Daaji & Ganeshji

 

From a recent Heartfulness news letter….

Two elderly sisters from Babuji’s time had come to Kanha to visit Daaji. During a long discussion with them on various topics at Gokul Point under the neem tree, Daaji’s thoughts flowed one after the other in a natural way.

“In ancient times, the figure of Lord Ganesh was known for bringing happiness and joy. Look at how much joy such a jolly figure brings! Imagine for a moment, Lord Ganesh is taking his vehicle, a little mouse, on a walk while it is raining, carrying his tiny little umbrella. When you look at the image of Lord Ganesh it provokes joy and happiness. But I have another understanding too. In Sahaj Marg we believe that we move from animal man to human man to divine man. When you see the image of Lord Ganesh, it shows an animal that wants to be human and there is also one image of Ganesh with an umbrella dancing in the rain which I would say is a blissful state. It is hilarious. So, he is a combination of an animal and a man who is now blissful. So it is a total journey depicted with this image. You cannot depict ‘beyond bliss’ with a pen and pencil. Also, Lord Ganesh is depicted riding on a mouse. You know, an elephant can’t sit on a mouse but you can carry the mightiest with a humble heart. You have to be humble to carry the Lord in you. You have to become small to carry the big – egolessness.”

Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha | Aum Shanti

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The Purpose of God

 

“God has created the world so that every flower may grow in its right standard. But the lashes of time have made it to forget the purpose of God. So, some feel the life as the purpose of enjoyment, others feel the life monotonous. But the question is: What is life? It is a state of being which should remain permanently, as long as we live, thoroughly in contact with the Being, smelling at each step the fragrance of the Being.” – Complete Works of Ram Chandra, Vol III

I know some people will read the above quote and get caught on the first sentence. There are some who will read it and, if they don’t get caught on the first sentence, will get caught on the second sentence. Some still, may catch on both. That’s fine. Eventually they will be able to move on to the richness found the latter sentences. Truthfully, part of me did and does also catch on the first couple sentences – and probably for the same reasons others will, too. After all, what does “right standard” mean? What does the “purpose of God” even mean? Throughout human history so many people – too many people – have been sure they knew the precise and only real answers to what a “right standard” and “purpose of God” mean. Strangely, this certain knowledge of God’s right standard and purpose has invariably meant death – not to the ones who thought they knew, but to others near them.

Saying you know right standards and purpose of God is as foolish as saying the Sun rises in the East, and thinking it’s actually the truth. Yes, sure, the Sun seems to rise in the East. And for spatial and relational purposes, etc… the Sun seems to do just that and so it’s fine to make that reference. But for those who can see the bigger picture, or even know the bigger picture theoretically, that’s not true. There is a perception, possible only because of a very limited view. And so it seems like the Sun rises in what we call the East (which itself isn’t really even a thing – we live on a sphere, for Pete’s sake. We can go east, but there is no place which is the East and where we can arrive – and so the Sun can never rise from there.) We know the Earth travels around the Sun and rotates while it does that. Many of us understand that the “Sun rising in the East” is really our place on the Earth completing yet another spin in this pattern of travel. The Sun stays put. It doesn’t rise. And yet, those who are able to understand an even fuller picture know that even saying the Sun stays put while we cycle around it is false. Our Sun also travels through space, quite unfixed. This illustration of how limited our views usually are should be sufficient to know how terribly foolish it is to ever claim to know the purpose God has for something or what its right standard is. If most of us incorrectly perceive something as simple as the concepts of spinning or rotation, then what are the chances we’ll correctly perceive God’s “purpose” or “right standard?” At best, the most enlightened among us can probably only claim to know a fraction of those truths.

And really, the next sentence kind of says just that. Some see things one way while others have a different view. Now, those who get caught on the first to sentences will read what I just wrote about others having different views and they’ll say, “Well the view of others is just wrong.” And this is a big part of why those minds will remain on the so-called “square one” and will continue for some time to be caught on the first two sentences. As before, that’s fine.

The last sentence, however, is what we should aim for. Don’t bother with determining the right standard for something or with figuring out the details of God’s purpose. You probably can’t do anything about changing either of those things, anyway. And if you could figure them out completely and truly and risked wanting to change them, what would that mean for yourself? See, more questions and no additional answers come from that effort.

Aim for staying permanently and thoroughly in contact with the Being. That’s it.

Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha | Aum Shanti

A Child’s Toy

 

The thought of people generally does not go beyond the point of liberation, which they take to be the final limit of human approach. But that is a wrong idea. As a matter of fact, liberation is one of the lowest attainments on the divine path; hence it is just like a toy for a child to play with. Beyond that there is yet a lot to be achieved. The infinite ocean lies still ahead, which is but a limitless expanse. Have your eyes fixed upon That and That alone, and go on and on to trace It out.” – Ram Chnadra, The Complete Works, Vol I, page 334

Every path is unique, despite any parallels it might have between other paths.  Sahaj Marg (Heartfulness) is no different and I think the quote above illustrates that to a degree. Certainly, we are unique in other ways. But in most of Hinduism and Sufism the idea of liberation is where things stop. After all, what more could there be once you are free?

To back up a little, let’s discuss what this “liberation” is. Most of the time, in contexts like this one, liberation means liberation from samsara. Samsara is the wheel of death and rebirth. Some view this wheel as a kind of trap but it isn’t. It’s merely a result. When we don’t direct our reactions and responses in a responsible manner, then the resultant karmas (both good AND bad karmas) bind us further to this wheel. And so we go on experiencing death and rebirth, cycle after cycle, until our personal evolution is such that we are able to step off of that wheel like an exhausted hamster and then finally to know peace. This is what most people, in this context, consider liberation to be.  (Side Note: There are branches of believers who have the understanding that God will, through immeasurable and unwarranted grace and mercy, wipe away the factors (what we call samskaras & karmas) keeping a person from reaching heavenly liberation, thus bestowing liberation to the one who believes. This is a lie.)

Sahaj Marg / Heartfulness doesn’t dispute the aforementioned idea of liberation. What makes Sahaj Marg unique in this context is that, in our understanding, this liberation isn’t the actual end goal. A lot of what spiritual aspirants take to be significant spiritual progress and developments are understood within Sahaj Marg as simple sign posts. Indications of progress, sure, but nothing more – certainly nothing to be distracted by or focused on.

In a way, we treat these experiences and developments much like any thought that arises during meditation – notice it if you must, but keep moving. Liberation is no different. It’s like our guides and gurus are saying, “Okay so you stepped off the wheel of death and rebirth. Congrats – Now keep moving.” An interesting thing to note here and which might surprise most people is that this liberation – escape from endless cycles of death and rebirth – is seen as a very low attainment and like a child’s toy. Most people would immediately disagree. But it is certain that those people view their current reality through a different and probably lens. After all, to a kindergartner learning the alphabet is daunting and quite an achievement. The idea of getting to Junior High is hardly something they understand, never mind finishing that and moving on to High School or any form of education thereafter.

The lineage of Sahaj Marg guides have always stated that religion is like kindergarten. And they’ve always gently encouraged us to keep moving. From where they sit, they speak to us kindergartners and encourage us onward. “Beyond that there is a lot to be achieved.”

Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha | Aum Shanti

Nature and God

Daaji arrived at Ahmedabad airport to begin his trip to Mumbai. He was sitting with a small group in the lounge when the flight was delayed. He was remembering his travels with Babuji Maharaj. It was Babuji’s flight to Delhi after the Surat Birthday Celebrations. Babuji was at the airport waiting for a flight to Delhi. The flight was supposed to go to Jaipur first and then to Delhi, and Daaji was also travelling with him.

Daaji was waitlisted at number 136, so normally there would have been no chance of him getting on the flight. Soon the airline announced that there were sand storms around Jaipur area and the flight would not be landing there. Many cancelled their trip and so eventually Daaji got a seat. Babuji looked at him with a smile and said, “You are happy now!” Daaji happily recalled other incidents about Babuji. These small stories took everyone somewhere!

The spiritual life is about remembrance in the heart and love for the Beloved.

It was supposed to be a short flight to Mumbai, but it took a long time to land. During the flight, a lady walked up to Daaji and said, “You look like my son’s friend Marg!” She was happy and surprised by this unexpected meeting.

Later in Mumbai, at 5:45 p.m. in the evening, it was nice weather, so after finishing his work, Daaji went out to sit in the garden. A small group of industrialists had come to meet him. Daaji spoke to them about spirituality and how an experiential approach is the most practical one which leaves one with no ambiguity. He also spoke about the idea of being and non-being. Then he offered the guests the immediate experience of meditation with him. After meditation, there was a short informal interaction with newcomers about consciousness and Yoga. He encouraged them all to meditate and explore further.

Here are some snippets from the session:

“Quality of work drastically changes for good in the spiritual environment.”

“Meditation improves our moral and work ethics.”

“Evolution is not a matter of choice. It has to happen.”

“Many people argue: why can’t an all-powerful God change humanity for good? How can you change without willingness? One should invite change willingly.

If I have to become like my cherished personality,

“… I have to imbibe those qualities. If I have to become like that individual personality, I have to imbibe creativity in me if I dream to become like God – that is point number one.

