Call and Response Ep. 66 |Find Out Who You Are
Q: I started thinking, I don’t have a Guru in form, maybe I’m not doing something right. What if the practices won’t be as beneficial because I don’t have a Guru?
“What you’re looking for is your Self. Your true Self. Rama, Krishna, Radha, Sita, these are the Names of that Place inside of you. There’s no reason to manufacture anything or visualize anything other than to be present and the Name itself will reveal your deeper places as you go deeper into the repetition of the Name, as your thoughts allow you to.” – Krishna Das
Q: Hi. Thank you so much.
Q: My question, I’m Katie, and I starred in a movie called…
KD: You’re who?
KD: That’s me.
Q: I know, right?
KD: Are we one?
Q: I think that’s were supposed to be right, maybe?
KD: No, you blew it. We’re not one.
Q: I always do that.
KD: You didn’t really blow it because we really are one.
Q: Ok, so my question is twofold, the first part is, yesterday you talked about the practices opening your heart and really, you do this, paraphrasing, “to love the world so that you can really…”
KD: Did I say that?
Q: Maybe not exactly but in a way.
KD: Oh yeah, ok.
Q: So you can give this love to Maharajji and I was like, at first I was going along with it and then when you said, “To give it to Maharajji,” I was like, I was like, “Oh, he’s not just loving to like, love me, he’s doing it for something greater.” So, I got caught up in that. And so, then I started thinking, I don’t have a Guru in form, maybe I’m not doing something right. What if the practices won’t be as beneficial because I don’t have a Guru? So that’s part one.
KD: That’s part one? That looked like part 10. Somebody else remember this? Did you write this down? We’ll go back and start at the beginning, ok? Why don’t we just, can we deal with one?
KD: Because one’s like, huge.
KD: And tomorrow come back for number two. Or next year or whatever. What was, ok, start at the beginning. So, ok, so you misquoted me five times in the first five things you said, which was very nice of you, thank you.
Q: Paraphrased, sorry. Not direct quote.
KD: Well, ok, you paraphrased somebody else because I never said that shit.
Q: Ok. Something about the practices, you wanted to open your heart, right? Or learn to love the world?
KD: Well, ok.
Q: And to give that, and you do this so you can give your love to Maharajji.
KD: That’s where we go wrong.
KD: It’s a misunderstanding. And because, first of all, ok, hm. Jesus. What I was talking about, why I sing, I sing to enter more deeply into the Presence of Love. Ok? For me, I call that “Maharajji.” You don’t have to call that “Maharajji.” But that’s how I got the hit, right? So, for me, He is that love that’s everywhere all the time. It’s not a guy. You know? Not some dude with a blanket. So, but I know that if I say it that way, it’s easily taken just the way you took it, you know, and I kind of apologize for that because I didn’t mean to say that you have to love Him that way, otherwise you know, you’re not going to make it. It’s not like that at all. These great Beings, Rama and Sita, Radha Krishna, Hanuman, these great Beings are manifestations of the love that is who we are also and that who everybody is. And the love in which the universe floats, so to speak. So, when I chant, I’m trying to, by doing the practice just the way I described it to you, when I notice I’m not paying attention, I come back, try to give myself fully to the practice as much as I can, I’m moving more deeply into that open space of love which is everywhere and everybody. Everybody’s inside of that. But we’re identified with the little meat puppet, right? And everybody thinks everybody thinks you are who you think you are. So there’s a few hundred meat puppets in here all thinking they’re different. But underneath that thought of difference, everybody’s exactly the same inside. And everybody is that love inside. That’s what they say. So, that’s what I meant. Ok? So, now, part B of part 1.
Q: Ok, so part B of part 1.
KD: Yeah. Ok.
Q: Or do you want to know part 2?
KD: Whatever… whatever makes you happy.
Q: Ok, so part 2…
KD: If it makes you happy…
Q: I’ll move on. I think you answered my part B of part 1 within your answer. So, thank you.
KD: Thank you. You’re welcome.
Q: So, part 2 is, when I’m chanting, you said that, I love the simplicity of just bringing it back to singing and bringing it back to the present moment. I don’t find myself getting lost so much in thoughts about what to do or what’s coming next but more about manufacturing an experience of “I’m chanting and I need to be visualizing Krishna or Rama or I need to, I’m not doing it right if I don’t have all of this and I have a real hard time with just trusting that just chanting is enough. How do you…
KD: Ok, but when you look in the mirror, do you think that you are your elbow?
KD: How about your shoulder?
KD: How about your knee?
KD: How about any other part of you?
KD: Then you think that’s Rama?
KD: Then why would you want to visualize something that isn’t what you’re really looking for?
KD: Ok? What you’re looking for is your Self. Your true Self. Rama, Krishna, Radha, Sita, these are the Names of that Place inside of you. There’s no reason to manufacture anything or visualize anything other than to be present and the Name itself will reveal your deeper places as you go deeper into the repetition of the Name, as your thoughts allow you to. So, let’s forget the content of your thoughts and your fears. You didn’t notice that you weren’t paying attention. You thought you were thinking about something worth thinking about. That’s what we all think. We all think everything we think is worth thinking about or we wouldn’t be thinking about it. Which is not actually very interesting. So, now on the other hand, these are called murtis in India. They’re not statues. A statue is a slab of clay or marble or stone. These are maybe made out of one of those things but there’s been a ceremony done with these things. Yeah, I know what it’s called, my Lord. Thank you. Thank you. Your kind servant here is telling you to… So, there’s a ceremony been done called “Pran Pratishta.” Does that make any sense to you, Pran Pratishta? That’s why I didn’t say it. Because it doesn’t. And that ceremony brings life, they say, brings life, the one who does the ceremony connects with a deeper place and then that is transmitted into these statues and it makes them murtis. It gives them a magnetism and that even though we think we’re looking outside of something, it’s actually a reflection of our true nature. And in India, these are the forms of God. You don’t see these forms on the Lower East Side of Manhattan that often. Every once in a while at certain times of the night you can find it. But in India, this is one of the ways that they remind themselves that God exists. It may not work for you. That’s ok. And it may not work for Westerners. I lived in India for large parts of the last 49 years and if you asked me, “Do I really believe that Krishna and Radha are standing there,” I can’t say I do. I’m sorry. I have to be honest. Do I think that it’s not possible? Oh, no, I think it’s possible. I just think that I don’t see things clearly enough. But that’s ok. I just want to find out who I am first and then everything else will fall into place. That’s what I believe. If you don’t believe that, that’s ok. But I wouldn’t torture myself unless you particularly enjoy that.
Q: No. I’m good on that.
KD: Good, so then let it go.
Q: I know. It’s exhausting. Thank you.
KD: But it’s, you know, and that’s why, for Westerners, you know, one time these friends of mine, they were doing a teacher training for their yoga students and they had pictures of all the deities on the wall, you know and they had asked me to come and sing with the students. So, I was waiting there in the room with them and one of them got up and said, “You see these pictures? If you don’t know the story of all those pictures, you’ll never be a yoga teacher.” I wanted to kill myself. I could not fucking believe… sorry, believe that anybody would say that to anybody. You know? Can we just deal with what’s happening? It’s hard enough. What the shit we get into going through the day, can we deal with that, whether these Beings are alive and more real than we are, how would we know? We don’t even know who we are. So, let’s everybody deal with life the way you feel you have to deal with it. Some people love to come here and worship the deities. That’s fine. That’s fine. You know, sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t. You do whatever you do. Do it the way you want to do it. Don’t think that you have to do it any particular way. Really. And anybody who tells you that you have to do it their way. If you don’t run as fast as you can, you’re doing the wrong thing. Because somebody’s trying to sell you something that you don’t need. If you needed it, you would know. You would accept it. But when you feel manipulated or pushed around or told “you just don’t understand, you’re a stupid westerner, you don’t get it.” You know, get out of there. My Guru never, you know, He was, it was a Hanuman temple. There was a Shiva, a Lingham, there was Lakshmi Narayan temple, Hanuman and then a Durga Temple. He never once made us do anything there if we didn’t want to. It was not, you know, it wasn’t, He never, He loved us as we are. You’re thinking, “I have to do it this way. I’ll never make it unless I do this.” That’s called, “a thought.” Let it go. Ok. Which part of what question was that?
