Dharmaputra, Ananda Kanan, USA
Reflections by Bhaeravii:
It is perhaps one of the most mysterious, yet most common every day frailties of the human mind the way we take the people in our lives for granted while they are alive. After all, they have always been around and unless there is some clash or out of the ordinary excitement, we don’t spend time thinking of them in terms of their innate qualities and how those qualities affect us.
But most certainly when a person dies, the mind is circumvented and the anahata chakra, the emotional intelligence, takes over. No matter how much the mind says, I can handle this, the body is reacting in its own way, in its own time, and with its own language, illuminating for us a deeper level of ourselves and how profoundly we are invisibly attached to the people around us.
I met Dharmaputra as Rick Hubbard, one of the local boys in Los Altos, when I was 16, and that is 43 years ago. He was best friends with Guhan, Tom Davis, and they were the essence of what a flower child is in the collective mind. Guhan was tall and lanky with an explosive personality, often with a fresh daisy pushed behind his ear; DP was short in stature like so many dadas and controlled with an easy-going introverted nature, though both were soft spoken, honest, insecure to an extent, and shy. They were like Frick and Frack they were together so much, staying friends all these years. We were part of a large extended group of teenagers with their lives laid out in front of them who went to school together and shared the vision of the approaching aquarian age with all the budding aspects of communalism, environmentalism, activism, and greater depth of inner cognition than our previous generation. Our genetic code demanded self-awareness. The common book of the day was Doors to Perception by Aldous Huxley and inner perception is still the byword.
Dharmaputra married one of his high school sweethearts, Cathy, and she turned him onto Ananda Marga when the first acarya hit the west coast in 1970, right before emergency with the global overseas push by Baba. Dada Vimalananda — the first one. With no ashrams, DP and Cathy had Dada live with them and their newborn daughter Mia in Palo Alto. This Dada was such a sensation, it was reported in the local newspapers. The waiting lines stretched outside and Dada gave initiations one after another all day long out of the bedroom. Even though the Margii community here today is small, there are thousands of initated margiis who never took any other lessons living here in the bay area and remember meeting Dada V.
I was not one of them. And our paths parted for decades.
In the mid-1990s, I heard DP was living at Ananda Kanan. I telephoned him and it was like no time had passed. He was upbeat and told me how he came back to Baba after living homeless for years right down the street from where I was living. He still kept his meditation practice while homeless and a friend used to visit him and bring him vegetarian food (when I phoned this friend to let him know of DP’s passing, he cried, having spoken to DP two days before and he was upbeat at getting off his pain medication and optimistic). But a chance meeting with Guhan in 2000, and DP and I started to interact again. This time he sent me books. First was Baba’s Grace, the perfect first reader. After that, every few weeks, another book would show up in the post. Dada books like Meet My Beloved, Baba books, Some Howl at the Moon: Tantra for Women (which he found in the dumpster after a cleanup of the publication office), and I read each one cover to cover and then wanted to talk about the ideas. These were good reading. I easily exhausted both Guhana and DP with my inquisitive nature.
DP came to visit me for lunch on a trip to stay at the Los Altos jagriti and paint the downstairs hall. Without me knowing, he gave my phone number to the rector at the jagriti and the rest is my history. I met my first acarya and was drawn into the organization even though that was not my intention. My life has never been peaceful since. So you can say DP brought me to AMarga.
I decided to get initiated when Didi Lalita came from the MU, but I was fearful and anxious of being brainwashed or hypnotized (frankly both things eventually happened but not the way I envisioned them). I was so terrified driving up to the jagriti the day of my initiation, I almost passed out. DP stood by me every single day up to the initiation and wrote me the morning of, so I was able to carry his energy with me.
I hope you are having a great morning!
