Photography

Ella Maillart (R) was the pioneer solo woman explorer who found her spiritual side in India. She wrote Ti-Puss, published in 1951, and sent the copy that can be found in Sri Ramanasramam’s library to Swami Viswanatha with the inscription: “For you, Viswanatha, so that you may sometimes remember your friend, the Daughter of the Mountains.” Maillard and her girlfriend Annemarie Schwarzenbach (L) were a controversial pair in 1939.
Hollywood’s first Yoga Studio. A student of Indra Devi leaves the Indra Devi Yoga Studio in Hollywood, California. 1952. (Earl Leaf/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images).
Good times in 1941! Photo taken by Ella Maillart.
The Beats Generation’s missing woman, Hope Savage (born late 1936) seen here with Allen Ginsberg in Calcutta at her birthday party in 1962. After leaving Calcutta on December 11, neither Ginsberg or any of his ragged band of Beat Generation followers would ever see her again. Photo by Peter Orlovsky, courtesy Stanford University Libraries.
Watching the River Flow. Rishikesh, Feb 1962. Allen Ginsberg took this photo of Gary Snyder (L) and Peter Orlovsky (R) while they were staying at the Sivananda Ashram (Photo: Allen Ginsberg, courtesy Stanford University Libraries).

“Then we take another all nite train to the holy town of Rishikesh, at the foot of Himalays, where the Ganges enters the Gangetic plain – we stay at famous old Swami Shivananda (Shiva-lovebliss) his Ashram, an old wrestler looking bald man stretched out in a couch sick and dying and murmuring om every time some American lady comes up with big questions about dualism – actually a big famous holy man but now weak and can’t operate much tho he once founded hospitals and wrote 386 books (“I write with electric speed”) charlatan of mass-production international nirvana racket – but actually quite a calm holy old man – he gave us all envelopes with 5 rupees each present and a little book to me on “Raja Yoga for Americans” – How many of you are there?  “4” I say as he passes supported by attendants – “4 that’s an auspicious number” he winks and goes away, I rather like him. Next day I asked, where can I get a Guru?  And he smiles and touches his heart and says the only Guru is your own heart dearie or words to that effect and adds – you’ll know your Guru when you see him because you’ll love him, otherwise don’t bother.”(Allen Ginsberg in letter to Jack Kerouac, May 11, 1962 from Essential Ginsberg, Ed Michael Schumacher).
Sathya Sai Baba seen here at the home (Jind House, Mussoorie) of The Maharani Prithwi Bir Kaur of Jind and Bill Aitken, where he stayed for 2 days in April 1982.
Sathya Sai Baba seen here with The Maharani Prithwi Bir Kaur of Jind at her home (Jind House, Mussoorie), where he stayed for 2 days in April 1982.
Om Yoga Ashram in Dharamsala.
The Kanchi Ashram of Neem Karoli Baba.
Aurovalley Ashram, Rishidwar.
Swami Vishwananda claims that this is an authentic photo of Babaji.
The Badrinath Temple founded by Swami Shankaracharya in the seventh century is located at 3100 metres on the banks of the Alaknanda River. The temple is dedicated to Badrinarayan, one of the forms of Vishnu, which many devotees consider to be Babaji. This extraordinary statue of the temple of was found along the river bank by Shankaracharya. This rare photo is from Buddha Bose’s 1954 book Holy Kailash of the Badrinath temple murti found centuries ago.

