It is all Sleight of Hand


Date: 02-29-02

By: Robert Priddy



Vivekananda describes a man, a yogi, who had similar powers to those we observe in Sai Baba:

"He had only a strip of cloth about his loins, we took of everything else from him. I had a blanket which I gave him to wrap round himself, because it was cold, and made him sit in a corner. Twenty- five pairs of eyes were looking at him. And he said, now, look, write down anything you want. We all wrote down names of fruits, that never grew in that country, bunches of grapes, oranges and so on. And we gave him those bits of paper. And there came from under his blanket bushels of grapes, oranges and so  forth, so much that if all that fruit was weighed, it would have been twice as heavy as the  man. He asked us to eat the fruit. Some of us objected, thinking it was hypnotism; but the man began eating himself - so we all ate. It was all right. He ended by producing a mass of roses. Each flower was perfect, with dew-drops on the petals, not one crushed, not one injured. And masses of them!

When I asked the man for an explanation, he said: "It is all sleight of hand."

(Vol. 2, p. 11. “The complete works of Swami Vivekananda” ( Published by Swami Mumukshananda, President Advaita Ashrama, Calcutta).

Robert Priddy