Neem Karoli Baba, most often called Maharaj-ji by Western devotees, was cared for by Sudhir Mukerjee in the last 20 years of his life. Mukerjee was one of the first Indian followers of Maharaj-ji Westerners met in the late 60s and early 70s when they came seeking this Neem Karoli Baba that Ram Dass wrote about. Dada was fluent in English. He’d been a professor of economics at Allahabad University, editor of a prestigious economics journal, and a political activist. It was the women in his family who were interested in religion and spiritual matters until Maharaj-ji moved into Dada’s home. Dada gave up all his worldly activities then to follow Maharaj-ji. Westerners learned surrender from their acquaintance with Dada, that is did not enslave but frees. They saw there was no space between when Maharaj-ji spoke and Dada acted. His level of service to his Baba while hard for Westerners to understand was beautiful in its simplicity and acceptance of the moment. After Maharaj-ji’s death Westerners began gathering at Dada’s house, eager to hear his stories about Maharaj-ji. They couldn’t get enough and would keep Dada up late talking about his Baba. Now we have this delightful book containing Dada’s stories of the great Indian saint Neem Karoli Baba. Readers will find themselves captivated by Dada’s remembrances, informed, and challenged. Dada opens wide for us a window into Indian spiritual culture as you begin to understand what it is that happens when Guru calls and the devotee replies “yes.” –
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