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At that time they will listen because by then they will be suffering a little. When people start to have trouble through over-indulgence in sensory pleasures, they come to me, and they listen. If anyone is upside down for long enough, they begin to suffer, and once they begin to be aware of their suffering, they come to me. So, I know many tricks and I have often used them in the West.


Mostly good people are coming to see me in Lucknow. I have no problem with them. People from all over the world are coming to India and Lucknow for the first time, and I am very happy with them. When I speak to them, they listen to me. They listen to me as they would to their father, or to any other respected person who gives good advice. They want to end their suffering, their mental pain. So I give them this trick: I tell them to be quiet. Most people like this advice very much because I am not asking them to do anything. They get happiness and peace by doing nothing, by simply being quiet.


Who doesn’t want happiness? Who doesn’t want peace? Who doesn’t want beauty? Everyone is interested. So they listen to me and I am happy. Everyone is benefited.


They all return to their respective countries as ambassadors from this city of Lucknow. And then they send their friends. Thousands of people have come here simply because they have heard good reports from other people.


No one complains about what is going on here. There are no charges, there is no ashram, there are no big appeals for funds. I live in my own house and I belong to this place. For fifty years I have been living here. I have also spent a few years living abroad. I like travelling but now my old age has compelled me to stay here. That’s why you are here. Until recently I used to visit people in their own houses. I didn’t like to trouble anyone, you see.


So now many people are here and I am very happy that some message of peace is being spread. We need it very badly.


Two thousand six hundred years ago it was India which sent messengers of peace all over the world in the persons of Mahendra and Mitra. The Emperor Ashoka’s own son and daughter were sent out as emissaries. Other people went to China, Japan and Korea on the same mission. There was tremendous peace in the world at that time. So let us resolve again to send out this message of peace, and let us send it from the same place. The Buddha belongs to this state. I am very happy that the message of peace is being sent out once again from the place where the Buddha lived. Many tourists now come to this state to visit the holy places which are associated with the Buddha’s life. They visit places like Kushinagar, Siddharthanagar and Lumbini. All of these places have become holy because of one man who spread a message of peace from here.


You can have peace in the world by enlightening yourself. This enlightenment itself is a message. When you go back to your own country you may speak, or you may keep quiet. It will work, you will see. When your friends ask you, ‘What happened?’ you can keep quiet. Again they will ask you. Just keep quiet, that’s all you need to do.



David: Papaji, many people have heard you say, ‘I have not given my final teachings to anyone’. What are these final teachings, and why you are not giving them out?


Papaji: They are not worthy of them. Nobody is worthy to receive them. Because it has been my experience that everybody has proved arrogant and egotistic. This has resulted in suffering. Many people are suffering. Nowadays, I am making another trial. I will see what happens.


I don’t think that anyone is worthy to receive them. You have to prove holiness to be worthy. Why should you trouble people instead of helping them? This is arrogance, you see.


If a king sends a messenger to another country, his only job is to deliver the message. I sent a messenger to the West, but he tried to become a king. Many people have been troubled by this. I have seen it in many cases. What to do? This kind of behaviour demonstrates unworthiness.


Perhaps I am too generous, perhaps I do not read people properly. Maybe it is my mistake because I think that everyone is good. Though I speak the Truth to everyone, the Truth will reject those who are not worthy of it. Only a holy person can receive this teaching. Such a person will be worthy of it.


If the worthiness is not there, the Truth will enter their head and become intellectual knowledge. Westerners want intellectual understanding. They are very happy when they understand. That’s all the West wants: knowledge through the intellect. Everyone knows that there is something ‘beyond’. But when I talk about it the Westerners say, ‘I don’t understand, I don’t understand’. So I say to them, ‘You don’t need to understand at all’.


I had a friend who lived in Paris. He had been a follower of J. Krishnamurti for thirty-five years. He used to travel around the world, following Krishnamurti wherever he went: Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, England. He had read and studied all the books.


He came to me in Saanen and I talked to him for some time.


After he had listened he said, ‘I don’t understand, I don’t understand’.


I told him, ‘You are not to understand this. This is not something to be understood. You have to be it.’


He disagreed. ‘No, no. I have to understand. I don’t understand you and I don’t understand Krishnamurti either.’


I told him, ‘You don’t need to understand either Krishnamurti or me’.


Then he explained to me why he was having so much trouble with Krishnamurti.


‘I am at point A and Krishnamurti is at point B. But when I shift my perspective from A to B, he moves to point C. So, I don’t even understand Krishnaji.’


Krishnamurti was also in Saanen at that time, so a lot of his followers used to come and see me.


One day a man came and started talking: ‘Poonjaji and Krishnaji are saying the same thing. Krishnaji says, "Remove all concepts from the mind," and Poonjaji is saying the same. They are both saying, "Unless you empty the pot of the mind, you cannot be enlightened”.’


One man who was listening, he was a follower of Krishnamurti, disputed this statement.


He said, ‘No, no, there is a big difference between Poonjaji’s and Krishnaji’s teachings. Krishnaji teaches us to empty the pot, Poonjaji teaches us to break to pot.’


That is the difference, and this is something that cannot be understood with the mind. You can understand when the cup is full, or when the cup is empty, but when the cup does not exist, who are you, and what are you going to understand? So what I say is, ‘Mind itself does not exist, so you don’t need to understand’. You have to see it and feel it when I speak. Thinking will not help you.


Mind itself is only a notion. Get rid of this notion. And mind is past, so get rid of the past also. Come to the present and then I will tell you what to do next. Come to at least the present and you will see.


David: Papaji, many people come to satsang and they have waking-up experiences. Some of them come back weeks or months later and say, ‘I lost it’. What is happening there?


Papaji: Again, this is unworthiness.


David: Most of the time you blame these people for losing it. You tell them, ‘It’s your fault’.


Papaji: Yes, yes. They lost it because they did not take good care of it. I tell these people, ‘If I give you a big diamond, you can live off it for the rest of your life. You can sell it and get millions of dollars for it. If, instead, you don’t recognise its worth and you give it away, whose fault is it? If you give it to a fisherwoman who uses it to balance her scales, because she doesn’t know what it’s worth, whose fault is it?’


This enlightenment is a diamond. It should not be passed on to unworthy people who will misuse it. And they do misuse it. I don’t differentiate between all the people who come to me. I tell them all the same truth. Some get it and then they throw it away by misusing it.


They come back and say things like, ‘My girl friend left me. I phoned her and she came back. Now I am happy again.’ Is this freedom? Next time they will tell me, ‘I went back, but she left me again. Now I am in trouble again.’ Every day I hear stories like this.


David: Papaji, when people leave you, you never tell them, ‘Take care of this diamond I’ve given you. Look after it.’ You only blame them for having lost it when they come back.


Papaji: Not all of them lose it. Some of them are very beautiful people. They write to me and say, ‘I am keeping it. I am still keeping this precious gift. Not only am I keeping it, I am distributing it to others. Even after distributing it, I see that the same amount is still with me. It doesn’t decrease. What a gift you have given me!’ Not all of them lose it. Although I want everyone to be benefited by this thing, I also know that not everyone can get it. Even so, the results here are very good. I look at other ashrams and see what is going on there. Compared to them, the results we are getting here are quite satisfactory. I am very satisfied.


David: One final question, Papaji. All your life you have been trying to express your own inner experience. Will you please make one more attempt for us. Who are you? What are you? What is your own experience of your Self?


Papaji: A very easy reply is: ‘I am your own Self.' I am your own Self, and this is Truth. How can it be that I am myself only? I am your own Self and the Self of all the beings that exist and that have to exist.

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

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