International Youth Seminar

17 August 2018, continued

The Hummingbird

Today’s session found its way to our hearts, which blossomed as we directed our awareness towards the heart and tried to capture the whispers arising from it. We sowed the seeds of pure intention, and with sensitivity tried to reap them as the heart whispers its dream.

The session also inspired us to become aware of the synchronicities around us, and Vasco shared his own touching story and connection with the hummingbird, how he came across the image, the bird itself and its repeated appearances in different walks of his life, as an indication that he is on the right path, the path of his heart. He encouraged us to follow our dreams by listening to the whispers that grow stronger in our hearts.

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What is Yoga?

The director of AYUSH, Dr Ishwar V. Basavaraddi, addressed the youth gathering on ‘What Yoga Actually Is’. He found Kanha Shanti Vanam a very heart-warming place and loved the moment where we meditated after planting trees. He emphasised the importance of youth carrying the knowledge of Yoga forward and the importance of wellness. Dr Ishwar V. Basavaraddi has been practising Yoga for 42 years and demonstrated a few practical exercises we could adopt for a healthier lifestyle.

Questions and answers with Daaji

A Q&A session with Daaji followed the evening satsangh:

Intensity & Sincerity

Q: This morning you spoke of two things required for a quantum leap in consciousness. One was intense effort, what was the other one?

DAAJI: Sincerity. To arrive at the pinnacle of consciousness, to make that quantum leap, our efforts should be intense. The second thing is nishtha or sincerity. Total sincerity means your intentions are so pure, and not associated with selfish motives. We are not looking for synchronicity, or peace of mind, or even for any miraculous results in life. It is an absolute surrender to God, to existence.

Remember I have given the example that Babuji Maharaj shared with me in Shahajahanpur, of him drawing water canals on the back of his hand.

So our energy is going in one direction. If our life’s goal is not fulfilled, at the end of our life we are recycled. We call it reincarnation.

Intense effort is like when you boil water to cook rice. Heating the water to 50 degrees will not cook anything. There has to be complete boiling before you cook rice. Similarly, what is the intensity in our practice? Love. Intense efforts are not like somebody putting a gong on your head and saying, “Do this.” No, it has to be out of willingness, out of our joyful craving for the highest. Then it is possible to achieve the highest in a very short time. No willpower is needed. In our Yoga Shastras, they talk about developing willpower. My practical experience shows that there is no need for willpower. Too much use of willpower becomes artificial. Tell a child, “Use your willpower to eat this ice cream,” and the child will say “What nonsense are you talking!” Maybe he needs willpower not to eat the ice cream!

When you are interested in doing something, there is no need for willpower. There are no efforts when you love someone. There is a beautiful story in one of our Shastras: a mad guy was full of love for one girl. He decided one evening to see her. It was raining like cats and dogs, as they say, and by the time he reached the river it was flooding. He kept thinking how to get across, and eventually he grabbed something floating and held onto that log of wood. He crossed the river and walked towards the beloved’s place. Finding a rope hanging, he made good use of the rope to climb to the back window and enter her chambers.

He spent the night with her, and in the morning, she asked, “How did you come here?”

He said, “You kept a rope for me to climb up.”

She replied, “What nonsense!” If I had known you were coming, why would I have put a rope there?”

They went outside and see a snake hanging there. He had climbed the snake! He was madly in love. On his way back, he reached the riverside and found that the log of wood he had held onto to cross the river was actually a corpse.

So love makes you blind. That is why they say, “Love is blind.” Are you blinded in love for God? It is not that you abandon your education, your duties or your family life, but that your inward focus is on the main goal.

When you are studying, think of God: “With his help I will be able to do better.” When partaking food, take it as Prasad. When you are walking around, or with your boyfriend or girlfriend, think that it is His grace that you have this companion in life. That’s all there is. In every little thing involve God, and then see what happens. Your life will be transformed in no time. One will not take advantage of another.

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This is possible when you have pure intentions. Sincerity. When you love someone what do you do? You go all out for him or her. You cannot waver or you will definitely lose her. You understand?

Cleaning

Q: How to improve the quality of my cleaning? Sometimes I don’t feel satisfied after cleaning. I am not confident that the cleaning has happened well.

DAAJI: So continue doing it! When your mother is serving you food, when do you get up from the table? When your stomach is full, unless you don’t like the food! For me, the real gauge of whether my cleaning was effective or not is that the heart should be satisfied. When you take a sitting from a preceptor, at the end of sitting how do you feel? A similar feeling should arise at the end of your individual cleaning. When you feel that your body has now become a vehicle, pure and simple enough to carry God, like a temple of God, then get up. The moment the thought comes, “My cleaning is not complete,” then continue.

Q: Speaking of restlessness and craving for evolution, there are times when I don’t feel the need for Realization and liberation. There are moments of doubt. How to create this craving more intensely and keep it alive all the time?

