Mooji

My wife just turned me onto this gentleman, Mooji, who apparently was a devotee Papaji.

It seems like every other person in our hometown of Boulder was a devotee of Papaji.

Over the years I’ve probably attended 20 or 25 satsangs with devotees of Papaji, of whom Gangaji is the most famous example.

This is “neo-advaita” teaching, which purports to give the “ultimate view” that resides as the final stop along every spiritual journey.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t tell you how to get there, other than to repeatedly say what you shouldn’t do — i.e., “neti, neti.”

You’ve probably heard variations of it before:  “Consciousness is all there is.”

Gee, thanks.

What’s so enticing about neo-advaita teachings is that they are packaged as “not for just anybody.”  While the rest of us poor schmucks are out here beating our heads against the wall, enlightened neo-advaitins are “just being” in a state/non-state of absolute is-ness… or something… and it’s the simplest thing… so long as you are one of the chosen few whose capacity is deep and wide enough to “get it” in fairly short order.  Of course, there’s nothing you can do to “get it,” because it either happens or it doesn’t happen… but, then, there’s nothing actually happening, and for that matter there is no “one” for whom it happens, or doesn’t happen.

Suffice it to say, you just want to shoot yourself in the head after a few years of this stuff.

At a certain point in 1997 or so (can’t be sure, but give or take a year), I had for a close Internet friend a self-confessed Nisargadatta/U.G. Krishnamurti (both of whom I continue to respect and love, by the way) devotee named “El.”  As she was gruff and tactlessly honest in all her communication, she was universally disliked on the big neo-advaita discussion boards to which I belonged, but for some reason I was truly drawn to her.  Just when I was perfecting my neo-advaita pitch and putting it out there from an authoritative perspective (i.e., I was just sure that it had “happened” to me), El brutally knocked me off my high horse… and after three days of licking my wounds, it dawned on me what a beautiful favor she did me.  When I expressed my thanks, she said, “Okay, now you’ve got a chance to go all the way.”

I’m still working on it, but I can definitely say that I am thankful for having moved beyond neo-advaitaism.  It took three or four years after the above-mentioned event before I finally dropped it completely, at which point I stopped ignoring the “signs of absorption” that had been asserting themselves since the very early 90’s… and I found a meditation teacher who could not only explain what was happening to me, but who could help me devise a lifestyle that allows “jhana” to do its spiritually-transformative thing with me.

Still a work in process, but let me just say that, having been a “jhana yogi” for four years, I can watch Mooji’s satsang with a mixture of thanksgiving and tolerance.  My teacher would say that Mooji is “established in second jhana,” and that sounds about right to me.

More power to him.

He could very well, in fact, have it absolutely right.

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53 thoughts on “Mooji

  1. Hawk Sr. says:

    Yes, as he says, it is like grace. It is compatible with the moving of the spirit. It happens. It creates. It is. Free freedom.

  2. adreampuppet says:

    I’m glad you watched the video, Hawk. It’s good to check it out on its own terms without applying all the labels and stereotypes that I’ve employed here. Mooji seems like a good sort who has worked things through over a long period of time, through many varied experiences. I have, however, had mixed results through contact with the “guru circuit,” and am happy to have encountered a “practice strategy” that, without denying the details of what they are saying, gives me a moment-to-moment affirmative way of being that actually supports spiritual transformation. After several years of regurgitating non-dual jargon, I realized that I needed to avail myself of an individualized lifestyle that allows me to give rise to these truths independently of what some teacher says.

    But that’s just me!

  3. Ogmin says:

    Howdy Michael and all,

    I have dial-up and haven’t watched the vid but i concur w/ the problems expressed above about neo-advaita. In Vajrayana practice, there is both a ‘creation’ stage and a ‘perfection’ stage. Ultimately we are instructed to merge the two but in practice, the creation stage introduces the view and provides a relatively dualistic paradigm which offers antidotes and skilful means to transform psycho-emotional obstacles. According to Dilgo Khyentse and other masters, to assume the dzogchen view wtihout a good grounding in the preliminaries is like building a house on a frozen lake…. (global warming and all).

  4. adreampuppet says:

    That’s the thing, Craig. In neo-Advaita, there’s really no “stages.” It’s just, you either got it or you ain’t. They treat the idea of spiritual unfoldment as if that’s just something for crass beginners. Even if what they are saying is “true,” (i.e., dzogchen view), there’s no actual teaching available for those who are not ripe for awakening. Additionally, there is no place for the phenomena of awakening (i.e., jhana nimittas or charismatic phenomena), other than to say, “Just let it go.” I finally came to the conclusion that the whole thing is a mind-trip that keeps people occupied, thereby shifting their ego’s nourishment from one thing to another. I suppose that all religions and/or spiritual traditions do that, but I find that the contemplative ones at least offer roadmaps for stilling the body-mind organism and igniting the transformative potential of divine energy — at which time the “real work” begins.

    Then again (as always)… what do I know?

    Less and less….

  5. nusphere says:

    But there is a technique suggested by most of the Advaita/Neo-Advaita gurus and that is self enquiry. Simply asking who you are.

    • adreampuppet says:

      Not to sound antagonistic, nusphere (and thanks for jumping in with a comment, I really do appreciate it)… how’s that technique working out for you?

      I went through a serious self-inquiry period lasting from 1995 to sometime into the 21st century, and while it seemed to help in terms of “clearing the deck” (i.e., “neti, neti,” not this, not this, must be something else, better keep asking)… it mainly just backed me into a nihilistic corner from which I literally did not emerge until just these past few years.

