The Fresh Waters of Life – Dada Gavand

My greetings to the citizens of Sonoma town. It’s nice to be with you this afternoon to talk little more closely about the life. I am coming from India, the East, and I am interested in talking to the people of different cultures, different traditions, with different lifestyles. I am here not as an Indian but as a person who is living on the same planet.

So let’s see if we can talk together to find out what living is. If there is any significance in living. If there is any purpose. We would like to find out the story of life, the process of living, not through any science, or technique, or any philosophy but if you can find out actually by knowing and experiencing what living is. We generally try to know about life through the books of psychology, or some philosophy, and sometimes through religions. I wonder if we really know anything through any science or through the opinion of any other person. To know anything, one has to go a little close to it, to observe, to watch, to see, to ponder, to find out exactly [what] the thing is. We can’t find out the reality of anything through the descriptions written by other people.

So to know and find out about life, this living energy, we are to come close to it. Do we ever do that? It is very easy to read the descriptions written by others, by experts, and perhaps that is how we are guided, by the opinions of the experts in all walks of life. Perhaps all our understanding and our opinions are the result of the statements of other people. We hardly know anything directly. Is there any direct experience of life? If we don’t have the opinion of others, we create our own opinion, and we always look at things in life and nature through our own opinion which is some kind of conditioned attitude of the mind. Opinion is positive and negative confirmation and that’s how we look at everything. Our relationship is, even intimate relationship, is based on our ideas, on our concepts which are mostly imaginations in the mind. So there is hardly any way of getting into a direct experiencing.

So if you want to find out about the life, this living process, the energy that is moving, living, pulsating in each moment – what is living for us? What is living in us now? Isn’t mostly a thought activity? Ceaseless movement of thought? That is living through its ideas and through its actions. It is a thought which is a mind that is living constantly through its projections, through its ideas, opinions, fears, planning, anxiety, worry. This whole process is operating all of the time. And it is existing; it is living. And we meet everything through these ideas, through this mind. Mostly our understanding is intellectual, through information and ideas, we live the life. That’s one way of living. Now I am questioning this process that we call living through the mind, through the ideas, through the concepts.

The first thing, do we experience anything freshly in the moment through these ideas? Is there any fresh contact with life? Idea is a concept which were formed on the basis of past information. We had some past information from some past experience and that experience has been retained in the mind. And that experience is an opinion, a concept, and through that experience we meet anything in the now, in the future. If you are to meet a person, we have a memory about the person, and it is the memory that meets the person. So [it] is [the] other way, and there is a meeting of two experiences, two memories, two concepts. Is that the way of meeting or experiencing any person? If you want to see a sunset, don’t you look at the sunset completely with your total being? But sometimes it’s the mind that chatters and talks about the sunsets it has seen previously. Or expects something other than what is in front of his eyes. “Oh, I wish there was no cloud like this.” “I wish it was a little more red than blue.” But he hardly sees that scene completely in that moment with his total attention.

There is a possibility of seeing the sunset or experiencing the sunset. We generally see it, but do we experience it? So is the case with other relationships. Do we experience anything, anyone? That kind of experiencing is quite a different thing, much more vital, much more alert, much more in the now, in the present. And for that one has to be a total personality, utterly, totally in the present, without any bias of the mind, without any idea in the consciousness.

Do we experience anything in life so viscerally, so profoundly, so totally? There is the only way of experiencing anything, maybe your child, maybe your dog, or in a flower, or any person to have a contact, a direct contact with the energy, with the other energy. There is a meeting; there is a communion. Otherwise, it is just a gossip of the mind. Many of us have created this habit, this pattern, through mind. That’s why there is not vitality, no energy. This is a dimension of life where one is vital, alert. And in that vitality, there is a blessing of life. You can have your own interiority. And that interiority can work as a reflection of the eternal energy. In that state, there is no room for any opinion, any movement of thought, any imagination.

We are meeting everything through our own imagination, through our own conditioning, through our own prejudices. Negative or positive, but they are all the same conditionings. Do we have to have this conditioning to meet anything freshly in that right moment? There is a new way of living and that is the only living. Otherwise, it is all a continuity in time. It is the past that continues in the hope of a future. That’s why we live by our hopes, create fears, and then face frustrations. Life is a series of planning and hopes unfortunately. There is a way of letting life live, letting this energy function without any hindrance of the ideas, then the life takes its own care. The life is, that energy is fullness in itself; it’s rich, it’s intelligent. And we need to discover this kind of life, otherwise there is not much fun, just a constant burden of thought and mind. There is a ceaseless activity which creates fears, creates planning, problems, conflicts. And we’re beginning to live with all these things without trying to see what the life is, what this living is.

We never come close to see what is happening. We have taken this kind of life for granted. Our education, our culture, our history has sanctified this kind of life. And what is life today? Personal life, or social life, or political or international life, what is it now? Is it all sane? Is it all orderly? We are always trying to create some sanity but it doesn’t happen. We’re trying to build some order in our personal life, family life, or international life, but there is no order at all. It is all a chaos and so filled with fears.

See anywhere and you’ll find these fears, doubts, violence, conflicts, and there isn’t at all disease or war there. We are sowing the seeds of war in our mind itself, through our own conflicts, through our own fears. There is enough violence in ourself, also in the mind, and whenever it gets a chance, it just comes out through angers, hatreds, fears. We are actually at war with ourself, within ourself, through different thoughts, wants and non-wants, good and bad, whether I should be here or I should be there, whether this is good or bad, all this kind of conflict, indecisions. There is never a smooth sailing in the mind, in this consciousness. There are ceaseless ripples going on and on, day and night. Should one live like this? To be in doubt? To be in conflict? To be in worry, anxiety, fear?

With all this plenty around, with this kind of good standard of living, should this consciousness remain like this? Why are we accepting this kind of living? This kind of our own self? If you come close a little and find out and watch, you will see what a picture it is. But we don’t dare come near to see it all that is why we are all the time out, planning, doing something outside, neglecting this inner, refusing to see what it is inside. So, we are to come a little nearer to us, to see, to take a close look at it. What is happening? What is moving? What is living? Not accept all these things blindly because somebody else has told. It’s our own life. We have to see it; we have to understand. We have to experience that. And do something, if it is necessary to do anything there.

So the first thing is to come a little close. To watch, to see, to wait and ponder about it. We never do this. We are all extrovert, planning, doing things outside. Of course, that is one aspect of living we have to do some of these things, but not all the time, all the way. We have lost the capacity to be with ourselves, to stay with ourselves, to look into ourselves.

It’s easy to be out with the thrust of a thought and an idea. From childhood, we are trained to do that, to live with the thought, to polish your thoughts, to have more and more thoughts. And we do not know how the thought is generated. How it takes its root. What happens there at the root? Why all these different thoughts, ceaseless thoughts, contradictory thoughts? It’s very necessary to see that breeding ground of the thought, that where the thoughts are generated ceaselessly. Perhaps many of the thoughts may be just mechanical, but they’re there. We shelter them, and we live with them. We act upon them to give the continuity.

