Wednesday, 5 May 2004

interview - hakim bey & ira cohen remember ganesh baba

I.C. Most of his teachings were oral, delivered very naturally and punctuated with a fine humour. But there are texts that I've been copying down, one even dictated by him. Usually talking about yoga, sitting straight, meditating... He was also a student of Shivananda. As a Jungian, he was trying to relate the archetypal thinking to the Indian system and particularly to yoga.

H.B. I learned some primary things from him outside of the chillum like how to adopt a proper Indian dress as a white guy, how to pick garments that don't associate with any caste. He would suggest you to wear castless garments, otherwise you would get no respect. In other words he cured me of being a sloppy hippie. He gave good advice. He also introduced me to my tantric guru, Mr. Biswas, a Bengali clerk who had a family tradition worshipping the Hindu Tara who is an aspect of Kali. He used to drink Brandy with him as part of his tantric course. He also introduced me to some interesting Tibetans.

I.C. He had a good feeling about Tibetans but of course he could rant on about anything. He was found of ranting and babbling and he referred to his talking as Baba babbles.

H.B. We were walking down the streets in Darjeeling and he was always carrying an umbrella. Suddenly he was missing from my side, he was running down the street beating some guy on the head with his umbrella. Everyone in the market had a good laugh at this little scene and when he joined me I said . "What was wrong with that fellow ?" And he said : "Oh, I didn't like his looks." (laughter)

I.C. He could get into a lot of political problems and could even get arrested. One time, he ended up in jail and charmed all the jail keepers. As Ganesh he was supposed to be the lord of obstacles but he was creating obstacles as well...

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