Astonishingly, Tara seemed to feel it necessary to reduce Master’s claim to the high status he had attained by removing any statement that appeared to her too strongly self-affirmative. Perhaps her policy strikes me all the more strongly because it was toward the end of his life that I myself came to him. I often heard him speak freely on the subject of his own oneness with God.
a) Daniel Boone, a monk disciple, once asked Master in my presence (this was in May 1950) about a saint who had appeared to him some years earlier in Encinitas. Our Guru replied, “I don’t know to whom you refer.”
Boone then added, “It was on the bluff in Encinitas, Sir, overlooking the ocean.”
Master responded, “Well, so many saints come to me. How can I remember which of them you mean?”
I, in my ignorance, expressed surprise at his answer. Master then said to me, “Why be surprised? Wherever God is, there His saints come.”
Master was equating himself, in other words, with God—even as Jesus did. Indeed, Master on another occasion had remarked to me, “When you are one with God, you are God.”
I submitted this conversation to the editorial department in response to their request for material for a book of Master’s sayings. The book was later published under the name, The Master Said. Tara, however, in editing it, did not like Master’s (to her) unacceptable claim. When the book appeared in print, I found Master’s statement changed from, “Wherever God is . . .” to read, “Wherever a devotee of God is. . . .”
Well, I too am a devotee of God, but I cannot claim ever to have been so pestered!
Tara wanted Master to appear humble, but I think she never understood the very important truth that humility need not be self-deprecating: its nature is self-forgetfulness. Tara herself, as I’ve already indicated, was always strongly self-affirmative. The truth is, however, that the Master during his last years often spoke to us quite openly of the state he’d attained: that of oneness with God.
b) Much of Master’s greatness shines out in his delightful sense of humor. To Tara, and perhaps also to others among the SRF leadership, that delightful aspect of his nature evidently seemed an improper want of dignity, for they have done their best to remove every sign of it. Here is an example of what I mean:
In the first edition of Autobiography of a Yogi, Master wrote: “It was simplicity itself to discover when [Sri Yukteswar] had awakened: abrupt halt of stupendous snores.” In a footnote to this sentence he wrote: “Snoring, according to physiologists, is an indication of utter relaxation (for the oblivious practitioner solely) [italics mine].” In later editions, that humorous aside, “for the oblivious practitioner solely,” does not appear. Evidently it was considered improper for a great master to have made such a lighthearted remark.
c) An ex–SRF nun made the statement to me and a few Ananda members that SRF actually edited out Master’s own laughter from recordings of his voice.
d) In the next chapter, I will point out other examples of important changes.