Baba Ram Dass, spiritual guru and LSD proponent, dies at 88
HONOLULU (AP) — Baba Ram Dass, the 1960s counterculture spiritual leader who experimented with LSD and traveled to India to find enlightenment, returning to share it with Americans, has died. He was 88.
Dass’ foundation, Love Serve Remember, announced late Sunday that the author and spiritual leader died peacefully at his home earlier in the day. No cause of death was given.
“I had really thought about checking out, but your love and your prayers convinced me not to do it. … It’s just beautiful,” he told followers in a videotaped message at the time from his hospital bed in Hawaii.
Over the years, Ram Dass — born Richard Alpert — associated with the likes of Timothy Leary and Allen Ginsberg. He wrote about his experiences with drugs, set up projects to help prisoners and those facing terminal illness and sought to enlighten others about the universal struggle with aging.
But he was best known for the 1971 book “Be Here Now,” written after his trip to India. The spiritual primer found its way into thousands of backpacks around the world.