Just Released Bio of Dr. Lewis
Yogananda and Dr. Lewis at Lookout Point
Dr. Lewis –
Accomplished Yogi, Devoted Disciple and Householder
Lewis was a very close disciple and friend to the great guru Paramahansa
Yogananda. From the day Doctor met Master in Boston on Christmas Eve, 1920
(when he became the first American Kriyaban and was shown the spiritual eye and
the thousand petal lotus), to his glorious passing on April 13, 1960, his life
was that of an exemplary yogi disciple following faithfully in the steps of his
Yogananda lived in Doctor’s home for three years before embarking on his
cross-continental tour that led him to California. When Master left, he asked
Doctor to stay in Boston to lead the meditation group there and to continue to
raise money to support his lecture tours in America – which Doctor obediently
did even though he dearly wished to follow his guru. Master finally asked
Doctor and Mama to move to Encinitas in 1945.
began to lecture at the Encinitas and San Diego temples and was put in charge
of the Encinitas Colony. After Master’s passing in 1952, Doctor became Self
Realization Fellowship’s first Vice-President. He continued to lecture in Hollywood,
Encinitas and San Diego, giving up to 7 lectures a week in addition to being in
charge of the monks’ training in Encinitas and giving Kriya Initiations.
In spite of his
very busy schedule, he always took time for meditation, taking one day of silent
communion with God every week in his home in Borrego. Mrs. Lewis draped heavy
black cloth over his meditation room so that the solar light would not diffuse
the great spiritual light that he beheld.
His great yogic
passing was witnessed by his wife, Mildred Lewis, and recorded in the book: Dr.
M.W. Lewis: The Life Story of One of the Earliest American Disciples of
Paramahansa Yogananda (published by SRF).
April 7th, 1960, Doctor entered Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla for a
rest and medical tests. On April 13th, as I was visiting him, Doctor took a nap
at seven p.m. He slept peacefully until seven-thirty when he awakened and told
me, “I want to sit up straight.” I arranged the pillows at his back as he
assumed the lotus pose for his usual evening meditation. His hands were
upturned, his eyes closed. I sat beside the bed, thinking that I too would
was aroused in two or three minutes by a tremendous sound. It resembled the
suction sound of a huge pump, or the breath sound of a giant Kriya. With the
sound came a great flash of spiritual white light, whose brilliance might be
compared to that given forth by a million electric light bulbs.
blue eyes opened; piercing flashes of blue light came from them. Then they were
locked at the Christ center in the forehead. His head lowered somewhat, but his
body remained erect. For an instant, the face of Swami Sri Yukteswarji
appeared, enveloping Doctor’s face. Then all was over.
How many times
I have thanked God, the Great Ones, and beloved Master that I was privileged to
witness such a glorious passing!
example heartens us to continue making efforts in our sadhana. Master’s
guidance and encouragement (published in Treasures Against Time: Paramahansa
Yogananda with Doctor and Mrs. Lewis) are applicable to all of us
who strive to reach our spiritual goal while carrying our family and world
The text and pictures in these pages are from John Rosser
and Brenda Lewis-Rosser and used with their permission. Brenda Rosser is the
daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Lewis. Mr. Rosser served Dr. Lewis when he ministered
at the Hollywood Temple.
Doctor and Mrs. Lewis meet Swami Yogananda in Boston
The first place
where Master spoke in Boston (1920) was a Methodist church located in the
neighborhood where the Lewis family lived and where Doctor Lewis had his
practice. Alice Haysey, who later became Sister Yogamata, was one of the first
Bostonians to meet Master. She was very excited about this Swami from India and
invited her friend, Mrs. Mildred Lewis to come and meet him at their community
church. Mrs. Lewis accepted.
The young Swami
exchanged pleasantries with the ladies. Then he told Mrs. Lewis that he would
like to talk to her privately and she went along with him. He took her into an
adjacent room where they could be alone.
later said that she didn’t remember anything of what the Swami said or did in
that room, but she was with him for almost an hour. When she came out, she was
in tears. She doesn’t know what happened but she knew later that Master’s
spiritual power had overtaken her consciousness and changed her in everyway.
