Baba and The Banyan Tree

I’d heard about a Baba (guru/teacher) who resided in the jungle of Arambol, and who apparently welcomed tourists to go and meditate with him. Intrigued by this, Alan and I walked to the northern tip of Arambol beach and followed the market-filled cliffs until we came to a secluded beach. This secluded beach was backed by a sweet water lake and jungle and had only a few shacks on it. From here, we could see a large symbol in blue chalk etched into the rock. The symbol led to a trail through the jungle, which we followed until we came across a huge Banyan tree. And underneath the tree, was a man sweeping with a hand made broom.

Banyan Baba Arambol

At the northern end of Arambol beach

Arambol Banyan Baba

Walking through the market filled cliffs

This man, I could only assume, was the Baba, and he laid down a mat for me and Alan to sit on. The tree was pretty impressive, and the jungle was very tranquil, so we gladly sat and enjoyed the atmosphere for a while.

Arambol Banyan Baba

At the banyan tree

Arambol Banyan Baba

Shortly, a group of Russians showed up and sat with us, while Baba lit a fire and started practicing yoga. I’m not sure if we were supposed to do the same, but everyone just watched him.

Arambol Banyan Baba

Baba making a fire

Arambol Banyan Baba

Baba doing yoga

Arambol Banyan Baba

Baba doing yoga

Next, a man showed up with a bong (and a baby), and started hitting up. Whatever was inside the bong was clearly very potent, and it got passed around the group. It turns out that Baba takes offerings of fruit and drugs from tourists and basically sits around all day getting high under the Banyan tree.

Apparently, during the tourist season, at least 100 tourists a day visit the Banyan tree to find and take drugs. Baba certainly wasn’t shy about this as he was happily dragging from the bong that he was given.

I’m not sure exactly who or why this Baba guy is, but it was certainly an interesting visit.

 

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