Jan Esmann was born January 18, 1960 in Copenhagen. (At 20:35). He is an avadhut, meaning born a jivan mukta, or already liberated. Avadhuts, unlike yogis, are spiritual anarchists. They are difficult to find because they do not conform to any spiritual traditions or rules of behaviour. They tend to hide, like in a cave or a hut, or they may hide as completely "normal" people living alone, doing their spiritual practices. Just as Jan Esmann did.
He does not like to talk much about himself, because, as he puts it, Jan is just a temporary fiction or phantasy he has incarnated into, just like the physical body. This, he stresses, is the same for everybody: You are not, who you think you are.
He has, however, agreed to write about his early years. Up to about year 2000.
Jan in Shambala, Sweden 2021
As a baby I would go into a state, where I got filled with light and love-bliss and in which my body became immobile. Later, as I gained a language, I called this state "the log", because I was immobile like a log when it happened. These states came when I was lying in my crib, and later my bed, relaxing, and happened spontaneously and unpredictably until my early teens, though less and less frequently. Many years later, when I meditated, I would go into similar states.My early youth was fairly average, except that I always had a very deep religious feeling and longing for God. As a child I would sometimes cry spontaneously when I entered a church and I would feel a rush of energy in my body. My parents were hard core materialist, so there was neither understanding, nor support, for this behavior. As a young teenager I began listening to classical music and would lie on bed with headphones on. During these "sessions" I would float out of the body and stay about a meter above it in a state, that reminded me of the log state, but which was not catatonic and was just extremely relaxed and had a serene joy to it. Later I would start to meditate regularly and the bliss would begin to manifest
First proper meditation and Initiation to TM
My first proper meditation was remarkable. At the age of 15 I decided to meditate, so I sat in the lotus posture (I had never heard of that at the time) and simply sat without doing anything. After a few minutes my kundalini awakened and arouse with such force all the way up to my brain that it threw me out of the body. There, hanging in space above my body, I swung violently from side to side in a state of extreme ecstasy The heart was beating like mad. Sweat poured from the skin and the hairs stood on end. Yet I was sure nothing bad was going on. As soon as it stopped and I returned to the body, after about ten minutes or so, I jumped up and told my entire family about it -- but they thought I had lost it. So I decided then and there to keep my spiritual life secret in the future.Thus inspired, I decided to learn proper meditation and soon got initiated to TM (Transcendental Meditation), which was very popular in the 70'ies. During the course, a similar thing happened, though not as ecstatic, and I told my teacher about it, but she understood nothing. So I again decided to keep my spiritual experiences to my self. TM gave me some nice experiences. I would frequently experience extreme ecstasy and be filled with bliss. Fortunately I did not leave the body more than a few times again. This was fortunate, because it made it easier for me to integrate the bliss with being physically present and it also helped me transcend the ecstasy state and merge into calm bliss. I would often go into non-consciousness and awaken after, say, 30 minutes of meditation thinking I had only just closed my eyes; but I would be full of bliss. A few years went on this way. But then...
Blue Pearl and Blue Being
Suddenly at the age of 19 the most remarkable breakthrough happened to me. I have only read or heard about this experience once, and that is in Swami Muktananda's great autobiography "Play of Consciousness" and only a couple of years after the experience. I entered a state of bliss, as usual, and kundalini rose to my brain, but then I got filled with an intense longing to be with God, whom I for some reason personified as Krishna. I at the time had had no influence of hinduism and knew nothing about Krishna; it just came over me. So I gave up my TM practice and prayed to Krishna instead. Then I saw an eye in front of me. Somehow I felt I had to concentrate on its center, and as I did the bliss grew and the eye would pull me towards it.The center of the eye turned out to be a blue pearl. Finally I entered the Blue Pearl and found myself in an infinite blue space that was pure consciousness and pure bliss at the same time. I knew I could stop there, but the longing for God exploded in me and filled everything, then out of the blue (literally) a Blue Being emerged. I knew this was God appearing to me, so I surrendered to Him and we merged, then I lost consciousness. I don't know for how long I was unconscious, but when I opened my eyes, I was in love with God in everything. I saw God in everything. I told my girlfriend about this experience of the Blue Being whom I called Krishna and she promptly chucked my. So I once again decided to generally keep quiet. But I told the TM teaches about this, and they acted as if they were wise, but in reality they knew absolutely nothing. I even had the opportunity to ask Maharishi Mahesh Yogi himself (the founder of TM, when I did the TM-Siddhi course), but he simply ignored the question. In fact for many years, when I met some important swami, I would ask about it, but they mostly acted as if they were wise and simply dismissed it, or at best admitted they did not know. So my respect for even the hard core spiritual guides of this world diminished greatly. But no matter how little I understood, god-consciousness manifested itself in me.
Becoming a Disciple of Gururaj Ananda Yogi
After I had this experience of merging with God, I saw God in everything. I lived in a state of God consciousness for about two years. Then it faded away and left me in a state of both knowing and having lost it. So I became seriously depressed. I knew I needed a guru, so I left the TM movement and became a disciple of Gururaj Ananda Yogi in 1983. He was a cool guru; completely worldly and yet enlightened. During the first workshop I attended with him, he was talking about getting rid of the ego, then he scanned the audience of about 250 people, focused his eyes on me and said: "you don't get rid of it by killing yourself". It was true, my depression of having lost God, and of being totally different from everybody else, had driven me to a point of wanting to commit suicide. Not that I would ever have done it, but anyway, the desire to die was strong in me.
