MIRACLE OF LOVE: Stories About Neem Karoli Baba by Ram Dass

MIRACLE OF LOVE: Stories About Neem Karoli Baba

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Stories indeed, several thousand of them, from hundreds of anonymous devotees of the Maharajji (?--1973), in no particular order. Instead of writing a biography, or even a book, Ram Dass (Richard Alpert) provides you with materials to write your own. In some ways the whole thing is preposterous, a kind of hippie put-on: you can read it from back to front if you like, or read every fifth page, or read it totally blotto, without missing the point. In other ways, it has a certain charm and appropriateness to its subject. This bewildering mass of anecdotes (most of them highly undramatic), impressions, snippets of conversation, and hagiographical fantasies does, in its gently elephantine fashion, give one the feeling of having known a remarkable human being. Whether or not the Maharajji performed all the miracles (such as filling his gasoline tank with water and changhag it to gas) or possessed all the incredible gifts of clairvoyance (predicting the secession of Bangladesh) attributed to him, he was undoubtedly a major figure in 20th-century popular religion: radiantly alive, passionately kind and selfless, brilliantly intuitive, totally human--whimsical, witty, childlike, unmanageable. A collection as large and undiscriminating as this one was bound to have a certain amount of rubbish in it--inconsequential bits like, ""Maharajji once said, 'Once I was going by Ramana Maharshi. He got up and tried to follow me but I ran away.'"" But then, why not? It's like a giant garage sale: if you don't like this little item, maybe you'll like the other one.

Pub Date: Oct. 15th, 1979
Publisher: Dutton