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The question is often asked in Europe and even more in America why, if the yogis possess any special power, do they not make any marked improvement in the material environment of the masses? This question is soon followed by several others. Why did their intuition not rise and tell them to warn leaders of the Mutiny of 1857 that the movement would end in failure, and thus save many thousands of their countrymen from death and mutilation? Why did they not use their supernatural powers to hypnotize, or at least to frighten away from their sacred land, the first fierce Muhammedan invaders more than a thousand years ago? Why did they not give ample warning to the ill-fated peasants of the coming of historic famine, so that they might make proper preparation in adequate time to save themselves, their unfortunate families, and their helpless cattle? Either they possessed these powers or they did not. If they possessed them and did not use them to help their suffering fellows, then they were lacking in the first elements of common humanity. If they did not possess them, why do they still go on making extravagant claims to such powers?

It is not for me to answer these questions on behalf of the Indian yogis. They themselves might give different replies. I can only guess at some of the possible ones.

-- Notebooks Category 15: The Orient > Chapter 2: India > # 209

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