Home Guru (H. W. L. Poonja) Papaji: From Self-enquiry to Everlasting Smile (TRUE STORY!)

(H. W. L. Poonja) Papaji: From Self-enquiry to Everlasting Smile (TRUE STORY!)


About (H. W. L. Poonja) Papaji

  • Date of Birth – 13 October 1910

  • Place of Birth – Punjab

  • State of Living? (Samadhi or Alive) – Samadhi on 6 September 1997

Message to the World

Papaji message was the same as his Master Ramana Maharshi to enquire the real “I”.

Try to locate the true “I” and focus & investing in it directly will help one realize his true self.

Path of Enlightenment

Papaji followed Jnana Marga (Path of Knowledge – Self-enquiry).

How did (H. W. L. Poonja) Papaji experience Enlightenment?

Through Self-enquiry he reached the state of Jivanmukta (Living liberated soul).

(H. W. L. Poonja) Papaji's Guru?

Ramana Maharshi is Papaji’s Guru.

About Ramana Maharshi

papaji with ramana

Ramana Maharshi was also a Jivanmukta who realized his true Self when he was alive. He was born in Tiruchali, Tamil Nadu, India.

His teachings were mainly focused on self-inquiry, direct way to realize the god within.

Spiritual Practices (H. W. L. Poonja) Papaji Followed

Self-enquiry directly deals with one’s own thought process.

A Person who is following this approach should inquire about his own thoughts, words, and actions. Mainly focusing on the thoughts.

He needs to trace where the thoughts are coming from so that he would be able to find the root of the mind.

By focusing on one’s own identity which is grossly represented as Ego-consciousness, he will be able to transcend it to reach to the exalted state of consciousness that is the True Self.

The same thing (H. W. L. Poonja) Papaji did after meeting his master Ramana Maharshi to find his true self.


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(H. W. L. Poonja) Papaji's Enlightenment Experience

Harivansh (Papaji), (H. W. L. Poonja) Papaji’s earlier name. The family took Harivansh (Papaji) to their relative home at Lahore, Pakistan. When he was offered to drink a Mango juice. Suddenly he went to trance. The trance lasted for 2 days. The family took him to the mosque and requested mulla to perform an exorcism.

It did not work out and he came out of his trance state. After this he tried many times to repeat the same experience it didn’t work out like that. Upon his mother’s suggestion to meditate on Krishna. He did the same at the age of 8 and often times he used to see Krishna appeared before him in his child form.

This happened more frequently that he lost his interest in school and play like other children of his age did.

When he was at the age of 15, he had an unusual experience. During the festival of Holi, he consumed Bhang. He woke up in the midnight around 3 AM started meditating. He was uttering some strange sounds and parents woke up seeing this and called upon the doctor. The doctor suggested that he is okay and he will come out of this stage by himself. Till morning he was uttering the sounds. A priest happened to cross the path in front of his house and hearing the words he came rushing towards him and shocked to see he was chanting Yajurveda. Harivansh (Papaji) didn’t learn any Sanskrit words or hymns previously.

When he was an adult even though he was not interested in marriage. He got married on the insistence of his father. He joined the army during world war II. His devotion to Krishna was not something British liked. He resigned from the army. He then started wandering around the world to seek his guru because of his pull towards the spiritual quest. He met a lot of great gurus but none of them he was connected to.

He returned to the home and a wandering sadhu appeared at his home. Harivnash invited the sadhu and offered the food. He requested sadhu to show him, God. Fortunately, the sadhu instructed to go to meet Ramana Maharshi the sage from south India. He also gave directions to reach the place.

Harivansh (Papaji) didn’t have money as he had lost his job. Luckily he spotted an ad with a job opening for ex-army near south India just near to where he was intended to go. He joined the job and he got enough money to visit Ramana Maharshi.

He visited the hermitage where Ramana Maharshi stayed and shocked to get to know the fact that the same Ramana Maharshi had visited his home as a Monk. He was not at all happy with this incident and felt he is a cheat who simply roam around the place for his own publicity.

Someone came to him while he was leaving and told him that Ramana Maharshi had never left his place from the past 45 years. Harivansh (Papaji) stayed there with curiosity to meet the sage.

