The Mystery of Robert Adams: Did He Really Meet Ramana Maharshi and the Sages of India?

(Robert Adams was an American neo-advaita teacher who claimed to be a direct disciple of Ramana Maharshi and to have lived in and around Ramana Ashram in Tiruvannamalai for about 3 years, and also with other renowned saints and sages in India, including Anandamayi Ma, Nisargadatta Maharaj, Swami (Papa) Ramdas, Baba Muktananda (from Ganeshpuri), Neem Karoli Baba and many others.)

This is Part 1 in our series. Part 2 link: Was Robert in India? Part 3 link: The Question of Integrity by Kitty Osborne| Part 4 link: Questions for Kitty

An interview with Steven Strouth

Q: How did you meet Robert Adams?
A: In 1986 I operated a Ramana Maharshi study group in the Los Angeles area and he called me up and asked if he could attend. He said he didn’t have a car and we agreed to have our next week’s meeting at his place. I was the only one at the next week’s meeting and so I drove to Panorama City and met with him.

Q: What was that like?
A: In those days Panorama City was sort of a more dangerous type neighborhood with a certain amount of gang activity. When I got there Robert seemed sort of apologetic for living there and said the only reason he lived there was because his brother had died and left him this large apartment building. That turned out to be a lie. He did not own that apartment building, no one died and left it to him, and I don’t even think he had a brother.

Q: What was your first meeting with him like?
A: We went into one of the empty apartments which I later found out he had the keys to because he was working as an apartment manager there and we started talking about Ramana and self-enquiry and how self-enquiry was not a mysterious process like people used to think. Then Robert told me he had actually been to India and met Ramana which really impressed me. He told me he had actually been at Ramana ashram for two weeks when he was 18 years old. Meeting someone who actually knew Ramana in 1986 hadn’t seemed like even a possibility, but when I did the math I realized it was possible and I was quite impressed.
His supposed India trip would have been right after he got married to Nicole. Nicole was an heiress from the Cayman Islands and had money, according to his story. I thought he said it was Nicole’s money that financed his supposed trips to India but there was also a story about an aunt that died and left him money. He said he spent 17 years in India traveling, so I thought perhaps he was flying back and forth. I never really questioned him on how he spent time with his two young daughters and at the same time spent so many years in India.
Anyways we talked some more and Robert wanted to be part of the study group and said we needed to expand it. I was 32 years old at the time and while I never took Robert Adams as my guru or as any guru, I did think he understood the correct approach to self-enquiry and so the next week I met with him again.

Q: What happened at the next meeting?
A: Again no one else came and I drove to Panorama City from Burbank. Robert said he wanted to run ads in the Whole Life Times to let more people know about what we were doing. He said he envisioned starting an ashram/health center. I thought that would be fun. So anyway we ran ads and slowly a few people started to come. Robert wanted to charge everyone $10 to come to our meetings and was quite insistent on it saying it was the only way we could get the ashram going. I told him I would have nothing to do with charging money for satsang and he would be on his own if that was the approach. He reluctantly agreed to not charge money.
As it turned out, the house I was living in was bought to be demolished and I needed a new place to live and Robert said: “Hey why don’t you rent an apartment in my building and we can hang out and plan our ashram.” So I did that. I used to work from 5pm to 1am in those days. I moved over there and we used to hang out every day and talk and plan our ashram. Robert used to regale me with stories of all the spiritual teachers he met.
He said he had co-owned an import shop in Manhattan, NYC with Rudi where they sold artwork, statues and trinkets from India. He said Franklin Jones used to hang around the store and he used to give him errand jobs and such in those days. Robert often talked about Swami Chetanananda (whom Robert jokingly called Swami Shit-ananda), who inherited a guruship from Rudi. They had obviously been buddies at some point. Later I talked to someone that had been with Rudi from early on and he never heard of Robert Adams and didn’t recognize his picture so a lot of the Rudi stuff may have been made up too. It is unlikely Rudi shared ownership of his store in NYC.
My impression was always that Baba Muktananda was really Robert’s guru and he talked about him a lot… always reverentially. Loved to talk about him, tell stories about him and defended him against scandalous stories.
Robert also mentioned to me that there were a lot of wild sexual hijinks and orgies going on at Ramana Ashram. Something few people knew about. I remember finding this so shocking. He also said he met Papa (Swami) Ramdas who was inappropriately sexual in front of little girls according to Robert.
In those days (1986) I started reading Nisargadatta Maharaj and I showed Robert the book of his dialogues, titled “I Am That.” Years later I’d heard he was telling people he met Nisargadatta, and that he spent time with him in his upstairs loft in Bombay going to satsangs for six months straight during the last three years of Nisargadatta’s life, but no one ever recalls having seen him there and it’s curious he never mentioned anything like that when I introduced the books to him.
When I knew Robert he talked normally and walked normally, but there were certain hints of Parkinson’s like a slight shaking in his hands now and then.
When we first decided to hold satsang I said to Robert that I may not have enough furniture in my apartment and he said, “Don’t worry about that, I have a lot of furniture in storage,” and we went down to a storage room and got some really nice chairs to use for holding satsang. Robert said that he had furniture in storage in Nevada, Florida, Washington State, New Mexico, Hawaii, and I think somewhere else where he had given shaktipat and had held satsang, but then moved on. He said Nicole got tired of losing all of her good furniture every time they moved and so they started putting it in storage.

Q: What was the Hawaii kidnapping story?
A: At first the Hawaii kidnapping story sounded bizarre, but after knowing Robert for a while it made perfect sense. Robert had the habit of “borrowing” money from followers. Yet while most people use the word “borrow” with some slight intention of someday paying it back, Robert never used the word like that. In fact, he would be shocked if someone even mentioned “paying back” in association with money he “borrowed” … so my guess is that the kidnapping involved someone that lost a lot of money. Robert didn’t do things in a small way. Robert said some of his followers kidnapped him and held him for ransom. I think he said this was in Hawaii but I’m not sure of the exact place – it could have been New Mexico. I think he said he held satsang there under the pseudonym “M.T. Mind”.

Q: Did Robert Adams hold satsang in Hawaii?
A: I had heard that he taught on the Big Island under the name Robert Siegal. At that time, he was saying his guru was Baba Muktananda and he was not claiming to have been with Ramana Maharshi. The story I got was that after the kidnapping incident Robert left Hawaii and it so happened that some years later two women (former students) were visiting L.A. and heard about a satsang being given by someone named Robert Adams who claimed to be a direct disciple of Ramana. They went and were surprised to see it was the Robert Siegal who they had been students of in Hawaii, who had been previously been saying that he was a student of Muktananda’s in Siddha Yoga and never mentioned having met Ramana.

Q: What is the story about Robert Adams having been under psychiatric care?
A: Robert told me his mother had him under psychiatric care starting when he was around 12 years old. He said it was because she didn’t understand his “spirituality.” At the time I took that to mean she found it odd that he was talking to a 2-foot-tall Ramana by his bed, but perhaps she discovered more troubling aspects of his behavior too.

Q: What was the story about Henry Denison kicking Robert out of his house.
A: I only heard that second hand but from several people. In those days Henry Denison used to have a wide variety of spiritual teachers give satsang at his house in the Hollywood Hills overlooking Lake Hollywood. A student of his, Karen Evans, was having regular private interviews with him. Karen was a classically beautiful-looking woman about 25 years younger than Robert. During one private interview Robert sexually propositioned her. Karen said no, and then Robert tried to grab her, but she slipped out, and told him never to do that again, and that she will only engage with him in a student-teacher relationship. He agreed to that, and she believed him, and the next week she went for a private interview, and he grabbed her and tried to force his tongue in her mouth. She pushed him away, ran out, and some days later went to his next satsang, where, when Robert asked for questions after his talk, Karen asked him why did he try to kiss her (or why did he grab her, was another report). Robert answered, “I tried to comfort you.” and she answered, “With your tongue down my throat?”. An uproar ensued, and Henry Denison got up and told Robert, “Robert, you are a dirty old man, get out of my house.”
It plunged her into a depression, and she later killed herself.

Q: Did you ever witness Robert being sexually inappropriate?
A: No, but he talked a lot about women that came on to him and how his wife Nicole used to get jealous. One day at our satsang a very pretty 30ish girl came for teaching and I didn’t see Robert the next day and two days later he mentioned that he had been over to her house, and she had made a pass at him and tried to get sexual with him by wrapping them up together in a blanket. He said her little boy was a brat and he didn’t want to have anything more to do with her, and she never came back to our satsang.

Q: Did you lose money loaning to Robert?
A: Yes, and I think a lot of people did.
One day Robert came over to my apartment with an ad for a Honda Prelude. He said he needed it so Nicole could get back and forth to the swap-meet to sell her t-shirts. He asked me if I would co-sign for it. $19,000. He said I wouldn’t lose any money. He would make the payments of $200 a month.
I told him I would think about it. The next day I told him I would not be co-signing for him to get this car. He was annoyed about it. I said I would look for a used car for him and he could pay me back. I said I would get something cheaper, and in the next week I bought a $600 Honda Civic. It was a beautiful car… it ran great. It did have a dented up front fender, but mechanically it was perfect.
After two months Robert had not paid a dime on it. I asked him why not. He said he could not pay anything, that he didn’t have any money, no job… where was he to get any money? (In other words the whole $19,000 would have been on me.)
I told him that if he didn’t pay me something in two weeks I was going to sell the car. He laughed at that. Two weeks later he had paid nothing and I sold the car. He was angry and started blaming me. Later that day, Nicole came over, and was mad that I had sold “their” car. I explained to Nicole the situation and she calmed down.
Later I asked Robert why he had not told Nicole that he owed me money for the car? He said he had made Nicole think that the car manifested by magic.

Q: What is the story about him posing as a medical doctor and operating a medical stress clinic?
A: One day I was over at Robert’s apartment and we were just sitting around chatting and I happened to pick up a piece of paper under the chair he had been sitting in. It was an ad for a medical center stress clinic in Las Vegas. It was clearly written by Robert, I could recognize his way of talking and writing. It said this particular medical doctor would cure you of stress.
Robert seemed very uncomfortable at my reading this. I asked him what it was. He said it was something he had written for a doctor friend of his. I sensed he was lying and it also seemed highly unlikely that a medical doctor would have Robert Adams write his ad material. Also this was after the whole apartment manager union idea went bust and I knew he had money trouble. He had already started referring to himself as Dr. Robert Adams and I was noticing how much respect he had gotten from people this way. He actually did look the part of a doctor.
Anyway, all I can tell you is I sensed there was something very strange going on about this and his behavior that day.
Fast forward a few years… a friend of mine tells me she was having lunch with Robert at “Follow Your Heart” in the valley and a man comes up to them who recognized Robert and says to him, “Dr. Anderson, how great to see you again.” Robert shakes the man’s hand, hugs him and goes back to his dinner.
Also later I heard that Robert had operated a stress clinic in Hawaii.
By that time he had already told me so many blatant lies that I knew absolutely nothing he said could be trusted. I believe Dr. Robert Adams aka Dr. Anderson had worked as a medical doctor in more than one state.
Also, I remember that one time after I had bought the car for Robert, his daughter Prentiss (about 19 at the time) had been driving it a lot, I asked him how she liked it. He said she was used to driving their Ferrari but it was fine. And I’m thinking, she was used to driving their Ferrari? Robert had no job skills and actually never mentioned ever holding down any job anywhere. How did he get money for a Ferrari?

Q: What about Nicole’s heiress money?
A: When I knew him his family was pretty much broke and he was trying to make ends meet as an apartment manager. I had heard mainly from Dana who used to have lunch with Robert every Wednesday at “Follow Your Heart,” that Nicole was due to inherit money from her family in the Cayman Islands but I never heard about any of that ever having come through.

Q: Who is Dr. Blake Warner?
A: Robert had two daughters, Melanie and Prentiss. Melanie was married at the time and lived in Woodland Hills I think. I never met her but I often saw her husband David Warner. He used to come to our satsang. He was interested in Robert’s teachings. He played guitar, sang and all around was a great musician. Dr. Blake Warner is Melanie’s husband David. I always liked David and thought he was very sincere. In those days he used to work for the cable TV company. I think he was an installer. If we could ever get a hold of him and get him to tell the truth, I bet a lot of truth about Robert could come out.

Q: Nicole Adams wrote a biography of Robert Adams. Have you read it?
A: No. I was told that it contained no information on where they lived, where they travelled, how Robert earned money, no dates, no places, or anything. What kind of biography leaves that sort of stuff out? My speculation would be one that knows if she says anything at all, then the whole pack of lies and misinformation all of a sudden unravels.
I did see somewhere a promotion for Nicole Adams’ book in which it was claimed she was by Robert’s side “every day for 40 years,” but that quote seems to have disappeared. Since Robert said to me and many others that he traveled alone in India for 17 years, maybe someone told her the numbers didn’t add up that way. See what I mean? As soon as she mentions even a single number it all unravels. At least she didn’t put anything definite like that in her book according to reviewers.
With Robert it was kind of an advaita game you might say. Anytime you might start to question something he had said that didn’t seem to add up, he would say, “don’t live in the past. The past doesn’t exist, the past is unreal,” that sort of thing. When talking of his “spiritual experiences,” or supposed interactions with Ramana the past seemed important.
When he needed to borrow money it was pressing and important and when you brought up repayment, it was always like, “the past is unreal. Why are you living in the past?”

Q: Did Nicole or their daughters ever come to any satsangs while you were there? They are portrayed on their website as his most devoted students.
A: No. I asked Robert why and he said they get enough of him at home. Prentis used to go to Science of the Mind classes in the Valley.
In hindsight perhaps if they were there, then personal questions might have come up that were being kept hidden? I don’t know.
Nicole did come over to my apartment one day and told me she was “Mrs. Da Free John,” so I guess by that she meant she had read his books. She also said she knew what I was doing alone in my apartment, whatever that was supposed to mean.

Q: Who was Tony?
A: Tony was a young man that hung around the apartment complex and did various jobs for Robert including night watchman/security for the apartment complex. Robert and Tony seemed to be very close. Tony had worked with Robert in the previous place they both lived, I never asked doing what. One day I asked Tony why he never came to our satsangs and he told me he wasn’t interested and besides Robert never said anything new, just repeated the same old stuff.

When Tony was arrested for shoplifting Robert borrowed $300 from me to get him out on bail and that was never paid back. Again, “borrowing” meant something different to Robert than I had (until then) understood the word.

Q: Did you ever actually ask him for the “borrowed” money back?
A: Many times. He always just said he didn’t have any money. A couple of times he reached into his pocket and pulled out a one-dollar bill and gave that to me. (This is out of thousands owed).

