Trailanga Swami from Autobiography of a Yogi

[Babaji Maharaj
(Hariakhan Maharaj) (?-?) was Guru to

Lahiri Mahasaya (1828-1895) was Guru to

Sri Yukteswar (1855-1936) was Guru to

Paramahansa Yogananda (1893-1952)]

Lahiri Mahasaya had a very famous friend, Trailanga Swami,
who was reputed to be over three hundred years old. The two yogis often
sat together in meditation. Trailanga’s renown is so widespread that few
Hindus would deny the possibility of truth in any story of his astounding
miracles. If Christ returned to earth and walked the streets of New York,
displaying his divine powers, it would cause the same awe among the people
that Trailanga created decades ago as he passed through the crowded lanes
of Benares. He was one of the siddhas (perfected beings) that have cemented
India against the erosions of time.

[Trailanga Swami]

On many occasions the swami was seen to drink, with no
ill effect, the most deadly poisons. Thousands of people, including a few
that are still living, have seen Trailanga floating on the Ganges. For
days together he would sit on top of the water or remain hidden for very
long periods under the waves. A common sight at Manikarnika Ghat was the
swami’s motionless body on the blistering stone slabs, wholly exposed to
the merciless Indian sun.

By these feats Trailanga sought to teach men that human
life need not depend on oxygen or on certain conditions and precautions.
Whether the great master was above water or under it, and whether or not
his body challenged the fierce solar rays, he proved that he lived by divine
consciousness: Death could not touch him.

The yogi was great not only spiritually, but physically.
His weight exceeded three hundred pounds: a pound for each year of his
lifer As he ate very seldom, the mystery is increased. A master, however,
easily ignores all usual rules of health when he desires to do so for some
special reason, often a subtle one known only to himself.

Great saints that have awakened from the cosmic mayic
dream and have realized this world as an idea in the Divine Mind, can do
as they wish with the body, knowing it to be only a manipulatable form
of condensed or frozen energy. Though physical scientists now understand
that matter is nothing but congealed energy, illumined masters have passed
victoriously from theory to practice in the field of matter control.

Trailanga always remained completely nude. The harassed
police of Benares came to regard him as a baffling problem child. The natural
swami, like the early Adam in the garden of Eden, was unconscious of his
nakedness. The police were quite conscious of it, however, and unceremoniously
committed him to jail. General embarrassment ensued; the enormous body
of Trailanga was soon seen, in its usual entirety, on the prison roof.
His cell, still securely locked, offered no clue to his mode of escape.

The discouraged officers of the law once more performed
their duty. This time a guard was posted before the swami’s cell. Might
again retired before Right: the great master was soon observed in his nonchalant
stroll over the roof.

The Goddess of Justice wears a blindfold; in the case
of Trailanga the outwitted police decided to follow her example.

The great yogi preserved a habitual silence. In spite
of his round face and huge, barrel-like stomach, Trailanga ate only occasionally.
After weeks without food, he would break his fast with potfuls of clabbered
milk offered to him by devotees. A skeptic once determined to expose Trailanga
as a charlatan. A large bucket of calcium-lime mixture, used in whitewashing
walls, was placed before the swami.

“Master,” the materialist said, in mock reverence, “I
have brought you some clabbered milk. Please drink it.”

Trailanga unhesitatingly drank, to the last drop, the
quarts of burning lime. In a few minutes the evildoer fell to the ground
in agony.

‘Help, swami, help!” he cried. ‘I am on fire! Forgive
my wicked test!”

The great yogi broke his habitual silence. “Scoffer,”
he said, “you did not realize when you offered me poison that my life is
one with your own. Except for my knowledge that God is present in my stomach,
as in every atom of creation, the lime would have killed me. Now that you
know the divine meaning of boomerang never again play tricks on anyone.”

The sinner, healed by Trailanga’s words, slunk feebly

The reversal of pain was not a result of the master’s
will but of the operation of the law of justice that upholds creation’s
farthest swinging orb. The functioning of the divine law is instantaneous
for men of God-realization like Trailanga; they have banished forever all
thwarting crosscurrents of ego.

excerpt from Autobiography of a Yogi

©1946 by Paramahansa Yogananda

This book is available from:

Self-Realization Fellowship

Autobiography of
a Yogi

The Life of
Paramhansa Yogananda

and Inspiration:

from the writings of Paramahansa Yogananda

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