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Call and Response Special Edition – Conversations With KD May 9, 2020
Taking time to look back and move forward. Conversations With KD episodes are derived from the recordings of KD’s online events from his home during the 2020/ 2021 days of social distancing and quarantine from the onset of COVID and beyond.
“These are all the names of what lives within us as who we are. Already. It’s not something else. It’s not somewhere else. It’s within us. All these names lead to the same place. They’re the names of the same place. All these so-called deities are forms of our own true nature… whatever you sing is fine. It doesn’t make any difference. Sing what you’d like. If you think about it, you’re not doing it. So, I would just do it.” – Krishna Das
Let’s welcome each other to our minds.
Let’s, let’s all close our eyes for a minute. So, now we’re united in the space of the heart. This is where we always are together with all beings. It’s just as if we’re sitting in one room together. This room happens to be earth at this moment. Just be with the breath. Take a few deep, long, deep breaths. Let the body relax. All that tension we carry around, bouncing off the walls of our homes, just let it go.
Sharon Salzberg and I once were doing a workshop in LA and we had such a nice time. So, at the end, I said “Wouldn’t it be great if we could all live together?” And then I laughed. I said, “Well, that’s what we’re doing. That’s earth.”
Earth is our home at this point. It just didn’t give us a user manual. We’re having to figure that out.
So, this time that we… we’re so apparently disconnected from everything is… can be very useful, and it is useful, even if we’re suffering and with all the difficulty. It’s going to change the way we sit in ourselves. It has to, regardless of what we think about it, and make us much more aware of our own stuff and everybody else’s stuff, but also aware that we need to care about other people, too, in this world, not just our close friends and family, but everything anyone on this planet does affects everybody. And at some point the amount of toxicity causes suffering for everyone. The main toxicity is the selfishness and the self-centeredness that we carry within us.
So, all the practices that we do are all about one thing, and that’s to release us from the prison of egoistic self-centered actions and considerations. So, there are two paths to that. One is the path of, you could say “devotion” or “loving kindness, caring,” and the other path is a path of jnana or wisdom, which they say it’s more difficult to follow because of our attachment to our bodies. But really there’s only one path and that path is each of our lives. And within that life that we’re living, we need to find a way to become good human beings. And it’s only from following the path of Dharma, the spiritual path, that we can become good human beings, whatever that means to each of us. Our motivations begin to come from kindness and compassion. Our caring about other people increases, so our obsession with ourselves decreases and how we feel and “How am I, how am I now? How am I now? How am I now?” All day long. You know, the movie of “me.”
So how do we free ourselves from this prison of me-ness, of ego, of the belief that we are separate from everybody, and it’s around that sense of separateness that all our suffering revolves. When that planet of “me” dissolves, there’s nothing for the suffering to revolve around, to orbit around. It goes and find somebody else to bother.
So, let’s take some questions and then we’ll just see how the day goes.
Q: Thank you so much for this and for everything you’re doing right now, it’s so wonderful and so nourishing. You tell a story in “Flow of Grace” and in “Chants of a Lifetime” about visiting a Saint at an ashram who said you need to develop willpower. You talk about how he let you see that you were kind of crippling yourself and preventing yourself from jumping 100% into life and then you go on to say that developing that will power was one of the things that allowed you to begin to sing with people. That speaks to me so much because I really need to develop that will power. So how do I go about it?
Well, the first step is recognizing what the situation really is, and then you just have to apply yourself. When that Yogi told me that it was such a shock, because I didn’t see myself that way. So, when I saw myself, when he showed me what he was seeing inside of me it was, it was a revelation and a shock to my system, also. And that was just… it’s… When you see through something, that’s when you know something, then you know, and then the rest of your life aligns itself with that, knowing it’s not like there’s any one thing to do or not to do, but then from that point on, you have a different sense of direction and, and your life begins to align itself with that direction.
You know, teachers give techniques and there are so many techniques and so many ways to, to calm the mind and purify the heart. But the reality is that it’s our lives that are our path. And there’s not like a spiritual path somewhere else. It’s not like you’re walking here and oh, now that you found this spiritual path, you’ll be walking on the other side of the street, you know? And only wearing white clothes and only talking to people, you know?
So, it’s not like that, you know. You are the path, and when you understand something or have an insight into your own stuff, then the root of that stuff is essentially cut. And then you just take the time for the tree to fall. So, you just, because you, you’ll start living your life in a different way.
What he said to me, wasn’t new either. I, you know, I had, before I left, before I went to India, Ram Dass and I and others were up at the Lama Foundation in New Mexico for the winter. And we did a lot of singing and meditating and whatever the hell we thought we were doing, and one time… we heard about this guy, this New York artist who had gone to India and learned how to meditate and had moved out to New Mexico and was living just down the mountain from the Lama Foundation. So, we, a few of us went down to see him. Wow. He knows how to meditate, you know, and we spent the afternoon with him talking and I didn’t say anything. I was just listening and hanging out and kind of in the back. And so, I was the last one to leave, leave the room. And as I was walking out the door, he grabbed my arm and he said to me, “You have to find out why it is you, you can’t give yourself a hundred percent to whatever you’re doing.”
And, you know, I can still feel his hand. That was so amazing. It was so true of me, especially at that time. And even now. The ability to give yourself a hundred percent to whatever you’re doing is like, almost like becoming God, you know. Who can do that in a conscious way? Not in like watching a movie where you’re totally gone but being present and really being there.
So, when I first heard chanting in India, all the lights went on for me. And I thought, ah, I could do this, you know, this, I want to do this. And that’s how I started chanting, really, because I recognize that this was, this was one thing I could do. If I couldn’t do anything else in life, I could do this.
So, it’s that kind of thing, you know. Your life has already has everything in it that you need, and you already are everything you need to be. We just have to recognize what that is. You know? And it’s a done deal. It’s just you know, we’ve been shot out of the cannon. We just haven’t hit the ground yet.
Q: Hello. I have a question. Can you please tell us how did Maharajji send you home and how was that?
Oh, well, you’re looking at it. That’s how it is. You know, I had been in India two and a half years already. He kept me there. He allowed me to stay and arranged my visas for me, actually.
And It’s funny. I was just thinking about this. So, there were… he had disappeared. Okay? It was like early December, 1972. And he had disappeared. Nobody knew where he was. So, a friend of mine and I, we went to Delhi and I think we were staying at a devotee’s house and this devotee, he was a very close devotee of Maharaji, Mr. Barman. And somehow or other, we got a feeling that Mr. Barman had gone somewhere with Maharajji. So, we kind of leaned on his driver, who I met after 50 years a couple of years ago when I went to Japan, he’s living there now. So he said, I can’t tell you where Maharajji has gone, but, but I’ll tell you when Mr. Berman has gone.” And he said, “He’s gone down to Bombay. And he’s he stays at this hotel called the Nataraj hotel.”
So, me and my friend, we got on a plane. She had some money, luckily. I was broke always in India. So, we got on a plane and we went down to Bombay and we went to this hotel, and we sat in the lobby of the hotel all day. And in the evening, Mr. Barman comes in and he sees us, and he says, “Krishna Das, Draupadi, what are you doing here?”
And we said, “Mr. Barman, we heard Maharajji’s in Bombay.”
He said “Really? Maharajji’s in Bombay? Oh my God. Well, come up to my room, order some food, relax. I have to go out on some business. And when I come back, we’ll try to find him.”
So I was, I went, “Oh, if he doesn’t know where he is, how are we going to ever find him?”
And I was like, suicidal, you know, “What are we going to do now? We’ll never find him. Where is he?”
So, we were up in the room and a couple of hours later, there’s a bang on the door. The door opens. And in walks Maharajji. He had just lied to us, of course. He knew where he was. He was with him. So, from that day on for two weeks almost, I think it was close to two weeks, maybe 10 days, every day, we’d spend many hours with Maharajji every day.
So, I’ll tell you the whole story. So Draupadi, who is a wonderful devotee of Maharajji, and I, we were sharing a hotel room and I was celibate those days, and I had been celibate for almost two years in India, and sharing a room with a, with a beautiful woman was kind of getting to me. So, one day I said to Maharajji, in Hindi, I said, “Maharajji,” so nobody, so Draupadi wouldn’t know what I was saying, I said, “Maharajji, you know, every once in a while lust comes.”
So, he said, he looks at Draupadi, “Draupadi, get him his own room.”
Oh, there’s a dog. Who’s that?
So, I had my own room. It was so great, you know? However, I just realized this a couple of days ago… So, shortly after that, Maharajji sent me back up to Dada’s house and he left India and Draupadi went away, and then I later found out that Draupadi had gone with Maharajji, and they had gone on tour of South India with other devotees. If I hadn’t have said that, about getting horny, I would have been on that tour with them. But that’s what happened. So, the reason I tell you that, so then Maharajji sent me to Dada’s house and he told me he would meet me there, and I waited for like a month or more, and he never showed up.
So, then I decided to go. Oh no, no, sorry. Here’s what happened. So, before we left Bombay, one day, we were sitting with Maharajji all day and he looks at me and he says, “You go back to New York, you go back to America. You have attachment there.”
And I was just like, “What? I’m just learning Hindi.”
Too bad, you have to go.
So, he told me to leave when my visa was up, which was at the beginning of March. So, all through January and February, I was in Allahabad. And then just before March, I heard he was in Vrindavan and I went there and, now he wouldn’t see the Westerners, because there were these, the local visa guy was trying to get bribes from him, you know, to, to help the westerners stay. He wanted bribes. So, Maharajji got pissed off and he wouldn’t let the Westerners come in to see him. And this went on for like a couple of weeks. I think.
And then finally, one day we were sitting, and it was the day that I had to leave for Delhi to catch a plane back to America. All of a sudden, he let the Westerners in. So, we rushed in to him. Everybody’s crying and laughing and happy. And I was freaked out because I didn’t know what I was going to do in America. I’ve been in India for two and a half years. I spoke English like this, “Hello? Yes. Now coming, now going. Yes. Very good. Thank you.”
