Stories of Gods, Yogis, & Shamans, chap. 2

The Stories of Gods, Yogis, & Shamans


I became enchanted listening to stories of gods, yogis, shamans, and other sometimes bizarre sages. I heard of sadhus performing great austerities, acquiring superhuman powers, called siddhis, attaining great wisdom, and the highest levels of consciousness. Every devotee had stories of superhuman feats that his guru had accomplished.

There was Shri Shri Shri Sivabalayogi, who had remained in perfect yogic absorption for twenty or thirty years, not eating or speaking, and barely breathing. He appeared in public once a year, during the rites of Shiva, when the doors of the temple in which he sat were pulled open. There was Baba Ji, about whom Yogananda wrote. He was hundreds of years old, could appear at several places at the same time, and transport himself in a flash anywhere he wanted to go. There were those who could fly, travel to other dimensions, sit naked all winter on a glacier, enter the bodies of others, heal the sick, and raise the dead. There were those who knew the Truth.

I wanted to meet these extraordinary men, and to understand and experience just what the human possibilities in this Extraordinary World were.

I wanted to know my own possibilities, who I was, and where I belonged. I had to find someone who knew, and who could and would tell me. I was desperate to know how I fit into the cosmic scheme of things. I was determined to find my very own Dharma, my correct path, as I continued to wander through India, looking for clues and ready for anything.