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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. It 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.]

374 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.


      2. Isn’t this just cast iron evidence that he was a liar and a fraud in many dimensions.
        Like all good confidence men he was a good talker.
        He was particularly good at “helping people “ who had low self esteem.

        He was good at “helping “ people to accept their lousy personalities, where Ramana guided people to transcend their personalities, even if they were mature and well balanced personalities.


  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.


      1. Great replies Jan!

        I believe Steven wants instant results. The core RA teaching is identical to Ramana Maharishi but RA gives alternative methods because the western mind gets bored easily. If Steven had done his homework rather than trying to get his points across, he would be asking “Who is seeking attention at Roberts expense”…he would actually make progress!


  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


    1. Hi Ram, thanks for your comment.

      This quote from Ramana, “To see wrong in another is one’s own wrong,” is a very wonderful deep teaching.

      One of the things we must be careful with is interchanging the absolute level with the relative level. For example from a relative level, I am a person with an apartment and a family. From an absolute level, I am pure awareness. Both views have truth in them. One is ultimately true the other relatively true.

      If the government asks me to pay taxes, for example, it doesn’t work for me to say that “I am pure awareness and all is emptiness and there is no ‘me’ and no ‘taxes’ to pay.” From an absolute point of view, there are no taxes to pay. Yet from a relative point of view, there are.

      If I don’t pay taxes then the appearance of prison may arise.

      Robert Adams often conflated the absolute and relative levels. Thus if he borrowed money and was asked for it back he would say “money is not real.”

      Or pretending to be a doctor with no medical training. When confronted, he might say there is no doctor and no clinic. From an absolute point of view that may be true. But from a relative view, there are clinics and there is money.

      If we are to say there is no wrong we must also note there is no wrong in someone going to jail and no wrong in arresting them and no wrong in pointing out their lack of clarity.

      So yes there is no wrong in bad behavior but there are consequences. If you don’t turn on the heat you may freeze. If you don’t buy groceries you may go through the illusory appearance of hunger. Ultimately nothing is ever wrong. Relatively there is a beauty in compassion and treating apparent others as yourself.

      Liked by 1 person

  57. “One of the things we must be careful with is interchanging the absolute level with the relative level. For example from a relative level, I am a person with an apartment and a family. From an absolute level, I am pure awareness. Both views have truth in them. One is ultimately true the other relatively true.”

    This is a challenge for practitioners of nondualism.I have seen it in myself over the years. It was when I became a parent and a teacher of children that I saw the need to point out and correct the erroneous behavior of those in my charge, and as well as in myself. It is not okay to yell at children. Period. On the other hand, by holding onto the absolute truth that “All is well and divine” there is not the stickiness of judgment. There is the relative art form of becoming human–moving beyond being a puppet of one’s baser animal tendencies–while holding onto the Absolute. At least that is how I have lived my life. Playing one’s part in the Leela. Watching Robert do the Advaita Shuffle after being accused by the devotee of sexual assault was a perfect example of the danger of believing you are enlightened. And I am referring to the incident in Hollywood at Henry’s home where Robert held weekly satsang in the late 80s.


  58. It is all extremely simple. Either you are awake OR you are asleep. There is no middle way. Advaita shuffle, writing here, family life, spiritual life, working, enjoying, believing you are a person living a life, having to pay taxes, the feeling that ‘you’ are the doer, convincing others, believing you are this body, replying to me, reading this, seeing others, seeing the world, believing your thoughts, having thoughts, watching porn, believing this world is real, worry what to eat. All this is being asleep. Enjoy your day !


  59. Hi “Yes”,
    I guess it is something we need to be consistent about.

    Let’s use money as an example. With Robert Adams, when he needed to borrow money it was presented as important, urgent, and necessary.

    It was only when you mentioned repayment that money suddenly became illusory, unreal and meaningless.


  60. Hi existence10,

    All this discussion is part of the dream also. My only point is that we are either awake or asleep. That is my only point. Either we are trying to find our real Self, so called OR we keep dwelling and discussing in the world of duality, which is an illusion and not real. I commented here only to make this point clear, nothing more.


  61. Hi Yes,

    That is a very “Jed McKenna” sort of statement (one of my all-time favorite authors).

    “We are either awake or asleep”… hmm. Since the ego is primarily made up of self-referential language it is exactly “language” we need to get clear on. This is most aptly done by destroying all beliefs which can only happen once we bring them to light.

    That’s why Jed recommends autolysis. You have to write them out and deconstruct beliefs. Sitting in silence while maintaining false beliefs will not be of help.

    Discussion helps, but the real discussion is with one’s own mind until only what is real is obvious. That’s how I see it.


  62. Existence10,

    In the end all is well I guess. You are drawn to certain teachings and I am drawn to other teachings. I am not trying to convince anyone. I was or am just saying. There are no discussions, the universe or your body or anything really, in deep sleep. That is enough of a hint to get straight to the highest, so to speak. Have a nice day.


    1. Hi Yes,

      You are welcome to post anything you want here. Your “hint” may not be of a lot of value to those on the Sage path.


      Waking, dreaming and deep sleep are three states that come and go. The sage is not concerned with what comes and goes. His concern is with what is always already here.


  63. Thankyou for posting, the ‘nature of the beast’ means tha it is a challenge to identify a true guru//gnani. i was aware of rhe Ramana controversy prior to hearing a lot of RA’s satsangs recently.and i’m not sure it’s connected, there’s been a lot going on with Covid; but I’ve become quite depressed and nihiliistic and think I’ll give them up! For me, a guru needs to show themself to be morally sound and not excessively aquisitive, Living in an ashram type situation seems to be a good indicator – it’s hard to hide the bad in such a place. From a wide range of reports, from many people, I conclude RA was not such a person, By contrast; Mooji has ticked all the boxes for me. Best wishes! Namaste


    1. Hi Peterbennettdotnet,

      As far as depression and nihilistic thinking go that is pretty much always from believing untruths. The biggest lie is that you are a body and not eternal unstoppable spirit.

      As far as Mooji goes you may want to read Be Scofield’s article. Sounds like a lot of questionable goings-on with that guy.

      Here’s a quote from the article:

      “Mooji is a self-appointed guru. In Indian tradition, a self-appointed guru is the least trustworthy person around, because only a dangerously deluded individual would want that position and the adulation that often comes with it.”


      1. Be Scofield’s article on Mooji is filled with lies, distortions, and anonymous rumours. It is an example of yellow journalism. I suggest people read this report: The Malicious Mania of Be Scofield: How a cyber stalker maligns spiritual teachers to bolster her own image it’s at


  64. Thank you for sharing that info, it is quite obvious that Robert Adams was a con-man. There are also quite a few women who reported to be sexually harassed by Adams what I didn’t want to believe at first but now I can believe that too.
    This also sheds some light on so-called “senior” devotees like David Godman who still has Adams on his website and still considers him, as Poonja, for enlightened. Godman is very likely wrong on both accounts and it appears to me that he’s just too proud to admit of being duped not only by Adams but also by Poonja.
    In addition one must wonder if other accounts of so-called “self-realized” masters like Annamalai Swami or Lakshmana Swamy are not just stories of some aspirants Godman believes to be enlightened. Godman cannot possibly know who is enlightened and who is not.

    Ed Muzika’s defense of Adams is based on his own delusions of being self-realized. Muzika sees himself as a peer of Ramana Maharshi (sic!) and his comments on his blog are not only totally ridiculous and outlandish but also shows how deluded he is. Since he claims to have become enlightened “through” Adams it is clear that Adams MUST be enlightened for Muzika too or his delusion would crush and collapse in itself.

    David Godman at least did some service to bring Ramana’s teachings to a broader audience, however Muzika’s comments are so outlandish of his claim to have realized ‘deeper’ realms than even Ramana or anybody else. It is almost comical – that kind of delusion. I wonder what people could possibly see in him who joins his “satsangs” on-line.

    Sri Ramanasramam has changed their attitude to Adams and I’d like to see that Godman and also V. Ganesan publicly recognize Adams for what he really was, a con-man and charlatan! Otherwise my respect for both will be zero or less.


    1. I’d like to add that it doesn’t truly matter if Adams was a con-man or a saint. People believe one of the two opinions or do not have an opinion at all. In a previous comment as evidence was stated that Ganesan had a profound affect meeting Adams. But what does that mean? It’s the placebo affect of the mind which is powerful to create any experience it may want to see or have. Comments like that by Ganesan, and many other prominent seekers like Godman (re. his experiences with Poonja) are irrelevant and cannot be proof of anything. That must be clear for anybody who is a little bit more familiar with consciousness.
      Godman i.e. described the experience of profound peace in the presence of some yogi and attributed it to that yogi or master. But that is nonsense especially coming from Godman. ANY experience can ONLY come by one’s own mind and not by something or someone else. That is a fact. I am surprised that Godman omits that very fact since that many assumptions by him turn out to be false, especially regards to Poonja.
      Ganesan has a history of loving stories of and going after Jnanis or enlightened sages or who he believed to be that sage. When he edited the Mountain Path in the early nineties he was so infatuated by it that Kitty Osborne (she already did not take crap back then) wrote a letter to him asking to stop chasing Gurus and focus more on the topic at hand, the teachings of Ramana Maharshi.
      Ganesan mentioned that there are one or two who supposedly remember Robert at the ashram. Now how reliable is that statement? Adams was supposedly quiet and unassuming but on the other hand he was for sure remembered by one, possibly two? Seems to be wishful thinking by Ganesan, who like Godman, must cling at his belief that Adams was a sage and thus he looks for straws, as Godman desperately needs to believe that Poonja was a sage. Since Ganesan already went public announcing of his “profound” experience with Adams, how would it look like with Adams as a charlatan? Or Poonja being a charlatan in regards to Godman? Too much invested by both, also for their own belief system.

      Many need a hero or saint they can relate too, even better when they can proudly announce that they were in contact of that saint since that seems to improve one’s image. Mature seekers realize that this is a fallacy, there is truly no guru or sage as an “other” but only as Self.


      1. David Godman and V. Genesan blindly interpreted and published stories and books about people around Ramanashram, some of them are modified fabrications, for instance Robert Adams, Annamalai Swami, and H. Poonja. One cannot trust D.Godman and V.Genesan anymore, they are not real scholars or journalists…..


      2. ====
        ANY experience can ONLY come by one’s own mind and not by something or someone else.


        Godman’s blind spot is a strong guru juju dependency. He freely admits that he’s always been on the lookout for masters who can push a spiritual experience, however blatantly that notion conflicts with the message of those he studied with and beautifully writes about.

        He is nonetheless an invaluable scholar, and does faithfully restate the teachings he edits. And, to his credit, he never claims spiritual “mastery” or whatever.

        Also I’d note (as have Adyashanti and others) that people can have rather profound partial awakenings while remaining disconcertingly ignorant or misbehaved in certain sectors of their human experience. This stuff is lumpy, it doesn’t spread evenly throughout all aspects of life, at least not right away. Fits and starts. Best not to judge harshly, as we’re all pretty half-baked.


  65. I’ve read Robert’s teachings for years and was deeply impacted by them, so that’s my personal bias. I do believe what you have brought into collective attention is important and significant; I wish this information had been avaliable earlier. That being said, I would like to contribute with a thought or two to the discussion.

    The spiritual field seems to be operating under a very stringent either-or mentality: either superhuman holiness (that almost never holds under scrutiny for any case) or ordinary human flawed sort of functioning, with no space in between.

    That is not to dismiss Robert’s misbehavior; but I’ve come to conclude that glimpses of a higher mode of reality can take place without fully transforming the personality. Many have written about this – Assagioli, for example. And spiritual integration is tossed all over the place regarding this. But few speak about the difficulties that a mental or extramental functioning of this sort can bring to a person.

    If Robert had the deep experiences he claimed he had as a teenager (and everything can be doubted at this point but I believe that could still be true) that would have unbalanced him immensely. The sparse comments of his mother taking him to a psychiatrist in those years seem to confirm that he was unwell, or at least not functioning in a normal manner. That happened to Ramana as well, for the number of years he was practically offline living in the caves. And it took a long time for his brain to readapt in order to start speaking again, relating to people, so forth and so on. So there is a psychological burden there.

    My feeling is that even after spending all that time with teachers (if this is still held to be true) he might have held his realization as a problematical fact of his life, deep down. Perhaps that blocked him for holding a proper job. Perhaps he never was able to fully talk to people about these things. Perhaps that caused immense strangement over the years. That might have fueled a very strange kind of residual ego functioning, despite the realization, that to be seems genuine to me. I’ve seen this take place to people and I think that we still do not have a sufficiently developed theory, a modern theory that is, of how awakening truly works, psychologically and neurobiologically. So to dismiss all imperfect cases as frauds still perpetuates a kind of either or thinking that does much harm for seekers and teachers alike. If this Godman idea was not so present within us, we might have a better model, say a community of awakening people that could share their newly formed views of reality, help each other out, take notes and decentralize the process. This would eliminate many of the problems we currently see on the spiritual scene, and would make it more scientific and open minded.

    I’m trying to understand the contradictions that Robert incarnates; I hope not to justify or rationalize them; that being said, I do not believe he was a l fraud, but one of many cases of truth shining through a glass darkly, and I would like to see more discussions into this topic.


  66. naturezadaconsciencia, when I read your comment I believe that you have the wrong idea about the nature of enlightenment or Jnana which Sri Ramana (and a few others) represented. There is no “personality” left and no brain in the need to settle as you claim Sri Ramana needed. People see a body and project their idea and imaginations onto that. There was nothing to settle for Ramana, he stated that from that incident on in 1896 (the day of manonasa [or annihilation of mind]) his state was always the same.

    So that Robert needed something after “enlightenment” is a false understanding, only a mind or ego seemingly needs something. Of course his stories are an imagination, like boasting with siddhis that he could materialize anything he wanted. And yes, there are yogis who can and could do that but that’s an aberration of the ego and has nothing to do with the truth or Jnana, in fact it is an obstacle to Jnana.

    And yes, it IS black and white. Either the mind or ego is totally annihilated or the mind is still there, granted for some aspirants it may be much subtler than for most, nonetheless there is still an ego who needs to talk and claim of “experiences”. There is no “superhuman” because there are no humans in all reality. A human cannot perfect itself, it can only surrender to Jnana. Perfection would be an attainment of the ego; one can observe that with many spiritual “gurus” sitting on their throne bathing in the admiration of their gullible and naïve followers.

    There is no truth “shining through a glass darkly”, there is only Jnana (or truth for some) or the ego and mind. No Jnani will ever lie or cheat or deceive or make any claims, there is nobody who could claim anything. Now some Jnanis did seemingly behave wildly, nonetheless they never would deliberately lie or deceive. Of course, in all reality, there are no Jnanis, there is only Jnana.

    Liked by 1 person

  67. We do get stuck in this search of finding the superguru, the one who has crossed over some imagined finish line. There is a tendency for followers to defend that they have found the One, and others who feel betrayed, to crucify. And then there is the teacher who will not admit the human issues they have in this process called life. Robert, like many teachers, would not pass the scrutiny of the Me-Too-Movement. I watched him get kicked out of Henry’s home in Hollywood, when a disciple accused him of sexually assaulting her. His reply was basically: Who kissed whom? And that should have been the end of his teaching career. Does it mean his work is without value? No. Have people’s lives been changed by his teachings? Surely. But he was just another human on the endless path of discovery in That which always IS.


  68. A Jnani has no sexual desires (in fact no desires for anything). What engages in sexual interaction without any consent is only the ego. Robert’s reply “who kissed whom?” is the reply of a coward and conman, mixing up relative truth with absolute truth. That people took that and stuck with him shows that he performed a good show.

    I bought Robert’s book when it was published (I believe in 1997) and I enjoyed it and I gained many insides. However, more than 20 years later, I can highlight many sections in his collected satsangs which are plain wrong or are a confused interpretation.

    To pose as a teacher, or even better, as “enlightened” seems to be very tempting for many, nothing intoxicates more than the admiration of others 🙂


    1. Now we cannot know for sure who is enlightened or not. It is said that only a Jnani can recognize a Jnani. But there are clues which make the likelihood of being the real deal less probable:

      Like with Robert Adams and his stories of having visions of Ramana Maharshi as a little boy and being able to materialize anything when he repeated the name of the object three times, (why then kept he “borrowing” money constantly from people without the intention to ever pay it back? Because it was made up entirely!)
      Or Adams’ story of his vision where he meets Jesus, Krishna, Ramana and other Jnanis and then merges with them in a bright light. No true Jnani would share a story like that. Why? Because it has no value for any serious aspirant (to hear about something like that) and is done only by those who still need to aggrandize themselves like Adams and his ilk, people with their egos intact.

      Another example is Poonja and his “biography” written by a gullible David Godman. That biography came out at about the same time as Adams’ book. I read it and I was amazed by that grand story and the phenomenal incidences Poonja seemed to have had. Let’s see if I can recall from memory what had stuck:
      Ah yeah, (let’s not forget all what was written down is ONLY directly out of Poonja’s mouth) he also like Adams became enlightened as a kid and, funny isn’t it, also he like Adams was confused and still needed help with his enlightenment (what I call bullshit). So he, as Adams, sought out Ramana and he, like Adams, finally became enlightened for good (through Ramana) .

      At least Poonja’s visit to Ramana is verifiable contrary to Adams’ claim. Of course Poonja had visions too like Adams, in his case Krishna all the time appeared to him. But that is not enough, on one occasion the gods Vishnu, Brahman etc. appeared in front of him and bowed and worshiped him (sic!).

      Now why would a Jnani tell a story like that? It is bullshit and the only reason is to make oneself appear special and grand. That’s the opposite of a true Jnani. It is a story of a conman and impostor. Or the story when he came across an orange tree and when he had the desire for an orange the tree dropped at that time his oranges as a gift. Wow! Isn’t Poonja a great man? Gods worship him, orange trees drop their fruits for him, Krishna plays with him etc.
      But that’s not enough; he also needs to tell the world about this (fantasy).

      Funny, twenty years ago I bought that wide-eyed with awe. However it is very clear for me that these kinds of stories are BS and entirely fabricated to bamboozle naïve followers. No true Jnani ever told stories (especially grand ones like that) about themselves. Ramana didn’t, nor did Ramakrishna, Jesus, Kabir, Rumi, Meister Eckard, Huang-Po, Sai Baba of Sirdhi, Frances of Assisi, Muruganar, Thayumanavar and others.

      If there are stories about those then they are all done and told by their disciples on their own accord.


  69. Jim Leff, I agree with your comment and yes, anybody is half-baked until manonasa or annihilation of the mind. That includes figures like Adyashanti and others prominent on the spiritual scene. “Partial” awakening is worthless and most of the time gives the remaining individual the impression to be enlightened as is that the case with Tolle and many others. Those people spoil more than help, IMO, because they come up with their own confused interpretations like Tolle’s “pain body” what is detrimental to the teachings of true Jnanis.

    And yes, Godman has done some good stuff, however too many put him on the pedestal of the eminent figure of Ramana’s teachings what is over the top. So my comment may balance that out a bit. Alas most either admire or condemn somebody despite that Jnanis suggest to neither like nor dislike.


    1. ====
      “Partial awakening is worthless”

      Tell God that.

      Who was it who first projected and inhabited samsara? Who first thought “it might be fun to pretend; to identify with some worldly drama?” It wasn’t Bernard or Jim. It was awareness itself. Bernard and Jim popped up later, as a part of that pretending.

      We find ourselves in a playground for awareness, where it can freely project and immerse and identify with a plethora of narratives and dramas and feelings and all the other worldly fodder that Advaitans wisely pronounce not-truly-existent.

      God dove into this pretending, hence Bernard and Jim. And periodically there’s some remembering. But then what happens? It’s too obvious to have to say. God gets drawn in again, duh. Again and again.

      Did you ever awaken from a dream, realizing, with relief, that it was only a dream, and then be inexorably pulled back into the dream? The pull-back does not disprove the truth of those shifts, however bleary and fleeting they were. And with Samsara, there’s always a pull-back. Because the truth is that there’s not a whole heckuva lot to do in timeless emptiness, lovely though it is. And emptiness is, above all else, CREATIVE.

      The only problem in any of this is that sometimes God identifies so strongly with the yadda-yadda of worldly intrigue – and deliberately so because raised stakes and pressurized emotions makes the playground more vivid, and vividness is the point – that God gets utterly lost in the pretending, making it a shitty, torturous experience. The key is to pretend just a tad more lightly, and periodically step outside – like pivoting one’s head around the movie theater during the film rather than stare obsessively at the screen- and remind yourself what You are.

