Sri H. The help has taken the form of humor, creativity, kindness, wisdom and the other human virtues, that are expected to appear in everyone who is free from ego. Poonja was born in Gujranwalla , in western Punjab, now in Pakistan, in a family of Saraswat Brahmins. His mother was the sister of Swami Rama Tirtha. The experience was so overwhelming it had effectively paralysed my ability to respond to any external stimuli. For about an hour they tried everything they could think of to bring me back to a normal state of consciousness, but all their attempts failed.
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Sri H. The help has taken the form of humor, creativity, kindness, wisdom and the other human virtues, that are expected to appear in everyone who is free from ego. Poonja was born in Gujranwalla , in western Punjab, now in Pakistan, in a family of Saraswat Brahmins.
His mother was the sister of Swami Rama Tirtha. The experience was so overwhelming it had effectively paralysed my ability to respond to any external stimuli. For about an hour they tried everything they could think of to bring me back to a normal state of consciousness, but all their attempts failed.
He was persuaded by his mother that he could regain this experience by devotion to the Hindu god Krishna , and so he gave himself over to this and began to have visions of Krishna. As an adult he led a normal life: he married, raised two children and joined the British army, while secretly his love for Krishna and his visions continued. He became obsessed with a longing to have the experience of seeing Krishna all the time. He continuously repeated Krishna's name japa and traveled throughout India asking sages if they could deliver the ability to produce the darshan of Krishna at will.
Apparently his wife didn't value at all his spiritual commitment. After all his attempts had failed he returned to his family in Lyallpur. A sadhu appeared at the door soon after and Poonja asked him the question he had asked swamis throughout the country: "Can you show me God? If not, do you know of anyone who can? At the earliest opportunity, Poonjaji travelled to Tiruvannamalai to meet the sage Ramana Maharshi at Ramanashramam at Arunachala.
This happened in when Poonja was thirty-one. However, rather than giving another vision of God, Ramana pointed him in the direction of his own self:.
I cannot show you God or enable you to see God because God is not an object that can be seen. God is the subject. He is the seer. Don't concern yourself with objects that can be seen. Find out who the seer is. Poonja under Ramana's gaze became aware of the spiritual Heart , which he felt was opening, though he was not impressed with the advice. He was not yet convinced of the value of the Advaita Vedanta philosophy which Ramana was known for. When he had a vision of Ramana telling him that Krishna devotion was the only truth, Poonja returned to Ramanasramam and asked Ramana if he had indeed appeared before him.
Though Ramana would not respond to his question verbally, while Poonja was waiting for an answer, a group of devotees arrived and gave Ramana a picture of Krishna.
Ramana, looking at Krishna, wept so that Poonja became convinced that Ramana was a secret bhakta himself. He found that he could no longer bring his mind to think of God, do japa or any other spiritual practice.
He asked Ramana for help and was told that this was not a problem, that all his practice had carried him to this moment and it could be left behind now because it had served its purpose. When telling Ramana about the story of his search of the Self ;. Then he looked at me intently.
I could feel that my whole body and mind were being washed with waves of purity. They were being purified by his silent gaze. I could feel him looking intently into my Heart. Under that spellbinding gaze I felt every atom of my body being purified. It was as if a new body were being created for me. A process of transformation was going on—the old body was dying, atom by atom, and a new body was being created in its place. Then, suddenly, I understood.
I knew that this man who had spoken to me was, in reality, what I already was, what I had always been. There was a sudden impact of recognition as I became aware of the Self. Poonja recognised this as the same state he experienced when he was eight years old, but this time it was permanent. After his transformation he stayed in southern India until , when during the partition of India , despite Poonjaji's fierce longing to stay with his master, Ramana sent him to his old home in the Punjab then in the new country of Pakistan to bring his family to the safety of Lucknow, India.
After this, Poonjaji met two other men "who convinced me that they had attained full and complete Self-realisation. In the following years H. L Poonja earned money to support his family, meeting with seekers and sharing satsangs. Although not a disciple of his, the two formed a spiritual friendship and Swami Abhishiktananda wrote about their meetings and correspondences in his diary.
In he retired and spent a lot of time in the Himalayan foothills. Their daughter Mukti was born in Poonjaji later settled in Lucknow where he received visitors from all around the world. David Godman moved to Lucknow in , and stayed with him till , and soon became his biographer, in the following years edited and published a number of books on him, including, Papaji Interviews , an anthology of interviews, and Nothing Ever Happened , a three volume 1,page biography.
