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H. W. L.  POONJA

WHO  ARE  YOU ?



Let there be peace among all beings of the universe. OM Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.

INTERVIEW  BY  JEFF  GREENWALD



EFF :  The first question is: Who are you?


Papaji: I am That from where you, me, she, he, and all the rest emerge. I am That.

Jeff: What do you see when you look at me?

Papaji: As my own Self. When you see your hands, feet, body, mind, senses, intellect, you know they are part of you. You say, "My 'I' includes all these". In the same way you must see the world as yourself, as not different from who you are. Right now you regard your hands, your feet, your nails and your hair as not being any different from you. See the world in the same way.

Jeff: Are you saying that there is no place where 'I' ends and 'you' begin?

Papaji: There is. I am taking you to that place.

Jeff: Papa, you speak about freedom. What is freedom?

Papaji: Freedom is a trap! A man who is imprisoned in a jail needs to be free, doesn't he? He is trapped in the jail and he knows that the people outside are free. You are all in prison and you have heard about outside from your parents, priests, teachers and preachers. "Come to us," they say, "and we will give you freedom. Come to me and I will give you rest." That is the promise, but this is only another trap. Once you believe it, you are caught in the trap of wanting freedom. You should be out of both these traps – neither in bondage nor in freedom – because these are only concepts. Bondage was a concept which gave rise to the concept of freedom. Get rid of both these concepts. Then, where are you?

Jeff: Here.

Papaji: Here, yes. 'Here' is neither a trap of bondage nor of freedom. It is not 'there'. In fact, It is not even 'here'.



 


Jeff: Words seem to me to be a very great trap. Throughout the time I have been here, words have been inadequate to express the nature of the awakenings that take place here. They cannot even express why words are inadequate. I would have to compare them to what was adequate and I can't do that in words. But one word that is thrown around a lot in the West and in the East is the word 'enlightenment'. Is what you speak of enlightenment?

Papaji: Enlightenment is true knowledge itself, not knowledge of a person, a thing or an idea. Just knowledge itself. Enlightenment is there when there is no imagination of the past, no imagination of the future, not even an idea of the present.

Jeff: I can't imagine a state with no imagination.

Papaji: That is what is called bondage. It is called suffering. It is called samsara. I tell you, "Don't imagine. In this present moment, don't have any imagination." When you imagine, you are constructing images, and all images belong to the past. Don't recall the past and don't aspire to anything in the future. Then imagination goes. It is no longer in the mind. Everything in the mind comes from the past.

Jeff: When you tell me not to think of anything, it is like telling me not to think of a hippopotamus. The first thought that comes to mind is, of course, a hippopotamus.

Papaji: I am not asking you to think of anything. What I am saying is, "Don't imagine anything that belongs to the past, the present and the future". If you are free from all imagination, you are also free of time, because any image will remind you of time and keep you within its framework. In the waking state you see images: of persons, of things, of ideas. When you go to sleep, all these vanish. Now, when you are sleeping, where are all these images? Where are the people? Where are the things?

Jeff: In sleep these things are still there. They don't go away when I sleep.

Papaji: You are describing the dream state. I am talking about the sleep state. I will show you. What time do you go to sleep?

Jeff: About 11.30 at night.

Papaji: Think of this last second, the one after 11.29 and fifty-nine seconds. What happens in that final second? Does the sixtieth second belong to sleep or to the waking state?

Jeff: It is a zone in between, neither here nor there.

Papaji: Now, let us talk about one second later. The sixtieth second has already gone. Just now you spoke of 'here' and 'there'. Where is 'here' and 'there' in that first instant of sleep? In that instant, you reject everything: all images, all things, all persons, all relationships. All ideas are gone in that instant when you jump into sleep. After that sixtieth second there is no time, no space, no country. We are speaking now about sleep. Now, after you have woken up, describe to me what happened while you were asleep.

Jeff: There was dreaming.