      That’s what meditation, spirituality, all this stuff is devised for. Not to remove you from the playground which you (in the deepest sense of “you”, aka God) CHOSE to inhabit in the first place, and, indeed, projected via a fantastic feat of effort and imagination. But just enjoy it a little more as a movie theater and a little less as a torture chamber. That’s the only adjustment necessarily. God needs to be a little less fervid in his pretending, by periodically remembering himself and fleeting touching upon emptiness (or hanging out there for some while, until the creative impulse re-arises).

      So partial awakening is all he’s got. It’s very far from “worthless”. It’s the key to this scenario: an iota of perspective, a foothold of remembering, a brief restorative remembering of emptiness. Then pull-back to the dream with a neck loose enough to pivot itself from the screen once in a while, until once again there’s a deliberate self-losing.

      Prefer to be unblinkingly and completely awake? Awesome! But the problem is that there’s no one to be unblinkingly awake. Bernard can’t do that. Jim can’t do that. These individuals are dream stuff. Sorry. You can’t pretend to sit here pretending to type into a pretended computer and pretending to read pretend writing on a pretend screen without pretending. And it’s fine. God is enjoying this pretending, at least if he’s partially awakened. Thank God – err, no, let’s flip that – God Thanks for partial awakening.

      Oh, yeah! Right! It’s only a drama! Now back in!

      N.B. I’m mostly typing this for bemused onlookers. I don’t get the feeling you’re open to hearing any of this, or, really, anything else. Which is fine. Enjoy your cinematic experience, and remember there really is an exit strategy if you need it. A partial one. And that’s sufficient.


      1. Wow, something triggered that long sermon of yours. If you feel partial awakening is important and meaningful I certainly won’t hold you back from that. To the rest of your comment, this “blue-print” differs depending on the viewpoint of the jiva which will change inevitably.

        However one important point, a “partial” exit strategy is never sufficient. Impossible, that’s opium for the mind 🙂


      2. ====
        I certainly won’t hold you back from that

        Your kindness is beyond measurement!

        I wish you the best. Have fun!


    2. Hi Bernard….

      I just thought you might be interested in a letter by Suri Nagamma about Sri Ramana written on 26 Feb 1947….

      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.


      It seems Sri Ramana didn’t approve of those who criticised other people…including other spiritual teachers…..

      Given that Sri Ramana is someone you so greatly admire perhaps you could consider adopting a similar attitude….?


      1. I find it quite hypocritical to criticize me for criticizing others (or is it okay for you to criticize others?). But that’s just one of the many habits of human beings and this one is quite ingrained. And flaws are always more apparent in others than in oneself 🙂

        I do not admire Sri Ramana, there is no and was never a personality named Ramana Maharshi, he is an emulation of Jnana, Self, sat-chit-ananda. I also do not ape Ramana from what one can glean how people described certain habits of him like not wasting any food while cooking and so on.

        The goal is not to ape the habits of a sage or saint but to transcend habits and ideas of this world entirely. To not judge or criticize anybody (or anything) requires enormous humility and I openly admit that I do not have that humility. But don’t be a hypocrite, you and everybody else reading this have judged or criticized many times people or circumstances in their life, which is called ego. And if not in action then in thought what is as bad.

        So let’s get real here and not utter obvious nonsense.


  70. This is why I adhere only to Sri Ramana’s teachings these days, once assimilated; it is very simple and clear cut. One can see the world as torturous or lovely, however both lookouts are false and just a thought, as is the concept of awakening, partially or full.

    “God” (or Jnana) does not identify with anything nor does it pretend, that is a false understanding. Sri Ramana is explaining it very clearly, no reason to repeat that here. Anyway, there are many levels of conceptual understanding but the only true understanding is mouna which is beyond understanding or misunderstanding.


  71. There is no first step. You are the one who is referring to something what you’ve read. It’s the classical “creation” story found in Christianity and the Upanishads or elsewhere. It’s just a story and not true.

    There is no cause and effect in reality, Maya is a self-perpetuating phenomena in duality.

    Ponder it with yourself. Yes, but it seems you are not taking your own advice 🙂


    1. Maya does not perpetuate itself. It is projected and it is experienced. Sans awareness, there can be not even an apparent existence. “Apparent” requires an observer. And existence requires an exister.

      Who observes? Who exists?


  72. Well, it is apparent that you are not familiar with Sri Ramana’s teachings. So I suggest to read Guru Vachaka Kovai which gives a comprehensive inside in his teachings. Especially re. what is real and what is not real.

    There is no observer, there is only Jnana or Self. In reality there is no subject and object. No subject which observes an object. Any subject/object relationship is an appearance of the mind.

    I also would like to point to Sri Ramana’s excellent analogy of the snake and rope to illustrate the phenomenon of Maya or phenomena and how it seemingly relates to reality or Jnana. By the way, you cannot conceptually grasp reality with a pondering mind 🙂


    1. You give and you give and you give. It’s quite admirable.

      One day, may you open some space to receive.

      Good talk! Have fun!


  73. The term “awareness” is misunderstood by many since they confuse their body-consciousness with awareness or better “pure consciousness”. The “awareness” of ajnanis is tainted by the vasanas which in turn are seemingly responsible for this world and its phenomena.

    People like Bob Adamson, John Wheeler, and others of their ilk talk as if the awareness of sages like Ramana is identical of the awareness of people like Godman or you and me. That is only true from the viewpoint of absolute truth, however the awareness of jivas, including Bob Adamson’s and Wheeler’s are tainted by their vasanas. And to ignore that is the hallmark of these confused “neo-advaitans” who teach an incomplete and lazy frame of concepts.

    That’s why it is advised to only refer and rely on the teachings of true sages and not those many wannabe teachers who spread confused interpretations.


  74. Jim Leff, regarding the “first step into samsara”, there is a great verse from Upadēśa Undiyār (verse 23) where it states, “Because of the non-existence of other awareness to be aware of what exists, what exists is awareness. Awareness alone exists as we.”

    What that means is that there is only (one without a second) awareness, that awareness what is aware of existence. Now one could say, as you do, that God (or awareness) stepped into samsara because there is only (one without a second) God or awareness but that’s not entirely true because as we jivas perceive awareness we only perceive that awareness in an objectified form and that “objectified awareness”, what also simultaneously creates duality, limits or taints “God” in seeing objects (or “others’) as not ourselves.

    Sri Ramana stressed that it is futile to ponder about the origin of samsara since it is not real in the first place. Instead he uses his famous suggestion to look for that who looks for the origin of samsara. What looks for or believes in an origin of samsara? The mind or ego …. what Sri Ramana described just as a bundle of thoughts. So as soon as a thought like that is not coming up anymore (and all other thoughts which are triggered by vasanas) objectified awareness has evaporated and only pure awareness (or God or “I”) remains.

    Samsara is simply a thought, nothing else. A thought is not real, a mysterious phenomenon seemingly created by an interest in (unreal) objects. The funny thing is that objects (as apart from I) only exists in form of a thought. So that what creates seemingly samsara does not exist but gets seemingly caught up in its own creation (the world etc.) ……
    In order that there is an interest in objects there must be first an object, so the object and interest in an object are one and the same since only a thought creates an object. There is the seeming split from One (without a second) into two or duality, an object and a seeming entity with an interest in that object. It simply is an illusion.

    Thus the solution is to discard any upcoming thoughts and just to be (that pure awareness without a thought). As long as one perceives objects as not “I” as long we are still caught up in samsara. According to Sri Ramana, anything you perceive and see is created and projected by your mind. There is truly no other than “I” or Self. That part is the hardest to accept and believe for many spiritual aspirants. It’s called ‘eka-jiva’, there is only one mind, not Billions of minds (like every individual on the planet) as most aspirants assume or believe.


  75. The power that is works in mysterious ways.

    This article has solicited some very wise and deep comments on the nature of absolute reality /Self /teachers and gurus – which’Re far more interesting than the article.

    I’m grateful for the deep insights conveyed here, and which have removed some previously held misunderstandings and deepened the growing conviction that ultimately we ourselves must become the light that removes our own ignorance.

    A teacher or guru can only take you so far – show you the map; but the path we must walk ourselves.

    Love to all.


  76. Hi Etch, it is only now that I see your reply to me, this one :” 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?”.

    Because this non-existent mortal nightmare, as you put it, is the only place, so called, where we can realize who we really are. You have a body and mind here, those are only to realize who you are. Plants or animals can’t do this. Animals, for example can’t discriminate, can’t think. You can because you are in a human body and have a mind, so called. Now your job is to do it and wake up.


    1. Hmmm, you asked “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?”

      The Self is not aware of any process or nightmare, thus Self is not going through anything. Sri Ramana made that very clear. Only that what asks that question (and imagines these things) goes seemingly through a “process”. That’s the paradox, we are truly Self but the very fact that we think about it or belief in the need to “get to it” is the very obstacle. So it is only the ego and not Self.

      The idea or notion that Self is somehow doing that is a fundamental misunderstanding. Self is not changing, ever, so anything that changes is not Self.

      As you know, Sri Ramana suggested just to BE without any thoughts. However due to the strong habits of the ego that Being initially seems to need the effort of atma-vichara. Atma-vichara is effortless, however the mind believes that it takes effort since it cannot understand atma-vichara since it is beyond the mind or any object.


      1. Here is an excerpt from the “Maharshi’s Gospel” where Sri Ramana seemingly alluded to the idea of Self deluding itself as “Hmm” mentioned:

        “[…] Devotee: May we not say that the help of the Self is needed because it is the Self that drew over itself the veil of maya?
        Maharshi: You may say so.
        Devotee: If the Self has drawn the veil over itself, should it not itself remove the veil?
        Maharshi: It will do so. See for whom is the veil.
        Devotee: Why should I? Let the Self itself remove the veil!
        Maharshi: If the Self talks about the veil, then the Self itself will remove it. […]”

        [Note, the book uses “Atman” instead of Self.}

        Here Sri Ramana entertained the idea of the devotee but made clear in the last sentence that the problem arises not from Self but from the ego. Self is not talking or complaining about the veil or “mortal nightmare”, if it would it would also remove it. Since it doesn’t the burden is left to the ego.

        True, this mortal nightmare happens within Self and there cannot be nothing else than Self. However the ego/mind and all problems and maya are appearances or objectified awareness, even though it exists within Self, it is only recognized by itself the ego since only the ego is aware of seeming objects, the Self is not. Like the ocean is not aware of its waves.

        The solution must be beyond the mind/ego as in atma-vichara. Alas most what I am reading about Self-Inquiry is confused or misunderstood. It is misunderstood by the mind since it cannot grasp it (literally) nor understand it thus it is beyond its control and thus is either misunderstood by the mind or seen as extremely difficult. In fact it is extremely simple, only the mind (chain of thoughts) makes it difficult.


      2. Hi Hmmm, I am just realizing that it was not you who asked about Self veiling itself and therefore never mind. Whoever was wondering about that, there are my 2 cents worth.

        Re. your comments about animals “Hmmm”: I am afraid that you are not correct. According to Sri Ramana animals do think and have consciousness as humans. In fact the cow Lakshmi got Self-realized (being around Sri Ramana) and she and I believe his mother are the only ones Sri Ramana declared publicly as enlightened.
        It is rare though that animals get Self-realized. The story with Lakshmi is that she was an advanced disciple (human) in a previous life and the only way for her to be in the presence of Sri Ramana was to reincarnate as a cow. But that’s just a story for entertainment, it is not relevant at all.


  77. I’d like to add something I remember reading on David Godman’s blog and that is his comment that actually
    Katya (Kitty) Osborne told him that Robert Adams stayed at the Osborne house [sic!]

    It’s the comment on October 17, 2013 at 9:38 PM:

    David Godman: “I mentioned in the Robert Adams interview that no one in Ramanasramam seemed to remember him. Since then I talked to Katya Osborne who recollected that her father, Arthur, gave Robert a car to drive around India in. Katya was a bit put out at the time since it was their family vehicle, and she didn’t like the idea of her dad passing it on to a complete stranger.”

    Isn’t that interesting? So Godman talked to Kitty (according to him) and she told him that Adams stayed at their house and they gave him their car (which they didn’t possess). However it seems that Kitty is not aware of that conversation.

    I find this quite disturbing since either Godman or K. Osborne is lying. I suppose that Godman is mentally sane so why would he say something like that since he could not possibly forget or confuse what Kitty Osborne actually told him. Now Kitty Osborne, as we know from this blog, has vehemently denied Godman’s statement and it rings true for me. So that makes Godman a liar.

    That said, this whole issue casts a huge shadow on Godman and his integrity as an author and “intermediary” to Sri Ramana. One may wonder, is anything what he wrote accurate or is it as sloppy and based on hearsay as his stories of Robert Adams?

    Even more disturbing is that Godman ignores Kitty’s statements in the Mountain Path and leaves all of his lies about Adams on various websites he maintains …..


    1. I think ‘lie’ is a little provocative. I can’t see that Godman gains anything from making this up. and all I’ve heard, seen and read about him suggests he’s a good and genuine guy. Your post is reopening the debate somewhat, making me wonder if Robert Adams is/was the real deal after all. We have Robert and someone else reporting that he did actually visit there. Frankly I’m now sidiing with Gorman and noting that Rupert Spira and I think Franceso Xavier(?) apparently visited Adams when he was close to death (sorry, I can’t remember the source for the latter point).


      1. I am not saying that Godman is a despicable person. Also, who has not lied in the past and done things which were regrettable? However as a “reporter”, and the role Godman plays, there is a certain responsibility to make sure that the stories told are accurate. However Godman just repeated stories he has heard or read blindly believing they are true. What he wrote and presented about Robert Adams is sourced entirely by Adams himself and that is from his “collected works”. So Godman regurgitated the stories told by Adams himself automatically believing them since he considers Adams being enlightened what is certainly not true.

        Same goes for what he wrote about Poonja. The biography is entirely sourced by Poonja himself, again Godman automatically believing that Poonja is not lying. However there are indications that Poonja was also not Self-realized and therefore the biography is a fairy tale. Same goes for Godman’s story of Lakshmana Sarma and that girl which supposedly got Self-realized through him. However the method she used is not a true method considering what Sri Ramana taught and therefore her “enlightenment” is also highly questionable.

        So you say that Rupert Spira supposedly visited Adams. Now what does that indicate? Why would that make Adams automatically the real deal or enlightened? I do not consider Spira being Self-realized so whatever he did is irrelevant.

        Poonja read aloud from Adams’ book and people (probably including Godman) take that as “proof” that he must be enlightened. But then Poonja is an impostor himself and only impostors praise impostors 🙂

        I do not believe that anybody (publicly known) is currently Self-realized. Some may have had an “awakening” (what is nothing else than some subtle mind experiences) and may confuse that with “enlightenment”. There are plenty of examples like Tolle who preaches confused concepts and is certainly not enlightened.

        Ultimately who and if somebody is enlightened or not is irrelevant, nonetheless since still people tend to put certain individuals on a pedestal they should know that they may worship (or admire) an impostor.

        Godman is heavily into Poonja and his mind cannot tolerate the reality of him being an impostor and therefore he seems to be in denial about Adams too. That can be true for anybody. If you consider Spira being enlightened then it won’t be easy to let go of that idea. The mind tends to cling at certain beliefs and crutches.

        Anyway, it’s not a matter of siding, it’s a matter of letting go of any concepts, like the concept of Adams being enlightened etc. 🙂


  78. Peter Bennett, you say “lie” is being provocative. No, that is the crucial issue, somebody must be lying looking at the facts. So either Kitty Osborne is lying or David Godman.
    Same with Robert Adams, either he’s lying or Steven Strouth is lying. Steven’s story is compelling especially the parts which shows how much Adams was after money. Adams did charge and wanted to charge money for his “satsangs”.
    No Jnani would charge or ask money for anything. A Jnani would never borrow money like Adams or thrust his tongue down the throat of a female attendant. That incident was witnessed by several people.

    In short, if the compelling facts on this blog cannot convince anyone to see Adams as a fraud then nothing will short of Adams raping and pillaging caught on camera. All those people who still cling at Adams are heavily deluded IMO including David Godman.

    Of course Steven and Kitty could be malicious liars and in that case Robert Adams would be vindicated. Not though from his numerous sexual assaults on female students. According to Ed Muzika, a long time admirer and who claims he got enlightened through Adams, Adams snug out of his house in the middle of night to visit women to f**k.

    I rest my case.


    1. Hi Bernard….

      You continue to indiscriminately judge various spiritual teachers/guides/gurus…..

      In the lines above you dismissively criticise:

      Annamalai Swami
      Lakshmana Swami
      Eckhart Tolle
      Rupert Spira
      Bob Adamson
      John Wheeler
      David Godman
      Ed Muzika

      Quite honestly if i found myself consistently expressing such negative views of others i would do The Work of Byron Katie….

      Are you familiar with this process….?

      Or with any other form of shadow work…?

      Anyway for your delight and delectation i thought that i would once again repost a letter by Suri Nagamma about Sri Ramana written on 26 Feb 1947….

      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.


      It seems Sri Ramana didn’t approve of those who criticised other people…including other spiritual teachers…..

      Given that Sri Ramana is someone you so greatly admire perhaps you could consider adopting a similar attitude….?




  79. Geez, here is the lecture again. Did you not post the same comment awhile ago addressed to me? My answer to that is still valid.

    You have no clue about Sri Ramana’s teachings otherwise you’d not suggest nonsense like “shadow work”. Also aping and mimicking saints is a dead end, it just feeds your ego even more, “look I dealt with my shadow” or other nonsense.

    Well, if you get so much upset about my critique of these half-baked teachers you listed in your comment that you needed to repeat your outrage I suggest to rather investigate why that bothers you so much. Of course if you’d have only a little clue about Sri Ramana’s teachings then you’d know that looking for reasons, shadows etc. is a waste of time. So stick with these half-baked teachers like Katie Byron, eventually several life times down the road you’ll end up with the real deal.

    One major step ahead in one’s spiritual progress is to realize the futility of good and bad, “negative” and “positive” views and all of the other dyads. Those have to be transcended and not affirmed as you do.

    To clarify, I have nothing against Robert Adams, David Godman, Ed Muzika and all the others you’ve mentioned. They play their role as everybody else does. To deny their shortcomings or lies because it’s not appropriate or some ethic code demands it is BS and a typical misunderstanding of the teachings of the sages. My ego plays its role as everybody else does including you, that’s called prarabdha karma. It couldn’t be any different as it has been and will be in this phenomenal world.

    I find it very hypocritical to quote something by Sri Ramana without being obviously a devotee of him and just using that for a mental argument. But virtue signalling is seemingly not only popular throughout the world but also in spiritual circles.


    1. @Bernard – if you don’t mind me asking what’s it you’re trying to prove and to whom? You acknowledge that ultimately there’s no negative or positive views, so it follows from that there can be no ultimate moral high ground or a right or a wrong except in a relative sense (which for a seeker is of no use) – so why does it matter to you if this or that teacher is a fraud or not truly enlightened or there are people taken in with these false teachers fraud or whatever?

      Since I’m sure you know that awakening happens on its own terms and accords – there is no effective teaching for it; in that sense all teachers and teachings are a fraud even the teachings of Ramana. When it happens, it can happen to a saint or the most despicable amongst us – so what? So what that there are sorts of unsavoury characters masquerading as enlightened teachers?

      Bearing the above ‘in mind’ (so to speak), who gives a shit? I’m just intrigued why you’ve got your knickers in a twist.


      1. I am afraid you are thoroughly mistaken: Awakening is not happening on its own accord (that’s not the complete picture), that is BS and one of the truly bad misunderstandings among seekers. The path is paradoxical since it needs to transcend duality and non-duality and therefore it seems incomprehensible for the mind. It needs both, the grace of Self or Brahman and the efforts of the imagined ego
        Thus without having eliminated all vasanas there is no awakening. And with awakening I mean the annihilation of the mind, manonasa. No traces of the mind are left. That is extremely rare.

        There are so many half-baked teachers who spout confused teachings, like that awakening is happening on its own accord. But it also takes a certain maturity to discriminate and being attracted to the correct teachings.

        The notion that there is no effective teaching must be the product of some confused wannabe teacher. It is quite ridiculous.


