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YOGALife - Fall 1995
Table of Contents Om
 ·  Swami Vishnu-devananda Speaks On Samadhi, Rebirth & World Karma
 ·  Memories of Swami Vishnu-devananda
 ·  Subramanya/Ayappa temple
 ·  Yoga Vacations
 ·  Matsyasan - The fish position
 ·  Advancing in Sadhana

Memories of Swami Vishnu-devananda

Alice Frazier Remembers

Alice Frazier & Swamiji The following is the text of a talk given by Alice Zeigler Fazier as part of the Teachers' Training Course graduation at Satsang on the evening of February 28,1995, at the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat, Paradise Island, Bahamas.
Good evening Swami Durgananda, Swami Swaroopananda, Sri Nivasan, TTC class of '95 and fellow guests. I've divided my talk tonight into 3 phases:
  1. How I came to discover Yoga and Swami Vishnu-devananda
  2. The Sixties evolve into the Seventies and Swami's Peace Projects
  3. How Swamiji's Peace Project led to our Peace Project

How I came to discover Yoga and Swami Vishnu-devananda

When the pupil is ready the teacher will appear. I first met Swami Vishnu in 1963. My life has shown me that there is no such thing as coincidence or accident.
I was taking classes at the YWCA in New Haven, Connecticut. Our teacher was excellent. I was most impressed with her ability to induce complete relaxation. Where did you learn this? Oh, she replied, don't go there. It's a little town in the middle of nowhere - in Canada. Nothing to do at night - no night clubs - no dancing! So I went......in my brother's new blue Thunderbird convertible - he had my little grey Volkswagen. I took leotards plus fancy clothes. If it was a failure I'd drive down to Maine's beaches.
Frankly, I was not prepared for what my eyes met as I entered the Yoga Camp in Val Morin. Swami, a small dark man in red swim trunks who was sitting on his favorite rock talking with his guests, got up, ran down the hill, barefeet and all, to greet me. One of the things that impressed me most then and later was that he never asked me what I did for a living or any of the probative questions we take for granted. He told me that the lodges were built but had no toilets yet. I could sleep in a cottage, if I prefered. He told Dora Hernitt, who later became Swami Ramananda, to show me my room. It was not the Hilton and I later learned that my room-mate was a health freak who stayed up all night crunching on carrots and running out to the bathroom to perform various inner cleansing ablutions. I had made up my mind - I'd head for the Maine coast in the morning. After a night on a sort of egg crate mattress, (before egg crate mattresses were invented), I went to the Yoga Hall for meditation. By this time Swami had scrambled up the hill from his hut, still in his red shorts, but had thrown his swami robes over everything. I learned later on that sometimes he threw part of the clothes around his head in a turban. He settled himself on the stage...I looked around.... everybody had their eyes closed. I closed mine...the rest is history.
At asana class the next day I showed Swami my back curvature. I said, "this is why I came here." He replied in a stentorian voice, "That's not why you came here!".
Yoga Camp in the sixties was strictly extended family...the Peysers from New York City; Loca, French Canadian and her daughter from the Montreal area; Mrs Rosenstone who taught at the Center in Montreal and still does. Swami was omnipresent, switching from his meditation role as a spiritual leader by jumping off the stage to teach us the asanas, demonstrating them perfectly. He circulated around the room, trailing a cloud of soothing energy as he went. You would almost be tempted to make a mistake to win his attention.
Humour was ever present. It was nothing to hear Mrs Peyser yell, "Swami! Swami! Don't leave me!" as she swayed in her headstand. And Swami chuckling," I'm right here!" as he walked away leaving her in mid-air.
We all ate together...Swami at the head of the table. One of my first vivid memories was when Swami handed me a plate of table scraps and told me to go down the hill and feed the goat. Who me? A hotshot Connecticut educator approach Kiddie, his pet goat? We had to be careful with Kiddie, but Swami would romp with him, pretend to butt heads, turn and make Kiddie chase him.
After supper we would often take Silent Walks; Swami led them. Our ghost-like brigade, incongruous walking through town, to a lake, where we tuned our minds to its calm surface, then back to Mrs Engels' village store for ice cream. We all walked home in blissful samadhi. Swami was playful - at times almost childlike. He never called us by our given names.... I was "Kon-nek-ti-kut" or "new Heaven". How I longed to have him call me Alice. When he finally did I was sorry because it was "Alice do this; Alice do that." Life with Swami wasn't all fun and games. We had to do Karma Yoga. Swami practiced what he preached; he came and helped, tugged, hauled, chopped. I painted everything that didn't move. We always helped in the kitchen. Later we got an automatic dish rinsing machine. Dora (Swami Ramananda) was the main cook and meals often got less luxurious when we owed the local grocer. Swami was extremely generous and would never turn anyone away, and, since contributions for stays were voluntary and really fluctuated, managing on that basis wasn't easy. I had already extended my initial stay - summer of '63; good brother Bill was still commuting to work in my grey Volswagen - the time had come. At that last morning meditation, tears filled my eyes. Swami saw my distress. He asked Dora to pack up a tin of cookies for me, as if to send a sad little child away happy. As I drove down the Northway the sad tears became tears of joy as I sang "Om Namah Sivaya". I was happy. I had discovered Yoga!