And I’d been walking around in a red dress and barefoot, you know. I don’t think that’s gonna fly in New York. So, I’m sitting there in front of Him and I’m saying to myself, “I have to ask him what to do in America.” Right?
And but then the other part of me was saying, “How dare you? Don’t be so… you should have faith. What’s wrong with you? Just go, everything will be okay. What do you mean everything’s going to be okay?”
I don’t know, what am I going to do in America? I was freaked. You know? So finally, I blurted out, I said, “Baba, how can I serve you in America?”
And he went, ah, it was like he bit a pickle, you know, it was like, eh, what a horrible, what a totally self-centered question. I really wasn’t thinking about him at all. I was worried about me. So, He looks at me and He says, He says, “Just do what you want.”
Now I had been celibate for almost two and a half years. I knew what I wanted to do. And he knew what I wanted to do. So, my mind just stopped and I thought, how could, how could doing what I want to do be serving him? And he just laughed and he looked at me, “So how will you serve me?”
And he laughed and then it was time to go.
So, I got up and I walked across the courtyard and I bowed down to him from across the courtyard, the last time I saw him physically, so far. And I heard in my mind my own voice speaking, but it wasn’t me speaking, but it was my voice. And it said, “I’ll sing to you in America.”
I didn’t say that. I heard it. I’ll sing to you in America. And I thought, Oh, okay. And then I left. And that’s what’s been happening.
So yeah. You know, at the time I thought, what did he mean? He said, “I have to go back to America. I have attachment there.” I had left everything. I sold my car, my guitar, my record collection. I gave my jeans away. I had a couple of boxes of stuff in my mother’s basement, but I had left for good. I was never coming back. I didn’t know what he meant. Now, if I look at my life, the last, how many years? 49 years? How many years? No, no. From ‘73 to what? ‘83 ‘93, 2003, ’13… 47 years.
Everything that’s happened to me, my whole life, everything in it, that’s what he was talking about. These were the karmas that were inside of me that had to come out. It wasn’t enough, me sitting in India and avoiding my life. These karmas had to be, they had to work out. They had to come out, they had to be lived out. Well, that’s what he meant.
And the question was how to live through your life, how to actually live it in the best way possible. You know? And that’s what’s taken all these years to figure out. How to get through the day in the best way, being kind to myself and kind to others as best I can. You know, we think that there’s some other place to go, you know? We think we want to be in some blissful state where we’ll always be happy and everything will always be wonderful.
You know, it just doesn’t work like that. That state is already within us. It’s not something we get. It’s something we uncover by living in a good way and by doing some practice to help that happen. It’s not about trying to hold on to one state and avoid the things we don’t like. It’s not possible. We have to open and allow light to come to us and we have to get the strength to deal with all the, the unprocessed karmas, all the stuff in our hearts, all the hurts, all the betrayals, all the broken-hearted moments. We have to live with that. We have to open to that and we have to, we have to learn to love that, too, and that part of ourselves, because if we don’t, it’s ourselves, we are hurting ourselves. So, it’s all about that.
And the reason I wanted to stay in India, because I hated myself and I wanted to be somebody else, and being Krishna Das in India at that time was being somebody else. There was no, I was no longer the guy who grew up in New York, but that couldn’t last, you know? And in fact, you know, I was so, I had so much energy. I almost walked around like a robot because the energy couldn’t go through me. There was so much blockage. There was so much tension and fear in my heart. So, I had to live through all this stuff in order to see that clearly and to let go of it and continually try to find a good way to live that makes me happy, also.
So yeah, so really all the practices that we do, yoga and meditation, chanting, it’s all about feeding our own hearts in a way that allow us to, to really be here in a good way and be happy, because our nature is happy. Our true nature is just fine inside, but we’ve, it’s been covered up by a lot of shit and a lot of painful experiences.
And we all share that, all of us. So, the spiritual path is about learning how to… not transform, that’s the wrong word, but to release all that stuff over and over again. Release it, come back, release it, release it, release the fear, release the stories that we tell ourselves about ourselves that we believe about ourselves.
“Oh, I’m not enough. I’m no good.” You know, “I’m this, I’m that.”
All the things we tell ourselves, we torture ourselves with that stuff and we never, we never questioned why we believe that stuff. It’s so natural to us to have those feelings. So that’s why, when you, when you chant or you meditate or something, you bring in that object, your object of concentration, the thing you’re supposed to be paying attention to, say the mantra, and then after a minute or two, you notice you haven’t been paying any attention.
So, you come back and then you notice again. So, you come back. And that trains us, little by little, to be more here and more present with ourselves, because we start to notice how we go through the whole day, completely lost in thought or thinking about the future, the past. What do I want? What I don’t want, what I don’t have, what I have… all that stuff.
So, it’s just a question of slowing down and learning to give ourselves a break. Keep coming back. That gives the heart strength.
All right. Thank you. Take care.
Q: I’m happy to see you. I’ve been following you around for a number of years here and there.
Oh, that was you.
Yeah. I’ve been around. And I spread what I’ve learned from you and from Ram Dass to anybody else that will listen, just about love. Just be love. You are love, you know. I recently got a terminal cancer diagnosis and I probably have 12, 18 months, something like that, but just, yeah, it is what it is.
But I realized that my focus is becoming “How do I prepare myself to leave my body? What is left for me to need to do?” And then, you know, how do I stand on the edge of the bed post and leap?
Well, you know, they say the worst thing… in India, they say the worst thing that can happen to you is a sudden death. And the mantra that they, that you, that is said, as you take charanamrita from the temples, you know, take the blessings from the temple, is to protect you from sudden death. I forget the whole mantra, but it’s something like,
kala mruthyu haranam , sarva vyadhi nivaranam, samastha papa kshaya karam , Vishnu padodakam… something, something, something, something…
You take the water from the feet of the Lord to protect you against sudden death. Because at that point you have no chance to prepare. It’s like when you’re in one room and then you’re in another room, you don’t know where you are.
So there’s good news and bad news, you know? So, you have time to, to come to terms with everything, you know, and recognize what can be done, what can’t be done. You have time to take care of all the worldly stuff that you might want to take care of, to visit with people that you would like to say hello and goodbye to.
I had a close friend, very close friend and, but I hadn’t seen him in years. And all of a sudden, he called me out of the blue and he said, “Hey, do you want to have dinner?”
I said, “Yeah, sure.”
So, he and his wife came and we went out to dinner and at the end of the dinner, he looks at me and he said, “So, are we, okay? I see. Yeah. Why? No, I’m just checking to make sure everything’s good with us.” You know? “I love you.”
“And I, yeah, sure. Okay. Yeah. Well, good. No problem.”
Because over the years we had many different issues, so he just was… and then two months later he died and I realized, that’s why he did that, you know? He wanted…. And I heard from other people later that he had gone around and just checked in with everybody, “How are we doing? Are we okay? Anything, you know, anything left over? You know, any, any emotion, you know, anything you want to talk about?”
So, that’s a good thing to do.
And then, of course the other, another thing is forgiveness. Cultivate forgiveness, you know. And anybody who comes up into your mind that you’d like to stick a poker up their ass, forgive.
Yeah. And it’s like, I remember in the, the metta practice, the loving kindness practice, the first time I did it with Sharon at IMS, you have to, at one point, offer these phrases of caring and kindness to your enemy. They call it “the enemy”. And I would say, “May you be safe. You son of a bitch. May be happy so you don’t fuck me up anymore. May you be at peace so you can leave me the fuck alone.”
That was the best I could do at the time. But it was a beginning. Yeah. Yeah. But still that’s very important. And if you can’t forgive, that’s okay, too. Don’t force it, but recognize what, recognize the situation. Right? You know, don’t try to make it all all right. That’s not what you’re trying to do. Some things you can’t make all right. That’s okay. But you can be with the fact that they’re not all right. And you can, you can still offer that forgiveness, the whole, without trying to manipulate it. You’re not, you’re not trying to manipulate things. Okay.
You’re just trying to be with them, give them space to breathe and you know, would I, you know, having spent so much time with Ram Dass in this period of his life, and especially in the few days before he died, he was so at ease, so at ease, so ready to just release and let go. And so happy, you know, so much love. Because really, there’s nobody in this world that doesn’t die. So, and they say that we’ve all done this a million times. So, the best way to, to move from this room to that room is with ease of heart, and really keep releasing anxiety and fear, and just recognize you’ve done the best you can, and you’re still doing the best you can, and you’ll continue to do the best you can. And if you feel close to Maharajji, talk to him, He’ll meet you. You won’t have to go alone. You don’t go alone. Nobody goes alone. Everybody gets greeted by somebody and he’ll be right there.
Okay. God bless. Take good care.
Q: Ram Ram. How are you? Nice to hear that. Could we talk about letting go and surrender?
Nah, just do it.
Yeah. You know, I think until you try to do a practice, you don’t recognize how, how gone we are all the time. You know, when you try to sit down and look at your breath or repeat some mantra or count backwards from one, from a hundred to one, you don’t experience how completely, out of, what can… it’s impossible for us to do anything like that. You know?
I mean, so, surrender is, is not just the goal, but it’s also the path. It’s just like devotion. It’s not only the path, but it’s the goal itself to live in that space, that open space. When you’re surrendered, you have no problems. All problems are the Lord’s problems. None of them are your problems. And when you surrender, your surrender happens because you realize your inability to do anything, to save yourself. You recognize how, you know, when I, when, once again, when I hurt my knee in India and I came to Maharajji, I thought I was going to go to the hospital. So, I was going to tell him I wouldn’t be there for darshan and, and he didn’t send me away. We weren’t supposed to be there until four in the afternoon, but this was early morning. So, I was sitting there, and I limped in. I could hardly walk. Raghu helped me walk in. And I sat down.
He didn’t say anything like, “Why did you come early? And what’s wrong with you?”
Nothing. He just sat there for a few minutes. Then he gets up and he and he takes Gurudatt Sharma’s hand and he walks to the back of the temple and the further away he got from where I was sitting, He started to lean on Gurudatt and like walk like this, you know? And I thought, “He could hardly, it looks like he can’t even walk. Oh shit. He’s taking on the karma of my knee.”
