“Babagi” Comes To The Coastside: Part IV Conclusion

In Part III Babaji sat cross-legged on the Indian rug under the orange chute. A tanned, barefooted woman wearing a green and white sarong dropped a small bouquet of wildflowers at the master’s feet.

Then the woman sat down in front of Babaji and said: “You know I am fasting. This is the ninth day. I only have two more days to go.”

Babaji wrote on a large chalkboard that she looked well. His words were read out loud by one of his followers.

“But I don’t know how to explain to my friends why I am fasting.”

“Because you are,” Babaji wrote matter-of-factly. The woman, satisfied with the simple answer, closed her eyes as if meditating.

A young man asked whether dreaming was good.

“Yes,” wrote Babaji. “Dreaming is good for the imagination.”

There were many more questions–mostly from the followers–but the Coastsiders remained strangely silent. Then soft music began to fill the air as Babaji’s entourage played drums and a woman sang and played the flute.

In the early 1990s I asked Peggy Bazarnick, a follower of Babaji, if the master still lived in Santa Cruz. She said he did, although he regularly visited India. The Hunuman Foundation owned land, Peggy said, on Mt. Madonna on Summit Road, between Santa Cruz and San Jose, and Babaji was driven there weekly to give his followers personal interviews.

“He still never tells you what to do,” Peggy told me. “He wants people to be strong.”

Babi Hari Dass’ visit to San Gregorio did make one new convert. Hard as I have tried, I’ve been unable to recall who the Princeton resident was who took to wearing a chalkboard (see my post, “The Chalkboard Man”) around his neck.