The experience in Benares touched me deeply. When God descended and I experienced the immense fear of dying, it seemed more real than real. I thought for sure I would die. Later, when I recovered and was still alive, it was obvious that the feeling, which seemed so real, was not real. From this experience I discovered that the world, as I perceived it, as real as it seems, was not necessarily true or correct.
After spending a delightful day choosing a sitar, I left Benares for New Delhi. I purchased a sitar case there and booked a train ticket to Pakistan because my visa was due to expire in a few days. The train was
scheduled to leave in the evening so I spent the day shopping at Connaught Place. I entered a market building to purchase peanut butter and crackers for the trip.
Upon leaving the building I stepped into the next Split Second and perhaps the grandest moment of my life.
It is a day in New Delhi.
At Connaught Place, the streets and shops are full with the
noise and bustle of countless people going to and fro,
as only in India it can be.
I am there within the chaos.
I walk out of a building and spy a man
leaning against a wall.
When I look at him,
something occurs, which never happened before.
I am deeply touched within and my heart leaps out exploding in love.
Thinking he’s a beggar, I offer him some money.
While doing this, he grabs my arm
and looks intensely into my eyes.
I immediately sense that he is not a beggar
but a Holyman.
We look at each other for awhile.
Some words are spoken but neither of us can understand.
After some time, he makes a signal with his hands
and I understand he wants me to go with him. I somehow
convey in the same fashion,
I will go with him, but first,
I want to return to my hotel to drop off my shopping.
Feeling he understands me, I leave.
At the hotel, I ponder over whether to return.
I sense meeting this man
will change my life forever.
It feels as scary as if jumping off a cliff.
Nevertheless, I know I must go;
there is no choice.
I am glad he is there when I return.
He smiles and motions for me to follow.
We walk together in silence onto a narrow side street.
Immediately we are away
from the crowds and noise.
On the right side I notice a small park.
We walk around the corner following its outer perimeter.
While we are walking, I begin to be aware
that he is talking to me and I understand him.
I listen for some time until it dawns on me that his voice
is not coming from his lips (they are not moving), but rather
I hear his voice inside my brain.
Astonishingly I realize he is talking to me
. I can hardly believe this is happening,
yet it is. He begins to tell me everything about myself
and what will be in the future.
Meanwhile, I notice I am feeling very good.
Something very special is happening.
And all that seems to exist: is this man,
his voice in my brain and walking down the street.
We approach a gate and enter into the park that contains one
fairly large tree surrounded by a grassy area. We approach the tree and to
my surprise, another man joins us,
and they start talking. Looking over beyond the fence,
I see a man with a painted cow
that strikes me as unusual.
He seems to have a connection
also with what is going on.
The amazing thing is, I feel no fear
being together with these strange men.
Looking closer at the other man,
I notice he looks unusual.
The skin of his face seems shaped with plastic putty
and he has the biggest and most curved hooknose
I’ve ever seen. He seems to have an actor’s face.
The three of us sit under the tree,
Hooknose to my left
and Holyman to my right.
After some time Hooknose begins to make some unusual
sounds and moves his lips in such a strange way,
it would be very difficult to repeat.
These sounds have an affect
because I notice we have become relaxed.
As he continues to emit these sounds,
we get even more relaxed
and now we begin to smile.
He does it again and we start to laugh.
Once more and now we are belly laughing,
rolling around the grass.
There we are, two Indians and a Westerner
frolicking in the grass, laughing
and screaming while Hooknose continues
to emit these most wonderful sounds.
Afterwards, we sit under the tree as before:
Hooknose on my left and Holy man on my right.
Only a short while ago
I didn’t even know these men existed
and now I feel more intimate with them
than with anyone I’ve ever known.
How unusual and yet it seems so right.
All of a sudden,
Hooknose stands in front of me,
lifts his hand and very quickly makes a zigzag movement,
starting from the top of my head to my stomach.
In that moment, I am frozen,
I can’t move a muscle in my body,
but my eyes are open and
I am conscious
of everything. In fact, more aware than ever.
I am sitting and watching them,
feeling so much trust
that even if they stuck a knife into my belly I wouldn’t care.
Hooknose lifts my right hand, places it on my forehead,
and in that moment
something like an energy, rises from the base of my spine,
travels up my back
and explodes a little distance above the base of my head.
In this moment I leave my body.
I feel myself traveling to somewhere
I can’t describe,
where memory cannot travel.
At some point I feel in a totally new universe,
among the molecules,
which are metallic green in a blue/black space.
