Bulletin No: 2016.73 – Monday October 24, 2016
Conversations with Daaji, September 2016, Part 5
New Jersey & New York
Reading the condition
One evening at the ashram, there was a dialogue between Daaji and an abhyasi about the condition given in meditation and some tips to take the condition to the next level:
Q: How to develop the ability to describe or understand what we experience in meditation?
Daaji: Okay, let’s go through the process. What happens when we meditate? We start with a thought that Divine Light is present in the heart. Before that we pray to Master, right? Sometimes prayer itself melts us away. The journey here is facilitated by the Master’s transmission. On our own we are not able to go deeper; we cannot even move one millimetre on our own into consciousness without the help of pranahuti. The entire process of going deeper, the whole journey, is because of pranahuti. So we have to witness the shift that happens within us by providing the process with right attitudes.
Now, our focus is on the heart. Sometimes we feel vibrations in the chest or in the head. These are feelings only at the mundane physical level; it is not yet about the conditions. A condition is something that you describe with emotions, for example, “I felt good”, “I felt peaceful”, or “I felt absorbed”.
Enliven, imbibe and secure it by merging
Now enliven that state, accentuate that condition, heighten it and make it even more beautiful. For example, if you feel peaceful, make it even more intensely peaceful and then imbibe that condition. Then merge in it so that the condition is secured. Merger, meaning drowning ourselves in the condition, will secure it once and for all. It will remain secured.
So the process is to ENLIVEN, IMBIBE and MERGE into it.
When we have to write about it or recall it, we have to somehow identify that state and be one with it: identicality is established. That is the opportunity to make it stronger and take it further. So when we do this daily – enliven, imbibe, merge – it grows more and more. This is like a second meditation with open eyes.
Q: And this is right after meditation?
Daaji: Yes, right after meditation, and also during the daytime we can recall it and continue.
Q: One thing I have observed is that if I forget to write the condition down after the meditation I find it very hard to remember the next day.
Daaji: Yes, it’s too subtle. You have to do it immediately.
Q: Today’s satsangh was wonderful. After that, the talk was sublime. I was trying to write down in my diary how I felt but words failed me.
Daaji: Yes, describing the physical vibrations and movements is very easy.
Q: The true condition described in emotions is difficult.
Daaji: Well, you can write, “I felt peaceful,” for example. Like that you develop the vocabulary. Calmer, stillness, restless, turbulent, sometimes you feel like crying, sometimes you feel bubbly and sometimes you feel drunk. These conditions of peace, stillness, drunkenness, etc. are all different from each other. They are unique conditions. There are different levels. We are not worried about naming them; we are interested in being in them. Our job is to make these conditions more potent with the help of our mind.
Earlier today someone was asking me about someone’s condition. I said that person has a good condition, but he does not know it, because it is buried within the heart. That person is so innocent that he is not able to recognize that condition. Had he known it, or had any cognizance of it, then the condition would have easily manifested. That is why we talk about allowing the condition to become dynamic and letting it manifest in our behaviour and conversations. That is also an art. There is no point enjoying the inner condition unless it becomes dynamic and manifests outwardly.
With such a lover of the Lord, the bhakta’s eyes, ears, hands and other faculties are used by the Lord. The Lord sees, hears and feels through the medium of the bhakta. Thus we are allowing the divine impulses to ooze out in our actions at multiple levels.
Q: In the material world, it is very easy to assess progress. In the spiritual world it seems very abstract.
Daaji: In the spiritual world it is easier! You will know it. The question is: do we really want to know? If yes, then as beloved Babuji says, your condition will speak to you. I sometimes joke about this [gesturing across his chest], that it’s one square feet of real estate. How can you go wrong with it?
Q: I read somewhere in one of Chariji’s books that “The transmission is always to the heart but it can be felt in multiple places, just like the earthquake has an epicentre but it is felt in multiple places.” Can you explain?
