Between Dark and Dark by David Lovejoy


The Path to Enlightenment

In a small basement flat in West Kensington the explosive was brewing that would propel some of the inhabitants of 341 halfway round the globe.

David Thorp was the first to discover it. He knew an acidhead, Brian Kitt, who had taken off for India a year or two previously. One day early in 1970 David saw Brian in the street dressed in a long, flowing saffron gown. This was not a surprise, anybody could be wearing anything in those days without you thinking twice. What was surprising was Brian's apparent change of personality. From being the intense, driven sort of individual David remembered, Brian had become almost absurdly relaxed and happy, and very glad to share his revelation with anyone who would listen.

First David, then Glen, then I made trips to the West Kensington pad, curious to discover what Brian, now known as Saphalanand, was on.

There we met Mahatma Charanand. Mahatma Ji was a man from northern India in his mid forties. His head was shaved, he wore the same saffron robes as Brian, and his smile was the widest and sweetest I had ever seen. He had considerable grace and profound psychological acuity, but his manner was simple and childlike.

His English was rudimentary, a fact I didn't grasp at first because at the meetings in the little flat, where a dozen people would sit at his feet, his talks were easy to understand.