A brief history of this book, page 2
David Lucas Burge
should we call the book?
and I pondered on what the title of the book should
be. We asked many people what they thought, too.
we found ourselves one summer at the Canadian Ashram,
sitting with Guruji and a small group in his kutir.
should be the title of the book?" asked Guruji.
"Come, let's think..."
started brainstorming. A lot of titles were called
out, but none really had the right ring to it. Many
were downright absurd. When some people started to
vote for the title: "The Soapy Stairway to Heaven,"
I knew we had entered Never-Never Land. (During a
playful talk at Satsang the night before, Sri Sri
had said that the stairway to heaven is soapy and
slippery -- sometimes you fall back, but with devotion
and the Guru's grace, you are certain to make it to
and more titles kept coming, but together we could
not agree on any of them.
Guruji perked up and declared, "Well, then we'll
just have to call it the Hooga-Booga Book"
We laughed ourselves to tears. How would Guruji know
such a silly American term as "hooga-booga"? And his thick Indian accent
made it even more preposterous.
forward: Gary and I arrived in India in Autumn 1995
with our "almost finished" book in hand.
One afternoon we went to Guruji's kutir so we could
show him the book, along with two possible covers.
as straight a face as I could muster, I presented
Guruji with both covers and asked him which one he
preferred. The first cover was:
Sri Ravi Shankar: The Way of Grace
(the current title and cover that eventually went
second cover was:
Hooga-Booga Book of Enlightenment:
Ascending the Soapy Stairway to Heaven
second cover was Gary's brainchild. It showed Lucy
climbing the soapy Stairway to Heaven, with Sri Sri
playing his usual tricks. The stairway was from Dr.
studied both covers a few moments.
think you go with the Hooga-Booga," he said without
I said, "I thought you'd like that one best."
in the room were dumbfounded. Some supported the idea.
The room was all abuzz with commotion for a few moments,
then suddenly everything became stone quiet. People
started to squirm.
is no way," Kevin finally declared. "You
can't put a book out like that!"
you are right, maybe Lucy is copyrighted," sighed
problem," I said, coming to the rescue, "We'll
get copyright permissions."
good," said Sri Sri, with a twinkle in his eye.
"Then it's all settled."
a few people looked worried. Tension was filling the
you absolutely cannot put out a book like that,"
insisted Kevin. "We would be a total laughingstock."
is a real life best-selling author, and he knows about
these things. So finally we abandoned the Hooga-Booga
idea, and went with Sri Sri
Ravi Shankar: The Way of Grace, our "second
A Brief History, page 3