The Sixties evolve into the seventies and Swami's Peace Projects.

From '63 on, I spent seven total summers - 10 weeks each, at the Yoga Camp. I was some kind of anomaly, a paying working guest. Not only that but, those of you old enough to remember the sixties (I know you TTC babies weren't born) - I was an oddity, in that I didn't sneak off into the woods for whatever kind of 'high' seemed to be available. Swami's patience and tolerance with this virtual wave of young 'hippies' who came to Yoga Camp as moths to a flame was incredible. He asked them to leave drugs outside the Camp, told them they'd be expelled if they didn't. He was so often disappointed by their crude behaviour and selfishness but he never gave up on them. One night he put me on duty with a hippie having a bad trip. I sat with him in the kitchen. He wouldn't take his hands or feet off the floor. He couldn't let go; his world was spinning. In the morning he went to the hospital. It was Vietnam time.
First TTC - 1969 I was Swami's gofer, to get his mail, make purchases. One morning I received a letter from my brother that my beloved collie dog had died. I came to Swami with his mail, and tears in my eyes. As I told him about Princess's death, his eyes filled with tears. His master Sivananda too had such compassion for all forms of life. When a nest of baby mice was found in his Kutir, he told his students to leave them alone they are not hurting anyone.
One of my dearest friends who came to the Camp was Anna Charles, orginally from India, then living in Canada. Both she and I learned and worked together every summer. One of my early days when Anna had just arrived, Swami was sitting on the hillside with her, telling her what books of Sivananda she should read. I came trudging up the hill with a huge package that looked as if it had travelled a long way. It was addressed to Swami. He opened it; lo and behold the very books he had just recommended had arrived from India. Anna had four children who came with her each summer and other families came too. I taught the children's classes for several summers. Since I was a teacher, this was natural. Swami asked me to take over when they built the Children's Camp across the road. I considered it but later declined. Swami often assigned individual classes to me. I worked with a mental patient whose mother persuaded Swami to take him for the summer. He had been on megadoses of pills and was difficult to handle. By daily breathing exercises, prescribed by Swami as well as certain asanas, Joe became more manageable. I got him to do the headstand, shoulderstand, sun exercises and more. An equally dramatic case was a young man from England with Multiple Sclerosis. He arrived early summer with two crutch-canes. With prescribed breathing and asanas, he walked the length of the platform by summer's end.
Those years, Vietnam, were, in a strange way, productive of deep and creative thought and some of these hippie kids were highly motivated to create a peaceful world. Swami's idea of the TWO, True World Order, provided a way-to-go for them - for all of us. Several of them, taking Teachers' Training with me, spent hours producing the wonderful film 'Ture World Order" filming at locales in Montreal, as well as the Yoga Camp. The film showed how necessary inner peace in the individual is before world peace can be achieved.
Swami, meanwhile, had become a pilot and conceived the idea of a round the world peace flight. To raise money he had World Citizen Passports printed. The idea was to say symbolically that birds fly between countries - no one stops them at borders. Seen from space, states and countries are one. People would carry these passports and present them in lieu of their own passport to change thinking. They were attractive and had peace sayings in them. We sent them out to a mailing list with a request for a ten dollar donation. Peter Max, the famous artist, a student of Swami's, had painted Swami's plane in psychedelic colours. We did a lot of promotional work in Montreal, holding a big press conference at the airport with Swami standing on his head on the wings of the plane. You must have heard of his flights over Northern Ireland to drop peace leaflets and his daring flight between Tel Aviv and Cairo - when he ignored Israeli fighter jets who told him to go back - threw flowers out of the windows to them - was held in Cairo - and finally released after a sightseeing tour. Meanwhile back at the Yoga Camp, we set up offices, working day and night with these mailings.