And now again, I’m somewhere
where memory cannot travel.
For what seems an eternity I float in a void.
At last I open my eyes and the world returns.
I see they are looking at me,
talking to me,
but what is this strange language they’re using?
And why are their eyes looking
above my head?
‘Mmm’, they must be talking to a higher self within me.
It appears they are giving instructions
or possibly there is a conference happening.
Whatever it is, it is beyond my understanding.
And that is an
I feel at the level of consciousness
of a dog compared to a human.
We continue to sit.
I watch them play a game together.
One gives a object to the other,
they argue about it
and then the other returns it.
Again, they repeat the play.
I think to myself,
"I want to play this game."
I take money from my bag
and place it in front of them.
Holy man looks at me and says "More!"
I feel resistance for a second, but something within lets go
and overwhelms me.
I dump my entire bag containing all
my money, tickets and passport in front of them.
In this instant my heart bursts
forth in love as never before.
An avalanche of blissful tears cascades
down my cheeks
and I collapse into the laps
of these two very strange and wonderful men.
I never knew that giving
could be so beautiful.
Holy man says,
‘Passport? Need? You take!’ Then he says,
‘Ticket? Money? Need? You take!’
In a way I knew they would
return everything but that didn’t
stop me from feeling
very grateful when they did.
We continue to sit and while watching them,
I start to wonder about what
I will do? Should I
drop my life and be with them?
The thought of wandering
around India with no money scares me.
Then I remember I promised myself
that no matter what would happen,
I would catch the evening train to Pakistan.
So, without saying a word, I stand up and leave.
Looking back, I see they are staring
at me with blank faces.
I have no idea what
they are feeling about my departure.
And walking away I notice
I don’t know where my body is
- I cannot see where it begins or ends
and any sort of notion
about a body is absent;
it is as if existing in another dimension.
From somewhere above
I look down and see this world.
I begin to hallucinate.
I see chariots drawn by white horses driven
by Gods, and railway tracks running across the sky.
Then a vast kaleidoscope of quickly
constantly rearranging themselves;
taking one form then another.
I see the men exactly as if on a TV screen,
sitting still on the grass looking.
I know they are watching me
and they know I’m watching them.
As if from a height, I become aware
of my body and realize I am in the
middle of one of the most
crowded sections of the city.
‘What am I going to do?
How will I ever get back to the hotel in this condition?’
Having no choice I allow my body to walk,
hoping it will return to the hotel.
The body starts to move - I watch.
The body stops for a traffic light - I watch.
The body crosses the street, turns a corner
and goes right into the hotel without
an incidence and still - I watch.
And all at the same time, I am floating
from one dimension to another, experiencing
When I arrive in my room
I am not sure how I managed
to get there. I was
not in control of any
of the action. I flop onto
the bed, looking at the ceiling
for a while. I wonder
how am I going to pack my bags?
‘I don’t think it is possible.’ Lying,
sinking into depths of being,
energy, sometimes in the room, sometimes not,
I begin to be aware there are people in my room packing my bags.
Without saying a word to anyone, travelers
in the hotel must have felt
something had happened to me and
knew I needed help to leave.
feel such love for them.
‘This is what compassion is then.’
These wonderful beings not only help
me to pack but bring me to a taxi
and off I go to the railway station.
Waiting on the platform for my train,
the awe of the meeting of this afternoon
is still exploding my being into some
glorious orgasmic moment of now.
Nothing can describe it.
The train pulls into the station,
comes to a halt.
Endless crowds start rushing back
and forth, in and out. For a while
I am lost in the bustling, chaotic movement.
Finally the train leaves and still
I am on the platform, unable to leave.
‘How can I go when all this has happened to me?’
‘I want to see those men again.’
‘Tomorrow I will go look for them.’
I leave the station and
return to the hotel.
Everyone is surprised to see me,
I mumble a few words and go straight to my room.
It is now the middle of the night. My body
lies on the bed, but my soul, my being, lies somewhere above my body.
I’m in an immense state of bliss.
Waves and waves of rushing bliss
permeate my whole soul.
In some moments I leave, traveling somewhere,
talking with someone and each time I return,
I am not quite sure where I have been
or with whom I was speaking. I am
in awe of the immensity of this
experience and almost can’t believe
it is happening to me, and that it is happening now.
Remaining in this state, I watch
the night merge into dawn,
and dawn into morning. After breakfast,
I return to the park and sit once again under the tree.
