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Date Posted: 11:43
Author: Mike Drake - 11 Jun 2001
Subject: Re: Taking the Discussion Further
In reply to: ketch - 11 Jun 2001 's message, "Re: Taking the Discussion Further" on 11:42

An expert already determined the cause of death: heart failure. This is presumably rather well documented since (as per your own account) two doctors were on the scene to witness all the symptoms.

But even if you set aside the issue of cause of death, the notion that Yogananda voluntarily expired is absurd on its face.

First, Yogananda (on your account) fell to the floor after giving his speech. Yet surely a person voluntarily expiring would set himself in some sort of repose rather than collapsing to the ground - particularly if he wanted to send a message that his death was indeed voluntary.*

Second, Yogananda was one of several speakers at the banquet introducing the Ambassador.** If you ask me, dying is a most peculiar way to introduce an honoree.

You suggest that Yogananda "may have considered it to be immodest to show his powers so openly" (by speaking publicly of his own imminent demise). Yet Yogananda (1) selected a banquet held in honor of the Indian Ambassador to expire, and (2) collapsed after making a speech, making it inevitable that his death would usurp any attention due the banquet's honoree. But point 1 shows that Yogananda was willing to make an open display,*** and point 2 betrays an astonishing immodesty.****

Alternatively, you suggest, Yogananda might not want to have "spoiled things" by talking of his own imminent departure; yet I assure you his expiration "spoiled things" - namely by dying in the middle of an honorific banquet.

Readers may dispose of the glaring logical inconguities as they wish (of course such "freedom" is accorded everyone). But ignoring or charitably papering over an absurdity does not make it any less absurd.

* Either Yogananda wanted to send such a sign or he didn't. If he did, he failed to take the obvious measures to ensure the sign was reasonably clear, as I've discussed. If he didn't, then he would never have told anyone that he was shortly to leave his body. But then these tales of such tantalizingly prescient remarks (allegedly heard by Daya Mata and others and several occasions) are false, and are probably post hoc confabulation (i.e., honestly believed but nonetheless fictional).

** The L.A. Times articles I cited refers to Yogananda's introducing the Ambassador. In any case, at an honorific banquet, all speakers are going to be "introductory" speakers.

*** Either Yogananda's collapse was a manifestation of his volitional power over death or it wasn't. If it was, it surely constituted an open display. (For what could be more open than an honorific banquet held by someone else's organization?) If it was not, then there is nothing to talk about.

**** Please remember that (1) and (2) (and their unflattering consequences) are true only if you grant the erroneous assumption that Yogananda had the power over the time and place of his death.

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