Earle Williams. It starts with the collection of all possible money, then the purchase of a secondhand hard pine from the old textile mills. Eleven years along in the construction with the total support of his family, he quit his full-time job, took out a promissory note from the bank. Earle used a great deal of improvisations to keep the costs down. She used her journal to express her anxiety, her loneliness, her fear of the disease, her shame about her body and its failings.
The difficulty of what it was like to straddle the sick and the well-world, to watch her friends move on in life, as she knew she would never be able to. But also the importance to her of deep and meaningful friendships. Mallory was incredibly astute and in the pages of her journal she writes about large systemic problems and then also small problems. There was the playful writings of a teenager, the somber insights of a young woman facing death and no expression of anger at me which was incredibly precious and unexpected, and the thing that has kept me going.
Thank you! But, I knew even then that she wasn't. She needed a lung transplant. Mallory got her call on Sept. Category: Chronic disease. Biomedical research. Category: Education. He laughed. I never crave money now. My few material needs are amply provided for. Later you will understand the significance of a second pension. Abruptly terminating our conversation, the saint became gravely motionless.
A sphinxlike air enveloped him. At first his eyes sparkled, as if observing something of interest, then grew dull. A trifle restlessly, I looked about me in the bare room, empty except for us two. My idle gaze took in his wooden sandals, lying under the platform seat. The man you wish to see will be with you in half an hour. I heard somebody coming up the stairs. The swami has spoken to no one but myself since my arrival! Abruptly I quitted the room and descended the steps. Halfway down I met a thin, fair-skinned man of medium height.
He appeared to be in a hurry. Less than an hour ago I had just finished my bath in the Ganges when Swami Pranabananda approached me. I have no idea how he knew I was there at that time. As we proceeded hand in hand, the swami in his wooden sandals was strangely able to outpace me, though I wore these stout walking shoes. I walked here as fast as possible. I was very glad to see him again today at the bathing ghat.
Am I losing my mind? Did you meet him in a vision, or did you actually see him, touch his hand, and hear the sound of his feet? His eyes opened widely. I never expected to witness such a miracle in my life! I thought this swami was just an ordinary man, and now I find he can materialize an extra body and work through it! The subtle unity of the phenomenal world is not hidden from true yogis. I instantly see and converse with my disciples in distant Calcutta. They can similarly transcend at will every obstacle of gross matter.
It was probably in an effort to stir spiritual ardor in my young breast that the swami had condescended to tell me of his powers of astral radio and television. Inasmuch as I was destined to undertake my divine search through one particular guru—Sri Yukteswar, whom I had not yet met—I felt no inclination to accept Pranabananda as my teacher.
I glanced at him doubtfully, wondering if it were he or his counterpart before me. The master sought to banish my disquietude by bestowing a soul-awakening gaze, and by some inspiring words about his guru. He was Divinity Itself in the form of flesh. If a disciple, I reflected, could materialize an extra fleshly form at will, what miracles indeed could be barred to his master?
I used to meditate with another disciple for eight hours every night. We had to work at the railroad office during the day. Finding difficulty in carrying on my clerical duties, I desired to devote my whole time to God. For eight years I persevered, meditating half the night. I had wonderful results; tremendous spiritual perceptions illumined my mind. But a little veil always remained between me and the Infinite. Even with super-human earnestness, I found the final irrevocable union to be denied me. One evening I paid a visit to Lahiri Mahasaya and pleaded for his divine intercession.
My importunities continued during the entire night. I see Thee materialized before me in a physical body; bless me that I may perceive Thee in Thine infinite form! I have interceded for you with Brahma. In meditation that night, the burning Goal of my life was achieved. Now I ceaselessly enjoy the spiritual pension.
Never from that day has the Blissful Creator remained hidden from my eyes behind any screen of delusion. The peace of another world entered my heart; all fear had fled. The saint made a further confidence. Then I mentioned another matter. Please release me. Brahma keeps me continuously intoxicated. The doctor inquired the grounds for my premature request. I know the divine will of Lahiri Mahasaya worked through the doctor and the railroad officials, including your father.
After this extraordinary revelation, Swami Pranabananda retired into one of his long silences. As I was taking leave, touching his feet reverently, he gave me his blessing:. I shall see you again, with your father, later on. Kedar Nath Babu walked by my side in the gathering darkness.