The mind is the only hindrance. This conceptual activity is the only hindrance. It keeps you bound to its imagination. And to reach God, one has to be free from this limitation of thought. Thought is always a condensed energy, a crystallized energy. It cannot experience that profundity which is God. Thought is such a limited consciousness. So to experience that eternal, that timeless, that profound, you have to be free from this limitation, this thought, and the time.

You can’t experience the timeless through this time, which is a thought, the mind.

So see the limitation of thought. The binding of the thought. It’s binding us everywhere, on all the levels of living. So the first thing to understand is the limitation and the bondage of thought itself. It is good on some levels, but it has captured the mind, captured the consciousness, captured the man. Everything is just thought. That’s why there is no room for any newness, for any creativity. We have made it a pattern of life. And we are caught up in that pattern; only it’s the pattern that is moving, not you. See the grief of this habitual pattern.

So the freedom from this pattern is very much necessary, to discover that ecstasy in living, that beauty of love. Love cannot flow through thought. Love is such a force, a creative beautiful force that it cannot move through thought and ideas. So for the sake of that at least, to experience that love, to experience that sanity of life, that intelligence in living, you have to see the limitation of thought, and transcend the thought, so that you can meet with the beauty and the orderliness of life. That kind of experience is awaiting us, but we are denying it because of our constant association with thought.

Thought has taken a full grip of our life. You can’t do a thing without thought. There is always a thought present in any of your action. So, see the whole circus of thought that is going on, which we call our living.

Perhaps we don’t have this capacity of seeing anything as it is. We can’t see anything without this projection of the mind, without the interference of the mind, the thought. So we are to begin to learn this new way of objectivity, to see anything as just the witness. The witness and the judge has no opinion, he just sees things as it is. So we’re to begin to look at ourselves, to look into ourself as we are, as we are functioning. That seeing and sensing is important. To sense, to feel, to see that, without any opinion, and for that we have to come very, very close almost into ourself, to see this whole game. And that is the beginning of this new understanding.

We have to understand ourself first, understand this whole living process. Know what is happening. How cleverly we are acting. How mechanically we are acting. With what bias in the mind, we’re acting and relating with people. All our relationship is biased very, very conditioned. There is never a freshness. There is never a newness to relate with anything that’s why we carry forward our quarrels, our prejudices. And the whole life is a series of this kind of prejudices. There is never a release from this thing to enter into the fresh waters of life, the fresh energy of life wherein there is no prejudice at all. It’s pure, free, independent, and intelligent.

There is that source of energy, but we are denying that source because we are all the time busy with this conditioned thought. The whole consciousness is so conditioned, colored. So the beauty of living is seen only when you are unconditioned, free. Then the living is a different moment of life. It’s is free, original, transformed. And there’s a new beauty in living. Then your relationships are different. You don’t carry forward any thought, any memory, but you live in that immediate now, with freedom. That is the freedom of life.

We never try to experience that freedom, that’s why we are busy with the other freedoms, economic freedom, political freedom, individual freedom, all these freedoms. Where is a free man with all this freedom? I would like to see a free person. We talk about all these freedoms, give them all these dozens of freedoms, and yet you live a bounded, encaged person. So the real freedom begins here only, then you will never be caught up in any other bondage.

There is a total freedom of that energy. So, there is that living, a real impulse, a real moment of living begins only there when you are totally free with energies completely unbiased, uncolored. Then the relationships are different. Your vision becomes different. Your life, becomes different. We need that kind of life of freedom otherwise what is life today? We know it. So this is a basic question. It is a very fundamental issue, and all the thoughtful persons in the world are conscious of this thing now. With all these scientific discoveries, and affluence, and productions, and new gadgets, what is the life? What is happening to this living? We may have a few more pleasures, few more conveniences, but basically, what is the state of this mind? Is it really happy, contented, peaceful, loving? Why are we denied all these basic things of life? On the contrary, we have become more assertive, more greedy, more competitive, more violent. Is it the result of this civilization, of this advancement?  So let us ponder over it, for our own sake, for our own children, for the next generation.

So we have to establish this sanity, this order, in our own life first. So this is a challenging thing.

Can we take some questions if you have in your mind?

I have a question. Do you believe in God?

Do I believe in God?


I think I don’t have any belief. Belief is a hope of the mind. I think this idea, thought has created this God, and we have different images about God. Because of this opinion, we have different concepts of God, different forms of God. And is God a form, or a concept, or an image created by the mind? If God is there, it cannot be a concept. It is something like a thrill, beautiful energy, consciousness, the intelligence. That Supreme is there, but it would never be contacted through this mind and the concept and images, but God is an experiencing, is a fact. And it is that most intelligent energy, that source of creation, is there. I don’t have to have an opinion, a concept about it. Concept is a denial of that experience. God is that kind of experience. The totality of life is that consciousness, is that divinity, is that eternity, is that God. But we don’t need to have any name to it.

Are you saying take no thought, take no thought of whatever we have of God within us whether it be to know what, that would be it? With no thought, no concept of pinning it into one thing, is that what you are saying?

No thought is the first thing, that’s the beginning. From that no thought, we have to enter into the state and experience of non-thought, which is nothing but the pulsation of a dynamic energy within you. And after entering that state of dynamism, that pure energy, there is no room for any concepts. The mind itself is left out. The mind cannot work in that vitality, in that energy which is so dynamic. It is a different dimension of energy. On that dimension, the thought cannot linger. So, we have to transform this thought energy, this level of thought into that new dimension which is a divine state, which is the divinity, which is the vibrancy of eternity. There is no thought there, but there is a fullness of energy, vital, vibrant, pulsating in the now. There is no past and future, it’s only the thought that has created the past and future to refuse to see that present. So, to enter into that present and to be with that energy, to be with that vitality, is to experience that eternal which you call by any name. So again, this problem is of this naming this moment of the mind. See what mind has done even in the realm of God. In the domain of that eternity, it has created all the images, invented all the names and forms, and it cannot understand anything without the concept, without the form, without the image, and that is the limitation of this thought, the mind. So the mind has to become mindless. To experience anything, maybe to experience God, or to experience even your child, or a flower next to you.

The mind is the only hindrance. This conceptual activity is the only hindrance. It keeps you bound to its imagination. And to reach God, one has to be free from this limitation of thought. Thought is always a condensed energy, a crystallized energy. It cannot experience that profundity which is God. Thought is such a limited consciousness. So to experience that eternal, that timeless, that profound, you have to be free from this limitation, this thought, and the time.

You can’t experience the timeless through this time, which is a thought, the mind.