How Swami's Peace Project led to our Peace Project.

Summer of '71 was to be the turning point in my personal life. A group from Washington D.C., many of them Pentagon, federal government employees, led by the charismatic Yoga teacher Ruby Blue, came to the Yoga Camp for a weekend. One of them was Howard Frazier. He had just retired from his job on the White House staff, and was looking for new retirement ideas. Ruby, in her best matchmaker style, said as some of them went home and Howard decided to stay, "Alice please take care of Howard. He doesn't know much about Yoga." I did just that. Howard helped me to work on the passports and together, we worked on some apple pie and tea after meditation, at the restaurant in the village. At summer's end we went back to our homes. Howard returned to Washington D.C; I went to Connecticut and my school job. Our romance flourished and, just about the time we decided to get married the most incredible coincidence (I don't believe in coincidences) happened. Howard was offered the job of Executive Director of Promoting Enduring Peace, a longstanding peace organisation in Woodmont, Connecticut, only twelve miles from my home. We got married, moved into the peace house and have just celebrated our 21st anniversary as peace makers and partners.
These have been an exciting, fulfilling 21 years. During the Cold War we organised Peace Cruises on the Volga and Dneiper rivers in the Soviet Union and on the Mississippi River in the United States, bringing Americans and Russians together. Our philosophy is, the way to get rid of an enemy is to make him a friend. In the nineties we have looked southward with trips to Cuba, Costa Rica, Panama and Guatemala. We are NGO members of the UN and in September I will represent PEP at the Women's Conference in Beijing. We have quarterly mailings of articles relating to peace, justice, environmental issues. Our articles are free; groups or individuals can order them for cost of postage only.
Each year our organisation presents the Gandhi Award to a person who has done the most for world peace. Last year, Maryknoll Father Roy Bourgeois was the recipient for his work against brutality and oppression in Central America. Eleanor Roosevelt was the first recipient in 1960, and, since then, among others were U Thant of the UN, Benjamin Spock, Dorothy Day and Marian Wright Adelman. If it had not been for Swami Vishnu-devananda all this might not have happened. Correction! I do belive it was all meant to happen just this way. A popular communications TV ad says "We're all connected". We seem to travel in constellations, which find each other. Two marriages out of three in my family were outcomes of Yoga. I ask myself, why did my sister-in-law know this place and its owner Mrs Boswell years before meeting me at Yoga class and her future husband, my brother? I remember my mother's advice "Put yourself in the Lord's way". I think of Swami's counsel to a student. The student was asking how he could use his newly acquired "yogic power". Swami said (probably with a smile) "You must not use the power. Just sit and glow and they will come. It worked for me." I wish that you young people could have met Swami Vishnu, but you are experiencing the fruits of his labor. As you enjoy the beauty of this place, and sometimes think how difficult your training is, think of this great soul whom we no longer see but whose presence we must surely feel, even as we sit here tonight. There will never be another one like him - a great teacher - a great soul.
Alice Zeigler Frazier, Connecticut, USA.