(From this day till her passing in 1989…, Mrs. Lewis was always by the guru’s
side. Often when a situation occurred where a strong and discriminative mind
was needed, Master would say, “Get Mildred.”)
meeting, Mrs. Lewis encouraged Doctor to meet the Swami; although he was quite
reluctant do so until Mrs. Lewis persuaded him. And from that meeting came the
first Kriya initiation in America and the start of SRF. (The story of Doctor’s
first meeting with Master can be read in “Treasures Against Time”.)
Master moved in with the Lewis family and shared in the daily life with them
until 1923. The children were raised with “a Father, a Mother, and a Swamiji”,
as Brenda later told us.
Master saves Doctor from Drowning
story of Master’s miraculous intervention in 1922 along with other miraculous
events in the Lewis’ lives can be found in the book Treasures Against Time.
Letter from Sri Yukteswar to Dr. Lewis
Against Time there is a letter from Sri Yukteswarji to Doctor Lewis where
the great guru praises Doctor for advancing in spiritual consciousness.
“My dear Doctor: Yours of the 9th of May is at hand (l922). I heartily
congratulate you that you have advanced so much in spiritual consciousness and
appreciate the real truth of the religion.
thanks to our Almighty Father through whose blessings my disciple Swami
Yogananda has become a help to you. If our Sadhu Sadha gets a home for Satsanga
at your place, I shall be extremely glad to be with you out there, and enjoy a
pleasant trip with your company round the world.
With my whole heart’s love, I remain, Very sincerely
yours, Swami Sri Yukteswar”
and BrendaLewis, 1923
Pie for Santa
By Brenda Lewis Rosser
In the early
days in our home, the Christmas tree was not decorated until Christmas Eve
after Bradford and I were in our beds. On this particular night, Mother had
been baking her pies and cakes for the holiday, especially her famous apple
pie. My brother and I asked her if we could have a piece of the pie to leave
for Santa Claus, to which she agreed.
We set a place
at the dining room table and mother cut a piece of her pie and left it for
Santa. We were finally sent off to bed so that Mother could complete the
After awhile my
brother and I slipped out of our rooms and took up our vigil at the head of the
stairs awaiting the arrival of Santa Claus.
Bradford said he heard the reindeer stopping on the roof. We kept watching the
dining room table when all of a sudden a familiar face appeared at the table.
It was Swamiji! He sat down and ate Santa’s pie – but what greater Santa could
there be than a true guru.
Back in the
early days in Boston, when Master was living at the Lewis home, there was a lot
of controversy in the city about a condemned man. There was a great division on
both sides whether he was guilty or not. Appeal after appeal was made for a
stay of execution, but none were honored. Then a last appeal was sent to the
governor but he turned it down.
that the condemned man life’s should be spared, since he was certain that he
was not guilty of the crime he was accused of. So Doctor asked Master if he
could do “anything about it” and Master went to his room saying, “We will
In the morning,
when Doctor went to pick up the paper, there was just one word blazoned across
the headline, “REPRIEVED”. People thought the governor had a change
of heart, but Doctor knew in his soul that it was Master’s doing.
the l920’s one could buy stock in the stock market without putting up much
called it buying on the margin. Everyone was reveling in the continuing upsurge
of the market and so Doctor thought he would get in and make some money for
jumped in heavily, investing $500,000.00 which in today’s money would represent
several million. But the market suddenly went down. Mama Lewis said that Doctor
was “sweating blood” after this happened How could a dentist come up with that
much money? While Doctor was feeling all this stress, Master walked in the
room. Doctor turned on the stock report on the radio and found that the market
had surged back up past where he had bought in so he was saved from bankruptcy.
had stayed calm through the ordeal. Doctor asked him how he could stay so calm
when they were facing financial ruin? Master quietly said, “The same
father who protects me, protects you. He is our Common Father.”