If today is the day that you take your first steps on the Path of Bliss
(ananda marga) then…Good Travels
I know that you have been traveling on a Path for a long time already,
only maybe now it will take on a more serious tone (i don’t like this
word serious, for it but I can’t think of a better word this early in
But again I wish you well for the day and we will see just how Baba
arranges all this stuff for YOU and just what old friends from other
lives you will meet in the process
Also, this is practically full moon of august which is a very auspicious
day in ananda marga as it was the day that Baba initiated his first
deciple at the age of 18 who was a notorious criminal and then was
changed and transformed into a new humanbeing.
He also told me about when he decided to come back into the AMarga flow in the early 90s and was to come to live at Ananda Kanan and meet the rector. He said he was so nervous that he booked himself into a local motel for 3 days before he got the nerve up to drive to AK. As he got out of the car, the dada, Shamitananda, walked up to him with his arms outstretched and said WELCOME HOME. He said he relaxed immediately. His relationship with Dada Shamitananda was a lifetime one of friendship, confidence, and trust.
Shortly after arriving at AK, the PP visited NYS and there was a DMS. DP said he wanted to stay in the background, but Dada Shamitananda wanted him to help with the transportation, helping dadas in and out of the cars, and with the kiirtan group meeting the airplane. DP said he was really intimidated and lacked the confidence to do this, but in the video he produced for the DMS, there he is, looking just a dash lost, but right in the middle of flower garlanded dadas.
DP always complained his writing skills were not good, so with our emails, he practiced writing. He would write little stories like a bohemian poet and even without punctuation, spell check, and proper sentences, they were great. I often think about them since he had such a spontaneous type of endearing wisdom that had a balance of pathos and humor without being preachy, and wish he had written more.
here is a good dada ragatmananda story;
i wake up at 4:10 am yesterday morning to guitar and kirtan coming from the room
ocross from mine where is staying
I am a bit disturbed as I now can’t go back to sleep and I get up at 5am
anyway, but still…TOO early
During the day i see him and remember to ask him not to play that early in
I tell him and you know how he misunderstands a lot of what you say, well he says
“Yea, I had a dream last night I was being asked to play kiirtan and it was good, good, good, Baba good”
I said nice but please don’t play as I can’t get back to sleep once I wake up
and I suffer during the day because I have to work all day long”
He acts completely suprised and say” I thought I was only dreaming of playing,not really playing…I was playing??”
So now, we have a new modern-day spiritual sleeping disorder…Sleep Kiirtaning
Writing skills might have been the least of his abilities, for being responsible for the maintenance at Ananda Kanan, he was remarkable. There will be a new chapter at AK without DP. Whether dealing with the sewage and cleaning up the lake, installing air conditioning, roofing, washing dishes when no one else would, or the job he most complained about, cutting the massive lawns in summer, he was reliable and ever present. When Dada IK took over being rector at AK, it was a smooth transition and they also became lifelong close friends. DP kept the fleet of cars used for driving instruction in good working order, each one dented to some extent. He would laugh at how terrible of drivers dadas are and how they invariably hit something, adding a new dent to each of the cars over time. But everyone seemed to get their motor vehicle license.
At retreats, bed space was at a premium and a lot of times, a dada would share DP’s room. For as long as he was in AMarga, he was always fascinated by acaryas and developed many close friendships over the years. One time he was telling me about Dada Agra sleeping in his room. They did evening meditation together and then DP went to clean up for bed. Dada was still meditating in lotus on the floor. DP remarked that he got up once or twice to go to the bathroom during the night, each time seeing Dada Agra meditating in the exact same position all night. He was still in the same positon when DP got up at 5am for paincajanya, which made a deep impression on DP.
In 2002, I asked DP to photograph the dadas at the winter retreat for me, labeling their names on the back. I was having a hard time pronouncing the names as well. He sent me a full roll of photographs, every old and young dada identified, as well as Guhan sick in his bed, still shots of his little room, and different dadas and margiis who came to visit for a late night chat sitting on the bed writing in their journals or in the chair next to the computer table.
DP loved the sage of American 60s music, Bob Dylan. Next to Baba, he loved Dylan. He was always turning the dadas onto Dylan lyrics, playing the music or sending out magazine interviews over email. The dadas were delighted with the profound lyrics that would go something like this: broken hearts, broken heads, people sleeping on broken beds; words that never can be spoken, everything is broken. La de dah.
