Dear friends and well-wishers:
This letter will be, for me, a very important one. I hope it will be important also for you. I believe you will find it interesting, full of (I hope) fascinating news, fun to read, but perhaps also a little shocking.
This Sunday, September 12, will be my 62nd spiritual anniversary. Sixty-two years ago, also on a Sunday, and also on the twelfth of September, 1948, I first met Paramhansa Yogananda, and was accepted by him as a disciple. I have followed him loyally with all my heart ever since then. I have also done my best to serve everyone else, too, in his name.
It seems hardly necessary today, after all the things I’ve done in this life, even to talk about them in this letter. I can, however, give you news of what has happened to and with me this past year. Such, then, will be the thrust of my present letter.
A year ago I met a psychic in Mountain View, California, who told me that I had not yet achieved the full success in my work that I deserved, but that from now on success would come to me.
This year, two days before I left India for Italy last May, I received a prophecy, similar to the Bhrigu Samhita of which many of you have heard.
This May prophecy was written by Agastya, an ancient Indian sage too, whom Paramhansa Yogananda mentioned in Autobiography of a Yogi. Agasthya is thought to be amar (deathless), like our first master Babaji, who still lives in the Himalayas.
The prophecy itself is believed to have been written five thousand years ago, and re-transcribed four hundred years ago into more “modern” Tamil. The copy I read was from archives that are mostly stored in the south of India, but also at a branch office in Gurgaon, near New Delhi.
I found there a palm leaf prophecy for me; it made fascinating reading. The story surrounding it — a violent storm that occurred during the reading, and other related details — I can send you if you are interested. But let me say, for now, that this reading endorsed what that psychic in Mountain View had told me.
In autumn of last year, I began a new community near Pune, in the south of India. There, I wrote two movie scripts, one of which is called, The Wayshower.
I suspect this script presents the only way Autobiography of a Yogi will ever be made into a film, if only because that book has no plot. In my script, many stories are added that do not appear in Yogananda’s autobiography. There are other stories which, I suspect, can be told by no one in the world but me.
I then wrote the script for a movie called, The Answer, which basically depicts the story of my own book, The New Path, regarding my search for truth, and my meeting of and acceptance as a disciple by Paramhansa Yogananda. It also relates many stories, different from those told in The Wayshower, which (again) I alone know, from my life with him.
One day, early this year, finding myself in an idle mood, I picked up The Wizard of Oz, purely for diversion. As I began reading it, and had gone hardly beyond its beginning and that part about the yellow brick road, the inspiration suddenly hit me to write a children’s story of my own. I started doing so immediately, and the words just flowed from my mind as if handed to me on a platter.
The title of this book is, The Time Tunnel. It is about two boys in Romania (in fact, myself and my younger brother) stumbling upon a ruined laboratory while walking through a forest in Transylvania.
They discovered there in a back room a time tunnel which takes them from time into timelessness. From timelessness, they go backwards and forwards in time. In the process I was able to give the reader many valid spiritual teachings in an easy-to-absorb manner, and interpretations of past events (for example, in Egypt and Atlantis), some of which are incapable of proof, but which strike me as not only possible, but probable.
Everyone who has read the book so far has loved it. Even children as young as seven have loved it. In two weeks’ time, I wrote the entire book: a hundred and eighty pages. We are printing this book virtually while you read this letter. About a hundred copies have been printed in advance for readers who would like to read it immediately.
I am currently rewriting this book as a movie script, and hope to finish the job very shortly.
Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, people have shown so much interest in Ananda that I’ve been encouraged to live down here for at least a few months, interrupting my still-intended return to India.
I have, indeed, been astonished to see how different the spiritual scene is here from what it was sixty years ago when I first arrived on it. A few days ago, I attended the premiere of a new movie, “Titans of Yoga,” in which I play a small part.
The thought of myself as a “titan” makes me smile a bit, but I have to say I was amazed and delighted to see what a difference these many years have made in the spirit of the people of Los Angeles, which I deduced from those who attended this premiere.
Even more particularly was I impressed by the yoga teachers I saw in the movie, many of whom I also met in person. They obviously had high ideals, were refreshingly respectful of one another, and were, as I could see also, deeply sincere in their beliefs and teachings. Yoga seems to be moving very rapidly beyond the old “this will slim your hips, girls” days.
On the negative side, I have had also to deal with some bad physical karma. Two weeks ago I fell and hurt my left hip. Because I am on coumadin, a blood thinner, the blow from this fall caused a deep bruise. The pain is perhaps ten times as intense as it would have been had I not been on coumadin.
A few days after the fall, I had to lecture at the Ford Amphitheatre in Los Angeles, to a capacity crowd of 1,200 people. Unfortunately, I had to speak from a wheelchair. By God’s grace, however, I received three standing ovations. The evening was a great success (see sidebar).
Since then, while the pain in my hip has been gradually lessening, another much greater pain has been growing in my spine just behind the heart. I’m seeing specialists in LA this week. Anyway, we’ll soon see.
The final news I’ll share with you is that, against this pain level, which has been reaching an intensity almost unbearable, I have written a hundred-page book called Rescuing Yogananda.
You may read it or not, as you choose, but I think you will find it worth the while to go through it. It is available now online. Very soon it will be available in a print format which can be preordered online immediately. It will reach the bookshops by March of next year.
I might add that this intense pain I have felt, even while I was deeply engrossed in writing this book, has required an almost fierce redirection of energy, which required what seemed like all my will power to do any work at all. The pain was also balanced by deep inner bliss.
Often of late I have felt this bliss, but now that the book is finished, the pain seems to be lessening, and the bliss is becoming so strong as to be, once more, almost unbearable! (What’s going on around here?)
The book will be a bombshell. I have heard too many stories of people who went to SRF and were so put off by the treatment they received there that they have turned away from Yogananda himself. I am here in Los Angeles primarily to help reestablish him in people’s eyes and hearts.
I seriously hope that you will devote time to at least trying to read Rescuing Yogananda. I actually feel the book may change your life. Even if you are not on the spiritual path and not a seeker of truth, the book will help you, each one in a different way, toward a better, more successful, and happy life.
I am sending you this book as a gift, to honor the day I met and was accepted by Paramhansa Yogananda as a disciple. I am sending it also as a gift of love to you, for being my friend and well-wisher.
With love, in divine friendship,