God is everywhere

Swamiji & Larry Allman I first met Swami Vishnu-devanandaji in 1981 in Los Angeles. He gave a program; afterwards when I took Mantra initiation, I felt a tremendous transfer of energy. I knew then that he was something very special. I was lucky to be in contact with Swami Vishnuji whenever he came to California. He was fun, entertaining and thought provoking. His communication skills were unbelievably dynamic; he was able to affect each person on many different levels. He gave us Truth, important knowledge, and a definitive sense of direction for our lives, all while making us laugh. In February of 1984, I took the Teachers' Training Course in Bahamas. Swamiji did not make a personal appearance. It was nevertheless a powerful and life changing experience, much more than learning to teach Yoga asanas. Swamiji had structured it so that we were rem-oved from our ordinary lives and could look at everything anew. After-wards, I started teaching classes at the Sivananda Center in Los Angeles. One really starts to learn when one stands in front of other people and teaches.
Two years later, in August, 1986, I took the Advanced Teacher's Training in Val Morin, Canada. Swamiji himself taught the Vedanta section. The weather was wonderful that summer. Every afternoon from 2-4pm, we sat outside with Swamiji, listening to his knowledge, his insights, his humour. Swamiji's class was an experience bigger than we could comprehend at the time. We knew it was special, but now that he has passed away, we cherish every second which we can remember. One day towards the end of the course, Swamiji went over the "Mahavakyas," or Great Proclamations (page 120 of 'Meditation and Mantras', which was our textbook). I remember that he read them slowly in Sanskrit . Then in his unique way, he started to explain their meaning.
As he explained the first Mahavakya, "Prajnanam Brahma," "Consciousness is Brahman," he said clearly, "God is consciousness." At that point, I was off in another world. I looked around at the students in the class, and saw each one of them as a manifestation of God, of Brahman. I looked at the trees and the many flowers in Swamiji's backyard, and saw God, Brahman blooming full and beautifully before my eyes. I was completely overwhelmed by this new insight, this new perspective that Swamiji had given to all of us.
What Swamiji gave me that day changed my perspective for the rest of my life. I try to see consciousness, or God, or Brahman, wherever I am able: in people, in animals, in trees, in flowers and in plants. I try to percieve consciousness, awareness, Godliness. Swami Vishnuji put this knowledge into a paradigm which I could grasp and understand. How can I thank him for this, for something which brings light into every one of my days? One of the ironic twists making this event so much larger than life is that I had read 'Meditation and Mantras' twice, cover to cover. What Swamiji gave me that day did not even register under my own powers. My life changing experience came from a saint who gave off enlightenment with everything he did. I was blessed to receive one of the drops.
We can never know how many people Swamiji affected in his prolific life. But in my case, I know that on that day in August of 1986, under a tree at his ashram, Swami Vishnuji gave me the most important lesson I have yet to receive: that God is everywhere, especially for those who are looking to see him.
Larry Allman, Geneva, Switzerland

A Divine Child

Portrait of Swamiji I often wonder at the "coincidence" that I was with Swami Vishnu-devananda on his last trip to his native India. The long-haired and white-bearded Swamiji, looking like a chocolate Santa Claus, had reached the end of an incredibly full earthly life. There was no mistaking that here was a child, long separated from his Divine Mother, on the verge of an ecstatic reunion.
Swamiji, legendary in early life for his military-like efficiency and discipline, had reached the point where he wept freely when hearing the sacred stories. Swamiji's gaze had taken on the open innocence of a newborn.
I first saw him at the Yoga Camp in Canada's Laurentian mountains, shortly before his last trip to India. Sitting in the temple during meditation, I sensed a stir of excitement as Swamiji was brought in and laid on a bed.
I had heard of Swamiji's whirlwind global campaigns of more than 30 years, his death-defying missions to promote peace amongst warring factions across the earth. He had spent years traveling, lecturing and establishing an international network of Yoga centres.
In 1990 and 1991 Swamiji had suffered several strokes. This was only one of several major blows, including car accidents and acute diabetes, that continued up until his passing. The strokes left the master almost completely physically debilitated. However, Swamiji's mind and spirit continued to soar to unprecedented heights. I was on vacation, away from my California pediatric practise. I wondered at the obvious reverence bestowed on this invalid. Learning that Swamiji planned to transport substantial medical supplies to India with him, so that his secretary could administer peritoneal dialysis in a chilly Himalayan cave, I was wonder-struck yet a little embarrassed, when my clinical interest was mentioned during an introduction to Swamiji. As the master grunted and signaled, leaving translation to his secretary, I found myself invited to be a part of that final trip, as Swamiji's personal physician. When it was pointed out that I am a doctor for children, the master immediately indicated that this was perfect. Although I didn't expect to be able to go, I later reflected in wonderment at how a way opened, allowing me to be a part of the historic journey.
Arriving in India with Swamiji, I was amazed at how this invalid, who could not speak, feed, wash or dress himself, concentrated his entire energy on ensuring that his guests were properly cared for. But my physician's work was short-lived. Within days of arriving, Swamiji was stricken with a blood infection on his way to Mookambika Temple in south India. This forced a detour to Manipal Hospital. There, Swami Vishnu-devananda slipped into a coma. Hooked up to various life support systems, the master took leave of his physical body. On November 9, 1993, the Divine Child Vishnu-devananda fled to his eternal abode. Two days later, disciples, following their master's wishes, consigned his physical remains into the embrace of Mother Ganga.
But Swamiji, the prankster, was not finished yet. Six months after his casket sank into a placid Ganges, the sacred river went into flood. As its waters rushed furiously from the frozen Himalayas, the Ganges picked up Swamiji's casket and, on the day commemorating Buddha's enlightenment, deposited it in front of one of Swamiji's ashrams, Sivananda Kutir, just north of Uttar Kashi. After puja, disciples repackaged the master's ebullient remains. This time, Ganges received it and rushed it off to tour the land he loved so much.
Dr. Bob Vinetz, Los Angeles, California


