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A live journal of blessed activities in and around Kanha with Daaji

Simple tips to avoid making mistakes by Daaji


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Kanha Shantivanam 11th March 2024

Students from Shenandoah University, USA, who were in Kanha, were invited by Daaji for dinner. They were all assembled at his residence by 7 pm. Daaji came and met them.

During the discussion, Daaji said, “If we cannot love our own people and family, how are we going to love God, whom we have never seen? So Seva (service) begins at home. So if you really want to do seva, start it with yourself. Unless you perfect yourself, you can never do a justifiable service to anyone. Seva, to me, is something akin to preparing a person in such a way that he begins to do seva for others. He doesn't have to depend on you any longer”.

Srikanth Gundavarapu, the president of the Atlanta SEWA international organization, USA, met Daaji along with his family in the morning. Daaji took them for a walk around the garden and then settled for a brief conversation with them in his office.


There was a discussion on various diverse topics related to the Divya Janani program offered by Heartfulness, the belief system, worshipping God, temples, and many other topics. 


During the discussion, Daaji said, “If we cannot love our own people and family, how are we going to love God, whom we have never seen? So Seva (service) begins at home. So if you really want to do seva, start it with yourself. Unless you perfect yourself, you can never do a justifiable service to anyone. Seva, to me, is something akin to preparing a person in such a way that he begins to do seva for others. He doesn't have to depend on you any longer”.


Speaking of worries and complaints that people have, Daaji said, “People say it is good to obtain a Lotus-like condition where we remain unaffected. As in the case of lotus leaves, we are always interested in the fact that we don’t want the soiled or dirty water to touch the leaves. But let's remember that the good water is also touching the leaves and they remain unaffected by that too. People do not complain about the good stuff in their lives, isn’t it? So if you want to be untouched, it has to be both the good & the unwanted things in life.


Daaji then walked them through the guided meditation practice and conducted a meditation session for all present there from 10.26 am to 10.48 am. They all took a group photo with Daaji and then said goodbye to him.


Students from Shenandoah University, USA, who were in Kanha, were invited by Daaji for dinner. They were all assembled at his residence by 7 pm. Daaji came and met them. Petra Schweitzer introduced them all to Daaji and asked Daaji if they could present some music performances. There was some music performance by them, and then there was a session of questions and answers over dinner with Daaji. Virgilio played the violin, and Vivienne sang a song. 


Q: What advice do you have for somebody who's just starting their meditation practice with heartfulness? 


Daaji: Take a keen interest in observation. At least try to study your inner state of awareness before meditation and your state of consciousness after meditation, so that it can become a 24/7 affair. Then the practice drops once this constancy arises in us, and there is no need to practice meditation. It starts with a keen ability to observe what happens inside. Be more and more receptive as time goes by. It's like a cat waiting for a mouse. You have seen Tom and Jerry, right? So, learn something from Tom!


Q: I try to observe my emotions, observe whatever is happening, and I try to watch it from a distance. Also, I am worried since I have some heart-related issues from my past. My grandfather may have died of a heart attack. So I wonder if it is alright to combine the two, this observing that we do in the Vedanta and the Heartfulness practice. When should I do which one? How do I balance the two? How can we reach the goal that we are looking for? That's my main question. Thank you.


Daaji: We will begin to answer your queries from the end of your questions. How do we look towards the goal and keep moving? Take, for example, the case of mountain climbers. They don't know where they are going. For example, when going around the mountain in order to ascend, you need a mountain guide who can get you safely to the pinnacle. When it's very foggy, you don't even know what's happening ten feet away from you as you climb. Similarly, we have created so much fog in our consciousness that we don't see things clearly. 


We need to remove that fog inside. And that's why this cleaning process helps us. One may ask a question, How did this fog end up being in me? It's because of our parents. That is where it begins. They say, “Don't do this; don't do that. Worship this, don't worship that. Love these people, don't like these people. Stay away from them.” This is all a sort of indoctrination. 


So we have to come to a very neutral, unbiased state. In Buddhism, they call it the first fresh mind, which is unaffected by any bias.


Then, as you move on with this observation, you will realize that meditation and observation sync, and observation becomes actually a witnessing phenomenon. You may ask what the difference is between witnessing and observation. Observation is where your ego is involved. I want to see; I want to observe. It's an active process. Energy is involved in it. Witnessing is a passive phenomenon. And mostly, it is related to the heart. The best example of this is children. Even in an embryonic state, they are able to perceive, as witnesses, what is going on around them.  


They hear the sounds of parents, surroundings, music, parents playing, talking, etc. They are able to capture it and are witnesses to it. They don't know how to translate any word into their own feelings, but slowly they catch up simply by witnessing. They observe and keep absorbing things from all around them. So during that period when the witnessing is so strong, you have to behave properly. 


Even your thoughts and emotions will be picked up by the babies. At that tender age, one has to really, really behave properly around children. And that behavior just cannot come all of a sudden when you become parents. You have to cultivate it very early on. 


The Vedanta speaks of observation, and the Bhagavad Gita speaks of witnessing. You become better and better in being a witness as this fog is reduced in our system, from our mental plane and thus our consciousness. Meditation gives us focus; it gives us some level of energy to enter a different intuitive zone. 


Heartfulness cleaning removes all these hurdles, like you know you are trying to nurture a plant and you want to get rid of the weeds. So that's the part cleaning plays in our practice. Through cleaning, you are able to energize your main pursuit. You stay protected from losing your focus here and there. You become goal-oriented. 


