In the 1950’s Murshid SAM reported a recurring vision with the face of a saint accompanied by poetry, “By one year’s time, by land or sea, I will come to thee.” In 1954, in keeping with the vision, Papa (Swami) Ramdas and Mother Krishnabai came to San Francisco on their World Tour and Murshid SAM found his “Hindu” Guru.
After receiving the initiation of Om Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram from his father, Swami Ramdas, then known as Vittal Rao, renounced the worldly life in 1922 and wandered as a mendicant sadhu all over India and the Himalayas, in various states of God-intoxication, with Ramnam ever on his tongue, and heart as his only refuge. After over a decade of wandering in a God realized state of liberation he returned to Southwestern India, and founded Anandashram, near Kanhangad, with the help and support of his foremost disciple, Mother (Mataji) Krishnabai, also a self-realized being. Murshid SAM would often tell us that the most spiritual being that he knew on the planet was a woman, namely Mother Krishnabai.
In the late fifties, Murshid SAM had the good fortune to travel to Anandashram. Murshid told us his biggest concern was that he was very poor at sitting cross-legged. When he arrived he reported that they put him on so many cushions that his feet no longer touched the ground. And so it was with his inner state as well. After passing into Samadhi for days on end, Papa sent him back into the world to serve. Papa Ramdas passed into Mahanirvana in July 1963.
In the late 1960’s, Murshid SAM offered us many classes during the week. At his home, the Mentorgarten, in San Francisco, Sunday night was Dharma night and Monday night was Sufi Night. And on Dharma night, Murshid would often read and give commentary on Papa Ramdas’s voluminous writings, as well as read and recite various Buddhist texts and mantras. Monday night was mostly reading and commentary from Hazrat Inayat Khan.
Papa Ramdas's experiences in India are graphically chronicled in the must-read autobiographical books, “In Quest of God” and "In the Vision of God,” available as free downloads, which joyfully capture his path of complete surrender to the Will of God in a most inspiring way.
-- Pir Shabda Kahn