Daaji: There are many ways. It depends. Sometimes I transmit from the second point and sometimes I transmit directly from the Cosmic Region for a few seconds. Most of the time it is heart to heart.
Now, how are you going to know whether it is from the second point or the Cosmic Region? You have to be in tune with it. It’s easy, very easy. It’s like when you are playing table tennis, you know which way the ball will be returned. There is nothing complicated. Take a lot of interest in it and just go for it.
Well, whenever you take a sitting here with me, tell me your readings. I will confirm, disagree or agree. This will give you the verification. What you need is verification. Once you are confident then it will go on.
Transmission received by the heart facilitates cleaning amongst other things. Depending upon the need for cleaning of particular plexuses, everyone will react differently, and hence the varying degree of responses from the participants who received the transmission. Transmission enters via the heart and does its job wherever needed, and hence the response at multiple levels.
Q: Thank you. I think what I struggle with is the confirmation.
Daaji: One day we can have an experiment. I did this experiment in Satkhol during the youth seminar. Every evening, we had a music program for about an hour, and I would tell them that while they were listening, I would be transmitting and also cleaning. I asked them to be watchful. I would tell them, “I will work on one point, so you tell me where.” Almost 80% of them had the right answers.
For starters, at least find out where the vibrations are starting, where is the epicentre; that is a good beginning. Then develop more confidence and go deeper into it.
Q: Going back to the beginning, can you please talk further about “Enlivening the condition”?
Daaji: Enlivening means to give life. When I have a condition inside, unless I am so lively inside, how can I add life to it? If I am sorrowful I cannot add any value to anything. The soul becomes heavy because of sorrow. One pre-requisite for abhyasis is to have a joyous inner state. When we have a lively and grateful state within, we are able to give life to the condition. The seeds of a condition are given by the Master, and we have to make it bloom, make it more attractive, make it more beautiful. That is what enlivening the condition means. Having enlivened it, we have to now imbibe it within. This very exercise will help us merge into the condition prevailing at that particular stage.
Suppose you are on the first yogic chakra, the heart point, and you go on merging within the first point itself, the condition prevailing there at various stages. That is Sayujyuta; then you become one with it. This way it secures the condition. Securing is possible when you have merged. If it remains separate, then something can always take it away. When you have merged, nothing can take it away. So merging produces some kind of security.
Automatism in the practice
In one of the messages Babuji advises the medium to bring about automatism in the practice. It applies to us also. Now what is this automatism? It is something that happens automatically, effortlessly. Without making much effort you are able to traverse different states. For example, a mother’s care for a child is automatic. The mother is not looking for any reward. There is built-in automatism there. That’s what we are trying to create and make it natural through practice. This will only happen when you make it yours. Ownership brings success. If dedication is lacking it becomes a ritualistic habit.
It is no meditation if you cannot feel it
A new abhyasi asked Daaji about other forms of meditation on the navel, tip of the nose, etc.
Daaji: Let me explain it to you a little differently. In meditation, we start with thinking about God but we need to feel His presence. Now can you feel with the navel or the tip of your nose? No! One can only feel with the heart. It is no meditation if you cannot feel.
Reverence and love
An elderly couple recently started the practice, and Daaji spent time with them at the dinner table and in his room answering their questions and giving them guidance on the nuances of the practice:
Q: Time is short for me and I feel very fortunate that at this age I found you Kamlesh bhai.
Daaji: Sir, They found you [There was a long pause in the conversation]. You will make it. Just stay focused the way you are. Beloved Babuji used to say, “My Master (referring to Lalaji Saheb) is very merciful towards old people. The young people have to work hard.” [Saying so Daaji laughs] You will make it.
Q: What can I do to remain in touch with you?
Daaji: Practise, and get involved in Mission work, and that will keep you in touch all the time. That’s the best way. Doing Mission work is the fastest way to take flight. Many things happen when you work for the Mission. Work makes this Mission yours and when something becomes yours then where else would you rather be? The whole universe is yours.
