Bulletin No: 2016.58 - Wednesday, 20 July 2016
Report on Daaji’s visit to the USA, for the Heartfulness Conferences, Part 4 – New York and New Jersey, 4th to 26th of June 2016
Tuesday, 14th, to Friday, 17th of June 2016
Daaji reached his home on Staten Island, New York City, in the late evening from Los Angeles and went to rest after dinner. This has been his home for almost thirty years.
The next morning, he was up early and looking for work already! By evening he had given a sitting in the backyard for about thirty minutes and went for a walk in the late evening. During the walk, he did some stargazing, locating the Saptarishi constellation of stars, known in the West as Ursu Major or the Great Bear. The night sky was very clear so Mars and Jupiter were bright.
In one conversation, Daaji said that Karma, Bhakti and Jnana have to amalgamate together for spiritual life. Taking interest in one’s own evolution and being observant of oneself are two important aspects for seekers to be successful in their spiritual journey.
On the 15th morning, after finishing work on emails he then sat restfully. In an informal conversation, he mentioned that humanity is manipulative. Evolution is not an easy task, and surrender is the best way forward. A true spiritual Master continues to lift the seeker, in an evolutionary sense, with the hope that the seeker will work on his or her part to overcome any defects. He also mentioned how attention seeking causes problem for the seeker.
Talking about the evolution of intelligence into wisdom, he said, “When you have strength often there is no wisdom, and when you have wisdom then often there is no strength.”
On the 17th evening, Daaji recorded a message for International Yoga Day. The message was mainly about the meaning of Yoga, the elements Yoga, and the purpose of Yoga. This message can be viewed at: http://www.daaji.org/heartfulness-yoga-day-message/
Daaji attended to emails, the garden in the backyard, family matters, other local matters, and was also preparing for the upcoming conference at the New Jersey Performing Arts Centre.
In many of his discussions, Daaji hinted on aspects of Sahaj Marg philosophy, for example:
Evolution of consciousness is what we begin with. What is beyond consciousness? What supports it?
Evolution of the mind is about cultivating a balanced state and moving from thinking to feeling. What next? Direct perception of reality?
Saturday, 18th of June 2016
Daaji had a long drive from Staten Island to Long Island, NY, for Heartfulness sessions. He started around 7:30 a.m. and reached the first stop by 9:20 a.m., where he was interviewed by ITV about Heartfulness.
The interview highlighted many interesting aspects of Daaji’s early spiritual explorations, his journey, and more generally about Heartfulness.
The interviewer asked how spirituality can serve both believers and non-believers. Daaji responded by explaining that a non-believer should take up spirituality in the spirit of science, and explore and make conclusions based on personal experience. Similarly, the believer must also move from knowing as a result of borrowed knowledge to knowing as a result of personal experience.
Daaji narrated how during his early childhood, around the age of 9, he was impressed by Ramakrishna Paramahamsa’s spiritual experiences and journey. He was touched by the innocent, devoted and loving approach of Paramhamsa towards God. After a few years, as a teenager, Daaji decided to begin his spiritual journey and left home in search of the unknown. On that day, he met a sannyasi on the banks of the Narmada River. This wise man advised Daaji to go back home. He told him, “You go back home. I have not achieved anything by sannyas. I cannot go home as there is no home. You can achieve everything at home.”
Some weeks later, a college friend of Daaji noticed his efforts to meditate and advised him that a proper guide is necessary to pursue the spiritual path. He introduced Daaji to a preceptor in Ahmedabad who asked him, “Why do you want to meditate?” Daaji responded by saying that he would like follow in the steps of spiritual giants like Swami Vivekananda. Daaji sat for the initial meditation session. In the interview he lovingly recalled the first experience of meditation with transmission. In that year, 1976, Daaji began his sadhana with Sahaj Marg.
The interview session continued with discussion on religion, spirituality and Daaji’s experiences and views. He emphasised the importance of experiential knowledge for seekers. The session went on for about an hour. This interview can be accessed at https://youtube/mnoh0Q70VbA
After the interview, Daaji attended a public meeting and conducted a Heartfulness session, which was attended by around one hundred seekers. First he gave a short talk on meditation, the evolution of consciousness and the importance of the heart in one’s life. The meditation session was deep, and afterwards he answered questions from the audience.
