Two Great Masters
We all come as ‘Babes’ in the woods of life forced to learn from our elders whatever they give us through our growth in years. The elders do their part in the form of parents, teachers or gurus. Human development is thus dependent on the quality of learning through these sources. There is no option so far as role of parents is concerned but finding a right teacher or a guru involves intelligent search.
Whole of the humanity has been under the grip of dark ages for thousands of years. Only recently (18/19th Century) it came out of the dark phase of perpetual Yuga Cycle.
While the advent of 19th century brought in golden revolution on the material side ; on the spiritual side it witnessed the coming in of great masters like Ramakrishna Paramahansa, Lahiri Mahasya, Swami Vivekananda and Paramahansa Yogananda.
Swami Vivekananda shook the masses from their head to foot and woke them up from their deep slumber of centuries. In America he became an overnight celebrity with his first speech in the World Parliament of Religions in the year 1893. He was not an official delegate but reached the Parliament per chance or say the Divinity wanted him to get introduced this way. He gave his message of the actual science of yoga, the science of brotherhood of humanity. The world felt aghast with his views.
For reasons known to Divinity, Swami Ji had very short time to live on earth (39 years). The words recorded in his diary on the last day of life viz. 4th July, 1902 are:
“From the very nature of things, it is difficult to understand anything of the world. And now after life-long labour it seems that I have known a little and when I think of giving that knowledge to others, the call has come from Above: Come away, just come away- don’t bother yourself about teaching others. It is not the will of the Granny that the play should be over.”
“Do you think that there will be no more Vivekanandas after I die!—-There will be no lack of Vivekanandas, if the world needs them——-thousands and millions of Vivekanandas will appear—from where, who knows!——-If one governor-general retires, another is sure to be sent in his place by the Emperor.”
Paramahansa Yogananda was, perhaps, sent by the Emperor as the new Governor-General. A deeper study into the works done by Paramahansa Yogananda during his stay for almost thirty years in the West would reveal his exalted stature.
The book ‘Two Great Masters’ brings the lives and teachings of both the masters in an interesting and novel way of a story narrated in the form of a dialogue between three young research scholars. While one scholar is from an affluent family, one is an orphan girl and the other a differently-abled girl on a wheel-chair from a poor family. The book opens up a new horizon to learn the science of yoga.
What is the ‘Science of Yoga’? In short it is to live in harmony with all, in every situation and every circumstance of human lives. It was the dream of both the masters and they lived and died to make this dream happen in the world. With the declaration of one day as the International Day of Yoga on the entire globe the dream of the masters has been realized. It is now for the humanity to keep working on it.
Teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda given to the world through him stand unique in the annals of scriptures and religious science. They are not only practical in method but lofty in purpose. Though profound and all- encompassing in philosophy, they are simple for adoption in
daily life. They are pre-eminently suited to people of all kinds of temperament, cultures and religions. East or West find the teachings as embodiment of their own highest ideals.
An exclusive set of Yoga exercises was developed by Sri Paramahansa Yogananda exactly one hundred years back from now i.e. in 1916. This set of exercises contains 38 exercises to be done in 20 minutes. Yogananda is considered as Master of Yoga in the West. These exercises, known as ‘Energisation Exercises’ are scrupulously practiced, two times a day, in his Society, and have benefited thousands of followers.
Both the masters lived and worked for bringing knowledge and importance of the science of yoga to the humanity. Both of them were unique gifts to mankind. The book unearths the qualities of the masters in teaching the science of yoga and leads the reader to the practical implementation of the teachings in their lives.
Glimpses into the lives of both the masters, as included in the book will give the reader a first hand knowledge about their exemplary life on earth and the reader is bound to get moved to know more and more about them.
The story of the research scholars discussing practical implementation of the teachings brings not only romance but unfolds their intelligence to lead exemplary kind of lives. As mentioned by Shri T.N.Chaturvedi, a Padamvibhushan Awardee, in his ‘Foreword’ to the book, it has been written in an Upanishadic mode and the reader feels carried over with the heroes of the book.
The book brings out an inspiring and interesting character of a differently- abled girl Maria who not only excels in her studies but becomes a guide to hundreds of handicapped people by bringing to their fore the knowledge of the science of yoga. This carries a unique type of message among the lesser fortunate brethren and helps them to stand at par with others.
Wisdom of the masters has been interwoven excellently in the difficult subjects of the ‘Philosophy of Life’, ‘Spirituality’ and ‘Education-Making of a Man’, etc. Besides chapters on Concentration/Art of Listening, A Way of Life for Whole of Human Kind, The Art of Understanding, Towards Excellence in Life, Uniting Humanity through Yog, Meditation, Service to Others, etc. make the reading a valuable handy asset.
There have been innumerable references to both the masters in plethora of literature grown around them during past decades and whosoever has tried to understand them felts rewarded and enriched. I close this review with a message from Justice V.R.Krishna Iyer, former Judge of the Supreme Court of India.
“Yogananda’s philosophy should be reiterated throughout the world: not for Eastern or Western consumption only, but for global consumption; not for this generation only, but for generations to come. Print millions and millions of copies of his works. Spread them everywhere. Persuade people to read them. Persuade people to understand that a sublime and intelligent Soul moves behind the scenes—“