Q: What is the apartment manager’s union story?
A: One day Robert came over to my apartment and told me he had had a vision from God and that all the money needed for the ashram would be forthcoming. He said God has taken him into a higher realm and showed him this beautiful ashram and said it would all come to pass. He said God asked him, “Where will the money to build this ashram come from?” He said to the Divine, “the One who is showing me this will provide the money also.” At that, the Divine showed him that Robert would start a union for apartment managers all throughout the USA. They have never been unionized and this would make all the money needed for the ashram. He asked me if I wanted to be a part of this. Yes, I did.
So, he said, going by the vision, we needed to get the addresses of every apartment manager in the USA, and send them an invitation to join our newly formed union. Long story short, we followed everything Robert was told to do in the vision and I lost more money. This time over $2,000 dollars.

Q: You must have felt like an idiot.
A: Yes, and no. At the time I was confused about the whole self-enquiry thing. Every time I asked, “Who am I?” I came up with nothing. Nothing happened, nothing seemed to work. Robert claimed something had happened for him. He said the Self rose up and pulled him into the Heart on the right side of the chest and made him God-realized. He had such confidence and spoke with such authority about it… I had nothing with which to doubt his authenticity except the evidence of a few lies, and his lack of morals which is often said to be no indication of anything.
With the apartment manager thing, we did get two people that sent in their $30 to become members and I told Robert that we can’t run an apartment manager union with only two people paying membership dues and it looked like we needed a new idea. Robert agreed. At that point I said I was going to mail them back their money and Robert said, “Why would you send them back their money?” In other words, he wanted to keep their money even though there was no union. More than anything that was when I realized Robert was not in a state of unity with all beings.

Q: Is that when you left involvement with Robert Adams?
A: After that I moved and didn’t have much to do with him, and some weeks later I met Bernadette Roberts and started going to her talks and retreats and it was only after meeting someone so real and genuine as Bernadette that I saw in hindsight what nonsense Robert Adams was up to. Now it seems like a big laugh, but at the time when all this seemed so confusing and someone shows up with such confidence and speaks with such authority it is hard not to be taken in by them.

Q: What did Bernadette say about self-enquiry and focusing on oneself?
A: My interpretation of what she taught is that there are two types of inward movements. One is the self-reflexive loop of the ego. When you spend a lot of time focusing on yourself you can glorify the self-reflexive loop to the point you convince yourself you are Divine. She said she saw a lot of that in modern “spiritual” teachings. The self-reflexive loop is very attractive to narcissists because they are already extremely self-obsessed. The true spiritual movement is not to focus on “oneself,” but involves the still center, that immovable still point that has never changed amidst all of the comings and goings of life.
I came across this quote from Robert Adams:

“Robert: […] As you keep referring back to yourself and saying, ‘Who am I?’ the ‘I’ becomes weaker and weaker and weaker. Eventually it has to disappear, and then you’re free.”

Actually no, that’s how you become more and more stuck in the self-reflexive loop until you eventually start thinking you (the separate self-sense) are Divine. Now you can bask in the reflected glory of your fake “Divinity,” sit on a dais and be honored. You have become in your mind a superior being to others and can tell them to glorify their ego selves too as a remedy to low self-esteem. Actually loving your ego self is a step ahead of self-hate and the low self-esteem most people are in, but nothing like actual freedom.
Here’s another quote from Robert Adams:

“Begin to practice this exercise. Looking in the mirror, begin for maybe a minute, then you go on to two minutes, three minutes, four minutes, five minutes. Look at yourself. Admit the truth to yourself. “I am Brahman. I am the ultimate reality. I am boundless space. I am the atman, the perfect intelligence, the one without the other, all-pervading, perfect self.” What if you told yourself this every day? What do you think would happen? If you looked in the mirror and did this every day, you would turn into the God that you are. And you will find peace, total peace, total love.” ~p. 838 Robert Adams complete works.

To look at your self-reflection in the mirror, your self-image, and repeat, “I am Brahman, I am ultimate reality,” at it, is to attempt to deify your own self-image. This doesn’t end in enlightenment, this ends in crack potted-ness and neurotic self-reflected glory, which is perhaps not so harmful to yourself as to your followers (narcissistic supply).
Overall though, I don’t recommend Bernadette’s Christian stuff to anyone and don’t feel it is suited to our current times. But she was the real deal and her company was a great inspiration. I like Swami Sarvapriyananda and Atmananda Krishna Menon among others for nondual teachers these days but one thing Bernadette said to me that has always seemed helpful. If you are sincere and true, a path will open up for you. From there it will just be a matter of remaining true and sincere.

Q: Did you ask Bernadette about self-enquiry?
A: Yes. Usually the first thing she would ask in return would be about the dark night of the soul. When you deeply investigate your true nature you come face to face with emptiness. This is the emptiness everyone is running from, not just spiritual people but everyone. Spiritual people will often hold on to love and bliss and happiness as a protection against their own emptiness. Generally speaking, if a teaching or teacher doesn’t talk about going into that emptiness, that emptiness in which death would seem infinitely better, it means they have just haven’t gotten that far and instead have burrowed into another hole this time one of love and light. Emptiness holds everything— love, hate, joy, misery, life, death— it is fine with it all.
That’s why true “atma vichara” is more about: self-investigation and not a holding on to the “I” thought or “I” feeling. When you point at yourself, you are pointing at nothing, emptiness, and generally that emptiness is what everyone is wanting to avoid. You hear it everywhere, “I felt so empty.” Emptiness is generally everyone’s worst nightmare. But that still hasn’t gotten to emptiness because there is still a “you” experiencing it. That has to be seen through.

Q: What is the difference between “practice,” and “investigation.”
A: A practice is when you do the same thing over and over again, perhaps trying to do it better each time.
An investigation is a firsthand looking in order to find out the truth. These are very different things.
Let us say I determine that I am a physical tube that takes in food on one end and excretes it on the other. No one can really argue about that as being what I am, from a certain level. So from there I can practice holding onto the sense “I am Brahman.” And with practice I can get a sense that “I am Divine.” But subconsciously I haven’t fully discarded the tube identity. I have deified it. You can deify your own image, your past, your own energy, your kundalini energy, your separate being-ness. In your mind you can deify anything you might take yourself to be.
But an investigation is different. It’s when you start to question, “am I really a tube that takes in food?” Maybe I am something else? Maybe I am energy. Maybe I am perception. Maybe I am love, or happiness or awareness. You don’t stop investigating until you are certain about what you truly are. This is not a practice, it’s a quest.

(Note: readers may be interested in this conversation on Michael James’ blog involving Arthur Osborne’s daughter Katya who lived at Ramana Ashram all during the time period when Robert Adams claimed to be there. Her comments are in red.)

Link of the discussion website page:

Michael James said…
Salazar, in your comment of 14 November 2019 at 21:08 you write that Robert Adams claimed that he stayed at the house of Arthur Osborne and one afternoon Bhagavan walked into his room and gave him a mango. What you write seems to be a summary of what he said on 2nd August 1992 as recorded on pages 2839-40 of this 3652-page transcript of ‘Robert Adams Satsangs’ from August 1990 to June 1993, in which he said: ‘I had been living in Ramana ashram for about a year and a half. This was the end of 1948. I stayed with Arthur Osborne, in his house. In those days when foreigners came they were put up with Arthur Osborne most of the time without him knowing. And on one particular evening about 4 o clock Sri Ramana walked into the cottage and he brought me a mango.’ He made a similar claim a week later, on 9th August 1992, when he said, as recorded on page 2868: ‘In 1948, I was at Arthur Osborne’s home near Ramana ashram. And Ramana used to walk in there every once in a while. He came in one day, sat down and he started to talk about not reacting to things.’ To set the record straight, despite what he claimed, Robert Adams never stayed in the Osborne’s house or compound, and Bhagavan never visited there. As Katya Douglas (formerly Kitty Osborne) wrote to me today,

‘Our house in Tiruvannamalai was…and is…tiny and NO ONE could stay in it without us knowing. What a ridiculous idea. Bhagavan NEVER came to our house, that is pure fantasy, a polite way of saying it is a lie!’

I do not know why Robert made up such stories, but such patently false claims call into question all his claims about having met Bhagavan and having lived there so long in those days.
I came to know about this claim that Robert stayed in the Osborne’s house only last weekend at a meeting of the Ramana Maharshi Foundation here in London, when a friend came up to me and said something to the effect, ‘You know people say that no one in the ashram remembers seeing Robert Adams when he stayed with Bhagavan. Well apparently Kitty Osborne remembers him, because David Godman wrote under his video on Robert that her father lent him their car so that he could tour around India’. I was vaguely surprised to hear this, because it seemed to me rather implausible, but did not give it any further thought until I saw the comment that Asun wrote on 14 November 2019 at 12:15 asking, ‘By the way, have any of you read Kitty Osborne’s letter denying the information which according to David Godman he got from her, about Robert Adams visiting Ramana’s ashram and the story about her father and the car that he tells in a video?’, and then your comment written later that day that I refer to above.
This prompted me to do some fact-checking, so I searched and found David’s video Robert Adams and Ramana Maharshi, under which he wrote a comment six years ago saying: ‘I gave this interview ten years ago. At that time I knew no one who had met Robert in Tiruvannamalai. Since then I have discovered that he was well known by the Osborne family. Arthur wrote or edited three books on Ramana. He liked Robert so much he gave Robert his only car so that Robert could drive around India after Sri Ramana passed away. I received this information from Arthur’s daughter, Katya, who remembers being annoyed that their family vehicle had been given away.’ However, under this comment there is a reply written two years ago by someone called Steven Strouth saying:
This is an email from Katya Osborne disputing this claim you are making:

“Dear [……] I would like to clear up some obvious misconceptions you have been led to believe about Robert Adams etc. Firstly I have never, until now, ever heard of Robert Adams. I don’t say he never visited Ramanashramam, I would not necessarily have met him if he had, but he most certainly did not stay there for 3 years as I would certainly have met him in that case.
Secondly the story of Bhagavan giving him special attention and having food served in his room is nonsense. Bhagavan did not do that sort of thing. I can only think that it may be an excuse proffered in order to explain why nobody saw him!
Thirdly, our family never had a car so it was impossible for my father to have given it away. I cannot understand how David Godman got his idea that I was part of that whole fantasy. The only business connected with a car was when a friend of my parents, Louis Hartz, imported a car to India for his own use, and when he was ready to leave the country he offered the car to my father. My father refused, explaining that he had no use for a car. End of story. I cannot understand how I can be so completely misquoted while I am still alive and my memory is in pretty good working order. Surely the slightest fact-checking would straighten things out?
Lastly, I should point out that it was completely impossible for my father to have given money to ‘Robert Adams’ as until 1948 we were living on a war pension which he qualified for after 4 years in a concentration camp in Bangkok. In those years we barely had enough to live on, and most certainly didn’t have enough to give away.
I have read the obituary written in 1997. I t seems as though it is well meant but based largely on hearsay. This is a recurring problem when people write about anything to do with Ramana Maharishi. There are so few of us left who were there way back then, and many people prefer the stories they have been told without reference to facts.
To reiterate: I would like to state quite clearly that I have never met or heard of Robert Adams until reading your letter.
Secondly, the story of the car is completely spurious.
Yours sincerely,
Kitty Osborne”

I therefore wrote to Katya through a mutual friend to ask her whether there is any truth in what David wrote, or whether the email quoted by Steven Strouth was actually written by her, and she replied confirming that she did write that email, and that she had also sent a copy of it to David, who replied to her saying: ‘I got the story second hand from someone who said that you were the source. I will not cite you as a source on this again, and if anyone asks, I will say that the car story is false. Thanks for letting me know about this’.
Michael James said…
In her first reply to me Katya wrote:

‘There is no way I could remember Robert Adams because I never meet him, neither did I even heard his name spoken of until recently. My father could not have lent him a car because didn’t own one. Neither of my parents drove. The whole thing seems a complete fantasy’.

In another email she wrote to me today she said:

‘It is so deeply offensive when people make up stories about Bhagavan and pretend they are true. We all know that being a so-called ‘guru’ is the biggest ego-trip possible, and some people just cannot resist. Devoteees of Bhagavan…especially those who live around the ashram and have access to all the writings and some of the people from way back then, have a particular responsibility to try, as far as possible, to maintain the authenticity of Bhagavan’s words and actions. To make things up and publish them as fact is unforgivable and so is condoning others who do the same. I will say again that Bhagavan NEVER came to our house for a visit or a chat. Robert Adams NEVER stayed in our house and we NEVER lent him a car that we didn’t in any case own. He made up all these stories, obviously to give himself a bit of stolen lustre from Bhagavan. It is pathetic. Anything you can do to put a stop to these utterly fabricated stories, please go ahead and do with my blessings.’

Michael James said…
For the record, in continuation of my previous three comments, another remark Katya made when writing to me today was:

‘Bhagavan would never have come visiting anyone and offering fruit. He just never did anything like that’.

Katya has written to me today:

“Dear Michael, I just came across a comment by somebody or the other that he had seen our house in Tvm and it didn’t seem small at all! I am moved to elucidate. When my parents were alive our house consisted of 2 rooms downstairs plus a bathroom. There was one room on the top where we put guests. The bathroom downstairs was used by everyone, including any passing frogs or snakes that wanted to cool down. We children slept all over the place on the verandah. We took our beds…the sort of tape cot that one can easily carry…and we attached our mosquito nets to some of the numerous nails that decorated the walls. I call that a tiny house. After my mother died I built on to the house quite a bit so that my family could have regular bedrooms etc. I also built more bathrooms and a kitchen. In the old days we used to cook outside, or when it rained there was a kerosene stove in the passage from where we ate on the verandah. Trying to imagine an unknown guest creeping about there unnoticed makes me laugh.
I still cannot come to terms with people who are so desperate to be acknowledged as spiritual masters that they tell barefaced lies about everything and everyone. They even lie about Bhagavan. That seems to me to be the ultimate in disrespect.
Yours, Kitty Osborne”

[End of Michael James’ comments.]

Another commenter A. Dostal on the same website added this insightful comment:

There are other alarming ciphers in R. Adams biography *(his claims, personal communications) that Robert donated to Ramanashram and three years later got from Arthur Osborne, $7000:
From biography of saga Rober Adams:

….Robert stayed at Ramana Ashram for a little over three years. Visitors then were not allowed to stay long, so he lived in caves above the Ashram. During his time there, he bought a jeep for the Ashram to bring supplies from town, and helped build a large hospital at the Ashram using money from an inheritance…. (Robert donated about $7000).
….After Ramana died, Robert had wanted to visit several other saints in India, but had no money left. The famed Ramana biographer, Arthur Osborne (Ramanashram resident), heard about Robert’s situation and deeds and gave him $7,000 to continue his travels and spiritual education. In the strange way these things happen, which is my own experience; this was precisely the amount he had spent for the jeep and hospital. (“I once gave Robert $7,000 in 1990, when I still had money. He said it was an investment in his wife’s business of sewing clothes for sale to retailers and at swap meets. However, deep in my heart, I knew this was my first donation towards his support. $7,000 seems to be a significant figure in out lineage. However, inflation-adjusted, in case anyone cares, that 1942 amount would be about $70,000 in 2006 dollars” by Ed Muzika, Robert Adams disciple and friend, online)…

Everybody could imagine what kind of sums in dollars R. Adams talked about in his talks during his Ramanashram visit in 1946-7. Supposed, Robert exchanged $7000 in India 1946-7, he got something about 23,000 rupees (exchange rate in ‘46-7, online), then we are talking about “astronomic” figures here. When an Indian rickshaw driver made 10 rupees per month in 1947.

