Baba Hari Dass
|Baba Hari Dass
बाबा हरि दास
|Born||Hari D. Karnatak
26 March 1923
Almora, near Nainital, Uttar Pradesh (Uttarakhand), India
|Founder of||Sri Ram Orphanage, Haridwar, India; Mount Madonna Center; Dharmasara, Salt Spring Centre, Vancouver; Ashtanga Yoga Institute; Mount Madonna Institute|
|Guru||Baba Raghubar Dassji Maharaj|
|Philosophy||Ashtanga Yoga, Samkhya, Vedanta, Raja Yoga|
|Literary works||Ashtanga Yoga, Rāja Yoga, Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Samkhya, Jnana Yoga, aphorisms, scriptural commentaries, short stories, collection of letters, kids stories and theatre plays|
Work Honestly, Meditate everyday, Meet people without fear, And play
The aim of life is to live in peace
Only renunciation of all notions of 'I' and 'mine' is true renunciation.The soul is the subject of the knowledge that gains knowledge of an object (Gita class, Jan 1993)
Baba Hari Dass (Devanagari: बाबा हरि दास; born 26 March 1923 in Almora near Nainital, Uttar Pradesh, now Uttarakand, India) is a yoga master, a silent monk, and a commentator of Indian scriptural tradition of Dharma and Moksha. He was classically trained in Ashtanga Yoga – Raja Yoga of Patanjali (the Yoga of Eight Limbs), as well as Kriya Yoga, Ayurveda, Samkhya, Tantra Yoga, Vedanta, and Sanskrit.
Born into the 13th generation of a Kumaoni Karnatak Brahmin family, in the lunar month of Chaitra, in Shukla Paksha (Rama Navami), he is an author, play writer, martial arts teacher, sculptor and builder of temples. Upon his arrival in the US in the early 1971, he founded several yoga teaching projects in California and in Canada. His extensive literary output includes scriptural commentaries to Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Srimad Bhagavat Gita, Samkhya Karika, and Vedanta, collections of wisdom aphorisms about the meaning and purpose of life, essays, plays, short stories, children's stories, kirtan mantras and in-depth instructional yoga materials that form the basis of a yoga certification-training program.
He was an early proponent of Ayurveda in the United States, an ancient Indian system of health and healing. In an annual rendition of Indian classic Ramayana, he taught performing arts, choreography and costume making. With the emphasis on selfless service (karma yoga) that guided his life and action that benefits the world, he devoted himself to helping others and in 1987 he opened Sri Ram Orphanage in Haridwar for homeless children in India. Although he does not speak, he is conversant in several languages in writing.
To the local population of Nainital and Almora, Baba Hari Dass was also known as Haridas (lit "servant of Lord Hari"), as Haridas Baba, as Chota Maharaji (literally "little great king"), or as Harda Baba.
- 1 Early life and spiritual path (1923–1963)
- 2 Western confluence (1964–1971)
- 3 Teaching to learn (1971 – present)
- 4 Scriptural focus
- 5 Commentaries and literary works
- 6 Notes
- 7 References
- 8 Sources
Early life and spiritual path (1923–1963)
Haridas Baba grew up in the lower Himalayan region of Kumaon division, which includes Dunagiri (also called Dronagiri), known as the birthplace of modern day Kriya Yoga, and the temple of Shakti or Mother Goddess. Rich in ancient lore, the region is also known as Kurmachala and encompasses Almora, Nainital, Bageshwar, Champawat, Pithoragarh, and Udham Singh Nagar. Early on in life he listened to stories told by older people about siddha yogis Sombari Baba Maharaj, Gudari Baba, Suri Baba, Khaki Baba, Aughar Baba, Hariakhan Baba Maharaj (Babaji Mahavatar) and several other saints of that region. In 1929, on the way to Haldwani, during the winter time, he received his first darshana with the sage Sombari Baba Maharaj, also known as Paramanandji Maharaj in the village Kakarighat, by the Koshi river, where Sombari Baba Maharaj lived under a huge Banyan tree in a tiny hut built into its roots.
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Darshana is viewed as experiencing the presence of a highly revered person, which can awaken latent potential for spiritual growth, or intellectual understanding. An American poet, Gary Snyder, who was immersed in the Buddhist Zen tradition, explaining his meaning noted, "It's a gift; it's like there's a moment in which the thing is ready to let you see it. In India, this is called darshan. Darshan means getting a view.."
Following the experience of Sombari Baba Maharaj at the age of six his father died a year later. He had several conversations with his mother about God, soul and peace and he resolved to seek spiritual freedom (Sanskrit: मोक्ष mokṣa). He formed the view of the world as being a restraining box made of earth as the bottom and sky as the top. That box, which created a feeling of separation and sadness also induced him to weep. He decided it had to be lifted. He made known that conviction to his mother asking her to release him from the confinement of "this box of earth and sky." To that she said, "I can't", he replied, "I'm going."
He had left home at the age of eight and joined an ashram for young yoga renunciates in the jungles of Kumaon, where he was initiated into Brahmacharya. At that young age he practiced and became proficient in Hatha Yoga, Shatkarma and Sansrit. "When I was about 14 years old... I visited different villages in Himalayan mountains." In that experience he encountered several Westerners who were learning yogic practices and remembered them as "true seekers". That shaped his attitude towards inclusive way of teaching yoga later on.
He was initiated with Sannyasa diksha at the age of 19 years, in 1942, into the Vairagi-Tyagi Vaishnava order of Ramanandi Sampradaya (followers of Saint Ramananda originated in the 1400s). His guru, Baba Raghubar Dassji Maharaj, a reclusive sadhu, a highly regarded renunciate and Sanskrit scholar, was known for minimal verbal communication and did not have a large disciple following. He met with his disciples only once in every two-three years to convey yoga sādhanā instructions to his advanced followers.
In 1952–1953, while living in a burial place called Ghati, Baba Hari Dass described staying in a cave in a cold wintertime. While sitting by the side of the fire he fainted and his left arm fell into that fire: "I saw Hariakhan Maharaj come into the room and bend over me…, I saw him clearly, removing my left arm from the fire pit... By some unknown power I was related to Hariakhan Maharaj."
Vow of silence and tapas
Silence is God's one and only voice – Herman Melville
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In 1952, Baba Hari Dass took a continual vow of silence called mauna (or maunavrata). In a similar tradition of Buddhist meditative method of Vipasana, silence is used "as the process of self-purification by introspection."
In 1964, Bhagavan Das (yogi) met Baba Hari Dass near a temple called Hanuman Girdi, in Nainital, and later wrote: "The sadhu was a muni, a yogi whose practice of austerity includes complete silence. For the previous twelve years, whenever he wanted to communicate, he would jot his thoughts succinctly on a small chalkboard." Similarly, in 1967, Ram Dass: "He is a jungle sadhu. He went into the jungle when he was 8 years old. He is silent (mauna). He has been mauna for 15 years. He writes with a chalkboard."