So see the limitation of thought. The binding of the thought. It’s binding us everywhere, on all the levels of living. So the first thing to understand is the limitation and the bondage of thought itself. It is good on some levels, but it has captured the mind, captured the consciousness, captured the man. Everything is just thought. That’s why there is no room for any newness, for any creativity. We have made it a pattern of life. And we are caught up in that pattern; only it’s the pattern that is moving, not you. See the grief of this habitual pattern.

So the freedom from this pattern is very much necessary, to discover that ecstasy in living, that beauty of love. Love cannot flow through thought. Love is such a force, a creative beautiful force that it cannot move through thought and ideas. So for the sake of that at least, to experience that love, to experience that sanity of life, that intelligence in living, you have to see the limitation of thought, and transcend the thought, so that you can meet with the beauty and the orderliness of life. That kind of experience is awaiting us, but we are denying it because of our constant association with thought.

Thought has taken a full grip of our life. You can’t do a thing without thought. There is always a thought present in any of your action. So, see the whole circus of thought that is going on, which we call our living.

 Physical patterns can be even more overwhelming than thought patterns. I find myself that I can learn a lot by the physical side, through aches, through feelings. Feelings that are so strong that they make concentration difficult. How would you relate this to thought? Thought seems to be a higher level even than the physical level.

So you think that feelings are more powerful and dominant in you, and you can’t be free of the feelings and the pains that are associated with your body? And you think that thought is much more higher and superior?

Well, it seems to be a different level. If I am really distracted by physical things then it seems even more overwhelming.

Yes, by why are you distracted if there is a pain? If there is any complaint in the physical body? It may have its cause, a valid cause. You are to attend to the cause. Listen to the physical body also. You may have generated the cause because of your attitudes of mind. You know somethings are no good for the body, but yet the mind craves. Many of our physical ailments are the cause of our mind games, the temptations, the greed and the want of the mind. We are burdening our body through this craving of the thought, of the mind, and then we call it a physical pain. All these difficulties, even the physical, have a cause behind it. And probably you will see that the mind is responsible for those causes. Many of the pains and difficulties of the body are psychical. Many of them are psychosomatic effects. So, the psyche, the mind is so powerful. It is ruling everywhere even it tries to dictate body. It doesn’t want to listen to the body also, what it has to say, what it has to complain. Now a thought is so dominant. Medical science has discovered so many things which are detrimental to the body. But what happens? Does the mind listen to all these things? With all our education? With all this means of communication? With all knowledge? Do we listen to all these things? See what the mind is doing. With all these clear discoveries, the mind is not prepared to listen to it. It has its own enjoyable time.

See the domination of the thought in the mind. And yet, we are educated and intelligent people in the society. How much intelligence is really used in life? So again, we’re to see this disturbing factor, this dominant attitude of the mind which overrules the intelligence, the understanding. It refuses to see the medical facts which are so very well established now. We know the harmful effect of alcohol, of smoking, and see what happens? The result of smoking is clearly established by the medical discoveries but still the sales of cigarettes are mounting. There are so many things like this.

The commercial world is so active and it is making you believe things which may be even harmful. This commercial mind is so very dominant with its own greed, and we are becoming a prey to all this propaganda, and the mind is getting caught into this kind of propaganda, because of the temporary sensation, temporary excitement, and that is what the mind wants. There is no much intelligence in this mind, I tell you. It is interested only in some excitement. In some sensations, and that is how it continues in time.

So, the time has come to question the intelligence of this mind. How intelligent this mechanism is? How useful this activity is? For the mind has come to its dead end now. It is refusing to see facts of life, and that’s why we have to discover a new consciousness, a new intelligence, a new order of life which will not be based on this kind of mind activity at all.

The time is very much ripe for this kind of new discovery, and if you are sensitive and alert, you should be able to see the necessity of this kind discovery now. The discovery of that consciousness which is beyond the mind, which is beyond this thought pattern, and then perhaps we will be able to change the life basically. To create a really intelligent, harmonious, holy order of living.

-Dada Gavand

From a talk given in Sonoma, California

Dada with Amido while staying at our Boulder house in 1993.

Here you can listen to the talk The Fresh Waters of Life.

To see more from Dada look here.

The Sanctuary of Silence – Dada Gavand

You cannot meet God through the mind,

nor experience the timeless through time.

Thought cannot touch the transient.

Only with freedom from thought

and from mental cravings and ambitions

does the energy become

whole, tranquil and pure.

Such inner purity and humility

will invite the hidden divinity.

The pure consolidated energy,

with its silence and fullness within,

awaits in readiness to meet the divine,

to experience that which is beyond the mind.

There across the region of time

beyond the frontiers of the mind,

within the sanctuary of silence,

resides the supreme intelligence,

your Lord, the timeless divine.

-Dada Gavand

Here you can read more from Dada Gavand.

Attention! Attention! – Dada Gavand

An interview with Dada Gavand by Suma Varughese

In his simple, serene way, Dada Gavand teaches to the world that watchful, attentive awareness alone can set the mind free

Sage-philosopher Dada Gavand has a stark and simple philosophy. Watch the patterns of your mind attentively and with awareness. That is all you need to reclaim your heritage of lasting peace and bliss.

So this was his paradise-a clearing in the Yeor Hills on the outskirts of hot and dusty Thane, near Mumbai. A few houses stand gracefully, and at ease, among the trees and the underfoot growth. Birdsong rippled through the air. Hens were scrabbling in the mud, as their chicks huddled under their wings. A few feet away, a black and white kitten, its tail curving in sheer joy of life, pretended to pounce on the hens, who pecked on, unperturbed. A young girl stood in an overgrown yard watching life go by. All was peaceful, simple, natural.

So was the picture book house we stopped at-a narrow two-storey building with sloping tiled roofs. White doves clustered around the gables, and swooped down to drink from the water-holder. Guava and other trees grew robustly in neat round concrete-lined beds. A sunshade with chairs was placed invitingly on one side of the garden. As we stood there and breathed in the visceral peace of the place, we had a precursor of the personality of the owner of the house.

The man who warmly welcomed us was not young. Eighty-five or thereabouts, he was lean and spry, with an alert, lively face, honed to its essence. His movements were fluid and quick and when he sat cross-legged as we talked, his torso was erect and still. He radiated a friendliness and an acceptance that put us at ease instantly. There were no trappings of conventional religion. No pictures of deities or saffron robes or agarbatti. No offerings of flowers and fruits. No genuflection either. He addressed us as matter-of-factly as a tutor would his students.

Dada Gavand is not an advocate of conventional religion, or of any of the tried and tested paths to enlightenment. His prescription is simple: attentive watchful awareness of the patterns of thought. This act alone is enough to vaporize the thoughts and set you free from the burden of the mind. If this is strikingly close to J. Krishnamurti‘s philosophy, it is not without reason. He spent some time with Krishnamurti before he moved on to forge his own inner journey.