Local lore says that upon the arrival of Buddhism, local devotees of Lord Badrinarayan hid the stone image of his form in the Alaknanda River, preserving it from possible destruction. Shankara is said to have divined the location of the stone image and to have plunged into the rapids to recover it. Promising to restore the image if the local people worshipped it appropriately, he raised the stone from the river. The smooth, black stone stands about 30 inches high and has upon it, in relief, an image of a yogi sitting in meditation pose. The image looks strikingly similar to the drawing of Babaji in the Kriya Yoga tradition. It is said that the stone is not carved and that the image on it occurred naturally. Most locals consider Babaji of the Kriya Yoga tradition and Lord Badrinarayan to be one and the same. There are many stories around Badrinath of personal encounters with him in the area.
Is this a photograph of Buddha? Read the article in MAGAZINE.
Yogashala Rishikesh.
Shiva Yoga Peeth Ashram Rishikesh.
Haidakhan Babaji.
Photo of Sri Ganga Mira with family
In 2017, Swami Atmananda and the ashram community joyfully received a visit from a long-time friend, Sri Ganga Mira and her family. Seen here are Sri Ganga Mira with her daughter Mukti Ji, and her grandchildren Arun and Satya. Sri Ganga Mira travelled with Papaji (Sri H. W. L. Poonja, who was a direct disciple of Sri Ramana Maharshi) as his disciple and the two later married. Their daughter Mukti was born in 1972.
Mukti Ji is seen here between her parents Ganga Mira and Papaji.
Frédérick Leboyer, Arnaud Desjardins et Swami Prajnanpad.
Does Ramana Maharshi have a body? If so, where is the reflection of his body in the water? The thick lines on the wall/door can be seen in the water but not the body.
Ramana Maharshi with unknown attendant and Lucia Osborne with her three children Adam, Catherine (Kitty) and Frania (Noona). Lucia was the wife of Arthur Osborne, the founder of The Mountain Path. She was editor of the magazine from 1970 to 1973. Lucia arrived with the children in Tiruvannamalai in 1942, and Arthur followed in 1945 after an internment in a POW camp.
Gloria Swanson was a pupil of the yoga guru Indra Devi and was photographed performing a series of yoga poses, reportedly looking much younger than her age, for Devi to use in what would become the first best-selling book on yoga, the 1953 book Forever Young, Forever Healthy; the publisher Prentice-Hall decided to use the photographs for Swanson’s book, not Devi’s. In return, Swanson, who normally never did publicity events, helped to launch Devi’s book at the Waldorf-Astoria in 1953.
Marilyn Monroe in Boat Pose (Navasana) 1948.
Dorian Leigh in meditazione. Dorian Elizabeth Leigh Parker (April 23, 1917 – July 7, 2008), known professionally as Dorian Leigh, was an American model and one of the earliest modeling icons of the fashion industry. She is considered one of the first supermodels, and was well known in the United States and Europe.
Richard Wright (far right) with Paramahansa Yogananda and Sri Yukteswar Giri in India, 1935-6.
Swami Purushottamananda.
Rishikesh.
This astral image was taken in Jerusalem, close to the Wailing Wall (said to be one of the most powerful energetic locations on earth), by a Spanish tourist. With a strong desire to see Jesus and his disciples walking the Holy Land 2000 years ago, he set his mind to capture the Akasha Chronicle on the film (colour film). According to an unconfirmed source the photo is showing Luke, Jesus, John, Bartholomew on a walk, probably exactly at the place the photo was taken.
 
Another source claims that the image was taken in 1967 by a woman near the Sea of Galilee, this photo was revealed when she had the film developed. Apparently shows (From left to right) Joseph of Arimathea (Jesus’s maternal uncle) Immanuel Ben-Joseph (Jesus Christ), his younger brother James and Simon Peter. The photo captures the moment when Jesus made the decision to return to Jerusalem, this explains the look of sorrow on the faces of Joseph and James. They knew that if Jesus returned to Jerusalem, he would be killed.
 