Papaji: Not dreaming, I am talking about sleep. Dreaming is the same state as you see here in front of you. In dreaming, if you see that a robber has robbed you or a tiger has pounced on you, you experience the same fear as when you are awake. What do you see when you sleep?

Jeff: Nothing.

Papaji: That is the right answer. Now, why do you reject all the things of the world, things you like so much, merely to offer yourself up to a Nothingness.

Jeff: I do it because I become tired.

Papaji: To regain energy you go to the reservoir of energy, to that Nothingness. If you don't touch that reservoir, what will happen to you, where will you go?

Jeff: Crazy!

Papaji: Crazy, yes. Now I will tell you how to stay continuously in that state of sleep, of Nothingness, even while you are awake. I will also tell you how to be awake while your body is asleep. That will be good, won't it?

Let us talk about the end of that last second before you woke up from sleep. Waking has not yet come, and the sleep state is about to end. Now, what is your experience in the very first moment of the next waking state?

Jeff: My senses call me back to the world.

Papaji: OK. Now tell me what happened to the experience of happiness you had while you were sleeping? What have you brought from the hours of nothingness?

Jeff: It is gone. I am relaxed, refreshed.

Papaji: So, do you prefer the tension of the waking state to the relaxation of sleep?

Jeff: I have a question about that later.

Papaji: If you understand what I am trying to convey to you, you probably would not ask me this next question. Imagine that you have just come out of a cinema after seeing a show from ten till five. You go home and your friends ask, "How was it?" What will you tell them?

Jeff: "It was a beautiful show."

Papaji: You can bring the memory of those images to them, but you brought nothing from your sleep. Who woke up? Who woke up from that state of happiness? You were happy while you were sleeping. If it were not a happy state, no one would be willing to say "Good night" to their loved ones every evening before going to sleep. No matter how close you are to them, you still say, "Good night, let me sleep".

There is something superior, something higher, something more beautiful about being alone. Ask yourself the question: when I wake up, who wakes up?

When you woke up, you did not bring the impression of the happiness that you enjoyed for six or seven hours of dreamless sleep. You can only bring with you impressions of the dances you saw in your dreams.

You have to create a new habit, a habit you can create only in satsang. You were taken to the theatre by your parents when you were a small boy. Through such trips you learned how to describe the impressions your senses received, and you also learned how to enjoy them. But your parents could not tell you or teach you about what goes on when you are free of the senses. This can only be known in satsang, and that is why you are here. So, I will ask you again: when you wake up, who wakes up?

Jeff: It is the 'I' that wakes up.

Papaji: OK. The 'I' has woken up. When the 'I' wakes up, the past, the present and the future also wake up. This means that time and space also wake up. Along with time and space the sun wakes up, the moon wakes up, the stars wake up, mountains wake up, rivers wake up, forests wake up, men, birds and animals all wake up. When the 'I' wakes up, everything else wakes up. While this 'I' was sleeping during the sleep state, everything was quiet. If you don't touch the 'I' which woke up, you will experience the happiness of sleep while you are awake. Do it for one single second, half of a single second, a quarter of a single second. Don't touch the 'I'. The 'I' is something that we can well afford to be without. Don't touch the 'I' and tell me if you are not sleeping.

Jeff: That is right. In that instant, everything is like a dream.

Papaji: This is called waking while sleeping and sleeping while awake. You are always in happiness, always awake. This awakening is called Knowledge, Freedom, Truth. Don't touch the names, though. Get rid of all the words that you have so far heard from any quarter. And you will see who you really are.

[silence]

Now, don't sleep!

Jeff: Papaji, I live next door to a car repair shop by your house. Sometimes I feel that my only impediment to spiritual progress is the racket of the mechanics banging on the cars. How can we remain quiet when the senses are continually drinking in the environment? After all, that's their job.

