EDITOR’S NOTE TO “A MUSSULMAN ABDAL (YOGI )”
[The Theosophist, Vol. I, No. 5, February, 1880, p. 131]
[The contributor, Syed Mahmood, having referred to a narrative in Ch. iii of the Bûstân* concerning a Dervish who crossed a river on a small carpet which he spread on the water, asks: “Why do the opponents not believe that abdals can go into water and fire?”]
This anecdote, kindly furnished by the accomplished Mr. Mahmood, has a real interest and value; in that it reminds the student of psychological science that a certain range of psycho-physiological powers may be developed, irrespective of creed or race, by whoever will undergo a certain system of training, or, as Mr. Mahmood expresses it in his note to his translation, who lead holy lives and so overcome the ordinary, that is, the more familiar, laws of matter. Mohammedan literature teems with authentic accounts of psychical phenomena performed by devotees and ascetics of that faith, and it is to be hoped that a portion, at least, may find their way into these columns through the friendly aid of Persian and Arabic scholars.
* [The Bûstân or “Fruit Garden” is a poem of Sa’di (1184-1291), the greatest didactic poet and the most popular writer of Persia, and was dedicated to the reigning atâbeg Abû Bekr.—Compiler.]