It was a lively and humorous session. One of the young seekers asked, “How do I know that I am on the right path?” Daajis asked, “Are your married?”
She said, “Yes”.
He responded, “How did you know that he is the right guy?” There was a lot of laughter, but all understood that it is a matter of the heart!
Seekers asked him questions on mudras, different meditation techniques, consciousness and issues related to the practice. Here are some gems from the session:
“When you feel peaceful, it is the signature of the soul.”
“When you don’t have time to meditate, that is the time you must meditate.”
Referring to evolution of consciousness, Daaji talked about Kabir’s statement: when a raindrop falls into the ocean, it becomes the ocean. There is no raindrop left behind to tell what happened.
“Samadhi means the absolute state of balance, just like the one that existed before creation.”
“A seeker has to transcend spiritual experiences also.”
Around 12:30 p.m. the session ended.
It was a very pleasant evening, so Daaji went for a walk in the woods for about 40 minutes. When he came back, he went straight to the garden in his backyard, where a small team did gardening work. Daaji also gardened for some time and later he mentioned that there was an immense presence of Babuji Maharaj.
After dinner, Daaji went to the Monroe ashram in New Jersey. On the way, he advised that by taking interest and developing sensitivity, it is possible to improve at reading the precise spiritual condition. He advised the abhyasis in one particular centre to focus on colleges and develop local trainers to take care of meditation training needs.
He said that we have a large and rich body of contents in Sahaj Marg and an experiential approach. We should gear up and spread ourselves more and more to deliver the benefits. He said that Sahaj Marg abhyasis should manifest the spiritual essence given to them in all aspects of life. They should be like magnets for the new seekers with absolute Sahajata or naturalness.
He recalled the quote of Bismark: how our thinking must be “generous in planning, humane in execution and must have moderation in success.”
By around 10 p.m. Daaji reached the Monroe ashram. A group of abhyasis received him and there was joy in the air. He worked on articles and emails till late in the evening before going to rest.
Sunday, 19th of June 2016
Daaji was up very early in the morning and worked on his writings and email for quite some time. He conducted the 7:30 a.m. satsangh at the ashram, and at 12 noon he met a group of abhyasis and conducted a sitting. He started for home by 1 p.m., stopping briefly at a shop on the way for gardening equipment. Another seemingly quiet day ended.
Monday, 20th of June 2016
Daaji shared his thoughts that Heartfulness awareness has to increase further. We have to support teachers who can be a great inspiration for the next generation. In the USA, many communities and organisations have started noticing Heartfulness.
In the morning, Daaji left for an interview with TV Asia USA and the interview for their ‘Face to Face’ program went very well.
During the evening, Daaji sat in the backyard overseeing the gardening work. He spoke about the Kanha development and especially the relocation of more than 200 large trees from some nearby area into the ashram. Well-established trees are being cut for highway expansion nearby and the Mission has taken up the work of transplanting them into the ashram premises.
Tuesday, 21st of June 2016 – International Yoga Day
Become divine citizens
Daaji’s message for International Yoga Day was played online throughout the world, and at 8:30 a.m. he was ready to join thousands through a live telecast.
In Hyderabad there was a public gathering of more than 20,000 participants, most of them youth, at the Gachibowli Stadium. Daaji spoke to them about meditation and motivated thousands to meditate at any time during the next week to experience meditation with transmission.
He conducted a Heartfulness Relaxation, and many other meditators around the world joined remotely. There was total silence in the stadium as the session went on for 21 minutes.
After it was finished, Daaji meditated for a while. Such an event is a different type of gathering and an opportunity. Anybody listening can try it and in the laboratory of their own heart test what it feels like to meditate with transmission.
Daaji mentioned that God is not for sale. His presence in our heart can be experienced through meditation with transmission. One need not have belief or faith in the beginning. Let every seeker try this practice scientifically and test it for himself.
Later in the afternoon, Daaji sat in the hall. He was relaxed, his next program being on Friday. He received news about Heartfulness events around the world. More than 10,000 participants attended the International Yoga Day event in Dubai.