Papaji: When a child is learning how to walk, his parents give him walking aids. When he grows up and learns how to walk independently, he throws them away. So, in the beginning, if you find that you are disturbed when you are meditating, it will be better to change the environment. I will give you the following advice. When you choose a house or an environment to live in, you must first look at the neighbourhood. Is it full of garbage and pigs? Noisy people? A fish market? A supermarket? You must avoid all these things in the beginning. You can go to the forest to meditate. Then, when you have learned the art of meditation, you can sit in the middle of a fish market or on Shalimar Crossing [crossroad in Lucknow] or Hazrat Ganj [shopping district of Lucknow]. Once you have mastered the art of meditation, you will not hear noise. You will not hear anything. When you are truly meditating, you will be in the same state that you were while you were sleeping. But you will be awake at the same time. This is called sleeping while being awake. Until you have learned this, it is better to avoid uncongenial environments. See what your neighbourhood is like before you move in. The neighbourhood has to be good. The neighbourhood is even more important than your own apartment. Find people to live among who are following your own way of life. Teachers like to be with teachers, philosophers with philosophers, workers with fellow workers. They all very much like to be with each other. But once you have learned the art of true meditation, you can do whatever you like, wherever you like.

Jeff: What is meditation to you? Many different kinds of meditation are practised. Many of them rely on looking at phenomena such as watching the breath, or seeing thoughts rise and fall.

Papaji: You are not speaking of meditation, you are speaking of concentration. Meditation only takes place when you are not concentrating on any object. If you can manage not to bring any object of the past into the mind, that is called meditation. Do not use your mind – that is called meditation. If you use your mind to meditate, it is not meditation, it is concentration. The mind can only cling to some object that belongs to the past. Have you been told to meditate without the aid of the mind?

Jeff: That is hard to answer. Most of the meditation that I have done involves techniques for dealing with thoughts that arise. But the aim of the meditation seems to be a thoughtless state, where no thoughts arise.

Papaji: Yes, that is called meditation. When no thoughts arise, that is called meditation.

Jeff: But thoughts arise, inevitably. How does one deal with thoughts that arise?

Papaji: I will tell you how to deal with them. I think you can devote an amount of time equal to a finger snap. That is all the time I need to stop your thoughts. What is a thought? What is mind? There is no difference between thought and mind. Thought arises from mind and mind is merely a bundle of thoughts. Without thoughts there is no mind. What is mind? 'I' is mind. Mind is past, it is clinging to past, present and future. It is clinging to time, clinging to objects. This is called mind. Now, where does the mind arise from? When the 'I' rises, mind rises, senses rise, the world rises. Now, find out where the 'I' rises from and then tell me if you are not quiet. Go on, comment on what is happening while you do it.

Jeff: I am listening to you speak.

Papaji: After that. We have arrived at the fact that the mind is 'I', and that mind arises from 'I'. When the 'I' rises, the mind rises. This is what happens in the transition from sleeping to waking. Now, find out that reservoir, the place where the 'I' rises. Where does the 'I' rise from?

Jeff: It is the name.

Papaji: Wait, wait. You don't follow. I will repeat it again. If there is a canal which comes out of a reservoir, you can follow this canal back to the place where it emerges from the reservoir. I am telling you, follow the 'I'-thought in the same way. Where does it rise from? I will tell you how to do it, how to find the answer. You don't have to box like Mohammed Ali for this. It is very simple. To know yourself is as simple as rubbing a rose petal. This knowledge or realisation is as simple as a rose petal in your fingers. It is not difficult at all. Difficulties only arise when you make an effort. So, you don't have to make any effort to go to the reservoir which is the Source of 'I'. Don't make any effort and don't think either. Reject effort and reject thought. When I say reject thought, I mean, "Reject the 'I'-thought and any kind of effort".

Jeff: It feels like a comet that is skirting the atmosphere. It flashes briefly and then disappears back into space. It is like a momentary spark of flame which is followed by the darkness of 'I' again.