DAAJI: There will be moments when such intensity will reduce. At times it can become negative also. It is okay. Let’s not worry about it. When you have doubts, satisfy your doubts till your heart is content. There is no point having a doubt that is not resolved. Come to the end of it. When restlessness (teevrata) is not there, intensity is not there, what do we do at that time? At bedtime, pray to God, pray to Master for help, to develop the sort of restlessness to achieve the highest, to achieve Godly Realization. When everything else fails, our efforts fail, then that is the moment we invoke Godly help. Prayer is the last resort. Don’t use prayer for unnecessary things, again and again. Pray when you must, when you have no other alternative to reach the goal.

Bhakti

Q: How important is Bhakti? What is its relationship and dependence with the living Master? How to develop Bhakti and what is it’s role?

DAAJI: [laughs heartily] How to develop Bhakti? One of my friends has a dog named Bhakti, and I tell him, “Why do you call it such a nice name?” He says it reminds him of Bhakti. It is interesting that alone it cannot help us. We need to have a triangular approach. Swami Vivekananda has said that Karma Yoga, Jnana Yoga and Bhakti Yoga must come together. They must form a grand synthesis. You can have Bhakti for the Lord, where you love God, but you're doing nothing; you're not meditating, you're not doing cleaning, you're not doing service to your parents, your family and the society, and you're not even doing volunteer work.

Study is an effort. How to translate knowledge into action? Or, if I perform some action, how to arrive at knowledge? Knowledge is a result of having completed our Karma. When I make an effort, the consequence is that I learn something. The result of Karma is Jnana. And when I appreciate the result, Jnana, I remain grateful. And in this gratefulness, love develops, and that is Bhakti. It's a cycle – because I love, I end up acting.

Let me read you something from Reality at Dawn by Babuji:

“In fact, the stages of Karma, Upasana and Jnana are not different from each other but are closely interrelated and exist all together in one and the same state. For example, in Upasana, controlling of the mind is Karma, the controlled state of the mind is Upasana and its consciousness is Jnana; in Jnana the process of thinking is Karma, staying on the thought-out object is Upasana and the resultant state isJnana; while in Karma, the resolve to act is Karma, the process of bringing it into practice is Upasana and consciousness of the achievement is Jnana.”

Now, why must we act through Bhakti? I'd like you to download and read one book, Talks on the Gita by Vinoba Bhave. He describes the fourth chapter of the Gita in a masterful way, explaining that Karma plus Vikarma becomes Akarma. Now, to understand this, let's understand one thing:

What is Karma?

Karma means to act. And when you do something with a lot of love, what is the outcome? Akarma. And what is Akarma? Performing your Karma without gathering the impression of it.

We teach the same thing in Sahaj Marg. In the Heartfulness way, all the acts performed by us are dedicated to the Lord. We perform our actions in the loving remembrance of God. When we dedicate the fruits of our action to the Lord, we are not culpable. We will not form impressions, samaskaras, so we do not have the consequence of the action. Our Karma Phala will be zero. That is the message of the Gita.

When work is done with a lot of love for God, not love for the action, then impressions will not arise. Only then can we escape this cycle of birth and death. But most importantly, when we do things with love, they have more fragrance. Imagine a mother breastfeeding a baby and hitting the baby at the same time. Imagine a mother who is angry all the time and throws dishes at her son or daughter or husband. Would you eat such food? On the contrary, when love is there, in a conducive atmosphere of happiness and peace, love prevails and everything is automatic.

Now, compare the difference between fathers and mothers. When a baby is small, the mother will wake up in the night at the first cry of the baby and breastfeed or give formula. She does not write in her diary that she had to wake up at 2 a.m. But the father: “I woke up. I warmed the milk. I gave it to my baby. My night was disturbed. I woke up late and I could not go to work.”

When love is there, things happen naturally. We don't even remember we did something. It becomes automatic, like nature. And one of the dictums of Sahaj Marg is to be simple and in tune with Nature; our inner Nature. And if you expect a miracle, that somebody else will come and attend to the baby, then you're expecting too many miracles from God! Can you imagine that? What would you call that? So Bhakti means love, that's all. There is nothing fancy about it. Love. When you practise, when you meditate with a lot of love, it's Bhakti. Meditation without love remains a dry Karma, and it becomes a burden.

If you meditate to satisfy your parents, it’s a beginning. At least you're meditating! One day you'll become better. Anyway, there is no shortcut to develop love. Either you have it or you don't. And if you want to take a stepwise approach, meditate, experience, and let that experience create some liking for meditation. It's only love and a bit of practice and the person who transmits. After the master is dead, another master comes. After I'm gone, create a bond with the next fellow. Don't attach yourself to dead things. They can never help you.

Transmission

Q: How did Lalaji Saheb rediscover Pranahuti, and how does Pranahuti change everything?

DAAJI: I'm not in a position to tell you how he discovered it. No one really knows how they discover new things. It happens. When the apple fell, how did Newton find the gravitational law? The apple didn't come with the answer! Or Archimedes in the bathtub – a Eureka moment! He ran naked towards the palace. He didn't know how it happened. It happens all of a sudden.

