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  • Writer's pictureRon Brent

13. Harrison

Aside from my weekly class at MPC, my daily routine at this point is to teach 1-2 morning classes at my studio in Carmel Valley, then drive the 12 miles to the village of Carmel-by-the-Sea where I eat lunch with Nala at his restaurant.

It’s now mid-September. Nala and I are having lunch one day when an old friend of his comes into the restaurant to see him.

Don Harrison has come to Carmel to check the status of some property he owns in the area. He and Nala have been friends for several years, going back to the time they were both living in Carmel. The previous year they had run into each other while traveling in India. Shortly thereafter, Nala returned to the US and Harrison continued with his Indian travels, where he went on to meet his Guru, Swami Muktananda (Baba).

Harrison has recently traveled to California from New York, where he has been spending time with Baba. Baba is on his first tour outside of India and is the guest of Albert Rudolph (Rudi). Rudi is an oriental antique dealer and a teacher of consequence. It is Rudi who has invited Baba to come to America.

Rudi had received shaktipāt initiation (transmitted awakening) from Bhagawan Nityananda in Ganeshpuri. This was on one of his antique gathering visits to India. That was early 1961. On Rudi’s next visit, Nityananda told him to go see Baba, whose small ashram was just a half mile up the road.

Baba’s teaching style was quite different from Nityananda’s, as he was more accessible to those looking for things to be explained.

Nityananda was a mysterious being, often silent or cryptic in his words and actions. Baba, on the other hand, was more adept at social skills and easier to engage with. When Nityananda passed away, Rudi quite naturally shifted all his attention to Baba.

Baba is currently being hosted by Rudi at his apartment in New York City. On the weekends he stays at Rudi's upstate New York ashram in Big Indian, not far from the town of Woodstock. Many people have been coming to meet him at both places.

Besides checking in on his Carmel property, Harrison has come to California to do advance work in setting things up for Baba's upcoming month-long visit here. Harrison has dropped by Nala’s restaurant to ask him to travel with Baba during the month and cook for his staff.

As the three of us eat lunch, Nala and I are entertained with amazing stories of people’s kundalini awakenings that are taking place in Baba’s presence. I’m becoming more and more intrigued. Harrison goes on to tell us that Ram Dass is traveling with Baba and giving the introductory talks at all of his programs. When Harrison invites me to also join the tour as a member of Baba’s staff, I don’t hesitate to accept.

Harrison leaves shortly after lunch and I immediately begin working on finding teaching replacements from among my students. With great anticipation, I make plans for Nala and I to head down to Los Angeles in time for Baba’s arrival on October 9th.

As a point of interest, while Baba is in New York, Swami Satchidananda comes to meet him and offers his ashram in Los Angeles along with its staff to be used as a home base for the California leg of the tour. I have a feeling that something wonderful is about to happen and my excitement grows with each passing day.

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