I am currently reading Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda. I was encouraged to read it after seeing the movie trailer to “Awake: the Life of Yogananda.” While I am not completely enthralled by the book as so many millions have been since it was originally publish in 1952, I am fascinated and jealous by Yogananda’s faith. Also, the book reveals many miracles that are not common during the modern age and even more during this post-modern one, so my skepticism always kicks in whenever Yogananda’s master, Sri Yukteswar, performs miracles either by healing someone, prophesying that something specific will happen, or summonsing clouds on a clear-blue sky.
My faith is weak.
One thing that jumped out at me was the astrological bangle that Sri Yukteswar told him to wear. Like anything I hear that makes me wonder, “Hey, can I get one of those?” I looked up what the do-dad is and immediately wanted one. I was taken by how beautiful and elegant the item is: three metals (gold, silver, and copper) twisted together and worn usually around the wrist. The gold represents the Sun and is thought to give a positive charge; the silver element represents the Moon as gives off a negative charge. The copper is a balancing charge:
The Universe receives different types of charges each and every moment – depending to the earth´s rotation and planetary positions. According to that, there are days when particularly good charges reach the earth–these days we may call “holy days.” On such days the metals gold, silver and copper will get charged.
If we twist them in a certain manner during a particular time of the year, that whole unit will get some good charges. This process is also described in an ancient book called “Sidda Nagarjuna Tantra.” – Source: Wellness-Shop
This explains why these are especially made for each individual. Too, because gold and silver are precious metals, their value fluctuates. The first time I looked up how much an astrological bangle would cost I could not get a price–I could not even get an estimate. Instead, what I got was an international number and specific times to make the call. But I read on a message board that someone said his bangle cost him $1250. Another said some years ago he bought one for $350. This is crazy.
Reputable sites don’t mess around with trying to sell you one on a cheap bangle. This thing should not be treated like a piece of jewelry for the vain (though I must admit it is very attractive). The bangle must be manufactured at a particular time of the year and with certain preparations to have the desired effect. So, besides the cost you might have to wait nearly a year, if you ordered yours at what the manufacturers deemed the wrong time for you.
Long before I ever heard of an astrological bangle, there was a copper bracelet that my parents handed down from my paternal grandfather–the only grandparent that I was close to. I nearly wept when my mother clipped it on my wrist one Christmas evening just as my wife and I were about to leave. I wore it until my wrist literally turned green. After that I followed a local jeweler’s instructions and applied clear nail polish. That worked! I wore it night and day until I noticed it missing from my wrist. I felt sick–it survived all these years and I lost it only a few weeks after receiving it. When I finally tracked it down at my work’s Lost and Found box I vowed to not wear it until I get a new clasp for it. That was nearly a year ago though I still want to wear it. Sometimes I wonder if family heirlooms are the true magical trinkets. The irony to that is while I look at the bracelet as something special and nearly-magical, my grandfather wore it because he was taken in by the quackery that copper wards off arthritis. Still, I will wear it again when I can mitigate the clasp problem–quackery or not.
As for the astrological bangle I am emotionally looking towards the bangle the same way my grandfather bought into the copper > arthritis racket. There are intelligent ways to approach faith just as there is the prevention of arthritis, but that doesn’t make me want to buy the bangle any less. This goes back to my old problem of wanting to buy myself into something that will complete me. (See My All-Too Mortal Game posted August 2, 2007 for another example of my throwing money around, hoping nirvana will occur.)
I need to believe first, then go in for the magic bling.