    2. So not content with being negative about various teachers/guides you have also made a series of negative assumptions about me:

      I have no clue about Sri Ramana’s teachings

      I got upset by your critique

      I was outraged

      I was bothered

      I need to investigate why i am bothered by your critique (how do you know i haven’t)

      I denied teacher’s shortcomings or lies

      I am a hypocrite

      I am not a devotee of Sri Ramana..

      I am virtue signalling

      These are assumptions…

      They may be true….

      But you can’t know for sure….

      Likewise you make a series of negative assessments/assumptions of Allotmentwala: who according to you is confused, deluded; began a dialogue with you under false pretences; posed questions simply to test you; and claimed to be fully aware of Sri Ramana’s teachings while in fact only having a superficial knowledge of his teaching….


      The letter that from Sri Ramanasram that i quoted above wasn’t really meant to imply that you should ape Sri Ramana…..

      It was really about the value of having a guide….or Guru…or teacher…..

      So, for example, in another letter from Sri Ramanasram Suri Nagamma describes how Sri Ramana made very clear to her that she needed to drop a particular resentment….

      (Incidentally in getting her to drop this resentment he didn’t suggest that she do Atma Vichara rather he suggested that she think more kindly of the other woman…..)

      Now of course, dropping resentments isn’t central to Bhagavan’s teachings, so why did he insist that she do so….?

      Probably because he saw that that resentment was an impediment on her path….


      One of the values of a living teacher is that they may suggest unorthodox practices that will aid the devotee….

      Another example of this was Annamalai Swami who, when he first went to Sri Ramanasram, wanted to sit and meditate but Sri Ramana insisted instead that he do building work….

      In some ways it is much safer not to have a teacher or guide or guru….because that way you can always be right….invulnerable…..

      Who knows what scary vulnerable place a genuine living teacher would point you towards….?

      Maybe they would even suggest that the next best step for you is some ‘relative practice’ like letting go of negative judgements of others…?


      1. Jim Leff, aka Anonymous, my farewell to you: You are stuck with the idea of being an ego and trying to improve that ego. That’s a fallacy. It is even more of a fallacy to suggest to “others” that they should improve their ego. It is a typical false understanding by beginners who of course believe that they are not beginners 🙂

        There is only one guru and that is Self. The belief to be needing a “living” teacher is another fallacy. But it’s a natural process, beginners on the spiritual path are drawn to “others”, egos who seemingly know better and are considered as teachers. Pretty normal and that may take a few life times until one encounters a sage who reveals that he (as that body) is not truly the guru but only the guru within, Self. Living teachers die, what then? Picking up another living teacher, that is plain ignorance and a lack of true understanding.

        You are pretty much on the same level as “Allotmentwala” who doesn’t want to be me. LMAO!
        Why on Earth would he want to be me, another ego? Why would someone want to be like any other ego, Gandhi possibly? That is another revelation of plain ignorance and evidence that you guys have no clue not only what you really are but also how to be it. One cannot even be Sri Ramana or Jesus since those bodies are only a thought and nothing else. Truly, they have never existed, only as a thought in mind. Now that’s something to contemplate about but you rookies will just read over it without even grasping its significance since you are not mature enough.

        I very much expect that the above won’t be grasped but that’s okay, sometime it will dawn onto you guys, even if that is a few lifetimes down the road.

        Alright that’s it, any more words would be a waste since, if there is a response, it will naturally moan about me calling you rookies, immature etc. LOL Yeah, just keep wallowing in that, it will just feed even more your egos.

        Farewell. I also unsubscribed from this blog since anything what could have been said about Robert Adams has been said and anything else is just redundant. At least for me (the ego 😀


  80. @Bernard

    Thanks for your response.

    I’m open to your point of view; you say that it depends on grace and the ‘efforts of the imagined ego’ … could you clarify what are the effective ‘efforts’ that the imagined ego can make?

    As you said, it’s paradoxical; so how can an imagined thing become the imaginer and bestow grace unto itself; unless it was to be by grace to begin with? – which means that it way just grace anyway.

    Furthermore, you say that it’s incomprehensible for the mind – so what is used to transcend the duality and non-duality and reconcile the paradox?


    1. It can’t be explained in just a few words, there is plenty of room of possible misunderstandings but one has to take a first step:

      The question first is (and I am of course borrowing heavily from Sri Ramana’s teachings) what are we and what are we not. Sri Ramana has written a text called “Nan Yar” (Who am I) where he elaborates about that. It can be found for free on-line.

      Sri Ramana starts with what we are not; we are not this body, this mind, nor any feeling or sensation. So what is left? That’s what we truly are. It is the sense of existing (I am) without a thought or as a thought. Before a thought possibly could rise we know we ARE. That is enlightenment, sat-chit-ananda, nirvana etc.

      Amazingly simple but also so simple that most minds have doubts or do not want to believe that. Of course a belief is not necessary since the sense of “I am” is without a thought.

      Very simple, so why is not everybody enlightened then? Because of the habits and inclinations, the likes and dislikes, also called vasanas. These vasanas are the source of all thoughts. So just to simply be what we are, Self or ‘I am’, we think “I am so-and-so”. Sri Ramana describes it as the “I” turning outwards, to all the interests and likes and dislikes of the world. So we choose, mostly unconsciously, to pay attention to the objects of the world than to that what we are. That is called maya or samsara. We do not accept the “I” or Self but give all objects around us reality by simply attending to them.

      According to Sri Ramana, this world is entirely a product of our thoughts or vasanas, it is not real and it has only seemingly reality by receiving attention from the “I”. So the “I” turning outwards in attending to all objects manifests the ego and in turning “within” in attending to Self-only the ego does not exist. That’s the paradox. So the ego is not bestowing grace on itself, it is only Self itself which IS grace. That grace is experienced in simply attending to it.

      Self is not an object, thus it cannot be grasped by the mind. The mind is only used as a reminder tool, to be what one truly is is extraordinary simple. Anybody is without knowing already doing it. So what is the problem then? Because the mind is fickle and our habit to think constantly and being fascinated by thoughts we habitually overlook Self in thinking of all kinds of things. The real gets covered up by our thoughts.

      So the effort is to be aware of upcoming thoughts, ignore those and just be aware of Self. That can only be learnt by practice, by trial and error. However it is a valid method since in simply being (without a thought) one transcends duality and also diminishes vasanas since they only get power through our attention. No/less attention –> no/less vasanas, no vasanas –> nirvana/freedom.

      So the path is also the goal, because of the strong momentum those vasanas carry, it takes some time before one is purely Self without any thoughts tainting it.

      The main thing is to be clear what “I am” is and to let go of the habit to try to grasp it with the mind. The mind is only the reminder to see that one is lost in thought processes and therefore attention needed to go back to “I am”.

      There is of course much more to it.


      1. Thanks for taking time out to explain the core of Ramana’s teaching; I’m familiar with his teachings and also that which they alludes to – the real Self.

        When I say, I’m familiar with the real Self, I mean, that it arose in/to me – all by itself. I never went searching for it, I never even knew that, it existed or even heard about it. It happened to me on a few occasions in my twenties – the first two times was the same ‘experience’ (I use the word hesitantly, as it’s not an experience but rather a being of it), the best way that it could be described is being in a dimensionless/empty space, empty of every attribute, a nothingness, a complete and utter void – and knowing without a shadow of doubt that it, is you. Furthermore, you know that you were never born, can never die and that there is ONLY you. It was at this time, that my sense of my everyday me re-arose, when it saw that there is the ONLY, at this point the greatest fear possible arose in a blind panic, it/i could not handle being ALONE. And in that panic the world and the ego as I am came back into this imagined being to experience otherness once again.

        Because it arose spontaneously and unexpectedly, I who am typing this, lived in fear of the onlyness coming back and dreading the moment it did, but thankfully it never came again (at least as emptiness).

        It was only decades later, that I chanced upon the non-dual teachings and realised that – it was those ‘experiences’ I had that they were alluding to. This began my journey as a seeker, to seek to induce that which happened by chance to me and terrified me all those years ago.

        In the subsequent years, I’ve looked at the teaching’s of various teachers – both contemporary or historical ones, but no one has been able to show me how to find or induce that state of unity, I experienced. The reason? Because, (as my last teacher pointed out), I am already that – that emptiness void/self is here right now, it’s just covered up by false imaginings that I am the experienced. That’s all. This ended my search, the realisation that I can’t find what I’m looking for, because I’m already that, I was never the other or hidden – I am here right now.

        So if I look at it from the point of view of my egoic self, then yes I went on a seekers journey, but if I look at it from the perspective of myself as I really am – I have never gone anywhere, I’ve always been here and now. Identification with an object of an experience, and calling it oneself, never changes the subject/experiencer one iota. It’s just overlaying false imaginings on the reality or substrate of the Self, a bit like seeing faces in clouds.

        So why is it that there is no method? Simple, really, you CANNOT find yourself, because you are already THAT. All methods and teachings that exists are simply pointers to make you realise this, so that you can drop all that you are not and was – you were always home, you never left.

        This realisation has to arise in the seeker themselves; the seeker itself is just an imagining, it cannot do didly squat. It appears to be doing something, some seeking, this or that – but it’s NOT even a little self.

        We’re probably talking of the same thing, where there appears to be differences is the interpretation of the experienced, the maya – which is the false anyway – so what does it matter?

        Now coming back to Robert Adams – irrespective, of his alleged character and relative shortcomings, I know that what he talked about was from a point of realisation of the facts I alluded to above, because what he described in words has been my direct experience. He could have learned it from books and just been parroting, but I’ve got no way to confirm what his experience was from his relative perspective – neither do I care. All I know, is that that alluded to truth, resonates here too, to the same self, the Self of all.
        If we are truly interested only in coming to self-realisation, then why waste time looking at other’s shortcoming and instead use the time to understand ourselves, by what ever means we deem necessary or fit. Just like Robert Adam used to often say – leave others alone 🙂 Peace.


  81. Be careful to believe to be Self-realized, you are very likely not. I.e. are you aware in deep sleep {dreamless sleep) or do you lose body consciousness and then awake in the morning as you have always done since birth. If the latter is the case then you are not Self-realized.

    You just had, as so many like you, some subtle mind experiences and you confuse that with enlightenment. Do you have any thoughts (when not reading)? If yes you are not self-realized.

    I have heard people talk like you (in your last comment) so many times, every time it turned out they were deluding themselves.

    Don’t fall into the trap like Tolle and others, do atma-vichara until your individuality is gone for good.


    1. Thanks for the reminder! I most certainly am not self-realised; I have no such grand delusions. The point is that, I’m no longer seeking; which is good enough for now and I’m contend and satisfied. As for the rest: what will be, will be, que sera, sera! And what is, always is, que sera sera; indeed!

      You’ve raised a couple of interesting points, about awareness in deep sleep and thoughts when not reading … these seem to be good tests, at least at the surface level; I’ll contemplate them more and see what is the case and let you know.

      Maybe we can discuss these without clogging up the BTL here, unless other’s on the thread would also find them useful.


  82. What does that mean “you are not seeking” anymore? Because you had a subtle mind experience you believe you are done? Of course not. The notion to seek is itself false, but as long as one is identifying with the body, a huge obstacle to Self-realization, as long you are as good or bad as you were born.

    Without atma-vichara you’ll not realize Self. That must be clear. Whatever you’ve glimpsed is truly irrelevant, what is only relevant is manonasa or nirvana. Everything else is just a procrastination of the mind.

    I am also not in the need to discuss any concepts with you. You started this dialog under false pretenses in posing questions to me which turned out to be only a test since you claimed later to be fully aware of Sri Ramana’s teachings. But looking at your comment like “surface level” shows that you have only superficial knowledge of Bhagavan’s teaching and my comment of being aware through deep sleep certainly does not need your gracious contemplation 😀

    Good luck.


    1. Thanks for your response. I’ll be more direct this time and and avoid leaving room for any ambiguity:

      “What does that mean “you are not seeking” anymore? Because you had a subtle mind experience you believe you are done?”

      It means simply that: I am not seeking to become self-realised any more. I started out on the journey to find self-realisation and I failed. As I pointed out, my ‘subtle mind experiences’ was the start of the journey not the end; I’m not deluded enough to think that those experiences were of self-realisation; no. The reason that I’m not seeking any more is that, I have come to the conclusion that there’s nothing that I can do to make myself self realised. And that the accumulation of knowledge can not lead to self-realisation. This does not mean that, I’ve foregone the acquisition of all knowledge; no, just knowledge that I thought would lead me to self-realisation. Those experiences that you are so dismissive of where the closest I came to seeing the bigger picture – albeit a very tiny portion of it. Even that small portion is enough for me; I have settled for that. This has given me satisfaction, a satisfaction that was lacking from when I was ‘seeking’ self-realisation. Yes, it might not last long, or I might start seeking again – who knows; but that would be fine too.

      “Without atma-vichara you’ll not realize Self “
      This is a big claim you’re making – other’s on different paths to yourself are equally convinced that their path is the only path to self-realisation. Ramana maharishi, himself also talked about the path of bhakti (devotion) or surrender, with high regard – they are all one and (with added grace) lead to the same destination. The assertion that I’m making – that led me to give up seeking – is that it is ONLY by grace.

      “I am also not in the need to discuss any concepts with you”
      Oh my, what can I say? I’ll stop, no more discussion after this.

      “You started this dialog under false pretences… “
      You’re jumping the gun here a bit. I guess I must have triggered your ego by describing the test you proposed around awareness in deep sleep as ‘ … at least at the surface level’. The truth is I’m genuinely interested in discussing my personal experiences around this, and overall agree with your assertion that if you’re not aware of the self, through each of the major states of mind (awake, dream, deep sleep (there’s also turiya, but let’s leave that, as you did not mention it)), then that’s a good indicator of non-self-realisation. In my personal experience, there have been times where I’ve been conscious of transitioning from the awaking state, to dream state into the deep-sleep state – but these have been rare occasions. Do I think this makes me self-realised? No.

      “…you have only superficial knowledge of Bhagavan’s teaching”


      “Good luck”

      Thank you, I hope you meant it.


      1. I said you have superficial knowledge because that “test” is not from me but it’s part of the teachings of Sri Ramana.
        And yes, atma-vichara is the ONLY method leading to Self-realization. And again, since you are doubting that shows that your knowledge of Sri Ramana’s teaching is only superficial. It’s also funny that you throw in a term like turiya just to show how knowledgeable you are. Turiya is just another name for Self, Brahman, “I am”, etc. But thinking “turiya” or rather abiding in it (without thought) is a totally different story.
        And of course there is bhakti, but bhakhi is atma-vichara, there is no atma-vichara without bhakti and no bhakti without atma-vichara. To realize Self “Supreme Devotion” is necessary. Supreme Devotion is to attend to Self only and nothing else. That means there is only awareness of Self and no awareness of any objects.

        The reason why atma-vichara is the only method is because it’s the only method which transcends duality, all other methods are a subject-object relationship, i.e. Kriya Yoga where breath is used and there is the imagination of energy flowing up the spine, or Vipassana where where the subject ego/mind “observes” the object phenomena. A subject-object relationship is duality. Any practice in duality cannot transcend it.

        So no matter what technique anybody uses, Dzogchen, Zen, Contemplation, etc. in the end they will end up with atma-vichara, however it is usually not acknowledged by these traditions.

        I said that I am not interested in discussing concepts because I actually stopped seeking (without just announcing it but not actually meaning it) so there is no need. Also, before you admit that you only have half-baked knowledge any further dialog is a waste of time. Because your mind is not actually open for the truth since it is filled with a lot of confused and half-baked concepts.


      2. Thanks for taking the trouble to respond; but it really was unnecessary.

        “It’s also funny that you throw in a term like turiya just to show how knowledgeable you are”
        I mentioned it for the sake of completeness of the states, not to prove anything else. This clearly shows me how your mind is projecting – because you think like that, you assume that others also think like you. It’s a bit childish.

        “I actually stopped seeking (without just announcing it but not actually meaning it)”

        You’re having a laugh ain’t you?

        Your actions are and comments are more reflective of someone who’s bitter about the fruitlessness of all their accumulated knowledge and who reacts by putting other downs in order to just maybe, feel a little better about themselves and their failure.

        The bottom line is, that even with all the ‘correct’ knowledge you claim to have, my gut feeling tells me you’re no closer to the truth than the average ignorant Joe on the street. I hope I’m wrong. And If I’m wrong and you are actually self-realised, then fuck self-realisation, if that turns one into some like you.


    1. Oh….

      Shame you are going Bernard……

      I was enjoying locking horns with you….nice to have something to push against….it can help clarify thinking…..

      Not that clear thinking is of any value….

      Given that it only pertains to…..

      THE EGO………..!

      Om Shanti……

      PS I am not Jim Leff by the way…..I was Red much earlier in this blog post in which guise i also posted that Suri Nagamma’s letter….


      1. I’m sure he’ll be back – egos like that, just can’t resist a chance to prove how much they really know. Hope he proves me wrong and stays true to his word.

        Putting aside his method of delivery, he did make some good points that are worth evaluating. I’ll revisit them at leisure to see what lessons can be learned, and be mindful not to throw the baby out with the bathwater, so to speak.


      2. Maybe he made a few good points…..

        But i found it hard to see beyond his method of delivery….

        My sense is that it is less important what you say than how you say it….

        Poonja…not a teacher Bernard particularly admired…said: that you can recognise the genuineness of a teacher by the quality of the silence and peace you feel around them…..

        And by that measure Bernard is not someone i would look to for guidance…..

        Others of course may well feel differently….

        Om Shanti……


  83. Ramana Maharshi is a founder of Neo-Advaita Vedanta and the satsang movement,
    In 1939-49, Ramana Maharshi and his brother built up a very expensive Matrubuteswarta Temple – God in the form of their Mother in the middle of Ramanashram, this Temple was divided into parts; Ramana Maharshi’s Temple Hall built also as a future Ramana Maharshi’s Samadhi tomb (vis., Ramana’s last Will, online) and the second part as Ramana’s Mother Samadhi Shine. (She died in 1922, Ramana died in 1950). The following article showed Ramana Maharshi’s Temple Hall and Ramana’s statue between two Hindu Gods on the roof of the Temple. Ramana designed his on statue and it looks like that he suffered from the Indian God cult complex in a similar way like his false followers.

    Bay the way, in the 1950s Madras higher court declared that The Mother’s Temple in Ramanashram is only a mausoleum. (online)


  84. Hello- I thought I’d post a reaction to this article on Robert. I’m also an oldie but goodie seeker, and had contact with the many teachers mentioned. Robert’s book does seem to have a power, in my experience, but does that demonstrate that Robert was “enlightened”- hard to say what it implies about Robert’s spiritual status. I never met Robert, but have met several people who have- including Pamela Wilson and some friends. Yes, he did proposition women, and according to his old student Ed, had affairs. But it was sad to learn from your interview that he was so un-trustworthy also, and a wheeler-dealer of sorts. Whether he met Ramana or not is hard to prove, but I think for sure he imbibed Raman’s teachings deeply. Though a big question that comes up time and time again, how can teachers so high sink so low, character-wise. Practically every teacher, that has been a disciple of a “great master” like Ramana, has failed the celibacy test, as well as the honesty test. That is just an indisputable fact I’m sure we can all agree upon. I observe that although character counts, spiritual advancement can still proceed in the context of a teacher’s moral imperfections, character flaws, and even psychopathology, e.g. personality disorders. And just so, we can also still be nourished by the enlightened teaching, and even presence of out less than perfect teachers-and I think that’s a fact also.


    1. maxinkramer, you say that “although character counts, spiritual advancement can still proceed in the context of a teacher’s moral imperfections”.

      I suppose many share that opinion but it’s not correct. The question is “whose character”? So we are talking about the ego. The ego and its character is a figment of imagination as is “spiritual advancement”. There is no spiritual advancement. It’s an ego-game. Only the ego assumes advancement and therefore deludes itself. It experiences certain things which it interprets as “better” or “more grounded” or more “peaceful” and it proudly feels advanced. That’s a fallacy.

      Any “change” or advancement of the ego is part of samsara (there will never be a perfect ego). Only the annihilation of the ego is of interest. The annihilation of any “individuality” or “character” or of the idea of an entity what would be all peaceful, gracious, benevolent, wise etc. That entity doesn’t exist. It’s one of the crucial misunderstandings of beginners on a path.

