Ramesh Balsekar



Average: 3.8 (101 votes)
Fast Facts
ramesh.jpg
Other Names and Nicknames: 
Ramesh S. Balsekar
Function: 
Spiritual Teacher
Traditions: 
Neo Advaita
Main Countries of Activity: 
India
Date of Birth: 
May 25, 1917 at 5:15 pm indian standard time
Place of Birth: 
Mumbai, India
In His/Her Body ("alive"): 
No
Date Left His/Her Body: 
September 27, 2009

Biography

Ramesh S. Balsekar worked as the General Manager of a leading nationalized Bank and retired as its President in 1977. Soon after his retirement he met the well-known sage, and his Guru, Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj. The total understanding that 'no one does anything' happened in 1979. Ramesh began translating most of the daily talks held by Nisargadatta Maharaj at this time. He himself began teaching in 1982. The 'command' to talk was given by his Guru. These talks or 'conversations' began on the day when an Australian man showed up at his door early one morning. The next day, this Australian returned with a few of his friends. Gradually, the number of visitors who came to listen to Ramesh began to grow. Since then, he wrote over 20 books and held several seminars in Europe and the USA and, while he was alive, the talks continued every morning at his residence. As Ramesh used to say, "No one is invited, and everyone is welcome."

Ramesh, was married and a father of three children, and was widely regarded as a 'householder' Guru. He elaborated his own concepts with those of his Guru Nisargadatta Maharaj, the Buddha, Ramana Maharshi, select Hindu scriptures as well as the teachings of Taoist Masters and Wei Wui Wei. All serve as pointers to the Truth - The Ultimate Understanding.

Ramesh S. Balsekar left his body on September 27 2009, after a brief illness.

Sources: 
Ramesh Balsekar official website

Teachings

Baleskar teached from the tradition of Advaita Vedanta nondualism but arrives at conclusions of Neo Advaita. His teaching begins with the idea of an ultimate Source, Brahman, from which creation arises. Once creation has arisen, the world and life operate mechanistically according to both Divine and natural laws.

While people believe that they are actually doing things and making choices, free will is in fact an illusion. All that happens is caused by this one source, and the actual identity of this source is pure Consciousness, which is incapable of choosing or doing.

This false identity which revolves around the idea that "I am the body" or "I am the doer" keeps one from seeing that one's actual identity is free Consciousness. Like other Vedanta teachers, Ramesh says that while creation and creator appear to be different and separate, that they are actually two sides of the same coin.

Balsekar teached that life is a happening but there is no individual doer of life.

Sources: 
Wikipedia, Balsekar's website, Balsekar's books

Photos

Locations

Daily satsangs at Ramesh Balsekar's home
Type: 
Home
Details: 

Satsangs are held every morning at Ramesh's residence from 9.00 a.m to 10.30 a.m. During Satsang, Ramesh answers questions posed by visitors. At the end Bhajan singing is taking place.

Though Ramesh has a splendid English, it is sometimes a little hard in the beginning to understand his diction. Don't worry - you will get used to it very quickly during the satsang.

Address: 
Sindhula Building,
Nawroji Gamadia Road, apt# 10
Mumbai, Maharashtra 400 028, India
(Off Peddar Road)
Directions: 

The apartment is a few minutes from Mumbai's famous Mahalaxmi Temple. Nearby is the Breach Candy Club and the US Consulate, which serve as useful landmarks.

Daily Schedule & Opening Hours: 

Satsangs are held every morning from 9.00 a.m to 10.30 a.m.

Balsekar's assistance, Shirish Murthy, waits for the visitors outside the building (you will see people gathering there). Then at 9:00 the assembled group is climbing the stairs to Balsekar's apartement and satsang starts at the living room.

After satsang finishes, it is possible to buy there Ramesh's books (for very reasonable prices) and the recording of the satsang (for unreasonable expensive price!)

After satsang, visitors who wish and Ramesh's assistances are going together to have a tasty breakfast in a nearby Indian restaurant. This is an excellent opportunity to get to know the others seekers and to hear informal facinating anecdotes about Ramesh from his hardcore devotees and aids.