The minute I thought that, the second I thought that, he turned around and ran back to the tucket, He plops down and pats me on the head. And he said, “You thought I was in pain? You wanted to help me?” You know? “Good boy.”
So we just sat there. Then finally the other Westerners arrived, then Larry and Girija came and Girija was sitting there and Maharajji reached into her jhola and pulls out her Bible and he opens it, apparently at random, just opened it. And he said, “Read this.”
Okay. So, I read it. And it’s from St. Paul letters to the Corinthians. And it says, “In order to save me from being elevated by the abundance of revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the side, and I asked the Lord three times to remove it from me. And the Lord said, ‘my grace is made perfect in your weakness.’”
My grace is made perfect in your weakness.
The fact that God is doing everything becomes apparent to us when we recognize how little we can do except to recognize that and surrender, let go again and again.
So, not too long ago, Ram Dass and I were sitting together and I remembered that story. I was telling it to him and he said, “Yeah, we’re proof of that.”
So, I made two t-shirts, one for me and one for him that said, “Proof.”
So, what does that mean? “My grace is sufficient for thee. My strength is made perfect in your weakness.”
So recently, Parvati found this quote and sent it to Rameshwar Das who’s working on the new book. And I’m going to read it to you, to everyone. This is Ram Dass. I don’t know when he wrote this, but he writes this.
“I now accept that his grace is sufficient for me. I need nothing more. Though I have no powers, no great visions or astral contacts, no super energy which frees from sleep, nor am I yet purged of all worldly desires, yet his grace is sufficient, for I am coming to know the power of love. My strength is made perfect in in your weakness.”
That’s the quote.
“I am coming to suspect that I have been seeking and expecting the wrong sign and that who we are to become, we already are. But the humbleness of the sign of the spirit leads us to overlook it. I think in my Western desire mind, I have wanted great powers to heal and impress those who are impressed by power, that the spirit exists to impress myself. But as faith grows, I’ve come to see that power attracts power and love attracts love, and I’m blessed enough to transcend the need for power. Then I should become love and know only love in all whom I might meet. That is heaven on earth. That’s the truth.”
All we can do is keep offering ourselves to that love, the love that we long for, the love that we believe unconsciously we’ll find somewhere else, but that love is already here within us. And when we see it within us, we see it everywhere and in everyone, and as Ram Dass got closer and closer to leaving the body, he became more and more radiant, more and more full of that love.
Q: Thank you so much for all you’re doing. Really, really, it’s been a lifesaver in this whole crisis, so thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Yeah, for me too.
So, I love your, especially on Thursday and the, the Devi rave at the end there, which was such a, a special piece. My question is, when you were, so when you came back from India and you had your karmas that you referred to earlier, how did you pull yourself out of the suffering and the pain after you got back from India? Did you do spiritual practices during that period, or only when you had tried everything else? How did you pull yourself out from, from the suffering and the pain?
There’s still suffering. There’s still pain.
Specifically from the addiction issues and some of those types of things that many people are struggling with right now in our world…
Yeah. You know, all the blessings I had received in all those years, I still hated myself so much and tortured myself. I lived in like a very dark state of mind most of the time. Life was very difficult and it was not easy for me to be me and I don’t know how I lived through all that stuff, but I did. And at some point, you know, I recognized, I had an epiphany in my room in New York, and I realized that if I did not sing with people, I would never clean out those dark corners in my own heart. And I recognized that it was only those shadows that were causing me suffering. So, at that point, I hadn’t been singing hardly at all, really, a little bit here and there, but not, not wholeheartedly, really. So, it was just a question of, you know, beginning to see that it was all coming from inside of me. Nobody could do it except me, so I’d better do it. And for me, that was, the chanting practice was, was the main practice. But even so, that was all grace, that was all the grace, Maharajji’s grace that it came, that all that happened, you know?
And it was my desire to be free of the pain that allowed it to happen, you could say. Because you need, if you want something enough, you can do it. You can get it. But it’s this the stuff with, with addiction is that there’s so many conflicting desires in the soup, and we have no way to calm ourselves down to release those desires, release those identifications, release those negative emotions. So, we go from one to the other, to the other, and then we get a little break when, you know… we don’t have any leverage to let go of those things. So, the leverage comes from practice and from getting in touch with what you really want in life and going for it.
And as I say that, we go back to the question before. “My grace is sufficient for you. My strength,” the strength of your own inner self, “is made perfect” in the fact that your ego can’t do anything to help itself.
Like Ramana Maharshi said, “Asking the mind to destroy the mind, or the ego to destroy the ego, is like asking the thief to be the policeman. There’ll be a lot of investigation, but no arrest will ever be made.”
But one has to go deeper than that to be, and the going deeper, that is the grace. Recognizing that on this level we can’t do very much to help ourselves, but by going deeper and turning within, we can achieve anything we want.
And in terms of the addiction issues and those kinds of things it’s very, one of the most important things is to have a sangha or a satsang, a group of people that you can open up with, that you can listen to and be heard by, and share the path with people who are trying to do the same thing. And that’s the power of satsang or sangha.. That’s very important. The company you keep. If you’re going to hang out with people shooting heroin 24-7-365, you know, it’s, if there’s any part of you that wants to do that, you’ll be doing it. So, you have to take yourself out of those situations and give yourself a chance to breathe. And that comes from inner strength, from listening to your own inner heart. And that heart is full of grace as it is. And so, when we turn to that, we tune into the grace, which gives us strength. It’s not the ego itself, so to speak, but it’s, it’s a deeper part of us.
And you need a lot of help. I had lots of help. I had people who loved me and cared for me. And even though I was a total asshole, they seemed to love me. I don’t know why they did. They do.
Yeah. Take care,
Q: I feel like you’ve been answering my questions all afternoon, but I’m going to ask and it’s it’s about pain. I started a meditation practice because I didn’t like my own mind.
And then everything came up and in that meditation, everything came up and I was so surprised. And so what happened is, as trauma material came up, it got very deeply embedded in the body. And this is about 10 years ago and it’s still there and it’s, it’s painful. It’s very tight tissues, you know, kind of a chronic pain syndrome, so that I can sleep, walking, sitting, lying down, everything is painful. The pain never leaves. So, this is the thorn in the side and…
Sounds like a whole thornbush.
Yeah, and I’m as I keep trying to work with it and not be defeated by it, I think so much of the people who face tremendous physical pain. I think of Ram Dass. I’m just astounded by these people because I have a lot of pain, bodily pain. And so, I just wanted to hear you speak about your experiences with those people. I’m just astounded that they could do it, you know, or what, what were they doing? How did they work through it? How did they not get trapped? And when this leaves, then I can do this, but there, you’re in it. That’s what it is. I’m just so curious.
Well, in some sense, it’s because they surrendered to it completely. They weren’t trying to, they gave up wishing that it wasn’t there and hoping for a different future, not to say they didn’t. Ram Dass had massage, he had, you know, he had bodywork, all this stuff he had, but it wasn’t, he wasn’t trying to make something happen. Inside, he had surrendered to the situation and was dealing with it all the time, letting go and expanding through it. You’re getting caught in that contraction.
Right. The contraction, which seems to grab my attention. I have a very wonderful therapist and we’re working through it. I think to me, you know, I hear, I hear letting go, letting go.
Are you aware of your pain right this second?
Yes. I was just talking. Yeah. Yeah. It’s there, but as you’re talking, I think your mind is not on it at that very second. It comes back to it.
Yeah. It’s more dual it’s there and then also I’ve been working. It’s not like it’s taken over my life.
Well, that’s, that’s very, that’s a great accomplishment. So, you just have to recognize that. There’s a lot that goes on around pain. I’m not an expert on this. There are people who really know how to deal with this stuff by the way and you can seek those people out, who, they really know how to deal, how to work with this kind of issue. But you’ll see if you notice that a lot of the times you’re just more stuck in, like, “It’ll always be like this. I never going to get over it. This is it…” Oh, it, you know, that kind of thinking. And that adds, that adds like a slap in the face to the pain, you know?
I think so, because I noticed that I kept saying to myself, “I can’t stand this,” but it’s been years. I’ve already stood it.
And recognize that strength that you have. That’s extraordinary. Yeah, really. If I stubbed my toe in the morning, it’s over for the day. I’m finished.
I do think that that is part of it. Instead of getting rid of something, it’s like building some other, recognizing some other capacity.
Yeah. You know, one time Mrs. Tiwari had terrible… my Indian mother and father, she had terrible diabetes. Terrible. And she couldn’t take insulin for it because as a good Indian wife… Mr. Tiwari had been told to be a fruitarian by Maharaji, so he gave up all grains and stuff like that, so she also did, and because she didn’t eat certain foods, she wasn’t able to do insulin. So, her blood sugar was like…
So, she had neuropathy, she had hands of stone and feet of stone, you know, and one time she was lying there, writhing in pain. And I just said, “Ma, are you okay?”
And she looked at me. She said, “Machine broken. Inside, ok.”
I’m just amazed by that. That is so inspiring. That is, I used to be depressed by stories like that because I’d be like, well, they can do it and I can’t, now I’m more just amazed.
But you’re doing it already. You are. It hasn’t killed you. It hasn’t destroyed you. It hasn’t stopped you from living. You’re doing it. You can probably go deeper.
You know, I went with the, up to this place called Chitrakoot with the Tiwaris. It’s a place where Ram and Sita and Lakshman live when they were exiled from the kingdom. And there’s an incredible mountain. What’s it called? Kamadgiri, I’ll look it up. Big mountain. And there’s like hundreds of these steps, each one is like a foot high, up to walk, up to the top of the mountain. So, me and Mr. Tiwari and Mrs. Tiwari, we were walking, and Mrs. Tiwari, she, she went up that mountain, like it was sliding downhill. She left us in the dust and we like, looked at each other. “What?”
You know, she had this ability to overcome with her inner strength. Because this was a very Holy place. And she, she entered this, you know, she got into a very open, juicy hearted space and that strength from her heart carried her right up the mountain, even though her body was broken. It’s amazing. So, yeah, there’s… it won’t always be like this, like it is right this second. Every second is new. And the more your mind, the subtler your awareness gets, you notice you really, it changes the way you live in your body. It changes the way you inhabit the body and what you feel and how you feel what you feel.
