27 Nov 2013
November 27, 2013

It Might be the Dress…


On the way back from India I had gotten to the Los Angeles airport where I was waiting between planes. I had come from this thing in the temple and then I’d been in Kyoto in Japan in a temple, and from there I’d come directly to Los Angeles where I was waiting for a plane to my cabin. And I was sitting in the lotus position on a bench in the American airlines terminal. And three soldiers came by on their way back from Vietnam and they were talking about whether they wanted to meet some women or get a bottle first. That was their discussion. One of them took a look at me and said, “What are you some kind of a yogurt?” It’s hard to imagine the space my head was in in those days. First I had been silent for 7 months, working on a slate board even in Japan. I was used to living in a very quiet space. So this was all very much. Their words were floating around and I could feel all the vibrations and everything the being was, was saying and so on. And I just felt this incredible wave of love and I looked at him and I said, “Well as a matter of fact I am a yogi and I’ve been in the Himalayas studying” and I looked right at him you know, like “Right. You know. Right on.”

Well all I can tell you is that within about probably a minute and a half he was sitting next to me telling me about how he watched his best friend being shot to death in the tent they were living in in Vietnam, and what he felt like facing death and so on. And 30 minutes later when their plane was called they could barely part. It was the shaking hands and “It’s been SUCH a thing to meet you”. Well that blew my mind, because that had nothing to do with me obviously. I mean clearly that would never have happened with me. But whatever it was that I had picked up in India was like some kind of bug in the digestive system. It was doing something to me so that these people were seeing something or other. I felt very much like a middle man in the whole operation.

So I went to stay in this cabin on my father’s property, and I was recreating India and one day I went shopping, my father was up for the weekend and I took his big fancy car and I went into the city to buy groceries, by myself. There were these two hippies hitchhiking by the side of the road right near town so I waved at them, because I wasn’t going very far. They waved back and when I came out of the store they were standing by the car with four other hippies. One came up to me and said “Hey man, you got any acid?” and I said, “No why are you asking me?” and he said “Well we heard a connection was coming up from Boston and we saw this big Cadillac with a Massachusetts license plate and this guy with a beard so we figured you must be it.”  I said, “Well I’m…” see this is my giveaway line. This is the line where I created a whole new thing of karma, you gotta watch how you create karma out of desire. All I had to say at that point was, “Gee I’m sorry I’m not your connection, see ya around” and I could go back to my retreat and I could keep India forever. But karma being what it is, I said, “Gee, I’m sorry, I’m not THAT kind of a connection”.

And therein lies the tale that I’m still paying for. If you’ve got power desires you get everything you ever wanted. That’s what’s so horrible about it. You recognize having something that you wanted about 10 years ago. And you gotta have it now. And if you want to get rid of it you’ll have it again, that’s what so horrible about it. You just gotta have it. Let it run off, running off old karma. My Theravada Buddhist essence mediation teacher, every time I’d get all hung up in my personality I’d go to him for an explanation of it in Buddhist terms and he’d say, “You’re just running off old karma”. It’s like running off stuff, old records, tapes, you’re just running off. But don’t get attached to doing anything about them or you’re just going to start more. Then you’ll always be getting the rewards of previous desires.

Now they said, “What kind of connection are you?” and I said “Well blahblahblabh” and they said “Can we come up and see you?” and I said “Sure.” So then I started to see people, and they came and then they brought their friends, and they brought their friends’ friends, and the friends brought their ministers, and the ministers brought their parents and the whole thing kept proliferating until every day I’d go out and there’d be like 400 people sitting out on the lawn just dropping by for the afternoon. All the time I’m talking to my guru saying “What the hell did you do?” Because as far as I’m concerned, I’m just the guy that went to India in the first place and nobody did this before. Whatever happened? It might be the dress I don’t know.

 - Ram Dass at the Unitarian Church, Boulder CO, 11-20-1972


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  • jason

    I’m supposed to send u $ for what?

    • Philip Vassar

      You are not “supposed” to do anything. If you have a better use for your money then this story probably doesn’t speak to you. If you were interested you could look up the foundation in some detail and find out how much they take in and how much they spend. The way the “magic” works is those who have it to share and want to share will see this and send in some money they are not using. If you do not have it to share then you will just pass the request over. No one expects you to donate or do anything.

  • Ali Yousuff


    “..Then We caused Our messengers to follow in their footsteps; and We caused Jesus, son of Mary, to follow, and gave him the Gospel, and placed compassion and mercy in the hearts of those who followed him. But monasticism they invented – only seeking God’s pleasure, We ordained it not for them, and they observed it not with right observance. We therefore gave the believers among them their reward; and many of them are sinners.” – The Quran , 57:27

    Concept of God according to Hindu Scriptures:
    We can gain a better understanding of the concept of God in Hinduism by analysing Hindu scriptures. BHAGAVAD GITA:
    The most popular amongst all the Hindu scriptures is the Bhagavad Gita. Consider the following verse from the Gita:

    “Those whose intelligence has been stolen by material desires surrender unto demigods and follow the particular rules and regulations of worship according to their own natures.” [Bhagavad Gita 7:20]

    The Gita states that people who are materialistic worship demigods i.e. ‘gods’ besides the True God.

