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Brooklyn to Benares and Back, book cover

Michael Lohr reviews the spiritual memoir of Dada Vedaprajinananda, a world-traveled yoga missionary.

Dada Vedaprajinananda
From Brooklyn to Benares and Back
Inner World Publications

reviewed by Michael Lohr

The transcendent, spiritual journey of Dada Vedaprajinananda did not begin on some dusty, well-used road in rural India, or in the monolithic shadow some ancient, mountainside temple complex in Tibet, but on the stickball pummeled, neighborhood streets of Brooklyn, New York. From Brooklyn to Benares and Back takes a fascinating look into the soul-searching journey of a life beautifully lived. A life dedicated to the betterment of one’s self and humanity.

Dada Veda (as his friends and colleagues know him) has written a vividly entertaining memoir filled with epiphanies, universal truths and candid clarity. He explains in vibrant detail, the world of his formative years, the “Golden Age” of the 1950s and the tumultuous years of the 1960s where he encountered such generational icons as Ram Das, Brian Wilson and Alan Ginsberg. It was at this time that he developed a spiritual thirst that would manifest into the lifelong quest for enlightenment as an Ananda Marga monk traveling through Europe, the Far East and the Middle East. But like most sagas, the expedition didn’t end there. He would soon discover that all that came before was just the beginning of the next phase of his journey, a journey he is still on today.

He has written this book in such a way that it makes the reader feel as if they are walking along side Dada, experiencing with him the many ordeals, wonders and watershed moments that have enriched his life. The easy prose even makes lucid the alternative socio-economic movement known as the Progressive Utilization Theory (PROUT) first developed by Shrii Shrii Anandamurti, or Baba, to his followers.

In From Brooklyn to Benares and Back,we experience a man of authenticity and spiritual integrity attempting to find his way in the sometimes beautiful, sometimes treacherous world. Oh and did I mention that he happens to make good music too?

The book can be purchased at Dada's website www.dadaveda.com or at most online  book sales sites.