Etiquette: 
No dressing code. Newcomers are usually given the priority to sit in first line in front of Ramesh; then Ramesh converse with them in the first part of the Satsang. Do not be afraid - Ramesh is friendly and nice and demonstrates a genuine interest in your background and story. At the end of the satsang, just before Ramesh leaves for his quarters, visitors are allowed, if they want, to bow and touch his feet (a customary indian act of disciples in front of their guru).
Registration: 
No prior registration is required. Just be there at the right time in the morning.
Accomodation: 

See recommendations for hotels in Mumbai at http://www.rameshbalsekar.com/satsang.asp

Maps and Pictures of Location: 
277026862_b6bc1ec70c.jpg
ramesh.jpg
ramesh map.png

View Video

Books & Media

Recommended Books: 
Cover image

Consciousness Speaks: Conversations with Ramesh S. Balsekar

by Ramesh S. Balsekar

(Paperback)

A worthy successor to I AM THAT Ramesh's most accessible and easy to understand book. An excellent place to start or end your search. It is highly recommended both for the newcomer to Advaita and the more knowledgeable student of the subject.

Recommended DVD & Video: 
Cover image

Thread of Yoga

(DVD)

A baba is doing austerities. He has been sitting in the same circle of fire for a month, the scorching himalayan sun beating on him day after day. Yogis ponder the meaning of life as dead bodies rot in The Ganges. Ether sticks to their mortal remains...The temperature is a boiling 120 degrees Fahrenheit! It is just another day. The people of the land perform asanas (physical postures of hatha yoga), pranayama (breathing) and kriyas (acts of internal purification of organs). Children play in the water. Gurus give satsang (lectures) while the elephants give their blessings knowing the world was made too small for them. And then, as the sacred India dives deeper and deeper into the innermost recesses of the mind, it forces all to realize that there is nothing: this is the end!?!...The world of manifestations is just an illusion! Patanjali starts his "Yoga Sutras" with the aphorism:"Yoga Chittam Vritti Nirodha" (I,2). "Yoga is the complete cessation of the fluctuations of the mind". To interpret the depth of this abstract concept, Wils interviewed Ramesh Balsekar, Sraddhalu Ranade, Gurudev Chitrabhanu, Dadi Janki and several other yogis, all of them having published books on yoga. He included rare original satsangs of Swami Sivananda, founder of the Divine Life Society in 1932 at Rishikesh, Himalayas and author of over 300 books on yoga, vedanta and health, enlightenment and higher consciousness. This film will also shed light on ashtanga, meditation, samadhi and the lives of sadhus, swamis and sannyasins at Rishikesh, Tiruvannamalai, Benares and other holy places, ashrams (Ramana Maharshi ashram to name one) and yoga institutes. Shot during 6 months in "cinéma-vérité" style on 40 locations, the documentary renders the true spirit of India with cremations on the banks of The Ganges, yoga on a rope or on a mallakhamb. This film is a "must see" for the spiritual seeker who wants to enjoy the bliss of samadhi and "drink the nectar of immortality!" This is a 2-disc set, region free, 0/ NTSC. This DVD will play worldwide on PAL/ SECAM/ NTSC players. "Thread of Yoga", 88 minutes, 2006 & bonus DVD "Shadow of a Thread", 83 minutes, 2006, full-length feature with all new material. The musical score was recorded live on location.

Pro Opinions

Consciousness...Life

MAI's picture

A great proponent of accepting life as it is, in all its shades. The good the bad and the ugly.

Asanga's picture

It's from 'Heart of Darkness' - Joseph Conrad

...The flood had made, the wind was nearly calm, and being bound down the river, the only thing for it was to come to and wait for the turn of the tide...

I am, yet I am not...

Asanga | Sat, 01/05/2013 - 13:55
MAI's picture

Life being lived

>"...The flood had made, the wind was nearly calm, and being bound down the river, the only thing for it was to come to and wait for the turn of the tide..."

MAI | Sun, 01/06/2013 - 02:21

Surprise!

Mark's picture

In the beginning, the teaching seemed to be strange. Then seemed interesting. Getting a deeper look through existence, now, for me, it is the truth.

Hold concepts lightly

SriSriYogiBaba's picture

It was amazing to meet him, we looked at each other for a while and I felt as if I had been blown into space. Although I was in the hotseat he declared that I had no questions.

Ramesh Balsekar has left the house

Asanga's picture

Don't know if this is pro or con. When I met him last, he was frail, and wise... And generous with his time.
My only gauge was that he felt warm, friendly, intelligent and non judgmental...

erez's picture

So sad!

I attended his satsangs in 2006 in his home in Mumbai. My main motive was him being a direct disciple of Maharaj.

