Friday 12 December 2014

Excerpt: Rising in Love by Ram Das Batchelder

Here is an excerpt from a new book, Rising in Love: My Wild and Crazy Ride to Here and Now, with Amma, the Hugging Saint,by Ram Das Batchelder. The book tells the story of the author's spiritual awakening in America (which included meeting an angel), his discovery of Amma (the living Guru known in the West as “the Hugging Saint”) and the 27 years he spent in quest of enlightenment as Amma’s devotee, most of that time in India.
Sometime around 3:00 am, a radiant dark violet glow drew me over a fence and into a construction site, and I was guided down into the deep dark basement of this in-process building. And there in the forbidden depths, amidst the spooky shapes and shadows in the middle of the night, I somehow felt inspired and challenged by God to call out the demons, to beckon them from their hiding places and see through their disguises with my knowledge of the allness of God. Into the darkness of that concrete dungeon I shouted aloud, “Demons, come out! I’m not afraid of you! Darkness cannot touch the child of God! Beneath your disguises, there’s only the one Christ Self! So I command you, come out and be revealed!” It was an eerie invocation requiring great courage.

Nothing terribly exciting happened in immediate response – that is, nothing I had the eyes to see. But as the dawn light began creeping down the stairs, it gradually became clear, through the new feeling of utter fearlessness surging through my blood, that by calling forth the demons in God’s name I had been freed from some ancient bondage.

Amidst the construction flotsam I found my trophy – a gigantic 500-watt light bulb, the size of a child’s head. Outside, on a boarding around the construction site, I found another piece of appropriate memorabilia, which I peeled off and carried home with me: an Iron Maiden poster, featuring a hideously lovely monster
Walking downtown through the rush-hour crowd that morning, on each block I noticed at least one person who struck me as strikingly scarred, ugly or even demonic in appearance – and I knew this was God’s response to my unusual midnight mass. “Mr. Hyde, I presume? Can’t fool me, I know you’re God! Ah, Saint Dracula! I’d recognize those teeth anywhere. Still taking communion daily?” 
An especially hideous-looking man eyed me from across the street, and in a sweet moment, I saw God in him and smiled. (Christ in a distressing disguise sees Christ in an even more distressing disguise!) Apparently no one had smiled at this guy in years, for he stopped, and then broke into a surprised and joyous responsive smile – harelipped, red-eyed, befanged… and beautiful. My divine Self, unmasked.

I moved into a tiny apartment in Brooklyn, and was again supporting myself with cruddy waitering jobs which barely made ends meet. Returning from a party with some theater friends one night I got a bit lost in my new ninety-five percent black neighborhood; and as I turned a corner, standing in the sidewalk was a man whose appearance reminded me of an elf, a large black elf. And he was beckoning to me, with a smile and a twinkle, as if he’d been waiting for me. “C’mon,” he said. “God wants me to show you around.” He then led me all around the neighborhood, calling out to whoever he could find, “Hoo! Hoo! New white boy in the ’hood. He’s my friend, be nice to him! Got it?” After a half hour tour, he invited me over for a cup of tea, and his apartment was radiant with spiritual energy. (He wasn’t gay, as his elfin dress might have suggested; he was just a joyful man of God.) He then escorted me to my place, bid me goodnight and I never saw him again.

Finding that the Violet Flame invocations had their limitations, and still seeking that instant glow, I gradually started smoking pot again, and hanging out with Magic (who’d shifted his location to the west Village), and his friend Mr. Li, a Caucasian Chinese medicine man with a smidgen of Buddhist philosophy, and who had recently spent a night in jail for selling weed to an undercover policeman. One evening, Magic introduced me to a friend of his, Johnny Palapido, saying Johnny was a major porn star. I was quite amused to hear that Johnny was also in the midst of a spiritual awakening, and had a homegrown numerology similar to my own. After talking with me for a while, he turned to his girlfriend and said, “You know, honey, eventually I’m gonna have to give up sex, and turn myself completely to God.”

“But Johnny,” she whined miserably, “what am I gonna do?”
Rising in Love: My Wild and Crazy Ride to Here and Now, with Amma, the Hugging Saint,by Ram Das Batchelder, is released today, 12 December, in paperback and ebook. It is published by O Books. It would make a great Yule gift for anyone wanting an uplifting spiritual read.

Note: All royalties from the sale of this book will be donated to an orphanage in India. For more details, visit


Unknown said...

Currently sold out on,, Chapters (Canada), Barnes & Noble and Book Depository. See for reviews, sample chapters and links to the eBook. For every eBook sold the orphanage will receive $4.50!

Unknown said...

Those who want the paperback can order from Amazon; they will deliver as soon as new stock arrives. See