Q: That was the final one.
KD: Praise the Lord. Which is part of a whole other thing we could talk about, too. There I was sitting with this wonderful little Indian man with a blanket, you know? And He starts talking to us about Jesus. In the Himalayas. I was wearing a red dress, walking barefoot stepping in cow poop and He’s talking to me about Jesus? You know, so, ok, this is funny… so I used to tell, before the song we sang last night, “Jesus on the Mainline,” I used to tell this long story before I sang it, right? About, Yeah, I was in the mountains in India and we were traveling around and we heard about this ancient temple that was in this hidden village way up in the hills and no Westerner had ever been to this place, so we found some people who knew where it was and they guided us to this village and we got to the village at night and the people were really cool, they were very nice to us, they fed us, gave us a place to sleep and in the morning, they took us to this really ancient temple. And so we walk into the temple, they open the doors to the temple and this beautiful murti, beautiful murti of a male deity and in one He has His hand out in this, the abhaya mudra, don’t be afraid, no fear, everything’s cool. And in the other, He was holding a phone.” So, I said to my guide, I said, “Excuse me, is that a phone?” “Oh, yes, that is telephone. Very good.” And I said, “Well, what’s the deal?” He said, “Oh, this deity is very compassionate, you see. Always waiting for your call.” And I said, “But isn’t the temple thousands of years old?” “Ha, temple is thousands of years old.” No explanation whatsoever. And so then, they started their morning prayers, right? And there was the most amazing mantras I have ever heard in my life, you know? So, I spent a couple of weeks in the village and they taught me those mantras and then I’m going to sing it for you now. Then I go into “Jesus on the Mainline.” So, one time, a Tibetan Lama, a very beautiful young Tibetan Lama came with some of his students to sing with me, right? I knew Him from before and I said, “Rinpoche, what are you doing here?” He said, “Oh, we came to hear you sing.” I said, “ok.” So they came, they sat like in the second row, you know. Jesus, what am I going to do now. So, when I sang, He was just, He was like this, right? And then when I was telling jokes He was laughing and everything. So, that was about fourteen years ago. So, two years ago, maybe more, 15 years ago. Two years ago, I was at a week long retreat with that Lama, who was teaching that retreat. And I got invited to dinner with Him and some of His students, right? And during the dinner, He looked at me and He said, “You know that story you tell about the murti with the telephone.” I said, “Yeah.” He said, “Is that true?” I said, “No, Rinpoche. It’s not true. But I tell that story because, because we’re so screwed up about Christianity and Jesus in this country, in this world, that we’ve just totally lost it, you know? And I like to loosen up the whole thing. It wasn’t until I got to India that I really, honestly felt what and who Christ really is, you know? Because I was meeting people who were saying the same, teaching the same things and manifesting the same love and it was blowing my mind. So, I had to kind of, what do you call it, rewrite my history. I had to go back and revise my feelings because, you know, I remembered when all my Catholic friends came back, they took a day off in the morning, off one day, to go to… and they came back and they wouldn’t talk to me. So, at like, the end of the day, I said, “Hey, what’s wrong with you guys?” “You killed Jesus.” I don’t remember killing anybody. So that was it for Christianity, you know? So, anyway. That’s why, I don’t know how we got there, so the idea was that, I think, really, I think all of us, everybody from, everybody in the West, there’s something in our hearts about that issue. About who Jesus was. Jesus didn’t start Christianity. Did He? It was like a Jewish guy 100 years later, fell down and hit his head and all of sudden: Christianity. His name was Saul. And they called him Paul. They didn’t know how to write an “S.” And from that, the whole thing comes. You know? Jesus did not start a religion as far as I know. I could be wrong. But I don’t think so. You know what the greatest line in rock and roll is, by the way? Van Morrison. I just, he wrote this song called “Ballerina,” and the line, “Well, I may be wrong but something deep down in my heart tells me that I’m right, that I don’t think so.” Great line. Anyway. I don’t think I’m wrong about that. Especially after being with these incredible Saints in India manifesting that kind of love and caring for people that is Christlike. You know? It really changed the way I feel about it and so when I force people to sing that, I think it’s a good thing. All right, who has the mic?
- Siddhi Ma, George W. Bush and Learning to Trust Yourself
Q: Ram Ram.
KD: Yeah, same to you.
Q: My name is Will and I was just wondering, I had an experience in India with Siddhi Ma. I felt very graced to be with Her before She left Her body and Siddhi Ma is a Saint in India and I was just wondering if you would be willing to unpack some memories from your time with Her and just share a quick story or something about Her.
KD: Siddhi Ma was one of Maharajji’s great great great devotees. She was really a great Saint in Her own right and She took care of all of us for 30, more than 30 years after Maharajji left the body, more than 40 years after Maharajji left the body. She was my Ma. She was my Mother. She saved my ass so many times, you have no idea. One time I said to Her, “Ma, should I meditate?” And She said, “Krishna Das, in 40 years with Maharajji, not once did He ask me to meditate.” She said, “What do you like to do, meditate or chant?” Duh. It never occurred to me that doing something I liked could be good for me. You know? Don’t like down… that’s where I grew up, you know? If you like it, it ain’t good for you. So that was mind blowing. Then She said, you know, and here was a really interesting thing. It’s a kind of a deep thing but I’ll share it with you. She said, “The higher states of consciousness,” which is supposedly what we’re looking for, “Can not be created or can not be precipitated by personal will.” So, think about that. You, we can’t make it happen. The higher states of consciousness. She said, She said Maharajji said that. And He said, “When one is ready, they come naturally.” And how does one ready one’s self? Loving everyone. Feeding everyone. And remembering God. Serving. Love, serve, remember. That’s what He used to say. Now, I don’t know about you, but it seems counter intuitive that thinking about others was going to be good for me, but it turns out that that’s the way it is. Very strange. Because once again, like we started, we’re so stuck in our stories about ourselves. And we think about ourselves all day long. All life long. It’s ridiculous. And we never really pay attention to other people. And we don’t treat others very well for the most part. We treat others as they’re something that’s supposed to make us happy. And if they’re not doing that, to hell with them. So, that guy I just spoke about, He had some good ideas, you know? And one of them was, “Do unto others as you would have them…” If we could treat other people the way we, ourselves, want to be treated and do nothing else but that, our whole lives would change in an instant. Think about all the ways you turn people off all day long and look away from people and judge people and hurt people. Just because. That’s what we do. But you think it’s easy to treat people the way you want to be treated? Try. It’s not easy. That’s what practice is for. To help us. Give us the strength to treat other people the way we want to be treated. And then our lives change because it’s not all about “me” all the time. The burden of “me” is such a heavy goddamned thing to be carrying around. It lightens up. We don’t sit at home grinding it out. “What am I going to do? How am I going to get happy? What am I going to do? I’ll take more of this. I’ll take less of that. I’ll get more cable.” I don’t, I don’t, you know, 300 channels is not enough for me. You know, it’s what we do all life long. Trying to squeeze water from a stone. Happiness, real happiness doesn’t come from stuff. It’s never going to come from stuff. I’m sorry. I wish it did. Then I would have been happy a long time ago. But happiness, real love doesn’t come from stuff. It’s who we are. And when we start, when we start looking around, we see that even the people we don’t like, the people who have hurt us, they were acting out of their own pain. Even if we happen to be the recipient of something pretty nasty, still, they were acting out of their own pain. There was nothing they could do to not do that shit to us. You know, so remember when George W. was President? We thought that was bad. I’m