- Hanuman Foundation
- (est. 1974)The Hanuman Foundation is one of the creations of the American spiritual teacher Baba RAM DASS, born Richard Alpert, April 6, 1931, in Boston, Massachusetts.After working with psychedelics with Timo-thy Leary at Harvard University and being dis-missed with Leary, from their teaching positions there, Alpert went to India in 1967 and met his GURU, NEEM KAROLI BABA. Neem Karoli gave him the spiritual name Ram Dass (servant of God) and introduced him to Hindu spirituality. In his time with Neem Karoli, he learned about HANU-MAN, the deity depicted as a monkey who is a symbol of selfless service in the Hindu tradition. Ram Dass became an affectionate devotee of Hanuman.The Hanuman Foundation was incorporated in 1974, after Ram Dass’s pilgrimage to India in order to supply information from the teachings of Neem Karoli Baba, who, although deceased, still teaches. Ram Dass founded the Neem Karoli Baba Hanuman Temple, located in Taos, New Mexico, in a remodeled adobe building. The central focus of the temple is a 1,500-pound marble carving of Hanuman imported from India. This temple primarily serves some 300 Indian families spread between Albuquerque and Denver. Major services featuring chanting and singing are held every Tuesday (as that is considered Hanuman’s day). Neem Karoli Baba’s mahasamadhi (death/liberation day) is celebrated in September.The foundation has become over time a central archive and headquarters of a number of projects. The Orphalese Foundation controls a tape library and the ZBS Foundation (also known as Amazing Grace) has released several recordings on spiritual topics with the assistance of Steven Levine. The foundation also works closely with the Seva Foundation, founded by Larry Brilliant (b. 1946), a devotee of Baba, on social service projects, especially the eradication of blindness.Further reading: Inside Out (Nederland, Colo.: Prison Ashram Project/Hanuman Foundation, 1976); Timothy Leary, Ralph Metzner, and Richard Alpert, The Psy-chedelic Experience (New Hyde Park, N.Y.: University Hanuman, monkey god, servant of Lord Rama (Courtesy Vedanta Society, San Francisco) Books, 1964); Baba Ram Dass, Be Here Now (New York: Crown, 1973); ———, Grist for the Mill (Santa Cruz, Calif.: Unity Press, 1977); ———, Still Here: Embrac-ing Aging, Changing and Dying (New York: Riverhead Books, 2000); Baba Ram Dass with Paul Gorman, How Can I Help?: Stories and Reflections on Service (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1985).
Encyclopedia of Hinduism. A. Jones and James D. Ryan. 2007.