Bradford and Brenda Lewis, 1925
depression in l933, all the banks were closed. Mama Lewis was frightened for
her children for they had no cash and had no way to get any. She called Doctor
at the office. He told her to keep her eye on the sewing machine. She did, and
when he got home he opened it up and took from the money he had hid. There was
enough to see them through until the banks opened again.
reminds us, “One of the greatest things we have in SRF is the great sense
of security we feel in God’s Presence.”
It wasn’t long
after Master landed in Boston that he began his lecture tour. One of the first
places he spoke was in the prestigious Symphony Hall in Boston. There was a lot
of interest in the city about this man from India speaking at their great
concert hall and a large crowd was expected. Dr. and Mrs. Lewis were excited,
too, about the prospects of hearing their guru speak to the multitude.
Mrs. Lewis was
concerned about her two small children, Bradford and Brenda. Master told her to
bring both of them to the lecture, and make sure they stayed awake for then
they would be receptive to the words and the consciousness of the evening which
would lodge permanently in their souls.
Doctor Lewis baptized two young children in the Hollywood Temple. He said that
both of the children were scratching at their forehead trying to erase the
feeling there, which was the Divine Vibration. Doctor always liked to baptize
the children for he said they were fresh from God and more receptive than older
devotees whose consciousness had been besmirched by the world.
The Attempted Robbery
depression there was less crime than in ordinary times, although there are
always those who were lurking to get something for nothing. Dental offices with
their supply of gold were always fair game.
One day while
Doctor was working on a patient, a stranger came in. Doctor immediately saw
that the man had a gun and obviously was going to try and rob him. But Doctor
had learned from Master that the vibration of a man of realization can ward off
evil and so he caught the
eye of the
would-robber and concentrated his gaze. The man became very nervous and in the
next moment, dropped his gun and ran out of the office.
Evil has no force that can overtake the Divine vibration.
Dr. and Mama Lewis, Borrego, 1956
In spite of his
very busy schedule, Dr. Lewis spent long hours in deep meditation at Borrego
Springs during the time he ministered to the SRF devotees, taking one day of
silent communion with God every week. Mrs. Lewis draped heavy black cloth over
his meditation room so that the solar light would not diffuse the great
spiritual light that he beheld.
After Dr. Lewis
left his body, Mama had a beautiful chapel built there in honor of her late
husband. The chapel was blessed by Brother Anandamoy and is now used by the
go on retreat
at Borrego since the Lewis’ home was recently given to SRF following Doctor’s
and Mama’s wishes.
Holidays at Borrego Springs
(This story was
told by Mary Crawford who lived with Mama Lewis as friend and caretaker for
thirty years. Mama Lewis died in her arms in 1988.)
It was not
unusual for Dennis Weaver, James Arness, Mama Lewis, John and Brenda Rosser and
Mary Crawford to spend weekend after weekend and holidays at Borrego Springs in
the Lewis’ retreat. They spent hours meditating, chanting, praying, eating,
swimming and enjoying all of God’s creation.
Christmas and Easter were very special for all. But these
meditations ended when Mother
away. Gatherings were not the same without her – she was such a loving “mother”
usually up to 20 people seated in the chapel, filling it to capacity. Brenda
played all the chants and the music for the day and John said the opening and
closing prayers. We also listened to a recording of Master’s Christmas message.
Then we would eat Mama’s famous fresh pea soup followed by a delicious buffet,
followed by an evening of caroling lead by Brenda on the organ. The spirit of
love and fellowship went on and on. I miss those glorious times!
Lewis and Brenda Rosser Mama
Lewis and Dennis Weaver
What Are You?
said that he couldn’t have made it without his weekly retreats in Borrego,
getting away from his duties as Vice President of SRF and his responsibilities
in Encinitas, San Diego and Hollywood Temples.
