April 19, 1983

Shri Gurubhyo Namaha!

The path today known as Heartfulness was once only known as Sahaj Marg. Going back many years and even tracing back to sage Patanjali, the modern expression of this path has seen more gurus. Known as Masters because the mastery they possess over their selves and their ability to point seekers toward the one Self within us all, these four have each brought a new phase of evolution to our marg. The first of the four gurus was named Ram Chandra (of Fatehgarh). He is now known more simply as Lalaji. His successor had the same name, although he was from Shajahanpur (Uttar Pradesh) and came to be known as Babuji.

Lalaji laid the foundation for our path’s modern structure. Lalaji seems to have resurrected a hybrid – part Sufi, part Hindu. He is know to have taught our simple form of heart-centered meditation but also would give seekers mantras and ayurvedic advice – whatever the seeker was in most need of, Lalaji helped them obtain. Our next guru, Babuji built upon the foundation laid by Lalaji and in his own way streamlined our practice. It was during his guidance that the primary focus of the path became our way of meditation and usage of things like mantras declined significantly.

Born in 1899, Babuji’s form was seen by Lalaji while he was in a super-conscious state and it was then known that the man we call Babuji would be the marg’s successor. One major thing taken from Babuji’s example is that one need not renounce a responsible worldly life to retreat into the Himalayas in order to see vital personal evolution. In fact, Babuji taught us through word and his living example that the householder life can be the very best proving ground for one’s spirituality. To be found among all his other teachings, he taught that we should not give too much attention to our weaknesses but instead focus on progressing and to always push forward and that not only is God simple, but also that the means to reach God are equally simple.

On April 19th, 1983, Babuji left and entered a loka we know as the Brighter World and from there he has sent (and continues to send) many messages through a French female medium. These Messages from the Brighter World now form a significant corpus of literature and always convey his essence to us while at the same time advising and gently prodding us onward as a community. Very late last night / very early this morning (USA, EST) there were global sittings to commemorate the samadhi of Heartfulness’s second gurudev. Tonight, I’m reciting the gurupadukastotram and doing other puja to honor Babuji. Below you will see an assortment of images take from various places online. I’m sharing them with you now to get a better sense of Babuji and what he means to abhyasis around the world.

Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha | Shri Gurubhyo Namaha | Aum Shanti

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Uninvited Guest

Sometimes things are lost in translation. This can happen among native speakers of the same language – perhaps if the speaker uses a word he didn’t mean. It can certainly also happen while literally translating words of one language into their equivalents in another. I think, too, that culture sometimes plays a major role is things getting lost in translation. Sometimes, even when someone is fully capable from a linguistic perspective there can be things lost due to cultural differences which might otherwise be significant. In the quote below, I wonder if this isn’t happening. Take a look…

“The method of meditation on the heart is to think of Godly light within it. When you begin meditating in this way, please think only that Godly light within is attracting you. Do not mind if extraneous ideas haunt you during meditation. Let them come, but go on with your own work. Treat your thoughts and ideas as uninvited guests. If even then they trouble you, think they are Master’s, not yours. This process of meditation is very effective and can never fail in bringing about the desired result.” –Ram Chandra, Complete Works of Ram Chandra, Vol. 1 (1st Indian edn., 1989), p. 342

The short sentence of, “Treat your thoughts and ideas as uninvited guests” carries with it room for misunderstanding, although this very sentence is something Heartfulness / Sahaj Marg abhyasis quote often. While I’m more familiar with Indian culture than the average Westerner, I can only to a small degree speak about it – let alone Indian culture from a century ago. From a Western point of view, and more specifically an American point of view, this wording gives pause. The rest of the quote shared here feels contradictory to us – if we’re paying attention. We’re told not to mind extraneous ideas and to let thoughts come and go as they will, and think of them as God’s thoughts (aka The Master’s) instead of our own. Almost none of this is how uninvited guests are treated!

Here in the West, uninvited guests are noticed – sometimes with responses like surprise or disgust or contempt. A lot of that will hinge on what you’re interrupting and the relationship you have to what is being interrupted. Birthday parties, weddings / receptions, and maybe even more public things like church services… I dare you to walk into a church you don’t regularly attend and just see if no one notices you.

