Chapter 49 - The Years - 1940 - 1951
"We have indeed learned the value of meditation," the leader of the London Self-Realization Fellowship
center wrote me in 1941, "and know that nothing can disturb our inner peace. In the last few weeks during the
meetings we have heard air-raid warnings and listened to the explosion of delayed-action bombs, but our
students still gather and thoroughly enjoy our beautiful service."
Another letter reached me from war-torn England just before America entered the conflict. In nobly
pathetic words, Dr. L. Cranmer Byng, noted editor of The Wisdom of the East Series, wrote:
"When I read East-West I realized how far apart we seemed to be, apparently living in two different
worlds. Beauty, order, calm, and peace come to me from Los Angeles, sailing into port as a vessel laden with
the blessings and comfort of the Holy Grail to a beleaguered city.
"I see as in a dream your palm tree grove, and the temple at Encinitas with its ocean stretches and
mountain views, and above all its fellowship of spiritually minded men and women, a community comprehended in
unity, absorbed in creative work, and replenished in contemplation. It is the world of my own vision, in the
making of which I hoped to bear my little part, and now . . .
"Perhaps in the body I shall never reach your golden shores nor worship in your temple. But it is
something and more, to have had the vision and know that in the midst of war there is still a peace that
abides in your harbors and among your hills. Greetings to all the Fellowship from a common soldier, written
on the watchtower waiting for the dawn."
The war years brought a spiritual awakening among men whose diversions had never before included a study
of the New Testament. One sweet distillment from the bitter herbs of war! To satisfy a growing need, an
inspiring little Self-Realization Church of All Religions was built and dedicated in 1942 at Hollywood. The
site faces Olive Hill and the distant Los Angeles Planetarium. The church, finished in blue, white, and gold,
is reflected amidst the water hyacinths in a large pool. The gardens are gay with flowers, a few startled
stone deer, a stained-glass pergola, and a quaint wishing well. Thrown in with the pennies and the
kaleidoscopic wishes of man has been many a pure aspiration for the sole treasure of Spirit! A universal
benignity flows from small niches with statues of Lahiri Mahasaya and Sri Yukteswar, and of Krishna, Buddha,
Confucius, St. Francis, and a beautiful mother-of-pearl reproduction of Christ at the Last Supper.
Another Self-Realization Church of All Religions was founded in 1943 at San Diego. A quiet hilltop temple,
it stands in a sloping valley of eucalypti, overlooking sparkling San Diego Bay.
Sitting one evening in this tranquil haven, I was pouring out my heart in song. Under my fingers was the
sweet-toned organ of the church, on my lips the yearning plaint of an ancient Bengali devotee who had
searched for eternal solace:
In this world, Mother, none can love me;
In this world they do not know love divine.
Where is there pure loving love?
Where is there truly loving Thee?
There my heart longs to be.
My companion in the chapel, Dr. Lloyd Kennell, the San Diego center leader, was smiling a little at the
words of the song.
"Tell me truly, Paramhansaji, has it been worth it?" He gazed at me with an earnest sincerity. I
understood his laconic question: "Have you been happy in America? What about the disillusionments, the
heartaches, the center leaders who could not lead, the students who could not be taught?"
"Blessed is the man whom the Lord doth test, Doctor! He has remembered now and then to put a burden on
me!" I thought, then, of all the faithful ones, of the love and devotion and understanding that lay in the
heart of America. With slow emphasis I went on, "But my answer is: Yes, a thousand times yes! It has been
worth-while; it has been a constant inspiration, more than ever I dreamed, to see West and East brought
closer in the only lasting bond, the spiritual!"
Silently I added a prayer: "May Babaji and Sri Yukteswarji feel that I have done my part, not
disappointing the high hope in which they sent me forth."
I turned again to the organ; this time my song was tinged with a martial valor:
The grinding wheel of Time doth mar
Full many a life of moon and star
And many a brightly smiling morn
But still my soul is marching on!
Darkness, death, and failures vied;
To block my path they fiercely tried;
My fight with jealous Nature's strong
But still my soul is marching on!
New Year's week of 1945 found me at work in my Encinitas study, revising the manuscript of this book.
"Paramhansaji, please come outdoors." Dr. Lewis, on a visit from Boston, smiled at me pleadingly from
outside my window. Soon we were strolling in the sunshine. My companion pointed to new towers in process of
construction along the edge of the Fellowship property adjoining the coast highway.
"Sir, I see many improvements here since my last visit." Dr. Lewis comes twice annually from Boston to
"Yes, Doctor, a project I have long considered is beginning to take definite form. In these beautiful
surroundings I have started a miniature world colony. Brotherhood is an ideal better understood by example
than precept! A small harmonious group here may inspire other ideal communities over the earth."