So there’s a lot that you can do to, to affect the way that you exist in the body, a tremendous amount that you can do.
I think it has made me see that my body is a story. You know, we think of a story as a mental thing? My body believes some hope, believes something about the world or how people are in the world. That is not true in an absolute sense, but that’s very helpful to hear about these… hear about Ram Dass, hear about people who really need these things and without it having to go away, without it having to go away. That’s what’s amazing to me, without it… Ram Dass was not cured of his stroke.
No, no, not at all.
So anyways, I just wanted to get another little… Thank you so much.
Okay. All the best
Q: First of all, a lot of us were supposed to be in Maui last week with you and even though we’re missing that, it’s nice to have all of the virtual meetings with you and it’s been such a, such a pleasure. And thank you so much for doing that for all of us, for one thing.
And the other thing is I really enjoy like the beginning when you do like the Hanuman prayer or whatever it is, and the end when you do your, “We’re trying to live in a good way,” and, and all that, it’s kind of like, to me, it feels like a little bit of a guided meditation.
Do you have any like, longer (versions) of those meditations? Are you planning to do any of those in any way? I know it’s not really your thing. I know chanting is your thing, but I’m just wondering.
The short answer is probably not, no. I don’t think I do. You never know, but yeah, I don’t think of it in that way, so there wouldn’t be more of that coming, but you never know.
Yeah. I mean it’s, yeah, it isn’t a sense of visualization or meditation. Yeah. In some way, sure.
Okay. Well, thank you.
All right, be well, I can hear the ocean. I hear the ocean in the distance. Good.
Q: Hello, I have a question. You talk about these big Gurus, these grandmasters that you have met that have already left the body. And my question is, is there still those kind of Gurus left, there are still in their bodies?
On one hand, those Gurus were never in their bodies. They only look that way to us. They were never identified with their bodies at all. Like we do. So, it’s, it’s like, you can’t really talk about it like that, but yes, there always are masters on the planet. They’re always available and they’re always doing just what they have to be doing all the time. We’re always, and we have, each of us has a lineage that we’ve been a part of for lifetimes. We all have a Guru, but most of us don’t see that outside of us at this point. Yeah, so the saints are always here and when we’re supposed to meet them, we meet them. They’re running the show. We’re not, but that doesn’t mean we can’t or shouldn’t be actively, you know, doing what we can do to overcome our limitations and open ourselves up because the real guru is always within us as our true nature, as our own soul. They know that. We don’t. That’s the only difference. It’s a big difference, but it’s the only difference.
So, all we have to do is, if we found our own true nature, then we we’d be one with every being in the universe, including all the great masters, but it’s not up to us to find them. They find us when we need to be found. So, if that’s not happening the way we think it should happen, well, what are we going to do?
No? Stop living?
“That’s it. I’m off the path. I’m only watching TV from now on that’s it, Goodbye.”
Try it. You know, that won’t work either. So, we’re always where we are and who we are. And we want to be as open as we can. We want to be free of our limitations. We want to dance. We want to have fun. We want to have joy in life, so we better work on it because that’s our job.
And you live in New Zealand for Christ’s sake. What was that beach I went to with the black sand? Oh my God. So beautiful. My favorite place.
I’m actually stuck in isolation here because I’m from here originally.
That’s a great place to be right now.
How long do you have to be in isolation?
We’re getting a press conference today, later in the afternoon. So right now we’ve been in isolation for six weeks already. Maybe we’ll be free to move this week, which will be exciting.
Where are you, in Auckland?
No, I’m one and a half hours from Auckland in the Coromandel Peninsula. It’s a town called Themes.
Wow. Wonderful, wonderful. Well, I hope you get out of the house.
All right. Anything else?
That was all I had today.
Okay. Take good care.
Q: I actually didn’t expect to, you know, get to speak cause I, yeah. Okay. Hi. I am a huge fan…
You don’t look that huge.
I’m tiny. I actually think, I have a lot of things to ask because there are a lot of things I would like to know. But living as a tiny Yogi, I sometimes get a lot of epiphanies on my path and sometimes it’s a little confusing between the mind and what the universe is saying. So, the balance between the two becomes a little difficult. Sometimes I feel it’s my head telling me things and not the universe, because I do feel like I understand a certain sense of energies, but sometimes I get, I don’t want to be cocky about it and be like, “I know it”. But you know, it’s just a little difficult to find that balance. So, is there something that you would, you know, advice?
Well, do what you want.
That’s there, but you, you know, I think that’s true. Sometimes it feels like maybe it’s not right. Maybe I’m just overthinking it. Maybe I’m getting too into it. My parents get scared. They’re worried I might just go off somewhere and meditate for hours, make it sound like it’s a bad thing.
Do what you want. I think it comes down to that. You have to find out what you want, what you want inside, what you really want. Don’t… your thoughts, your understandings of the universe…
Do what you want. Find out what you want. Do it, go for it. Don’t look for messages. It’s all bullshit. That’s your mind interpreting things according to its own subjective version. Listen to yourself. Listen to yourself. Calm your ass down. Listen to yourself, calm down, find out what you want and be that person be that way. Do that. Go for that.
Because if you really get a message from the universe, you will know. You know? You’ll be on your back, on your face, on the floor. So don’t worry about that. All this is thought stuff. I want you to feel, feel, feel who you are, feel what you are, find out what you… and then, then you’ll begin to see how you stop yourself from doing what you want. Then you’ll be able to get rid of something. All the things that you stop you from being who you are and what you really want.
You know, I’m very, I’m very dull and, and insensitive. I don’t get messages from anybody, but I follow my heart. I started singing because I knew that’s what I had to do. Right. I didn’t need messages from outer space.
But did you question it?
No. Why would I question it? It’s what I wanted.
Oh, wait a second. You mean you’re not supposed to want what you want?
It sometimes, you know, gets a little… there’s too many thoughts sometimes.
Well, you know, there’s a lot going on between your ears, but don’t listen.
Feel. Feel. Slow down and feel.
I mean, that’s something that is a process as well, I’m learning it as I go. So, I’m trying to find that balance between life and the spiritual space. I don’t know.
There’s no balance.
Is it always chaos?
On one level, yeah, sure. But on another level, it’s all fine. The chaos is in your mind, in the way you see the world. That’s your subjective programs, only. Feel. Get out of your head and feel.
Thank you. I will definitely try doing that more.
Yeah. I mean, love lives within you already as who you really are. So, you’re not gonna find anything outside that’s going to be that, that’s going to be you, who you really are. It’s all within you already. And if you don’t trust yourself, if you don’t let yourself follow your heart and go through life in the best way that you can for you, where will you find yourself?
It’s inside of you already. It’s you looking out of your eyes right now.
You don’t cry too much, you’ll break your glasses.
They’re big glasses.
Take care of yourself. Okay. Be good to yourself. Okay.
Thank you much.
Q: Hey there, Krishna Das. I’m just curious if you ever encountered Maynard Ferguson.
No, I never met Maynard. Ram Dass knew him well in the old days, of course. He used to live at Millbrook with them too, taking an acid all the time and playing trumpet. But did he play trumpet or flugelhorn?
Flugelhorn and trumpet, but he also lived in and taught in India for a while.
Oh, I didn’t know that.
And I think there was, I think because of that connection, I was just curious. Thank you so much for all you do.
Thank you very much.
Q: So, my question is about, kind of, children. And I think one is the concern when, when you have spoken over these past weeks about the finding your own Dharma and surrender and allowing life to give you the path and you see happiness around and see love around, I think my concern is, as parents, we tend to set a path for our kids, and sometimes, my concern is, by trying to do that, maybe you kind of derail them from what their own path is. You try to kind of set them into specific schools. You try to guide them through, but kind of the concern sometimes comes to the point of, if she supposed to listen to her heart, how can I help her and not kind of, impose my own goals and aims into her?
Well, if you want your children to listen to their hearts, then you should listen to your heart. And then they’ll figure out, they’ll know what that means. You know, children, my theory, I’ve never heard this from anybody else, I don’t think, but my theory is that we absorb how our parents see themselves and then we learn to see ourselves that way. We don’t see ourselves necessarily the way our parents see us. We see ourselves the way our parents saw themselves. So, the best thing you can do for your kids is to work on yourself, of course. For anybody, that’s the best thing you can do. And then from that work on yourself, you extend to others the best you can do. You can give what you can give. You know, each, every being comes in with their own particular karmic load and they’re going to have to live out their own lives. And the best thing we can do is make sure that they know that they’re loved regardless of our own bullshit. We love them. You know?
And then just try to do the best we can to help them find the strength to live a good life for themselves. You know, we don’t know what’s going to happen in the future. And especially in these days, it’s very obvious. Nobody knows what’s going on. So, you know, the way we treat our children, the way we see our children that has, they, they absorb our own, our stuff, you know? And a lot of times you might look at your kids and you say, where did they get that stuff from? And then go, “Oh, I recognize that.”
So yeah. You know, set a good example rather than try to teach. Trying to teach kids is, you know, the first thing they’re going to do is go the other way. But if you set an example of openness and love and caring, then whatever they do, they’ll feel at ease, they’ll learn to feel at ease within themselves. That’s the best. I think that’s a great thing we can give our children, to feel okay about themselves, but how can we do that if we don’t ourselves?
So, in some ways more of us in the world now are dealing with these issues in a, on the path, so to speak. Whereas when our parents, you know, they didn’t have any, they weren’t, they, they weren’t exposed to the path and they didn’t know about a path. They had no idea what might be possible. We might be beginning to have an idea of what’s possible in life.
And, you know, if we let our kids know that, then regardless of where their stuff takes them, they might have that knowing within themselves, too. But you know, I’m not an expert in anything. And this is one area that, you know…
My daughter taught me a lot, you know. I remember one time I came into the room and I was walking through the kitchen and she was sitting in the kitchen and I saw there were dishes in the sink, and I know she was supposed to have done them. And I was in a really bad mood. And I said, “There’s dishes in the sink!”