He met Ramana Maharshi and asked him to show the god aggressively. Ramana Maharshi replied, “No. I cannot show you God or enable you to see God because God is not an object to be seen. God is the subject. He is the seer. Don’t concern yourself with objects that can be seen. Find out who the seer is.” He then added, “You alone are God!”

Harivansh (Papaji) after hearing this felt his entire body tremble and shake. Hairs stood on the body and his nerve endings were dancing. Harivansh (Papaji) later explained about his experience as the opening of the heart. Ramana Maharshi’s gaze was with such intensity that opened his heart.

Harnish didn’t convince with this and left for his home. His daily routine included chanting of the name of Krishna from 2:30 Am to 9:30 AM every morning. He would then proceed to work.

One day while he was chanting he could see the Lord Shri Rama, Sita Devi, Lakshmana, and his great disciple Hanumana. The vision lasted for 7 hours till 9:30 AM. He was confused to get a vision of Rama instead of Krishna.

He was unable to read scriptures, chant the name of god like he did every day. Bewildered with this he asked this question to many that why he is unable to do the same thing as he used to do daily. He then went to Ramana Maharshi and told his experience.

When he met the Maharishi he said, “For twenty-five years I have been repeating the name of Krishna. Up till fairly recently, I was managing 50,000 repetitions a day. I also used to read a lot of spiritual literature. Then Rama, Sita, Lakshmana and Hanuman appeared before me. After they left, I couldn’t carry on with my practice. I can’t repeat the name anymore. I can’t read my books. I can’t meditate. I feel very quiet inside but there is no longer any desire in me to put my attention on God. In fact, I can’t do it even if I try. My mind refuses to engage itself in the thoughts of God. What has happened to me and what should I do?”

The Maharshi looked at Harivansh (Papaji) and asked, ‘How did you come here?’

Harivansh (Papaji) did not see the point of this question but politely said, “By train.”

“And what happened when you go to the station?” the sage inquired.

“Well, I got off the train, handed in my ticket and engaged a bullock card to bring me here.”

‘And when you reached here and paid off the driver of the cart, what happened to the cart?’

“It went away, presumably back to town,” Harivansh (Papaji) replied, still not clear as to where this line of questioning was leading.

The Maharishi then explained what he was driving at, “The train brought you to your destination. You got off it because you didn’t need it anymore. It had brought you to the place you wanted to reach. Likewise with the bullock cart. You got off it when it had brought you here. You don’t need either the train or the cart anymore. They were the means of bringing you here. Now you are here, they are of no use to you. That is what has happened with your chanting, your reading, and your meditation. They have brought you to your spiritual destination. You don’t need them anymore. You yourself did not give up your practices, they left you of their own accord because they had served their purpose. You have arrived.”

What happened next is described by Harivansh (Papaji) as follows: “Then he looked at me intently. I could feel that my whole body and mind were being washed with waves of purity. They were being purified by his silent gaze. I could feel him looking intently into my Heart. Under that spellbinding gaze, I felt every atom of my body is purified. It was as if a new body was being created for me. A process of transformation was going on—the old body was dying, atom by atom and a new body was being created in its place. Then, suddenly, I understood. I knew that this man who had spoken to me was, in reality, what I already was, what I had always been. There was a sudden impact of recognition as I became aware of the Self.”

“I use the word ‘recognition’ deliberately, because as soon as the experience was revealed to me, I knew, unerringly, that this was the same state of peace and happiness that I had been immersed in as an eight-year-old boy in Lahore, on the occasion when I had refused to accept the mango drink. The silent gaze of the Maharishi re-established me in that primal state, but this time it was permanent. The ‘I’ which had for so long been looking for a God outside of itself, because it wanted to get back to that original childhood state, perished in the direct knowledge and experience of the Self which the Maharishi revealed to me. I cannot describe exactly what the experience was or is because the books are right when they say that words cannot convey it. I can only talk about peripheral things. I can say that every cell, every atom in my body leaped to attention as they all recognized and experienced the Self that animated and supported them, but the experience itself I cannot describe. I knew that my spiritual quest had definitely ended, but the source of that knowledge will always remain indescribable. I got up and prostrated to the Maharishi in gratitude. I had finally understood what his teachings were and are. He had told me not to be attached to any personal God, because all forms are perishable. He could see that my chief impediments were God’s beautiful form and the love I felt towards Him. He had advised me to ignore the appearances of these ephemeral Gods and to enquire instead into the nature and source of the one who wanted to see them. He had tried to point me towards what was real and permanent, but stupidly and arrogantly I had paid no heed to his advice.”