Despite my many reservations in retrospective about his teachings, about his somehow problematic interpretations of Advaita and his heavy reliance on analytical reasoning, the satsangs were a memorable experience, I felt great affection and gratitude to this old man who opened his home every day throughout the year for seekers from all around the world, welcoming and rejoicing with them.

I am saddened and grieving his death. I was planning to visit him this year again. This is the second death this year of a great famous teacher (The previous was Vimala Thakar).

erez | Sat, 10/03/2009 - 17:58
Abhimanyu25's picture

I feel compassion for the

I feel compassion for the man. He studied with Nisargadatta at a highly advanced age, and probably just developed a certain degree of conceptual understanding of advaita, which reflected in his superficial and vague teachings on the subject, which actually could have mislead people.

Perhaps if he had met Nisargadatta 20-30 years back in his thirties/forties, he could have been young and intellectually fit enough to understand Nisargadatta and apply his teachings to their true conclusion and attain enlightenment , and become a good teacher too in the process.

Abhimanyu25 | Tue, 05/13/2014 - 10:01

gratitude

earthling's picture

Bless him for presenting the message of universe through Nisargadatta maharaj

Con Opinions

"Once a banker... always a banker"

chasbaba's picture

Whilst in India years ago, I noticed that all Balsekars' books of which there seemed to be countless, were 10 times more expensive than the price of books by other "spiritual" authors.

mrsnacks's picture

mrsnacks

Opinions are just thoughts. They are not real as they come and go. Don't mean a thing.

Tom Cruise's line in one of his movies was," show me the money." So I am asking you to "show me the drivel." So what if his books are more expensive then others. The nature of the mind is arriving at it's conclusions.Nothing wrong with it. The mind just functions that way.

The agenda clearly money? So what is wrong with that if that were the case ? His writings aren't confusing at all to me. Once a banker always a banker? Another unproven assumption.My dearest friend was banker and now she is a nurse.

Your mind is holding you hostage. No guru to be found in you.

mrsnacks | Tue, 05/29/2012 - 21:43
Abhimanyu25's picture

Hazy portrayal of advaita

From what I have heard and read of Ramesh Baleskar, he does not seem to be enlightened. He just seem to have a vague and superficial understanding of advaita, mainly due to the study of the accounts of Nisargadatta Maharaj whom he happened to be in touch with. He has not attained the state of self-realization himself.

This could account for his hazy portrayals of Advaita which seems to be confusing and leads one nowhere.

Abhimanyu25 | Tue, 05/13/2014 - 09:19

Seems asleep

Omkaradatta's picture

He seems asleep here, although granted this view is very rare. His teachings are popular, but I think dependent on catch-phrases such as "all there is, is consciousness".

lucas's picture

too much intellect

ramesh puts too much intellectual analysis in his approach... this naturally doesn't yield much...

still his daily satsangs in Mumbay are most recommended... the atmosphere and still the opportunity to meet someone who was in the presence of Nisargadatta Maharaj...

Also an opportunity to have a breathtaking visit in Nisargadatta Maharaj's house (see the exact instructions in his guru profile here)

lucas | Wed, 10/08/2008 - 13:50
Omkaradatta's picture

Sounds OK...

Sounds OK, but when in India I think I'd rather see the Himalayas for breathtaking views ;-). Visiting an empty apartment, trying to get some essence of somebody... pfft. Sometimes I wonder if the living people are really the ghosts :-p.

http://www.omkaradatta.info

Omkaradatta | Wed, 10/08/2008 - 17:22
erez's picture

first, go go go to india.

first, go go go to india. your decisions will be different here (I am currently in india). just being here is a shortcut, Impossible to explain, those who were in india know what this means, something in the air here :-)

Second, do visit ramesh. with all the observations which more or less are true, being with him is an amazing satsang experience. he is very wise and advanced and after all he was in the presence of maharaj. dont underestimae him until you meet him face to face. believe me.

erez | Sun, 10/19/2008 - 18:11
Omkaradatta's picture

Unnecessary

I don't need to go anywhere to be aware of my Self... I can be living inside a cardboard box, and that would suffice.

Nisargadatta: "The only proper place is within. The outer world neither can help nor hinder."

I sometimes wonder why people don't consider it a disrespect to the guru to ignore his/her words and attach to places and personalities. In a way, it's like a slap in the face to what they are trying to communicate.

http://www.omkaradatta.info

Omkaradatta | Tue, 10/21/2008 - 01:17
Phroggy's picture

~

People see what they want to see, hear what they want to hear. This is how Truth 'hides' to begin with, eh? Everybody has a special thing to do or a trick or technique. How could it not be nonsense from the start, and most likely a diversion?