We heard of Swamji's arrival in Madras and my mother, sister and I went to see him. He was sleeping on the couch and we sat on the floor close to him. Though he was weak, his eyes were bright. He spoke very softly and the lady, Swami Kartikeyananda, helped us to talk to him. He asked us to write the mantra "OM NAMO NARAYANAYA". I quickly said that I would start writing as soon as my exams were over. Swamiji then told me " you must start right now otherwise you will fail in your exams". I was so surprised that I started writing the mantra as soon as I got home and throughout the next day. My sister and I gave the pages to Swamiji a day later. We were excited as we were told that it would be put into the " OM NAMO NARAYANAYA" Bank. I think what Swamiji really meant to tell me was that I should not 'find time' to remember God, but that I should remember God all the time along with my daily duties.
Once a lady had brought a white kurta for Swamiji. When it was shown to him he wanted to wear it right away. Swami Kartikeyananda told him that she would 'dye' it for him. Swamiji told her " Please don't die. You must live," and we all laughed. Swamiji was very witty, everytime we were with him he made us laugh and we were happy in his presense. "OM NAMO NARAYANAYA".
L. Anjana Reddy, Madras India
L. Anjana Reddy is a 12-year old school girl in Madras. She is a budding poet and painter.

A Godly Guru

Sivaram I, with Louise Lightfoot of Australia, arrived at the Sivananda Yoga Centre on St. Lawrence Blvd, Montreal in the third week of November, 1963. A new world opened in our minds when we met Swamiji Vishnu-devananda. Every morning at 6 we joined the meditation. I saw the way Swamiji sat like a rock for an hour. It was a wonderful experience, as I am a Kathakali Dancer from Kerala, some few miles away from Swamiji's home. Dora (later Swami Ramananda) was there, and a few young staff. I practiced asanas everyday with him - and then pranayama. It was a new life beginning.
Swamiji was very strict about meditation. Everyone must be there in time at 6 am. By 6.05 the doors were locked. If you were late the punishment would be more Kapalabhati. After meditation, Swamiji would give a talk every morning. He would begin by asking "What day is today? What is the difference between today and yesterday? One big difference.... we are one day closer to Death." One day Swamiji said, "Shivaram, you can give your Dance performance this evening after meditation. It was divine surroundings. In front of Master Sivananda's big photo, I danced. A lot of my old friends and fellow Yoga students were there. Swamiji was very happy and blessed me.
Somewhere near Val Morin, in the mountains, we all went for a picnic. There was a ropeway that everyone could ride. When I stood back, Swamiji said, "Come on Shivaram." I told him that I was afraid, and I had to perform the next night. Swamiji said, "You have to be fearless in life; so don't be afraid!" I prostrated at his feet and went on. That was a great lesson from Swamiji that helped all my future life. He was the kindest man and the most strong-minded that I ever met in my 52 years of travel around the world. Selfless service was his entire life. Swamiji helped millions of people all over the world to lead a Divine Life. He was a tireless man. He never rested. Always he had a new plan, a new way to work for world peace.
Many nights he would take us out on silent walks. At the end we would have ice cream. Swamiji was so humorous. He loved fun and was happy when others were happy. Swamiji so believed in his guru that he did all his work in his Master's name. Never did he do anything in his own name. He taught millions of people what is God and Truth. He wished the whole world should be one. He believed that this Earth belongs to God and everyone should be free to go where he wants.
Many artists and dancers from all over the world go to America to become famous by appearing on Broadway. I had the same idea, but I met Swamiji instead. He said that money and fame will make you an unhappy man, so come with me and I will show you the real way to happy life. He did. Also he showed the way to millions of people by teaching them about Proper thinking and Meditation. I will always remember morning meditation on the Bahamas Beach. Every one sitting in line facing the sun during the winter months. It was a most divine experience.
I prostrate at the Lotus Feet of my Master, Swami Vishnu-devananda. Om Om Om.
Ananda Shivaram, Kerala, India
Winner of Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Academy Fellowship in 1985, Ananda Shivaram (now 79 years old) is a world famous dancer and Yogi. He was the first to present Kathakali to the western world. Arriving in Australia in 1947, he spent 30 years traveling throughout the West, before retiring to his native Kerala in 1977.