      Self does not change. It cannot be attained or “advanced to”. There is no advancement from the ego to Self. It’s impossible and will never occur. That must be truly clear. The imagination of being a body and mind has to die for good and since for most the body and mind feels pretty real the “death” of the ego will feel like a “real” death too. So the ego likes rather to believe it “progresses” and gets better than to freak out of getting annihilated. It will try to survive at any cost and the mind is very clever to keep the ego alive in make belief of concepts like “advancement” and other favorite concepts. All of these concepts are diversions from Self.


  85. Anonymous, when Poonja described the “genuineness” of a teacher he was talking about sages, thus someone being Self-realized. It is my opinion that only a sage can be a true teacher since anybody else is tainted by his ego. Thus I am not a teacher and do not want to be a teacher. Nonetheless I like to share my viewpoints of the matter. It can be taken or not, I do not really care.

    It is said that one could “feel” peace in the presence of a sage. According to reports some people felt peace in the presence of Sri Ramana, but many didn’t feel anything. So then Sri Ramana must have not been a genuine teacher for most according to Poonja’s assessment 🙂

    “Who” feels peace? That goes along with my previous comment to maximkramer. Anything what the ego “feels” is an imagination of its mind. Thus peace is not something “coming” from a sage. True peace is Self and when the ego has subsided quite a bit that Self seems to be more prevalent than with those where the ego is quite active. Thus any peace is Self. We are Self, the same Self as the Self of the sage whose body our mind projects.

    How could peace “come” from somewhere else?


    1. “It is my opinion that only a sage can be a true teacher since anybody else is tainted by his ego”

      Agree with this line.

      One who’s not realised is not capable of telling who’s a sage or not; so what is one to do, other than perhaps wait for grace or the sage to find you?

      You said in the earlier post: “There is no advancement from the ego to Self” – Every attempt to realise the self – since every attempt is by the ego – will result in failure; so what’s one to do? If it’s to give-up, then how can one that doesn’t exist (other than as an idea in the mind) and thus bereft of free-will to do anything to give-up? One is truly up the creek without a paddle here.

      If one investigates the activity of one’s mind, then everything that is experienced is the Not-Self, including the idea that there’s someone here investigating. If you turn the other way and look at the one to whom ALL experience is coming to; there’s nothing – just a vast impenetrable emptiness, in which forms and ideas come and go. You can’t engage it, because it doesn’t talk; it’s silent and mute. If you then ask, is that really me, you realise it’s the mind (the experience) talking, and not the empty experiencer; the silent one. I tell you it’s futile.


      1. Anonymous, no it’s not futile. In order to know so one needs to be quite familiar with Sri Ramana’s teachings and especially atma-vichara.

        The problem for most is that they always see everything from the viewpoint of the mind/ego. That habit needs to change. That’s where atma-vichara comes into play.

        You say when you turn the other way (as in atma-vichara) “there’s nothing, just a vast impenetrable emptiness”.

        That’s the perception and judgment of the mind and, as all perceptions and judgments, it is false. The mind sees emptiness or “nothing” because it exists only in attaching to objects which are “there” and “something”, even nothingness is there and something. So when there are the first attempts to BE, to turn within, to “I am” it gets uncomfortable since it senses it goes into territory beyond its existence. That creates all kind of resistances in various forms.

        Self is not nothing or emptiness, it is not an object and it can’t be perceived or grasped by the mind. Thus, since the mind perceives no objects (atma-vichara) it comes to the conclusion of emptiness or nothingness. But that’s not Self. Why? Because there is no judgment or perception of anything in Self, only the mind does that. Since there is an observation, the mind still exists and one has to ask, “who perceives emptiness?” to snap out of that subtle or not so subtle thought and just BE without any judgments or perceptions. Self is extremely subtle, the mind will and can never perceive it. That’s the mistake most do when they attempt atma-vichara.

        Self exists intrinsically and there is no observer or “noticer” of Self, that would be still the mind and delusion. Also you can only BE Self or perceive objects (including nothingness), they are mutually exclusive.

        Now Self will not appear that easily, the mind carries a huge momentum of thoughts like ‘I am a body” which only loses force or energy by repeatedly being ‘I am” which reduces that momentum.

        Anyway, to give up and declare it is futile is just a defense mechanism of the mind and anybody who is following Sri Ramana’s path is or will be going through this phase. You’ll snap out of it eventually.

        “Giving up” is just a thought; one could call it also “surrender”. But for the mind it’s just a fake “giving up” because it cannot give up. It cannot give up its addiction to attach to objects. Because that very fact gives it its existence. So any action or imagined non-action by the mind sustains it and defies Self.

        True surrender is the same as atma-vichara, the mind giving up attaching to ANY object (thoughts are objects too) no matter how subtle it is (like perceptions of light) and let Self BE. Since the mind only exists in and because of its attachment to objects true surrender will be simultaneously the annihilation of the mind or manonasa, freedom or nirvana.

        Also the mind is not “doing” atma-vichara since atma-vichara itself is Self. “I am” is without thoughts or mind. The mind just likes to quickly chime in at any time and either complains, “There is nothing”, or praises, “wow, I just glimpsed Self”. Both are rubbish as anything by the mind.


      2. Thanks for your considered response; there’s much to delve into and try to understand. Appreciate your effort and advise. All the best.


  86. I am glad that some of it may be of service.

    There is one positive note in all of this and that is that people like us, those who frequent forums like this and generally are interested in spirituality, have their head in the Tiger’s mouth and it will be bitten off. When is irrelevant since time exists only for the mind/ego. It could be in a second or in a Million years. For Self there is no difference. One of the clues for Self or “I am” is that it only exists in the presence and not in the past or future.

    Try to think about the presence. It is impossible. That is a pointer to Self.


  87. Anonymous, just a few more clarifications to some of your statements: You mentioned “impenetrable emptiness” and “You can’t engage it, because it doesn’t talk; it’s silent and mute. If you then ask, is that really me, you realise it’s the mind (the experience) talking, and not the empty experiencer; the silent one.”

    Those two points by you show that you are not properly doing atma-vichara. Now I do not know if you even attempt to do so but according to your comment that could be the case.

    Firstly, who or what would “penetrate” emptiness? That could be only an effort, an action of the mind, but any action of the mind is an imagination. In order to BE “I am” no action of the mind is needed. The trap is the expectation (what is another thought) of anything to happen and if nothing happens (whatever that should be) frustration will set in.

    Also, atma-vichara is NOT asking “is that really me” or any question. “Who am I” is not atma-vichara, that question is only an aid which can be used occasionally if properly understood. Atma-vichara is not the investigation of the mind or ego, because the mind/ego is a bunch of thoughts. Trying to investigate thoughts is false and not atma-vichara. When Sri Ramana talked about investigating he talked about the FIRST thought “I” what is the sense of existing. Nothing else.

    By now many here have a conceptual idea what we really are, Self or Brahman, but how do we know this experimentally? As I said before, it is extremely simple; it is the sense of existence. We know that we exist BEFORE even a thought arises: That sense of existence is Self. It is always there but overlooked.

    So in order to do properly atma-vichara one has to get more familiar with that sense of existence. It is action-less and thought-less being. Anybody IS that at any time, but it’s overlooked because of the mind whose very existence covers that being. Also since it is action and thought-less being no action or thought could/would reach it.

    So you want that the “empty experiencer, the silent one” talks. That is a false expectation and understanding. Self doesn’t talk! Self does not experience anything. Because an experience transpires only in duality, Self is beyond duality. There are also not two selves, one what is silent and the other one who wants to listen to the silent one.

    The mind creeps in constantly and in the beginning of atma-vichara one will learn to be aware more of the countless way the mind/thoughts are interfering with the simple sense of existing/being. We are so identified with thoughts and thought processes that we have lost/forgotten Self, and yet it is right there.

    My suggestion is to get more clarity about that “sense of existing”. Most habitually will use their mind to do that and already one has set foot into the many traps. It does NOT need any effort! Effort is mind. There is an effort but that effort is noticing that a thought or thought process has taken over that simple sense of being and with that recognition to snap out of it. Here one could ask “Who is having that thought?” – that question is not geared to get an answer (only the ego would answer anyway) but to stop the mind of the current thinking process and lead it back to “I am”.

    So atma-vichara is without mind and the mind is only used as a recognition tool when inevitably the mind is obscuring atma-vichara and so mind recognizes its own thought-action and after that recognition returns to [thought-less] “I am”.
    That can only be learned by practical trial and error.


  88. Another clue to Self what has helped me a lot: It does not change! It is always the same subtle quality. So anything perceived will inevitable change and that is not (cannot be) Self (but mind).
    So realization is a non-event, nothing will change just the relief to be not anymore caught up in thoughts. Stories of bliss are not Self either but subtle experiences of the mind.

    Again, Self is always the same, it never changes.


    1. I’m ever so grateful Bernard, for you taking time to point out the mistakes and pitfalls I’m prey to. It’s so obvious that I’ve fallen into them, once you’ve pointed them out.

      I’ll take time to reflect and contemplate all you’ve pointed out and clarified and see what further questions or misunderstandings I require further clarification on.

      Many thanks and much appreciation.


  89. Sounds good and don’t feel bad, I suppose anybody who is seriously going down that path makes/has similar experiences.


  90. One more comment re. ’emptiness’. Ed Muzika (and others) was/is obsessed about it complaining to have been stuck in that void for many, many years until he came out of it “feeling” his energy (and love) again etc.

    Experiences of emptiness and/or a void is quite common for practitioners. I had a spontaneous experience of the void which was terrifying for the mind since there was nothing for the mind to cling at. Since the mind “exists” in clinging to objects a void or vacuum of sorts must be terrifying.

    Of course all of these experiences are by the mind as are any experiences or perceptions. Thus they are not important and the best is to leave them alone and pay as less attention to it as one can muster.

    What is the problem here? The problem is, and that is the cause of any “problem”, that instead to attend to Self, that ‘sense of existence’ one attends instead to phenomena like ’emptiness’ or something else. The tendency to be distracted by these phenomena (or anything else) is quite strong. As soon as one notices that distraction one needs to revert back the attention to Self.

    Some say one need “to see through this”. That is nonsense. What could see through something but the mind only? That’s like pouring gasoline on a fire. The mind cannot truly see through anything, it’s the delusion that the mind could conceptually understand, it never will! It can only be partial and subsequently flawed understanding.

    Muzika’s solution of “feeling” is a mistake too, feelings are perceptions of one (or more) of the sheaths of the ego and they can be miraculous (if very subtle) like with angelic visions, heavenly sounds etc. Alas all of that is also a diversion of Self and misleading. One can, as is the case with Muzika, spend decades “exploring” these realms believing to be enlightened and rave about the fantastic experiences of love and what not. It is a trap.

    My suspicion is that all of these “teachers” and others who talk about these things above have no clue whatsoever about Self and how to attend to it. And I am not talking about realization, just how, and anybody can figure that out with some practice, to BE and attend to Self. If that is truly known then automatically all of that nonsense of emptiness and feelings and what not is recognized as false and one cannot be misled, impossible. That’s why Sri Ramana’s path of atma-vichara is simultaneously extremely simple and profound and the safest and quickest path to Self-realization.


    1. Hi Bernard, thanks for the additional commentary on emptiness, as well as your other comments and pointers. I’ve added a few comments and questions in line with yours and would be grateful on your understanding/perspective of them – especially in regard to any misconceived ideas or notions I may be holding on to unknowingly.

      “I had a spontaneous experience of the void which was terrifying for the mind since there was nothing for the mind to cling at”

      Alas having to use language to describe the indescribable the best we can, would you say that the experience of the void is the same as the experience of Nirvikalpa samadhi or is there a difference, and if so, what are the differences?

      “Of course, all of these experiences are by the mind as are any experiences or perceptions”

      My mind is clutching at straws of concepts trying to wrap it’s understanding around this – but I must ask:
      It is said that the Self is already the Self in us, whole and complete and it’s only the illusion of separation created by the mind, that makes us think we’re not the Self – does that mean that the Self also experiences appearances and perceptions, but it, just doesn’t have a sense of an individuated I? or is the Self totally experience-less or, experiences something completely different to what human beings experience. Another way of putting this would be: is knowledge of the Self and experiences mutually exclusive, or can there be experiences AND knowledge of the Self?

      “The problem is, and that is the cause of any “problem”, that instead to attend to Self, that ‘sense of existence’ one attends instead to phenomena like ’emptiness’ or something else”

      I think and feel that what you describe as a ‘sense of existence’ is a very great truth (I just cannot explain why), it’s so obvious, so mysterious, so subtle, and completely undefinable all at the same time.

      How does one attend to the sense of existence? All it takes is a casual glance and by the mere action of taking that glance, existence is validated as true. I’m assuming there’s more than validation of existence that you’re actually alluding to. Existence and the Self are one and the same, or is there a difference?

      “The mind cannot truly see through anything, it’s the delusion that the mind could conceptually understand, it never will! “
      I’ve haphazardly over the years have constructed a Frankenstein of a philosophy that the mind is a universal mind, and we as individuated ego’s use/experience a portion of it and call it our mind; but the universal mind experienced as a whole is the mind of God/Self and it is through the universal mind that God/Self recognises Itself – without this Mind, there is no way that Existence/God/Self can know itself. Could you please point out the errors and misconceptions here? I am sure, there are many.

      I think what’s really needed is a complete trashing of all the notions and ideas I’ve put together as conceptual tools to understand the Self; it is these very ideas that have become the obstacle to seeing things as they really are. How ironic.
      Many thanks!


      1. Alright I’ll give you my perspective to your question and I’ll answer in your style:

        You asked, “would you say that the experience of the void is the same as the experience of Nirvikalpa samadhi or is there a difference, and if so, what are the differences?”

        There are similarities but ontologically it’s quite different. It depends also how people define “void”, some people may have a different idea what that means or is. A void is experienced by the mind, it is perceiving it, and as in my case, the mind was terrified, thus it was a simple mind experience. Nothing special except it is usually not experienced by most. As I said – to be discarded.
        Samadhi is an “experience” of [pure] Self, the mind gets absorbed in Self and is temporary gone. I’ve put experience in exclamation marks because there is not really anything what experiences Self (the only experiencer is the mind). Self is Self. In Samadhi the breath stops, all perceptions of the environment is gone and the body freezes so to speak. That the body freezes is only observed by bystanders since Self is not aware of the body (as an object).
        However, samadhis like nirvikalpa samadhis are attained by the effort of the mind via yogic practices like pranayama etc. They are only temporary since even though the mind gets immersed, it does not get killed (according to Sri Ramana). Thus eventually that state of samadhi stops and mind reappears and things are like they were before. Sri Ramana actually defines these samadhis as laya since they really do nothing for realization or manonasa, the annihilation of mind. That is the case with all subject-object related practices, they attain a subtle stage but cannot really transcend duality and kill the mind.
        A yogi can enter a Million times nirvikalpa samadhi and yet is not a iota closer to realization. Thus, contrary to what many pundits say, according to Sri Ramana, nirvikalpa samadhi is not a desirable state. What we need to aim for is sahaja samadhi or the natural state. There the mind is gone for good. That is accomplished with atma-vichara.
        Sri Muruganar, who is considered as the foremost disciple of Sri Ramana praised Ramana “you have given me realization without even one experience of nirvikalpa samadhi.”

        You said, “It is said that the Self is already the Self in us, whole and complete and it’s only the illusion of separation created by the mind, that makes us think we’re not the Self – does that mean that the Self also experiences appearances and perceptions, but it, just doesn’t have a sense of an individuated I? or is the Self totally experience-less or, experiences something completely different to what human beings experience. Another way of putting this would be: is knowledge of the Self and experiences mutually exclusive, or can there be experiences AND knowledge of the Self?”

        Self does not experience anything, that would imply that there is something else than Self. Only the mind assumes that there are other things, that’s why the mind is bound. When Sri Ramana was asked those kind of questions (and I suppose he got them a lot) he often asked back, “who wants to know?”. And the reason why he asked that question is that this question is only relevant for the mind/ego, for Self it would never come up. These questions are asked because of the many doubts the mind has. Ego/mind equals doubt. And those doubts will never stop until the mind is dead. Thus Sri Ramana preferred to reduce his answers because he knew no matter what he would answer, the mind/ego won’t be satisfied and still have doubts. The only solution is atma-vichara, curbing thoughts and ultimately annihilating the mind and then there will be never a question or doubt again.

        You said, “I think and feel that what you describe as a ‘sense of existence’ is a very great truth (I just cannot explain why), it’s so obvious, so mysterious, so subtle, and completely undefinable all at the same time.
        How does one attend to the sense of existence? All it takes is a casual glance and by the mere action of taking that glance, existence is validated as true. I’m assuming there’s more than validation of existence that you’re actually alluding to. Existence and the Self are one and the same, or is there a difference?”

        It is only mysterious for the mind, and since we believe “I am this body and mind” Self IS mysterious. However it is extremely simple (as I said before) so simple that the mind won’t believe it (at first). My mind was suspicious and doubtful at first too, but the continued “holding” of “I am” gave me more clarity and finally unshakable conviction. That is of course not realization by a long shot, there are too many habits of ours lurking in the subconscious which prevent seemingly realization.
        Sri Ramana was often asked the same question, “how does one attend to the sense of existence?”
        And what did he answer? “How can I tell you about your own home?” Even Sri Ramana could not describe it since it is not an object like space what the mind could grasp or imagine. That’s why pointers are used which give clues. Sometimes Sri Ramana described that “sense of existence” or Self as a “current”. The problem is that many misunderstood it since the mind immediately imagined it as an object like possibly Kundalini “current” or something else what is of course not the case.
        I believe that it has something to do with grace if somebody “gets it” or not, a sincere desire to truly know. With “gets it” I do not mean realization, just the non-conceptual knowledge of what is Self. The mind doesn’t really know much, all true inspiration (of all great artists and inventors) comes and came in [mental] silence (or Self).
        Another clue, the less mental activity the better, the mind has to “stop” (without trying to stop) and if done right there is a sense of relaxation since the grip of the mind with its constant worries and concerns has briefly stopped or subsided. It’s like dropping thought and simultaneously there is still the knowledge and awareness to exist. That’s it.
        Again, it is a trial and error process. Nobody can do that for you.


      2. Eternally grateful to you Bernard for providing you invaluable insights and perspective and for taking time out to provide such thorough, descriptive and honest answers; I’m forever indebted. I wish the grace and generosity you have shown fall’s upon you too and forever removes any obstacles in your path; amen!


  91. In order to be aware of Self a samadhi-like experience is not “required”. I said that samadhi is an experience of “pure” Self contrary to the Self anybody can and is accessing at any time. The “purity” of Self in samadhi is because not only there is no thought but also no perception of the phenomenal world.
    Anybody can be aware of Self, the requirement is the lack of a thought, even for just a second or two. So one can be aware of Self even it is contaminated with phenomena. According to Sri Ramana our thoughts create the phenomenal world, it is a projection of the seed-like vasanas on/within Self which reflect Self into the appearance of the phenomenal world including other people.

    The default is Self, without Self there would be no person or phenomena in general. However without an ego/mind there is still Self. That’s why there is no need to find Self. It exists before even an ego can rise and say, “I am this ego and I suffer and I want to be free.” With its rising it simultaneously creates and perceives the world and creates the delusion of being bound and the apparent need to become free. Self is not affected and not even aware of this process.
    Sri Ramana said the ego/mind is like the silk of a spider which is spun and just needs to be returned where it came from. The ego/mind seemingly rises from Self (and creates the world with all its concepts) and all what is needed is that ego/mind returns where it came from.
    According to Sri Ramana in deep dream-less sleep we are [pure] Self, it is similar like samadhi but also only laya since the mind rises from that deep sleep when dreaming or waking up. Now there is another clue about the nature of Self and that it can be found between two thoughts or even better, in the twilight state between waking up and going to sleep.
    In the morning, just after waking up but before the “I” has risen there is a brief state which is Self. Same at the moment just before falling asleep. That is only mentioned as a pointer to try to become aware of that and then one knows how to BE that during the day.