Born in 1917 in Mumbai as Dattaram Madhavrao Gavand, his spiritual quest unfolded early. Though born in comfortable surroundings, he chafed at the convention and hypocrisy of society, and the dehumanizing impact of materialism. But he was the eldest and, on his father‘s untimely death, had to assume the responsibilities of taking care of his siblings, which included arranging for their marriages. On the third day of the marriage of the youngest sibling, Dada, as he was universally known, disappeared from home to seek his spiritual destiny. After eight months of solitary seeking and questioning at Mount Sajjangad, he experienced a mystical explosion in his inner domain, a sudden flow of timeless energy within, and a state of peace and ecstasy never known before.

After this, he stayed in semi-solitude for 14 years on Mount Mahabaleshwar. Since 1975, Dada has been sharing his understanding by extensive travel and lectures in the USA, Canada, Europe and of course India. Compiling his experiences and thoughts is his book Beyond the Mind that is about the deeper significance of living. Written in dialogic form, the book tries to answer ideas of liberation, sexuality, healing, imprisonment, expression etc. He has also held numerous meditation camps called Exploration into Oneself, but today he prefers to work with small groups and individuals in order to communicate on a personal level. Where he was once a keen sportsman and freedom fighter, he now writes poetry, excels in photography, and campaigns for freedom of the inner kind.

Excerpts from an intense interview:

What are the main tenets of your philosophy?

I don‘t have a set philosophy. Whatever I say is the outcome of the present moment. Besides, I don‘t trust words. The mind uses them, as it does everything else, to escape from the hard task of changing itself. The basic challenge of man is to discover that quality which is hidden within us and allow it to express itself. But this is difficult because of the blocks the mind sets up, such as the pre-occupation with things, even with reading spiritual literature.

What is the way to overcome these blocks?

There is no set answer. What is the hindrance blocking that quality? We need to be attentive to that block and that‘s the main challenge. Yogis and saints have found out several ways and techniques, but all are used by the mind to keep it busy. I believe only watchful awareness will set us free.

But can this approach work for all?

Why not? The conditioning of the mind is the same.

It is believed that different paths appeal to different temperaments.

By creating different paths we are creating separation and divisiveness. Conflicts arise because each thinks his path is the best.

What have been the significant events of your own spiritual journey?

I listened to masters, even read a few books. But I found that this was my own journey. Nobody can help. What is required is watchful, attentive awareness. It‘s a journey into the inner self, that‘s all. But we hesitate, and the mind is extroverted. It hesitates to take a turn, to enter within. The whole riches of the world, all the virtues, are basically inside. On the outside there is only the concept of virtues. Try to watch these concepts. The mind can never be virtuous or divine. All that is inside.

Can meditation help move the mind within?

Meditation is the fallout of attention-watchful attention. It‘s not a spiritual act. Meditation to me it‘s only a search into oneself, to dispel the patterns of thoughts, to enter the tranquility within.

Can the pursuit of this tranquility be balanced with the demands of a householder‘s life?

Oh, yes. We all need the basics of life for survival. But be balanced. Do not create more wants. We collect more and more of everything, including books. This last is intellectual greed. The mind becomes greedy for knowledge. This is the burden of intellect.

How do you get the mind to let go of this obsession with things?

Look at the world at large. What is so great about it? We never have the time to look at it quietly, independently. What we see is just the continuity of life. To me life is a discovery. We have to find that dynamism, energy.

What is the state of one who has reached inner tranquility?

Abundant peace and contentment. And whenever there is a challenge, there is a response, a creative response that does not resort to memory.

Looking at the world today, what do you think lies ahead for mankind?

The world was always like this. There is not much difference. Krishna, Ram, Buddha came and society digested them all, but it remains the same.

What do you think of the belief in a new age, when society as a whole will be transformed?

Only a human being can achieve enlightenment, not mankind. Only he who is honest, sensible, sensitive, and sincere can hope to achieve this state. And there are very few of such.

So there‘s no likelihood that mankind will attain lasting peace?

Man has always hoped for this. But it depends on each of us. The reality is that we can transform only ourselves. Nature wants man to transform, to become like it. To come back to the natural state is fulfillment. To become free of all obsessions-that is enlightenment.

Does being with nature provide a way within?

Become aware of nature. Become sensitive to it. An intellectual appreciation of it is not enough. We have worshipped the intellect too much. Now we have reached a dead end. The intellect has really obliged us. It has given us so much. But if we want to move further, this intellect is not going to oblige. Its function is over. The mind is secondhand activity, which is born of memory. People have spent so many years in searching for enlightenment. Is so much time necessary? That which is past is over. We avoid freshness of the moment by indulging in the past.

What was your own search like?

I came from a business family. We were fairly rich. But from an early age I was aware of the absurdity of the life we led. Everyone was copying everyone else. We were made by our surroundings-traditions, culture, family background, media. I saw that I was the result of environmental influences, nothing else. I saw people enslaved by social conditioning till the end of their lives. I wondered if another way of life was possible. A mighty intelligence had created the universe and here I was, living like a robot. I wondered if there was a deeper significance to life. At this stage, I visited many ashrams. I went to the Aurobindo ashram, I met Ramana Maharshi and Krishmanurti. I was with Krishnamurti for a while and then I told him that I no longer wanted to read his words or anyone‘s words. I wanted to discover for myself. And do you know what he said? He said: ‘‘I am so glad.” At these ashrams, I saw good people, happy, contented. What was that state of mind, to be contented? I soon came to know that no one could give me the answers. I had to discover them for myself. This whole outer is the manifestation of the mind. But there had to be something intrinsic. Where did that lie? I wondered about the energy that emerged from us, creating desires. We were using that energy for trivial reasons, merely dancing at the periphery of life. We need to ponder about these questions independently. Pondering is a sensitive activity. To look without ideas and opinions and without thought. Is it possible? And generally, there is no time for that. Thought activity is so strong.

When did you find answers to your questions?

There‘s a kind of breakthrough when the situation is right. It is not in our hands. It is a great blessing of nature. He who aspires will be helped by nature. But we must have that strong passion. Our passions are smaller. Born out of other things.

Is there God?

There is another dimension, which is divine, timeless. It‘s an energy. A very intelligent energy. To discover that is the touch of the divine. ‘God’ is a misused term. The mind creates concepts and goes after that. Thought is the barrier between you and the divine. Understand the designs of thought and be aware of them. And then you will dispel the thought patterns. That is important.

What is the relationship between spirituality and creativity? You, for instance, have created copious poetry.

Creation happens in the sensitivity of understanding. After that you are changed. You become highly sensitive. I never wrote poetry. It just came out of me. Suddenly a door had opened from within.

Post enlightenment, what is your role in life?

I have to live life. I don‘t have my own drives and ambitions. I have to live like a simple, humble entity.

To read more from Dada Gavand look here.

