Ram Dass

Definition - What does Ram Dass mean?

Ram Dass is an American yogi, guru and spiritual leader who has incorporated aspects from various traditions — including yoga, Hinduism, Buddhism, and even Muslim and Jewish mysticism — into his teachings.

Born Richard Alpert, he is the author of the 1971 book, "Be Here Now," and is the founder of the Seva Foundation and the Hanuman Foundation. Ram Dass is a former clinical and academic psychologist who worked with Timothy Leary at Harvard University studying the effects of psychotropics on the mind. Both became icons of the 1960s counterculture.

Yogapedia explains Ram Dass

Ram Dass, which means “servant of God,” received his name from his Hindu guru, Neem Karoli Baba, who was a mystic and devotee of the deity, Hanuman (the monkey god).

Through the practice of Karma yoga, Ram Dass has supported and encouraged spiritual service. His latest book, "Conversations with Ram Dass," was published in 2014.

Among his inspirational quotes are:

  • "The quieter you become, the more you can hear."
  • "Treat everyone you meet as if they are God in drag."
  • "Inspiration is God making contact with itself."
  • “We’re fascinated by the words, but where we meet is in the silence behind them.”
  • “It is important to expect nothing, to take every experience, including the negative ones, as merely steps on the path, and to proceed.”
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