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Biographies

Baba Bulleh Shah

The Life of Bulleh Shâh

Bulleh Shâh is generally regarded to be one of the greatest Sufi poet/saints from the Punjab area of India. Born in 1680 in Pandoke Village, a few miles from Lahore, his original name was Abdullah Shâh. The child was born with an innate mystical temperament and a poetic soul. As a young boy in school, the teacher taught Bulleh Shâh the letter Alif, the first letter of the Arabic alphabet. […]

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Wolter Keers on Ramana Maharshi

Wolter A. Keers was a Dutch teacher and writer who lectured extensively, throughout Europe during the 1970s and 1980s, on Yoga and Advaita. I brought a large amount of spiritual samskaras into this life. I was born into a family of clergymen. All interest in our household was focused on matters of religion. I must have been taught how to pray almost before I could talk. During a despairing phase

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This Is It! Meeting William Samuel

William Samuel was a legend who lived life with all the gusto of an adventurer in an epic film. During the Second World War, he commanded OSS troops in China and led an army infantry company in some of the Korean war’s fiercest battles. He loved birds, plants, trees, arrowheads and every aspect of wildlife. A prolific writer of metaphysics, Samuel was also a beloved spiritual teacher, with students scattered

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The Fakir Sai Baba

During a classic Asian monsoon season in 1979, while blackish-purple clouds unleashed sheets of rain for weeks at a time, a small, yet powerful book found its way into the damp cottage where we were living in Tiruvannamalai, South India. I’ll never forget the first sentence of the book: “Look, here comes the crazy fakir (Muslim holy man) again!” I could picture the Indian shopkeepers in the center of a

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Suri Nagamma

Life-experiences are often fraught with countless complications and “apparent” difficulties. Yet, such experience can also serve as “leaps into the Infinite.” This point is beautifully demonstrated in the life of a simple Indian woman named Suri Nagamma. Some people reading this article may be familiar with her book, Letters from Sri Ramanasramam, a profound collection of letters written to her brother during the time she lived at the Ashram of

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Sri Anandamayi Ma

The Joy of Abidance Anandamayi Ma’s (1896-1982) story is much like that of the Indian poet-saint Mirabai. From birth she exhibited a pure and radiant disposition. Indeed, her mother Didima appropriately named her Nirmala Sundari (the pure and beautiful one). She had a remarkable ability to remember events that occurred when she was very young. At the age of two and a half years, Nirmala and her mother were attending

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Sparks from the Western Mystical Tradition

“If he remembers who he became when he merged with the One, he will bear its image in himself. He was himself one, with no diversity in himself or his outward relations; for no movement was in him, no passion, no desire for another, once the ascent was accomplished. Nor indeed was there any reason or though, nor, if we dare say it, any trace of himself.” —Plotinus Historically, the

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Remembering Lex Hixon

Lex Hixon was a longtime acquaintance of ours. Many people came to know and respect Lex through his radio program In the Spirit, which aired each week on the Pacifica radio station in New York City. Every spiritual teacher in the early 1970s seemed to find a voice on his program. Lex simply facilitated these programs like an open reed, allowing the teachings to flow without interference. Lex’s literary accomplishments

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Ramana Maharshi

“It is false to speak of Realization; what is there to realize? The real is ever as it is. All that is required is to cease regarding as real that which is unreal.” —Ramana Maharshi In the ancient township of Tiruchulli, in a dry, dusty corner of South India, legend speaks of Lord Shiva saving the land from a deluge on three separate occasions. By planting his trident into the

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N. Balarama Reddy

“Once in a way a man of extraordinary spiritual caliber makes his appearance in this world and leaves an indelible impression on the mind of humanity. Such a one was Ramana Maharshi. Ramana taught both through silence and speech. His silence was so powerful as to silence the mind of the seeker with right receptivity. When he used speech for instruction, the effect could be Socratic.” —N. Balarama Reddy When

