TRAVELS AND CONVERSATIONS WITH DAAJI, 31 July 2019
Wednesday, 31 July
Do you believe in God?
During the day, everyone prepared to move from the Paramdham Ashram to the campus of the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, where preparations were in progress for the Conference on “Elevating Consciousness Through Meditation for Global Harmony” that would be taking place from 1 to 3 August. Prior to this, on 31 July evening, an event was held in the IIMB auditorium, entitled, ‘Heartful Leader: Design Your Legacy,’ for around 300 CXOs, institutional heads, thought leaders and influencers. The event was opened by the Director of IIM Bangalore, Professor G. Raghuram, and an introductory address was also given by Professor Ramnath Narayanswamy from IIM Bangalore. Participants were present from around the world to explore aspects of conscious leadership.
Daaji started his presentation by introducing the idea of meditation and God: “In spirituality, the thought that we entertain in our heart during meditation is a thought on the presence of Divine Light in our heart. Then, prayerfully, we wait for the experience. God has never been lost, so to say that we are searching for God is not correct. When our conviction in God is so rock solid, why do we even need to say that we believe? When we see the stars and the sun and the moon, do we say, ‘I believe in them’? Do we say, ‘I believe in the moon’? We don’t, because we are so sure of it.
“We say we believe in God only because we are not very sure. And how to make His presence a surety, a solid conviction in our heart? God is not going to display himself or herself in the way we worship. … Why is Mother Kali portrayed with immense darkness? I will try to share the hypothesis I entertain in my heart. Why do we call her mother? Because she’s the Creator; the one who gives birth to the Universe. What was there prior to the Universe, when there were no galaxies, no stars, and no planets? Without stars there was only darkness. The Source of this creation is darkness. So our sages and seers conceptualised her in true visual graphics – darkness, the symbol from which everything originated.
“And when the Big Bang happened, imagine what it would have been like. Even if a bomb blasts next door, your ears will deafen, you’ll be scared, and there will be violence. So they portrayed that initial Big Bang as such a volatile, such a violent outburst. They portrayed her in that form. That’s all. It’s a symbol. She can manifest at any time if a person has the willpower and the prayers. She would manifest in front of Ramakrishna Paramahansa at will. You must have also heard the stories in the Mahabharata where, at will, Kunti could invoke the presence of the Sun God and the Wind God. They had that level of power because of their level of purity.”
How to practise Heartfulness Meditation
Returning to the topic of meditation, Daaji continued: “This method of meditation is very simple. We have to do nothing. And that can become a problem. Everything is done by the Master or Guru. He transmits, and we witness the impact of this Transmission in our heart. You need not believe me, as you will experience it for yourself. What is this Transmission and how does it operate in your heart? To understand that we will meditate now with Transmission, so that you can experience for yourself how it can shift your consciousness. So first go inward and see how you feel now, so that you can compare ‘now’ with what is going to happen later on after the meditation. Then you be the judge. It is this Transmission that will take us from one level of consciousness to the next. And the next time we meditate together, tonight or tomorrow, this Transmission will take us to the next stage. That is how this infinite journey continues, from one chakra to another chakra, from one yogic plexus to another yogic plexus. And at each chakra, consciousness will be of a different order. There is a galactic shift when we move from one chakra to another. So it helps not only to be receptive but also to be very sensitive.
“These things can be developed only if you have interest. If you have no interest, this is not for you. But even if you are not interested, I request you to give it a try, and see what you have to see.”
Daaji then guided the audience through Heartfulness Relaxation and Meditation.
How to nourish the soul?
Afterwards he invited the audience to join him again at 7 a.m. the next morning, wherever they happened to be, for meditation, to experience that Transmission can be received also remotely. Then he asked a rhetorical question: “What is this Transmission we are talking about? There are references in the Vedas and Upanishads to pranasya pranaha, meaning that which supports your own prana; that which nourishes your soul.”
He went on to explain how each of the human bodies gets nourishment, including how to enrich the soul. “When pranahuti touches our heart deeply, it is akin to a tree that has faced two summers without rains in between suddenly receiving rain in the third year. With the first rain, the tree starts blooming; a tree that is almost dead coming to life. That’s what happens to the sleeping soul with pranahuti.”
After describing the states of Yoga Nidra and Samadhi that some of the audience experienced during the experiential session, he continued, “Samadhi in Heartfulness is very different, because at times we are so absorbed while also remaining aware of everything around. That’s the beauty of it. It is what is traditionally called the Turiya state. Let me explain it to you scientifically. When they measure brain activities using EEG, there are changes in the brain according to fast thinking, slow thinking, or no thinking while sleeping. The synaptic firing creates the electromagnetic field, which can be measured by an EEG machine. Children think very fast, producing fast brainwave frequencies, 30-40 Hz. During sleep it is 3 to 4 Hz, Delta wave frequency.”
