The Master's spiritual powerSri Yukteshwar, who later became Swami Yogananda’s Guru, was a very close disciple of Shyama Charan Lahiri. One day his dearest friend, Ram, was attacked by cholera. Two doctors tried to save his life, but it seemed that all their efforts were in vain. It was a matter of a few hours before Ram would die.
Yukteshwar ran to his Master, crying to him to save his friend’s life. Shyama Charan Lahiri said to Yukteshwar, “You have doctors. Why do you need me? The doctors will save him. They will be able to do the needful. I don’t have to be involved.”
Yukteshwar went back, full of hope, but gradually his friend’s condition became worse. When it was a matter of four or five minutes before he would die, Ram said to his dearest friend Yukteshwar, “I will be dead in a few minutes. Please tell the Master that I have a last wish. My last wish is that he come and touch my dead body and thus bless me. This will be my last plea to him.” In a few minutes’ time he passed away.
Crying, Yukteshwar went back again to Shyama Charan Lahiri in order to give him Ram’s message. The Master said, “How is Ram?”
Yukteshwar replied, “Please go and see him yourself. This was his last prayer to you: that you would touch his dead body and bless him.”
But Shyama Charan said, “Then why should I go? He is not dead.”
“Yes,” said Yukteshwar, “He is dead. The doctors have pronounced it.”
Shyama Charan Lahiri took some oil from a lamp and said, “Go and put a little bit of this oil into his mouth.”
His friend was dead, but this was the command of the Master, so what else could Yukteshwar do? He went and put a small quantity of the oil that his Master had given him into Ram’s mouth. In a few minutes Ram came to life, saying that he had had a dream in which he saw Shyama Charan Lahiri in a most beautiful form. The Master had said to him, “Ram, why are you sleeping? Get up and come to me.”
Then Ram stood up, put on his clothes and both the friends went to Shyama Charan’s place. The Master said to Yukteshwar, “Now I have taught you how to conquer death. From now on if anybody dies, just take a small quantity of oil and put it into his mouth. I have given you the medicine to conquer death.” Everybody laughed and laughed, because they knew perfectly well that the oil was just an outer gesture, a token, a symbol, whereas the actual gift of life had come from Lahiri.
Commentary: It is only the omnipotent spirituality that can turn impossibility into facile possibility. But spirituality, out of its sheer magnanimity, tries to adopt outer earthly means so that it can convince the physical mind that the truth-principle can be accessible to the human in us. Otherwise, without the least possible hesitation, one can say that it is the spiritual force that in silence turns the impossible reality into clear and certain possibility. Not only that, but afterwards it turns possibility into practical and inevitable reality.
It was the Master’s spiritual power that revived Ram. Otherwise, no matter what kind of oil one puts into a dying man’s mouth, will he survive? It could have been anything. Only to convince the physical mind with a physical object did the Master tell his disciple to use oil. That is why spiritual Masters say, “Do this, do that,” when somebody is sick. Actually, it is their spiritual power which cures, but they know that this will convince the physical mind, so the patient’s physical mind can believe that the Master has true concern for him.