Jesus wears a strap at the back of his head, not a headband, speculation is that it is some kind of metallic diadem surrounded by a small leather cord which Jesus wore at the back of his head when it was windy. A diadem is a type of crown, specifically an ornamental headband worn by monarchs and others as a badge of royalty.
Ram Dass and the crew in Gandhi’s Kausani ashram in 1971 having a summer retreat. High Himalayas. Acid and psychotherapy.
Sathya Sai Baba holding a jasmine flower. This portrait hung upstairs for many years in the Gupta family owned Bombay Ananda Bhavan Hotel on Grant Road in Bangalore.
Nikora Ashram aka Dhyani Dham, the riverbank ashram of Anandi Ma, built on a sacred geometrical base of Sri Yantra with a lotus dome.
The American devotees living in Sathya Sai Baba’s house in Whitefield, taken on the roof around 1970. Standing L to R, VJ Supera, Sandy, Sathya Sai Baba, Janet, Michelle Kaplowitz (who was married at the ashram and lived there for over 13 years, raising her two daughters in India before returning to the States). Seated L to R, Vicki (Victoria Mills from London), India Supera, Anne Green (known as Janni, who later changed her name to Om).
The Fall 2016 students, Gosh’s Yoga College, Calcutta, Photo: goshyoga.org.
Saintes femmes au tombeau, painted by Maurice Denis in 1894 shows what appears to be Sathya Sai Baba (1926-2011) and the holy women at the tomb. Maurice Denis (November 25, 1870 – November 1943) was a French painter and writer, and a member of the Symbolist and Les Nabis movements. His theories contributed to the foundations of cubism, fauvism, and abstract art.
Lee Lozowick and Yogi Ramsuratkumar, Tiruvannamalai.
Paramahansa Yogananda and American Monks.
Annalisa Rajagopal (nee Beghe, December 21, 1922 – March 29, 1996) is one Sathya Sai Baba’s first Western devotees ** (she lived on the ashram in 1968) seen here in the Brindavan Ashram, Whitefield in 1988, aged 66! Annalisa married Rajagopalacharya Desikacharya (commonly known as D. Rajagopal) who was an early associate of Jiddu Krishnamurti, and for decades edited Krishnamurti’s teachings and helped manage his foundation. Her daughter Diana Baskin writes of this moment when the photo was taken in her 1990 book Divine Memories of Sathya Sai Baba “For about two years, at the conclusion of the puja to the lingam, my mother would pray for the welfare of the world. At the very end of the prayer, she would ask Swami to bless her and her family: Raja, Diana, Robert, Christina and David, in that order. At darshan in Brindavan, as soon as she arrived, Swami greeted her, then put his hand on her head and said something she did not understand. He repeated the gesture a few times. Each time he would lightly touch her head and say; “I bless…” (The remainder of the long statement was not discernible to Mother). Since the procedure was most unusual and took quite a bit of time, my mother was perplexed by the length of the blessing, and wondered what the words were that she could not grasp. After some thought, she concluded it was simply a unique greeting. The next day at darshan, Swami repeated the whole procedure He put his hand on her head a few times and again said words she could not understand. A very unique blessing indeed! She was certain now that it had great significance, but what? On the following day, Swami came over to her at darshan and put his hand on her head once again, and it was obvious he intended to repeat the procedure, but there was a difference. This time she heard every word. Touching her head with his hand six times, he said; “I bless you, I bless Raja, I bless Diana, I bless Robert, I bless Christina, I bless David.” In that moment she understood Swami was repeating the names in exact order that she said them in her daily prayer. He was acknowledging and fulfilling her prayer! A joyous thrill swept over her and a realisation of complete happiness came over her face. At that precise moment, a photographer on the men’s side felt compelled to take her picture. This photo (above) reveals that this is not the face of a 66-year-old woman, but most certainly the face of light and joy: ageless, and beyond time.”

** There are of course those of Western origin who had visited or had met Sathya Sai Baba very early on in the 1940s. The author recalls a friend in 1991 pointing out an elderly English woman who was dining one evening at Koshy’s, Bangalore, who had met Baba in 1946. She had remained in India since partition in 1947.

During the 1940s, one day after Baba had returned to Puttaparthi from Uravakonda, an English officer who was a big game-hunter had gone hunting in the forest on the other side of the Chitravati River. He had shot a tiger and was driving back to Anantapur. Suddenly for no apparent reason, the jeep stopped right outside the village of Puttaparthi. Despite their best efforts neither the driver nor the officer could get the jeep started.

