Neem Karoli Baba

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Neem Karoli Baba
Neem Karoli Baba Sculpture in Ram Dass Library.jpg
Born Lakshmi Narayan Sharma
(date of birth unknown)
Akbarpur, British India
Died September 11, 1973
Vrindavan, India
Nationality Indian
Guru Hanuman
Philosophy Bhakti yoga
Notable disciple(s) Bhagavan Das
Jai Uttal
Krishna Das
Ma Jaya
Ram Dass
Ram Rani
Surya Das

Neem Karoli Baba (Hindi: नीम करोली बाबा) or Neeb Karori Baba (Hindi: नीब करौरी बाबा) (died September 11, 1973), also known to followers as Maharaj-ji, was a Hinduguru and devotee of the Hindu deityHanuman. He is known outside India for being the guru of a number of Americans who travelled to India in the 1960s and 1970s, the most well-known being the spiritual teachers Ram Dass and Bhagavan Das, and the musicians Krishna Das and Jai Uttal. His ashrams are in Kainchi,[1] Vrindavan, Rishikesh, Shimla, Bhumiadhar, Hanuman Gadi, Lucknow, Delhi in India and in Taos, New Mexico, USA.

Sadhu and guru[edit]

Neem Karoli Baba left his home around the time when his youngest child (daughter) was eleven (1958) and wandered extensively throughout northern India as a sadhu. During this time he was known under many names including Lakshman Das, Handi Wallah Baba, and Tikonia Walla Baba. When he did tapasya and sadhana at Bavania in Gujarat, he was known as Tallaiya Baba. In Vrindavan, local inhabitants addressed him by the name of Chamatkari Baba (miracle baba).[2]

He was a lifelong adept of bhakti yoga, and encouraged service to others (seva) as the highest form of unconditional devotion to God. In the book Miracle of Love, compiled by Ram Dass, a devotee named Anjani shares the following account:

There can be no biography of him. Facts are few, stories many. He seems to have been known by different names in many parts of India, appearing and disappearing through the years. His non-Indian devotees of recent years knew him as Neem Karoli Baba, but mostly as “Maharajji” – a nickname so commonplace in India that one can often hear a tea vendor addressed thus. Just as he said, he was “nobody”. He gave no discourses; the briefest, simplest stories were his teachings. Usually he sat or lay on a wooden bench wrapped in a plaid blanket while a few devotees sat around him. Visitors came and went; they were given food, a few words, a nod, a pat on the head or back, and they were sent away. There was gossip and laughter for he loved to joke. Orders for running the ashram were given, usually in a piercing yell across the compound. Sometimes he sat in silence, absorbed in another world to which we could not follow, but bliss and peace poured down on us. Who he was no more than the experience of him, the nectar of his presence, the totality of his absence…[2]


Neem Karoli Baba, samadhi mandir, Vrindavan ashram.

Neem Karoli Baba died at approximately 1.15 a.m. in the early morning hours of September 11, 1973 in a hospital at Vrindavan, India after slipping into a diabetic coma. He had been returning by night train to Kainchi nearNainital, from Agra where he had visited a heart specialist due to experiencing pains in his chest. He and his travelling companions had disembarked at Mathura railway station where he began convulsing and requested being taken to Vrindavan.

They took him to the emergency room at the hospital. In the hospital the doctor gave him injections and placed an oxygen mask over his face. The hospital staff said that he was in a diabetic coma but that his pulse was fine. Maharajji roused and pulled the oxygen mask off his face and the blood pressure measuring band from his arm, saying, “Bekar (useless).” Maharajji asked for Ganga water. As there was none, they brought him regular water. He then repeated several times, “Jaya Jagadish Hare” (Hail to the Lord of the Universe),” each time in a lower pitch. His face became very peaceful, all signs of pain disappeared. He was dead.[2]

Notable disciples[edit]

