Bhagat Singh Thind

Coincidentally, the East Indian individual who received the unfortunate naturalization ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court – Bhagat Singh Thind – was himself a metaphysical teacher whose career was similar to A.K. Mozumdar's.

Dr. Thind (1862-1967) came to the United States early and, like Mozumdar, served in the military briefly during World War I. Again like Mozumdar, he initially lived in the Pacific Northwest (Oregon) and eventually settled in the Los Angeles area. Both ultimately became U.S. citizens even though restrictive laws and court decisions made that path difficult to walk for each of them.

Thind lectured on metaphysics extensively throughout the U.S. and wrote 15 books. He also earned a Ph.D.

Author Frederick G. Lieb (cited elsewhere on this website for his references to A.K. Mozumdar) knew both Mozumdar and Thind. In his 1939 book Sight Unseen he wrote the following about Thind–

"There is something about our Hindu lecturers that fires the imagination of Occidentals with the occult and metaphysical lecture-attending habit. To begin with, there is an air of mystery and mysticism about their personal appearance. Some are turbaned, most of them have a fondness for vividly-colored robes, while others wear long hair and bushy beards. As is customary with many Christian Science readers, they usually have their eyes closed in meditation as the flock gathers in the lecture hall. I have reason to believe that the turbans, gowns and whiskers are part of the make-up. In fact, Dr. Bhagat Singh Thind, who has a center in New York called the Institute of Applied Truth, once admitted to me he wore his turban and grew his long beard to convince his audiences he is a Hindu. In addition to having a long beard, Dr. Thind also has a long nose, pronounced Semitic features and a keen sense of humor. He loves to laugh and show his pearly white teeth through that bushy beard. "Without my turban, they thought I was a New York Jew masquerading as a Hindu. With it, they seemed satisfied I am the genuine article." Thind also is a frank person; he is a member of the fighting Sikh race and he admits that all the East India lecturers who invade our shores are not exactly his buddies. "While we exchange addresses and things like that, you would be surprised at the petty jealousies which exist between us," he once remarked from his platform. "Often, we are worse than a lot of cackling fishwives.

"Thind is one of the most interesting of these men I ever contacted, though I have met others whom I considered more spiritually advanced. He had a unique slogan when he first came to New York and his ushers passed around the baskets for the free will offering. "Give what you can," he would say, "and if you need it more than I do, take out when the basket passes you." Whether any of his impoverished listeners ever heeded this advice, I do not know. When I asked him about it, he merely grinned. When the baskets showed a good percentage of pennies, he would admonish his flock: "Oh, the poor pennies! The poor pennies! How can I ever lift your consciousness to an appreciation of your real riches when you cling to such a penny thought."

Lieb went on a few pages later to tell about A.K. Mozumdar. "Mozumdar, to my mind, is more spiritually advanced than any person I encountered along the metaphysical by-ways," he wrote. All of Lieb's references to Mozumdar are located elsewhere on this website.

Those of us at The Universal Message, however, have read some of Thind's writings and find them to be valuable contributions to spiritual understanding. Many of them are still in print and enjoy a wide circulation.

It is ironic that the revocation of Mozumdar's already-granted U.S. citizenship precipitated from a court case initiated by the efforts toward naturalization by one of his metaphysical lecture hall colleagues!