Ep. 76 | Judaism, Christ and Namdev

Call and Response Ep.76 Judaism, Christ and Namdev 

“So, Maharajji, it seemed like He started to say something and then His eyes, He just stopped and His eyes closed and He just sat in front of us, perfectly still. We had not seen Him sit still for more than two seconds. It was always fruit in all directions, laughing, joking, barking orders to the people at the temple, talking to this one then all of a sudden, boom. I remember thinking we’d killed Him. He just sat there and it was, the feeling was like the whole world stopped turning. And then two tears came down His cheek. Then He kind of shook Himself. He opened His eyes. He said, ‘He lost Himself in love. That’s how He meditated. He lost Himself in Love. He’s one with the whole universe. He never died. No one understands. No one understands. He lost Himself in Love.’ He immersed Himself in Love.” – Krishna Das

Q: Hi, KD. Hello.

KD: Hi.

Q: How are you? Thank you for being here today. Ok, I was just wondering, you being Jewish, I’m Jewish as well.

KD: I’m Jewish on my parents’ side.

Q: On your parents’ side? You don’t really practice anymore do you? Any of the Judaic traditions?

KD: Anymore?

Q: yeah. Or did you back as a child?

KD: You know, my family’s about as Jewish as the Pope’s family, that’s all I can tell you.

Q: I was reading the Yoga Sutras and they were talking about praying to God, and we were talking about “What does ‘God’ mean to you?” And it was interesting to see how people were like corrupted by religion and how they grew up, and you know, like, originally nobody really mentioned the nature of the “one-ness.”

KD: I’m sorry

Q: Of their one-ness and what Christ teaches us. But I was wondering, when you came into realization of that and who taught you that and what you thought of before, before like the little bit of your changing “awakening” to realize that and how that helped you.

KD: You know, a woman once said to me at a workshop, she said, “Last weekend I was at a Jewish weekend and they say you can’t say the Name of God.” And I said, “Absolutely right. You can’t.” Maharajji used to say, “Go on, sing your lying Ram Ram. One of these days you’ll say it right once. Boom. You’re out of here. The real Ram will come.” So we’re practicing.  You can’t say the name of God because God is beyond Name and Form. It’s beyond any concept and anything that comes out of our mouths is a concept of some kind. So, it can’t be God. So, that being said, I remember I actually was bar mitzvah’d and I went to Hebrew school to learn the Haftorah, they call it, and my Hebrew school teacher used to bang his head on the blackboard and said, “If I didn’t see this class, I would not believe it.” And bang his head. Great memories. Yeah, you know, nobody in my family believed in God. Or forget God, nobody believed that they could even be happy. There was no idea of a path. All they did was complain. You know? We had one saint in the family and her qualification was that she did not complain. That was literally, I was told. I said “Why is Bubby a saint?” “Because she never complains about anything.” That was the qualification, you know? You know the Jewish lady sitting around, “Oh, how are you doing, is there anything all right?” You know the joke the old Jewish guy driving, driving though the mountains through a storm and the wind’s blowing and the snow and everything and he drives off the cliff and the car goes down down down, spinning, spinning, spinning and lands like upside down on the branch of a huge tree. So, the highway patrol guy comes up on his motorcycle and he runs down the mountain, he finds the guy, he’s hanging upside down in the car, right? He said, “Sir, sir, are you comfortable?” And the guy goes, “Eh, I’m making a living.” Oh, you know, I’m married to a Brazilian. She does not understand one joke I tell her. It’s torture. Not one. All the years I practiced abuse, being abused by all this Jewish humor I can’t share with her. It’s terrible. So. That’s about how Jewish I am. I don’t know. But like I said, Jesus was Jewish by the way. Did you know that? People seem to forget that, you know; painting Him like a white man with like long, straight hair, blonde. Forget it. He’s about as blonde as Bob Marley. It’s, you know, forget it. That’s not it. You know? And people, He wasn’t a Christian. He was a Jewish guy. They called Him “Rabbi”. For what, you think He was like, the Pope? He was a Rabbi. He just happened to, you know, find Reality somewhere along the line. He wanted to clean up. Just like Buddha did with the Hindu religion, you know. The priests had become all powerful and anybody who wanted to get good karmas had to pay the priests to do pujas for them or ceremonies or teachings. It was the same, all the money changes in the temple, you know the whole story. So, somebody said, “This is not the way it’s supposed to be” and tried to change it and you know. In India, they don’t hang people up quite as easily as they did in those days. Maharajji talked about Jesus, it was so powerful. I mean, He talked about Hanuman, of course, Ram and Krishna and Kali and Durga, but when He talked about Jesus it was, I can’t, I can’t, it was so powerful. Really. I mean, you must have heard me tell this story but I’ll tell you again. So, a Canadian guy came to the temple for the first time and he didn’t know anything about Maharajji, how He was, you know. He didn’t give lectures. He didn’t teach. He didn’t write books. He didn’t initiate people. He just hung around. So, Maharajji says to Him, “Why did you come? What do you want?” So, the guy thought he should give like a you know, spiritual answer, he said, “Well, could you teach me how to meditate?” “Get out of here. Go in the back with the crazy people, the Westerners.  Go on. Go.” And as he’s walking away, He said, “Just meditate like Christ. Go on. Get out of here.” So, the guy comes in the back and we, you know, we debriefed anyone who spent two seconds with Maharajji. What’d he say? Then what’d He say? Then what’d you say? And then what’d He say? What did He do? Did He give you fruit? How many pieces? You know. What can I tell you. So, the guy said, “Well, you told me to meditate like Christ.”  What? You know? So later on, we’re sitting in the back and Maharajji came to spend some time with us and Ram Das was there and Ram Das said, “Baba, you said we should meditate like Christ. How did He meditate?” So, Maharajji, it seemed like He started to say something and then His eyes, He just stopped and His eyes closed and He just sat in front of us, perfectly still. We had not seen Him sit still for more than two seconds. It was always fruit in all directions, laughing, joking, barking orders to the people at the temple, talking to this one then all of a sudden, boom. I remember thinking we’d killed Him. He just sat there and it was, the feeling was like the whole world stopped turning. And then two tears came down His cheek. Then He kind of shook Himself. He opened His eyes. He said, “He lost Himself in love. That’s how He meditated. He lost Himself in Love. He’s one with the whole universe. He never died. No one understands. No one understands. He lost Himself in Love.” He immersed Himself in Love. That wasn’t my idea of what meditation was, you know? I thought you had to sit down, fight with yourself and beat yourself up and pretend you were meditating. He lost Himself in love. I mean, what else do we want, right? Wouldn’t we like to live there no matter what else was going on? Wouldn’t you like to be in that space where you are open and flowing and connected with everything and at ease of heart with whatever arises in your life? You know? And you weren’t a prisoner of your own reactions and your own knee-jerk reactions and your own programming from the trauma we’ve had in our lives and the pain and the broken hearts. Wouldn’t we like to be free of that? That’s what that is, when we can immerse ourselves in that love that lives within us as who and what we already really are. It’s not something else. It’s really, it’s not something else. It’s who we are. Right now. So, I’m just going to read you this quick little poem I thought of today. It’s from a Saint in India named Namdev.