How pleasant to look forward to at least one of the pensions that Swami Pranabananda enjoys! But it is impossible; I cannot leave Benares. Alas, two bodies are not yet for me! Choto Mahasaya is the term by which a number of Indian saints addressed me. In its own way, physical science is affirming the validity of laws discovered by yogis through mental science. For example, a demonstration that man has televisional powers was given on Nov. Calligaris told the other professors that if certain areas on the skin are agitated, the subject is given super-sensorial impressions enabling him to see objects that he could not otherwise perceive.
To enable his subject to discern things on the other side of a wall, Professor Calligaris pressed on a spot to the right of the thorax for fifteen minutes. Calligaris said that if other spots of the body were agitated, the subjects could see objects at any distance, regardless of whether they had ever before seen those objects. God in His aspect of Creator; from Sanskrit root brih, to expand.
Emerson chuckled. In deep meditation, the first experience of Spirit is on the altar of the spine, and then in the brain. The torrential bliss is overwhelming, but the yogi learns to control its outward manifestations. After his retirement, Pranabananda wrote one of the most profound commentaries on the Bhagavad Gita, available in Bengali and Hindi. Stop in the lane where no one in my house can see you.
These were my final instructions to Amar Mitter, a high school friend who planned to accompany me to the Himalayas. We had chosen the following day for our flight. Precautions were necessary, as Ananta exercised a vigilant eye. He was determined to foil the plans of escape which he suspected were uppermost in my mind. The amulet, like a spiritual yeast, was silently at work within me. Amidst the Himalayan snows, I hoped to find the master whose face often appeared to me in visions. The family was living now in Calcutta, where Father had been permanently transferred. Following the patriarchal Indian custom, Ananta had brought his bride to live in our home, now at 4 Gurpar Road.
There in a small attic room I engaged in daily meditations and prepared my mind for the divine search. The memorable morning arrived with inauspicious rain. This bundle I threw from my third-story window. I ran down the steps and passed my uncle, buying fish at the door. I gave him a noncommittal smile and walked to the lane. Retrieving my bundle, I joined Amar with conspiratorial caution. We drove to Chadni Chowk, a merchandise center. For months we had been saving our tiffin money to buy English clothes.
Knowing that my clever brother could easily play the part of a detective, we thought to outwit him by European garb. On the way to the station, we stopped for my cousin, Jotin Ghosh, whom I called Jatinda. He was a new convert, longing for a guru in the Himalayas. He donned the new suit we had in readiness. Well-camouflaged, we hoped! A deep elation possessed our hearts.
At the station we bought tickets to Burdwan, where we planned to transfer for Hardwar in the Himalayan foothills. As soon as the train, like ourselves, was in flight, I gave utterance to a few of my glorious anticipations. Our flesh will be charged with such magnetism that wild animals of the Himalayas will come tamely near us.
Tigers will be no more than meek house cats awaiting our caresses! This remark—picturing a prospect I considered entrancing, both metaphorically and literally—brought an enthusiastic smile from Amar. But Jatinda averted his gaze, directing it through the window at the scampering landscape. Thus no one at the station will surmise that we are running away together. I unsuspectingly agreed. At dusk our train stopped at Burdwan. Jatinda entered the ticket office; Amar and I sat on the platform.
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We waited fifteen minutes, then made unavailing inquiries. But he had faded into the dark unknown surrounding the little station. I was completely unnerved, shocked to a peculiar numbness. That God would countenance this depressing episode! The romantic occasion of my first carefully-planned flight after Him was cruelly marred. This trip is doomed to failure.
We refreshed ourselves with famous Burdwan sweetmeats, sitabhog food for the goddess and motichur nuggets of sweet pearl. In a few hours, we entrained for Hardwar, via Bareilly. Changing trains at Moghul Serai, we discussed a vital matter as we waited on the platform. No matter what the outcome, I will not speak untruth. At this moment, a European station agent accosted me. He waved a telegram whose import I immediately grasped. The official then turned to Amar.
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The duel of wits that followed hardly permitted me to maintain the counseled stoic gravity. I am the son of an English mother and a converted Christian Indian father. By this time my inward mirth had reached a zenith; I unceremoniously made for the train, whistling for departure. Amar followed with the official, who was credulous and obliging enough to put us into a European compartment. It evidently pained him to think of two half-English boys traveling in the section allotted to natives. After his polite exit, I lay back on the seat and laughed uncontrollably. My friend wore an expression of blithe satisfaction at having outwitted a veteran European official.
On the platform I had contrived to read the telegram. Please detain them until my arrival. Ample reward for your services. My friend sheepishly acknowledged the thrust. We halted briefly in Bareilly, where Dwarka Prasad awaited us with a telegram from Ananta. My old friend tried valiantly to detain us; I convinced him that our flight had not been undertaken lightly.