Turiya and Turiyatit
“If you experience Delta wave frequencies while you are awake, it means you are as relaxed as during sleep, but you are fully aware. This mental relaxation akin to sleep, while aware, is the Turiya state. This easily happens in Heartfulness Meditation. Even the first time you meditate, you can achieve this Delta state.
“But the idea is not only to have this Delta state during meditation. Such a relaxed state should also be there during our day-to-day activities. We may be making coffee, doing the dishes, or ironing clothes; involved in a business deal; having an argument with someone; yet we are so calm and peaceful inside. In the Shastras this is called the Turiyatit state.”
Conditioning and Heartfulness Cleaning
“How is it that most of us are not able to feel that in day-to-day life? There are many reasons behind it. We need to remove the impact of our conditioning. This happens through the Heartfulness practice of Cleaning. Day-to-day activities can create stress and anxiety, or too much excitement. There were days when I would work in the pharmacy, starting work at 8 a.m. and coming home by 10 p.m. dead tired. As soon as I would reach home, close my eyes and do the Cleaning … it is very simple. Cleaning is getting rid of all the complexities and impurities that I have knowingly or unknowingly created within myself during the day. And allow them all to escape from the back in the form of smoke or vapour. That’s all.
“Right after cleaning, one feels totally fresh. People who are properly initiated into the Heartfulness Way are enabled in such a way that this Cleaning process becomes very easy. You close your eyes, make the sankalpa, and there you go. It’s as if you turn on the faucet, water is going out and the tank becomes empty. You’ll feel it, after 20 or 25 minutes, depending on your will, your sankalpa. The finer the will, the faster the process. A forceful attitude will not help. Be very gentle, calm and prayerful: ‘May these complexities go out the back of my system.’ That’s all. The finer the will, the better the impact.
“Let me explain to you the process of conditioning. You have seen elephants in the circus, and walking on the roads nearby. To condition an elephant, they tie the feet of the poor animal to four chains or four logs; they condition it so heavily. Later on, a small rope tied to a plastic chair is enough to make it docile and stand in one place, because now it is conditioned. It feels that it has been restrained. In a circus, the elephant could bring down the entire tent if it wanted, but it has become docile, it’s conditioned. Our life has also become extremely conditioned because of so many factors. And because of this conditioning, we make choices in life. But when we de-clutter, de-condition, remove all the complexities from our system, we are able to make the right decisions. In management, making the right decisions is very important.”
The qualities of a leader
“I’ll now take you to the other side of the main topic for this evening’s conference, from leadership to legacy, becoming legends in your own fields. The whole statement is absurd to me. Why? I have heard from my Master that if a spiritual guru thinks he is a guru, he’s no longer a guru. The very thought is so poisonous; the very idea that ‘I am so-and-so’ is enough to finish us. It’s like putting two drops of lemon into a gallon of milk. It will become yoghurt. This thought, however gentle, will destroy us.
“Now, if you think you’re a leader and you try to become a legend, you’re invoking your ego – ‘I am leading 5,000 people,’ ‘I am getting 10,000 people’ – it will not work. Most leaders are actually followers, following their hearts, and listening to their colleagues. They are heartful; they are empathetic. Professor Ramnath already emphasised the need for emotional intelligence. I’ll share with you a research study done in the US, where they studied the mortality rate of patients attended by male physicians versus female physicians. They found that even if you are in good hands, if you are looked after by a female physician there is a better chance of recovery by a margin of 12 to 14%. The figures are alarming! They also discovered the reason: empathy. This research helped us to start Continuous Medical Education (CME) Programs for doctors and nurses in the US.
“We sensitise their hearts to be more empathetic through practice, not by lecturing. Those days are gone. Lecturing will not work. Creating circumstances and creating inner conditions in such programs allow the participants to become something. In Yoga, we use a sankalpa: ‘May this person become ….. within this timeframe.’ Along with the sankalpa of the Guru, if the disciple is also willing, restless, open and generous – generous enough to identify and let go of his or her defects, and submit that ‘My Lord, I need help,’ that’s all is needed. That’s all that is required from the shishya. When the heart cries out that ‘I really need to change,’ then help comes immediately. Transformation begins once we recognise our defect.
“An unwilling person who thinks, ‘I am perfect,’ cannot change. Meditation highlights our defects. Meditation is like a mirror. When you close your eyes for half-an-hour, you will go through so many things. You may discover some decisions that you have to make to do your business work as well. … When ideas come during meditation, they will come as flashes, and you will be able to decide ‘not this, not this, not this,’ and the right thing will emerge out of that.
