| Bhagavan Das
Beastie Boys fans have had to hunt
high and low for rare promotional copies of the 2001 Bhagavan
Das album entitled Bhagavan Das Now. Their interest
in it is directly linked to the fact that not only did Mike
D released it on Grand Royal Records, but he also participated
in its creation.
In an interview with New Visions Magazine, Bhagavan Das
said the following of his work with Mike D: "We met
a few years ago because he had read my book. I had never
heard of the Beastie Boys. He had been going on a spiritual
journey himself and connecting with a mutual friend name
Sharon Gannon who is the director of the Jivamukti Yoga
Center in New York City. Sharon told him about me and we
connected in New York and became friends. The record will
be out August 21st on Grand Royal." Unfortunately the
albums formal release on Grand Royal did not happen
because the label folded in the fall of 2001.
For those not familiar with Bhagavan
Das background, he was born Michael Riggs and later
changed his name when he left America in pursuit of greater
spiritual understanding. In the early 1960s, Bhagavan Das
connected with the transcendental aspect of his life and
found that there was an interesting interplay between the
mundane and the spiritual. Since then he has developed a
following through his music and spiritual teachings. Bhagavan
Das continues to tour, but if you are not able to see him
in person and can not afford to beat the current eBay.com
high bid of his Grand Royal album he also released an album
in 1971 entitled Ah.
For those who took the time to view
Grand Royals online going out of business sale, they
may recall seeing two Bhagavan Das cassette tapes for sale.
For the price of fifteen dollars per tape, both the Mt.
Vision cassette as well as the In Concert cassette
were available via mail order. The Grand Royal sites
description for the Mt. Vision tape said the following
of it; "this is a compilation of chants and mantras
from India. The intertwining sounds create a meditative
mood, and Bhagavan Das' "golden voice" uplifts
the listener to a heightened state of divine ecstasy. This
experience mirrors a psychedelic meditative journey."
Whereas the live concert recording was listed with the following
description "...a recording of ancient Indian chanting
led by Bhagavan Das. This chanting captures the "raw"
essence of devotion. It is a traditional call and response
format which encourages the listener to sing along and experience
the bliss of devotion." With descriptions like those
it is no wonder that the Grand Royal online store quickly
sold out of the limited amount of Bhagavan Das tapes that
they had on hand.