Like Steel

[Listen to Asha read this story]

(Told by Karuna)

I was introduced to Swamiji by my wife, who was already a dedicated devotee. Naturally she hoped I would be as enthusiastic about him as she was. She is American, but I’m from Australia. “Down under” we don’t much like authority figures and I was more than a little skeptical.

Swamiji was giving a talk in Sacramento. She persuaded me to go hear him and somehow got me to sit with her right in the front row, although I would much rather have been in the back of the room.

In the middle of his lecture, Swamiji started talking about his own physical strength. Maybe it was because I was pretty macho then, young and strong, and he was responding to what was important to me.

“When I was younger,” he said, “I could stand on one leg with the other leg extended straight out in front of me and do a one-legged deep knee bend all the way to the floor, ten times in a row. I stopped at ten, not because I couldn’t do more, but because that seemed like enough.

“About the only exercise I get now is pushing a pencil, but because of Master’s Energization Exercises, I am still as strong as ever.”

Then he looked right at me and said, “Would you like to feel the strength of my muscle?” He lifted his arm and flexed his bicep.

I am very shy. I didn’t even like sitting in the front row, what to speak to going up on stage in front of everyone. There was no choice, however, so I went up and put my hand on his bicep.

What a shock! I’ve never felt anything so hard. There was no give at all. I know it sounds like a cliché, but his muscle felt like a piece of steel.

Even more impressive, though, was the power I felt flowing out of him—and into me. Just touching Swamiji’s arm put me into an altered state of consciousness. I could hardly speak or walk. I mumbled something like “Yes, that’s quite a muscle,” as I staggered back to my seat.

Swamiji went on with his lecture but I hardly heard a word he said. I was in a daze, completely overcome by what I had experienced. My wife was right: Swamiji is no ordinary man. And whatever it was that made him so different, I was determined to learn more about it.

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