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A Letter from Mahatma Sri Paramanda Guru Swamiji (Great Soul Saint Supreme-Bliss Teacher Learned Person) to His Brother in India

Vanity Fair, August, 1915, Vol. 4 No. 6, p 63

a-hindu-at-the-polo-grounds.jpg Mahatma Sri Paramanda Guru Swamiji, from a photograph taken in Seringapatam

HONORED Brother: Yesterday I went with a friend to the great temple. It is an oval like the Yoni of the most holy Bhavani, and the cakkras are marked in sand. On these paths the priests run in their mystic dances. There are two kinds of priests. There are the Redsox and the Yanks, according to their tribes. The worshippers sit around in tiers reaching to the sky. Some of the priests are armed with clubs to slay the victims. There is also a white ball, symbolizing the sun. My friend remarked: “The Yanks will get their goat.” I cannot see any goat nor is there an altar to sacrifice a goat!

Now the priests take their stations in the temple, and the ritual begins. One high-priest throws the white balls; this represents the sun traveling throughout he heavens. Another high-priest strikes it with the Mahalingam club, meaning that even the sun is tossed about by the will of God. Many priests representing other gods are stationed according to the places of the planets, as I understand, for my friend says: “It is an all-star team.” The god with the club is a symbol of man, and if the sun, or ball, strike him he is dead; he throws away his club, and walks to his base, that is, he makes the next stage in his incarnations. If he strike the sun far away beyond any planets, he makes the complete circle in his sacred dance. They have an idol here—one McGraw! He is Mahathera.

THE worshippers are full of religion; sometimes the sacred cry changes to a roar as if they wanted something killed. Then, my friend says: “See! He sacrifices himself,” but I do not see him sacrifice himself. He only throws himself down at the feet of a god. But there is no blood; it is not good religion.

The ritual has nine priests of each of the nine planets (there are nine priests of each of the two castes) and for the nine greater gods. After the seventh part all the people rise and make mystic gestures with their arms, out of reverence to the sacred number seven. Aand now the people disperse. they drink of the sacred soma of the country, the gin-rickey, of jinricksha—so called because with it they are wheeled swiftly and surely to Nirvana.

I join in this part of the ceremony also. I grasp the hand of my friend and, on gin-rickeys, we shall peacefully glide into Nirvana.

Your Happy Brother.


Index | Bernard Shaw on Self Effacement | Aleister Crowley: Mystic and Mountain Climber | Vampire Women | The Hokku—a New Verse Form | A Hindu at the Polo Grounds | Colloque Sentimental | With Muted Strings | The Prize Winners of the Hokku Contest | Three Little Prose Poems | The Hokku Winners | Six Little Poems in Prose | The Nonsense About Vers Libre | Three Great Hoaxes of the War | Anna of Havana | To a Brunette | Ratan Devi: Indian Singer | On the Management of Blondes | The Origin of the Game of Pirate Bridge | What’s Wrong with the Movies?

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