Saturday, July 18, 2015

Hi, all,

Yogananda uses so many delicious words in his Autobiography of a Yogi!


I had fun discovering the meanings of many I didn't know, and thought you might enjoy knowing them too.  :-)


The version referenced is his original 1946 edition (book) (free online).


Chapter 2:  Mother's Death and the Amulet

p.16:  Her words brought final healing to my suppurating (festering) wounds.
p.20:  While our family was in Lahore, one morning the servant came precipitantly (hastily) into the room.

Chapter 3:  The Saint with Two Bodies

p.23:  I felt abashed (disconcerted) at his pauciloquy (economy of words); he had not yet told me how I could meet Father's friend.
p.24:  "Before I could remonstrate (object), he dashed swiftly past me and disappeared in the crowd."

Chapter 4:  My Interrupted Flight Toward the Himalayas

p.29:  "Leave your classroom on some trifling pretext, and engage a hackney (horse-drawn, enclosed taxi) carriage."
p.30:  For months we had been saving our tiffin (snack, or 2nd lunch) money to buy English clothes.
p.35:  He and his son were gazing at me lugubriously (in an affectedly sad manner).
p.39 (footnote):  The ancient four Vedas comprise over 100 extant (surviving) canonical (religious) books.   
p.40:  "The taciturn (disinclined to speak) guru often gave this instruction to a nearby disciple."
—"Please make a supplication (humble request)."

Chapter 6:  The Tiger Swami

p.51-52:  He seemed in a didactic (instructive) mood; Chandi and I listened respecfully.

Chapter 7:  The Levitating Saint

p.64:  I chuckled over this paradoxical view of renunciation—one which puts the cap of Croesus (6th-century king of Lydia renowned for his wealth) on any saintly beggar, whilst transforming all proud millionaires into unconscious martyrs.

Chapter 9:  The Blissful Devotee and his Cosmic Romance

p.77:  No words of chastisement passed his lips; no rule and ferule (ruler with wide end, used for punishment) maintained his discipline.
—"Sir, please wear this champak (perfumey variety of magnolia) garland I have fashioned especially for you."
p.79:  Temporarily absent from the body, I soared in a supernal (celestial) visit.
p.82:  But ever enshrined in memory is the seraphic (pure; highly angelic) son of Divine Mother—Master Mahasaya!
—Trying with poor words to do justice to his benignity (gentle kindness), I wonder if Master Mahasaya, and others among the deep-visioned saints whose paths crossed mine, knew that years later, in a Western land, I would be writing about their lives as divine devotees.

Chapter 10:  I Meet my Master, Sri Yukteswar

p.84:  The simple words conveyed divine promise to my ears; with alacrity (brisk eagerness) I visited my friend's home.
p.90:  These halcyon (calm) eyes, in leonine (lion-like) head with pointed beard and flowing locks, had oft peered through gloom of my nocturnal reveries, holding a promise I had not fully understood.
—With an antenna of irrefragable (irrefutable) insight I sensed that my guru knew God, and would lead me to Him.

Chapter 11:  Two Penniless Boys in Brindaban

p.97:  Jitendra maintained a lugubrious (gloomy) silence as our train covered the miles.
p.99:  Rather than "meal," the description can only be "sumptuous (splendid and expensive-looking) repast (feast)."
p.99-100:  "How can we see the sights of this city, without a single pice (cent) between us?"
p.102:  Illumination from the dome falls on the cenotaphs (empty tombs; monuments erected to honor those whose remains are elsewhere) of Emperor Shah-Jahan and Mumtaz Mahall, queen of his realm and his heart.

Chapter 12:  Years in my Master's Hermitage

p.105:  "My ears were deaf to offers of pets with more prepossessing (attractive) appearance."
p.106:  My readers have doubtless made the perspicacious (keenly perceptive) surmise that I was little seen in the college classrooms.
p.117:  But his simple speech hid vatic (prophetic) power.
p.118:  He had not found any insuperable (insurmountable) obstacle to mergence of human with Divine.
p.122:  Though Sri Yukteswar's undissembling (frank) speech prevented a large following during his years on earth, nevertheless his living spirit manifests today over the world, through sincere students of his Kriya Yoga and other teachings.
p.123:  It was Master's practice to recount simple, negligible shortcomings with an air of portentous (ominous) gravity.
p.125:  Often I found his silent signature on my thoughts, rendering speech inutile (unneeded).
p.129:  A supercilious (haughty) smile or a glance of amused tolerance occasionally betrayed that the newcomers anticipated nothing more than a few pious platitudes.
p.130:  Yet inveterate (long-standing) egotists sometimes suffered an invigorating shock.
P.132:  "When your conviction of a truth is not merely in your brain but in your being, you may diffidently (hesitantly) vouch for its meaning."

