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It's Here Now (Are You?) Paperback – September 15, 1998
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Bhagavan Das's writing is guileless. He neither boasts nor apologizes. He describes the manic ride he has been on since he left California after high school. For seven years he wandered around India and Nepal, practicing austerities, sitting at the feet of gurus, studying Buddhist scriptures, and getting laid. The common denominator in his pursuits seems to be a search for the ultimate high. Whether he is kissed on the forehead by a saint, standing at the foot of a 20-foot stone statue of Vishnu, lost in meditation, dropping acid, or being initiated into tantric sex, his descriptions are in the same terms: "mind-blowing," "out-of-body," "ultimate bliss," "beyond the beyond." It's Here Now (Are You?) is an entertaining, vicarious journey through a life that you don't mind visiting, but you wouldn't want to live. --Brian Bruya
From Library Journal
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
This book is hard to review without judging the man who wrote it. In terms of literary merit, it is not well written. It reads more like an outline of a vast array of psychedelic events that never goes into any one event very deeply. That being said, it is a fascinating tale of an extraordinarily conflicted man who constantly contradicts himself and loves to swing between extremes. A great, if tragic character.
The value in this book is not found in any wisdom Bhag. Das may (or may not) have gleaned, but in the colorful picture it paints of the spiritual scene in late 60s India and early 70s America. The book is an intriguing portrait of what it was like to be right in the middle of it. The real gurus, the fake gurus, the zealous devotees, the drugs, the sex, the confusion. In India he studied with several famous teachers and when he gets back to America, Allen Ginsberg, Alan Watts (who was apparently a notorious drunk!) and Ram Dass, among others are constantly floating in and out of his life. It is also an interesting to see how he dealt with his unwanted fame.
Bhagavan Das says that in America he was living like a "spiritual rock star." Spiritual hypocrite is more like it. The book is rampant with examples of how he uses his spiritual quest as a way to escape from his own present reality. For example, in a chapter in which he claims to have been learning about devotion from his Native American "grandfather", he also describes how he had a stream of girls going in and out of his teepee while his wife and child were "in the background" in Santa Fe.Read more ›
reading "Be Here Now" by Ram Dass. I had wondered after reading that book what became of Bhagavan Das.
First I will say that Bhagavan Das deserves credit for his honest account of his journey. He certainly paints a picture of himself that I personally did not find too admirable and I give him credit for his honesty.
This book has tremendous energy and is very hard to put down. The different experiences he has are described vividly and with focus and emotion. You feel like you are living each sentence with him as he goes through his ever changing situations.
Bhagavan Das is constantly caught in a battle between the spirit and the flesh. He's almost analogous to a manic depressive who experiences extreme highs and lows, except in his
case he goes between extreme devotion and extreme narcissism.
I did get very disturbed by his self indulgent behavior, not just in his narcissistic drug, sex and spiritual phases but in the way he abandoned his wives and children so that he could indulge in his spiritual quest. This seemed to be a major cop-out to me. He seemed to run away from his responsibilities in the name of spirituality.
Also from a spiritual standpoint he seemed too obsessed with finding spiritual experiences of "bliss" which seemed also a form of escapism. True spirituality (in my opinion and experience)has very little to do with "states" of bliss but rather are found with finding the beauty in life itself in the present moment. All the "spiritual fireworks" he speaks of seem to be no more than a lot of spiritual masturbation.Read more ›
It seems that his Guru never taught him that Yoga includes moral precepts, called the yamas and niyamas. These include practices such as celibacy, purity, and contentment. BD goes hog-wild for the drugs, booze, and women without a thought to these principles. The story seems to become more of a memoir to the anything-goes 'if it feels good do it' mentality/morality of the 60's. He's definitely looking for the ultimate high for himself and NOT spiritual contentment or service to others, especially his wives or children.
I think if the spiritual experiences he describes were really authentic, he would have behaved with some self-control and concern for others. Real practice cultivates peace within and compassion for others without. It's not always these dramatic fireworks and orgasms of merging into Infinity. What good is that? Also, you can't behave like a sex-and-drug-crazed-psycho and think you are a holy man. The constant changing of gurus, deities, mantras, wives, practices, etc. is classic 'monkey-mind' behavior. There is nothing holy or balanced about it.
The huge consumption of drugs throughout the story makes me wonder if BD wasn't delusional and after reading it I felt like I had taken a bad acid trip with him for 15 hours. I was glad it was over.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A remarkable life story, possessing fantastic insight and truth that will resonate and inspire anyone along the spiritual path.Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
Ever wonder about that long haired guy who brought Ram Das to his guru in "Be Here Now"? Well here is his story , the good, bad, ugly and some wild exciting times. Read morePublished 11 months ago by John C.
I really liked this book--a true page turner. Bhagavan Das is an interesting character and appears throughout to be a sincere seeker. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Michael P.
I did buy and read this book. I do not recommend it. He claims to be a 'lost child' but seems more like a crazy fool. Read morePublished 16 months ago by K. Gleason
Wonderful story about the travels and transformation of Bhagavan Das. I enjoyed this book immensely!Published 19 months ago by Amazon Customer
We have lost our way, Baba is the Way, he is Love, he is Understanding, he is Grace. Ever been in his presence? Read morePublished on July 3, 2014 by White Wizard
All i have to say is im very thankful for encountering this great book! Bhagavan Das did a great job! Every individual has to go their own path. Read morePublished on June 6, 2014 by Rasta
This is an interesting book that might be relevant for would-be Western sadhus and gurus. After decades of austere practice, thousands of hours of mantra chanting, and having met... Read morePublished on May 19, 2014 by kaioatey