The Explosion – Dada Gavand

Dada Gavand

The Explosion

 Shattering The Ego-Mind: A New Energy Flow

My days and nights passed in this intense, watchful, attentive state, in an almost unbroken momentum of awareness. At times I wondered where this whole adventure would take me. A deep sense of wonderment crept in about the experiences and states through which I was passing. I had no expectation or fear of any kind. I simply watched every internal movement, accepting life as it was unfolding.

My path and my journey consisted of totally facing myself and passing through the unknown. As this inner pilgrimage continued, one day the mystery of life suddenly and unexpectedly struck like a lightning bolt!

Around noon, I cooked my rice as usual and put out the wood fire. Although the rice was ready, I decided to wait a few minutes for it to cool before eating. I drew back a little and sat casually on my mat, with my mind completely at rest.

Suddenly, in that quiet and inadvertent moment, totally unanticipated, a mysterious action struck.

Something inside me literally exploded, giving me the shock of my life.

In a split second a fountain of unknown energy sprang forth from within. This surprising energy flow was of a truly new kind, different from anything I had ever sensed or experienced before. It felt soft, sensitive, joyful and dynamic yet peaceful. It filled me with profound reverence, deep awe and love. Such a mystical and powerful explosion in my inner domain was a miraculous event.

This explosion affected and transformed my entire personality. In this dramatic breakthrough in consciousness, the whole crystallized structure of the ego/mind got literally shattered. This opened up an energy flow of a totally new kind. No mind – no thinker or I – remained while this was happening. A dynamic, intuitive state came into existence, where the past in the form of memories and the future in the form of desires were not there. This brought in a flow of total now-ness.

I did not know where this flow of new and different energy came from or how all this had occurred. The whole experience happened very suddenly and unexpectedly, and was extremely pleasant and deeply blissful. I never had experienced such a flow of all-powerful energy in my life. It swept me off my feet and took charge of me completely. I was steeped in joy, dynamicity and ecstasy, reeling a real freedom and inner tranquility. Everything inside and out became intensely alive, giving me a taste of the vibrant present. A celestial shower drenched my whole being, submerging me in serenity.

Something unknown and mysterious had taken place! I was overflowing with happiness, and in that excitement I got up and even danced around the room in total abandonment. I was the most ecstatic person on earth at that moment. My life had been touched by the sublime and sacred.

How long I remained in this state I do not know. Eventually, the upsurge of ecstasy subsided, but thought activity was still entirely absent, not even lurking in the corners to come creeping in stealthily. Instead, I experienced profound quietude. The flow of this fountain of new energy slowly diminished, leaving behind deep feelings of humility and reverence. For the first time I vividly experienced a totally serene state in my whole being. I sat down on the floor and immediately became engrossed in an intense inwardness with profound silence.

From this point onward my meditation took a different form. It became a play of this new internal energy. I could sense only the flow, a glow within, of this new energy moving quietly. A momentum of twinkling energy, this fountain of intuitive flow initiated the beginning of a totally new life experience.

After a period of deep silence I fell asleep. However, my experience of sleep was now completely different as well. It became a time of internal dynamicity, without the play of the mind as dreamer. I experienced sleep as a state of serene internal existence out of which I emerged very fresh and vibrantly alive.

Later that day, after a short rest I went out of the hut. The whole scene before me shone with new depth and clarity. The horizon appeared absolutely boundless, giving the experience of infinity. It touched me to the depth of my being, intensifying the taste of timelessness. No center or ‘I’ as perceiver existed. Instead, the act of perceiving was itself an internal experience of the panorama from inside out. This new way of perceiving or experiencing a landscape which I had seen many times before overwhelmed me.

I sat down upon a wooden log, wondering about this unique internal explosion that had occurred. There came a profound sense of gratitude and fulfillment. As I pondered this unusual experience, I slipped into a deep internal silence. In this silence, I became aware of the same movement of glimmering energy.

I do not know exactly how long it worked upon me that day. Slowly the flow subsided, leaving me joyous and deeply contented.

That evening I had a strong urge to inform my mother about this mind-quake, this shattering of the ego-mind. It was so mysterious and exciting, a first-time, first-hand revelation! I realized that my mother, living so far away from me, still remained the closest person to me, and I wanted to share it with her only. I felt like going to the edge of the mountain to announce to her at the top of my voice about the amazing breakthrough that took place. This is like a new birth! Surprisingly, quite spontaneously, a message to my mother came forth in poetic form, in Marathi, my mother tongue.

I had never before written poetry. In this new expression of life, the words came out spontaneously in a meaningful way. Thereafter, for a while every day, I wrote a poem to describe this new energy and its unusual play within me.

I wrote a few poems in Hindi and even in the English language. I discovered that language was no barrier and I used to be filled with wonder at the way the words would all fall in line. On completing each verse, I would take a look at it, only to marvel at its neat rhythmic pattern and its well-integrated theme and structure:


When all wanderings and searchings came to an end
Mind realized there is nowhere for him to go.
I sat then alone, in utter humility and anonymity
Oh, then you came to visit me uninvited!

Thereafter, the nature and style of sitting with myself changed. It became a spontaneous expression of this new energy. I passed my days in the hut with absolutely no discipline of any kind, no expectation, and no hope about anything. I remained receptive, allowing the new energy to come and to work in its own way, and that took different forms. It started touching various regions inside my body, gathering around one part for a moment and then shifting to another part. It stimulated one particular area for a time and then disappeared. Like a game of touch-and-go, it was a kind of play of that amazing, glowing energy.

I had to stay quiet and empty for it to appear again to carry out its plans within me. The energy would appear – unpredictably, unpretentiously, quietly – work for a while in its mysterious way within, and then leave silently. All its movements were unanticipated, almost secret, deeply sacred. Sometimes my mind would visualize and anticipate the direction, but the energy never obliged my mind. In this way the secret inner activity went on, keeping me innocent, empty and almost dumb. It alone directed the show! Any activity of my mind would hinder the movement of the energy. Nevertheless, the energy always remained untouchable and uninfluenced by the mind.

From these months of watching the movement of thought, of seeing the mind in its intricacies and its whole structure, I had begun to realize how every idea is programmed in our brain cells from which it springs. In fact every idea, every thought, has a biological counterpart in each cell of the brain.

But now, after this explosion, I saw that no idea entered my mind inciting action. Instead an intuitive flow – that new energy – worked instantaneously and spontaneously. The new intelligence does not function through the vehicle of thought or memory, so it has no contact with the regular active brain.

I began to see, and have since understood more fully, that the brain and nervous system, as they have evolved to this point, are not capable of receiving and cooperating with this unique energy flow. They are not able to be the right instrument or medium for the expression of the new-dimensional energy. It has a different source and a new quality all its own. The nervous system and brain have developed over time, in cooperation with the mind, to be an instrument for the expression of thought/emotion activity only. Nature has helped to evolve the central nervous system as a means for the smooth functioning of the mind as a thinking, reacting mechanism.

