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BABAMANI Sri Sri Swarupananda Paramhansa Deva
BY DR.VIRGINIA MOORE

Dr Virginia Moore wrote only 5 pages ( from 166 to 170) about our Babamani in her book The Whole World Stranger is furnish below for the benefit of the readers.:-------

Dr. Virginia Moore wrote a book entitled The Whole World, Stranger (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1957) about her six-month trip around the world with her sister, Nancy. Judging from the book contents, this trip probably occurred in the January - June 1955 or 1956 timeframe. It was an effort the two sisters hoped would, in some measure, round out their western, partial experience in the world and teach them much which they did not know about
Asia. The trip included stops in Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Bali, South Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Burma, India, Ceylon, Pakistan, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, and Greece. Dr. Moore, who held a PhD from Columbia University in philosophy and religion, was committed to studying the art, philosophy, religion, and meaningful human relationships in each of those countries.


In earlier years,
Moore spent considerable time with Carl Jung and his wife in Switzerland, and Jung's interest in Indian religion was of great interest to her. Her copy of his Pschology and Religion, which is based on a lecture series Jung presented at Yale University in 1937, is full of notes written by Moore about Eastern versus Western religion. It is not surprising then that Moore and her entourage found India intriguing. They spent every waking hour of their India visit out among the people, learning as much as they could about Indian philosophy and religion. During a boat trip from Calcutta to the holy city of Banaras (now called Varanasi), Moore found the thousands of people swarming in and along the Ganges River fasciinating. As she knew from her studies, Hindus believed that the Ganges was both clean and cleansing. Dr. Moore remarked to Chakravorty, her Brahmin guide, that as a protestant, she felt very at home in India. She rued that she might never would have an opportunity to talk to any living holy men. The attentive Chakravorty paused momentarily before responding, "I shall take you to talk to one." In her book, The Whole World, Stranger(pp 166-170), Dr. Moore provides the following account of meeting Sri Sri Swami Sarupananda Paramhamsadevji Maharaj in Banaras, where he was spending the week.

Note: the account is written in first person from Dr. Moore's perspective:

"He is my guru."
"He lives in Ben ---
Banaras?"
"No, Madam. But he is in
Banaras this week. He has just broken a two-year silence."
I thought of Lives of a Bengal Lancer in which an Englishman searches for years before he finds a holy man. But of course, in the case of Chakravorty's teacher, the title might be used only in a loose sense, by indulgence.
I thanked Chakravorty. "What is his name?"
"Swami Swarupananda Paramhamsadevji Maharaj."
I tried to translate. Swami, master or pundit; Swarup, the Self; Ananda, bliss; Paramhamsa -- as in Ramakrishna's title -- the high-flying bird; Maharaja, great prince.
"How old is he?"
"Seventy-six."
"He has followers?"
"Many thousands."
(They took a boat trip on the
Ganges to reach Benares....)
At last the summons came. Chakravorty said that the Swami would receive me on Thursday at
10 A.M., and I could, if I wished, bring my sister and Mrs. Kincaden.
After some hesitation, Nancy and I put on lipstick.
"I'm just what I am, " said Irma. "The Swami can take me or leave me."
The rendezvous to which Chakravorty led us was in a middling-to-poor part of the city: a modest cement house hiding a small patio: home of one of the Swami's disciples.
On the threshold, "If the Swami offers you fruit," said Chakravorty earnestly, "please eat it all." From which we gathered that the practice was ceremonial.
The upstairs room to which we were taken contained a shrine dedicated to the "three-in-one god." This could mean Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, I reflected. Or Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
"Only the undeveloped worship the lesser gods," said Chakrovorty.
Touching his bowed head with clasped hands, the beautiful gesture seen all over
Asia, he made obeisance. We did the same. It was not hard to do, and seemed somehow -- here -- not only natural but inevitable.
Then we sat in three chairs on the porch by the patio, while someone went to fetch the Swami.
I do not know what I expected.
Swami Swarupananda entered with a luminous smile, parent of Chakravorty's. Though he had long white locks and beard, he did not look seventy-six; nearer fifty-six. He was dressed loosely in spanking clean white linen robes, and sandals. Rising, we performed the Hindustani salutation of respect.
Chakravorty went further, kneeling and bowing himself to the floor. His homage had no reservations.
When we were presented the Swami said in a rich voice (a person lives in his voice), "You are welcome."
I cannot record all the conversation of the next hour and a half. Chakravorty had melted into the background, and Nancy and Irma sat largely silent.
"Philosophy," said the Swami, "began when a Master's disciples blundered in trying to express in worlds what he had experienced not discursively, but immediately."
It was so.
When at one point I remarked that, for many Westerners, God stayed off in the distance, he answered, "God is in every atom."
But what Swami Swarupananda said was less important that how he said it, backing up, underwriting, each statement with what he was. And always he smiled. There was no doubt about it; this bachelor was transparently, overflowing, invincibly happy; his out-giving tremendous.
"Praising God is a joy."
I thought of John's words, "Let that joy be in you which was also in Christ Jesus."
Once he touched lightly on his life. As a little boy he had asked his mother what the train said. "Find out yourself," she had replied. So he had listened and listened. "Jaka-jaka, jaka-jaka--the more you give, the more you have."
It was clear that, in spite of an education so thorough it included all the physical sciences as well as all types of yoga, the man had kept an innocent heart.
Once he stopped as if in surprise, saying, "I see my mother in you."
Then he spoke of meditation as a practical need of mankind.
"It develops other forces than those of the brain: higher faculties. One should meditate without asking for results; let all one's energy flow into it."
Then, suddenly, as if the two were related, "For a nation the most important fact is character-building." The great thing was to grow in unselfishness and live communally. How else live our love? "Love is the paramount power -- we must embrace the whole world."
Was that the key to Chakravorty's pleasure in the kirtan?
I tried, then, falteringly, to tell the Swami how, little by little, step by step, here a thought and there an insight, like most people, I had grown in my understanding of the meaning of love, but knew I had touched only the fringe--the hem--
"Love," he said in a low voice, "the cause and the result."
A disciple brought in dishes of fruit, one each for Nancy, Irma, and myself, on which lay pieces of peeled plum, orange, guava, and banana arranged precisely, with sweetmeats. The eating was a formality.
Afterwards I said, "Being full of joy, you communicate it."
He sat silent for awhile. Then, "If I may speak my heart, I am full of joy because I have found my true self. In vain do people search for happiness in the external world? Even so, the fact that they search at all shows what we human beings are inalienably." He searched with his eyes. "Are you your body?"
"No."
"Are you your mind?"
"No."
"What are you?"
"I am -- I."
"What is 'I'?
"It goes deep."
"Exactly: a transcendental thing."
When Nancy, Irma, and I started to put our hands together in a salutation of farewell, he would not have it so. If West could go East, East could go West. We shook hands.
Said the Swami earnestly, "We shall meet again."
During the next few days, his remembered wisdom was like piano chords underneath a running melody.

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