Yogis are, by definition, above earthly concerns, but last week 500 of them convened in Delhi in a "spiritual parliament" to further world peace. In the tented meeting ground by the Jumna River, teams of holy men in two-hour shifts chanted the names of peaceable deities, and sang hymns interspersed by frequent repetitions of the sacred word "om"—that "mystic sound," according to one swami, "which vibrates and makes luminous and radiant the inner and outer atmospheres." The vibrations, the holy men hoped, would counteract war preparations the world over. The holy men were generally optimistic, except gloomy Swami Puroshottamanand....

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!