David Godman took down his talk about R. Adams at YT in the discussion below there video the critiques were very concerning about R. Adams’ money/car statements in 1946-7 and included some first-hand statements from Katy Osborne (daughter A. Osborne, who was there 1946-7) and other US disciples of R. Adams. Indeed, there has been no proven record or remembering about a generous donator and a car ownership in Ramanasram in 1946-7. I do not know what to think about that…?”

Part 2 link

(This article may be reprinted or republished freely without contacting the author).

[Note: This article was originally published with a 1985 first meeting date. I have discovered the actual date was 1986. I immediately changed it.]

120 thoughts on “The Mystery of Robert Adams: Did He Really Meet Ramana Maharshi and the Sages of India?

  1. Feels like alot of lies on the part of the contributors of this story. How do we know anyone in this article is telling the truth? Or that the second hand statements are True? Not written well either, I sense lies. But..Who knows. I have come to experience directly that this realm is a ‘dream’ so. I guess nothing really surprises me anymore. I Prayed for explanation of what was happening in my experience, and Robert appeared. I’ve been listening to his satsangs for 3 years now, and what he speaks about has proven true in my own direct experience. He has been a trustworthy guide of sorts for ‘me’. All that’s been said in this article just doesn’t feel completely true. And I’m not really sure if any of it matters..Peace


    1. Anthony, how do you explain away the emails from Katya Osborne saying that Robert Adams was never at her house when he repeatedly said he was?

      As you said, some of my account was second hand, some of it memories that, however sincere, may have been unreliable. I would absolutely love for someone to come here and write their own first hand verification of any of Robert’s stories.

      Not a single person has ever come forward and verified they saw Robert in India. Researchers at Ramana Ashram have looked through every photo taken in the 1940’s and found nothing of Robert Adams.

      What are we to think in the face of numerous lies by him and not the slightest evidence he was with any of the teachers he claimed to be? I too, could not believe he would lie about Ramana. Who does that? But then, when I discovered he was telling people he was with Nisargadatta Maharaj for 6 months in Bombay, when he’d never heard of him when I knew him, what was I to think?



      1. No idea who Steven Strouth is, but he overextends himself by attempting to critique the idea of self-inquiry and contrasting it (and practice generally) with something he calls “investigation.” No where in Advaita, or in the teachings of Ramana or others, have I encountered this distinction and I have not found it useful in my own teaching efforts. Nor have I encountered the critique that the specific instructions on inquiry can lead to ego-inflation.

        Strouth ignores that even inquiry is not the final or ultimate teaching of advaita and Robert Adams made this clear in his satsangs, that ultimately even inquiry and the “I” do not exist. He also teaches (as most teachers do) that different practices or methods may be given to different students depending on their own level of attainment. There is no way his practice instructions can be taken as leading to ego-inflation.


    2. Hi Anthony I feel the same way you do. I’ve been listening to Robert for years too and his teachings have done so much good in my life. I feel deep in my heart that Robert is the real deal. I trust Robert more than my own mind. Yes, I literally trust him than my own mind. And perhaps other people had a similar experience, but it frightened the hell out of them. And perhaps their own minds felt the need to destroy Robert and his teachings by making up a lot of lies, which I feel this article is.


      1. So many people say that Adams has “helped” them, and they trust Adams more than they trust themselves.

        This is the situation that Tanya Tucker sings about in her song, “Delta Dawn.”

        “Delta Dawn, Delta Dawn, what’s that flower you have on,
        Can it be a faded rose from days gone by?
        And did I hear you say,
        he was meetin’ you here today,
        to take you to his mansion in the sky?”


  2. I met Robert in Sedona in 1993. He was severely debilitated by the Parkinsons. It was a brief darshan, and my experience was normal. He had difficulty speaking. I assumed that what he said was true, but to me not earth shattering. What caught my eye about this story here, are the references to Rudi and Franklin Jones. Rudi indeed had an oriental antique shop in lower Manhattan. I met Muktananda, Rudi, and Jones in the Fall of 1970 in Woodstock, NY at a small Lutheran church where Baba gave one of his first darshans in the US. At the break, I was just standing around minding my own business, when a little Indian man, the translator, came up to me and spoke in very polite English: ‘Sir, namaste, Sri Baba would like to speak with you’. Me: ‘I am honored’. be continued, sometime…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. John Lamenzo,

      Yes, Robert talked a lot about Rudi [Swami Rudrananda]. I think there is very little chance that Robert co-owned the antique store with him in NYC but if someone has different information, please post it here.

      Robert had read a lot of Adi Da’s books and information about the shop was described there.


    1. Anonymous,

      Yes, that paragraph would not make a lot of sense to most people. Dr. Blake Warner is the person behind all the take-down notices regarding Robert Adams transcripts on the internet. Longtime Robert Adams students have wondered who he is and there is even a petition on the internet to find out who he is. He’s Robert Adam’s daughter Melanie’s husband.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I might also note that Strouth’s only other apparent accomplishment is a self-published e-book critical of the Radhasoami (Sant Mat) path, which can be found on Amazon.


  4. Interesting little tidbit I just found out today. Robert widely told everyone he went to Joel Goldsmith lectures in Manhattan, New York and it was Joel who told him to visit Yogananda who then told him to visit Ramana Ashram.

    One problem… According to the Joel Goldsmith Institute, Joel gave his first lecture in New York in 1953, three years after Ramana had passed.


  5. Interesting….

    Unfortunately what you say about Robert Adams has the ring of truth….

    However i agree with Petrosz Amadeus Xrzistosz….

    You have a very limited understanding of Self Inquiry……at least as expressed in this article…..

    Which gives me pause to question your motives/agenda…..


    1. Red1963,

      It’s not really helpful to say someone is wrong without explaining in what way and why.

      To label others as wrong and denigrate their motives is not really a discussion it’s propaganda.


  6. Thank you so much this. I am grateful. Both for the interview and for the careful presentation of Katya’s response. I enjoyed Robert Adams’ book of satsangs very much at first. Then, one day, I remember reading something like “Ramana said he agreed with me 100%” and I thought, “That does not ring true in the least!” I went to the Robert Adams FB group and asked, as politely as I could, if there was any actual evidence that Adams had been in the ashram. Just asking the question — was like setting off a bomb! I was living in Tiruvannamalai at the time. I remember I sheepishly told a friend at Ramanasramam what I’d done and she began to laugh merrily and hooted, “Oh! You must never ask them that! That’s the question you must never ask!” I’m grateful that you have created a resource for people asking the same basic questions. Because it DOES matter. No one should be allowed to appropriate the lives of the great — or else I’m Indira Gandhi’s hairstylist! Thank you again. This is wise and brave and necessary.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Maybe it is not your motive or agenda that i am questioning…..

    But i am puzzled….particularly by your criticism of Self Inquiry…..

    There are many authentic ‘Spiritual Guides’ who successfully use Inquiry as a way of enabling their ‘students’ to realise: that they are not simply their bodies, their thoughts, their ego, their ‘I’ thought…that they are in fact the Being-Consciousness in which all things arise……

    Authentic ‘Spiritual Guides’ such as Adyashanti or Scott Kiloby……

    Or Pamela Wilson or Stuart Schwartz…..two wonderful teachers…..both of whom spent time hanging out with Robert…..


    Self Inquiry is particularly suited to our sceptical agnostic times…..

    It even comes strongly recommended by one of America’s leading public intellectuals and all round committed atheist Sam Harris….

    Of course there are dangers…people can start identifying as the one who knows he/she is Being-Consciousness-Bliss… the one who is enlightened….

    But their are dangers in every path……

    And if we allow ourselves to be governed by every possible pitfall….we will never do anything….

    I suppose what i am saying here is that i would have found your criticisms of Robert even more convincing if you had shown a genuine appreciation for the living tradition of Self Inquiry…..

    The living tradition of Self Inquiry of which he, Robert, was/is a part…..


    Speaking of was/is…..

    He died over 20 years ago now…

    So all of these reflections on his authenticity are kind of academic now….

    Dead gurus don’t kick ass… Adi Da is alleged to have said…..


    I was actually at his memorial service in Sedona….and well remember the son in law you speak of….singing a song about Robert going back to Jesus….

    Much to the bemusement of the gathered ‘Advaita Hippies’…..

    Me i liked it…i have always liked songs of devotion to the great master Jesus…


    Not really sure what to say….

    As mentioned in my earlier post…i find your questioning and challenging of Robert’s spiritual biography entirely plausible…

    So maybe i will end with a few questions and challenges of my own….

    Is it possible that Robert could have been both liberated and a complete rogue….?

    How do you explain the fact that genuine teachers such as the ones mentioned above were so profoundly positively affected by Robert?

    How do you explain the very mysterious circumstances in which Ganesan, Ramana Maharshi’s great nephew, came to know about Robert?

    How do you explain the fact that Rupert Spira another very fine teacher was prompted by a powerful dream of Robert to travel to Sedona to meet him?

    How do you explain the fact that Papaji a very hard to please advaita teacher, read out transcripts of Robert’s talks at his Satsangs…?

    Robert may not have walked the talk…but he certainly seems to have talked the talk…..

    Of course if you believe that all the modern teachers of atma vichara are to quote you:

    On a self-reflexive loop of the ego.
    Just spending time focusing on themselves.
    Glorifying the self-reflexive loop to the point they convince themselves they are Divine.
    Narcissists who are extremely self-obsessed

    Then you probably wont consider the questions i have asked.

    But if you are willing to put aside your beliefs….a central tenet of genuine Self Inquiry….i wonder what answers might bubble up from within….


    For myself, although it saddens me that Robert seems not to have been an embodiment of the living truth, I am taking seriously what you have said and am letting it in….

    Much Love,



  8. Very interesting that he will not speak 30 years ago when he knew that Robert Adams was a fraud. And now it is very timely to bring to light the truth … because he did not speak before to help humanity of a narcissist ???

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Gretal,

      Good question. I did talk about this but no one was listening. Before Katya Osborne’s emails no one would believe a nobody over a great highly recognized sage. Her emails kind of changed the dynamics of the discussion.


      Liked by 1 person

      1. Robert Adams told people, tells people, what they want to hear.
        He was undoubtedly a fraud, a liar, and a confidence man who defrauded his disciples to the tune of thousands and thousands of dollars.

        The “spiritual” realm is full of phonies, people like Rajneesh, who later adopted the alias of Osho.
        These people have a type of eloquence, a type of poetic speech, but they are rotten through and through.

        Though Osho enacted his lunacy on the public stage, there are still today more than a hundred thousand Oshites around the world.

        Adams had a similar ability to make things up as he went along, and now the gullible are flocking to him in their thousands, poor sods.


  9. Red1963,

    Thanks for writing that. Very good points and questions. Hopefully when I get time I can go into this more deeply.

    I am not criticizing self-inquiry. I am criticizing all “practices” and all second hand teachings.

    To question and discover one’s own true nature is the most important thing in the world.
    Do you do this by listening to what someone else discovered?
    What they said about it?

    Holding onto the “I” feeling as a practice is not an attempt to discover anything. It just makes you good at holding onto the “I” feeling.

    What is that still place in which all feelings including the “I” feeling comes and goes?

    My opinion is, don’t look for anyone else’s answers.

    As I see it, spiritual guides, including all the ones you mentioned, form a last containment fence in which someone thinks they have the answers, the truth, but all they have is someone else’s answers.


    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi Red1963,
    Is it possible that Robert could have been both liberated and a complete rogue….?
    Yes, it is possible he was. It is also possible he wasn’t. It is said a realized person always tells the truth. Why? Because they don’t care how they appear to others. They have no agenda.

    How do you explain the fact that genuine teachers such as the ones mentioned above were so profoundly positively affected by Robert?
    Many people were positively affected by Adi Da Free John, J. Krishnamurti, Chogyam Trungpa, Andrew Cohen, and many others all of whom had scandals. I’ve been positively affected by my next door neighbor too.

    How do you explain the very mysterious circumstances in which Ganesan, Ramana Maharshi’s great nephew, came to know about Robert?
    I don’t know anything about that. That was way after my time of knowing Robert. Feel free to link to it or tell me about it.

    How do you explain the fact that Rupert Spira another very fine teacher was prompted by a powerful dream of Robert to travel to Sedona to meet him?
    I’ve heard this regarding other people too. It seems to me all external searching for external answers has to come to an end. Maybe this was part of his process.

    How do you explain the fact that Papaji a very hard to please advaita teacher, read out transcripts of Robert’s talks at his Satsangs…?
    I don’t know much about Papaji. It seems there were a lot of conflicting messages about him. I’ve heard that he told everyone they are enlightened just as they are. That could be a message that could be misconstrued, no?

    [Added question]. Why is reading Robert’s teachings any worse than watching a football game?
    I suppose it’s not, — other than it gives people the illusion they are doing spiritual work when actually all they are doing is acquiring second hand information about someone else’s views. I say, put the books away. Put the quotes away. It may be time to metaphorically burn down the house.


    Liked by 1 person

  11. I attended Henry’s gatherings in Hollywood often to sit in Robert’s Satsang. I enjoyed the gatherings very much. It was a very peaceful atmosphere. I would just sit and meditate while Robert spoke and then commingled afterwards. I do remember that night when the woman confronted him publicly about trying to kill her. He said something to the affect: “Who is there to kiss whom?” The old advaita shuffle that I have noticed in myself and others who follow the non-dual path. Henry became livid and kicked him right out. I am very sad to hear that the woman committed suicide.

    For me it was another cautionary tale of the dangers of being a guru. One can rise high in consciousness, and offer a lot to others, but the snakes/vasanas are still there, and unless you are honest, and face them, and not get hung up with the definition that you are enlightened, when you fall, you can get back up. But if you deny that you even fell, that you did whatever for the benefit of others (like so many gurus do with their pants down) then you will wallow in a pit of deception.


    1. janakastagnaro,
      Thanks for reporting this. I wasn’t there but heard it from several people. I think you mean “kiss” and not “kill.”

      If you can remember any other details please post them. What did Henry actually say? Did the whole group leave? Were there many there? What did you all do when you left the house, just go home? Did a number of people stop attending after that incident? Where did the group meet next?


      1. Oops, although it did end up as a kill. I do not remember much as it is all murky in the mists of time. I can see Henry stand up and lividly confront Robert. I do not recall what he said. Usually there would be 20-50 people there if I recall correctly. I think there may have been a general dispersal. I was not shocked or outraged as I have sat with many a teacher who have fallen in one way or the other. It was like, “Oh, well.” I never returned to Henry’s. Nearby was the Vedanta Temple that was more inviting to me to sit in the silence and listen to the droning of vespers.


  12. Hi again Steven,

    Thanks for your responses to my rambling piece….

    I am now going to try and respond…i hope respectfully….to what you said…..

