By Paul G. Hackett
In 1937, Theos Casimir Bernard (1908–1947), the self-proclaimed "White Lama," turned the 3rd American in heritage to arrive Lhasa, the capital urban of Tibet. in the course of his remain, he accumulated the biggest number of Tibetan texts, paintings, and artifacts within the Western hemisphere at the moment. He additionally documented, in either nonetheless images and 16mm movie, the age-old civilization of Tibet at the eve of its destruction by means of chinese language Communists.
Based on hundreds of thousands of basic assets and infrequent archival fabrics, Theos Bernard, the White Lama recounts the true tale at the back of the purported adventures of this iconic determine and his function within the development of America's non secular counterculture. Over the process his short existence, Bernard met, linked, and corresponded with the main social, political, and cultural leaders of his day, from the Regent and excessive politicians of Tibet to saints, students, and diplomats of British India, from Charles Lindbergh and Franklin Delano Roosevelt to Gandhi and Nehru. even though hailed as a super pioneer via the media, Bernard additionally had his flaws. He used to be an entrepreneur propelled via grandiose schemes, a good-looking guy who shamelessly used his appears to be like to dance from wealthy spouse to wealthy spouse in aid of his actions, and a grasp manipulator who concocted his personal interpretation of jap knowledge to fit his ends. Bernard had a vibrant destiny ahead of him, yet disappeared in India through the communal violence of the 1947 Partition, by no means to be noticeable again.
Through diaries, interviews, and formerly unstudied files, Paul G. Hackett stocks Bernard's compelling existence tale, with his efforts to rouse America's non secular counterculture to the unfolding occasions in India, the Himalayas, and Tibet. Hackett concludes with a close geographical and cultural hint of Bernard's Indian and Tibetan trips, which shed infrequent mild at the explorer's mysterious disappearance.
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Additional resources for Theos Bernard, the White Lama: Tibet, Yoga, and American Religious Life
It truly is a massive leap forward. As for Pranayama—never exert your self greater than you are able to do conveniently and luxury. this isn't to be performed in a manner that's effortless for the sadhaka. . . . The all very important thing—the legislation of your food—is what issues me—I can't say what's wanted as specific issues. you'll within the early phases confine your self to exploit and clean vegetables—If you realize the workings of the Doshas you could simply see the instructions the place hazard is apprehended and take precautions. the amount of opium wanted for a days use is a tablet approximately 3 times the dimensions of a mustard seed. It doesn't have any deleterious impact. i'm taking this dose now and am the entire higher for it. Europe is frightened of opium for the stuff is misused there within the similar means as alcohol is also. yet you could keep an eye on Vayu by utilizing milk or milk sauce on your meals. . . . yet you want to undergo this in brain constantly that whatever which doesn't believe you is to be relinquished. this is applicable to inhalation and every thing. you could retain a notice of this and permit me be aware of in order that i may be of aid. . . . As to brief cuts, don't contemplate them simply but; for this you need to be with an adept for it slow. even though all of the concerns that Glen raised with Ghosh have been certainly valuable to his non secular perform, there have been extra purposes for his curiosity in nutrition. whereas in Calcutta, Glen had taken the time to set up contacts with a couple of humans operating within the box of ayurvedic medication and the chemical import–export industries, in part within the wish of creating T w o P aralle l P at hs ( I I ) fifty eight C5744. indb fifty eight 12/20/11 9:22 AM international advertisement ventures—none of which appears to be like to were successful—and to safe a resource for ayurvedic medications. Glen remained involved all through these years with one other pal of Ghosh’s in Calcutta: his own doctor and fellow seeker of non secular truths, Kaviraj Narendranath Bidyanidhi, a chemist and pharmacist. Upon his go back to the U.S., Glen chanced on paintings as a metallurgical engineer and deployed his talents to either specialist and private ends. through 1928 he was once delivery samples of cinnabar usually from California to Bidhyanidhi in Calcutta, the place mercury will be extracted to be used in medicinal arrangements, samples of which Bidhyanidhi stumbled on to be “of a lot gain. ” Querying Bidhyanidhi at the specifics of the various formularies, Glen again to his learn of the translated Indian scientific treatises, the Caraka Saṃhita and Suśruta Saṃhita. With Bidhyanidhi’s aid, he researched mercury and arsenic compounds as strength remedies for melanoma (including Hodgkin’s disease), typhoid, smallpox, gonorrhea, and syphilis—medications that Bidhyanidhi shipped and Glen all started promoting up and down the coast of Southern California. 10 He additionally begun a few himself, having been guaranteed via Bidhyanidhi that “mercury so utilized in the remedy of Syphilis is ready in strict accordance with Shastraic ideas and the result's that there's no apprehension of its having any baneful impression on method of the sufferer.