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Date Posted: 11:45
Author: ketch - 12 Jun 2001
Subject: Re: Taking the Discussion Further
In reply to: Mike Drake - 11 Jun 2001 's message, "Re: Taking the Discussion Further" on 11:43

I have often noticed that sceptics in many fields often exhibit just as much prejudice and irrationality as believers. For example sceptics often say there is "no evidence" of something when what they should say is that there is "insufficient evidence" or "inconclusive evidence".

In your post you make at least two statements which are only opinions, and write as if they were facts.

"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). "

You were not present when these remarks were supposedly made, you do not know whether these stories are false or not. This is just your assumption, nothing more.

"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."

Again the "erroneous assumption" is your opinion only. This may seem pedantic, but please remember that we are discussing things which people here consider sacred. Please feel free to express your opinions as you see fit, but do not be disrespectful of other peoples sincerely held beliefs.

On the question of whether or not Yogananda was about to introduce another speaker. The gathering was presided over by Congressman D.S. Saund, president of the India Association. Dr Saund had delivered an introductory speech himself and then introduced the next speaker, a Mr John Anson Ford. After Mr Ford had finished his speech it was Dr. Saund who introduced the next speaker, one Colonel Steinberg. Yogananda spoke after Colonel Steinberg. My source for this information is an SRF publication, which you may consider unreliable, however it appears from the account that it was Dr. Saund who was doing the introductions.

"An expert already determined the cause of death: heart failure."

No. One doctor (probably a general medical practitioner rather than a specialist) wrote on the death certificate his opinion of the most likely cause of death. It was probably based soley upon the symptoms or lack of them, and not confirmed by a thorough post mortem (I do not know this for sure, but I have never read anything to suggest that e.g. the body was opened up and the heart examined). If we accept for one moment that it is possible for a yogi to leave the body voluntarily, the doctor would not have the slightest idea what symptoms to look for in such a death, and the doctor would have been unlikely to write "Mahasamadhi" on the death certificate. If you want an experts opinion as to whether or not Yogananda had left his body by Yogic power you would need the expert opinion of someone who had studied yoga, not someone who had studied medicine.

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