05. Degrading Exhibitions
[About a person who is reported to have eaten a live viper’s head, nails, nitric acid and the like in the presence of a ‘distinguished’ audience]
In my opinion they [such exhibitions] are degrading both for the demonstrator and also for the public. And if the demonstrator died, as he most likely would if these demonstrations were continued, those who encouraged him by attaining them I should hold guilty of manslaughter. I do not think that either science or humanity is served by such revolting exhibitions. The text-book on Hathayoga clearly lay down that Hathayogis are excepted not to exhibit their yogic powers or make use of them for purposes of gain.
(This was written in Yeravda prison on April 26, 1932.)