H. W. L. Poonja

HWL Poonja ( Harivansh Lal Poonja, born October 13, 1910 in Gujranwala, † September 6, 1997 in Lucknow, India, also known as " Papaji " ) was an Indian representative of Advaita.


Poonja sparked a wave of interest in the eastern " Advaita " in the west, by declaring that enlightenment is possible by sudden realization and without any effort for everyone. He sent a large number of his students as a teacher in the West.


HWL Poonja was born in Gujranwala in the Western Punjab (now Pakistan). He grew up in the near Lyallpur (modern Faisalabad ) on. His mother was the sister of Swami Rama Tirtha, who was worshiped by Hindus as a saint. As a child Poonja had a strong affinity to Buddha and Krishna. So it inspired an ascetic Buddha representation to fast. The age of eight he had experienced samadhi, the effect of which lasted several days. To repeat this divine experience, he had repeated on the advice of his mother Krishna mantras and was so become a Krishna Bhakta.

At twenty he was married according to traditional custom with a Brahmin and appeared as an officer in the Indian Army. The couple had two children. Poonja 's spiritual experiences persisted in the army, night vision Krishna, he reported, had reinforced his God - longing. He soon left the army, and then his young family, he gave into the custody of his father, to embark on a search for a guru. After he had interviewed many sadhus and swamis, so Poonja, have a mysterious Sadhu shown him the way to his future guru Ramana Maharshi, whom he in Tiruvannamalai, in the extreme south of India, visited. On the mountain Arunachala he retired for his exercises - Krishna Japa - first back, had many visions and gave a rather loose connection to Ramana. When he was one day in 1944, unable to continue Japa he turned to Ramana, which meant to him that more exercises were fruitless, since he had already arrived at the destination. That which is beyond visions, immutable, beyond the gods, Ramana, was the self. In that moment he realized the truth of the statement Ramana and had suddenly come to enlightenment, Poonja reported. This personally experienced Ramana's statement was later core point of his own doctrine.

Until the death of Ramana Poonja worked in Madras, to provide for his family. After his death in 1950, he earned his living then at a mining company in South India. After his retirement in 1965 Poonja returned to Lucknow (Lucknow ) back to his family. In 1966 he traveled to India, Europe and North America. From the 80 years he received in Lucknow people to Satsang. Many followers of Osho came in 1990, after his death to him. Died in 1997 H. W. L. Poonja.


In his satsangs HWL Poonja directed the seeker to " ultimate truth ", which is undivided. He is regarded as a proponent of a particularly radical form of Advaita Vedanta, the doctrine of non - duality. His basic message was that the man was already enlightened, and that it is therefore in need no exercises other than those recommended by his guru self-inquiry ( ' Who am I '). He thus taught a way of ' sudden ' enlightenment, based on his own experience of enlightenment. In contradiction to his decades- long practice in Japa - Yoga and Bhakti he taught that preparation is unnecessary. He was an uncompromising, but lively and humorous teacher, report many of his students. Words could be indicative of the "highest truth ," said Poonja, but never be this yourself.

It was typical for his Satsang, he threw back the questioner in the dialogue itself, and thus tried to stop the discursive mind. Many stated that they had had a sudden insight into this process. He stressed the untouched and immutability of the Self in terms of the relative personality, and urged his audience to swap the standpoint of their relative ego with the universal self. This requires the function of the outer mind. Poonja criticized that the search for enlightenment is at the same time their biggest obstacle, because it was worn by the ego, and every effort to arrive in this search for fulfillment, would strengthen the ego. The title of a documentary about him, Call off the Search (eg German 'Enter the search to '), can be regarded as the motto of his teaching. Through its strong affirmation of enlightenment experiences, many were convinced that we have made ​​a breakthrough. However, some fell back quickly out of this state. Poonja testified to be a wizard, though he was such a but for most. He was against the establishment of ashrams and a spiritual dogma.

Several of his students give in the West today Satsang events. Some of them popularize a form of Advaita - critics also called Neo - Advaita - which mixes traditional elements with Western psychology. The most famous of his students are Gangaji, Isaac Shapiro, Eli Jaxon-Bear, Samarpan and Madhukar.

OM C. Parkin, according to the Swiss Observatory Relinfo the "Leader in the German area ," got his spiritual name of HWL Poonja OM after Gangaji had sent him to Poonja to India.


Although many of his students state that they have been enlightened in the presence Poonja, leaves his autobiography doubts about the accuracy of such statements emerge, since it says that he met in his life only three persons who were fully enlightened. About Andrew Cohen, for example, he writes, this was intended to be only an ambassador of his teaching. Cohen writes again in his own biography, Poonja have, as many others, confirmed his enlightenment.

Cohen's mother Luna Tarlo writes in her book, both Cohen and Poonja they have - declared enlightened - against their own convictions. Also Poonja Cohen did when they first met - literally - called his son. Later, when Poonja had turned away for unknown reasons by Cohen that he had not told him but behind his back to others. In such personal statements, however, is always also important to note that personal interests are behind it.