Papaji: Not again. For 'again' you have to go to the past. 'Again' is past. I am telling you to get rid of this 'I'. Don't make an effort and don't think either for one single second. Even half of a second or a quarter of a second is quite enough. My dear young Jeff, you have not spent this much time on yourself in thirty-five million years! Here and now is the time to do it.

Jeff: I find it impossible not to make an effort. There is always a trying. There is an expectation, a sense of trying, always.

Papaji: All this 'doing' has been taught to you by your parents, by your priests, by your teachers, by your preachers. Now, instead, keep quiet for a quarter of a second and see what happens. You have inherited doing from your parents: "Do this and do that." You went to the priest and he told you, "Do this and don't do that". Then you heard the same thing from society and from everywhere else. I am telling you to get rid of both doing and of not doing. When you indulge in doing, you are back in your parents' world. You first learned doing from your mother. If you did not handle your spoon and fork correctly, she slapped you at the dinner table and said, "Don't do this!" Do's and don'ts first came from your mother. And then from the priest: "You have to go to a particular church. Don't go to somebody else's church. If you do, you will go to heaven. If you don't, you will go to hell. You are a sinner."

I say, "Get rid of both doing and not doing". Have at least a taste of it. You have already had a taste of doing. There are six billion people and they are all tasting doing. Tell me, what is the result of all this doing? Recently we have seen the result of doing in the Gulf. We have also seen three wars. The result of this doing is hatred between man and man, and lots of killing. Let us instead see what can be done by not doing. In not doing, there will be love, not hatred. Let this love spring up once again as it did in the time of Buddha and Ashoka.

Jeff: Papaji, now that I am calling you 'Papaji', I am putting you in a parental role. It feels a little awkward.

Papaji: This parent tells you: "Don't make any effort." Listen to this Papaji, to only one of his words. If you don't listen to this Papaji, you will have many other Papaji's for another thirty-five million years!

Jeff: I am a writer and I find it very natural to write. People are always coming to me, asking for advice on writing and I tell them: "Just do it naturally. Just write as you would speak. There is nothing that is easier." But they can't do it. They need to make some effort to do it.

Papaji, you awakened spontaneously and completely naturally at the age of eight. Why are you so confident that it will be so easy and so natural for others? We have spent thirty-five million years trying with little success.

Papaji: I must also have spent that long. I know it because I have seen many of my past lives. Buddha also said that he spent many, many incarnations trying to wake up. He also knew them very well. He remembered very clearly a slight mistake he had made 253 incarnations ago. He also had been doing and doing.

You asked me a direct question. I do not know what caused my awakening. It was very spontaneous. I did not have any background, I did not do any meditation, I had not read any book about enlightenment. I was in Pakistan, so these books were not available. They are mostly written in Sanskrit, but I had not studied Sanskrit. I had only studied Persian. It came to me, but how I do not know. Perhaps it chose me. The Truth reveals itself to a holy person. I did not have any qualification. I was not educated at that time. I was only eight years old, studying in the second standard. What I saw then I am still seeing. What is it? What is it? What is it? I am more and more in love with It with each passing moment.

Jeff: All my life I have wondered what it would have been like to have lived in the time of the Buddha, and to have sat at his feet. Here with you, I feel I know the answer to that question.

Papaji: You have been with him, you must have been with him. Otherwise you would not have asked these questions, you would never have come here. What about the other people, the other six billion people? Why don't they come to satsang? What about your neighbours, what about your parents, what about your society? Why only you? You have been chosen, you have been chosen for this purpose.

When you know It, you will know It in an instant. In that instant, you will know that nothing ever happened before, and that nothing will ever happen in the future. In one moment you thought you were bound. In that same moment you will find that you are free. In that instant of awakening, you will know that there is no freedom, no bondage. You will know, "I am what I am".

Jeff: Papa, can the mind assist in the process of realising freedom?

Papaji: Yes, it can. Mind is your foe and mind is your friend also. When attached to sense objects it is your enemy. But when it aspires to come to satsang, the same mind is a friendly mind. It will give you freedom.