Maybe your personality is like mine and your default is automatically and purposefully to take care of business when it presents (regardless of the kind of business being handled). Or maybe you’re someone with just enough self-awareness to realize you have little control over your own internal mental and emotional processes. Either way – total control freak or out of control – you are likely to pay a lot of attention to these “uninvited guests.”

And so, I think – though Babuji was speaking plain English – that something was miscommunicated here. Something has been lost? To many Western minds, I’d say, treating one’s thoughts as uninvited quests means the opposite of “ignore and move on.”

A great twist here, I’ll say, is that there is immense benefit and maybe even some necessity to treating our thoughts while meditating as uninvited guests. In order for something – a person or thought or whatever – to be treated as uninvited, it must necessarily first be identified as such. Regardless of how we tackle things uninvited, we have to be able to see them as uninvited first. When this happens, fantastic potential opens up for the meditator.

In every form of meditation which I’ve ever studied, the meditator can potentially, eventually enter a state that isn’t usual in one’s waking hours. Of course, those for whom this becomes usual even while moving about their day we call yogis. But for most people this isn’t usual and when it happens it’s really something. It presents the meditator with the experience of seeing their thoughts happening just as automatically as they normally would – but almost as if from a distance.

In the same way you can sit next to a stream or river and watch things float by in it, you can watch your own river of awareness and similarly see things passing by. When the meditator becomes familiar with this experience it becomes a real blessing and more than just rest or relaxation can be derived from it. When you are able to successfully recognize and experience the gap of infinity that sits between “you” and your thoughts, many doors are opened for you the benefits of which have mundane and mystical applications.

To go back to the idea of thoughts as uninvited guests, I’ll mention something relating to Indian / Hindu culture. In Hinduism we say, “Pitru devo bhavaha” meaning “The guest is God.” When you are expecting God as a guest or to treat your guests as God, then you will of course dedicate lots of attention (aka energy) to that end. Perhaps then, if you have an uninvited guest you are able to say, “I refuse to dedicate energy in that direction” and if that’s the case, then treating your thoughts as uninvited guests while meditating would indeed be helpful. Still, if the guest is God then – invited or uninvited – why not afford that God / guest your attention? Dear reader, maybe you can answer that for me? If you’re a more experienced abhyasi than I am, then I would certainly value your insight into what Babuji was intending to communicate.

Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha | Aum Shanti

Daaji’s Yoga Nidra

Ganesha In Yoga Nidra

 

I will sometimes get into talks with people (friendly, no-argumentative talks) about sleep. Many people claim that once they are asleep, they are out cold. Others tell about how they are such light sleepers. Some people toss and turn. While everyone sleeps in their own way, it seems like everyone can relate to how others sleep – except for when I detail to them how I sleep. To be clear, there are times when I’m out cold and sleeping so deeply that all disappears. And there are times when I sleep like my birth mother did when she lived: So lightly that if someone gently sighs three rooms away – with the door closed – it’ll wake me up. But mostly it’s neither of these. More often than not, I am awake (aware?) while I’m asleep. I really don’t know how else to describe it. My body goes to sleep. And I would say, too, that my mind also goes to sleep. But “I” stay awake and aware for most of every night’s rest. It’s dark and and quiet and very still (stiller and quieter than your home when the electricity goes out and you notice the screaming silence that happens as a result of things like the refrigerator not running. Y’know – that really LOUD silence?). I’m keenly ware that my body rests. I’m just as aware that my mind’s thoughts are passing by at a slower pace (if at all) than when I’m awake. The whole time, I just….. am. It’s nice. So nice.

