Bulletin: No: 2016.63 - Tuesday, 6 September 2016
Conversations with Daaji, July and August 2016, New Jersey and New York
Discerning between prapanna and prabhu
Daaji offered some clarifications to an abhyasi about the states in the Cosmic Region. He said, “The abhyasi moves from prapanna to prapanna prabhu and then prabhu. Prapanna prabhu is like a combination of the two states of prapanna and prabhu.
Likewise, there can be a mingled state between brahmand and para brahmand, but the mingling between prapanna and prabhu is very discernible and drastic. This is because the abhyasi keeps oscillating between the two states.
Q: Why does the abhyasi oscillate?
Daaji: Because of the tendencies. Abhyasis are fickle. The state of consciousness keeps shifting as a result of this fickleness. The state of prapanna is all about surrender (sharanagati) so there is an awareness of surrender. In the state of prabhu, the Lord is everything. You are not aware of yourself.
So in prapanna prabhu it is a flux state of transition where one is losing oneself and seeing oneself.
Swasthya, yog, bhog and rog
There was a pause in the conversation and Daaji gave a sitting. After the sitting Daaji asked, “Do you know the meaning of the word swasthya?” He asked an abhyasi to look up the meaning.
“Swasthya: In Sanskrit the word for health is ‘swasthya’, which has a profound meaning. It is made of two Sanskrit root words – ‘swa’ meaning the Self and ‘stha’ meaning centred. So swasthya can be roughly translated as ‘centred in one's own Self’. It is very close to the meaning of Yoga. The state of Yoga is all about union, where the two centres which were hitherto separate become one. The state of Yoga is thus higher than the state of swasthya.”
Daaji continued “There are these three words: bhog, rog and yog. Bhog is desire for enjoyment. These desires keep you away from being centred in yourself. This creates rog (affliction) that keeps you away from yog and spoils your swasthya. There is a profound meaning in the Sanskrit word swasthya.”
There was a moment of silence in the group and everyone was absorbed in the depth of interplay between these words.
Q: I thought swasthya just meant health.
Daaji: Yes, it is about health, but when can you have health? The word itself gives us the direction in how to achieve swasthya: only when you are centred in yourself. That does not mean that you cannot be sick. You have examples like Ramana Maharishi, Ramakrishna Parahamsa, revered Lalaji Saheb, Pujya Shri Babuji, beloved Chariji. They were often sick but were somehow above the mundane suffering.
Q: Why were they not touched by this suffering?
Daaji: Because their grosser bodies and their subtle bodies were far apart. What makes you suffer is the proximity with which the gross and subtle bodies are conjoined. If they are far apart, as in the case of saints, or too close, as in stones and minerals, then there is no suffering.
Q: How to create this separation?
Daaji: It is all about desires! That is the glue that binds the whole existence: the desire to exist. Ego also plays a role. The egos of a man and a woman are different. Let’s looks at women saints from different traditions, for example, Sahajo, Meera, Thérèse of Lisieux and Rabi’a. If you look at their lives, they did not worry about anything. They had extraordinary courage. They had the courage to say that they did not even care about God. That kind of courage only comes from love! Most women saints are not known to the world because of their high level of surrender, and because they all chose to remain anonymous and insignificant. Display was not their motto. It is not that there have not been many women saints; they have been in much greater numbers than I once thought. Man with his ego shows off and displays miracles even before reaching the goal, and this world labels such men as great saints.
With this courage women saints transcend their ego and are able to surrender. Men cannot surrender, as it is made difficult by their own ego.
Q: So how does a man surrender?
Daaji: Well, as he evolves he becomes more feminine in his qualities. Compassion, kindness and love are all feminine qualities. Both men and women must recognize their inner strengths and use them for the sole purpose of evolution. Imagine the love of a lady like Meera in adoration of the Lord being fettered by the pulls and pushes of friends and family, and the attractions and repulsions of the world. What would have become of Meera? Sahaj Marg simply advocates focusing on both the wings, integrating them. Love is not sacrificed at the cost of another. Love is refined in the furnace of day-to-day life.
