As Krishna Das points out in his introduction to The Near and the Dear, when you read these stories about Maharaj-ji and his devotees you step into a place and a time that is outside the boundaries of your own memories. You meet people whose lives were forever changed by a word or a look from the great Indian saint Neem Karoli Baba. In The Near and The Dear, Mukerjee tells his own story of time spent with Maharaj-ji, and relates stories about other sadhus and devotees who came to be with Neem Karoli Baba. For a little while you spend time in another culture unlike the United States but not unfamiliar, because to be on a spiritual path is a journey of opening the heart wherever you live. Mukerjee helps you discover how you have more in common with these people he describes than you are different from them.
Along with the stories of devotees who came to see Maharaj-ji, you read about how the great saint gave to each what he needed for his spiritual journey. Mukerjee shows you the endlessly adaptable Guru working with his followers, not through coercion, intimidation, or fear, but with overwhelming compassion, understanding, and acceptance. You’ll find yourself marveling at what you can accomplish when you follow where your heart leads. –
- Paperback, 294 pages.
- Published by the Hanuman Foundation, 3rd edition, 2000.
- Mukerjee continues to share his recollections of Neem Karoli Baba, begun in By His Grace, and expands to relate other devotees’ stories.
- Contains a few photos of Neem Karoli Baba and his devotees seldom seen in the West.