Shri Mahant Swami Ganeshanand Saraswati Giri (ca. 1895-1987) was known to all who loved and studied with him simply as Ganesh Baba. At the age of four, he was brought back from death through an initiation by Lahiri Mahasaya and through this initiation descends from the same Kriya Yoga lineage as Paramahansa Yogananda. He became a swami under his guru Sivananda and later went on to run the Anandamayi Ma ashram. Drawn to the life of the Naga Babas, he became the head of the Ananda Akhara, Naga followers of Lord Shiva who consider cannabis and other entheogens to be the gift of the gods. The unique set of principles and exercises Ganesh Baba developed from the tantric practices of traditional Kriya Yoga and Shivaism became the core of his personal teachings of Crea (for creative) Yoga. Ganesh Baba's message of systematic synthesis of the spiritual and secular was carefully developed for and embraced by contemporary students in the 1960s, especially those whose path included the use of entheogens.
This book contains the core of Ganesh Baba's Crea Yoga teachings, from the beginning stages of conscious control of one's posture, breath, and attention to finally extending one's awareness to the farthest reaches of the cosmos. Eve Baumohl Neuhaus shows that the life of this scholar and crazy saint was as instructive as his teachings. She includes many personal reminiscences of this inspirational and challenging teacher from her own life and those of fellow students, which demonstrate that Ganesh Baba's extraordinary life was in keeping with his own role as the embodiment of Lord Ganesh, the remover of obstacles.
is message was clear: mind can only point to the truth to find it you have to live it truly and fully for yourself!
Eve Baumohl Neuhaus was one of many student who worked with ganesh Baba when he was in the united states from 1979 until 1985 typing and retyping his manuscripts. A schoolteacher from 1979 to 2001 she had a master degree in mythological studies and gives workshops in art, mythology and crea yoga. The author of journey to mythaca she lives in central California.
In a word outrageous! That was my experience of Ganesh Baba or GB as he was fond of being called the browns Santa Claus from planet India. He walked into my office one morning and was living with me that evening. Carrying only a small bag with a change of clothing this wandering renunciate was living the high life in New York City, with literally only the clothes on his back. Baba and I became good friends roommates and fellow travelers and I some of the most extraordinary experiences of my life in his presence.
Baba please don’t bring every single person you meet in the street up to our apartment I would say to him. He would pay e o mind. Baba love was indiscriminate and he was as likely to engage a homeless person as a sophisticated scientist. Once day I returned from work at the publishing house to discover a young lady had just moved into my home. Baba had met her earlier that day on Broadway just two blocks from my home had heard her story and decided to bring her home with him. I couldn’t believe it! However my concern and trepidation was soon turned into affection and appreciation for the lovely human days receiving Baba teaching and then was of on her journey. Two days later a famous poet arrived with his entourage. He’d come straight from the airport to meet the psychedelic guru Ganesha Baba. He walked in and touched Baba feet as is the tradition in North India when you treat a senior and distinguished individual. It is a sign of humility and respect for the teacher. Before the poet lifted his head Baba hand came sweeping down across his face slapping him senseless and throwing him to the ground. I was quite taken aback and wondered what would transpire seeing the shock and outrage in the eyes of my other guests. Sooner had the poet regained his composure than did he start recounting a series of transgressions and sins for which he was asking Baba forgiveness. Baba laughed demanded a joint and the party began.
This was one of many festive occasions I enjoyed with Baba. People were always wanting to throw parties for him in New York and one night we were invited to a large loft in Soho for a celebration in honor of the Shri Mahant Ganesh Baba. Earlier that day a friend of Baba’s had come by the apartment with some psilocybin mushrooms. Before leaving for the party Baba Painstakingly ground the sacred mushroom in a mortar and pestle and mixed them into a lassi which he insisted I share with him. As we entered the loft that evening the mushrooms stated taking effect and within a few moments Baba was lost to me in a crowed of a few hundred. As the doors of perception were opening in marched a troop of naked women, Brazilian samba dancers decorated only with feathers and moving to the sound of conga drums. Bare on to the stage that had been set up for the occasion. At the head of this procession was none other than Ganesh Baba. I saw him on the stage and could see he was lost in an ecstatic trance: his eyes pointed up into his skull and the hand and legs of his 90 year old body were swaying in abandon. I was terrified! At any moment he could fall of the stage and the evening would quickly turn from ecstasy to trials and tribulations. I ran up to the stage and grabbed Baba who as he came back to earth tuned to me and said. Joint he was very fond of cannabis as are all of his naga brethren saints and sadhus in a tradition that dates back to the beginning of time.
Baba defied labels and categories swami, guru, father, brother, teacher, saint, Naga Baba, Yogi, tantric, scientist, linguist, psychedelic hipster, Kriya yogi, and devotee of the Divine mother. None of these terms alone nor a collection of them together can in any way summarize or indicate the extraordinary man that you’ll reading about in this book. The few months that he spent living with me in New York city count among the most important of my life. He lifted my spirits he tore away illusion he exhibited compassion his extraordinary intellect had a command of both religion and science.
Baba went horseback riding with Winston Churchill studied physics with Einstein. He and his tantric buddies brought down the presidency of Richard M. Nixon. He was raised from the dead as a child and had developed the unified theory of physics the mathematics of which he was working on with a scientist at berkely. Ganesh Baba considered the hippies that came to Indian in the 1960s to be the finest people on earth. His use of ethonogens was just an adjunct in his practice of spiritualization through Sadhana. He was a traditional swami and guru in the Kriya yoga lineage as well as a Shri Mahant in one of the major Naga Acharyas. During the time we spent together my publishing life was turned upside down and I spent most evening well into the morning turned upside down and I spent most evening well into the morning hours talking with Baba on subjects both esoteric and mundane. Like a whirlwind he lifted me up and threw me into a marriage with India that continues to the present day in person of my wife Vatsala Tami from Madurai.
Baba was an embodiment of his teaching and the tradition of crazy wisdom that dates back to the Rishi’s of ancient Inida. Even at 90 years of age his energy was inexhaustible based as it was on a constant practice of Kriya yoga breathing. If anybody was fading around Baba a hug while he was breathing deeply would instantly energize them. Unattached unencumbered liberated and fee to act as the spirit moved him to be with Baba was to be transformed. I hope that the page that follow can in some way give you a taste of the extraordinary out regeous and indomitable spirit of Ganesh Baba.
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