Q: I am discovering new ground every day, and in the process I need to learn the relationship between the Master and the devotee.
Daaji: Our relationship is one of mutual love, which is not expected from seekers from the first day. It happens automatically as we move on. It opens up and happens naturally. Shraddha is not a prerequisite in Sahaj Marg; it is an outcome of our practice. Blind faith is not good. One day it will shatter and that day you will fall flat.
Q: Can I share questions with you?
Daaji: Zaroor [certainly], but I hope you find the answers on your own. The best is to have the questions in your mind for a day or two, and see how they are getting resolved inside. After that, seek confirmation if the question persists.
After some time, you will feel, “What am I doing with this system?” You will feel like running away, and that will surely happen. It is called a bhanwar or whirlpool. You feel trapped. If you can cross this bhanwar on your own it is wonderful, because there are many on the way. In the first place, crossing it on your own strengthens you, which in turn prepares you to cross future bhanwars at higher stages.
What is the sign of being caught in a bhanwar at the moment of moving from one stage to the higher one? The main one is that you will lose interest in your practice. That’s one sign. That is when you need to cross it faster. Take a sitting and move on. The bhanwar is actually a good sign.
As children we read fairy tales where a treasure is guarded by a hundred cobras and magical spells that are protecting the treasure. Something similar happens here also. Bhanwars are there as protection so that no useless or undeserving person reaches there. So it needs courage to say, “Come what may, I will make it.” Most people get shaken up.
In the beginning people go gaga after taking a few introductory sittings. They claim it to be the best thing that ever happened in their lives. But then, after a few months, they quietly disappear. This is the classic symptom of being caught in the bhanwar and losing interest.
Q: It happened to me. I started a few months back. It was wonderful and then I lost track.
Daaji: Yes, we all go through it. The principle of resonance is of importance here. When you are in tune with the higher personality, whatever they have is downloaded. That very connection is based on our capacity to receive. The more refined we become, the more comes our way. The key lies in how well we fine tune ourselves and lessen the resistance. Submission and acceptance are crucial. That is why Master talked about cultivating a yielding attitude towards one’s Guide.
In Sahaj Marg, when there are administrative issues created by human minds, some abhyasis say, “Why is this happening here?” and they start questioning the administration and lose faith in the process. Because we are so vacuumised, one little doubt and we are finished. A little thing derails us, because we move very fast on this path.
Q: Is it because of fickle faith?
Daaji: Ultimately it is not faith in the Master but faith in yourself that is shattered: “How could I have trusted this Master?” Just like the bhanwar, the last and final bhanwar is the Master, as you pass through him and his tests. If you can clear the final frontier, you have made it. He will create situations that even he is not aware of. He may be totally oblivious and you are breaking your head. Each situation is created so you emerge stronger. That is the only purpose.
What one needs is absolute love and reverence; that takes care of everything.
One evening Daaji had some old friends over for dinner, both of whom are doctors and know Daaji from his days in Staten Island. They are students of Vedanta and asked a wide range of questions.
It is noteworthy here to mention that the throughout the session Daaji kept moving from an intellectual to an experiential base. He also drew a couple of diagrams to connect the dots.
Consciousness, atman, feeling, koshas and more …
Q: Kamlesh bhai, I have one academic question that has been bothering me for a while. When we say Antahkaran, is the meaning chit, consciousness or memory?
Q: Can you please elaborate?
Daaji: Can someone get me a piece of paper and pen?
Q: That also gives me some time to put my question in context. We say Pragyana Brahma, which is consciousness, and when we say Aham Brahmasmi, then Brahmasmi becomes consciousness. Am I on the right track?
Daaji: [Daaji laughs] We are mixing too many things. Aham Brahmasmi is a state on the way. It is a station on the journey [Daaji continues to draw]. Now let’s focus on this:
Here is the whole system: the gross body, causal body and subtle body.
Now when you talk about Aham Brahmasmi, the experience of expansion during meditation gives the experience of what is Brahman.