R Balapattabi recalls in his book Nectarine Leelas – One day about ten of us were listening to Bhagawan’s exposition of philosophical scriptures, like the Upanishads, when suddenly He left us and went to His room. It was 9 am. Soon, an Englishman entered the Mandir followed by an Indian. The Englishman sat down on Baba’s chair. The Indian explained, “He is the Collector of Anantapur. We went for hunting last night in the forest, and while returning, our jeep was stuck up in the Chitravathi River. Right from 7 am we have been trying to pull it up — but even with four pairs of bullocks, it does not budge. The villagers told us that Baba could help us and we have come here.” Baba came out after half an hour. He said in Telugu, “Alas! You have killed a tigress whose two cubs are not even a month old! First you must arrange to keep the cubs in the zoo and save them.” This was translated into English. The Collector was astounded. He stood up and saluted Bhagawan. Baba materialised vibhuti and gave it to the Collector saying, “Throw it on the jeep; it will move.” That was done. The jeep sprang out of the riverbed. The Collector had the cubs sent to the zoo. He also presented the skin of the tigress he had shot to Baba. The tiger-skin is now spread under Baba’s throne in the Prasanthi Mandir.

Another slightly different version of events is that the driver had heard the stories about the young Sai Baba from the village, so he told the Englishman that there was a boy nearby who could create holy ash by a circular movement of his palm; the ash could cure everything and would probably even cure the jeep. Since he was stranded half-way and at a loss to know what was wrong with the engine, the officer agreed to wait in the jeep, while the driver went into the village to find Baba. The driver wandered through the streets of Puttaparthi for awhile and finally saw the boy and before he could say a word, Baba said, “I am coming to the jeep myself.” Baba walked across the sandy river bed to the place where the jeep had stalled. He looked inside the jeep and saw the beautiful tiger, which the officer had shot a couple of hours before. Baba explained to the men that it was he who made the jeep stop outside Puttaparthi, because the tiger that was now dead, and had been the mother of three two-week old cubs. The cubs were crying, hungry and lost without their mother. “Go Back,” Baba instructed sternly “Get those cubs and give them to a zoo where they will be well looked after. And do not shoot wild animals, for they have done you no harm. Why do you go in search of them surrounding them and laying traps to catch them?” Baba suggested that instead, the officer should shoot animals only with his camera; it was a superior weapon that would not maim or kill animals. The Englishman did just what Baba had said. He took the cubs to a zoo and from then onwards used only his camera for hunting. He discovered that hunting with a camera was even more challenging than with a gun and it was also a more peaceful, nonviolent and virtuous way to live.

The officer was so touched by Baba’s wisdom that he could not bear to look at the tiger skin when it came back from the taxidermist. So he took the skin to Puttaparthi where he met Baba again, and placed it at his Feet. The tiger-skin is now spread under Baba’s throne in the Prasanthi Mandir. The Tiger skin – the tiger is the vehicle of Shakti, the goddess of power and force. Shiva is beyond and above any kind of force. He is the master of Shakti. The tiger skin that he wears symbolises victory over every force.
Rajagopalacharya Desikacharya (commonly known as D. Rajagopal). Charles Webster Leadbeater of the Theosophical Society, declared that Rajagopal was St. Bernard of Clairvaux in his past life, and was destined to become a Buddha in his future life.

Born in Tamil Nadu, India, on Sept. 7, 1900, Rajagopal was the son of a judge and member of the Theosophical Society. When he was 13, Rajagopal was selected by the spiritualist Theosophical Society along with the 8-year-old Krishnamurti and two others to be raised as future spiritual leaders. After a stay at the society’s world headquarters in Madras, India, Rajagopal moved to England, where he attended Cambridge University with Krishnamurti’s brother Nityanand. It was then that Theosophical Society president Annie Besant asked Rajagopal to devote his life to looking after the welfare of Krishnamurti, the society’s chosen World Teacher, according to Rajagopal’s daughter, Radha Rajagopal Sloss.