I wish Lalaji was around so that he could answer your question. When he was 8 years old, he felt this first dose of Transmission, and he realised that he could use this flow of Transmission to help people evolve. That's all. And he started transmitting to the people on his street. And he found transformation in them and that gave him more confidence. Then he spread the system.

Student days

Q: What was your experience as a student with meditation? Did you face any challenges in your practice? How did you overcome them?

DAAJI: In every way there were challenges. Isn't it a challenge for you guys?

Meditation was a lot of fun for us. Because we were a group of 10 to 15, we took it like a game: let's meditate, let's do cleaning, let's go to the preceptor and bother him. Sometimes we were broke. There were days, at the end of the month when most of us were broke, “So let's go to our preceptor.” Aunty would give us samosa and coffee. It was a lot of fun. You can also do the same to your preceptors, but mention none of the above!

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[He chuckles]

But this is how to develop relations of all sorts. When you can be friendly, people try to help you. Preceptors play a major role in our spirituality. And there are also dud preceptors who don't move. Unless you go, they will not call you. You have to keep them busy and help them to give sittings. They forget they are preceptors sometimes. So we have to remind them!

Go quietly. We never misused them. They were happy. It never felt like tapasya. It was just enjoyment. There were a lot of surprises and a lot of joy. There was never any headache.

Q: We have friends with lifestyles very different from ours. What can we do to help them? And how can we explain things to them?

DAAJI: How to help, meaning how to make them meditate? How to convince them that spirituality is the way to go?

It’s very easy. We start with one. Do you always listen to your parents? Ask them about their frustration. Parents plead with their children, beg their children, and do all kinds of things to convince their children, but they don't listen. What makes you think your friends will listen to you?

When you get married you will see the same thing. There are many couples where one of them is meditating and the other is not, though they are husband and wife. The husband or wife will say, “You go and meditate,” but the beauty is when the two together meditate. Then it'll be wonderful. If your friends also meditate, it'll be tremendous for everyone. That will create a very special atmosphere. Whether you're in a hostel, or studying together in college, or you are colleagues in an office.

Now why does this need arise that my friend should also meditate? Is it really out of concern? Or is that whatever I am doing is right but my friends make fun of it? When the genuine need is there, that my friends should also meditate, tell them how you have benefited from this system: “Try it once. That's all. Try it once, for our friendships sake. If you don't like it, drop it.” If he is truly a friend, he will start.

And maybe he will still be here long afterwards! A friend of mine brought me into this system, and then he dropped out after one or two years. Anyway, these are the stories, and we enjoy them and learn from them. But trying to change others is very, very, very difficult. We can pray. If your friend has some bad habit, or has a problem, or is really sincere but the situation doesn't allow him to meditate, just pray. Never force. It spoils the relationship when you force someone to do something. Most problems result because of that.

Quietly wait and see. If you can wait, life will be happy. Wait for the right time. Most people who don't meditate know that they'll get something out of meditation. You don't have to tell them. They know that you're meditating, and they also know that the problem they have will probably be removed when they meditate. One of my friends could not sleep for three months. Mentally he was fresh, but physically he was tired all the time. So one day, when we were going to group meditation, he also asked if he could join, and I told him to come. He opened up to our preceptor and after the very first sitting itself he started sleeping.

Another friend of mine knew from our college days that we were meditating. Now, almost 35 years later, his life has become crazy. His blood pressure also shoots up. When I was visiting the US, he came to see me. And he started meditation. Imagine, after 35 years! In our college days, he used to make fun of us: “Yeh sab toh Paagal ho Gaye hai,” meaning “These people have gone crazy.”

There was a gang of us – 15 people. Sometimes we would go to the theatre for sessions from 12 to 3, 3 to 6 and 6 to 9, and then after 9 p.m. we would go to our preceptor for a sitting. Many such episodes later, I discovered that every time I went for a sitting after the theatre, my meditation was all over the place: “Why did she cry? Why did they go out so often?” and things like that. And the time came, in the theatre with my friends, when the screen would just blur and the Transmission would be so much that the whole theatre was full of Transmission. I would not be able to see anything, so I would quietly get up from the chair and wait for my friends outside. Two or three times it happened, and they stopped calling me after that: “He is a crazy fellow! Why waste money?”

But they were all still meditating, and they're still members of our Mission. Most them are preceptors in various parts of the world, and centres have developed in these places. And since 1979 or 1980, I have not been interested in seeing even one movie. It's not that I have to make an effort, I just can’t.

Anyway, if you can remain grounded within, if you can remain meditative, all unnecessary things will drop off. What is most vital will remain. Just remember this much. Thank you.

This day was greatly cherished by all the participants as the majority of it was spent in Daaji’s loving presence. Hearts blossomed more and more with the passing days as the magic of Kanha enveloped us. With contentment and bliss, we prepared for a new day in silence.

To be continued.