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Full text of "A hermit in the Himalayas"

A   HERMIT   IN   THE   HIMALAYAS

Cairo magician who claimed to have under his control the jinns,
or non-human spirit beings. Once I met a similar man, and the
events which followed were so startling that I cannot, however,
dismiss them as some trick of imagination nor can I believe in all
that my own eyes saw. I wonder whether you would agree in
putting them down to the jinns also. Really, it is a case for a cjin-
nologist', if such a type of researcher exists!

"A fakir visited me and asked me to join with him in an experi-
ment involving these jinns. He belonged to the Himalayan people
called Garhwalis* I did not care for that sort of experiment, however,
and refused to have anything to do with it. But for several days he
continued to press me, although still without success. Finally, he
said that he would insist on carrying it out whether I consented
or not. His explanation was that he had been associated with a
. jinn for many years. It had been in his service throughout that time.
Now, however, he wished to renounce magic, or sorcery, as you
might call it, and take to the higher path of a spiritual Yoga. To
accomplish this he would have to give up the jinn and separate
from it. The jinn replied that it would never agree to leave him
unless he got it transferred to a suitable master. The fakir therefore
went in quest of such a person who could relieve him of the jinn.
For some reason which I never knew he picked on me. But I con-
tinued to tell him that I would have nothing to do with such sorcery.

"One night about two o'clock I seemed to awake with a terrible
start. A feeling of suffocation overwhelmed me as though the
bedroom were full of smoke and flames. Actually I was in a state
midway between sleeping and waking. Then a voice, apparently
within my ear, said, 'You shall pay for your obstinacy !* The choking
sensation got worse and I felt that my last moments on earth had
come. Fortunately I had the presence of mind to remember my
Master, who was a great Hindu Yogi living in the Kangra Moun-
tains. I prayed silently to him and begged for his protection. My
Master's power eventually manifested, a sense of reassurance
returned to me, the smoke seemed to clear away and the feeling
of being suffocated gradually disappeared.

"Next day the strange fakir visited my house again. His very
first words were: 'Do you know why you had that experience of
suffocation last night? I shall tell you. My jinn was so angry with
you for refusing to become its master that it tried to punish you.
But your own Yogi-Master interfered and saved you* I am sorry
it attacked you and wish I could have prevented it. Unfortunately,
I have now lost much of my own control over the spirit and I was
almost helpless. That day I attempted to transfer the jinn to your
service- without your knowledge. Had I succeeded it would have