I was so blessed this month to get to see Bhagavan Das (Baba) for almost a whole twenty four hours. He talked to us on a Friday for a Satsung (a talk or gathering of like minded people), Saturday he did both a workshop on Nada yoga (the yoga of sound) as well as a Kirtan later that evening. Baba came and left with a few important messages, he wanted to convey the importance of diet, of the work of a Guru and what it meant, both inside of someone as well as the outer aspects. Not to mention Baba went well into detail about the charkas (energy centers) as well as the different energy that ruled them. Bhagavan Das, is one of the most important Gurus left in our time. He is one of the few that people conceder an actual Guru. Baba was a leader during the 1960’s movement towards higher conscientiousness, introducing Ram Dass (another very influential Guru) to his mentor Neem Karoli Baba after being kicked out of Harvard with Tim Leerily. Baba is the last living person to spend a large amount with Neem Karoli Baba, he also went on a number of tours with different artists in the 60’s and 70’s including, Bob Dylan, Grateful Dead and Eric Clapton. Baba is a wealth of knowledge for both historians as well as spiritualists and yogis. The weekend was put together by Abby Hoot and David Tomaszewski who own House of Yoga in Berkley. Together Hoot and Tomaszewski convinced Baba to come and do a kirtan (a concert of sorts where the audience will repeat the singer). It was after this that Baba also decided that he would do a satsung and a workshop. Yes all of this was wonderful, Baba gave all that attended much to think about. Mainly he worked hard at the importance and work that it takes to be a true spiritual leader, as well as a spiritual person. Baba offered a solution for the world of America and Western thought that we live in, work eight hours a day, sleep eight hours a day, and pray eight hours a day. Still he asked, “who is willing to do this?” Baba treated the weekend as a journey, and started out with the friday satsung, it was in this that Baba defined the word Guru, gu-darkness and ru-to remove. This Sanskrit word has found much opposition in the West as well as much mystery. Baba tried to deter everyone from that by not only giving the literal translation in English but also gave students with obligations some ways to finding there own Gurus. Baba reemphasized that true spiritual leaders and Gurus are hard to find these days, that everyone is capitalizing on the idea of being a Guru, worse than that to be a true disciple is almost unheard of in the West. One must be willing to actually give of themselves to their Guru and do anything and everything that is asked of them by their Guru. Baba explained that we are so busy doing something and yet a true Guru is the one who is busy doing nothing. Baba then got into the biggest fear of all human beings, that is the fear of death. That once things change so often all of us are afraid of dyeing. He used the metaphor of us all being boats on the sea of life and once there springs a leak we all work hard to mend it, when we should accept that this is the way things are and be grateful to get out of this wheel of life and death, of illusion. He explained that once the Kunhdli (or the energy, often called a snake) reaches threw all the Charkas and reaches the top of the head one can truly be free, but this takes much work, want and discipline (or tapas) that few are willing to put forth. Yet once we reach the enlighten state of the Kunhdli we then can receive help from the Gurus above, with ‘hooks of compassion’ to help keep us on our paths. Enlightenment is purity, Baba reminds us, and purity is reached threw diet and mind. By purifying the body and the mind then one is free to reach the enlighten state which allows for us to have our hooks of compassions bring us up and keep us with our higher thoughts and minds. Baba then allowed for us on sunday to help purify our energies by leading us threw our charkas one by one cleaning them with bedra mantras, then mantras to the different ruling energies. Given that mantras are vibrational qualities of the Sanskrit language these different notes help to move the physiological energies within the body. After Baba helped us all clean our energies, he left Saturday with more of an uplifting message than Friday night satsung, telling us that purity of the nine holes of sensation is what will lead to enlightenment, and is the most important thing in this life. It is when we connect with the Nada yoga we find the shidiam or the unstruck sound of the heart energy that we can truly find the enlightenment energies. It is threw true tapas and devotion that we find true intelligence and love. We look for the love of the divine mother, and practice Hatha yoga, in order to connect with the Nada physically, mentally, energetically and emotionally. Though we many not have a living Guru to help us purify, by picking out our unknown faults, we can ask our own inner Gurus for help. Finally Baba left us with a Kirtan which rivaled any energy that one human being can bring. He brought all of his teachings full circle, causing everyone in the audience to sing as loud as is possible, and dance until we all collapsed. There was singing and rejoicing and plenty of crying as the whole journey emotionally cleaned everyone out, even if you only got to be present for one stop. Bhagavan Das, is a treasure, and all of Detroit is blessed to have had him here for the one weekend that he was present. The energy of the city was enlightened for one weekend, and the impression he left, allowed the whole city to have a dent in it for the rest of time. Be blessed. Namaste.