“I have delved into the four vedas”- You know what the vedas are? The ancient teachings.

“And I’ve drawn forth their hidden meaning.

I’ve churned the six philosophies”- the different dualism, non-dualism, semi-dualism, UCONN basketball, you know, the six philosophies.

“I’ve churned the six philosophies and I’ve extracted their essence

And I’ve learned the ultimate goal of yogis and ascetics

I’ve known the joy of merging in Brahma, the formless Lord

Oh, My friend,” says Namdev, “I’ve transcended all this through the grace of the Saints. Realize, realize my mind that the secret is the Lord’s love. The secret is the Love.” That’s the secret. Everything we think we want, everything we’re looking for, the secret essence is the Love. We all want to get back home. Now. He’s a devotee so He, He expresses it in that way, that the grace of the Saints, but a non-dual person would say, “This is your own true nature. This is your essence, is this state of grace and that’s always pulling us home.”  It’s like gravity for the heart. The secret is the love and the chanting, all these Names are the Names of that place. So we’re constantly evoking, invoking and evoking that place which is the Love. These are the Names of that place within us that is the Love. It’s not in India. It’s not somewhere else. It’s everywhere. So, anybody have anything they want to say important? Otherwise we’ll sing.

Yeah? Ok. Give her the mic.

Q:  Hi.  You talk about the practice helping to move us closer to our true Selves and you’ve brought up trauma. When you’re triggered by that trauma, I guess I’m talking about me, when I’m triggered by that trauma, I experience a paralyzing fear in my heart and I’m just curious if it’s been your experience that the practice will help to ease that fear eventually.

