I managed to get over to India by November of 1970, just as I turned twenty-five. Ram Dass didn’t know where Maharajji was when I arrived, so I went to Pondicherry, a French colony seaside town from the eighteenth-century – very exotic and enchanting and the home of another saint, Sri Aurobindo, and his Shakti, simply called Mother.
It was arranged that I could have a short visit with the Mother of the ashram. She was very old, and I heard she had some sort of muscle disease that affected her motor control. I wondered, “Geez, it’d be terrible if all I saw was a decrepit old body instead of a holy woman.” I was ushered into a room that was full of light. Mother contacted me with her eyes, and I never noticed her body. It was my first spiritual experience with a human who had gone beyond duality. It was a very deep experience.
I then went to Muktananda’s ashram, where Ram Dass finally gave me the info to get up to Maharajji. Even all these years later, I can hear the clang of the doors in Kainchi as Maharajji used to smack them open to come out from the back room onto the porch where his takhat was. As soon as I saw him, the first thought was, “Oh, that’s what Ram Dass was all about. Wow!” And the second thought was that knowing that you always knew him, always will, knowing that presence was always there.
Maharajji said, “Where were you before you came here?”
I was going to say, “Well, I’ve been at Swami Muktananda’s.”
But before I could say anything, he looked at me and in English said, “Mother, Mother.”
The second I saw Maharajji, I absolutely knew I was home.
-Raghu Markus, excerpt from Love Everyone
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