top of page

Papaji Interviews




This is an interview I conducted with Papaji in the Botanic Gardens, Lucknow in 1993. It was included as the final chapter of Papaji Interviews and entiled 'Summa Iru,' which means 'Keep quiet'. The interview is available in video  from from the Avadhuta Foundation in Boulder, Colorado.



David: Papaji, we are trying to make a film about your teachings. How can we make a film when you say you have no teachings?


Papaji: To have any teaching is preaching. A real teacher has no teaching, no method, no way. To know your own Self, you don’t need any teaching. What you really are, always you are That itself. No one is going to teach you. You have to realise who you are, here and now, in this moment.


David: Do you regard telling people in which direction they should look as teaching?


Papaji: People should not look in any direction. [Laughter] Looking in a particular direction means abiding in an object, the object you are directing your attention towards. People get lost this way. But if they do away with all directions, if they have no concept of any direction in their mind, then they will know what they really are. They will know that they are That itself: That which they always are and That which they always will be.


David: Do you regard yourself as a Guru, Papaji?


Papaji: No, not at all! [Laughter] I never declare, ‘I am a Guru’.


David: What about all these people who think they’re your devotees and disciples? Are they your devotees?


Papaji: When there is no Guru there is no question of any devotees. When they come to see me, I welcome them. Whosoever comes, I welcome them. If they don’t come, I still wish them good luck. And when they leave me I say, ‘Farewell. Be happy wherever you are.’


David: You are encouraging everyone who comes to you to look for their own Self. Why are you doing this? What motivates you to do this?


Papaji: My own happiness. These people are sleeping. They are all suffering when the treasure is within them. Everybody, all the human beings of this world, are suffering because they are trying to find peace and happiness in objects. They are examining and experiencing objects one by one, but this is only resulting in pain and suffering. There is no object in the mind, no person, no thing, no concept that can return you to happiness and peace of mind. So I just tell them, I just give them this information: ‘Don’t look here, there, anywhere. Peace is within you and within the Heart of all beings. So keep quiet, don’t look anywhere, don’t allow your mind to abide anywhere, and you will see that it is peace, happiness itself. That is the fundamental truth. Every being in the world is happiness itself.’


David: I think that most people who come to you think that you are giving out something more than just information. I think they feel that in your presence there is some power, some grace which enables them to discover what you are pointing at. Do you have any comment on this?


Papaji: Definitely. I am pointing at their own Self which is the fountain of grace, of beauty. In that place love and peace also arise. I just point this out by saying, ‘Look within yourself for one second. You don’t need to search, you don’t need to find. Just look within yourself and you will see that you are peace itself.’ I just point this out. People are asleep. It’s better to wake them up because they are dreaming. These dreams are only mental projections, but because people take them to be real, they cause a lot of suffering. If you see a tiger in your dream, you get afraid. If you get attacked by a dream robber you get afraid.


Stop all the mental projections. See that the dream is only a dream. See that it is not real. Whatever you see, it’s just a dream. Wherever there is an object, wherever there is a seer and the seen, there is a dream. If there are objects and a subject who sees them, there is a dream. But if you somehow get rid of subjects and objects and of the relationship between them, what’s left?


David: When you look at people who come to you and tell you, ‘Papaji, I suffer,’ do you feel compassion for them, and when they wake up, do you rejoice?


Papaji: I do feel compassion. What else is there for me? I have compassion for all beings who are suffering and who are dreaming. I just tell them, ‘Wake up, my dear friends. My dear children, wake up. There is no suffering at all. It’s only a projection of your mind. It’s not real. You are dreaming. Wake up from the dream, and all the suffering will end.’


David: I would like you to tell the story of the Japanese professor with one lung who couldn’t stop laughing. I think that it is a very good story about your teaching. Call you tell the whole story?


Papaji: [Papaji laughs] When he arrived I was upstairs in my house, giving satsang to some people there. He asked the people downstairs if I would come down and see him because he had been told by his doctor that he should not climb stairs.


He was told, ‘Papaji is very busy right now. He is giving satsang upstairs. If you cannot wait, you must go up and see him.’


This man had a great desire to see me, so he decided to climb the stairs, rather than wait for me to finish. The people downstairs helped him, but even so, he climbed very slowly, and with great difficulty.


When he arrived everyone in the room, including me, was laughing. For the whole time he was there, there were no verbal teachings given out. There was just continuous laughter. He also joined in, even though he didn’t know why we were laughing. Then, as it was lunchtime, we all went downstairs to eat.

The photos in the slide show were all taken during this interview in the Botanic Garden, Lucknow. The cover photo of the book was also taken that day.

David Godman Books


Books by David Godman on Ramana Maharshi, his devotees and his teachings

bottom of page