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But the gift of a dead man also went to Odin, due to his role as the ruler of the dead in Valhalla and the common practice of symbolically sacrificing an enemy host to Odin before a battle. Thus, the association between the raven and Odin was only natural for the Norse. This aspect of the connection is indicated by the names of Hugin and Munin. In the Norse worldview, the self is comprised of numerous different parts that are semi-autonomous and can detach from one another under certain circumstances.
These detached parts are frequently imagined in an animal form that corresponds to their underlying character. It should therefore be unsurprising to find Odin, the divine shaman and sorcerer, doing likewise. This also explains why Odin fears that Hugin and Munin might not return to him. Whenever a practitioner of magic sent out a part of himself or, more commonly, herself on some quest or another, there was some risk that the parts would become separated from each other, or that injuries suffered by the emissary would also be inflicted upon the rest of the person who had sent it out.
I hoped to ship out as soon as possible. Meanwhile I helped Mother to pack. On her sailing date, I accompanied her to the dock in New York and saw her safely off on her journey. Next I went down to Bowling Green to see if any ship had come in. No luck: "Come back in a few days. Here, I found an entire section of books on Indian philosophy—the first I had ever encountered. Hungrily I feasted my gaze on the wide variety of titles: The Upanishads , the Bhagavad Gita , the Ramayana , the Mahabharata , books on yoga.
I finished scanning these shelves, then stood up to go over them again. Never had I seen any face radiate back to me so much goodness, humility, and love. Eagerly I picked up the book and glanced again at its title: Autobiography of a Yogi , by Paramhansa Yogananda. The author, I saw, lived in America—in California!
Was this someone at last who could help me in my search? As I leafed through the first pages of the book, the first words to catch my attention were: "Dedicated to the memory of Luther Burbank, an American saint. An American saint? But, how preposterous! How could anyone become a saint in this land of the "almighty dollar"?
I closed the book in dismay, and returned it to its place on the shelf. Eagerly I took this treasure home with me to Scarsdale, where I had temporarily rented a private room.
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For the next couple of days I fairly devoured what I read, feeling myself to be soaring through vast skies of wisdom. By this sign is [the sage] known Being of equal grace to comrades, friends, Chance-comers, strangers, lovers, enemies, Aliens and kinsmen; loving all alike, Evil or good. Yea, knowing Me the source of all, by Me all creatures wrought, The wise in spirit cleave to Me, into My being brought. These marvelous teachings were dispelling all my doubts. I knew now, with complete certainty, that this was the right path for me.
The day after I finished my first reading of the Bhagavad Gita, I returned to New York, intending to visit Bowling Green and see if any ship had come in. As I remembered that beautiful face on the cover, I felt a strong inner prompting to go buy it. I thrust the thought firmly out of my mind. Chuckling, I added, "An American saint, indeed! I reached the corner, and was proceeding toward the curb ahead of me, when I felt that an actual force was turning me left, toward Fifth Avenue. On entering the store, I made straight for the shelves of Indian books and bought Autobiography of a Yogi.
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We exchanged news briefly. Doug began to describe in glowing terms his plans for a career in radio and advertising.
The more he talked, the more closely I hugged to my heart this increasingly precious acquisition. Imperceptibly, my doubts about it had vanished. I felt as though Yogananda shared my dismay at the shining prospects Doug was describing—a way of life that, to me, spelled desolation. My new book in hand, I felt suddenly as though this Indian yogi and I were old friends. The world and I were strangers, but here was one human being—the very first!
And then began the most thrilling literary adventure of my life. It describes a number of living saints he met on his journey, especially his own great guru, Swami Sri Yukteswar. I read of intense love for God such as I myself yearned to possess; of a relationship with Him more intimate, more dear than I had dared to imagine possible. Until now, I had supposed that a life of meditation might give me, at best, a little peace of mind. But here I discovered, all at once, that the fruit of the spiritual life is a love and bliss "beyond imagination of expectancy"! Until recently I had doubted the value of prayer, except perhaps as a means of uplifting oneself.
But now I learned, and could not for a moment doubt, that God relates individually, lovingly , to each and every seeker. Miracles abound in this book. Many of them, I confess, were quite beyond my powers of acceptance at the time. Instead of dismissing them, however, as I would certainly have done had I read about them in almost any other book, I suspended my incredulity.
For the spirit of this story was so deeply honest, so transparently innocent of pride or impure motive that it was impossible for me to doubt that its author believed implicitly every word he wrote. Never before had I encountered a spirit so clearly truthful, so filled with goodness and joy. Every page seemed radiant with light. As I read Autobiography of a Yogi , I alternated between tears and laughter: tears of pure joy; laughter of even greater joy! For three days I scarcely ate or slept. When I walked it was almost atiptoe, as if in an ecstatic dream.
What this book described, finally, was the highest of sciences, Kriya Yoga, a technique that enables the seeker to advance rapidly on the path of meditation.https://tilebreatanmia.tk
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I, who wanted so desperately to learn how to meditate, felt all the excitement of one who has found a treasure map, the treasure in this case being a divine one, buried deep within my own being! Autobiography of a Yogi remains the greatest book I have ever read. One perusal of it was enough to change my whole life.
From that time on, my break with the past was complete.
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Finding that he recommended a vegetarian diet, I immediately renounced meat, fish, and fowl. For, more than anything else, what this book gave me was the conviction that in Yogananda I had found my Guru, my spiritual teacher for all time to come.
Now, incredibly, I felt such deep and utter trust in another human being that, ignorant of his philosophy though I was, I was willing to follow him to the end of life. And while I had yet to meet him, I felt, as I had on seeing his face on the cover of the book, that he was the truest friend I had ever known. The day after becoming a vegetarian I was invited by friends of my family, Mr. Lloyd Gibson, to lunch at their home.
To my combined amusement and dismay, the main dish consisted of chicken a la king. This time I had no choice but to refuse the thick, juicy hamburger sandwich that his mother offered me. To make matters still more awkward, George had considerately provided me with a date! I must have seemed strange company indeed, eating hardly anything, and paying as little attention to the girl as politely possible, from the opposite end of the room. Yogananda was a monk: I, too, would be a monk. Dean had been voted the "biggest wolf" in my senior high school class. I listened in silence for a time.
Desire only enslaves one to the very things he desires! Bob and Dean gazed at each other quizzically. It was years before I realized that comprehension, like a flower, must unfold at its own pace. Until a person is ready to embrace a truth, even the clearest logic will not make it acceptable to him. As soon as I finished reading Autobiography of a Yogi , my impulse was to jump onto the next California-bound bus.
But of course I knew already that it was the right decision.
The following day I packed my bag and took an early train into New York City. My godfather, Dr. Winthrop Haynes, had been sympathetically concerned for my future. On my way to the bus station, therefore, I stopped by his office at Rockefeller Center.
Special guest announcement! Get there early to join the madness. Meanwhile, the Clash area will see DJs and artists going head-to-head for a series of soundclashes. The GladeAreaGlasto 's amazing Glastonbury line-up is here! Prepare to be transported to an ancient civilisation for a tribal celebration — GlastoTheCommon 's first Glastonbury line-up release is here! The FieldOfAvalon line-up for Glastonbury is here! Known as Pangea, fans are promised a new adventure in the sky. Sounds ominous. Kick off your weekend by heading that way to see who the secret bands are on Thursday evening.