Bulletin No: 2016.49 – Tuesday June 14, 2016
Report on Daaji’s visit to the USA
Heartfulness Conferences, Part 1 - Detroit, 2nd to 5th June 2016
Thursday, 2nd to Friday 3rd of June 2016, Detroit
Daaji arrived in Detroit on Thursday afternoon from Newark. After a brief period of rest, he interacted with some of the local abhyasis and had dinner with them in the evening. He also gave sittings to a group of preceptor candidates who were currently undergoing preparation.
The next day, Daaji conducted a Heartfulness Workshop, introducing the relaxation and meditation at the offices of HTC Global Services in Troy, the main venue for group meditation in the Detroit area. There were about 150 seekers in the audience and everyone present enjoyed the session. As the day progressed, streams of abhyasis arrived and the local Marriott Hotel in Troy was abuzz with activity.
On the Friday evening, Daaji conducted group meditation and after this asked if anyone had any questions. The newcomers were a little shy, so to warm everyone up he gave us a couple of pointers to think about:
Break free from the prison of experiences
We often talk about moving from bliss to nothingness. When you step back, it all starts with religion. You go from religion to spirituality to Reality to bliss to nothingness.
We are all witness to religious conflicts and the catastrophes these conflicts create in the name of God. The original essence, the message of the founders, seems to be lost over eons of time. The forms, the knowledge, the dogmas and the rituals they offered have become stumbling blocks. Instead of going beyond all this to formlessness, we are stuck with them. Unfortunately, similar is the scenario with spiritual people including many people who practise Sahaj Marg.
We get stuck with the experience: “Oh! I had a lovely sitting,” and then we wish that such experiences will be repeated again and again. We go back to square one and we are attached to our experiences. We are supposed to go beyond all this and achieve the liberation that spirituality offers us. The experiences granted become our prison. Every day experiences should be newer, more sublime and subtler, reflecting our inner transformation.
When someone points out a fault in us, we rebel because it goes against our idea of who we are. That is not right. Babuji Maharaj puts it brilliantly, saying that when someone points out a defect it is an opportunity where someone has looked into you and pointed out what was wrong with you, even if that was done with bad intention. This is actually a favour done to you.
In meditation, when we receive inspiration to adjust our lifestyle, it is an opportunity to create a newer self. So, in a way, meditation is transformational only if we are inspired. The best guidance comes from within. We should be sensitive enough to perceive it and have the courage to act on it. Then you will see that you start getting better and better experiences.
And then a time comes when we get fed up with all these experiences, changes, transformations and newer levels of creativity. … and after truly getting fed up with changes, the heart lets out a prayer: “Lord, please help me now. I need to merge.” When the inner cry is there it happens instantaneously. Until then we have to keep putting up with these experiences.
Excerpts from the question and answer session with Daaji:
Q: Many times, when I feel I have bettered myself, it creates ego within. Then I need to negate it. It is a tricky affair.
Daaji: Truly, there is nothing wrong with ego if you look at it in the following way. When we use ego to better ourselves, it reflects in so many ways, for example, if you are a flautist and you have performed raaga Yaman, the audience may have felt very happy listening to it. Now, the next day, if you play the same, with the same spirit and the same output, you will not be happy. You want your performance to be better than the previous one.
The heart always wants to surpass itself. That is not ego. Let’s call it pride in our achievement, in our work, in the things that we do. Of course pride and arrogance are reflections of ego. For example, if you say, “Nobody can play flute better than me,” that is blatant arrogance. That is unwanted. But with the pride of needing to do something better all the time, we can continuously go on correcting ourselves, improving ourselves, and we make good use of this ‘ego’.
Q: Religion, spirituality, Reality, bliss and then nothingness. Can you talk a little about this ‘nothingness’? Is that too big a topic to cover?
Daaji: There is nothing to talk about [laughter]. It is like there is ‘no thing’. The very existence of this universe is coming from this nothingness. Let me give you an example. You know sound waves and light waves. Let’s talk about particles and Newtonian Theory, the whole world today, as we understand it, the speed of cars, the speed of planes, and the speed of rockets.