sorry. No politics. So, I was watching television, going through the channels, I was going by CNN and they were showing the President, George W. Bush walking down the hall of this school down in Florida where in a room down the hall, a group of the first widows from the Iraq war were waiting to meet the President. There were like 20 women in there. And the cameras are following the President and he’s walking down the hall, “Hey Bob. Hi Joe. I’m the President. Yup. I’m walking down the Hall. Here I go. Hey, Jim.” Walking down the hall. Walking down the hall. I was just about to turn the channel and he goes into the room, he opens the door to the room where these women are waiting. He takes two steps into the room and he bursts out crying like a baby. I couldn’t believe it. He was crying like a baby. Weeping uncontrollably. I was really pissed. I couldn’t hate him anymore. Really. Look at this poor guy. His own actions, there he is, the President, but he’s the pawn of many different interests. He doesn’t have freedom with what he does. He has to make all kinds of deals. By the time you get to the President, you’ve made so many deals you can barely go to the bathroom by yourself. This guy has caused so much suffering for other people. He’s going to have to pay for that. And I have to tell you the truth, when I saw him crying, I didn’t want him to have to pay for that, but there was nothing I could do. His own actions, the karmas he created will come to fruition and he will have to pay for that. That did not make me happy. Before I saw him cry, it made me happy. Sorry. But after that, I saw, “Oh, shit he’s a human being.” And he couldn’t help himself, either. That’s the thing that got me. He could not help himself but do the things he did. He had no vote. Ok. How much vote do we have in our day? How much of a vote do we have as to how we go through the day? As to how we meet people? As to how we greet people? As to how we treat people? How much of a vote do we have, actually? Not much. The whole idea is to get a vote. I haven’t even registered to vote. We’ve got to get a vote. Otherwise we’re just unconscious slaves of our own karma and we get no vote and we keep creating more suffering for ourselves and the people that we say we love, and the people we say we don’t want to see suffer. We’re creating suffering for them, too. That’s why we repeat the Name. We don’t even know what the Names mean. It doesn’t matter. These names have been given to us as a way to find out who we really are, as a way to become a good human being in this world in these days when it’s not so easy. There are other practices, of course, and they all work the same way. Sooner or later, they’re all about calming our asses down, learning, allowing us to be here more, not to be so reactive to our thoughts and our stories that we tell ourselves about ourselves that we don’t like. That’s why we do practice. So we can learn to breathe in this world.
The whole spiritual path is learning to trust your own self, your own heart. If you don’t trust yourself, what are you going to do? When you fall in love, you don’t doubt that. Ah, yeah. You trust that. You also trust when you fall out of it. We’re training ourselves to fall in love with who we really are, which is the same as who everybody really is. So, we fall in love with the whole universe. Everybody’s invited to the party.
We’re very easily fooled because we’re so needy. We’re so needy. That’s just the way it works. We’re really needy. But these practices help us, help us hear our own hearts more clearly as time goes on, little by little. If it happens too fast, they put you away. Little by little.
- Maharajji Stories
Q: Hi Krishna Das. My name is Chad and I just wanted to ask if you could please share your most favorite experience of spending time with Maharajji. Thank you.
KD: I don’t know. One time I walked to the temple from, the town’s about a three and a half, four hour walk over the mountains, and I was practicing my Hindi. Over and over I was saying this, trying to learn how to say, “Maharajji, my life is in your hands.” And I was saying it over and over in Hindi, like, for hours, a big moment, you know? So, I got to the temple and I was up, coming down the ridge and I saw He was sitting all alone on His tucket, on His bed. I ran into the temple, I came. I ran up to Him and I said, “Maharajji, your life is in my hands.” He went, “Get out of here, go on, Jao.”
Q: You said it in Hindi though.
KD: yeah, I said it in Hindi. I said it backwards. Another time, you know, He would get up, you know, He walked like a kid. He’d like, bounce from one leg to the other. He looked like He was ready to fall over. So, people would put their hand out. And He would take somebody’s hand and walk with somebody. So, one day, I always, I happened to be right in front of Him when He stood up. So, I put my hand out. And He looked at me and He laughed and He grabbed my hand and we went walking to the back of the temple and then He stopped and let go of my hand and He took a couple of steps, so I took a couple of steps, and then He looked at me and He said something I didn’t understand, and then He took a couple of steps, so I took a couple of steps and then again, He said something and He took a couple of steps and I took a couple of steps and then He just looked at me like this, and He squats down and He pees. He just wanted like 18 inches to take a piss and I wasn’t going to give it to Him. Ah, Divine Love. Those are the moments that, you know, it wasn’t all the other stuff. It was those moments where it was just too amazing, you know? One time, so after I met Ram Das, I told you last night if you were there, how I came into the room and, you know, I understood that whatever it was that I was looking for in the world was real. It could be found. It was a big thing. So after that, I actually began to dream about Maharajji and all I’d seen was a little black and white picture that Ram Das had, but I dreamt of Him, you know. So I’d had this dream long before to India, where I came back to my elementary school and I walked into the gym where we used to have school plays and used to play dodge ball and you know, do square dancing and all the stuff that people on Long Island did. And there on the other side of the gym, on the stage was, Maharajji was sitting on the bed, on a cot, and next to Him, standing behind Him was this guy with a white shirt and a dhoti, a cloth, and a black vest and he was standing behind him. And I came into the room and I fell down and I did what they call “danda pranam”. I just full out on the floor like this with my head like this. And I was just praying. I was saying, “Please, let me feel something. I have to feel something. Please let me feel something.” This is in my dream. And in my mind’s eye, I saw Him get up and walk down the stairs at the edge of the stage and come over to me and He put His hand on the back of my head and I started to calm down, calm down and as I was calming down, this bliss started to run through my body like, you know, it was unbelievable and it was getting stronger and stronger and stronger and I thought, “I’m going to die” and at that moment, He took His hand off of my head, went back and sat down and I woke up. So, this was in 1969. So, fast forward to maybe early 1972. I came to the temple. We were living in the town nearby and every day we would come to the temple and hang out with Maharajji and then in the evening we’d go home, go back to the town. So, this day, for some reason, I came late by myself. Usually, either we’d… anyway, so I came into the temple and I was holding some apples that I was gonna offer to Him and I walked into the courtyard and He was walking by Himself across the courtyard, right? Now, I realized that I had never seen Him walk before. We’d always been either brought into the room where He was already sitting or He’d just come out the door and plop down on the tucket out there on the cot right there by the door. But I’d never seen Him walk. And I just stopped at the edge of the courtyard and I watched Him walk and I, my mind completely blitzed out because, He was walking the way He walked in my dream, you know? I was just like, like this. And the next thing I know, I’m standing right next to Him and He’s grabbing the apples and throwing them, I didn’t even offer the apples, I was just like… ahhhhh. And He was going, “These westerners.” And He takes the apples and He’s throwing them to people. It was just an amazing moment, you know? So, He had come to me. They say, when you dream about a Saint, you’re not making that up in your dreams the way we mostly make up our dreams. You can’t create the form of a Saint in your dreams. Only the Saint can come to you. That’s what they say. I don’t know if it’s true, but that’s what they say. So, if you dream about somebody, a great Guru or something like that, He or She has come to see you. That’s what they say.
