The origin of Ram Dass’s Be Here Now is explored in this excerpt from The Divine Reality of Sri Baba Neeb Karori Ji Maharaj.
With Maharaji’s permission, Ram Dass published the book Be Here Now in America in 1971. He gave instructions to the publisher to print the book and came to India with the first copy to present to Maharaji. Maharaji had not studied English. Yet five months later he drew Ram Dass’ attention to some untruths in two passages of the book and said, “Lies should not be mentioned in this book. They will hurt you. Delete those passages from the book.”
Ram Dass talks about the origin of Be Here Now on Here and Now Ep. 19
Ram Dass became anxious because a long time had elapsed, and the book might already have been published. He expected that about thirty thousand copies would have been printed. He contacted Steve Durkee and found out that the next thirty thousand copies were, in fact, in print. Explaining the situation to Baba, he said that the changes could only be incorporated into the next edition. It would be a loss of $10,000 to reject the thirty thousand books. Maharaji said, “Money and truth have nothing to do with each other. When you printed it first, you thought it was true, but now that you know it isn’t, you can’t print lies. You will be hurt by it. You must correct it now.”
Ram Dass sent a cable to Steve. After a week he received a reply reporting a strange incident. The book could not be printed because Baba’s photograph, which was to be printed on a full page, was missing. The original was also missing, so a new plate could not be made. The printed had pulled the job off the press to await further instructions.
Excerpt from The Divine Reality of Sri Baba Neeb Karori Ji Maharaj by Ravi Prakash Pande “Rajida”