    For the sake of clarity i have put an S in front of your quotes (slightly mashed up….sorry) and an R in front of my response…..

    S: To question and discover one’s own true nature is the most important thing in the world

    R: Agreed…..!
    S: Do you do this by listening to what someone else discovered? What they said about it?

    R: No you don’t get this by just listening to what someone else discovered…..

    Well certainly not in my case….

    The realisation of my true nature occurred while engaging in Inquiry while in the presence of a ‘teacher’ who was established in his true nature…

    Or the one True Nature……

    Reading and listening to others talk about spirituality served to awaken my interest and discern what my path might be….

    But not much more than that…..

    S: Holding onto the “I” feeling as a practice is not an attempt to discover anything…..

    R: It has been a long time since i read any of Robert’s transcripts….but i am pretty sure he spoke about more than just holding onto the ‘I’ feeling…..

    But on this point….having a sense of the ‘I’ feeling and knowing that this ‘I’ arises in the beingness of your true nature can be of value…..

    S: What is that still place in which all feelings including the “I” feeling comes and goes?

    R: Yes….what is that still place…..?

    That is the heart of the matter……

    S: My opinion is, don’t look for anyone else’s answers.

    R: My opinion is: many of us for a time may need someone…a teacher…..who can help guide us to our own inner wisdom…

    Or as i believe Ramana Maharshi put it: the external guru comes into a person’s life to point to that person’s inner guru…..

    S: As I see it, spiritual guides, including all the ones you mentioned, form a last containment fence in which someone thinks they have the answers, the truth, but all they have is someone else’s answers.

    R: I don’t really agree with this…..

    I feel confident that most of the teachers/guides i have sat with over the years have been speaking from their own direct experience of what you call: that immovable still point that has never changed amidst all of the comings and goings of life….

    That they have not been spouting someone else’s answers…..

    And that they can help ‘others’ discover that immovable still point for themselves….

    Further you yourself in the article above speak favourably of Bernadette Roberts….

    Was she not an authentic guide for you…?

    Someone who spoke from her True Nature and helped you find your True Nature….

    The one True Nature….

    S: It is said a realised person always tells the truth.

    R: My understanding is that a realised person doesn’t always necessarily tell the truth….

    And that they can care about how they appear to others…..

    True Nature is ever perfect but the conditioned body mind can act out in a myriad of peculiar ways…..

    And so i would hold that the likes of Da Free John, J. Krishnamurti, Chogyam Trungpa and Andrew Cohen, were/are, in all likelihood, liberated but that their body mind conditioning was/is messed up…..

    Leading to all those scandals….

    S: Rupert Spira’s process: it seems to me all external searching for external answers has to come to an end.

    R: I would agree that, yes, all external searching has to come to an end….

    And that Rupert Spira being prompted by a powerful dream to travel to meet Robert was part of his external search…

    And i would add that i don’t think the fact that Rupert had this dream in anyway proves that Robert was liberated…..

    However i think Rupert’s external search was actually a search for internal answers…..

    Internal answers that became clear to him with the aid of his teacher Francis Lucille….

    S: Papaji’s message could be misconstrued?

    R: Yes it seems Papaji was indeed a wild teacher……

    So who knows how we should construe him having Robert’s transcripts read out at his Satsangs…?

    S: Why is reading Robert’s teachings any worse than watching a football game?

    R: I am not sure that it is….


    Curiously over the last 20 years or so i have now and then recommended people do all sorts of things: TM meditation; mindfulness meditation; vipassana retreats; The Work of Byron Katie; 12 Step Programs; yogic breathing; etc; etc…

    I have even on rare occasions suggested that people attend a Non-Dual Satsang…very rare occasions…most people don’t seem to take to Satsang…..

    But i have never ever recommended anyone read Robert’s teachings…..

    Nor have i read them myself…..

    All of which makes me wonder why on earth i am responding to your post about him……?


    Maybe it’s because Robert was the first western teacher that i ever happened upon…..

    His salty New York accent….man i loved his voice…helped make the teachings of Ramana Maharshi accessible…..

    As i listened to his recordings the teachings stopped being the preserve of dead Indians….

    And instead they became available now….

    Alive in that most contemporary of forms:

    A hip….

    Effortlessly cool….

    New York wise guy…..



    PS….not now…but at some point, if you still want, i will relay the story that Ganesan told a group of us of how he came to know about Robert…

    Not that that story will prove anything….

    It is just a story……


  13. Mr. Stouth says that Joel Goldsmith was preaching in NY until 1953 and would have been after Robert supposedly went to India. However, Mr. Goldsmith was in NY from 1928 until 1944 as a member of the Christian Science Church and would have garnered a pretty big reputation by that time. In 1944 he moved to Boston. Robert was born in 1928 and was supposed to have met with Goldsmith when he was 16 which would have been 1944. So it is possible he could have met with Goldsmith.


    1. Hi notsofast,
      Robert told me that he went to Joel Goldsmith seminars and talked to Joel after the seminar about his experiences. I am not sure what he said in the transcripts. I contacted the Joel Goldsmith Institute and they said Joel gave his first seminar in New York in 1953. I’m pasting the email below along with a part from Joel’s bio saying he moved to Boston in in the early 1930’s and then to Florida ten years later, and then to California.

      “By the early 1930’s he was successful enough in this method of practice to marry Rose Robb and take on the support of her two children.
      The new family relocated to Boston, where one of the children planned to attend Harvard University. Again,[after]… having served for ten years as a Christian Science practitioner in Boston, Goldsmith decided to move to Florida with his wife, who died shortly thereafter. Following a brief return to Boston, Goldsmith was persuaded by friends to move to California.

       In the mid-1940s, Goldsmith’s periods of meditation began to be the loci of a series of spiritual experiences he termed “initiations,” some of which culminated in “ordination”: conscious union with God. During a visit to Zürich, Switzerland in November of 1954, he reached the zenith of his mystical experience in a transfiguration-style event he called becoming “Christed.” ”

      —–Original Message—–
      From: Steven Strouth
      Sent: Sunday, February 16, 2020 5:14 AM
      Subject: Hi from me

      For some very important research I am doing I need to know in what years Joel Goldsmith gave lectures in NYC. That is I need to know the date of his earliest seminar there. Was it 1954?

      Thank you.

      Victor Ropac
      Mon, Feb 17, 2020 at 9:00 PM
      Reply | Reply to all | Forward | Print | Delete | Show original

      The earliest was in 1953.
      Vic Ropac


    1. In his book Ramana Periya Purinam which has individual chapters on 75 “old devotees”, V. Ganesan tells of his meeting with Robert Adams, so you could read it there in V. Ganesan’s own words starting on page 434. The book can be downloaded for free from the AHAM website at and includes chapters on the well known devotees of Ramana Maharshi, and has lots of photographs of the Maharshi and those disciples covered in the book. This book is a delicious feast of the spirit for those who love the Maharshi and his teaching.


  14. Yes does contain the basic account of how Ganesan came to know of Robert Adams….

    Yet as i remember it Ganesan emphasised how mysterious it was that a woman in a crowded airport should single him out….a random Indian…to talk to him about a guy called Robert Adams who claimed to be a Self Inquiry/Advaita teacher and a direct disciple of Sri Ramana Maharshi….

    Why mysterious….?

    Well as we all know: India is a massive country….many millions of people live there…

    However not many of them are that interested in Self Inquiry/Advaita teaching….

    Or Self Inquiry/Advaita teachers…..

    Indeed when i travelled in India just over 20 years ago none of the many people i spoke to before i got to Tiruvanamalai had even heard of Ramana Maharshi….or Arunachala….

    Even now, living in the UK, i have often had cause to show the picture of Ramana i keep in my wallet to the many lovely pious Hindus i meet as i go about my daily business…and none of them….NOT ONE….has ever said: oh i know him that’s Ramana Maharshi…

    So anyway…..

    This woman approaches a random Indian bloke in a crowded busy airport in Los Angeles….about her teacher: an American Self Inquiry/Advaita disciple of Sri Ramana Maharshi…..

    And boy does she hit the Jackpot…!

    Because Ganesan turns out to not just be interested in Advaita and knowledgeable about Self Inquiry….

    Not just to be involved in the management of Sri Ramanasramam…and editor of Mountain Path….a magazine devoted to spreading Ramana’s teachings of Self Inquiry….

    He also just happens to be the one person on the planet whose actual Sadhana….as given him by Mataji Krishna Bai a realized saint…is to take care of the old devotees of Sri Ramana….


    Some coincidence……

    Now maybe there is some perfectly rational explanation for all this….

    There often are rational explanations for strange events…..

    Or maybe it was just an extraordinary fluke….

    Not very probable….methinks….

    Or maybe maybe there was around Robert, for whatever reason, a ‘spiritual energy’ that enabled such synchronistic events to take place……

    That enabled seekers to have visions, and experiences of deep peace and emptiness…..

    That encouraged a Master as fierce as Papaji to read out transcripts of Robert’s talks at his Satsangs….

    Om Shanti Shanti Shanti….

    Om Peace Peace Peace…….


  15. I wasn’t using it to verify that Robert Adams was at Ramana Ashram….

    I told my version of how Ganesan met Robert because you had said earlier: feel free to link to it or tell me about it…..and notsofast had said: i’d like to hear the story of V. Ganesan and Robert that you referred to in your post……


    Also i suppose telling this story was another way of suggesting that while Robert may have been a rogue….he might also, at the same time, have been liberated and a powerful communicator of truth…

    Because for me the issue here isn’t simply: did Robert meet Ramana….?

    The issue is: was Robert a genuinely awakened being capable of transmitting the truth or was he a complete and utter fraud….?

    I suspect from everything you have said above that you think Robert was a complete and utter fraud…

    I further suspect from what you have said, and not said in reply to me that you think most contemporary western teachers of Self Inquiry are not the genuine article either. They are, to quote you:

    On a self-reflexive loop of the ego.
    Just spending time focusing on themselves.
    Glorifying the self-reflexive loop to the point they convince themselves they are Divine.
    Narcissists who are extremely self-obsessed
    People who think they have the answers, the truth, but all they have is someone else’s answers.

    Now maybe i misunderstand….

    Maybe these aren’t your views of contemporary western Non-Dual/Self Inquiry teachers….

    And if i do misunderstand…please feel free to correct me….

    I’d love to know that you hold such teachers in high esteem….

    For the record let me say i greatly respect most of the contemporary western Non-Dual/Satsang teachers that i have sat with….

    However given everything you have said: i am now not at all sure about the genuineness of Robert Adams….


    1. Hi Red1963,
      I think everyone is worthy of our respect. I think we can learn from everyone. My intention is not to disrespect Robert Adams.

      I just thought I had some information that people should have the freedom to know.
      For everyone to just be sincere and genuine, that’s the best we can do.

      I don’t know where anyone else is at subjectively. Robert’s idea to look in the mirror and tell yourself, “I am Brahman,” seems misconceived, but maybe some like it.

      To constantly dwell in the “I” feeling, when it is just one more thing that comes and goes and not what is always there, also seems misconceived, but maybe some like it. It’s all fine with me.


      1. Well actually Steven…

        I dont think you have been that respectful….

        You describe contemporary Western Satsang teachers as people who are:

        On a self-reflexive loop of the ego.
        Just spending time focusing on themselves.
        Glorifying the self-reflexive loop to the point they convince themselves they are Divine.
        Narcissists who are extremely self-obsessed
        People who think they have the answers, the truth, but all they have is someone else’s answers.

        This seems to me a very negative and disrespectful characterisation of teachers who are providing a wonderful service: that of guiding ‘others’ to a realisation of their true nature….

        Why do i keep banging on about this: well quite simply, given that you have such a negative and distorted view of people i know and trust, how can i be sure your views of Robert aren’t equally distorted….?

        Further your reduction of the many wonderful pointers that emerged from the mouth of Robert to the two you casually mention above is also, in my view, disrespectful…..

        I wouldn’t feel it is right to hold forth on…say…the subject of Islam….without at least having read The Koran….

        But you seem to think it is ok to hold forth on Robert’s teaching without ever having read a transcript….

        Given that you are so obsessed with the right action of others: don’t you think you could afford us this basic courtesy…?


        Well why don’t i give you a little taste of what you might find if you ever put aside your, maybe understandable, prejudice and prised open one of those transcripts……?

        As Glenn said: someone can study Advaita for 50 years and know it all like the back of their hands and still not be able to talk about it as he did…effortlessly….spontaneously….naturally….week after week after week after week…..

        He didn’t think about what to say. He did no planning. He didn’t write and read little speeches. He just opened his mouth and the Self did the talking…..

        I can still remember the first words i heard him speak, nearly 25 years ago now, on a cassette player in a retreat house somewhere in the South of England…

        ‘There are no problems….
        There never have been any problems…
        There never will be any problems…..
        There are no problems….’

        They had quite an impact….

        It wasn’t just what he said…it was the way he said it…in this deeply rhythmical, down to earth, New York tone…

        Cooler than Marlyn Brando in his pomp…..

        Even now these phrases bubble up as a kind of soothing mantra…..

        And they have a power because mysteriously contained within them is the true nature of existence….

        There are indeed….

        No problems….

        Who’d have thought….?

        The next few lines he said were equally powerful:

        ‘One of the most important qualities to cultivate on the the spiritual life is Divine Ignorance…
        We all go around thinking we know this and that we know that….
        But in truth we don’t know a damn thing about what is going on in this world….
        Knowing you don’t know: that’s divine ignorance…..
        But thinking you know….well that’s just plain ignorance…..’

        Man i can’t tell you how blown away i was by that….his delivery….particularly the use of the words damn and plain ignorance…

        At last i thought….a contemporary….someone using my language….

        No more of the fake piety of Holy Catholic Ireland…

        But it wasn’t just the vividness with which he expressed himself….it was the timelessness of what he said…..

        Know you know nothing….


        He used to recommend that students reflect on, or ponder as he used to say, just one paragraph from a transcript each week…

        I never had the discipline to do this……

        But could you imagine if you did…

        Seriously pondered…

        Knowing that you don’t know….

        For a week….

        Mind stopping: that is what it would be…..

        If you really don’t know…What have you to say….? What opinions do you have to hold…? All begins to dissolve into the mystery of now….

        So there: a couple of pointers that i got in my first 10 minutes of listening to Robert….

        And there are many more such in his transcripts….

        So yes, i repeat, you reducing all of that down to the two you casually mention above was not in my estimation….respectful….

        Not content with knowing very little about what is in Robert’s transcripts you seem pretty certain that you are very knowledgeable about his sex life….

        You say it is pure nonsense that Nisargadatta Maharaj would be ok with Robert Adams sexual relationships with his followers…..

        But you can’t know that….see pointer above about Divine Ignorance…..

        Nisargadatta’s most famous devotee and spiritual son, Ramesh Balsekar got himself involved in a sex scandal towards the end of his life….

        Can you really say that Nisargadatta would have condemned Ramesh for his behaviour….?

        Here is Jean Dunn, a well regarded Nisargadatta devotee, quoting Nisargadatta:

        ‘As long as you think you are a person and this world is real, then you live by certain rules. Once you understand the complete thing, your life lives itself…there are no rules, no good, no bad, no I should do this, no I shouldn’t do that.’