However, this new energy, which resides beyond the border of the mind, needs a new or modified instrument for its functioning and expression. This new energy is a momentum of the present and acts spontaneously, independently and intelligently. The brain, on the other hand, functions through thoughts, calculations, memories, and the past. This new energy has nothing to do with thought, and does not use the regular active brain. Thus the brain is basically laid to rest, and a profound peace comes into existence as a natural phenomenon. This peace becomes the natural state of the whole being.

Oh My Mother

Dear Mother . . .
I am born again – a new born babe
Celebrating my new birth on this earth.
But Mom, how can a son describe to his Mother
The events of his mysterious rebirth?
You gave me the mortal birth
That brought me into this world.
But now this new birth has granted
The touch of immortality!
Oh, dear Mother, it’s an actual happening,
And I am so happy and joyful here today.
But how can I convey to you the news
About the rebirth of your son?
I feel so thankful to you
For bringing me into this mortal world.
Now I have discovered for myself
The beauty of that which is imperishable.
Oh my Mother, I am very happy
And safe on this solitary mountain.
Finally I have sought and discovered
That which was hiding in me only!

Oh my Mother,
I love you dear
How I wish you were here
To see this mysterious affair!

-Dada Gavand

From Intelligence Beyond Thought

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When Does The Journey Begin?

When does the inner journey begin?

According to Dada Gavand (affectionately known as Dadaji) :

You start when you begin to see within yourself the constant pursuits of various desires, fears and hopes.

You start when you become conscious of these subtle desires working all the time without stopping.

You start when you recognize that you are never reaching a point where you remain fulfilled.

You start when you discover that you do not really know what you want in life beyond food, shelter and a few necessities.

You start when you see that the mind is not interested in peace but only in its own pursuits.

You start when you perceive and recognize that the mind is nothing but the burden of bygone memories.

You make a real clean start when you begin to watch every incoming thought and understand how the past is trying to continue at the cost of present, calling itself ‘I’.

So now let’s begin.

To see more from Dada look here.

Conversion of Consciousness – Dada Gavand

Meditation is not a thought activity. It is not concentration, nor a hopeful mind pursuit. Meditation is seeing the whole game of the mind while being aloof and quiet within.

In quietude you will discover a new sensitivity—uncommitted energy—which will guide you to see, and help you understand all the activities and subtleties of the mind.

This sensitivity needs energy for its own consolidation. It will stay aloof and attentive, uninvolved in thought-emotion.

Through this new sensitivity you will gather and convert the life energy now being dominated and used by the mind.

In alert and watchful attention, thought activity gets converted into sensitivity: a pure life energy which pulsates in the now.

Nowness is timelessness, the beginning and end of time.

You need not go anywhere, to anyone, to any book to find this secret of life, the hidden abode of the unknown.

Right now, in this moment, by going into yourself, with attentive watchfulness and with understanding you can convert thought-energy and all the subtle movements of the mind.

Conversion of this mind activity is the master key that opens the door to the inner kingdom. The whole secret of religion is this transmutation of energy: the dimensional change in consciousness…

This inner kingdom of new-dimensional existence is the gift of the unknown, and the legacy of human beings, the birthright of you and me.

-Dada Gavand

From Towards the Unknown, pages 34-36

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The Beauty of Silence – Dada Gavand

Silence is the gate to go beyond.

We are missing the aesthetic beauty of silence, the fragrance of quietude and inner peace, because the mind has become overgrown and overactive. It has captured us and the whole energy of life, going on and on ceaselessly, continuing with its mechanical momentum in time.

Your education and culture demand that you be engaged by the mind constantly. In the present culture of competitive commercial society there seems to be no room for silence.

We just continue in time, through hope, hopping and running around with pursuits of thought, and that is what we call our civilized living. But what is life without peace and freedom? We are compelled, bound by thought, by desire, by emotion. Now we need to discover a new way, a way of freedom, a way of creativity, which brings wisdom, happiness and peace in living. Then we will experience a unique energy, and the state of freedom, of liberation, which is the highest state of living.

Then there will be no craving by thought and no struggle to reach anywhere. You will be fully in the silence of the moment, entrenched in profound peace of the present. In silence alone can one capture the eternal moment. This moment is the beginning and end of time, the trickle of eternity.

Watch your talkative mind. You will see the futility of its constant activity—thinking, talking, ceaselessly through thought. Then you will wonder over thought. You will realize the limitation and ignorance of thought. You will no longer be enamoured by thought. You will not like to be carried away by thought. You will realize the necessity of non-thought.

Quietude and silence are not the negation of life, but the regeneration of it. Silence is the means to elevate life energy to a timeless dimension.

Only in the present is the energy quiet and balanced, uncontaminated and vibrantly alive, sensitive enough to receive the unknown.

We have got to find this unknown dimension of life. We need it very much right now. The whole world is in desperate need of a new-dimensional consciousness, so that human beings can live intelligently, creatively, spontaneously and lovingly, and not just follow the ego pursuits mechanically.

When one begins to realize the limitation of all thought activity and ego drives the attachment and excitement drops. The sensational pursuits stop. One is left with a deep, profound silence.

Silence becomes eloquent and active. Silence becomes intelligent and positive. Action that springs from the depth of silence is spontaneous, truthful and universal. It is immaculate, timeless and spiritual.

Silence is the means and silence is the end. Creative silence is the ultimate challenge.

Silence is the sap that rejuvenates life. Silence is the source of eternal life.

-Dada Gavand

From Towards the Unknown, pages 113-115

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Meditation – Dada Gavand

Meditation… Meditation…

It is not the focusing of attention.

Nor is it narrowing of Consciousness,

It is not the thought in its exclusion

Meditation… Meditation…

It is not the glorified experience

Nor is it a flight of wishful will

It is not an enforced silence!

What is true Meditation?

It’s a perception of mind’s entire movement,

An aloof attention in the present,

Witnessing without any one witnessing

A Total Experience of the Moment!

Meditation… Meditation…

A transparent flow of Internal Energy,

Without any hindrance or deception,

With tranquility and clarity.

Meditation… Meditation…

An experience of Enormous,

A moment of total fulfillment,

A creative timeless Existence,

That is true Meditation;

that is true Meditation!

-Dada Gavand

The poem is posted at: Tao News Blogspot

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Birth of Universal Man – Dada Gavand

Birth of Universal Man

A Journey from Personality to Divinity

When the seeker begins to arrive nearer the spirit, he starts to feel the signs of opening. Here at this stage the seeker has to remain utterly silent, inward and innocent. Knowledge, imaginations, hopes and the authority of books, gurus or one’s own strong opinions are all barriers. Only the factual experience within, in that moment, is real.

