This book on Yogananda’s history doesn’t quite seem complete without the telling of some adventurous and mysterious saga: with kings, queens, knights, tragedy and victory. So here is one, simply for the reader’s enjoyment. Well…. maybe only those whose nature is a bit playful will enjoy it. Others (the more serious readers) might wrinkle their eyebrows, but that’s ok too.
So here the Saga begins:
Once upon a time…..
when men and women were becoming blind to the true and noble beauty of the Lord’s earth, a great and mighty warrior-king appeared from the ancient Oriental lands, and began conquering the Western world. His mission, given to him by his wise father and forefathers, was to establish a new and glorious kingdom. It was a mighty task indeed.
He appeared alone, when he was still young, but his radiant force was such that still today many a story is being told about his matchless valor: thousands were conquered, for his heart was truly mighty, noble, majestic, and also deeply wise. Light sparkled joyfully in his large, beautiful eyes as he went on conquering many lands. He was not tall, but his strength was so amazing that few could even understand it. His kingdom at first started small, but it grew every day as he strode from East to West to fulfill his glorious mission. His mighty sword was ever held high, brilliant, shining, carrying the symbols of wisdom, high-mindedness and indomitable strength.
The citizens of his kingdom were a happy folk, especially because of the ancient rite the King had taught them, which promised everyone complete freedom. A new light entered the citizen’s hearts, and a newfound joy pervaded their lives. It was ray of hope in a world that was often all too dark. It was a new kingdom, more beautiful than anyone had ever seen before.
The King soon established a Great Castle, which at times was radiant with laughter, at times dynamically silent, and at other times fervently busy with so many royal chores. Friendship, freedom, and tolerance could be felt in every corner of the Castle. Great and noble citizens came to live there, to join the King in his great mission.
The King was known to be a man of deep love for all, loving his closest and dearest friends as well as complete strangers. He in turn was deeply loved and admired by many, but, as it always happens, not by all. His enormous success far and wide kindled flames of dark envy in the heart of some of his close friends. The flames grew. Burnt up from within, some finally turned against the King, betrayed him, and even fought bitter wars against him. The King had to suffer periods of deep distress and sorrow, since he ever loved his friends who had now declared to be his enemies.
Still the King’s victories grew. His activities became even more expansive, and his name finally became known all over the world. He wisely established smaller castles throughout the kingdom. He trained people to become majestic themselves, and wrote many a kingly instruction for the benefit of all citizens. His fame expanded, his rite became well-known, and his life-mission was gloriously fulfilled.
Alas, his end finally had to come, and he gave his prosperous kingdom into the hands of a great and mighty son, who had proved to be the closest to the King, among all his sons and daughters. But, as the hand of fate decided it, that worthy son’s life lasted but a little while longer, and the reigns of the kingdom were soon passed on to one of the King’s daughters, who now became the Queen.
The new Queen was beautiful, was a woman of much love, and of complete devotion to her father. She was supported by the high and noble ministers of the court, and by her most intimate inner circle of royal counselors. She also trusted her ordained knights to faithfully carry out her queenly commands.
Her reign was strict, though, and she held the reigns of the kingdom tightly in her hands. Such had been the command of her father to her. Her royal scepter was richly ornamented, and at times she used it in an uncompromising manner. She underlined her position on the mighty throne, declaring to be the only representative of the King in all the world. The various smaller castles of the kingdom were tied to her through strict obedience. The Queen would not in tolerate any disobedience, disloyalty, or willful independence.
Thus it happened that a strong-armed knight, ranking high in the kingdom, highest after the Queen herself, and member of the inner circle, who had been made the “Chief of Knights” by the King himself, was fiercely sent away from the Great Castle, when he was in foreign lands, trying mightily to expand the kingdom’s boundaries. He was branded a traitor, and his once-noble name was from then on broadcasted all over the kingdom as being a disgrace to the King. But that knight recovered and grew strong again, much to the Queen’s displeasure.
More problems arouse for the Queen. Other Lords, far cousins of the same royal family, came invading the kingdom, bringing the same ancient rite which the King had taught. One came from the high Eastern mountains, another from the planes, still another from a far Oriental city. Their battles were successful, and they grew in strength.
Sometimes even wars were fought against them, since the Queen had proclaimed that in all the kingdom she alone was authorized to impart the ancient ritual. Even her knights could do so only in her royal name. She in her heart was a true royal monarch. But the citizens divided: some pledged their faithful unwavering loyalty to her, as the King’s daughter. Some followed other Lords, who more strictly maintained the Eastern tradition. Others turned away completely. Still others merely criticized and complained about the situation and the Queen, while a few were constructive and plentiful in sharing the King’s noble heritage in their own special way.
The Queen grew old. Her race was run. She, as a loyal daughter, had done her very best. The kingdom, however, had not expanded massively under her long reign. Yet she had protected it in all its beauty, so that the King’s name would ever remain a shining light in the whole world. The gardens were blossoming, the lakes were bright, the Castle spotless. The Queen had placed mostly the high ladies of the court in charge, and everyone had been well trained to say “yes” to them, with a smile.
But under the rule of the Queen many a strong, self-motivated knight had been driven away from the Great Castle. Conquering warrior eyes and voices were seldom seen there anymore.
The royal flags, the Queen knew, were conscientiously kept high and impressive, proudly declaring the name of the Great Castle. And the majestic emblem of the King was ever kept bright and polished, in golden color to underline its kingly value and importance.
A royal messenger, which the King himself had started long ago, is still being printed today and is regularly sent out to the citizens throughout the kingdom, but the number of its readers has diminished, as royal scientists have found.
Some valiant warriors within the Great Castle were still youthfully eager to climb their horse, as the King had always done, to fight bravely in the King’s name. But the Queen kept her knights in line, orderly, well-behaved, controlled, their knightly prowess subdued. All was safe for her, and all in place, all was preserved, just as it was when the King was alive… as if time had stopped. And she was content.
What will happen now that the Queen has died? Will the newly-crowned Queen loosen the reigns, and will a fresh and vigorous air breath within the castle walls, even though she is advanced in years? Will the knights again be shining in their valiant armor, as the King had been? Will they be able to match the numerous invading Lords, who act in all God-given creativity and freedom?
If not, the Great Castle might in time become a monument only – the memory of a great and incomparable King – like many other castles of old, which now are but a ruin. Then the other Lords will laugh freely, reigning East and West, saying, “The Queen never understood that the essence of the rite of the King has always been ‘FREEDOM!'”