February 2021

Dear Friends,
Namaskaram!

Neem Karoli Baba (1900 – 11 September 1973), Lakshman Das Sharma was born around 1900 in the village Akbarpur, Firozabad district of Uttar Pradesh, India, into a wealthy Brahmin family. After being married by his parents at the age of 11, he left home to become a wandering Sadhu. He later returned home, at his father's request, to live a settled married life. He has two sons and a daughter.

Neem Karoli Baba left his home in 1958. Baba lived in the village of Neeb Karori for a while and was given his name by locals. Thereafter he wandered extensively throughout Northern India. During this time he was known under many names.

He was a lifelong adept of Bhakti yoga, and encouraged service to others as the highest form of unconditional devotion to God. His devotee, named Anjani shares the following account:

January 2021

Dear Friends,
Namaskaram!

Ramana Maharshi (30 December 1879 – 14 April 1950) was born as Venkataraman Iyer, in Tiruchuli, Tamil Nadu, India. In 1895, an attraction to the sacred hill Arunachala and the 63 Nayanmars was aroused in him, and in 1896, at the age of 16, he had a "death-experience" where he became aware of a "current" or "force" which he recognized as his true "I" or "self", and which he later identified with "the personal God, or Iswara", that is, Shiva. Six weeks later he left his uncle's home in Madurai, and journeyed to the holy mountain Arunachala, in Tiruvannamalai, where he took on the role of a sannyasin.

He attracted devotees that regarded him as an avatar and came to him for darshan. In later years an ashram grew up around him, where visitors received ‘spiritual instructions’ by sitting silently in his company asking questions. Since the 1930s, his teachings have been popularized in the West, resulting in his worldwide recognition as an enlightened being.