Book Reviews - A disciple`s homage
by Nipun A Jacob
Paramahansa Yogananda was indubitably one of India’s greatest spiritual gifts to the world. Not only did the guru convey the limitless depth and subtlety of Vedanta to the West, he also gave birth to many disciples who have followed in his wake by helping uplift humanity's consciousness levels. One such, Roy Eugene Davis, has written a grateful tribute to his master in his book, Paramhansa Yogananda, as I knew him. Although the master’s own revelations of his life through his immortal book, Autobiography of a Yogi, has long ago attained cult status, this book amplifies the details of Yogananda’s life. While the autobiography talked about his aspirations, encounter with great masters, his own metamorphosis and his relationship with God, Roy Eugene Davis tells us that what kind of a guru he was.
According to Roy, any wish of Paramahansa Yogananada was taken as a command by his followers. From picking up the papers scattered on the ground to emptying the pond with the help of two buckets and a small rope, all was done with feverish enthusiasm. The guru understood the psyche of his disciples and gave instant solutions to their queries, while enabling them to work on their own attitudes. “You are making yourself unhappy by indulging in moods and playing a negative mental phonograph record in your mind. Why don’t you break that record?” he once said. He treated his disciples like his own sons and daughters and wanted them to grow and have a fulfilling life just like all parents aspire for their children. When the author saw him at the last stage of his life, he did not grieve. He knew that his guru would be forever with him. His presence would always guide him on the path. Such was the belief Yogananda had inculcated in his disciples about the body perishing but the soul being immortal. In Chapter 6 of the book, Davis conveys the essence of Yogananda’s teachings in a question and answer format. He says that in the presence of a guru, a disciple should feels liberated, not bound. The guru creates a platform where disciples experience spiritual freedom and open up to their highest potential. The book is an honest sharing of the experiences of a disciple who elucidates them clearly and freely.
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