He was still Dr. Richard Alpert, a prominent Harvard psychologist and psychedelic pioneer with Dr. Timothy Leary. He continued his psychedelic research until that fateful Eastern trip in 1967, when he traveled to India.
In India, he met his guru, Neem Karoli Baba, affectionately known as Maharaj-ji, who gave Ram Dass his name, which means “servant of God.” Everything changed then – his intense dharmic life started, and he became a pivotal influence on a culture that has reverberated with the words “Be Here Now” ever since. Ram Dass’ spirit has been a guiding light for three generations, carrying along millions on the journey. Ram Dass teaches that through the Bhakti practice of unconditional love we can all connect with our true nature. Through these teachings, Ram Dass has shared a little piece of Maharaj-ji with all who have listened to him.
Be Here Now, Ram Dass’ monumentally influential and seminal work, still stands as the highly readable centerpiece of Western articulation of Eastern philosophy, and how to live with joy and love a hundred percent of the time in the present, luminous or mundane. Be Here Now continues to be the instruction manual of choice for generations of spiritual seekers. Forty years later, it’s still part of the timeless present. Be here now is still being here now.
Ram Dass’ books include The Only Dance There Is (Anchor/ Doubleday); Grist For The Mill (with Stephen Levine, Celestial Arts); Miracle of Love: Stories of Neem Karoli Baba (Hanuman Foundation); How Can I Help? (with Paul Gorman, Knopf); Compassion in Action: Setting Out on the Path of Service (with Mirabai Bush, Bell Tower Press), Still Here: Embracing Aging, Changing and Dying (Riverhead Books); One-Liners: A Mini-Manual for a Spiritual Life (Bell Tower Press);Paths to God: Living the Bhagavad Gita (Harmony Books).
Ram Dass passed away at his home on Maui on December 22, 2019. Leading up to his passing, he continued to teach at his semi-annual retreats with other esteemed Bhakti and Buddhist thought leaders.
Starting in 2012, Raghu Markus, President of the Love Serve Remember Foundation, has hosted the Ram Dass Here and Now Podcast – sharing wisdom from excerpted Ram Dass lectures that have been given throughout the last 40 years.
Currently, the Here and Now Podcast is hosted by Jackie Dobrinska, Community Director and Fellowship leader for LSRF. Learn more about how you can be a part of the Ram Dass community – both virtual and person – at the: Ram Dass Fellowship
For more from Ram Dass visit RamDass.org