Tahra Bey - Breaking stones on his stomach
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Dr Paul Brunton
A Search in Secret Egypt
The fakir touched the back of his neck and pressed the skin slightly higher than the nape firmly with his fingers; with the other hand he pressed the temples of his forehead. Then he seemed to suck air abruptly into his mouth, with the result that the Adam's apple of his throat was momentarily agitated. In a minute his eyes closed and he was entranced; at the same time he uttered a peculiar, sudden cry. His trance abruptly culminated in catalepsy so rigid that he would have fallen like a dead man to the floor, if his assistants had not caught him in their arms.
His body was now as stiff as a piece of wood.
For the first experiment he was-stripped bare to the waist. One of his assistants fixed the long-scythe-blades to the tops of a pair of trestles with the sharpened sides uppermost. Upon these blades Tahra Bey was then placed so that one propped up his shoulders and the other his ankles. While he was in this condition a doctor took his pulse-beat and was surprised to find that it registered the abnormally high figure of 130.
The large block of stone was brought-forward and weighed; it registered nearly ninety kilogrammes, or a little more than one hundredweight and a half-in English weights. It was a rough cube of solid rock granite. The assistants placed it upon Tahra Bey's bare stomach; one of them took up the blacksmith's hammer and vigorously delivered blow after blow upon the block. The fakir’s body remained as taut and rigid as if it had been made of iron, never yielding once a fraction under the combination of terrific pressure and weight. Eventually the stone split into two pieces which fell resoundingly to the floor. Tahra Bey was lifted up, placed on his feet and supported by his two men. Apparently, he was quite unconscious of what had happened, and had not suffered any pain. Doctors examined him with interest and found that the scythe’s blade edges had not left the slightest marks upon his skin! 'Nevertheless; the block of granite had left a strong red mark all over his abdomen.
The source of the experienceTahra Bey
Concepts, symbols and science items
Activities and commonsteps
Brunton, Dr. P. (1936) A Search in Secret Egypt, 2nd revised edition, New York: Samuel Weiser, Inc