From drummer to holy man

The Yorkshire monk formerly known as Chris Burrows endured a baptism of fire to help others overcome their fear of death.

The former rock drummer from East Ayton, near Scarborough, is now called Venerable Shri Sadhu Dharmavira and recently visited India to undertake a death awareness retreat.

It involved sitting on the banks of the River Ganges at Varanasi within a couple of feet of funeral pyres. He spent three weeks observing the rituals and bathing in the sacred waters as part of a process is to overcome attachment to the self.

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He said: “You can see that there is nothing permanent about the body. This also of course leads to overcoming any fear of death.”

The monk, who runs regular workshops in the UK, plans to base a one-day “Death awareness” session on his strange experiences.

The former Mr Burrows spent most of his life in the music business, and drummed for the Crazy World of Arthur Brown, including playing on their best known hit, Fire, before becoming interested in Zen Buddhism. He was ordained a Zen Buddhist monk in Los Angeles in 1983 but later converted to the Hindu faith. Picture: Gerard Binks.