Ganges & Wisdom Goals

It has been a full year since The Shamcher Bulletin began. In that year we’ve lived through many global changes and transformations. I’ve found Shamcher’s words to be helpful in navigating these transitions, and I hope that you’ve found his advice helpful, too. Behind, around and within those words is something he referred to as “silent reach” that can reach beyond time to spark a meaning that is current at this moment. This is the intuitive communication known to the sages.


This issue features two excerpts from Shamcher’s book, “Fairy Tales are True: Silent Reach from the Dunes to the Kumbha Mela”, but it begins with a link back to the first Shamcher Bulletin, which came out last year for the Urs of Hazrat Inayat Khan.

Suresnes, Feb. 5, 1927

Shamcher describes travelling to Suresnes, February 5th, 1927:

It was in the middle of a very cold winter in Norway, and I suddenly felt that I should go to Suresnes. I said to myself, “What is this idiotic impulse? This is the middle of winter, and Suresnes is a summer school, May through August.” Nevertheless, I went, on the ship, and then on the train, questioning myself the whole way. …read more

Two Yoga Teachings from Fairy Tales are True

What is the Sacred Ganges?

As every visitor to India knows, bathing in the Ganges forgives your sins and those of your progeny for three generations. I was in India and my family was with me when this story took place. 

I am not sure that I am entirely convinced of the efficacy of bathing in the Ganges, but I decided that, after all, it would not hurt anything and it might help. So I proceeded with my family to a convenient place where the Ganges roars out of the Himalayas and is not yet contaminated by too many sins or other impurities, spiritual or physical. 

If someone doubts that a mere dip in the sacred Ganges will forgive his trespasses, India's ancient civilization has the answer even for him. If he is the worldly type who doubts the word "sin", or that it needs to be forgiven, he is told with an indulgent smile that this custom arose so that the people would bathe and keep themselves clean. After all, is it not true that a dip in the Ganges will forgive the sin of uncleanliness? 

But if the doubter is of serious thought who well realizes that there is sin and virtue, folly and wisdom, but that wisdom and virtue can hardly be had for the moderate price of a bathe in a river, then these wise ones are taken into the sanctum of the initiates and told that the Ganges is only a symbol like the Jamuna for the Vaishnavas and the Jordan for the Christians. 

These rivers are symbols of creative forces, heard by some as sounds, issuing like a stream or river, from unknown higher regions. An earnest seeker may feel it or hear it. It is the answer of God to one with steadfast concentration. And the sins of him who can hear or feel it and who can remain with it and fathom its depth are wiped out, as are those of his friends and his children and his children's children. He has come far on the way home to his Creator, in Whom there is no sin.

A More Worthwhile Goal?

The old Yogi said, “What you want to do, you, yourself must do. None other can do it for you." 

"But how can I?" 

"Any man can do anything he wants to do," said the old Yogi, "if he really wants to do it. And if he does not set impossible conditions." 

"What sort of impossible conditions?" 

"Such as demanding to be able to do it right now, without preparation. There must be no limit to the effort of time which he is willing to spend," said the Yogi solemnly. 

"Will you help me – teach me?" 

"On those conditions, yes," he answered. "But do not be surprised if, in mid-course, when your wisdom has grown, you find that there is a more worthwhile goal for you to pursue."

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The Shamcher Bulletin is compiled from the Archives of Shamcher Bryn Beorse and edited by Carol Sill, whose newsletter, Personal Papers, is HERE.

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