Richard Alpert was a psychologist working in Harvard until 1963. He often took LSD and had many hallucinations and out of body experiences. He believed them to be true. He wanted to see if that experience could be reproduced. In 1963, he was fired for experimenting with LSD with undergraduate students.
He left in search for truth, and repeating the OOB ( out of body) experience. He went to India and after several months, he saw something strange. This was in Kainchi, Nainital. (year 1967) Out in the field, there was a man lying on a cot (khatlo), leaning on one side. He was surrounded by a few people who were bowing down at his feet. Everyone who came by bowed at his feet. Now Richard Alpert was an American dressed in American style, wearing a hat and standing many feet away. The weather was comfortable and there was no breeze. As he saw this, he he thought to himself, I would never bow down to anyone. Indeed, for him it was a very strange sight.
Richard had barely finished his thought, that he would never bow to anyone, and out of the blue a wind came from nowhere and blew his hat off. He bent down to pick it up and out of no where, Neem Karoli Baba was standing right there and against his well, he had bowed to Neem Karoli Baba.
They tried of have a conversation. One person speaking only hindi and the other only English. I am sure it was quite awkward. There was a villager who helped to some degree.
After this Richard Alpert decided to stay with him for a while. One night, they were in the open, a cloudless sky. Neem Karoli baba said,
NKB : Your mother died, right?
NKB : Last year
RA : Yes
NKB : and you were outside, looking at the stars and wondering what happened to her. This happened last year too
RA was shocked. Yes he said
NKB said, perhaps for the first time in his life, uttered an English word
NKB : Spleen
And now RA was sold. Indeed his mother had died from problems of the spleen a year ago.
Richard Alpert returned to USA. He wrote the block buster book Be here Now. He submitted it to the printers. After that he returned to India to be with Neem Karoli Baba.
Baba said, you wrote a book?
RD (by now he called himself Ram Dass) : Yes
NKB : You wrote wrong things in there. You cant print that book
RD : It is too late, Typesetting is done, it is with the printers and they have already started
NKB : No no, I cant let you print the book. Change these things in the book and then you can print it.
Ram Dass was at a loss. Well, it so happened that the printing press suddenly got some machinery problem and could never print the book. Ram Dass went to NY and made the corrections and then the book could be printed!