Hyderabad saw rains in many parts of the town, except in the stadium where the Heartfulness session was held. Coincidentally, Daaji had mentioned the possibility of rain and how it may impact the gathering at the stadium, so he was delighted to hear the news that it did not rain in the stadium area. He looked up and said, “I don’t know how these things happen.”
The role of the Guru
Later, he said that Nature also cooperates and conspires to fulfil the needs of souls. He was pondering over the role of the Guru. He said that a mother helps her child to grow into some personality. A Guru helps in a seeker’s spiritual evolution and tries to help him go beyond himself towards God. Similarly, God helps a seeker to go beyond into that perfect state.
There was also a discussion about transmission and the Source. Where does the transmission come from? Does it come from the soul itself for the self? Doesn’t the soul have the Source in itself? There were many questions on this. Daaji said, “Our Masters are waiting to give humanity not the knowledge of Reality but the direct perception and much more.”
“So the Creator would like to see his progeny better off than himself. Now, when you are approaching the Guru, the Guru's desire is also like that: ‘My disciple will do better than me.’ When this person is handed over to God, God's desire is also like that. This is what Babuji called going beyond God. Please refer to Pujya Babuji’s message of 30th April 1982 given at Surat, in Complete Works of Ram Chandra, Volume 3.
“Who takes you beyond God? Only God can take you beyond God.
So, we have three junctions: a mother putting you in orbit, the Guru putting you in another orbit and handing you over to God, and God taking you up further. That is it. That is the journey. Do you think that the Guru will be jealous? I don't think so. If so, then he is not a good Guru. ‘Guru’ in Sanskrit means big, very big, someone who gives. The Guru is never at the receiving end. If you think from this perspective, you can only assess the kinds of gurus we have in India parading as Yoga Merchants.”
Here are some more snippets from this informal session:
“Even in failure, success is hidden behind it.”
“Nature conspires and cooperates to materialise the divine intentions of the Masters.”
“When inspiration comes, don’t doubt it, just do it.”
“A seeker’s soul is connected to the soul of the Master.”
Wednesday, 22nd of June 2016
We have to work
It was one of those quiet mornings, and Daaji was talking about spiritual philosophy:
“In nature there is no justice. There is only cause and effect. If nature was all about pure justice then why are we praying for compassion and mercy?
“In absolute justice one cannot expect compassion and mercy.”
“A true Master inspires, gives strength and gives courage, but the action part is the job of the devotee.”
“The yogic work of a true Master reduces the intensity of the samskaric effects in a seeker’s life.”
“Justice and compassion or mercy are opposite to each other. How can there be favouritism in absolute justice?”
There was discussion about the principle of acceptance and surrender. Angulimala was a ruthless killer who once met Lord Buddha. The story goes that with one glance from Lord Buddha, Angulimala was a changed man. He went on to become a well-known monk.
What happened in that moment? How did such a cruel person change instantly? His heart melted away with one glance of the divine being. He instantly surrendered to the divine essence of Buddha. Daaji said that ultimately it is all about acceptance and surrender to the higher principle. The more time one takes, the more the process of spiritual development is delayed. Here surrender is surrender to the entire universe itself.
“When we have done our work, then nobody can deny the results. The work done with a sense of duty does not develop ego. It brings perfection.”
At 6:30 p.m. Daaji left for Monroe ashram and reached by 7:40 p.m. At 8 p.m. he conducted satsangh for about 40 minutes.
Friday, 24th of June 2016
Daaji spoke about bondage. Even our attachment to spiritual experience causes bondage. We should evolve from thinking to feeling to being. He recalled Lalaji Maharaj’s teachings as noted in Truth Eternal, that remembrance, meditation and bhajans on external objects also cause bondage.
He also recalled Lalaji’s advice that seekers should practise first and read the spiritual literature. Often spiritual experiences go to waste without reading the scriptures.
Daaji has been closely watching the Kanha development. This is a large project, and once complete can serve the spiritual movement in a greater way. He has been planning to train 5000 teachers every week. Such a large idea requires large-scale participation and large scale funds. He mentioned that if each abhyasi were to save 50 rupees per day and contribute that towards the Mission, it will help the spiritual cause.