As on a previous occasion, Dwarka refused my invitation to set forth to the Himalayas. While our train stood in a station that night, and I was half asleep, Amar was awakened by another questioning official. The majestic mountains loomed invitingly in the distance. We dashed through the station and entered the freedom of city crowds. Our first act was to change into native costume, as Ananta had somehow penetrated our European disguise. A premonition of capture weighed on my mind. Deeming it advisable to leave Hardwar at once, we bought tickets to proceed north to Rishikesh, a soil long hallowed by feet of many masters.
I had already boarded the train, while Amar lagged on the platform. He was brought to an abrupt halt by a shout from a policeman. Our unwelcome guardian escorted us to a station bungalow and took charge of our money. He explained courteously that it was his duty to hold us until my elder brother arrived.
You will never meet a greater man of God than the one I saw only yesterday. My brother officer and I first encountered him five days ago. We were patrolling by the Ganges, on a sharp lookout for a certain murderer. Our instructions were to capture him, alive or dead. He was known to be masquerading as a sadhu in order to rob pilgrims. A short way before us, we spied a figure which resembled the description of the criminal.
He ignored our command to stop; we ran to overpower him. As we jumped in front of him, he spoke quietly. Prostrating myself at his feet, I implored his pardon, and offered my turban-cloth to staunch the heavy spurts of blood. The Beloved Mother is taking care of me. Thus you will feel no remorse. The sadhu was there and allowed us to examine his arm. It bore no scar or trace of hurt! I feel that my life has been uplifted through his sanctity.
The officer concluded with a pious ejaculation; his experience had obviously moved him beyond his usual depths. With an impressive gesture, he handed me a printed clipping about the miracle. In the usual garbled manner of the sensational type of newspaper not missing, alas! Amar and I lamented that we had missed the great yogi who could forgive his persecutor in such a Christlike way. We thanked the officer for relieving our tedium with his marvelous story.
He was probably intimating that he was more fortunate than we: he had met an illumined saint without effort; our earnest search had ended, not at the feet of a master, but in a coarse police station! So near the Himalayas and yet, in our captivity, so far, I told Amar I felt doubly impelled to seek freedom. We can go on foot to holy Rishikesh. But my companion had turned pessimist as soon as the stalwart prop of our money had been taken from us.
Amar greeted his relative with affectionate relief. I was unreconciled; Ananta got no more from me than a severe upbraiding. Then you can resume your search here for a master. Amar entered the conversation at this point to disclaim any intention of returning to Hardwar with me.
He was enjoying the familial warmth. But I knew I would never abandon the quest for my guru. A clever scheme had been prearranged by Ananta. Before seeing me at Hardwar, he had stopped in Benares to ask a certain scriptural authority to interview me later. Both the pundit and his son had promised to undertake my dissuasion from the path of a sannyasi.
Ananta took me to their home. The son, a young man of ebullient manner, greeted me in the courtyard. He engaged me in a lengthy philosophic discourse. Professing to have a clairvoyant knowledge of my future, he discountenanced my idea of being a monk. Becoming a high-souled being, he soon attains perennial peace. Arjuna, know this for certain: the devotee who puts his trust in Me never perishes!
Last Solstice Festival celebrated by Sri Yukteswar, December, , My Guru is seated in the center; I am at his right, in the large courtyard of his hermitage in Serampore. But the forceful prognostications of the young man had slightly shaken my confidence. With all the fervor of my heart I prayed silently to God:. Evidently he had overheard the spirited conversation between the self-styled clairvoyant and myself, for the stranger called me to his side. I felt a tremendous power flowing from his calm eyes.
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In response to your prayer, the Lord tells me to assure you that your sole path in this life is that of the renunciate. My saintly guide raised his hand in blessing and slowly departed. He and his son were gazing at me lugubriously.
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I turned away. To Ananta I remarked that I would not engage in further discussion with our hosts. My brother agreed to an immediate departure; we soon entrained for Calcutta. Detective, how did you discover I had fled with two companions? He smiled mischievously. I went to his home the next morning and unearthed a marked timetable. He has disappeared! Our generosity to the coachman had been slightly misplaced! He had checked Bareilly, so I wired your friend Dwarka there. After inquiries in our Calcutta neighborhood, I learned that cousin Jatinda had been absent one night but had arrived home the following morning in European garb.
I sought him out and invited him to dinner. He accepted, quite disarmed by my friendly manner. On the way I led him unsuspectingly to a police station. He was surrounded by several officers whom I had previously selected for their ferocious appearance. Under their formidable gaze, Jatinda agreed to account for his mysterious conduct.