One has to be alert and obedient only to the inner happening. There the seeker must wait in total silence, without any movement of thought, with humility and in the spirit of anonymity.

At this point, abundant patience and openness are needed without any movement of thought — which is faith. Such faith is not in someone or in some idea created by the wishful mind. Faith is the state of humility, aloneness and total inwardness. This is surrender to the unknown.

In this state of surrender — which is humility, inwardness and anonymity — Life energy undergoes a mystical change. This is a point of transition, a critical point in consciousness when a dimensional change begins to take place. Here, in this state of absolute aloneness, the radical revolution occurs.

When the whole energy attentively awaits in the inner space without any fragmentation, the alchemy of Cosmic Intelligence begins to unfold within. One stands the chance to witness the magic of a radical revolution only when the mind comes to total silence through the in-depth understanding of itself.

At this point, the Life energy is utterly still, transparent and dynamic, awaiting in readiness for its ultimate freedom. In its creative intelligence, the whole energy acts upon itself to explode the old structure of the crystallized mind.

This is the moment of breakthrough. In this revolutionary action the old, time-bound structure of the ego/me is shattered, giving the experience of a new-dimensional energy flow. This is the true re-birth of a human being. It is the blessing and the grace of the Causeless Creation.

This celebration is the outcome of the alchemy of Life, an act of the unknown. It is a spiritual opening, a turn toward new-dimensional existence.

When one begins to perceive and feel the bondage of the mind very clearly, without any reservation, this sets in motion a counter-force in consciousness. This counter-force is a catalyst for change, for the radical revolution. This is a natural unfoldment toward the final flowering of the human mind.

In all types of matter particles there are corresponding anti-matter particles. When the matter particles collide with the anti-matter particles, both are destroyed, leaving only energy.

In true meditation — which is free from the frame of technique and tradition, and carries all-around awareness to all that is within and without — the alchemy of transformation begins. There is an important change in the energy particles when attentive awareness is going totally inside. You become internally silent and free from any outward movement, and energy is actively pulsating only within.

When the energy particles of unbiased perception of the present collide with the particles of the past memory-mind, the annihilation of this psychological memory structure occurs. In this annihilation the perceiver and the past memory-mind are both negated. Awareness and the content of awareness are both annihilated, and there remains only energy.

This energy, being of a different dimension, will free us from the bondage of thought, which is time. It is elemental energy — that which is impersonal, spontaneous and intuitive. It functions in absolute freedom, beyond the realm of time and tradition. This timeless energy is pure Intelligence, the wisdom of Life, the Divine.

Eminent scientists working in the field of particle physics and genetic engineering also seem to have reached the conclusion that there exists an energy of a higher frequency which is beyond the dimensions of time and space and which behaves in mysterious ways.

True meditation opens up the possibility of entering this sphere of the mysterious, the unknown, the timeless, which may be eternal as well. Intense sensitivity is the outcome of thought-free inward pondering. It is an inward movement of exalted innocence — a movement of thinking without thought as well as feeling without emotional drive.

When this movement is free from the reflections of any reference to the past, it is detached from the shadow of Time. By entering deeper into one’s own inner space, quite inadvertently, one would arrive at a point where one can get the first insight to behold the dawn of the Timeless. The rigidity of thought is then loosened; thought comes into No man’s Land — a state of not-knowing, which is complete innocence.

Such a state of intense sensitivity loosens the hold of the genetic code. This prepares the ground for the eventual rushing in of the mysterious Life energy, which operates with its own Intelligence, without reference to the brain or nervous system.

At the moment of breakthrough, the mysterious Life energy explodes within and shatters the very foundation of one’s personality, along with one’s well-organized, conditioned memory-mind. The dawn of freedom is experienced!

The liberated man is completely freed from the clutches of the genome and lives from moment to moment, with a sense of being complete, contented, fully attuned and alive. He is also extremely creative, being governed by intuitive intelligence rather than bound by one’s conditioning or genetic code. This is a great achievement for man on earth, a historical landmark in the unfoldment of creative intelligence in the human being. Here lies the beauty, mystery and alchemy of Nature. Here also lies the hope and assurance of the liberation of human beings.

Yet, this stage is only the right beginning, like opening a door to something new. The door is open, and you are experiencing that other energy flow. The mold of mind has been broken, but even then one has to guard that new opening by remaining vigilant and totally faithful to it. Here is the need for, that classical state of ‘shraddha’ or faith. Faith is not a wishful mental choice of anything, either inside or outside. Faith is a total state in itself. It is anonymity with humility and inwardness, untouched by the desiring mind.

After the breakthrough, there is a possibility that that the surrounding environmental influences will affect this new opening. They can overshadow and engulf it again, just as a few dark clouds can subdue and block the light of the mighty sun. The whole basin of ego-mind has to become empty and cleaned of the residue gathered by the personality during its centuries of travel.

So even after the door has been opened, the old habits do linger on. The mind, with its ingrained self-interest, very cleverly tries to turn every new experience into an idea.

Truth is destroyed by making an idea of it. Thought embalms the Truth in time to keep it dead. This way the intellect can use Truth easily and conveniently whenever needed — to fulfill the vested interest of the ego. Be aware of the idea, the thought or concept. Thought is the slayer of Truth. Memory is a barrier to the Timeless.

Thus one needs to go deeper, to intensify the awareness, to remain faithful to that new beginning. The social mind and strong collective environmental pressures are always there. Those have the capacity to influence, to cast their own dark shadow, to take over again. You are open to a new freedom, yet the past is always lingering around to overcome the present. This, too, is a Law of Nature.

So one has to be vigilant and very aware even at this stage. Constant vigilance is the price of freedom. This new opening is not something that is permanent once it takes place. Life is a constant movement, a momentum of moments. One needs to be awake at every moment, which deepens one’s own faith.

Faith depends on what depth one has entered into oneself. One can play on the shore with the ocean water, or enter further into it to experience the full depth, the immensity. It is the depth that helps one loosen the grip of the foothold and thus become free from one’s own identity. Then one is carried aloft by the celestial current beyond the horizon to witness the panorama of unbounded space — the infinity.

Before that, the possibility is still there that the ego-mind will restructure itself and come back very subtly in a new guise. Some seekers see the glimpse through the door, but then they start glorifying the door, worshipping the light, singing songs about it. This can and does happen. The past is still there; the influences are still around. Any indulgence in glorificatory thought and idea about anyone or anything is a subtle and dangerous backward step. It implies that you are not yet completely free of mind.

The explosion almost completely breaks the mold, but the mold has the capacity to remake itself. That is why constant awareness is necessary. The mold of ego-mind has come into being through centuries and has created its own powerful vested interest. The mind mechanism, by utilizing all of the energy of Life, has rooted itself firmly. It does not let one move easily beyond itself towards divinity.

