I was born on Sunday the 30th April, 1899 at 07.26 in the morning (Vikram Samvat 1856, Saka era 1821, Baisakh Badi Panchami – samay 4 gharhi 55 Pal).
My father was Rai Bahadur Sri Badri Prasad, Honorary Special Magistrate I Class. My mother told me that during childhood I did not have the inclination to eat food as children generally have. I would not eat by myself, even when served food, unless someone else put it into my mouth. At every stage of my life my mother taught me the lesson – “Be honest; do not steal”. The effect of her training was that this became part and parcel of my living.
Upto the time a baby begins to speak or think, the suggestions of its parents and others affect the character that just begins to form, and the suggestions become part of the young one’s life. The child ‘becomes’ the meaning of the suggestions. When he reaches boyhood the suggestions of the parents and other persons continue to work a good deal. Since thinking starts from this age, he begins to form himself, and his surroundings also affect him at this age. Further on, he becomes like a coiled-up rope, of which the coil remains undisturbed, even if burnt. Parents should have sufficient regard for this aspect of childhood life and should see that only what is right is spoken to the children. A baby can also take the impression of the words spoken by its parents, even though it has not developed thinking or understanding. As such, one must be very cautious in speaking even before babies. One must not utter any non-sense before children. The example of Abhimanyu of Mahabharat is well known. Arjuna had described to his wife the way of breaking into a Chakra-Vyooha when Abhimanyu was in her womb. Abhimanyu was about sixteen years of age when the Mahabharat war started. He told his uncles that he could break into the Chakra-Vyooha, and so got inm, but he could not return, for Arjuna had not spoken to his wife about how to get out of it.
I am giving you another example of my own in this matter. After some time when I started meditation, I one day found myself as a baby of 2 or 3 months lying on a Soap, the plaited implement used for husking grain, under the rays of the sun. I must have been laid on the Soop by my mother. On enquiry my mother confirmed it, and said that she had done so several times.
During my childhood (at about the age of 6 or 7) I often saw my mother performing traditional worship. I requested her to teach me the Puja (workship) she was doing. She used to apply sandal-wood paste on my forehead and I felt happy in the thought that I had done puja that day. This went on for some time.
From the age of 9 I felt a kind of thirst for Reality and I remained confused and perplexed just like a man drowned in water. I then started reading the Bhagavad Gita but it did not bring to my view the condition I was craving for.
I asked my priest to prescribe the method of worship which would give me Realisation. He told me to recite “Rama Rama”. I did this also for seven days at the fixed hours, but I could find no change in my condition. Afterwards I tried idol worship. I noticed that it was dragging me back instead of taking me forward and I was compelled to give it up too.
These things could not quench my thirst. This period of confusion went on till the age of 14. I was praying all the time for a good and capable master and decided that if I went at all with this idea to anyone I would definitely accept him as my Master.
At about the same age I developed a peculiar instinct by which I was able to recognise my clothes by smell. This developed to the extent that at the age of 14 I could know the character of a man by the smell of his perspiration.
Sometime later, I became interested in philosophy and began to think out the problems in my own way. It was at the age of 15 or 16 that I wanted to read philosophical books. I ordered Mill’s “Utilitarianism” and went though a few pages of the book. A thought arose in my mind that if I studied such books I would be lost. I closed the book and put it aside, and developed my own thinking. From my very childhood whoever saw me, whether he was a relative or a public man, thought me to be a dunce. I had a very unassuming nature and it is still there, but the phase is changed. Now people think me to be a simple man.
At the age of six I started studying under a tutor. A year later, I contracted typhoid and took about a year to recover. During the interval of illness I forgot all I had read upto that time – and it is still surprising to me how it happened that I forgot everything – and my mind was like a clean slate.
My school life was dotted with failures, the chief cause being mathematics. I spoiled my whole career. My tutor used to give me some homework. The questions in arithmetic I always procrastinated. I now give a ridiculous story about myself. Once it happened that I did not solve the questions.