Even as continued silence would seem a radical but also inconvenient form of communication, several Western authors recognised the social value of silence. Among those were Jacques Derrida and Søren Kierkegaard. In their view, silence would function as a precursor for clearer and substantively deeper understanding. Michael Strawser (Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Central Florida), commenting on Jacques Derrida's view of Soren Kierkegaard's meaning of silence, wrote, "What is needed is Kierkegaard's call to silence in order to recognize one's responsibility to the other." Silence is also valued by Perkey Avot, in the Jewish Sages guide for living, and functions as "a safety fence for wisdom".
In yoga, mauna is maintained with the aim of achieving uninterrupted concentration (ekagrata, Sanskrit: एकाग्रता). Side effects of such practice would include constraining outgoing emotions of the mind, such as anger, excessive argumentativeness, etc. In Ashtanga Yoga, mauna would be part of a larger body of practices called tapas (Sanskrit: तपस्). Overall, mauna as practice of tapas would not be viewed as penance.
In the beginning of his practice he encountered obstacles, "For twelve years I faced much difficulties...for two or three years you have to fight with anger." Since merely not talking is not considered a yogic silence, keeping a quiet mind is, "The mind can't be stopped merely by keeping your mouth shut."
In 1983, David C. Fuess (a writer for Wall Street Journal), observed about Baba Hari Dass: "Babaji had not spoken for twenty-nine years and communicates by a means of a small chalk board." In 2008, Melissa Weaver, Santa Cruz Sentinel correspondent, wrote: "During classes, he sits in a wood-backed chair, his students... sit patiently while he writes his thoughts on a wipe-off board, which are then read aloud by a volunteer."
Karma yogi builder
Early on in his life Haridas Baba was influenced by the teachings of Bhagavad Gita, which consider karma yoga to be a selfless service, and the most straightforward pathway to progress in spiritual life. He learned temple masonry from a local brick-layer and used those skills in building temples, ashrams, statues of deities, and rock walls. In more than one of those projects he had a lead role. The Divine Reality, a publication by Sri Kainchi Hanuman Mandir & Ashram, stated: “Haridas Baba used to come to Kainchi from Hanumangarh to supervise the construction work of Kainchi Ashram.” In 1962, after Hanumangarh, and Kenchi (Kainchi) Ashram, he started to build an ashram at Kakharighat where Sombari Maharaj lived, which was later completed on a contract basis.
In the United States and Canada, he continued using his considerable design, planning and construction skills. In 1982, in the aftermath of destructive fire that burnt a recently constructed program building (Mount Madonna Center, Watsonville, CA), he considered that to be a new opportunity to start building a larger structure with more capacity. His example inspired many volunteers to help with those karma yoga efforts. In 1983, Yoga Journal writer, Virginia Lee, said "Baba Hari Dass swings his hammer alongside everyone else". The same publication added in 2002, in Karma Yoga Awards, Saving Young Lives, that Baba Hari Dass beginning with 1986 started donating proceeds from his books publishing to Sri Ram Foundation that was set up to help destitute children in India. From those funds, and other donations, Shri Ram Ashram was created near Haridwar, in India.
At the end of the 1930s several encounters with Western seekers in India started to shape his attitude towards possible yoga teaching choices in future. He became cognizant of the possibility of a larger learners' influx, which would create the need of preserving genuine yogic tradition that he grew with for deserving students. "When I was about 14 years old...I saw number of Westerners. Some had taken sannyasa..it was quite clear that they were true seekers" In India, yoga practices were tested for thousands of years and it became known how each method affects the body, mind and consciousness. By adopting a well-known method of Ashtanga Yoga of Patanjali, Yamas and Niyamas, as his core practice, he aimed to shorten the time required for mastering essential routines. Otherwise, if new experimentation is needed "when those methods are changed, they are again subject to testing."
Several of his early students were Europeans and followers of the back-to-basics philosophy who were travelling to India and were followed by beatniks, such as Allen Ginsburg and others. During one of the subsequent waves of interest in Indian spirituality and yoga, in the early 1960s, some newcomers to Nainital district were directed to Haridas Baba to receive instructions in hatha yoga, meditation and yogic life. "A young Englishman named Lawrie...was allowed to stay in the ashram, studying with Haridas Baba".
He had established a local following and was considered an adept teacher and a leader in several building and karma yoga construction projects. Dada Mukerjee (Sri Sudhir Mukerjee), recounting that wrote: "Haridas...was well-versed in pujas and rituals, as well as in pranayam and meditation, and an experienced practitioner of hatha yoga...Ram Dass stayed there in 1967 and Lawrie in 1964, among others."
Western confluence (1964–1971)
Bhagavan Das and Lucknow hospital episode
Several influential authors of the Beat Generation visited India in the early sixties. In 1962-3 Allen Ginsberg, Peter Orlovsky, and Gary Snyder) spread the word of spiritual practices. In 1964, Ron Zimardi (Ravi Dass), who knew Ginsberg and collaborated on poetry projects met Kermit Michael Riggs aka Bhagavan Das (yogi) in Greece and both travelled to India.
Bhagavan Das was introduced to Baba Hari Dass in Nainital, Hanuman Garhi (the Fortress of Hanuman, Google. "Hanuman Garhi, Nainital, Uttarakhand" (Map). Google Maps. Google.) Bhagavan Dass described that experience: “Hari Das was the real thing, a cave yogi”, and, “I showed Hari Dass Baba how I did these kriyas, and he helped me perfect my technique”.
In 1968, in meditation, Bhagavan Das, according to his own account, was able to recognise Baba Hari Dass was in danger, who was then under anaesthetic confinement for undisclosed medical reason in the hospital in Lucknow. Bhagavan Das drove from Nainital overnight and removed him from that life-threatening condition.[note 1] After few days Baba Hari Dass wrote, "You saved my life". Explaining that episode, Bhagavan Das interpreted the event with considerable hesitation, "being subjected to Western medical techniques was a death sentence?" He didn't offer Baba Hari Dass' own view of that medical treatment and left the reason why and by whom he was put in that condition unanswered.
Ram Dass – learning yoga
In 1966–1967 an ex-Harvard professor Richard Alpert (Ram Dass) travelled to India and was taken to Kainchi region by Bhagavan Dass. At that time Baba Hari Dass was already an accomplished yoga teacher and had a large following in the Nainital region. On his guru's (Neem Karoli Baba) recommendation, Ram Dass received teachings of Ashtanga Yoga: “Baba Hari Dass was my teacher. I was taught by this man with a chalkboard in the most terse way possible”.
Baba Hari Dass trained Ram Dass in Raja Yoga, asana, pranayama, and ahimsa (non-violence). In his later publications Ram Dass confirms the same, "Hari Dass Baba, who had been my sadhana tutor while I lived in Kainchi" (Be Love Now, 2010, p. 150; also). That training of 5 months was an introduction to Ashtanga Yoga practices and observances, which were later included in Be Here Now (book) and became a reference material for yoga learners in the 1970s. Some benefits of those learning experiences in India were long-lasting, "The aphasia has introduced silence into my conversation...I had training for this kind of thing when I was with Baba Hari Dass in India. I was mauna," or, "Silence brought me great energy of clarity. As Hari Dass wrote, 'Nothing is better than something.'"