Jeff: That's a big relief for some reason. When we speak of realising freedom, who is realising freedom?

Papaji: This 'who' itself is realising freedom. The 'who' who is asking the question is the same 'who' who feels that this 'who' is now bound. After having known this, 'who' will show its oneness. "Look here, Jeff," it will say, "I am the same 'who' who brought you here!"

Jeff: It was Saint Francis who said, "What you are looking for is who is looking".

Papaji: Yes, yes. When you only say 'Who?', w-h-o, where do you find it, tell me? Where? You have to add something. Only then will the reply come. Who are you? If you simply say 'Who?', who then will appear to you? Simply say "Who? Who? Who?"

Jeff: I'm going to start sounding like an owl in a minute. You say that the force that has brought us here, that brought us to satsang, will take care of us. What force is that?

Papaji: The force which has brought you here, the force which is speaking your words, the force which is asking the questions: that force is the same. The force has now become the questioner. The same force is now asking. And this force is also telling you, "Keep quiet!"

Jeff: [shaking his head] After you, Papaji, I could interview anybody.

In the scientific view everything that we perceive, from an apple to pure Grace, is the result of neural signals and chemical processes. From the biological perspective the miracle of consciousness has a direct physical cause. How can we be certain that consciousness, awareness, awakeness is not just a chemical reaction, and that the realisation of Emptiness is no more than a mere quieting of our brain cells?

Papaji: Science has done very well in its researches. I don't have any quarrels with science. We are living in the twentieth century and we are very lucky to enjoy the benefits of the results of scientific research. I can't reject scientific discoveries. Without them you could not have come here from California in just twenty hours. So, we should accept them. But where does the intellect which discovers come from? Discoveries have been made about the nature of the cells in the brain. But where these cells get their energy from has not yet been discovered. I hope that this will one day be discovered.

It is Emptiness Itself which animates these cells. These cells then send signals throughout the body to the billions and trillions of cells in the body which activate thoughts, movement of the limbs, the senses, the mind, etc... This is creation. In the beginning there is Emptiness. Emptiness animates the cells, and the cells then make the intellect and the mind work. Then, once there is mind, the body, the senses and the objects they see, arise. All these perceptions are registered via the cells.

Each cell is giving you a new incarnation. Each cell. Because what you desire will enter directly into the cells and lie hidden there. These desires will emerge from the cells at the appropriate moment and reincarnate in other cells. It is the cells which have reincarnated and become mind. Your question was that maybe Emptiness is just something chemical happening in the brain. But who is aware of this chemical happening? Some higher force, some force which is subtler than the cells is conscious of what is happening to the cells. It is aware. What is that force?

Jeff: Grace, Self. The larger context in which we are all existing in all forms. In asking this question I want you and everyone in this room to understand that I feel Grace in your presence, Papaji. I am not denying that, I am just trying to understand and to remove the doubt. So my answer would be 'Grace'. It sounds to me like a force that must encompass everything, even more than everything. It is something that is larger than everything. But it also sounds to me like something I am being asked to believe in, something I must have faith in. Is faith in the Supreme force a prerequisite for freedom? Must we have faith in this force to awaken to freedom? Does what you are giving us require faith?

Papaji: The word 'faith' is used by the founders of religions. When you say the word 'faith' you must go back to the founder of some particular set of beliefs. Faith means following someone from the past. When you speak the word 'faith', you must see that your mind goes to the past. Tell me any instance where there is a question of faith that doesn't belong to the past.

Jeff: For me, the word 'faith' is associated with religions, dead religions.

