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Baba: Autobiography of a Blue-Eyed Yogi Hardcover – January 25, 2005


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Harmony/Bell Tower (January 25, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 140008038X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400080380
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.8 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #631,222 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

It is 1969 in Beverly Hills. After experimenting with mind-altering substances, a 19-year-old dropout leaves his prosperous family and heads for India to find himself. Cartouche, a fellow traveler, recommends an English-speaking guru. The young man renames himself Rampuri and begins an apprenticeship involving deities, servitude, ceremonies and a fair amount of cannabis. After two years, he is initiated into the Great Renunciation and becomes a yogi. After his guru falls ill and dies, Rampuri is horrified to discover that the guru has possessed him. Cartouche reappears at just the right moment, gives Rampuri a stiff dose of language philosophy and helps him interpret his quest. By the mid-1980s, India's first blue-eyed yogi has founded an ashram. Rampuri mixes his story with fanciful tales of deities and holy men, gurus who converse with crows and people who fly out of their bodies at night. Linear thinkers may be perplexed by his conflation of myth and autobiography: "The line separating mythology and this Extraordinary World in which I was now living became blurred, and increasingly I couldn't see it at all." But readers nostalgic for magical mystery tours who don't mind frequent Hindi-laced sentences ("The microcosm of the twin dhunis mirrored the beehive activity of the akhara, which in turn reflected the electricity of the mela") may enjoy this exotic tale of enlightenment and self-realization.
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Review

“This book will entertain and enlighten you. A bold journey that explores the true intersections of Eastern and Western thought.” —Deepak Chopra, author of The Book of Secrets

“Rampuri’s search has carried him into the very depths of one of the great ancient wisdom lineages of India. He has gone where very few Westerners have gone.” —Krishna Das, “Chant Master of American Yoga” (New York Times)

“An authentic and fascinating account of a Western yogi who has made India his home for his body and his spirit. Baba is bound to challenge your view of reality and the spiritual life. It is not just the story of a personal quest but of a journey beyond the Western civilization mind-set to the real India of the yogis, where the limitations of both our cultural ideas and our egos are continually exposed. An adventure into a different kind of reality.” —David Frawley, author of Yoga and Ayurveda and Yoga and the Sacred Fire and director of the American Institute of Vedic Studies

More About the Author

In 1968, at the age of 18, I left my comfortable home in Beverly Hills fuelled by the naïve exuberance of the sixties and searching for truth. I was pulled deep into India, into an ancient order of yogis, into a mystery school not unlike Harry Potter's, where I was initiated and eventually possessed by a master shaman-yogi, a baba. I was the first foreigner ever initiated into the order of Naga Babas, and I am still there today. The world has changed a lot, perhaps gone upside down, and I never expected nor intended to become an elder in the order, nor a guru. I was taken into the Extraordinary World, where things work a bit differently than the Ordinary World, I was given some insights and revelations, and now I do my best to give blessings to those who come to me, and teachings to my students, some of whom are Indian Naga Babas, some are foreigners. In 2005, Random House released my book, BABA, Autobiography of a Blue-Eyed Yogi, which has now been translated into German, Russian, and Serbian, and has brought people from many different countries and cultures to me. These last couple of years I've been making retreats both in India and Europe, in which I bring the participants into the Extraordinary World for a week, and give them a glimpse of oral tradition, which, I've discovered, is practically unknown in the west - as it is rapidly disappearing from India.
In 2010, at the Hardwar Kumbh Mela in India, I was honored with a seat in the ruling council of the ancient order of Juna Akhara with its 200,000 Naga Babas, naked yogis, and given the title, "Shri Mahant."