I’ve written about it here before, in the past. It’s always a tough thing to try to effectively describe. Almost no one understands what I’m talking about. This seems to say that I’m either describing my experience in a way that others cannot at all relate to (read: I’m using the wrong words), or else there really are so few others that have this experience that I’ve yet to encounter one. It can be frustrating. And it IS frustrating when I’m in talks with someone who claims I’m entirely mistaken – that we ALL dream every night, whether we recall as much or not. Thank god for people who know my own life experience better than I do! (#Sarcasm)

Anyway, What you will read below the line is something I pulled from a newsletter or maybe a publication from Daaji’s Desk or something. I forget the exact source, but I suppose that doesn’t matter so much as you understand it’s not something I composed. Daaji was questioned by some students about falling asleep during meditation and his answer feels like it touches a bit on how I experience sleep. Just thought I’d share.

Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha | Aum Shanti


It was a quiet morning. Daaji came to the meditation room around 7:30 a.m. and conducted satsangh. Afterwards he answered questions from new seekers. Here are some excerpts:

Q: While meditating, I find that I am leaning either forward or sideways by the time I finish. So how do I know that I am meditating and not sleeping?

Daaji: I will start with the second part of your question. How to know whether you are meditating or sleeping? Often when we conduct such programs in universities, especially when there are 500 or 1000 students in a hall and generally they would be having fun. After meditation, they ask, “Sir, did we go to sleep?” So I respond, “Okay, let’s do an experiment. Sit in a chair and I will not transmit to you. Now, try to go to sleep in the chair within 5 minutes. Can you do it?” So it is the relaxing effect produced by transmission that creates a state akin to yoga nidra. At the same time, if you pay attention, you are aware of what is happening outside, even though you are in a sleep-like state.

Now, to the first part of your question: often we seem to lean forward or sideways. It is a very good state actually. It happens when the mind relaxes and our emotional heart surrenders. In that state of submission the head bows down, unknowingly, unconsciously. It is arising out of our subconscious submission to Divinity.

Points of Interest

By now it’s well documented that many Eastern traditions have known things which the Western is only just now beginning to recognize. Certain examples might include the nature of matter and energy, the shape and structure of the universe and space, and certain features and functions and compositions of the human being. Likely falling under the last of the list I just made would be the images shown below. I don’t rightly know if I’m “allowed” to share these images and diagrams with the world via our wide web, because in every path there are many things (often of an esoteric value) which paths don’t typically let anyone and everyone to see and which instead are reserved for the initiates.

However, whispers coming from The Hierarchy in the Brighter World have indicated that change is happening – at an unprecedented rate and in unprecedented ways. That alone, I think, is enough so-called “wiggle room” for me to be able to share the information below and not to be breaking any rule. But even if it isn’t, those who know me personally will know that I often live my the motto of it being better to ask forgiveness than to ask for permission. So… Imma do what I think I should, regardless of what’s technically allowed or not.

For those already walking the path of Sahaj Marg or Heartfulness, this content might be nothing new to you. Depending on what Sahaj Marg / Heartfulness books are in your home library, you may well have seen these diagrams already – and if you have, then you probably already have read the surrounding information which does a better job explaining foundational and peripheral knowledge related to these images. If that’s you, then you are a bit ahead of the game and these will make more sense to you.

For anyone very new to this path, or who maybe has a home library which doesn’t include the books detailing this information, this might be content you haven’t before seen. That’s fine. For you folks, you’ll want to keep in  mind that these diagrams are (to say the least) digest versions of deeper knowledge relating to our path. Take from these whatever you can, and don’t worry too much about anything you aren’t super clear on or places where you think you see holes in the information presented.

Regardless of whether or not these diagrams are new to you, feel free to leave your thoughts in a comment below or through contacting me privately. (If you haven’t commented here before, then your comment will require my approval – so leaving a first-time comment IS a way to contact me privately if you can find no other way. Just FYI.)

Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha | Aum Shanti

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Child

Daaji came back to the cottage and attended many meetings. A small group of children met him and one child looked quite serious, saying, “I have a question for you.” Daaji replied, “Please go ahead and ask.” The child to Daaji asked, “Master is in the heart. So why are people greedy to see him physically?” Daaji answered, “That is my question and my problem also.”

Daaji was so happy with this wise youngster. Later, the child’s father said that the whole morning he was upset watching those people who were demanding to see Master. Here again a small but profound incident showed that the wisdom of the heart does not depend on age or knowledge.

Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha | Aum Shanti

About Mind

“We have to understand the function of the mind. We have a nose. What is the role of nose? It is to smell. Would you tell your nose to stop smelling things?  “I would like to smell only a rose and not this gutter.” It can’t be selective. The same thing happens with the eyes. The role of the eyes is to see things. The mind is also like that, you see. The mind is to think. To prevent its function from thinking is to go against its nature. So, in Yoga sadhana, we first train the mind to think on one object – the Divine presence. After that we go deeper, from thinking, which is a superficial function, to feeling. That is true meditation. When we shift from thinking to feeling that is the real meditation, where we no longer think of the divine presence but feel the presence. For that we need dedicated practice.” -Daaji

Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha | Aum Shanti

Tied to Freedom

Last November I read something on a blog I follow and I’d like to share here now. The post can be found by clicking here and deals with the idea of Samadhi. The author writes about a spiritual idea that is often thought to be the culmination of lots of hard work – I think I’ve written about it, too, but this author does really well at touching on something in a meaningful way but without digging so deep that the reader tunes it all out.

In Sahaj Marg / Heartfulness, we can trace some of our foundation to the Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras and anyone who has studied the broader yoga umbrella and what falls under it will be familiar with the term samadhi. My own understanding of the word, when I first came to Hinduism, was that samadhi is THE highest attainment and means the truest and most complete liberation. It’s The Goal. Synonymous with words like moksha. Stepping off of the samsaric wheel. No more karma, either good or bad. No more samskara. No more anything. Sometimes I’d read that it just meant someone died.

I think there are applications of samadhi, as a word, that still carries all that just fine. But my understanding has evolved. For abhyasis practicing Heartfulness, samadhi isn’t really The Goal. It’s an attainment and a great sign post of one’s personal development and evolution as a human. And I’d say this largely matches what Yogibattle has communicated. And I agree with him that it is possible that one can experience samadhi while in everyday life. From a linguistic standpoint samadhi does communicate the essence of yoga which is union. Here, samadhi gets extra fancy in that is implies a sort of ultimate freedom – but through ultimate union.

From Wikipedia….

Sanskrit

Various interpretations for the term’s etymology are possible:

  • sam, “together”; a, “toward”; stem of dadhati, “puts, places”: “a putting or joining together;”[web 1]
  • sam, “together” or “integrated”; ā, “towards”; dhā, “to get, to hold”: “to acquire integration or wholeness, or truth” (samāpatti);
  • sam, “uniformly” or “fully”; adhi, “to get established: : a state wherein one establishes himself to the fullest extent in the Supreme consciousness;
  • samā, “even”; dhi, “intellect”: a state of total equilibrium of a detached intellect.
  • sam, “perfect,” “complete.” dhi, “consciousness”: a state of being where “all distinctions between the person who is the subjective meditator, the act of meditation and the object of meditation merge into oneness.”[6]

The above excerpt from Wikipedia (I know, I know – whatever) does well at highlighting the “union” aspect of samadhi. You see words and phrases like “together,” “integrated,” and “merge into oneness.” But it’s through this union  (a form of binding, being bound) that expansive freedom is experienced and that is the essence, peace, hope, and purpose of yoga and spirituality associated with yoga.

Yogibattle details some of what Patanjali has said about samadhi and I’ll let you spend a few minutes reading his post which I’ve linked to earlier in this post. Samadhi, clearly, is something achievable by austere renunciates escaping everyday life AND the householder / grhasta who operates within worldly living. He also rightly points out how natural and therefore automatic samadhi is and that it isn’t really something one “does.” (This should parallel teachings on meditation where you don’t forcefully clear your mind – but it happens.) He says, “I  have an inkling that Samadhi hits us when we are not trying to achieve Samadhi. If you are in your natural state doing your dharma without any expectation, I think you are ripe for the experience.” That means this is probably not at all far removed from times when someone is “in the zone” – when hatha yogis are flowing in and through asana as much as the asana is flowing in and through them. When athletes perform in ways that seem super human. When mothers are mothering like no other mother.

Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha | Aum Shanti