
pleased that you got my telepathic message." Master's voice
was calm, entirely normal. "I have now finished my business
in Calcutta, and shall arrive in Serampore by the ten o'clock train."
As I still stared
mutely, Sri Yukteswar went on, "This is not an apparition,
but my flesh and blood form. I have been divinely commanded to give
you this experience, rare to achieve on earth. Meet me at the station;
you and Dijen will see me coming toward you, dressed as I am now.
I shall be preceded by a fellow passenger --- a little
boy carrying a silver jug."
guru placed both hands on my head, with a murmured blessing. As
he concluded with the words, "Taba asi,"1 I heard a peculiar rumbling sound.2 His
body began to melt gradually within the piercing light. First his
feet and legs vanished, then his torso and head, like a scroll being
rolled up. To the very last, I could feel his fingers resting lightly
on my hair. The effulgence faded; nothing remained before me but
the barred window and a pale stream of sunlight.
I remained in
a half-stupor of confusion, questioning whether I had not been the
victim of a hallucination. A crestfallen Dijen soon entered the
was not on the nine o'clock train, nor even the nine-thirty."
My friend made his announcement with a slightly apologetic air.
I know he will arrive at ten o'clock." I took Dijen's hand
and rushed him forcibly along with me, heedless of his protests.
In about ten minutes we entered the station, where the train was
already puffing to a halt.
train is filled with the light of Master's aura! He is there!"
I exclaimed joyfully.
so?" Dijen laughed mockingly.
wait here." I told my friend details of the way in which our
guru would approach us. As I finished my description, Sri Yukteswar
came into view, wearing the same clothes I had seen a short time
earlier. He walked slowly in the wake of a small lad bearing a silver
For a moment
a wave of cold fear passed through me, at the unprecedented strangeness
of my experience. I felt the materialistic, twentieth-century world
slipping from me; was I back in the ancient days when Jesus appeared
before Peter on the sea?
As Sri Yukteswar,
a modern Yogi-Christ, reached the spot where Dijen and I were speechlessly
rooted, Master smiled at my friend and remarked:
you a message too, but you were unable to grasp it."
Dijen was silent,
but glared at me suspiciously. After we had escorted our guru to
his hermitage, my friend and I proceeded toward Serampore College.
Dijen halted in the street, indignation streaming from his every
sent me a message! Yet you concealed it! I demand an explanation!"
help it if your mental mirror oscillates with such restlessness
that you cannot register our guru's instructions?" I retorted.
The anger vanished
from Dijen's face. "I see what you mean," he said ruefully.
"But please explain how you could know about the child with
By the time
I had finished the story of Master's phenomenal appearance at the
boardinghouse that morning, my friend and I had reached Serampore
I have just heard of our guru's powers," Dijen said, "makes
me feel that any university in the world is only a kindergarten."
The Bengali "Good-by"; literally, it is a hopeful paradox:
"Then I come."
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The characteristic sound of dematerialization of bodily atoms.
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