Six months later I did a new workshop with Gururaj, and here I lost my small self.That was in autumn 1984. I had signed up to do kitchen work and was assigned to set the table for his supper. It was a large meal with all the meditation teachers attending. I entered the dining room twice, then spontaneously got pulled into meditation, so I sat down on a chair. I immediately entered nirvikalpa samadhi and lost consciousness. I don't know how long I sat there, but when I opened my eyes, the table was made by someone else. Also, my small self had vanished; I was completely nothing.Yet full of extreme bliss and love for my guru. So I staggered to his room with my eyes full of tears. He sat me in a chair and calmed me down, which was quite a job. Then he asked me, what my name was. I tell you, I could not say. I tried my best, but no name popped up and the truth is, I found the question supremely ridiculous, since I was pure being, not some personality. I told him I could not remember. Then he asked me how old I was. To me that was an even more ridiculous question, yet here this nice guru wanted to know how old I was, so I had to come up with an answer. So I figured that I could try to count the years backwards until I reached my birth and then I could give him an approximate answer.
I went back in time, but did not stop at my birth, instead I continued back and remembered life upon life, and when I was about 3000 years back, I decided this was not what he asked about, so I in dismay said, that I did not know my age, and that this body was not me. He looked at me with an odd expression, then touched my forehead briefly.Then he held his palm up and asked me to look into it. I have no idea, what he did. Then he ignored me and sat talking to the meditation teacher next to him. I sat there overwhelmed with my memories and then clearly remembered having been the pupil of a great master in a former life, but that I had tragically left him in scorn. Just after this was clear to me, Guruji began telling the meditation teacher exactly the same story and when he had finished, he turned his head and fixedly asked me: "Do you remember?". I could only mutter "Yes, you bet I do!" He then told me to go to bed (a strange thing to say, since it was only half past eight in the evening), so off to bed I went. Utterly amazed.
Meditating my own way
My identification mechanism had broken down and it has never returned. But I soon discovered the pre-manifest "I-ness", the root of all ignorance. So though I was in a state most would call Self-realization, it was clear to me some extremely subtle principle had yet to go away. Gururaj's attitude was "Find out for yourself", so he did not help me in any way. In fact he really began to ignore me after this. He died in 1986 and I left the movement. Whether he had anything to do with what happened to me or not, I have no idea. He probably did not.I began meditating my own way. I simply observed how kundalini operated in me, and would do meditation that enhanced and supported that. I began holding regular meditation groups and had a weekly group in my home for several years. This is when I discovered that the state I was in during meditation was contagious: those, who sat in meditation next to me, would suddenly burst into tears or into fits of laughter. I taught a considerable number of people to enter samadhi and experience the bliss of the Self.Then followed a number of rather uninteresting years where I tried to disguise as a normal person. I did my best to be normal. I took a university degree as master in Modern Culture, I also became an art restorer. All the while fighting depression. In an attempt to combat the depression, I did psychoanalysis and other psychotherapy, but how can you do therapy when you are no longer the person undergoing therapy? It's not possible and it was a complete waste of time.
Becoming a devotee of Mata Amritanandamayi
Remember, I had lived in divine consciousness, so to me the state I had achieved was nothing and I did not value it at all. I intensely longed for full enlightenment and full Self-realization; the state of love-bliss. At this time I became a devotee of Mata Amritanandamayi. In those days she was readily accessible and we were only a few hundred followers at a weekend course, today there are several thousands.Anyway, I immediately asked her if she would take me to full enlightenment and she promised to do that. In fact I would ask her every year for the next fifteen years until she finally got tired of my begging and made fun of me. Ha, ha, I deserved that. She told me my meditation group was fine and that I should keep on doing groups and teaching meditation. However, I soon stopped. I kept working ardently on getting my kundalini out of the root chakra and into the spine in its entirety, and also on getting it into my brain, but did not have much luck for many years.
Setting a rigorous meditation routine
I got frustrated that my meditation was going nowhere. Well, I experienced tremendous bliss. I initiated people with my shakti. All that worked very well. One whom I initiated even fainted during the initiation and was gone for half an hour. Another phoned me and said his kundalini had kept him awake all night taking him apart and putting him together again. Things like that. So I was in many ways a success. Yet my sadhana was going nowhere.
I wanted kundalini out of its hiding place in its entirety and I wanted it into my brain and I wanted to merge Shakti and Shiva and Jan into Oneness. So I set a rigorous program for myself. I meditated on kundalini for six hours in a single sitting, from nine in the morning till three in the afternoon, and I did so every day for about four months. This was in 2001, I think.Then one blessed day, the entire kundalini crept out of the root chakra in the perineum and entered the spine through the gap between the lowest back vertebrae and the sacral bone. It was like having sex with God. Such ecstasy! I managed to pull it partly into the brain, enough to establish a connection. Words utterly fail so I will refrain from further descriptions of the extreme lovebliss. All I will say is, that this is one of the greatest blessings a spiritual aspirant can ever get. I might add that the kundalini snake is about 12 cm's long and half as thick as a little finger, but once it gets into the spine in its entirety it dissolves and permeates the entire central nervous system.
The story must end here.
What happens beyond this period cannot be put in words. But any avadhoot will understand. And I will share it with you non-verbally when we work together and meditate together. It is the secret of the siddhas.