Neem Karoli Baba



Average: 4.1 (147 votes)
Fast Facts
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Other Names and Nicknames: 
Pundit Lakshmi Narayan Sharma, Maharajji, Shri Neeb Karori Baba, Lakshmi Narayan Sharma, Lakshman Das, Handi Wallah Baba, Tikonia Walla Baba
Function: 
Guru
Traditions: 
Bhakti Yoga, Vedic
Main Countries of Activity: 
India
Date of Birth: 
Around 1900
Place of Birth: 
Akbarpur, Uttar Pradesh, India
In His/Her Body ("alive"): 
No
Date Left His/Her Body: 
September 11, 1973
Other Related Gurus: 
Siddhi Ma, Krishna Das

Biography

Neem Karoli Baba was a Hindu guru and devotee of the Hindu deity Hanuman. He is known outside India for being the guru of a number of Americans who travelled to India in the 1960s and 1970s, the most well-known being the spiritual teachers Ram Dass and Bhagavan Das, Baba Hari Das, and the musicians Krishna Das and Jai Uttal.

The exact details of Neem Karori Baba's birth and early years are not known. He was born in an affluent Brahmin family and his father's name was Pundit Durga Prasad 'Vedacharya'. He was born as Pundit Lakshmi Narayan Sharma at Akbarpur, Firozabad district in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. He was married at the age of 11 to Rambeti (daughter of Pundit Rewati Ram) and is survived by three children: Aneg Singh Sharma, Dharma Narayan Sharma and Girija Bhatele (née Sharma). He had two havelis (palatial homes) in Akbarpur, the older of which has been converted to a temple and the newer one is being preserved as his birthplace shrine. He also has another home in Agra in Gokulpura where he visited multiple times after he left his married life. He has nine grandchildren and fifteen great grandchildren.

He left his home around the time when his youngest child (daughter) was eleven (1958) and wandered extensively throughout northern India as a sadhu. During this time he was known under many names including Lakshman Das, Handi Wallah Baba, and Tikonia Walla Baba. When he did tapasya and sadhana at Bavania in Gujarat, he was known as Tallaiya Baba. In Vrindavan, local inhabitants addressed him by the name of Chamatkari Baba (miracle baba). He was considered by many to be a saint.

He was a life-long adept of bhakti yoga, and encouraged service to others (seva) as the highest form of unconditional devotion to God.

Teachings

Neem Karoli was a life-long adept of bhakti yoga, and encouraged service to others (seva) as the highest form of unconditional devotion to God.

Photos

Locations

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Books & Media

Recommended Books: 
Cover image

Miracle of Love: Stories About Neem Karoli Baba

by Ram Dass

(Paperback)

\"There can be no biography of him. Facts are few, stories many. He seems to have been known by different names in many parts of India, appearing and disappearing through the years. His western devotees of recent years knew him as \'Neem Karoli Baba,\' but mostly as \'Maharajii\'--a nickname so commonplace in India that one can often hear a tea vendor addressed thus. Just as he said, he was \'Nobody.\' He gave no discourses; the briefest, simplest stories were his teachings. Usually he sat or lay on a wooden bench wrapped in a plaid blanket while a few devotees sat around him. Visitors came and went; they were given food, a few words, a nod, a slap on the head or back, and they were sent away. There was gossip and laughter for he loved to joke. Orders for running the ashram were given, usually in a piercing yell across the compound. Sometimes he sat in silence, absorbed in another world to which we could not follow, but bliss and peace poured down on us. Who he was was no more than the experience of him, the nectar of his presence, the totality of his absence--enveloping us now like his plaid blanket. --Anjani In 1967 I met Neem Karoli Baba, a meeting which changed the course of my life. In the depth of his compassion, wisdom, humor, power and love I found human possibility never before imagined...an extraordinary integration of spirit and form. I was with him only briefly for he left his body in 1973, still he entered my heart as living truth, and his presence continues to enrich and guide my life. -- Ram Dass

Pro Opinions

Seeing God in All

archana.anchal's picture

Neem Karoli Baba, always used to remain in a state of bliss...he used to remain busy in chanting the divine name (Ram).....

Sab Ishwar hai!

kevananda's picture

My wife and I take Maharajji as our guru. We find so much solace in his teaching and learn from his actions. He was so unpredictable that no one could ever pin him down or really describe him.