        Furthermore you really really can’t know what Robert’s intimate relationships were like…

        You can’t know that they were exploitative….

        You weren’t in the room…..

        I presume……

        On a more general note i have to confess that i am slightly allergic to people imposing their sexual moral world view on others…..

        I grew up in a country where the only element of spiritual life that was discussed was the element of sexual continence….

        And look at the good it did us….

        Scandal after scandal brought on by sexually repressed priests assaulting young people in their charge….

        And i am not sure that the India of Nisargadatta is such a paragon of sexual maturity….

        I remember, when there, kissing my girl friend in public…..and a very lovely lady thanked us and said: ‘you know we Indians are too puritanical…and we should become more relaxed about showing physical affection in public….’

        Robert Adams lived through the sexual revolutions of the 1960s….

        Where large numbers of men and women, thanks to the pill, freely explored their sexuality…maybe for the first time in history….

        Were there/are there problems with this culture….?

        Yes of course….

        And the MeToo movement is a very necessary corrective to those problems…..

        But i am confident that the permissive sexual culture that has emerged since the 1960s, where people can have multiple partners and can explore a great range of sexual impulses, where gay men and gay women and transgender people can be relaxed and open about who they are…is many times more moral than the sexually repressive culture my parents were raised in in the 1940s….

        And probably more sexually moral than most other traditional cultures as well…..

        And so to money….

        Why didn’t you let him charge for Satsang…?

        What else is he going to do….?

        We live in the post modern capitalist west….

        Not in pre-modern feudal Tibet…

        Charging for services rendered is how we do it…

        Or maybe you want us to go back to those feudal times….

        In which case lets reintroduce Tithing….10% of all you earn to your local church….

        Did you give 10% of your income to Robert when you were attempting to be his student…?

        Personally I have never had a problem with teachers charging. Indeed the traditional Indian culture, that says teachers shouldn’t charge, seems to me to have a less healthy relationship to money than the Western culture where charging is the norm…..

        Many of the wonderful teachers who have shared their ‘understanding’ with me have only been able to do so because funded by donations……

        I have benefited from them being able to teach full time….so have benefited from them charging…..


        I am going to close by quoting from an edited letter by Suri Nagamma about Sri Ramana written on 26 Feb 1947….

        But before i do i would just like to point out that i have, over the years, read a reasonable number of books and articles about Sri Ramana…

        Yet in all this time i have never come across an article in which he speaks at length on sexual morality or financial impropriety….

        Not saying he didn’t speak about that sort of stuff…

        It is just that i haven’t stumbled across it…..

        However just the other night i happened upon the letter below in which he is rather critical of a young man who presumes to criticise….gurus…..

        Question: Isn’t a Guru necessary to know even that?
        Bhagavan: That is true. The world contains many great men. Look upon him as your Guru with whom your mind gets attuned. The one in whom you have faith is your Guru.
        The youth was not satisfied. He started with a list of great men now living, and said, “He has that defect; he has this defect. How can they be looked upon as Gurus?”
        Bhagavan tolerates any amount of decrying of himself, but cannot tolerate even a little fault-finding of others.
        He said with some impatience, “Oho! you have been asked to know your own self, but instead you have started finding fault with others. It is enough if you correct your own faults. Those people can take care of their faults. It looks as if they cannot attain salvation unless they obtain your certificate first. That is a great pity! They are all waiting for your certificate. You are a great man. Have they any salvation unless you approve of them? Here you blame them, elsewhere you will blame us. You know everything, whereas we know nothing, and we have to be submissive towards you. Yes! we shall do so. You go and please proclaim, ‘I went to Ramanasramam; I asked the Maharshi some questions; he was unable to reply properly, so he does not know anything.
        He is going to search the whole world and decide the Guru swarupa for himself. It seems he has not so far found anybody with the requisite qualifications for being his Guru.”
        Bhagavan said all this in a resounding voice and then remained silent.


        So maybe there is another moral code that needs to be considered in all of this…..

        The moral code that says it is appropriate to speak respectfully of those that are attempting to guide others to The Divinity of Their Original Face…..

        Finally finally i hope i haven’t caused offence with how i have expressed myself……

        Or bored anyone by the length of the post….

        Wishing everyone who reads this…..

        And everyone who doesn’t…..

        Much Peace…..



      2. Red1963,
        There is a big difference between being respectful toward someone’s views and opinions and being respectful toward them.

        In this post you have not been respectful toward my views, but you have been very respectful toward me. I love that. I enjoy your posts. Trash my opinions all over… that’s good, that’s healthy. We can all do that and still be respectful toward each other. I feel like we’re great friends. 🙂


      3. Hi Steven,

        Thank you for your post below…where you said that i had been very respectful toward you…..

        I don’t seem to be able to reply to it…..

        So i am replying to this one….

        Really appreciate what you said…..

        Curiously about 10 minutes ago, probably more or less when you were typing in ‘i feel like we are great friends’ i had this tremendous sense of warmth towards you….i even mentioned it to my partner…..and used your first name with real affection……

        May you have a wonderful and restful night…

        Or day….

        Whatever time it is wherever you are…….


  16. This was posted yesterday in the two Robert Adams’ Facebook groups:

    I have now read 3/4 of his 2,300 page collection of nearly every word he spoke in the ’90s (SPONTANEOUSLY) at his bi-weekly satsangs (followed by Q&As) and to me his is by far the greatest Advaita “teacher” ever. Not that he’s more advanced than others but because his teachings are incredibly crisp and clear and easy to grasp. Because I am bed-ridden and can’t physically be with a teacher, that book (along with those of Ramana and Nisargadatta) served as my own guru. Any question I ever had was answered by Robert Adams in that book, and I am deeply indebted to Ed Muzica (and others) for all the work they did to make that gem available.

    On top of that, after reading thousands and thousands of Adams’ words, I haven’t found anything he said — nothing — that I question or disagree with or, more importantly, greats such as Ramana Maharshi and Nisargadatta disagree with.. I have gathered hundreds of quotes from the book and shared them every nearly every day on Facebook and have hundreds of “friends,” most of whom are at some stage of awakening, and I get more than 100 “likes” for nearly every one that I post. Besides that I have had very many post comments saying things like “Thank you for introducing me to Robert Adams.” They recognize great teaching and love what he shared. I get messages from dozens of people asking me spiritual questions and my standard reply is that I I’m not a teacher but that any question they could ever ask is answered in that book, which I then attach to my response.

    As for questions about Robert’s “alleged” behavior, I tell them that everything that happens in life is preordained and is a result of karma, and “outer” behavior is no indication of “spiritual” status, as shown by many such as Osho and Adi Da. “Robert” was not the doer. “Robert” came here with a detailed “script,” just like all of us, and no matter what his inner spiritual status was, his “body” did whatever “God” (Self) had it do. His validity as a teacher had NOTHING to do with anything “the body” ever did.

    Ramana Maharshi once explained that by saying that Adolf Hitler could have been a jnani. Behavior is meaningless even though the “mind” finds that hard to accept. I don’t care about “Robert” the man, but I love the teachings and know they came from the lips of a jnani as they perfectly matched those of Ramana, Nisargadatta and Papaji. And everything he said was said spontaneously. He didn’t think about what to say. He did no planning. He didn’t write and read little speeches. He just opened his mouth and the Self did the talking. Christians love to say that the Bible is the word of God (that has been changed a million times by countless human minds) but Robert’s book is just that and none of it has been changed by anyone. It’s all straight from the source.

    Someone can study Advaita for 50 years so they know it all like the back of their hands and they still could not talk about it and respond the way he did to an avalanche of questions. He once said that he sometimes, with certain people who needed it (he said “who weren’t yet baked”), he would do all sorts of things or say many contradictory things, just to mess with their mind so it would help trigger their awakening. Was that true or just covering his ass? I have no idea, but I have absolutely no doubt at all that he was highly (fully) realized and that those who “need” to see this will see it and those who don’t, won’t. Robert even covered THAT when he said that we are always attracted to the teacher we need at the time (someone had asked him why so many people followed obvious charlatans).

    If you are attracted to Robert take that as a great sign because those who aren’t ready for Truth will cling to the idea that his actions negate his teachings. Not everybody is ready,


    1. Glenn,
      You said you haven’t found anything in Robert Adams teachings Nisargadatta Maharaj would disagree with.

      Over the years, Nisargadatta himself issued frequent warnings in his conversations not to succumb to pride, body-based desires, exploitation of others, hypocrisy, ambition, needless complications in one’s lifestyle and relationships, and so forth.

      Sri Nisargadatta in his own way would often echo the well-known counsels of his Guru, Sri Siddharmamesvar, “Realize the Self and behave accordingly!” “Use this Self-Power in the right way.”

      To suggest Nisargadatta Maharaj would somehow overlook Robert Adams’ lies, hypocrisy, sexual exploitations of his followers, and “borrowing” without paying back… that is pure nonsense.


      1. Glenn, you are taking a piece of what is most likely to a misquote of Ramana Maharshi (according to David Godman, see below), out of context, to make a point, in regards to your writing that Ramana said that “Hitler could have been a jnani.” I’ve heard this quote from Major Chadwick used before to justify all sorts of outrageous and selfish activities. It was taken from Major Chadwick’s book, “A Sadhu’s Reminisences”. Someone named “Snow” wrote to David Godman and asked him about this reported quote of Ramana’s, and posted it on a forum:

        “I asked David Godman about Bhagavan’s reported comment on Hitler.

        In Major Chadwick’s book A Sadhu’s Reminiscences, Chadwick writes: “Of course he (Ramana Maharshi) was quite unmoved by the war and its course. Probably he saw it as just another turn in the wheel of Karma. He is reported to have remarked once, “Who knows but that Hitler is a Jnani, a divine instrument”

        I would very much like to hear your opinion on this. Do you think that it’s a mis-translation, taken out of context, false all together or an authentic statement made by Sri Bhagavan? To me the sentence doesn’t make sense because the beginning of the clause “Who knows” implies that Sri Bhagavan doesn’t know for sure if Hitler is a jnani, but the end of the sentence clearly says that Hitler is a jnani. Linguistically the sentence would make more sense if it said: “Who knows if that Hitler is a Jnani, a divine instrument. Also I think that a jnani and “a divine instrument” cannot be synonyms because the jnani is the Self/God, not an instrument of Him.”

        This is David Godman’s reply:

        “From the qualifying introductory words of Bhagavan’s sentence (‘Who knows but that…’) he might have been saying (assuming the quotation is even true) that the possibility can’t be discounted, which is a long way from saying, ‘Yes, he is a jnani’. It may have been part of a conversation in which some devotee was trying to challenge Bhagavan about his statement that you can’t tell who is or who is not a jnani by what they do or say, and this might have been included as an extreme example.

        The phrase ‘divine instrument’ also gives it some context. We are all divine instruments, according to Bhagavan, in so far as we have a script to perform that was handed to us by God. By giving Hitler this script he (Hitler, not God) in effect became the agent for enabling millions of people to fulfill some karmic destiny. If millions of people have an earned destiny to suffer and die in a particular era, then someone else has to incarnate alongside them with the karma of being the instigator of that suffering. That’s a long way from saying he was a jnani; it is just an acceptance that certain things needed to happen for everyone in that era, and that Hitler had the karma to make it happen. Everyone involved was an actor on the stage, playing out a script that had been written and allocated by God, a script that each person involved had somehow individually earned through past actions.

        Bhagavan taught that each of us has a predestined script that has been allocated by Iswara, and that He chooses the sequence of the script from among all the pending karma from millions of lives. The jnani is the one who can go through the script knowing ‘I am not this person who is performing these actions’. Everyone else identifies with the actor on the stage and suffers as if the script is real.

        Personally, I doubt that Hitler was a jnani, and I doubt that Bhagavan ever said that he was. In his whole life he never once went on record as certifying that someone was alive who was a jnani. His mother and Lakshmi the cow got posthumous certification. I am guessing that we are dealing here with a garbled, misrendered, and second-hand (at least) account.” – Best Wishes David Godman


  17. “Over the years, Nisargadatta himself issued frequent warnings in his conversations not to succumb to pride, body-based desires, exploitation of others, hypocrisy, ambition, needless complications in one’s lifestyle and relationships, and so forth.”

    And where did Robert ever teach that you SHOULD do those things? I said that Robert’s TEACHINGS were the same as Nisargadatta. If you want to say that is wrong then go into Robert’s 2,300 pages of talks and quote me where he said otherwise. Don’t try to twist things to counter what I wrote.

    You claim that Robert did things that countered Nisargadatta’s teachings. If true, that has nothing to do with what Robert taught, I made it very clear that Robert’s words were the words of a jnani. If you’d like to counter that then show me the words that prove his TEACHINGS were different than Nisargadatta’s.


      1. Dear Steven,
        If you had devoted just a bit to actually understand Robert’s teachings, you would understand the context:

        First of all, no where in Robert’s teachings he advises one to affirm that body is Brahman. In the recorded teachings and transcripts he absolutely condemned the image others had of himself, ie he condemned his ‘body’.
        He never-ever said to think of body as Brahman. The meaning of the above practice is to disregard the body. In essence, if you have a feeling of who you truly are, you stand in front of mirror and affirm it, by completely disregarding body. This is what this practice is about. This is Self-Inquiry in different form. ‘I-Am the body’ notion is the whole samsara.

        I’ve been listening to his recordings for about 4-5 years daily and nowhere(In all the recordings) have I heard him being egomanic or having an improper attitude.


      2. This is an exercise that was reinterpreted by many. Dr Anderson taught it this way. Gaze in the mirror and ask yourself, “What is my true self?” He was a real student of Ramana’s. Allan W Anderson, Phd. Robert Adams is someone I never had personal contact with, however I know he attended some of Dr. Anderson’s lectures and SDSU when I was there in the early 1970’s. He appeared to be a student of Dr. Anderson’s.


  18. Steven:

    I’m curious, what exactly motivated you, a quarter century after Robert died, to come forward and share all kinds of accusations designed to destroy the reputation of a teacher who is loved by many people? What do you get out of seeing the pain your words cause many people? Or, to be more precise, what is the reason that your mind gives you for all this?

    After you published this I heard about it from multiple sources including a couple of women who were terribly upset and in tears because the teacher they adored was suddenly being portrayed as a monster. If you read the 125+ comments on my post from last you’ll see the one lady who said she was so happy to read my defense of Robert that she was crying as she typed.

    As I read that I couldn’t stop wondering what it was that you got out of posting this that you felt made causing people pain to be worth it. Could you please explain to me what it was that compelled you to try to destroy the image of a much beloved spiritual teacher?


  19. If you stand infront the mirror and affairm to yourself with devotion and feeling that “i am brahman” which is another name for god, its like saying i am love, i love myself and so forth.

    It can be one of the most potent spiritual practices if you have love u might see the teacher in your own eyes.

    My own guru made the small group i was in do this, since there was a mirror wall in the room.

