TRAVELS AND CONVERSATIONS WITH DAAJI, 27-30 May 2019
Travels with Daaji in Maharashtra
Kolhapur, Miraj, Sangola & Solapur
Monday,27 May 2019
After conducting meditation in the morning, Daaji left Satara for Kolhapur. In between, he stopped and conducted meditation at an abhyasi’s shop in Karad, and on the way out he noticed that they had a statue of Lord Krishna in a glass case kept on the floor. Immediately he pointed at the statue and asked them to elevate the statue so that it is not being touched by people’s feet.
Upon reaching Kolhapur, Daaji went to rest at a hotel, and at 5:30 p.m. he visited an ashram that was donated by a family. Though he was tired, he graciously accepted their requests for him to walk around and see the entire place.
By 6 p.m., Daaji arrived at the huge theatre-style hall which was at full capacity. After satsangh, he gave a talk and answered questions. The session began with Daaji asking, “How many of you have read the book, Towards Infinity?” He said, “Towards Infinity and Efficacy of Raja Yoga are the books that give a road map to our infinite journey, where we need to reach. I request all of you who are very serious about practice to please read these books.”
While talking about spiritual evolution, he said, “Don’t become slaves to likes and dislikes. You have to rise above all this. Saint Kabir or Saint Rahim says,
Chaah gayi chinta gayi manva beparvaha
Jinko kachu na chahiye wo sahensah ka sah “
which means, ‘If your wishes end, then your worries will also end, and your mind will be carefree. One who needs nothing is the king of kings.’
“That’s why our Sahaj Marg prayer takes us in that direction. Don’t keep any wishes. Don’t be slaves of wishes. That’s why Babuji has given a simple solution: fix your goal and keep distance from wishes.”
He answered many questions from the audience, including:
Q: Do enlightened people exist in today’s world?
Daaji: An enlightened person may exist but will not know about it, so can’t tell people about it. They are like a drop of water that has merged in the ocean, where there is no longer any drop left to speak of the ocean. So stay away from people who claim to be enlightened or realized beings.
Q: What attitude should one have in approaching God?
Daaji: One needs to develop an attitude of emptiness, which can create a vacuum in your heart, which can attract divine Grace. Approach God with absolute childlike innocence and a desire-less heart.
Q: Even when we know some things are not right, should not be done, we still end up doing them. How to end this?
Daaji: The first step of Sadhana Chatushtaya is to bring in Viveka, a sense of discrimination, between right and wrong. Constant remembrance of the Lord in the heart protects one from faltering.
On the way back to the hotel, Daaji was asking about the satsangh. In response, a brother was describing his observations, and asked Daaji how to achieve a particular state of mind. Daaji said, “Surrender to God, surrender to abhyasis and serve.”
Tuesday,28 May 2019
From Kolhapur, Daaji left early in the morning. On the way, he stopped by a place called Miraj. They had rented a public hall for satsangh, so he conducted meditation from 9:15 to 10 a.m. The hall went completely silent as everyone was instantly drawn inwards. After such a deep meditation, there was truly nothing left to say. Within ten minutes, Daaji was in the car and on the way to the next destination.
The area between Miraj and Sangola has been thirsty without rains for the last 7 years. The suffering of people was visible, reminding everyone of the need to conserve water. Sagar was the navigator for this part of journey, and the discussion turned towards how mantras have been used in the past for curing people. He enquired whether mantras carry special energies. Daaji pointed out that everything depends on the sankalpa. The sankalpa of divine personalities does carry divine will as an acting force, materialising the intention. He spoke about Kunti, from the Mahabharat, and how she utilised sankalpa in her life. “Her Niyogi conception is well known. The fact of the matter is that through her spiritual powers she could attract different godly powers in an awakened state into her womb. At that time, the spiritual willpower was in such an advanced state as to turn every power of Nature into something alive.”
By lunchtime, we arrived at a hotel in Sangola. Daaji immediately conducted satsangh, and afterwards proceeded to have lunch and take rest for the afternoon. By 4 p.m. we were back on the road.