Papaji: This word takes you to images from the past. "Have faith in this god or that god, in this statue or that statue." I don't tell the children who are here to have faith in anything from the past. I don't teach faith at all. I teach knowledge. Knowledge has nothing to do with faith. Faith brings you to the past, knowledge to the present moment. Between Self and Grace there is no difference. When you use the word Self [Atman], the mind does not hold onto any person, any thing, any concept. When you utter the word 'Grace', you should not think that it is coming from such and such a person, or an image or a thing. Grace is more than space, higher, subtler, more supreme than even space. Where does the space arise from? That is . Through whose Grace does the sun shine? The shining of the sun is a manifestation of that Grace. The moon in the night, the hardness of a rock, the softness of a flower, the flow of a river, the movement of air and the waves of the ocean. What is this thing which moves the air? Not the movement itself, not the movement of the waves on the surface of the ocean. I am talking about that ultimate power which is the Source of the movement: That.

Jeff: It is the ultimate mystery.

Papaji: Call it mystery if you like. That mysteriousness is called Grace. There is no difference. It is a mystery and it will always remain a mystery. This mystery, this secret is so very sacred, you will not be able to tell me about it. When I took you to that place, you could not tell me about it. If it were not a secret, surely you would tell me about it, because you know me. I will not deceive you. You did not tell me what was happening in this instant because you couldn't. It is so secret, two cannot walk abreast there. Not even one. Not the body, not the mind, not the senses, not even the discriminative intellect. That is That.

I have been trying for the last sixty years, but I cannot solve this mystery. I have never been able to solve this secret. I am an old man. You are very young, so please speak to me. I want to see that secret, that mystery face to face. I want to kiss Him, I want to kiss Her, because I have not seen a beauty like this beauty anywhere on the face of this planet. I am in love with someone, but the Beloved I have not seen.

Jeff: How did I end up sitting at your feet like this? What kind of miracle is this that put me here?

Papaji: You have called. It is your invitation.

Jeff: Papaji, you recommend that we don't read books about awakening because it just creates the preconception and expectation of what awakening will feel like, taste like, of what it will be like. What then do you hope to convey about it in an interview?

Papaji: I don't recommend that you read any sacred books or books about saints. When you read a spiritual book, you will probably like some part of it. If you read it and like it, you store it in the memory. Later, you sit in meditation, trying to get freedom. You want to be free, and you have a conception of freedom which you have acquired from your books. When you meditate, this preconceived idea will manifest and you will experience it. You forget that what you are experiencing is something that is stored in your memory. What you get is a past experience, not enlightenment. The real experience is not an experience of a past memory. The mind deceives you when you meditate. The mind is always going to deceive you and cheat you, so don't depend on the mind. If the mind wants or likes something, don't listen to it. Whatever the mind likes, dislike it. Memory means past. When you meditate, you are trying to execute a plan which is in your mind: "I have to arrive at the place I have read about." Your later experience is therefore preplanned and that is what you get, because whatever the mind thinks, it manifests.

When you have a thought of samsara, manifestation arises. This is your thought, your wish. That is why the world manifests. It looks so real to you because you have faith in its reality. Once you experience that Supreme Reality is somewhere else, you will reject samsara instantly. You will have a very new, very fresh experience. Each moment will be new. You will not experience it with the mind. Then there will be no mind, you will be all alone. This and this alone is called 'experience'. I won't use the word experience again because all experiences are planned from the past. It is not really going to be an experience, it is going to be a very direct meeting. For the first time you will meet That. You will go to meet It after denuding your mind, after denuding all the concepts of the mind. You have to go there undressed. Undress everything. Be nude. Even denude yourself of the nudity. Do you understand? The chamber of this Beloved is so sacred, this is the only way you can enter. If you want to meet your Beloved, go there. Who stops you? Do it now itself. It is so simple. To dress up takes time. To undress is much easier.

Jeff: Yesterday you told a story about a Guru who was so deeply engrossed in meditation, he didn't care for his sick son. Someone asked you about responsibility. I also want to ask you the same question: "Is freedom also freedom from responsibility?"

