I was sitting for several months in Buddhist meditation in Bodh Gaya. About two-thirds of the way through the second month, this funny-looking little man started to appear in the upper-right-hand corner of my awareness. Every so often he’d smile. I wondered who he was and just watched him come and go. Later I began to suspect that it was Maharajji, whom I’d heard about the year before.
At the end of the retreat I opened a copy of The Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa and a picture of Maharajji fell out. When we finally got to Vrindaban where he was supposed to be, we found the gates of the temple locked. Feeling very sad that I had come all this way only to find the gates locked, I went across the street and sat on the culvert.
All of a sudden I felt as if Maharajji had come leaping over the wall, for I was completely surrounded and filled with the greatest love I had ever experienced. I burst into tears. People passing by saw this crazy, long-haired Westerner sobbing his guts out. They just looked at me and smiled and continued on.
I didn’t know what was going on, but I had the clear sense of being home. There was absolutely no question that I was exactly where I wanted to be. A month before I couldn’t have imagined such an experience, but here I was, so relieved, so happy. My heart seemed to have burst open.
Shortly afterward we were allowed into the temple. Maharajji asked me all the usual questions, like who I was and where I was from and what I did. And then suddenly I found myself bowing, with my head at his feet—and feeling totally right about it. And he was patting me on the head, saying something like, “Welcome, glad to see you made it. Welcome aboard.” All I wanted to do was to hang onto his feet, and I didn’t care at all that this wasn’t in any way consistent with my self image.
– Excerpt from Miracle of Love: Stories about Neem Karoli Baba – compiled by Ram Dass
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