And she looked up at me like, you know, like, “Who are you?”
You know, she didn’t take it personally at all. She was just like, “Is there something wrong with you?”
It was great. So, kids know a lot more than they know. They know. So, they see us when we don’t know we’re being seen. And so, it’s good to honor that part of them too, you know, that they know a lot.
And remember, it’s not your responsibility to live their lives. You just do the best you can for them and with them. But they have their own lives to live, just like we do. You know?
And when I went away to India and I thought I was never coming back, I didn’t tell my parents that. Yeah, gone. You know?
And then when my mother was gonna come to India, I said something, she called me on the phone, long story, but she said, “I want to come to India.”
I said something to her that if my daughter said that to me, I would lock her in a closet. I said… She said she wants to come down. I said, “I have to ask my guru.”
She went, “What? What do you mean?”
“I’ll call you tomorrow. Bye.”
You know, so, and of course Maharajji, I already knew she was coming. He told me that that morning before, So, so good luck.
Q: I’m so excited to be able to speak to you on a one. It’s such a blessing. I came to hear you at the San Francisco satsang, I think about five years ago. And it was amazing. It was the best thing. I was on a date, but I’m no longer together with that person, but that was the deal.
Okay. That’s good. So you can join my band. I see you play guitar.
That’s my partner’s. I try. Okay. So, I yeah, yeah. I, over the years I suffered from really great anxiety and I’ve been doing meditation for a long time, well, TM for quite a long time now, and I I’ve been chanting a lot, like since I’ve been listening to you, I’ve been chanting a lot over the last… actually since lockdown and I’ve been really focused on it, and I’m finding that the chanting, late last night when I went to bed, it was really loud in my head. Like I was laying there trying to fall asleep and it was just really loud, over and over and over. And I was like, Oh my goodness. Like, I don’t, I don’t want to feel anxious about it. So, I kind of breathe and try to relax into it and just trusted it’s going in my head for whatever reason, but I wondered, I wondered if, if, because I don’t want it to have detrimental effect. I want it to, obviously I hear myself, I want, but I’m, I’m thinking, I guess I’m wondering when you first started chanting a lot, did you have that experience and did it feel overwhelming sometimes in your, in your mind?
First of all It’s in your mind that the chanting is really going on in the first place. If it wasn’t going on in your mind, it wouldn’t be coming out of your mouth, so just because you close your mouth doesn’t mean that the chant is going to stop. In fact, they say there’s a, a level where the chants, all these chants are always going on and as we access that level and enter into it, our, we get absorbed into it. It allows us to release the anxieties and the fears and the thoughts and everything.
So yeah, the thing about falling asleep also, is many of us have a lot of anxiety about falling asleep when we can’t sleep, and it never occurred to us, why don’t we just sit up and meditate for a while? As soon as you sit up and meditate, you’ll fall over on your face sleeping. So, but we lie there and we’re like, ah, yeah, I can’t sleep. I can’t sleep. You know, yeah, just sit up. Cause you want to fall asleep, just sit up and say, “Okay, now we’ll meditate.”
You’ll be asleep in two seconds.
But the whole idea of the chanting, of course, again and again, is when you release whatever you’re thinking or feeling and come back to the chant again and again and again and again and again, and it gives you, you develop the ability to do that and it starts to happen automatically over time.
So, anything you’re feeling, fear, anxiety, et cetera, et cetera, becomes something to let go of. So, you even said you didn’t want it to be… what’d you say, detrimental or something? There’s one thing in this universe that’s a hundred percent sattvic and pure and positive, it’s the name of God. You know, your ego might panic a little bit because you, “What will happen if I do this? What will happen? And it’s too strong…”
Too strong for what? Just let go. You know? Because it’s your own name you’re chanting. It’s not something else. It’s the name of who you really are. So you have nothing to fear except fear itself, so to speak. There’s no, that’s just another passing emotion, which sooner or later you get to recognize. So, you can let go and come back.
But the sleep thing, I know a lot of people have a lot of anxiety. And sometimes when I wake up in the night, I can’t fall asleep. You get a little tense, you try and try to fall asleep, sit up, watch TV, you know, play your partner’s guitar. Turn on the amp at 3 in the morning. No problem. You get back into bed.
So. Keep repeating the name. That’s all. As much as possible in whatever situation. It doesn’t have to be out loud. Your lips don’t have to move. They can or not, but, and sooner or later, you’re, sooner or later, the part of you, that’s always reacting and interacting with stuff, that part of you just thins out and you’re sitting more deeply in yourself. You’re sitting in the Name. And it goes on and you’re at ease. So just keep letting go. That’s, that’s the main, that’s the, that’s the instruction and keep coming back to the chant and it doesn’t have to be out loud. Sing. Lie in bed and imagine you’re singing with millions of people, because you
But nothing bad can come from chanting.
This friend of mine once wrote to me and she said she and her husband were getting divorced. I said, “Why?”
She said, “Well, you know, He’s he’s really not into your chanting.”
I said, “Yeah. So?”
“Well, you know, I play it all around the house. It’s in the kitchen, the living room, in the bathroom, the bedroom, the hallway, the garage.” And it’s one of those speaker systems that played it.
I said, “Turn it the fuck off and save your marriage. What’s wrong with you?”
So, they’re still married. So, if you want to get rid of him, start playing the chants all day in the house on the sound system. But if not, keep it inside.
I think he’s getting quite into actually and won’t admit it. I think he is. I have one more question if you don’t mind, is that okay?
I wanted to, I just wanted to ask you what, when you were named Krishna Das, how did, how did that come about, that particular name and how did it feel to you?
It felt horrible. You know, we were, Maharajji is Hanuman and we were immersing ourselves in this, in the Ramayana and the Ramcharitmanasa, the story of Rama. And it was in a Hanuman temple and everybody had Das names, you know, which is, Hanuman was the servant… Ram Dass, this Das and that Das you know? So, Maharajji had taken the keys to Ram Dass’s car away and given them to me and he said, “You’re the driver. And Ram Dass is a Saint. He has to go on the public transportation, but you’re the driver. You have to drive the car.”
So, for some long period, like six months, my name was Driver, you know? So, I had written in my diary that morning, “Well, I guess I’ll always be ‘driver.’”
I wanted an Indian name like all the other people. So that morning I get to the temple and I get called into the room and Maharajji looks at me. He says, “Arjun Nay, Krishna, Nay, Krishna Das.”
I said, “Krishna Das? What about Ram? What is the story here?” You know?
And he laughed. He said, “Don’t worry. Don’t worry. Hanumanji served Krishna too.”
So that’s how I got my name.
Thank you so much.
Thanks so much. And I look forward to starting the course with you on Wednesday.
Wonderful, very good. Take care.
Q: So, I want to tell you, I love you. I’m gonna tell you why I love you. And then I want to ask you a question.
All right. Skip the first two. Thank you.
No, no, I can’t because it does, it hinges on the other ones. Well, I guess it doesn’t really. So, I just noticed the other day that we’re a lot of, like, in a way, except… So, it’s weird. Like I met Ram Dass when I was 20-something. My version was in paper, right? “Be Here Now.” And that was kind of cool. Totally, my mind exploded, so like, when you say your heart exploded, when you knew that what you were looking for existed, when you met him.
I knew that too, but instead of going off to India and try, cause I didn’t realize that Maharajji, I mean, this is much later, it was like 1990 something when, when I discovered him, but I was in the same kind of state. And then instead of running over to India to try to figure out if this person was still around or whatever, which I don’t know if it said, you know, in the books or whatever, I was raising my son cause it was, I was young, you know, I was young father.
And so then I, I got busy doing that, raising him and then I let it go for a long, long time until I had like a midlife crisis. Eventually my son had signed a lease when he was 23. And at that time, I figured what was the point of me being here in the, in the, you know, being married and everything. So, I left my wife and that was really crazy. So, but that led me to you actually.
I started seeing a younger girl and, which ended up being a disaster, but not all of it was a disaster because she took me to Kashi Ashram in Sebastian, Florida, where I met, I saw the big statue of Maharajji was there and I didn’t know what it was, but my, my heart exploded on like, like an atom bomb, where I’m having some visions of him in my car and things like this.
And I eventually left her, but not before, cause I wanted to know more. It was before I, before I found you, because I wanted the soundtrack to whatever this was that I was experiencing. And I, I didn’t even realize when I went to Kashi that I was, that it was Maharajji that was that, that I was even looking at in the, in the murti there. And so, I ended up finding the soundtrack, which was you. And then from there, I I’ve listened to all your podcasts. It’s been amazing, like, so, so thank you. And it’s been, like it’s really beautiful what you have done, because now I’m back with my wife. I chant every day. I bought a harmonium. I sing along. I do all these things. It’s, you have made such an incredible impact on my life for just the last three years or so that this has happened. My question is this, do you, do you have any ties with Kashi at all? Like, do you know who Ma is?
Yeah, I was with her when she first got started seeing people, but I left that situation long before, long ago. Yeah.
Yeah. I read her book that just came out, “How God Found Me.” And I was like, wow. I knew that there was a connection there, but I didn’t realize what level. And that was, that was curious to me. And then I was thinking like, if you ever came down, I would love to know if you come down because I would love to see you in person.
So, yeah, I haven’t been, I was there once not too long ago to visit a friend who was dying, but I don’t go there very often.
I just want to just say thank you. And I love you for everything that you have done for me. It’s, I can’t express it in words, how grateful I am, and you don’t even know me, but I hope everybody gets this from you because its beautiful.
Thank you. Take care.
Q: Hi, can you hear me?
I can hear you. I can’t see you.
No. It’s really early in the morning in Australia and I am not fit to be seen. And I’m also whispering so many early in the morning. I’m whispering so my neighbors don’t hear. Oh, okay. Yeah.
They’ll catch us together.
