The Yogin and the Magician

An adhyatma yogin fell in with a magician travelling the same path, and the magician said to him: `Your yoga is only words. At the end you are only what you were before.  You speak of removing limitations, but you cannot do it.  Now in our path, we do actually remove limitations;  we extend our powers.’ `But you do not remove the limitation of individuality,’ said the yogin, `and while that remains, though you may think you remove some physical limitations, others will be imposed on you, perhaps unconsciously.’  `If they are unconscious, what would it matter?’ retorted the magician.  `Anyhow, we shall see.’

  They came to a river, and could not see any boat.  The magician stood on the bank, muttering certain syllables again and again.  His body began to tremble, and his aspect changed:  he looked as light as a feather.  He threw his straw hat on the mater and stepped on to it.  Spreading the sleeves of his cloak like a sail, he was carried across the river by a breeze which had sprung up from nowhere.  The yogin called a farewell which was ignored.  

        After a little time, a boat came down the river and the yogin hailed it: the boatman amiably took him across the river for a little fee. 

        On the other side the magician was waiting for him. and as he stepped ashore said triumphantly, `Now admit the superiority of our path!  You had to wait while I crossed directly.’

        `Yet here we are together,’ remarked the yogin. 

        `What do you mean?’

        `Your magic made you light, and so you crossed the river and you were ahead of me.  But when you had crossed, something made you very heavy, and you could not move till I came up.  You had to wait so that you could score off me.  Surely there is no loosening of the limitations by such things.’

© Trevor Leggett

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