Parting from Neem Karoli
In 1968, Haridas, "who was very active in building the Kainichi temples and purchasing materials for them" in Nainital, discontinued involvement with Neem Karoli, known also as Neem Karoli Baba, Neeb Karori, or by his householder name as Lakshmi Narayan Sharma. That association lasted since the mid 1950s when "Haridas with his band of enthusiastic and active associates, was managing the affairs of the temples and ashram in Hanumanghar".
Since his childhood Haridas Baba had accepted disciplined life as essential in spiritual progress. He became a monk and adopted silence as a way of seeking inner peace. For health reasons, and to eliminate digestive problems he had with his liver, he chose to drink a glass of milk once or twice a day instead of taking solid food. Since the early days of his association with Neem Karoli he encountered several obstacles in his observance of silence, or eating habits. During one Kumbha Mela, he was required by Neem Karoli to break those rules for the reason of following the house rules rather than his own ("What is this rule? For what purpose is it made?").
When he became a teacher in the 1950s, Baba Hari Dass sought conducive circumstances for his teaching environment to benefit learners; "He wanted to build a small community of his own devotees". Several disruptions and conflicts that occurred in Kainchi ashram where he was a resident, teacher and supervisor, were not well suited for that end. The Kainchi ashram became a difficult place with charged economic claims between local residents and newcomers who were seen as outsiders and who by displacing local members were not acknowledging their share of efforts in building and maintaining the ashram. Recognizing that context, Neem Karoli's devotee, (Sudhir) Dada Mukerjee wrote, "cases have caused much misunderstanding and hearth-burning among some, and have remained as enigmas for others."
Cases, which point to abuses, Mukerjee interpreted as needed for the grace of his guru to manifest, so that others, including "Bhabania and Haridas", could benefit from, and that "we can understand reasons for the hard treatment." In that context, the author does not explain how understanding reasons for the hard treatment would justify and absolve actions that had abusive outcomes.
Following those events, several Westerners already familiar with Baba Hari Dass teaching style, travelled to India, Haridwar, and convinced him to come to the US to continue his way of silent teaching.
An inquiry whether Baba Hari Dass was a disciple of Neem Karoli leads to a proposition that there was no relationship of guru-disciple in the classical sense of guru-shishya (or chela), although that relationship extended over several years and included selfless service (1954–1968) by Baba Hari Dass. There was no formal initiation (diksha), acceptance and continuation of the teachings (parampara), or continuation of the said association that would last (rinanu-bandha ). The content of what Baba Hari Dass taught in Ashtanga Yoga, Vedanta, Ayurveda or Samkhya to his students in India, in the US, or Canada, came from the sources prior to meeting Neem Karoli and from doing independent research of his own. Acknowledging that, while in the US, to a question "How many teachers did you have", Baba Hari Dass replied "Myself."
In 1969–1970, before the book Be Here Now of Ram Dass was published in the US in Oct 1971, Ruth Johnson-Horsting (Ma Renu) was a professor of Arts at the University of California in Davis. She "taught sculpture at Davis from 1959 into the 70s" and was contacted in 1970 by her students Bondana and Mahendra Mark Jurgermand, who were then searching for an advaced yoga teacher in India and found Baba Hari Dass in Haridwar. Another person who contacted him then was Paul C. Adams (Prem Das).
On that occasion the prospect of inviting Baba Hari Dass to the US was raised. "They stayed with me and asked me to go to the United States. I said I could go anywhere. I was ready to move to the higher mountains".[note 2]
In 1970, on the recommendation of her students, Baba Hari Dass was invited to the US, and Ma Renu sponsored his stay for the purpose of teaching yoga. Ma Renu described her first meeting Baba Hari Dass: “I felt there was no time to lose. I had already given my permission to sponsor his stay in America, but what had been intended as a short stay, turned into a 29 year darshan and blessing."[note 3]
That association over the years became a fruitful fulfilment of selfless service ideals when several organizational projects and service missions were formed in the US, Canada and India. In 1976, Baba Hari Dass directed her in forming Sri Rama Foundation to support Sri Ram Ashram for destitute children located in Shyampur, near Haridwar. Ma Renu edited several published writings of Baba Hari Dass.
Jerry Tabachnick (Anand Dass) became one of the first students who recognised the need to study yoga with a live master. He became a highly regarded disciple and commentator. In 1970, he travelled to India to study with Baba Hari Dass and to gain deeper understanding of yoga. He was also active in organising the Vancouver Satsang in Canada and became a Yoga Sutras commentator and teacher and co-authored Dharma Sara publications on yoga and yoga related subjects (1974–76).
Jeannine Parvati Baker and Prenatal Yoga
Baba Hari Dass agreed to mentor his pregnant student Jeannine Parvati through a course of prenatal Yoga. During that time she continued practising asanas and authored the first book in the Western world on the subject, Prenatal Yoga & Natural Childbirth, published in 1974.
After "Prenatal Yoga" gained in popularity, Baba Hari Dass expounded supporting practices to include prenatal asana, pranayama, meditation, Ayurveda, and mindfulness techniques for labour. Anatomy and physiology of pregnancy, common discomforts in pregnancy, and how to support mothers through every stage of pregnancy and postpartum were also included. The emphasis was given on common discomforts in pregnancy, and how to support mothers through stages of pregnancy and postpartum.
The impact of Be Here Now and Chota Maharaji
How the Swamis Came to the States, written by Richard Leviton, in Yoga Journal, Mar/Apr 1990, proposed a timeline of influential yoga teachers in the US. That overview covered 100 years (1890–1990) of multicultural developments in yoga influences with a focus in larger audience teaching. Among those, the beginning of yoga teaching of Baba Hari Dass in the US was seen as starting in 1971. Prior to that, "Baba Hari Dass's reputation preceded his arrival in America by about two years", confirming his teaching engagements going back to at least 1969 as well established in India. Earlier credible accounts also exist (Bhagavan Das and Ram Dass) that confirm in 1963–64 he was a teacher of already considerable skills engaged in teaching others.
In the beginning of 1971 Baba Hari Dass was teaching in the US when later the same year Be Here Now (book) (1st edition, Oct 1971) by Ram Dass was published by the Lama Foundation, in New Mexico. That book, viewed as further contribution to the public knowledge in the US and Canada about yoga and Baba Hari Dass as a master yogi, was re-edited after some preliminary copies were already printed. Richard Leviton uses the first edition of Be Here Now. He notes that Ram Dass called Baba Hari Dass "this incredible fellow" as one of his teachers. Ram Dass used several affirmative remarks about Baba Hari Dass, also known as Chota Maharaji in his native Nainital-Almora regioin, that he later removed from the first edition.[note 4]
In Be Love Now, published in 2010, explanation was given for the content removal in a dialogue between Ram Dass and his guru Neem Karoli that took place in 1971. "I had mixed up Hari Dass and Maharaji when I heard the story from Hari Dass." "The story", which is repeated with some editing in the latest autobiographical book Polishing the Mirror: How to Live from Your Spiritual Hearth was about who left his home at the age of eight. Several sources pointed out that Neem Karoli (Lakshmi Narayan Sharma) left his home at the age of 11–12 years old, "After the wedding, the groom left home and wandered the country". For Baba Hari Dass, leaving home took place at younger age when he was eight years old. With a sense of needed spiritual liberation and the discussion he had with his mother, "Take me out of this box of earth and sky," Baba Hari Dass left home and was not bound by the customary child marriage arrangement prevalent in India at that time or by the family's promise obligations that such marriage would impose.
