Leonard Cohen talks about the Bhagavad Gita

Le yoga, une discipline millénaire

A short interview with Baba Muktananda in Sydney, Australia, 1974

1981 interview with Blanca Schlamm (Atmananda)

Blanca Schlamm (Atmananda) (1904-1985) This photograph was taken while Atmananda was still known as “Miss Blanca” by her students and friends at Krishnamurti’s Rajghat School.

Blanca first travelled to India in 1925, to attend the 50th anniversary celebrations of The Theosophical Society, at its headquarters in Adyar, Madras. She returned to India in 1935, and remained there for the rest of her life. In 1942, she went to Tiruvannamalai, to see Ramana Maharshi, hoping that he would be able to give her the peace of mind she had been unable to obtain from JK’s teachings. She stayed for about six weeks.

After an interval of over 12 years, her diary recommences with an entry ‘Ramanashram, 17th May 1942.’ Whilst there, Blanca felt peace and the power of the higher Self; talked to other seekers; visited the mountain Arunachala and had various visions and dreams. Throughout the rest of her diaries Blanca makes reference to Ramana with deep reverence and affection, but her destiny was to become the disciple of another guru, Anandamayi Ma.

1981 interview, Brahmachari Gadadhar, living in the Anandamayi Ma Ashram, Kankhal

As a Westerner brought up in a Western culture, you are now living in an orthodox Hindu Ashram (Anandamayi Ma Ashram) although you are not a Hindu. Did you find it difficult to adapt to this way of life?

I find much in Hindu philosophy and teachings according to my own nature – even the ideals within Hindu society. I could be called a Hindu, although I am not accepted as such by orthodox Hindus. I hold to my relationship to Mother so it doesn’t bother me what others say – I am not this or that. I am here only to be with Mother and practice sadhana. It is difficult sometimes. My life in this ashram by Western standards may not be all that great. By Indian standards it’s quite nice. This small house inside the ashram has everything I need, and it’s kind of the Indians to allow me to live here.

But one should understand that one need not live in abject poverty to meditate. I don’t live like the average Hindu. Anyway, I don’t belong to any one particular culture; my life is in fact a combination of both Western and Hindu cultures. And I feel at home in both places.

Brahmachari Gadadhar (Gary Yale Empie 1947 – 1982) first met Anandamayi in 1971, and came to stay at her ashram from 1973 onwards. He passed away suddenly in Delhi in early 1982, less than a year after this interview in Kankhal in May 1981.

Shiv Mathur interviews Swami Shankardas, disciple of Tat Wale Baba

BKS Iyengar – last unreleased interview

Souljourns – Sri M – A Stunning first-person account of a modern mystic

A 2012 Documentary by Ted Henry and Jody Cleary of the first-person account of Sri M, guru to many and author of what’s said to be among India’s fastest selling book on spirituality Apprenticed to a Himalayan Master: A Yogi’s Autobiography.

Sri M lives in the ashram he created in Madanapalle, India. Born into a Muslim family as, Mumtaz Ali Khan, Sri M is considered to be one of India’s leading contemporary mystics. As a young man, Sri M lived for several years high in the Himalayan mountains with his teacher, Sri Maheshwarnath Babaji who in turn was the disciple of Mahavatar Babaji.

In this interview, Sri M tells of meeting in person, Shirdi Sai Baba, Mahavatar Babaji, serpent spiritual beings from another galaxy and many others, comments that stretch one’s credulity, and faith, just as Sri M prefers.

Ashrams of India: Volume 1, Chapter 1 Andhra Pradesh.

Souljourns – Sri M – 2018 Interview Part 1, Serpent Spiritual Beings from another planet and others. Part 2 Interview and Lesson, The importance of opening the heart.

Souljourns – Bill Aitken – Sai Baba

A Documentary by Ted Henry and Jody Cleary.

Author and travel writer Bill Aitken (Footloose in the Himalaya) spent seven ascetic years in the Mirtola Ashram. There, he met and fell in love with The Maharani Prithwi Bir Kaur of Jind. The Mirtola teaching was, “Love is the guide” and this love brought an end to his restlessness and wanderlust. Aitkens found a home in Oakless, her private residence in Mussoorie’s Bala Hissar neighbourhood. Their guru Sri Krishna Prem told Aitken that Prithwi could teach him more than he could. The Maharani was also a devotee of Sri Sathya Sai Baba. In 1982, Sai Baba spent two nights as her guest in Oakless. The Maharani eventually became Aitken’s guru. The most extraordinary thing about their 38-year relationship was how quickly the time passed. He was able to take her to the ‘off the beaten track’ places where royals were unaccustomed, they trekked to all the holy sites of Uttarakhand twice and on separate trips twice to Sri Hemkund Sahib and to the Valley of the Flowers. The Maharani died in 2010.

The Maharani Prithwi Bir Kaur of Jind (The Phulkian Dynasty)

This exceptional interview is with a woman, a Queen in reality, who has been a follower of Sathya Sai Baba since the 1960s. Her life has carried her through enormous ups and downs, but through it all, the Spirit and Love of Baba was at her side. This interview was recorded in Brindavan, Whitefield, India in April 2003.

