I love Niz's rambunctiousness and shouting it suits my loud personality hahahahaha
David: There may have been others but the only other one I know about, since I witnessed it first-hand, was a Canadian – at least I think he was Canadian – called Rudi. I had listened to some tapes before I first went to Maharaj and this man Rudi featured prominently on them. I have to say that he sounded utterly obnoxious. He was pushy, argumentative and aggressive; apparently Maharaj threw him out on several occasions. I had never met Rudi; I only knew him from the tapes I had heard.
Then one day Maharaj announced, 'We have a jnani coming to visit us this morning. His name is Rudi.' I laughed because I assumed that Maharaj was making fun of his pretensions to enlightenment. Maharaj could be quite scathing about people who claimed to be enlightened, but who weren't. Wolter Keers, a Dutch advaita teacher, was someone who fell into that category. Every so often he would come to Bombay to see Maharaj, and on every visit Maharaj would tell him off for claiming to be enlightened when he wasn't. On one visit he started lecturing Wolter before he had even properly entered the room. There was a wooden stairway that led directly into the room where Maharaj taught. As Wolter's head appeared above the top step, Maharaj suspended his other business and started laying into him.
'You are not enlightened! How dare you teach in the West, claiming that you are enlightened?'
On one of my other visits Wolter was due to arrive and Maharaj kept asking when he was going to appear.
'Where is he? I want to shout at him again. When is he going to arrive?'
On that particular visit I had to leave before Wolter came so I don't know what form the lecture took, but I suspect that it was a typically hot one.
Anyway, let's get back to Rudi. When Maharaj announced that a 'jnani' was due, I assumed that Rudi was going to get the Wolter treatment. However, much to my amazement, Maharaj treated him as the genuine article when he finally showed up.
After spending a good portion of the morning wondering when Rudi was going to appear, Maharaj then asked him why he had bothered to come at all.
'To pay my respects to you and to thank you for what you have done for me. I am leaving for Canada and I came to say goodbye.'
Maharaj didn't accept this explanation: 'If you have come to this room, you must have some doubt left in you. If you were doubt-free, you wouldn't bother to come at all. I never visit any other teachers or Gurus because I no longer have any doubts about who I am. I don't need to go anywhere. Many people come to me and say, "You must visit this or that teacher. They are wonderful," but I never go because there is nothing I need from anyone. You must want something you haven't got or have a doubt to come here. Why have you come?'
Rudi repeated his original story and then kept quiet. I was looking at him and he seemed to me to be a man who was in some inner state of ecstasy or bliss that was so compelling, he found it hard even to speak. I still wasn't sure whether Maharaj was accepting his credentials, but then the woman he had arrived with asked Maharaj a question.
Maharaj replied, 'Ask your friend later. He is a jnani. He will give you correct answers. Keep quiet this morning. I want to talk to him.'
It was at this point that I realised that Maharaj really did accept that this man had realised the Self. Rudi then asked Maharaj for advice on what he should do when he returned to Canada. I thought that it was a perfectly appropriate question for a disciple to ask a Guru on such an occasion, but Maharaj seemed to take great exception to it.
'How can you ask a question like that if you are in the state of the Self? Don't you know that you don't have any choice about what you do or don't do?'
Rudi kept quiet. I got the feeling that Maharaj was trying to provoke him into a quarrel or an argument, and that Rudi was refusing to take the bait.
At some point Maharaj asked him, 'Have you witnessed your own death?' and Rudi replied 'No'.
Maharaj then launched into a mini-lecture on how it was necessary to witness one's own death in order for there to be full realisation of the Self. He said that it had happened to him after he thought that he had fully realised the Self, and it wasn't until after this death experience that he understood that this process was necessary for final liberation. I hope somebody recorded this dialogue on tape because I am depending on a twenty-five-year-old memory for this. It seems to be a crucial part of Maharaj's experience and teachings but I never heard him mention it on any other occasion. I have also not come across it in any of his books.
Maharaj continued to pester Rudi about the necessity of witnessing death, but Rudi kept quiet and just smiled beatifically. He refused to defend himself, and he refused to be provoked. Anyway, I don't think he was in any condition to start and sustain an argument. Whatever state he was in seemed to be compelling all his attention. I got the feeling that he found articulating even brief replies hard work.
Finally, Rudi addressed the question and said, 'Why are you getting so excited about something that doesn't exist?' I assumed he meant that death was unreal, and as such, was not worth quarrelling about.
Maharaj laughed, accepted the answer and gave up trying to harass him.
'Have you ever had a teacher like me?' demanded Maharaj, with a grin.
'No,' replied Rudi, 'and have you ever had a disciple like me?'
They both laughed and the dialogue came to an end. I have no idea what happened to Rudi. He left and I never heard anything more about him. As they say at the end of fairy stories, he probably lived happily ever after.
davidgodman.org of course