My earliest recollection concerning God took place in second grade in Catholic school, when the nun tried to convey the idea of God and religion to us. I had the feeling that she didn’t really know or understand God herself, so I remember thinking “Before I die, I am going to find out the truth about this.” This significant decision at an early age sparked a desire to find out more for myself. I started reading the Bible, and at night in bed, one of my favorite things to do was thinking about God and wondering about concepts such as “no beginning, no end, infinity, etc.”
At the age of 12 I began reading some of my sister’s books. She was ten years older, was interested in astrology and had a collection of other books as well. Among them was a series by a Tibetan Lama calling himself Labsang Rampa, in which he related his experiences with
>psychic phenomena, astral travel and such, and his meetings with other hermits who imparted information on a variety of related topics to him. I found this very interesting, since the
mystical side of Catholicism wasn't really emphasized. So I kept reading books on psychic
pheneomena, UFO's, etc. for several years.
In 1980 I was in a bookstore (in the occult section), looking at the shelves and thinking “I’ve read all this stuff.” The friend I was with was becoming impatient and in desperation she just grabbed a book and shoved it into my hand. It was one of the Seth books. My first reaction was to dismiss this channeled material as ridiculous, but I caught myself, thinking that I should be open-minded. Reading this turned out to be the best thing for me at that time. The Seth Material (channeled by Jane Roberts) took me to another level of awareness and introduced me to alternate realities, the nature of God, multidimensional universes, etc. To me this was terrific
stuff. I literally inhaled it and bought more Seth books.
In February 1981, while still immersed in that material, I dreamt that I was in a night club where everyone had concealed handguns. I got scared and decided to get out of there. In the dream, I exited the building but it was night and I did not recognize the area. Then, some headlights
appeared and were coming right at me. I ran into an alleyway, threw myself on the ground and put my arms over my head. At that moment I became lucid and said the words, “I will my consciousness out of my body.” Instantly I felt myself moving very fast through some kind of light medium. When I stopped I found myself in a beautiful place with an amazingly blue sky and a baby gorilla looking down at me! It had incredibly compassionate eyes and, even though it did not speak, I heard it ask “Are you OK?” I felt mysel surrounded by a blissful, peaceful energy, with the blue sky above and something white under my feet. It looked like snow, but I could feel a
kind of warm, comforting energy coming up through my feet. I began walking, with the baby
gorilla holding my right hand. I was thinking “I can’t believe I made it!”, then I realized that there was someone else on my left side. That person looked as if he was wearing a 3-piece, pin-striped suit of pink, orchid and white. Amazed, I looked at him and asked “Are you Seth?” I could not see the detail of his face, but he threw his head back and laughed, saying “I knew you were going to ask me that.” He then added “It’s dangerous for you to stay here much longer,” and, instantly, I was awake, back in bed. But I still had that sensation of the energy coming up through my feet. That dream was a pretty significant experience for me, though its true meaning was not going to be revealed until much later.
Four years later, a locally-produced magazine called, “Psychic Guide”, organized a symposium on psychic phenomena and related topics. I found all the presentations very interesting and decided to subscribe to the magazine. Later it became “Mind, Body, Spirit Magazine”, a national
publication. Around 1988 I started getting cassette tapes in the mail from a woman in Texas I didn’t know. They were addressed to a Paul Gaddabush, and though my first name is Paul, they were obviously going to the wrong address. One day (while looking at the insde cover of one of the issues) I noticed that Paul Gaddabush was chief marketing director for “Mind, Body, Spirit Magazine”. I arranged to deliver the tapes and meet him, but we spoke only briefly.
As I continued reading the magazine, I kept seeing ads by Jeannie Loomis, the woman who was now channeling Seth in Branford, Ct. In February 1990, I decided to go check her out at the Aquarian Center since it was only about an hour and fifteen minutes away. The first person I ran into was Paul Gaddabush! And on his desk was information on Rebirthing and the LRT workshops. I also picked up a book by Leonard Orr on Immortality and started leafing through it. There I saw a picture of Babaji standing on a rock, with the caption “The Angel of the Lord in paradise.” I found this totally ridiculous. On one level I knew that something significant was happening -- meeting Paul Gaddabush again seemed like a confirmation -- but I also had considerable resistance to it all. My mind was reeling and I started feeling an uncomfortable churning in my stomach. Angry, I silently began yelling at God in my mind, “Do you really want me to do all this?! Do you really want me to do ALL THIS STUFF?!” I kept holding the book and arguing with
God, but there had been too many coincidences for me to ignore, so I surrendered. I started Rebirthing with Paul Gaddabush and Jeannie Loomis in March and attended an LRT event in late April. It was a huge challenge for me, but once again I felt that it was the best thing I could have done at the time.