When he was in
Borrego, Mrs. Lewis took care of all the home duties to make Doctor’s stay as
peaceful and relaxing as possible, for she was keenly aware that her husband
was not like other men – she knew of his tremendous sadhana and his deep
One morning, as
Doctor was slowly eating his breakfast, Mrs. Lewis was sitting across the table
from him, saying nothing. She looked long and hard at him and then thought,
“What are you anyway?”
commensurate with an experience John Rosser had with Doctor Lewis in the
minister’s room at the Hollywood Temple. After his regular interview with
Doctor, John Rosser said to him, “Nobody knows what you are, do they,
Doctor?” And Doctor Lewis replied, “No, even Mildred doesn’t know
It is said that you can only truly recognize a saint when
you become one.
Master Makes a House Call to Duxbury
Lewis always looked forward to his vacations at Duxbury for it was such a
change from his intense dental practice in very busy Boston. One weekend in
1932, he was particularly yearning for solace there for he had been suffering
some terrible pains. He never told anyone about them, but Mrs. Lewis noticed
that he lay for hours on their living room divan with their little dog.
had been in New York lecturing.
3 a.m. Mrs. Lewis heard Master’s booming voice calling for Doctor Lewis. Master
knew they were in Duxbury, but he didn’t know the exact address. Master seemed
to be awakening the entire neighborhood. Finally, Mrs. Lewis was able to get
his attention and direct him into the house.
and later asked if the Swami from
New York had found Doctor Lewis.
diagnosed Doctor and subsequently gave him a technique that Lahiri Mahasaya had
given to Sri Yukteswarji who had given it to Master. It had to do with the
application of cold to certain parts of the body. Master’s technique worked and
Doctor passed some kidney stones which were extremely painful, but by using the
technique he was never bothered again. Oh, how often Master showed up just when
they needed him!
Master Heals Mama Lewis
In the summer
of 1935, Mrs. Lewis was helping to remove a boat from its trailer for launching
in the Duxbury bay. Suddenly, the weight of the boat shifted and she found
herself trying to balance its entire weight by herself. She crumpled to the
ground. Rushed to the Lewis home nearby, the local doctor told the family the
bad news. The strain of the boat had caused a massive heart attack.
If only Master was there, they all sighed. But he was in
India… too far to be reached.
Mrs. Lewis was
returned to her Boston home and given strict orders. She could not go up and
down stairs and she was to limit even walking on the level to a prescribed
medical regimen. Doctor Lewis was shocked further when the prognosis was that
she probably would only live two years. The children were put in boarding
was located and informed of the prognosis. When told of the two years he said, “We’ll
see about that.”
With Master’s prescription for recovery and his spiritual
power, Mrs. Lewis began to improve.
And it wasn’t long before she was living a normal life.
When she moved
to California, a heart expert was called in to diagnose her problem. She
confided in him that there had been a spiritual healing and he accepted that
for he knew of Yogananda. The doctor recognized that there was something
different about her heart but he never discussed it further for she was living
like anyone with a normal heart.
Master Heals Doctor’s Crushed Fingers
(as told by Doctor)
Lewis’ House at 24 Electric Ave. in Boston where Yogananda
lived with the Lewis family 1920-23
following personal experience shows that a strong mind can even prevent the
formation in another person’s mind of a pattern that would have caused an
undesirable change in matter.
day, several years ago  Paramahansaji and I had just arrived at Mt.
Washington in his automobile. He left the car and went into the building. As I
was getting out, the car door was accidentally slammed on my middle, ring and
little fingers, up to the second joints. The automobile was of a vintage when
it would have been impossible to catch one’s fingers in a car door without
crushing them. Mine were flattened to the actual shape of the door jamb; the
physical pain was excruciating. Bu
there was also great mental pain; for I was quite sure it meant
hospitalization, which would
prevent me from returning the next day to Boston as
The Master, who
was by this time upstairs at Mt. Washington, was immediately informed of my
predicament. From that instant there was a wall placed between my consciousness
and the injured hand. When I momentarily passed through the wall, I felt the
injury extremely; so I was perfectly willing to remain behind the wall! There
was a little fear in my mind that someone would come in contact with my hand,
so I held it across my chest, inside my coat; and that was all I did.