      Ramana Maharshi himself told his followers that only a very, very miniscule fraction of seekers are “ready” to become fully enlightened through self-inquiry. He insisted that such a person would’ve had to have worked through many, many lifetimes of earnest, rigorous and skillful spiritual practice in order to be primed for this technique. Thus, he had many other teachings designed for those who were not primed.

      It is no disgrace to admit to oneself that the spiritual life is not for the feint of heart — that it requires a total and complete commitment, a vast re-arrangement, and an absolute surrender to… That… Satchitananda…Self… or whatever it is we call It… and just sitting around asking who we are is very, very likely not going to do the trick.

      I would submit that Ramana, who did awaken through self-inquiry, approached the technique with a sufficient level of passionate intensity, commitment and surrender, such that he entered and mastered the various levels of meditative absorption as described by the Buddha. Through this intense practice, “it” eventually happened… but only after all hindrances were eradicated.

      Then again, perhaps self-inquiry has done the trick for you, in which case I bow to your enlightenment (which, of course, is a subjective term that’s pretty hard to quantify, if not impossible…).

      Blessings,
      Michael

      • Hi Michael, the question who Am I is given because what we consider ourselves to be, is seen by the I itself. when we go through our self inquiry the verbal is not important. it is more the negative aspect of discovery. We come to see that everything that is recognised and discovered cannot be the true I. At the end of self inquiry, we come to realize that the questioner of the question “who am I” also dissolves because also seen. And we are the seer of all, even the question itself. And beyond, we can say that we are that. But that cannot be seen. We are “nothing” or “no-thing” that is seen. And the seer of all things can be put away and discerned, and coming home to see that you are beyond as the unseen. so therefore anything objective will gradually not bring us some much fear, through knowing that what we are is pure and beyond the concept of pure, but words have to be used to convey what we are talking about. At first it felt like a philosophy to me, until I had the urge and the grace God telling to keep going with my self inquiry. And at the end of it all, even I as the searcher for truth dissolved in that. And I am that “I am”

        much love,
        Lorenzo

  6. Tom says:

    I really agree with ‘adreampuppet’ about Advaita teachings. I’ve been interested and practising since being in India in the early 90’s. I do think that these is a danger (especially in early practise) that these teachings can subtley nurture some elements of pride and ego involvement in being the ‘superior’ spiritual being, but I do balance this with what I recognise in a lot of Buddhists as being very bogged down in ‘paths’ and ‘methods’ for the ego to use to erase itself! as if! and as with most spiritual practitioners who are honest human beings,Buddhists have equally strong pride and ego involvement in their practise as well. I think the attitude of Advaita and Dzogchen is the essense in that mysterious way that is personal spiritual experience that can’t be explained.
    But I do find that ‘modern’ westerner Advaita teachers teachers do bang on about being the ultimate realisation- ‘you are that’- no methods needed- (just neti neti -(and better not even talk fo that because it seems like a technique which you don’t need because ‘you are that’)). I wonder why, as Ramana Maharshi who most seem to show as their teacher or their teacher’s teacher, as ‘adreampuppet’ says in his reply to comment 5, DID talk extensively about methods-meditation-mantra-Karma Yoga etc. His main book ‘Talks’ as well as other dialogue books shows him constantly recommending people continue their particular practises when they questioned him as to their use. He pointed the way to the ultimate and in his silence and presence manifested it, but also recommended and talked of the benefits of many spiritual practises as ways of calming the mind and leading to more receptivity to deeper truth. I do get the feeling that many modern teachers tend to gloss over the fact that Ramana did encourage people and talk of the benefits of many practises as a path rather than just stating that no path is needed and ‘you are that’.

  7. Tom says:

    I find Mooji has a wonderful presence though, and is beyond doubt a deeply spiritual man,and I repeat what ‘adreampuppet’ also says ‘what do i know’. Maybe this type of teaching is just what is needed. Maybe offering purely the ‘highest truth’ allows us to see its validity and we can come to our own conclusions about how we choose to practise. Maybe teachers holding onto this highest truth and expressing this strongly is a beacon thats needed. Because personally when I think of methods and practises, rather than being liberating, often i feel my ego’s arms squeezing me stronger and it feels restricting – allbeit in a ‘spiritual’ way, rather than trully liberating.All in all I feel Mooji is doing great work, helping people in a profound way.

  8. Yonah says:

    Namaste,

    There is no neo avdaita. Self enquiry is the direct method in Sanskrit its called Vichar. Vashishtha explains this to Rama in the volumis text Yoga Vashishtha. It is the one and only way the bhaktas know this every marg leads to it. Some start from Bhakti yoga, Raj yoga, Krama Yoga, etc. Its hard to understand Self-Enquiry-The witness beacuse the mind believes it had to do something all the pratices lead the mind to the witness and then one know there is nothing he can do but be this is what all the so called neo avdaita masters are telling everyone go straight to the source no side roads are needed however if one does not have the faith-dependence on the Self then one has to take to the other yoga which will lead them there. Yoga pratice and Self Enquiry are not opposed to each other. Many pratice integral yoga. all yoga pratices leads to Vedanta-Jnana Yoga wich is the end of knowledge.

    If you like you can check out my teacher Jyotir mayananda who teached integral yoga.

    http://www.yrf.org/

    Namaste

  9. Martin says:

    1. There are no shortcuts in life, spiritual or otherwise.
    To gain qualification/skills in any field, one has to undertake a systematic method of learning followed by application/experience ie. to acquire a degree in Physics, just reading books or videos here and there will not suffice, have to start from school , then proceed to college, then to a University – graduate, postgraduate level, followed by many years of experience,
    WHY DO WE BELIEVE THAT THE GREATEST QUEST FOR OUR EXISTENCE IS GOING TO COME BY SITTING AROUND CLAIMING WE ARE CONSCIOUSNESS AND NOTHING EXISTS OR HAPPENING AROUND US WHEN WE CLEARLY EXPERIENCE THE WORLD AND THE JOYS AND SORROWS THIS BRINGS.

