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Bulletin No : 2016.72 - Monday, 17 October 2016

Conversations with Daaji, September 2016, Part 4 , New Jersey & New York

Webinars with abhyasis

During September, Daaji spoke to abhyasis in Latin America, the Far East and Oceania through a series of webinars on the weekends. These sessions were attended by hundreds of abhyasis across centres.

The webinars consisted mainly of questions and answers that were collated beforehand and shared with Daaji during the session. Here are some valuable insights from these sessions :

Offer the prayer in a masterful way

Q: To be able to concentrate in meditation I use a Catholic prayer. Is this a valid option?

Daaji: Well, begin with whatever you are familiar with. If you are familiar with a Christian prayer or a Hindu prayer with which you are so comfortable, then begin with that. It is only so that you can feel comfortable before proceeding to meditate. Then bring in our Sahaj Marg prayer and slowly go into meditation.

Here is one interesting observation: when we offer prayer, generally there is a duality. In fact, not generally, it is always a duality that makes us offer prayer. I am a person who is needing something, and God is the personality who is being wanted, whose help is needed. So there is me and there is Him – there is a duality. I offer prayer and He is supposed to listen to me and He is supposed to answer my prayers.

Now, what really happens in meditation is that we begin with the idea of the presence of the Divine in our heart and a time comes when our consciousness finally merges and becomes one with God or with the Divine, to the extent that we are refined. So, merger is possible, but not complete merger – we merge to the extent of our level of purity. So meditation allows a possibility of merger in increasing degrees.

In prayer, generally this possibility of becoming one is a farfetched dream, because we remain who we are and God remains what he is, the Giver. But slowly, we offer prayer the way it should be, in which the following happens:

We first identify that there is God, and He is our goal. Then we identify what it is that is preventing us from merging with him: our desires. We identify them and we try to remove them and in the process we express our difficulties that, “Yes, I know these are our desires, I know these are our problems, but we are unable to do it on our own.”

So meditation is the aim and this aim is fulfilled through prayer – we offer prayer once. If you would like to offer your Christian prayer, an Islamic prayer or a Hindu prayer, it doesn't matter, start with that if it helps to put you into a state of meditation. The idea is to come to a meditative state. At the same time, just before you become meditative, include our Sahaj Marg prayer and try to understand the meaning of it. In the morning we offer prayer only once, just before meditation.

So in the beginning I would recommend that every newcomer to this practice, as well as those who are relatively new, and even people who are seasoned practitioners for many years, spend a day or two to try to understand the true significance and meaningful aspect of our prayer.

Meditate over it again and again. Take the 1st line, the 2nd line, the 3rd line, the 4th line, and so on. See what is hidden behind the meaning of our Sahaj Marg prayer. For me, each time I offer prayer, newer dimensions open up. Offering of prayer should also be done during the daytime so as to capture the essence of it when we are alert. At bedtime, when we try to offer prayer, we tend to sleep even before reaching the third line. So, when shall we understand the meaning and later ruminate and contemplate over its true meaning?

When you have understood the prayer so well, you will be able to offer the prayer in a masterful way.

Change on the inside and see the difference

Q: I changed my place of meditation recently in my new house, and I felt a lot of vibrations in the heart, so much so that I couldn't sleep. Is it good or bad, and why is it happening?

Daaji: Well, sometimes changing location does affect our sleep pattern. So what are you going to do? I can tell you, I doubt it has anything to do with the vibrations of the house. It has everything to do with you and your inability to adjust with the newer environment. This will also show you how well or how badly you adjust with others. Think over it.

Meditate beyond limits of space and time

Q: I am not able to sit for meditation stably for an hour due to my physical health. How much is enough for me, and what can I do to help this?

Daaji: Well, sit comfortably for as long as your system allows. If your system says 10 minutes is enough, then that’s all. There is no need to reach the target of one hour at that moment. The quality of our meditation depends on our attitude, not on the length of time; not on the words of the prayer but how the words of the prayer are formed in our heart. With what sentiment we are praying, with what sentiment we are approaching the Lord before meditation; that determines the quality of our meditation, not the length of time.

Nevertheless, in general, Babuji had given us this principle for general use: if you meditate for one hour you will reach such-and-such a state. But some of you may be able to reach that state in 5 minutes, 10 minutes, half-an-hour or 45 minutes. So, this artificial timing is okay in the beginning, but later on you must adjust yourself. And every day it will change. Sometimes you plunge into deep meditation within two minutes and it goes on on its own, and you will resurface of your own accord.

Actually we should not fix any duration beforehand for meditation, such as 30 minutes or 10 minutes or one hour. Also, when we give sittings as preceptors, or we receive sittings from preceptors or when we are sitting alone at home, be it for meditation or be it for cleaning, we should just sit. This meditation will never exceed 1 hour, never, so why are we worrying about it?

Sometimes we say, “I have to go for my work at such-and-such a time, so I'll meditate only for 20 minutes.” Okay, the giver knows your time constraints, and perhaps he would finish your meditation in one minute, but you have bound yourself to 20 minutes. You have shot yourself in the foot. Don't bind yourself with time. Though you are more generous than the Lord, by offering 20 minutes compared to his one minute, in this confusion you will not have a satisfactory meditation. Something that he could have done in one minute, you have put a condition of 20 minutes, which is absurd.