Papaji: The man who asked me about this came to me again. I told him that this was a story of a saint, his wife and his son. I told him, "You do not relate to any one of these three, neither the son, nor the wife, nor the husband. This is a story of a saint and his wife. You have to become either a saint, or his wife to know. Or at least his son." Then he kept quiet and said he was satisfied.

Responsibilities have been there for a long time. You have a mind and an ego which says, "This belongs to me and that belongs to him". From this, responsibility arises.

Who is the father of all this creation? Before your birth, thissamsara, this creation, was already there. It has been here for millions of years. Who looked after it during all this time? You have been looking after your own responsibilities, your own liabilities, for about thirty years. After seventy years you will not be looking after them any longer. Your responsibilities and liabilities, the span of your duty, cannot be more than a hundred years. What about the millions of years before you? Who is responsible for the billions of activities that went on before you were born?

If you accept responsibility for your family, your son, your wife, your society, your country and all others in the world, you have to move your mind, your body and your intellect. Don't you? To fulfill these responsibilities you need three things: good health, which means a good body, a good mind, which means good intentions, and compassion. Where do you draw these things from? Where do you get the energy to move the body so that you can help others physically? Where do you get the energy to move the mind to send compassion to others? Where do you draw this energy to act?

Jeff: It is drawn from Grace.

Papaji: If you know that you are drawing the energy from Grace, how and why do things become your own responsibility? This bulb is shining, light is there. Can the lamp say, "It is my light! If I want to shine I will shine, and if I don't there will be darkness"? The light does not come from here. The reservoir, the Source of it, is somewhere else. If this lamp says, "I am bright. Because of me you can see," it is mistaken. It doesn't know. Where does the current come from? Where does the electricity come from? There was a chief electrical engineer who worked in this place, so I asked him: "What is electricity? If you break the wire through which the current is passing to give us light, I don't see anything."

He answered, "We do not know yet. Somehow it works. Electricity is generated, but where it ultimately comes from, that we still do not know. We do not know what is the original source of that power which flows through the wires."

When you are five years old, your parents look after you. When you grow older and you feel that you can look after yourself, you leave your parents and work for yourself. Your parents are happy when you start to be independent. If you have trouble, you can always go back to them for help and advice, and you will always be welcome. Why am I telling you this? There is an energy, a Grace, which nurtures you and looks after you. You can go back to It at any time for sustenance. That reservoir is the Source of all energy. It is the Source of electricity and the Source of your own energy as well. Don't forget that all your energy, the energy through which you do work, comes from Self, from Grace. When you tap into that Source, you will have two hundred percent more energy to work with than you have now. Go back to your country and see for yourself.

When you let this Grace run your life, you will know, "This is coming from Grace. It is my good luck that I have seen this Grace working. Through it I have been given the opportunity to look after my children, my wife, my relations, my society, my country." When you function from that place, you will have a new life. Many people who leave here write to me: "Where does this energy come from? We were busy before but now we have taken on more jobs and we still don't fatigue ourselves. We feel very young now. It is as if we were thirty years younger than when we came to Lucknow."

Jeff: Then I would be eight years old. A good time for an awakening!

Papaji: Yes, yes. Otherwise you will be too old. It has to be got in childhood or youth. In old age there are responsibilities. Children will trouble you, society will trouble you, diseases will trouble you. The body is a disease itself. It is full of complications. When you are old, your mind will be dwelling on your diseases. It will not be able to concentrate. There will be mental ailments, physical troubles, relationships – so many things. So you have to do it in your prime, in your youth. Childhood is the best time, but youth is also good. Some old people have also come here. They will be all right next time.

Jeff: Yesterday a woman came and saw you. She was a bit older than I am and she seemed to have a wonderful visit with you. When I saw her, I was very confident because I thought, "I still have time".