    2. Our fundamental problem is that of IGNORANCE, of what? OUR TRUE NATURE:
    1. Our real nature like that of the Absolute Reality Brahman is Sat, Chit, Ananda
    ie. Existence, Consciousness and Bliss. Again there is huge misinterpretation here but all that later. We are fully aware of Sat and Chit, they are self-evident, we know we exist and are conscious. Unfortunately due to identification with the body/mind complex arising out of IGNORANCE we are not aware of our Anantam-Limitless , Blissful Svarupam. But because this is our intrinsic nature, we have the innate compelling desire to seek happiness and we unfortunately embark to seek it constantly outside in terms of possessions, experiences, status giving rise to likes/dislikes, comparisons, hatred, jealousy, lust, cravings, anger etc
    ie. Hence Samsara/Karma and the cycle of life/death, birth/rebirth.

    3. Ignorance can only be removed by one means, proper Knowledge. Vedanta is that means of Knowledge, not a system of philosophy, it is like a mirror which helps us to discover/see ourselves as the SELF/ATMA, whatever you like to call. Remember even words ike consciousness/awareness are fundamentally flawed, for they are relative terms, there is something to be conscious of/aware of, so back into duality.

    4. Duality is to be understood properly before we start negating it, ie. unreal (not permanent) but very much experienced like the dream objects for a dreamer, only after waking up we are able to say it was a dream, but not whilst dreaming.
    For this a “Systematic study for a prolonged period under the guidance of a COMPETENT teacher” is imperative.

    5. Have to keep in mind Ramana Maharshi’s teachings were in form of Q&A and in that respect varied with varied levels of understanding of the inquirer and hence do not constitute a systematic method of teaching in the traditional sense. His quotes reflect is profound understanding of the scriptures and one of the reasons why he spent 20yrs in a cave, making sense of his initial death experience.

    6. There are no chosen fews who will get the direct path, there is no free lunch in the universe, what seems like that is mainly due to the fact that those few have spent many previous lifetimes acquiring the write mindset via Karma, Bhakti, Meditation, rituals, etc, capable of receiving Jnana. It is like the oil in a lamp, Vedanta then is the ignition , the flame is the Jnana which removes the darkness ie. IGNORANCE, false identification with the body/mind complex.
    OM SHANTI

    • Anonamoose says:

      You’re not supposed to simply sit and ask ‘who am I’. Doing so can help find the ‘I’ which is not words. Its a subtle reality in human beings. This is where the language barrier was a huge obstacle between India and the West IMO. It seems to be there for you still. The difference between what some perceive as thought ‘aka a dialogue’ and what some teachers call thought ‘which I would be more inclined to call a mood’.
      Since its a subtle process I think its best to find a teacher who is highly intelligent and 100% rooted in your native language.
      I love Mooji and fully understand his dialogues because he came to me at a point where I just needed a bit of understanding to ‘get it’. I was ripe as they say.
      But in his Satsangs I do occasionally wince because I do see two ships coming so close but passing each other in a fog because of the limitations of language.
      Maybe the friction and misunderstanding on some level is necessary I’m not going to pick it apart but it does highlight the necessity to bring the intellect fully into the self-enquiry process.

  10. Brian says:

    Ram James Swartz has commented on Papaji and neo-advaita (The Horse’s Mouth: An essay on the ‘lineage’ game, http://www.shiningworld.com), “Here we have the horse’s mouth, the father of the satsang movement, saying that those teaching in his name are not enlightened.”

