25 Facts About Ram Dass


Ram Dass was born on Richard Alpert; April 6, 1931 – December 22, 2019, and known as Baba Ram Dass, was an American spiritual teacher, guru of modern yoga, psychologist, and author.

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Ram Dass's best-selling 1971 book Be Here Now, which has been described by multiple reviewers as "seminal", helped popularize Eastern spirituality and yoga in the West.

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Ram Dass was personally and professionally associated with Timothy Leary at Harvard University in the early 1960s.

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In 1967, Alpert traveled to India and became a disciple of Hindu guru Neem Karoli Baba who gave him the name Ram Dass, meaning "Servant of Ram, " but usually rendered as simply "Servant of God" for western audiences.

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Ram Dass traveled extensively giving talks and retreats and holding fundraisers for charitable causes in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s.

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Ram Dass eventually grew to interpret this event as an act of grace, learning to speak again and continuing to teach and author books.

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Ram Dass's parents were Gertrude and George Alpert, a lawyer in Boston.

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Ram Dass considered himself an atheist during his early life.

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Ram Dass achieved a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Tufts University in 1952.

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Ram Dass's father had wanted him to go to medical school, but while at Tufts he decided to study psychology instead.

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Ram Dass specialized in human motivation and personality development, and published his first book Identification and Child Rearing.

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Neem Karoli Baba gave Alpert the name "Ram Dass", which means "servant of God", referring to the incarnation of God as Ram or Lord Rama.

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Ram Dass had helped Steve Durkee and Barbara Durkee (Asha Greer or Asha von Briesen) co-found the countercultural, spiritual community in 1967, and it had an ashram dedicated to Ram Dass's guru.

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Ram Dass founded the Hanuman Foundation, a nonprofit educational and service organization that initiated the Prison-Ashram Project, in 1974.

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Ram Dass co-founded the Seva Foundation by joining with health-care workers to treat the blind in India, Nepal, and developing countries.

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Ram Dass helped create the Dying Project with its Executive Director Dale Borglum, whom he had met in India.

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Ram Dass served on the faculty of the Metta Institute where he provided training on mindful and compassionate care of the dying.

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At 60 years of age, Ram Dass began exploring Judaism seriously for the first time.

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Leary and Ram Dass, who had grown apart after Ram Dass denounced Leary in a 1974 news conference, reconciled in 1983 at Harvard, and reunited before Leary's death in May 1996.

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In February 1997, Ram Dass had a stroke that left him with expressive aphasia, which he interpreted as an act of grace.

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Ram Dass stated, "The stroke was giving me lessons, and I realized that was grace—fierce grace.

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Ram Dass continued to make public appearances and to give talks at small venues; held retreats in Maui; and continued to teach through live webcasts.

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Ram Dass still intends to write and teach; however without the travel—we can now come to him.

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In 2013, Ram Dass released a memoir and summary of his teaching, Polishing the Mirror: How to Live from Your Spiritual Heart.

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At 78, Ram Dass learned that he had fathered a son as a 24-year-old at Stanford during a brief relationship with history major Karen Saum, and that he was now a grandfather.

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