Customer Reviews

Great job, Ram Puri-ji, thank you.
Zen Lightening
Rampuri gives a unique insight into a way of living and thinking which has remained unchanged for aeons.
Arun
Highly recommended easy reading for both the Indian and non-Indian reader.
Anjali Gulati

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Pranaya on April 18, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Rampuri's colorful and inspiring account of his spiritual journey to becoming an enlightened Baba was a wonderful gift to read. Through his words he evoked vivid images of India and the experiences he encountered that few know. I often felt I was in his presence experiencing the same challenges and wonderment of the divine spirit. Some still linger in the mind when he cared for his beloved Babaji in the hospital; and when he journeyed to Gaumukh, the source of the River Ganga and his encounter with the Goddess. As a seeker I was grateful for his authentic and honest account of his sufferings, fears and doubts as he was being pulled toward something far beyond his current comprehension as a young initiate and evolving yogi. There were times when tears came to my eyes knowing his same confusion when doubt enters the mind and his great joy when enlightened moments and the mysteries of life are revealed. Rampuri's words have life and hold a deeper meaning then just the written account. Well worth reading for those seeking, on the path, or have already found. Thank you for this book.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Dharmananda on December 22, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I loved this book. The author has as good a knack for telling stories as he has for taking on great adventures. The subject of the naga babas of India is fascinating enough to fill volumes. And that's just the problem with this otherwise wonderful book -- there's so little of it! I don't know why the author chose to tell his story "once over lightly." I found myself hungering for more detail every page of the way. And he skips over large periods of time where I would love to know what he was doing, experiencing, and learning. The years in Kashi, for example -- and so much more. So for all the enjoyment and inspiration I got from reading this book, there was an equal measure of frustration over what was missing. I hope there will be many more volumes to come. This slim offering is delightful, but it's just a teaser.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By SonaV on February 27, 2005
Format: Hardcover
An easy-to-read, life-changing book that brings one considerably closer to understanding the soul, the role of spirit guides, the purpose of soul and their mates and the nature of spirit in general. It is essentially a autobiography of one man's journey through India and of his trials and tribulations of becoming at one with the Naga Babas. It is one of those rare books on the subject that is likely to appeal to skeptics and the metaphysically inclined alike. Its style naturally lends itself to challenging one's beliefs and helping one to better understand the purpose of life's hardships. This book leaves one asking many questions about one's own life and path in this world, many of which he tries to answer. The best part - he encourages us NOT to buy into pseudo-spiritualism in the West. Bravo baba!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Arun on January 11, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Wow! A fascinating and informative account of one man's spiritual and physical journey into a closed world. Rampuri gives a unique insight into a way of living and thinking which has remained unchanged for aeons. His style of writing and the way he describes his experiences make this a book which is hard to put down. A book for everyone - not just the yogis!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Free Spirit on February 4, 2005
Format: Hardcover
There is something heartbreaking and life-changing

about the stories Rampuri tells, something so

passionate and questing that it is impossible not to

take notice. In his debut volume, Rampuri sets out for

the steaming cities and seaside villages of India in

search of answers about the elusive truth in finding

his spiritual self. It's about his inner sanctum about

which he knows little-despite growing up in Beverly

Hills along the priviledged and wealthy. A rebel at

heart, his rallying cry for the "truth" leads him to

India at 18. With an remarkable spirit and passion at

his side, Rampuri travels through marketplaces and

jungles, and fearlessly faces down the babas and

sadhus India's oldest order of yogis. This is a

beautiful and important book-exhaustively lived,

persuasively presented, poetic and vital. Rampuri's

sizable but eminently readable biography of his

larger-than-life experiences give us a taste of what

India is really like, from the inside out. An easy to

read book, it earns its keep from start to finish. His

writing remains so deliriously rich in ideas and

entertaining in its stream-of-conscious descriptions.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By DesiG on February 2, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The light shines in this narrative of the uplifting story of the strength, power and resilience of an American learning about the Indian culture and spirituality. From its opening lines until the final chapter, the reader is standing in triumph of how wonderful Indian ideologies help us learn about ourselves. BABA engages the reader with quips that inspire, empower and strengthen the soul from within as Rampuri sheds his Western self for selflessness.

All the chapters are wonderfully written and felt so timely in that they convey feelings of strength that one would garner from experiences that relish in our inner soul and strength. BABA builds upon the foundation of strong, resilient and purposeful people. It illustrates that the Indian continent's strong groundwork has helped to make Babas the people that we wish to see, touch, and feel. Through poverty, discrimination, and mysticism that have perpetuated many of his goals, Rampuri still perseveres and this book reinforces the realness of the culture. The Naga gurus will be proud of his perspectives and no matter what race, everyone will gain a little light of understanding from a group of strong people whose souls have been enriched from the past, present and future.
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