Bulletin No: 2018.21 - Sunday, 29 April 2018
Dear sisters and brothers,
Message from Beloved Daaji on the occasion of the 119th birth anniversary of Pujya Shri Babuji Maharaj, 30 April 2018, Kanha Shantivanam
All centers are requested to read this after group meditations on that day.
There are a number of stages we must cross in our spiritual journey, and the culmination of each stage beautifully prepares us to enter the next dimension. In fact, each stage provides the very foundation upon which we expand into the next dimension, or, to put it in another way, each stage is a cause bringing about an effect that is the next dimension. In turn, this effect then becomes the cause for the next effect, which becomes the cause for the next effect, and so on.
And this cascading sequence of cause and effect does not only move in one direction, as each effect is also the reason for its cause to exist in the first place. Here we will see how this plays out in our spiritual journey. When we start on the journey, we generally have a restless mind and a heart pulled by emotions and concerns, due to the ups and downs of daily life. Is it possible to be happy with such an inner environment of restlessness? Maybe some of the time, but as soon as we feel a negative emotional pull or a reaction to external circumstances, that happiness dissipates like a puff of smoke blown away in the wind. It is transitory.
In this scenario, cause and effect lead us into a web of entanglement and complexity. For example, we know what can happen when we fall in love with a beautiful rose flower: first we notice it and appreciate its beauty, then the next time we pass by we go closer and enjoy its fragrance, and eventually we become so enamored of it that we have to own it.
There is also the wonderful story of the saint who was peacefully meditating in a jungle. He had no problems and was well respected by the villagers nearby. He had only a loincloth to worry about, which he would wash and hang on a tree branch at night. One day, some little mice started eating his loincloth while it hung on the branch and it slowly became smaller and smaller. So the villagers got him a cat to chase away the mice. But to keep a cat you have to give it milk, so somebody started bringing milk every evening to feed the cat until one day the villagers said, “Why should we come every evening and risk our lives returning back to the village? Let’s get you a cow.”
Now somebody needed to milk the cow, to feed the cat, to catch the mice that were eating the loincloth. They sent a maid to milk the cow. The saint fell in love with the maid and started a family. It only needed one little trigger to cascade a chain reaction. It is a classic story of cause and effect!
And it doesn’t matter if a particular wish is fulfilled or not, whether it is attainable or not, because as long as it is a seed in your mind it will wait for an opportunity to germinate. It may stay buried for many lifetimes.
We all have our own ideas of the causes that bring us peace and happiness: good grades, fulfilling relationships with family and friends, a great career, a beautiful house, happy children – there is a long list. But such peace is conditional peace, dependent on things going well outside. That set of conditions takes us on a trajectory. It does not ennoble us, but pulls us further and further into the web of our conditions. This is how we create samskaras, setting the stage for our future karma. And this type of trajectory of cause and effect only entraps us in bondage.
In spirituality, we are aspiring instead to disentangle from this complex network, and to find a solution that brings us permanent, unconditional peace, at the same time ennobling us and taking us forward on the spiritual journey. So how do we create that evolutionary cause and effect sequence?
The first step is to still the turbulence of a restless mind and heart, and the resultant effect of that is inner peace. The culmination of the first stage of our journey is peace. When we are truly peaceful and contented within, we are able to remain in that state no matter what is going on around us. Heartfulness practices bring us to that state where we can be peaceful under all circumstances.
Then comes the next stage. Is it enough to be peaceful within? No, that is just a prerequisite for externalizing the inner peaceful harmonious state, so that it is translated into speech, action and behavior. Inner harmony must play out in our external behaviors. Then we are able to radiate peace outwards, like the rose radiates fragrance, so that it permeates everything we think, say and do.
This peaceful heart prepares us for the next stage, which is a further refined or elevated state where we start to experience Samadhi during meditation from time to time. What is Samadhi? Samadhi simply means ‘that which prevailed before the creation came into existence’, the absolute balanced state. Gradually, after years of practice, we learn to hold this absolute state more often and for longer periods, until eventually it becomes permanent.
The stage of Samadhi is much sought after. But the states of Samadhi vary while we are on the path – there are different levels of Samadhi. All levels share the same characteristic of absorption, but they occur at different levels of consciousness. The first level of Samadhi is a stone-like consciousness where we don’t feel anything; we are unaware of what is happening because we have journeyed into parts of the mind that are beyond our awareness. When we resurface from such a Samadhi, we feel that we were gone. In the second level, we are in a dreamlike subconscious state. With Transmission, we are able to move towards subtler levels quite quickly and experience more evolved states of Samadhi.