Thank you so much for your service Krishna Das, it’s meant in a lot, and I don’t know, I have a soup of thoughts and emotions, and I’m hoping a question kind of makes itself clear. I guess, you know, Maharajji grabbed me a couple of years ago and it was a big shock because, you know, I was raised Jewish, in fact, so the idea of a guru was, you know, went up against the conditioning a lot and it was a big shock, but I, you know, felt this just, you know, these kind of supernatural big experiences. And yeah, my spiritual path started getting pretty crazy and lots of, really out-there experiences that I wasn’t looking for, really big explosive spurts, spiritual experiences that disrupted my life more, you know, it was like, like I was on acid when I wasn’t, you know and, and I got into some unwittingly, very dangerous situations around some very dangerous spiritual people. And I understand that you may have had some similar experiences, people that use their siddhis to manipulate me. And I, you know, someone, I was, I was in a chanting group and someone in that group, I won’t go into too much, but I was assaulted, you know, and stalked for a long time. And the, and the sangha responded just terribly, you know, people, you know, people just said, well, we can’t believe you. We don’t know if it’s true or not. You know, it was this very regressive kind of response. And I’ve had a lot of really frightening spiritual experiences too, which I wasn’t looking for. You know? I’ve been on this path to save my life, basically, you know, I had a drug addiction that was really, really taking me out 10 years ago. So, you know, it was like, this has never been a hobby for me, the spiritual path. It’s always been my lifeline. There’s no option, you know? And I found in a lot of this, I feel more separate, ironically, you know, a lot of, a lot of the issues, like I am a better person. I’m more honest, I have more integrity and I’ve never felt more separate from the world, really, including all the sanghas that I’ve been to, you know? And then, you know, there’s this feeling so separate because my life is so devoted to knowing God and to knowing the truth and it alienated a lot of the people that I’d known in my life, you know, because it was, I was on this path. It was just so different. And then I found, I don’t know how to be in the world. You know? A lot of my interest in the world dropped away. Not that I don’t have desire of course, too, it’s just that I haven’t, I haven’t been able to meet that, that edge, you know, that intersection of spirit and matter. I, in a way, in a way I’ve done better in the world of spirit than I have in the world of matter, you know?
But it’s been, you know, it’s been such a difficult journey. Ram Dass said to me, I spoke to him. I was lucky enough to speak to him. And he said, “That is a very difficult incarnation.” And you know, it’s, I think on the back of that, I lost faith in Maharajji, you know I actually got very angry at Maharajji that under his auspices, so many horrific things had happened.
And let me say that the horrific things that happened really mirrored a lot of the childhood experiences too. And I don’t say I don’t have any responsibility for, you know, on some level I must’ve known people were not, you know, I assume that there was some acting out of the past, but you know, I’ve been so furious at Maharajji and still he’s on my puja table, still he’s everywhere, but it’s like, I lost, I started feeling like God was punishing me, you know? And I realized this is a sort of an issue that humanity has, but I haven’t known how, what does, what does faith mean and how to reconcile with Maharajji? And I turned away for a while. You know, I still would pray to him, but I wouldn’t, you know, ask him anything because I felt like, “You led me down the garden path. How could you?”
At times I felt like maybe he was giving me the grace of teaching me how to love God in a world where God has so many faces, including the face of darkness. But I have been lost. And I don’t know who to ask because you know, the idea of an astral guru who’s, you know, again, I know the guru’s inside, but you know, Maharajji made himself known. Anyway, I’m rambling, but I think you get the, there’s a question in there in that soup somewhere.
I guess so. As far as Maharajji goes, He’s said this many times, He said, “Once I take hold of your hand, I never let go. Even when you let go of mine.”
So, there’s no question of whether you’re angry at him or mad at him or, we always let go of his hand. That’s what we do, but he never lets go of us. So, he’s within us. And also he was in a body for awhile. But it’s within us that we feel that, who he is, it’s not outside of us. And it’s you who are making distinction between spirit and matter, or the world and the spiritual world and the daily world. That’s your mind, that’s your, that’s your thing there. You need more love. That’s all. You need to find that love inside of you and you need to allow your heart to embrace everyone and everything little by little, but first you have to find it in yourself a little bit, and it’s not an emotion, it’s not a passing fancy, it’s not a particular state of mind. It’s the interconnectedness of all of us, regardless of who we think we are, our souls are one. And when we move towards that place we start to release our traumas and our, our subjective versions of what’s going on. And yes, there are a lot of hungry people out there and many of them are gurus, so-called Gurus. It’s okay. They have to pay for that. You don’t. All of us will bear the fruit of our karmas. It’s not up to us to judge others. It’s only up to us to do the best we can to live in a good way. Nothing else matters, what other people do. And so some, some surrender is required, you know, relaxing of your heart. And you can’t look for answers. There are no answers. There’s only letting go and that, too. Let go. You owe it to yourself, not to anyone else, to find that love within you. It’s not a thing. It’s who you are. It’s what… It’s where we’re at home within ourselves.
Did you find that, I found the longer I’ve been on the path, which is sort of between 10 and 20 years now, that I’m getting kind of to the more, the core wounds, which is, it’s gotten a little bit harder in that sense. And, you know, as the layers kind of have been peeled off and so, you know, getting to who I am, it’s like walking through those years in a way.
Once again, let go. And find a way to let go. If you need to talk to people, if you need to do counseling or therapy, if you need to do… whatever you have to do to get the strength to release that stuff. You don’t have to understand it. You don’t have to digest it. You need to release it. And it’s no, and there will always be shadows that arise and are our only option in the long run is to release those things.
But sometimes it’s hard to, to do that. So, some daily practice of releasing is very important. And releasing doesn’t mean pushing away. It doesn’t mean trying to understand. It doesn’t mean reading about it. It doesn’t mean reliving it. It means releasing. Period. So, whatever it is you’re thinking, whatever story you’re telling yourself about what your life is or what it isn’t, and you can still let go of that. And when you can’t let go anymore, you will be love, reality, truth, being, the self, the one, Buddha nature. But until that moment, you can let go.
Yeah. And I’m guessing it’s not the job of the guru to stop.
The job of the guru is to allow us to live, to survive our karmas, which they do. You still have to live through them. Ram Dass had to live through that stroke.
It was the grace of Maharaji that allowed him to overcome all the negative aspects of the stroke and turn it into the path for him, which he did. There’s nobody to blame for our own states of mind except ourselves. And even that you can’t do it, because all of that is also fruition of karmas coming into this moment. Let go again and again and again. Breathe, relax, take it easy, let go and find out how you can become kind to yourself.
Q: Hey KD, thank you so much for your time today. You know, I know Maharajji has been a good part of your life and I just want to say thank you for being you, because you have really shifted my life and in very very profound ways. So, thank you for being you.
Thank you. I tried to be other people, but I failed.
I understand that. So, my question is, I guess in yoga philosophy, we’re like in the Kali Yuga, right? And here we are in this very unprecedented time. And you know, a lot of masters have said chanting can be one of the best practices when we’re in these dark or challenging times as you’ve been talking about this whole Chai and Chat. I guess, in your opinion, there seems to be a lot of confusion in spiritual circles. Like some people think, “Okay, we’re coming out of the Kali Yuga. We’re going into this Aquarian age where things are going to be bright and shiny, but also as a kirtan singer myself, I’m curious about like any special deities, particular mantras that you are finding helpful, especially right now, you know? I know it’s all one like this, right? All one, all one. But yeah. You know, like Durga has a certain energy. Shiva has a certain energy. The Gayatri has energy.
I don’t feel that way. These are all the names of love. These are all the names of what lives within us as who we are. Okay. Already. It’s not something else. It’s not somewhere else. It’s within us. All these names lead to the same place. They’re the names of the same place. All these so-called deities are forms of our own true nature. You could, whatever you sing is fine. It doesn’t make any difference. Sing what you’d like. If you think about it, you’re not doing it. So, I would just do it.
Okay. I know. Cause Jordan calls it my squeeze box. He says, bring the squeeze box.
Yeah, I really, I don’t, I don’t know what I’m doing. I follow my heart, but it seems to be semi useful. So, I keep doing it.
And how about the Kali Yuga?
How about it? What a fun, what a fun ride.
Do you feel we’re at the end?
How the fuck do I know? I can’t find the bathroom in the middle of the night. How am I going to find the end of the Kali Yuga.
Certain scriptures say certain things.
You ain’t going to, neither one of us are going to be here when, and if it actually ends, right?
Okay. Some people say it’s ending now.
Yeah. Well maybe it’s already over. Who knows? Nobody knows. And the people who know, they don’t say. So, let’s put it that way. It’s not necessary. That’s just, that’s just fear mongering or an attempt to control your own trip and manipulate your emotions. Just fucking live. Do what you have to do to be a good person, treat other people the way you want to be treated and the Kali Yuga will take care of itself.
And I’ll second what Jordan said. I created a watch party from one of your kirtans online. People found you that don’t even know you. So…
When they, when they find out who I am, tell them to tell me.
Q: Hi. Hi. How’s it going?
Thank you so much for everything. It’s been really fantastic.
Wonderful. It’s been really gracious with all you guys and hey, you know, it’s an honor and a privilege to be able to give back and yeah, I’m looking forward to taking the course and so is another friend of mine. She’s on here too. And it’s a privilege to be able to give back during this time to you. Thank you.
Thanks for doing what you guys do. So, so yeah, so my question was let’s see, let me take a breath here. I’m a little excited. I get a little ahead of myself. The caffeine caught up with me.
All right. Drink more. It’s good for you. You get a point where it’s just mellows out.
I was scared to drink more than I had.
After the nervous breakdown it slows down.
So, my question is, have you ever sang the Gayatri mantra music to a melody?
I might’ve sung it a few times, but I don’t really know it very well.
It’s not something that we were exposed to in India when I was there. I mean, we knew about it. We know about it. And I, a lot of people do sing it and it’s supposed to be one of the big time mantras. But like I said, it wasn’t something that came to us naturally in our time in India through whatever we were doing. So, it’s not something I do very often. It’s lovely. I mean, it’s a great mantra, obviously. Very powerful.
Yeah. I keep thinking it would sound really good with the percussion and…
I’m sure. Who did I hear did it? Maybe Deva and Mitten do a version of it that’s very nice. I’m not sure.