Phroggy | Tue, 10/21/2008 - 03:08
Omkaradatta's picture

...

...

Omkaradatta | Tue, 10/21/2008 - 03:52
lagrima's picture

mind tricks

You are talking out of such an ignorance, amazing. Have you ever tried these techniques or any at all that you let your analytical mind dismiss them so sweepingly? Have you ever gone to India that you let your lazy mind overrule it so conveniently?

Your mind is misinterpreting the concept of being for its own aims.

lagrima | Fri, 01/23/2009 - 08:44
Phroggy's picture

~

The ignorance IS amazing, isn't it?
It can be useful to stop and recall the basics, which we all know and yet we manage to set them aside in the conviction that they somehow don't apply to us right now.

The goal is not to learn anything, but perhaps to unlearn. The goal is not to experience something, since experience is the illusion. The goal is not to find something because what's looking for something is what's being looked for. The goal is not to get the mind to do or not do something, because it is the mind that would be doing that, and that's the problem rather than the solution.

The goal is to simply stop; stop doing what you're doing to become enlightened, stop thinking what you're thinking, resisting what you're resisting, seeking what you're seeking.

So how does that come about, by making frequent trips to India and having all sorts of powerful experiences? By meditating yourself into a bliss bunny state? By becoming addicted to the latest method? No, this is ego's way of keeping the seeking game going, to avoid actually stopping. How many trips to India does it take to stop and look?

Welcome to the amazing ignorance of the spiritual circus.

Phroggy | Sat, 01/24/2009 - 22:21
Omkaradatta's picture

What are my aims?

> Your mind is misinterpreting the concept
> of being for its own aims.

What are my mind's aims, in your book? Also -- is your book a very entertaining reading? ;-).

http://www.omkaradatta.info

Omkaradatta | Sun, 01/25/2009 - 10:07
lagrima's picture

You are missing a lot

You are missing a lot by not going because words which are currently your mode of communication from Nisargadatta, Ramesh and others are nothing. Only when you attend a satsang of Ramesh you will be able to realize that person. Your view about him now is based on dry reading of his words which is baseless. This is the difference between spirituality and academia - here the words are marginal, the presence is the main means.

You cannot imagine the level of communication when you visit the house of Maharaj in Mumbay.

lagrima | Fri, 01/23/2009 - 08:38
Omkaradatta's picture

I'm missing a lot...

> You are missing a lot by not going

I don't feel as though I'm missing anything. I feel fulfilled and happy, right where I am. Ah, well... :-). From your perspective it may be a shame, but you're the one who has to live with this awful feeling... eh?

> You cannot imagine the level of communication
> when you visit the house of Maharaj in Mumbay.

I have no desire to imagine anything, nor to find some level of communication with anything. My guru Maharaj is within me, not 'out there'.

Maharaj would tell you the same thing, yet you keep looking for him 'out there'. To me, this is a disrespect for Maharaj, ignoring his words while deifying his body (which he clearly said he was not, over and over again).

Are you really an enemy of Maharaj, ignoring his words, deifying his body? His heart wanted you awake. I see people spitting in his face, seeking him 'elsewhere' when he is within. I find it offensive.

http://www.omkaradatta.info

Omkaradatta | Sun, 01/25/2009 - 11:29
slenten's picture

&

I agree with Omkaradatta but want to emphasize "banker" and the attendant concept of (spiritual) usury and the pyramid schemes of grifters like Ramesh.

I recently almost talked myself into going to India for a meditation intensive in the Himalayan foothills with a guy who came the closest to being my guru. Upon reflection, I realized that people are stoned on the psychosocial dislocation of being there. I decided it was unnecessary and unconscionable to fly (CO2!) there for such petty, ego vanity.

slenten | Fri, 01/23/2009 - 15:27
madan_gautam's picture

The Himalayan foothills

Being a Enlightened one does not mean that one should ignore the nature's beauty.
I think after Enlightenment one become more respectful and thankful to nature also.Over all we are part of it and our physical existence depends on it.
One should always pay gratitude to the nature as it is the direct part/form of Almighty.
It is the physical reflection of THAT.
By just ignoring IT we are ignoring our Enlightenment.
OM

madan_gautam | Sat, 01/24/2009 - 19:01
Abhimanyu25's picture

The company of an

The company of an enlightened master is indeed the fastest way to self-realization, but Ramesh Baleskar does not seem to be enlightened to me.

