October 2017, Kanha Shanti Vanam.
Wednesday, 25 October, morning.
Maxim 5 cont.
As the seminar continued, early mornings often found Daaji and the European abhyasis weeding the area around the lake behind the cottage area. This was followed by satsangh next to the lake in the open air, as the world woke up around. These were magical moments with Daaji.
On the Thursday morning, Daaji continued on with his series of talks on the Maxims after morning satsangh. He started by adding a couple more ideas about Maxim 5:
“Going back to the second paragraph in Babuji Maharaj’s commentary on Maxim 5, he briefly mentions that ‘The word Reality, as I have used it, does not also convey the true sense, as all feeling and perceptions end there.’ So when we focus on this, and try to understand that the field of Reality is where all the feelings end, it somehow relates to his statement in Reality at Dawn that where religion ends spirituality begins, and where spirituality ends Reality begins.
“Religion is all about beliefs and dogmas. When we transcend dogmas and beliefs, we enter the field of spirituality where we have some inkling, we start feeling the essence of Divinity. So now he reveals in Maxim 5 that when feelings end, when they have played their part, now we are in the field of Reality. This is just by the way for your broader understanding.
The choice is ours
“And the last two sentences in the commentary say, ‘They are really invaluable to us when they come as gifts (he is talking about miseries). Being overjoyed to have them, one is naturally inclined to express his feelings of gratitude for them.’ How to understand it? I tried a negative approach to understand this thing. If we treat them as gifts, great, but if we don’t treat them as gifts, let’s say we take them as curses, as punishment, then what happens? We are stressed out. Physiologically speaking cortisol goes through the roof, and cortisol elevation in the blood will create a lot of other havoc, like reducing our immunity, increasing heart rate, with so many stress factors, one thing leading to another. A simple thing: instead of taking it in positive way what happens when we take it in a negative way?”
“Now we move on to Maxim 6: ‘Know all people as thy brethren and treat them as such.’”
Then Daaji read out the full commentary on Maxim 6, following which he shared some thoughts:
“So our success here in spirituality depends on how well we dissolve our individual network, and that depends on how united we are, and that depends on brotherhood. I have some more thoughts on this idea to shed some more light on it.
“Looking at all these trees, we realise that the branches, the leaves, the flowers and the fruits are all nourished by the root system. Similarly, we are all nourished by God. If the branches, leaves, flowers and fruits had their individual consciousness perhaps they would fight for their individual enrichment and existence. The fruits would say, ‘I need more,’ the flowers would claim, ‘I need more,’ and the trunk would say, ‘I need more.’ The main branch would say, ‘I am supporting the rest of these branches, so I need more.’ So there would be chaos and that is what is happening with all of us. The main thing is forgotten and all these manifested branches fight and look different.
“Another example that comes to mind is seen in the many millions and millions of waves rising and falling in the rivers, oceans, ponds and lakes. Imagine they also start thinking, ‘We are all individual,’ whereas without the water underneath the waves are nothing. Water is one of the main things on this planet that exists in three forms. Who knows, there may be fourth and fifth forms also which we don’t realise. The main one is the water that we drink. Another one is ice. A third is water vapour. Snow is another form. Deep down, when we analyse any of these, it is only hydrogen and oxygen manifesting in different forms. Two elements manifesting in multiple forms.
“Then why not infinite Divinity? Infinity of God manifesting in infinity of forms, yet the essence of all is the same!
Always see others as greater
“Unfortunately, belief systems and dogmas, even systems like Sahaj Marg, at times can create fanatics amongst us. Even in such a small assembly, many of us think, “He is so good I have not reached there as yet.” But this in turn creates a class system. It separates us. Some of us may be entertaining the idea we are far better off than people who are not meditating. Sometimes we laugh at our relatives, friends and family members who are not practising Sahaj Marg. I think we have to re-look at our understanding and ourselves. There are many other beautiful systems. Let others follow what they feel like following. Respect and honour that. Let’s not become judgemental and critical, although we may say, ‘Oh! I would like you to also enjoy what I am enjoying.’
