I arrived in Lucknow on March 25, 1986. I can still remember that first fateful meeting with the master as if it happened yesterday. I entered his small room, and he was sitting on his bed. He was a large, imposing man with a beautiful face and incredibly luminous big eyes. I said “Hello!” and sat down on the floor. With confidence I continued: “I don’t have any expectations.” – boldly declaring my independence. “That’s good!” he exclaimed with even greater confidence. His words made me feel at ease at once, because they let me know that he didn’t want anything from me.
Then I asked him: “How much effort do you have to make to be free?” With a slightly sing-song tone in his voice, he almost whispered: “You don’t have to make any effort to be free.” The moment I heard those words, a vision appeared in my mind’s eye. I saw water flowing down the side of a mountain. I realized that this water was like my own true nature – ever unobstructed and always free-flowing. With a shock of recognition, I saw that I had always been free, and that un-enlightenment was just a thought. It wasn’t real. Suddenly he shouted loudly: “That’s it!” and burst out laughing. I was stunned and asked somewhat puzzled: “How did you know?” He replied: “When a man sees his own face, he recognizes it.” That very instant I realized that I was in the presence of an extraordinary being.
Andrew Cohen from “Meetings with Remarkable People.”