There is no better panacea for sorrow, no better reviving tonic,
and no greater beauty than a genuine smile.–
Paramhansa Yogananda.

A Prankster
(An incident recounted by Paramhansa Yogananda)

In India I kept both the long hair that many yogis grow for spiritual reasons, and a beard. My guru had told me to keep my hair long, so when a fellow passenger on the ship—his name was Rashid; he was a Muslim—said to me, “You should keep either long hair or a beard, for Americans will never accept a scarecrow who sports both!” So then, when he offered to shave off my beard for me, I accepted. Well, he was definitely a prankster! He shaved off half my beard, then went off on his own, leaving me helpless! Maybe two hours passed before he returned, laughing, to relieve me of the other half of my beard!

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Semi-Developed Intuition
(A story by Paramhansa Yogananda)

Once at a farmhouse I met a man who had semi-developed intuition. He bothered everybody with the display of his intuition. He tried it on me several times. Eventually I had an overdose of his semi-intuitional practices and decided to wake him up.

One day, while we were sitting in the farm parlor and the door to the house was closed, we heard footsteps, and I asked my semi-intuitive friend:

“Will you please tell me who is at the door?”

He forthwith replied: “It is my uncle coming home after many years, and he never even wrote me about it.”

The door was opened and the uncle appeared, and when questioned he verified the statement. He said that he had come suddenly without notification. My friend triumphantly exclaimed:

“See, I have fully-developed intuition and not semi-developed intuition as you often say.”

Then I remonstrated: “My friend, beware. You will make a horrible blunder some day. You have a little intuition, but you have not practiced the technique of developing it to the extent that you can really depend upon it.” He laughed at me, but soon I had the occasion to laugh at him. My mischievous prayer was answered.

One dismal, rainy day, we were again sitting in the farm parlor when suddenly there was a loud knock on the closed door. I said to my friend: “Now use your semi-intuition and tell me who is knocking.” He concentrated for a moment, then said: “My brother has unexpectedly arrived. Open the door.”

I laughed and replied: “No, not I. I wouldn’t go near the door—my intuition tells me not to. You had better open the door yourself.”

Saying this, I ran to the other side of the room. He opened the door, and in rushed the farm bull with menacing horns, angrily seeking shelter from the rain. My friend jumped aside frantically and the bull ran after me. Of course, I was prepared for it and simply stepped aside, loudly exclaiming: “My friend, your semi-intuition indeed foretold about your “brother” arriving!” (Praecepta Lessons, 1938)

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AUM, Peace, Amen
(From an Ananda Village parent)

At Ananda Village, the prayer at meals ends with the words, ”AUM, Peace, Amen.” One day a little girl, at the end of the family meal, asked a question that had long been on her mind. “Why, Mommy,” she asked, “do we always bless the peas and almonds even when we’re not having any for dinner?”

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“Sri Ram, Jai Ram”
(From Swami Kriyananda)

Years ago I was recording a Sanskrit chant, “Sri Ram, Jai Ram.”  It’s a wonderful chant, and I sang it from my heart—from the heart center. But toward the end of that recording session my energy slipped into the cervical center, which is opposite the throat. The heart center expresses love, but the throat center expresses calmness and expansion. When I sang it from that center I could feel calmness and a sense of expansion in my energy and voice. I said to the engineer, “Let’s record it again,” and I sang the entire song from the throat center.

A friend of mine’s two-year-old child loved this chant, and always wanted to hear the recording. One day when she was scolding him, he looked up at her and said, “Sri Ram, Jai Ram.” He had felt the calmness of the chant and was trying to pacify his mother with that vibration.

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