The next stop was a place known as Kasa Gaon, where Daaji visited a farm. He sat underneath a beautiful peepal tree, and without even saying “please start” he naturally closed his eyes and everyone followed suit. The sounds of nature enveloped us and provided a serene backdrop for our meditation.
Whenever we are around Daaji, even when we don’t speak with him there is so much to be learned by his mannerisms and behaviour. When he was introduced to the owners of the farm, he made sure they had chairs to sit next to him. When the chief introduced his mother, an elderly lady of royal decent, Daaji immediately stood up, greeted her and made sure she had a chair to sit in. It was such a lesson for all of us in etiquette and humility.
He stopped by to visit the chief’s home, followed by an abhyasi’s home where fresh mangoes, grapes and raisins from the farm were served to all the travellers.
By evening we reached Solapur. Daaji went for a quiet walk around the ashram. He stayed in the cottage overnight.
Wednesday,29 May 2019
In the morning, Daaji rose early. When he went for a walk around 5 a.m. he was surprised to see people from the centre already awake and engaged in volunteer work! He took some time to walk with them.
At 7:30 a.m. he conducted satsangh, after which one brother gave a brief welcome and talk. In the extreme heat of Solapur, there was another satsangh at 12 p.m. creating some cool and calmer air!
At 6 p.m. Daaji conducted another satsangh at the Solapur ashram, after which he spoke and conducted a Q&A session. He then asked the kids to do another Brighter Minds demonstration. There was a very positive response and intent to take this program forward in the Solapur area government schools.
Daaji was invited by Dr Rajdenra Bharud, IAS, the CEO of ZP Solapur, for a dinner meeting at his official residence, which was attended by many government officers. They were all seated on the ground in front of Daaji. None wanted to sit on the chairs. The traditional aspects of Maharashtran culture were quite visible. Dr Bharud gave a nice welcome speech and introduced Daaji, requesting him to conduct a meditation session and also address the gathering.
Dr Bharud started Heartfulness Meditation hardly three months back, yet one can witness that he has taken to it like a fish in water. One could see how taking Heartfulness up diligently can bring about quick individual transformation. Here are some excerpts from the question and answers:
Thoughts during meditation
Q: How to handle thoughts during meditation?
Daaji: Usually thoughts during meditation are about our day-to-day problems in life, and it’s okay to have them, as only then can we find solutions to these problems. So when thoughts arise during meditation, just note them in your diary, that’s all, and slowly they will stop bothering you. Imagine if the thoughts related to your problems stopped coming. How would you ever solve the problems?
Q: Sometimes one doesn’t feel like meditating. Why?
Daaji: Usually this happens when one is not able to do the night-time prayer or evening cleaning properly. But sometimes if one wilfully tries to meditate even when one doesn’t feel like, Nature helps and it may turn out to be a beautiful meditation. Convince yourself that though you do not feel like meditating for the full time, you will try it for 5 minutes at least. See what happens next!
Q: We become whatever we meditate upon. So when we meditate on our heart what are we becoming?
Daaji: We are not meditating on the heart but on the presence of Divinity in the heart. So we automatically start imbibing divine qualities as we meditate day after day.
Q: Regarding spirits, one lady was complaining about being disturbed by one.
Daaji: Spirits become so because of some unfulfilled desires, and they hang around to fulfil them. Spirits need love, and Transmission helps them settle down. It can be done by abhyasis too, by just giving this thought that “The transmission is coming from my beloved Master and is soothing the troubled spirit.” It works.
Q: How should one write a diary?
Daaji: Read Babuji’s Autobiography Volume 1. It provides a good example to follow. Note what you felt or, if nothing, write “I felt nothing.” That’s also an observation. Write about your condition, the thoughts you get, dreams you see, the mood you are in etc.
Q: How do I help my husband and my son to become abhyasis?
Daaji: Leave them alone. Don’t force them, pray for them. Do your practice properly.
Q: What is real service towards you and the Mission?