That evening a
party of us was to attend a performance at the Hollywood Bowl. So complete was
the Master’s care, I was able to go right along with them. The next day I had
breakfast and dinner with the Master, but he paid no attention to my trouble. I
was satisfied to leave it that way, and say nothing. That evening I left by
train for the East, still without
the injury. That wall around my consciousness was still there. The following
morning at breakfast I had enough courage to look at my hand. The fingers were
normal in shape and size. All that remained of the injury was a little blue
discoloration on two of the fingers. There was no discomfiture.
This was an
instance of almost instantaneous healing of matter. The Master’s strong mind,
contacting God’s Power, had prevented the injury from being accepted by my
mind. I was thus saved from much difficulty and pain.
Brenda’s Aunt Dolly,
Dr. Lewis’ sister, was a follower of Master. Master called her an angel. When
first initiated by Master to Kriya Yoga, she saw the little star in the
spiritual eye. It was she who, at Doctor Lewis’ funeral at Forest Lawn, saw a
great gust of wind blow over the bowers of flowers by the casket and then saw
her brother appear. It is said that such evolved souls always attend their
Aunt Dolly and
her husband were frequent visitors to the Lewis home and were neighbors in West
Somerville, a suburb of Boston, when Master lived with the Lewis family on
Electric Avenue. Aunt Dolly had two children; a boy and a girl. Her young son,
Dick, was always attracted to Master, but was too young to understand the
message of the guru at that time; nevertheless, he was blessed to grow up in
such a strong spiritual environment. Later, he stayed a week at Mt. Washington
in the company of Master during the Christmas holidays followed by a summer in
Encinitas when he wrote his thesis “Living the SRF life in the world”.
War II, Cousin Dick enlisted in the navy and was stationed aboard the
battleship Iowa. Preparing to enter the South Pacific conflict in 1943, the
Iowa docked at Long Beach for fueling and taking on supplies. It would take
several days and so Cousin Dick called Master at the Hollywood Temple. Master
invited him to come to the temple and visit, which Dick did with alacrity.
known the boy since his infancy and so welcomed him with open arms and
subsequently initiated him into Kriya Yoga. Cousin Dick was so enthralled with
the meeting and the great upliftment he felt around Master that he wanted to
stay with the guru and be a monastic. No, said Master, he must return to his
ship and serve his country, adding that he would be protected.
he was for the great battleship fought in some of the most furious battle of
the South Pacific. On one occasion, Cousin Dick saw all his shipmates
machine-gunned before his very eyes, but he remained unscathed.
became a pediatrician after the war and practiced in Plymouth, near the Duxbury
home of the Lewis family. He tells that he feels Master’s mantel of protection
to this day.
promised that those who take Kriya Yoga and follow him will be protected along
with their families. Doctor Lewis added that one of the greatest blessings in
SRF is the protection one feels in God’s Presence.
Master Goes to the Movies
In the 1940’s,
after Sunday service in San Diego, Master would invite the devotees to go the
movies with him. Often the house was full but when Master found a seat, the
regular patrons sitting around would somehow change seats and move away,
leaving ample room for Master’s party to sit. (Doctor said that it was because
they couldn’t tolerate Master’s high vibrations).
movie, Master would often ask Mama Lewis to massage his feet, which she would
do in spite of feeling very embarrassed! Mama would resist Master, but Doctor
always told her “You’d better do what Master says.” Master did this
to break her ego…
One of the
movies Master really enjoyed was “Song of Bernadette”. In the movie,
Ste. Bernadette sees the vision of The Lady – Master said that the portrayal of
Divine Mother was exactly like the real thing. He further said that the actress
Jennifer Jones would be permanently changed by her playing this role.
