TAKING HEARTFULNESS MOVEMENT TO VILLAGES
In our heartfulness movement, all are welcome and encouraged to make heartfulness their own. When this feeling of apna pan or belongingness is there, we all work together as a family towards a common goal, serving humanity by working towards our Masters’ vision.
An abhyasi brother who is the District Collector in Mahbubnagar came to Daaji with the inspiration to introduce heartfulness to Sarpanches (village heads), Anganwadi teachers (pre-school teachers) and Asha workers (health workers) across all the villages in his district. Daaji was delighted and overjoyed by this initiative and asked him to invite all of them to Kanha Shanti Vanam itself.
As a result of this initiative 700 Sarpanches from each village of Mahbubnagar district came to Kanha in two batches of 400 and 300 on February 17th and 26th respectively. They stayed for a period of 5 days during which they were introduced to heartfulness and given exposure to essential oils, sustainable agriculture, and other practices which they could use in their villages. In other training batches at Kanha, both Asha workers and Anganwadi teachers from each of those 700 villages underwent a similar training and introduction to heartfulness.
This initiative driven by a single abhyasi resulted in Mahbubnagar district of Telengana becoming the first district in India with at least one resident in each and every village who received three introductory sittings. As Revered Babuji would say, ‘Every home should become a Centre of Light’.
During their stay in Kanha, Daaji interacted, conducted satsanghs and made everyone feel like Kanha was their home. He welcomed all of them to come again whenever they feel like and to bring their near and dear ones. It was touching to witness the love and care with which Daaji attended to everyone, wanting to ensure that anyone who came felt comfortable. All those who attended were touched by their Kanha experience and wanted to share this with their villages. Daaji assured them that heartfulness trainers would come to their communities to support their practice and introduce others too.
Even before the Sarpanch training seminars were over, Daaji was encouraging preceptors to set up a proper plan to visit and follow-up with each of these villages. It was lesson to all of us that it is not enough to introduce a person, we should strive to follow-up and ensure that every newcomer is heartfully enabled to continue and sustain their practice.
Daaji’s Interaction with Sarpanches in Mahbubnagar
Daaji was happy that the follow-up plans had begun but wanted to give it a further impetus. On March 11th, around 40 Sarpanches were invited to Mahbubnagar for an interaction with Daaji. Beloved Daaji travelled out for the day and spent time with these invitees and had lunch with all of them. He invited them to ask questions and share their thoughts and ideas on how to partner together to spiritually uplift their communities. During the day, while Daaji was resting, the Sarpanches broke out into small groups with heartfulness volunteers to brainstorm and plan how to implement heartfulness programs within their respective villages. The connection with each one of them was further deepened and many of them were hopeful of Daaji visiting their communities.
Preceptors from Kanha, Mahbubnagar, Hyderabad, Kurnool, Amarchinta, Gadwal etc. volunteered and soon made a plan to systematically visit all the 700 villages. Within a week, heartfulness sessions were conducted in around 40 villages. Preceptors were making road trips to new areas and were greeted warmly wherever they went. Sessions were arranged by the Sarpanches in temples, community halls, schools, and more. The place did not matter, what mattered was the inner experience, joy and peace that the simple, inspired hearts felt.
The response of the seeking hearts from the villages and the interest of preceptors in spreading the work of the Hierarchy delighted Daaji and he decided that he too would like to visit villages around Mahbubnagar.
16 Apr 2019 : Day 1 of Daaji’s Tour of Villages
Daaji left by road in the afternoon on 16 April to Mahbubnagar. In the evening he drove to ‘Jakkulapally’ a village around 60 km away from Mahbubnagar and reached by 6:30 PM. The village had a lady Sarpanch who gave him a warm welcome to her village. Around 300 newcomers were assembled for the session with Daaji. After a sitting to everyone present, Daaji spoke for a few minutes, with translation to Telugu done by brother Ramakrishna Malella [Ramkie]. Almost all of the villagers were Telugu-speaking but language was not a barrier; it was as if all our hearts kept melting in the inner silence. Daaji started his return by around 7: 30 PM but was requested by another village nearby to visit them too. He readily agreed and stopped over at a village named ‘Reddypally’ where almost another 150 newcomers were assembled quietly, ready to meditate. He conducted satsangh for all and assured everyone that heartfulness trainers will keep visiting them for follow-up sessions. He invited all of them to come to Kanha anytime they feel like. With this additional stop, Daaji drove back to Mahbubnagar by 9:30 PM after which he had his dinner and stayed overnight. It was a practical demonstration of the commitment required to do His work. The first priority for him is the work to fulfil the Master’s Vision and Mission.