If you go from Detroit to New York in a car, you go at a certain speed that may take eight or nine hours. If you take a flight you get there in an hour and fifteen minutes. If you take one of those old supersonic flights, by the time they announce the landing you are already there. If you are flying at photon speed, you could be in New York and Detroit at the same time.
Now why am I giving this example? There are frequencies in Nature beyond which when we oscillate it seems as if there is nothing happening because of the enormity of speed with which things are moving. Subtlety is also like that. As we become more and more subtle within, somehow the frequency within also seems to be changing to the extent that nothing is happening inside but so much is happening. The 360-degree awareness is so rapid. For example, even before another person speaks, you have gone into that person and understood. So it is wrong to say that he is not speaking about something because without even speaking you are able to understand.
That is the beauty of spirituality and going beyond all the mundane things. But then, it is difficult to explain Reality or bliss. We can only say what it is not. The Vedas put this as “Neti, neti, neti (Not this, not this, not this).”
So the ultimate state cannot be described by giving worldly examples. In this world there is nothing comparable with and as perfect as the Absolute. So how can you say it is like this? Hence it is not this. It is not this. It is not this. No thing.
Q: They say that we need to balance the material and spiritual wings of life. If I am too involved in material Life then I go round in circles. Is it also true that if I focus only on spirituality then life goes in circles as well?
Daaji: We give the example of the bird flying with two wings (one material and other spiritual). We have forgotten the tail, the most critical thing in flight. The mind and the heart, material life and spiritual life, actually need to be integrated. You cannot separate them. Also they are different dimensions.
Our endeavours in both fields should be paid equal attention. We should not neglect one for the other. We must do our best in each field. The idea is to spiritualise even the material existence so everything becomes spiritual.
Q: In multiple Whispers, Babuji says that destiny has already been designed, or things are already planned, but here we speak of designing destiny. I get confused. What is planned and what is designed?
Daaji: Well, only He can answer that. What He has designed on a greater scale is only something He knows. He is not speaking here about individual destiny. He is not talking about specific or general things. Even if we know that He has a grand plan for the evolution of consciousness, that is His business. We can only cooperate. At an individual level we are responsible for our own destiny. We cannot blame God or other external agencies for our failure or success.
Saturday, 4th of June 2016
The Heartfulness Conference: Cobo Centre, downtown Detroit
After a late Friday night setting up, Saturday morning was an early start. Several volunteers worked overnight at the Cobo Centre to put together a grand and heartful spectacle for all the visitors.
Detroit witnessed a bhandara! The Cobo Centre atmosphere was brimming with the lightness and energy that we usually feel during large gatherings.
Some of the interesting things included a mobile app for check-in that helped clear hundreds of people in a very small window of time. All participants were given a Welcome Kit that included a copy of the Heartfulness Magazine, a Heartfulness booklet and several other items that could help them access resources. There was also a refrigerator stacked with water bottles branded with the Heartfulness Logo.
The session started with a welcome address and an invocation. The Mayor’s Office of Detroit was represented by Lisa Howes, who then welcomed all attendees to the City of Detroit and the Conference.
Daaji then lead everyone in a blissful meditation and an engaging question and answer session. The morning continued with several speakers who were very well received by the audience, including Lila Lazarus, Dr Nandi and the keynote speaker, Gopi Kallayil from Google. The talks were interspersed with some captivating musical cameos led by Shashank Subramaniam, a bamboo flautist from India.
In the afternoon there were a series of breakout sessions, covering a variety of themes and their relationship with Heartfulness, e.g. corporate consciousness, education, women as change leaders, and physical activities like Yoga and Tai Chi.
This was followed by a second session of relaxation and meditation by dear Daaji at 4:30 p.m. and then the conclusion of the conference.
The organisers estimated that around two thousand people attended throughout the day, roughly half of them newcomers. There was a joyous, light atmosphere in the city of Detroit on this spectacular occasion, and the hard work and seamless planning of the organisers and volunteers resulted in a wonderful day.
Daaji pointed out that the main thing now is to follow up with everyone so as to offer the people of Detroit an on-going experience of Heartfulness with full support.