Q: Thank you for doing everything that you do here. Well, I don’t have really any question of my own. I just want to hear a little bit about Hanumanji. If you could tell one or two sentences that would make me happy. I don’t need anything else.
Maharajji used to say, “Who is Hanuman?”
And we’d give him all the, you know, the stock answers, or the Son of the Wind, the servant of Ram, all that. And he’d say “Nay, Hanumanji is the Ram Kisvas.” He’d say, “Hanuman is the breath of Ram.”
The breath of Ram. He said, “He’s not a monkey. He’s the breath of Ram.”
And a very powerful statement, you know, in the gospels, the word used for “Holy spirit” in the gospels is the word for “breath.” And it became, in his “Holy breath.” It was translated later as “spirit” because of the, who knows why, but there was the issues of the, the church wanting to control people’s spirituality and take it out of the body and make it just, you know, somewhere else so they could sell it and own people. But that’s not what Jesus was talking about. Holy breath. And Maharajji said, “Hanuman, Krishna and Christ are the same. All the same.”
The breath of God. The breath is what brings life. It’s the connection that keeps us alive and keeps our souls alive. So, Hanuman is that. And being that, that breath removes obstacles and allows us to find out our true nature and, you know… the temple, the Maharaji made up in the mountains, Kainchi was originally what is called now, Shri Neem, Karoli Baba Temple… Hanuman Temple and Ashrams, but that’s not what he called it. You see, they had to rebuild the arch and the bridge over the river because they were falling down. And when they rebuilt it, they called it that. He called it the Shri Advaita… that’s the secret, “Advaita,” the nondual destroyer of suffering. Nondual. All one. This is where Maharajji lived. This is who he is. The nondual destroyer of suffering.
When Ram asks Hanumanji, how do you see me? He says, “Well, when I’m identified with the body, I serve you. When, if I’m identified with this with the,” I think He said, “mind” or the “soul”… “You are the whole and I am a part. But when I know the truth, you and I are one.”
So, Hanumanji is free. Sri Hanumanji lives all the time. He is present in all. Maharajji said, “Hanuman is present in all ages and all times.”
Q: My question is about letting go. You have discussed this quite a bit. So, right now I’m in a situation where my relationship has ended and part of me knows that it is over. And part of me is clinging upon things that things might work out, things might work out and I’m realizing that it is with everything that I am attached to, not just in relationship. So, I want to know like, what is it that might make it easier for me to let it go and surrender to it?
Welcome to the club. Human, the Human Being club. You know, I don’t know if that’s the right question. What would make it easier for me? I don’t know if that’s the right question. I think probably what I would ask myself is, “What is it that I’m, why am I clinging? What am I clinging to? And why? What am I, what do I get from the relationship that I feel I don’t have? What do I get from the relationship that I feel I need that I, what do I feel, what am I missing in myself that I think I’m getting from a relationship?”
You know, my Indian father, Mr. Tiwari, was a great Yogi, married, family, world, you know, very involved in the world, headmaster of a big school, you know? So, one time I was telling him all about this woman that I was very much in love with, and he listened very patiently. And then when I’d finished going on and on and on, he finally says to me, “My boy, relationships are business. Do your business. Enjoy. But love?” He said, “Love is lasts 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.”
Love is our true being. Love is our heart. Love is our soul. We can learn a lot from relationships about ourselves, because it’s business. It’s give and take. And I hated him for saying that. I didn’t talk to him for like, days. I was so pissed off. I mean, “What the fuck? He compares my relationship to business? What do you mean by that?” You know?
But finally I got with the program, you know, and I understood what he was saying.
You know, we’re human beings. We need relationships. We’re in relationship to everything. Some things we get involved with for lots of reasons. So, really we need to ask ourselves what do I get from that? Why am I wanting that? And also, you know, being honest with ourselves that we do want this. So what, but what is it about it that I want and why do I want it so badly? Why do I feel, you know, listen, you’re looking at a guy who had two nervous breakdowns because of relationships. I mean, totally out to fucking lunch, hallucinating, out of my mind, ready to kill myself. So, I’m talking from experience. So, it’s big time stuff. It’s really big time stuff. So, take it seriously. The whole process of being in, being out, of wanting, of not getting, all that stuff, take it seriously, but also recognize what it does to you. Why, how does this have the power to hurt me so much? What is that hole I’m trying to fill up in my heart with the stuff and when I’m not getting it, I’m in a panic? And when I have it, I would have to hold on to it? You can’t do either. You can’t hold on or you can’t let go. So, it’s just a very painful place.
It’s snowing. Is it snowing where you are?
Wow. Big snow storm here in upstate New York. Yeah, so be patient with yourself, okay? Really. Give yourself a break. If it works out, it works out. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. What we’re here to learn is how to be good to ourselves. And that’s the hardest part. We’re so uncomfortable with our feelings and looking at ourselves and seeing our stuff, but it’s okay. It’s all okay. Everything you’re feeling is, it’s not wrong. It might hurt, but it won’t always hurt.
Well, it is like there are things that I regret. Like I have always this thing going on, like if I would have done this, it would have been different. If I would have done this, it would have been different… like I’m living in the past, trying to..
Well, you know, have you thought, I don’t know what state your relationship’s in, but communication’s not a bad idea.
Yeah. I tried to talk and tried to talk to my parents and everything…
Write a letter, email, send a telegram, have flowers delivered, do whatever you feel you have to do to accomplish what you want. If it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t work out. But at least you’ve given it your best shot. And next time maybe you won’t to do the same shit, you know? But if you think there’s a possibility, even if there’s no possibility, you can apologize too, and that will help your own heart. And on the other hand, it takes two to tango. So, whatever you’ve brought to the relationship, she’s also brought her stuff. Whatever you were reacting at, she was also reacting.
So, all you can do is take responsibility for your own feelings. And it’s never a bad idea to apologize for any pain you’ve caused. Period. Without wanting anything in return. Just apologize is good and to forgive for any pain that was given. That’s the best I can do.
All right. Be well.
It is snowing its ass off here. This is unbelievable. Oh, wow. Okay.
Q: Nice to kind of virtually meet you. I was just wondering, I’ve got two questions, the first one is, if you’re dedicated to your practice, will you come back and remember quicker?
Where are you going?
Every time I get lost, I come back. I get lost. I remember. When I get lost, I go, “Why is it taking me so long to come back and remember?”
That’s also a thought. You’re still lost. “Back” is when you’re not thinking, when you’re aware of your thoughts and not thinking then. And the changes, the real changes happen under the radar. We can’t be caught in evaluating how we’re doing on the path. It’s not useful because it’s all bullshit. It’s like, it’s like being on a rowboat, going down a river and thinking that the bank of the river is moving because we feel still, but it’s not like that.
So, those useless thoughts, they are not real. They’re not accurate. They have no reality at all. There’s just more stories we tell ourselves about ourselves, which we love to hear. We love to hear ourselves thinking about ourselves all the time. That’s what we do.
But I’m not very good about being disciplined. Welcome to the club. Who gives a shit? Just be yourself.
And when you do practice, give it your best shot.
Yeah, I do. And then, then the other question I wanted to ask is, because I love Maharajji and I’ve read all the stories, but sometimes I hear the stories where he got really angry with people, and I was just wondering, is that tough love where he felt that was the best thing, you think, for that person at the time? Like to put them out?
No question about it. There was a guy who lived in Kainchi, in the village, actually from whom the land for the temple was bought. His name was Purnanand, and he had, at the time, I think he had 10 children or 12 children, and he had no job and he smoked hash all the time. So, Maharaji created a job for him, which was, every time one of the public buses came from the nearby town on the way to the next town, He would make a check on a piece of paper. “Bus came.” And for that, he was paid a certain amount of money.
So, one day Purnanand comes to the temple and Maharajji’s, we’re just sitting with Maharajji. It’s very easy, sweet time of the evening, very calm, and the minute He sees Purnanand, He sits up like this and it’s just watches him like this. And He starts screaming at him and Purnanand starts shaking, but it’s too late. He can’t back away. He can’t go away. So, he has to come forward to Maharajji and he puts his head down like this and Maharajji starts pounding him on the back with His fist, you know? Hitting him again like this and then Purnanand runs away. The minute he’s gone, Maharajji goes like this and he laughed.
We later found out he had just gotten paid for the month from the job that Maharajji created for him. And he had just spent all the money on a month’s worth of hashish to smoke and again, for another month, Maharajji is going to have to feed his whole family, which he’s been doing every month for years. So, for that, he got a little beating on the back because he’s an asshole, but that didn’t mean he didn’t love him.
So, he didn’t put him out of his heart?
Of course not. And he kept feeding his family and he kept, the guy kept on buying the hash. There was no, you know… and he did what had to be done for everyone’s… You know, these great beings, they only have one motivation: doing what has to be the best thing that has to be done for everyone they come in contact with. They’re not here for themselves. They’ve already made it. They’ve become the whole universe. They’re living in ecstasy and love and truth and being. They don’t want anything. They have everything. They’re only here out of compassion for us idiots who don’t know anything. Everything they do, everything a real Saint does, a Bodhi Sattva does, is for the benefit of all beings and everyone in front of them.
So, we can say that for whatever reason, Maharajji, he demonstrated that anger for that period, for that few minutes, you could, I suppose you could say that he was removing some negative karma from the guy, from the fact that from his own behaviors, you know, from essentially taking the money and not feeding his family and all this stuff, who knows. But it was rare, but Maharaji said, you know, “Never throw anybody out of your heart.”
But I think it is very helpful to watch that because if you’re not good with boundaries and putting people who aren’t so good for you, if you don’t put them out of your heart, but you do…
Exactly. Yeah, for sure. No question. Usually, we need to learn to take care of ourselves and do what’s best for us and then we can also extend that to others and do what’s best for everybody we meet.
Just back in the balance.
Yeah. Well, it’s all about learning to take care of ourselves, which is what we never were taught to do. Our parents didn’t know what that meant, you know, for the most part, right? They just lived their lives bouncing off of this and that, prisoners of their own emotions, their own worries, their own fears, and suffering and trying to get this and trying to get that. So, nobody trained us do that, but that’s what spiritual life is about; learning how to take care of ourselves and extending that care, too. Yeah.
