--- In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, "Richard J. Williams" <richard@...> wrote:
>
> 
> 
> laughinggull108:
> > The first 49 of 560 pages of Galaxy of Fire. 
> > Other than the Table of Contents and Preface, 
> > not much to read this early in the book. The 
> > really good stuff is in the last half.
> > 
> > http://tinyurl.com/ntdku3
> > 
> Jay Latham:
> 
> "Why is he here? How did he get in? The men were all clean shaven and had
> their best suits on. Worst of all, there couldn't have been more than
> fifteen Westerners, all total; the very top of Maharishi's Western
> organization, all there by personal invitation from Maharishi himself, and
> all sitting in the front row in full view of the main entrance.
> 
> So much for "blending in." Behind the Westerners sat hundreds of exuberant
> brahmin boys whom Maharishi was instructing in the Vedas. The few ladies I
> saw were the top administrators of Maharishi's "Thousand Headed Mother
> Divine Course." I sat down directly in front of Maharishi who was sitting
> about fifteen feet away on his dais. To his left, and above him on his own
> dais was the present Shankaracharya of Jyothirmath, the spiritual "pope" of
> North India, Sri Swami Vishnudevananda.
> 
> To his left, sitting on an even higher dais, was Guru Dev's successor
> (appointed by Guru Dev himself, in his will), Shri Swami Shantanand
> Saraswati Maharaj, retired Shankaracharya of Jyothirmath. These two sat
> under the gold and red umbrella of the Shankaracharya, on the throne-like
> chairs of their position. Surrounding them were about fifty of the most
> illustrious looking orange-clad swarmis I'd ever seen. This was the top of
> India's spiritual tradition in the flesh. The stage area was surrounded by
> hundreds of lights (candles, oil and ghee lamps) which are traditionally lit
> for Diwali. The scene was a blaze of spiritual light.
> 
> As I was sitting down Marc looked up at me with an inquisitive, raised
> eyebrow and silently conveyed, "What in the hell are you doing here ...
> what's with the beard and the dhoti, are you completely out of your mind?"
> The other Westerners were also checking me out, having, of course,
> immediately recognized me. I didn't even want to know their thoughts. All I
> could think was "God, when you fulfill a desire you really go all out. Since
> this is probably the last time I'll see Maharishi for not being properly
> invited, I must thank you for the fabulous send-off."
> 
> I drank in the whole scene. I'd stepped into the ageless, fiery world of the
> Swami Order of Lord Shankara. A Sanskrit puja was underway in which
> Maharishi was the deity. A couple of old pujaris were chanting, with one
> making offerings to Maharishi splashing Ganges water on him, adorning him
> with green leaves, offering incense, light from ghee lamps, etc. It reminded
> me of a silent film I'd seen of Maharishi's master, Guru Dev, in which he
> was worshipped as Shankaracharya in similar fashion.
> 
> This was a great honor for Maharishi, and demonstrated in the most symbolic
> way possible that he was held in highest esteem by the present
> Shankaracharya Order; with both the reigning and retired Shankaracharyas of
> Jyothirmath in attendance. They obviously regarded Maharishi as the most
> enlightened disciple of their own guru, Swami Brahmananda Saraswati (Guru
> Dev). I had heard that Swami Vishnudevananda was supporting Maharishi and
> his movement in recruiting Indians for the mass group practice of the TM-
> Sidhi program.
> 
> Maharishi always generates a feeling of eternality and transcendent silence
> around him that is the most profound I've ever felt, but I had experienced
> this most often in the context of large gatherings of Westerners in Europe.
> In the midst of his own people, including the most illustrious of the Swami
> Order itself, the feeling was deeper, more natural, because the land and its
> spiritual history supported it. This was the "Whole Thing, the Real Thing"
> as Guru Dev used to say.
> 
> If this were to be my last sight of the master, I had picked the right
> night. I felt God smiling on me. For the entire evening, Maharishi remained
> in samadhi, eyes closed. That doesn't mean he was completely lost to the
> world, though, because at one point I felt as if he were "scanning" me
> checking me out with his inner vision. He's far too powerful to not have his
> attention felt by his teachers. I felt him look right through me, my organs,
> subtle body, mind, everything. While this was going on, I tried to send him
> the telepathic message: "Lord Shiva got me in here as a boon."
> 
> If Maharishi was upset about my being here, it was his own fault-he was the
> one who taught me, in person, the highly effective techniques for locating
> transcendental consciousness and fulfilling desires through That. I was
> living proof of his own success this night. I'd gotten through his carefully
> selected, highly effective human shield and then been delivered at his feet
> as a VIP. That is the power of the Lord.
> 
> The deep velvety-red umbrellas of Swami Vishnudevananda Saraswati and Swami
> Shantanandji Saraswati, embroidered with large gold Sanskrit letters, were
> obviously very old. To me, they represented the cosmic umbrella that one
> gets under for spiritual protection when initiated by an enlightened guru
> into the ancient tradition of the Sanatan Dharma. Each umbrella was imbued
> with the deep spirituality of ancient India?and great men of cosmic
> consciousness.
> 
> I was mesmerized by the rare darshan (sight) of Swami Shantanand Saraswati.
> He must have been in his eighties at the time, but still had the wrinkle-
> free face of a baby. The glow on his face was more pure, more translucent,
> than I had ever seen on any human being before. He looked like the
> transcendent personified. He remained seated in deep meditation the entire
> evening. He never moved, never opened his eyes. He looked serene,
> breathless, in his all-time natural state of cosmic conciousness. From his
> whole body he radiated powerful waves of love.
> 
> He was a sensory feast to behold, seated in the highest position in the room
> on his "throne" chair that was placed directly underneath what looked like
> the same unbrella that Guru Dev hasd sat under as Shankaracharya. The man
> had a pure white halo that encircled his whole body."
> 
> Source:
> 
> "Galaxy of Fire"
> By Jay Latham
> Sunstar, 2000
> p. 550-553.


Beautiful story, very touching. Thanks for posting ! Do you know what year this 
was ? 

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