Teaching to learn (1971 – present)
In the US, in early 1971, in Sea Ranch in Sonoma County, and in Santa Rosa, California, he started teaching core yoga practices which later became an aerobic hatha yoga regimen of Fitness Asanas aimed to increase physical endurance in support of meditation. Later, kirtan, mudras, fire ceremony (yajna), and satsang were introduced to complement a busy schedule. In 1972, as interest grew, several events were organised that included demonstrations of yoga asanas, shatkarma, and mudras (New Mexico, Florida, and California). He also travelled to Canada to establish Dharmasara community in Toronto, Salt Spring Centre of yoga, on Salt Spring Island BC, and Dharma Sara Satsang, in Vancouver, BC.
His experiences in management of Kainchi and Hanumanghar ashrams in India took a new form when Hanuman Fellowship was created in 1974 in Santa Cruz, California. He advised his followers to write letters to their friends, associates, etc., to find a large, open space, in out-of-city surroundings. After a long search, one response came from a ranger who managed a large property in the Santa Cruz Mountains that would be sold on the condition the new buyers would preserve its natural state. That led to the establishment in 1978 of Mount Madonna Center for Creative Arts in Watsonville. The vast space of the mountainous terrain was well suited for physical work with many volunteers working as karma yogis.
In February 1982, the main program building was already finished, when a candle light from a puja-table started a fire that burnt that building down. In the summer of the same year, "the response to the disaster was overwhelming", and a new plan was implemented to build a larger program building that could host multi-user activities. Baba Hari Dass developed a three-tier yoga teaching schedule for beginners, intermediate and advanced practitioners. Regular classes in Yoga Sutras, Bhagavad Gita, Satsangs events, Ramayana play, martial arts, sport activities and retreats provided further background in learning.
Baba Hari Dass emphasised physical work and volunteer karma yoga services. The aim of such approach was that social contact and interaction while working together would translate into other areas and would support coherent functioning of the multi-purpose facility "where a spiritual aspirant could come to learn yoga and find peace." Around those ideas similar projects were created at Salt Spring Centre of yoga (1974) in Canada, in Vancouver, BC, and in Pacific Cultural Center in Santa Cruz, California (1989).
– I teach to learn --
US temples, and religious symbols
Emphasis on bhakti yoga derived from the teachings of Bhagavad Gita and Ramayana inspired several of his students to travel to India in 2001 in search of a Hanuman murti. When that statue arrived, Baba Hari Dass wrote "It needs a Temple." He walked to the ceremonial site and marked out a location for the Temple with his foot. The Prana pratishta ceremony, "establishing the breath" within the sacred image, was performed in 2003. Sankat Mochan Hanuman, Ganesh temples, Nandi-Shiva lingam water cascade, and several statues of deities were built at the Mount Madonna Center site. Conceived as an alternative bhakti yoga tract, the site serves local residents and can accommodate visitors from the wider community of the San Francisco Bay Area in daily visits.
Human Psychology contribution
In the West Transpersonal psychology became a rich and productive field in psychology, anthropology and psychiatry. Practices and theories of yoga added to that impact while researchers focused on energies of the subtle body that in yoga terms relate to SukShma sharira. Several authors credited Baba Hari Dass for his contributions and adept views. Steven Simon Bentheim PhD commenting on "spiritual" marriages that were made and fell apart despite the blessings of the guru, wrote: “Baba Hari Dass soon realised that the ideal of abstinence as a tool for spiritual development- whether it be dietary or sexual was a problem in the West.“
Bonnie Greenwell, while working on her PhD in Transpersonal Psychology (Energies Transformation – A Guide to the Kundalini Process) was allowed to study "the unpublished manuscripts of the Jnana yoga teacher Baba Hari Dass" (p. xi).
Stuart Sovatsky PhD, commenting on Ken Wilber, Ram Dass and others whose work focused on "[solo] spiritual heroes" unwittingly garbled into Western lives the specialised family-less "the sadhu trip", wrote that Baba Hari Dass warned all Western seekers not to mix up Western life style and stringent sadhu requirements. Commenting on that he wrote, "For Westerners Brahmacharya is almost impossible because association between sexes is so free. Don't mix the sadhu trip in this thing"(Silence Speaks, p. 107).
Baba Hari Dass was one of the early proponents who helped bring Ayurveda to the US in the early 1970s, an ancient Indian system of health and healing. He taught combined classes in Ashtanga Yoga, Samkhya and Ayurveda as "sister sciences". As interest grew, the three-dosha theory, pulse detection, and ayurvedic medicum derived from the classic scriptures of the Sushruta Samhita and the Charaka Saṃhitā, were introduced that led to the establishment of the Mount Madonna Institute, College of Ayurveda, Ayurveda World, and Ayurvedic pharmacy. He invited several notable Ayurvedic teachers, Dr. Vasant Lad, Sarita Shrestha, M.D., Professor Ram Harsh Singh, Ph.D, and others. Michael Tierra, Ayurvedic medicine practitioner, wrote: "The history of Ayurveda in North America will always owe a debt to the selfless contributions of Baba Hari Dass" (The way of Ayurvedic Herbs, Lotus Press, 2008, p. XIV).
Yoga Teachers Training
Following the tradition of non-sectarian teachings of Ashtanga Yoga, with the roots in practical Hatha yoga and the metaphysics of Samkhya, Baba Hari Dass inspired and supervised several programs with focus in training future yoga instructors. He first started teaching yoga in India as per existing accounts by Bhagavan Das in 1964, and by Ram Dass in 1965–66. By some other accounts, his teaching engagements occurred already in 1958 when he trained several former students of the known mystic George Gurdjieff (1866–1949).
In the US and Canada, beginning in the mid 1970s, he created comprehensive teaching programs combining the eight limbs of Ashtanga Yoga of Patanjali. Those were grounded in the scriptural tradition of Hatha yoga system in the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Siva Samhita, and Gherand Samita, Yoga Vashishta. With the emphasis on strength and flexibility he developed Fitness Asanas to increase physical endurance. Pranayama, a stable control and expansion of energy, was given prominence in focused support of meditation. Kirtan, mudras, the theory of gunas of Samkhya and the subtle body, or SukShma sharira of Tantra were also included. Regular and persistent practice (sadhana and Abhyasa) augmented scriptural references and emphasised experience through regular routine.
In addition to core practices of Ashtanga Yoga, several less mainstream teachings are given during the formative stages of Yoga Teacher Training at Mount Madonna Center, Watsonville, CA. For example, Tantric Bhairavī Chakra Sadhana and The Vairagī Ritual is a circular yoga sādhana performed with an equal number of men and women that employs yantras to invoke the various forms of Devi, or Durga as the supreme Being in the Shaktism tradition. Practices such as Shut Chakra Bedhana (piercing the chakras) and Yoni Mudra Japa are included. That sadhana used as the Vairāgī Vaiṣṇavas practice does not have a sexual component.
