Tuesday, September 11, 2007
In ‘Be Here Now’ Richard Alpert, aka. Baba Ram Das, told about the young blond sadhu, Bhagavan Das, from America who introduced him to his guru, Neem Karoli Baba.
The first time I went trekking in the Himalayas I met Bhagavan Das. With my fellow travellers I had passed the night in a small settlement; then, in the late morning, a tall figure was spied coming down from the mountains.
“Bhagavan Das”, said my one companion.
One did not often meet fellow Westerners in 1970 on the trek to Mount Everest; it was an occasion, and we sat down to drink tea and exchange news.
Bhagavan Das was fair and broad-shouldered with a crown of dreads wound on his head. I had never seen dreads before on a Westerner; I was captivated. He was such an ideal of what the sixties revolution was about, of freely following the re-spiritualized consciousness.
So he said: “Come and see me.” And he explained where he lived and I recognized Kopan where I had been called to watch the sunset once at the end of an acid-trip.
When I came back from the trek and went to see him, he was not there and before I had a chance to meet him again he was gone.
Ten to twelve years later I met Bhagavan Das in California. An amazing change had occurred. He now had children he had to take care of and he had become a car dealer, a totally straight-looking well-groomed American businessman. We only just saw each other shortly and acknowledged our connection, then again he was gone.
Now, another twenty-five years have passed.
I recently got a new housemate, Leela, and it turns out she is Bhagavan Das’ faithful associate. He has returned to his beginnings and drawn them to a conclusion and there is no trace left of the car dealer! He has for many years now been a travelling sadhu spreading good vibes with his devotional songs. Leela had arranged for a Kirtan in Santa Cruz Saturday night and Bhagavan Das came Friday and stayed in our house for three days. This time we had time to really connect. I played djembe as part of the musical support at the Kirtan and Sunday night we watched Lama Yeshe teach on DVD.
It is amazing how karmic connections manifest and how you can have a deep relation to a person you only meet a few times in a lifetime.