India is a land of spirituality. People all around the globe come to India in search of a higher state of wellbeing. Steve Jobs among others too came to India to meet Neem Karoli Baba for spiritual enlightenment. Babas in India have a strong presence and that could be because of their inner peace and the motivational ability. In my trip to Hampi-Karnataka I was lucky enough to meet ‘Baba Vikram Das’ staying at the same home-stay as me and got a chance to have a conversation with him. Thus I have managed to put together this column.
How did you become a baba?
I was born in Jharkhand and from my childhood days I used to be among the holy saints. They taught me the power of prayers and meditation. Once I reached adulthood, I moved to Maharashtra and there I was under Marathi Guru who is my inspiration and my guide. There was an overpowering effect which I felt under his ‘diksha‘. He still resides in Maharashtra and is famous there.
What does your daily diet consist?
I’m a pure vegetarian and have never consumed meat or alcohol (he says while puffing away on his beedi).
Share with us any of your best experiences…
I have been traveling all over India since a very young age. I move to different places to extend my knowledge to those who are in need. I teach in many ashrams. During one such travel I was in Mysore, and the Queen became my staunch follower. She would wash my feet every day during my stay at her palace. The reverence she had for me was heartwarming. It was a very gratifying experience. The queen is now in the UK with her sons.
How did you manage to end up in Laughing Buddha home-stay in Hampi?
I have always had a deep connection with Hampi. The kind of peace that I find here is rare to find elsewhere. I come here often. The owner of this home-stay has been my disciple since two decades. He gives me the credit of having ridden him of his bad habits like alcohol and helping him focus on his success. When we were young he used to sit across the river looking at this empty land and dream of owning it someday. I helped him focus on his dream and now he is a high profile owner of this beautiful home-stay. Whenever I’m here he looks after my stay and comfort.
How do you spend your time?
My days start with prayers and meditation and then I impart knowledge to the people around me. Sometimes I preach at ashrams. When in Bangalore too I visit many ashrams, enlightening people on the way of life, inner peace and virtues to live a happy life.
India is a land of many God’s, who do you worship and why?
I strongly believe in Shiva- The limitless, transcendent, Master of yogis. He is the destroyer which is a prerequisite for rebirth and new creation. That is the main reason why we try to emulate our favorite God.
Have you been to the Kumbh Mela?
You must be kidding with your question here. I have never missed the Kumbh Mela since the time I have started going. It is the largest religious gathering for us. I will be going next year in 2015 as well… do you want to join? (I smartly evade the topic and move on to my next question)
How do you manage your living and travel?
My years of travel, meditation and preaching have earned me many followers and my disciples eagerly tend to my needs. Also my work in ashrams and meditation centers makes my living a beautiful experience for which I’m thankful to the almighty.