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A celebration of Neem Karoli Baba, one of the most influential spiritual leaders of our time, the divine guru who inspired and led a generation of seekers—including Ram Dass, Daniel Goleman, and Larry Brilliant—on life-changing journeys that have ultimately transformed our world.
In 1967, Baba Ram Dass—former American Harvard professor Richard Alpert—left India to share stories of his mysterious guru, Neem Karoli Baba, known as Maharajji. Introducing idealistic Western youth to the possibilities inherent in spiritual development, Ram Dass inspired a generation to turn on and tune in to a reality far different from the one they had known.
From the spring of 1970 until Maharajji died on September 11, 1973, several hundred Westerners had his darshan (in Hinduism, the beholding of a deity, revered person, or sacred object). Those who saw him formed the Maharajji satsang—fellow travelers on the path. Love Everyone tells the stories of those who heard the siren call of the East and followed it to the foothills of the Himalayas. The ways they were called to make the journey, their experiences along the way, and their meeting with Maharajji form the core of this multicultural adventure in shifting consciousness.
The contributors share their recollections of Maharajji and how his wisdom shaped their lives. All have attempted to follow Maharajji’s basic teaching, his seemingly simple directives: Love everyone, feed everyone, and remember God. All have found their own way to be of service in the world and, in so doing, have collectively touched the hearts and souls of countless others.
Inspired by American spiritual teacher Ram Dass and Be Here Now, his groundbreaking book, many young North Americans in the early 1970s found their way to the eccentric Indian guru Neem Karoli Baba. His primary instruction, Markus reports, was simply to "love everyone, feed everyone, and remember God." Markus, herself a member of Baba's satsang, or community of devotees, has woven many interviews into a narrative of a remarkable time. Amid picaresque tales of being on the loose in India, Markus details an array of seekers who bear witness to the profound influence of their adored guru's "unconditional love." Markus notes that while most of the satsang "didn't get into feeding' everyone" while in India, a number (including Ram Dass, renowned epidemiologist Larry Brilliant, and psychology writer Daniel Goleman) later made significant social contributions. The recollections, full of vivid detail, are largely uncritical, and readers pining for some analysis psychological, social, cultural, or gender-based won't find much here. These are, after all, "love stories," providing an intriguing glimpse into the possibilities for spiritual change and reminding readers that 45 years ago, young people looking for something more helped spark significant cultural shifts.