    In that same essay,

    “Evidently Papaji neglected to [adequately] inform his followers that they needed to prepare themselves for the ‘final teachings’ and that self inquiry was a lot more than getting high from ‘getting it’ and then running off to ‘teach’ enlightenment. Consequently they had no idea how to prepare themselves apart from developing therapies on their own to clear up psychological problems. If they were informed the message somehow got lost in translation because this teaching is conspicuous by its absence in the Neo-Advaita world. Instead, in Papaji’s inquiry lite method, you were meant to ask who you are and then sit still, presumably waiting for the answer, as if there was somebody other than you in you that knew the answer. The obvious problem with this approach is the fact that who you are is not a secret. Even if it is to you and you are lucky enough to get an answer from within as you sit in ‘silence’ how will you evaluate its meaning? What does it mean to say I am limitless non-dual actionless Consciousness? What does it mean to say I am the Self? How should this knowledge impact on my life? Do I get up and shout for joy and get on with my doings because nothing ever happened? Do I shut up and keep silent the rest of my life? Do I hang out a shingle and make a business of enlightening others? Knowing that I am not a doer do I quit eating, die and merge with the Absolute? The purpose of scripture… teachings… is to remove one’s ignorance. It is meant to guide Self inquiry…. When your old patterns return you will invariably re-identify with them and return to endarkenment. Unless a seeker understands the value of purifying the mind along scriptural lines, he or she will not remain enlightened… in so far as ‘permanent enlightenment’ depends on the nature of the mind. Enlightenment is only for a Self ignorant mind. The Self is enlightened by default…. [And:] What Papaji meant by enlightenment is anybody’s guess but it obviously wasn’t experiential… the experiences were only ‘lollipops.’ Somehow, it involved his ‘final teachings’ which presumably involved some kind of knowledge [presumably, of the Self]… although what that knowledge was is not clear. You will notice that in this interview he does not answer the question ‘What are your final teachings?’ And it need not be clear because the idea of a ‘final teaching’ is absurd in so far as you can crack any Upanishad or any of the hundreds of great Vedantic texts …or listen to any traditional Vedanta master … and discover that the final teaching is that you are non-dual Awareness and not the body mind entity you think you are. The Upanishad’s roar, ‘You are That!’ meaning limitless non-dual Awareness. This teaching is not secret or ‘final’ in any way. It is simply a fact to be appreciated, assuming you are mature i.e. qualified. And the permanent appreciation of this fact depends on the nature of the mind… how free it is of beliefs and opinions to the contrary. What’s apparently secret and a ‘final’ bit of unwanted knowledge is the idea that you need to roll up your sleeves and get to work on your mind… if you are going to actualize this teaching…. The ‘final teaching’ myth was one of the tricks Papaji picked up in guru school… keep them dependent on you by shrouding yourself in mystery. Why would a truly enlightened teacher perpetuate this myth? He or she wouldn’t because the whole purpose of enlightenment teaching is to give you the tools that will set you free, including freedom from gurus. When you take into account the contemptuous and cynical attitude that Papaji expresses in this interview toward his ‘disciples’ and the fact that he knew that the people coming to him were not qualified for enlightenment… and neglected to tell them and also neglected to provide teachings and techniques that would prepare them for it… one is tempted to conclude that less noble motivations were at work. In another portion of the interview Papaji says that he did not authorize people to teach in his name, only to send them to Lucknow to get the ‘final teachings.’ One wonders why people who were obviously not enlightened and not qualified for it would be successful in attracting those who would be prepared for the ‘final teachings’ which, as far as I know, Papaji never declared.”

  11. adreampuppet says:

    Thanks to Martin and Brian for offering substantive comments.

    Martin: You make great points. When you insist that Vedanta is THE way home… well, you can understand how one may take that as a dogmatic and exclusive point of view. Sanatana Dharma, of which Vedanta is a part (indeed, all spiritual systems, traditions and methods would come under the umbrella of Sanatana Dharma), makes room for the notion that there is more than one stream leading back to the ocean. The Buddha’s actual teachings on enlightenment, for instance, offer a Middle Way that is all-consuming in its rigor and skill. Certain systems within Sufism offer a clear path, as well. My point in the piece was simply to say that the enlightenment game is not won through figuring things out mentally, and then announcing that the deed is done. I would submit (as did the Buddha, Patanjali and many other ecstatic contemplatives) that giving rise to samadhi is a pre-requisite; it elevates spiritual practice and puts it on automatic pilot, thus bypassing the ego-mind’s many self-sabotaging techniques.

    Also, the whole guru-thing raises questions for me — but I admit that I have authority issues. I do have an excellent meditation teacher who has put my practice into proper perspective, and for this I give thanks. It really comes down to commitment in the individual — will she or he be willing to built their entire lives around their practice… for the rest of their lives…?

    Brian: I really appreciate your offering of the long quote. No more needs to be said.

    Love and blessings,
    Michael

  12. Erie says:

    I I just stumbled over Martins parallel about earning a degree in Physics and will add:

    But surprising so close you can get to a degree in knowledge by reading books and watching videos if you are truly interested and posses enough intelligence, and it might even give the ability to inspire scientists in a given direction.

  13. Truth&Liberation says:

    Nice topic. According to the Buddha Dharma, one needs deep cultivation of wisdom and clear comprehension – comprehending the reality as it really is – to come to realization of Truth and liberation. Ven Rahula has a clear and mind-blowing description on this matter, do check out the Youtube links below.

    May all beings be happy.

  14. akashom says:

    Thank you for sharing this….I wrote a post which I guess might share in what you’re saying… http://akashom.wordpress.com/2010/04/23/why-practise/

    Warm Regards,
    Akash.
    www,akashom.wordpress.com.

    • Anonamoose says:

      I love Mooji and he has definitely initiated and progressed far along a path. He has been of huge benefit to me.

      His correctness is huge and his errors are subtle but there are there and no benefit is gained from ignoring them in a blind worshipful gaze. Small weeds grow until they become so big that they choke the garden and you are better off giving them attention while they are small before they start to harm the entire garden.
      Ok enough metaphors, the subtle errors, compared to his greatness they are small, I have discovered in Mooji’s satsang:

      1. He does not give enough recognition or respects to other paths. He is too forceful that self-enquiry is the way. Of course some element of truth in this because it is important. But he is too attached to the method and after listening to his satsangs I have literally not seen him mention the possibility of other paths. But I have seen people who are obviously exploring other paths come before him and he seemed uncomfortable with the subtle differences they presented. This subtle error causes a weed of the ego to grow, it causes attachment to self-enquiry because if it is the only way in your mind then subtly it becomes easier for it to become rooted in ego. Again may seem subtle but when you are at the level of mooji these subtleties can rapidly accrue suffering.

      2. He seems physically in somewhat bad shape and tired often with bags under his eyes. Granted what Ramana said was true the body is on a different karmic course than the consciousness but at the same time errors do show up in the body. More subtlety. If he is becoming subtly attached to self-enquiry as the only way then is he taking the time necessary to simply relax and take a day off? Being in self-enquiry and helping others achieve it can become an intoxicant a source of ego. When this happens the subtle growth of the ego causes you to slip back into samsara more frequently. That is why simply taking a day off once a week to rejuvenate is important.
      I could be wrong on this point I do not know but I do see signs of such a thing.