I wait for the men to arrive but they never do.
My waiting is not in vain,
for it is a fine morning and the birds are singing
in the trees. While I sit,
all of the sudden I am
surrounded by something so incredibly beautiful,
I could swear another intelligence other than my own
is surrounding me.
‘This is what they call God.’
I reflect. Merging in this all knowing,
all caring, all loving
and all compassion, I feel myself
dissolve within it, losing all sense
of the person I was before.
All problems, blocks and fears disappeared
in a split second.
The person who was before no longer exists.
Now I am consciousness submerged in this
glory of beauty and love,
of knowledge and peace.
I feel and see with the
totality of my being, the oneness
of all and the love of everything.
‘This is Christ Consciousness. This is the level that Christ reached.’
I am so totally at one with all.
This beauty called God I see and
feel in everything. I am its servant.
my surrender is declared.
I am but the eyes of God.
I open my eyes and there is
an Indian woman bowing before me
offering her crying baby for blessings.
I touch the baby and laughter happens
- so much juice, so much life,
so much energy pours out of me.
I feel as if I can gather the whole world around me
and embrace it. In love,
with God around me,
I leave the park. A man approaches me,
asks me to come with him into a nearby alleyway;
in love, I accept and follow him.
As we walk, a policeman comes, stops the man,
forces him away and says to me,
‘You must be more careful; that man is very bad.’
Gratefulness overwhelms me, the
knowledge of the Supreme Being’s protection
is real in my heart.
It is morning, I am peace and love
and it is infused into everything I see
- even the leather of the shoemaker
I’m watching is alive and sensitive.
I think, ‘Shoemaker, treat your leather
with more love: your shoes will be better.’
So clear this is to me now;
so true is this compassion.
I feel and sense we will enter soon
into a new age, where awareness of oneness,
of love and compassion are truly known to all.
Some days pass, I sit in a train dashing towards Benares,
the countryside sweeps past me
as gushes and gushes of divine
light keeps penetrating
I realize ‘I am’ and this ‘I am’ is the Supreme,
the Absolute. I realize
I am nothing but an empty vessel
to hold the glory of existence, of God.
I am but its servant.
In this deep communion with God, there
is realization and this is the real prayer.
Later that night, the glory comes again,
I melt in deep ecstatic communion with existence
- every cell of my being tingling with life,
and at the same moment an
immense peace is present.
The whole night I remain aware, floating in bliss.
Towards the morning, I remain lying,
waiting for the train whistle to signal
the arrival in Benares. As I do not hear it, I rise to
inquire the time the train
will arrive. Upon doing this, the fellow
passengers start shouting: ‘He is awake! He’s awake!
Do you kn
ow we have been trying to wake you for hours? You just wouldn’t budge.’
‘What! How is it possible when I have been lying awake
with my eyes closed for most of the night?
Surely I would have heard you.’
This mystery is not to be solved, for the train
begins to slow down and enter Benares.
Weaving my way out of the train and station,
I engage a bicycle rickshaw
to take me to my friend’s house.
This most extraordinary city unfolds slowly past me
during the one half hour ride.
I notice tension in my stomach, it disturbs me
and I wonder why it is there at all?
When I arrive, my
friend is having
tea with his girlfriend. Sprawling out on the floor, I tell them
everything that just happened to me.
Upon hearing my story, my friend screams,
‘Oh, God! My God! It’s black magic.
You have been drugged.
You can’t stay here. Your visa runs out in two days.’
On and on he persists until
my resistance collapses.
I weep and weep and weep.
Then, he drags me out of the house
and throws me into a rickshaw,
takes me to the station and puts
me back on the train to Delhi.
Exhausted, totally in a stupor, I lay on the top of my bags
the whole night.
In the morning, I awake refreshed,
feeling full with life and the
presence of the divine. At
the Delhi station, a man approaches me,
tells me to go see a certain Guru he knows,
but I don’t listen and go to my hotel.
The next day I’m on a train leaving India.
One month or so has passed. I’m in Kabul,
Afghanistan waiting for money to arrive.
This time was filled with all
sorts of adventures and misadventures,
of telepathy and further realizations,
and coming back down into personality.
Slowly, slowly, I am living less
in the new. The feeling of
the divine and what happened is still present,
but some of its purity seems to be gone.
Yesterday a voice entered my brain saying,
‘Go to Poona! Go to Poona!’
I don’t know what is there, but I sense a Guru calls me.
Perhaps I will live in a cave
somewhere? When money arrives, I go