Heartfulness Conference at the New Jersey Performing Arts Centre
The conference preparations had been coming along well. The Wall Street Journal carried an invitation to its readers for the Heartfulness Conference at NJPAC. Daaji was ready at 12:15 p.m. to leave for the seminar in the evening. More than 1000 new seekers had registered for the event on the 25th and more than 1200 abhyasis from all over the USA were expected to participate in the 3-day seminar.
Daaji reached the conference venue by around 3 p.m. Already hundreds of abhyasis had gathered, and the local hotel looked and felt like an ashram!
At 5 p.m. Daaji came to the banquet hall and conducted satsangh for 40 minutes. After this he gave a brief talk about the spiritual journey. He began the talk by mentioning that any journey will have its distractions and the spiritual journey also poses many distractions.
He said that all parents want their progeny to do better than they have done. Likewise, the Guru also wants to see his disciples go beyond himself. He gave the example of how Lalaji Maharaj continuously worked for the progress of Babuji Maharaj and directly connected him to the Ultimate, taking Babuji beyond himself.
For seekers in the initial phase of their spiritual journey, which is all in the heart, the practice is enough. When a seeker goes beyond, into the higher regions, for example the parabrahmanda mandal, then the seeker becomes so full of contentment that even the desire for progress disappears. Moreover the refined ego stunts the motivation to progress. The Guru’s role becomes critical at this point, and so the Guru takes the seeker into himself like a kangaroo carrying her joey in her pouch, and carries him forward. At the higher stages, the role of the Guru increases; in reality it becomes paramount. Anything contradictory to humility will result in a ‘fall’, without a doubt. Even a gesture of display of ones superiority can prove fatal.
He ended the talk by saying that the Sahaj Marg system and the Master’s work is to create masters of their own lives.
In the evening, Daaji sat with a group of abhyasis, speaking about breathing exercises, the effect of transmission and how it helps seekers go deep into meditation, the Brighter Minds program, and how the practice of worship in the East can be useful as a placebo. Two children demonstrated brain exercises from the Brighter Minds program. None of the adults around could match them. It created a light moment and lots of laughter.
The day ended with everyone waiting for tomorrow’s big program ahead.
Saturday, 25th of June 2016
Daaji was up early in the morning and reached the conference centre by 7:30 a.m. At 8 a.m. he gave a sitting to a group of abhyasis in his room, and at 8:30 a.m. he joined a meeting of functionaries in Mumbai by Skype and addressed them.
He conducted the satsangh at 9 a.m. in the banquet hall, which was attended by more than 1000 abhyasis. Daaji released the archival edition of Lalaji Maharaj’s Complete Works of Ram Chandra of Fatehgarh, Volume 3, and spoke for five minutes.
At 10 a.m. he went to the terrace on the 15th floor and had a meeting with a group of young medical students. This group has been conducting various types of studies on meditation and its effect. The research group asked him many questions on Transmission and its effect, the Source, the Master, and about measurement possibilities and research methodology. Some excerpts from his answers during this session include:
“If we believe God is everywhere, then why look for him outside? Shouldn’t we look in the closet place, which is within our reach?”
“Thinking of God and love is one thing, feeling God and love inside is completely another thing. It is better to feel than to think.”
Why meditate on the heart? How to nourish the soul? What is the energy required for it?
The Heartfulness conference at NJPAC started at 4 p.m. This four-hour-long event was simply fabulous. The complete event can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32zU-8wgn3U
Here are some highlights:
Q: What is transmission?
Daaji: Transmission is food for the soul. We consume a balanced diet for the gross body; knowledge enriches our subtle body or our mind, through schools, colleges, TV, books and the Internet. When we receive transmission we feel refreshed and new. Just like rain in the Sahara Desert, it is as if your life returns.
Q: How can Heartfulness help people from all walks of life in this busy world, where time is hard to find?