Papaji: Why time? What for? You get rid of time here. Why depend on time? Time is the past. When you go from here, you throw away time. You don't need time

This has actually happened here. A man about fifty years of age came from L.A. because he was not happy that his son was always here. He was a rich man and wanted to take his son away and make him work in some business. He had brought hundreds of questions and wanted to fight with me. He wanted to know why I had taken his son from him. They had three rooms in the Clarks Hotel and spent the night there before coming to see me. The next morning his son introduced him to me. He sat down in front of me in my house.

The father said: "You came to me last night. You sat by my bed in the Clarks Hotel and you answered all my questions. Now I have nothing to ask.

He had a watch on his wrist which he placed next to me, saying, "I don't need time now".

He stayed here for twenty days. Have you ever seen an American with no watch? Even while going to sleep they have a watch under the pillow. Even when they go to the bathroom the watch is there. They are so careful, so punctual, even in the bathroom.

When he was leaving, I said to him, "What about the time? If you don't have a watch, you will have to ask other people the time." He replied, "No, it is all the same. Getting up and sleeping – now it is all the same. I have forgotten time. I don't need it anymore."

I told him, "No, take my time now," and I fastened the watch on his wrist

When you have time, the mind and all these other things, you have to be responsible for them yourself. But when you know the beauty of no-mind and no-time, who will look after you? If you rely on the Supreme Power, it will take care of you very well.

Jeff: Papaji, nearly all of us are very well-to-do people from free countries. Visiting you in Lucknow is a privilege that all of us can afford. For many people, though, freedom still means relief from political oppression, from imprisonment, from torture. Is external bondage an impediment to internal freedom, and if it is, do you see a place for political activism in the world?

Papaji: External circumstances are no impediment. The impediment is the ego. Impediments are created by the ego. "I have to do this." "I must not do that." This idea that you are doing something is the impediment. If you act without feeling that you are the doer, there will be no impediments. The Supreme Power is working through you. It will guide you as the circumstances arise.

Jeff: I spend some time working for human rights. People in other countries like Burma and Tibet are being terribly oppressed. They are being killed or hurt by people who have taken control of them. You say that the body itself is a disease and that sometimes, in old age, the body exerts a tyranny that makes it very difficult to wake up. There are some places where one could be killed just for attending satsang. There are places where meetings like these are prohibited. In these places the government agents would gun us down if we tried to assemble for a satsang. These external circumstances must be an impediment. And since they are, there must be a need for people to take action against their oppressors. You yourself did that in your twenties, if your biography is accurate. How do you deal with that kind of action?

Papaji: The world is moving towards disaster. We are moving towards the destruction of the human race itself. Atom bombs and chemical weapons are taking us there. This is not the way to go. Let us try instead broadcasting compassion and love towards all human beings and to all other beings. Let us try this. Here in satsang we are making a trial. We are spreading the message of peace and love. I hope that the message will spread. All those who are here are ambassadors of their respective countries. They will give this message to their parents and to the people in their country. This fire will spread. One day you will see its results. You yourself are going home. You will speak to your people, to your friends, and they will find out what is happening. You will see a tremendous change. I am very sure about it. These times are now coming.

We have to learn the lessons that previous destructions have taught us. We have still not forgotten Hiroshima in Japan. People are still suffering there. We can't forget.

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.

Jeff: Let's hope that it does.

Papaji: 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.

Jeff: What have you learned from your years as a teacher?

Papaji: 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.

Jeff: I'll rephrase the question: What have you learned from sitting in this spot in satsang over the years?

Papaji: Love, love, only love. I love them [gestures toward the satsang].

Jeff: Why 'them', Papa, don't you love me, too?

Papaji: 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."]

Jeff: Thank you, Papa.

Papaji: 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.

Jeff: Papa, you have a very broad wavelength. Any kind of dish can receive this signal.

Papaji: No dish and no signal! You don't need any signals. For signalling you need two – one to send and one to receive.

Jeff: Of course. When will I ever learn?

[silence]

Papaji: [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?

[silence]

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.

Jeff: To my amazement, Papaji, you answered them all. I thought there were some pretty tricky questions, but they all have exactly the same answer.

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