Born in Texas in 1942, Gangaji (Antoinette Varner) grew up in Mississippi. After graduating from the University of Mississippi in 1964, she married and had a daughter. In 1972, she moved to San Francisco where she began exploring deeper levels of her being. She took Bodhisattva vows, practiced Zen and Vipassana meditation, helped run a Tibetan Buddhist Meditation Center, and had a career as an acupuncturist in the San Francisco Bay area.
Despite her successes, Gangaji's longing for fulfillment persisted. She pursued many paths to change her life including spiritual practice, motherhood, and political activism, but even the greatest of her successes ultimately came up short. In the wake of her disillusionment, she made a final prayer for true help. In 1990, the answer to her prayer came unexpectedly, taking her to India, where she met Sri H.W.L. Poonja, also known as Papaji. In this meeting, Gangaji’s personal story of suffering ended and the promise of an authentic and fulfilled life began to flower and unfold.
Today, speaking to seekers from all walks of life, Gangaji powerfully articulate how it is possible to directly experience the truth of who you are and in that, discover true peace and lasting fulfillment. She is the author of severl books and lives with her husband in Oregon.