The Power of Mantras

A very interesting symposium on Healing and Reincarnation was held at the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Camp in Val Morin in the Summer of 1988. Many people gathered it including such celebrities as Ian Stevenson, the American psychiatrist who has conducted scientific research on reincarnation for 20 years using the birthmarks as evidence of physical acidents in previous lives; John Fisher, from Canada, author of many books on reincarnation; Fritjol Capra, who developed the theory of the Tao in Physics; Bernard Grad, professor of biochemistry at Montreal's McGill University; Dr Sankar Narayan, from Madras, who for 40 years has been studying the effects of magnetism on the mind and the human body...and many others related to the world of scientific research. It is known that Swami Vishnu was deeply interested in science. In fact, he had installed a laboratory at the Ashram where scientific investigations were carried out to prove the effects of yoga - Asanas, relaxation, meditation and pranayama - on the human body and mind. There were oscilloscopes of cathodic rays to measure brain waves by way of electroencephalograms, equipment to measure cardiovascular pressure, the perspiration index and biorhythms, and complicated copper devices to heal by magnetic influence. The aim was to show that the altered states of mind attained through yoga practice have scientific explanations. During this August, most of the over 200 occupants of the Ashram visited the laboratory, to take part studies of our healing potential. It was quite a sight to see Swamiji at meal times or informal meetings, putting forward his ideas vehemently to the extremely rational scientists, who were sometimes left dumbfounded by his statements. I'll tell you briefly of one of my favourite memories.
Swamiji during an outdoors lecture Dr. Grad, with whom I struck up a good friendship as I had previously been a student at McGill, gave an interesting talk about some tests he made to show that it was possible to measure scientifically the healing power of a healers' hands. He used the astonishing power of a healer called Esteban, who healed a group of guinea pigs with skin cancer by putting his hands over them daily. Another group of guinea pigs with the same cancer that were not treated by Esteban died after 21 days. The whole study was published in the American Scientific Journal of the time. Dr. Grad spoke of experiments he had done showing that plants had a sensitivity that made them react to external influences. He proved that under the influence of Esteban's hands the seeds grew stronger and healthier.
Swami Vishnu was delighted with the lecture and after much thought he asked what the results would be if the seeds were watered with water influenced by prayer and mantra chanting. The next day he asked Dr. Grad to repeat the test this new way. But, as Dr. Grad had to leave, I was designated to carry out the experiment.
Very excited, I went to Saint Agathe, a nearby town, to buy flowerpots, seeds, distilled water, scales for weighing the soil precisely....we had to carry out the experiment exactly the way Dr. Grad had done it. We put two infrared lamps in a room in the laboratory, to prevent the any variation in light or temperature. A bottle with distilled water from Swamiji was brought to me every day. I used it to water a group of 12 plants. Another 12 plants were watered with normal distilled water. First day, second day... sixth day, and the stems were coming up. Every day I counted the stems of the 24 plants; every day I measured their height. After twelve days, the 24 little plants were all nearly the same. The obvious conclusion; the experiment hadn't worked. It seemed that mantras might be good for our spiritual health but, although plants are sensible to love and water, they seemed to be deaf to mantras.
Every day Swamiji came, asking how it was going. I told him we would have to wait until the end of the experiment. I was hoping for a miracle, but on the thirteenth day I had to face up to reality. When I went to see him, Swamiji didn't bat an eyelid when I told him about the results. He just congratulated me on my interest and dedication and told me: "Salvador, you must know that everything in this life is Maya, illusion. Nothing is what it seems. Let me think about this." The next day he told me, "Salvador, I know now what the problem is. We have to repeat the experiment but with a variation." I said "Swamiji, I've followed Dr. Grad's instructions meticulously!" Swamiji replied "It doesn't matter. It's another question. Here in this Ashram there are more than 200 people meditating, practising pranayama, chanting mantras. You can feel the great energy that surrounds us. Don't be surprised if the energy over the Ashram has produced equal growth in all the seeds. Tomorrow, you are going to start the experiment again, but in Val Morin, 3 km. from here. We'll see what happens then." The new experiment succeeded beyond all expectations. Our seeds germinated and grew 41% more than the seeds watered with water not exposed to the mantras. When I let Swami Vishnu know the results of the second experiment, he smiled and said: "Salvador, if the mantras have obtained your growth, you being so rebelious, how could they not have an effect on the humble seeds?" This was Swami Vishnu-devananda. Salvador Seco, Madrid, Spain

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Biography of Swami Vishnu-devananda

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