Bhagavan Das (yogi)
Bhagavan Das (Devanagari: भगवान दास) (born Kermit Michael Riggs in Laguna Beach, California on May 17, 1945) and also known by the name Anagorika Dharma Sara within the Buddhist community, is a Western yogi who lived for six years in India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. He is a singer and teacher.
Bhagavan Das is a bhakti yogi, a shakta tantra adept, and teacher of Nada Yoga. As a young man he was one of the first Western initiates/devotees of the late Hindu holy man Neem Karoli Baba, as well as the first American to meet Kalu Rinpoche of the Shangpa Kargyupas lineage. He has received Vajra Yogini initiation from His Holiness the Sixteenth Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe Dorje of the Karma Kagyu lineage and Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, the 11th Trungpa Tulku. During the almost seven years he spent as a wandering ascetic in India, Nepal and Sri Lanka he received numerous initiations and teachings from living saints and sages including A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Swami Chaitanya Prakashananda Tirtha, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Sri Anandamoyi Ma, and Tarthang Tulku of the Dudjom Rinpoche lineage.
In 1972 in California he married his pregnant girlfriend, Bhavani; subsequently their daughter, Soma, was born in New York. In 1974 in Berkeley, California, he met Usha, who eventually became his common-law wife and bore him a son, Mikyo, and a daughter, Lalita.
Bhagavan Das is perhaps most widely known for having guided spiritual teacher Ram Dass, at the time known as Dr. Richard Alpert, throughout India, eventually introducing him to Neem Karoli Baba. Bhagavan Das gained fame after being featured in Ram Dass' book Be Here Now, which described Bhagavan Das' role in his spiritual journeys in India. Bhagavan Das travels widely throughout the world as a performer of traditional and non-traditional Indian bhajans and kirtans, and is the author of an autobiography, It's Here Now (Are You?).
- It's Here Now (Are You?): A Spiritual Memoir ISBN 0-7679-0009-X
- AH, 1972
- Love Serve Remember, 1973, a 6-disc Ram Dass set, one disc of music and song.
- Swaha, Bhagavan Das and Amazing Grace (Krishna Das, Jai Uttal, Ram Dass et al.)
- Bhagavan Das - Kailash Kirtan (Starchild Productions)
- Bhagavan Das - Harbin Kirtan (Starchild Productions)
- Bhagavan Das - Kumari Puja (Starchild Productions)
- The Sunset Kirtan Concert - Volumes One, Two & Three (recorded live, NYC)
- Now (Produced by Mike D. of the Beastie Boys)
- Mt. Vision - Journey to the Inner Temple (with Jay Yarnall)
- Holy Ghost Sessions (with Richard Sales)
- Kali Puja Live 1&2 (with Krishna Das, Jai Uttal et al.)
- Churning the Night Sea, 2007
- Love Songs to the Dark Lord, 2009
- The Howler at Dawn, 2009
- The Fourth Tower of Inverness, Bhagavan Das's singing is the voice of the Bodhisattva Jukebox.
- Moon Over Morocco, Bhagavan Das's singing is used in Sunny Skies' dream sequence.
- Eclipse Puja (with Jay Yarnall)
- What is Yoga? (with David Life, Sharon Ganon, and Willem Dafoe)
- In Search of the Divine (3 Part TV/Video Series from "A Better World' with Mitchell Jay Rabin)
- Woodstock Now featuring Bhagavan Das (VHS video, directed by Meil J. Colligan), Ganesha Films, 2002
- Karmageddon (directed by Jeff Brown and Paul Hemrend), 2012
Interviews and talks
- In the Spirit, 1975 (with Lex Hixon)
- Global Voices Radio, 1994 (with Paul Nelson)
- Shakti, The Breath and the Word, 1994 Dharmaware (Lecture Recorded Live, Woodstock NY)
- New Realities 1996 Manhattan Neighborhood Network (with Alan Steinfeld)
- Live with Swami Virato, 2005, Virato Radio (with Swami Virato)
- Down the Rabbit Hole, 2006, Concordia Foundation (with Paula Gloria)
- Nardwuar Radio, 2006, 101.9 CITR FM (with Nardwaur)
- Bhagavan Das (1997), pg. 265
- Bhagavan Das (1997), pg. 179
- Bhagavan Das (1997), pp. 190, 194
- Bhagavan Das (1997), pp. 220, 221, 238
- Bhagavan Das (1997). It's Here Now (Are You?) Broadway. ISBN 0-7679-0008-1
- Johnsen, Linda; Jacobus, Maggie (2007). Kirtan!: Chanting As a Spiritual Path. Yes International. pp. 37–51. ISBN 978-0-936663-43-2.
- Ram Dass (1971). Be Here Now. San Cristobal, NM: Lama Foundation. ISBN 978-0-517-54305-4.
- Official website
- Bhagavan Das International Archive
- Starchild Productions: 3 Bhagavan Das Live Kirtan CDs from the Harbin years.
- The Dharma and Cult of Bhagavan Das: an extended interview of Bhagavan Das