Narada: 16 November 1936 – 19 November 2020

Babaji, Hari Om, Shanti Om, Lahiri, Yogini, Sri Lakshmi and Jai Narain attended Narada’s funeral on 14 December 2020 together with his family and friends at the East Chapel, West London Crematorium.

The service included a beautiful version of Self (Quintessence 1971) that Hari Om had recorded especially for this day.

There was also a tribute from Jai Narain which describes significant times during their long friendship of 70 years and Narada’s connection with Swamji.

Here is an excerpt:

The clue to Narada’s nature, I now understand, lies in the name itself, the name that Swami Ambikananda, or Swamiji, chose for him. In the Hindu scriptures Narada is a sage who travels between different worlds and realms, and is described as both wise and mischievous. He is associated with the exercise of Bhakti yoga, the yoga of devotion or divine love, as the highest goal of human life. He is said to be “eloquent, resolute, intelligent and a possessor of powerful memory”[1] and his devotion to God, or Vishnu Narayana, is second to none. Nicolas’s pleasure in having his name changed to Narada indicates his acceptance of Ambikananda as his guru. Incidentally, the interworld journeys of the sage Narada had their counterpart in our own Narada’s exploration of the psychotropic worlds made available by lysergic acid, and popularized by, say,  Aldous Huxley’s experiments with mescaline.

True to form, Narada avoided for some time my requests to meet this Swamji personage. Then one evening we went together to the Mangrove, a West Indian restaurant in Notting Hill that served excellent Jamaican rice and peas, and was well known as a target of  police racism – it was the time of the Mangrove Nine, and Narada was always in thr forefront of current fashion. After the meal he suggested we might “meet someone I know”, and this turned out to be Swami Ambikananda

Narada was a founding member of Swamiji’s Universal Independent Asram (UIA) with its motto of  Shiva-Christ Consciousness. But as time went on it was clear he preferred the Hindu over the Christian or Catholic aspect of Ambikananda’s syncretism. By the later 1980s he was less often seen at kirtans, and in the 90s took his search for a higher state of consciousness in the direction of psychotropic dance.  But Swamiji always loved the sweetness in Narada that we all experienced – “Sweet like Narada, always choco,” he once said. On another occasion, in the course of a kirtan,  Swamiji asked for”a phrase of loveliness”. We were all nonplussed until Narada said:

 “Shall not loveliness be loved forever”. [2]

Swamiji was delighted. “Write that,” he said, “print it, and leave it in front of your forehead wherever you go…You have to get to the matrix of the Divine Mother to be reborn in the mahayoni, the  triangle of Him-Her – apex up is the Him, apex down is the Her, and the two make a David’s Star, it’s very universal. And you is the bindu of concentration on Narada’s loveliness word, invisible.”

[1] Wikipedia 2020

[2] A quote from Euripides’ Bacchae

Narada’s friend Raffaela produced these two collages:

And a few more of Narada…

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