“But don’t they see what you are doing? They know it, but pursuing it with fanaticism will only distance others. The distance will increase between family members, friends and office workers. So if you like you can practise quietly, while at the same time magnifying your lifestyle to such a great order that you don’t have to say, “I am meditating, that’s why I am like this.” They have got to see why we are the way we are without us speaking about it. Let our actions speak. Let our lifestyle speak.
“So brotherhood can be created only when we respect others and trust others. When we look down upon others it creates problems. That is why Babuji gave such very beautiful advice: there is nothing wrong thinking yourself to be great, go ahead, have fun with your greatness, but always think the other person is greater. That will create a lot of harmony. To look down at others as insignificant and useless also creates this sort of problem.
“So I think that trying to carry out individualized existence, in a separatist manner, trying to be different, creates some sort of discord and destroys the harmony. I think that is why many systems somehow embrace external principles, such as external dresses for example. All brothers will wear red clothes or all sisters will wear red saris and all those who are wearing red are brothers and sisters. That is only external and it is too superficial, although all that redness does create some level of sameness in the energy field. But deep down we are trying to hide the differences. There is nothing wrong in having differences either, as long as we respect each other’s differences. And it is good to have differences. Differences enrich the entire system.
Value the experience of each and every abhyasi
“The experience of one individual at the third point may not be exactly the same as someone else. Yet another person may not feel anything on the third point, and that is also okay. Experiences will vary, opinions will vary; that too we must respect.
“As preceptors, when we give a sitting to four abhyasis who are seated in front of us, after the sitting we generally ask, ‘How did you feel?’ Each one will have a different answer. Sometimes the last one says, ‘I felt the same as the first abhyasi, and also that, and my dear sister what you felt, I also felt.’ You can understand why he is being so political. His intention is good but he is not being authentic and truthful. It is good to have different experiences. Somebody might say, ‘I felt cleaning happening at such and such a point.’ Another person says, ‘I received transmission at such and such a point.’ Someone else says, ‘I felt that during the first half of the sitting there was lot of transmission. In the second half there was lot of cleaning.’ Another person says, ‘Oh! I thought the preceptor went to sleep. He did nothing.’ Sometimes there might be placebo sittings. You never know.
“So all the opinions and ideas and observations that we receive from abhyasis are all perfect, all great, all correct. We are asking for their observation. When I spray water on different types of ground, each one will respond differently. You spray water on green marble, you spray water on red marble, and it will have a different response. We all carry different samskaras. We all will have different experiences in response to the same transmission and to the same cleaning. In such matters, sometimes a person feels, ‘That fellow is feeling so good, I am not feeling so good.’ We should not compare. That is why Babuji used to discourage abhyasis from discussing their experiences amongst themselves. If you understand only this much, that his or her experience can be different from mine, then it is perfectly fine. Somebody says, ‘I felt something on the thirteenth point and I felt the presence of Lord Krishna today touching my forehead with his feather.’ All right you are blessed but all throughout my sitting I was watching the movie, Titanic. It can happen and there is nothing wrong in expressing what exactly you feel.
“Now, experience does not make anyone great or small. Some people hallucinate: ‘I had communication with Meera.’ Great! I wouldn’t say anything further and need not also. People who really communicate will never talk or boast. They will be quiet. They are so humble and that’s why to such humble souls great souls visit. If you broadcast, you are only broadcasting your ignorance and foolishness.
Now am I attacking another brother or sister? No, I am not doing that, I am just cautioning. Let’s not commit such mistakes and start belittling ourselves, ‘Oh! I am not feeling this.’ No one is feeling that. So we should not create a hierarchy within our group. We already have so many differences between Canadians, Danish, Germans. The differences are superficial, so let them remain superficial differences. Likewise with experiential differences, and likewise somebody is staying in the dormitory, somebody is staying in a tent, and somebody is staying in an apartment; these are all too superficial to worry about.
