Ram Dass - Religious Leaders, Birthday and Childhood

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Ram Dass's Personal Details

Ram Dass is an American spiritual teacher and author

InformationDetail
BirthdayApril 6, 1931
NationalityAmerican
FamousReligious Leaders, Spiritual, Spiritual Teacher, Leaders, Spiritual & Religious Leaders
City/StateMassachusetts
SpousesKaren Saum
Known asRichard Alpert
Childrens Peter Reichard
Universities
  • Tufts University
  • Williston Northampton School
  • Stanford University
  • Wesleyan University
Birth PlaceBoston, Massachusetts
ReligionJewish
GenderMale
FatherGeorge Alpert
Sun SignAries
Born inBoston, Massachusetts
Famous asSpiritual Teacher
Socials

// Famous Spiritual Teacher

Ram Dass's photo

Who is Ram Dass?

Ram Dass is an American spiritual teacher who did not follow any particular religion in his early years. After gaining a PhD in psychology from ‘Stanford University,’ he served as an assistant professor of psychology at ‘Harvard University.’ At ‘Harvard,’ he came into contact with Timothy Leary, with whom he carried out extensive research on the effects of hallucinogenic drugs such as LSD. He was dismissed from ‘Harvard’ due to the controversial nature of his work. His quest for spirituality took him to India, where he met Neem Karoli Baba, whom he later adopted as his guru. His guru gave him the name “Ram Dass,” meaning “servant of God” and had a lasting influence on his life. Ram Dass founded the ‘Hanuman Foundation,’ which initiated the ‘Prison-Ashram Project.’ The project encouraged convicts to turn to meditation and spirituality. He was also a co-founder of various other foundations, such as the ‘Living/Dying Project’ in Santa Fe, New Mexico, which helped people to die consciously. Ram Dass openly talked about his bisexuality and said that he preferred to have no family ties that would influence his work. He suffered a stroke that left him with expressive aphasia, which he attributes to the will of God. He presently lives on Maui, an island in Hawaii, where he conducts retreats and preaches through the internet.

// Famous Religious Leaders

Childhood & Early Life

He was born Richard Alpert, on April 6, 1931, in Newton, Massachusetts, US, to Jewish parents. His father was a lawyer and an active fundraiser for Jewish causes. His father was also one of the founders of the ‘Albert Einstein College of Medicine’ and ‘Brandeis University.’

Alpert considered himself an atheist during his younger days and did not profess any religion. He graduated from the ‘Williston Northampton School’ in 1948 and went on to complete his BA degree from ‘Tufts University.’ He then completed his master’s degree from ‘Wesleyan University’ and earned a doctorate degree in psychology from ‘Stanford University.’

After completing his PhD, he taught at ‘Stanford University’ for a year and went on to practice psychoanalysis.

Career

He started teaching as an assistant professor of psychology at ‘Harvard University’ in 1958. He worked in the ‘Social Relations Department,’ the ‘Psychology Department,’ the ‘Graduate School of Education,’ and the ‘Health Service.’ He became a therapist and specialized in motivation and personality development. He published his first book, ‘Identification and Child Rearing,’ in 1962.

He met Timothy Leary at ‘Harvard’ and joined him in his research to study the therapeutic effects of hallucinogenic drugs such as LSD and psilocybin. The duo co-founded the ‘International Federation for Internal Freedom’ (IFIF) in 1962, a non-profit institution geared toward the study of the spiritual use of psychedelic drugs. His exploration of human consciousness led him to collaborate with Ralph Metzner, Allen Ginsberg, and Aldous Huxley. His work with Timothy Leary became highly controversial at ‘Harvard.’

He worked under David McClelland at the ‘Center for Research in Personality’ and assisted Walter Pahnke of ‘Harvard Divinity School’ in his ‘Good Friday Experiment’ in 1962, which was the first study on the mystical experience of drugs.

Alpert and Leary moved to the ‘Hitchcock Estate’ in Millbrook, New York, in 1962 and started a communal group with their followers and former ‘Psilocybin Project’ members at the estate. The new organization, known as the ‘Castalia Foundation,’ aimed at cultivating divinity within each person. The foundation hosted retreats where individuals paid to undergo psychedelic experiences through yoga and meditation, without the help of drugs.

He co-authored several books and delivered lectures that included talks at the ‘League for Spiritual Discovery’s center in Greenwich Village, in 1967. He traveled to India the same year and met Neem Karoli Baba, also known as “Maharaj-ji,” at ‘Kainchi Ashram.’ Neem Karoli Baba became his guru. Alpert was given the name “Ram Dass,” meaning “servant of God,” by his guru, who had a lasting influence on the rest of his life. He also interacted with the spiritual teacher Meher Baba, whom he has often mentioned in his books.

