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Who am I?

excerpt from a letter postmarked December 16, 1983

...Now it is the end of another semester, and I grow sad. I always do at the end of the semester. Students may be glad it's over, but me, I grow sad. Now why would that be? Probably because I know I won't be seeing all these familiar faces ever again. And a semester is a rather long time in some ways. You get to know people. Then suddenly they are gone as if they were never there, as if they were never to be again. That is what makes me sad.

Also I shall not be teaching again till next fall. A new life is opening for me, and that takes some getting used to. I know I will manage marvelously, bravely, but initially it will take some doing. (Rajneesh knew what he was doing when he gave me that Veerendra name. Courage. Yes, I need that.) It will be a meditative, exploratory time, a time to sort through things of my life, make decisions about them, and move on. Basically it will be a matter of slimming down, getting rid of unnecessary baggage. There is even a possibility of moving away from California. I am not sure how many more semesters I shall teach at State.

But enough. I don't mean to hog the letter with my plans. Obviously it is a major change for me. New things will be happening. I would even like to go back to India to visit some shrines I did not on my last trips. One in particular is the shrine of a Hindu saint, Shree Ramana Maharshi. He is dead now, but he means a lot to me. His enlightenment came when he answered his own question: Who am I? Once one knows that, then he knows everything that matters. He came to know. His presence is still felt at his Ashram. So I would like to go. But physically it is dangerous. It is a pilgrimage, and one has to be in the best health....