By Jeff Greenwald
We must learn the lesson and spread the message of love as it was done during the time of Ashoka, when there was peace everywhere. There were no wars then. He sent his own daughter and son to Sri Lanka, to China and the eastern countries. This is how the message was spread. This message of peace was started by one man sitting under the bodhi tree. The flame of love is very powerful. Once it is ignited, it will start a conflagration that cannot be stopped, even by chemical weapons.
Simply meditate alone. You can do it anywhere, even in your own apartment. You will see the results. Keep quiet, send the message of peace, ‘Let there be peace,’ all over the world. ‘Let all beings live happily in peace.’ This wavelength has to work.
Let’s hope that it does.
Not hope, no. I don’t believe in hope. Hope is about the future. Let us trust in the supreme power. It will look after this world very well. It can bring about instant change. Pray to the supreme power: ‘Please help us to be in peace with all living beings. Please teach us.’ It is very easy to teach others, to give others advice. Help yourself first. Find out for yourself what peace is. Don’t bother trying to help others until you yourself have learned what it is.
What have you learned from your years as a teacher?
I am not a teacher. Who told you I am a teacher? A teacher’s teaching is always of the past. A teacher is someone who tells you to do this and to do that, and that if you don’t you will go to hell. This is a teacher. I am neither a teacher nor a preacher.
I’ll rephrase the question: What have you learned from sitting in this spot in satsang over the years?
Love, love, only love. I love them [gestures toward the satsang].
Why ‘them', Papa, don’t you love me, too?
I don’t include you in this, because you are the Beloved. I love them, and you are my Beloved. What does it mean? Because you are my Beloved, you are seated next to me.
[In a later interview Papaji explains what happens when people approach him in satsang: ‘I absorb them all and give them a seat in my Heart, in my Heart. As the lover gives a seat to the beloved in his Heart, you are always seated in my Heart.’]
Thank you, Papa.
Thank you for coming here. On behalf of myself I thank you, and on behalf of my children I thank you again and again. I am very happy with your questions. We have all benefited from these questions. The vibration from this satsang is not confined to this building. It has already been transmitted all over the world. You will see.
Papa, you have a very broad wavelength. Any kind of dish can receive this signal.
No dish and no signal! You don’t need any signals. For signalling you need two — one to send and one to receive.
Of course. When will I ever learn?
[Laughing] You are answering my question now. You asked me so many questions. I asked you only one question, and this is the answer to it. Here is the signal without signalling. Beautiful. What is this? At least you can tell me now. The interview is over. What is this?
What is this? What is happening inside? What is this enjoyment? You can feel it. All the cells are enjoying it. Do you see now? They are enjoying nectar. [Picking up the question paper] I will take these questions with me.
To my amazement, Papaji, you answered them all. I thought there were some pretty tricky questions, but they all have exactly the same answer.
Copyright © 1993 Avadhuta Foundation. This article is reprinted from Papaji Interviews. Used by permission.
H.W.L. Poonja (Papaji) was a popular Advaitin guru in the late 20th century. His students created
the modern satsang movement in the West.
Jeff Greenwald is the author of Shopping for Buddhas. Wikipedia has a page about him.
Edited by David Godman
As you’ve probably guessed from the book’s title, it consists mainly of interviews. Ten people sat down with Papaji and asked him questions, and the resulting conversations were transcribed. The questioners include Catherine Ingram, Wes Nisker, Shanti Devi, Chokyi Nyima Rimpoche, and Godman himself. The book also includes a 62-page biography of Papaji.
By David Godman
This massive three-volume biography of H.W.L. Poonja, widely known as Papaji, is one of the most comprehensive attempts ever made to document the life and teachings of a self-realized person. Papaji was a direct disciple of Sri Ramana Maharshi. He is largely responsible for the satsang movement in the West because he helped hundreds of Westerners attain glimpses of the Self and then sent them home to teach.
This page was published on October 24, 2001 and last revised on May 27, 2017.