Who Is Swami Beyondananda?

Once in many, many lifetimes comes a being so evolved, so enlightened, so pure that the entire world is transformed. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be anyone like that around these days.

Fortunately, we do have Swami Beyondananda to help us maintain our jestive health in a world that has become less and less funny. As the Swami says, "Indeed, the world is in a grave state -- and the best way to overcome gravity is with levity."

Swami can truly say he came from humble beginnings. His parents operated a Humble gas station just outside of Muskogee, Oklahoma. At a very early age, it became apparent that young Swami was different from the other children. You know how children quietly put their heads down on the desk when they fall asleep in class? Well, Swami would float to the ceiling. His father realized he could not provide the spiritual training that his gifted young son needed, so he apprenticed him to the most evolved spiritual teacher in Oklahoma, the Native American shaman Broken Wind.

Broken Wind believed that we are traumatized as babies by intestinal gas or colic. The great shaman invented a technique called "gastral projection" to help release these traumas. His philosophy was simple: "To air is human ... but to really cut one loose is divine." Young Swami was a mischievous boy who liked to play pranks on his teacher while the latter was meditating. Often, he would sneak up on Broken Wind from behind, grab him around the chest in a kind of Heimlich maneuver, and squeeze as hard as he could. His good-natured teacher put up with this for a while. But one day, true to his name, he gastrally-projected his young charge across the room. Swami learned a valuable lesson that day: Don’t squeeze the shaman.

Now Swami grew up in a Methodist family (actually, his father was Methodist and his mother was Catholic -- so technically, he was a Rhythm-Methodist) and as a young teenager, he became quite taken with the opposite sects. He was very impressed when an Oklahoma swami who called himself the Yogi From Muskogee (Swami has since taken that title) came to his boy scout troop and taught him to tie himself into twelve different knots. Swami quickly embraced the path of the yogi and mastered many advanced techniques, including levitation. Building on the gift for levity he was born with, Swami would often hover over the stands at his high school football games and moon the crowd. He was the only student in Muskogee history ever to get suspended for being suspended.

But like many a young man before him who flew too high too soon, the Swami was headed for a fall. His accelerated path to yogihood hit a dead end when his kundalini exploded in a crowded department store. No one else was injured, but Swami caught an inflection which left him with a permanent East Indian accent.

Now this was in the late 1960s, right in the midst of the Sects Revolution, and Swami began to explore all kinds of kinky sects. He studied with the guru of rock n’ roll, Baba Oom Mow Mow, who taught his own version of the Golden Rule: "Do wop unto others as you would have them do wop unto you."

A failed romance with a singer in one of Baba Oom Mow Mow’s girl groups left Swami in heartbreak hotel -- and that was how he Came to Elvis. When Elvis appeared in a dream asking, "Are you lonesome tonight?" Swami converted to Presleyterianism right on the spot. It was one of those new lite religions popping up in those days -- same satisfaction with one third the commandments. For the prophet Elvis asks only three things of his flock:

  1. Love Me Tender.
  2. Don’t Be Cruel.
  3. Please Surrender.

And the King promises eternal life as well, for it is written that old Presleyterians never die -- the just return to Sender. But still, young Swami was spiritually restless, and he sought out wilder and wilder sects. The turning point came when he woke up one morning with a sugar hangover in a strange biker crash pad where the inhabitants wore saffron leather vests and reeked of incense. That was when he knew he’d hit bottom2 -- he had come one thin ponytail away from becoming a Harley Krishna.

That day, the Swami swore off sects completely. Spirit was immaterial, he decided, and he now sought fulfillment by filling himself full of all the material goodies life could provide. He moved to New York to study with the renowned guru of the stock market, Yuan Tibet, who instructed him in the Dowist path. Swami became more and more dependent on the stock market prophet, buying soybean futures like there was no tamari. Suddenly, the price of soybeans plummeted (due, it was later revealed, to a rumor planted by unscrupulous dairy-heir that tofu actually came from between the toes of Himalayan hikers). Swami frantically tried to call Yuan Tibet for his sage advice, but he could not be found. Tragically, there had been some prophet-taking on Wall Street, somebody took him, and he was never heard from again.

Swami’s fortunes fell just as the last slew of credit card bills arrived, and he found himself in the midst of a near-debt experience. He was a fiscal wreck. His whole world had come crashing down in one swell poop, and as is often the case, he sought meaning in the midst of tragedy. He stood in Central Park, shaking his fist at the sky and shouting, "What is the MEANING of this?"

Well then the most amazing thing happened (for the complete account, you will have to read Swami’s new book, Duck Soup For The Soul). But to make a long satori short, Swami was struck by enlightning during a brainstorm, his clown chakra opened, and now he sees funny. Since that time, Swami has traveled the world preaching FUNdamentalism -- accent on Fun. He has become a well-known figure in the Humor Potential Movement, helping folks release jestive blockages such as irregularhilarity, irony deficiency, humorrhoids and yes, even truth decay.

While Swami has no followers per se (he says he gets paranoid when he thinks he’s being followed), he does train comic-kazis in the ancient Chinese path of Fu Ling. "To live in this world," the Swami says, "you must be able to take a joke. And if you can leave a few as well, all the better."

More articles by Swami Beyondananda

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About the Author

Hear the Swami’s wisdom with your own ears -- just click onto www.beyondananda.com. To find out more about Swami’s products and appearances on the "outernet", call 1-800-SWAMI-BE.

Swami’s Love and Laughter Special.

Says the Swami: "Many people have found themselves challenged by the recent economic downturn, and some have even had 'near-debt experiences.’" Well, to paraphrase those 60s icons, the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, "Laughter will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no laughter." To help you wake up laughing ... and leave laughter in your wake, the Swami has put together a special package including his hilarious book on healing laughter, Duck Soup for the Soul, his latest audio cassette, Beyondananda and Beyond: Two Takes on Healing Laughter, and his latest music and comedy CD, Drive Your Karma, Curb Your Dogma, a $38 value for just $29.77 + 4.23 shipping. Not only that, but act right now and receive online Swami's Joke-A-Week (Zen Cohens from Harry Cohen Baba) for ten weeks. To order, call Swami's hot line 1-800-SWAMI-BE or visit www.wakeuplaughing.com

If you enjoyed this column, you'll love 
"Duck Soup for the Soul: The Way Of Living Louder And Laughing Longer".
To order this book.

Another Swami book: "Driving Your Own Karma; Swami Beyondananda's Tour Guide to Enlightenment".
To order this book.


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