This is an extract from ‘Messages from the Universe’ by Craig Hamilton-Parker
India is of course now a modern country with new heavy industries, call service centers, an expanding middle class, and of course the atomic bomb. One day it may become a world superpower. But underlying this material aspect there remains ancient India– the land of Bharat that has been the home of so many enlightened souls.
If you align yourself with India’s spiritual legacy then I believe you tap into this living vibration and a process of change takes place within you. India will embrace you – just like a hug from Amma.
Craig talks about his Recent Experiences in India
For each of us in the yoga group, the trip would be a different experience, for a pilgrimage like this was not to a place but was a journey into ourselves. Some would be deeply affected by the experience but for others, it may be just another trip abroad or even an uncomfortable challenge. I hoped that my own passage to India would help me to reconcile some of my spiritual experiences and in particular help me to find a correlation between mediumship and yoga. And hopefully, I would be spared the toilet karma!
Steve and Debbie were seasoned travelers to India and their previous explorations led them to discover sacred places that are rarely visited by the casual western traveler. I had been to India once before, to see Sai Baba, so I had an inkling of what to expect: this was not going to be ladies’ keep fit yoga. When I packed my rucksack I took Sai Baba’s advice to heart – a saying that applies to both spiritual and physical journeying: “Travel light. Arrive quickly”.
And I also knew that when Steve said there may be a few points when we’d encounter situations that require Tapas that he was not talking about delicious Spanish food. (Tapas is a Sanskrit word meaning the ‘heat’ of austerity and mortification.)
Maharaj-ji (Neem Karoli Baba)
Totally exhausted after the plane journey and the terrifying, long bus journey we stopped just outside Rishikesh at a temple. This place had been a magnet for hippies in the 1960/70’s for it was the abode of the guru Neem Karoli Baba, or as he is better known in the West, Maharaj-ji. This guru was visited by Richard Alpert, a Harvard professor who together with his college Dr Timothy Leary conducted the first experiments on the effects of the hallucinogenic drug psilocybin on human subjects.
Alpert and Leary were dismissed from the university in 1963 – Leary for his conduct in general, and Alpert for illicitly giving psilocybin to undergraduates. Together they became the ‘gurus’ of the psychedelic era and continued their experiments with LSD from a private mansion in Millbrook, New York. Millbrook became the locum of the hippie movement attracting intellectuals from across America and the world including people such as Allen Ginsberg, the Grateful Dead, and Ken Kesey.
But there was a problem with these experiments with consciousness expanding drugs because the states of awareness could not be maintained. Dr Richard Alpert was beginning to get depressed “I realized that no matter how ingenious my experimental designs were, and how high I got, I came down,” said Alpert. “At one point I took five people and we locked ourselves in a building for three weeks and we took 400 micrograms of LSD every four hours…. What happened in those three weeks in that house, no one would ever believe, including us. And at the end of the three weeks, we walked out of the house and within a few days, we came down!”
Richard Alpert toured India in the hope that he could find an Indian holy person who could explain LSD. He eventually met Maharaj-ji who gulped down a load of LSD – 915 micrograms – enough to send a small army into orbit. And nothing happened. Maharaj-ji just continued as normal as if nothing was different.
He explained to Alpert that LSD gave you siddhis (power) but that if a person attained the states of consciousness that meditation and yoga brought then even a powerful drug like LSD had no effect on the yogi’s awareness. Alpert became a devotee of Maharaj-ji and took the spiritual name Ram Dass, which means “servant of Rama” (God).
As I looked around the small temple to Maharaj-Ji I thought to my self how I’d have loved to have met this guru. I then ‘heard’ a voice: “You just have!” I looked around but I was alone. My group was far from me and out of earshot. I had heard an absolutely clear objective voice, not an inner impression of a voice that comes through clairaudience but an audible voice ‘out there’.
In some of the other temples we were to visit later there was a sense of the energy of the person but here I felt the actual spirit of the guru who greets and helps those who come with good intent.
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