Ready To Give Everything

Reminiscences of Doctorji: Rammurti Shriram Mishra, M.D.

Volume 1


In the book Ready To Give Everything, we are given a personal account of the experiences and lessons George Bailin learned from his teacher and friend, Rammurti S. Mishra, M.D.

Sample Chapter

Written by George Bailin

Editedanddesigned by DarylBailin

Published by SeaportPoets&WritersPress

First Edition 2015 TBA

Available in print and pdf format from:

Seaport Poets & Writers Press, P.O. Box 298, Harriman NY 10926-0298

or email

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A Fateful Encounter

Winter 1956

It was a bright, blustery, and bone-chilling Sunday morning in winter. Swami Nikhilananda had just delivered his weekly talk at the Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. I was restless, standing in line with the rest of the audience trying to file out of the hall.

    All around me, I could hear people chatting about what an inspiring lecture it had been. Listening to them merely heightened the frustration I was already feeling. Had we been in the same lecture? His words had not removed any of my pain. I had come to his programs regularly, followed his instructions diligently, but had not made any headway. I even had an audience with him, but the sense of distance was too painful. To be on the outside, to feel that Truth was inaccessible, was agony. What was especially disheartening was the fact that the swami was an accomplished, scholarly, well-regarded leader. He was a gigantic personality, a figure of towering holiness. Yet I could not make headway in his presence!

    I was on the verge of despair. Or worse. It was as though something was quite close at hand, but just out of reach. What it was, I didn’t know. What was meditation all about? Why was I not able to experience it? What was wrong with me?

    As I approached the exit to say farewell, I passed a small, dark-skinned man from India. His medical whites stood out brightly underneath a navy winter coat, far too long, reaching to his shoes, almost brushing the ground. I learned later that the coat had been hastily borrowed from a burly colleague. A recent arrival in the country, he had been unprepared for the winter weather.

    Youthful and energetic, there was a radiance about him. We looked at one another. His smile was spontaneous, a warm greeting. I found myself smiling back.

    “Om, Narayana! Narayana! How good to meet you!” So saying, he pressed his palms together and bowed slightly from the waist.

    Who’s Narayana, I wondered, glancing behind me to see if he was addressing someone else. Seeing my puzzled reaction, he explained. “Ah, Narayana is Sanskrit name for God. In India, it is how we greet one another, saluting the divine.”

    Then, as though he had committed a breach of etiquette, he reached out his hand and shook mine. “Yes, we shake hands in America!” Suddenly January seemed not so grim.

    “So! You have been practicing for some time, but no result?” he asked, his eyelids rising.

    I was caught off guard. Astonishing! How did he know?

    “You want to learn what is meditation?”

    Too stunned to be able to respond appropriately, I reached out for the card he was handing me. I listened as he invited me to visit him at the hospital where he worked. The card said Bird S. Coler Hospital on Welfare Island, now called Roosevelt Island.

    While he was speaking, I observed the symmetry to his face, his piercing eyes, his deep and vibrant voice. His black hair was a crowning mane to a compelling masculinity. How handsome! His good looks and his sense of warmth, his eagerness to meet me, and his radiation of confidence were magnetic. He exuded absolute assurance.

    “If you want to learn meditation, then you can do it. It is not hard. Verrrry easy!” His enthusiasm was altogether engaging.

    “Yes,” I replied eagerly, “I want to learn.”

    Under his deep, searching stare, I reflected on what I had just said. Perhaps, here was someone who could understand what I was going through! I found myself speaking, hesitantly at first, then freely. In no time at all, we were talking as though we were old friends.

    “I really want to learn how to quiet my mind. My emotions are out of control. I don’t think that I’m a very good student.” It poured out of me, that I was a high school teacher, trying to be a writer. The duties of a husband and a father of two children were overwhelming.

    “Doctor, can you help me?”

    He smiled, his eyes twinkling, his head nodding. “The man who wants to see God will have all the help needed.” Then he shook my hand. Again.

    I couldn’t believe it! Why, could it be he was relishing the chance to work with me? My heart lifted up.

    “Why not?” he added. “If a man makes up his mind, then he can do anything!”