    At the time i was young and all in my head it felt very awkward and weird looking into my eyes saying this.

    I did not understand.

    Instead of condemning this, try it for yourself instead. What do you see there? Can you stand looking into your own depths?

    Clearly robert left a lot of people with a bitter after taste, this is the whole point with the real teacher. Hes not your friend, he takes up all the junk to the surface for you. Most ppl cant stand that. took me a long time to see this myself. I was petrified seeing him in the beginning and tried to find every excuse not to go.

    But i never looked for a guru or anything and knew nothing about spirituality.

    Life has its funny ways and the average person will always quarell among themselves over the appearance.

    I am eternally grateful for your work Robert.


  20. It’s stunning the drama this guys point of view is causing people. Seems to be a LOT of attachment to a dead guys teachings, realized or not. I guess it explains how Christians, Jews, Muslims, Democrats and Republicans can go on hating each other just because someone has a differant opinion of matters. You step on a persons religion and they get triggered. The interesting thing is, that not one of us who has read the article will ever really know for sure what the truth is. We’ll make up stories, find supporting evedence and all such things to ‘prove’ to ourselves how correct we are and how wrong the other guy is. I loved Robert Adams ‘Silence of the Heart’. Read it numerous times and had it on my nightstand for 5+ years AND maybe he was a scoundrel, who knows, who cares. I look at the teachings and not the teacher. Now if he were still ‘alive’ today I’d look into it more but he’s gone. Live the Truth. Robert certainly doesn’t care.


  21. The fact is that Robert was not real Ramana nor Nisargadatta and neither are you.
    The world is an illusion. In reality nothing is happening. There is no one. Nothing has ever happened or ever will.


  22. I think some of the angst I am hearing on this thread comes down to the issue of guru versus guide. One of the problems I see is the Eastern notion of Guru equals God. If you are God whatever you say or do must fit that model of Perfection. If you are a guide, pointing at a facet of The Great Mystery, then you are just that. And you will have your flaws to be called out on. There is too much glamour on being a guru. Does not allow for critical thinking, a tool to be used in this relative world. Ramakrishna would encourage testing the guru, to see if he was free of sex and money. I would recommend playing the Leela game, by Harish Johari, which is the ancient esoteric game of knowledge that Snakes and Ladders was derived from. Basically Consciousness appears to play in this Leela, going up and down the 8 levels of Consciousness. Just for the joy of it. Now, the higher you go the more snakes there are. When you are in the 3rd level you are in the realm of saints. But this is only the 3rd level! When you get to the 7th there are these rather large snakes that will pull you all the way down. They are called Egotism, Nullity and Tamas (inertia). For me this has been very insightful having experienced wonderful blessings from various teachers, and then seeing many “fall” in various ways (but usually sex and money). I also recommend watching Kumare, who is an American Indian who pretends to come from India as a famous guru. His followers have many wonderful experiences, and worship the ground he walks on. And then he later tells the shattering truth. It is a reminder that teachers are just beautiful bones in the cremation grounds that we chew on, and the juiciness is actually derived from our own gums. Respectfully

    Liked by 1 person

  23. A saintly looking man, dressed in flowing white robes, garlands of flowers strung around his neck, sat cross-legged on a platform. Around him sat a group of devotees, adoration beaming out of their eyes. Some waved incense about him and most of them wore medallions around their necks with pictures of this man. They bathed in this holy man’s radiance.
    More and more followers came and sat at his feet, bowing, reaching out to perhaps touch his robe. With each new arrival the man’s chest seemed to puff out the slightest bit, his chin rising a tad higher.
    “Oi!” I heard Yama mutter behind me. “Here it comes.”
    Suddenly an enormous serpent rose up from the floor. No one, not even the holy man, noticed the immense snake. Then with a lightening-fast strike, the beast swallowed the holy man whole. Only a few in the crowd seemed to notice that the man had disappeared, and with disgust on their face, these few departed.
    The others, however, remained, looking with devoted eyes at the place where the man had sat, some even reaching out towards his imaginary gown.
    “What happened?” I asked, shaken at what I saw, and confused by the devotees’ response.
    “I saw it coming. He chose to have around him a bunch of followers, those types that want to be told what to do with every aspect of their lives. They want to be ‘devotees’ and wear outrageous outfits and create a new movement or religion, in which they can climb upward in status, to be one of the inner circle.
    “They desire neither love nor truth, only specialness. Each vie to have special attention from the light.
    “And because he had that seed in him still, that tendency to be special, he attracted such a following. And so the bad company called forth the serpent of conceit and swallowed him down to the lower plane to the room of mirrors.”
    I watched one follower ask a question to the now empty spot, and saw him nod with understanding and bow with gratefulness as though he was given the answer.
    “Why do these followers act as though nothing has happened?” I asked. “It seems as though they see him still sitting in front of them.”
    “They act thus because they are not yet seeking truth, only grandiose definitions to wrap themselves into. Their new identities are blindfolds.
    “They do not see their teacher for who he is, they see him as the symbol for what they want him to be.
    “They want to be disciples of a savior, the new messiah, an avatar, not someone who still has human weaknesses. So they worship a lie and let the truth slip away.”
    –excerpt from “The Teachings of Yama: A Conversation with Death”

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Robert has a sastang in which he says (paraphrasing) if you are kind of saintly you see me as a saint and if you’re a con man you see me as a con man. 😁
    The author of this hit piece who seems to be posing both as the interviewer and interviewee says “My intention is not to disrespect Robert Adams.”
    This says all you need to know. LoL.


  25. “When you look at me, what do you see? You see whatever you’ve been programmed to see. You do not see reality. You see your programming. For instance, if you grew up a Christian, you may say, “Well, Robert is sort of Christ-like.” If you were brought up an agnostic, you may say, “Well, I don’t know what the heck Robert is at all.” If you were brought up Jewish, you would say, “Robert is a great Rabbi.” If you were brought up Buddhist, you would say, “Robert is a Bodhisattva.” If you were brought up in a family of thieves, you would say, “Robert is a con man.” You’re seeing yourself. You’re seeing your programming. You’re seeing the way you’ve been made to think, all of these years since you were a little boy or a little girl. It’s all false.”

    Robert Adams


    1. Hi M.T.
      Nice to hear from you. I like your quotes, but do you know who very publicly said those quotes 25 years before Robert Adams did? And also gave many talks on them?

      “I am the man in the mirror, anything you see in me is in you, I am you, and when you can admit that you will be free.” —Charles Manson

      That gives someone a license to do whatever they want. After all it’s all a projection. Let’s follow that thinking through. That means if I rob you and you see me in a negative light, that says nothing about me and everything about you. Not very logical, is it?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Glenn, there is so many things in the teachings of Robert Adams that contradicts Ramana Maharshi teachings. Just to give you one example is the method of being the witness that Robert Adams recommended. Here is what Sadhu Om who really was staying with Ramana and knows is teachings very well says about it.

        ”The practice of witnessing thoughts and events, which is much recommended nowadays by lecturers and writers, was never even in
        the least recommended by Sri Bhagavan, Indeed, whenever He was asked what should’ be done when thoughts rise (that is, when attention is diverted towards second or third persons) during sadhana, He always replied in the same manner as He had done to Sri Sivaprakasam Pillai in ‘Who am I?’, where He says, “If other thoughts rise, one should, without attempting to complete them, enquire ‘To whom did they rise?’. What does it matter however many thoughts rise? At the very moment that each thought rises, if one vigilantly enquires ‘To whom did this rise ?’, it will be known ‘To me’. If one then enquires ‘Who am I?’, the mind (our power of attention) will turn back (from the thought) to its source (Self)”. Moreover, when He says later in the same work, “Not attending to what-is-other (that is, to any second or third person) is non-attachment (vairagya) or desirelessness (nirasa)”, we should clearly understand that attending to (witnessing, watching, observing or seeing) anything other than Self is itself attachment, and when we understand thus we will realize how meaningless and impractical are such instructions as ‘Watch all thoughts and events with detachment’ or ‘Witness your thoughts, but be not attached to them’, which are taught by the so-called gurus of the present day.”
        ~Sadhu Om


  26. This is what Robert says on how to recognize a true master from a false.

    ”So his disciples and devotees take care of him. And it comes from the heart. But he never asks for money personally. He can ask to help a friend or someone else, but never for himself.”

    Obviously Robert didn’t fit in his own description. He asked money personally for himself to at least Steven and Ed Muzika and didn’t even intend to give it back. Robert said so many times in his teachings that when you surrender to the Self then the Self takes care of everything. Why asking money to others then?

    Robert can talk the talk but cant walk the talk. He is just another fake guru like almost all the rest.


    1. Glenn, there is so many things in the teachings of Robert Adams that contradicts Ramana Maharshi teachings. Just to give you one example is the method of being the witness that Robert Adams recommended. Here is what Sadhu Om who really was staying with Ramana and knows is teachings very well says about it.

      ”The practice of witnessing thoughts and events, which is much recommended nowadays by lecturers and writers, was never even in
      the least recommended by Sri Bhagavan, Indeed, whenever He was asked what should’ be done when thoughts rise (that is, when attention is diverted towards second or third persons) during sadhana, He always replied in the same manner as He had done to Sri Sivaprakasam Pillai in ‘Who am I?’, where He says, “If other thoughts rise, one should, without attempting to complete them, enquire ‘To whom did they rise?’. What does it matter however many thoughts rise? At the very moment that each thought rises, if one vigilantly enquires ‘To whom did this rise ?’, it will be known ‘To me’. If one then enquires ‘Who am I?’, the mind (our power of attention) will turn back (from the thought) to its source (Self)”. Moreover, when He says later in the same work, “Not attending to what-is-other (that is, to any second or third person) is non-attachment (vairagya) or desirelessness (nirasa)”, we should clearly understand that attending to (witnessing, watching, observing or seeing) anything other than Self is itself attachment, and when we understand thus we will realize how meaningless and impractical are such instructions as ‘Watch all thoughts and events with detachment’ or ‘Witness your thoughts, but be not attached to them’, which are taught by the so-called gurus of the present day.”
      ~Sadhu Om


      I can’t respond to your post above so am replying to this one, quoting your original post I’m responding to. This famous quote below has Ramana mentioning ‘witnessing whatever happens’. Robert Adams actually recommended self-enquiry as you or Sadhu Om described above many more times than mentioning witnessing but there it is. I think it’s nit-picking but when I read your post this quote popped into my mind.

      “One should remain as a witness to whatever happens, adopting the attitude, ‘Let whatever strange things that happens happen, let us see!’ ” ~ Ramana Maharshi


  27. Its a common phenomen — adaptation —
    Some people have the talent of good remembering ad of a sensitive sense to say , what is wanted …
    A lot of them are very succesfull gurus …

    but its a hoax too , that a guru is only a guru if he/she is honest and inkorumpted …
    a guru is a guru , if a seeker needs a guru … nothing more … nothing less …

    a guru is never (!) needed or usefull for spiritual success or progress … this two are also hoax …

    A guru might be usefull for the preparation of the ego , after the “great shock” … thats all … and sometimes its a lot …


  28. To all defending Robert Adams here. I understand that his teachings might have helped you personally (or you think they have). And you might have personal attachments to him because of that. You even come as far as to excuse his weird behaviors, even sexual ones.

    But. How are you going to comment this statement from the article:

    “Robert also mentioned to me that there were a lot of wild sexual hijinks and orgies going on at Ramana Ashram.”

    Nobody noticed this? What the actual flying hell is this? This said the guy that claimed to had lived in Ramanashram when Bhagavan Himself was there. You all know who Ramana Maharshi was. He was a pure saint of Upanishad scale, anyone who knew him will confirm that. His writings such as “40 verses” would belong in holy scriptures if they were written 1000 years ago.

    Steven seems not to give it much attention because he seems not to be Ramana’s devotee, but even he was shocked by this ridiculous claim.


    1. Donny, that wasn’t even the strangest thing Robert Adams said to me. On more than one occasion Robert told me he believed that the hill Arunachala was hollow inside and contained a city where Ramana lived along with Shankara, Buddha, Baba Muktananda, and a few others. Robert said that when he died he would go there and live inside Arunachala.

      To me, it seemed totally off the wall that an adult would believe that. In hindsight, it shows confusion on what “I” is and that he somehow believed he was a separate person with a separate form that would live inside a hill.

      So while many of his talks were brilliant and great pointers, there seemed to be also a lack of clarity in some ways.

      Robert told everyone his teachings were free and available to all and yet he also told his wife Nicole that his teachings belonged solely to her and were copyrighted to her. What’s up with that? I think it was that to his followers he wanted to appear selfless and yet was also motivated to support his family.

      Thus he said one thing, yet acted differently. That showed up in so many instances of his life.

      Robert knew the Advaita teachings that say “I” is the formless absolute, yet apparently never got completely clear on what “I” is and somehow still held onto some type of separate form. When one does that and practices holding onto the “I” feeling, the feeling they are holding onto may be no different than the feeling Kim Kardashian or Paris Hilton are holding on to. That is why it is so important to get clear on what “I” is. If it is formless you are not going to go live inside a hill.


    2. The Robert Adams’ comments about some hijinks and orgies around/in Maharshi’s ashrams are definitely not the truth but there had been some widow’s devotees very close to Ramana Maharshi. (Robert Adams probably read an early edition of Self-Realization by B.V. Narasimhaswami, the English biography of R. Maharshi, there was group photo entitled ‘Ladies Group’, this photo no longer appears in modern editions of the book, here link below).

      Hundred years ago, widowhood was a state of social death, even among the higher castes. Among other things, widows had been expected to have a spiritual life and some of them joined an ashram or sadhu colonies to look after such renounces, they cleaned, prepared food for them, and bought books or a medicine. One of such women was Echammal, she was a widow from Tiruvanamalai and when she began to look after Ramana Maharshi she was about 26 years old and Ramana was 29 years old, in 1906-7. Echammal’s younger sister, Venuammal became also widow and joined Arunachalla’s ashrams when she was about 28 years old around the year 1916. (the both sisters had also rented a small house in Tiruvanamalai till 1945). There also was a wife in Ramana’s nearness, her name was Sundarammal, she was rejected by her arranged husband due to her health problems and childlessness, after that, Sundarammal had rented a remoted room approximately for three years close to Guhai Namasivaya Temple and Ramanashram, where Ramana had lived around year 1900. (viz., some photos: Ramana Maharshi’s ‘ladies group’:, and other ashram photos online with Echammal, Venuammal together with some children, widows had on a white hooded copes there).


    3. This sounds either like a joke taken out of context, or that people related to the ashram were having sex (gasp!), or just a lie. If you read through the articles and comments the author clearly has it in for Adams and isn’t being objective in his assessment.


  29. Who is Steven S ? ? ? Besides someone who seems to have gotten his feelings hurt because someone else got more attention then he did in class . This is such normal Nth American low brow immature whining .
    East Robert Adams did something useful at the end of his day . Thanks Robert Adams .
    Cheers Blue Q


    1. Blue Q:
      Not sure how you interpreted my description of my actual experiences with Robert Adams as whining, but there you go.