Daaji: There should be life in your service, do it with your heart, whatever you do, without the intention of receiving anything.
Q: What is the meaning of “Where religion ends, spirituality begins, where spirituality ends reality begins…”?
Daaji: Religion gives us knowledge that God exists and is everywhere, but spirituality helps us experience it. Reality means to feel or see things as they are, to be able to visualise the fruit of action before the action. Then slowly, we go beyond experiencing to becoming.”
The magic of pranahuti
Later on he said, “In this Sahaj Marg system, you need to bring balance in both the spiritual and material worlds. Don’t delve so much in the material world that you ignore your spiritual responsibilities, and don’t delve so much in spirituality also that you lapse in your responsibilities towards your parents and society. You have to combine both. And here we have pranahuti, and because of it practice becomes much easier. And the spiritual journey from one chakra to another chakra to a third chakra to a fourth, becomes very easy. And at each chakra, our consciousness keeps changing and we experience it here.
“The lady preceptor from whom I took my first sitting was illiterate. The Guru was somewhere else, in Shahjahanpur. I thought, ‘If the preceptor herself is so spiritually capable, how would the Guru be?’ So, after a year, when I had summer vacation, I got a chance to meet him. The experience there was something else. Nobody here tells you, ‘Do this, do that.’ Just meditate and do cleaning in the evening and in the night before going to bed, pray and then sleep, that’s all. Just do these three things. The rest happens on its own. This is the magic of pranahuti or Transmission. You can ask anyone to do meditation but unless there is assimilation of Transmission, you cannot meditate.
I used to meet my Master again and again. Whenever I got a vacation or an opportunity, I would go to him.
When I got a job, I told him, ‘Saheb, I got a job.’
The first question he asked was, ‘How much will you make?
I told him, ‘I will get Rs. 700 – that was in 1980. I was very happy with Rs. 700 also.
He said, ‘How will you manage with 700?’
I didn’t take up that job. Within a few months, I had an opportunity to visit the US, and then. I settled there. That was a turning point in my life. I started many drug stores in New York City after going there.
“While I was doing all this, I kept doing my morning meditation, evening cleaning, and during the day, while doing the work, the meditative state which was granted during meditation would enliven. Soon that state would remain, uncorrupted. I was always absorbed: on one side drawn inside and at the same time looking after the job. It happens together and it is because of practice supported by Transmission. You become an expert in this within a few months.”
The day ended quite late in the night. Daaji decided to return to Kanha the next day.
Thursday,30 May 2019
The short one-week travel ended very quickly. In the early morning Daaji conducted satsangh and started the 6-hour journey from Solapur to Kanha. He was back in his apartment and looking quite relaxed, mentioning that the travel was good.
He shared a simple insight:
“The Heart Region is the play of ‘likes and dislikes’.
The Mind Region is the play of ‘yes and no’.
In the higher regions, it is the play of ‘Him and the I’.
In the Central Region it is nothing: ‘It is the realm of “no-things!’”
Originally there was a plan for Daaji to stop midway and take a 1-hour lunch break. Hoping that they could join him during the break and then head back home, a few cars filled with youth from Solapur followed him. To their surprise, Daaji completely skipped the planned break. Instead, he seemed determined not to waste time and was bolting back to Kanha.
In between, as if he could sense our needs, Daaji made a quick 10-minute stop at a hotel, ordering idlis and vadas for all those who were travelling. After he had finished eating, he made sure everyone had food to eat before excusing himself from the table. Before we even knew it, he was in the car and on the way home!
The group of 10 to 15 youth, who had initially planned to stop halfway and head back to Solapur, followed the entire way. So Daaji invited them all for dinner. Towards the end of the evening, he enquired how they were going to go back, whether they had enough space in the cars, etc. He advised them to leave early the next morning, so as to reach home before noon and avoid the mid-day heat.
Daaji’s concern for his guests and his etiquette is truly awe-inspiring. It reminds one of the way Babuji described Lalaji in the introduction to Truth Eternal where “His gracefulness was an outward expression of his inward harmony of soul.”