This man we know as Dada was also Professor Sudhir Mukerjee, a professor of Economics at the highly regarded Allahabad University. He edited a prestigious economics journal, was a political activist, delighted in ideological discussions with his many intellectual friends. He was a responsible family man whose household included his wife (Didi), his mother and aunt, and his brother and nephew.
And then into his life stepped Maharajji—a barefoot sadhu wearing only a dhoti. He moved right into Dada’s home, uninvited. Initially, Dada was kind and courteous, as you might expect, though skeptical as befitting his role as a scholar. But his intellect found itself to be no match for his intuitive heart, through which he came to treasure Maharajji and acknowledge him as nothing short of God in form.
Dada had been offered a ringside seat at the play of the Lord. And the price of admission had been giving up who he had been.
Whatever Dada did, it involved a remarkable degree of surrender. For, by the time I met him, the transformation seemed complete. There was no sign of the Professor; there was only Dada. Maharajji had said to him, “You are mine,” and so he is. Dada had become so much an instrument of Maharajji that there was no space between the order and its execution. Such a level of surrender was hard to comprehend. It was not as if Dada was a separate being serving Maharajji—he was the service itself.
For me and other Westerners, these moments of sharing in faith are especially precious because it is so difficult to speak of “Guru” in the West; so hard to express unabashed devotion; so culturally unacceptable to speak of the yearning to surrender to another being.
But now, as we are gathered on Dada’s porch with Maharajji in our hearts, it is as if we are not just speaking about Maharajji; he is here with us. Maharajji once said, “When anyone thinks of me, I am with him.” And so he is. The moment itself is his darshan.
We always want just one more story from Dada. For his faith never flickers. The purity, the power, and the obvious truth of his stories resonate deep within us, opening our hearts once again to our own innocence, reawakening in us our own perfect faith.”
From Introduction to The Near and the Dear, by Dada Mukerjee, Introduction by Ram Dass