Thank you. Thank you so much.
Thank you. Take care.
Q: My question is, I’ve been practicing and I do yoga and all of these things, and I’m a recovering addict. And I find myself getting wrapped up in a lot of anxiety, anger, like, you know, Monday comes and I’m really good and I’m real patient and tolerant. And then as the week wears on it seems to wear down to, you know, very barely. And I’m just curious, like how do I keep that up? You know? How do I keep my patience and my tolerance up? Because, you know, I’ve noticed I’m really good in big crisis situations, but it’s like the little things in life get me, you know, really irritate me. So, I’d like to kind of, know how to, I guess, alleviate that please.
Well, once again, asking the, the mind to destroy the mind or to cure the mind, blah, blah, blah, it’s like asking the thief to be the policeman. You can’t fix it on the level that exists. You can only recognize it and let go again and again. In other words, you’re getting caught reacting to what you think is your call, your anxiety, which is already a reaction of some kind. And also, it’s probably, it’s one of those, the contributing factors to the fact that you self, you self-medicated for yourself so intensely for a period of time, not because there’s a serious wave of this you always feel underneath that pushes you around.
So, you’re always kind of positioning yourself to deal with that. But the best way to deal with it is to be aware of it and notice it, what, how you’re positioning yourself in relation to that and see how it, like, it’s always there. “Oh, okay. Showing up like this now, ah, showing up like this.” So, and letting go again and again. By noticing, you’re already not caught, even if you’re still feeling it, you’re not completely submerged in it when you notice it.
So, so when you do your practice, don’t try to have any particular type of experience. Okay? Don’t try to feel good. Don’t try to push this stuff away and create a little safe place for you. There’s no safe place except who you are already. So yeah, as you sit there or do what you do, sing, meditate, watch your breath, be with whatever comes and keep releasing. When you get caught, release, let go. Release, get caught, release. Really that’s the deal. And by the, by training yourself to recognize and let go, you’ll find that that will happen automatically in situations off the mat, so to speak. It’s a learned response that you train yourself in. So, like something will start to happen and you’ll see it. And then you let go. The letting go, it’s not pushing it away. It’s not holding onto something else. It’s releasing. And when you release you’re automatically back for a millisecond and then you’re gone again. So, but that’s why we do practice because in that little period of practice, whatever it is, five, 10, 15, 20 minutes, whatever it is that you do, you’re working on that letting go muscle. And that muscle will continue to function and get stronger and stronger as time goes on. But the real changes happen off the radar, under the radar. You can’t sit around and evaluate, “How am I doing?”
Because when we’re really at ease we’re not like, noticing, necessarily. We only notice when we’re really fucked up. But what happens is, we feel bad less of the time, but we don’t notice it. We spend less and less time in negative States of mind. That’s one of the fruits of practice, but you don’t notice that otherwise you’re not. “Oh wow. I’m spending less and less time in negative States of mind.”
Pride is a negative state of mind. So, forget it, you know. That’s why the real changes happen under the radar. And you just do your practice, live your life and, you know, treat other people the way you want to be treated, and you will not have a problem in the world. It’s not easy because some people are assholes. That doesn’t mean you can’t treat them the way you want to be treated. That takes strength, courage, and real dedication to the path and being who you really are. So, it can be done. And you’re doing it. Don’t sit around evaluating and then making up a story about, it’s not good enough and I’m fucking up, and it happens like this. Well who knows how it happens? Who gives a shit how it happens. Live. That’s all. Every minute is new. Don’t worry.
Q: I just wanted to say thank you. You’ve been important in my life these last, well, I still think of the nineties as recent, but recent decades. And I really appreciate it. You doing what you do, I think, it makes it easier for us to do what we do. And it works. And now you’re going to teach me to play harmonium, and I really had to take that instead of the class coming up. But I just, I really appreciate you and thank you so much for what you do.
Thank you. I appreciate it.
Q: KD, it’s such a, such a pleasure to be here to see you. It’s been a long time. The last time I saw you perform live was in San Francisco 13 years ago, probably. Yeah. Prior to that, about 15 years ago, I was having monkey dreams. Nightmares of monkeys, and at that time, my friend, our mutual friend, Laura Farrow. I don’t know if you remember her from the Bay area, she was moving towards the end of her time in her body.
And I went to sit with her after you had been there to visit with her. And I had never been in her home. We’d been in a lot of other places together, but never her home. And when I entered her house and I walked up the stairs, and on either side of that hallway, pictures of Maharajji and Hanuman, a monkey God? I had no idea of him. And I’m like, is this a house of horror? So, as those days went on and she left her body, and her Memorial was planned and the venue kept getting moved someplace larger and larger and larger. You weren’t able to come, but you sent. Yeah. You, you sent somebody to perform the Hanuman Chalisa, I had, I had never heard it, but as I sat there with hundreds of people who loved her, and the majority loved Maharajji, I knew I knew the words and all of a sudden those monkey dreams started to make sense. And it was through that, that I found my way to this path and Maharajji and you and I really don’t have a question. I just wanted to express my gratitude.
Thank you. Okay. Laura was beautiful. She was just a beautiful being. Yeah,
That’s all. I love you. And I thank you.
Q: So first thank you for this. And also thanks to Nina. Nice to see you. Well, I love your stories from Maharajji, so I would like you to share with us, in India, was living with him.
Well, you know, when I, for the first year and a half or so we, we didn’t live in the temple. We stayed nearby and we’d go see him. We’d go to the temple in the morning and then we’d see him usually in the mornings and then they would feed us and we would take a nap. And then the afternoon we’d see him again early evening before we had to get on the bus to go back to Nainital, to the towns. We didn’t spend a lot of physical time with him, really, considering at that point. But all, but it was only, it was like sunbathing. There’s only so much sun you can take before you start to burn. So, he gave us just enough and then sent us away and then came back. You know, it was, he played with us a lot. He turned us away and then, yeah, it was interesting. You know, he would send people, send us all the way and then, people who weren’t really into it, would like, go find other things to do. And then he’d let us come back. And Siddhi Ma said to us once that he tested the Westerners really intensely. And I never thought of it like that, because there wasn’t anywhere I was going, except wherever he was, you know, so, but there were people who were not so into it, so they would just find other places to go on.
He didn’t teach. We just hung out with him. You know, he’d laugh. He talked to us a little bit here and there and throw food around and just talk to the Indian people. He was just hanging out, you know, it wasn’t all these things, and teachings that he gave were over years of hanging out with Him, you know, a little bit here, a little bit there, but he wasn’t a teacher. He was a Siddha and he was somebody, He’d change you from the inside out. He didn’t have to teach you anything. He just, he did it, all the changes. He’d change your karmas, He changed your whole life from the inside out. And that was fine with us. You know, all we wanted to do is sing to Him and hang out with Him. That’s all we wanted.
So, did you feel all the time his divine presence or that were like days, like you felt like you weren’t filled with that? Let’s say, a normal person.
I will never use the word “divine” because it was… divine is almost like far away, you know, high up above. It was just funky hanging out in this incredible intense, loving presence, loving space. It was love, real love, right there. Love all the time. Laughing, joking, loving giving fruit. It’s just… Our hearts just exploded, you know? And they kept exploding and we were just exactly where we wanted to be. It was no higher than thou kind of thing, you know? More Holy than thou. It was very simple, totally right here on earth. Very, very, he loves us as we are. He didn’t ask us to do anything. He didn’t try to change us. He didn’t want us, he didn’t need us to be anything else. He loves us as we are because he made us this way. So why should he bother changing where he already did?
Yeah. Okay. That’s it. Thank you. Yeah.
All right. You take care, huh?
Nice to see you.
Q: I’m grateful that your gifts have been shared to the universe. My heart has been opened and I’m grateful, so my biggest takeaway from today is, there will be lots of investigations and never an arrest. And that was powerful for me. So thank you.
Yeah. That’s because we can’t think ourselves out of a prison that’s made of thought.
Yeah. Yeah. I’ve been rolling around, and a lot of grief work and it, it’s all, it’s all tied together about getting out of your own way and allowing your ego to melt. And my mantra is, lead with your heart, lead with my heart, and that’s how I want to present myself to the universe. And so, I’m, I’ll leave you with that. And I thank you. And I sing your songs and chant. “My Foolish Heart” is my favorite at the moment.
That’s a good one.
I love that one. And Saraswati is another. Thank you. Great. So thank you. And I’m so grateful to be part of this. Thank you so much.
Q: Hi, Krishna Das. How are you? Good. I’m in Ireland. Yeah, I am. Yeah, I, I I saw you in Dublin a few months ago.
And myself, my wife, Teresa, and we actually love this. It was just such a trip to see you and to chant with you and dance with you. And we such good fun. The two of us, we were like two chant-y bunnies just, just having such fun. And so, it’s, it’s, it’s such a great privilege to speak to you. Thank you so much. My wife asked me a question tonight. She said, yeah, she said, ‘What are you going to ask? What are you going to ask Krishna Das?’
And the first question that came into my mind was what was, what was Baba’s smile like?
It was like the whole, the sun shining full-blast in your heart. You know, it was so beautiful. It was, he smiled, he laughed. He was so… He was everything. He could be so joyful and then he’d be like, gone for a second and come back. You know, it was amazing. But when he, He was so sweet to us all the time, you know, very kind.
Yeah. He, he has sweetness and love, you know, and like I wanted to see you for, to see you chant for so long. And when you came to Dublin, it was just really a privilege, a real honor.
Now, seeing you live now, even what’s happened in the world, it’s even better, you know. It’s the grace of Baba and you know Baba cracked my heart open in Kainchi in 2015. And he’s a great, he’s a gorgeous being and you know, withoutl him, I wouldn’t be here. And so it’s lovely to be in your presence and to hear your chanting and thank you very much, brother. Thank you very much.
And thanks for answering the simple question.
Okay. So I guess that’s it for today. Hmm.
We’re always together under the umbrella of love, wherever we go.
Just to remember, that’s all we have to do.
So, take good care of yourselves and I’ll try to take care of myself.