      Again subtle errors but no two people develop the same. Some people are more realized in the intellect and are better able to see subtle things. Some people are more realized in the heart and they develop in a different manner.
      We should not let the mantle of ‘guru’ blind us to these subtleties we are all gurus.

      • Ned Johnson says:

        Some more comments on this:

        Regarding 1) most teachers are going to focus primarily on the method that worked for them. It’s not a course in Comparitive Religion. The only thing I would be worried about is he ever said something like, “My way is the only way, and if you don’t follow it you’re doomed”. Self-enquiry can never become “rooted in ego”. If the ego remains in the midst of the enquiry process, you’re not doing it right.

        2) For the Satguru, it doesn’t matter what the body is doing in comparison with the Spirit, but from things Mooji has himself said about himself, he is probably not ultimately Realized. It’s difficult for someone who is not very spiritually advanced to make a judgement in these matters. But IF he is not ultimately realized, what is occurring in his body may be a sign of error. But not always! Papaji said you can expect spiritual perfection from the Master, but physical perfection is at the whim of destiny. Therefore, it’s probably not a good idea to focus on physical imperfection, and to assign that any real significance.

        Additionally, in enquiry, there is perfect relaxation. There’s no way that he’s gonna wear himself out by doing enquiry. Again, if you get exhausted by it, you’re doing it wrong LOL

        I think it is very important to evaluate the Teacher and not just follow blindly. But we are not all gurus. It’s like saying that a child can understand quantum physics without the help of a teacher. While spirituality is not in the end an intellectual journey, I think the analogy holds. Anyone who thinks they can just “do it on their own” is only fooling themselves.

        Om Shanti.

      • Rose says:

        Mooji’s body has diabetes… is that karma cuz he believes in the path of self discovery? Dont think so!
        Also I have heard him say there is nothing wrong with going to another path or following another “guru’s” teachings etc… so I am not sure where you come to this conclusion of him.
        Search Youtube title: Can a Devotee Move from One Master to Another? or on Mooji’s channel.

  15. Ned says:

    ok, let me weigh in here. You know, I’ve never posted on one of these boards before, and I actually kind of ended up at this site by mistake LOL But ok, here goes: I have had contact with Mooji actually, and the Energy coming from him is very powerful. Where is he in terms of Ultimate Realization? No idea. But, if you are not a saint, you could probably benefit from his teachings.

    I have actually been studying and meditating on this stuff for about 17 years, and I guess you could say that to a large extent, I “get it”. When you say stuff like: “…enlightened neo-advaitins are “just being” in a state/non-state of absolute is-ness… or something…” and “Of course, there’s nothing you can do to “get it,” because it either happens or it doesn’t happen… but, then, there’s nothing actually happening, and for that matter there is no “one” for whom it happens, or doesn’t happen.” it’s clear to me that you are still trying to *think* about what It is, to try to understand it from an intellectual level. While I don’t consider myself as any kind of teacher, let me just say this: from my current level of understanding, while what you say above is correct in some absolute sense, it’s misleading. There definitely are *several* things that you can do to “get it” (I first “got it” under the guidance of Nisargadatta Maharaj by the way). If you think there is nothing to do, that is one of the reasons you’re stuck. Yes, maybe there is no “event” that is actually happening in space-time, but there is definitely a seeing or an understanding of something that takes place, although again, not intellectually. It’s like if you are looking at a picture, and it doesn’t make sense to you, because you are assuming the wrong point of view, and then something happens in your mind…something like you silently saying to yourself, “hmm, maybe I am looking at this picture wrong”, and you look at it a different way, and suddenly you realize what you are seeing. An apple, painted in a mirror at a bizarre angle for instance. Whatever. The point is, all of a sudden, you *recognize* the object. Did you do any thinking? No. But understanding occurred. It is something like that. Anyway, there are definite methods to try to “cause” that understanding to happen. It is in Nisargadatta’s teaching, and in Papaji’s. In the teaching arguments they use, they are trying to alter your frame of reference so that you see the apple for the first time. If you don’t get it the first time, you need to keep looking and looking. It’s like trying to get one of those 3D pictures by unfocussing your eyes. You remember those? haha I could never get them. But how did it go? Someone tells you, “there is something in this picture! Here’s how you need to try to see it”. Same thing really! There is something in the Teaching! Keep trying to see it! And while it is true that there is no one that understands this, it would probably be more accurate to say that your personality or ego won’t be doing the understanding, it is your Deeper Self. But, I think you only really realize that *after the fact*. So to say that no one understands before that, well, that you need to ignore, really. It may be true at some level, but it’s not helping you. In fact, it’s probably hurting you, so try to ignore it.

    Personally, I think the most common problem that can occur, especially with Papaji’s devotees is: they have some kind of Awakening experience when they are with Him, and then they lose it sometime later. Maybe they come back and get it again. Then they lose it again. I think the problem is this: Papaji quite clearly teaches: “Once you understand who you are, remain as That.” And really, there is only one way to insure this: a devoted life of constant spiritual practice. You have to have right action, right diet, you need to fill your mind with the teachings of the scriptures, you need good company and constant meditation. If your whole life is oriented in this way, you have a chance of holding onto what you find out. Otherwise, you are at the mercy of having the Darshan of these great beings.

    My advice: keep at it. There really is something to what Mooji and Papaji are saying. Let me make a quote from Nisargadatta Maharaj: “Go in the direction of I AM.” I have personally found this advice very helpful.

    Om Shanti.

  16. bob says:

    There really is no problem getting it when we kick the bucket we all get it.

