In 1983 I was in London, staying in the house of a friend of mine, Christine Hodder. Her partner, Piers, knew a man in Hampstead who wanted someone to house sit for him while he went on holiday. Piers, who had been a devotee of Bhagavan for years, introduced me and gave me a recommendation. The man who owned the house was a retired professor of art, having taught for many years at a prestigious London art school. His main claim to fame in the academic world was discovering hidden Rosicrucian symbols in centuries-old paintings.
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Integral Yoga Magazine: What is the essence of Papajis teachings?
David Godman: Papaji insisted that he was not a teacher and that he had no teachings. This was a somewhat perverse and paradoxical position for him to make because he spent decades of his life teaching people and giving them experiences of the Self.
Papaji liked a Tamil phrase that Ramana Maharshi often uttered: Summa iru, which means Be quiet, or Be still. He said that taking the mind back to its source and making it abide there, without a single thought, was the way to make the Self reveal itself. If he had a teaching at all, it was telling people to Be quiet. Most people attempt to accomplish this in their spiritual practices; Papaji actually had the ability to make it happen for you while you were sitting in front of him.