He returned from India and stayed at the ‘Lama Foundation’ in Taos, New Mexico, where he co-founded a countercultural spiritual community and an ashram. He presented the manuscript of his book, ‘From Bindu to Ojas,’ which was published as ‘Be Here Now’ in 1971 and became a bestseller. The book describes his spiritual journey and recommends techniques of attaining spirituality. The proceeds of the book were donated to the ‘Lama Foundation.’

He founded the ‘Hanuman Foundation,’ which initiated the ‘Prison-Ashram Project.’ The project encouraged convicts to turn to meditation and spiritual teachings to change their lives for the better. He was also a co-founder of various other foundations, such as the ‘Seva Foundation,’ which aimed to help the blind in India, Nepal, and other developing countries. He was part of the ‘Living/Dying Project’ in Santa Fe, New Mexico, which supported people to die consciously.

He experimented with a panoramic array of spiritual practices, such as devotion to Hindu gods and goddesses (“bhakti”), yoga of the mind and body, Buddhist meditation in the Theravadin, Mahayana practices, Zen practices, Sufism, and Jewish mystical studies.

He began exploring his ancestral Jewish faith at the age of 60, with the belief that there must be a reason for him to be born a Jew. He holds retreats and makes public appearances to give talks on spiritualism, which he describes as the purpose of his life. He also spreads his message through webcasts.

His book ‘Be Here Now’ is a blend of Eastern and Western philosophies and appeals to the present generation that is in search of spiritual peace. He also started a radio program known as ‘Here and Now with Ram Dass,’ to reach out to a larger section of followers.

He released his memoir and a summary of his teachings, ‘Polishing the Mirror: How to Live from Your Spiritual Heart,’ at the age of 82. He believes he has achieved his purpose on this planet and is ready for the end, whenever it comes.

Major Works

He has written a number of books, such as ‘Identification and Child Rearing’ (1962), ‘LSD’ (1966), ‘Be Here Now’ (1971), ‘Miracle of Love: Stories about Neem Karoli Baba’ (1978), ‘Still Here: Embracing Aging, Changing and Dying’ (2000), and ‘Polishing the Mirror: How to Live from Your Spiritual Heart’ (2013).

He has also made several recordings of his teachings and has appeared in a number of documentaries, which include ‘A Change of Heart’ (1991), ‘Dying to Know: Ram Dass & Timothy Leary’ (2014), and ‘Ram Dass, Going Home’ (2017).

Awards & Achievements

He was awarded the ‘Peace Abbey Courage of Conscience Award’ in August 1991.

Personal Life & Legacy

Ram Dass openly talked about his bisexuality. He preferred to have no family ties that may influence his work. At the age of 78, he learnt that he had a son from a brief affair with a fellow graduate named Karen Saum during his days in ‘Stanford University.’ This was revealed when his son, Peter Reichard, took a DNA test. Ram and Peter came together 53 years after Peter’s birth and have kept in touch since then.

In 1997, he suffered a stroke that left him with expressive aphasia, which affected his speech and the left side of his body. However, his mind is as active as it was prior to the stroke. He believes his stroke was an act of God to prepare him for more difficult things in life. He has been living on Maui, in Hawaii, since 2004 and has not moved out much.

His health and his financial condition have both deteriorated with time. However, he continues to preach and write books to spread his message.

Trivia

Ram Dass was dismissed from ‘Harvard’ for allegedly giving psilocybin to an undergraduate student.

He fell out with Leary in 1974 and reconciled with him in 1983, during a reunion at ‘Harvard’ that marked the 20th anniversary of their expulsion.