    • Ned Johnson says:

      ehhh, I’m gonna have to say that’s…wrong. If anyone got it when they died, there wouldn’t be any reincarnation. Everyone would get enlightened upon dying after having embodied for the very first time, and that would be it. Sadly, it’s just not that easy….

      • moqutpar says:

        From the perception of the mind we must create the illusion of re-incanation because we can’t realize that for the nameless witness and what lies beyond even that, that all has already been realized (all is nothing ) when form or percetpion of self dies it returns to the nothingness from whenst it came..but being is eternal.

      • Ned says:

        Moqutpar: Everything you say appears to be correct; you have some understanding. Well, not quite everything. The Witness does not sit in a position of full Realization. But concerning reincarnation: sure reincarnation is an illusion, but then, so is everything else. Yet, we are here (or at least appear to be, ok?). If the jiva doesn’t totally apperceive that it is illusion, guess what. It is subject to it. Thus it is possible to get stuck on the Wheel, even tho it is not real.

  17. Anonamoose says:

    Different gurus have different approaches. Mooji has the soft approach. Other gurus have different approaches. Mooji would have been no use to me some years ago and may not be of use to me in the future. I dont know. In the past I spent years with no guru just finding inspiration for how to approach things from David Lynch movies and Rammstein heavy metal of all things. Teachers are all over the place even in nature. Whats the saying when ‘when the student is ready the teacher will appear’. This is true, even the ‘frauds’ offer valuable teaching to the blind. Some degree of sight must be created in a previously blind person to see through a fraud right?

  18. […] Jhana Support Group discussion board for many years now. He reeled me in from one of the many pseudo-Advaita boards out there, appealing to the undeniable fact that I’d been experiencing certain […]

  19. Frank Church says:

    In relation to Mooji, one thing needs to be understood. Mooji is like a pit bull who won’t let neither his nor his audience’s attention waver from what they need and seek. Why should he deviate from that?

    It is very easy to overlook what satsang truly is. It is the presence of the guru that is important, not his words. A lot of his responses consists of (anodyne) conversation to hold the audience in the presence (of satsang).http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50LLrQslTQI

    The seeker is a phenonemon arising in that which is sought by the seeker – that which is sought by the seeker is that which witnesses the seeker, and is even a witness to the seeker’s thoughts, desires and endeavours concerning self-realization. The seeker arises within and is an apparent modification of that which it seeks, which is the witness, the observer of the seeker.

    Does Mooji’s persistent question come to mind – “Can the seer itself be seen?”

    The state of self-realization is not that in which everyday language is used, and even when sages speak direct simple literal truths, the regular meaning of the words in the non-awakened state and preconceived notions of spirituality get in the way of understanding.

  20. Frank Church says:

    “My wife just turned me onto this gentleman, Mooji, who apparently was a devotee Papaji.”

  21. Alocrius says:

    I will chime in with F. Church here in that I find Mooji masterful because of the uncompromising persistence of his pointing. He is unwavering and that is inspiring alone aside from the other good stuff. The tool he is giving, namely self-inquiry, is a “universal applicator” as it harnesses the undiluted awareness in the purity of present moment. His teaching always points to this and it just doesn’t get simpler or more powerful than that for me. It’s the ultimate leverage, the quandary is somehow spiritual fitness… to consistently align with this until it is the choice-less choice.. or subscribe to ego stories some more. I think it also true most people in the spiritual circles aren’t there for enlightenment.. otherwise there would be a lot more masters and a lot less silly questions. To intellectually state the ultimate truth since that seems to be whats going on here, I think the ultimate is realizing a misplaced allegiance and that finally it is seen there IS no choice to be or not be the Self. No more choice, no more inquiry. No more (s)elf, no more problems. Its a pretty god damn cheerful message and I’m not turning my back on this one. I haven’t been enlightened for a really long time is a subtle story we subscribe too. I think until all compulsive thinking is distrusted and seen as a wobbly point of view we are just moving compulsively from one moment to the next. Consciousness is movement between two points of reference but it is totally, totally, possible to identify as the stillness of non-localized being.

    • moqutpar says:

      That is still an identification of the self and in so doing misses the mark

      • moqutpar says:

        Just be stillness without indentifying your self as that and be activity just don’t identify your self with that. Stillness exists beneath activity… it is the platform upon which all exists.

  22. I really love your blog…you discuss current teachers,some of them give satsangs in Tiru as well…My question is why neo-advaita had not taken off– beyond satsanghs and some retreats , and become long time training ground with scriptural study from Hindu scriptures—N K Srinivasan

  23. adreampuppet says:

    Hello Nenmeli,

    From my experience, neo-Advaita teachers are not grounded in any sort of scripture, nor do they teach from scripture. This (among other things) is what separates this movement from traditional Advaita Vedanta. This is also a good insight into why neo-advaita is not taught in schools.

    Blessings,
    Michael

  24. Josh b'Gosh says:

    I just got turned onto Mooji last week, saw one of his Youtube clips and found a lot of useful wisdom in all of it and I am enjoying the reminder to be connected to spirit. Hence, I have followed up by watching many other clips of his.

    However, I didn’t begin with the idea that he is flawless and I should believe everything he says.

    I like what the late Robert Anton Wilson said about belief systems (not verbatim): B.S. stands for belief system. Never believe 100% in anyone’s belief system, including your own.

    R.A.W. was into a lot of eastern mysticism and I do believe (ha ha) that he had it right with this comment.

    I know what I know. I can say that I know I am more than the five senses, but then, I could also say that I am more than just pure consciousness, the “I” before my father’s sperm hit my mother’s egg, could I not?

