“I could see that everything I had identified as really me, was not really me, but was just a pattern of strategies to avoid some kind of abyss or emptiness.” — Gangaji
Gangaji may be the most grounded enlightened person teaching today. While the profundity of her words speaks of a larger vision and experience of life, she remains ever normal and approachable. There is no guru for you to worship here. Just someone who experienced her deeper nature. Someone just like you.
Does this make you feel more comfortable? It shouldn’t. It’s far easier to put someone on a pedestal. Then all you have to do is believe. It doesn’t require much out of you. Gangaji is a living example that reunion with our true Self is a potential that exists within us all. It’s a reminder that this is our natural state of being. It’s also a call to action.
Gangaji began walking a different path after her divorce. She moved to San Francisco and made the most of the vibrant spiritual community found there. Dabbling in a little of everything, she took her Buddhist Bodhisatva vows and began practicing Zen and Vipassana. She even opened up an acupuncture studio.
It was the perfect spiritual life with the exception that it wasn’t. She had not yet reunited with Knowledge – her true nature. This only happened when she met Papaji in India. He implored her to look honestly within herself and inquire as to who she really was. Self-inquiry was the key to her liberation. She has been teaching it ever since.
Twenty years spent teaching the same message. How many of her students have become enlightened as a result? Have any?
Theoretically, enlightenment is a possibility for us all, but it seems exceedingly rare. Throughout all of history only a handful of people have reached such heights. Why is this?
Enlightened teachers like Gangaji are an inspiration to us all but they are poor guides. There is no clear and set spiritual practice. It’s like climbing a mountain with only a vague notion as to how to reach the peak. You know it’s possible because people have climbed down from the summit and described it what it’s like up there, but it’s not at all clear how you’re going to go about it.
Spiritual practices are absolutely key. Cultivating consistency, discipline, stillness, patience, compassion, discernment and discretion are required for one to become a intermediary for Spirit. There is no short-cut. Self-inquiry remains a vital technique but if one is not prepared to participate in a Greater Life, then enlightenment will not happen.
The moment I looked into Papaji’s eyes, I recognized the whole cosmos existed there. There was a force and clarity that literally and metaphorically stopped me in my tracks. He took me by the shoulders, and he gently shook me and said, “Don’t miss this chance. Who knows when it will come again.” Read Gangaji’s enlightenment story.