Bhagavan Das (yogi)
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Bhagavan Das (Devanagari: भगवान दास) (born 'Kermit Michael Riggs' on May 17, 1945), also known as Baba Bhagavan Das, is an American yogi who lived for six years in India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. Bhagavan Das is a bhakti yogi, a shakta tantra adept, a spiritual teacher, kirtan singer, and author.
Kermit Michael Riggs
May 17, 1945
|Occupation||Spiritual teacher, singer, author|
In 1963 at the age of 18, Bhagavan Das left California and journeyed solo through Europe, Northern Africa and the Middle East, eventually arriving in India. In 1965, Bhagavan Das met his guru, the Hindu holy man Neem Karoli Baba. Bhagavan Das became an initiate and devotee of Neem Karoli Baba. He also met Kalu Rinpoche of the Shangpa Kagyudpa lineage. Bhagavan Das received the Vajrayogini empowerment from the Sixteenth Karmapa Rangjung Rigpe Dorje of the Karma Kagyu lineage and Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, the 11th Trungpa Tulku. During the six years he spent as a wandering ascetic in India, Nepal and Sri Lanka he received numerous initiations and teachings from saints and sages including A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Swami Chaitanya Prakashananda Tirtha, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Sri Anandamayi Ma, and Tarthang Tulku of the Dudjom Rinpoche lineage.
In 1967, Bhagavan Das guided spiritual teacher Ram Dass (known then as Dr. Richard Alpert) throughout India, eventually introducing him to Neem Karoli Baba. Bhagavan Das gained fame after being featured in Ram Dass' 1971 book Be Here Now, which described Bhagavan Das' role in Ram Dass' spiritual journeys in India. Throughout his life, Bhagavan Das has traveled extensively offering traditional and non-traditional Indian bhajans and kirtans, as well as offering yogic and spiritual teachings that stem from the initiations, lineages and teachings passed onto him from the masters. Bhagavan Das is the author of the 1997 autobiography, It's Here Now (Are You?). In 2002, Bhagavan Das released his seventh full album, called Now, that was produced and arranged by Mike D of the Beastie Boys, an East-meets-West musical pairing that broadened the scope of Bhagavan Das' audience.
On October 1, 2020, Bhagavan Das married his beloved wife Amulya Maa. They originally met in 2007, but it was not until late 2018 that they reconnected to deepen into partnership, both personally and professionally. In early 2019, Bhagavan Das and Amulya Maa began singing, teaching and offering sessions and events together, and they continue to do so today.
- AH, 1972
- Sooar Ustara 1973
- Love Serve Remember, 1973, a 6-disc Ram Dass set, one disc of music and song.
- Swaha, Bhagavan Das and Amazing Grace (Krishna Das, Jai Uttal, Ram Dass et al.)
- Bhagavan Das - Kailash Kirtan (Starchild Productions)
- Bhagavan Das - Harbin Kirtan (Starchild Productions)
- Bhagavan Das - Kumari Puja (Starchild Productions)
- The Sunset Kirtan Concert - Volumes One, Two & Three (recorded live, NYC)
- Now (Produced by Mike D. of the Beastie Boys)
- Natural Blues (Remixed by Mike D. for Moby)
- Psychedelic Abschaum
- Mt. Vision - Journey to the Inner Temple (with Jay Yarnall)
- Holy Ghost Sessions (with Richard Sales)
- Kali Puja Live 1&2 (with Krishna Das, Jai Uttal et al.)
- Churning the Night Sea, 2007
- Love Songs to the Dark Lord, 2009
- The Howler at Dawn, 2009
- Mother Light, 2014
- The Fourth Tower of Inverness, 1972, Bhagavan Das's singing is the voice of the Bodhisattva Jukebox.
- Moon Over Morocco, 1974, Bhagavan Das's singing is used in Sunny Skies' dream sequence.
- Eclipse Puja (with Jay Yarnall)
- What is Yoga? (with David Life, Sharon Ganon, and Willem Dafoe)
- In Search of the Divine (3 Part TV/Video Series from "A Better World' with Mitchell Jay Rabin)
- Woodstock Now featuring Bhagavan Das (VHS video, directed by Meil J. Colligan), Ganesha Films, 2002
- Karmageddon (directed by Jeff Brown and Paul Hemrend), 2012
Interviews and talksEdit
- In the Spirit, 1975 (with Lex Hixon)
- Global Voices Radio, 1994 (with Paul Nelson)
- Shakti, The Breath and the Word, 1994 Dharmaware (Lecture Recorded Live, Woodstock NY)
- New Realities 1996 Manhattan Neighborhood Network (with Alan Steinfeld)
- Live with Swami Virato, 2005, Virato Radio (with Swami Virato)
- Down the Rabbit Hole, 2006, Concordia Foundation (with Paula Gloria)
- Nardwuar Radio, 2006, 101.9 CITR FM (with Nardwaur)
- Bhagavan Das (1997), pg. 265
- Bhagavan Das (1997), pg. 179
- Bhagavan Das (1997). It's Here Now (Are You?). Broadway Books. ISBN 0-7679-0008-1.
- Johnsen, Linda; Jacobus, Maggie (2007). Kirtan!: Chanting As a Spiritual Path. Yes International. pp. 37–51. ISBN 978-0-936663-43-2.
- Ram Dass (1971). Be Here Now. San Cristobal, NM: Lama Foundation. ISBN 978-0-517-54305-4. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)