The Life and Understanding
Copyright 1971 By Franklin Jones
All rights reserved
Chapter 15: The Last Trip to India And the Reappearance of Christ
There was no way I could have suspected the events that would follow in India and Europe. When we left I made an assessment of all that I knew. I took three books: The Bhagavad Gita, The Mandukyopanisad, and the Collected Works of Ramana Maharshi. These, along with, various quotations from ancient Indian sources which I wrote in their covers and margins, seemed to communicate the core of Vedanta, the ancient Indian philosophy that represented at least a parallel to my own experience and understanding.
I returned to India, fully believing that I was in agreement with its leading spiritual assumptions. I considered this true India to be my real and ancient home. I intended to place myself at Baba’s feet, to give him my household and my life. I assumed that the radical path of understanding which was the realization of my life was wholly adaptable to the current of life at the Ashram. And I also assumed that I would be received in love and given the freedom to develop my conscious existence even where it exceeded tradition, as long as I remained devoted to the essential habit of life and never lost sympathy with my sources.
I left America behind. I left the world behind. There was not a single movement in me that reflected a predilection for the usual existence. I felt free, relieved of an immense burden, and purified of my own past life. I would devote myself to radical knowledge, serve the Guru, and receive the eternal and continuous benediction of the Shakti’s grace.
After our arrival in Bombay we spent a night at a hotel, and then proceeded to the Ashram on May 30. We had left America quite suddenly and were not expected on the precise day we arrived. But our arrival was expected generally at that time. When we entered the ashram we were met enthusiastically by Amma and a few of our friends. Then I asked them to bring us to Baba.
Since my last visit the Ashram had been much expanded. Now there were new large buildings in the central complex, and modern apartments had been prepared for Baba. I was told that he spent most of his time in seclusion now, and only came out to see devotees during pre-established hours. The Ashram was full of people, many of them young Americans and Europeans.
We were brought to Baba in the new meditation hall outside his rooms. He sat in a chair. Nina and Pat placed flowers at his feet, and I left a rosary of rudraksha beads. He spoke to Nina and Pat briefly about the trip. But he seemed deliberately unwilling to acknowledge my presence.
He told Nina he would talk to us later, and we were taken to a small bungalow where we were to stay.