Anthony Paul Moo-Young, known as Shri Mooji, was born on 29 January 1954 in Port Antonio, Jamaica. In 1969, he moved to the UK and lived in Brixton, London. Anthony worked in London’s ‘West End’ as a street portrait artist for many years, then as a painter and a stained glass artist, and later as a teacher at Brixton College. For a long time, he was well known as Tony Moo, but is now affectionately known as Mooji by the many seekers and friends who visited him.
Shri Mooji is a direct disciple of Sri Harilal Poonja, the renowned Advaita Master, or Papaji, as his followers call him. In 1987, a chance meeting with a Christian mystic was to be a life-changing encounter for Shri Mooji. It brought him, through prayer, into the direct experience of the Divine within. Within a short period, he experienced a radical shift in consciousness so profound that outwardly, he seemed, to many who knew him, to be an entirely different person. As his spiritual consciousness awakened, a deep inner transformation began which unfolded in the form of many miraculous experiences and mystical insights. He felt a strong wind of change blowing through his life which brought with it a deep urge to surrender completely to divine will. Shortly after, he stopped teaching, left his home and began a life of quiet simplicity and surrender to the will of God as it manifested spontaneously within him. A great peace entered his being, and has remained ever since.
For the following six years, Shri Mooji drifted in a state of spontaneous meditation oblivious to the outer world he formally knew. During these years, he lived almost penniless but was constantly absorbed in inner joy, contentment and natural meditation. Grace came in the form of his sister Julianne, who welcomed Shri Mooji into her home with loving kindness, and afforded him the time and space he much needed to flower spiritually, without the usual pressures and demands of external life. Shri Mooji refers to this period of his life as his “wilderness years” and speaks touchingly of a deep feeling of being “seated on the Lap of God”. In many respects, these were far from easy times for Shri Mooji, yet there is no trace of regret or remorse in his tone as he recounts these years. On the contrary, he speaks of this phase of his life as being richly blessed and abundant in grace, trust and loving devotion.
In 1993, Shri Mooji travelled to India. He had a desire to visit Dakshineswar in Calcutta where Sri Ramakrishna, the great Bengali Saint, had lived and taught. The words and life of Ramakrishna were a source of inspiration and encouragement to Shri Mooji in the early years of his spiritual development. He loved the Saint deeply but as fate would determine, he would not go to Calcutta. While in Rishikesh, a holy place at the foothills of the Himalayas, he was to have another propitious encounter; this time with three devotees of the great advaita Master Sri Harilal Poonja, known to his many devotees as Papaji. Their persistent invitation to Shri Mooji to travel with them to meet the Master made a deep impression on him. Still he delayed the prospect of meeting Papaji for two whole weeks, choosing first to visit Varanasi, the holy city.
In late November 1993, Mooji travelled to Indira Nagar in Lucknow to meet Papaji. It was to be an auspicious and profoundly significant experience on his spiritual journey. He felt it to be his good fortune; he had met a living Buddha, a fully enlightened master. He gradually came to recognise that Papaji was his Guru. Shri Mooji stayed with Papaji for several months. During one particular satsang meeting, Papaji told him: “If you desire to be one with truth, ‘you’ must completely disappear.” On hearing this, great anger arose within his mind, full of judgement and resistance towards Papaji. He decided to leave the master’s presence for good, but later that day a huge dark cloud of anger and rebelliousness suddenly lifted, leaving his mind in a state of such peace, emptiness and a love towards the master, so intense, that he knew he could not leave. Through ‘Papaji’s’ grace, his mind was pushed back into the emptiness of source.
In 1994, with his Master’s blessing, he travelled down 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 and Papaji’s Guru, had lived and taught. Shri Mooji felt very happy and at home in Tiruvannamalai. He stayed there for almost three months before returning to sit at Papaji’s feet once again.
A week after returning to Lucknow, Shri Mooji received news from London that his eldest son had died suddenly of pneumonia. He returned to England. The bliss of earlier years gave way to a profound emptiness and inner silence, imparted by the Grace and Presence of Papaji.
Shri Mooji visited Papaji again in 1997. It was to be his last meeting with his Beloved Master, who had by now become ill and frail in his movements, but whose inner light and presence remained undiminished. A month after returning to London, Shri Mooji received news that the Master had passed away. Of this Shri Mooji declares: “That Principle that manifests as the Master is ever HERE NOW. The True Master never dies, it is the mister that dies. The true Master, that Sat Guru* within, alone is the Real”.
Since 1999, Shri Mooji has been sharing satsang in the form of spontaneous encounters, retreats, satsang intensives and one-to-one meetings with the many seekers who visit him, from all parts of the world, in search of the direct experience of truth. Few amongst the modern teachers of the advaita tradition expound the ‘knowledge of Self’, and the method of self-enquiry, with such dazzling clarity, love and authority. There is an energy that radiates from Mooji’s presence, a kind of impersonal intimacy, full of love, joy and a curious mix of playfulness and authority. His style is direct, clear, compassionate and often humorous. Once caught in the grip of his questions, there seems to be no place to hide. So unsparing is his scrutiny and uncompromising stance, that the ‘I’ concept is inescapably exposed as a mental construction, when viewed from the formless awareness we are.
Shri Mooji has travelled to Spain, Italy, Germany, Sweden, North America, Argentina, Brasil, UK, Ireland, Portugal, Ukraine, Poland, Russia, and India, conducting Satsang meetings, Intensives and Retreats. He is ever open to meeting sincere seekers of truth, whatever their background.
Ananta (born, Tapan Garg) is a disciple of spiritual Guru, Shri Mooji. His quest for self-realization began in 1998, at the age of 23.
He spent the initial few years involved with Sri Sri Ravishankar's Art of Living Foundation. At one point, he seriously contemplated becoming a teacher of the Art of Living, but life led him in a different direction when he came across the teachings of Nisargadatta Maharaj and later, Bhagawan Ramana Maharshi and Shri HWL Poonja (Papaji).
He was deeply inspired by Nisargadatta's book "I Am That". He also spent some time with Ramesh Balsekar and occasionally attended his satsangs in Mumbai.
The search for Truth finally led him to his Guru Shri Mooji in January 2009. The instant Ananta met Mooji he felt a deep sense of having come home. He experienced a complete sense of surrender to Mooji and in his Presence, he discovered all that he was seeking. With Mooji's blessings, Ananta has been sharing Satsang since 2013.
This is a video of Ananta's first time in the 'hot seat' in front of his Master, Shri Mooji.