[2nd President and Spiritual Head: the Ramakrishna Centre of South Africa]
From Mother Radha's recordings of Swamiji
Do you know how Prana [universal life-force] was discovered? You see, one yogi got his disciple [chela: follower/devotee/student] and made him from very young, grow up in an ashrama [monastery] where only monks [sannyasis] lived. Only monks. And this pure boy grew up, seeing only pure men. And when he became about twenty five [he was now a sannyasi – monk] , his guru [spiritual preceptor] said, 'I'll send him to the village to go and beg [for food - madhukari bhiksha, collected a little from each house the way a bee collects pollen from flowers] today.'
He went to the village and knocked on one door. A beautiful girl came out. He looked at her beauty and then he noticed her breasts. In total innocence he asked, 'What is that?' She felt very shy and went back inside the house. She went and told her mother, 'This sannyasi is talking nonsense. He asked me this question. The mother was a real mother and she understood what had happened. He's a sannyasi and he does not know. She came to the door and asked him, 'What happened my child?'
He asked frank questions, 'But why are you different (i.e. have breasts?). Why are you like this. The woman loked at him and said, 'My son, God is so great – like you have come here for food, that means this food is yours already. But God provided provided food for you even before you came to birth. That means when you were in your mother's womb, he made your mother's breasts full of milk. Before you could even come here, he provided your food. So just as he provided your food, he must have provided a shelter. So everything he has provided.
So this man [monk] said, no I don't want your bhiksha [food offering]. And he got all his prana under control. And from inside he was vitalised. He didn't go [any longer] to beg, he didn't struggle for shelter because he was in samadhi [spiritual super-conscious state]. A man in samadhi, how can he live without food? But he lives without food. He doesn't have to eat. His body does not die. Though they cannot register the heartbeat but still the man is living.
In India they were excavating in the Himalayas. In many places when they dug the sand the man's body [exposed by the digging] was cut and blood was oozing and they wanted to know, how many hundreds of years that fellow must have been sitting there?
Devotee: How are they capable of getting sustenance, Swamiji?
Swamiji: They take it direct – they extract it from Akasha [the subtle matter of the universe]. Some people make me laugh. They say, 'We eat flesh, that means we eat grass, because the sheep eat the grass.' And this fellow said, 'Well why don't you go and eat the grass [directly]? Why must you eat the sheep? [Swamiji laughing] Get it direct. [devotees laughing heartily]. Why don't you get it direct?
Now [in order] not to give those senses a chance, or [allow] the mind to be agitated, you eat those things that keep your mind calm. So you [can] easily meditate and send it towards God. In reality, whilst killing is there, with five elements and feeling and all that - but in reality whatever you eat you must eat to control your mind. We are not such hard and fast people. Actually, in Lord Buddha's time they made this ideal of not eating meat and all those thing. But before that, five Brahmins used to finish [eat] one cow. [i.e. they were meat-eaters]
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