Thursday, February 11, 2016

Here are the meanings of 72 colorful words & phrases Swami Kriyananda uses in The New Path:

Chapter 3:  Storm Clouds
p.23:  When I'd recovered sufficiently, my parents decided, on Dr. Stroyei's recommendation, to send me to the salubrious (promoting health and well-being) climate of Switzerland.
p.28:  Dissembling (feigning; pretending) camaraderie, they invited me to join them in the nearby courtyard of one boy's home.
p.29:  Ineluctably (inescapably; irresistibly; unavoidably) we are led, quickly or slowly, by one path of another, towards this divine understanding.

Chapter 4:  A Temporary Haven
p.33:  Our choir instructress, a puffy-cheeked, solemn, but good-natured lady, would peer at us myopically (short-sightedly; having a vision disorder where distant objects appear blurred) as she waved her baton.

Chapter 5:  The Storm Breaks
p.47:  A few of the older boys evinced (clearly showed) a positive dislike for me.

Chapter 6:  A Paper Rest House:  the "Popularity Game"
p.54:  It seems more a question of not wanting to appear gauche (awkward or lacking in social graces).

Chapter 7:  To Thine Own Search Be True
p.61:  The separation was due partly to my own increasing preoccupation with the search for meaning, and partly, I’m afraid, to the fact that I was attaching “meaning” to a few wrong things—like sitting in local bars with friends, nursing a variety of poisonous decoctions (extractions or essences of things, obtained by boiling them down) and talking philosophy into the wee hours.
p.64:  Rod treated me with a certain amused condescension, as the ingenuous (unsophisticated; simple) youngster that I certainly was.

Chapter 8:  Joy Is the Goal
p.71:  If only religion weren’t made so lugubrious (extremely gloomy, mournful), I think many people might be inspired to seek God who presently equate ministers of religion with undertakers.

Chapter 9:  He Gathers Strength for the Climb
p.82:  Throwing myself merrily into the occasion, I became “the parfait gentle knight (from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, meaning ‘perfect gentle, kind knight’),” or, alternatively, a kind of Arthur Murray.
p.85:  But the next day my good intentions were again routed ignominiously (shamefully, disgracefully).
p.92:  For a time I imagined I was actually finding these desiderata (things wished for or desired).
p.92:  All of them lived, worked, bred, and died—Solomon Grundies, all!  (from an 1842 English nursery rhyme, “Solomon Grundy”:
Solomon Grundy,
Born on a Monday,
Christened on Tuesday,
Married on Wednesday,
Took ill on Thursday,
Grew worse on Friday,
Died on Saturday,
Buried on Sunday,
That was the end,
Of Solomon Grundy.)

Chapter 10:  Intellectual Traps
p.100:  The summer itself was pleasant also, despite my penury (poverty).

Chapter 11:  By-Paths
p.105:  I could hardly suppress a smile when that Lethe-(in Greek mythology, the river which flows through Hades from which the souls of the dead drank so that they would forget their lives / time on Earth) inducing nectar turned out to be, not wine, but grape juice!
p.106:  My bitterness was not because the demands this religion made were impossible, but because they were so unspeakably banal (common in a boring way, to the point of being predictable; containing nothing new or fresh); not because its assertions were unbelievable, but because they were carefully preserved (as if in theological formaldehyde) at the safest, most vapid (lifeless, bland) level of common acceptability.

Chapter 12:  “Who Am I?  What Is God?”
p.112:  Now that science has explained everything in prosaic (overly simple or commonplace, to the point of being boring; unimaginative) terms, modern man considers himself wiser for having lost his sense of awe.

Chapter 17:  Mt. Washington Estates
p.164:  The hotel, like an indigent (poor; destitute) but still-proud aristocrat, continued to survey the world with smug condescension from its twelve-acre domain.
p.182:  How much clearer a demonstration of their intentions, then, for those who come afterward, if they can start something tangible, however inchoately (in a manner not fully formed yet), instead of merely talking about it.
p.182:  Its appearance marked the beginning of the last chapter of his life: the completion of his major literary works, and the arrival of a veritable (true, real) flood of new disciples.

