Sailor Bob Adamson

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Fast Facts
Other Names and Nicknames: 
Bob Adamson (birthname)
Spiritual Teacher
Advaita Vedanta, Navnath Sampradaya (Nath Sampradaya)
Main Countries of Activity: 
Date of Birth: 
July 21, 1928
Place of Birth: 
Beaconsfield Farm, Australia
In His/Her Body ("alive"): 
Ancestor Gurus: 


He was born on his family farm on Saturday 21 July 1928. His family was not religious in any way and had no interest in anything spiritual.

His early years coincided with the Great Depression. These years were difficult for the family as they had gone through the hardship of severe floods and lost their farm. They had been in the process of selling the property when the government declared that all loans be frozen. The contract of sale had been signed and was legally binding, however settlement had not taken place and subsequently the money owing was never paid to his family.

Bob didn’t take easily to classroom learning, which was all the more difficult as he was naturally lefthanded but was made to write with his right hand – a usual practice then. He was self-conscious about his handwriting and school learning became increasingly hard for him. Given Bob’s sensitive nature, his astute eye for detail and his natural intelligence, there must have been an underlying frustration at not being able to put his interior landscape into words.

In 1940 when Bob was twelve, he and his family left the Beaconsfield farm and moved to Melbourne.

In Melbourne in 1943 at 15 years of age, Bob was taken to a pub one Friday night by two slightly older boys who worked with him. Bob said that he had three drinks and he world changed for him. Later, when he tried to recapture that euphoric state, he was unable to, because he would always drink past it. This world of drinking that opened for him at this formative stage of his life would in the following seventeen years become one of darkness and despair and would almost destroy him. The precious years of his young adulthood became a blur and the social skills necessary for life had little opportunity to develop and flourish.

With the Second World War underway, Bob, like other young men, was eager to sign up for military service. His father Robert, having fought at Gallipoli in the First World War, would not give permission for his son to join up. As one of the last stand of men who held on firing while the remaining group escaped to the Gallipoli mainland, he knew only too well what war entailed. So Bob had to wait until his seventeenth birthday to apply. Four months later, in November 1945, Bob was accepted into the Navy and he became a sailor (the reason behind the "Sailor" in his name). The war had just ended but Bob was contracted for a full twelve-year term and was immediately sent off to Japan.

Bob lasted about two and a half years of his term before being discharged. The charge for his expulsion was that he was a chronic alcoholic with anxiety neurosis. He was only nineteen years old and it had been a damaging experience. His hearing was also permanently impaired as a result of gun practice.

After leaving the Navy, Bob worked on a farm in the Western District of Victoria.

He then began an extensive spiritual search, especially together with his wife Barabara. This search included a long connections with Muktananda and long visits to India. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and ultimately his guru Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj.

Bob's search ended one day in 1976 when he was in the presence of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj.


I AM not speaking to any 'body'.
I AM not speaking to any 'mind'.
I AM speaking to THAT I AM that I AM,
that expresses through
the mind as the thought I AM.
Just THIS and NOTHING else.

This is the direct and immediate introduction to the natural state, the actuality 'That Thou Art', expressed through 'Sailor' Bob Adamson and addressed to seekers who have found their way to him over the past 30 years.


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Books & Media

Recommended Books: 
Cover image

What's Wrong with Right Now?

by Sailor Bob Adamson


Sailor Bob Adamson's search came to an end in the mid 1970s with an encounter with Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, the revered jnani of Bombay. Since that time he has shared his understanding with those who look for answers to the essential questions of life. This book is a compilation of dialogues with seekers who attend the weekly meetings with Bob at his home in Melbourne, Australia. Bob's words, delivered with a rare immediacy and authority, cut through the self-imposed barriers of the mind to reveal the freedom that is our original nature.

Life and Teachings of Sailor Bob Adamson531.57 KB