I was carrying a burden of doubt when I returned to India to see Maharaj-ji in 1970. In America there was a boy who had been my student who had died. He was a deeply spiritual kid whose father was a foreign scientist. The family was well off and had a home in New Hampshire and lived in Arizona. The boy lived in New York but had gone to do sadhana in a cave on their place in Arizona. Later I heard from his mother that he had died.
The mother said, “My son has achieved mahasamadhi (final merging).” She showed me the diary that he had kept. He wrote that he was taking samadhi, that she should not worry and that he would be watching over her. She asked me, “Is everything he said true?” I said, “Well I don’t know, but I’m going back to India in the fall to see my guru, and he will certainly know.” I had my doubts. No student of mine had gained mahasamadhi, and I said to myself that it must be drugs. Later I learned he had indeed taken LSD. There had been blood on the walls of the cave and I assumed he had done prānayāma (yogic breath control) while on LSD and he overdid it.
One day we were all showing our photos to Maharaj-ji, passport pictures and pictures from our wallets. I remembered I had this boy’s photo and went to get it. It was his high school graduation picture. It didn’t look much like how I remembered him. But I put his picture next to Maharaj-ji, who said, “He left his body.” Then he proceeded to quote from the boy’s diary, “Tell Ram Dass I have finished my work. I will be watching over you, Mother …” and he give me all the information from the diary. Maharaj-ji said, “He’s one with Christ. He has finished his work. He’s watching over his mother.”
Then he said, “Your medicines weren’t the cause of his death.” That had been weighing on my mind. I wrote to the mother and told her what Maharaj-ji said. This is just one instance of how Maharaj-ji worked with the subtleties of our lives beyond the appearances to confirm our faith, including our drug karma.
- Ram Dass from Be Love Now