Among the most well known of Neem Karoli Baba’s disciples were, spiritual teacher Ma Jaya, Ram Dass, the author of Be Here Now, teacher/performer Bhagavan Das, Lama Surya Das[3] and the musicians Jai Uttal andKrishna Das. Other notable devotees include humanitarian Larry Brilliant and his wife Girija, Dada Mukerjee (former professor at Allahabad University, Uttar Pradesh, India), scholar and writer Yvette Rosser, and Daniel Goleman author of Emotional Intelligence.[4]Baba Hari Dass (Haridas) was not a disciple,[5] however, he supervised several buildings and maintained the ashrams[6] in Nainital area (1954-1968) before heading to the USA to become a spiritual teacher in California in the beginning of 1971. Steve Jobs, along with his friend Dan Kottke, traveled to India in 1973 to meet Neem Karoli Baba, but arrived after the guru died in September of that year.[7]HollywoodactressJulia Roberts was also influenced by Neem Karoli Baba. A picture of him drew Roberts to Hinduism.[8]


After returning to the United States, Ram Dass and Larry Brilliant founded the Seva Foundation, an international health organization based in Berkeley California that is committed to applying the teachings of Neem Karoli Baba toward ending world poverty. One of Seva’s greatest accomplishments is to have helped return eyesight to over 3.5 million blind people suffering from cataract blindness in countries like Tibet, Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Cambodia and throughout Central and South America and Africa. The organization also has a Native American Community Health Program that works to fight an epidemic of diabetes in Native communities throughout the United States.[citation needed]

In the late 2000s another Foundation evolved, the ‘Love Serve Remember Foundation’, whose purpose is to preserve and continue the teachings of Neem Karoli Baba and Ram Dass.[citation needed]

Amavasya 2015 Dates: Auspicious Time Of The Month

Amavasya or a new Moon day is the start of the new lunar month. It is a religious day when people keep fast. Any Sadhana performed on this day, produces very fruitful impact. Read all about Amavasya and check out Amabasya 2015 dates.

Amavasya – Auspicious Or Not?

Amavasya MoonWhile observing Amavasya in 2015, understanding why, when and how Amavasya is celebrated, will be a good way to start. Usually, people get lots of confusion about the fact that whether Amavasya is good or bad. However, we cannot deny that there are equal number of people in both the categories. Lots of people take it to be auspicious, while others take it as inauspicious. The new generation is quite unaware of the fact that Amavasya is considered auspicious as well. Well, they cannot be blamed, all the credit goes to our movies for putting Amavasya in such a bad light. Most of the movies portray Amavasya to be very inauspicious; according to them, it is a time when Tantra and Pooja is performed.

It is believed that during Amavasya, evil spirits get unusual powers and may cause harm. To counter this, people perform Kali Puja, as Goddess Kali is considered to be the destroyer of evil spirits. While, it is not the case that Amavasya is only inauspicious. It has good effects as well, and it should be considered auspicious.

The biggest reason for considering Amavasya as an auspicious time is the festival of lights i.e. “ Diwali “, which falls on Amavasya. On this eve, devotees dedicate Diwali puja to Goddess Lakshmi , along with Lord Ganesha . Also, some people follow the custom of offering Puja for dead ancestors. People also keep fast on Amavasya with a belief that their wishes will come true and they will get rid of all their sins.

Like every year, there are many Amavasyas in 2015 that are celebrated all across India namely – Mauni or Magha Amavasya , Bheemana Amavasya, Aati Amavasya, Hariyali Amavasya and Bhado Amavasya, to name a few. One of the very common practice followed by many on Amavasya days is to take holy dip in the holy rivers of India.

Amavasya Calendar Of 2015

As we all know, there are 12 Amavasya days every year. As the Moon completes its cycle, it comes up as a new Moon (no Moon). When the Moon is in the process of completing its cycle, the front side of the Moon comes on darker side of earth; and the back side of Moon remains the same i.e. bright. But, we can not see the bright (back) side of moon. So, new Moon is not visible from earth’s perspective. New Moon occurs every month. The names of these 12 Amavasyas are also based on their month of arrival.

Below mentioned is the list of Amavasya 2015 dates or new Moon days in 2015. These dates are according to IST and may differ depending on the locations.