“The heart is a beautiful guide. The heart never misleads us. Often we remain confused by choice. The mind says something and spoils everything. Your heart has already signalled you, but you don’t want to follow the heart. That’s why the confusion. You try it again and again, again and again, it will not happen.
“And what is this evolution of consciousness we are talking about? What is consciousness anyway? A simple understanding is that consciousness is the ability to perceive, the ability to be aware; it’s a spectrum of perception. To what extent can I perceive, and to what extent can I not perceive? It is a whole spectrum of perception. And what is this consciousness that is influenced by my thinking? If I have a habit of negative thinking, ‘This will not happen if I do this,’ what will happen to your consciousness, meaning your perception. You will withdraw yourself. Your energy will not go in that direction because you have started thinking in a very negative way.
“So if your manas, your mind, is negative, your consciousness will shrink; likewise, intellect. Intellectualising and dissecting things is good, but better is to be wiser, intuitive. Then you do not have to dissect anything, because your intuition will lead you to the right thing. Let me share with you my own personal experience of thinking.
For months at a time I would keep on wondering about a situation in life that could not easily be solved. It would remain like a thorn in my head. Dear ones like my mother, wife and children would notice me, thinking, “Something is wrong with this fellow.” After being fed up for a months, my wife would ask me, “What’s wrong with you?” Then I would spill whatever I had in my mind, and she would come instantly with a solution. It has not happened once or twice; all the time it happened like that. The female heart works differently than the male brain. Men are more logical, whereas women use feelings.
“So the idea of meditation is to allow manas to move from thinking to feeling. Also, allowing buddhi to move from intellectualising and dissecting to becoming more intuitive and wiser. This is evolution. And what about ego, ahankar? Many people think it is our enemy, but it’s not. It depends on how we make use of it. My Guru, Babuji, used to say, ‘Mind is not your enemy.’ The mind can be your best friend if you know how to regulate it.
“What about ego? With ego, if we are truthful in stating who we are, it is a fact, but if I say that I am a professor at IIM Bangalore, then I am lying. I am trying to show off. That is a misuse of ego. At the next level of ego, say you are a flautist and you have just performed your finest every concert. You get a standing ovation. You have a chance to play the same raga the next day to a different audience. Would you be happy with yesterday’s performance? You’d like to surpass yesterday’s performance, and you would not be happy if it was at par with yesterday. You want to do better. That is the proper use of ego – to improve yourself, with pride in your performance. This is a positive ego.
“But to think that nobody is better than me in the entire campus, or the entire city or the country, that I am the best, is blatant arrogance. And if you make decisions because ‘I say so’, what will happen to you as a leader? Nobody will listen. They might listen because they’re helpless, because their salary depends on you, but you will not go in the list of legends. You’ll instead be known by many negative words. You are not even an ordinary boss if you prevail by, ‘I say so, so you must do it.’ You see how consciousness affected by ego can create a situation not only of misjudgement, but there is self character assassination by no less a person than yourself. It is self-incriminating.
“All leaders must be so humble, accommodative. If this work is not done today, it can be done tomorrow, but why hurt the other person? They will learn. And when we work together, it works like magic. Meditation is all-inclusive. The time comes when you feel the presence of God, not only within yourself, but experience show that in less than three months, if you practice morning, evening and at bedtime, you will feel the presence of God all around, in everyone, and even in inanimate things, in trees and birds. You will start perceiving that God is everywhere. Like Vivekananda you will want to hug the trees, and this is a temporary state we pass through when our consciousness is stationed on the second chakra, the atma chakra, the spiritual heart. You’ll feel that intensity.
“When you feel like that, won’t you feel that Godly presence in your colleagues, your subordinates, your boss, whom you keep cursing perhaps? You’ll stop cursing, because you feel that deep down. You don’t have to believe that God is in everyone because you feel it. That’s enough. It doesn’t matter whether your boss feels it or not, because we are not interested in changing the world; I want to change myself.
“When I change myself, my perception of the world will change accordingly. The glasses through which I see – if they are yellow, the world will be yellow; if they are red the world will be red. If my heart is pure, the world will be perceived pure. And this sort of transformation we are looking for in each individual through experience.”
Daaji’s talk was followed by a question and answer session, and then children from the local Brighter Minds group also gave a demonstration of some of their intuitive skills and the confidence they have developed in presenting to such a large group of adults in a formal setting. Everyone retired to prepare for the international conference that would start the following morning.
To be continued