In the evening, he was sitting with visitors and showed everyone a recent picture of Babuji’s monument at Kanha with a rainbow in the sky. It appeared as if the rainbow was emanating from Babuji’s heart.
Sunday, 5th of June 2016
Daaji conducted satsangh at 10 a.m. and simultaneously gave the final sitting for a group of candidates to work as preceptors.
Following this, he spoke, starting with:
“We have always been worried about the idea of the goal. It seems to be eluding us all the time. Just when we think, ‘I have made it,’ it shatters us with, ‘No, this is not it!’
“Even when we are face to face with our Master, and we spend so many hours with him, even when we are having meals with him or sitting right beside him, shoulder to shoulder, it seems to evade us. Even when the Beloved is seated within the heart, we entertain that entity in the heart, yet there is so much restlessness. Then who is the true master? Where is the Source?
“The Source is not too far away. It is not in the next galaxy, which is a few light years away. How are we going to find the Source outside ourselves? We don’t have such a long life to travel, even if we could move at the speed of light. So the only possibility of searching that Source, the Goal, is within.”
While talking about the Goal and the soul, Daaji said, “So from the beginning until the end of life, that Source, that life force, is with us. Why are we looking for the Source outside ourselves? It is within us. Experience that. Without that entity, we could pray, we could not even be listening at the moment. I could not even be speaking.
When we try to reach the goal, what are we trying to fulfil? The soul embodies itself in order to achieve a certain goal. Anything we do to fulfil that goal, if that action in fulfilling the goal is a correct one, then the soul knows in its wisdom that it is correct. If it is wrong, it will become restless, and it will not allow you to settle down with peace and contentment. If anything we do helps life evolve itself, that soul will be very happy, the Source will be happy. There is absolute contentment, which has no other contradiction.
The Beloved is within us
“So the Beloved is within us. When we address the prayer, ‘O Master! Thou art the real goal of human life,’ there is no Master outside us. The true Master is within us, giving us life. Without that Master, we would not be alive. Recognise that Master, the Master within you. That Master within us all, together, is the same fellow.
“We all call that same entity different names but when we realise this truth, our job is done. ... This realisation we call Self-Realisation and that is the end to it. There is no secret, no mystery about the whole thing.”
“What is this transmission? It is not travelling from anywhere else into our heart. No. It is the same Source that gives us transmission, which is invoked, of course, by an external trainer, because that is the path we are following in order to realise that inner presence. So, when the path is correct, the soul will shower so much peace beyond our imagination. You start wondering, ‘What did I do to deserve such peace of mind?’ It is proof that you are on the right track. There is no other proof.
“And this also solves many of our questions regarding prayer. Many people have this problem, ‘Why should I address this to Master?’ Unfortunately, this term is so badly misunderstood because India was ruled by the British for almost three hundred years, and they gave us a lot of gifts, including so much misunderstanding. And it is one of these misunderstandings that still continues. Yesterday I was reminded of that truth that in those days teachers were known as masters. Even a mathematics teacher was known as a master. The owner of a slave was also known as a master. So we are caught between the person who gives us knowledge and the person who enslaves us. So whenever we refer to ‘Master’, we rebel: ‘I am being enslaved,’ or ‘I am being taught.’
“According to Babuji Maharaj, the true Master is always God. And where is that God? He is in me, he is in you, and he is in everyone. It is the same God. I need not look for him outside myself. I need to experience his blissful presence inside myself. The moment I try to look for him outside, he becomes restless. The moment I turn inwards, he is at peace.
Inventure – the spiritual journey is an inner adventure
“Once we realise this, then this inner adventure starts. I like to call it an ‘inventure’, this inner adventure.”
In the evening, the Canton Hindu temple hosted a Heartfulness Workshop conducted by Daaji, where more than one thousand seekers attended. The community whole-heartedly welcomed Heartfulness and the temple trust directors had a meeting with Daaji. This team of enthusiasts appreciated the Heartfulness experience and are willing it make it a regular feature of the temple gatherings. Daaji had dinner with the temple team, where there was discussion about meditation and other elements of the Sahaj Marg system. He also spoke about the healing techniques and benefits of relaxation.
They invited Daaji to conduct sessions like this during every visit to USA in order to take meditation to one and all.