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Milarepa

“All the water and drink you’ve consumed Through beginningless time until now Has failed to slake thirst or bring you contentment. Drink therefore this stream Of enlightened mind, fortunate one.” —Milarepa Milarepa has been a great inspiration to seekers through-out the world. The fascinating and inspiring account of his life, presented in the book Tibet’s Great Yogi Milarepa (by Walter Evans-Wentz), has become a classic spiritual biography. Milarepa’s beautiful songs

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Maurice Frydman

“Your own Self is your ultimate teacher. The outer teacher is merely a milestone. It is only your inner teacher that will walk with you to the goal, for he is the goal. —Nisargadatta Maharaj, from the book I Am That If I were to mention the name Maurice Frydman to spiritual practitioners who are familiar with Advaita Vedanta and Tibetan Buddhism, not many would recognize it. Yet, Maurice was

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Lucy Cornelssen

A True Mystic There are a few individuals who come into this world, live a remote, almost obscure life, yet radiate a special presence. They are like a little lantern on a worn path that, if one stumbles across, lights one’s way. Lucy Cornelssen was one such lantern. She was a true mystic, born with an intense inner calling, the gift of compassion, and a smile that melted one’s heart.

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Kunju Swami: A Life with Ramana Maharshi

“The greatness and compassion of Ramana Maharshi is the clarity with which he has shown that this beatific state is available to all.” —Kunju Swami When I think of Kunju Swami, whom we first met in 1973 at Sri Ramanasramam (the Ashram of Ramana Maharshi in South India), I remember the sweetness, humility, and bright sparkling eyes which lit up with a glow the moment he spoke of the great

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Krishna Prem

Ronald Nixon “It is not by “thinking out” the entire reality, but by a change of consciousness that one can pass from ignorance to knowledge—the knowledge by which we become what we know.” —Krishna Prem There are some individuals whose lives are like fireflies; they shine brilliantly for a while, and then quickly disappear. Yet, for a while after their light goes out, a beautiful mellow glow remains. Such was

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J. Krishnamurti

J. Krishnamurti (1895-1986) was a teacher unique among the profusion of teachers, gurus, seers, yogis, saviors, and spiritual men and women of history. He was neither of the East nor the West; he wanted no followers or adherents; his teachings had no philosophy; and he left a carefully recorded legacy of 20 million words on tape and in books that guarantee the accuracy and authenticity of his vision for centuries

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Franklin Merrell-Wolff

Franklin Merrell-Wolff

It was September 11, 1893, and there was a fundamental shift happening in the world. Swami Vivekananda, the direct disciple of the great Indian Saint Sri Ramakrishna was speaking at the Parliament of World Religions, and with his first words, “Sisters and Brothers of America . . . ” the entire audience erupted in a standing ovation that lasted for more than three minutes. Franklin Merrell-Wolff was one of thousands

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Brother Lawrence

Brother Lawrence’s Way of Love Seventeenth-century France was a time filled with power struggles and social unrest. Of all the shining lights of that century, few spoke with the simplicity and humility of a lay monk whose quiet presence resided in the heart of turbulent Paris. More than any other of his day, Brother Lawrence understood the holiness available within the common bustle of daily life. Most of what is

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Arthur Osborne

“Unchanged and unbegun, Unfellowed, He, the One, The All He is, the Alone, Otherness but a dream gone on too long.” —Arthur Osborne Arthur Osborne was born in London on September 25, 1906. His father was a school headmaster, while his mother was a simple gentlewoman, as loveable as she was impractical. From her, Arthur must have inherited his bent for poetry, for she spent much of her time writing

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Abhishiktananda

During the pontificate of Pope Paul VI (one of the most misunderstood of popes), Murray Rogers was an Anglican priest who lived with his wife in a small community in India. He had become a close friend of Henri Le Saux, during which time he had an amazing audience with Pope Paul-amazing because the entire duration of the meeting, nearly an hour, was taken up with the subject of this

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