First Meeting with Ganesh Baba
by Peter Meyer

April 21st [1979]

A far, far out day! This morning I moved from Kathmandu Guest House to Homely Lodge, 5 minutes from Freak Street — a great improvement. Then (still feeling desperate — or rather desolate) I was walking by Hotel Crystal when this guy came up to me and said "Can you tell me how to get to Paris?" I replied: "You mean Paras Hotel?" (which was just across the road). He looked at me with an expression of mild exasperation, and I knew it must be someone I knew. It was David, from the Tibetan Center at Evreux, now with beard, and his Melbourne girl friend, Jill. They'd been in Kathmandu only two days. We sat in the "Don't Pass Me By" Restaurant and fed this Swedish girl a line about biorhythms as a new religious cult.

April 23rd

In the evening David took me to meet Ganesh Baba — a mind-blowing evening. It was sort of a party, with half-a-dozen hippies and spiritual seekers. We began smoking hashish early in the evening and continued throughout the night. Baba hit me with everything. Today I spent the whole afternoon just getting my head together again, like the day after a heavy acid trip. I missed a lot because of my deafness. Baba said that my hearing would be cured if I would take a 4-week course in Vipassana meditation — 'Vajrayana', not Hinayana. He said many things to me last night. Some were gross insults, such as that in his eyes I'm just an animal. He declared of us all that we were arseholes — in fact not even as good as arseholes. (Ginsburg: "The arsehole, too, is holy.") Baba said we are all fuck-ups, crazy, the dregs of our society.

He told me that I was a lama in my previous life — a fucked-up lama, and that my predilection for things Tibetan is based on nostalgia for my previous life. He attacked the lamas, calling them everything — except for the Dalai Lama and some others he has met (Kalu Rimpoche, Karmapa), whom he respects. He said that I am screwed up and frustrated because of what the lamas have done to me — their fucking moralizing! He said that, apart from the shit that I have from the lamas, I'm a 'great soul' (mahatma), who wouldn't harm anyone. He scolded me all night for not sitting up straight — something I'd felt bad about for years. He said that people who slouch can have no self-respect. (He's right about the importance of holding oneself erect.)

He talked a lot about fucking — said it was what we (us Westerners) thought about most of the time. He said that my understanding of shunyata was that it was (something like) the vacuity of orgasm — only a thousand times more so. He asked me at one point what will become of all this (indicating the phenomenal world) when I die. He said something about waking from the illusion of its reality. Said that when we were in the womb, after consciousness had arisen in the embryo, there is no awareness of space and time (these are produced by the psyche after birth). There is no awareness of light in the womb, it's like being in a dark room — but there is a night light, and if you can remember that night light then you know who you were before you were born.

There is some realization associated with the fifth cakra, at the throat, something to do with life and bliss, and he said to me that I am capable of opening this fifth cakra in this life, and I should not waste the chance. He is incredible. He really has something. He's a member of Shankaracarya's order of sannyasis, along with [Agehananda] Bharati (he says Bharati loves him), so his philosophy is monistic Vedanta. He said and did many outrageous things, and I was completely stoned, having smoked from 7:30 pm to 3:30 am. That evening I found out that there's a level of being stoned which you can't exceed no matter how much more you smoke.

Ganesh Baba Serendipity Home Page