His teachings are quite confusing and highly inferior to the teachings of Nisargadatta and Ramana Maharshi and J.Krishnamurti. Reading the works of the latter would be more constructive imho.

Abhimanyu25 | Tue, 05/13/2014 - 09:54

Balsekar's financial & sex SCANDAL

manu4groups's picture

Ramesh is not regarded as a considerable Guru now. He was involved in some scandals and you could read the main article from this famous site:

enlight's picture

I wouldn't take this too seriously

The links are opinions of three individuals basing some of their arguments on rumors (the sex stuff etc.). One of them even criticizes in the same breathe Eckhart Tolle's books which I and so many others believe that are masterpieces that make transformation happen. So I wouldn't take these individual opinions so seriously!

No matter who the guru is, there will always be rumors and criticism about him/her. This is the nature of people. I don't say this means that all the above about Ramesh is a lie but I think we must exercise extra caution.

I met with Ramesh a few years ago and though he is not Nisargadatta, there is an enormous benefit in listening to him. I recommend others to do this before he passes away if you happen to be in Mumbai.

enlight | Mon, 05/11/2009 - 12:39
abra's picture

incredible article

The first article is incredible. I recommend each and every person to read it not only in relation to Balsekar but as an excellent introduction to evaluating Advaita teachers, to bewaring of neo Advaita populist self-appointed western teachers and in order to have a better understanding of the difference.

I must say that I felt that "it is not that" when I attended the satsangs of ramesh, back then he simply seemed to me as using mind's logic too much to drive his conclusions.

abra | Thu, 05/14/2009 - 08:33
Abhimanyu25's picture

Yes, the first article is

Yes, the first article is simply superb, and does great justice to the cause of advaita. Reading this educates one greatly with respect to the dangers of neo-advaita and other fraudulent philosophies masking itself as advaita.

Ramesh does not seem to be an enlightened master. He may have a great conceptual understanding of advaita, probably due to his contact with Nisargadatta Maharaj, but that does not equate with enlightenment.

It is very important, in this context, to differentiate between enlightened ones and fraudulent ones, as you may be taken for a ride.

Abhimanyu25 | Tue, 05/13/2014 - 09:49
oneonone's picture

Ramesh - Advaita - God

One
The only possibility for doing that comment is that `the author´ of the comment does not believe on Advaita. If he/ she does not, then any cuestion can be done.
If `he/she´ does, after, ¿who is Ramesh?, ¿Who is doing the comment?, ¿In wich way any act of Ramesh is in contradiction with Advaita? If `Ramesh´ is not an enlightenment organism is only because is not God´s desire and after all, `he´ is not responsable neither the author of the acts. Only God is doing what has to be done thats the way on the parameters of Advaita. In that case,`manu4groups´can only question God, if that could be done( On that marc) . Thanks.

oneonone | Sun, 03/31/2013 - 00:15
anderlaus's picture

This is not the right understanding of Advaita

What you present is a distorted understanding of Advaita which confuses the absolute and relative perspectives. Advaita does not mean that now we regard nothing, disregard any object and become zombies just because all is one. It means that we speculate that all is one in the absolute perspective but understand that in the relative perspective, through our senses and mind, there seems to be entities.

Based on your above argument, you are supposed to run into a busy highway because you and the cars are one and anyway it is all God's will and so on, but surprisingly enough you seems not to do it :-)

anderlaus | Tue, 04/02/2013 - 07:15
oneonone's picture

Its not the right understanding of the message above

one
I´m talking only about there is not a maker ( Balsekar) and about Providence, the other consequences you take are only about your understanding of the message, based on your personal opinion, but even that forms part of the Plan, there´s anything outside God. Thanks

oneonone | Tue, 04/02/2013 - 13:02
Abhimanyu25's picture

Nonsense leads one nowhere.

Nonsense leads one nowhere. This is true with respect to advaita as well. Only confusion is the result with neo-advaita and other fraudulent philosophies.

Better stick to enlightened masters like Nisargadatta,Eckhart Tolle, J.Krishnamurti and Ramana.

Abhimanyu25 | Wed, 05/14/2014 - 09:05

My experience with Remsh

kamil's picture

A few summers ago I went to Mumbai to attend Ramesh Balsekar's morning satsangs for a whole week.

realization

NIDHI PARKASH's picture

After going through the comments of others it seems to have to be said that the real thing is self-realization; rest is the talking only.