    1. Annamalai Swami had been a typical example of the exploitation and the bullying of lower cast servants in Ramanashram by Ramana Maharshi and his brother:

      Annamalai Swami had been a servant and an unpaid construction worker in Ramanashram 1928-38: He recorded following beating event from Ramana:
      Once I was about to construct some steps when Ramana Maharshi-Bhagavan came and hit me three times. I had been asked to repair some dilapidated steps behind the Dining Hall. In those days money and materials were scarce. I asked Ramaswami Pillai to get three or four measures of cement. Now, in Tamiḷ, the word ‘padi’ stands for both ‘measure’ as well as for ‘steps’. Bhagavan asked me, “How many padis?” meaning how many steps I was constructing. I thought he wanted to know how many measures of cement I was ordering. Bhagavan gave me a playful slap and said, “I’m asking about one padi, and you are answering about another.”, translation here, with other bullying stories,


    2. Thanks again for the additional insights that you’ve provided. Everything you’ve said intuitively resonates with me, though I can’t articulate why completely (some points match with own experiences and other points clarified questions that I’ve not been able to work out and was stuck on; or removed misunderstandings I was oblivious of, but obviously flawed once you pointed them out). You’ve in a way shown the milestones and pitfalls that any genuine seeker is likely to encounter on their own journey. I’m sure this will be useful to other sellers besides me.

      The key things that have stood out from what you have imparted – for me at least – are that any experiences irrespective of how wonderful or deep they may appear, as long as there is someone there to experience it, cannot be, nor is it, self realisation. With a clearer understanding of this, its become much easier to drop whatever notion the mind presents as an understanding of Self at the onset. Most of my problems were related to trying to understand the Self, so now, though there still is no understanding, there is also no frustration either that would have come if I did allow the mind to take me down it’s futile route. The funny thing is that understanding or insights do come, but not because of attempts to understand.

      Secondly, that Sri Ramana’s teaching are indeed the clearest and most direct, cutting out much of the unnecessary mystical clutter and explaining the path to Self – if understood correctly and not viewed through the prism of your expectations or misconceived notions. I’m revisiting the 40 verses again, with a fresh outlook and somewhat lesser cluttered mind and hopefully there’ll be understanding closer to how Ramana intended his teachings to be understood.

      Another thing that’s hit home is: actually all I really have been doing lately is just letting go of notions and beliefs I had acquired – mostly from teachings or misunderstandings of teachings from the start of my spiritual journey. Letting go is easier when you see the flaws and faults in your beliefs clearly – like the snake and rope, on a smaller scale. I’m becoming more comfortable with not knowing. There is still an expectation and desire to awaken to the truth, but it’s more fleeting and passes quickly, when I reflect that, I am already that, so what does it matter if it takes a little or a lot longer. The Self will awaken, It can’t remain in ignorance forever Now that the genie is out of the bottle, there’s no putting it back.

      Many thanks for all your help, pointers, clarifications and your perspective.


  92. It is not wrong to have the desire to be enlightened. Anybody seeks happiness, most just look at the wrong places. It goes to those extremes that people use drugs like cocaine to get that happiness. It is just good to keep in mind that not the ego/mind gets enlightened. There is also no reason to be afraid (ego –> annihilated) alas the ego is not listening to that sage advice 🙂

    I am glad to hear that you like Sri Ramana’s teachings. My suggestion would be to drop all other teachers/sages, even those who are similar like Nisargadatta Maharaj, and just study texts from Bhagavan. My favorite companion (still) is Guru Vachaka Kovai, the version edited by David Godman. But read where your interest leads you.

    This path cannot be forced. It has to be calm, deliberate, gentle and patient. Too bad that there is so much bad advice out there like i.e. by Poonja (that’s from his book “Fire of Freedom) who said that the vasanas or our habits are not really that bad. He told an example where somebody wrote something on the wet sand at a beach. That represented our vasanas, after that who wrote these words wiped out all of it in one swoop. That’s how easy it is to annihilate vasanas (which are the cause of the ego) says Poonja.

    It is very irresponsible to say something like that especially for someone many consider to be enlightened. Now what Poonja implied was that the vasanas are not real and a figment of imagination. And that is of course true. Since they are a figment it seems it is easy to get rid of them. And only our “belief” is the obstacle. That’s true and yet not realistic since a deep-seated belief is NOT swooped away in one stroke, that is nonsense and is not accurately describing our situation.

    Furthermore some may feel inferior since contrary to the uttering of the “great” sage, they cannot drop that belief. How many got enlightened (after visiting Poonja or have read his nonsense) in an instant dropping “the” belief? Zero, zilch, it’s not happening and it is very bad advice to say something like that since it creates confusion in a seeker.

    Now one could surmise that those who get attracted by these false teachers need to go through that experience as a necessary step to enlightenment. I tend to agree with that assessment as long as one knows that this is also samsara.

    In all reality it takes many life-times to get enlightened and I am talking from the first time the desire for enlightenment arises until realization. That can take dozens or even hundreds of life-times. Now it’s important to not keep thinking those kind of thoughts since they themselves create an obstacle. Rather one should not get discouraged by the slow changes but have the attitude that realization could happen at any time. Of course without holding the thought “I am going to awaken”. Thoughts are always false and need to be discarded.

    You said, “the Self will awaken”. I had to smile reading this. The Self is going to awake? There is nobody who is going to awake. Even the impostor ego is not going to awake. That would imply that there is an ego “before” and “after” awakening. Just a different [enlightened] ego afterwards.
    “Awakening” is the realization to be Self as one has been all the time. It is the evaporation of the mind/ego with the identification to be a body.

    It’s hard to drop the idea of “the ego does that and that” and that results into Self-realization. To the contrary, all of the ego’s actions are the reason for delusion and any action of the ego is sustaining that delusion. What the ego has to do is to instead of giving attention to thoughts or ideas (i.e. of the need of action) and the many objects of this world it needs to give attention to “I am” only.

    It’s ‘I am” and not “I am getting enlightened” or “I am meditating” or “I am doing karma yoga” etc.


    1. Hi Bernard…..

      Hope you are well……

      Just wondering about this person you are now dialoguing with…..

      He/she sounds suspiciously like you…..?

      Same kinds of phrases…..?

      Similar grammatical errors…..?

      Am i wrong…..?

      Om Shanti….


      1. Hi Anonymous, I’m the other Anonymous in discussion with Bernard in the comments above and it’s most certainly not Bernard pretending to having a dialogue with some one as you’re assuming.

        I’m same as the Allotmentwala from the above comments. I forgot my WordPress password, so been posting anonymously.

        All the best.


  93. Fair enough Allotmentwala…..

    Sorry to be so cynical……

    Although you have certainly changed your tune…..

    In an earlier post you said:

    “I’m sure he’ll be back – egos like that, just can’t resist a chance to prove how much they really know. Hope he proves me wrong and stays true to his word”

    But hey we are all entitled to change our minds….

    Enjoy your dialogue….

    May it bring many blessings to both you and Bernard…..


    1. Thanks Anonymous, wishing you well in your journey too.

      I’ve exhausted the questions I had for the time being, so it’s back to trying to honestly integrate the answers into my understanding and as always, await for grace.

      All the best.


  94. My blessings to you Allotmentwala. I did not expect that expression of humility from you and I can only say, “good for you!”.

    To “Red”, apology not accepted.


  95. You are a fake. You not only make false assumptions but also really have believed I am mentally disturbed. Who else but someone mentally disturbed would have a fake dialog on a blog? That you even can get that idea speaks volumes about you.

    And then you apologize being “cynical” and wishes well for everybody. Not to talk about this fake “Om Shanti” all of the time. Or “may it bring many blessings to you………..” One cannot make that up.

    That’s so laughable and meaningless in your case. It’s fake like everything else from you. One of those pseudo seekers who are only in their head. Amazing what one can find on a so called “spiritual” blog.


  96. You are right Bernard: I did make a false assumption about you…..and not just any old false assumption….

    I made the assumption that you were mentally disturbed…

    For that i am very sorry……

    I accept as well that apologising for being cynical didn’t really cut it….and so understand why you didn’t accept my first apology…..

    My behaviour may or may not have been cynical….but it was more than cynicism: it was a very negative and false interpretation of you…..

    As for saying: “Om Shanti” and “may it bring many blessings to you”……after i had thought ill of you…..

    Well you are right: these phrases in that setting were inauthentic, inappropriate and as you put it: fake….


  97. To Allotmentwala: Recently a new text was published and it consists of the talks of Sri Ramana in 1936. It is quite an amazing text, IMO, since it goes into much more detail about his teachings than what you can find elsewhere and it especially goes into the detail of the practice of Self-Inquiry. I’d ignore the long foreword (unless you want to read that) and go immediately to the Q and A section.
    Sri Ramana clarifies many misconceptions about Self-Inquiry (what you can find with some prominent contemporary “teachers”) and you can find that already in the first section (page 150-160). It is huge but it’s worthwhile to slowly go through it. You can get it on Amazon and the Kindle version is for about $ 4.


    1. Hi Bernard, thanks for the recommendation. I’ve just bought the kindle version and will start reading tonight. Many thanks!


      1. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I do. It has amazing sections by Bhagavan – a treat for a devotee.

        One caveat though, the name of the guy who recorded the Q and A in 1936 is Gajapati Aiyyer and when he asks questions of Bhagavan the question will start with G. All of Bhagavan’s answers are marked with B.

        As I mentioned before, the long foreword is uninteresting and should be skipped entirely, but there are also sections between the many Q and A’s where G. (Gajapati) gives his own personal musings about several topics. Those, IMO, need to be discarded too since these musings can go into bizarre topics like how he likes Adolph Hitler and talks about Aryans and a certain prejudice to Jews in general and so on. And also his interpretation of spiritual topics are best to be ignored as should be all writings which are not by a sage.
        But that of course has no affect of the other great content as long as one can discriminate. Those musings show up randomly and it’s not too hard to recognize since you’ll see no Q and A exchange but just a long paragraph containing his opinions.

        Now all of his questions directly to Bhagavan are worthwhile to read, because mainly of Bhagavan’s answers. Also his description of the life and action in the hall around Bhagavan is fine since it does not contain his opinions.


      2. I’ve read about 100 pages and I’m thoroughly enjoying the read; thanks very much for the recommendation! A lot of the questions would be familiar to any serious seeker at some point or the other of their journey – but above all – the answers the sage gave are penetratingly incisive!

        I was thinking that I’ll write about some of the questions and answers I found especially insightful, but with every turn of the page, the next set of question/answers are even more insightful and the reading continues. One such example is the sage’s clarification around the paths of devotion and jhanna, and devotion being suitable for only those that have at least an inkling of it to begin with.

        I’ll carry on readying, and if there’s something that particularly resonates and requires clarification, I’ll be sure to post here.

        Many thanks!


  98. Sounds good. It is quite amazing that most people, including prominent teachers like Michael James, explain Self-Inquiry incorrectly and what is not understood is that Inquiry has to be done without volition. That is extremely important and a salient point. If it is done with volition it won’t work at all and would be a waste of time.
    Now how to do this without volition is tricky for the mind since anything by the mind is naturally by volition. There is the paradox since it goes beyond mind but it is truly not complicated at all. It needs just some practice since it seems so unnatural for the mind but is the most natural thing once one gets the hang of it. Thinking is perverse contrary to being without a thought.

    So most, including Michael James, imply volition like the “need to turn within by 180 degrees”, or focus or hold to “I am”, as if the mind needs to “will” itself into holding “I am”. If there is “will” involved then it is not proper Inquiry and it must fail. Many who start Inquiry automatically strain with their mind. That is the wrong direction. It is mind-less. It is also important to have no goal whatsoever including the goal of Self-realization. Because a goal implies volition.

    Luckily, the book I mentioned, stresses very clearly the non-volition part of it what cannot be found in that clarity in his other texts where non-volition is more indirectly pointed to.

    The paradox is effortless effort.


    1. I think you’re right, that understanding the effortless effort, the non-volitional practice is impossible for the mind to understand, the mind itself is the hindrance that would make such effort impossible.

      My take on it is that (and please correct me if I’ve misunderstood anything): the only thing that requires no effort whatsoever, is just the sense of amness; being; existence – it is there by default whether you like it or not. It is this that we as the mind overlook, just because of the assumed ordinariness of it. I think this is the heart referred to by the sages and it’s abidance in this without being distracted by what appears in it and to it that the sages are pointing to.

      When it is said to follow the I to its source, this is the source of the I and everything else. It is in it that all things are and arise from.

      The difficulty is abiding in this effortless, just being state (for long enough for realisation to dawn of the not I am that, but this) . Because the mind is so conditioned that it needs forms, appearances, concepts to latch on to; it can not handle the sheer nothingness/formlessness of this being; amness; existence and wanders away looking for forms – and in doing so creates illusions of forms and appearances.

      This being, amness, existence, preceeds everything, so where is the searcher of it, to do, to find it? How could it ever have been lost and for whom?

      So if it was never lost, then who is it that believes it is yet to be found – that one who believes it is yet to be found, is who must go.

      So this is where I am at in terms of conceptual understanding. I realise that it is not the truth, but just a rudimentary description of it. Please feel free to point out and comment on the mistakes and add any further pointers as you see fit.

      Many thanks.


      1. Allotmentwala, you summarized it quite good.
        One of your sentences implied volition, you said and I quote:” The difficulty is abiding in this effortless, just being state (for long enough for realisation to dawn of the not I am that, but this).”

        There is no “long enough”. It implies a certain amount of time. Time is only mind. So when we think about time we think attainment, reaching a goal. But Self cannot be reached.
        We should not presuppose the existence of the one who abides. See, no thought –> no one who abides. As soon as even the tiniest thought arises an ego is assumed too. According to Sri Ramana, proper vichara denies the existence of the ego from the very beginning. Of course not in thinking, “I am not the ego.” 🙂

        So proper vichara is done with no expectations, when the thought of difficulty arises to discard that thought too. It is not done in order to feel better or to gain some benefit, it is done for the sake of it[Self]. Because otherwise it would be for the sake of the ego, and that leads back to samsara ….
        Also when thoughts arise strongly: Under no circumstance to struggle or fight with thoughts. They will come up, they need to come up because only when they go through the fire of vichara they will perish. At certain desperate and difficult times when vichara is not possible prayer can be a temporary aid. But only when vichara or surrender seems impossible.


    2. Thanks for clarifying the point about volition in your earlier post Bernard; makes perfect sense. Thank you.

      @hs10productions, regarding the book “Guru Vachaka Kovai” you can find PDF copies at the links below:

      Not sure which of the two translation would be recommended by Bernard though…perhaps he can opine …

      1) THE GARLAND OF GURU’S SAYINGS: Translated by Prof. K. SWAMINATHAN from original in Tamil by Sri MURUGANAR:

      2) Translated from the Original Tamil by Sadhu Om and Michael James with an Introduction by David Godman:


  99. hs10productions, I too do not know what is a pain body. It is an invention by Tolle. I came across it when I read his first book. That concept didn’t resonate with me at all.
    Later and being more familiar with Sri Ramana’s teachings it is obvious that this term is confused nonsense. According to Sri Ramana, the body doesn’t say ‘I am in pain’ or “it hurts’. It is only the mind saying that and one can call it “psychological suffering”. And that is true for all diseases or ailments.
    The core problem is the mind with its habits of likes and dislikes. If the mind perceives a sensation it finds unpleasant it judges it (conditioned by long-term habit) as bad and painful. That judgment is so powerful (subconsciously) that we crave for relief and the reversal to the perception of pleasure.
    That’s where Self-Inquiry kicks in, when we ask -in the middle of rejecting that pain with thoughts- “Who is feeling pain?” the chain of thoughts get interrupted and the mind briefly moves to the source of these thoughts. The source is stillness (there are more elaborate and fancy descriptions). If the mind is not reverting back to its chain of thoughts moping about the pain, then that pain is just a sensation and no big deal.
    For the Jnani there is truly no body. So when somebody talks about a “pain body” and how to deal with that problem then he is certainly not a Jnani. A Jnani does not acknowledge the existence of a body. A Jnani does not discriminate between objects or perceptions, for him all is Self. Thus pain or pleasure are equal for him as being Self.
    Of course that is only conceptual and one should rather try to experience that than to ponder about the states of Jnanis.

    It comes always back to the antics of the mind/ego. It is the source of all problems. That’s why Self-Inquiry is so important because it will reveal that there is no mind whatsoever. One needs to surrender all likes and dislikes (= mind) and everything else. In order to realize one needs to give up everything including one’s life (the apparent life of mind).

    Liked by 1 person

  100. hs10productions, wherever the pain is located in the body, it is still the mind perceiving and judging it. “Psychological suffering” is just a concept, so it’s a bundle of thoughts. It is best to drop concepts like that.
    I am getting more context from you and it seems that you are looking for pain relief. That is not the purpose of Self-Inquiry. You may want to take a pain killer.
    Self-Inquiry is not geared for combating pain and to get better health. Combating pain and trying to get better health is inflating the ego, so it’s just the opposite of Inquiry.

    I am also not arguing or discussing with you about the validity of the term “pain body”. Frankly, I am not sure about your motivation since your last comments have taken a strange turn. It’s a big step away from Sri Ramana’s teachings and maybe you are more comfortable with someone who is into the concept of a pain body? Maybe you can attend one of Tolle’s sessions?


  101. hs10productions, saying that imaginations are not real is not helpful when in all actuality one takes one’s imaginations for real and is greatly suffering from it. That imaginations are not real is only a reality for a sage. For the rest of us it seems to be quite real like this phenomenal world.
    However I do not give advice for peoples problems. I am not a sage nor a medical professional.

    I am only sharing my thoughts of Sri Ramana’s teachings in a general context.


  102. hs10productions, only read that book if you have already a pretty good understanding of Sri Ramana’s teachings. That book is not for beginners. I’d rather suggest reading Guru Vachaka Kovai what is currently not easy to get (or for big bucks).

    Also, to try Self-Inquiry in order to feel better or in order to avoid pain is a false approach. It won’t work with that possible underlying motive.


  103. Sri Ramana warned about the “I got to fix that problem” attitude. People run to gurus and teachers and expect advice of how to fix their lives/problems or how to get enlightened. They want something to do. They look for a particular sadhana. But no true sage would give anybody “something to do”. Because that just inflates the ego and one does not want to go that route.
    But many are not ready or do not grasp the significance and therefore they go to those teachers who give them something to do. “Do some shadow work”, “meditate on the sound of OM” or something else down the line. That’s fine but it can only be a preparation for Inquiry. Those methods cannot lead to freedom.


  104. hs10productions,

    Watching thoughts and every sensation is not Self-Inquiry. It is vipassana which I also practiced ages ago.

    Watching thoughts and sensations is a subject-object relationship or duality or samsara. The mind/ego [the subject] watches thoughts and sensations [the objects]. It presupposes a doer, the ego. The reason why that cannot work is that the ego/mind itself consists only of thoughts and nothing substantial and when the mind watches thoughts and sensations (which are nothing else than subtle thoughts) then an imaginary thought [mind] is watching another imaginary thought. That cannot lead to anything but to subtler states of mind [or thoughts] with all kind of fancy experiences [visions of Gods, celestial sound and lights) but never freedom.

    In order to grasp Self-Inquiry one needs to first conceptually understand what is Self. Self does not consist of thoughts or sensations or objects. Inquiry is to BE Self. One can only Be Self, never watch or perceive it.

    You may be much smarter than me or have a much better grasp of things but when I was in your situation it took me many, many years to not only grasp the [conceptual] nature of things but also how to do properly Self-Inquiry. It cannot be learnt via a manual but only by practical trial and error with the firm conceptual knowledge of the nature of Self.


  105. Hi Bernard, thanks for the clarification, much appreciated.

    I’ve come across an interesting point that Sri Ramana made in the book you recommended, that I would be grateful if you can clarify… If its OK, Its regarding when the mind apprehends brahmin.I’ll post more details later.


  106. Hi Bernard, below is the quote from the book – the question from the seeker and the Maharishi’s reply that I’m trying to understand a little better:

    — Begin Quote —

    13 July 1936
    A Muslim gentleman asked:

    Q.: Bhagwan used two different terms yesterday – Self-Realisation and Sahaja-stithi. Is there a difference? Is the former a translated version of the latter?

    B.: Once the mind apprehends Brahman in the realm of the Subjective Experience, it is no longer interested in the vagaries of the world. It stays aloof from sensory experiences, thinking of them neither as a burden nor as a pleasure. He has clearly understood the world to be a dream, and sees objects of the world as merely mental projections [Whereas a Jnani would see the Self only]. Such as one may be called Self-Realised. However his mind is not destroyed and vasanas remaining in seed-form cause inevitable rebirth. He can not be said to possess the transcendental consciousness that the Jnani is always in.

    When by the grace of the Guru the remaining vasanas which pose an impediment are also destroyed, the mind is pulled in the Heart. There it perishes like a salt doll thrown into the ocean. This is the final Sahaja-stithi of the Jnani, and this alone confers freedom from future births.

