It's Here Now (Are You?)

A Spiritual Memoir

By Bhagavan Das; Allen Ginsberg (Foreword by)
(Broadway Books, Hardcover, 9780767900089, 320pp.)

Publication Date: October 1, 1997

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Description
In this inspiring spiritual memoir, Bhagavan Das fulfills his original mission as a messenger of Eastern wisdom and sheds needed light on the new spirituality of the West.
Leaving California at age 18 with $40 and a guitar, Michael Riggs traveled to India, searching for something more than "the American Dream." Once there, he studied with several teachers and lived the austere life of a yogi, eventually falling under the loving blanket of Neem Karoli Baba, who renamed him Bhagavan Das, or "servant of God." For seven years Das moved through the subcontinent, from Bombay to Madras, Kashmir to Darjeeling, fully embracing Hinduism and all its practices, worshiping the Divine Mother, and studying Buddhism, transcendental meditation, and tantra. In Nepal he met and became the teacher of Richard Alpert, the Harvard professor, LSD experimenter, and expatriate whom Neem Karoli Baba would rename Ram Dass.
After the publication of the bestselling classic "Be Here Now," in which Alpert described their experiences together, Bhagavan Das arrived back in the United States to find he was a celebrity. Traveling on the guru circuit--where he forged a number of influential and lasting relationships with other seekers such as Allen Ginsberg, Alan Watts, and Chogyam Trungpa--Bhagavan Das lived more like a rock star than the saint he was proclaimed to be. He spoke and sang in front of groups of thousands, had sex with spiritual groupies, did drugs, and witnessed the hypocrisy of his path and that of his peers. His disillusionment continued to grow; meanwhile, he felt an intense pressure to earn a more traditional living for his wife and children, and for years he struggled to integrate his Easternmysticism with Western spirituality. In compelling detail, Das explores the myriad of forces that sent him on a tortuous journey that led him to study the peyote culture of the American Indians with Little Joe Gomez, fall under the influence of Joya, become a born-again Christian, follow Ammachi Ma, and eventually, after hitting rock bottom, find a way to reconcile both worlds.
"It's Here Now (Are You?)" is the story of a spiritual awakening in the East, a fall from grace in the West, and a peaceful reconciliation with the sacred center. It is a vivid memoir of one man's search for higher purpose amidst temptation and the pressures of contemporary life. It is also the love story of the spiritual marriage between Bhagavan Das and his guru, Neem Karoli Baba. With his unique historical perspective, wisdom, and insight, Bhagavan Das sheds light on today's belief systems and how a new spirituality has developed in this country. A spiritual adventure like no other, "It's Here Now (Are You?)" will inspire seekers of any age on their own road to fulfillment.



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