Thinking is unidirectional. Contemplation is multidirectional. Feeling is much more than this.
Contemplation can be 360 degrees, but feeling is much more than 360 degrees.
Feeling can also incorporate something from the past, something from the present, something from the future, something from now and something from another dimension also. So what happens in meditation? The movement from thinking to feeling is a major thing.
Atman is thinking + movement. That is the nature of soul. The nature of Brahman is also thinking. It partakes of both contemplation and expansion. That is the nature of Brahman.
Now the atman or Brahman is not a person. The atman is what supports consciousness.
Q: In the Antahkaran, is there a place for memory?
Daaji: You see we focus on only four subtle bodies, however there are infinite layers around the soul that are between the causal and subtle bodies.
Now, samskaras are stored around the causal body. We meditate on the heart, and according to our Master there are so many chakras: hridaya, atma, fire, water, air, swadhisthana, muladhara and others. There are infinite mini-chakras or sub-points as well.
The atman is like a lamp. Now, as these points and chakras become grosser, they lose their naturalness because of samskaras. Then the effect of the atman reduces. Just as soot around a lantern prevents the light from spreading, the same thing happens here also.
Q: So are these all the koshas [pointing to the chakras]?
Daaji: No, no. The koshas are different. By the way, the names of the koshas are arbitrary; there isn’t much significance to their names. All the subtle bodies are there in the manomaya and vignanamaya koshas. Now, how these names came about is interesting. There is a huge body of work compiled by Shri Haridasji (1862-1938) that I will share with you via email, in which he talks about how the names of the koshas are given and what is combined to form each kosha.
It all starts with likes and dislikes
Beloved Babuji Maharaj has done brilliant research in this field. Whatever work we do or don’t do affects us in some way or the other. For example, say you are sitting on a flight, simply sitting in your seat, and as other passengers pass by you while boarding the flight, you observe your thoughts. For each passenger that passes you will be busy making judgements and passing thoughts. See how active your mind is!
We go on forming our own opinions, and they generally fall into three buckets: likes, dislikes and neutral. When you like or dislike something, it creates vibrations and they settle in your inner system. When we remain unaffected, we are neutral towards all that is happening around us, this is akin to the state enjoyed by the lotus in muddy water!
Q: Oh really?
Daaji: Yes. The vibrations of likes and dislikes will hit only one particular geographical coordinate on your body: point C. Now, if the likes or dislikes are of a lustful nature, then those vibrations will settle at point B. All sensual things or aversion towards them will settle at B. Similarly, if you would like to possess a television or you really want a 5-bedroom house, the pull of worldly things creates vibrations that will settle at point A.
If you feel guilty, such vibrations will gravitate towards point D and settle there. Guilt is the worst, so when you do something that makes you feel guilty, just make a firm resolve not to repeat the same mistake, and that should put an end to it. The more you think about it, the more point D becomes denser and grosser.
In this region, all the qualities that Ashtavakra talks about settle here: Kshama, Arjava, Daya, Santosham and Satyam. Now when these qualities are there, it automatically produces the state of Mumukshu and those vibrations are felt at the atma chakra, the point of peace.
Now, suppose because of situations at work, home, etc., a person is not content, it upsets his peace, and repeated occurrences disturb the heart that in turn affect the next point, which is the atma chakra. Further intensification of loss of peace releases vibrations that will settle at point 3, where he will feel emotionally drained resulting in anger. Further, when the third point is saturated with certain feelings like anger that then mutate into fear, those vibrations will settle at point 4. That fear in turn affects the next point, number 5, where he compromises his ability to discriminate. When he loses the ability to discriminate, he remains in illusion and thus the 5th point is affected. When the person remains in illusion and cannot discriminate he loses the discriminative faculty and starts sowing the seeds of his own destruction.
You see, in the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna talks about how the lack of fulfilment of desires leads to lack of peace, which creates anger, and that leads to fear and finally a loss of the discriminative capacity (viveka).
