Someone recently asked me what it was like to be around Maharaji. As a child, all I remember was that it was great fun. As I replay those meetings in my mind, I feel differently today – here was a man who did not look like any other sadhu that I had seen or met; he did not sound like any saint that I had met – his language was often colorful; he did not have the same hang ups as most other sadhus that I had come across – most have severe restrictions about where they will eat, who will cook it etc.. His devotees did not fit into any pattern either – they were rich, they were poor, they were Hindus, they were Muslims, Christians, Jews, Sikhs, and even the atheists who did not realize that they had been drawn.
There were the VIP’s and the dacoits, all in the same room. He preached nothing and yet his devotees were constantly learning. He met no pattern, he fit no description, and yet from where he sat, he was telling the kitchen what he wanted cooked; he was telling an eight year old what he would be when he grew up; he was scolding someone else about a recent lapse of judgment; addressing someone else about a concern that he/she was yet to express and probably dealing with creation elsewhere in the Universe, all at the same time. The answer to every question was still “How do I know?” He defies description and he does so on purpose.
- Excerpt from Barefoot in the Heart: Remembering Neem Karoli Baba