Even after this breakthrough, simplicity and austerity along with humility are essential, and deepening of the alert watchfulness is crucial. The explosion does bring a new order. It shatters the shell of the ego, the mind, and gives the experience of freedom and peace. But that freedom and peace have to unfold and flower to touch the source of one’s own inner being — the enormity of Life, the Divinity.

So there is not only the explosion but the deepening beyond it as well. You still have to let go of the foothold, to enter into the deeper eternal waters of Life. Then you become the water, the ocean, that vastness itself, in the flow of the Timeless. The ‘I’ as center merges into the circumference, which is limitless. You as a separate identity are not.

Here you come in Universality, the cosmic reality of Nature. You are not individual; you are not personality. That Universal state of being is the final point of arrival for human being. From personality to impersonality — which is Universality — is the unfoldment and fulfillment of life. He who merges with his own inner space becomes impersonal, becomes the whole. He is then not just in the world, but is one with it. And from there, when he loves one, he will love all.

This is the birth of the universal being, the impersonal one, and to experience this is our destiny. Here one is related to that vastness, to the infinity. In that enormity one experiences love and empathy. The entire world will then be in one’s orbit of relationship and love. What is love but one’s relationship with the impersonal intelligence beyond thought? When that comes into play, spirituality becomes much higher than just a religion, doctrine, philosophy, or tradition.

When one is operating from this impersonal state, intuitive expression brings forth the Truth that is the Cosmic Law. This Law will naturally guide one, rather than ethics prescribed by society or religion.

Love is the expression of cosmic creation in its highest form, beyond ethics, social morality and the rules of man. Intuitive expression from one’s inner space becomes the way of life. One finally embraces the Law of Divinity, which is not created by thought and so shall never perish. In this realm the creator and creation are one, subject and object are one.

Mankind is now facing its greatest challenge, with humanity on the brink. Sensitive and intelligent people are recognizing the fact that everybody is adding his bit to the world problems. Now their obligation is to become part of the solution. Only the individual acting and inquiring alone, within himself, can take up this challenge. Each one must explore within, with utmost urgency and honesty, to invite the radical revolution in the age-old mind.

Therein alone lies the hope for mankind. The mindless mind, freed from its fetters, will transform our perception, way of living and relationships. The human being will rise above individuality and nationality to embrace the Law of Universality.

Only through total upheaval and revolt, with a radical revolution of mind, can one discover the supreme fulfillment, with peace, love and the benevolence of Life. Universal human beings will live by the intelligence beyond thought, manifested in lives of creativity and intuitive spontaneity. This is the birthright of every human being on earth, the mystery which the Eternal is offering.

Let that Life lead you on…

With love,


From Intelligence Beyond Thought, Chapter twenty-eight

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A Visitor from Beyond the Mind

Dada with Amido while staying at our Boulder house in 1993.

Sometime in the early 90’s, my friend Santap moved to Boulder, Colorado, and after settling in, made arrangements to bring Dada Gavand, a teacher that he had spent some time with in California, to town. He was sponsoring the visit and Dada would be staying with Santap in his mountain home. Dada’s visit coincided with my own inward turn and interest in self-inquiry as a spiritual practice. I read his books and very much appreciated his keen insight. They were prodding me in.

Santap needed some help with the organizing and I was happy to assist. Dada primarily taught through one-on-one interviews but he did do a few public talks. Santap spread the word of Dada’s upcoming visit and organized a list of interested people for the interviews. Together we set up a public talk.

Dada did not enjoy the cold. He arrived from somewhere warm but was going to be staying in the Rockies at about 9,000, feet in the fall. Amido and I offered to host Dada down in town if he wanted, but he liked to stay with people he knew.

Amido and I had an interview together, and this meeting with Dada was very helpful for me. Up to that point, I was still thinking of “going inside” as a journey, as a movement through some imaginary inner space. I don’t remember the exact words that were said but there was a shift, and I understood for the first time that “going inside means not going at all.” This was a major insight. Dada recognized that a shift had happened and later suggested to Santap that he would like to spend half of his time in Boulder with us.

It was a complete joy to be with him in the house even at the requested ninety-degree temperature. One thing I found interesting was that we would be sitting and chatting around the dinner table and suddenly some kind of shift would happen. The atmosphere would change and there would be a palpable silence. It was almost as if a presence had descended, or the entire room had been lifted to a higher dimension, and he would then speak as the spiritual teacher. Even his speaking mannerisms would alter. He began to use the first-person plural and say “we” rather than “I” in those moments.

Dada’s story is quite unique. He had been part of the Theosophical Society and known U.G. Krishnamurti before either one of them experienced their transformations. They met up after those experiences, and it was at the urging and even help of U.G. that Dada set off for the States. Dada had also spent time with Meher Baba and J. Krishnamurti.

His teaching has the directness of Krishnamurti combined with the heart of being of Meher Baba. The following is from his book Towards the Unknown, beginning on page 57:

The imaginative and fragmentary mind
can never discover
that dynamic, effervescent energy
of eternal, timeless quality.
The mind is the product of time.
Whereas Godhood is timeless divine.

 The dead past cannot contact
the living present.
Time cannot contact the timeless.
Shadow cannot contact light.
Contracted polarity cannot contact enormity.

He continues on page 62:

At the cost of your own life force
the mind is misusing energy,
scattering it everywhere
in a very clever and subtle way,
in petty little pursuits
and self-intoxicating drives.

And page 63:

By close and alert watching
of all the movements of body and mind,
you will discover that
the constant ripples of thought
on our life energy
are the cause of disquiet.

He concludes with page 68:

You cannot meet God through the mind,
nor experience the timeless through time.
Thought cannot meet the omniscient.
The eternal cannot touch the transient.

Only with freedom from thought
and from mental cravings and ambitions
does the energy become
whole, tranquil and pure.

Such inner purity and humility
will invite the hidden divinity.

The pure consolidated energy,
with its silence and fullness within,
awaits in readiness to meet the divine,
to experience that which is beyond the mind.

 There across the region of time,
beyond the frontiers of the mind,
within the sanctuary of silence
resides the supreme intelligence,
your Lord, the timeless divine.

At the end of his stay, Santap and I took Dada to the airport. I was, of course, sad to see him go; such a sweet friendliness had surrounded us. We said goodbye and Dada boarded the plane with his carry-on. He believed in carrying his own baggage even in his late 70’s.

A few years later, after Amido and I had moved from Boulder to Crestone, Colorado, we talked to Dada on the phone with the idea of bringing him there, but it wasn’t to be. And in 2007, while traveling in India we emailed his contact person, thinking perhaps we would visit, but he was in silence and not accepting visitors. Dada left his body in 2012. Thank you Dadaji.


This is from the collection of stories, essays, poems and insights that is compiled to form the book From Lemurs to Lamas: Confessions of a Bodhisattva. Order the book Here.

There is a website maintained for Dada at

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