Chapter 13:  The Sleepless Saint

p.135:  A feebly extenuating (fact that lessens a crime) circumstance is that my proposal was made when I had been only six months with Sri Yukteswar.
p.139:  In a burning paddy field I awoke from the monticolous (mountain-based) dreams of eternal snows.
—The saint seated me on the umbrageous (shady) bamboo platform of his small cottage.

Chapter 14:  An Experience in Cosmic Consciousness

p.144:  The divine dispersion of rays poured from an Eternal Source, blazing into galaxies, transfigured with ineffable (beyond description) auras.
—I cognized the center of the empyrean (highest heavenly realm; pure light) as a point of intuitive perception in my heart.
p.145:  The soul must stretch over the cosmogonic (universal) abysses (infinite depths), while the body performs its daily duties.
p.146:  I beheld the multitudinous waves of creation melt into one lucent (shining) sea, even as the waves of the ocean, their tempests subsiding, serenely dissolve into unity.
—Waves of laughter, scyllas (mythological sea monsters that devour sailors alive) of sarcasm, melancholic whirlpools, melting in the vast sea of bliss.

Chapter 16:  Outwitting the Stars

p.166:  I had been prejudiced against astrology from my childhood, party because I observed that many people are sequaciously (blindly accepting) attached to it, and partly because of a prediction made by our family astrologer:  "You will marry three times, being twice a widower."
p.167:  God created each man as a soul, dowered (gifted, bestowed, furnished naturally) with individuality, hence essential to the universal structure, whether in the temporary role of pillar of parasite.
p.169:  It was from my Hindu guru, unknown to the roll call of Christian membership, that I learned to perceive the deathless essence of the Bible, and to understand the truth in Christ's assertion—surely the most thrillingly intransigent (resolute) ever uttered:  "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away."
p.170:  The spinal cord is like an upturned tree, with man's hair as its roots, and afferent (carrying towards, e.g. the central nervous system) and efferent (carrying away from, e.g. the central nervous system) nerves as branches.

Chapter 17:  Sasi and the Three Sapphires

p.175:  Sri Yukteswar's glance was longanimous (patiently restrained).

Chapter 18:  A Mohammedan Wonder-Worker
p.178-180:  I followed him, eager to hear more of the baffling Mohammedan Raffles (A.J. Raffles was the "gentleman thief" character in novels by English author & poet E.W. Hornung).

Chapter 20:  We Do Not Visit Kashmir
p.188:  "This is the third time you have given me the same cock-and-bull (fanciful & unbelievable; from stage coach travellers' gossip and rumour exchanged between two coaching innsThe Cock and The Bull, in Stony Stratford, Englandstory."
p.189:  I was equally grieved and obdurate (stubbornly persistent). "I will not give Father a third chance to ridicule my chimerical (wildly imaginative, implausible) plans for Kashmir."
p.190:  I felt like a recalcitrant (stubbornly unwilling) child who is determined to defy his masterful father.
—My retreat from the courthouse office was more alacritous (speedy) than dignified.
—Conviction was growing on me that some sufficient if exceedingly recondite (deliberately obscure) motive was behind Master's attitude.

Chapter 21:  We Visit Kashmir

p.200-201:  Many people imagine that every spiritual master has, or should have, the health and strength of a Sandow (Eugen Sandow, 1867-1925, a German pioneering bodybuilder known as the "father of modern bodybuilding").

Chapter 24:  I Become a Monk of the Swami Order

p.218:  These dasanamis or ten agnomens (in Roman names, the third name, usually indicating a natural characteristic) include the Giri (mountain), to which Sri Yukteswar, and hence myself, belong.
p.221:  In addition to every conceivable ontological (philosophical inquiries into the nature of being) inquiry, the six systems formulate six definite disciplines aimed at the permanent removal of suffering and the attainment of timeless bliss.