Amavasya Dates 2015: List of Amavasyas in 2015

Date Month Day Name of Amavasya
20th January Tuesday Magha Amavasya
18th February Wednesday Phalguna Amavasya
20th March Friday Chaitra Amavasya
18th April Saturday Vaishakha Amavasya
18th May Monday Jyestha Amavasya
16th June Tuesday Ashadha Amavasya
16th July Thursday Aashadha Amavasya
14th August Friday Shravana Amavasya
13th September Sunday Bhadrapada Amavasya
12th October Monday Ashwin Amavasya
11th November Wednesday Kartik Amavasya
11th December Friday Margashirsha Amavasya

Some of the important and popular Amavasya days are explained below for better understanding.

Magha/Mauni Amavasya 2015

As per the Hindu Calendar , Mauni Amavasya falls on the 15th day of the Magha month. It is usually celebrated in the month of February. The word Mauni is derived from the word �Muni�, which literally means, a person who practices silence. Indians believe that during the period of Magha or Mauni Amavasya, it is good to perform Shraddha or Tarpan of the forefathers. Also, people believe that Pinda Daan or Pitr Tarpan helps in getting the blessings of forefathers.

Mauni Amavasya is believed as the day when Sun and Moon conjoins. People observe fast on this day, which is called Mauna Vrat (to remain silent). The devotees stay silent during this observance and do not utter even a single word. On this day, lots of devotees from all over the world visit Allahabad, also known as Prayag Sangam. People meditate the whole day and take a holy dip. Taking a bath during the time of Magha Mela is thought to be very rewarding.

Some of the Hindu scriptures tell that Mauni Amavasya is the day when the Universe was created. Mauni Amavasya is the day of spiritual Sadhana, that helps to calm down the mind; thus, giving peaceful environment. One of the very important event that occurs during the time of Mauni Amavasya is Kumbh Mela . Mauni Amavasya has its own importance, as it is considered that “Manu Rishi” was born on this day. As per the scriptures, Lord Brahma created the Queen Shatarupa and Maharaja Manu. The main deity worshipped on the day of Magha Amavasya is Lord Vishnu .

Somvati Amavasya 2015

It is believed that if a woman keeps fast on Somvati Amavasya, she can safeguard herself from the bad effect of widowhood, and this would also ensure progeny. Somvati Amavasya is also considered sacred to perform Pitra Puja.

The importance of Somvati Amavasya was narrated by Bhishma Pitamaha in the epic of Mahabharata. It is said that one can bring peace to the ancestors by taking a holy dip on this auspicious day in the sacred river Ganga. Peepal tree is also considered sacred, according to the Indian traditions. It is also believed that on the day of Somvati Amavasya, all women tie a thread around the tree for 108 times. Parikrama (revolving) is performed around the tree for 108 times; and sandal paste, milk, vermillion as well as flowers are offered. All the devotees gather under Peepal tree and chant Mantras to pleasing the God.

The Legend Of Somvati Amavasya

Lets know more on Somvati Amavasya by throwing some light on the legend associated with it. Legend says that once there was a money lender, who had one daughter and seven sons. Although the money lender got his sons married, he was unable to find a suitable match for his only daughter. The money lender had a Pandit friend, who used to visit his home regularly. But, whenever he did, he used to bless only daughters-in-law, but not the daughter. Noticing this act of him, the daughter told about it to her mother.

The mother enquired the Pandit about this behaviour to which he answered, the daughter does not have a good fortune. She may become a widow. Therefore, as a solution, Pandit told her about a washerwoman who lived on an island named Singhal. According to the Pandit, if that woman would put vermilion (Sindoor) on girls forehead, her fate would change. Also, the Pandit advised her to keep a fast of Somvati Amavasya. As per the Pandits advice, the girl accompanied by one of her brothers went to meet the washerwoman. The girl impressed the washerwoman with her service making her very happy. The washerwomen then applied vermilion on girls forehead. This way her fate was changed. Soon after, she found a suitable match and lived happily ever after.