      I have never met you, but I did spend a good amount of time with Robert Adams. Those of us that did know him well such as Ed Muzika, Mary Skene, myself and many others all agree that he lied, had sexual affairs with students, made up stories, and borrowed money without repayment. We all have different interpretations of that. Some think it means he wasn’t a Master, others think it is proof he was a Master. Everyone must decide for themselves about that.

      For people that never met him and only have access to his quotes and transcripts, they mostly had no knowledge of his actual life and I hoped to fill that gap a little here in the most honest way I could.

      If you believe the way he lived is a demonstration of something you admire God speed to you.


  30. Hi Jan,
    Ed Muzika did not know me because I abandoned ship long before Ed arrived on the scene. As you may note in the link you posted, Ed does not disagree with the facts I state, only that he has a different interpretation of them.


  31. Jan,
    Also, you may note, that I did not wait 35 years to talk about this. It is only because of Katya Osborne’s email that people are now taking what I have been saying seriously since no one doubts her first-hand account and Robert clearly says he stayed in her house which she would know about had it happened.


    1. I see. It is your viewpoint and I can’t argue with that. I think what is misleading in your account is motivation of Robert Adams and his teachings. In my opinion, and experience, he had something to give which is not what your internet gurus these days advertise. Even considering experience which Alan Jacobs reported.


  32. Jan,
    I tried to report what happened and things Robert told me as accurately as I possibly could. My own interpretations were inevitably mixed in but if you could tell me exactly what you view as an unfair interpretation of his motives that would help me to see what could be changed to make the account fairer.


    1. I think you have not understood his message, or teaching, if I can put it this way. The things he said was his experience and not your experience, how can you judge that? Another thing which he often said is not to believe a word of his, but to try and experiment on ourselves. But I’m not going to tell you to practice or accept the teaching. And I’m not going to judge or condemn you, for the person you described I could never consider to learn from. The red flag for me would be sexual affairs with devotees and haughtiness you described.


      1. I think it’s true that Robert had affairs with students, even Ed openly says it’s true. Papaji also had affairs with students and married one who was 40 years younger than him. Still, thousands can testify that both these men helped them, so who cares who sleeps with who? Having sex isn’t a red flag, unless you’re claiming that you’re not.


  33. Jan,
    Robert Adams personally told me that I did understand what he was saying and that I was practicing it in the correct way. And, I told him he was practicing it correctly. But I came to understand later, that the idea of holding onto the “I” feeling was the wrong approach and probably not what Ramana was talking about at all.

    In my opinion, what Ramana was pointing to was a quest to find out exactly what the real nature of “I” is… that is to discover something new… not to practice something you already know. To become good at holding the “I” feeling just makes you good at holding the “I” feeling. It doesn’t aid in the true discovery of what “I” really is.

    I can’t tell you if Robert discovered that true nature. We all already know it is formless and silence… anyone can say that. But have they truly discovered it? If they have their every action is a demonstration of that discovery.


    1. But the teaching of Robert does not end by holding on to the subject of all experiences, aka I.
      He emphasized to trace the I to the source, and not hold to the I. By so abiding, the I will lead to the source of I.


  34. Hi Jan,
    Yes, a lot of what Robert said could pass for wisdom if you only read books.
    You said, “He emphasized to trace the I to the source, and not hold to the I. By so abiding, the I will lead to the source of I.”

    How is it going to lead you to the source when you never left the source?

    Doesn’t that suggest that you need to be led somewhere, somewhere you are not already? An endless loop of seeking. He suggests you do this practice to be led to the source of “I” when no one can ever leave the source of “I” thereby sending you on an endless wild goose chase.

    In the part 2 article, I quoted Robert quoting Ramana, in which someone says to Ramana, “I’ve been doing self-inquiry for 20 years and nothing has happened,” and Ramana supposedly replied, “try it for another 20 years.”

    I don’t believe Ramana would ever say something like that because Ramana knew it was not about having something happen. It is about recognition of what is always already there. It is the yogis that are always trying to make something happen. The sage is all about recognizing what is already there, always there. Which in this case Robert Adams doesn’t seem to have much clarity about. And his behavior seems to confirm his confusion.

    It is not about trying to make something happen! To a real sage that would glare out in flashing green and orange lights, and there’s no way they would tell someone to spend another 20 years trying to make something happen by asking “Who am I?”


    1. Hi existence1010,

      you wrote “How is it going to lead you to the source when you never left the source?”.

      Is this your present experience that you are in the absolute stillness, that you are in the source? I doubt so, that is why the practice is suggested. If we both were in the source now, we wouldn’t have this conversation.

      “Doesn’t that suggest that you need to be led somewhere, somewhere you are not already? ”

      The implication is not to be lead somewhere else, but to remove all the layers and thoughts which cover up our being.
      This is just one of methods among many which Robert suggested. Again, if you actually understood the teachings of Robert, it would be clear to you.

      I remember the talk which you are referring to about 20 years. The context of this was to forget about time and do Self-Inquiry without looking for results and not looking at time, this would bring fast results.

      I am not going to reply to your next post in this thread, as it is based on false understanding you expressed here, which I replied to. Upon which also, is based this whole “interview”.

      Obviously Robert’s teachings is not your cup of tea. Why not follow Ramana’s teachings instead of going out and criticizing? Better to spend time usefully. Maybe next hour we both will breathe our last.


  35. Hi Jan

    I quote here Steven Norquist as an example of the difference between recognizing the truth of reality as it is here and now, contrasted with Robert Adams crackpot narcissistic game of “trying to make something happen” by practicing “methods”… and then preaching love and light and goodness stuff he has read about.
    Enlightenment is about recognizing the truth of this moment, not hoping some enlightenment experience is going to happen. What is the truth here now? Always here. That is the question that matters, not repeating “who am I?” and hoping something is going to happen.

    Steven Norquist:

    ‘[I] stared at a paper that was sitting on the table in front of me and after about a minute or two an exciting and frightening thing happened – I disappeared!
    By that I mean the middle fell right out of the equation. Normally there would be Steve over here looking at the paper on the desk over there, but now there was only the experience “paper,” and no Steve over here seeing it. It was clear that the middle that normally separated the paper from Steve did not really exist; there was only the experience, “paper.” ’

    Later after various reactions Norquist wrote:
    “There were some people of course who were critical of the essay because it did not present Enlightenment as a joyous and rapturous transition into a state of endless bliss. The modern uniformed spiritual community can be blamed for conditioning people into this unfortunate expectation.

    Instead, this essay presents the blunt reality of Awakening. Enlightenment is not joy and yummies, it is the green mile. At the end of that path lies the permanent cessation of who you thought you were. Lies are dispelled, illusions seen through and a great lethargy can overtake you for the first few years after the disolution.

    After all, you have just learned that everything you have ever believed in is bullshit, it is really hard to “buy in” again after that.
    I tried to make these points in the essay and generally people got it. But as expected, there were a few who characterized the essay as nihilistic. These people need to move beyond the old way of understanding purpose in this world. ”


  36. Who is Steven Strouth really? He seems to have popped up out of nowhere and then disappeared off the face of the earth. Curious that there is no other information online about him anywhere, the only thing I found online with his name on it are 2 books on Amazon which have both been blocked from being sold there over quality concerns. No Facebook? Why are we to believe a guy we’ve never heard of, how do we know he’s not making all this up? I can make stuff up too but it doesn’t make it true. Show us your fsce, shows us a Facebook account that’s been open for more than 3 years with activity, let us see who you are. Let us judge you the way you judge others and maybe you can build some credibility until then I’m assuming your name isn’t even Steven Strouth.


    1. Hi Mark,
      Thanks for your message. Has it occurred to you that maybe I don’t have books for sale, or a Facebook account, because I don’t want anything from you? That I’m not trying to sell books, not trying to gain a following, just writing down some memories and opinions.

      Why should anyone believe anything here? Maybe beliefs are always problematic and not that helpful.
      Why believe anything?

      Possibly it’s more credible than a story of someone living at Ramana ashram for three years and never being seen by anyone there including the people living in the same house; telling 5 very different versions of meeting Ramana for the first time including saying Ramana bowed at his feet and exclaimed to an 18-year-old teenager, “Robert, I’ve waited for you, you are finally here,” and assorted other stories, usually involving large sums of money being donated to the ashram, including Ramana giving ashram funds to a wealthy tourist, (never recorded anywhere else), but I guess everyone has their own level of credulity.

      Also, raising a family without anyone ever knowing of him having a job other than as an apartment manager for a few months. How did he support his family since 1954? And why did he get married in the USA in 1954 when he was supposed to be traveling in India for 17 years from 1947 onward? Did he live off followers his entire life? No one is providing any answers. Why not? Why won’t his family answer any questions?

      Interestingly enough, Ed Muzika and I both seem to agree on Robert’s lies, money “borrowing,” story fabrications, and womanizing, we just have different interpretations about it.

      Mark, if you find something in my report that is incorrect let me know I’m trying to make it as close to what we know as possible. Ad hominem is behind the times though.


      1. In Satsang, Robert said he was staying at Ramanashram as ‘a base’ and stayed in a few places, including a cave and at Arthur Osbourne’s house for an unspecified amount of time, as ‘when foreigners came they were put up with Arthur Osborne most of the time without him knowing’ which could mean they were sent to stay without Arthur’s foreknowledge, rather than actually staying at the house without being noticed. Katya confirms that they did have many people pass through their house, although she seems to have the impression Robert said he stayed at their house for months or years, which he never claimed to my knowledge. It could also be it was another house and Robert assumed it belonged to Arthur, but it seems at least possible he stayed there for a short period of time given. Katya also claims that Ramana never gave anyone fruit, when Ramana would often share out fruit that was brought as an offering. To claim he never gave anyone fruit is more unlikely than claiming he did. There are also various stories about Ramana walking around and stopping off at people’s houses, I recall David Godman saying that if someone made a big deal about him coming and tried to give him special treatment he would stop visiting.

        I can’t find anything where Robert, in his own words, claimed to have borrowed Arthur Osborne’s car or received money from him, or donated jeeps or funds for a hospital to the ashram. Maybe he told Ed or someone else these but they don’t seem to have been mentioned in any recorded Satsang.
        There are facts that Robert ‘borrowed’ money from you and Ed and also had sexual relations with women, the relevance of which can be debated, but to say he never met Ramana or even went to India is a theory and doesn’t seem it can be proven one way or the other. If you’re a truth seeker you stick to facts and don’t indulge in such speculation. As for evidence Robert did visit Ramana, there was a comment on the now removed David Godman video saying that some Indian people remember Robert sitting under a clock in one of the halls regularly, and of course the testimony of Ganesan (Ramana’s nephew) that Robert had a profound affect on him. Papaji being compelled to read Robert’s Satsang I think also adds some credence to Robert’s teachings, given how dismissive Papaji usually was of other teachers.

        In my experience, if someone wants to ‘live in truth’, telling lies will block them from experiencing the truth directly, and experiencing truth is a prerequisite for teaching it to others. If Robert did indeed tell as many lies as you say, he would not have been able to live in the truth or share it with others. Many people, myself included, can attest to powerfully experiencing the truth he talked about through his words.


  37. “All is well, and everything is unfolding as it should.”.- Robert Adams

    “Since the one aim is to realize the Self by destroying the ego, to engage oneself in verbal wrangling about the nature of the world is but vain.” – Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi, “Truth Revealed”

    “Attend to the purpose for which you came.” – Bhagavan

    “Do not speak unless you can improve upon the Silence.” – Quaker saying


  38. Existence 1010 you sound like were a bona fide “guru chaser” back then who had your hopes for finding “the one” dashed by Robert… sorry you got the sour grapes, but in the end it was just what you needed if you think about it… if your wild stories and secondhand accounts are to be believed, then you probably had more money than good sense back then and Robert thought you could miss the cash you inadvertedly “donated” to him anyway. None of the juicy gossip matters, just more maya / distractions, when the real gold is waiting for anyone in his discourses which thankfully were recorded so those who wish to sit in satsang with him will still be able to do it if they wish…


    1. Hi Zepster,
      Actually, I had my own guru back then and never really thought of Robert as some type of guru, I just liked what he had to say about self-inquiry which was basically what I was sharing with people in the Ramana Maharshi study group of Los Angeles which I started.

      Robert came to me, I was not particularly looking for anyone at the time. He called me up and asked if he could be part of the group. Believing that he actually knew Ramana made him a welcome addition to the group I thought.

      Was the real gold in what he was teaching? From my current viewpoint no, he taught people to be self-obsessed just like he was with a few gems about silence thrown in. I don’t think I have to mention again his crackpot idea of looking in the mirror and admitting to yourself the truth, “I am Brahman,” to demonstrate his abject confusion.


  39. Someone asked me how can someone have a lot of clarity on “no ego” and still be confused or half-baked in some way. This link gives a story about Ed Muzika which is interesting:

    So what is going on here?

    That incredible realization that Ed is talking about, that sudden discovery, of no personal self changes everything. It is the biggest discovery anyone can make until that time.
    However, that is only step one of a two-step journey. Those, like Robert Adams and others [wonderful people though they are] who go out and declare themselves enlightened and begin functioning as a spiritual teacher immediately, [if they have really discovered this and are not just repeating what they’ve read] tend to cut themselves off from the possibility of part 2 of the journey.
    What is part 2? It is integration. Let me give an example. Let’s say I am addicted to sex, money, drugs, or overeating. Did that sudden realization suddenly end all of my habits? No, it didn’t. Habits are habits. But if I live the realization those habits will drop off. Those who declare themselves finished at this first realization of true nature will say that those habits and the changing of them will not bring about enlightenment or disturb it. This is true.

    They claim freedom to engage in any behavior, freedom from morality, ethics and even ordinary kindness. It is true they are free of that sort of thing. But when you have integrated “Oneness with all,” do you mistreat others? No, not possible even as the average person will not mistreat his own arm or leg. Why not? Because they have not only discovered oneness with their arm, they have integrated it… it is real, natural and the way they actually live. Someone who is angry at their own arm has not integrated their oneness with it, even if they can speak glowingly about it. Similarly, someone who has integrated oneness with all beings does not lie to others, or misuse them in any way. It is just not possible.
    So, the newly “enlightened” may declare themselves “teachers” and go about indulging all such habits with the idea that lies and unethical behavior present no hindrance. They say that they are now “free beings” and can engage in any sort of behavior and it will not matter. In a way they are right, it will not end their realization… but it will prevent them from getting to part 2.
    In general, the way to part 2, the full integration of no ego, of “I AM This,” is to live it without in any manner putting yourself above others as a “teacher.” Acting as a Master puts you in a position that no one can call you on your lies, abuse and lack of integrity or missing empathy. Bernadette Roberts said this part 2 of the journey took her 10 years. That was quick.
    To adopt someone as a teacher who has only reached part 1 leads to all sorts of abuse because he or she feels free to abuse anyone, free to do anything. On full integration, it will be a case in which no abuse can occur because on a gut level they experience everyone as One Self, as only the one Awareness which needs nothing and fears nothing. Addiction or attachment to anything is no longer in operation. It just doesn’t arise, and if it does it means: still in part 1.


