On one occasion, KK invited me to join him and his cousin ML in an evening drive out to Kainchi to deliver some lamps and supplies that had been purchased at Maharaji’s instructions for a forthcoming holiday ritual. This opportunity was a delight, for never, when Maharaji was present, had I been allowed to be at the temple at Kainchi in the evening after the gates were closed.
It was a quiet time of deepening dusk and all was gentle and silent. Maharaji was sitting alone on his outdoor docket when we arrived. ML and I joined him while KK went about his business of storing the things that we had brought. For once there was no banter or conversation of any kind. This was what I had really yearned for – the opportunity to meditate in Maharaji’s presence – for the constant drama of words and apples that usually surrounded Maharaji kept all consciousness focused on the physical plane. Although the yearning to meet him on the other planes was always strong and persistent, when the drama was in progress I lacked the discipline to ignore it thoroughly and draw my mind within, to focus on anja (the third eye) in such a way as to bring consciousness to other planes.
Now all was silent; this was my opportunity. I sat in the lotus position and brought my attention to my forehead. Almost immediately I entered into deep meditation and felt the physical plane drifting away. At this point I was vaguely aware that Maharaji had suddenly lain over on his side and was snoring. I recall a vague surprise, because from the position he was in it seemed obvious that he was not really asleep. There was little time to reflect upon this, however, for suddenly my body was shaken by violent and powerful shocks of energy, which literally made my teeth rattle. The shaking seemed to grow in intensity and the focus on my forehead faltered as the attention was drawn down to the shaking body. Immediately Maharaji sat up, turned to ML, and said, “Ask Ram Dass how much money Steven makes.”
I heard the words from a great distance and also heard ML’s reply that he didn’t want to disturb me because I was meditating. However, Maharaji insisted, and ML gently shook my knee. I could feel great resistance in me to “coming down” and i tried to come down just enough to answer, “Thirty thousand a year,” hoping to be allowed to go back “up.” But once down, the experience was over. It was, however, enough to show me that my discipline of mind wasn’t sufficient to work with the huge energies that Maharaji could release in me with a simple snore.
Shortly afterward we were “jao’ed.” Just at the corner of the temple I looked back. There sat Maharaji in his blanket in the darkness, immobile as a statue. There was something unearthly about him at that moment. It wasn’t the Maharaji of the warm intimate moments; it was the remote Shiva who sits atop Mount Kailash in eternal meditation. This was that aspect of Maharaji which, like the Himalayas, seemed vast and impersonal and touched a place of great depth and innocence within me. This was the force that drew me. It was love beyond love.
– Ram Dass, excerpt from Miracle of Love: Stories about Neem Karoli Baba
Top photograph taken by Mridula.