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East Meeting West

We yesterday had a visit of an American professor of engineering of Indian origin with his wife. After having given some lectures at a Swiss university they were doing some sight-seeing and I have shown them the old town of Berne. Afterwards they stayed with us at home till the evening.

We had some fascinating conversations. He was telling events from his youth time in India, coming from a poor family, how he started on the one hand his spiritual path and on the other his technical career, which by now made him head of the engineering department of a big US university. We both have a certain similar background with the same spiritual teachers, though my wife’s and my socialisation took place in Europe, while his one started in India and continued in the US. He told us about some so-called super-natural or miraculous events he had been a witness of during his youth in India, from our present teacher’s teacher, Dr. Krishnamacharya. I had no reason to doubt the authenticity of the stories, for I heard parts of them from another side before.

He said that through these experiences and the spiritual teachings he had overcome intellectual barriers in his mind. In the West, however, he normally keeps silent about his experiences and practices, because the people in his surroundings don’t like getting out of their materialistic belief system. Through his life in the States he has come to a much deeper appreciation of his spiritual roots than he would have had if he had stayed in India. There was a gap of about 20 years between the beginnings of his path in India and the focused continuation in the West. Seeds might germinate for a long time in the ground before sprouting and giving rise to a powerful tree.


Buddhas meditating in a western shop – a picture from yesterday’s sight-seeing.

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