Over years, moderation, inclusiveness, and emphasis on regular practice of his yoga teachings led to the creation of a wider scope of yoga programs and retreats that are followed in several centres, in Mount Madonna Center in Watsonville, in Pacific Cultural Center in Santa Cruz; Salt Spring Centre of yoga, on Salt Spring Island BC., and in Dharma Sara Satsang, in Vancouver, BC., Canada.
Sri Ram Ashram
Baba Hari Dass in his travels through India encountered many abandoned children who were in need of home and a caring place. As a young boy Baba Hari Dass witnessed the mistreatment of children at an orphanage he visited with his friend. Prompted by that experience and using the proceeds from his yoga books and generous donations, "he established a loving home for children in need". One of his students, Ma Renu, inspired by the teachings of selfless service (karma yoga) travelled to India to launch in 1984 Sri Ram Ashram, a children’s home, school, and medical clinic in rural location of the northern state of Uttaranchal.
The Ashram, now located near Haridwar (Shyampur village) was established in 1987. From its inception, the focus became to support orphaned and destitute children. Some children find their way to Sri Ram Ashram by being brought and left at the entrance gate, or by being found abandoned in streets of towns, or rural places. After medical evaluation those children are brought into the new surroundings with care and loving attention. In 1987, Sri Ram Vidya Mandir became a nationally accredited school, which educates children, Nursery through 12th grade standard, from both the orphanage and nearby villages.
Attainment of higher states of concentration according to Ashtanga Yoga (classical yoga of Patanjali) is rooted in development of the physical body (Hatha Yoga). "The body is a boat which carries the soul in the ocean of the world. If it is not strong, or if has a hole, then it can't cross the ocean. So the first duty is to fix the boat." With the physical body gaining in strength and guided by a disciplined life, an adept can receive more refined instructions and teachings, called sadhana. Regular sadhana, according to Baba Hari Dass, is a key element of practice of yoga, and no matter what method is adopted sadhana becomes an anchor that can always be relied on.
Baba Hari Dass, himself a monk all his life, considered people who are married as also capable of leading yogic life. Due to their daily care for children, a regular sadhana would take a form of Grihasta Yoga (householder yoga), "It is a union of two people in which they sacrifice their personal desires to become one."
Yoga Sutras, tradition of Dattatreya and Patanjali
Several authors hold that Dattatreya ("Datta son of Atri", also known as Datta Guru), to whom Advahuta-Gita is ascribed (the fourth century C.E.), was the first who originated tradition of Ashtanga Yoga (astha-anga-yoga), or Rāja yoga (eight-fold path of Yoga). Dattatreya is also credited with the authorship of Jivan-Mukti-Gita ("Song of Lving Liberation") that extoles the adept who is liberated while still in the body, as well as Tripura-Rahasya ("Tripura's Secret Teching").
Patanjali, Kapila (Samkhya philosophy), and others, codified knowledge and practices of yoga in the Yoga Sutras form in four volumes. Yoga most likely developed around the sixth and fifth centuries BCE, in the same ascetic circles as the early sramana movements.[note 5] Several Upanishads (Ranade, R. D., dating from the 1200 – 600 BC), have particular relevance to the teachings of yoga (Katha, Prasna, Mundaka, Chandogya, Brihadaranyaka, or Shvetasvtara). Those writings predate Buddhist tradition of more formal yoga-practices described in the Buddhist Nikayas.
Following those varied sources, Baba Hari Dass, composed his own in-depth commentary that elucidates theoretical concepts with many years of experience-and knowledge of practices of yoga. In his weekly Yoga Sutras classes (1975–2010) that started at the University of California, at Santa Cruz, CA, Yoga Bhashya attributed to Veda Vyasa (probably the fifth C.E.); Īśvarakrishna's Samkhyakarika (4th or 5th century CE); Vācaspati Miśra's Tattvavaiśāradī (the ninth century C.E.); Yogavartika of Vijnanabhiksu (the sixteenth century C.E.); Swami Hariharananda Aranya's (1869–1947) Yoga Philosophy of Patanjali, and Pandit Usharbudh Arya's (1986) commentaries were also referenced.
According to Baba Hari Dass, "Yogah means samadhi, or the state that occurs when mental modifications are controlled by persistent practice and dispassion." Patanjali's Yoga Sutras define the meaning of yoga as "Control of thought waves in the mind" (I:2), or as nirodha (mental control), "by which union (the goal of yoga) is achieved." Nirodha is the process, while resultant niruddha is the state of perfection. The path that assumes dualistic individuality becomes the nondual state "characterized by the absence of individuality." In that sense, the goal of yoga can be described "as eternal peace, pure love, Self-realization, or liberation", or as "a prescription for liberation from the cycle of suffering."
Samadhi Pada (vol I), is an exposition of upaya, the primary means of yoga, together with the more advanced subject of the efficiency of practice abhyasa and dispassion (vairagya). Sadhana Pada (vol II) presents practical methods for the yogis who are aspiring to higher states of concentration and need to remove mental distractions (viksipta). Those practical methods constitute Kriya Yoga and make the mind ready for one-pointed concentration (ekagra-dhyana), which results in the steadiness of concentration, or samahita chitta. In Vibhuti Pada (vol III), pratyahara is further developed into concentration (dharana), meditation (dhyana), and into the state of absorption samadhi. Those states, when mastered in succession are the foundation of samyama; "samyama is perfect control of mental concentration" (p. 7); and "The samyama is not complete unless there is a fusion of these three processes of concentration"; it should also be noted that the perfection of samyama constitutes "three internal limbs of concentration". Furthermore, Baba Hari Dass elucidates different aspects of samadhi and samyama and their resulting achievements in relation to viveka khyati, or discriminating faculty. Vol IV, Kaivalya Pada; the commentary to the last volume of Patanjali's Yoga Sutra is in editing stages.
Ramayana, Bhagavat Gita, and other writings
Among several Versions of Ramayana, a colourful musical stage performance by students trained by Baba Hari Dass, is the largest yearly, Western version of the epic being performed on stage. Ramayana in India is a stage performances throughout villages and towns. Young actors and participants assume different roles each year thus being able to play several characters over years. In the United States, Baba Hari Dass trained students of Mount Madonna School in Watsonville, California, to continue that tradition in annual musical performance in June; "The play has grown to be the widely anticipated annual school event of the year in which the entire school participates". He has taught acting arts, costume design, mask making and choreography to bring alive the characters of Sri Ram, Sita, Hanuman, Lakshmana, Shiva and Parvati, Vibhishan, Jatayu, Sugriva, Surpanakha, Ravana and his rakshasa court, Meghnaad, Kumbhakarna, and the army of monkeys and demons.
Bhagavat Gita – a commentary to Chapters 1–6 (Vol I, pub. 2013); the Bhagavad Gita uses a metaphor of a battle to convey the meaning of the inner struggle to attain knowledge of human condition. The struggle is between positive and negative tendencies. In this volume meaning of the three main types of yoga are articulated: Karma Yoga, Jnana Yoga, and Bhakti Yoga. The emphasis is given to the view that "action is superior to inaction" (p. 300). "Actions that are performed without self-interest and for the good of all are called sacrifice (yajna)"(p. 302), and those actions will not cause any bondage.
