A Biography of Mooji Rishikesh
Anthony Paul Moo-Young was born on January 29, 1954, in Port Antonio, Jamaica. He moved to England in 1969 to reach his mother in Brixton, London. He worked for many years in the city center as a street portrait painter, then as a painter and producer of painted glass and finally as a teacher. He was well known as ‘Tony Moo’, but recently he is better known by the name of ‘Mooji’, affectionately so-called by many spiritual friends and seekers.
In 1987 an occasional meeting with a young Christian mystic would be the brief but fundamental meeting for a change in the life of Mooji. He was led, through prayer, to the direct experience of the Divine within us. Thus, with the awakening of his spiritual consciousness, a profound inner transformation began to reveal itself in the form of miraculous experiences and mystical visions. He felt that in his life he was blowing a powerful wind of transformation, which led him to a profound need to surrender himself completely to God. Soon after, he finished working as a teacher, left home and began a quiet and simple life, surrendering to the will of God that manifested itself spontaneously in him. Great peace thus entered his being. And this peace has never gone away.
He lived for some years almost without money but constantly absorbed in inner joy, contentment and a state of natural meditation. The Grace then came in the form of his sister, who welcomed Mooji into his home with love and kindness and offered him all the space and time he needed for his spiritual flowering, without the usual pressures and demands of external life. Mooji refers to this period as his ‘burning years’ and speaks in a touching way of how he was wrapped in the arms of God. In many ways, these years were anything but easy, yet there is no trace of regret or remorse. in his tone when he tells about these events. On the contrary, he speaks of this phase of his life as rich in blessing and abundant in graciousness, trust, and loving devotion.
Mooji in Rishikesh
At the end of 1993, Mooji made his first trip to India. He wanted to visit Dakshinewar in Calcutta, where Sri Ramakrishna, the great Saint Bengali, had lived and taught. The words and life of Ramakrishna were a source of inspiration and encouragement for Mooji in the early years of his spiritual development. He loved the saint deeply, but as fate would dictate, he never went to Calcutta. While he was in Rishikesh, a sacred place at the foot of the Himalayan mountains, he made another fatal encounter. This time with three devotees of the great Advaita Lord Sri HWL Poonjia, known by his many devotees as ‘Papaji’. Their persistent invitation to Mooji to return with them to meet the Master made a deep impression on him. But nevertheless, he postponed the intention of meeting Sri Papaji for two weeks, choosing instead to first make a visit to the sacred city of Varanasi.
A brief Journey of the Mooji in India
Finally, in November, he went to Indira Nagar, in Lucknow, to meet Sri Poonjia. This would have been a prosperous and profoundly meaningful experience for her spiritual journey. He perceived it as his great fortune; he had met a living Buddha, a fully enlightened Master. He slowly recognized that Papaji was his Guru. Mooji stayed with Papaji for a few months. The Master pushed what was left of his mind into the void of the Source. With the approval of the Master, he made the journey to Sri Ramanasramam in Tiruvannamalai. This is the ashram at the foot of Arunachala, the ‘hill of fire’, where Sri Ramana Maharshi *, ‘the Sage of Arunachala’, the guru of Sri Poonjia, had lived and taught. Mooji felt happy and at home in Tiruvannamalai.
He stayed there for about three months before returning once again to sit at the feet of his Master. About a week later he received news from London: his eldest son suddenly died of pneumonia. Mooji returned to England. The bliss of the early years had given way to a deep emptiness and inner silence through the grace and presence of Sri Poonjia. Papaji had told him: “If you want to be one with the Truth, then you must disappear completely.”
Mooji outside of India
Mooji went to visit Papaji again in 1997. This would have been his last meeting with his beloved Master, who was by then ill and frail in his movements, but whose inner light and presence had not diminished. A month after returning to London, Mooji received the news that the Master had entered Mahasamadhi *. Of this Mooji states: “That principle which manifests itself as the Master is forever here and now. The True Master never dies, it is the Lord who dies. The True Master, who is the inner Sat Guru *, is the only Reality “.
Mooji continues to live in Brixton. At the moment he runs his chai tea stall (‘Mooji’s Chai Shop’) in the local market, where every Saturday he prepares his Indian tea and sells incense. Since 1999 he receives twice a week in his small apartment small groups of visitors and spiritual researchers, who come from all over the world in search of Self-Knowledge-Jnana *. Mooji makes visits four or five times a year to Ireland where he offers Satsangs and retreats.
- MoojiThe sound ‘mu’ in Japanese comes from the root of the Chinese word ‘wu’ which means ’empty’. ‘ji’, is instead a Hindi term usually used at the end of the names as a sign of respect and affection. Mooji prefers this name and sound, which is already part of his surname, to the personal Christian one of ‘Tony’.
- Mahasamadhi The death, or loss of the physical body, by a great Soul; an event an occasion of immense joy.
- Sat Guru: Spiritual Preceptor of the highest realization – One who has realized the ultimate Truth. Again, the inner Guru, our true Being, the impersonal Absolute.
- Jnana: Spiritual knowledge; wisdom. The consciousness of Being. The mature wisdom of the Soul.
- Sri Ramana Maharshi: Widely known as the only true sage of the twentieth century. His life is a perfect example of simplicity, purity, equality, and equanimity, born of an unalterable experience of the Self.