The hilarious sequel on the train was worth all the anguish he had caused me. I must confess to a slight feeling of satisfaction: Jatinda too had not escaped an encounter with the police! At home in Calcutta, Father touchingly requested me to curb my roving feet until, at least, the completion of my high school studies. In my absence, he had lovingly hatched a plot by arranging for a saintly pundit, Swami Kebalananda, 5 to come regularly to the house.
Father hoped to satisfy my religious yearnings by instructions from a learned philosopher. But the tables were subtly turned: my new teacher, far from offering intellectual aridities, fanned the embers of my God-aspiration. The peerless guru had possessed thousands of disciples, silently drawn to him by the irresistibility of his divine magnetism. I learned later that Lahiri Mahasaya had often characterized Kebalananda as rishi or illumined sage.
All the movements of his slight body were marked by a restful deliberation. Ever gentle and loving, he was firmly established in the infinite consciousness. Many of our happy hours together were spent in deep Kriya meditation. But my progress in Sanskrit scholarship was unnoteworthy. I sought every opportunity to forsake prosaic grammar and to talk of yoga and Lahiri Mahasaya. My tutor obliged me one day by telling me something of his own life with the master. His Benares home was my nightly goal of pilgrimage. The guru was always present in a small front parlor on the first floor.
As he sat in lotus posture on a backless wooden seat, his disciples garlanded him in a semicircle. His eyes sparkled and danced with the joy of the Divine. They were ever half closed, peering through the inner telescopic orb into a sphere of eternal bliss. He seldom spoke at length. Occasionally his gaze would focus on a student in need of help; healing words poured then like an avalanche of light. I was permeated with his fragrance, as though from a lotus of infinity.
To be with him, even without exchanging a word for days, was experience which changed my entire being. There the most tenuous states came easily within my grasp. Such perceptions eluded me in the presence of lesser teachers. The master was a living temple of God whose secret doors were open to all disciples through devotion. He had the wondrous clavis which unlocked the profound philosophical science embedded ages ago in the Vedas.
This technique cannot be bound, filed, and forgotten, in the manner of theoretical inspirations.
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Continue ceaselessly on your path to liberation through Kriya, whose power lies in practice. My saintly tutor recounted the story one day, his eyes remote from the Sanskrit texts before us. Should he have no light in his eyes, when he faithfully served our master, in whom the Divine was fully blazing? One morning I sought to speak to Ramu, but he sat for patient hours fanning the guru with a hand-made palm-leaf punkha. When the devotee finally left the room, I followed him. Never have my eyes been blessed with a glimpse of the sun.
The disciple felt almost ashamed to ask that physical wealth be added to his spiritual superabundance. I have no healing power. He who ignites the stars and the cells of flesh with mysterious life-effulgence can surely bring luster of vision into your eyes. The splendor of the sun shall have a special dawn for you. For the first time, Ramu beheld the fair face of nature. The Omniscient One had unerringly directed his disciple to repeat the name of Rama, adored by him above all other saints. By perfection of resistless surrender, the master enabled the Prime Healing Power to flow freely through him.
But the silent spiritual awakenings he effected, the Christlike disciples he fashioned, are his imperishable miracles. Bhagavad Gita, IX, Krishna was the greatest prophet of India; Arjuna was his foremost disciple. I always addressed him as Ananta-da. Da is a respectful suffix which the eldest brother in an Indian family receives from junior brothers and sisters. His biography has been recently published in Bengali. Born in the Khulna district of Bengal in , Kebalananda gave up his body in Benares at the age of sixty-eight. His family name was Ashutosh Chatterji. The ancient four Vedas comprise over extant canonical books.
It contains every religious sentiment, all the grand ethics which visit in turn each noble poetic mind. It is of no use to put away the book; if I trust myself in the woods or in a boat upon the pond, Nature makes a Brahmin of me presently: eternal necessity, eternal compensation, unfathomable power, unbroken silence. This is her creed. Peace, she saith to me, and purity and absolute abandonment—these panaceas expiate all sin and bring you to the beatitude of the Eight Gods. At death the consciousness of man is usually drawn to this holy spot, accounting for the upraised eyes found in the dead.
The central sacred figure of the Sanskrit epic, Ramayana. I did not have this wisdom of Solomon to comfort me; I gazed searchingly about me, on any excursion from home, for the face of my destined guru. But my path did not cross his own until after the completion of my high school studies. Everything else is complex. Do not seek absolute values in the relative world of nature.