Samkhya Karika and Vedanta: A commentary to Ishvara Krishna’s (Samkhyakarika) exposition of Samkhya principles of 24 tattva system that culminates in full recognition of the Self, recognition which brings about the separation of Purusha, conscious principle from Prakriti, unconscious material principle; in editing stages. In a commentary to Vedantic classic schools, the commentary includes discussion of several Vedantic schools: Advaita Vedanta, Vishishtadvaita, and Dvaita (in editing stages).
Commentaries and literary works
- The Yellow Book: The Sayings of Baba Hari Dass, 1973, Lama Foundation; First Edition; ASIN B001U2T24W
- Hariakhan Baba: Known, Unknown, 1975, Sri Rama Foundation, (ISBN 0-918100-00-3)
- The Magic Gem – A Story Coloring Book; 1976, Sri Rama Foundation; (Library of Congress 76-10032)
- Silence Speaks: Aphorisms From the Chalkboard of Baba Hari Dass, Sri Rama Foundation, 1977, (ISBN 0-918100-19-4)
- Ashtanga Yoga Primer, Illustrated Practical Guide, Sri Rama Publishing, 1977, (ISBN 0-918100-04-6)
- A Child's Garden of Yoga, Sri Rama Publishing, 1980, (ISBN 0-918100-02-X)
- Sweeper to Saint: Stories of Holy India, A Collection of short stories; Sri Rama Publishing, July 1980, (ISBN 0-918100-03-8)
- Cat and Sparrow, Sri Rama Foundation, 1982, Santa Cruz, CA; (ISBN 0-918100-06-2)
- Mystic Monkey, Sri Rama Publishing, Sri Rama Publishing,1984, (ISBN 0-918100-05-4)
- Fire Without Fuel: The Aphorisms of Baba Hari Dass, Sri Rama Publishing, 1986, (ISBN 0-918100-08-9)
- Essays on the Search for Peace in Daily Life, 1. Binding Thoughts & Liberation, Sri Rama Publishing, 1992, (ISBN 0-918100-14-3)
- Essays on the Search for Peace in Daily Life, 2. Mind is Our World, Sri Rama Publishing, 1992, (ISBN 0-918100-14-3)
- Essays on the Search for Peace in Daily Life, 3. Selfless Service, The Spirit of Karma Yoga, Sri Rama Publishing, 1995, (ISBN 0-918100-17-8)
- Vinaya Chalisa: Forty Prayers, Sri Rama Publishing, 1994, (ISBN978-091810-01-6)
- The Path to Enlightenment is Not a Highway, Sri Rama Publishing, 1996, (ISBN 0-918100-15-1)
- The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali: A Study Guide and Commentary for Book I Samadhi Pada, Sri Rama Publishing, 1999, (ISBN 0-918100-20-8)
- Surya Namaskara, The Sun Salutation Series, Ashtanga Yoga Fitness Asana Series, vol. 1, Sri Rama Publishing, 2000, (ISBN 0-918100-22-4)
- Everyday Peace: Letters for Life, Sri Rama Publishing, 2000, (ISBN 0-918100-21-6)
- The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali: A Study Guide and Commentary for Book II Sadhana Pada, Sri Rama Publishing, 2008, (ISBN 978-0-918100-23-8)
- Kshama Prarthana Pranam, Frigiveness Asana Sries, Sri Rama Publishing, 1 June 2008
- Pigeon Throne, 2010, Sri Rama Publishing, (ISBN 978-0918100269)
- Bronze Buddha, A Collection of three short stories, 2011, Sri Rama Publishing, (ISBN 978-0-918100-27-6)
- Srimad Bhagavad Gita: Chapters I-VI, A Study Guide and Commentary, Sri Rama Publishing, 2013, (ISBN 978-0918100283)
- The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali: A Study Guide and Commentary for Book III Vibhuti Pada, Sri Rama Publishing, 2013, (ISBN 978-0-918100-24-5)
- Srimad Bhagavad Gita: Chapters VII-XII, A Study Guide and Commentary, Sri Rama Publishing, 2014, (ISBN 978-0-918100-30-6)
- It's Here Now (Are You?): A Spiritual Memoir; Broadway Books, Ney York, 1997, 1st ed; ISBN 0-7679-00081; Ch 20, p.170: "I climbed through the window. I pulled the tubes out of his limbs, picked him up like a baby and walked out of the house. I laid him in the passenger seat of the Land Rover and drove back to Naini Tal..."
- See review of this subject in: http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/ci_9875268; by Melissa Weaver – Sentinel correspondent; POSTED: 14 July 2008: "Silent yogi has led Mount Madonna community tucked in the Santa Cruz Mountains for more than 30 years.. Hari Dass moved to the U.S. from India in 1971 after meeting Mark Jungerman and his wife, who had been traveling through Haridwar, India"; 'They stayed with me and asked me to go to the United States," Hari Dass said. 'I said I could go anywhere. I was ready to move to the higher mountains.'
- Ma Renu's motivation in inviting Baba Hari Dass into US came from personal quest of seeking deeper knowledge about life and the meaning of suffering at the time after her elder son had been killed. Trying to find solace in philosophy books by various authors left her concluding, "I basically got nowhere, none of the books said anything to me"; http://sriramfoundation.org/index.php/sri-rama-foundation/ma-renu-horsting
- http://beherenow.dc7.us/hisstory01.htm#ASHTANGA YOGA; BE HERE NOW by Ram Dass, First published in 1971, ASHTANGA YOGA: “Hari Dass Baba – this little 90 pound fellow – architecturally designed all of the temples and schools, supervised all the buildings and grounds, had many followers of his own, slept two hours a night. His food intake for the last 15 years had been 2 glasses of milk a day. That's it. His feces are like two small marbles each day. His arms are about this big around, tiny, but when the workmen can't lift a particularly heavy rock, they call for 'Chota Maharaji' – the little great king. As in a comic strip, he goes over and lifts the rock, just with one-pointedness of mind. He had met Maharaji in the jungle 15 years before, and he had become a disciple of Maharaji.”
- Buddhists, Jainas and Ajivikas
- Talks With Babaji: http://hanumanfellowship.org/index.php?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=54
- Everyday Peace Letters for Life, Baba Hari Dass; Sri Rama Publishing, 2000, ISBN 0-918100-21-6; p.21
- The Path to Enlightenment is not A Highway, Baba Hari Dass; Sri Rama Publishing, 1993, p.232, ISBN 0-918100-15-1
- Feuerstein, Georg (2008). Yoga Tradition. Prescott, Arizona: Hohm Press. p. 28. ISBN 978-1-890772-18-5.
- What is Ashtanga Yoga, The Eight Limbs: Yamas and Niyamas; http://pacificcultural.org/yiteachings.html Pacific Cultural Center, Santa Cruz, CA
- Leviton, Richard (Mar–Apr 1990). "How the Swamis Came to the States. Yoga in America – the first 100 Years". Yoga Journal. Retrieved 7 July 2014.
- "Baba Hari Dass". Mount Madonna Center. Hanuman Fellowship. 2001. Retrieved 10 July 2014.
