Anthony Paul Moo-Young, known as Mooji, was born on 29 January 1954 in Port Antonio, Jamaica. In 1969, he moved to the UK and lived in Brixton, London. Anthony worked in London’s ‘West End’ as a street portrait artist for many years, then as a painter and a stained glass artist, and later as a teacher at Brixton College. For a long time, he was well known as Tony Moo, but is now affectionately known as Mooji* by the many seekers and friends who visited him.
Mooji is a direct disciple of Sri Harilal Poonja, the renowned advaita master, or Papaji, as his followers call him. In 1987, a chance meeting with a Christian mystic was to be a life-changing encounter for Mooji. It brought him, through prayer, into the direct experience of the Divine within. Within a short period, he experienced a radical shift in consciousness so profound that outwardly, he seemed, to many who knew him, to be an entirely different person. As his spiritual consciousness awakened, a deep inner transformation began which unfolded in the form of many miraculous experiences and mystical insights. He felt a strong wind of change blowing through his life which brought with it a deep urge to surrender completely to divine will. Shortly after, he stopped teaching, left his home and began a life of quiet simplicity and surrender to the will of God as it manifested spontaneously within him. A great peace entered his being, and has remained ever since.
For the following six years, Mooji drifted in a state of spontaneous meditation oblivious to the outer world he formally knew. During these years, he lived almost penniless but was constantly absorbed in inner joy, contentment and natural meditation. Grace came in the form of his sister Julianne, who welcomed Mooji into her home with loving kindness, and afforded him the time and space he much needed to flower spiritually, without the usual pressures and demands of external life. Mooji refers to this period of his life as his “wilderness years” and speaks touchingly of a deep feeling of being “seated on the Lap of God”. In many respects, these were far from easy times for Mooji, yet there is no trace of regret or remorse in his tone as he recounts these years. On the contrary, he speaks of this phase of his life as being richly blessed and abundant in grace, trust and loving devotion.
In 1993, Mooji travelled to India. He had a desire to visit Dakshineswar in Calcutta where Sri Ramakrishna, the great Bengali Saint, had lived and taught. The words and life of Ramakrishna were a source of inspiration and encouragement to Mooji in the early years of his spiritual development. He loved the Saint deeply but as fate would determine, he would not go to Calcutta. While in Rishikesh, a holy place at the foothills of the Himalayas, he was to have another propitious encounter; this time with three devotees of the great advaita Master Sri Harilal Poonja, known to his many devotees as Papaji. Their persistent invitation to Mooji to travel with them to meet the Master made a deep impression on him. Still he delayed the prospect of meeting Papaji for two whole weeks, choosing first to visit Varanasi, the holy city.