Ram Dass gives a moving talk on the Guru’s grace and the story of how he received a true secret teaching from his own Guru.
Recorded in June 1973, Ram Dass leads a discussion around the concept of Dharma, or one’s path in life, and how he discovered his own Dharma through a secret teaching from his Guru. We may go to great lengths to avoid our path, but our inner voice continues to bring us back. Ram Dass also explains the role of karma yoga and what it means to ‘die into service.’ We learn to work with our desires and move right into the fire. Through this work, we free ourselves from attachment and find a deeper connection with God.
Guru’s Grace (Opening) – Ram Dass reflects on the blessing shared by everyone in the room who is able to experience Satsang (spiritual family). He explains that it is not by chance that we happen to come together to practice, but by the grace of the Guru.
“Just our being together here is such grace, so much blessing for one birth.”
Through the Fire (15:00) – In Tulsi Das’ Ramayana it is made very clear that unless one honors Shiva, one cannot come to Ram. Ram is an incarnation of Vishnu who is generally connected with the loving and supportive forces in the world, while Shiva is often associated with the chaotic and destructive forces in the world. Ram Dass discusses what it means to honor Shiva and why that is needed to truly know Ram.
“Ram says, ‘Unless you honor Shiva, you cannot come to me.’”
True Dharma (28:10) – “Go see Lama Govinda” were the words that Neem Karoli Baba said to Ram Dass. RD tells the story of how having his expectations shattered was necessary in finding his life’s path. This encounter changed the way Ram Dass opened himself to his Dharma and the teachings of his Guru.
“I saw hanging out and talking about God with people as what you do until you do the real thing. Now I had to flip it over and see that maybe that was the real thing and all the rest were just support systems.”
Motivation to Serve (42:30) – Ram Dass talks about the real world struggles that come with accepting our Dharmic path. When we are called to serve, we may not always have the grace, desire, or patience to do so. Ram Dass jokes about the traps he has fallen into on his journey of accepting his own Dharma.
For more stories from Ram Dass about his time with Maharaj-Ji, check this episode of Here and Now.
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