"A splendid idea, sir! The colony will surely be a success if everyone sincerely does his part!"
"'World' is a large term, but man must enlarge his allegiance, considering himself in the light of a world
citizen," I continued. "A person who truly feels: 'The world is my homeland; it is my America, my India, my
Philippines, my England, my Africa,' will never lack scope for a useful and happy life. His natural local
pride will know limitless expansion; he will be in touch with creative universal currents."
Dr. Lewis and I halted above the lotus pool near the hermitage. Below us lay the illimitable Pacific.
"These same waters break equally on the coasts of West and East, in California and China." My companion
threw a little stone into the first of the oceanic seventy million square miles. "Encinitas is a symbolic
spot for a world colony."
"That is true, Doctor. We shall arrange here for many conferences and Congresses of Religion, inviting
delegates from all lands. Flags of the nations will hang in our halls. Diminutive temples will be built over
the grounds, dedicated to the world's principal religions.
"As soon as possible," I went on, "I plan to open a Yoga Institute here. The blessed role of Kriya
Yoga in the West has hardly more than just begun. May all men come to know that there is a definite,
scientific technique of self-realization for the overcoming of all human misery!"
Far into the night my dear friendthe first Kriya Yogi in Americadiscussed with me the need for
world colonies founded on a spiritual basis. The ills attributed to an anthropomorphic abstraction called
"society" may be laid more realistically at the door of Everyman. Utopia must spring in the private bosom
before it can flower in civic virtue. Man is a soul, not an institution; his inner reforms alone can lend
permanence to outer ones. By stress on spiritual values, self-realization, a colony exemplifying world
brotherhood is empowered to send inspiring vibrations far beyond its locale.
August 15, 1945, close of Global War II! End of a world; dawn of an enigmatic Atomic Age! The hermitage
residents gathered in the main hall for a prayer of thanksgiving. "Heavenly Father, may never it be again!
Thy children go henceforth as brothers!"
Gone was the tension of war years; our spirits purred in the sun of peace. I gazed happily at each of my
"Lord," I thought gratefully, "Thou hast given this monk a large family!"
Chapter1 - My Parents and Early Life
Chapter2 - My Mother's Death and the Mystic Amulet
Chapter3 - The Saint With Two Bodies
Chapter4 - My Interrupted Flight Toward the Himalayas
Chapter5 - A "Perfume Saint" Displays His Wonders
Chapter6 - The Tiger Swami
Chapter7 - The Levitating Saint
Chapter8 - India's Great Scientist, J.C. Bose
Chapter9 - The Blissful Devotee and His Cosmic Romance
Chapter10 - I Meet My Master, Sri Yukteswar
Chapter11 - Two Penniless Boys in Brindaban
Chapter12 - Years in My Master's Hermitage
Chapter13 - The Sleepless Saint
Chapter14 - An Experience in Cosmic Consciousness
Chapter15 - The Cauliflower Robbery
Chapter16 - Outwitting the Stars
Chapter17 - Sasi and the Three Sapphires
Chapter18 - A Mohammedan Wonder-Worker
Chapter19 - My Master, in Calcutta, Appears in Serampore
Chapter20 - We Do Not Visit Kashmir
Chapter21 - We Visit Kashmir
Chapter22 - The Heart of a Stone Image
Chapter23 - I Receive My University Degree
Chapter24 - I Become a Monk of the Swami Order
Chapter25 - Brother Ananta and Sister Nalini
Chapter26 - The Science of Kriya Yoga
Chapter27 - Founding a Yoga School in Ranchi
Chapter28 - Kashi, Reborn and Rediscovered
Chapter29 - Rabindranath Tagore and I Compare Schools
Chapter30 - The Law of Miracles
Chapter31 - An Interview with the Sacred Mother
Chapter32 - Rama is Raised From the Dead
Chapter33 - Babaji, the Yogi-Christ of Modern India
Chapter34 - Materializing a Palace in the Himalaya
Chapter35 - The Christlike Life of Lahiri Mahasaya
Chapter36 - Babaji's Interest in the West
Chapter37 - I Go to America
Chapter38 - Luther Burbank -- A Saint Amidst the Roses
Chapter39 - Therese Neumann, the Catholic Stigmatist
Chapter40 - I Return to India
Chapter41 - An Idyll in South India
Chapter42 - Last Days With My Guru
Chapter43 - The Resurrection of Sri Yukteswar
Chapter44 - With Mahatma Gandhi in Wardha
Chapter45 - The Bengali "Joy-Permeated" Mother
Chapter46 - The Woman Yogi Who Never Eats
Chapter47 - I Return to the West
Chapter48 - At Encinitas in California
Chapter49 - The Years - 1940 - 1951