Ram Dass

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Ram Dass (right) with Zalman Schachter-Shalomi (2008)

Ram Dass alias Richard Alpert (born April 6, 1931 in Boston , Massachusetts , † December 22, 2019 in Maui , Hawaii ) was an American professor of psychology at Harvard University before he turned to Hinduism and through mind-expanding experiments got known.

After his psychology studies, he graduated from the Tufts University the Bachelor of Arts , reached at Wesleyan University the master's degree and then a doctorate at Stanford University . Together with Ralph Haber, he undertook the first empirical study on exam anxiety in 1958 .

Timothy Leary and Alpert were released from Harvard in 1963 after conducting controversial research as part of the Harvard Psilocybin Project , e.g. B. on the effects of LSD . After that, they continued their experiments privately in New York . In 1967 Alpert traveled to India , where he immersed himself in meditation practices and yoga . After meeting Neem Karoli Baba , a Hindu guru in Uttar Pradesh , and becoming his follower, he converted to Hinduism and became Ram Dass (= servant of God). After his return to the USA , Ram Dass founded associations that were dedicated to expanding consciousness and wanted to promote spiritual growth.

In 1997 he suffered a stroke that caused aphasia ; he continued to work as a teacher.


  • 1958: with Ralph Haber as Richard Alpert: Test Anxiety , in: Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, Volume 13.
  • 1971: Be Here Now. Lama Foundation, San Cristobal, New Mexico, ISBN 978-0-517-54305-4 .
    • 1996: Be Here Now: A three-part manual for the journey to the Inner Center. Sadhana Verlag Berlin, ISBN 978-3922610007 .
  • 2010: with Ralph Metzner : Birth of a Psychedelic Culture: Conversations about Leary, the Harvard Experiments, Millbrook and the Sixties. Synergetic Press, Santa Fe. ISBN 978-0-907791-38-6
    • 2018: Birth of a Psychedelic Culture: Conversations about Leary, the Harvard Experiments, Millbrook and the 60s , Solothurn. ISBN 978-3037885499

Web links

Commons : Ram Dass  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Douglas Martin: Baba Ram Dass, Proponent of LSD Turned New Age Guru, Dies at 88. In: The New York Times , December 23, 2019 (English). Retrieved December 24, 2019.