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Aug 12, 2022,Kanha Shantivanam

by: Kamlesh D. Patel

Highlights of the day..

Being Kind to Oneself

 

We hear about kindness so often. We expect kindness from others, but somehow we lack the resonance. We forget the Self, to extend similar kindness from our side, and we are also lost in so many things. We say, “To be kind is not my responsibility. God is there to look after everyone. Why should I interfere in His work?” But these are foolish arguments. If God was going to do everything for me, then why don’t I stop eating? Why don’t I stop going to college? Why do I educate myself? Why do I exercise? Why do I entertain myself of my own volition? 
 

Daaji arrived at the meditation hall at 8.55 a.m. for the inaugural session of the International Youth Seminar, ‘Rising with Kindness’. Around 9,500 youth from various countries and states of India had gathered in the hall and were waiting for the seminar to begin.

Daaji conducted meditation for the group for about 35 minutes, and thereafter solemnized the weddings of the following couples:

1. Mamata Venkat from the USA and Vishwas Subramanyam from Pune
2. Saraswathi Abbai from Kanha and Sukumar Swaminathan from Mysore
3. Ekta from Jalandhar and Prateek Tripathi from Prayagraj
 

Afterward, he gave a profound talk, gems from which are shared below.

Rising with Kindness 

Very dear friends, we at Heartfulness are honored to have you all amongst us at Kanha Shanti Vanam. It is a rare and privileged opportunity, especially since UNESCO has come forward with this brilliant topic of kindness.

A few months back, when the UNESCO representative, Anantha Duraiappah came here, he broached this topic in a very subtle way. He sowed the seeds of this conference at Kanha. And who else but the best, the youth, could be part of it? So, we are very happy to have you all here.

We hear about kindness so often. We expect kindness from others, but somehow we lack the resonance. We forget the Self, to extend similar kindness from our side, and we are also lost in so many things. We say, “To be kind is not my responsibility. God is there to look after everyone. Why should I interfere in His work?” But these are foolish arguments. If God was going to do everything for me, then why don’t I stop eating? Why don’t I stop going to college? Why do I educate myself? Why do I exercise? Why do I entertain myself of my own volition?

Expecting something from the Higher is a great blunder and the biggest excuse you can have. You fail in exams and say, “Oh, God failed me.” No! You failed yourself. Some people are very cruel. They say, “My father was not nice to me,” or “My professor was very strict with us. He is always failing the students.” That is again an excuse.

Kindness can be extended in many ways. Kindness towards oneself, kindness towards others – family, community – and kindness towards prakriti, nature. Does my heart move when I see a dog limping on the road? If I can count the ribs of a dog, that means it is suffering from malnutrition. Does my heart move on seeing such an animal? When I see someone cutting a tree, do I stop them or do I fail my duty in some way? 

So kindness has a long role to play, especially with oneself. Many people say, “Be kind to yourself.” That means accepting your strengths as well as your weaknesses. But that, too, is a Catch-22 situation. For example, you have to get up in the morning at 6 perhaps, do some exercise and study. If you say, “But I accept my weaknesses. Oh, I am so kind to myself. I need to sleep a little more,” what will happen? That’s not kindness, that’s fooling yourself. 

Kindness Is Compassion in Action

I often wonder what the difference is between kindness, that the world is talking about today and compassion. Where is the root of sympathy, empathy, compassion, and kindness? What is the difference? How does compassion differ from passion, for example?

All these, to me, are different forms of energy. When a seed is sown, it grows. It becomes a flower, a fruit, and the fruit is edible. Many people enjoy it. All these steps are an energy being transformed little by little. When you have a sympathetic heart, you are automatically going to become empathetic. Being empathetic means putting yourself in somebody else’s shoes and seeing how they would feel if you uttered certain words. How would your mother or father feel if you insulted them? Run it through your mind before you speak out. That is empathy. 

If you have a highly elevated level of consciousness, then you will prepare yourself ahead of time before you open your mouth. That is premeditation. When sympathy matures, when this energy is further purified, you become compassionate. Compassion is a quality of your heart. But is it enough to be compassionate? You see a sick person and your heart melts, “I feel so sad for this person’s sickness.” Is it enough or are you going to do something about it? Doing something about it after feeling compassion is kindness. To put it simply, to me, kindness is nothing but compassion in action. 
 

Daaji spoke for about 30 minutes. He then thanked K.T. Rama Rao, Minister for Municipal Administration and Urban Development of Telangana, for joining the inaugural session online and invited him to address the youth. The minister spoke for about 20 minutes and then answered a few questions from the youth. Daaji closed the session by inviting the dignitary to Kanha and then left for his home.

On his way home, he greeted hundreds of seekers who had gathered behind the meditation hall. He spoke briefly to the electronic media channels that had come to cover the international conference, and then, feeling tired, he left the venue.
 


The inaugural session was attended by several dignitaries, including Dr. Anantha Duraiappah from the UNESCO MGIEP; Khatija Rahman; Grace Moore; Dr. Meenu Tewari, Assistant Professor, University of North Carolina; J.D. Lakshminarayana, retired IPS; Tanya Maniktala; Joshna Chinappa, Indian squash player; and many others.

 

Between 7.30 and 8.25 in the evening, Daaji joined all the dignitaries who had come to attend the conference for dinner. The group included multi-Grammy Award-winning Indian music composer and environmentalist, Ricky Kej. A great conversation ensued between the dignitaries and Daaji at the dining table.

At 8.30 p.m., Daaji joined the Dil Se session with the youth and answered their questions. The question-and-answer session lasted for almost 40 minutes. As he was about to leave, he spoke a few parting words.

Youth — the Harbingers of Peace, Compassion and Kindness

"So tomorrow is the second day of the seminar. It’ll be exciting as we move forward. The great Ricky Key is also here for tomorrow evening’s entertainment, and I’m anxiously waiting for it.

I personally request all of you to maintain silence in your hearts, even while you’re talking. You may talk, but retain the calm and poised state of your heart. Don’t be in a rush. Don’t try to prove anything. You are here for a special purpose. Take this opportunity so that you can move forward with a better attitude towards life. We are not here to give you lots of information; rather, I would like you to go back as wiser individuals, more capable of making day-to-day decisions and leading a very purposeful and happier life.

Spread peace, spread compassion, spread kindness. Kindness is also reflected in considering how your very presence in a room can affect the environment. You know, there are some individuals who barge into the room and bang open the door. It's like a storm entering your room. In order to understand kindness and compassion better, try to understand what it is to be unkind. Think of that moment when someone else was unkind to you. Would you then be unkind to others?  

People blame the youth, but I find today’s youth to be far more excellent than in my time. Whenever I would talk about meditation in my time, in 1976, people used to laugh. Those were very difficult times. It’s a dream to see so many of you here, at least trying to meditate. So please take advantage of this moment. Sit quietly, and reflect within. To interiorize means to go deep within yourself, as deep as possible. You can harvest pearls and diamonds by going very deep into your consciousness.

The Heartfulness practice is all about reaching the deepest level of consciousness in a very natural way. Many rishis and sages did tapasya [penance] for years and months together, but they could not attain such states of samadhi as we are experiencing today, even on the first trial.

We are so fortunate to have such a Guide who is guiding us through Transmission. Each time you have a question, put it out just before you go to sleep and see how it gets answered by the time you wake up in the morning.

Thank you. Goodnight, everyone."

Daaji greeted all the seekers who were waiting to meet him and went home.
 

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