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Milk Baba’s Wisdome!

August 13, 2021

The year was 2003.

I was two years clear of alcohol.

I’d done a two year “late childhood”, 33-35.

Was living in Marin County, California, hippie land.

Beautiful place and I’d found myself an amazing tribe via a bookstore that changed my life, the Open Secret in San Rafael.

It’s there I met Granny Rainbow, who lovingly apprenticed me through to become an intuitive, a tarot reading brown belt 🙂

It’s where I met the wild Venezuelan artist who “took me home”, literally and figuratively. It was all fun and games till we got to the bedroom and she showed me her 18 foot long pet, a boa constrictor. Needless to say, well anything at all really…😂

This is also where all the Indophile hippies came, for chai and a stunning library in-store.

It is also one of the whitest sub-divisions in America, so I stuck out, but not like a sore thumb. I was the local Kreeshna. I knew some sanskrit, many shloks, some real history…and they loved it.

I learned the Hanuman chaleesa there, in a weekly chant by a white guy, every thursday. I got on stage with Krishna Das, the new bhajan king amongst desi millenials.

And I played 4 hours a day of video games. And I had dipped my toe into the world of the green goddess, California special.

Literally at the turning 36, something flipped.

I was done with a phase. I was now in early adulthood at 36 and tried pulling the ship together. The focus to do, pursue, polish flowed unbidden. It’s been that way ever since really.

But I was scattered too. And would have wandered a lot longer if was not for a chance meeting, via the open secret and Jean, with DudhAhaari Baba.

Dudhahaari baba was one of those legendary sadhoos, who had a small but very tight following in California. They adored him and I soon got to know why.

He was super unpretentious and when you got to know him, softly told you things that would blow your mind. I spent hours and hours in deep silence or meditation with this magical man from Kathmandoo.

He was called DudhAhaari (Milk Consumer) baba because for 40 years he had only drunk milk. Even now he ate very sparingly. He also had 20 Kilos of dreadlocks on his head. He was a nath panthi, a fierce bundle of calm.

One day I was describing my frustration with music, tired of the three chord western songs, tired of greatest “Hits”….singing in english suddenly did not feel…you cannot sing what you don’t feel…. I was stuck as a musician.

He heard me out and then told me a story that I think is worth sharing and the real reason for this post.

He told me about a very famous musician from Kathmandoo, a Sarod player who was said to be divinely touched. Early and mid 20th century. The Kings of Nepal used to beg for his recitals and he would play only at the Pashupatinath temple, a very famous shrine to Shiva and Nath panthis in Nepal.

He was said to have been very selective about when he played, only on sacred days at auspicious times etc. People came from far and wide to hear him play.

He had one other great specialty.

He played only one Raag.

All his life, he had played and continued to play only one Raag. Obviously people asked him why and being the subtle genius that he was, he said, if I can understand and express the depth of even one Raag in this life time, I would have accomplished much.

Both from a musical and life perspective, this is exactly what I needed to hear at that moment. If you know one thing well, you know everything well.

And so I went back and picked a key (D) on my electronic taanpura, tuned my guitar to it like a sitaar and began my musical journey afresh.

That taanpura stayed on in my room, 24/7 for the next 7 years. I needed to get to know D really well before I could consider D#.

I’m still playing to the same pitch/key, 18 years on.

And I started a true journey to explore and heal my body, which had taken terrible abuse at my hands to that point (and others hands, but that’s a tale for the crypt).

I found one thing, one tone, one key and I tuned in and being set in that foundation, was free to explore ANYTHING!

Here he is, just so you get a feel for the man….

DudhAhaari Baba singing a Raam Bhajan… 🙂

Jai Ho!

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