Here is the fourth installment in my series of excerpts prior to the publication of my new book: Sex, Lies, and Two Hindu Gurus. This is Chapter 65. It appears in Part Four.
Confronting the Guru – An Invitation to “Private Time”
After Maharaji’s return to Barsana Dham, I stayed far away from him.
I didn’t go anywhere near the temple, not even to satsang. I refused to do any seva, including baking birthday cakes for the $2,500 “birthday seva.” I told everyone that I had to get back to work and had no more free time or money. That did not go over well. However, this time I wasn’t the only one staying away from him.
Many devotees were either too tired or had to return to their jobs. As a result, the prayer hall was almost empty during Maharaji’s daytime satsang times. I heard that Swamiji asked Prabhakari for a list of the names of ashram devotees not going to Maharaji’s satsang.
One day, I was in kitchen of The Girls House making a snack. Terry called out to me: “Swamiji was just here looking for you,” she said.
“What?” I answered incredulously. My heart started pounding. By this point, I still hadn’t figured out Swamiji’s role in Maharaji’s secret world.
“I told him you were in your office. He just went there.”
I ran back to my office. Swamiji was sitting outside of my building on his golf cart and Vishi was up knocking on my door. I called out: “I’m right here.”
As I approached them, Swamiji said, “We came to see your office.” He had never once come to my office the entire time I lived in the ashram, so I knew that he was there for some other reason.
“Okay Swamiji,” I said.
I unlocked the door and let them in. Swamiji made a beeline for my tan love seat. I walked behind him, then knelt down on the floor next to him. Vishi sat off to the side, learning on a bookcase.
Despite my obsequies behavior, I was not happy to see him. My mind was rac-ing. What could he possibly want?
He looked around my office, and commented on my framed prints of trees. “I like that picture,” he said.
“It’s one of my favorites,” I replied. I knew this was just small talk, because he was not here just to view my office decorations. I braced for whatever it was that he was here for.
He sat quietly for a minute. As the seconds slowly ticked by, I sat rigidly in an-ticipation, scared to death over what this was all about.
Finally, he spoke matter-of-factly: “You’re not going to Maharaji’s satsang.”
I stuck to my story. “Swamiji, I can’t take anymore time off of work. I already took more than I could afford during Maharaji’s first six weeks here.”
“You have to go to see him. This is a rare opportunity.” He was talking in a normal tone. But I knew from experience, he could change his mood at any moment.
“Is there something wrong?’ he asked.
I was not prepared for this question. I was still in shock about everything I’d learned in the past few weeks. I had not yet figured out Swamiji’s role in the whole scam, and still believed in his divinity to some extent. I realized that I should use this opportunity to try to understand what the hell was going on.
“Well … I … I’m not sure …” I struggled to find the words to voice my convo-luted thoughts, and to figure out how to answer without getting blasted by Swamiji.
“What?” he said, with only a hint of impatience.
“I was wondering …” I could not say the words.
Vishi piped up. “You can tell Swamiji anything. Just tell him,” she insisted.
I finally squeaked out one sentence. “I don’t understand who Maharaji is?”
“What?” Now he was irritated. “What don’t you understand? I told you his whole life history.”
“I know Swamiji, but I don’t understand about private time.”
“What do you mean?” he said, his voice a controlled growl.
Vishi spoke to him in Hindu, obviously explaining to him what I had just said.
He looked at me with a mixture of puzzlement and disgust. He said, “What does Maharaji need from a woman’s body?”
“I don’t know,” I answered in a tone that said: You tell me.
He snapped back: “He doesn’t need anything. He doesn’t do it for his benefit. He does it for their benefit.”
I was stunned. He had not denied it. In fact, he had just admitted to me that Maharaji did spend private time with women—and there was no mistaking that the euphemism meant sex.
He sat silently fuming for a few seconds. Then he said, “Do you want to have private time with Maharaji?”
I realized this was a trap. If I said no, Swamiji would immediately know I wasn’t a true believer. So I gave the only answer I could under the circumstances: “Yes, Swamiji.”
“Then you have to be in satsang, sit up close to him, and long for him in your heart. At least go once a day in the morning. That is very important.”
“Okay, Swamiji, I will.”
Apparently satisfied with my answer, he got up and walked out of my office.
Vishi trailed after him and looked up at me. “Come talk to me sometime,” she whispered conspiratorially.
“Okay,” I nodded, realizing I’d just been invited to be prepped by her for private time with Maharaji.