Confirming Master’s saying, she sometimes comes to the Lake Shrine…
they saw was “Dubarry was a Lady”. There is a scene where Red Skelton
portrays Louis the XV stumbling out of the coach and falling face first on the
ground. Master roared with laughter – and he had all the devotees sit through a
second showing of the movie to see the scene again! Master was always happy and
wanted to teach the devotees to not take everything so seriously on the
Eating Out With Master
often prefer to go to drive-ins such as the Brown Derby, because he could enjoy
eating anonymously. One day, a car-hop came to get their order. Master asked
her which church she attended. She said she went to a Catholic church. He told
her “Good for you. Keep at it.” Master never wore his religion on his
sleeve and never wanted to disturb people who were established in their
When Master ate
in restaurants, he would always go to the kitchen to leave a tip to the chef,
thanking him for the good job!
went back to visit his homeland in 1935, Bradford Lewis accompanied him for the
first leg of the journey. Bradford was with Master in the Tower of London when
Master told the curator that there was a water closet down the passageway. But
the curator objected, saying that the Tower had been mapped for over 1,000
years and that there was no such water closet. Master said, “Follow me,”
and led the curator to a water closet which was hidden behind a brick wall.
accompanied Master to Stonehenge. There was a circle of stones on the grounds
around the area that had never been really identified. Master stood on one of
them and told Bradford that he had been there 3,000 years earlier…
Master’s first decade in America, he spoke in many of the great concert halls
throughout the land, not the least of which was Carnegie Hall where the
audience sang “Oh, God Beautiful” for hours and many miraculous healings
On April l8,
l926, Swami Yogananda opened a series of classes there. His success was
tremendous. Carnegie Hall was filled to capacity and more than three thousand
people were turned away, and only after police reserves were called to quell
the besieging crowds. The 5,000 who got inside were spellbound.
critic wrote: “Never in all my experience have I found such interest and
enthusiasm displayed as a result of hearing the words of Yogananda.”
Doctor was very
enthusiastic when he saw how many people were interested in Master’s teachings.
But Master simply pointed out: “We will be lucky if five of them register for
the Præcepta (Lessons).”
Master has said
that wherever a saint has communed with God, which he obviously was doing on
the night he chanted for hours ‘Oh God Beautiful’ with the audience, a
vibration is established that will last for the remainder of this earth cycle.
And so despite many efforts to tear down the original
Carnegie Hall since that memorable night, the concert hall still stands.
Master Saves Brenda’s
1950, Brenda found out that she had a growth in her parotid gland. Surgery was
necessary. And it was extremely serious for it could have resulted in paralysis
of her face, or even death.
Lewis was relieved when, after the surgery; she managed to speak even though
her whole head was covered in bandages, thus showing that there was no
paralysis of the facial nerves.
Master told Doctor Lewis that karmically it had been Brenda’s time to leave
this earth plane but that he had asked God to change the dream. That being
said, Master concluded, “Now
she will have a long and happy life. Her way is clear, now
and throughout Eternity. ”
Before she left
the colony, she had a deep meditation. Her father asked her to describe what
she beheld in meditation. Upon hearing what she saw, Doctor said, “You have
seen the shores of Cosmic Consciousness.”
Magic Vegetables …
Doctor got much
of his knowledge about the teachings, yoga and eternal truths by walking back
and forth on the Encinitas Hermitage lawn by the cliff with Master.
after a particularly wonderful talk with Master, the guru said that it was
getting late and he suggested that they go to the kitchen to have a little
something to eat. Master stirred up some fresh vegetables Doctor said they were
the most delicious vegetables he had ever eaten.
they bid each other good night and went to their respective bedrooms. When
Doctor opened the door to his room he was taken aback – the whole room was
suffused with a great divine light.
morning, Doctor asked Master about that light. Master said, “I was pretty
much in God when I cooked those vegetables!”
The Farm House
It was Master’s
practice to take the hard-working disciples around him for an occasional
vacation. This would involve two cars and taking a motor trip through some of
the majestic scenery of California. Dr. Lewis, Mrs. Lewis, and Brenda would be
in one car with Master and Daya Ma, Ananda Mata, Mrinalini Mata and Uma Mata
would usually ride in the second car.
to love the High Sierras and said that the foothills reminded him of the
Himalayas, particularly the Eastern Sierras where one can see Mt. Whitney, the
highest mountain in the United States. Film makers thought so, too, for the
movie Gunga Din was shot there because of its likeness to India.