One time, we were sitting with Him in the evening. This was after I was living in the temple. So everybody would go leave the temple for the day and just the people who were living there and the workers would stay, and He’d come up to the back of the temple and sit and a few people there would sit around Him. So on this day there was maybe about six or seven people and I was sitting kind of behind Him and there were these people sitting on the other side of the cot and it was, the sun was setting, there was a sweetness in the air, there was this fragrance of what they call Raat Ki Rani, the Queen of the Night Flowers, it makes Jasmine look like poop, smell like poop. You have no idea. It’s completely intoxicating, this scent. And that was wafting through the air, you know, and I was thinking, “Wow, this is so great.” He looks over at me and goes, “Watch this.” Or, “See this,” He said. And then He casually just said to this person sitting, He said, “Is it cold in America now?” and in two seconds, everybody said, “Well, there’s different parts of America. There’s the North, there’s the South, and then it could be this, it could be cold there.” It was total insanity and He just looks over to me. It was like, “You see what’s in people’s heads? You thought it was peaceful.” Things like that.
You know, He knew everything. Oh Jesus. Every single thing. He knew how many times you chewed your toast in the morning. He knew what you were going to do 50 years from that moment. And He loved you completely. Totally. Every part of you. And He knew everything. And if you think it’s easy to sit in front of somebody like that… half the time it was the most incredible unbelievable never-wanna-move, the other half of the time it was like living in hell, because we’re not used to that. We can’t be open. We’re just like… We close down. So, then, He would hit you in the heart with a banana. And you’d look, and then you’re open again. And then you’re closed down. And then He’d bang you with an apple. Or He’d look at you and go Ha Ha. And He’d look and He’d laugh. The minute you closed down, He’d open you up, or He’d let you sit there for a few days like that until you just were burnt to a crisp, you know, and then somebody would call your name and you’d turn and you’d get hit with a pomegranate. And He’d go, Ha. That’s how He taught. He didn’t lecture. He said, “If I know…” He said, what did He say, something like, something like, “I don’t know anything, I just know how to open hearts.” Something like that. And He didn’t want anything. Nothing.
He never took anything from us. We couldn’t even donate to the temple. I mean, nothing. He didn’t want anything from us. To be around somebody who doesn’t want anything, who has everything, is so discontinuous with our everyday lives. Everybody we meet is hungry. We’re hungry for so many things. We live in a hungry world. There are people out there who aren’t hungry, who’ve got everything and who are ridiculously disgustingly happy. One time, so, Ram Das had bought this Volkswagon bus from these people and we used to drive it from the town. We used to get sixteen or seventeen people in this Volkswagon, hanging off the back, up on the roof, and it became a bit of a scene, you know, and the Indian people, like the word was getting out, who were these crazy hippies and everything. People were coming to see what’s going on. So, He broke the bus. One day, it wouldn’t start. Anyway, that’s a long story, but anyhow, so He took the keys away from Ram Das and He gave them to me and He said, “Ram Das, you’re a saint, you have to go on the bus, on the regular bus.” And He said, “Jeff will drive.” Jeff was my name. “Jeff will drive.” And at that moment, He started calling me “driver.” So, for the next year, my name was “Driver.” “Driver! Ha. Come here.” Like this. Not a bad name. Kind of cool. Hey. So, I had the keys to the bus and my desire was to drive Maharajji in the Volkswagon bus. I never told anybody. I never said anything to anybody. But I always had the keys with me. Ready. Right? So, like, a year goes by and I’m just sitting around with Him one day and He just looks at me and He says, casually, “Got the keys?” “Yeah.” “Let’s go.”
We went outside Dada’s house in Allahabad and Dada was one of these great devotees of Maharajji. Unbelievable. And Dada’s walking with Maharajji out to the van. Now, you know, He was short. Indian people, you know, most of them are short except these two basketball players we’ve got here. Where are they? There they are. Anyhow, so He kind of had to throw himself up onto the seat of the Volkswagon bus. You know, it’s a little higher than a car. And He bashed His head on the door jam. I mean, whack. I almost pissed my pants. My desire to drive Maharajji created Him getting His, bashed His head on the door of the car. Oh, my God, I’m so terrible. I said, “Dada. Did you see that?” What did Dada, the great devotee Dada, say? “He did it on purpose. Just drive.” That is a devotee. Because nothing the Guru does is by chance. The devotee knows He does everything on purpose. “He did it on purpose. Just drive.” “ok.” I get in the car and I start driving and I swear to you, He said, “Ok, drive to the sangham.” This very sacred place where the three rivers come together. I’m driving along very slow. He said, “Watch out. There’s somebody there. Be careful. Driver. Oh, you’re going too fast. Watch out. Slow down. Watch out.” The whole way there for fifteen minutes just like that. Nonstop. “Watch out. Over there. Over there.”
So, we get to the sangham, I stop the car, I turn it off. We sit there for maybe a minute. He says, “Ok, let’s go back.” That was that. But the interesting… so, the next day, or the day after, He was sending us down south because Ram Das had promised Swami Muktananda that we would do this pilgrimage with Him down in South India, so we all had to go with Him. So, I was driving and we were, there was this big long curve in the road, a turn, and off to the left there was this reservoir and I entered the turn too fast and I’m trying not to spin out as the car is going too fast and it looks like we’re going to just slide off the road into the reservoir and at the last moment, there was like, whoosh, it’s like this wind came. The car literally went, whoop, back on the road, like this. I think that was the bash on the head. So… He did it on purpose.
- Maharajji’s Passing, India, Joya,
Q: My name’s Christian.
Q: How did you take losing the physical form of your Guru? And how did you cope with it?