- Jones, Constance; Ryan, James D. (2006). "Encyclopedia of Hinduism – Baba Hari Dass". Encyclopedia of Hinduism (Infobase Publishing). Retrieved 10 July 2014.
- "Yoga Teacher Training 200, 300-hour, and Prenatal Program". Yoga Teacher Training 200-hour Program. Mount Madonna Center, Watsonville, CA. 11 May 2014. Retrieved 11 July 2014.
- Tierra, Michael; Purkh Singh Khalsa, Karta (2008). The way of Ayurvedic Herbs: A Contemporary Introduction and Useful Manual for the World's Oldest Healing System. Twin Lakes, WI: Lotus Press. pp. X. ISBN 978-0-9409-8598-8.
- David C. Fuess; Ramayana – Self Service; The Wall Street Journal, October 1983; page iB
- Constance A., Jones; Ryan, James D. (2007). Baba Hari Dass; Encyclopedia of Hinduism. Encyclopedia of Hinduism (New York: Infobase Publishing). Retrieved 10 July 2014.
- YOGA "Be Here Now". Be Here Now. 1971. Retrieved 19 July 2014.
- Mukerjee, Dada (2001) . The Near and The Dear. Santa Fe, NM: Hanuman Fundatiion. p. 221. ISBN 978-1-887474-02-3.
- Mukerjee, Dada (2001) . By His Grace. Santa Fe, New Mexico: Hanuman Foundation. p. 61. ISBN 0-9628878-7-0.
- Leviton, Richard (Mar–Apr 1990). How the Swamis Came to the States. Yoga in America – the first 100 Years. Yoga Journal (Yoga Journal). Retrieved 13 July 2014.
- Aggarwal,, J. C.; Agrawal, S. P. (1 January 1995). Uttarakhand: Past, Present, and Future. Uttar Khand Region (India): Concept Publishing Company. pp. 163... ISBN 978-8170225720.
- Hari Dass, Baba (February 1975). Hariakhan Baba, Known, Unknown (1st ed.). Davis, CA: Sri Rama Foundation Inc. p. 78. ISBN 978-0918100009.
- Baba Hari Dass Hariakhan Baba: Known, Unknown, 1975, p. 78.
- Be Love Now: The Path of the Heart; by Ram Dass and Rameshwar Das; 2010, HarperCollins Publishers, New York; ISBN 978-0-06-196138-0; p. 284-290.
- White, Jonathan, ed. (1994). Talking on the water: conversations about nature and creativity. San Francisco: Sierra Club Books. ISBN 0871565153.
- Baba Hari Dass, The Yellow Book: The Sayings of Baba Hari Dass, 1973, The Lama Foundation; ASIN: B001U2T24W
- The Babaji Interview; By Devyn (Mount Madonna School); http://newsasaurus.newscenter.com/articles/09April/09AprilBabaji.html
- Baba Hari Dass; Encyclopedia of Hinduism; Constance A. Jones and James D. Ryan; Infobase Publishing, New York; 2007; ISBN 978-0-8160-5458-9
- Baba Hari Dass, The Yellow Book: The Sayings of Baba Hari Dass, Lama Foundation; 1st ed. 1973; ASIN: B001U2T24W
- Dass, Ram. "Be Here Now". Retrieved 2 September 2014.
- Bodian, Stephan (March 1985). 10th Anniversary Issue. Yoga Journal (Active Interest Media, Inc.). Retrieved 14 July 2014.
- Crovetto, Helen (2006). "Baba Hari Dass and the Vairagi Vaishnava Leneage". Bhairavi Chakra: Goddess Mandalas/Rituals in Contemporary Tantra’s Nondualism. Academia.edu. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
- "In 1942 he took initiation as a monk in the Vairagi Tyagi Vaishnavite order"; Encyclopedia of Hinduism; Constance A. Jones and James D. Ryan; Baba Hari Dass; Infobase Publishing, New York; 2007; ISBN 978-0-8160-5458-9
- Baba Hari Dass, Hariakhan Baba: Known, Unknown, Sri Rama Foundation, 1975, p. 76-79 ISBN 0-918100-00-3
- Jones, Constance A.; Ryan, James D (2007). Encyclopedia of Hinduism. New York: Infobase Publishing. pp. "Baba Hari Dass".
- Goenka, S.N. (2014). "Vipassana Meditation". Vipassana Meditation. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
- Bhagavan Das, It's Here Now (Are You?), Broadway Books, New York, 1997
- http://beherenow.dc7.us/hisstory01.htm#ASHTANGA YOGA; BE HERE NOW, by Ram Dass, First published in 1971
- Michael Strawser, Gifts of Silence from Kierkegaard and Derrida, Penn State University Press, Vol. 89, No. 1/2, Spring/Summer 2006; Soundings: An Interdisciplinary Journal; ISSN: 00381861; http://www.jstor.org/stable/i40052851
- Britain Yearly Meeting, "Quaker Faith and Practice". Britain, London: The Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). 2005. pp. sections 2.01, 2.12–17 etc. ISBN 0-85245-374-4.
- "Tapas is not a penance, it's a mental training to develop will power" – Baba Hari Dass; On Ashtanga Yoga, Silence Speaks, p.153, Sri Rama Foundation Inc, 1977
- Dass, Baba Hari (1973). The Yellow Book: The Sayings of Baba Hari Dass. Santa Fe, NM: The Lama Foundation. ASIN B001U2T24W.
- David C. Fuess, Ramayana – Selfless Service, Wall Street Journal, October 1983, page iB
- Silent yogi has led Mount Madonna community tucked in the Santa Cruz Mountains for more than 30 years, Melissa Weaver – (Santa Cruz) Sentinel correspondent, 14 July 2008; http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/ci_9875268
- The Divine Reality of Sri Baba Neeb Karori Ji Maharaj (A Translation of Alokik Yathartha), A Case of Typhoid; 1 January 2005, by Sri Kainchi Hanuman Mandir & Ashram; 2nd ed., ISBN 978-8190310505
- Baba Hari Dass, Hariakhan Baba: Known, Unknown, Sri Rama Foundation, 1975, p. 78-79, ISBN 0-918100-00-3
- The Silent Master of Mount Madonna Center; Yoga Journal, May/June 1983; by Virginia Lee; p. 18-20; http://books.google.com/books?id=--sDAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA20&dq=baba+hari+dass&hl=en&sa= X&ei=28GwU-b1HMKpyASzmoHgAg&ved=0CCwQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q= baba%20hari%20dass&f=false
- Catalfo, Phil (2002). Karma Yoga Awards. Yoga Journal (Yoga Journal). pp. 82–83. Retrieved 7 July 2014.
- Bodian, Stephan (March 1985). "10th Anniversary Retrospective". Yoga Journal. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
- Mukerjee, Dada (1990). By His Grace – Stories About Neem Karoli Baba. Hanuman Foundation. pp. 60–61. ISBN 0-9628878-7-0.
- Dada Mukerjee, Umadatta Shukla 1 Chapter, Hanuman Foundation, 1 May 2000; ISBN 978-1887474023; http://maharajji.com/Near-and-the-Dear/umadutta-shukla-1-chapter.html
- Ginsberg, Allen (1970 – Biography & Autobiography). Indian Journals. Indian Journals (Grove Press). Retrieved 29 July 2014. Check date values in:
- Dass, Ravi (10 July 2010). The Sacred Wanderer. Sacred Wanderer Productions. pp. 48–50. ISBN 0615344887.