Be open and supportive rather than judgemental
“Now I would like to touch upon something very important. You all know that our Mission has undertaken a spiritual movement all throughout the globe. All our sisters and brothers are so active, and some of the volunteers are really making a big difference with our Sahaj Marg Spiritual Movement. When the activities are happening with so much of intensity, newcomers come, newcomers go, old rookies come and old rookies disappear, and while we work there will always be differences in our approach.
“Also, when you say Heartfulness is offering, or Sahaj Marg is offering, or Shri Ram Chandra Mission is offering meditation, it’s perfectly fine. We use these terminologies – Shri Ram Chandra Mission, Heartfulness or Sahaj Marg – depending upon the country, the city, the psyche of the people and their overall circumstances. Is there any difference? In reality, no. It is like you wear appropriate attire to match with the society, that’s all.
“I have shared this example when in an orthodox Indian state in a very liberal city, we had conducted an Open House. ‘Shri Ram Chandra Mission invites …’ and banners were placed all over the suburban area. These guys were waiting to beat up our volunteers. They said, ‘We will not allow you to conduct meetings in this place.’ So our volunteers asked, ‘What is the matter with you?’ And the conversation led to this one word – Mission. ‘You guys are spreading Christianity here.’
“So you may not expect such ignorance or problems in India. Some colleges think we are Hindu because it is Shri Ram Chandra, who they associate with Lord Rama of Ayodhya. So in order to avoid some level of controversy we use Heartfulness. Is there any difference? There is no difference at all. When we speak, when we do our spiritual work, it is transmission. Is there anything different here? Not at all. Yet some functionaries still have this misunderstanding that Heartfulness is different, Shri Ram Chandra Mission is different. We are only re-presenting our essence.
“Some people say Sahaj Marg now does not believe in giving three sittings. If you guys knew the history, Babuji would give one sitting, that too long distance, and say, ‘You are done. You can start practising from tomorrow.’ He would sometimes give sittings to twenty persons and he allowed a lot of preceptors to do this work remotely as well. Danish abhyasis will recall how sister Kasturi and some other preceptors used to directly take care of them. Somewhere in between it had to be stopped because of some issues, like abhyasis making pre-arrangements with preceptor and saying, “Every Friday at 10 a.m. I would like to have a sitting from you.’ So they would make a pre-arrangement, and what would happen? Sometimes the abhyasi would forget or the preceptor would forget and the sitting would go on, sometimes with both not sitting. Master was quite upset and he stopped this process. Nowadays it is enough to make a phone call and as long as someone is giving you a sitting and you are receiving it, it is perfectly fine. Making use of new technology, we are not doing anything wrong. We are not changing the system.
“Nevertheless when remote sittings were encouraged during Babuji’s time there were many reasons. There were not many preceptors in overseas countries, so to facilitate this process he allowed remote sittings. Now unfortunately remote sittings are taken advantage of by both lazy preceptors and abhyasis who are not very sincere about the whole thing. It may sound very humorous – in one apartment building on the twelfth floor a preceptor calls another preceptor who is on the tenth floor, “Please give me a sitting.” This is what I call abuse. The best sittings are always person-to-person, face-to-face, physically present. The rest is for convenience, so we compromise.
Nurturing the future
“Now, on the administrative side, I would like to make a request to all functionaries in Europe to find your successors. Recommend and prepare young ones so that there can be some sort of a different approach. It is not that what we have been doing and what we are doing is wrong. No. We need to create a new generation of administrators. It is not that you will get retirement either. In spirituality there is no retirement! When we are relieved of administrative work as a functionary we will be able to do more spiritual work. Look at it from that perspective. So functionaries should not think that they are being demoted or humiliated. No, not at all. You will have a higher responsibility of doing spiritual work. Instead of giving sittings for half hour or doing Nature’s work for half hour, now you will have plenty of time. At the same time we are establishing some sort of continuity, new blood, new spirit, new dynamism.
“Now should you recommend all these things today? No. Take your time. When your heart feels that you should recommend a person, recommend. That does not mean we will okay it, but your recommendation will be appreciated.”
To be continued …