KD: I didn’t cope with it. I just lost it totally. I had become very attached to His physical presence. He kept me in India two and a half years, pretty much longer than any of the other Westerners. He kept me with Him for two and a half years. Then one day, He looks at me and says, “Ok, go back to America.” “What? I’m just learning Hindi.” “Too bad. You have attachment. You have to go.” So I went back and then after a few months, He wrote to me, He had somebody write to me and said, one day He looked around and said, “Where’s Krishna Das?” The guy who knows everything. So, somebody said, “Baba, You sent Him to America.” “No. Tell Him to come back. I want to hear Him sing. I want to hear Him sing.” So my friend wrote to me. “You’ve got to come on back. You’ve got to,” you know? So anyway, long story short, I didn’t make it back in time. So, when He did leave the body, I was destroyed. Because the only place I ever felt loved was with Him. That kind of love. I never felt it anywhere. And now it was gone. Why live? What’s the sense? You know? I mean, we find reasons to stay alive, but we don’t really believe there’ll ever be any real, real happiness for us. That’s how it felt for me. For a long time. So then, He left the body in 1973. In 1984, I went back to India. I was in pretty bad shape. I had been strung out on cocaine, freebase cocaine for a year and a half and I had just gotten over that but I was pretty fragile, pretty freaked out. And I thought, “All right, I’ll just go back to the temple. I’ll just go in my room and sleep for a month,” you know? So I get to the temple and it turns out it’s Durga Puja time, which is this ten day ceremony honoring the Goddess Durga and they do a fire ceremony every day with the “swahas” and everything. It’s really great, you know? So, I get into the temple and everybody’s “Oh, Krishna Das, you’ve come. This is so good. Come, you’ll sit with us in the puja.” Really? And you can’t say, “No.” They love you too much. So instead of hiding in my room and sleeping, all day long I sat in the goddamned puja with this hot fire, “Swaha” into the fire, sweating with ashes and dirt all over me, you know? Sitting up. I hadn’t sat cross-legged for ten years and now it’s like… aargh. I can’t tell you how horrible it was. It was indescribably horrible. So, there was a morning session and an afternoon session. And there was a couple hours break in between the two sessions, but you had to fast all day, by the way, you couldn’t eat until the last session was over. Terrific. You know? So, and then, so during that break, at the end of the morning session, everybody would come from the yagya shala, the place where the fire is, the sacred fire, they come up to the front of the temple where Maharajji’s cot was, and we’d do aarti, we’d sing this hymn and wave the lights and then everybody would go rest for a couple of hours before the next session. So, four or five days into it, everybody comes up from the fire and we do this puja and I’m just standing there like this, you know? All right. When’s this over. I’m going to go lie down, ok. So, while I’m standing there, the chant was over and everybody bowed down, you know, like this, and then everybody left except one old lady had put her head down on the tucket and she didn’t get up. She went into samahdi. She went into a very high blissful state. Just from bowing to His tucket. She was just like, gone. And I saw that. And it was like a knife in my heart. And I thought, “He’s real for these people. They feel Him.” And I felt, I couldn’t imagine… you can’t imagine how I felt. And I’m just, it was like a shock and I just went, like, sat down on the edge of the temple right there and I was just like, like this. And this woman comes out of the back of Maharajji’s rooms and said, “KD, KD. Siddhi Ma calling.” And I thought, “Why doesn’t she just leave me alone. Let me just die here. Leave me alone.” But you can’t say “no.” They love you too much. You can’t say no. Ok, I got up. I walked in this back door through this little courtyard where Maharajji used to sit and into this room where Siddhi Ma was sitting on the floor by His bed and I walked into that room and I got hit by a lightning bolt right here. I fell to the floor. And I was crying uncontrollably because in that second a few things happened. The first thing that happened was, I saw every second of my life from the moment I heard He died until that moment, like the frames of a movie, you know? Ffft. When they used to have film. Like this. Every frame was a moment of my life. I saw everything in an instant. I saw my whole, every second of my life for the last like 12 or 13 years. And I saw that He had never left me for a second. But I would not let myself feel Him. I refused to let myself feel that love because I was angry, I was pissed, I was sad, I was hurt that He had left me. And I would not let myself feel. I was like a little kid. I wouldn’t let myself feel that. But I saw He’d been with me every second, that I had put a wall around my heart and I wasn’t letting anything in, but that He was on the wall, in the wall, over the wall, both sides of the wall, the wall meant nothing to Him. And I saw every brick in the wall and it had like a little flashing neon light… shame, fear, anger, selfishness, everything, every brick had a flashing light of bullshit. And I saw in that second, I can take this wall down. I can take this wall down. All I have to do is look at this stuff. I can’t pretend it doesn’t exist. It exists. I put this wall up. But I can take it down. And I have to tell you, I was in absolute total bliss. I was blissed out of my bird. I was gone. I could, every breath felt like the whole universe was making love with me. It was unbearable almost. It was like I could barely stand up. And then, and the whole time, Siddhi Ma’s just sitting there, She didn’t say a thing. I kept thinking, I’ve gotta stop crying, She must think I’m crazy, but I couldn’t stop crying. And then somebody comes to the window. “KD? We’re waiting for you for puja.” Where did two hours go? So, I’m weeping. I’m still weeping. And I go sit in the puja and I’m going… you know and Indians aren’t big huggers, you know? So, the guy next to me who was sponsoring the puja, my good friend, he kept looking at me and I’m weeping. He said, “Krishna Das, has someone died?” He kind of, very tentatively reaches around and pats me on the back like this. It was incredible. Incredible. I’d taken a thousand micrograms of pure Sandoz acid. I couldn’t even see it from where I was. It was so down there. Nothing compared to this. This was beyond belief. And it lasted for days. I was just walking around like… I was just like melting all day long. One morning I woke up and I woke up and I realized it was gone. I felt like an old burnt out building that had been rained on and the dogs came in and pissed all over the place. And I was just like, I completely went nuts. And I went up on the roof of the building in the back of the temple. It’s a big long roof and I was… the temple’s in this beautiful valley with a river running through it and this acid blue sky and it’s just so incredibly beautiful and I was storming back and forth on the roof screaming at maharajji. “If you’re going to close me down, then don’t open me. Just leave me alone,” at the top of my lungs. The whole valley was like, “What is this? What is this?” You know, and I’m screaming back and forth, “You son of a bitch, you leave me alone.” So after a while of this, that same lady comes over and said, “KD, Siddhi Ma calling” and then she ran away. I was like, you know, and I said, “Good. Because I’m leaving. I’m going back to America today and I’m going to tell Her.” And I stormed down, boom, boom, like what’s that big green guy, what’s it, the Hulk. Boom, boom, boom and She had come up to the Tiwari’s room, my Indian parents that are up in the back of the temple and I walked up to the door. And She looked at me and said something and everybody giggled and I said, “What did She say?” And I was told that She said I was like a little boy who had been given a sweet and gobbled it all up in one bite and wanted another one. But I couldn’t have another one right away, but I’d have another one, don’t worry. Oh. Ok.
“I’m going to go lay down, ok? Yeah, you know, in my room. Ok? Yeah, ok.” I slept for like two days and when I woke up I was back to normal.
But that was it. You know? It was ok to be alive. I really didn’t think I’d ever feel like that again, that it was ok to be alive.
So that’s how I dealt with it. Or it dealt with me, really. But that was just the beginning, you know, it was ok to be alive, now what? You know? I had to look at those bricks. I had to look at that stuff, I couldn’t pretend they weren’t there and that they weren’t screwing me up. It was a good beginning.
Q: Hello, oh Hey.
Q: A little lighter question: What are some of your favorite places that you’ve been to in India?
KD: I like the mountains really the most. India’s a lot different now than it was in 1970. Not only weren’t there mobile phones, but even telephones didn’t work. You had to book a call. Like, if I wanted to call back to the states, I had to call the local operator who called the county operator, who called the state operator, who called the federal operator, who got in touch with the international operator, who made the call and then, once it was connected, the international operator called the federal operator who called the… it could take a couple of days sometimes to get through. So, it was a very different life up there in the hills at that point. There was only one road. There still is only one road, although now it’s busy 24 hours a day. But in those days, just a few cars, a few trucks… modern life didn’t make it up to the mountains very far at that time. They were still living very much the way they had been living for thousands of years. Most of the villages didn’t have electricity way up in the hills. There’s incredible places all around India. I’ve been in the jungles and there’s places that are so beautiful it’s hard to imagine, just incredible. There’s beautiful places everywhere. I don’t, I don’t, when people say, “I want to go to India,” I say, “Why?” Really, you have such a desire for dysentery? Very good. Anything you can get in India, you can get here, because you’re here. You think you can go to India? I thought I was going to go to India and live in a cave, right? One snake is all I needed to see before I got my ass out of there. Whoa. You know, and the vibe of these snakes, these are not just like, little snakies. They’re like prehistoric. Dark. Hello. And vipers, they’ll just bite you for fun. Cobras will not bite you unless you’re really threatening them, but a viper, you know, they’ll just bite and then go, they don’t care. They’ll bite you.
