As a twenty-year-old, in my junior year at North Texas State University, I had many questions about life. I studied various methods and disciplines to deepen my understanding of myself, and the world I lived in. But it wasn't until the fall of 1970, when I met Rudi (Swami Rudrananda), that the questions were no longer important. I met Rudi when he came to Dallas with Swami Muktananda. Swami Muktananda was to give a lecture at a yoga center, but the lecture was not open to the public. I've always had a hard time accepting "no" as an answer, so I sneaked in to listen to the lecture. As Swami Muktananda was speaking and Professor Jain interpreting for the audience, I couldn't help being attracted to a man who seemed to represent everything unanswered in my life. That person was Rudi. After the lecture, the audience rushed to meet Swami Muktananda, but I wanted to know who this person was that seemed to open my heart so deeply without mentioning a word.
RUDI in his gallery
FROM THAT MOMENT ON, MY WORLD CHANGED
Rudi owned an Oriental antique store in the East Village on Manhattan. The name of his store was RUDI ORIENTAL ART. I lived with a group of friends in a two-story house just off North Texas State University campus. The downstairs of the house was an organic health food restaurant called the KOZMIC KITCHEN. One evening, after waiting tables at the restaurant, I called Rudi and asked him if he would go into business with me (after only knowing him for three months). There was a long silence over the phone and then he said "alright Danny, I'll go into business with you." Three weeks later a forty-foot truck arrived full of extraordinary art from India, China, Japan and Tibet. I was overwhelmed not only by the sight of such beautiful objects, but because I knew nothing about them.
Rudi deeply believed in human potential, and would support anyone who made the effort to realize theirs. I'm a very fortunate person, whose fate would have it to meet such an extraordinary man.. Over the next three years I spent as much time as possible studying with Rudi. It's impossible to convey my gratitude for all that Rudi has given me. Rudi passed away in a small plane crash on February 21st 1973.