The LRT workshops, along with regular Rebirthing, precipitated major changes in my life -- huge changes,on many levels. And even though information about Babaji was not part of the formal presentation, I tried to absorb and integrate everything. Through books I had become familiar with concepts such as “You create your own reality”, but now I had a support system that helped me put them into practice. I shaved my head and started saying Om Namah Shivaya all the time. During that first workshop in April, I learned that there would be an LRT event in Hawaii in August of 1990. We had been told at my work place, that no one could take a vacation at that time, but I didn’t hesitate: I quit my job and went. And coincidences kept occurring, both on the trip to Hawaii and during the event there.
In May of 1991 I enrolled in massage school and there coincidences also continued to happen. I got a place to live with someone involved in LRT, found a job with the Connecticut Fisheries Service which I enjoyed, and generally felt that the Universe was taking care of me in a big way. After graduating, I was able to join a group of body workers who were renting space upstairs from a New Age bookstore in Wakefield, RI.
In July of 1993, while perusing new releases in the bookstore, I came upon a copy of “I Am Harmony”, a book about Babaji. I purchased it and found two references to Crestone, CO. Then, (in November) I received a notice in the mail that there was going to be retreat in Crestone during July 1994. It included aarati, karma yoga, but also Rebirthing, hot springs, Course In Miracles and other interesting things. It was also billed as a preparation for a trip to India for Fall Navratri. That took place in July 1994 and of course I went. One day, while watching a video about Babaji, I noticed Him throw his head back and laugh, and it was at that moment that I made the connection with the baby gorilla dream, where the person on my left ha >done the very same thing. That’s when I finally recognized that it was Babaji who had appeared in that dream and who, for 13 years, had been orchestrating all the events in my life! That was a hugely significant insight and right away I decided to go to India with Sondra Ray.
I had long had a latent interest in India and had been exposed to people who had been there, but it had not felt right for me to go until then. It turned out to be a terrifying trip. The group was first exposed to an outbreak of pneumonic plague in New Delhi and then got caught in a violent conflict in Haldwani, connected with some kind of transportation strike or clash with the military. Twice, our bus was pelted with rocks and some participants sustained minor injuries. For me, it was all about learning to trust God, and something significant shifted in me. It had truly been like walking through fire. The other people had experienced strong feelings of homecoming in Haidakhan, but for me it happened in Chilianaula after this ordeal -- a strong sense of “This is IT” I felt like I was walking in my own back yard.
It was during that trip that I started thinking seriously about moving to the ashram in
Crestone. I had asked Shastraji about it when he had read my palm and he had agreed that I should go. I came back to the ashram to test the idea in the spring of 1995. Narayani and Danesh were there and I helped them transplant seedlings in the unfinished Earthship which was serving as greenhouse. After two weeks I told them I would be back in a year. That summer I had a chance
to talk to Ramloti on the phone and in the spring of 1996 I met her on the tour she was doing with Rambrosi. A month later, May 8, 1996 I arrived at the ashram (in the evening), the day
that Rambrosi and Ananda had left.
In those early days things were a bit chaotic. This is when the Governing Board decided to come up with a mission statement and specific policies which would give the ashram some structure. For a while there were Board meetings every week! But once we became clear on these matters, the right people started coming (Prakash, Jonathan, Annee and Dee, etc.) Then, in 1997 Muniraj came to visit, a major event which required huge preparations.
I have been living at the ashram ever since. For me, Babaji represents the Truth. He feels real and genuine to me. The coincidental things that happen from time to time feel like confirmations of this Truth.
There is no more searching. It’s really very simple: you say the mantra, do the work, and go to whatever level of trust, surrender and love that you can. I feel very complete. If I were to die this moment, I know that I have done something genuinely purposeful with this lifetime.
Premanand December 2006