It was just
after World War II when motorist were at last free from gas rationing, so they
looked forward to a drive with Master.
On one of these
trips in 1948, they drove up US 395 through Owens Valley through Independence,
Big Pine and Bishop until they reached the town of Bridgeport, the jewel of the
Sierra towns. It was not very populated in those days, consisting of mostly
large ranches spread far apart. It was before the time of the omnipresent
motel, but there were small hotels and other facilities for tourists. But on
this particular trip, their efforts to find
accommodations were not successful and the entire party began to wonder if they
would have to sleep in the cars for the night.
a distant light, across a great field. It appeared to come from a farm house. They
drove to it. When they got there, Master told Mrs. Lewis to go in and see if
there were any rooms for the weary travelers. Mrs. Lewis resisted, saying that
it was a private farm house and they would not think of taking in a couple of
carloads of travelers. But Master insisted and so Mrs. Lewis obeyed him. She
went to the door and knocked. A friendly farm wife opened the door. Mrs. Lewis
explained that her party was unable to find accommodations for the night and
asked if she had a room or two they could rent.
farm wife glanced out at the cars full of travelers and said, “Please,
bring all your friends in and take the rooms in the house. There is plenty of
room for everyone. I will sleep in the hired man’s shed.”
looked knowingly at Master. Once again the Hand of God was evident. Doctor
Lewis often said, “God does things so nicely.”
One day Master, Doctor, Mama and Daya Mata went on a
picnic out to a jetty in California.
On the way to the beach they came upon a dead or dying
Doctor said (as he always did in situations like this),
“Master, can you do something about this?”
Master said, “I think so.”
Master had his
cane with him and he gently poked the pelican. The pelican then jerked one part
of his body, then the other, until he stood up and flew off.
Paramahansa Yogananda by a Cabin,
Memories of Dr. Lewis
as told by Mr. John Rosser
once told me of an experience he had in cosmic consciousness in the most humble
of terms. He said that he could see above, below and all around him and then
simply said, “It is the strangest thing.”
close to Doctor, one would have wonderful meditations. I asked him about this
and he simply said, “You are near the instrument.”
I was once
having trouble seeing the spiritual eye. It was at his evening service at the
Hollywood Temple. He produced a swatch of Sri Yukteswarji’s robe and pressed it
firmly at my Christ Center; that solved the problem.
As a young man,
I would always wait for Dr. Lewis to drive up to Hollywood Temple where he
would speak once a month. At the time, I was having a lot of problems with the
world and my spiritual life and was quite depressed. One evening he drove up and
looked me in the eye and all my trouble disappeared instantly. I was as happy
as could be. I guess that is what you call in India a darshan.
– From a letter to Mr. Rosser dated 1956:
Dear Mr. Rosser:
Thank you for
your letter. It is a pleasure to receive such a letter filled with such a fine
spirit. Keep on as you are and I know that God will look after you. It is a
pleasure for me to help you for I can never forget how the Master helped me.
That you are helped is sufficient reward.
Yes, company is
very important and does influence us but remember that God’s help is greater.
Keep on as you are – never forgetting Him and He will never forget you. Even in
the midst of “deluded” ones, God can be felt.
I do hope that your wish of an early return be granted.
Blessings to you,
Dr. M. W. Lewis
Doctor Lewis’ Legacy
Against Time – Keeping the memory of Doctor Lewis alive Book reviews and
ago, before the end of the run of Gunsmoke, I was blessed to meet two
outstanding individuals: Mrs. Mildred Lewis, the widow of Doctor Lewis, and her
daughter, Brenda Rosser who had known Paramahansa Yogananda since his coming to
America in 1920. Their background in the Self-Realization Fellowship teachings
prompted me to read Yogananda’s great spiritual classic “Autobiography of a
Yogi”. Exposure to the SRF teachings and to these high souls had a profound
affect on me.
published her book Treasures Against Time describing the close
relationship between Paramahansa Yogananda and Doctor and Mrs. Lewis along with
some of the spiritual teachings they were privileged to receive first-hand from
the guru, I knew that it would be no ordinary religious work. Page after page
glows with eternal spiritual truths, especially those from the God-tuned pen of
the great Master, whose 97 letters to the Lewis family show us the human side
of the guru and give us pause to reflect that such an avatar came on earth in
our time to reveal the eternal truths of God.