Yeah. The Grand Canyon’s nice. At least the rattlers you can hear, you know? So many beautiful places. There’s places in India that are just so extraordinary. I mean, they say it’s the actual, the earth, the ground in India has, is able to hold a certain vibration that makes it easy for Saints to live there because, well, whatever. So, for thousands and thousands of years people have been doing practice there, you know? One place in the center of India, we went to, and we were staying with this yogi who was 163 years old. He’s about 190 now, I guess. And He would take us through the jungle, and He’d say, “You see that mountain over there, that hill? It’s not a hill. Inside that hill, there’s, it’s a crystal cave inside there.” He said, “There’s a yogi in there who’s been in there for thousands of years.” And He kept pointing to places like that.
KD: Yeah, next question.
KD: Hi. You don’t have to stand if you don’t want to.
Q: I’m short.
Q: It’s hard to see. May I ask you…
Q: Ok. About Ma Joya, the Guru who used to live in Florida. May I ask you about her?
KD: You can ask whatever you want.
Q: I have been down there a couple of times. And they claim you as Gurubhai and say that you come and visit and I’m just… ok.
KD: Yeah. I visited once to visit a friend who was dying.
Q: And this is what I wanted to clarify, because they claim you and I asked about Ram Das and about the article and they’re like, “Oh, KD, no, he’s family.” And I just wanted to say…
KD: It’s nice they feel that.
Q: But that was what I wanted to clarify.
KD: So what’s your question exactly.
Q: My question is, what are your thoughts and opinions on her?
KD: I was, I spent, Jaya, “Joya” we called her. Ram Das met Joya in New York through another woman who we had, I had been kind of studying with, her name was Hilda, she was a, she had lived many years in India and had a really good Guru. Nityananda was her Guru. Also, she said, she was very close with Sathya Sai Baba. That’s a whole other story. But, so she put us in contact with this woman Joya and I stayed with, kind of with her, for maybe three years and then I left. And then I saw her maybe once after that. That’s the whole story. If I, obviously if I thought, I didn’t stay, let’s put it that way. So, I would have stayed if I was getting something that I thought was worth getting. But I didn’t. The people there I know, you know, but, they’re all good people. People say lots of things and who knows, you know? I don’t know. I just know what I felt and at one point I felt, this is not for me, and I left.
Q: I’m short, too, So I’ll just stand. I wanted to thank you for coming and making it so accessible for everybody regardless of gender or anything…
KD: Or what planet you come from.
Q: Well, my question is, obviously there are societal and cultural differences between the U.S. and India.
KD: Oh, really?
Q: Does that make it more difficult for a woman to find a teacher in India?
KD: Well, that’s like two different questions. India’s difficult for women in general because it’s difficult. A lot of terrible things happen there and they can happen very quickly. So, I never, if a woman says she wants to go to India, I say, “Well, ok, if you’re gonna go, you can not go alone. I’ll kill you if you decide to go alone, so you’d better not. You have to go at least with one other person and preferably travel with a guy as well.” Because it’s a different place and it’s, for anybody it can be, very immediately, the bottom can drop out and it can get pretty crazy. On the other hand, there’s millions and millions of extraordinarily wonderful people and I’ve met so many of them, but I still don’t think it’s a good idea for… I never suggest that people go and just wander around India. I say, “If you know where you’re going, get your tickets, you can’t travel alone. Get your tickets and go where you’re going. And then if you want to go somewhere from there, you’ll meet somebody who wants to go where you want to go. You go together. Don’t go wandering around like, you know…” That’s not the best idea. A lot of, a lot of things happen that aren’t a lot of fun. As far as finding a teacher, that’s a whole other ballgame. Why would you go to India when you’re here? If you think there’s more people… A teacher comes to you as a result of your karmic ripeness. And that’s, you’re here. But why go there? If you’re pulled there like I was pulled there, I was just going and I was never coming back. That was different. I had to go. So, unless you feel like you have to go, that your life is over if you don’t, until you go, well, then I guess you have to listen to that. But, it’s not an easy place. Even though it’s easier on the physical plane, getting around, it’s a different culture, they do things differently and it’s often difficult to navigate those differences. But as far as finding a teacher, when the student is ready, the teacher comes. That’s the way it is. You don’t know when you’re ready. You may think you’re ready. But if you’re not, if the teacher’s not there, you’re not ready. That’s just the way it is. That doesn’t mean you’re dead. You still have things you can do. You still have practice you can do. You can treat everybody, you don’t wait for your teacher to come. You’re here. You’ve gotta breathe, you’ve gotta eat and you’ve gotta find a way to be a good human being. And there’s plenty of teachers. There’s so many teachers now teaching meditation and asana practice and pranayama, all kinds of things that are really helpful for you, helping calm your ass down and learning how to be happy. So, why not take advantage of that? Go try to find a guru? You know, you’ll wind up… you know, defecating in places you wish you didn’t have to. I’m sorry. There’s a lot of Indian people here, you know. If I didn’t feel like you were my people or I was your people I would never say things like this. And if I hadn’t defecated in any places that I wish I didn’t, I wouldn’t have said that, either. Oh, boy. Try being in a bus, you know, on the way up into the mountains and if you don’t have lamotil you’re dead.
- When the Student Is Ready, The Teacher Will Come
KD: So, yes, you have the mic yet? Pass it up here. Hi.
Q: Hi. I’m Sarah and I was one of the fortunate few to come up and get a picture and a hug last night and I was wondering…
KD: Did you take a shower?
Q: Not since last week. Boy. So, I’m curious, is the performance or the singing, the chanting that you did last night, does that prepare you for all the wanting and the needing or does it feel like that to you to see all these people wanting just a hug and a picture with you, does that fill up your soul more? Or do you kind of have to prepare for that experience?
KD: No. It’s not like that at all. I feel like I’m sitting in my living room with my family, basically, except for some people. You know, it’s just love. There’s nothing to prepare for. It’s nothing like that at all. And it’s not a performance, so there’s nothing going on. We’re sharing our practice. We’re sharing the moment. And that’s the whole deal. Yeah. Good. You got it?
Q: May I ask a question?
KD: Yes, you may.
Q: Well, thank you for being here.
KD: You’re welcome. I tried to be somewhere else but I couldn’t do it.
Q: I’m here now, formally I live out on the West Coast of our country, about 2 hours West of Seattle almost in the Pacific Ocean.
KD: Wow. Beautiful out there.
Q: I recently, or I hear your message today that we’re here and when you’re, when the student is ready, the teacher appears and I have my spiritual technologies that I’ve been able to access in my rural area. We just got our first yoga teacher about eight years ago in my town because I was too busy to be a yoga teacher myself. My question is this, first, let me confirm with you, I saw a post that my sister sent me about you and it said, and you’ve already used the “F” bomb in here, so I know I can use these words without embarrassing people, but your statement, and I want to make sure it was you who said it, you said, “30 years ago I woke up and saw an asshole in the mirror, and today I got up and I saw the same asshole.” And I wonder, when we don’t…
KD: Sounds like me.
Q: It does sound like you and so, and so, my question is…
KD: But I don’t hate that asshole as much as I used to.
Q: Ok, good, because my exposure to Ram Das was when I was a young hippie girl, started traveling around and people had torn pages out of his book, Be Here Now, and so everywhere I went was these pictures of his, of pieces from his book, and I said, “Wow, that seems really wise, who is that?” “Oh, that’s Ram Das, Be Here Now, don’t you know?” And so, my question is, for those of us who don’t, is it simply just, when the student is ready, the teacher appears, because some of us, I don’t have access to Ram Das except by video and I don’t have access to Krishna Das except every ten years when he comes to Atlanta, so my question is, do you have any suggestions for those of us that live out on the rural area, is it simply, focus on your spiritual technologies and realize that you’re going to be the same person looking in the mirror only with a different perspective.
KD: Yeah, but you might not hate yourself as much as you do.
Q: You might not hate yourself as much as you do.