    UPANISHADS: The Upanishads are considered sacred scriptures by the Hindus. The following verses from the Upanishads refer to the Concept of God:
    1.”Ekam evadvitiyam” “He is One only without a second.” [Chandogya Upanishad 6:2:1]
    2. “Na casya kascij janita na cadhipah.” “Of Him there are neither parents nor lord.” [Svetasvatara Upanishad 6:9]
    3. “Na tasya pratima asti” “There is no likeness of Him.” [Svetasvatara Upanishad 4:19]
    4. The following verses from the Upanishad allude to the inability of man to imagine God in a particular form: “Na samdrse tisthati rupam asya, na caksusa pasyati kas canainam.” “His form is not to be seen; no one sees Him with the eye.” [Svetasvatara Upanishad 4:20]

    1[The Principal Upanishad by S. Radhakrishnan page 447 and 448] [Sacred Books of the East, volume 1 ‘The Upanishads part I’ page 93]
    2[The Principal Upanishad by S. Radhakrishnan page 745] [Sacred Books of the East, volume 15, ‘The Upanishads part II’ page 263.]
    3[The Principal Upanishad by S. Radhakrishnan page 736 & 737] [Sacred Books of the East, volume 15, ‘The Upanishads part II’ page no 253]
    4[The Principal Upanishad by S. Radhakrishnan page 737] [Sacred Books of the East, volume 15, ‘The Upanishads part II’ page no 253]
    THE VEDAS Vedas are considered the most sacred of all the Hindu scriptures. There are four principal Vedas: Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samveda and Atharvaveda.

    1. Yajurveda The following verses from the Yajurveda echo a similar concept of God:
    1. “na tasya pratima asti” “There is no image of Him.” [Yajurveda 32:3]
    2. “shudhama poapvidham” “He is bodyless and pure.” [Yajurveda 40:8]
    3. “Andhatama pravishanti ye asambhuti mupaste” “They enter darkness, those who worship the natural elements” (Air, Water, Fire, etc.). “They sink deeper in darkness, those who worship sambhuti.” [Yajurveda 40:9]
    4. Sambhuti means created things, for example table, chair, idol, etc. The Yajurveda contains the following prayer: “Lead us to the good path and remove the sin that makes us stray and wander.” [Yajurveda 40:16]
    5[Yajurveda by Devi Chand M.A. page 377]
    6[Yajurveda Samhita by Ralph T. H. Giffith page 538]
    7[Yajurveda Samhita by Ralph T. H. Giffith page 538]
    8[Yajurveda Samhita by Ralph T. H. Griffith page 541]

    2. Atharvaveda
    The Atharvaveda praises God in Book 20, hymn 58 and verse 3: 1. “Dev maha osi” “God is verily great” [Atharvaveda 20:58:3]

    3. Rigveda
    1. The oldest of all the vedas is Rigveda. It is also the one considered most sacred by the Hindus. The Rigveda states in Book 1, hymn 164 and verse 46: “Sages (learned Priests) call one God by many names.” [Rigveda 1:164:46]
    2. The Rigveda gives several different attributes to Almighty God. Many of these are mentioned in Rigveda Book 2 hymn 1.
    Among the various attributes of God, one of the beautiful attributes mentioned in the Rigveda Book II hymn 1 verse 3, is Brahma. Brahma means ‘The Creator’. Translated into Arabic it means Khaaliq.
    Muslims can have no objection if Almighty God is referred to as Khaaliq or ‘Creator’ or Brahma. However if it is said that Brahma is Almighty God who has four heads with each head having a crown, Muslims take strong exception to it. Describing Almighty God in anthropomorphic terms also goes against the following verse of Yajurveda: “Na tasya Pratima asti” “There is no image of Him.” [Yajurveda 32:3]
    Another beautiful attribute of God mentioned in the Rigveda Book II hymn 1 verse 3 is Vishnu. Vishnu means ‘The Sustainer’. Translated into Arabic it means Rabb. Again, Muslims can have no objection if Almighty God is referred to as Rabb or ‘Sustainer’ or Vishnu.
    But the popular image of 9[Atharveda Samhita vol 2 William Dwight Whitney page 910] Vishnu among Hindus, is that of a God who has four arms, with one of the right arms holding the Chakra, i.e. a discus and one of the left arms holding a ‘conch shell’, or riding a bird or reclining on a snake couch. Muslims can never accept any image of God. As mentioned earlier this also goes against Svetasvatara Upanishad Chapter 4 verse 19. “Na tasya pratima asti” “There is no likeness of Him” The following verse from the Rigveda Book 8, hymn 1, verse 1 refer to the Unity and Glory of the Supreme Being:
    3. “Ma cid anyad vi sansata sakhayo ma rishanyata”
    “O friends, do not worship anybody but Him, the Divine One. Praise Him alone.” [Rigveda 8:1:1]