Bheemana Amavasya 2015

On Bheemana Amavasya, married women pray for a happy and prosperous life of their husbands and unmarried women pray for seeking a good virtuous husband. This Amavasya is mainly celebrated in South India like in some parts of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. It is observed in the month of Ashadha.

On this day, Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati are worshiped. It is believed that Lord Shiva accepted Maa Parvati as his wife on this day.

Now, lets know the legend associated with the Bheemana Amavasya.

The Legend of Bheemana Amavasya

The legend says that there was a Brahmin couple who went to visit Kashi to get the blessings of Shiva. They left their daughter behind, as the journey would be very long and tedious. Their elder son was asked to look after the girl and get her married if they did not return. The couple did not return even after a year and this worried the brother, as he had to get his sister married. He didn’t want to spend a lot of money on this. At the same time, he came across the news that the king�s son (prince) has passed away. The king sent out a request that he wanted to get his son married before he was taken to the pyre. So, he got her sister married to the dead prince in exchange of money.

On their way to pyre, it started raining heavily. Everyone ran to get a cover except the gir,l who stayed with her dead prince. The next day was Ashada Amavasya and the Puja day. She prayed to the God and kept a fast for her dead husband. She followed the ritual of making mud balls for praying. At that moment, a young couple appeared and the man broke the mud balls, as per the ritual. The couple then told her to wake her husband. As soon as the girl touched the prince�s shoulder, he woke up. The girl suddenly realized who the young couple was. But, by the time she realized, they had left.

The girl told this story to the prince and they both prayed to the divine couple – Shiva and Parvati. This news spread like fire and people started following Bheemana Amavasya in Ashadha.

Bhado Amavasya 2015

Bhado Amavasya is dedicated to Narayani Bai, who became Sati on this day. Devotees visit Rani Sati Dadi Temple on this day to seek her blessings. Worshiping her on Bhado Amavasya is believed to be very fruitful.

Bhado Amavasya is also called Bhadi Mawas, which is the first day of Hindu month, Bhadrapada. It has more significance in Marwari community. On the day of Bhado Amavasya, a big fair is organised in Rajasthan, which is dedicated to the deity of the place, Rani Sati Dadi Ji. Lets know the legend associated with it.

The Legend Of Bhado Amavasya

The story says that when Abhimanyu was killed in Mahabharata, his wife also wished to sacrifice her life. However, Lord Krishna stopped her, as she was pregnant with Abhimanyu’s baby. Instead, Lord Krishna gave her the boon of becoming Abhimanyu’s wife in her next birth. As per the words of Lord Krishna, she took birth as Narayani Bai and Abhimanyu took birth as Tandhan Das; and they both got married.

But soon after marriage, Tandhan Das met with an ill fate and passed away. This incident made Narayani Bai to become Sati. Since then, she is known as Rani Sati Dadi Ji. A temple that is 400 years old is still there to give her respect for her devotion. Every year, a sacred Puja is held on Bhado Amavasya. It is said that Dadi Ji gives her blessings to the devotees who have firm devotion in their hearts. So, Bhado Amavasya has a significant place in Hindu community.

Aati Amavasya 2015

Aati Amavasya is very popular in South India; it is celebrated in the Ashada month. South Indians believes that if any prayer or offerings are made on the day of Aati Amavasya, it directly reaches to their ancestors. It is also said that if someone takes bath in the monsoon rains, all the sins get washed away. Hindus also consider Aati Amavasya as the initiation of the dark days.

During Aati Amavasya, people follow the ritual of drinking decoction of the bark of a tree. As per their belief, they call it as �spirits tree�. This tree is known as Satni Rooku in Konkani, Haale in Kannada and Palae in Tulu. The bark of this tree is taken home and then a decoction is prepared. All the members of the family drink it to get rid of toxins that are acquired by their body. The tree bark is also famous for its medicinal importance, as it helps to remove germs from the body.

Hopefully, these details on Amavasya 2015 would have helped you to explore more on Amavasya and the legends associated to them. We have also provided you with the dates of all the Amavasyas falling in 2015. Make the best use of the details.


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