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Date Posted: 11:37
Author: Mike Drake - 8 Jun 2001
Subject: Re: Taking the Discussion Further
In reply to: ketch - 8 Jun 2001 's message, "Re: Taking the Discussion Further" on 11:37

Ketch,

Readers skeptical of my account can look at the L.A. Times obits/articles of March 8 and 9 (Saturday and Sunday), 1952, and probably elsewhere. I did not make photocopies. (Unfortunately, there is very little detail beyond what I recounted in my last post.)

I took the very circumstances of Yogananda's death as evidence of his lack of prescience. (Is it standard practice for an enlightened being to opt to expire publicly, during a ceremony, after giving an (ostensibly) unrelated speech? Does that even make any sense?)

I'm not sure what independent information suggests Yogananda's death was "instantaneous," or even whether the temporal boundries of Yogananda's death throes are an important consideration. (It also seems unlikely to me that coroner's routinely enter "heart failure" where the actual cause of death is unknown; but be that as it may. . .) In any case, and as you yourself said, the immediate accounts provided by the papers would have to be accorded considerably more weight than disciples' reactions and remarks (perhaps later colored by the revisions of memory, or by the institutional filters of SRF).

Also, I did not say that Yogananda's early death is relevant to the quality of his teachings*; I said only that it was relevant to the claim of incorruptibility.**

Finally, your candor regarding "blind faith" is admirable. (I still think such faith is a bad idea, though!)

_________
NOTES

* Of course Yogananda's early death would be relevant, however, if he ever claimed that following his teachings would increase longevity. Did he ever so claim?

**A minor correction: I said that genuine incorruptibility is dubious, not merely rare.

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