Around 11 a.m. Luca Baldesi from Auroville, along with his friend Sunil Patrapati, met Daaji. Luca invited him to Auroville to give a talk. Daaji accepted the invitation and said he would speak on ‘The Evolution of Consciousness’.
Thereafter, a deep conversation ensued between Daaji and Luca. Here are a few snippets:
Is Knowledge Enough?
Daaji said, “You have to practice so that you can reflect on it, understand it to support the knowledge. Knowledge has to be supported with experience, otherwise, it becomes hollow.
“Aurobindo talks about consciousness from his perspective and personal experience. Other people may read about consciousness, but there is no actual practice to support this knowledge as an experience. And that is what is lacking – experience. You may have tremendous knowledge, but what happens as you evolve and your consciousness continues to change?
“The problem is that you are satisfied and content with one level of consciousness; it gives you a lot of comforts. Moving from one level of consciousness to the next higher level of consciousness involves a change, a transformation. That means you have to move away from your comfort zone. No one likes that. A few exceptional beings might say, ‘Okay, let me move further.’ But in most cases, though people like to evolve, they feel uncomfortable because evolution means constant, continuous change.
“We as human beings are hardwired, neurologically, to protect ourselves. That means we are not open to change. So evolution becomes difficult. But if you become flexible and accept everything as it comes then, as Babuji says, we become open to newer and newer changes. We need to welcome change, whereas usually, we feel disturbed by every little change in our lives.
“People think that meditation is peace. It is not. It is peaceful when you accept these changes, otherwise, you will be at the wayside.
“Consciousness is the same, whether Aurobindo talks about it or Babuji talks about it. Each one uses a different language as per their understanding. So we need to bridge the different understandings, that’s all. The merger is beautiful. Then acceptance is there, there is no contradiction. Once you build a bridge, there is no contradiction. Both are connected.”
Education – Traditional or Spiritual?
Referring to the Heartfulness Learning Centers, Luca wanted to know how spiritual education differs from the traditional system of education?
Daaji said, “You cannot move away from the traditional education system. If you don’t study according to the present education system, you cannot pass with degrees. Money is also important.
“So we offer spiritual practices to the students besides the traditional education. We try to increase their ability to observe and their level of intuition by creating a lot of interest, by inspiring them. And we offer these practices early in their lives: we guide them through relaxation before school begins. We also offer them the Brighter Minds program.”
Daaji narrated a humorous anecdote from Babuji’s times.
When someone asked Babuji about sat-chit-ananda, he replied, “Sat-chit-ananda is like a worm relishing cow-dung.”
Daaji went on to explain, “The cow-dung is bliss for the worm. That’s exactly how a Yogi enjoys the blissful state of sat-chit-ananda. The way a worm enjoys cow dung, a Yogi enjoys consciousness. He is trapped, he is addicted to consciousness. That’s not freedom.
“Babuji gave the example of children addicted to toys. As you grow up, you get addicted to computers and digital devices. Later on, you start entertaining yourself sensually. Just as a little child remains indulgent in toys, and teenagers in sensual gratification, a Yogi is addicted to consciousness.
“Babuji says we have to go beyond consciousness. Try to find what supports consciousness. Don’t depend on answers from anyone. Because even if so-and-so say that consciousness is supported by x, y, z, what is the use unless and until you experience it for yourself? We are strangers to our own selves, let alone others.
Experience Alone Can Teach
Daaji quoted another instance from Babuji’s life.
“Someone once asked Babuji, ‘Can you show me God?’ His brilliant answer was, ‘If I show you God, how will you know?’ So, the prerequisite is I must know something before I can approve or disapprove.”
One of the guests asked Daaji, “How to know?”
Daaji said, “Only your experience will tell you that this is it, there is nothing beyond it. Or you’ll come to know that there’s so much beyond all these things, and your journey continues infinitely. That’s the beauty of spirituality: there is no full stop.”