Chapter 18:  First Impressions
p.185:  Calmly self-contained, it seemed to suggest an almost patrician (noble; aristocratic) benignity (kindness; gentleness).
p.186:  “In the basement, most of them,” he replied laconically (given to using few words).
p.188:  Next I found a small table, which acquitted (performed one’s part) itself adequately when leaned against the wall.
p.189:  Thrilled though I was to be at Mt. Washington, my mind importuned (harassed with persistent requests) me with innumerable questions, many of which I inflicted day after day on my poor brother disciples.
p.190:  A veritable (true, real) giant, Norman had a heart almost as big as his body.

Chapter 19:  The First Days of a Neophyte
neophyte (a new monk)
p.205:  The veriest (truest) stranger was, I am convinced, as dear to him as his own closest disciples.

Chapter 20:  Twenty-Nine Palms
p.217:  Often in the veriest (truest) trifles he saw some deep truth illustrated.
p.228:  What a contrast, between the frantic, emotional, almost febrile (full of nervous energy; feverish) excitement in the sounds that were being unleashed by the thousands of celebrants around us, and the calm, expanding soul-joy we experienced in ourselves, in the sublime peace of our little chapel!

Chapter 21:  Paramhansa Yogananda
p.239:  Part of the basis for Master’s amazing charisma was the fact that, seeing his infinite Beloved in everyone, he awakened them to an inchoate (recently started but not fully formed yet; elementary) belief in their own goodness.

Chapter 24:  True Teaching is Individual
p.267:  “He also wants you,” Bernard continued with appalling insouciance (casual unconcern; nonchalance), “to give a Kriya Yoga initiation afterwards.”

Chapter 25:  Work vs. Meditation
p.276:  “That’s good!” he interposed promptly, nipping in the bud what he saw was only a mild case of “vapors.” (mood swings; depression; melancholy)
p.278:  “Moods,” he replied, “are caused by past overindulgence in sense pleasures, and consequent over-satiety (being pleasantly satisfied or full, as with food) and disgust.”

Chapter 26:  The Ministry
p.294:  Householders couldn’t match their spirit of self-abnegation (denial or desire or self-interest; renuciation) and service.

Chapter 27:  Attunement
p.297:  Perhaps if a master were to appear on the stage of life like some Nietzschean Zarathustra (Zarathustra is the main prophet-like figure in the 1883 philosophical novel “Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None” by German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche), making grand pronouncements on obscure themes that no one in his right mind would ever think on his own, people, mistaking bewilderment for awe, might cry, “Ah, here indeed is a master!”
p.297:  But masters usually live more or less prosaically (very plainly, simply, or commonplace).
p.299:  If you say, “This, at least, is something I know better than he,” you close the door to the infinite source of all true inspiration within yourself, which he has been so painstakingly prising (forcing open with a lever; prying) open for you.
p.306:  Turning to Herbert, I smiled my felicitations (congratulations).

Chapter 28:  Reincarnation
p.310:  Our ineluctable (impossible to avoid or escape; irresistible) destiny is, sooner or later, to find God, for He is our only reality.
p.312:  And the British philosopher Hume stated that reincarnation is “the only system to which Philosophy can so much as hearken (to hear with attention, obedience, or compliance).”
p.314:  It is, as David Hume stated, “the only system to which Philosophy can hearken [defined above].”

Chapter 29:  Gardens—Mundane and Spiritual
p.341:  Master also told me stories about several of the more recondite (difficult to comprehend; little known) aspects of the path.

Chapter 30:  A Divine Test
p.364:  Speaking gravely and with great emphasis, he lowered his eyes to the floor and averred (asserted the truth of; affirmed confidently; declared positively), “You will never fall because of ego!”

Chapter 31:  The Bhagavad Gita
p.368:  Unlike most philosophical works, moreover, this one was fresh and alive, each page a sparkling rill (very small brook; streamlet) of original insights.

Chapter 34:  Kriya Yoga
p.413:  In Chapter 32 I referred to the ego as a vortex of consciousness, which separates itself from the ocean of awareness by its own centripetal force (in physics, the force on a rotating or orbiting body in the direction of the centre of rotation). 
p.418:  The vortex of ego itself is then dissipated with relative ease, for without objective attachments the ego soon loses its centrifugal (moving away from its center) power, and is dispersed at last by the powerful upward flow of energy which accompanies divine inspiration.
p.420:  These eddies or vrittis of feeling can be dissipated by directing through the spine a strong enough flow of energy to neutralize their centripetal force [defined at p.413 above].