Chapter 25:  Brother Ananta and Sister Nalini

p.225:  My companion, the doctor, was observing these proceedings with a sardonic (scornfully mocking, cynical) smile.

Chapter 26:  The Science of Kriya Yoga

p.234:  The scriptures aver (assert the truth) that man requires a million years of normal, diseaseless evolution to perfect his human brain sufficiently to express cosmic consciousness.
p.236-237:  The yogic science is based on an empirical (testable; verifiable by experimentation) consideration of all forms of concentration and meditation exercises.
p.237:  The devotee thus avoids the slow, evolutionary monitors (reproofs, warnings, cautions) of egoistic actions, good and bad, of common life, cumbrous (unwieldily heavy; cumbersome) and snail-like to the eagle hearts.

Chapter 28:  Kashi, Reborn and Rediscovered

p.250:  Silently rebuking myself as an enfant terrible (unconventional, badly-behaved person who causes embarrassment or shock to others)I refused to answer further questions.
—I felt constrained to refuse this difficult occult (mystic) responsibility.

Chapter 29:  Rabindranath Tagore and I Compare Schools

p.258:  In turn, his father, Dwarkanath Tagore, had been celebrated throughout Bengal for his munificent (very generous) public benefactions.

Chapter 30:  The Law of Miracles

p.261:  Nature herself is maya; natural science must perforce (necessarily) deal with her ineluctable (inescapable) quiddity (essence).
p.264:  Reducing the cosmical structure to variations on a single law, Einstein reaches across the ages to the rishis who proclaimed a sole texture of creation—that of a protean (exceedingly variable; from Proteus, god of the sea in Greek mythology) maya.
p.266:  Their imprisoning "rings-pass-not(spiritual growth-limits set by one's own karma, until one evokes increased inner strength and vision to expand beyond them) have yielded to the solvent (solution): "I am He."
p.267:  "The sensitiveness of the retina is so great that a visual sensation can be produced by relatively few Quanta (smallest units) of the right kind of light."
p.268:  The thunder of guns split the air as shots were exchanged between shore batteries (coordinated groups of artillery) and the ship's cannons.  A huge shell hit the powder magazine (ammunition storehouse) and tore my ship asunder.
p.270:  "You will see that these scenes now being enacted in France are nothing but a play of chiaroscuro (light and shade)."
—Lifting my gaze, I noticed that the ceiling was dotted with small mustard-colored lights, scintillating (sparkling) and quivering with a radiumlike (luminescent) luster.

Chapter 31:  An Interview with the Sacred Mother

p.273:  "They bowed at my feet and lo! their refulgent (brightly shining) forms vanished."
p.279:  After weeks without food, he would break his fast with potfuls of clabbered (curdled) milk offered to him by devotees.
—The well-purged (cleansed; freed from sin or guilt) sinner, healed by Trailanga's words, slunk feebly away.

Chapter 32:  Rama is Raised from the Dead

P.282:  "The 'glory' or nimbus (solid disc of light) around the head of the saints is a symbolic witness of their capacity to render divine homage."
p.285:  "There was no causal (one causing another) connection between my two statements."
p.286:  Not cruelty but good will arms the universal sinews (muscles; that which gives strength); a humanity at peace will know the endless fruits of victory, sweeter to the taste than any nurtured on the soil of blood.

Chapter 33:  Babaji, the Yogi-Christ of Modern India

p.293:  Does it matter that we know not the patronymic (ancestral name) of an earth-released master?
p.295:  An avatar lives in the omnipresent Spirit; for him there is no distance inverse to the square (binding physical law; diminishing of power).
—His four reporter-disciples—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John—recorded the ineffable (beyond the ability to communicate fully) drama for the benefit of later generations.
p.297:  "An ethereal (celestial) sensation of beatific (heavenly, blissful) glory thrilled every fiber of my being as I touched his divine flesh."