Man on the other hand is the epitome of ego! Maybe I am wrong, but this quality can be better utilized. Ego, pride and arrogance carry the same essence. When we strive to use ego for inner perfection, ego is well utilized. Whereas when ego is used to make oneself better than the other, acquire more than the other, we can say that this exercise of proving oneself to be better than other cultivates only arrogance. Arrogance can never attract any human heart let alone God’s or the Guru’s.
Contrasting saints: Sahajo and Kabir
Daaji recollected the couplet by Kabir:
Guru govind dono khade, kaake lagu paaye
Balihari guru aapno, govind diyo bataye
My Guru and God both are in front of me, whose feet do I touch first?
It is the Guru because he taught me all about God.
Look at this profound couplet: there is Guru, God and Kabirji. He (Kabirji) is still there and the trinity is still in existence. Now, contrast that with Saint Sahajo, who was the disciple of Sant Charandas. There is a compilation of her verses that are very profound. She says:
I may abandon God but I can never forget my Guru. God sent me to this world but my Guru liberated me from it.
God gave me the prison of the five senses but my Guru helped me transcend them.
God entangled me in bhog and Guru freed me from them
God gave me understanding of good and bad, Guru elevated me higher from duality.
As Daaji contrasted the two saints, there was deep contemplative silence around him. Speaking further, he said, “So you can see how Sahajo’s approach to Guru and God is so different from that of Kabir.” Sahajo did not even think twice about to whose feet she should touch. She was very clear from the very first step. For her only her Guru existed.
There are many beautiful words in Hindi and Sanskrit. Please try to reflect on their deeper meanings. Please ponder over raag, viraag, vairaag and vitaraag. Likewise, think over yog, viyog, prayog, and upyog. These words are very potent and meaningful.
Moderate intake of food
Daaji was having a conversation with abhyasis in the cottage. The topic veered to eating habits, especially during the days of the bhandaras.
Daaji said, “It’s not good to fill yourself with food on such auspicious days. Intake should be minimal. Also, don’t waste too much time in cooking. Such days don’t come often. Don’t waste them in eating and cooking.
“Our system does not enforce this, but if you pay attention you will learn. You either learn naturally or learn from others. If you learn naturally then you become more sensitive to what is happening inside and you regulate accordingly, instead of it becoming a ritual. That is why we don’t impose any rules.
“During such days, in general the body will also demand less. In fact Babuji used to request abhyasis to fast on Janmashtami day, but then it became like a ritual so he stopped it altogether.
“You may ask why preceptors are asked to fast on the day they are given permission to work. It is the same concept. There is so much Grace and transmission happening. The more you tune in, the more you receive. When you consume energy at the grosser level, then subtle energy will naturally be replaced. Then we derive less benefit from transmission.
“But then one cannot meditate on an empty stomach. So moderate your intake and derive more benefit on these special days.”
Interiorization of the Master
Daaji gave a talk on the 23rd of July: ‘Cultivate the Seeds of Contentment’: https://www.sahajmarg.org/literature/online/speeches/monroe-20160723. After this talk, he had an informal conversation with the abhyasis, in which he said, “Prior to the celebration we shared the idea with you all to interiorize the Master and make it an experiential effort during this bhandara. What is interiorization? Think of exteriorization and then you will understand interiorization. I am just giving you hints. Think of internalization versus interiorization.
When you depend on external things your attention is outward. When you solely depend on your inner being, the Master within, then you are looking forward to things happening from within. You are now dependent on your inner resources, which are always in tune with your Maker. So when you exteriorize it, you look for help, assistance from outside, including the Master.
Exteriorization uses the peripheral physical resources, the senses, to perceive. Interiorization pulls us inwards towards the innermost, towards the inner centre, full of infinite resources with which to work. Turning inward promotes tranquility while being drawn outwards is not so tranquil or still.
Transmission and Grace
Transmission is always there. It is like air is always there. But when you put on the fan, you give direction and intensity to it. Grace is a different ball game altogether!
Grace can happen because of Them or because of us. When our heart is really crying for it, there is a joyous moment in life and the heart melts away and Grace flows. Only joy attracts Grace, nothing else.
