My mother, Sylvia, was a Jewish mother. She played canasta. She ate bagels. She got her hair done once a week. And, knock on wood and spit three times, she thought I could do no wrong.
That is, until 1971, when I received Knowledge from that "boy Guru," Maharaji.
Bottom line, my mother had no way to relate to the whole thing. First of all, Maharaji wasn't Jewish. Second of all, he was from India. And third of all, see reasons #1 and #2.
Of course, my over-the-top proclamations about Knowledge and Maharaji's perfection didn't help matters in the least. Nor did my sudden habit of lighting incense in my parent's home.
It wasn't enough that my girlfriend wasn't Jewish (a shiksa!) -- now I had an Indian Guru. As they say in the old country, "Oy Vey."
All of which led my mother, one fine Spring day, to forbid me -- for all time -- from ever speaking about Maharaji in her home.
"No problem, ma," I replied, affecting my best suburban yogi's attempt at being non-attached. "Mum's the word."
Five years passed.
Life was good. I was practicing Knowledge. I was happy. And my adolescent need to convince my parents of anything had vanished.
Then I got word that Maharaji was coming to Miami for a weekend event, one I absolutely wanted to attend. This, I figured, my parents didn't really need to know, so I simply told them I was flying in to visit them that Sunday. I didn't want to push their buttons.
As usual, when the golden boy, Jewish prodigal son returns home, his parents invite their friends to celebrate the return. All the regulars were there: Blanche, Shirley, Ellie, Irv, Bert, Seymour, Solly, and some new friends of my parents I hadn't yet met.
Just having seen Maharaji, I was feeling especially alive and in the moment.
Taking a deep breath, I knocked on the door and let myself in, surveying the room and enjoying that sweet moment of arrival before the slightly deflating reality of visiting one's parents truly sinks in.
An elderly Jewish woman in the back of the room stood up and smiled at me -- someone I'd never met before.
"Oy gevalt, Mitchell," she said. "Wasn't Maharaji beautiful? I could have plotzed!" (I later found out this woman, Selma, had received Knowledge three years earlier).
I looked at my mother. My mother looked at me.
"Hey, Mom," I said, shrugging. "She's your friend. I didn't say a thing."October 18, 2011
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October 14, 2011
Maharaji in Melbourne: 9/11/11
"Did you know you are unique? As unique as the snowflake? As unique as the flower? Do you know that? There's no one like you. And there will never, ever again be anyone like you. Never. Ever. The way you smile, the way you think, the way you laugh, the way you cry, the way you sleep, the way you are awake, the way you think, the way you are when you are generous. The way you are when you're kind. The way you love. The way you receive. The way you understand. There will never, ever be another one like you on the face of this earth. Never. What does that mean to you? You're precious."October 13, 2011
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