Don Mario Mazzoleni: A Catholic Priest Meets Sai Baba

This interview of former Catholic Priest, Don Mario Mazzoleni (left) was recorded in 2000, just before he died. Because of Don Mario’s feelings towards Indian Holy man Sai Baba, he was excommunicated by the Vatican. Don Mario is the author of the book, The Catholic Priest and Sai Baba, must reading for those interested in spiritual growth. Don Mario’s translator for this interview (and for his book) is Dr Christian Moevs (right), Professor of Italian Literature at the University of Notre Dame, he is a leading world expert on Dante. His own interview can be seen here at

The Rowdies

A Film about Sathya Sai Baba by James Redmond.

A group of five of Baba’s earliest Western devotees speak movingly of their experiences with Him in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

At that time, before the huge crowds that would follow, it was much easier to get close to Baba. Taking part in this story are Howard Levin (first of the five to speak), Bruce Bradbury, Wendel Field, Robert Conger, and Martin Stamp. Others of that group, like Jerry Bass and Phil Gosselin, were not present. They have some extraordinary experiences to share and they do so in the most entertaining way.

Howard Levin, the author of Good Chances, tells some unique and very funny stories, and Bruce Bradbury who wrote the bhajan “Love is my Form” describes how Baba inspired him…

This film was taped in June 1996 at the Feathered Pipe Ranch in Helena, Montana, USA. (76 minutes).

Dana Gillespie

From an early age, singer, composer, actor Dana Gillespie of London was destined to sing the blues. She was also destined to follow in the footsteps of Indian Holy Man, Sri Sathya Sai Baba. This internationally acclaimed artist shares her amazing story with Souljourns in two parts.

Part 1, she tells how she got to claim an important singing role in the original London production of, Jesus Christ Superstar. After being initially attracted to India to be with Sai Baba, little did Dana know that it would take 12 years before the famous Holy Man would say one word to her. Video for this news interview account of Dana Gillespie comes from Souljourns, YouTube, Radio Sai Global Harmony and the musical, Jesus Christ Superstar, the first musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice to be produced for the professional stage. Welcome to Souljourns, and to the amazing story of Dana Gillespie. This interview was recorded in April, 2016 in London.

Interviewing an Indian Guru: Swami Brahmdev of the Aurovalley Ashram in Rishidwar

Marco Pino’s experience at the Aurovalley Ashram, a beautiful ashram near the Himalayas, and an interview he conducts with founder Swami Brahmdev.

Ashrams of India: Volume 2, Chapter 21 Uttarakhand.

Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s Interview room

A rare video of Sathya Sai Baba in the interview room of his principal ashram Prasanthi Nilayam where he materialises vibhuti, a gold ring and wisdom to the fortunate devotees.

A Blue Hand: The Beats in India, with Deborah Baker

Pulitzer Prize nominee Deborah Baker takes us back to the moment when America’s edgiest writers looked to India for answers as India looked to the West. In 1961 Allen Ginsberg, ecstatic sensualist and the voice of a generation, left New York by boat for Bombay. Baker follows Ginsberg and his companions as they travel from the ashrams of the Himalayan foothills to the opium dens of Delhi and the burning pyres of Benares. They encounter an India of charlatans and saints, a country of spectacular beauty and spiritual promise and of devastating poverty and political unease. The fifteen months he spent in India had a lasting influence on Ginsberg and on American counterculture. The trip not only changed his life, it helped spawn generations of hippies, hipsters, writers, artists, rock-stars and soul-searchers. This is the story of a search for God, for love, and for peace in the shadow of the atomic bomb. It is also a story of India – its gods and its poets, its politics and its place in expanding the possibilities of the western consciousness. Deborah Baker was in conversation with Charlie Smith, Editor of The Georgia Straight.

Deborah Baker has two children and is married to writer Amitav Ghosh. They divide their time between Brooklyn and Goa. See RECOMMENDED BOOKS – A Blue Hand: The Beats in India by Deborah Baker.

Mother Meera: ‘All Avatars are connected’

An Interview with Annamalai Swami by Jim Lemkin

Review by David Godman:
The interview is seventy-three minutes long, and visually it is superb. The sound is not quite so good. The translations made by Sundaram, Annamalai Swami’s interpreter, are sometimes difficult to make out, but with a little concentrated effort, they can all be deciphered. The first ten minutes or so are devoted to a summary of how Annamalai Swami (1906-1995) heard about Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi and came to him in 1928. The remainder is Jim asking questions about Self-realisation and practice. Annamalai Swami replies to them in a typical eloquent and forceful way. This interview will be a great treat for anyone who has appreciated Annamalai Swami’s Guru bhakti and his simple but practical teachings.

2000 Interview with Swami Kaleshwar 

Sri Kaleshwar (8 January 1973 – 15 March 2012). Ashrams of India: Volume 1, Chapter 1 Andhra Pradesh.

Daria in India

Filmed in 2014 near the Kamakhya Devi Temple nestled high up on the Nilachal Hill, in the west of Guwahati, Assam. This Italian woman Daria recalls that she first came to India 12 years previously with her mother, when they were travelling from London to Malaysia. She eventually met her guru, who gave her the mala, mantra and a new name – Durga Nat and she was a reborn as a new human being.

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