The minute you know that there is somebody who knows it all, you are free. Because all your secrets become absurd, because somebody knows everything about you and they say, “yeah, right. Look at all that horrible stuff and here we are.” Maharaji knows all about my dirty laundry. I remember once I went into an ashram where you rent a cave for 18 rupees a week and they lock you in and pass food in through a window. It was very hot in there so I was naked all the time. I came back to Maharaji and one of the first things he said to me was, out of a clear sky, “You know, it’s good not to wear clothes.” I said “Oh, yeah Maharaji? Thank you.”

I was in Bombay and I started to drink scotch and sodas. I was with the president of an ashram board of trustees. I was visiting his home and I was a yogi and he said, “The doctors said that for my heart I have to take a little scotch every night,” And I said, “Oh, I understand.” Because it’s not good to drink in India. Conscious beings don’t drink, because it’s not a very interesting drug actually.

So I went into his room expecting him to bring out a little medicine glass and pour some, but he brought out an ice bucket and two glasses and I remembered the days when I really loved scotch and soda. So he poured one and said, “Would you like some soda water?” I said, “No, I’ll join you.” I figured, “Tantra is for me!” So I got completely crocked and we staggered through dinner, his wife was feeding us, and I could barely find the table. This was on one drink. The next evening we started a little earlier and it was one of those things. After about three days I went back up north to Brindaban and that evening Maharaji called me out to his tucket and he started talking about this other yogi who was an American who was being taken care of by these very devoted women.

He said, “He’s with women!” I said, “Yes, I know Maharaji.” He said, “What does he call them?” I said, “He calls them his mothers,” “Oh, how old are they?” I said, “Well, one is twenty years old.” He was just taking me through this whole thing, he had done it a dozen times before. He said, “You know what his mothers give him?” I said, “No, what?” He said, “They give him milk.” I said, “That’s wonderful. Mothers, milk, that’s just right on.” He said, “Every night they give him milk.” I said, “Oh, that’s wonderful Maharaji.” Maharaji comes up to me really close and he says to me, “You know what they put in the milk?” I say, “No Maharaji, what do they put in the milk?” He says, “Liquor!” and I said, “No!” And he comes closer and he says, “Yes!” and shakes his finger at me.

So where am I going to hide? You think because he is not in a body it makes any difference?

There’s that constant feeling, if you can’t hide it’s all out in the open and if it’s all out in the open, well, here we are. You have to be what you are because you can’t make believe you are something else, because who are you going to fool? It’s far out, there is just nowhere to lock the door. That’s quite freeing, it turns out.

~Ram Dass, 1977