Hindu Master Papagi, Definitely an Enlightened Sage, Talks About Organized Religion

Every now and then I come upon a really good new spiritual book. Rare that is, but the biographical account of the Hindu master Papaji, found in Nothing Ever Happened, by David Godman is simply excellent. This is a three volume set, but I think the lessons inside are far better than those in Living with the Himalayan Masters or Autobiography of a Yogi and many other Hindu biographical accounts. The 3 volumes are really good because Papaji starts talking like a Zen master, and previous to that he relates a number of interesting experiences, many of his conclusions matching perfectly with Buddhism.

Anyway, Papaji once went on a trip to Europe and visited a number of Christian monasteries. Every time he answered a question, people would ask him, "What's your authority for that answer? Where is it written?" Seems if someone else didn't say it first in some ancient text, it had no validity wherein they wouldn't bother to go to first sources in the first place. If what he said was not in the Bible or conflicted with the Bible, there was no room for acceptance at all.

In other words, why even bother to try to argue, debate or teach people who've shackled themselves to a book -- of whatever religious sect -- produced as expedient means and of low stage samadhi origins (rather than enlightenment) and even dumbed down (simplified) for a common audience? Give those people the dharma, but don't spend too much time on them but let them catch up in a subsequent incarnation.

As to the monastic tradition in Europe, Papaji commented, "By this time I had come to see several monasteries and I had come to understand that these places were full of people who couldn't keep quiet. There were lots of services and rituals, but I had not found anyone who had a really quiet mind. In most of the places I had visited, the monks were busy working, distilling alcoholic drinks or manufacturing other products to make money for their respective monasteries. It was just like the outside world: lots of hard work to make money, and not much time left over to be peaceful and quiet." (vol 2, p. 160) In other places he found monastic poverty contrived; if they installed tap water they wouldn't have to use a tractor to carry water all day, so they would waste money on a primitive lifestyle because they thought it was spiritually beneficial.

His big commentary involved Christianity, and he found that since Christians like to think of themselves as sheep being led, if he gave them Lion answers about being spiritual heros and revealing their true nature of fundamental enlightenment, people would get all upset. They'd rather prefer giving their authority over to someone and following ceremonies, rules and regulations. In fact, one of the monasteries told him not to come again and visit, saying, "After you spoke to us about Jesus and Christianity we all got sick. It's psychological and emotional. We are not used to hearing your type of talks (about calming the mind and being liberated). If you come again we will probably all get sicker.

One of my favorite quotes, which I've put into my STAGES course, is the following which I like ... and remember this is from a Hindu master who actually was being quite unbiased in his observations, and seeing things for the first time from an outside perspective:

Virtually everyone in this world lives like a sheep. The whole population of this world consists of flocks of sheep who are herded by different shepherds. I am not joking when I say this. The founder of Christianity is called 'the good shepherd' by the sheep he is controlling.

What is the function of a shepherd? It is to make sure that the sheep in his charge do not stray away from the flock. There are five or six big shepherds in the world [Christianity, Judaism, Islam, etc.], and each one has a flock that numbers in the millions. These shepherds are the founders of the world's main religions. All the sheep are branded or painted with identification marks so that the shepherds know which flock each one belongs to. What are these marks? They are the ideas and beliefs that the shepherds impose on all the members of their own flock. Sheep are very docile animals. They have a group mentality and don't think for themselves. Instead, they just follow the sheep in front and do whatever they are doing.

Looking after millions of sheep is a big job, so the shepherds need lots of dogs to keep their flocks under control. And who are these dogs? They are the priests who run around barking, making all the sheep of their own group move in the approved direction.

Once in a while a sheep will rebel. He will look at the dogs and the other sheep and think to himself, 'I don't want to live like this. I want to be free. I want to walk my own way.'

These rare sheep sneak off when the shepherd is not looking [sometimes they must do this secretly in order to escape persecution] and follow their own path. They have an inner sense that enables them to follow the scent of true freedom. Some perish, some get afraid and return to their flock, but a very few walk on undaunted and reach the goal.

I don't think the sheep who stay in the flocks ever attain true liberation. They live and die following the instructions and promptings of the shepherds and the dogs. The church masses, the rituals, the prayers and so on are specially designed to make you think how wonderful the founder of the flock is and how lucky you are to be in his group.

These big shepherds tell their sheep: 'You may be miserable now, but if you move in the way that the dogs make you go, we promise you that you will be happy after you die.'

What a gigantic fraud all this is! Why should you wait till you die to be happy? Unending happiness is available here and now to anyone who rejects all the ideas that priests, parents and society impose. When you drop every idea you have ever had, you find yourself sitting on the throne of the kingdom of heaven. The ideas and practices that the shepherds impose on you don't help you to get nearer to heaven, they keep you permanently away from it. Don't listen to the shepherds and don't be afraid of the dogs. Be a lion and walk on your own path. Don't let anyone impose a belief or a practice on you by saying it will produce results later. If you want the kingdom of heaven, you can have it here and now by dropping every idea and concept in your mind.
(vol 2, p. 165-166)

Of course, there are too many great stories in the book -- on all sorts of different topics -- to even begin to list them all.

I love the ones where Papaji is in another country and invited to a meditation center or yoga ashram to give a talk. What happens is that lots of people start getting a taste of emptiness because of his natural chi projection, and the next day the centers consistently don't want him coming back anymore because they're afraid of losing students.

No matter what the school and its sectarian affiliation, it's the same story over and over again, meaning that even the schools devoted (or supposed to be devoted) to helping you reach enlightenment get scared and pull the plug when their money flows or people base, etc, are threatened. I always tell people to WaKE UP! and use their wisdom muscles to understand this sort of thing, but most people still don't get it. Poor master Papaji kept finding this out time and again.

Anyway, Nothing Ever Happened is great. It's one of the best books I've gotten in years on this topic and there are lots of lessons inside which match everything I've been saying. Get it. It's a 3 volume set but pretty darn good stuff and worth the money.



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