I began to think, “Now I shall be beaten by the teacher because I have not worked out the questions.” In order to avoid the beating, I put my finger in a hole in the wall where there was a wasp-hive, to get stung by the wasps. When the tutor came, I told him that I could not solve the questions because wasps had stung me. I was saved from punishment but, I tell you, the beating of the teacher would not have been so troublesome as the sting of the wasp was. When I reached the age of 16, love for literature – English, Urdu and Persian – developed. Geography was my hobby and I read volumes on that subject. Really speaking, upto that age I was not at all interested in reading.
In all my work honesty is paramount. Once I found a rupee in the school compound. I handed it over to the headmaster to give it to the person who had lost it. He was elated with joy and sent out a slip to all the classes, praising my honesty. During my school days I used to go to the school riding a horse which my father had purchased for me. I was greatly interested in riding. I practiced riding even without a syce (groom).
During this period of education a mesmerist friend of mine used to treat people for diseases. I felt interested, and began to think of the basic point which the mesmerists develop. I came to know that it is nothing but concentration and movement of energy for some work, pregnant with thought. Some time later, a relation of mine came to me and told me he was also a mesmerist. I requested him to teach me the art. But he was not going to teach me so easily unless the old ways of service to him were adopted by me. I told him. “When you come next, I will teach you mesmerism without doing any practice.” Since my brain had become philosophical and correctness was also there with its help I started curing patients, but not on any large scale. When the relation of mine came again, I told him, “What I can do you cannot; test me if you wish.”
It happened once during my school days that my headmaster suffered from severe colic pain. I caught hold of his thumbs with my hands, putting my thumbs on his, and passed “electricity” for a minute with the suggestion “you are alright now.” Immediately the pain ceased and the patient went to sleep. From then on, if any boy got hurt in games he would be sent to me for healing.
I was a good hockey player and was captain of the class team. Once at school during a leisure period the headmaster refused to issue games equipment, and I gave up games for good.
It was my good luck that during my schooling, the teachers used to love me very much and always extended their hands to help me whenever required. Since I was interested in philosophical matters. Dynamics of the mind was a characteristic of the essays. My English teacher was also a philosopher, and he was surprised how I could write such philosophical thoughts which he had read in his B.A. Class. This thinking has helped me much in taking up research work in Yoga in my present spiritual career.
I have given the results of the research work in books, articles and letters. At Sitapur there was a good gathering and I suggested that the saints of India should take up research in Yoga, which has not so far been done. Research work is not very difficult but people find it difficult. The first criterion is that the worker must be a Yogi of high calibre, with full experience and knowledge of all the super- conscious states. The thinking should be correct. Even if you think only a little that must be correct and the signal of the heart should verify it. People do not care to find out what the Divine instruments for the work are. Mind thinks and heart gives signals for its correctness. The heart gives signals of different nature. To understand them is rather difficult. So far I could not find words to express this thing satisfactorily. But if a man practices he will ‘know’ the nature of it. It has come to my experience that every living organ of the body itself speaks when you concentrate over it. Concentration is one of the instruments for revelation only. You cannot ‘get God by concentration. In concentration you are one pointed to a certain object, while in meditation your sub-conscious only waits for something. Since your thought is for the Divine, you wait for Divinity.
Some persons say that conscience is their Guru and they follow it. Conscience is made up of Manas or mind, Buddhi or intellect, Chitta or consciousness, and ahamkar or egoism. Unless all these are purified and come into balance, conscience cannot give the True Voice. So purity is needed in all the faculties of the mind. People may try to do research work on this. I am telling you something very good. Suppose you are thinking something out for a solution and you know a little, but correct, at that time. Keep that idea in the sub-conscious mind and the problem will get solved. You can have the verification after solving it. Meditate at the point where the True Picture of Reality is seen and your heart will be thoroughly satisfied.
I predicted some things during my boyhood and they came true. For the interest of the readers, I tell how a man can predict the things to come after hundreds of years. In the left part of the head there is a super-conscious state which gives answers to every question. I had discussed this in my book “Efficacy of Raj Yoga in the light of Sahaj Marg”. Anyone who thinks about coming events directing his thoughts to that spot will “know”. The thinking should be without any pressure of the will, and in a natural way. If he applies pressure the effort becomes unnatural, and the result is grossness. This method should be adopted very calmly. Piety is also needed for this method.