Against Time also shows the depth of the true guru-disciple relationship
that was established between the Master and Dr. Lewis. Faithfully following in
the footsteps of his guru, Doctor was blessed with many great spiritual
experiences, bringing him to the height of spiritual glory and Oneness with God
through Nirbikalpa Samadhi.
seeker must read this book. It will awaken you; it will inspire you; it will
guide you to the shores of Divine Fulfillment.”
– JAMES ARNESS
“The book Treasures
Against Time has rekindled my heart and I feel honored to have known Dr.
Lewis. He touched my life – so much so that I do little things to keep the
memory of him fresh. Dr. Lewis loved pine nuts, so I buy them and eat a few
each day and remember him. He was always so kind and patient with me. Tears are
flowing now as I feel badly that I did not know of his passing and did not
attend his funeral. I will now do the best I can to spread his words of wisdom.
My years in the SRF ashram bring fond memories and good lessons that have
helped me through my marriage struggles and the raising of three
tells the story about the Lewis family and their relationship with the
spiritual giant Paramahansa Yogananda. It is inspiring because it gives the
reader the heartwarming and true story of how Dr. Lewis and his wife became
highly successful disciples on the spiritual path, while continuing to lead
busy and productive lives in the world at large. It is filled with humor and
many entertaining stories, but there is a deep and powerful spiritual current
flowing through its pages. Any seeker, on any spiritual path, should have this
book in their library. Especially worthy are Dr. Lewis’ lectures at the end of
the book, which are filled with profound illumination.”
– Glenview, IL
“You may feel
divine love, from reading this book. I met all of the Lewis family in the
1950s, and am happy to read details about their relationship with Paramahansa
Yogananda. The book is well written and fascinating. I have both the original
and the revised edition. They are informative and uplifting books.’
– Milwaukee, WI
Dr. Lewis now and then to our children and used his patient style and the past
few years my wife has really come around to our way of believing and took a lot
of the SRF lessons.”
“Thank you Master for sharing the life of Dr. Lewis
Excerpts from one of Dr. Lewis’ Lectures
You cannot know
God through thought but you can know Him through love. That is why you have to
stop the thoughts. God is not knowable through mind or intellect. He is not
knowable by thought but through affection which is far above thought. As Lord
Shankara said, “You know God is.” And so we can know His love. We cannot know
Him fully because, as Jesus said, “No one knows God.” But we can know His love
That is why we
must rise above thought to be able to feel God’s presence in the silence
within. We can know Him through love. That’s why love is the greatest thing,
the greatest of the commandments, you know, “Thou shalt love God with all they
heart, soul and strength and thy neighbor as thyself” because God’s love in His
presence and consciousness is in your neighbor. On these two commandments hang
all the laws and the prophets.
So, realize you
cannot know God through thought but you can through affection be one with Him.
That’s why God is not knowable but you can be one with him through love.
The Teachings are kept alive
at the Rossers’ Tuesday Night Meditations
Dr. Lewis told
Mr. Rosser to listen to everything he said for he spoke from the Light. Mr.
Rosser comments: “I did as he said, and still do to this day. We play lectures
that Dr. Lewis gave years ago when he spoke at the Hollywood and Encinitas
Temple. They were recorded on reel to reel. We have been holding meditations at
our home for forty four years now. We play a lecture every Tuesday night before
We began these meditations at Dennis Weaver’s house out in the San Fernando Valley and then when Brenda and I married we purchased a home in Hollywood. At that time we transferred the meditations to our home. Now in my retirement years we have the meeting/meditation in the retirement community we live in. It is the best place in the world to meditate for hardly a car drives by. We don’t hear TV’s or radio’ or barking dogs or talking neighbors. We even hold an all day Christmas Meditation here. Such joy…”