I am giving you an absurd example because the idea of time will haunt you during meditation. Instead of having the idea of God, you are meditating on time, on limitation.

Even when you say, “I am going to meditate for 60 minutes,” which is the complete recommended duration, you are still meditating on time, not on Divine Light. So the idea of quality of meditation, and length of meditation should be dropped.

Sometimes we say, “Oh, let my experience be like that sitting I had with such-and-such a preceptor.” Then you are finished! You will not have a good meditation.

Sometimes these are the problems that stifle our progress. You can see what happens in religion, when we have this approach to Gods and Goddesses, temples, etc. We have idols, murthis – and there is nothing wrong with it, they are there for a purpose, they are like a challenge.

So I start with: “I worship this particular God or Goddess.” Then a time must come when I transcend the form and feel the formlessness of that God in my heart. If that doesn't happen, then the worship of the external form has failed in its purpose. Who failed? I did. I was not able to go from form to formlessness.

In spirituality, our spiritual experiences, even the Master, all these things can become the rituals related to Sahaj Marg, and they can become blocks. I already told you how – experiences: “Oh, I would like to repeat that experience.” Then you are trapped by that experience. You are not letting yourself move away from it. Something better is waiting for you, but you are trapped by your expectation. So we should not struggle with these concepts of time, experience, who and where.

Change is the only constant

Q: Since I have become regular in my practice, there have been too many changes in my life and surroundings. Is this normal? Sometimes because of this I get scared.

Daaji: Oh, then don't change [laughs]. If you find comfort in your old state, go back to your old state. Would you like that? The answer is quite obvious... let’s go to the next question. We should congratulate whoever posed this question. Change is good.

Attitude for work

Q: What is the best attitude with which we build our teams and work together in our centres?

Daaji: Mutual love and respect for each other, thinking that we are children of the same parents. That’s all.

Table Tales

Daaji had a couple of old friends join him for dinner one evening. At the table, there was a wide-ranging conversation covering everything from memories of friendship to in-depth discussion about Sahaj Marg philosophy.

Sadhana Chatushtaya

Q: I get confused about uparati and samadhan. Can you please shed some light on the subject?

Daaji: Let’s see what Babuji says about this topic. In Reality at Dawn our beloved Babuji goes into great detail on this.

Q: Swadharma anishtanam still does not explain uparati for me. I understand swadharma but somehow I am not able to get to the essence of uparati.

Daaji: Rather than me explaining this, let’s read what Babuji says about it first.

Q: Yes, we have the book. We will read it.

Daaji: No, let’s do it now [Daaji asks for his laptop].

He reads the section from Reality at Dawn on uparati.

In this state a man is free of all desires, even those pertaining to the next world. He is not charmed or attracted by anything in the world. His mind is all the time centred in one – the Real. It differs from the state of vairagya in the sense that vairagya produces a feeling of aversion for worldly objects, while uparati is a state in which both the feelings of attraction and repulsion are absent. Vairagya is really the incomplete form of this nobler and higher state. At this stage, our mind, senses and indriyas are completely purified. We begin to feel fed up with all external things and dissociate from them, thinking them not to be worthwhile paying any attention to. We are free from the effect of attachment with the world. Even the comforts of paradise have no charm to such a man, nor does he feel any attraction for salvation, liberation or other higher ideals.

The fourth Sampatti is titiksha, or the state of fortitude. At this stage a man is perfectly satisfied with what is allotted to him by God. He has no feeling for injury, insult, condemnation or appreciation.

The fifth is shraddha, or faith, which is a very high attainment. It is very different from the preliminary state of artificial faith as discussed in the chapter entitled ‘Faith’.

The last one is samadhan, which is a state of self-settledness to the will of the Master, without even the consciousness of it. At this stage a man is perfectly devoted to the great Master without any thought besides.

Now let me tell you something more to explain samadhan. In this state, even without being conscious of it you are self-settled with the will of God: “Whatever He says, whatever He has chosen, whatever He gives, it’s my life.” You are settled within with, “It is what it is.” In the Gita, Lord Krishna talks about four things: karma, vishishta karma, vikarma and akarma.

Karma includes the mundane activities of life: eating, sleeping, playing etc. Vishishta karma is when you put your love into what you are doing, and you work with bhakti (devotion).

Now, when you combine karma with vishishta karma it becomes akarma. In akarma you will be doing the task with devotion, but you will not be aware of it. It is like the state of samadhan. You are doing it because it is His will.

For example, when you learn to drive, in the beginning you are very conscious, very aware. After some time, when you have mastered driving, you just drive. Its effect is not there on the mind. Actually an even more beautiful example is that of a mother. When the baby needs food at 2 a.m., it is out of love that the mother does her karma without any impact registering on her mind. If the father has to wake up at 2 a.m. he will remember it for years! The mother won’t remember it at all.

That is the impact of akarma, where you take vishishta karma full of love to a new level, and where you don’t care about the rewards. The idea of God rewarding you for your efforts is dead. You have made peace. This is my dharma (duty) and I will do it with all the love in my heart.