Here are the references from the Gita:
Second chapter: 2:62
dhyāyato viṣayān puḿsaḥ
sańgāt sañjāyate kāmaḥ
kāmāt krodho ‘bhijāyate
A man musing on objects
develops attachment to objects.
From attachment desire arises.
Second chapter: 2:63
krodhād bhavati sammohaḥ
Anger produces delusion,
delusion destroys recollection
and loss of memory destroys reason,
loss of reason destroys man.
Once we escape this region of duality, we enter the Brahmand, which starts from the agna chakra and moves onwards to point 13, which is the Central Region.
In the Heart Region, it is all the play of dualities, but the moment we enter Brahmand Mandal duality drops, as there are no more opposites. After we have crossed these dualities (dwandwas), there is the possibility of liberation. Up until then, no liberation was possible. So we start at point 1 and slowly, by the grace of the Guru, our onward march begins.
Q: So, I apologise if this is a very basic question, but what is the difference between the atma and the causal body?
Daaji: It’s the same thing. The causal body is the atma. It is only a different name. The atma is the cause of our existence, hence the name ‘causal’ for the causal body.
Q: So where do vices come from? The causal body?
Daaji: They come from the grosser body and its interplay with the subtle bodies. Later on they settle at various points, depending on the vibratory level of each emotion. In the physical body they settle at the actual points like A, B, C and D we discussed.
The beauty of Sahaj Marg is that practically it takes each of these points and shows how once they are cleaned we come to a natural state.
Q: Thank you! I came with isolated pieces of information and you connected the dots for me.
Daaji: We are also learning, sir. We are still exploring things.
Q: Next time, I will bring a copy of the Taitreya Upanishad. That is where I need some help.
Daaji: Yes, but these are all words.
Thoughts, memories, feelings and vibration
Q: I want to share with you a story of Francis Watson, of DNA fame. When he left Cambridge, he came to Rockefeller University in New York. He had a weekly conference, and his last conference was on the questions, “What is the anatomy of a thought? Where is it located? What is the structure of a thought?”
Daaji: It is interesting. I also want to share something with you. Many years ago, when I was here in the US during my business years, I used to go scouting for the right locations to open new drugstores. One day I visited a grocery store with one of our pharmacy colleagues who spoke Spanish, as the grocery store owner only spoke Spanish. It helped with the conversation and he was willing to make a deal. The grocery store was right in front of a hospital, in a wonderful location – just right for opening a drugstore!
I needed to use the restroom, but the moment I went in I had to get out of there. I felt as if somebody had died and the spirit was still present. It was a very annoying presence. I could not use the restroom and so I came out and we left the place. Later I told my colleague who accompanied me and asked her to call off the deal.
Later she called the owner and asked, “Was there a murder there? My boss says there was a murder committed there.”
He said, “Yes there was a murder two years ago in this place.”
Now, is it a thought, intuition or some memory of murder stored in that location? It is difficult to identify. Everything is vibration.
Q: Is it the feeling you get at the place?
Daaji: It is translated into feelings, but what is it that is translated into feelings and is captured? Forget that, how is it in the air? Suppose someone slaps you, it will stay in your memory forever, but how does something that happened two years ago stay in the atmosphere? Beloved Babuji Maharaj used to say that it is possible to go back ten thousand years and see what happened at a given location.
Q: Is it true that all thoughts and actions form the akashic record?
Daaji: Akashic memory? Yes.
Q: Can the Masters read it and at any time know what they need to know?
Daaji: I don’t think you should use the word ‘Master’; I was not a Master when I came to know of that murder in the store. I am not a Master even now. Once the masterly abilities develop in us, it is possible to do these things. More importantly, it comes when needed.
Was it necessary for me to know about the incident? It was necessary for me to know that I should not be doing business in that location. It comes when you need it most. When we become inquisitive and try to think, it doesn’t work. When you need it for your work, especially as a preceptor training abhyasis, the necessary knowledge comes. People become afraid: “Oh, this preceptor will read my life.” No, he cannot read until and unless the work demands. Often work happens without the knowledge of the preceptor. It just happens.
