Although Kosi never met Papaji in physical form, she experienced him as a transformational force of nature. The eternal voice of Papaji directs you to the Silent essence of Ramana Maharshi and Arunachala Siva. It was the transmission of Papaji received through the book The Truth Is (see .pdf file below of this book) that offered Kosi the first glimpse of the depth of her real nature. His command to, "Stop and See the See-er" immediately turned her mind inward to the source of itself. It was an experience that was not an experience, but a recognition that who we are is a vast Silent presence that is simply indescribable. His clarity and presence are a continuing support to Kosi, and the depth of her devotion to him is indescribable.
H. W. L. Poonja, affectionately called Papaji by his devotees, was born in Gujranwalla, in western Punjab, which is now in Pakistan, in a family of Saraswati Brahmans. His mother was the sister of Swami Rama Tirtha, one of the most famous Saints of India. At the age of eight, he experienced a highly unusual state of consciousness. He was persuaded by his mother that he could reconnect to this unitary experience by practicing devotion to the Hindu God Krishna, and so he gave himself over to Krishna Bhakti (devotion) with vigor. He proved to be a prodigy of sorts and while still a boy he began to have visions of Krishna. This is known in the Vaisnava tradition as receiving the "Darsana" of God. Playfully interacting with his visions of Krishna while simultaneously experiencing the bliss of spiritual union, he spent his youth in intimate relationship with Krishna as his friend.
As an adult he led an apparently normal life; married, raised two children and even joined the British army, while secretly, his love for Krishna (and his visions of Him) continued. Pursuing the life of a devotee he was not satisfied with having sporadic visions and was deeply troubled when Krishna did not appear. He became obsessed with a longing to have the experience of seeing God all the time. He continuously repeated Krishna's name (japa) and traveled throughout India asking sages if they could deliver the ability to produce the darshan of God at will.
After all his attempts had failed, he returned to his family. A sadhu appeared at the door soon after that, and Poonjaji invited him in and asked him the question he had asked swamis throughout the country: "Can you show me God? If not, do you know of anyone who can?" To his surprise, the sadhu told him that there was a person, Ramana Maharshi, who could show him God. Further, the sadhu provided detailed instructions on how to find this Ramana Maharshi in Tiruvannamalai in southern India.
Not long after the sadhu appeared at his door, he traveled to Tiruvannamalai to meet Ramana. When he arrived at the ashram he was infuriated to discover that the same sadhu who had come to his door, was the man known as Ramana. Papaji had just arrived, but he was turning to leave when another sadhu asked him what was troubling him. Papaji replied, "This man is fraud, he came to my house in Lucknow promoting himself." The sadhu explained that it was impossible—Ramana had traveled to Tiruvannamalai as a young boy and never left.
On hearing this, Papaji stayed and sat with Ramana who asked him to stop and see the see-er. In that moment, Papaji's entire body shook with Self-recognition and he became a devoted student of Ramana. After his transformation he stayed in southern India until 1947, when during the partition of India, despite Poonjaji's fierce longing to stay with his master, Ramana sent him to his old home in the Punjab (then in the new country of Pakistan), to bring his family to the safety of Lucknow, India. Ramana's last words to him were: “I am with you wherever you go.”
In the following years, Poonjaji earned money to support his family, meeting with seekers and sharing Satsangs wherever he was. In 1953, he met his first Western disciple, Henri Le Saux, also known as Swami Abhishiktananda, who wrote many books on Advaita Vedanta and Christianity. In 1966 Papaji retired and spent a lot of time in the Himalayan foothills, where his Belgian disciple, Meera, later known as Ganga, met him in 1968. They traveled throughout India, Europe, and South America, often together and with their daughter, Mukti.
Poonjaji later settled in Lucknow, where he received visitors from all around the world. He left his body on September 6, 1997. You can experience his living presence in the following—transcribed satsangs from the early 1990's. It was while reading this book that Kosi had the first real glimpse of the truth of her being.