- It’s Here Now (Are You?): A Spiritual Memoir; Broadway Books, Ney York, 1997, 1st ed; ISBN 0-7679-00081; Ch 6, p.43-44
- Das, Bhagavn (1997). It's Here Now – (Are You?). New York: Broadway Books. p. 170. ISBN 0-7679-0008-1.
- Ram Dass Biography, "...Hari Dass Baba, who taught in silence using only a chalkboard. For a time, Alpert was in correspondence with Meher Baba however he remained focused on the teaching of Hari Dass Baba..."; http://www.rottentomatoes.com/celebrity/ram_dass/biography/
- Dass, Ram (2000). Still Here – Embracing Aging, Changing, and Dying. New York: Riverhead :Books. p. 191. ISBN 1-57322-871-0.
- Dass, Ram (1990). Journey of Awaking: A Meditation's Guidebook. Random House Publishing Group. p. 112. ASIN B006L7R2EI. ISBN 9780553285727.
- Mukerjee, Dada (1996). The Near and The Dear. Santa Fe, New Mexico: Hanuman Foundation Publishing. pp. 221–222. ISBN 978-1-887474-02-3.
- Jones, Constance; Ryan, James D. (2006). Encyclopedia of Hinduism. Encyclopedia of Hinduism (Infobase Publishing). pp. Baba Hari Dass. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
- Mukerjee, Dada Sudhir (2012). The Near and The Dear. Santa Fe, NM: Lama Foundation. pp. 267–8. ISBN 978-1-887474-02-3.
- Dada Sudhir, Mukerjee (2001) . By His Grace, A Devotee's Story. Santa Fe, NM: Hanuman Foundation. pp. 121–122. ISBN 0-9628878-7-0.
- Mukerjee, Dada Sudhir (2012) . The Near and The Dear. Santa Fe, NM: Hanuman Foundation. p. 80. ISBN 978-1-887474-02-3.
- "Guru-Param-Para (Lineage of the Guru Order)". The Sanskrit Classics, publisher. The Sanskrit Classics, publisher. December 2013. Retrieved 20 July 2014.
- Nenmeli -K, Dr Srinivasan. "Guru – Disciple [Sishya] relationship". Guru-Sishya. scribd.com. Retrieved 21 July 2014.
- Dass, Baba Hari (1973). The Yellow Book: The Sayings of Baba Hari Dass. Santa Fe, NM: The Lama Foundation. pp. end. ASIN B001U2T24W.
- "Ruth Johnson HORSTING (1919–2000) (obit.)". CAYOLO-L Archives. Ancestry.com. 7 July 2002. Retrieved 12 July 2014.
- Whittaker, Richard (11 February 2014). "A Conversation with Archana Horsting: An Artist's Journey". Interviews and Articles. conversations.org. Retrieved 12 July 2014.
- Adams, Paul C. (2012). "Biography". Luminous Places.com. Luminous Photo Galleries. Retrieved 4 August 2014.
- Dass, Anand (1976). Between Pleasure and Pain (1st ed.). Sumas, WA: Dharma Sara Publications. p. intro. ISBN 0-88765-000-7.
- "Practicing Yoga during pregnancy is one way to heal the split between soul and spirit found in our culture", p. XII, Jeannine Parvati Baker, North Atlantic Books, ASIN: B002XB5XQK, 1986
- Leviton, Richard (Mar–Apr 1990). How the Swamis Came to the States. Yoga in America – the first 100 Years, How the Swamis Came to the States (Yoga Journal). Retrieved 7 July 2014.
- Dass, Ram; Das, Rameshwar (2010). The path of the hearth, Be Love Now. HarperCollins: Love Serve Remember Foundation. p. 150. ISBN 978-0-06-196138-0.
- Das, Ram; Das, Rameshwar (2014). Polishing the Mirror: How to live from Your Spiritual Hearth. Boulder, Colorado: Sounds True. p. 47. ISBN 978-1622033805.
- Ryan, A. Jones; Ryan, James D. Ryan (2007). "Neem Karoli Baba". Encyclopedia of Hinduism. Academic, 2000–2013. Retrieved 23 July 2014.
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- The Hanuman Fellowship is a non-profit organization founded by the students of Baba Hari Dass in 1971; http://hanumanfellowship.org/)
- A Conference, Retreat and Yoga Center in the Heart of California; http://mountmadonna.org/
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- "Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple". Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple. Hanuman Fellowship. 2008. Retrieved 24 July 2014.
- The Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple and Ganesha Temples are located within the grounds of the Mount Madonna Center for the Creative Arts and Sciences, established in 1978 by the students of Baba Hari Dass;
- Bentheim, Steven Simon (2005). "Couple Congruence and Spirituality: Expanding Satir's Model Through" (PDF). Couple Congruence and Spirituality: Expanding Satir's Model Through. University of Victoria. Retrieved 7 July 2014.
- Greenwell, Bonnie (2002). Energies of Transformation – A Guide to Kundalini Process. Energies of Transformation – A Guide to Kundalini Process (Motilal Banarsidas, Delhi). Retrieved 7 July 2014.
- Sovatsky, Stuart (1987). "Euro-Hinduism in America: From Vivekananda to Deepak Chopra". Merlian News. MerlianNews.com and PS-Magazine.com. Retrieved 7 July 2014.
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- Karta Purkh Singh Khalsa and Michael Tierra: “Independently, we both first learned Ayurvedic medicine from our respective spiritual mentors – myself with Baba Hari Dass and K.P., with Yogi Bhajan.“ (p.X); The way of Ayurvedic Herbs, Lotus Press, 2008, ISBN 978-0-9409-8598-8
- Bhagavan Das, It's Here Now, p. 44
- Ram Dass, Be Love Now, p.138
- Crovetto, Helen (2013). Bhairavī Cakra: Goddess Mandalas/Rituals in Contemporary Tantra’s Nondualism. academia.edu. pp. Intro.
- "Jewel in the Jungle", DVD edition; Sri Ram Ashram Documentary by Rashmi Cole; Oceanview Bookstore, CA; 2005.
- Sri Ram Orphanage, founded in 1984; located in Uttaranchal, near the town of Haridwar; http://sriramfoundation.org/index.php/sri-ram-ashram
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- Feuerstein, p.23
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- Ranade, R. D. (1926), A constructive survey of Upanishadic philosophy, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan
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- Dass, Baba Hari (1999). Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Vol I. Santa Cruz, CA: Sri Rama Publishing. p. 5. ISBN 0-918100-20-8.
- Baba Hari Dass, Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Vol I, 1999; p. 2
- "Ramayana! – 36th Annual Ramayana!". Mount Madonna School. Hanuman Fellowship. June 2014. Retrieved 10 August 2014.
- Sethuraman, Vidya. "Ramayana – A must see show in Bay Area". India Post. Retrieved 29 August 2014.
- Jha, Ritu. "California school celebrates Ramayan for 33 years". Rediff.com. Rediff News. Retrieved 28 August 2014.
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