KD: Well, there’s no question about that in my mind. However, the issue is, if we do the practice only to lessen the intensity of the effects of the trauma, will it work also? And it will. But, but as you focus, as you focus on other things in your life, those moments, when the trauma arises become and less and less. As you focus on other things. If you focus only on the trauma and you, and you’re, and you do the practice to cure yourself from the trauma, it’s, yeah, sure, of course, there will be an effect but they have this thing, nishkama karma. Nishkama, desireless action or desireless practice, so, not desireless but so, like I said, Maharajji said, “You want to find God. Serve people. Don’t think about yourself.” You know? Right? So, if you’re not thinking about yourself and you start noticing other people more and seeing other people and becoming more sensitive to their needs and who they are and where they’re coming from, you’re just automatically developing a whole other way of going through your day, which precludes that trauma. It might still be there, but it’s not going to get triggered the same way as often because you’re, because even with that, in the presence of that, those issues, you’re expanding in many other directions at the same time and you stop caring so much about that. Right now, we tend to identify very strongly with that and for good reason, you know. It’s powerful issues in our lives. But when you start developing loving kindness, and I know this sounds wimpy. Shit. But loving kindness and caring about other people and thinking about others rather than yourself, you’re just creating a whole new way of going through the day that doesn’t leave space for that. You’re not having to push that away. You’re not having to deal with it directly. Like, I’m taking this medicine for this disease. That doesn’t really have to work exactly like that. And in fact, even if you started with that in mind, which is not bad, I mean, fine, perfect. Over time, the effects, you’ll be thinking about yourself less. And when you’re thinking about yourself less, you know, there’s no room for that to arise. Now, it might arise in certain situations. But there’ll be so much more space around it in a sense, because you’re not, you haven’t been holding onto it with such intensity. You know, you know, so it’s kind of like that. But it’s all good. There’s no, for instance, with the practice of the repetition of the Name, these are mantras. There are many types of mantras. There’s mantras to find buried treasure. There’s mantras to rob banks. There’s mantras to get people to fall in love with you. There’s mantras to become president of the united states. I wish somebody didn’t know that one. But anyhow, the repetition of the Name is good for none of that. It’s only good for one thing. It has absolutely no, it’s only good for love. For finding out who you are. It’s not good for anything else. Those other mantras, you find somebody to initiate you in them and then god bless you, you’ll get it. Then you’ll have to deal with it. So, but this is not good for anything other than opening the heart and purifying the heart and opening it up and giving us more space in our life to be ourselves. Yeah. Good. Nice. Thanks for asking that.

Q: Thank you and thank you for sharing your experience and for being so genuine.

KD: Yeah. There’s a new movie coming out called “Cracked Up” by a friend of mine and it’s about this comedian, Darrell Hammond, who was on Saturday Night Live, and it’s a documentary about his journey through the trauma that he had and discovering it and how you work with it and how he overcame so much of it and how it ruled his life for so many years and forced him into so many negative and hurtful behaviors and alcoholism and drug addiction, all that stuff. So, it’s really juicy. And it should be, it’s being released next week. So, “Cracked Up,” if you hear about it, go see it.

See, in India they don’t talk about this stuff like this. They need some cultural appropriation, I think. They say “Ram Ram Ram” and then they go steal from their neighbor, you know? It doesn’t work.

We’re all kind of in the same boat, you know. Maharajji had a great devotee named Dada. Dada means “elder brother.” And Maharajji was, his name was Sudir Mukerjee. He was a communist economics professor who became a devotee of Maharajji and Maharajji would call Him “Dada” which means elder brother, which he certainly wasn’t, of Maharajji’s. But Maharajji told his wife, Dada’s wife, to call him Dada, too. And she said, “He’s not my Dada, he’s my husband.” Maharajji said, “If he’s my Dada, he’s your Dada.” So she had to call him Dada, too. This book, you could read some of these books. They’re out, and stories about Maharajji, and get a feel for how He went through His day, how He lived and how the devotees, how they were affected by Him, how their lives opened up and changed. For instance, this guy Dada, he was, like I said, he was a completely non-religious. He was interested in nothing like that. Totally into his professorship and all that stuff. One day, his wife and his mother, who lived with them, they were going out, and Dada said, “Where are you going?” They said, “Well, there’s a little house across the street and we heard that there’s this saint that comes there every once in a while and we’ve been waiting to hear when he came back so we could go see Him. And we heard He’s there today. So we’re going to see Him.” “Ok, go. Go.” So, they left, but they came right back. And Dada said, “What’s wrong? Didn’t you go?” “Well, yes we went and just as I entered the room, the Saint looked at me, called me by my name and told me to go. But I didn’t go. I sat down and then He looked at me again in a few minutes and called me again by my first name. ‘Kamala, go. Your husband’s friends are waiting for their tea. Go, go. Come tomorrow.’” So, this got Dada curious, right? So the next day, he walks over with his wife and they walk into the room and this Saint gets up, takes Dada’s hand and starts walking out the door and says, “From now on, I’ll be staying with you.” Now, think about your drive up to the Stop and Shop, you know, and you get out of your car and some homeless guy comes up and takes your hand and says, “From now on, I’ll be staying with you.” I don’t think so. But India is another universe. So, Maharajji, you know, this was Maharajji. Long story. But anyway, it’s in the books. Really good stuff. Reading about the Saints, reading about the really, the realized Beings and seeing how they interacted with people and seeing how they lived in the world and what they did and it’s life changing. Really, it is. It’s a spiritual practice in itself.




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