KD: You might not judge yourself as much as you do right now. And as far as advice, I would say, “Be here now.” Well, ok. That was cheap, I admit it. It was a cheap hit, but that’s the way I am. Yes, when the student is ready, the teacher appears, but what draws the teacher is the longing in our hearts and the longing is what saves our lives and ruins our lives as well because nothing will ever be enough until it’s enough. So, that longing is what draws everything we need to us, whether it happens to come in the form of a physical being or not is fairly irrelevant, because you’re getting what you need right now every moment of every day. It shouldn’t and couldn’t and wouldn’t be any other way. That’s the bottom line. Whether you’re able to recognize that and learn from it and use it as a spiritual practice, that’s a big thing. So, that’s kind of up to you and if you feel the need for a teacher, when the need is strong enough, you’ll move out of the rural area to where there’s somebody you can work with. Why not? It’s a question of what your priorities are and what’s meaningful for you and also what you can do according to your situation, of course. So, but that’s not a mistake either, your situation. So, you just have to kind of work with it all and be present with it as it all changes, because it’s always changing. Yeah? Go ahead.
Call me up?
Q: So, in my life in the last two years, I ran into a fellow who is just a pragmatic worker tradesman kind of guy and he talked to me in much the same kind of language that you’re using both tonight and last night about love and so forth, and that it is all within us. It comes out from within us. And he talked to me in the same kind of language that you’re using, but he’s not a recognized Guru.
KD: Neither am I.
Q: And neither are you. But I’m getting at is, isn’t this wisdom like a stream that goes through the universe or something that the universe rises up through, that we can access? Isn’t that the case? Isn’t that what these spiritual technologies are for? And if that’s the case, then do we need a Guru?
KD: I don’t know.
Q: Good question.
KD: Yeah. The whole issue is irrelevant because you’re talking about Guru as if it’s something outside of you and it’s not.
Q: Thank you very much.
KD: Ok, thank you. Yeah. Good.
Q: Hi, KD.
Q: My name is Amma.
Q: Thank you very much for being here today and blessing all of us. I wanted to ask about your song, your hymn, “God is Real / Hare Ram”. So, that song has done, it’s, it has ministered to me on many a dark night and I would like to know if there is, if you have a specific creation story about that song and if so, if you would mind sharing how that came to be.
KD: Well, I grew up with my parents listening to Mahalia Jackson and that song is based on an old gospel song, “God Is Real.” Of course, I totally perverted it, like I do everything else. But it just came, you know, I don’t really think about that stuff. It just kind of goes through like Indian food. It kind of comes out of me. But I love that, I love gospel music, you know, so, and it just seemed to work with the Hare Ram, so maybe we’ll sing it to end the evening, daytime, which is pretty soon, I think. What time is it? Yeah, you know, we have a hard stop at 6 o’clock and, this is a temple, actually, and they’re very kind to have people like us in here and they do their worship, they start, we have to be, all our equipment out by 6:45 so it’s, we really have to stop and then if you want to say “hello” to me, I’ll go out into the hallway while everybody cleans off the stage. So, we’re close, getting close to the end. But, we will sing that in a few minutes. Yeah, if I can remember it. Wake up you guys. Get ready.
Spirituality and Modern Politics
Q: Hello there.
KD: Hi. Hello there.
Q: Hi. It’s wonderful to be here with you. I’ve been chanting with you for a long time and your practice that you’ve shared with us all has helped so many, including me, deeply, and I’m wondering, so these days now are quite trying. Maybe not more so than others, but I personally find them very trying as a woman with an eleven year old daughter growing up under this particular, it’s hard not to talk about politics because I am a householder and I’m doing the work that needs to be done raising a family and trying to be as active as I can in the political arena because it feels very necessary. So, I am, this opportunity to be with you, to sit in this sacred space that you’ve created here, that Chantlanta has created here in Atlanta, is really, really meaningful, and I’m just wondering, since you’re here, if there’s anything that you can suggest that we all do to practice. There are so many people that are, I feel like I’m more awake than I’ve ever been, and living here and doing that fully and well, as well as I can at the moment, which has got lots of problems, but still, it’s not so bad anymore and there are a lot of people that are not at all awake and you’ve talked about them tonight and you know, made jokes about Bush and you know, people in our political arena that are really, really shut down and closed to love and as we sort of grow and open our hearts, you know, these, I feel like these forces are coming and clamping down on us more and more and I guess I’m just wondering if you could speak to that and to what, perhaps, you know, how we could help ourselves or how you could help me or how I can help myself move through all that. Chanting is so important to me because it’s individually moved me but it also connects us to each other and when we sing together and sing with you and all that, I mean, this feels infinite and so, it’s about the action of the moment in response to the political arena that I’m asking about. Thank you so much for being here.
KD: I sing. That’s what I do. Everybody does what they do. I sing. There was either this or pump gas. That’s what I do. You have to find out what you do and I mostly read the sports pages. I kind of get to the front page, I start at the back of the newspaper. Actually, online, you just go right to the sports section. These times seem trying, but you know, World War 2 was trying, the Korean War was trying, the Vietnam War was trying. There’s wars right now where people can’t eat, sleep or do anything without bombs getting dropped on them. So, it is trying for sure and our job is, you know, there’s that beautiful line, I don’t know if Gandhi really said it or not, but in the movie “Gandhi” that was really nicely done, the British had done something so unbelievably horrible, they’d slaughtered all these people, and Gandhi’s cohorts came to him and they said, you know, “Guruji, now, now we can do that, now we can fight. We can. Now, they’ve done this. Now, we’ve really, now we can fight.” And he said, “Yes. We can fight. We can fight against our anger.” So, that’s the deal. You know, we want to, let’s give ourselves a break and say we want to do good in the world. We’d like to make it a better place to live. At least two minutes a day when we think about it. But, we’re not capable of not reacting and every reaction creates another reaction. Plain and simple. We want to do good but we don’t know how, really, we don’t even know what that means, ultimately. Right now, we can’t get through the day without getting angry at someone or turning away from someone or hurting someone or not giving someone what they want. How are we going to change the world when we can’t change ourselves. Not to say that you don’t do whatever you can do, whatever you want to do and whatever you need to do to make it, your life better and the lives of other people better, but you have to deal with reality, which is that we don’t, we can’t even deal with our own shit. How are we going to deal with anybody else’s? But that’s why we’re doing practice, I think. That’s why I’m doing practice. To become a better person, a better human being and that means, less reactive, less a slave to my own negative emotions, that’s, and it’s a long haul. And you know, you know, I’ll tell you this, but I don’t know what you’ll think about it, but back when Maharajji was in the body, somebody came to Him and there was all kinds of terrible things going on and this guy said, “Oh, Baba wouldn’t it be great if there was a great king of the world like Janaka.” You know, in the old days, Sita’s father in the old days was King Janaka, who was not only a king but He was an enlightened being. He was called a Raja Rishi, a Saint King, and He ran His kingdom in a great way. So, this guy said, “Oh, wouldn’t it be great if there was a king like Janaka.” And Maharajji said, “There’s a king much greater than Janaka.”