Chapter 35:  Organizing the Monks
p.423:  Among my saddest memories are those of erstwhile (former; previous) devotees who, having left their spiritual calling, have returned to their former brothers and sisters on the path to show off their newly acquired worldly “wealth.” … Yet these erstwhile [defined above] devotees sooner or later lose confidence in the choices they have made, and, too sadly often, in themselves for having made them.
p.426:  Most of those who left the work have remained devoted to Master even while pursuing, temporarily, the chimera (a creature in Greek mythology composed of parts of different animals; vain, foolish, or implausible fancy) of a few worldly dreams.
p.435:  “Believe me, Sir,” I replied abashedly (in an embarrassed or ashamed manner), “that’s my interest, too.”

Chapter 37:  The Guru’s Reminiscences
p.453:  “In the early days of Mt. Washington, a visitor once inquired of me superciliously (in an arrogantly superior or haughty manner), ‘What are the assets of this organization?’ ”
p.456:  How incongruous (not similar or matching), his ingenuous (nobly straightforward, candid, open, and frank), explanation beside the man’s threat of assassination!
p.459:  There was something in his very bearing that bespoke (showed; foretold; suggested) the intrepid warrior.
p.460:  Morally, in an age of widespread profligacy (shameless and immoral behavior), he was chaste and self-controlled.
p.460:  Quite as important in the context of those times, they connected the church administratively, canonically (in accordance with the law of the church), and liturgically with Rome.
p.461:  Henry had been born late enough in William’s life to be in a position, after a relatively brief hiatus (interruption; unexpected break), to carry on William’s mission.
p.462:  Perhaps a hiatus [defined above] in William’s mission was necessary for his true spiritual heir, Henry, to develop a deep understanding of it.
p.463:  It is interesting to contemplate that both Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita, and Yogananda in Autobiography of a Yogi, expressed themselves with amazement at the divine teachings, as if they themselves were only spiritual neophytes (beginners; “newbies”).
p.463:  I have told hardly a tithe (tenth) of them.
p.466:  To Master, death was no “undiscovered country from whose bourne (boundary) no traveller returns.” (from Shakespeare's Hamlet, Act III, Scene 1) [Yogananda says the same in his Autobiography about Sri Yukteswar.]
p.469:  Docility (the ability to yield to direction or control, or to accept instruction) was hardly his normal attitude, but this time he went without a murmur, and delivered the package.
p.473:  “He came regularly into the office after that, and worked quite docilely (submissively, obediently)!”
p.473:  We all laughed uproariously at Master’s story, which was delivered with suitably droll (mischievously witty & humorous) gestures and expressions.

Chapter 38:  His Last Days
p.479:  The soul, similarly, in its gradual progress toward divine wisdom, develops the “gravitational” power by which it attracts and holds the understanding it needs for enlightenment, until at last, in the firmament of living beings, it becomes a veritable (true, real) “star.”
p.482:  Much older than he, the dignified widow of a university professor, and a person who seldom praised anybody, she yet displayed a respect for Master so undeviating, so humble, so profound that the worldly person, visiting the ashram for the first time, might have supposed her the merest neophyte (novice; recent convert).
p.490:  “No matter how much this organization keeps me busy, I never forego my daily tryst (prearranged meeting, especially between lovers; covenant) with God.”

Chapter 39:  Spiritual Service
p.505:  “It’s a good crowd, Swamiji,” he announced lugubriously (in an extremely gloomy manner).
p.506:  Later I was told that one member, of particularly timorous (fearful, timid) disposition, had already begun pacing up and down outside the tent, moaning, “Our reputation will be ruined!”
p.513:  His reply was both hesitant and equivocal (having more than one meaning or motive; ambiguous).
p.516:  And though I always say that what I want most deeply is to convert you to your own highest Self, I don’t hesitate to add that, if you are still seeking your own path to truth, it may well be worth your while to explore the possibilities offered by this new dispensation (Divine bestowal for he good of man), which is, truly, a new path to God.

Chapter 40:  A New Way of Life

p.517:  Modern society, alas, is committed to an almost diametrically opposite (separated by a diameter, i.e. on exactly the opposite side; absolutely opposed) principle.

You might also enjoy the Autobiography of a Yogi Glossaryas well as other fun resources on

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In Master's joy,

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