    — End Quote —

    Based on your understanding, what did the Maharishi mean when he said: “Once the mind apprehends Brahman in the realm of the Subjective Experience …”?

    This answer, to my limited understanding, seems to imply that it is possible for the mind to experience Brahman/The absolute/Self – whilst there still remains duality of the ego/mind and the Absolute. In terms of exactly what that apprehension entails: it seems that at the very least it is in itself sufficient enough for the mind to understand clearly that the world and its objects are mere mental projections; enough so that, such one stays aloof from sensory experiences (but to what extent?).

    What would the apprehension of the absolute look like? And would it be the same as the different types of Samadhis that are explained by the Maharishi in earlier/later questions in the same book, or something else, and if so, what exactly in your view?

    I have somewhat of a fascination with this because of my prior experiences that looked to me like what the Maharishi was explaining (per my limited (mis?)understanding) – which I described in my earlier comments, that you might recall. I wanted to know if those experiences mounted to anything, if at all, or whether they serve no purpose and should be expunged. I understand from earlier conversation with you that all experiences where there’s a duality, don’t amount to anything and should be discarded and I agree – As long as there’s someone left to tell a story about it, it is not that!

    And lastly, if you don’t mind – have you had such an apprehension as alluded to by the Maharishi and if so what was it like?

    Please feel free to point out errors in my understanding as you see fit.

    Many thanks!


    1. Hello, before I reply to your last comment, you quoted “when the mind apprehends Brahman”. The mind does not and cannot apprehend reality, it only latches on objects and sensory perceptions. I do not believe that Bhagavan would say something like that and therefore it maybe a translation mistake or the guy (who recorded that later in his room) remembered it incorrectly. Tamil is a complex language and one word could entail several meanings in English.

      So it’s Brahman or Self which will swallow the mind (at the very, very end of spiritual practice). And that is independent from the mind and any effort by the jiva.
      Re, your question, what Bhagavan describes there is an incredible advanced state which is the last step before freedom. Only a sage could describe or clarify these states, I am certainly not qualified for it. I do not believe that your experience was in that category because if you really are in that one-step-before-freedom state then you’d not comment on forums and need clarification, you’d have already all the necessary clarification.
      Somewhere in this text Bhagavan describes what that is when people say, “I had an experience of Self” and that is far away from the above. It is simply a subtler state of mind, of course many egos may even consider that as enlightenment.
      And I won’t share any spiritual experiences I may have had. What is the point? Only an ego shares experiences and that deed alone is keeping oneself a little bit more in samsara since in telling that one gives it a reality while it is/was only a figment of imagination.


      1. Hi Bernard, thanks for your response. Deep down I know all this questioning is futile because it’s in the domain of unreality, but the mind persists, thinking maybe the answer to ‘this’ question will show more clearly what I’m looking for. Intuitively, I feel that for as long as there is going to be questions, there’s going to be unsatisfactory answers only – i.e., there is no such question for which there’s a satisfactory answer. The only satisfactory answer is one for which there’s no question. Alas, suffer we must for as long as the questioning is to continue.

        My girlfriend keeps telling me to forget all these questions and just be — her view is that if there are no questions, then no answers are needed, and all is well; because what is, already is and IT has no questions nor need for answers. In a round-about-of-a-way what she’s saying is not much different to what the Maharishi is alluding to; that when thoughts arise, ask the question to whom it arises for? Which is supposed to arrest any further activity of the mind and bring one back to the presence of that substratum, being/existence/isness; to that which IS. Sadly, I keep forgetting this fundamental lesson, and go back to trying to comprehend the incomprehensible with the mind and its tools of, questioning, logic and other mental faculties; it’s almost as if the mind wants to do anything, but that.

        Agree with you on the point about my experiences not being what was being described by Sri Ramana; they did not meet the criteria he laid out in the answer, that: “…It[mind] stays aloof from sensory experiences, thinking of them neither as a burden nor as a pleasure”, which as you rightly pointed out, is not my case.

        With regard to not wanting to share your experiences, that’s fair enough and I feel your reasoning is valid and correct; why give the mind more justifications for its perpetuation.

        Lastly, thanks for your tips about spiritual masters … here, I’m quite fortunate that I’ve not accepted any one as a master. There was a time I looked for one, but I never found or met anyone that I was convinced of as being fully awake. Later I learned that, neither do I have the capacity to be able to find or recognise one, and my search automatically dropped away. An Urdu Sufi poem comes to mind, in this regard (rough translation):

        “A door at which the head does not bow on its own accord, is not worth bowing down at”
        “A beloved in whose thought, all other thoughts are not forgotten, is not the beloved nor you a lover”

        So in this vain, I’m single and loveless. And if it happens on it’s own accord, without my will or mind playing a part in it, I’ll recognise it; the beloved, the master.

        Going to quieten down on the posting and questioning for now. Thanks very much for your thoughtful and insightful responses, pointers and recommendations. Wishing you all the best!


  107. By the way, if you want to discern who is genuine and who is a huckster you have to look if anybody charges for their lectures. Any spiritual teacher who charges for their lectures or “satsangs” are fakes and just egos who like to share their memorized concepts. I understand that i.e. Tolle likes to charge big time.

    But also those who “suggest” donations are the same. There are those where a donation is required. What a joke! If a donation is required then it is not a donation anymore but a fee.

    A sage is never asking for money nor is he talking about donations. Furthermore a sage will never accept money for himself even if it is offered to him freely.


  108. Yes, it’s time to take a break from concepts. Your girlfriend is right, you do not need to know, conceptual knowledge is ignorance. The beloved is Self, and no recognizing necessary since it shines without a thought. We are it, always.

    To be is for most a complicated thing. The mind can’t be, any attempts to be spoils being. But attention to thoughts (and phenomena) spoils that being too.

    I wish you well.


  109. My apologies guys. Comments are all automatically approved to appear here immediately but there was a setting that if a comment had more than 2 links it had to be approved which I didn’t know about. I changed that so you can post comments with links and still have them go up right away.


  110. Allotmentwala:

    I have been where you are, wondering how to make it (enlightenment) happen.
    And being confused about things Ramana said, such as “we are all already in the natural state.”

    You said something about relaxing on questioning. Questioning is the key… the way. Here is the question of questions: Are you a person? Or, are you consciousness? Take a pen and paper and write out every explanation and question this brings up.

    You’ve been taught you are a person. A person that can suffer losses, get sick, and die. Is that true?

    What if you are simply consciousness? If you are consciousness then you cannot suffer losses, get sick, or die. In other words, all of your problems would be permanently solved.


    1. Thanks very much for the tips existence1010, much appreciated. Regarding the questioning: as much as I want them to stop, I don’t think I have the power to make them stop. I guess the questioning will continue, until such a time they stop on their own accord.

      It feels like it’s one of those things, that once it starts, it takes on a life of its own.


  111. Allotmentwala,
    Yes, that’s how it goes. Know you are going in the right direction. It tends to feel awful. One belief after another drops, each one a little death. It may feel like being skinned alive. That’s the real dark night which is so necessary for the process.


  112. Allotmentwala, you said, “regarding the questioning: as much as I want them to stop, I don’t think I have the power to make them stop.”

    That’s correct, every attempt to try to stop the mind makes it worse. The [only] solution is Bhagavan’s Brahmastram, ask “who is trying to stop?”. That should snap you out of your circles of thoughts and bring you to your native state. It’s important to quickly recognize those chain of thoughts and interrupt them as soon as possible.

    Before we ever will realize freedom we need to give up all of our likes and dislikes but also, very important, our interest in the happenings of the world. A more advanced phase of atma-vichara is when the mind rests in the Heart but the actions of the body go on by themselves. See, we do not control the actions of the body at all, it just seems that way, that is the power of maya.

    One can only give up the interest in the world with giving up also the interest in that body. So your body may kiss your girlfriend but your mind is resting in the Heart. Advanced practitioners of atma-vichara would not even notice that they kiss their girlfriend since no attention goes to the body but only to the Heart/Self. That is a necessary step on the path to freedom.


  113. Also, there is truly no free will. We only have the choice to attend to the phenomenal world and believe in its reality or we rest in our native state. Everything else is pre-determined. So if you’ll break up with your girlfriend or marry her is already decided. Let’s say you are a college student and some exams are ahead. It is already a fact if you’ll pass or not. And it doesn’t matter if you have studied for it or not. Well, if you study or not is also not really your decision, it just seems that way. Bottom line is, one has not to be concerned about any exams or any task for that matter. The outcome is already chosen, thus one needs not to worry about needing to study or not, if study is supposed to happen it will happen without the need for the mind thinking ‘I need to study.”

    The mind has no power to change anything what’s happening in the phenomenal world. So anything what is happening can be called “God’s will” and that includes torture, rape, anything what transpires in this phenomenal world.
    In order that one wants truly freedom one needs to be disgusted of this world, realize the futility in believing of its apparent reality so one can completely let it go including the idea of being in a body. Also, and that is more an advanced concept, you are the only one existing, there is only you, anybody else you talk to is a projection of your mind. So your girlfriend or your parents are not real, they are all a projection of your mind. They only exist because a thought tells you that they exist. But that thought is not real.


  114. Bernard said, “That’s correct, every attempt to try to stop the mind makes it worse. The [only] solution is Bhagavan’s Brahmastram, ask “who is trying to stop?”. That should snap you out of your circles of thoughts and bring you to your native state. It’s important to quickly recognize those chain of thoughts and interrupt them as soon as possible.”

    First of all, since everyone is already in the native state it is not important to interrupt thoughts.

    Secondly, this idea of asking, “who is trying to stop thoughts,” is very misleading and confusing to sadhakas. No one needs to keep asking this question in order to accomplish stopping thoughts (which would not work in any case).

    It is a question that you ask and when you “see” it, it solves every problem, not just stopping thoughts. How does it solve every problem? Because when you thoroughly get that you are consciousness and not the body, you take a position of witnessing. You realize you are the awareness and not the appearances. Thoughts can continue, but like the movie screen you are never harmed by the movie.

    Bernard said, “So your body may kiss your girlfriend but your mind is resting in the Heart. Advanced practitioners of atma-vichara would not even notice that they kiss their girlfriend since no attention goes to the body but only to the Heart/Self. That is a necessary step on the path to freedom.”

    Bernard it is not really like that at all. Ramana used the example of someone looking at a room in a mirror. He can see the room clearly, move about consciously just like everyone else, but he doesn’t mistake the room in the mirror for an actual room. Ramana said this in response to people who think the jnani walks around oblivious to appearances.


  115. existence1010, I do not agree with your entire comment.

    I am not interested in arguing with you since you, a guy beyond 60 years old and dabbling with spirituality since the 80s, must have by now certain concepts burnt into the mind. If after all this time you still say “everyone is already in the native state” as an argument that it is not necessary to do atma-vichara then there is some confusion. You are mixing up the Absolute truth with relative truth.

    You are talking from the viewpoint of a Jnani without actually being a Jnani. That’s blasphemy, confused, and I have seen that a lot on forums. But anyway, you stick with what you believe and I stick with Bhagavan and obviously we’ll be going our separate ways 🙂.

    And a Jnani IS oblivious to his surroundings, he is not aware of his body nor of any other objects. That is what Sri Ramana said and it makes perfectly sense based on my own practical experiences. But again, let’s realize Self and see first hand, everything else is just idle speculation. Jnana is impossible to imagine.


  116. An additional explanation for anybody else who is interested in Bhagavan’s teachings:

    A Jnani is not moving around a room or anywhere else. That is the immature outlook of the aspirant who projects his idea of being in a body onto the Jnani. The Jnani IS the substratum, he is anywhere and nowhere. There is no movement or objects in Jnana, a movement is mind. All bodies truly do not exist but as a thought, all movements are an illusion by the mind.

    That can only become clear with steadfast practice of atma-vichara.


  117. A clarification of atma-vichara for all who are interested:

    Bhagavan’s suggestion to ask “Who am I” or “who believes this or that” is geared only as an AID and is mainly a suggestion for beginners. More experienced practitioners rarely use that aid.
    And there are so many confused beliefs about that. Some believe they have to ask ‘Who am I” every time there is a thought or ask “Who am I” constantly like a mantra. That is nonsense.

    It is also not meant to investigate the ego or mind or what we assume to be, that individual. Not at all! Bhagavan suggests to look for where the ‘I’ thought comes from and that looking of the mind brings it to the native state. The native state is covered up by thoughts, and even so the native state always exists any thought is obscuring it and that obfuscation creates delusion.

    Bhagavan said that the natural state is entirely without thoughts. Thoughts appear because of vasanas. To declare thoughts and the phenomenal world are also Self and believe that would solve the problem is naïve and an obfuscation by the ego. Yes, everything is comprised of Self but the delusion is the objectification of Self and seeing thoughts and objects as separate from oneself. The Jnani does not see the world as a reflection because that reflection creates seemingly duality and multiplicity. The best analogy would be that objects and multiplicity are the bubbles or waves of the ocean and the ocean is Self. Is the ocean aware of it waves or bubbles? No.
    The delusion is that the waves and bubbles (objects and individuals) say, hey – I exist and that is independently from that ocean!

    Sadly, the solution is not saying, “alright I am the ocean” while still (subconsciously) believing to be an independent entity (what many seekers do) but to surrender and be swallowed by that ocean and the wave or bubble ceases to exist.
    That what says “we are always the native state” must surrender and that surrender annihilates the idea of a mind and ego and body and even the idea of a native state 🙂.


  118. In order to surrender one needs to deal with the obstacle to that surrender what is our likes and dislikes and many attachments. They are caused by vasanas. As long as vasanas exist no freedom is possible. and one cannot surrender totally.

    Only naive and deluded seekers deny or explain away vasanas. They makes us favoring certain foods, liking and disliking certain “individuals”, have certain opinions about the happening of the world and so on. So as long as we have ANY preferences freedom is impossible.

    How to get rid of all of that? Atma-vichara. Nothing else will do it, no other sadhana or technique because all those sustain the idea of an ego/doer.

    Summa iru, atma-vichara/bhakti, surrender.


  119. The natural state is without thoughts. Why? Because it is always already free. The screen is always free of the movie. The screen does not have to stop the movie to be free of the movie. It is free of the movie whether the movie is playing or not.

    So too, the jnani is free whether thoughts appear or not. Why? Because the jnani (consciousness) is forever unaltered no matter what comes and goes.

    Bernard, what you are telling people … that a jnani is oblivious to his surroundings is beyond ridiculous.


  120. From Bhagavan himself who is apparently ridiculous according to existence1010:

    From the talks which transpired in 1936:

    Devotee: Even after realization a trace of mind is said to be left behind, to be eradicated at the time of death of the Jnani’s body.

    Bhagavan: That mind is inferred by others because they identify the Jnani with the body, he himself is not aware of such thing.

    Devotee: Without a mind, body-consciousness and world-consciousness would be impossible, but if Bhagavan is stung by an insect, is there no sensation? Does not Bhagavan see me sitting in front of him and talking to him? Does it not mean that a trace of body-consciousness and world-consciousness are left behind after realization?

    Bhagavan: To be aware that an insect is biting me and to be aware that you are talking to me there has to be available here an localized sense of ‘I’, but I am not there. I perished long ago. Only reality exists.

    Devotee: Then, if there is nobody residing within Bhagavan’s body, who is now speaking these words to me at the present moment?

    Bhagavan: That is the great mystery. However, since Bhagavan is not seeing the body, the question (as to the identity of the identity that lives within the Jnani’s body, animates it and governs its functions) never arises from his point of view.

    Devotee: When Bhagavan is not seeing his own body, what then does he see?

    Bhagavan: Bhagavan does not see anything at all. He merely IS.

    Devotee: What about the body reclining on the sofa? It has eyes; I am assuming that they are functioning well. What do those eyes see?

    Bhagavan: This same hall, but I am not seeing anything. I AM. Therefore I am not here. You will come to know this state for yourself only when you yourself realize your Self. Until then you will be arguing about in circles, like a dog pointlessly chasing its own tail.


  121. existence1010, I believe it is high time that you let go of your confused belief of the nature of Jnana or in what state a Jnani seems to be. You must have picked that up from an inferior source and clung at it all of this time. That source certainly was not a Jnani 🙂.


  122. Also to say that thoughts are okay is quite ignorant and not what Bhagavan taught. They maybe okay for a Jnani but not for us. That belief is a huge obstacle to Self-realization. This is such Neo-Advaita nonsense. Sorry, but I need to be frank.

    Bhagavan said that he had only thoughts when he was reading something or when he was asked something and he was answering. Otherwise never. Is that our experience too? Of course not!!!

    So again, to say thoughts are fine is as ignorant as to say “everyone is already in the native state”. You are talking again from the viewpoint of the Jnani EXCEPT not having the realization of a Jnani. That’s one of the worst kind of delusions the mind can fall into. Best to get rid of that ASAP.


  123. Here is more from Bhagavan about the mysterious and fascinating nature of a Jnani:

    Devotee: Can a Jnani feel pleasure and pain?

    Bhagavan: No.

    Devotee: Can he feel passion and exultation?

    Bhagavan: No.

    Devotee: Can he feel sorrow and fear?

    Baghavan: No. Mind is needed for all these; mind can feel; no-mind cannot feel because there is nobody there who can feel anything.

    Devotee: Sometimes Bhagavan becomes emotional whilst narrating stories from mythological sources; I have even observed him to cry like a sentimental old woman on these occasions.

    Bhagavan: In me there is no change. The Jnani is like a clean mirror. The mirror may reflect a broken window-pane, but in the mirror itself there is no maim. Likewise the emotions you observe in me are spontaneous and natural; there is nobody from within or without who is directing them. That is why it is said that the Jnani is like a dried-up leaf blown hither and thither by the wind. Does the dead leaf care in which direction it is being blown about? Does it wonder where it is going to eventually end up? Does it become flustered when somebody steps on it or burns it? […]

    On another occasion Bhagavan mentioned that one could take his body, tie it up and throw it into a lake with a huge rock attached. It would be a non-event for the Jnani, there would be no change whatsoever.


  124. Here is Bhagavan explaining the foolishness of “no effort is required” which goes along the lines of “everyone is already in the native state” and that thoughts are supposedly not harmful nor THE obstacle to Self-realization. He also explains that ABSENCE OF THOUGHTS is the hallmark of Self-realization:

    Devotee: Some maintain that since the Self perennially stand already realized here and now, no effort is necessary to realize the same, further, these mischief-mongers proclaim that it is Bhagavan himself who teaches so!

    Bhagavan: What is to be done? Those who possess discerning intellects, let them ascertain for themselves what is truth and what is absurdity.

    Devotee: What about the simpleton?

    Bhagavan: If he has completely surrendered himself in Bhagavan, Bhagavan guides him aright.

    Devotee: So the Self remains in a state of being occluded by ignorance until he is realized?

    Bhagavan: No. For him there cannot be any ignorance. Ignorance is from the point of view of the jiva only. In fact, ignorance is simply nothing but the jiva himself. Destruction of jivabodham is the same as dawn of realization. When we say that no effort is needed to realize the Self, we mean that effortlessness or effortless abidance of the Self is definitely required. Effort means thinking. Sleepless-thoughtlessness and effortlessness are one and the same. The state of ‘no-effort’ is necessary and sufficient to realize the Self, but what is this state? Complete absence of effort refers to complete absence of both thought and sleepiness. Total absence of effort is the hallmark of realization.

    Devotee: So all our effort are, as a matter of fact, directed towards the single objective of becoming totally effortless.

    Bhagavan: Quite so.


  125. Big difference between “mystical experiences” and “enlightenment.” Mystical experiences are accomplished… and lead to wonderful states i.e thought-free states, turiya states etc. If somone wants turiya states fine, don’t conflate it with enlightenment.

    Enlightenment is the simple recognition of what is already here. It’s all about recognition of truth, not trying to change states.

    Swami Sarvapriyananda is very good on describing this sort of thing. Atmananda Krishnon Menon can also be helpful to some.


  126. You just can’t let go of your false assumptions. No-thought is not a state, it is an attribute of our natural state or Self. Only an ego can have thoughts, so to declare thoughts and with that an ego as the natural state is the height of stupidity and ignorance.

    You just have lost my respect since you are ignoring the statements of a venerable sage and imply that his description of Self or the natural state would be a mere “mystical experience”. That is bullshit.

