A Round Trip Ticket to Ride


I’ve been reading Be Love Now and I love the way Ram Dass is revisiting his early experiences with Maharajji, looking back at the beginning, filling in the blanks in between the layers of the stories we’ve heard before. When I think about those first awful weeks after his massive stroke, when we didn’t know how much brain function he would recover and the prognosis looked grim, and then read the way his memories pour out in the new book, I’m so grateful for the round trip Ram Dass been able to make.

He talks about the six months he spent at Kainchi after first meeting Maharajji and how they seemed like “one timeless moment.” I understand. I also keep revisiting the time I spent in Maharajji’s presence. And revisiting is the wrong word for a timeless experience that lies at the core of who I am and who I’ve been for the last four decades—a devotee of Spirit who tries to live with no “scruple of change” as the drama plays itself out. Rereading Be Here Now, and first reading Be Love Now, is like having a round trip ticket to ride once again the waves of love and surrender, joy and despair, of that timeless moment.

Like Ram Dass writing his new book, I’ve been immersed in the past. I’ve started archiving the stories of those of us Westerners who were with Maharajji during those few brief years in the early 70s before he left his body. Looking back four decades, what is amazing for all of us is how vividly that time stands out. We may not remember everything he said, or the exact progression of whether it happened in Kainchi or Brindavan or Allahabad, but the feeling, the space, the connection is always there—timeless.

What can erase from memory the greatest love story of your life?

One of the things that those of us who kept journals during our time with Maharajji did was to write down quotes that were relevant to us. I don’t have a lot of words today. Instead, here’s a quote I’d written in my journal back then.

“When love beckons to you, follow him, though his ways are hard and steep.
And when his wings enfold you, yield to him, though the sword hidden amongst his pinions may wound you.
And when he speaks to you believe in him, though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden.
For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.
Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun, so shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth.”
–Gibran, The Prophet

A page from Maharajji's "journal"--all RAMs

6 Responses to “A Round Trip Ticket to Ride”

  • Carin Channing Says:

    Parvati-Ji, I have goosebumps reading this post this morning. I just gave away my copy of The Prophet. That was a spectacular quote to read. Thank for for all of this writing. It warms me to hear names of Indian towns. I never met Maharaj-ji in his body, but I’m certain he got me over to that dusty little ashram in Brindavan some 30 years later. Has me sitting here typing with you now. Has given us all the gift of participating in this blog. I’m so grateful. Thank you for opening up space for me this morning.

  • Jonathan_Anderson Says:

    Wow Parvati, I agree with Carin. Goosebumps. I’ve been feeling alternating waves of openness to miracles, and defenses scrambling to protect my ideas of science and spirit being merged.

    But your post today, I dunno. . . it just put me in ‘neutral’ with all of it (I talked with a trusted friend about this possibility just yesterday–that of being in neutral).

    It’s a feeling that I get when I think of what my Pa-Pa would say to me about all of this (He’s the closest person I’ve met for more than a few minutes that I can even contemplate the presence of Maharajji in a body). You clearly have a gift, and I’m so grateful to have started my day by reading your post.

  • Dassima Says:


  • Carin Channing Says:

    I also contemplate neutrality – and have been contemplating it. As I read your comment and saw that word, I felt grateful.
    Go Team!

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  • Beth Withey Says:

    The timeless travel with you and Ram Dass to those moments with Maharajji is an indescribable blessing, Parvati. What grace that these experiences rest in journals and minds and how grateful I am to be able to share in them.

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