I could see that my guru had this power, this peace, this wisdom, this love, but it was hard for me to see it in myself. My neurotic ego didn’t allow me to think so positively about myself. But once I began to see myself through the guru’s eyes, with his grace the weight of all those negative habits of thought began to drop away, enough to allow me to go on with the journey.
That’s a little of what the guru does. What we haven’t talked about is the incredible joy of being in his presence. It’s an ambiance, a field around him, the field of his consciousness, who he is. When we were with Maharaj-ji most of us interpreted his physical form as the source or generator of that field, but it’s really his being attracting our souls. It’s a feeling that you only get when you’re contacting your deeper self, your soul. He invites us into a soul plane, he’s a soul connection. It’s a different plane of consciousness. It’s being in love, really being in it, being bathed by love until it suffuses your being.
It’s like if you had intense love for Jesus as a human being. Then as you love Jesus so much, you start to meet the Christ. Then as you love the Christ more and more you keep merging into that love. When you’ve merged into the Christ there is only One. Initially, it’s dualism. That’s the route of devotion to the guru. It’s a great asset to have the inner guru, to feel the presence and then keep merging into that presence.
Each of us has our way of tuning into that place where the guru dwells inside, the telltale sign of that presence. For me, it’s like I’m in a dark room and there’s someone else in the room, a presence of another being who my external senses don’t register. If I’m really tuning into Maharaj-ji there’s a sense of joy, of truth. It feels right on, it resonates, and I can’t get away from it. It takes me over. I associate a feeling of deep harmony with him, or I notice the way things happen with incredible synchronicity that still feels completely natural.
He comes to me in different ways, in different voices, in different people and yet there’s something about his presence that’s the same. It’s ecstatic. For you maybe it’s a feeling or a remembrance that comes from looking at the infinity of the night sky, or meditating, or listening to certain music, or a poem with an intimation of divine love that stirs your heart.
Being with Maharaj-ji is an eternal moment. When I was first in India I was blown away by how the six months I was there seemed like one timeless moment. If we are just present in the moment it expands into infinity. That’s where we can view ourselves as timeless souls in evolution. That’s Maharaj-ji time, that’s where he lives, his being draws us into that no-time zone. Once we get free of time and space everything is just consciousness and energy. Every moment is The Moment.
Maharaj-ji was so monumental and so loving. He climbed inside of us. He turned most of our lives around. We were pretty worldly and he turned us towards God. Once you’ve seen what you can be, there’s no turning back even if it takes lifetimes. After that meeting, there’s nothing, no pleasure, no worldly happiness that compares. All we can do is be close to him the rest of our lives. There is such joy in touching the feet of such a being. The first day I met Maharaj-ji, I couldn’t imagine touching anyone’s feet. The second day I couldn’t get there fast enough.
When Maharaj-ji left his body or died, I was surrounded by people crying. I was in the States. I wanted to cry, too, because it’s the usual thing. But wasn’t he still here? In India he would tell me to go away, “Jao, jao,” push me away, so I wasn’t so caught up in the body part of it. Death was really nothing special. He was just changing form. When he was in India I used to think that I could get away from him. Now I know I can’t get away from him because he’s wherever I am.
My relation to Maharaj-ji has gone way beyond any psychological relationship, or any feeling of specialness or personal need. We share a space of presence together that is very soft and liquid. It’s not interpersonal, it’s more like the merging of my consciousness with his. It’s just a loving presence together.
– Ram Dass