' MA:" I was perhaps 24 when I first met Baba. I was living in Southern Illinois at the time and had taken diiksha, learning yogic meditation from one of my Guru's orange-robed monks he had sent around the world. A short time after starting my meditation practice, I began to have unusual experiences. I began to hear sounds from blocks away, see colors in meditation, and have sensations of growing large or small. Then one day I was doing my yoga postures (asanas) and suddenly a very distinct voice came and spoke to me.
The experience frightened me. I became somewhat disturbed and concerned that my experiences were not normal so I stopped meditating. However, this did not make me happy, as I longed to meditate. So after about six months, I tried it again. This time all seemed to be going smoothly and nothing strange occurred. My meditations seemed peaceful and uneventful.
That was until one day when I came out of meditation only to realize that an internal presence had been talking to me for months every time I meditated.
I was dumbfounded. How had it happened? Why was it that I had no memory of it until that very moment? My mind reeling! I was again afraid that I was going insane, listening to inner voices. But the trouble was I had been listening, though forgetting, and when the memories rushed in, so did the realization that I was already hopelessly in love with this inner presence that spoke to me.
When I asked who he was, (the presence was distinctly male), he said his name was Baba and that he was my Kula Guru. I had never heard the term Kula Guru, so I asked him to spell it and wrote it down. The next day I went to the university library to look it up in a Sanskrit dictionary. The dictionary said it meant 'sheep herder'. I could not understand how that related - but at least it was a real term, so I felt a little bit less crazy. Later,in India, I would learn from my physical guru that the term means your family guru and also means the one who raises the kulakundalini. But I did not know that back in Southern Illinois.
I just knew I was madly in love with a divine presence that called itself Baba and spoke to me in my meditation. I had never heard of such things. The only thing I knew about was crazy people hearing voices. So I was scared for my sanity, but in love. So I threw my fears to the wind and continued with meditation.
Soon, in the play of meditation, every word Baba spoke became an expression of divine qualities and characteristics unfolding within my mind, each word embodying perfect justice, perfect love, absolute truth, total compassion.
My mind was stunned as they unfolded like rays of light coming from a central sun, each a unique perfect hue, the true essence of which human truth, human love is but a reflection. The brightness and perfection that unfolded as my Beloved Baba continued to talk to me were beyond my mind to comprehend. It was a brilliance beside which worldly existence seemed a dim reflection, like black and white compared to color, or tasteless food.
My mind was stunned by this unfolding presence. I was madly in love. I was also convinced that I was completely insane, but I didn't care. What was unfolding before my inner eyes was so beautiful, so exquisite that no words can suffice to describe it. As brilliant as a thousand suns, splintering into rays of light with the colors of divine qualities, flowing into words, stunning my mind, thus my Baba came to me and I was filled with a mad, consuming love. Everything else became irrelevant.
Circumstances around me changed with synchronicity, my husband went on a trip. I was alone in our house on a thousand-acre farm. Well not quite alone. I was with my Baba. During this time I was taken on an inner journey of periods of unfathomable love and divine bliss followed by periods where Baba seemed to move slightly away, would seem unreal, and I would face fear, doubt for my sanity, and my deepest struggles. Then again he would come close and I would melt into the bliss of unfathomable love, absolute truth, infinite being, and again he would fade and I would struggle with the pain of separation and it went on in this cycle of bliss and doubt. During this time, I became unable to care for this body. I could only sit absorbed, so in kindness and grace, this inner Beloved helped me, even with mundane tasks, caring for this form, as I in such a state was lost to this world. In grace and love, he took care of this form, care of me, telling me I must eat and directing me, step by step, in the preparation of simple foods. He would even remind me to eat it.
After several weeks of this experience of bliss and of doubt and struggles of my life, I went to sit outside on the grass overlooking the hills and Baba said to me, "I have helped you out of the difficulty you have gotten yourself into, but now I will leave you. You do not deserve my further assistance". Even though I had continually doubted my experience, needless to say, I was overcome by the thought of losing him. I could not bear it. So I prostrated myself on the ground and said with all my heart, "Please Lord do not leave me."
Then I felt as if he was looking through me, through all that I had ever been. My past lives passed like cards in a deck as he looked through all I had ever been or done. Then a wave began. A wave of pure white light. a wave beyond thoughts, beyond forms. total, complete, a wave so exquisite that it burned away this world and all that I knew in a light that is him. Merging in him, this world of form was completely gone. Like someone turning up a radio dial, the totality of the experience grew, merging my being into him, completely, fully, until just a thin veil remained of a separate self. There was a deep desire somewhere in my being that even that slim separation dissolve, but Instinctively I knew that if he dissolved it I would no longer be in this form and that was not to be.
As slowly, slowly I came back to this world of forms and colors, he said to me "Now you must come to India to be with me physically." And so I did.
My husband returned, I told him we must go to India and he agreed. We found homes for our animals, sold everything we had, and bought one-way tickets to India. After a number of perilous flights on an Arab airline and several long third-class train rides, we finally arrived in Bihar, in the city called Patna where we were told our Guru, Shrii Shrii Anandamurti resided. He was living in an area of the city called Partly Putra Colony and giving talks for devotees, called darshans. We moved into the ashram (called a Jagriti) and went in the morning to sit at his feet and hear him talk. There we met Baba in physical form.
When I first saw Baba in physical form as Shrii Shrii Anandamurti, I felt shy. I went to darshan and sat at his feet. but instead of the bliss I had been experiencing, I found every thought you would not want to think in the presence of an all-knowing being ran through my mind and I could not stop it. It was miserable. Here I had listened to my inner My Baba led me halfway around the world, and now I was sitting in front of this Guru and all I could feel was miserable. This went on for several weeks until one day my inner Baba told me to listen and my outer Guru began to talk about the very topics my inner Baba had talked of and began to explain things that my inner Baba had said. Suddenly the bliss began to come in the presence of my physical Guru as well as in my inner relationship.
Soon the difference between the inner Guru and the outer Guru disappeared. I felt the same white light and bliss from both, the same unconditional love and compassion, the same signature of vibration. In darshan, I saw Baba as Kirshna and as Shiva. I felt that my Beloved Baba is indeed a manifestation of Krishna and of Shiva. I felt great bliss in the presence of my physical Guru as well as with my inner Baba. They merged into one Divine manifestation for me, each an embodiment of the Sadguru, the one true Guru, the Self of all beings.