SHIVAYA: I spent years studying with Goenka and Munindra and doing Buddhist practice. I was in Bodhgaya in when that bus to Allahabad happened. Ram Dass suggested that I not go on the bus trip, and I accepted that. Then one day I was walking down the street in Delhi, and this friend I knew from Buddhist meditation courses, Marty Worth, who was a very reserved type of character, was now dancing down the street and acting sort of weird. When he saw me he did a spin.
"Whoa, Marty,” I said. “What’s going on?”
He said, “I’ve just come from Neem Karoli Baba.” He pulled out a color photo of Maharajji. “Neem Karoli Baba, the greatest saint in India. There is a bus at eleven tonight. Take it to Nainital, you’ll see him tomorrow.”
You know how you look at disciples or devotees of various gurus and think, “Do I want to be like that?” I looked at him and I said, “No, I don’t want to be like that,” so I went on my way.
I went to a money changer in Connaught Place. At that time money changers were out in the open. This guy had a room, a desk and two chairs, and a picture of Maharajji on his desk.
I asked, “Who’s that?”
“Neem Karoli Baba, the greatest saint in India.”
“Why do you have his picture?”
“All of his devotees come here. This man is such a great saint that you get blessings just by having his picture.”
I changed my money and went on my way.
I had a friend named Mahendra, and I would usually spend the night with him when I was in Delhi. We would wax philosophical into the night about God, and his wife was a great cook.
After the money changer I go to Mahendra’s, and while we are waiting for dinner, he says, “I have a book of other friends who have stopped here along the way. Do you know Wavy Gravy? Do you know Dr. Larry?” He brings out this book, and I open up to an 8-by-10 glossy of Neem Karoli Baba. “That’s Neem Karoli Baba. He’s the greatest saint in India.”
It is about nine thirty when his wife comes in and says dinner is ready. I said, “Mahendra, I’m going to have to skip dinner. I have to catch an eleven o’clock bus. Three times today this face has come into my face. One time I can forget about it. Two times I can think about it, but three times and I have to get to Nainital tonight.”
It was now morning. From Nainital, I got on the bus to Kainchi. My head was shaved, and this Indian man on the bus had a Gandhi hat. I was used to putting a gamsha [piece of cloth] around my head. He took his Gandhi-style hat and gave it to me. When I walked into the ashram Maharajji was up on the takhat. There were fifteen or twenty devotees sitting around, and Maharajji jumped up and started screaming, “Gandhiji, Gandhiji, Gandhiji has come. Come, come, Gandhiji!” He’s laughing and everyone gets hysterical, and of course I am laughing, and it was just this huge laughfest going on. “Come, Gandhi, sit. It is so good, Gandhiji is here.” That was a cool entry. I was blown away.
There were other new people who had come that day, and everybody was asking him where to stay. He told everyone to go to Nainital. But I wasn’t going to Nainital. Robert Friedlander says, “You can come and stay with me. I’ve got a room in Bhowali.” He not only had a room; he also had a bag full of dynamite acid. That night I dropped a hit and sat in front of the photo of Maharajji with the finger. Needless to say, tripping while looking at that photo, every conceivable thing that I had ever done in my whole life ran through me.
Now it was about three o’clock in the morning, and I got up and walked to Kainchi, singing kirtan all the way. When I got to Kainchi, I was exhausted and fell asleep at the gate. When I woke up, people were stepping over me going to darshan.
I went in and Maharajji again greeted me with a big Gandhiji hello. I was still tripping. I was having these flashes, and I didn’t want to sit too close to him. I had been through so much through the night with that finger. I was really feeling this incredible connection to this being, but I didn’t want there to be any doubts in my head. I thought, “Maharajji, if you and I have any connection at all, I would like to see that mudra that I spent the night looking at.” He was talking to somebody, but he turned and lifted that finger, then went right back. That sent this electric current racing through me. It was just an instant, but it was direct.
Now I felt we had a connection, but I wanted something more. After being there a few days, I said to Dada, “I think it would really be interesting if I could have a personal audience with Maharajji.” Sometime later in the afternoon Dada comes over to me and says, “Maharajji will see you now.”
Dada and I go in, and Maharajji is sitting in the office. Here I had been getting all that happy Gandhiji laughing, and now in a really gruff voice it was, “Kya hai? What do you want?”
I said, “I don’t know what to do.”
He said, “You keep silent. Jao.”
Dada said to me, “We call it maun, and he says now you’re maun. You don’t speak.” I was maun the whole time. I spoke only when I went in and saw Maharajji personally.
Excerpt From: Markus, Parvati. “Love Everyone.” HarperCollinsPublishers.
Videos of devotees in this book included in this category: Satsang Videos.
Buy this book at Amazon:: Love Everyone: The Transcendent Wisdom of Neem Karoli Baba Told Through the Stories of the Westerners Whose Lives He Transformed.