“Maurice Frydman is one of most extraordinary people I’ve ever come across and virtually nothing is known about him.” said David Godman, one of the foremost and infatigable exponents of Ramana Maharshi’s life and teachings. Maurice Frydman was born a polish jew in 1894, in Warsaw. Exceptionally bright at school, he was a prolific inventor, spoke many European and Indian languages, and was an earnest and passionate seeker of truth. He has explored many traditions, including Judaism, Orthodox Christianity, and the Theosophical movement of Annie Besant. He devoured books from all possible traditions, particularly interested in all the great writings of Hinduism. Over the years, he met and was close to numerous spiritual teachers like J. krishnamurti, Ramana Maharshi, swami Ramdas, and Nisargadatta Maharaj. He wrote a book on Ramana Maharshi, ‘Maharshi’s Gospel’, and was responsible for recording and publishing the now classic ‘I Am That’ by Nisargadatta Maharaj. He lived in India during the later part of his life, becoming an Indian citizen, and was associated with Mahatma Gandhi, inventing a new implement on the famous Indian spinning wheel, the Charkha. He was given the Indian name Swami Bharatananda when he was initiated as a Hindu monk or sannyasi by Swami Ramdas. Ramana Maharshi refused him this initiation, saying that “Sannyas is taken from within; not from without”. Maurice also greatly helped to organise the Dalaï Lama’s escape to India and to find places for the Tibetan refugees, like Dharamsala. But, “there is no mention of Maurice in any of the books related to either Dalai Lama‘s escape or the smuggling in of the Buddhist manuscripts from Tibet. I have never seen a person as Self-effacing as Maurice”, wrote V. Ganesan. Maurice Frydman died in Bombay in 1976, after an accident. Nisargadatta Maharaj, who held Maurice in high esteem, and considered him as a true jnani, was by his side. Of the days spent in Ramana Maharshi’s presence, Maurice wrote: “We took a cupful when the ocean was at our feet.”
Here are two Extracts from Maurice Frydman’s poetry:
I am at the end of the tether
and can’t break the cord
All my going ahead
is a deceitful dream,
All my thinking not true,
all my feeling not pure,
All my doing not right,
all my living not clear.
I am tied to myself
by myself through myself,
The knot out of reach,
I am in your hands.
There is a Heart and a mind,
and a body and soul
Waiting for you.
You will come when you choose,
And whatever you like
you are welcome to do.
* * *
Heavy with the mud of many lands
I was flowing lazily,
Making obstacles of myself
out of my unholy accumulations.
Suddenly I awakened
to the freshness of endless beauty,
And felt the eternal environment
of endless peace.
My beloved I have found you,
and yet never were we separated,
Every drop of my being is you
and yours is the force of my flow,
Never are we apart
and yet I always strive after you.
The flow of creation will go on
with me or without me,
Only do not make me forget
that I am none
and that you only exist and create
in ever-changing mobility.
Poetry by Maurice Frydman (1901-1977)
Painting by Edwin Lord Weeks (1849-1903)
‘Temples and bathing ghat at Benares’ – wikiart
– Maurice Frydman’s poetry is from the book:
‘Face to Face with Sri Ramana Maharshi’ – by Laxmi Narain – (Sri Ramana Kendram, Hyderabad)
– Read this more extensive biography of Maurice Frydman here.
– ‘I Am That’ – by Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj – (Chetana Pvt.Ltd)
– ‘Maharshi’s Gospel’ – by Ramana Maharshi and Maurice Frydman – (Sri Ramanasramam)