In 1967 an ex-Harvard professor Richard Alpert (Ram Dass) travelled to India and was taken to Kainchi – Nainital region by Bhagavan Dass. At that time Baba Hari Dass was already an accomplished yoga teacher and had a large following. On his guru’s (Neem Karoli Baba) recommendation, Ram Dass received teachings of Ashtanga Yoga: “Baba Hari Dass was my teacher. I was taught by this man with a chalkboard in the most terse way possible”.
Baba Hari Dass trained Ram Dass in Raja Yoga (also known as Ashtanga Yoga of Patanjali), asana, pranayama, mantras, mudras, ahimsa (non-violence) and focused meditation. “Hari Dass Baba, who had been my sadhana tutor while I lived in Kainchi. Each morning around 11:30 Hari Dass Baba would come from Hanuman Garh sixteen kilometers away to give me lessons in yoga.” The aim of training and practices of yoga-sadhana was for Ram Dass to become an adept practitioner and teacher of classical Ashtanga Yoga in the US and to increase interest in yoga and spirituality in general. Building a yoga center in India or the US and publishing yoga books authored by Baba Hari Dass were also discussed.
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