Daaji: In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna tells Arjuna "Yogaha karmasu Kaushalam [Through Yoga every act becomes skilful].” How? By uniting oneself to the higher consciousness one gets absolute clarity of purpose. By practising meditation, over time every act one does is in a meditative mode. One is able to view things as a whole, with a 360-degree view and is then easily able to choose and decide what is good at that moment. This clarity of thought can happen with any form of meditation, but with Heartfulness meditation, with the help of Transmission, one is able to go deeper into oneself and hence the clarity is much more. The deeper one goes, the more clarity and less selfishness. When one is able to transcend oneself, one can judge better. You can swallow a bitter pill when you know your ‘self’ is not involved in it.
Q: What does consciousness mean to you?
Daaji: Take the example of a mule and a horse. The mule hardly budges no matter how much you whip or push it. There are horses, however, that start charging at the click of a whip, and some horses need only the shadow of the whip to start charging. So you see the difference in the consciousness of these animals? Similarly, there are kids who wake with the slight noise of a door opening, whereas there are some who have difficulty waking up even if you shake them hard or sprinkle water!
So all of us have some level of consciousness and we can expand our available consciousness through Heartfulness Meditation in the morning as well as Yoga Nidra practice at bedtime.
Q: How can one achieve inner peace? And how can one hold onto it when the world around you lacks that essential ingredient?
Daaji: In Heartfulness, peace is child's play. If your goal is higher, peace will automatically be part of you. You have to make the right choices. Embrace acceptance. By accepting calamities and miseries you learn and become stronger. If you learn to accept a difficult situation, you can find a solution and learn something new out of it. If you do not accept it, the problem is still going to be there and you will not learn anything worthwhile from the suffering.
Q: How can we implement meditation as an effective family practice discipline with young children? Is starting meditation at a young age beneficial?
Daaji: Children can be taught relaxation and they can be encouraged to use it on others. Meditation is not recommended below16 years of age, because when we go deep within there is so much peace that it creates a sort of ‘disinterestedness’ or laziness in children, which is not helpful in their school life and learning. It makes them lose interest and become more and more inactive. But once they grow up enough to discriminate, to know their duties and to be willing on their own accord to experience meditation, then it is okay.
About experiences in meditation: they are needed for us to feel motivated enough to practice meditation, but we should not get stuck with these experiences. Doing so would be same as getting stuck with the form of God, as in religion. So, experiences are given so that we go on meditating and become something. And then we simply ‘are’. This becoming is the result of meditation.
Sunday, 26th of June 2016
Daaji came to the New Jersey seminar venue by 6:45 a.m. where more than 1000 participants had gathered at the Banquet Hall. He conducted satsangh at 7:30 a.m. for about 50 minutes and after this gave a short talk.
He also completed the preparation of 37 preceptors and permitted them to start the spiritual work.
The second satsangh was conducted at the same place at 11 a.m. for 30 minutes after which he gave a short talk and continued with a question and answer session for a long time.
The perfect meditation
One of the participants started with a question on meditation, “Daaji, you were speaking about the perfect meditation yesterday. How can we….?”, when the answer came from Daaji, “I am also waiting for the perfect meditation.” This created much laughter in the hall. Daaji clarified that we all keep trying, and bit-by-bit we get there.
Here are some more excerpts from the session:
“We seek love from others and that is the reason why we fail.”
“When we take advantage of others, we may benefit but we will also be burdened by it. When we serve others and give our best then there is total joy and no guilt.”
“Peace is not the signature of spiritual evolution. Acceptance is the signature of evolution. Our preparedness or attitude should be, come what may, I am ready to face it.”
“How to develop sensitivity? Try developing more and more tolerance instead of focussing on sensitivity.”
Daaji announced an interesting experiment for the upcoming conference to enable youth. The proceedings for the two morning sessions can be viewed at:
Sunday morning 7:30 a.m.
Sunday morning 11a.m. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8SqZoo3c1Q
The need for total acceptance
In the afternoon, by around 2 p.m., Daaji reached Monroe ashram and rested. In the evening at 6:30 p.m., he went for a short walk near Princeton town with a group of abhyasis. On the way back, he said, “This world is imperfect and the beings are imperfect. When imperfect beings come together there will be more chaos.” What can we do in this situation? Acceptance is the only solution.
“Whenever we complain, ipso facto there is no universal love.”
He said that acceptance should be total in all aspects of life.