    And, as for reincarnation, I don’t have any fixed opinions on that. It is more than likely that it is all happening at once, not a linear progression, or succession of lifetimes we are living.

    I do like what a Blackfoot elder showed me about his medicine wheel. There are four directions: Spirt opposite Physical and Emotional opposite Mental. If we go too far off into any one of these places, we have to return to the center. 🙂

    I think many, many, spiritual traditions point to the same things. We have to fulfill all these aspects of ourselves. However, the tradition which Mooji learned under, would paint the diagram a lot differently. It would be more like a water color painting with different shades/layers of experience which all point to the background of spirit. No?

    It is important, I think, for each one of us to find out what makes us fulfilled on a deep level. Mooji may be one of those ways. For me, I like making a collage of different thoughts to create what works and I don’t carve it in stone, either. It changes.

    Someone else commented, on this thread, that they thought Mooji looks out of shape and tired. I think he looks great for his age. He was born in 1954, did you know? But, I haven’t seen him in person, but judging from his Youtube vids, he does look good to me. There is even one with him jumping rope, recently. He doesn’t move like a lot of folks his age. Maybe he’s deteriorated recently, I don’t know… maybe he needs to “stand in the center” of a medicine wheel, himself. 🙂

    Shalom, Peace

    • moqutpar says:

      I liken it to an empty canvas upon which all the paint appears… it is a conciousness canvas and wherever it puts it’s attention the paint appears, but in reality it is only because it saw what it wanted to see not because anything was really ever there, and when it puts it’s attention on the mind, meaning and form is given to the images on the canvas… when the conciousness becomes stuck in certain aspects of the painting and is not aware of the whole picture or even of the fact that underneath all the paint is an empty canvas… that is ego/attachment

      • moqutpar says:

        As far as Mooji being out of shape… of course he is out of shape… in reality we all have no shape and hence are ‘out’ of shape (or form)…lol

  25. Rutted Pasture says:

    Papaji himself said that none of his Western students were enlightened.(including Mooji) That no one was holy enough to receive what he knew. He said that he gave them spiritual lolipops and hinted they were enlightened to get the ‘leeches’ off his back. These are direct quotes of Papaji himself in the book ‘Nothing Ever Happened’.
    Uncompromising and direct stuff.

  26. tony says:

    I’m not claiming anything special,I’m a very simple person not that well educated, I don’t know who I am at the moment if anything, but at the age of about 8 I had what I later found out was an awakening experience.
    I experienced suddenly at school in the classroom an upliftment of consciousness,a very happy loving peaceful state,almost heavenly if you will.
    I lasted a few hours,then I slowly came back to normal consciousness.
    I never have forgotten it 60 years later.
    When I was 27 it happened again after visiting a healer,it lasted powerfully for several months,and I instantly believed in “God ” lost interest in worldly stuff I became a truth seeker,been on many paths done a lot of TM meditation and other sorts and finally came to non duality about 7 years ago,all this time I thought I was Tony, a person because thats what all the teachings said I am, a separate soul.
    And “God ” is something I have to attain in the future,its simply not true. Through Grace or teachings I know there is no one here to claim anything,ego is an idea of self thats all.I dont know how I know but I do .
    Sometimes the ego Tony me tries to re- establish itself so I am aware of that and just get still,because of the meditation or perhaps grace I can just come to still state,where thoughts stop or are very weak,I know I am witnessing,but as I said I don’t know who is witnessing,I dont feel even an I AM,that seems like a subject,anothe identity there is just Awareness which is very similar to the states mentioned above but not with much quality,a feeling of peace and oneness also a feeling its deepening.
    So what I’ve experienced could be a former life coupled with regular TM meditation,its been a hard road, I have tried to run away many times but Self draws me back in like a fish on a hook,I cannot get away no matter how I try.
    Which shows the old ego is still there but much weakened,I know its just an idea but a very ancient one ,its going to take a while,perhaps more lives to lose attachment to it.
    In non duality the experience is instant BUT the establishment takes time.
    I am confident Self will win in the end,hopefully in this life.
    I hope this is of some help,I feel the key to success is to be a sincere truth seeker, and have faith in the power of Self whatever happens,that is enough to maintain contact,however intermittant.
    Love, Tony .

  27. tony says:

    Hi,reading the above I realise I didnt mention Mooji ! I have know about him for several years since I discovered Non duality but didn’t follow him until a few months ago,all he said was very much to the point and easy to follow,I even joined his Sanga,then the other day, a question arose on YT about kundalini experience from a newcomer and his usual happy warm self turned very frosty,she innocently asked him if he had had the kundalini experience and he didn’t like that at all,he looked very uncomfortable, became patronising,searching for something to say,very unusual for him as he normally has all the answers.
    He indicated this was unclean almost,instead of appreciating perhaps this lady had a spontaineous kundalini awakening as part of her path to non duality,I see nothing wrong in kundalini,I had it too,its just the Self manifesting in order to clear channels or whatever, So I’m questioning whether he is fully “Enlightened”,the only thing that becomes uncomfortable is ego. Find it on YT and see what what you think.
    Perhaps I am over reacting.
    I’m also not happy about the high throne business and people touching his feet, etc,these are an Indian custom,Moojis not Indian why does he allow it?
    I feel Teachers need to be careful about these things as it can lead to egoismn.
    Correct me if I’m very wrong please.
    Love Tony

  28. tony says:


    Hi Sid,the above is the Mooji video in question ,he actually said Kundalini is “kids stuff” to the lady, patronising, either he has not experienced it or has and didn’t like to admit to either,thats ego.
    Ramana said kundalini was Self……”kids stuff?”
    Remember this lady was new to Kundalini and to Mooji and was asking sweetly, simple questions,if she had been an old devotee with Mooji,maybe then his responce would be valid.
    Love Tony

    • frank church says:

      This should resolve your issue – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TAf_-V0RgNQ. It is what Mooji is referring to

      • tony says:

        Thanks Frank,I understand where this lady in your link is coming from, non-duality.There is no”I” or “me”
        I still fail to see what this has to do with Mooj’s patronising attitued to his student.
        He dismisses Kundalini experience as kids stuff, “Oh I’m far above that sort of thing my dear ” If Self or whatever name one calls truth, wishes to grant Kunadalini experience, UNASKED FOR, that is called Grace,a very special Grace,a VERY rare event in the seekers life.It is not a requirment for awakening though in everyone.
        It is for the purpose in some seekers spiritual life to help them awaken.
        It is however not meant to be sought after in itself,as a spritual “high” it is a reflection in the body of Truth,not Truth itself.
        Kundalini experience should not be sought or forced as some would not be able to handle the power.
        I could not see any harm in Mooji admitting either whether he had or had not the kunadlini experience. Perhaps he didn’t need it in his awakening,and never had it, nothing to be ashamed of,but some people do,and Self knows who needs it.
        Kundalini is Self manifesting in the body according to Ramana ,and should be recognised as a holy gift,not “kids stuff”

    • oshonufgbear says:

      Ramana stated Self was all,so this includes kundalini,yes? My reaction to the inquirer would be no comment on personal experience in a category or context of ‘phenomena’,however,do not try to recapture that & keep a steady course in the practice,whichever that may be as benefitting the individual. I prefer progress not perfection.Labeling to me is a problem.If a person has a wonderful experience,that’s great,just keep on the practice road & do not search for duplicating the experience which comes & goes as this usually ends up in frustration,disappointment. For the ‘little me’, I must maintain the awareness that ‘it’ is like a child & for me treated as such,with respect,guidance,etc.,however, discerning direction.It must be coaxed with compassion,not forced. It is a difficult path to declare enlightenment & become a public persona,like walking a razor’s edge. ‘I’ think it profound to have a imperfect vehicle for a perfect Self,although I get Self as all & not only residing ‘in’ the little me. Thank you for allowing my 2-cents.

    • Rose says:

      He was not taken off guard by the question, in fact he was the one who re-initiated the subject with her.
      I do not see what you see when you watch this.
      Guess it is all a matter of perception…
      What he is saying is true, playing with Kundalini energy can be dangerous & not something to just be played with. (He even gave an example of this.)
      I realize your comments on here are many years old, but that is the thing with the internet.
      Maybe now who have different perspectives
      etc…

  29. frank church says:

    Mooji is extremely uncompromising in that respect because he actually sees the person sitting opposite him as the Self and speaks to It as the Self, no matter how the ‘person’ regards itself as the object of those words. Once you understand that part of his teaching everything about his style and his responses makes sense. In fact he treats the whole audience as well as the person asking the quesion the Self, ie it is the whole audience is the Self asking the individual’s question and its the whole audience as the Self the response is addressed to.

    I also think that he adopts a tough line just in case any other members of the audience are thinking about focusing on those types of experiences.

  30. Shawn says:

    Just wanted to give my one cent about the idea if “ultimate realization.”

    To me there are two spiritual skills: getting there and staying there. Most of us have many means of getting there but I believe few of us are masters of staying there. Mooji seems very good at staying there. Maybe it’s because he’s fat.

    Anyway, perhaps beyond staying there there is the skill of energy flow and manipulation that great healers of the past have perhaps developed. However, it seems that many of the modern masters of staying there (sri sri Ravi Shankar, eckhart tolle, mooji) probably have as little idea as the rest of us regarding manipulating energy and entrenched illness.

    Anyway, nice forum.

  31. jhananda says:

    Thank-you, Michael, for posting another interesting essay. I find neoAdvaita just another belief system that benefits the few who can pretend they are enlightened.

  32. oshonufgbear says:

    I am often asked about spiritual matters,not that I am expert, & I usually sum up with “be good,do good”,no matter the belief system or none. I was told by a yogi that jnana was the more difficult path & bhakti the easier,which is devotion,love,with the final ‘goal’ as becoming or merging in That which was originally objectified. Ramana states if the jnana path is not “appealing” to the aspirant,then good conduct leads to pure mind which leads to jnana.I enjoy Indian buffets which offer many items to choose from for many tastes & such is the spiritual path, as long as we accept some indigestion along the way, & especially with good humor as condiment.

    • tony says:

      Hi,
      its interesting you say”be good,do good” that is one of Sathya Sai Baba’s neat little sayings,another is” Help ever ,hurt never” ,”Love all ,serve all”
      I have great respect for SSB and have learnt much through his teachings and personal guidence although I have never met him.
      He actually taught Advaita Vedanta,that all is one,we are “God” or Consciousness, but his main teaching was of selfless service of which he was a prime example, It wasn’t until a few years ago that I came across Non dual teachings that gave more explicit information on Non duality on good old YT !
      But not many understood SSB and some actually turned against him in his latter years, making up awful stories about him.
      I don’t believe these stories at all they come about through egoic ignorance and jealousy.
      To me he was an Avatar of the highest order, a very rare Being.
      Worth looking into.
      He taught all Religions that promote love and service are equal.
      and that it is good to be born into a religion but bad to die in one !
      We have to progress beyond religions full of dogma and ritual to know who we are NOT.

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