After his realization experience, Harivansh (Papaji) wanted to stay with Maharishi and was very reluctant to return back to work but he had a family to feed. So after a few days, he reluctantly took leave of his Guru and returned back to work. What was remarkable for Harivansh (Papaji) that his mind had become completely “thoughtless” and he did not need thoughts to function. This is what he said later:

“In the first few months after my realization, I didn’t have a single thought. I could go to the office and perform all my duties without ever having a thought in my head. There was an ocean of inner silence that never gave rise to even a ripple of thought. It did not take me long to realize that a mind and thoughts are not necessary to function in the world. When one abides as the Self, some divine power takes charge of one’s life. All actions then take place spontaneously, and are performed very efficiently, without any mental effort or activity.”

Disciple Experience about (H. W. L. Poonja) Papaji

“This is the day Mooji realized. In fact, he was very upset by this encounter, feeling that (H. W. L. Poonja) Papaji had insulted him, and he decided to leave (H. W. L. Poonja) Papaji’s ashram that day. He even packed his bags. And that is when the sense of a separate self having experience disappeared.”

One of the prominent disciples of (H. W. L. Poonja) Papaji is Mooji.

Mooji is also a self-realized being.

An Excerpt from the Amazing Grace on Papaji

Here is a story of Peter from the Book “Amazing Grace” on Papaji.

The interviewer asks the disciples of Papaji about their experience of meeting with Papaji.

Tell me about your first meeting with Papaji?

So as I said, I met Ramda and he took me to the man in Haridwar. We came to the room, and a beautiful man was sitting on a bed, half-naked. He wasn’t wearing a shirt. He had all these tattoos on his arms and was amazingly strong. I almost felt some fear; his presence was so powerful, incredibly powerful. He invited me in. He said, “come in and sit.”

I was invited to sit in front of him, and he asked me where I was from. I said, “I’m from Australia.” Immediately he gave me a smile and said, ‘Do you know the Kangaroos, have you touched a kangaroo?’ And he started talking about nature and animals. At one point I told him that I had been a diver. He was so interested in this that he lit up. He was very happy to talk about nature. We talked for a long time, and I became completely lost. I felt beautiful with this man. Everything that I would have thought of before went away. I was just being with this beautiful man and feeling so good. I didn’t know what was happening. He gave me chai (tea) and lots of prasad (offering from the guru).

After some time said, ‘Okay Peter, now you go back to Rishikesh I am going to walk with my disciples by the Ganga.’ I thought, ‘I would really like to go walking with this beautiful man, along with his disciples by the Ganga.’ But I knew I was not to ask, as he had given me a clear order to go back to Rishikesh. I said to myself,’Okay, I will go,’ but I felt really sorry that I had to go.

I went back to Rishikesh, and this man never left my mind. After a few days I thought, ‘I want to go back to this man; may be he would let me in again.’ I went to Haridwar but couldn’t find him. I couldn’t find the side streets where he was because I hadn’t paid attention while going there, and certainly not while leaving. I had been in an altered state. I had even failed to ask his name. I didn’t know who he was. I started asking people if they knew this beautiful man. I described him, but nobody seemed to know.

Guruji Krishnananda Best Quote

Papaji Best Quote

(H. W. L. Poonja) Papaji Ashram Details

  • (H. W. L. Poonja) Papaji Ashram Name – (H. W. L. Poonja) Papaji Satsang Bhavan

  • Yoga Center Place – (H. W. L. Poonja) Papaji Satsang Bhavan A-306, Indira Nagar, Opposite Shalimar Hospital Lucknow 226016 INDIA

  • Phone Number – 093412 14037

Be Blessed by the master (H. W. L. Poonja) Papaji

  • Place – http://www.satsangbhavan.net/contact-us/

  • Website – http://www.satsangbhavan.net

  • Contact Number – +91 995-6296622 and +91 522-2342884

  • Latest Events – http://www.satsangbhavan.net/events/


The details put up here are to bring about the awareness of the guru and their noble teachings to the layman’s understanding.

SoulPrajna is not at all responsible for any monetary involvements related to the organizations mentioned over here in any way.



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