In this biography it is clear that Poonjaji had very strong reservations regarding some of his well-known western students that posed as gurus:. David: You used to give experiences to a lot of people. Why did you do it if you knew that the effect would not be permanent? Papaji: I did it to get rid of the leeches who were sticking to me, never allowing me to rest or be by myself.
It was a very good way of getting rid of all these leeches in a polite way. I knew that in doing this I was giving lollipops to the ignorant and innocent, but this is what these people wanted.
They thought that they were just pieces of paper. So I gave them lollipops instead. David: Many of the people you gave lollipops to left Lucknow thinking that they were enlightened. Papaji: If one is not a holy person, one is not worthy to receive the real teaching. Many people think that they have attained the final state of full and complete liberation.
They have fooled themselves, and they have fooled many other people but they have not fooled me. A person in this state is like a fake coin.
It may look like the real thing. It can be passed around and used by ignorant people who use it to buy things with. People who have it in their pocket can boast of having a genuine coin, but it is not real. But it has no value. When it is finally discovered to be a fake, the person who is circulating it, claiming that it is real, is subject to the penalties of the law.
In the spiritual world, the law of karma catches up and deals with all people who are trafficking in fake experiences. I have never passed on the truth to those whom I could see were fake coins. These people may look like gold and they may glitter like gold, but they have no real value.
There are many people who can put on a show and fool other people into believing they are enlightened. What are these final teachings, and why are you not giving them out? Papaji: Nobody is worthy to receive them. Because it has been my experience that everybody has proved to be arrogant and egotistic… . Poonjaji suffered from diabetes and died of pneumonia on 6 September His teaching emphasises that words can only point to ultimate truth, but never are ultimate truth, and that intellectual understanding without directly realising the truth through one's own investigation is not enough.
Like Sri Ramana he stressed that teaching through silence was more important than teaching through words. Once, when a French seeker informed Poonja that he was learning Sanskrit to better understand ancient scriptural texts, Poonja replied:. All your books, all the time lost in learning different languages! Are they any use for conversing with the atman , with the Self, for speaking to yourself?
None of that leads anywhere useful. The atman has nothing to do either with books, or with languages or with any scripture whatever. It is — and that's all! Poonja mentions several events in his own life which "illustrate, in a general way, how the process of realisation comes about. His message, like that of his teacher Sri Ramana, was always that the Self is already enlightened and free.
Like Sri Ramana, he taught self-enquiry , which involved locating a person's sense of "I" and focusing on and investigating this directly. Famous for eschewing all forms of practices or sadhana , Poonja nonetheless recommended self-enquiry as the only practice one should take up, but he didn't want people to take it up as a form of meditation.
He emphasised that there is ultimately no difference between guru and devotee, no teacher, no disciple and even no message. Poonja was quick to point out that devotional bhaktas such as Kabir , Ravidas , Sukdev and Mirabai were also awakened in the same state of freedom known as Sahaj Samadhi, which they called God. According to Poonja Self-realization is in itself liberating from karmic consequences and further rebirth. According to Poonja "karmic tendencies remained after enlightenment, [but] the enlightened person was no longer identified with them and, therefore, did not accrue further karmic consequences.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Punjab, British India. Lucknow , India. Moksha Anubhava Turiya Sahaja.
H.W.L. Poonja (Papaji)
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H. W. L. Poonja
His admirers call him Papaji, and he was a devotee of Sri Ramana Maharshi. First, he was very effective at giving people glimpses of enlightenment. Second, he emphasized the aspect of neo-Advaita that appeals most to Westerners: the idea that realization is available immediately without effort. The modern Western satsang movement was created by his students when they came home from India to teach. Hari Wench Lal Poonja was born into an upper-class Brahmin family on October 13, in Gujrunwala in western Punjab, a part of India that is now in Pakistan, and raised in nearby Lyalpur, now called Faisalabad. He was the nephew of Swami Rama Tirtha, a famous saint who died four years before Poonja's birth. He was a spiritual seeker from a very young age.
Poonja discovered Ramana Maharshi in a remarkable manner. One morning, in , while he was sitting on his veranda in North India [now part of Pakistan], a wandering mendicant appeared before him. Papaji brought him some fruit and invited him to eat a meal at his home. He asked the mendicant if he knew anyone who could help him see God. He had already left his career in the Army and was devoting himself to sacred repetition and the performance of religious rituals.