So, we don’t see the whole picture. Not by any means whatsoever. We see our own limited little version of it and even within that, we have a hard time creating or allowing for goodness to arise, so all we can do is the best we can do. Everybody. We’re already doing that, by the way. You’re doing the best you can do. I’m doing the best I can do. It may not be very effective but it’s the best we can do and that can be better and then that’s the best you can do. It’s tough stuff. Because if you do any action, the key to any action is your motivation. Ten people can do the same thing and have ten different results from the same action based on what they were really feeling inside. They could have been unconscious of what their real motivation was. For instance, coming to visit a Saint in India, many people come to see Saints, and in the old days especially, there weren’t doctors, so whenever a yogi was around, people might have believed that that yogi had powers to cure people’s problems or help them get jobs, you know they have siddhis, powers. So they would come to the saint for that. But very few people would come to a saint out of love only. And if, when they did, that’s what they would get. So, it’s interesting. And Maharajji said, Dada, like I told you, was really one of Maharajji’s wonderful and great devotees and Maharajji would be seeing people all day and Dada would be busy and he’d come into the room and he’d see that Maharajji would be sitting there for like, six hours, people coming and going, and nobody gave Him a break to pee, you know? So, He’d get… “Everybody get out,” and then he’d take Maharajji to pee and Maharajji said, “Dada, Dada, people come here out of their own desires. Nobody really comes for Me.” Interesting, huh? Very interesting. Motivation is the whole thing. The secret agenda we have inside that we’re not even aware of most of the time and as we become aware of those agendas, then we can let go of them, then we can work with them and see them and clean it up, but if we’re not aware, what do we do? We just keep bouncing off of each other all the time.
KD: Oh boy, ok, come on.
Q: Who do you follow in sports?
Q: You talked about how you look at the sports page, so who do you follow in sports?
KD: I don’t know if I’m going to tell you. I have my secrets. It certainly ain’t the Hawks. Hey, look, I’m born in New York. I’ve got the Knicks. It’s like a disease. But I can’t get away from it. Yes, m’am.
Q: Krishna Das.
Q: I want to offer my salutations to you from the bottom of my heart and for being my own hero for the last one year. I just got back from Kainchi Dham. I’ve been to all the different ashrams in India ever since I was in college days, came to this country about a quarter century ago. I listen to your bhajans, kirtans, since a year back and I heard your google talk. It’s easier for me, coming from a tradition of the Hindu religion and but, it took me you, to understand the significance of the ecstasy that you offer yourself, that you’re doing now, traveling around the world for your singing and when I listen to your Hanuman Chalisa and all the different kirtans, I genuinely feel the grace of your Guru, and the love that I experience when I listen to your bhajans and kirtans , the Hanuman Chalisa, at least so far, I have not found in any of the rendering of anybody else that shows the grace of the Guru and you make a lot of difference to a lot of people. And sometimes I don’t think even you realize the power you have, and all I can tell the people here is, when I went to Kainchi Dham, I had a gentleman who’s from Colorado, who’s 30 years, both of us had miracles happening and I can’t attribute to anything and I just want everyone to know, I get the glimpses of the love you’re talking about with Maharajji. And, I get it being with you, too. I just want to let everybody know that love is all we all need. Nothing else matters in this life. And I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart.
KD: Thank you. Your check’s in the mail. Next question.
KD: Give her the mic because she’s a very important person. A VIP.
Q: Thank you. Hey everybody. Thank you so much for being here, also.
KD: Was I here, I guess I was.
Q: In Atlanta, visiting us, on behalf of everyone, the same thing. I just had a quick question about if you are a seeker and you, whether you’re looking or you’ve been waiting for a Guru or a teacher, can you share what that process is? I don’t even know if that is really a question. I don’t really know how to frame this because I’m sure there’s a lot of us out here that are in that place but we don’t really know exactly maybe what to look for or how to even look for it or maybe even, I don’t know, I don’t know how to ask. I’m trying to frame the words but..
KD: So you’re talking like about how to look for a teacher in a person or just what to look for in life and stuff like that?
Q: A teacher in a person and if that’s even necessary, because part of me feels like we are our teacher, you know, life experience is our teacher and I agree that it’s not in a person per se but there are people around us and experiences that we, or things that we experience that teach us if we’re paying attention. I think it’s more about being open and being aware and listening.
KD: Ok, but that takes some practice and so, we need to learn some methods. We need to kind of expose ourselves to the path and learn about different methodology like she was talking about her spiritual technology, whatever it was. We need to explore our minds and our hearts and those technologies, those methods, that’s what they are for. It’s not possible to pick yourself up like this, you know.
Q: But I’m talking about beyond that.
Q: Beyond that, because someone asked some questions earlier about this subject. You said that the teacher will find you.
KD: A Guru finds you. Teachers you can look for. Teachers are advertising, you know? You can find them pretty easily and see if it works for you. Gurus don’t advertise. I’m sorry. Real gurus don’t advertise. They come to you, if it’s, you understand that an enlightened being, a real Guru has no agenda of their own whatsoever. The only reason they’re here because we are suffering. So, if they’re here for that reason and you’re suffering, if it was the best thing for you, you would meet that person in a body. If that was what was what you needed at this point in your life or lives, to meet someone like that and that was what was going to work for you, that’s what would be happening. If it’s not the thing that’s going to work for you, why even long for it? It doesn’t work like that. So, to want to be looking for that, I’m not saying you’re doing this, but to look for that and you wind up short-circuiting your own heart because what you, you have to find, you have to, we have to learn how to trust our own hearts, how to trust our own intuition, how to respect and be aware of our own feelings and the multiple, the different feeling that we have about so many different things, to sort out what’s really important to us. That’s what life teaches us. And if at some point we’re, it would help us to meet somebody like that in a body, the body will show up. You know, Maharajji used to tell stories about other Babas. “Oh, there was a Baba who lived in that place. He was a good Baba. He did these things.” “You know, there was a Baba who lived there.” So, after He left the body, Siddhi Ma and some other people got in cars and they drove around to some of these places and they get to the place and they find out that Baba had just left the body. And then they said, “Well, what was He like?” And they described Maharajji perfectly. And then they’d go to the other place. And they’d say, “We’re looking for this Baba.” “Oh, He just left the body.” And, “What was He like?” And they described Maharajji perfectly. So, these Beings can do anything. If it was right, if it was what was best for us, they’d be sitting in our lap or we in theirs. So, you have to take responsibility for your life in a joyful way and say, “This is what I’ve got. This is what’s supposed to be here. Let me deal with this. Let me find out what this is.” You can’t be waiting around for somebody to hit you on the head. It doesn’t work like that.
Q: And you agree with the “don’t wait.” And that’s why I’m posing this question because I feel like there are a lot of people out there that are waiting for something or someone. And I don’t think it’s about that. I think it’s about taking what you are, being in the presence of and learning from that itself.
KD: That’s true. Very true, but I’m waiting. I know He’s going to come back. He didn’t go anywhere. Once they put me away, He’ll show up. So, yeah. You know, the Guru, the issue of a Guru is very, it’s a big story and but, Westerners and everybody, we subtly want somebody to do it for us and whether you have a Guru or don’t have a Guru, nobody’s going to do it for us. We have to do it for ourselves. So, that’s the deal. Nobody can chant for you. Nobody can make you pay attention. We have to do that. Maharajji never told us what to do. He never told me to go out and sing with people. If He had told me, I might have done it and then I would have probably not done it. And I would have had a whole story line about it. “Ah, He told me to do it. I don’t want to do it. It’s just not working.” I had, I didn’t start singing to people until I had to because I was up to here in the water and if I, and singing keeps me here. If I don’t sing, I drowned. So, I keep singing and I can breathe. That’s the deal. I have to sing. I’m not doing this because I like it or I want to. I have to. I do like it but I have to. This is what I do to keep me where I need to be according to my own miserable life. So, when your life gets like that, it gets easier, you learn to follow your heart. That’s the whole thing. That’s the whole thing. Trust. Learning to listen and trust your own heart and that’s not easy. But it doesn’t matter because God is Real. This song is God is Real and you’re not.