    1. Truly appreciate all you have shared with this current post. It’s been a real wake-up call for this One.

      All is well, and unfolding exactly as it should, indeed!

      May you be well always, tell the Truth, and love everyone.


  40. Robert Adams described his full enlightenment at age 14. Here is his description and my explanation on why what he described as enlightenment is not that at all.

    “Anyway, it was the end of the term, and we were taking our final
    test. This was a math test. I never studied for it, so I didn’t know anything.
    So I said, “God, God, God.” Instead of the answers coming, the room
    became filled with light, a brilliant bright light, a thousand times more
    brilliant than the sun. It was like an atomic bomb, the light from the
    bomb, but it was not a burning light. It was a beautiful, bright, shining,
    warm glow. Just thinking of it now makes me stop and wonder. The whole
    room was immersed in light, everybody, everything. All of the children
    seemed to be myriads of light particles, and then I found myself melting,
    sort of, into radiant being, into consciousness. I merged into
    It was not an out of body experience. An out of body experience is
    when your soul leaves your body. This was completely different. I realized
    that I was not my body. What appeared to be my body was not real.
    And I went beyond the light into pure radiant consciousness. I became
    omnipresent. My individuality had merged into pure absolute bliss. I
    expanded, I became the universe. The feeling is indescribable. It was
    total bliss, total joy.

    The next thing I remember is the teacher shaking me. All the
    students had gone. I was the only one left in the class. The teacher was
    shaking me, and I returned to consciousness, human consciousness. That
    feeling has never left me.
    Now what does this have to do with you? Everything, for when I
    say, “You are absolute reality, absolute bliss,” when I say, “all this is the Self
    and I am that,” I-­am encompasses everybody, everything. “I am that”
    encompasses the whole universe. I am that, pure intelligence, ultimate
    reality, sat-­chit-­ananda, parabrahman. I am speaking from my
    experience. Death becomes a joke, there is no such thing. Your real
    nature is immortality. Your real nature is unalloyed happiness, ultimate
    oneness. This is what you really are. Awaken to it and be free.”—p.503 Robert Adams Transcripts

    This is what Robert Adams continually referred to as his moment of awakening, or when he awakened to the Self and was done.
    Is this experience genuine awakening? No, the experience described is a normal mystical experience. One millions of people have had and do not mistake for enlightenment.
    Then what is enlightenment and how does it differ from this? Enlightenment is a simple change in perspective. It is when the subject-object duality is realized to be a lie, a learned and false perspective. One shifts out of that false perspective and into a perspective of “not two,” “I am this,” “just this,” “I am formless and not the person identity previously thought.”

    But he said he merged with pure bliss and became the universe.
    Yes, and he also says he returned to human consciousness. He said he was the only one left in the classroom and “the teacher was shaking me.” In other words he was back to separate identity. In enlightenment there is no return to separate identity. There is a shift out of it. If he said something like “the teacher was shaking and I was the teacher and the classroom and the world and that condition never left me,” that would suggest enlightenment.

    He said the feeling never left him, and yes, the feeling of a mystical experience never leaves you, especially one like this, and of course after such an experience you will always know that in truth you are “all” and remember that. But it won’t be your lived experience, it will just be something you are speaking from memory about.

    So, for a sage these mystical experiences are not important, incredible though they are. Only that simple shift out of separate identity, out of subject-object duality is valued… a shift from which you do not return to separate human identity as Robert Adams described he did.

    This shift often happens in ordinary circumstances, it doesn’t have to be, (and usually isn’t) some big cosmic experience of light “more brilliant than thousands of suns.” It is often just a simple, “oh.” Or, “I’ll be darn, that’s what it is.” Just a simple thing. But that simple thing permanently changes your perspective while these cosmic overwhelming mystical experiences, great though they may be, come and go and leave you back in the ordinary human consciousness with nothing but a memory and a feeling.


  41. Ramana Maharshi has said that according to him, Arunachala mountain is hollow inside and contains many worlds. So according to your logic, Ramana Maharshi also was not enlightened.


    1. Hmmmmm,
      Did Ramana say he planned on living there (in a city inside the hill) once his body died? If he did, then it’s true, I would not regard that as an enlightened viewpoint.

      It seems to me Ramana said he would be going nowhere upon his death… if so, then that would be an enlightened viewpoint IMO.


  42. Anonymous,

    My point is that you cannot say if someone is enlightened or not because of what he/she has said or how he/she acts. There is no enlightened viewpoint, that is my point, there are no rules for this. Either we are awake or not. Ramana Maharshi and also Nisargadatta has said so many contradicting things, that it would seem, to the average spiritual seeker, that they are not enlightened at all. All this discussing is pure entertaining.


  43. Well, Hmmmm, if someone is trying to pass off a mystical experience as enlightenment, and also saying they will live in a city inside a mountain upon their death, or holding onto an “I” feeling and passing that off as enlightenment well yes, you can tell something.

    I just read an interesting book by David Parrish called, “Enlightenment Made Easy,” and it described “enlightenment” perfectly as I understand it. I know nothing about David Parrish, never communicated with him, yet I would venture to guess that his life is lacking all the “crazy” behavior of Robert Adams. Just a guess.


  44. existence1010,

    So if I understand you correctly, based on what you say about Robert Adams, you see him as a person inside a body that said all of those things, Yes? Why do you not read his techings, or Ramana’s or Nisargadatta’s and see who or what it is that just read an interesting book by David Parrish? Forget the one that delivered the teaching and look ONLY at the teaching.


  45. Hmmmm, no one is a person inside a body, some just may think they are.

    At least we agree that the teachings are the only thing important. From my viewpoint Ramana got it, Nis got it, Parrish got it, and Robert Adams did not get it. Robert Adams in all sorts of ways lets slip his lack of clarity and confusion of mysticism with “enlightenment.” But, if you like his stuff that’s great. You don’t need me or anyone else telling you not to like it.


  46. It’s not that I like his stuff, I follow only Ramana and Nisargadatta, so to speak. I just find this discussion interesting, that is all. Because in my humble opinion, real enlightenment is to find out who it is that is seeking enlightenment. Who wants to discuss, who is reading these words. And once you know how to do this or how to find out, no matter who gave you the practice, the only thing that you then need to do is to do as you have been told and find out. Nothing else. I wish you all the best.


  47. Hmmm,
    Let’s just be clear about it. Anything that appears is the content of consciousness. Content is always changing. The person is content. Lights, bliss, joy, sadness are all the changing content.

    There is that which is aware of all changing conditions and has never changed. That’s what the sage’s business is with. Not with anything that is not always there. So when Adams said he had an experience of Light brighter than a thousands suns and that was his enlightenment experience he is talking about content, something that comes and goes. When he talks about bliss and love and happiness being it, he is talking about the content of consciousness.

    Those enamored with the content of consciousness are not sages, they may be great mystics though.


  48. I agree with what you are saying but Nisargadatta also has said that he used to sit for hours in meditation with nothing but the ‘IAM’ in his mind because his guru told him to. That story of Nisargadatta is basically the same as what Robert said, or when I tell you that I am going to walk my dog in one hour. They are all appearances in consciousness. If you understand that, how can you have any problems or issues? This I don’t understand.


  49. Even a so called sage is just an appearance in your consciousness. Where are they in deep sleep? In the end, all what you see is unreal. No one exists. What exists in the waking state is only the feeling that you exist and that is not a person. That is universal being. That is absent in deep sleep. So why worry about an appearance in consciousness, what he has done or not. Just wake up from this useless dream and be done with it, that is what I would do.


  50. Hmmmmm,
    I think Nis’ point was for everyone to stop doing things and see what is always already there. Not do some practice that is going to get you there. What is the essence of ‘nothing but “I AM”?’ Just be as you are. Prior to appearances. No light “the brightness of thousands of suns,” no bliss, no anything. Just be as you are. Letting go of all accomplishments, attainments, and add-on’s. The pure emptiness of being.


  51. My point is that they are all just happenings in consciousness. But all is well existence1010. Discussion is pointless in my point of view, it’s mere entertainment.


    1. Hmmmm, I read your comments with interest and feel like you are the right person to ask a nagging question related to Robert’s teachings. It’s a clarification for something that tends to leave me confused. Why does the Self (with a capital S) go through the process of being aware of this non-existent mortal nightmare until it becomes aware of itself as it really is? Does it help in its expansion?


      1. Hi Etch,
        The Self is always aware of itself as it really is. Does anyone say, “I don’t know what awareness is?” No, everyone knows what awareness is and therefore knows the Self as it is.

        Why do appearances appear? Why not? Nothing is ever harmed by it.


  52. I had been studying Advaita’s message for some time, but there was something missing in it. I came across Ramakrishna and felt that love for God was the missing piece that was not in Self-inquiry. Ramakrishna made me understand that bhakti is not the path for the less intelligent and is equal to jnana. I’m not saying that Ramana created such a division, but jnana is not for me (and for many who think it is for them). Later, I don’t even know how, I came across Meher Baba and I felt that this was the man I was looking for. It is not my intention to convince anyone of the new guru, but I mention him because Robert Adams laughed at Meher Baba’s message, calling it “story for children”. Meher Baba has been misspelled as “Maya Baba” by the way. The person who mentioned MB described his message in a primitive way, and then his message was laughed at.

    Correct version:

    God does not know himself, he is in a sound sleep dream state, and from this state comes Universal Whim, which is like breaking the silence, and this Word can be called the question “who am I?” At this point, God knows himself, instantly and effortlessly. This is not an event in time. However, an illusory creation occurs simultaneously to Universal Whim, and this creation contains all the false answers to the “who am I?” question. The manifested world expresses qualities opposite to that of the original Self, and thus changeability, transience, multiplicity, etc., but this world is also God, so it tends to become self-aware through an illusory process of evolution over a vast period of time. Evolution ends with the human being who, through the sense of “I”, can ask himself “who am I?” consciously, being trapped in creation. Human consciousness is the ultimate product of evolution, but the human “I”, according to Meher Baba, is “infinitely false thinking.” Man, by getting rid of the impressions he has accumulated in the mind through eons of evolution, can discover his real “I”, which is not the mind. The process of annihilating of impressions in the mind was called the process of Involution, and it consists of going through different levels of the energy and mind planes of consciousness. There are six of them, and the seventh plane is Reality. It is like going through evolution backwards to a void state, keeping awareness and then realizing the self-realization that is already there. Meher Baba differentiated the state of Nirvana from the Nirvikalpa Samadhi. The state of Nirvana is consciousness in the void, “you are not there, God is not there, but consciousness is.” Then he added, speaking of his experience, “then I realized that I am that consciousness.” So the ultimate goal is to be witness to this void, not void itself.

    So I think it is worth more than laughing at “fairy tales” because Advaita gives no answer to the question why this world exists, if it is an illusion.

    Robert Adams’ description of self-realization is the reverse of what Meher Baba said. RA claimed that he experienced omnipresence first, then emptiness. MB claims that you first experience self-realization in which there is no world, and then returning (only a few come back, as it usually ends in physical death) you become aware of creation, have a Universal Mind and a Universal Body, becoming omnipresent, functioning as Man -God. There is no possibility of doubt here, and such a man will not seek any confirmation of his condition as in the case of the Adams story. According to MB, there are 56 such self-realized people on Earth, but only 5 of them hold the office of Sadguru / Qutub / Perfect Master who are known to people.

    A controversial thing: Ramana Maharshi according to Meher Baba was on the sixth plane of consciousness, which is the feeling / heart region but still belongs to the mind world. According to him, it is impossible to achieve self-realization without the help of Perfect Master. However, he always spoke of him respectfully but did not recommend “Self-inquiry” to anyone and considered it “dry” and ego-pumping for most. He promoted love for God, like Ramakrishna did.

    How can we know if someone is self-realized and who is on a higher level of consciousness? The self-realized state is so transcendent and so elusive to the mind that only the self-realized can recognize the self-realized. The higher planes of consciousness are also indescribably blissful and holy, and how can we know that someone is above it? On what basis do I believe that Meher Baba is God incarnate? Only on the basis of faith.

    The case of Robert Adams makes me sad on the one hand, and on the other hand I feel relieved, and I am only more and more convinced that such masters as Ramakrishna and Meher Baba were right in saying that jnana, self-discrimination, is not for modern people and should be practiced only under the guidance of a Perfect Master.

    Sorry for linguistic errors. English is not my primary language.

    Greetings from Poland.


  53. I think the problem with Advaita and “witnessing” is that witnessing is weak when confronted with our subconscious. Meher Baba claims that our minds are made up of “sanskaras” (impressions) that we accumulate over billions of years of evolution. These are the unconscious factors that determine our actions, and as long as we do not actively confront them, they govern us. The subconscious must be illuminated by the conscious. “Being a witness” can lead us to simply distance ourselves from our weaknesses that are stronger than us. To eliminate sanskaras you need an “antivirus” and this antivirus is Divine Love, which provides intensity and power in getting rid of unnecessary baggage of impressions. When the little “I” gives itself to the big “I”, the big “I” illuminates the smaller and such things come to light that the little “I” does not realize and in the end, the real consciousness replaces the unreal.


  54. I feel so discouraged and a little betrayed to be honest. I used to read the transcripts from Robert’s Satsangs a few years ago and they really inspired me. I thought that Robert must have been the most selfless, kind person. While looking up the transcripts to read again, I came across your blog posts about him. I didn’t believe it at first, but it made more sense as I read more. Now I feel a hopeless. Someone who I believed was truly enlightened had so many flaws and appeared to be lacking moral integrity. It just makes me question all of the spiritual teachers I look up to. Could they be frauds too? Is this whole enlightenment thing really just meant for a rare few and it would be impossible for the average person to attain it?

    Sorry, I’m feeling a bit lost now and I don’t know where to go from here. Who can be trusted?


    1. Hi Marie,
      In school, we look to an authority or expert to teach us the answers. But for the subject of consciousness… your own consciousness, you can’t outsource the discovery process like that. You are the one expert on your consciousness.

      Looking for answers from someone else won’t help.

      This disheartenment with exterior authorities may seem unpleasant but actually, it is the greatest of blessings. No one can know more about consciousness than you do. Yes, people can have wonderful mystical experiences that you may not have had but such things mean nothing. The great journey is discovering what is true for yourself beyond what comes and goes. What has always already been here. Experts and gurus tend to be the last containment fence preventing the discovery of reality. You’ve got this. Keep going.

      You can be trusted. Reality can be trusted. Your good intentions can be trusted. You don’t need a middleman.


  55. Ramana Maharshi says :

    “There are no others “
    Whatever you see outside it’s your own reflection, your mind is created it all this “

    “Mind your own business “

    “Don’t interfere in the affairs of others “

    Om Namo Bhagavate Sri Ramanaya 🙏
    Robert Adams 🙏


  56. “To see wrong in another is one’s own wrong,
    One’s own sin is reflected outside and the individual in ignorance superimposes it on another .”
    Ramana Maharishi


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