    10 “Devasya samituk parishtutih” “Verily, great is the glory of the Divine Creator.” [Rigveda 5:1:81]
    11 Brahma Sutra of Hinduism: The Brahma Sutra of Hinduism is: “Ekam Brahm, dvitiya naste neh na naste kinchan” “There is only one God, not the second; not at all, not at all, not in the least bit.”
    Thus only a dispassionate study of the Hindu scriptures can help one understand the concept of God in Hinduism. 0[Rigveda Samhita vol. 9, pages 2810 and 2811 by Swami Satya Prakash Sarasvati and Satyakam Vidyalankar] 11[Rigveda Samhita vol. 6, pages 1802 and 1803 by Swami Satya Prakash Saraswati and Satyakam Vidyalankar] as from the sun.
    ” The Prophecy confirms:
    1. The name of the Prophet as Ahmed since Ahmed is an Arabic name. Many translators misunderstood it to be ‘Ahm at hi’ and translated the mantra as “I alone have acquired the real wisdom of my father”.
    2. Prophet was given eternal law, i.e. the Shariah.
    3. The Rishi was enlightened by the Shariah of Prophet Muhammad.
    The Qur’an says in Surah Saba Chapter 34 verse 28 (34:28): “We have not sent thee but as a universal (Messenger) to men, giving them glad tidings and warning them (against sin), but most men understand not.”

  • Willow Arthur

    Ram Dass was summoned back from Maui, where he had retired to bliss out forever. He regarded us benignly from his wheelchair, nodded gently and said: “We are all conversations in the Mind of God”.
    <3 Willow Arthur

    • Ali Yousuff

      WHAT RAMDASS IS SAYING IS HIS OPINION BUT READ THIS ITS REVEALATION FROM PUR LORD AND YOUR LORD- But monasticism they invented – only seeking God’s pleasure, We ordained it not for them, and they observed it not with right observance. We therefore gave the believers among them their reward; and many of them are sinners.” – The Quran , 57:27

    • Ali Yousuff

      (1) Allah is the Protecting Guardian of those who believe. He bringeth them out of darkness into light. As for those who disbelieve, their patrons are false deities. They bring them out of light into darkness. Such are rightful owners of the Fire. They will abide therein.
      ( سورة البقرة , Al-Baqara, Chapter #2, Verse #257)

    • Ali Yousuff

      He calleth unto him whose harm is nearer than his benefit; verily an evil patron and verily an evil friend!Al-Hajj, Chapter #22, Verse #13)

    • Ali Yousuff

      The likeness of those who choose other patrons than Allah is as the likeness of the spider when she taketh unto herself a house, and lo! the frailest of all houses is the spider’s house, if they but knew. Al-Ankaboot, Chapter #29, Verse #41)

  • Ali Yousuff

    Is there anyone a faithful of the Lord who wants to discuss with me the truth about the Lord and his message to mankind through his faithfull prophets so that we save ourselves from polytheism and idol worship which the greatest sin-

    • ozlanthos



  • Jane Jones

    “You’re just running off old karma”. the process of which is so mysterious and when you’re
    in the karma energy-action; you can be the observer or you can be everything observed…i think the whole thing is that the dress makes the man in that it is the way one carries themselves in this infinite spirit energy of Baba Ram Dass..it is so very special an energy too, and that makes the duality stop and take notice and the kicker karma to dissolve if not disappear entirely into eternity as this awesome unwaivering peace to descend upon all…and just like those days of our youth, not so long ago and we have them with us always…the sunsets lasted forever as their starlit afterglow continues to birth our lasting love.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bennett.schneider Bennett Schneider

    So really what we’re reading is that this article and website is all because he said, “Well I’m blahblahblah” to the 4 hippies by the car.

    • http://www.facebook.com/bennett.schneider Bennett Schneider

      we’re reading a ripple.

  • ozlanthos

    Funny, I think I know what you are talking about. That scene in the airport. When someone just shows up, unloads the deepest pain they are carrying, and shares it with you as though you were a life-long friend. I think that is where the spiritual aspects of yoga, meditation, and other such practices become most important. Lacking such context for these events, I have often found myself at a loss for words. It’s probably better that way, as I seem to do my best work by listening, and being receptive.