Now, when you talk of goals, we cannot comprehend the ultimate goal with the consciousness we currently possess. You can see only up to a certain distance, based on the height at which you are standing. In order to perceive the higher level, we have to elevate ourselves through various practices, whatever they may be. That is how we will be able to broaden our vision. It is only thus that we are able to see more and more and more. 


So fixing the ultimate goal is very difficult. But we can have a temporary goal within our sight. We can determine that we would like to reach that goal and, from there, move on to the next level. Even if the ultimate goal haunts you and descends on us, we will not be able to recognize it. We are not ready for it. 


I started like you guys while I was in pharmacy college. We had a few of our friends meditating together. We had formed a small club-like thing in our dorm and also at the college. And we used to go often during our vacation to see the Master. That was our main occupation, actually. Pharmacy study became a side track for us once we began meditating with enthusiasm. Our main focus was on this practice.  


And most people used to ask, why are you guys not studying at all? I say, we are studying, but it's fun. We used to study just for play. And life actually becomes a play. When you become really meditative, your relationships also improve. They improve because your understanding is heightened.


 We conducted a study based on psychology with a view to learning something. This study was conducted on couples meditating together. Then, where one is meditating, another is not meditating. In the third group, none of them meditate, neither husband nor wife. The happiness factor was the best among the meditative group. The next one was with the couple, where none of them were meditating. We noticed that if you are just one in a couple meditating, then it's a life of hell. Suppose you are in a mood to meditate at 10 pm in the night, and your wife is ardently waiting for you. You say I want to meditate, or if you want to go for a group meditation, or if you want to sit aside quietly and contemplate, then you will find it easy if your spouse also has a similar penchant. There will be a certain amount of understanding and empathy. 


I often share this with couples; you know, you hold each other's hands and breathe at the same level. Inhale together and exhale together. Just do this simple exercise and see what happens, and meditate together. I think this bonding is indescribable. I recommend one book to you all. You may have already studied The Biology of Belief by Dr. Bruce Lipton. He shares wonderful examples of how meditation helps us thrive. 


I find that attitude changes everything. Even in student life, the attitude you have toward the subject that you are studying—if you love it, you will perform well. If you don't, just to get grades, you reflect on your scores. So to me, attitude is of greater importance than the practice itself. 


A little later, a group of seekers from Rajasthan came to Daaji to perform some Rajasthani folk music using typical instruments of music from their homeland. They gave him a walking stick with his name written on it and also a typical Rajasthani headgear (pagri) that did not fit him perfectly, but he still wore it with enthusiasm.


After the performance, Daaji smiled and asked the team to practice better and prepare for the next performance.


A little later, Petra then asked Daaji if they could take a few more questions, and Daaji answered a couple of them.


When asked about his journey, Daaji described his routine of regular practice, both in the morning and evening, alongside his professional responsibilities as a pharmacist. Despite his busy schedule, Daaji ensured to prioritise his meditation practice, often taking individual sessions with his preceptors beyond the recommended frequency. He recounted how he used his breaks during work to visit nearby preceptors for meditation sessions, cherishing the moments of connection over tea and discussions. Daaji also highlighted his deep interactions with his spiritual Master and successor over the years, emphasising the importance of maintaining one’s practice amidst other commitments.


Regarding his succession, Daaji shared how it came as a surprise, both to himself and to the world, as he hadn't anticipated such a role ever. He expressed his belief that evolution doesn't necessarily require giving up aspects of one's life forcefully; rather, focusing on the main aspect, such as meditation, naturally leads to the shedding of lesser priorities. Daaji emphasised the importance of remaining open and receptive during meditation, without rigid beliefs or preconceptions about the divine.


He suggested an experimental approach to understanding the impact of Heartfulness meditation, recalling a study he had conducted in Philadelphia involving various meditation practices. Daaji encouraged the young student to explore the intersection of science and spirituality, possibly forming a club to investigate the effects of meditation on human consciousness. Sharing his personal experience, Daaji advised against rushing from meditation to daily activities, stressing the need to maintain the meditative state for a few minutes afterward. He advocated for the habit of reflecting on one's meditation experiences, suggesting that over time, this practice could reveal an individual's growth trajectory. In conclusion, Daaji expressed his hope that the student would deeply explore Heartfulness meditation and learn Heartfulness polarity practice before departing.


Responding to yet another question from a youth, about feeling overshadowed by others' abilities, Daaji reassured the student that it's a natural occurrence. He advised the students to immerse themselves in their hearts, suggesting that when deeply connected to the heart, such as when they practice Heartfulness meditation, their actions, including playing the violin or any other work, would be elevated to a whole new level. Daaji illustrated this with examples, explaining how musicians and singers, when in a meditative state, can profoundly affect their audience, evoking emotions like tears or laughter. He shared anecdotes about his own Guruji, Babuji Maharaj, singing from specific chakras, demonstrating how it could influence the environment and atmosphere, such as singing from the water-related chakra, which would then affect the environment in such a manner that one would think it was going to rain! Daaji emphasized that when one sings or speaks from a place of love and peace within the heart, those qualities are transmitted through their music or voice. He encouraged the students to tap into their heart's depth, suggesting that the sincerity and purity of their expression would naturally shine through, regardless of the skill level of others around them.


After the wonderful session, both teams then posed for a group photo with Daaji. Daaji then distributed gifts to the students from Shenandoah University. All the hearts present there were filled with a lot of joy and gratitude for Daaji. 


Daaji then bid goodbye to all those present there and went inside.