The Leela Foundation
Dedicated to world peace and freedom through universal self-realization

Interview with Connections Magazine 1997

Hi, Eli. Can you describe in a few sentences the central message of your work?

Eli: My work is to support everyone waking up from the trance of egoic suffering. My life is committed to a world of true peace and true freedom through universal Self-realization.

What does spiritual evolution/development mean in your own personal life?

I was not drawn to a spiritual life initially. Personal awakening never interested me. Like most people, I just wanted to be happy, which meant that I wanted everyone to love me and do what I wanted them to do and to be free to do whatever I wanted to do. And like most everyone else, I was not successful at this. So even though I had loving parents and a comfortable upper middle-class life, I was miserable and I made those around me miserable. A typical neurotic childhood.

Interview for Recto-Versea Magazine

By Bertrand Coquoz, Geneva, Switzerland
Recto-Verseau Magazine, March 1999

“Drop all thought. Drop into silence, turn your back on all manifestation and see who you really are.”  – Eli

How do you usually present yourself? Your name is Eli Jaxon-Bear. Do you have anything to do with Indians?

Most people just call me Eli.  I have had many different names just in this lifetime. Since I was a revolutionary in the ’60s, I had to use different names. When I was a federal fugitive during the Vietnam War, my name was once Norman Brown. During a ceremony with a Mescalero Apache in 1973 I was given the name Eli Jaxon-Bear and it stuck. Now, as some karmic joke, my daughter just named my granddaughter Reagan!

Interview with Sein Magazine 2000

Berlin – Germany, 2000

As an international teacher, do you see a similarity or a connection between us now and the circumstances that gave rise to Hitler and his power?

Yes, there is a deep connection. This connection is fear based on selfishness. As long as fear runs people’s lives, they project the enemy as some foreign force. Fear is based on insecurity, which is rooted in ignorance of the truth. This fear is what keeps the whole system running, keeps everyone economically enslaved. Unemployment has nothing to do with foreign workers, but is a function of a capitalist free market economy. This economy runs on fear and greed based in deep ignorance.  It is a lot easier to imagine that the enemy is a Turkish worker and not the entire system of economics.

What advice would you give people so that this does not happen again?

Interview with Connections Magazine 2001

Connections Magazine, May 2001

What is satsang?

Satsang is sitting with a fully realized teacher who transmits silence and realization. Anyone can speak the words of satsang. My teacher, Papaji, used to say you can teach a parrot to speak the words of satsang. And since the words are so powerful, they will have an effect. But the words are only pointing to what is beyond the words.

The true teacher is satsang, not the words that are spoken. I have been with very powerful teachers who had very strong shakti (spiritual power), but they were not transmitting freedom. When I met my teacher, his living presence was the emanation of silence. His words were used to cut through the false identification of mind. So both the transmission of silence and the intelligent insight into the condition of the human mind are the two sides of satsang.

Commitment to Truth – Do I want to be true or to be right?

Visionen Magazine
August 2002

It seems important for me to address in this specific moment when committing myself endangers my protections. Giving the true answer each time brings me to face the fear and helps me to fall into a deeper natural trust and unknown silent truth. In this subject, here are the questions:

Speaking about Truth turns often into speaking about some mystical thinking. This thinking was some years ago, quite unknown in our society and it starts to become usual. The words of the saints that come into our culture are even used in advertisement. Can you explain this whole issue of Truth.

Questions on the roots of war

Wegweiser Magazine
June/July 2003

What are the roots of all this madness, not only in Iraq, but also in Congo, Afghanistan, in China, Korea, and all over the world? What is the reason for constantly harming our beautiful planet and ourselves?

The root cause of all suffering is ignorance. Ignorance gives rise to fear, greed, and aggression in the human psyche. All the horrors we see in the world today stem from ignorance giving rise to selfishness, which appears as fear, greed, and aggression.

Ignorance is ignoring the truth of the situation. When things are ignored they tend to run sub-consciously, or just below the surface.

Uncovering self-betrayal

Connections Magazine
Interview with Gangaji and Eli, April 2003

Betrayal is a word that sounds very dramatic to me, associated with being condemned to death. One betrays one’s country, one’s church, one’s faith, the trust of our fellows, our vows, the truth, etc. When you speak about self-betrayal, what do you mean?

Eli and Gangaji: Over the years of speaking with thousands of people we have both had the experience of watching moments of true understanding blossom in many people. A moment of expansion and recognition of oneself, infinitely more than what is confined to an individual body-mind.

Being a true friend: Putting Relationships in Service of Truth

Sein Magazine, 2003

Every person I meet desires to be in peaceful relationship with others. So how is it that human relationships, within which there is the chance of a true meeting, turn so often into never-ending war, even if this war only stays cold?

The body, like all living bodies, is a survival machine. As long as we overlook our unexamined identification as a body, the body’s survival circuits subconsciously run us. The ego is the most advanced survival circuit developed by the kingdom of bodies. It allows mankind to rule and destroy the earth. Since the ego is a survival machine, and since most humans are living an egoic life, the patterns for survival take precedence over all others.

Therapy and spirituality

Connections Magazine, February 2004

In my first meetings with you, I understood that my chance to meet you was due to a request from Poonjaji in the realm of therapy. What was this request, and how did this request arise in your relation to Poonjaji, or Papaji as you call him?

When I first met Papaji the bliss was overwhelming. I fell instantly into the deepest love and peace in our first meeting sitting on his bed. I soon told him that I only wanted to sleep outside his door and take care of him. He laughed and said he had plans for me beyond my wildest dreams.

He then told me that a candle that lights other candles is really something. But a candle that lights other candles that light other candles is something else again. I understood then his mission. Not just to enlighten all who came in his door, but for those who received the transmission and caught fire to carry the light to others as the flame passes around the world.


Visionen Magazine
Interview with Inge Hasswani, March 2004

With the growing interest in satsang-advaitas in Europe, there is some confusion around the meditation subject. I’d like to bring up this concern with you. The traditional Buddhist teaching enhances the role and importance of meditation, the neo-Advaita followers seem to think that there is no need to put in regular time for meditating.

Maybe you could start by defining the subject of meditation and the traditional purpose of the meditation.

To start at the beginning, meditation in Sanskrit is the word Dyana. Dyana is the absence of all thought and the intelligent clarity of open awareness. There is no one doing anything at all.

When Buddhism was brought to China by Bodhidarma, the word Dyana (which is pronounced in the Northern Indian dialects by dropping the last “a”) becomes Chan in Chinese. When Chan was imported to Japan, the same word was pronounced Zen. So the no-mind teaching of Buddhism is the same as the original Sanskrit.