When Krishnamurti parted from the Theosophical Society in 1929, Rajagopal remained with Krishnamurti as he lectured on the importance of individuals following their own path to the truth. Rajagopal served as Krishnamurti’s editor from 1926 until 1967, editing hundreds of volumes of the philosopher’s lectures. He also helped administer Krishnamurti’s retreat in Ojai, where followers, Krishnamurti preferred to call them listeners, came to attend his lectures. “We had such remarkable people in our lives then,” said Sloss. “During the war there was a stream of people who came to Ojai for its very nurturing atmosphere, including Aldous Huxley, Alan Watts and Beatrice Woods.”

In 1927 he married Rosalind (Rosalind Edith Rajagopal, née Williams, 20 June 1903 – 1996). Rosalind’s marriage was not a happy one; after the birth of a daughter, Radha, in 1931, the couple became physically estranged, and their relationship was never close again (The Rajagopals finally divorced in the early 1960s). According to Radha Rajagopal Sloss, a long affair between Krishnamurti and Rosalind began in 1932 and it endured for about twenty-five years. However the ending of the relationship was not amicable, and damaged their friendship, which never recovered. In 1991, Sloss published the book, “Lives in the Shadow with J. Krishnamurti,” that described the relationship of her father to Krishnamurti and their eventual falling-out. Sloss has said that despite the dispute, Rajagopal continued to admire Krishnamurti’s teachings until his death.
 
Rajagopal died at his home in Ojai, California on the 22nd  of April 1993 aged 92. He left behind his wife, Annalisa Rajagopal, daughter Radha Rajagopal Sloss of Santa Barbara and step-daughter, Diana Baskin of Ojai and four grandchildren and step-grandchildren.
D. Rajagopal and his first wife Rosalind.
Annalisa Rajagopal (L) seen here with Sathya Sai Baba and her daughter Diana Baskin (R) and grandchild Christina at the Whitefield ashram – Brindavan.
Deborah Baker wrote A Blue Hand: The Beats in India. She has two children and is married to writer Amitav Ghosh. They divide their time between Brooklyn and Goa, Photo: Julienne Schaer. See MOVIE REELS, A Blue Hand: The Beats in India, with Deborah Baker. See RECOMMENDED BOOKS – A Blue Hand: The Beats in India by Deborah Baker.
Trisul Peak, in the Himalaya, 2016.Credit…Michael Benanav for The New York Times.

Trisul is a group of three Himalayan mountain peaks of western Kumaun, with the highest (Trisul I) reaching 7120m. The three peaks resemble a trident – in Hindi/SanskritTrishula, trident, is the weapon of Shiva. The Trishul group forms the southwest corner of the ring of peaks enclosing the Nanda Devi Sanctuary, about 15 kilometres (9 mi) west-southwest of Nanda Devi itself. The main peak, Trisul I, was the first peak over 7,000 m (22,970 ft) to have ever been climbed, in 1907.
This photo from a series taken on the evening of March 20, 2011 in the ashram ‘Prasanthi Nilayam’ is often referred to as the last darshan of Sathya Sai Baba. This is incorrect as there were three more public darshans following this on the 21st, 23rd and the 25th prior to his admittance to the Sri Sathya Sai Super Speciality Hospital at Prashantigram, Puttaparthi on March 28, following respiration-related problems. After nearly a month of hospitalisation, during which his condition progressively deteriorated, Sai Baba died on Sunday, April 24 at 7:40 IST, aged 84. What is unusual about this darshan on the 20th is that he raised his hands, not in the familiar Abhayahasta gesture, but for the first time he folded his palms in salutation. He seemed to send a beautiful message, “Salute all for God is in all.” Some would say that it was Namakaram or Namaste, how Hindus greet each other, a respectful and divine greeting.
Haidakhan Babaji took this photo of his devotees, L to R: Jaman-Singh, Gaura Devi, Bisheni, Janki, Chitra Rekha. Haidakhan Babaji or Haidakhan Baba or Babaji or Bhole Baba (manifested directly as a youth of about 18 to 20 years old in Haidakhan in June 1970 – died 14 February 1984) is believed to be a manifestation of Mahavatar Babaji.
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