Bearing Witness in India

“One of the preoccupations of people throughout all times and all cultures has been to find that which is sacred, which is transcendental, which goes beyond the small sense of self, our jobs, our relationships, this small I. In all cultures, this search is taken as a journey, the journey of a yogi, a healer, a shaman, a seer, or a wise person. Although separated by continents and by centuries, it’s always the same journey. It’s the journey of going from the small self-centered view of the world to an awareness of its vastness and mystery.” – Jack Kornfield

When I left India the first time, my guru, Neem Karoli Baba, told me not to talk about him in the West. But as I traveled around and spoke to ever larger groups, I did nothing else. It was as if I had no choice. I shared him, and some of those who heard me talk about Maharajji went to India to meet him as well.

We Westerners who went to India on a spiritual quest and those of us who spent time with Maharajji experienced unconditional love and siddhis (spiritual powers) that we had never experienced before. Foremost was the way in which he saw us and loved us as souls. We bore witness to this exceptional soul as well as to our own true nature/selves. When we returned to the West, we carried him in our hearts and souls…

On my second trip to India in 1970, during my time with Maharajji, he would say to me simply, “Love everyone.” And all I could say was, “I can’t do that, Maharajji.” That was because I was identified with my ego, which could not possibly love everyone. He would come up to me, nose to nose, and repeat, “Ram Dass, love everyone.” … Maharajji’s instruction led me to perceive myself and everyone else as loving souls.

-Ram Dass, from the introduction to Love Everyone by Parvati Markus

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