Steve Jobs’ strong intuition led him to create some of the most innovative electronic products, and his spiritual journey began with his visit to India in 1974, where he developed a connection with Neem Karoli Baba and Paramhansa Yogananda.
Apple has finally fully arrived in India. After beginning production of iPhones in the country, the company has now opened its first retail store at the Jio World Drive mall at BKC in Mumbai today. A second one, at the Select Citywalk mall in Saket, in Delhi, will open on April 20.
In a manner of speaking, many people who are aware of Apple founder Steve Jobs’ life journey would agree that Apple had its beginnings in India. His intuition was what drove Jobs to create some of the most unique electronic products — and his intuitive life started with a jolt that was the India trip he made in 1974.
Jobs grew up in the 60’s on America’s West Coast which was swept by counter-culture, a heady mixture of Eastern spirituality, drugs, music and idealism. A few years before Jobs visited India, San Francisco had seen the Summer of Love, the gathering of thousands that popularised the hippie lifestyle. Rock stars rubbed shoulders with Hindu and Buddhist gurus. Srila Prabhupada of ISKCON could be seen singing with the Grateful Dead and Janis Joplin. The hippies were convinced a new Age of Aquarius, the age of love and peace, had dawned.
In those days, living in a psycheldelic haze of LSD and spirituality, Jobs, a college dropout who ate free food at Hare Krishna temple in Portland, was saving money for his trip to India. What inspired him was an iconic book ‘Be Here Now’ by Richard Alpert, who got famous as Ram Dass in America, a devotee of Neem Karoli Baba, who was a mystic saint considered by his devotees an incarnation of Hanuman ji.
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As an 18-year-old backpacker in search of enlightenment, Jobs set out for India in 1974 along with his friend and fellow dropout Dan Kottke who would become the first employee of Apple a few years later. When Jobs reached Neem Karoli Baba’s ashram at Kainchi near Nainital, Baba had already passed away a year ago. And India wasn’t what Jobs had imagined through his LSD visions.
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