Neem Karoli Baba (Hindi: नीम करोली बाबा) or Neeb Karori Baba also known to followers as Maharaj-ji, 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, and the musiciansKrishna Das and Jai Uttal. His ashrams are in Kainchi, Vrindavan, Rishikesh, Shimla, Bhumiadhar, Hanuman Gadi, Lucknow, Delhi in India and in Taos, New Mexico, USA.
He left his home 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 (miraclebaba). He was considered by many to be a saint.
Neem Karoli was a lifelong adept of bhakti yoga, and encouraged service to others (seva) as the highest form of unconditional devotion to God.
Baba Neem Karoli's Ashram in Taos is dedicated to his saying: "Love everyone, serve everyone."
Maharajji established at least 108 temples, fed millions of people, advised government and corporate leaders, performed what can be called Miracles, influenced current American and Indian society, brought grace into the lives of countless suffering people, and all the while remained out of the "public eye."
It is believed that by the time Maharajji was 17 years old He knew EVERYTHING. This is to be taken to mean a knowing that is actually incomprehensible to you and me. A knowing that is all. The knowing of Bhagvan. The knowing of God. Maharajji had nothing and Maharajji had everything.
In the late 60's an American known as Baba Ram Dass authored books telling of Neem Karoli Baba and hundreds of westerners went for Maharajji's darshan. Maharajji was elusive as the stories tell, but many were allowed to be in His presence and they tell stories that are a wonderment of love and grace and lilas and mostly awe.
Now, there appears to be three Maharajji's. One is the historical Maharajji. This Maharajji seems to have taken birth and lived a "traceable" life in time. Secondly, there is the "formless" Maharajji. This Maharajji is the Maharajji that we apparently connect with on our "inner" dimension. Thirdly, there is the Maharajji that exists in form "now"; the Maharajji who is reported seen and experienced; the Maharajji who never actually died. This is Maharajji who is a "time-traveler". We are just beginning to learn about that Maharajji and some of His effects in the world.
Maharajji taught many people. These teachings continue today. The teaching was very subtle or literally a knock on the head. Maharajji's teachings seem to have been totally individual. Each devotee would have the answer or the help they needed in the way that was best suited to their needs. When devotees remembered Him, Maharajji would rush to them to help and protect them. This seems to be going on to this day.
Maharajji seems to be continually visiting people and helping them since He "left His body" in Vrindaban in 1973. Maharajji has visited, helped, guided, fed, and called into service so many in the last forty years. Maharajji never went away. For this we can be grateful.