"Carlos is a rascal, he begs. Devadip feeds." Sitting there, dressed in white pants, red cowboy boots and shirt, Devadip Carlos Santana, 32, appears to be one person. But he is accually two -- Carlos, the rock guitarist and a celebrity for 10 years now, and Devadip, "A seeker," as he says, who is searching for a more mystical sort of recognition.
He peers out of the motel room window at the parking lot, which is six floors and several planes of consciousness below. "Before, I liked to gross everyone out. I was overly conscious about the rock world until the drugs and lack of scruples became a living reality." "Before," is his life before 1972, when he met Sri Chinmoy, a guru who lives in Queens, and who dramatically changed the course of Santana's musical and philosophical life.
At that time, he was the leader of Santana, a group whose Latin-based rock had become a major new sound in pop music. Hit records, concert tours, fast money, faster notoriety -- Carlos Santana apparently had the world in his pocket.
"I was crying. I needed to find a balance in my life," he says staring through gun-metal sunglasses. "Since I met Guru, I feel that I must serve others, and as a musician I an using my music to help raise the consciousness of people."
After becoming a disciple of Chinmoy, Santana changed everything, from his appearance to his music. He cut his long hair, acquired the name Devadip and began to delve into the complex expressions of jazz. Many of his followers became disenchanted with this approach, and the loftiness of his new music was matched only by its failure at the record counter.
Recently, he has returned to rock, and his appearance at the Capital Center last night was part of a two-month tour to promote his latest record, "Inner Secrets."
"I realize now that there is a lot beauty in rock, and my music is reflecting that beauty." This is one of his few musical statements. Jazz, rock, business, success. Santana hardly seems concerned with such matters anymore. "Bofore, I wanted to make people happy. Now, I want to inspire them, like ringing a bell," he is quick to emphasize.
"Guru says that I am like a hose, the water pours through and the people are like flowers." Santana, like his guru, uses many such metaphors to express the feelings that tear at his physical and metaphysical selves. "Devadip seeks a oneness with God but Carlos enjoys the world. Still, I've tried to control him as much as possible, Guru has graduated from many Harvards of consciousness and sits at the seat of God. I'm still in kindergarten."
Despite this, he seems to be satisfied that at least he knows that his new self does exist and his devotion to Chinmoy is based on his gratitude to this knowledge. "When I became a disciple, Guru touched my heart and forehead and Carlos and Devadip were together for the first time."