The early 1950s was a very challenging and difficult period in Murshid Samuel Lewis’ life. He made his living as a gardener and he spent much time at the new Academy of Asian Studies. It was an area that he had great expertise, but because his spiritual realization had taken place within the context of actual practices and experience within Sufism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Taoism and elsewhere and not through his getting a University degree, he was not given an opportunity to teach there.
On Oct. 24 of 1954, Papa Ramdas, like an answer to his prayer, arrived as a guest and speaker at the Academy. Eyewitnesses said that the more Ramdas spoke the happier and more joyful Sam became. The great joy evident in Ramdas’ realization was just what Sam needed in his life.
Ramdas’ words there are made available in Volume 8 of “Ramdas Speaks” along with other events in America. A sampling will give you a feeling for how his presence was momentous. He was asked whether the great joy he radiated was Ananda, and he said, “When Ramdas says joy he means Ananda. It is joy that spontaneously flows out of Ramdas. But to become joy yourself and to experience joy, are two different things… Ramdas replied to a saint in India, that he “has become like the Ganga which having reached the ocean still flows towards it. His life is united with the infinite ocean of life—God—and still he seems to be going toward the ocean, because there is joy in going towards the ocean, and in remaining separate from God, as a child, to talk to God and serve and do everything in God’s name…. Ramdas is one with the divine parent and still he is the child of Ram.As child, he is enjoying the bliss of seeing God everywhere, serving in every way and knowing that he and the entire universe are one.
Samuel Lewis’ father died in 1954 and Sam received some money which allowed him to travel abroad for the first time. He went to Japan, Southeast Asia, Egypt, India and Pakistan. In India he sought out Papa Ramdas in his center Andandashram. He stayed there two weeks and at the end of the time he woke up for several days feeling that he was Papa Ramdas. Sam met with Papa and said, “It’s time to go,” and Papa replied, “Yes, but who goes and who stays.”
Sufi Ruhaniat International website has more information on Ramdas and how to find copies of his work.
Love and Blessings,