    “Enlightenment is the simple recognition of what is already here.” What a bullshit new age saying. Who the fuck is recognizing what is already here?

    Alright, that’s it for me. If anybody else has a question now or later I may pop in, otherwise good luck to everybody “recognizing what is already here”. 🤣


  127. And, existence1010, you pose as someone who is experienced with spiritual matters, giving “advice” to others but in fact you have no clue whatsoever (IMO). You lack even the knowledge of fundamental things about terms like ego/mind, Self, and their relation to thoughts and this phenomenal world. You say that the sadhaka gets confused with atma-vichara, well that sadhaka is YOU.

    Otherwise you would not keep saying this nonsense. You just keep repeating this Neo-Advaita/New Age hodgepodge of concepts.

    The correct interpretation of “Enlightenment is the simple recognition of what is already here”:

    Firstly, there is truly no enlightenment or Self-realization. Secondly, who recognizes what is already here? What would that recognition entail and who is doing that recognition (can only be ego) and what exactly would change?

    And what exactly is that “what is already here”. This phenomenal world I suppose? Well, that’s the fatal misunderstanding and whoever concocted that saying could truly have not this phenomenal world in mind. If so then this individual is a deluded huckster.


  128. Who is recognizing what is already here? Consciousness.

    Consciousness is always unaltered whether thoughts appear or not. You don’t have to stop thoughts or accomplish any other mystical feat. Consciousness always remains free and perfect. No problems ever. Just witnessing.


  129. Consciousness cannot gain or lose anything ever. Appearances constantly change. Consciousness never changes.

    If you never lose anything and never change, what problems can there be? None. Ever.


  130. Whatever my friend. You just keep believing that. In the words of my guru Sri Ramana Maharshi: “What is to be done? Those who possess discerning intellects, let them ascertain for themselves what is truth and what is absurdity.”

    Peace to you and I wish you well.


  131. Nobody is stopping thoughts and enlightenment is not happening. All the answers are in my previous comments on this blog. What you need to understand is that the ego/mind and consciousness are not synonymous. That’s why Bhagavan taught what is real and what is not real. It is in his first text Nan Yar (Who am I). That is an important step to have a fundamental understanding how to realize Self.

    Anything what changes, what is transient, is not real. That what is not real is not our nature. That includes the mind, body, the senses, and this phenomenal world. That what is left is our true nature. It never changes!

    That needs to be fully grasped and accepted. If that not happens any further concepts is a waste of time. Of course one needs to drop first erroneous concepts about consciousness.

    Next, as long as we take that what is not real for real, like our body and mind and this world, realization is impossible.

    It appears that you equalize that what is not real with consciousness. That is the main problem. Unless that is resolved any further communication is futile.


  132. That what not changes is Self, out true nature. It is a very important and valid pointer because as soon as there is a change in awareness one instantly knows that that is not Self. That includes any sense perceptions like heat and cold, pain and pleasure etc.

    Our true nature is not aware of a body nor this world. That what we believe to be, that individual, is not real and does not exist. It will cease to exist (through atma-vichara). That end of the apparent existence of the false and unreal mind/body is called enlightenment. Nothing is gained but everything (what this mind/ego holds dear) is lost.

    Bhagavan stated that the three stages the ego goes through, wakefulness, sleep, and dream are transitory stages and not real. Where is consciousness in deep sleep? That is the false consciousness confused seekers talk about. It is the body consciousness contrary to the pure consciousness of Self.

    There is truly only pure consciousness and that is aware always including in deep sleep. Most, if not all, are only aware of this body consciousness and mistakenly confuse that with Self, the pure consciousness. That’s where many conceptual confusions arise from.


  133. Now it sounds like we are on mainly the same page. I don’t know where you got the idea I equated what is not real with consciousness.

    And now you don’t appear to be saying that thought must be stopped like you did previously.

    I guess the only thing I disagree with in your above two messages is the idea that “our nature is not aware of a body or this world.” If you are not aware of it, how did it even come up? To even discuss it means you are aware of it. Only awareness is aware. The body is not aware.


  134. That what is aware of the body is not our true nature. It is the body consciousness, the mind or ego.

    You (as the mind/ego) are not aware of true awareness because your thoughts are obscuring it.


  135. Re. the term “awareness”. Pure awareness is the Self. However with rising of the ‘I’-thought (as the mind/ego) in that awareness, that awareness gets obscured and the ‘I’ – thought distorts that pure awareness to objectified awareness.
    Pure awareness is just awareness, Self, without anything else. With the rising of the ‘I’-thought that awareness “creates/projects” objects and phenomena and with that duality. That is what we all perceive and take for reality.

    However real is only the “pure” awareness. And only that entails peace and eternal happiness.


  136. Better explained, the ‘I’-thought creates/projects objects and phenomena on pure awareness and distorts it to “objectified awareness” which becomes simultaneously aware of objects. The rising of the ‘I’-thoughts simultaneously perceives/creates/projects this phenomenal world with all seeming individuals in it.

    Without rising of the ‘I’-thought there are no objects and phenomena, only Self.


  137. I’d like to add that “pure” awareness or Self is not only not aware of any objects but also not aware of anything else including itself. It just IS. In order to be aware of something there has to be another, but Self is ‘One without a second’.

    That is a pointer to “I am” and atma-vichara. We know that we exist without that a thought needs to arise for that. That intrinsic non-thoughtless beingness is Self. It is not difficult to ‘be it’, a little practice will quickly yield some success. However since we habitually have clung at the mind/ego for so long that habit has created a huge momentum and therefore a few brief instances of non-thoughtless being will not take us to freedom. All vasanas have to be eradicated first. That needs patient practice and the practice is first by effort to turn to this non-thoughtless being until that becomes effortless.


  138. Since misunderstandings are so easy: When I say that Self is not aware of anything then it is also not unaware of anything. It simply IS. Being aware is a function of the mind. It always takes at least two to be aware. That is samsara/maya, objectified awareness. Pure awareness or Jnana is beyond duality and the comprehension of the mind.


  139. You have a different understanding of Sri Ramana than I. From my point of view: realization could not be simpler. ( I didn’t say easy).

    1. You believe you are a person.
    2. Upon examination you discover you are not a person but the knowing-principle (we could use the word awareness/spirit/consciousness/being).
    3. Duality ends upon this realization (there is only awareness/spirit/consciousness/being… not two).
    4. Awareness/spirit/consciousness/being… is free and forever unaffected by appearances which are nothing more than vibrational modifications of awareness/spirit/consciousness/being.
    5. All suffering is permanently over upon understanding this truth. Why? Awareness/spirit/consciousness/being does not get sick, get old, suffer losses, or die. It is eternal and forever unchanged. Even now it is unchanged by appearances.

    I see Buddha’s teaching as perhaps more accessible for most. He refused to get into complicated explanations and only talked of suffering and the end of suffering.
    Buddha described enlightenment as a simple tacit understanding. Nothing complicated at all.

    I am glad there are other views on what enlightenment is.


  140. To work on eliminating vasanas (desires/habits) is an endless and impossible task from the viewpoint of the person. The human-being-identity naturally wants to be safe, prosperous, healthy, and connected with loved ones.

    If you remove the bottom Jenga block the entire structure comes down.

    Similarly, if you remove the “person” identity all vasanas have nowhere to stand. That is why sages from time memorial advised discovering your true identity.


  141. Your are confused.
    As I said before, you, as so many Neo-Advaitans like Tollifson and others, confuse the awareness of the sages with their individual consciousness or jiva-bodham. Those are not the same. The awareness you are aware of is a delusion and not real, that is what the sages including the Buddha have said.

    Thus it is delusional that within that individual awareness/consciousness you could recognize anything (as in “recognizing what is already here”}, whatever you believe to recognize is by the mind and therefore delusion.

    You say consciousness never changes. Yes, the Siva-consciousness or Self never changes. But is that your experience? It can’t be since your awareness of this world is constantly changing.

    And the absolute height of stupidity is to imply that somehow consciousness would recognize consciousness. That is bullshit. Also, that what witnesses or the witnesser is still the mind/ego and duality. So “just witnessing” is bullshit too. It is an idea of half-baked teachers. It still maintains duality and can never transcend duality.

    And nobody could understand the truth because “understanding” is an attribute of the mind. Only a mind is understanding and misunderstanding. The mind IS delusion.

    My friend I have humored you so far but your mind is not only very stubborn but also heavily invested in the idea that it has to be easy. That is one of many mind farts as that it has to be difficult.

    Don’t you see, it’s your mind what makes that nonsense up and it cherry picks selected concepts somehow patched together to a moronic and inane ontology to justify its own delusion.

    P.S. Your mind is prone to constantly misunderstanding what is said. When I said (as did Sri Ramana) that all vasanas have to be eradicated that does not, as you seem to believe, imply that each single vasana has to be tackled and annihilated, that’s an inane idea.

    P.P.S. So how exactly is the “person’s identity” removed as you finish your points of “enlightenment”? Just witnessing you say. That is false as I have explained earlier in this message.

    By now it should be clear to everybody that you won’t change your belief, you are blind to what I am saying and only see what your mind wants to see. I should have not answered your last comment but I did anyway. Some “mysterious” force made me do it 😁


  142. You said, “P.P.S. So how exactly is the “person’s identity” removed as you finish your points of “enlightenment”? Just witnessing you say. That is false as I have explained earlier in this message.”

    Not witnessing, no. I haven’t ever said anything like that.
    How you ask? Enquiry. Enquiry and direct “seeing.”

    It doesn’t help anyone to just read they are consciousness and believe that. There must be direct apperception. A direct grokking. Beliefs must be discarded. All of them. When you back away from untruth, you are left with truth and no belief is true. But you can directly understand-grok-apperceive-get your true nature.

    That is only the beginning. After that, the habit patterns of believing you were a person get inspected and discarded, leaving complete freedom from suffering.

    And that is the bottom line: freedom from suffering.


  143. You said and I quote, “Not witnessing, no. I haven’t ever said anything like that.”

    Okay, what then about your comment posted on August 20, 2021 at 2:56 pm:

    “[…] Consciousness always remains free and perfect. No problems ever. JUST WITNESSING.”

    – Capitalization by me. –


    Sorry buddy, you do not even remember what you have said about 30 hours ago. You jump from concept to concept and then you say that your understanding of Sri Ramana is different than mine. Of course it is! You leave out salient parts of it. How can one even claim to have an “understanding” of Sri Ramana when you just cherry pick a few concepts by him you like? That’s ignorance.

    By the way, I dislike the term “direct seeing” since it is only used by Neo-Advaitans, John Wheeler, Sailor Adamson etc. They way they use it is a perversion. It is oversimplifying the ontology especially in regards of individual consciousness and the consciousness of Jnani’s or Jnana.

    None of these half-bakers ever mention that extremely important distinction and their “direct seeing” is simply a mind fuck.


  144. I did not say “witnessing” is a “method” for realization as you claimed I did.
    I said when you are free there are no problems, just witnessing.

    Why? Because that’s what consciousness does. Consciousness has no agenda. It just witnesses whatever arises. The mind has agendas and creates problems.

    So, yes, when you are free, then consciousness just witnesses and there are no problems ever.

    Is that some kind of method for realization? No. Not at all.


  145. No, according to Sri Ramana, consciousness not “just witnesses”. There is nothing to witness, that’s what all these half-bakers don’t know’grasp. Because, contrary to Sri Ramana, they did not realize Self. That’s quite obvious.

    I went through the same confusion you are in and I learnt from that to discard all concepts from people who are not clearly Self-realized and the shorter one keeps that list the better. It is also advised to pick only one sage and stick with his teachings and leave anything else out. Because the teachings of different sages can only confuse a mind.

    I do not believe that in the last 40 years anyone, who was in a body and public known, was a Jnani.

    P.S. I believe nobody here would object that when one is free that there are no problems 🙂 . However freedom means, according to the sages and contrary to all half-baked teachers, that one is not aware of one’s body. That’s the one of the main characteristics of Jnana. When the attachment to the body has fallen away simultaneously falls away the awareness of that body. Because attachment or interest equals awareness, without attachment one is not aware of anything as an independent object. Anybody who claims differently is just an impostor lie Robert Adams.


  146. So as long as one is aware of objects there is still attachment left and with that suffering. Only when all attachments have been gone, as in eradicating all vasanas, then freedom reigns. Now that’s not really something extraordinary, it is a matter of course. But when the Buddha says one has to lose one’s attachments then most do not realize the more subtle consequences. Thankfully Sri Ramana, a more contemporary sage, clearly explained what freedom truly entails.


  147. You said, “without attachment one is not aware of anything as an independent object.”

    Of course. This doesn’t mean perceptions don’t happen, they do. They are not seen as independent objects. They are seen as Awareness only. Everything is awareness only.

    To use a metaphor it’s like this: When a gold ring is seen, most see only a ring. The sage sees only gold. He can also see the ring but he knows it is only gold.

    That’s why they say the sage doesn’t see the world. He sees only awareness. Awareness appearing as an apparent world. It’s not that he is unaware of the world. He sees it and interacts with it. He just recognizes the world is nothing but awareness only.


  148. No, you have it almost right except the part where you say, “the sage sees the world and interacts with the world.”

    He does not!!! There is no interaction, that is a projection of your mind. You are still in duality. There are no interactions in non-duality. So that comment is not correct, never will be.

    If the world is awareness only with what would awareness interact with? How could gold interact with gold unless it projects the ring again? Get it?


  149. From a certain point of view, you could say there are no interactions. From another point of view, you could say there are interactions. The sage can see both points of view. The ego can only see one.

    For example, say you have a gold ring, a gold statue of a man, carrying a gold walking stick. The gold ring can go on the gold statue’s finger. All the average person can see is the ring, statue, and the walking stick.. three individual objects.

    The sage sees only gold. The sage can see the appearance of a gold ring, on a gold statue just like everyone else. But to him, there has always been only gold. If everything is only gold, where is duality? There is none.

    But the sage can see the appearances for what they are. The confused see only the separate appearances as if they were different and unique.

    So it’s not like the sage is somewhere else in samadhi bliss not interacting with the world. The sage is the one who is actually more present. “He” is beyond bliss which is a lesser state. He is beyond all states. He discriminates what is real (gold) from what is unreal, temporary, and derivative (rings, statues, walking sticks).


  150. That is why they say first there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is a mountain.

    First, there are multiple objects, then there is only awareness, then there are multiple objects as only awareness.


  151. Those who say that there is only awareness and that multiple objects do no appear have reached an advanced understanding but have not gone on to the third step… in which they do appear!


  152. Alright, I am done with this futile bickering about an abstract concept!

    Let me ask you this: Why is it so important for you that a sage needs to “see” the way you are describing it? What does it matter? What does it matter for the sincere aspirant who needs to let go anyway of all concepts in order to be able to realize Self?


  153. It’s like this. If someone is going to London and is being pointed in the direction of Madrid, the right thing to do is to point to the direction of London. Few will be able to hear it but … why not?

    Although letting go of all beliefs happens that is rarely a way forward. The way forward is inquiry into what is true… some would say, “what is it that I am?” Although Ramana’s books say enquire “who am I?” That is not something a native English speaker/jnani would say. “What am I?” is closer to the point.

    If you are aware of bickering that is on your side. I just enjoy occasionally writing things on the internet. I thought we were great friends having a fun discussion. 🙂


  154. Sorry buddy, I do not concur with what you are saying. That is not Sri Ramana’s teachings. I should have stopped when I posted this comment below which I like to repeat:

    In the words of my guru Sri Ramana Maharshi: “What is to be done? Those who possess discerning intellects, let them ascertain for themselves what is truth and what is absurdity.”


  155. Allotmentwala, I am going to take a break and I may not answer any questions for a few months. You still can post them; I’ll check this blog once a month and see if you did post something.

    My last exchange was quite unfortunate, it is an example how mind (all minds even though there is actually only one mind) can get lost in disputations and all disputations are a waste of time, they do not accomplish anything. The mind cannot find nor understand Jnana, impossible. To assume that mind would/could know the nature of Jnana/Jnani is sheer hubris. Again, the mind/thoughts cannot ever find Jnana, impossible. That’s why the mind, and with that all thoughts of the aspirant, have to be eliminated. There is actually no mind.

    Misunderstandings are common for the mind as are doubts false ideas etc. That’s why the mind has to be shunned if one wants to ever realize Self. Summa iru, (mental) silence. The truth is only found in summa iru!


  156. I forgot to add that quote of Bhagavan in my previous comment:

    Devotee: For obtaining peace of mind, what should I do?

    Bhagavan: Remain without thinking. It is as simple as that. Peace is already there. It is thoughts that ruin our inherent peace. Peace is not to be gained afresh. Clear away the obstructions to peace (= thoughts) and peace is found.


    1. Hi Bernard, thanks for letting me know, and thanks for the offer of answering any further questions and providing clarification on Sri Ramana’s teachings. At the moment, I don’t have any questions; but if it’s OK with you, could you drop me an email at allotmentwala at gmail dot com and I’ll email you if any questions or need for clarification arises in the future.

      The book you recommended above has been a real treat, I must say. The questions and answers sessions pretty much cover all the various questions any serious seeker is likely to have in their quest to find the truth/self/god. The answer’s given by the Maharishi are plain and to the point. He emphasizes over and over again the need to turn in-ward and to make the mind quiescent and all the answers will unfold – or the absurdity of them will be made clear.

      I have been neglecting these very fundamental lessons from Sri Ramana and entertaining the mind with fanciful questions, that have just further strengthened it. I’ve now resolved not to do this going forward and instead, put into practice the advise of the sage and relentlessly question whom is it, that all these thoughts and questions are coming to.

      Appreciate all the advise/clarifications/pointers that you’ve kindly provided over the last few months. Many thanks!

      P.S. The last quote in your post above is very apt. Knowing that it’s thoughts that ruin the inherent peace; it’s time to shun them and remain in the silence – or at the very least try.


  157. Sounds good, I’ll send you an email shortly and then we do not need to take up anymore unnecessary bandwidth. Most of it was off-topic but existence1010 kindly let us use that space anyway.


  158. Regarding this idea that one needs to stop thoughts… here is an example.

    Ramana was dying of cancer. He did not say, “Oh, disturbing thoughts about dying. I must stop such thoughts. All problems come from thoughts.” No. He did not need to suppress or stop any seemingly disturbing thoughts.
    Because he saw with absolute clarity that he was not the body and the death of the body was of no consequence. That clarity is what is all-important.


  159. Alright, let’s hear from the master who actually knows contrary to us:

    Devotee: If everything is a dream, what is the point of making any effort at all to realize the Self? The effort will be dream effort and the realization will be dream realization.
    Bhagavan: [smiling] Exactly.
    Devotee: What should I do then?
    Bhagavan: There is nothing whatsoever to do – except to clearly realize that fact. Who asked you to do anything? BE as you ARE. All effort is made only so that we can effortlessly remain without effort.
    Devotee: […]
    Bhagavan: Why go to such lengths to establish whether all this is a dream? The rule is simple: If anything is available to be perceived, you are dreaming.
    Devotee: Bhagavan is perceiving this Hall at this present moment. Is Bhagavan also dreaming? Can a Jnani then have dreams?
    Bhagavan: The Jnani’s state is known only to the Jnani. Bhagavan is not perceiving anything. Perception requires a perceiver.

    Here Bhagavan makes some very important points:

    1. Anything what is perceived is a dream. That means this world is a dream and is a creation and projection of the mind, the perceiver.

    2. Bhagavan clearly states that he is NOT perceiving anything. And one can take that literally. Not awareness plus multiple objects as some confused people seem to believe. So why is Bhagavan not perceiving anything? He follows with that perception requires a perceiver, a mind. Bhagavan, as any Jnani, or better Jnana, has no mind.

    No mind, no perception. Only the deluded mind can perceive objects and this world. Realization requires the annihilation of the mind or the perceiver as Bhagavan states clearly above. Thus only when the mind vanishes also the delusion of multiplicity vanishes and Jnana remains. “Bhagavan is not perceiving anything.” Only fools would read something else from that statement. “The Jnani’s state is known only to the Jnani”. Only damn fools believe they would know and state nonsense contradicting the statements of an actual sage!

    The road to “awareness plus multiple objects” is the road to delusion, alas too many have fallen for this utter nonsense!


  160. Paraphrased from the teachings of Sri Ramana:

    The state of the Jnani is the natural state. It is actually not a state but simple IS. If it would be a state it could be attained and also be lost. It never changes, the hallmark of reality.