17 Apr 2019 : Day 2 of Daaji’s Tour of Villages
The next day, 17 April, began early with a 2-hour road trip starting at 7 AM to reach a village called ‘Paspul’. The gathering at this village had been arranged in a temple with almost 200 newcomers assembled there. It was heartening to see that seekers from across communities and religions had gathered at a temple to meditate. No one had any objection nor did anyone feel intimidated to sit there. Once the eyes are closed, the Lord is within and the outside does not matter. Daaji conducted satsangh for half an hour and Ramkie spoke in Telugu to convey Daaji’s message to them. The satsangh was deep and many of the first time meditators were totally absorbed and finding it difficult to open their eyes.
A stopover was arranged in an adjacent village called ‘Panchdev Pahad’ as his next session was in the evening. During the stopover, Daaji interacted with the staff there and also met the volunteers and the preceptor team from Gadwal who would be following up with regular meditation sessions for villages in that area. He emphasised that we need to be available every week for sittings. It is only regularity of practice and sittings which will yield the desired result of inner change. Our sincere efforts and loving presence will attract the people and trigger the thirst which is a must in every spiritual seeker.
He left in the evening at 5:30 PM for a session at the village ‘Utkoor’ 40 km from Panchdev Pahad and reached by 6:30 PM. Immediately on arrival he started with relaxation followed by meditation for half an hour. Over 200 locals from different communities and religious backgrounds were assembled together and it was inspiring to see that everyone was deeply absorbed during the sitting. The relaxation commands were given in both Telugu and Urdu. Later a brother abhyasi conveyed Daaji’s message and invitation to visit Kanha Shanti Vanam in both languages. He was back on the road by 7:15 PM for an 80 km journey back to Mahbubnagar and reached by 9 PM. Yet another long day full of Journey and work.
18 April 2019 : Day 3 of Daaji’s Tour of Villages
On the 18th of April, Daaji was up and ready early to begin the day. His departure for the next village was scheduled at 8:30 AM. Before leaving the house, he gave a sitting to all those present. He was then on the road for a short journey of 20 km to the village ‘Kanayapally’. The session was arranged by the Sarpanch in a well-maintained temple with a nice hall. Over 250 newcomers were assembled in the temple hall, including many of Asha and Anganwadi workers. After conducting satsangh, Daaji took a few questions and answered them lovingly. Someone asked how heartfulness is different from meditating on the breath. He answered that when we meditate on the breath, it is like meditating on an awareness of breath, like an object whereas in heartfulness we meditate to get absorbed within ourselves and enter into a condition of samadhi. Another person said that he was not able to place where his heart was in order to meditate on it. Daaji replied, to meditate on the supposition of a divine light, in the area where you feel your heartbeat. The questions were simple and genuine and Daaji’s replies were filled with genuine care for them. He assured all of them that heartfulness trainers will regularly keep coming and they will continue to experience the benefits of the practice. He asked them if they would like to have regular sessions in their village. They all happily agreed and proposed 8:00 PM every Saturday.
In every village that Daaji went, the Asha workers and Anganwadi teachers who had been to Kanha earlier for training were present. The joy on their faces to see Daaji in their village was there for everyone to see. Few of them in this village shared with Daaji their wonderful experience of having been to Kanha and the difference heartfulness is making in their work in the village. Later he also interacted with the Sarpanch who shared the journey of development work happening in his village. He told Daaji that it is his desire to make the village into a model village and not just a model village but a model spiritual village. Daaji then started back for Kanha at 11:30 AM and reached after a 2-hour journey by lunchtime.
The three-day tour of the villages came to an end but the journey to fulfil the work continues.