More letters from India 12
by Premananda

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March 5, 1974

Dear Mom and Dad,

I hope all is well with you. I continue in good health and am still staying at the ashram with Baba. All the things I have been going through are so amazing and, I guess, personal that it is hard to write adequately about them. I have the sure knowledge that I will put it in a book one day when I can understand it all better. Now, while it is all going on, it seems like a fairy tale, an unbelievable stream of events, "Unbelievable" simply because this guru is not an ordinary guru but some kind of superhuman. One day, and it will take a superhuman writing skill, I shall try to describe him in words. For now, I am just his child. (He wants me to write his life history. He says he has no "Upadesha" to give, that is teaching, but that his life history is his teaching. How can I do it? He says he will live in my heart. He will write it through me. Well, what do I know?)

The other day we traveled to his other ashram. It was a three hour journey by cycle-rickshaw over ridiculously rumpled roads through the "real" India. The peaceful villages are lovely scenery that most travelers never see. We had a lot of fun. I guess that’s one reason I like Baba so much is that he’s always fun. He’s a fun guru! When we got to the ashram, he was showing me around the ashram laughing at everything saying it was all maya, illusion. He showed me the shack where he used to live which was all wrecked and laughed and laughed saying "my house—phooaw! After I looked at the Ashram Kali, I came out and imitated it for him. It is a huge statue of Kali, very scary and realistic, bloody heads around her neck, etc. He roared with laughter and said, "I know. I don’t even want to see it," and he imitated it, too. What fun! Guru goes to his own ashram and walks around laughing at everything saying it’s all illusion! Doesn’t even go to look in the temple because the statue is too gory!

He takes care of me with great tenderness as if I were his very own child. In fact, that is exactly how he thinks of me—he calls me his son. While we were at the ashram, he went into samadhi again. He was listening to a tape about God-things and started weeping with love. Then he became perfectly motionless absorbed in unity. I had to hold onto him so he wouldn’t fall off the chair he was on. In that state, the meditation is so deep that he completely becomes unaware of his body—his "separate" self. Ramakrishna once broke his arm by going into samadhi standing up when there was no one to catch him from falling. Baba came out of it after a short while. It is not too good for his heart since it is accompanied in the beginning by intense feelings of love which excites the heart beat. Today he went into it again when a saint paid him a visit. How humble Baba was! He was overcome with love for this swami. It was a strange sight to see him bow down, he whom people are bowing to day in and day out. It was just his mood of the hour. After the saint left, I had to hold him again as he was saying, "Ramakrishna, Ramakrishna is everywhere!" and weeping with love. This time he did not lose consciousness. The moods change all the time. It is not like being with an ordinary person, so it gets confusing at times. But always his tender love for me is touching my heart. It is that love which teaches me things and enables me to see that the impossible is too impossible. The thing that keeps boggling my mind is the strong aura of pre-destination I feel about everything that happens, as if all I am going through is a drama written long ago by some unseen controlling everything. At the same time, many things about my life up to this point are becoming understandable in a new, clearer light. Things back into childhood. Well, as Baba would say, it’s all maya anyway.

Mrs. Hart, Baba’s first American devotee and the lady who brought Athena here, is coming on the 23rd. I am going for visa extension Thursday. If all goes well, we will travel to Madras early April. Just think—not the least bit of this would ever be happening except for the fact that somewhere along the way I learned that I didn’t know anything at all and started looking to something higher to guide and inspire me. The foolish ego can never have any adventures because it thinks it knows everything!