These philosophical finalities gently entered my ear as I stood silently before a temple image of Kali. Good and evil is the challenging riddle which life places sphinxlike before every intelligence. Attempting no solution, most men pay forfeit with their lives, penalty now even as in the days of Thebes. Here and there, a towering lonely figure never cries defeat.
It pulverizes the stoutest ego. But true self-analysis mathematically operates to produce seers. The human mind, bared to a centuried slime, is teeming with repulsive life of countless world-delusions. Struggles of the battlefields pale into insignificance here, when man first contends with inward enemies! No mortal foes these, to be overcome by harrowing array of might! Omnipresent, unresting, pursuing man even in sleep, subtly equipped with a miasmic weapon, these soldiers of ignorant lusts seek to slay us all.
Thoughtless is the man who buries his ideals, surrendering to the common fate. Can he seem other than impotent, wooden, ignominious? But ingenuity is equal to the maze. Inner research soon exposes a unity in all human minds—the stalwart kinship of selfish motive. In one sense at least, the brotherhood of man stands revealed. An aghast humility follows this leveling discovery.
Release is given him from the deafening demands of his ego. The love of God flowers on such soil. With a sweeping gesture, my chance companion dismissed the ornate dignity. We strolled to the inviting sunshine at the entrance, where throngs of devotees were passing to and fro.
Their hoary dictums suffice for this day and land. Not outmoded, not unsophisticated against the guiles of materialism, the disciplinary precepts mold India still. By millenniums—more than embarrassed scholars care to compute! Take it for your heritage. As I was reverently bidding farewell to the eloquent sadhu, he revealed a clairvoyant perception:. I quitted the temple precincts and wandered along aimlessly. Turning a corner, I ran into an old acquaintance—one of those long-winded fellows whose conversational powers ignore time and embrace eternity.
But he held me by the hand, forcing out tidbits of information. He was like a ravenous wolf, I thought in amusement; the longer I spoke, the more hungrily he sniffed for news. Inwardly I petitioned the Goddess Kali to devise a graceful means of escape. My companion left me abruptly. I sighed with relief and doubled my pace, dreading any relapse into the garrulous fever. Hearing rapid footsteps behind me, I quickened my speed. I dared not look back. But with a bound, the youth rejoined me, jovially clasping my shoulder. You may have an unusual experience.
The similarly worded prediction of the sadhu at Kalighat Temple flashed to my mind. Definitely intrigued, I entered the house and was ushered into a commodious parlor. A crowd of people were sitting, Orient-wise, here and there on a thick orange-colored carpet. An awed whisper reached my ear:. I looked directly at the saint; his quick gaze rested on mine.
He was plump and bearded, with dark skin and large, gleaming eyes. Can you materialize flowers? My own purpose is to demonstrate the power of God. Philosopher, you please my mind. Now, stretch forth your right hand. I was a few feet away from Gandha Baba; no one else was near enough to contact my body. I extended my hand, which the yogi did not touch. To my great surprise, the charming fragrance of rose was wafted strongly from the center of my palm. I smilingly took a large white scentless flower from a near-by vase. A jasmine fragrance instantly shot from the petals.
I thanked the wonder-worker and seated myself by one of his students. He informed me that Gandha Baba, whose proper name was Vishudhananda, had learned many astonishing yoga secrets from a master in Tibet. The Tibetan yogi, I was assured, had attained the age of over a thousand years. He is marvelous! Many members of the Calcutta intelligentsia are among his followers. I inwardly resolved not to add myself to their number. With polite thanks to Gandha Baba, I departed.
Sauntering home, I reflected on the three varied encounters the day had brought forth. A ludicrous bafflement passed over her face as she repeatedly sniffed the odor of jasmine from a type of flower she well knew to be scentless. Her reactions disarmed my suspicion that Gandha Baba had induced an auto-suggestive state whereby I alone could detect the fragrances.
Because the yogi was reputed to have the power of extracting objects out of thin air, I laughingly requested him to materialize some out-of-season tangerines. Each of the bread-envelopes proved to contain a peeled tangerine.
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I bit into my own with some trepidation, but found it delicious. Years later I understood by inner realization how Gandha Baba accomplished his materializations. The method, alas! The different sensory stimuli to which man reacts—tactual, visual, gustatory, auditory, and olfactory—are produced by vibratory variations in electrons and protons. Gandha Baba, tuning himself with the cosmic force by certain yogic practices, was able to guide the lifetrons to rearrange their vibratory structure and objectivize the desired result.
His perfume, fruit and other miracles were actual materializations of mundane vibrations, and not inner sensations hypnotically produced.