In chapter 18 of The Autobiography of a Yogi, there’s a footnote that reads, “I do not recall the name of Sri Yukteswar’s friend, and must refer to him simply as ‘Babu’ (Mister).” — Until I read this note the chapter was fine; after reading this comment it hit me — why did Master not recall the name and use it? Everywhere he made sure that the names and details are there. Please help me understand. I felt if he wanted to use the name — he could have. But why he didn’t?
—Darshan Pawargi, India
It’s difficult to know what Yogananda had in mind in this instance in using the general term, “Babu.” Perhaps he really did not recall the man’s name, or perhaps he never knew it, or maybe he didn’t clearly hear the name from Sri Yukteswar.
Here’s an interesting thought: it’s also important to understand that a Master such as Yogananda may not always adhere to the image of what we think a Master should be, or how he “should” act in this world. We may assume that a Master would remember a simple thing such as a man’s name, but who knows, maybe he’s indicating through this example that we need to move past our impressions and tune into what is really important: the consciousness behind his personality.