    However our state, the state of the individual is the artificial, unnatural and contrived state. Our mind has gotten so used to that artificial state that it believes that its consciousness is natural while it takes the consciousness of a Jnani as some lofty unnatural state. How unfortunate and another of many delusions of the mind.

    The individual’s consciousness is an unnatural state because it perceives multiplicity and also the so-called waking state, a dream state and a deep sleep state. All three states change and are, by definition, unnatural and not real. The natural state of the Jnani transcends these three states and he is not even aware of waking, sleeping, and dreaming. Because those three states are only a function of the mind. Since the Jnani does not have a mind, he simply just IS.

    Awareness only equals Jnana or the natural state of the Jnani. There is only awareness or Self or Brahman.

    Awareness plus mind equals the individual and that combination creates/perceives/projects this phenomenal world with all of its objects. That is maya, a dream, samsara, delusion.

    What is Self-realization? To take away the illusionary mind from awareness so only awareness remains and with that no world and no objects!


  161. You quoted, “Bhagavan is not perceiving anything.”

    If no perception is happening, then how did he hear and answer the question?

    Again, this refers to the fact that the sage sees only awareness. Awareness as appearances and awareness without appearances.

    “The jnani weeps with the weeping, laughs with the laughing, plays with the playful, sings with those who sing, keeping time to the song. What does he lose? His presence is like a pure, transparent mirror. It reflects the image
    exactly as it is. But the jnani, who is only a mirror, is unaffected by actions. How can a mirror, or the stand on which it
    is mounted, be affected by the reflections? Nothing affects them as they are mere supports. “

    “Q: Are there not illustrations given in our books to explain this sahaja [natural] state clearly to us?
    A: There are. For instance you see a reflection in the mirror and the mirror. You know the mirror to be the reality and
    the picture in it a mere reflection. Is it necessary that to see the mirror we should cease to see the reflection in it?”
    —quotes from p.26 “Be As You Are”


  162. From that what you have quoted you believe to know about the state of a Jnani? Seriously?

    Those quotes by the way are not from ‘Be As You Are”, they are from a book by Jason Brett, a mediocre source.

    I also already answered why Bhagavan did not hear and answer questions. But you are too immature to grasp it.


  163. So you are saying the quotes I presented are NOT genuine quotes from the book I referenced?
    Look on p. 26 of this linked content.

    That quote from Ramana is contained in many works on Ramana.

    You explained it before? Well, maybe explain it again more simply.

    How did he hear and answer the question without the ability to perceive it?


  164. If the answer came from Ramana’s body and not Ramana (because Ramana does not perceive), then we cannot attribute the answer to Ramana.

    That was just something his body said and has nothing to do with Ramana. If we are talking about Ramana we must confine our quotes to Ramana and not things his body said without him knowing.


  165. You want to have it explained more simply? That’s not about explaining something better, that would not change anything, I cannot cater to the immaturity of mind. If you grasp the term eka-jiva what Bhagavan often used then you may understand.


  166. Time to let this go. You have made up your mind and so be it. it is not my job to argue with imaginary objects like you 🙂.

    I do now know what a Jnani sees. I can only look at what Bhagavan has said about it. For me there is actually no Jnani. When you fall asleep and you dream of going to an ashram and there you meet that famous sage and he tells you your mirror/reflection story. It is all very real in that dream. Then you wake up.

    Do you still consider that sage (and what he said) for real? Highly unlikely. Even the dream images are gone, they were a fleeting appearance.
    According to the sages, that is exactly the same with this so-called “waking world”. We are dreaming and that dream is only interrupted when we sleep. As soon as we wake up from sleep that dream (of the “waking world”) keeps going on. It is as unreal as when we dream in sleep.

    The Buddha called realization “awakening”, a wake up from the dream to be in a world. According to the sages, this world has the same quality as when we dream of a world in sleep.

    Now do we, after waking up from a dream, still insist we are seeing the dream world and the people in it? Unlikely unless we are schizophrenic.

    Now why would then a Jnani see this dream world after waking up from this “waking world”? That would be only possible if this world would be real. But even you cannot possibly believe that this world is real, it is, like the dream world we experience while asleep, an appearance, fleeting and disappearing after “awakening”.

    That’s why it is very important for an aspirant to see this world as unreal and as an illusion. If we do not then we cannot ever escape from this dream!


    No response necessary. I am not saying this to convince you, I really do not care what you like to believe. I just give my viewpoint of the teachings of the sages and people can use it or not use it as they see fit.
    I do not believe we can find common ground. And it really doesn’t matter either.

    Good luck with your path!


  167. existence1010 blocked me “Bernard” from further comments what is his right as the administrator of this blog.

    That means a farewell from me. I am not welcome anymore.


  168. Obviously I was mistaken. There was an unusual delay between hitting ‘Post Comment’ and the appearance of the comment.


  169. And yes, the quote below is actually from ‘Be As You Are”. I have a different edition and there it is not on page 26.

    The quote:
    “For instance you see a reflection in the mirror and the mirror. You know the mirror to be the reality and
    the picture in it a mere reflection. Is it necessary that to see the mirror we should cease to see the reflection in it?”

    That does not mean that the reflection is real nor that it is actually seen. What it means is that the reflection is from the same source as the mirror. That’s it! However, in all reality there is no mirror and no reflection and Bhagavan said that elsewhere but it is obvious for any aspirant who is well soaked in Sri Ramana’s teachings.

    Even when Bhagavan explained that “he is a mirror” he used that only as an analogy to explain his non-dual state in dual terms. So for us (within duality) he is a mirror but again, in all reality he is not a mirror at all. It has much more deeper and subtle aspects than what most might think or believe.

    To assume from that quote that “multiplicity” is seen is quite far-fetched (and it seems like wishful thinking) also considering the many, many times when Bhagavan stated that the Jnani is not seeing the world or any multiplicity.

    So to imply that “awareness plus multiplicity” is the most advanced viewpoint is laughable. It is actually an oxymoron only possible to be conceived by mind.

    According to Bhagavan the most advanced and sophisticated concept is “ajata”. That means nothing exists but Self/Jnana/Brahman/Nirvana and there is not and never was a phenomenal world (aka multiplicity) nor any individuals. Nothing ever happened and there is and was no delusion nor any realization.

    Put that in your pipe and smoke it Mr. Multiplicity 😀

    That’s my 2 cents on the mirror and its reflection “story”.


  170. Sorry if there was a delay in posting. I have the setting so all posts go up immediately. If there was a delay it was not something I did.

    I have never said or implied that there is awareness plus multiplicity. There is only awareness. Let’s give an example of that. Let’s say there is an appearance of a computer screen. Is the computer screen anything other than awareness? Of course not. If it was, then you could remove awareness and still have something left. But if you remove awareness, so too have you removed the computer screen. So the appearance of a computer screen is nothing but awareness. There is only one… that is to say, “not two.”

    There is no need for strange convoluted explanations. If Ramana’s body is answering questions without Ramana knowing about it then we are not hearing from Ramana.

    I still don’t know how you’ve dismissed this quote:

    “Q: Are there not illustrations given in our books to explain this sahaja [natural] state clearly to us?
    A: There are. For instance you see a reflection in the mirror and the mirror. You know the mirror to be the reality and
    the picture in it a mere reflection. Is it necessary that to see the mirror we should cease to see the reflection in it?” —quotes from p.26 “Be As You Are”

    Of course in reality there is no mirror and no reflection… there is only awareness. Awareness is always only awareness. But as Ramana said the sage can discern appearances reflected in the mirror. He doesn’t take them to be real.

    This is like the snake and the rope. The sage can see what appears to be a snake. He knows it is a rope. The unrealized see only the snake. The sage can recognize both views. If he couldn’t, he could never tell the story. He would say, I don’t know what they are talking about when they say they see a snake.


  171. No, the sage does not recognize both views. There are not two views in awareness. Either you go full way there is only ‘One without a second” or not at all. That’s the point. There is no sage and devotee as there is no snake and a rope. That is all a story from the viewpoint of the illusionary mind.

    Thus the body of Sri Ramana truly never existed as do not exist any bodies you believe you are seeing. The sage cannot see anything because he IS (it). He (well there is no individual left) so better Self does not see anything because nothing is separate from Self. Again, one can only see something in duality, it needs at least two objects, the subject the seer and the object the seen. However Self transcends the triad of seer, seeing, and seen. There is only Self, One without a second. What can be seen if there is no second?


  172. And with your gold example you make the logical mistake that you still unconsciously believe that there is a distinction between the gold hat and the gold figure. They are both gold, but so is the space between the gold hat and gold figure so what can be seen then but gold only? That is Self. There is truly no distinction, any distinction is a delusion.

    That is what the sages imply using this gold analogy!


  173. That’s why Robert Adams’ story of his “vision” is bullshit where he meets Jesus, the Buddha, Sri Ramana and other sages and then they get engulfed in a bright light.

    Because anything “seen” is by the mind and that includes all “visions”. And then there is no sage to meet, there is only Self, One without a second. Self cannot meet any sages, that is preposterous and shows that Adams surly had no clue about the nature of Self.

    Self is Self. No experiences, no visions, just BEING.


  174. Ok, I think I see what you are saying. You are thinking jnana is a state. Your thinking is, if jnana is a state then it must be a state beyond duality.

    Therefore, if jnana is a state beyond duality then dual appearances cannot arise and therefore someone (in that state of jnana) cannot see dual appearances. That makes sense if you consider jnana a state. It is not a state of being. All states of being belong to mystical experiences. Jnana is not a mystical experience. And you’re right when R. Adams described his mystical experience of seeing Jesus etc. it wasn’t even a non-dual mystical experience. Not even a very deep mystical experience. He may have had actual non-dual mystical experiences, probably did, but even that is not realization.

    In a non-dual mystical experience there are no appearances only the Void, or the Light. One single Being with no appearances.

    Jnana is not like a mystical experience that just lasts forever, like nirvikalpa samadhi that you never come out of and therefore cannot see the furniture. It is deeper than that. That’s why it is called sahaja samadhi.

    Jnana is beyond all states. It is the recognition that what appeared to be a snake is only a rope, that what appeared to be a wrench is only steel, that what appeared to be a ring is only gold. That what appeared to be a world is only awareness.

    In this way we are always in non-duality and free from suffering. And like Ramana explained, we can see objects and hear words and respond. We do not take them to be real. They are awareness only. We are ever free.

    As awareness/spirit/being/consciousness we never change. We are ever free despite appearances. Those identified as a body are constantly freaked out by covid, by loss of money, by loss of friends, by death.

    The jnani is clear that he cannot die or suffer losses. He sees such apparent things but they are like a dream to him. Of no consequence. They appear to him as nothing more than an intricate sand painting that will be gone and smoothed over in due time.


  175. That’s a nice line-up of concepts about how you assume how Jnana could look like. But you don’t know. We all do not know. It can only be an assumption. An assumption makes an “ass out of you and me”, that’s the saying. Or in that particular case “an ass out of you and Jnana” 😁

    I asked before why this is so important for you (that Self must see objects) and you answered it gives you the direction to London so you do not end up in Paris.

    There are two major problems with that idea:

    1. You cannot possibly know. So you may believe that you got the directions to London but in all reality the directions (which are only assumptions) are murky at best and you very likely will end up in a swamp.

    2. What if there is no seeing of objects in Self (something what David Godman believes)? Then you will be definitely on the wrong path. Since your mind is rather obsessed with the idea that Self “must see objects” that would suggest that it fears and rejects the other possibility (for whatever reasons).

    Now I tend to the “not seeing” but also I am quite aware that I do not know what is more important and also the honest assessment. Now I said before that the sages said that in order to be able to realize one has to let go of all concepts because there cannot be clarity with any concepts floating around. You never acknowledged this important pointer.

    Furthermore only complete surrender will lead to Jnana. Not with a specific idea in mind how Jnana “must look like” with the expectation to “see the world” or “to not see the world”. Both expectations are a huge obstacle to realization.
    That must be clear. Self will not reveal itself as long as there is the slightest trace of individuality left and one of those traces are expectations or ideas how things are supposed to be like!


  176. Ok, Bernard. I see what you are saying. You think I am talking about this from theory. I am not talking about this from “theory.”

    Those talking from theory or what they pieced together from reading books should just shut up.

    Are you talking about this from theory? Or from your direct experience?

    By the way, why did you think any of this is important to me? It’s not.


  177. I am not kidding Bernard and I am not implying anything. I am telling you that I am only talking about my direct experience and not from things I read. If I quoted someone it is only because they said something consistent with my experience.

    How about you?


  178. Now I know why you keep insisting that “Self is seeing the world”. You believe you are “experiencing Self”.

    Okay buddy, congratulations. And me? Oh, I am just somebody who talks too much.


  179. You said, “Now I know why you keep insisting that “Self is seeing the world”. You believe you are “experiencing Self”.”

    That is not correct. Maybe we should define terms.
    If you define “Self” as “awareness/consciousness/spirit/being,” then we cannot say “Self is experiencing the world.” Why? There is only Self. There is not Self and world it is experiencing.

    And there is not a “you” experiencing “Self” there is only Self.

    Are you defining Self in a different way? Exacting definitions are important in this work. So many people talk past each other because they are defining these types of words in different ways.

    Since the “ego self” is a product of language (belief) and not something that is actually there outside of language, a deep dive into how we use language can be helpful.

    In response to my direct question if you are talking from experience or on the basis of theory and things you have read you said, “I am just somebody who talks too much.” Does that mean you are talking from just things you’ve read and theories you have developed and not actual direct experience?


  180. As I said before there is no point to keep arguing. I do not agree with most what you say about “how Jnana is like”. Also the term “direct experience” is bullshit (and yes, I have used it too).

    Experiences are all by mind, including “direct” experiences. So your whole previous description about Jnana and the subsequent claim it is supported by your direct experiences is bullshit. You do not and cannot possibly know, that’s mind giving its interpretation and extrapolation of ideas, nothing else. The term “direct’ is just a term by the ego to give the experiences the impression to be Jnana (or close to it or whatever nonsense the mind believes).

    There are only two possible way of “existence”, either as Jnana, or as the deluded mind/ego. Whatever the mind/ego claims, direct or not, is an imagination. The mind is quite cunning, that’s why so many believe to be in an more “advanced” stage what is delusion.

    So again, as long as there is mind there is delusion and mind cannot know Jnana. It is the mind which “sees objects and the world”. So as long as one sees the world there is mind.

    And it is silly to talk about one’s “direct experiences”. Just another way for the ego to inflate itself telling itself how clear it is seeing. LMAO

    Thus only Jnana could reveal the nature of Jnana. Until then, everything else is an elaborated mind fuck.


  181. And yes, Jnana is beyond duality and it is not a state, that’s a false assumption. Duality with seemingly independent objects is a “state”. That what some consider as normal is the contrived unnatural state. I’ve said that many times but it falls on deaf ears. Non-duality is not an unnatural state. It is the only reality!

    It is very obvious that you are more than confused about Jnana or Sahaja Samadhi. It is called the “natural state” but it is not a state nor can it be imagined by mind. And it is not a state because we, as the ego, cannot attain it. Nor can it somehow ‘arrive’ through some magical “clear seeing”.

    Your mistake is to declare the duality of this world for real and add that utter nonsense that thoughts are not a problem. If that is your “direct experience” that thoughts are not a problem then you are even more confused than I originally thought. Your mind is fooling itself.

    I have been patient so far but the longer I am hearing about your confused notions the more I am amazed how deluded you are! I gave you the benefit of doubt since some what you say sounds alright but you are utterly wrong with some fundamental points which can’t be negotiated.

    Also re. all samadhis vs. Jnana. The difference between Jnana and all other samadhis is that these samadhis are attained by the effort of the mind and therefore are only temporary. However with Jnana or Sahaja Samadhi, the mind is completely annihilated and with that annihilation or manonasa Jnana shines. Jnana never changes and it never sees the world. Seeing the world is the aberration.

    So what is the succinct difference between all samadhis and Jnana? The mind!!!!!!!

    The mind exists still before and after the experience of any samadhi, however with Jnana it is gone forever!

    Denying that fact is spitting Jnana into the face. Of course Jnana is not even aware of you ……….

    I am sorry, but the sooner you drop that nonsense of yours and maybe study Guru Vachaka Kovai to get some real fundamentals the sooner you’ll be back to a real path.

    The problem is, you still will cling at your confusion, your mind has too much invested that it could reconsider. Not my problem.


  182. Interesting idea you have about a sage not being aware of the world.

    In this way Bernard, you can never be wrong. If an actual sage ever showed up to question your ideas, the very fact he was aware of your ideas means he is aware of the world and hence not a sage.


  183. You still don’t get it. There will never a sage show up to pose any questions (there are no sages but as an imagination). Any objects and individuals you “see”, including sages, are a projections of your mind. That is Sri Ramana’s teaching. That is also called maya, samsara, delusion. That is also why this world of duality, a creation by the mind (through the aham-vritti), cannot be real and is an aberration.

    And it is not a question of right and wrong, that’s mind stuff and irrelevant. It is about to be what one really is. Pure consciousness.

    Jnana is not questioning Jnana,

    There is only one way to figure out who is right or wrong, to realize Self.

    You, the ego, want to be right? Sure, why not – believe to be right. Does that change anything? Of course not. As I said, I cannot make you believe. That is also not my intention. I simply let you know that you have badly misunderstood Sri Ramana’s teachings and either you correct that or find some other sage.


  184. Here we go, the petty mind starts arguing semantics. That’s what the ego does, it becomes clever and tries to dispute concepts at all costs. That’s pitiful.


  185. According to Sri Ramana, at the time of realization the mind dies and no sense of individuality is left. Since the mind creates this dual world, this world ceases to exist after the evaporation of the mind. I suspect your ego clings so strongly at “the sage sees the world” because unconsciously it knows that “not seeing the world” means its death. And that is correct, for the ego Self-realization literally feels like death. It will try to avoid that at all costs and one of the tactics is to avoid salient pointers and deny those and replace them with something seemingly justifiable. That’s what you do.

    There is no sage because that would imply an individual. There is only Jnana. There are not a bunch of sages roaming around somewhere nor are there a bunch of seekers like us roaming around. That is all a delusion.

    Sri Ramana also said that the “state” of Jnana is experienced in deep sleep. Because in deep sleep the mind has completely withdrawn and with that withdrawal the awareness of the world is gone too since the mind creates the world. Everybody is happy in deep sleep and everybody enjoys to sleep. Why? Because the mind gets a rest and only Self shines. However, on awakening, the mind rises again and instantly the world is created and samsara goes on.

    In the text “Maharshi’s Gospel” (which he personally reviewed before publication) he said that a Jnani (in a body) is like a sleep walker, oblivious of the world and only aware of Self. That what animates his body to talk and move is not “him” or Jnana but some “mysterious” force. “He” as Jnana is not doing or saying anything, he just IS.

    I mentioned that before and that refutes completely what you are saying. But your ego is clever in avoiding and denying/rationalizing facts by Sri Ramana which do not fit in its view and instead focuses only on some stuff which it still wrongly interprets like the mirror/reflection concept.

    I do not know since I am not realized. But conceptually it makes all sense for me and my practice of atma-vichara lets me gain more insights about how mind is truly deluding us in every way!


  186. Hi Bernard,

    The sleepwalker stuff is great from Ramana.

    The sleepwalker opens doors, walks up stairs, may even take out the trash… all the while never conscious of what he is doing, and when asked later he denies he ever did anything. Similarly, the sage gives talks, eats dinner, and goes for a walk, all the while denying he did anything.

    The sleepwalker was aware of the trashcan and the steps. Without seeing the trash can he could not put objects in it. What he wasn’t aware of is himself as a separate identity. Similarly, the sage is not aware of a body (as a body). At all times he experiences only awareness/consciousness/spirit/being and nothing else.

    The separate individual view of the world consists of separated objects and “others.” The sage does not see that. He sees only Awareness in the form of appearances that are not taken to be real, like images in a mirror are not mistaken for real things. He is not in some mystical state, he actually sees everything anyone else does. It’s just that the self-reflective mechanism of the mind has died (or rendered obsolete).

    Is the death of the self-reflective mechanism of the mind (that babies do not have and the rest of us acquire around age 2) the death of the mind Ramana refers to?

    Seems quite likely since the sleepwalker can’t walk without some rudimentary type mind. Chickens can walk for a few seconds without a mind, but cannot do the elaborate things a sleepwalker does.