Per contra, ingratitude, jealousy, bitterness and prejudice will repel Grace. Things that make us complain all the time change our inner nature. Remaining grateful for all that we have creates another level of mantle. For things that can be done in one shower of Grace, hundreds of transmissions also will not be enough.
Difference in sittings from preceptors
What makes a difference between sittings from one preceptor and another is our cooperation. Our mind says, “Oh this preceptor is good and we open up. We see someone else and we feel he is not that good, and we shut ourselves.”
When you make up your mind that all sittings are from the Master, then your biggest hurdle will be overcome in Sahaj Marg once and for all. You are now transcending!
Some interactions with Daaji
Daaji spent time with an abhyasi who was involved in some background research and preparation for an upcoming book. Over the course of three days, he diligently went through the content of each chapter, providing feedback. The attention to detail and the grasp of each and every minute aspect of the messaging was a learning for all those around him.
During one such conversation, Daaji touched upon the concept of ‘accelerated evolutionary mechanism’. He mentioned that actually pictures speak better. So saying, he drew a beautiful sketch that depicted the evolutionary pattern of each component of the subtle body. This sketch will be included in the book.
In a similar review session a day later, Daaji mentioned that we should have a chapter that touches upon every prominent spiritual movement prevalent in the world today. We should mention the good work being done by these organizations. In the future the role of Sahaj Marg will be to unify all these movements for the greater good.
Intuition without amalgamation
Even if intuition comes from the Source, our vision is clouded by the prism through which this instruction passes. This prism is our subtle body which is clouded by our samskaras. So even if the right intuition descends it will be diffracted as it passes through this prism. So by the time it reaches our faculties the form has changed.
Look at it in a different way. Intuition, as it descends, traverses through the yogic chakras. Finally it descends into our heart as a message. It is like we have 13 different coloured glasses with a candle in the centre. Depending on the opacity and color of the glasses you will be able to see light coming through. The cleaner they are, the more you will be able to see the light. It is the same for intuition. There will be no amalgamation if there is purity in the system.
We say that consciousness is sandwiched between the two big oceans of superconsciousness and subconsciousness. Now which ocean is bigger? Maybe you are sandwiched between the Atlantic Ocean and Michigan Lake. If you consider the subconscious as Lake Michigan, it means your instinctive nature, your animalistic tendencies are very small. Then you have a greater advantage. So the 10% consciousness is what we use. The remaining 90% is not in our reach. How will this 10% then fight against the 90% and win? Think about it.
All + one = alone
One evening, during an informal conversation, Daaji spoke about some terms that he revisited. One of them is the word ‘Alone’. He explained it further:
“Satsangh has many meanings. One of them is, ‘Being with the Truth.’ It also means, ‘Being with existence.’ It also means, ‘Being in the company of like-minded people.’ It also means, ‘Being in company so that all become one.’ All-one … alone.
“In the midst of a multitude, he is immersed in himself. He is with all. Alone. All becoming one! The grand Yoga of not merely being one in tune with the Source, but all uniformly in tune with the Source. All becoming one! All-one.
Respect and dignity for all creation
When his health permits, Daaji takes walks in the woods close by. The walks are usually silent sessions or brief conversations with abhyasis on projects and initiatives.
The terrain is slightly hilly and it is thickly wooded. Large trees and a multitude of shrubs dot the entire landscape. There are also a couple of small lakes in these woods. On a sunny day you can see small turtles sitting on rocks basking in the sun. There are walking trails in the woods and these trails are covered with loose earth, leaves and branches.
One evening Daaji was returning from a walk. The trails are narrow and Daaji suddenly stopped and started to clear some ground on the side of the trail with his walking stick. He carved a small hole in the ground. He had noticed a small dead mouse on the ground in the middle of all the leaves and branches, so he gently moved the mouse into the grave with his walking stick and whispered, “I am sorry brother.” After this he plucked a leaf from a tree close by and gently placed it on the grave.
There is so much to learn from Daaji about caring for His creatures with love and dignity.