Chapter 34:  Materializing a Palace in the Himalayas

p.299:  "My office duties were not onerous (burdensome); I was able to spend many hours roaming in the magnificent hills."
p.302:  "All your brothers here join in a paean (joyous expression of praise) of welcome, rejoicing at the end of your long exile."
p.304:  "Our great guru created this palace by solidifying myriads (countless numbers) of free cosmic rays."
—"There are vast worlds all placed away within the hollows of each atom, multifarious (having great diversity or variety) as the motes in a sunbeam."
p.305:  "I smiled at memories of the vanished palace; surely no simple yogi had ever received initiation into the august (awe-inspiring) mysteries of Spirit amidst surroundings of more impressive luxury!"
p.306:  "Yet adamantine (firm, unshakeable, unbreakable) truth rang in his words; I submissively agreed to leave this blessed haven of peace."

Chapter 35:  The Christlike Life of Lahiri Mahasaya

p.311 (footnote):  Reincarnational cycles are a more reasonable explanation for the different states of evolution in which mankind is found, than the common Western theory which assumes that something (consciousness of egoity) came out of nothing, existed with varying degrees of lustihood (bodily vigor; used by Shakespeare in Much Ado About Nothing, Act 5, Scene 1) for thirty or ninety years, and then returned to the original void.  The inconceivable nature of such a void is a problem to delight the heart of a medieval Schoolman (a member of the medieval European school of scholasticism, which combined classical philosophy with Catholic theology).
p.312:  The roles became reversed, because Elijah-John was no longer needed to be the ostensible (outwardly evident) guru of Elisha-Jesus, now perfected in divine realization.
p.312-313:  With tender solicitude the deathless guru swam the Lethean (relating to death or forgetfulness—in Greek mythology, the river Lethe was one of the four rivers of Hades; those who drank from it experienced complete forgetfulness) waters that swirled between the last two lives of his chela, and guided the successive steps taken by the child and then by the man Lahiri Mahasaya.
p.315:  "Though man's ingenuity for getting himself into trouble appears to be endless, the Infinite Succor (aid, assistance) is no less resourceful."

Chapter 36:  Babaji's Interest in the West

p.325:  "Hesitantly following this laconic (using as few words as possible—Laconia was the region inhabited and ruled by the Spartans, who were known for their brevity in speech) advice, I soon found myself near a tree whose branches were sheltering a guru with an attractive group of disciples."
p.329 (footnote):  "To me an ethnologist who speaks of an Aryan race, Aryan blood, Aryan eyes and hair, is as great a sinner as a linguist who speaks of a dolichocephalic (having a head that is long from front to back, relative to its width) dictionary or a brachycephalic (having a head that is short from front to back, relative to its width) grammar."

Chapter 37:  I Go to America

p.336:  One early morning I began to pray, with an adamant (firm; unshakable; unyielding) determination to continue, to even die praying, until I heard the voice of God.  I wanted His blessing and assurance that I would not lose myself in the fogs of modern utilitarianism (the view that the best moral action is that which most satisfies human wants).
p.337:  "Kriya Yoga, the scientific technique of God-realization," he finally said with solemnity, "will ultimately spread in all lands, and aid in harmonizing the nations through man's personal, transcendental (surpassing all others; extraordinary; mystical) perception of the Infinite Father."

Chapter 38:  Luther Burbank—A Saint Amidst the Roses

p.344:  He handed me three leaves, which later I planted, rejoicing as they grew to huge estate (status, condition; also, extensive area of land).

Chapter 40:  I Return to India

p.365:  The boys daily practice their spiritual exercises, engage in Gita chanting, and are taught by precept (rule governing personal conduct) and example the virtues of simplicity, self-sacrifice, honor, and truth.