QUESTION: Are there any heroes or saints these days?
DYLAN: A saint is a person who gives of himself totally and freely,
Without strings. He is neither deaf nor blind. And yet he’s both. He’s the
master of his own reality, the voice of simplicity. The trick is to stay away from mirror images. The only true mirrors are puddles of water.
QUESTION: How are mirrors different from puddles?
DYLAN: The image you see in a puddle of water is consumed by depth: An
image you see when you look into a piece of glass has no depth or
life-flutter movement. Of course, you might want to check your tie. And, of course, you might want to see if the make-up is on straight. That’s all the way. Vanity sells a lot of things.
The Bengali-Hindi split never sat well with DP. He chose to almost ignore it. Not liking to spend much time on the telephone anyway, if I spoke about politics or complained in too long winded a manner, he would just sigh and get exhausted, complaining I talked too much. He was a karma yogi at heart. I always felt the split and the absence of the Bengali dadas at retreats deeply disturbed him.
The father of three grown women, DP wanted his daughters to come to retreats. He expressed that he felt he had not spent enough time with each of them while they were young. One year his middle daughter came, but was intimidated by the kiirtan and stood outside the hall. He called me and was upset by this. I said, “don’t pressure her. Let her watch. Kiirtan can be intimidating at first.” She did not return, but his youngest daughter, Hope did click with AMarga and they enjoyed a renewed relationship together. About the same time he went to visit his eldest daughter in San Francisco and new grand-daughter. I had never seen him so anxious to please, but he went and they got re-acquainted and got along fabulous. He was very proud of all his daughters and talked about them often to me.
A few years ago DP needed rotator cuff surgery on his shoulder, which is a common sports injury that is the devil to heal from. He went back to work painting a bit too soon and the surgery never healed properly. He could not take allopathic pain medication and had a lot of side effects and reactions, which ended up plummeting him into a spiral of pain and depression, although he still worked with his gentle smile masking the situation. Some days he could not get out of bed.
Through all this he decided to go to Mahaprayan in 07, despite the long travel time. As he arrived in India, his passport came up alert in the airport computer, leftover from a trip decades ago where he and his traveling companions had to leave the country at night out of South India or risk jail. He was held for hours, alone, and interrogated. “I don’t know what happened to me,” he said while retelling me the entire adventure. “I just went crazy and instead of denying I was a Margii, I just ran out into the open area with all the guards and started shouting “Baba Ki Jai!” over and over and “Baba is with you all!” I know they considered me insane. I dont know what came over me, I just let loose. It felt great.” DP was put on the next flight back to the States, putting him in the air almost nonstop for almost two days. He was not only upset for weeks but became a ill again from the stress.
Being on a limited income, doctors just brushed him aside, prescribing drug after drug to make some sort of ugly cocktail he could never get comfortable with. He started restricting calls and interactions at this time, not having his old stamina. Many people commented he was just not himself and seemed to be in trouble.
When a person is gone from your presence, it is just as if they never existed, but then again they are not gone at all.
I keep forgetting to remark on you Baba and Baba Nam Kevelum dreams
It is no joke!
It is said that you can’t hallucinate Baba’s image. It isn’t a
hallucination or mirage, that only you know about.
It is for a reason that He has come into your mind.
That is how He can communicate with any person anywhere anytime who
want/need to see/feel his presence
That his how I realized his greatness and divine purpose
that will be in my story
but it is enough to say that it was/is one of the very very few
experiences that truly changed my life…changed in the positive
spititual sence… which is true change… others changes that are not
on a spiritual level are always temporary [you said once that guhan
overused this word spiritual but you know what i mean]
If you see Him either in a dream or while meditating…then He has come
to you for a reason that you may or may not realize at the time
And baba nam kevalum mantra he gave to all and said that that mantra
was more powerful than ANY negitive force on earth.
There are many many stories testifying to that and I have experienced it