During the months I was in yogi training at Maharaj-ji’s little temple in the hills, I got really high. It felt like light was pouring out of my head. At one point I had to go to Delhi to get my visa renewed. I went as a yogi. I had long hair and a long beard and māla (prayer beads), and I was wearing white. As I was walking barefoot through Connaught Circus, in the center of New Delhi, I felt the shakti, the spiritual energy, everywhere. I loved it. My newly spiritual ego was along for the ride too.
I put in my visa application and collected the mail from American Express. Then I went to a pure vegetarian restaurant for lunch. I was hungry, but I was maintaining my yogic purity. In India they treat holy people with great respect, but if you’re a white holy man from the West, that’s really very unusual. So I was doubly holy, and they were very respectful. They watched me eat. I had the vegetarian special, and I ate very consciously and yogically.
At the end they served a dessert that had two little English biscuits in it. I knew those weren’t yogi food. You know, when you’re pure, you can smell which food is pure and which is impure. But there is always a very oral Jewish boy in me too, and he wanted those cookies. So while I looked holy, I carefully edged the dish over and pushed the cookies into my bag. I looked as if I was thinking of something holy. I ate the biscuits in the alley outside the restaurant.
Then I went back up to the mountains, an eight-hour bus ride, and as I entered the temple, I went to touch Maharaj-ji’s feet. I looked up at him, and he said, “How did you like the biscuits?”
– Ram Dass
Help Support These Teachings
If you enjoyed Nowhere to Go, please support our efforts to continue making teachings from Ram Dass and friends accessible to all. As Ram Dass says, "When you see the beloved all around you, everyone is family and everywhere is love." Learn more >
If you would like to donate via mail, please send a check to:
Love Serve Remember Foundation
2355 Westwood Blvd. #130
Los Angeles, CA 90064
LSRF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Contributions are tax deductible as allowed by law.