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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 album’s 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 Royal’s 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 site’s 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.

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