In the third level we are fully aware and absorbed simultaneously. This is known as Sahaj Samadhi, meaning natural Samadhi, and it is the next stage. It is a condition where we are deeply absorbed in meditation, and at the same time fully conscious of everything else that is going on. We are in touch with the original state. It is also known as the Turiya condition, or the fourth state of consciousness where everything is in our view.
Moving forward, we can also take this state of consciousness out into our day, by cultivating the meditative state while we are busy doing other things. We are simultaneously able to focus on work, on the surroundings, on the TV, on something happening outside, on the Transmission flowing through us, the condition that is prevailing within, something that is about to come into our system, thoughts that arise, and the next step we should be taking, and still remain in communion with our inner spiritual state. We remain peaceful seeing all these things at the same moment. This Samadhi state remains uninterrupted during all our daily activities.
Then we become eligible to enter the next stage of the spiritual dimension, known as mergence. We start to merge, and the beginning of mergence creates the Turiyateet state. In Turiyateet we have three-hundred-and-sixty-degree consciousness with eyes open. There is no need to focus on any particular thing. The moment we focus on a particular thing, it is no longer a meditative state but concentration.
Unless and until we achieve that absolute balance within, the soul will always find some sort of shortcoming in anything we do in life. Once we achieve that balanced state in all our activities, both worldly and spiritual, then true happiness will come on its own, irrespective of whether we fail or succeed in our actions. In the earlier stages mentioned above, the ego is paramount, so everything revolves around ‘I’: first ‘my’ problems and dramas, then ‘my’ inner experiences in meditation, and later on ‘my’ states and conditions of peace and bliss. Gradually as we move to higher dimensions, the ‘I’ fades and eventually ceases to exist, except in the most superfine way where nothing escapes our consciousness and yet we are not concentrated on anything. This is mergence. This is Presence. We are oblivious of the self.
Moving from one stage to the next stage can be compared in some ways to launching a satellite into space. First the satellite is propelled off the ground by the launch vehicle, and an enormous amount of fuel is used in the first few minutes to achieve lift off. This gives it enough velocity to escape the gravitational pull of the Earth and move out of the Earth’s atmosphere. After a few hours, another stage is reached where the satellite is then separated from the launch vehicle so it moves into it’s own trajectory, and eventually no more thrust is required.
In our journey, the thrust required to take us to higher and higher dimensions is a continued state of refinement in love. The question then arises: how can we remain immersed in that state of love throughout the journey, with all its ups and downs? Think back to the foundation that is built, one step at a time. The first step is to truly establish unconditional peace and happiness at the beginning of our journey. The effect of this is that love is no longer swayed by outside vagaries.
But then how is love affected by inner vagaries? Our inner journey is changing minute by minute, and those changes sometimes create inner turbulence. So love must also reach a stage where it is independent of inner changes. What does this mean in terms of our experience? Initially we may hanker after bliss and beautiful inner experiences, but over time we learn that they are not the real thing – love is not about feeling blissful, and Samadhi is not about feeling drowned in bliss. Just like peace, love is also not conditional on experience.
To summarize the unfolding of the various stages:
- We start with inner restlessness and move with a positive approach to inner peace.
- Then we expand that peace from within to also radiate peace outwards in everything we do.
- Then we start to experience Samadhi sometimes, then more frequently,then permanently.
- We move through levels of Samadhi, from stone-like to dreamlike to conscious, all the while maintaining inner focus and absorption during meditation. That is the Turiya condition.
- Then, when we are able to hold that state during all our waking and sleeping hours, it is known as the Turiyateet condition where everything is within view; we are merged with everything.
- Then going still further we become eligible for true merger.
Interestingly, the causes that propel us from one stage to the next remain the same – focus, practice, intense interest, purity, supplicancy and surrender to the Guru, with love as the base of them all. It is like the growth of a tree: a seed needs water, the seedling needs the same water, the sapling still needs the same water, and the large tree also needs the same water.
Love is the fuel that propels us. The ripening of the state of mergence is accelerated by love and love only. In this ocean of love, both the lover and the beloved remain only for name’s sake. The trinity of lover, beloved and love all become One.
With love and respect,
Kamlesh Patel 30th April 2018