… left his body 2nd February 2013.
From Amana we hear that Virato left his body peacefully in a hospice in Asheville, NC. Virato was a local figure in Asheville, where he and his beloved Dhiraja (Luda) lived. He was an editor of the online Asheville Magazine, and earlier as a radio host, he interviewed hundreds of New Age pundits and spiritual teachers. Since meeting Osho he devoted much effort to increase spiritual awareness and tantric consciousness.
I am writing from Asheville, where we met casually over the years, 11 or twelve. I wish to pay homage to this soul, Virato. We are all good and bad and beautiful and maybe not so. I just sort of liked the guy, mostly because of his radio show. I truly hope it is preserved. He talked to many guests, mostly in a very intelligent and respectful manner. His Saturday morning broadcasts on AM Radio in Asheville were a treasure to hear. He gave so much good energy into the radio program. Kind thoughts to his beloved Dhiraja. Thank you, Osho friends, for mentioning Virato. Peace from Asheville,
Virato, an old collaborator of mine, was one of the few I knew who prized speaking up over swallowing his truth to appease and belong. There are not so many who have shed the skin of a spiritual politician. I believe he did it well. We have lost another strong voice in the dwindling community of attained sanyasins. I will miss him,
On February 2, Swami ‘Nostradamus’ Virato, aka Joseph Bacanskas, left his body peacefully at Solace Hospice. His loving wife, Ludmila Bacanskas, also known as Dhiraja, was by his side. Virato, who was 74, was well known for his on air show “Virato Live!” on 880 The Revolution, in which he interviewed New Age figures, spiritual teachers, healers and alternative lifestyle personalities, as well as sharing music of the New Age subculture and showcasing local musicians. Prior to moving to Asheville, Virato was Founder and Editor of New Frontier, a regional New Age and networking magazine, in Philadelphia PA, for many years. His work helped substantiate and promote the spiritual and counter-cultural movement that was gathering momentum in that region.
In the mid-1990s Virato moved to Asheville NC and started the online Asheville Magazine, which brought national attention to the quality and potential of Western North Carolina as a homebase for spiritual and alternative lifestyles, and increased the audience for local resources, to educate, illuminate and expand our community. Eventually, in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 2000, where he was teaching tantra courses, he met his devoted wife of 13 years, Dhiraja, who is a well loved community figure at Westgate Earth Fare, where she is known as Luda.
Virato was given his name by his spiritual teacher, Osho, and in his lifetime was faithful to increasing spiritual awareness through meditation and tantric consciousness, in all of his public endeavors. His friends and family have asked that if anyone wants to make a contribution in Swami Virato’s name, it be made directly to help defray his medical and cremation costs. Donations and expressions of sympathy can be sent to his wife, Ludmilla Bacanskas, at 83A Indiana Avenue, Asheville NC 28806. A public memorial to celebrate Virato’s life is possible at some future date, but for now, the family wishes to mourn their beloved in private, and asks for your kind thoughts for Virato in his journey onward.
Dear Ones, I met Virato in the mid-80’s at a Rainbow Gathering in Pennsylvania. He was butt naked, wearing a mala, so we said hello. (I was clothed, with mala.) He impressed me with his big aura, and enticed me to begin a spin-off new age magazine in Florida, through his Philadelphia-based version, New Frontier. I soon branched off on my own with New Florida magazine, but Virato and I stayed in touch, and I saw him now and then in Florida, where he occasionally offered a “tantra” workshop, sometimes entrancing folks and sometimes scaring them away.
We each eventually wound up in Asheville, and he soon brought a boatload of attention to this beautiful bioregion and its potential for counter-cultural development. No doubt Asheville can attribute some of its cultural richness today to Virato’s early PR work. In the early days of Earthaven Ecovillage, where I live, Virato and Dhiraja came often to Osho events here. He always had a sweet smile and a kind, big-eyed greeting for me, and I’ll miss him. Dance on, Swami Brother!
Ma Shunyam Arjuna