Guptananda talks about his life
Guptananda gave me the stories while I was meditating with a pen in my hand and a blank sheet of paper in front of me. It took several years of writing on and off to collect complete the work. After Guptananda had finished telling me all the stories, I was puzzled as to how they all fitted into one life. I asked him to tell me his life story. This is what he said:
"I will tell you something about my life although you already know quite a lot about it, in fact. You know that I had a mother and father, both of whom were very good, wise parents. They were loving and kind, but firm, especially my father. My mother could be persuaded to change her mind on occasions, but my father would rarely budge. We lived on a small estate where there were servants' dwellings and our main house. My father kept horses, this was unusual for people of our kind, but our family was somewhat eccentric. The family was self-sufficient in food. We grew many kinds of vegetables and my uncle reared animals and would often supply us with meat. Sometimes Father would exchange our fruit and vegetables for meat at the market, or he would take money if he did not need the meat. My mother would spend her time organising the servants and, as she liked cooking, she would do some of the fancier cooking in the kitchen. My father worked in the temple as a scribe, the chief scribe. It was an important job. He had a number of temple workers under him. People had to contribute either food or money to the temple. Everyone did this in my day. The time I am talking about was very many years ago. Much has changed since then, much for the better, but much for the worse.
What about my life? How did I fit in all those things that you have written stories about? Well, at the age of sixteen I decided to become a monk. I found a guru and I followed the religious life, developing myself spiritually speaking. I was still living at home and I would walk to see my guru, or I would ride my horse, the now famous Raja! I followed this path until I was twenty and then I decided that, although the religious life was appropriate for me, I needed the contact with other people. I joined the temple workers at that stage. Later I met Meera, my wife to be and we were married. We did not have any children. We were not blessed in that way. My wife died ten years after our marriage. I returned to my life as a monk and spent many years learning under my guru. Finally I decided to become a hermit. I moved to a cave in the Himalayas, where you met me in meditation, Teresa. I lived there for a long time. People would come and live with me and share my simple life. I would help them with their philosophy and their spiritual development. I lived until I was sixty-nine years old. One night I fell asleep and awoke in a blaze of light. I did not know where I was. My cave was nowhere to be seen. I have made much progress since then, learning and teaching, here on the other side.