// Famous Spiritual

Ram Dass awards

YearNameAward

Other

1991 - Peace Abbey Courage of Conscience Award

Ram Dass biography timelines

  • // 6th Apr 1931
    He was born Richard Alpert, on April 6, 1931, in Newton, Massachusetts, US, to Jewish parents. His father was a lawyer and an active fundraiser for Jewish causes. His father was also one of the founders of the ‘Albert Einstein College of Medicine’ and ‘Brandeis University.’
  • // 1948
    Alpert considered himself an atheist during his younger days and did not profess any religion. He graduated from the ‘Williston Northampton School’ in 1948 and went on to complete his BA degree from ‘Tufts University.’ He then completed his master’s degree from ‘Wesleyan University’ and earned a doctorate degree in psychology from ‘Stanford University.’
  • // 1958 To 1962
    He started teaching as an assistant professor of psychology at ‘Harvard University’ in 1958. He worked in the ‘Social Relations Department,’ the ‘Psychology Department,’ the ‘Graduate School of Education,’ and the ‘Health Service.’ He became a therapist and specialized in motivation and personality development. He published his first book, ‘Identification and Child Rearing,’ in 1962.
  • // 1962
    He met Timothy Leary at ‘Harvard’ and joined him in his research to study the therapeutic effects of hallucinogenic drugs such as LSD and psilocybin. The duo co-founded the ‘International Federation for Internal Freedom’ (IFIF) in 1962, a non-profit institution geared toward the study of the spiritual use of psychedelic drugs. His exploration of human consciousness led him to collaborate with Ralph Metzner, Allen Ginsberg, and Aldous Huxley. His work with Timothy Leary became highly controversial at ‘Harvard.’
  • // 1962
    He worked under David McClelland at the ‘Center for Research in Personality’ and assisted Walter Pahnke of ‘Harvard Divinity School’ in his ‘Good Friday Experiment’ in 1962, which was the first study on the mystical experience of drugs.
  • // 1962
    Alpert and Leary moved to the ‘Hitchcock Estate’ in Millbrook, New York, in 1962 and started a communal group with their followers and former ‘Psilocybin Project’ members at the estate. The new organization, known as the ‘Castalia Foundation,’ aimed at cultivating divinity within each person. The foundation hosted retreats where individuals paid to undergo psychedelic experiences through yoga and meditation, without the help of drugs.
  • // 1967
    He co-authored several books and delivered lectures that included talks at the ‘League for Spiritual Discovery’s center in Greenwich Village, in 1967. He traveled to India the same year and met Neem Karoli Baba, also known as “Maharaj-ji,” at ‘Kainchi Ashram.’ Neem Karoli Baba became his guru. Alpert was given the name “Ram Dass,” meaning “servant of God,” by his guru, who had a lasting influence on the rest of his life. He also interacted with the spiritual teacher Meher Baba, whom he has often mentioned in his books.
  • // 1971
    He returned from India and stayed at the ‘Lama Foundation’ in Taos, New Mexico, where he co-founded a countercultural spiritual community and an ashram. He presented the manuscript of his book, ‘From Bindu to Ojas,’ which was published as ‘Be Here Now’ in 1971 and became a bestseller. The book describes his spiritual journey and recommends techniques of attaining spirituality. The proceeds of the book were donated to the ‘Lama Foundation.’
  • // 1974 To 1983
    He fell out with Leary in 1974 and reconciled with him in 1983, during a reunion at ‘Harvard’ that marked the 20th anniversary of their expulsion.
  • // Aug 1991
    He was awarded the ‘Peace Abbey Courage of Conscience Award’ in August 1991.
  • // 1997 To 2004
    In 1997, he suffered a stroke that left him with expressive aphasia, which affected his speech and the left side of his body. However, his mind is as active as it was prior to the stroke. He believes his stroke was an act of God to prepare him for more difficult things in life. He has been living on Maui, in Hawaii, since 2004 and has not moved out much.

// Famous Spiritual & Religious Leaders

Ram Dass's FAQ

  • What is Ram Dass birthday?

    Ram Dass was born at 1931-04-06

  • Where is Ram Dass's birth place?

    Ram Dass was born in Boston, Massachusetts

  • What is Ram Dass nationalities?

    Ram Dass's nationalities is American

  • Who is Ram Dass spouses?

    Ram Dass's spouses is Karen Saum

  • Who is Ram Dass childrens?

    Ram Dass's childrens is Peter Reichard

  • What was Ram Dass universities?

    Ram Dass studied at Tufts University, Williston Northampton School, Stanford University, Wesleyan University

  • What is Ram Dass's religion?

    Ram Dass's religion is Jewish

  • Who is Ram Dass's father?

    Ram Dass's father is George Alpert

  • What is Ram Dass's sun sign?

    Ram Dass is Aries

  • How famous is Ram Dass?

    Ram Dass is famouse as Spiritual Teacher

  • What is Ram Dass's facebook?

    Ram Dass's facebook is https://www.facebook.com/babaramdass/

  • What is Ram Dass's twitter?

    Ram Dass's twitter is https://twitter.com/babaramdass/

  • What is Ram Dass's instagram?

    Ram Dass's instagram is https://www.instagram.com/babaramdass/