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Swami Harinanda
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The aum symbol NEWSLETTER


Hello subscribername,

Although I started Yoga at nine years of age, I never really joined a group until I was 19. I since realized that major things happen in nine year cycles. That group was the SRF under the guidance of Paramahansa Yoganada. What a proliferous writer he was.

My beginning was with a young Mongolian Master, Adano Ley, now deceased. He worked for the same company I did, or rather I worked for the company - he was the kitchen chef at Holt Renfrew in Montreal.

In my two years there I watch Adano as he switched everyone in the store from coffee to milk (milk was thought to be good in those days), from white bread sandwiches to brown bread ones, and from meat to salad dishes.

To this day I find Adano was the only true young yoga Master I had every lived with in his ashram, but after staying for 2 years I was off on a whirlwind hitchhiking tour of every state in the U.S.A. before winding up in Los Angeles to meet Rajarsi Janankanada, the then head of the S.R.F.

Now here is the little story I was leading up too. While hitchhiking, I used to vocally send the AUM sound down the road into the path of an approaching car. I could almost swear I heard the AUM crash with the auto as it ALWAYS came to a halt by my side to give me a lift. Without exaggeration it worked every time.

Mind you I had to take what I got and from wild rides, to drunken drivers, to the sweetest people who took me home for the evening to spend the night. One day a school teacher picked me up and as we chatted she discovered I liked opera, and had studied it. She said her father was a a great fan and would like to spend the night with him listening to music.

It has remained in my memory even after these 56 years.

Another cute little story was about a friend of mine, a doctor, who joined the SRF with me. He was Catholic and Yoga was then considered taboo for them, and probably is to this day. At any rate while he was meditating in the hospital at night, in one of the vacant toilet rooms, he went into a visionary state, and seated on the blanket around him were a group of Yogis and an obvious guru, who I found out later was Baba Das. During this meditation Baba pulled oranges from under his cloak – dozens and dozens of them. So many in fact that Richard became frightened as to how he could carry so many under a blanket he wore.

At that moment, he awoke, and there on the blanket surrounding him were orange peelings all over his peelings. Without any consultation with me or his Church, he decided on his own that it was the work of the devil, and he left Yoga altogether.

Another incident was when I was on a 3 month total fast – except for water. During this time, I worked, partied, danced, and practiced my Yoga, PLUS in order to compensate for lack of energy from food, I practiced the 12-3 breath for 4 hours every evening before I went to bed – no matter what time I got in. It seemed I needed little sleep so to get up and work the next day was always a pleasure. It was during this time that a friend needed a cast iron bath tub lifted and put in place. I volunteered to do it on my own and with great bravado, grasped it and placed it in the hole in the ground. All were amazed as I was pretty skinny by this time of the fast – the third month.

Well to make these small stories have a point, I would like to point out that in the first instance, casting the AUM sound down the road didn’t really stop any cars. It was in the fifties, and people could hitch hike anywhere easily. Everyone stopped for you. There was no vandalism – very few mean little buggers around.

The reason some who did not get a ride is because they did not wash and put on a clean shirt. In those days though I was sure it was the AUM.

With Richard and the oranges, he didn’t know, and neither did I then, that hallucinations can carry over into waking consciousness from the dream state. There weren’t really any REAL orange peels on the blanket.

Now how did skinny little guy like me lift that cast iron bathtub? Unbeknown to everyone and even to me up until the time I went to lift it, that it was a cast enamel finish over a tin. It was quite light. Of course I said nothing.

So you see, what we think has actually happened has not. Being an eager spiritually minded young Yogi, filled with the poetry of Yogananda’s writing, I was willing to believe anything.

We must learn to break out own bubbles before life breaks them for us. Mind you some people go through their entire life relying on magic and hope and miracles, and put to one side the act of doing something concrete about learning how to dive within.



Swami Harinanda

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