Gangaji shares a simple message-This is an invitation to shift your allegiance from the activities of your mind to the eternal presence of your being. Born in Texas in 1942, Gangaji grew up in Mississippi. After graduating from the University of Mississippi in 1964, she married and had a daughter. In 1972, she moved to San Francisco where she began exploring deeper levels of her being. She took Bodhisattva vows, practiced Zen and Vipassana meditation, helped run a Tibetan Buddhist Meditation Center, and had a career as an acupuncturist in the San Francisco Bay area.

Despite her successes, Gangaji continued to experience a deep and persistent longing for fulfillment. She pursued many paths to change her life including relationship, motherhood, political activism, career, and spiritual practice, but even the greatest of her successes ultimately came up short. In the wake of her disillusionment, she made a final prayer for true help. In 1990, the answer to her prayer came unexpectedly, taking her to India and to the meeting that would change everything. There on the banks of the river Ganga, she met Sri HWL Poonja, also known as Papaji, who opened the floodgates of self-recognition. In this meeting, Gangaji’s personal story of suffering ended and the promise of a true life began to flower and unfold. Today, Gangaji travels the world speaking to seekers from all walks of life. A teacher and author, she shares her direct experience of the essential message


  • I have newly rediscovered Gangaji and have felt very enriched and supported by her teachings. But hearing about her plastic surgery has been a touch thing to digist. but I’m working on it. but while reading about it I found blog posts mentioning her clubbing baby seals. Could that be truth??? sounds crazy. Does anyone know more about that?

  • They weren’t women. Byron Katie did it too. I think she looks great for her age. Excessive plastic surgery seems neurotic, but maybe minor stuff can be categorized with dressing nicely, cutting your hair, etc.

  • These interviews are very well done. Many of the focus points Rick hones in on help to make these interviews more meaningful and interesting. Great job. Keep it up! I have been enjoying these illuminating talks.

  • I am a Falun Gong practitioner. Falun Dafa is a cultivation system in the Buddha School based on the principles of the Universe:

    真 Truthfulness
    å–„ Compassion
    忍 Forbearance.

    Since 1999 it has been brutally persecuted by the CCP in China. People are being killed, tortured, put into concentration camps and have organs harvested from live people, simply because of their belief. More than 3400 Falun Gong practitioners have died at the hands of CCP in the past 12 years.

  • i just want to find out if there is any help for ppl who go through a spiritual crisis post,their. first rising that happens in there lives….basically when ppl go bipolar and cause a lot of damage and suffering to themselves and their near ones……please if their is any help wud anyone please please let me know…..this is a prayer unto all those masters who can help.

  • I thank you deeply for this interview…I was one of the few who didn’t know Gangaji. Words can’t even describe how grateful I am to have found Gangaji and her teachings. Truth and clarity emanate from her being and call me to stop and “tell the truth” also.

  • Gangaji went through a crisis when she found out her husband was having an affair just a few years back, and she gave an interview where she talked openly about how it really threw her for a loop at first…maybe the surgery was a reaction to that. Also, comparing Ramana to Gangaji…well, there is no comparison, as wonderful as she is.

  • well, she has had a plenty of those surgeries. Long before she had any crisis with her husband. Anyway, preaching that the body is just a body, while at the same time making a business out of it, using your followers money to get a plastic surgery…

  • I’m not comfortable with it either, but I still think she has a lot to offer. At least she’s not dyeing her hair anymore.

  • Yes, the plastic surgery is a bit of a paradox to say the least. But, as Rick points out in the below post, perhaps plastic surgery is just one thing along a continuum of self care for women. Who knows! I had a friend (Amber Terrel) who became enlightened through her interaction with Gangaji,so she does bring the cosmic juice, so to speak!

  • Excuse me! Amma`s organization Embracing the world is a fundraising organization. The money from everything that is sold there is for others in survival need. All people work for free inspired by Amma`s amazing compassion. Garlanding Amma is s.thing people love to do. Besides is a use in India, to garland the saints! I really liked Gangaji..those videos I saw from her before but this is just to much. Plastic surgery Plastic surgery?…Does God need any plastic surgery? Byron K.? No way!

  • Enlightment can become a sophisticated way to be comfortable with everything that is understood incorrectly ….

  • I know that people consider her all enlightened but her choice to have plastic surgery must have came from some attachment to her appearance or attachment to what people think of her.

  • Why? Maybe she just fucking felt like it???? Live your own life and be thankful people don’t get in your business :))

  • GangaJi has such clarity, her peace and warmth is present. There is no use judging her “person” because then one misses the message that can mean transcendence. Sometimes the message we need to hear comes in different forms and we could miss it because we are busy judging. I feel such resonance with people like her who have resonate with what they say. Very few like her.

  • ganga ji —- peoples who are/were being getting destriod and sent to hells , were realy bad , or were victims of some wrong principas and bad wisdom and bad fates .

  • They also weren’t American – and a gazillion other things. Time, place, conditioning, etc. Papaji did many things Ramana wouldn’t have done and viceversa. Comparing two individuals is silly. Don’t compare yourself with Ramana or Papaji, and if you want to get plastic surgery… get it… that won’t affect your state of consciousness.

    • Awesome response. I really can’t see the conflict between realization and the rest of life’s play. Realization occurs right along with the rest of life’s play and is independent of circumstances. When you recognize yourself as That, you recognize that the whole of existence is playing through you as you and it keeps on going, though your perspective shifts. Recognition of Truth is not a supernatural event, it is not an ejection from life, it is the inclusive realization of the essential Being, which is Life. Everything Goes… always has, always will. If you want a superhuman teacher don’t look to a human being. When it comes to accepting any teaching it is always the individual who chooses to validate what they resonate with and what they do not. All this debating about who is “true” and who isn’t is pointless. Either everything is Truth or nothing is… relative truth is relative to the subject. The subject itself is free from objection.

Leave a Comment