Chapter 43:  The Resurrection of Sri Yukteswar

p.407:  "These recurrent cycles of astral and physical encasement are the ineluctable (inescapable) destiny of all unenlightened beings."
p.407-408:  "Scriptural definitions of heaven and hell sometimes stir man's deeper-than-subconscious memories of his long series of experiences in the blithesome (happy, lively, carefree) astral and disappointing terrestrial worlds."
p.409:  "Astral desires are thus connected with an astral being's power to precipitate (to make something happen suddenly and quickly) all objects and experiences as forms of light or as condensed thoughts or dreams."
p.410:  "The tiny human soul emerges, free at last; it is one with the Measureless Amplitude (measure of something's largeness; magnitude)."
—"The most colossal imaginative human intelligence is able, in mind only, to range from one extreme of thought to another, to skip mentally from planet to planet, or tumble endlessly down a pit of eternity, or soar rocketlike into the galaxied canopy, or scintillate (sparkle, gleam, flash) like a searchlight over milky ways and the starry spaces."
p.411:  "When a soul is out of the cocoon of he three bodies it escapes forever from the law of relativity and becomes the ineffable (beyond description) Ever-Existent."
p.412-413:  "Beings with unredeemed (unexpiated; not yet cleared or released from debt or blame; unreformed) earthly karma are not permitted after astral death to go to the high causal sphere of cosmic ideas, but must shuttle to and from from the physical and astral worlds only, conscious successively of their physical body of sixteen gross elements, and of their astral body of nineteen subtle elements."
p.414:  For him indeed existed not a single "undiscover'd country from whose bourn (boundary) no traveller returns"! (from Shakespeare's Hamlet, Act III, Scene 1)
p.416:  In this chapter of my autobiography I have obeyed my guru's behest and spread the glad tiding, though it confound once more an incurious (uninterested; apathetic or indifferent)  generation.

Chapter 44:  With Mahatma Ghandi at Wardha

p.420:  Simple Arcadian (having natural, pastoral splendor, harmony with nature, unspoiled wilderness; from the Greek province Arcadia) sounds reached our ears—the cries of crows and sparrows, the lowing of cattle, and the rap of chisels being used to chip stones.
—The Mahatma was already seated under the arcade (a covered passage with a row of arches) of the ashram porch, across the courtyard from his study.
p.423:  "Why the ancient rishis selected the cow for apotheosis (exaltation, glorification) is obvious to me.  The cow in India was the best comparison (that to which, or with which, a thing is compared, as being equal or like); she was the giver of plenty."
p.424:  Bhuta Yajna thus reinforces man's readiness to succor (help, aid) the weak, as he in turn is comforted by countless solicitudes (excessive concerns) of higher unseen beings.  Man is also under bond (morally indebted or obliged) for rejuvenating gifts of nature, prodigal (profuse, lavishly abundant) in earth, sea, and sky.
p.426:  Ghandi duly published an auditing in which he inexorably (unrelentingly) pointed out his wife's four-rupee discrepancy.
p.431:  Not an earth of fear, chaos, famine, pestilence, the danse macabre (Dance of Death; the Grim Reaper leading people to the grave), but one broad land of peace, of prosperity, and of widening knowledge.

Chapter 45:  The Bengali "Joy-Permeated Mother"

p.438:  Her beautiful eyes glanced heavenward and, half-opened, became stilled, gazing into the near-far inner Elysium (paradise; a place or state of ideal happiness).
—Her gentle face was burnished with the ineffable (indescribable) joy that had given her the name of Blissful Mother.
p.440:  She spread her graceful hands in a deprecatory (apologetic; belittling) gesture.
p.441:  Refusing a monotheistic love to God, the nations disguise their infidelity by punctilious (meticulously detailed according to code or convention) respect before the outward shrines of charity.

Chapter 46:  The Woman Yogi Who Never Eats

p.446:  "Full many a mango is born to lie unseen," I paraphrased, "and waste its sweetness on the stony ground." (reference to a line in Thomas Gray's 1751 poem "An Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard":
Full many a gem of purest ray serene,
The dark unfathomed caves of ocean bear:
Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
And waste its sweetness on the desert air.)
p.451:  Simply yet regally she stated this axiomatic (obvious without needing proof) truth, one known too well by a world revolving around three meals a day!
—My tone held a note of remonstrance (objection).

Chapter 47:  I Return to the West

p.456:  The Ford, a bit battered from struggles with ancient soils, was still puissant (mighty); it now took in its stride the transcontinental trip to California.

Chapter 48:  At Encinitas in California

p.463:  Blasé no longer, dear New Yorkers; your hearts had soared out in a simple paean (loud and joyous song; enthusiastic expression of praise) of rejoicing!
p.466:  Under my fingers was the sweet-toned organ of the church, on my lips the yearning plaint (lament; woeful cry) of an ancient Bengali devotee who had searched for eternal solace:
In this world, Mother, none can love me;
In this world they do not know love divine.
Where is there pure loving love?
Where is there truly loving Thee?
There my heart longs to be.
—I understood his laconic (concise and meaningful) question: "Have you been happy in America?"
p.467:  "Brotherhood is an ideal better understood by example than precept (rule)!"
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In Master's joy,
Dambara