Had I not followed the feelings of my heart at the grocery store, and instead decided to open a drugstore there since the location was right in front of a hospital, can you imagine what could have happened?
Let the spiritual journey be full of joy and adventure
Q: The Masters are so advanced. Do they also have to do cleaning for themselves?
Daaji: It is necessary. In fact, they need more cleaning as they are greater vacuums and accumulate a lot.
Q: That is why their lives are more painful! They suffer so much more.
Daaji: Yes, it is part of the business I think! [Daaji laughs]
Q: Daaji, do we need to know all these things – literature, points, approach, conditions, etc. – to progress in spirituality? Can we just practise and progress by the Grace of the Master?
Daaji: It is not necessary, but if you have the interest you should explore as it will only help you more. Your journey should not be a dry journey; let it be full of excitement, joy and adventure, otherwise what’s the point? Every day the same meditation, the same cleaning! Besides, reading holy literature is necessary. You need confirmation again and again. Beloved Lalaji Saheb states this beautifully: “Cleanse your manas (mind) with the practice of sadhana, and then go through literature, otherwise Reality will be lost upon you.” (from Truth Eternal, 2015, archival edition, page 31)
Q: How did you figure out points C and D?
Daaji: It came from above. What else can I say? My first insight was point C. It came to me in Bangalore. I was in meditation and during one session I felt it. Later in the evening, revered Master was conducting satsangh at his son Krishna’s residence where it came again. I wondered why it was repeating again and again, so I studied it.
Then I wrote to Babuji Maharaj. In the message I mentioned to him that I thought it was all about likes and dislikes, and he responded very quickly saying, “It is a strategic point. From there everything starts.” When you think about how our likes and dislikes promote everything else it becomes clear. Copied below is the message for easy reference as published in Whispers from The Brighter World, Vol. VI:
Sunday, May 15, 2011 - 10:00 a.m.
"This third point [point C] is in reality a strategic point, key to all the secrets about human evolution. There, positive and negative aspects come together and are balanced according to divine laws.
"No incarnate being is perfect; everyone must come to terms with their nature and a different facet of themselves. This gray area should help identify the human traits that facilitate their advancement on the difficult path of life. Multiple underlying effects also manifest and are taken into account on this point; it is one which is characteristic of the human race but which cannot be revealed at this stage of human evolution."
Then came point D after two or three days, and later on the vestibules came.
Monday, May 16, 2011 - 10:00 a.m.
"May our dearest Kamlesh advance on this way of the heart - that of love in its divine essence - this is essential. The sacred geometry of the heart will be revealed to him in due course. We bless him for his loyalty to our cause, and his generous love for us. May he be at peace; all is well for him."
Q: So Daaji, when we progress, does the soul move from one point to another?
Daaji: Yes, it moves but in a different way. Let me give you an example: say you buy ten different farms that have adjacent boundaries, one after another. You buy the second farm and you merge it with the first by breaking down the boundaries. Later you buy the third and break those boundaries. It is like that – the boundaries are broken. The soul doesn’t go anywhere. It simply finds its expansion.
Q: Oh, that’s a beautiful explanation. Today was a wonderful session Daaji. The concept of Aham Brahmasmi I now understand.
Daaji: The suggestion we make, that “Everything around me is absorbed in deep Godly remembrance” helps with these conditions. All is Brahman. What is within me is also resonating outside.
Q: Kamlesh bhai, this was a wonderful evening. It was a new level of understanding, full of joy. Thank you!
Daaji: Thank you for spending the time with me, sir.
In Daaji’s previous travel diary, Bulletin No: 2016.72 Monday, 17 October 2016, please note that there is a correction to be made. Daaji actually said that Lord Krishna spoke about the three karmas - karma, vikarma and akarma – not four, as was quoted in the bulletin.