“Then there are other qualities that can be observed in Nature: I have to become simple and in tune with Nature. What is Nature? Take trees, for example: they take the minimum and give out the maximum. So, am I able to receive the minimum, or nothing at all, and give the maximum? That is God-like. So, even though I may not have happiness, I have to give that. I then become that, and I don’t even care for it anymore. So the second principle, which comes from Nature, is efficiency – taking in the minimum and giving out the maximum.

“The third principle, also from Nature, can be seen when we observe the trees in the US, shedding their leaves just before the winter commences. They adjust themselves for the colder weather. The trees have to preserve all their energy and resources in their roots. They do not have the luxury of extra leaves on their branches. They shed them, sacrificing. In our case, are we able to adjust with the external in our relationships? To do so, we have to sacrifice some of our habits. It is better if we can adjust.

“The fourth thing is that Nature is its simplicity, NO complexities.

“The fifth thing that I find is automatism. For example, trees bear flowers automatically when the season comes. That automatic response is not there in us. Our response is, ‘What do I get out of this?’ Based on that we play with it.

“So these five things help us to be in tune with Nature and God.”

 

Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha | Aum Shanti

Evolution of Our Mission

The following is being reposted / shared from an abhyasi bulletin from the middle of October and includes Daaji’s words for our benefit and guidance…

“Let us look at how our Sahaj Marg has evolved since times of most revered Lalaji Sahab. There was no Sahaj Marg during the lifetime of Lalaji Maharaj, yet, activities went on. He was as busy, perhaps more than we are, with little or no organization. During Pujya Babuji’s life-time, SRCM was established to serve humanity in an organized manner. He worked all the while, singlehandedly with no help. He was a lot busier than all of us.

“Dear Chariji faced many challenges due to legal issues faced by SRCM and, to safeguard the assets and spiritual tradition, SMSF came into the picture. Many minor outlets were formed, like SHPT that handles publications and media, plus a few more to handle abhyasis’ residential colonies. All this was with one intention: to streamline our efforts to serve most efficiently.

“Now, with Heartfulness Institute, the intention is also to smooth the way forward in an orderly manner, so that the things that cannot be taken up by SRCM or SMSF can be taken up by HFI. Maybe some of our members find it a bit heavy to understand, and react due to complexities involved in organizing this. We will be serving the same spirituality, the way most revered Lalaji Maharaj did in his times, but now with multiple tributaries or subsets so as to make serving more efficient. Also, this way we are able to protect and preserve the by-laws or the principles of the respective organizations like SRCM or SMSF while remaining in complete compliance with the laws of the land. The delivery remains the same ‘spirituality’.

“While we are working, we must take younger minds with us, groom them with love and care, and prepare them with love and respect. We are expected to be graceful, extremely refined, light-hearted, ever-ready to help, respectful and trusting towards each other. We have to leave the legacy of our inner `royal’ status with our descendants; with our spiritual sisters and brothers.

“It is surprising to note that our predecessors were extremely busy, and we are hardly contributing even 10% of what they could offer in terms of their qualitative delivery, plus we lack the input of necessary efforts, despite our efficiencies, education and technology.”

Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha

Aum Shanti

Speaking Tree

Another place Daaji is making his presence known is on the Speaking Tree website by Times of India. You can find Daaji’s profile there by clicking here. When I came to find out about this, Daaji had only 33 followers through that site and also was the first “Followed Master” to have a following that hadn’t yet entered the triple or quadruple digits. He now has 34 followers there and I look forward to viewing content made available through the Speaking Tree.

When this was brought to my attention via a recent abhyasi newsletter, it was because of this website being the location of another of Daaji’s online blogs. You can click here to access that blog. Right now there is only an initial post which only gives a taste of what is to come – Daaji’s presentation of Heartfulness.

Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha | Aum Shri Gurubhyo Namaha | Aum Shanti

HuffPost, Y’all

Daaji, the “global guide” for Heartfulness and Sahaj Marg, now has a regular blog postings at the HuffPost Healthy Living site. You can find it by clicking here. The first post you’ll see here is that Daaji discusses “How to Put Your Heart Into Living” and breaks that approach up into ideas dealing with “How do we compromise our intrinsic good?” “How does the heart speak?” “Easing the burden: the play of heart and mind” and “How to integrate the heart and mind?”

Before diving into these areas of discussion, Daaji gives a few examples of when ignoring the heart and its connection to the brain lead us awry. “There are many issues at play. The most powerful arise when we ignore the intrinsic goodness and the intrinsic peace that exist in all of us,” he says, to gently remind us of what Eastern Dharmas have told us for many thousands of years and which is a trademark difference between spiritual paths originating in the East versus those from the Middle East or West.

When discussing the usual compromise of intrinsic goodness experienced by each of us, Daaji rightly points out that the whole mess begins with us labeling things and experiences and then being caught between these labels of our own making. Here in the USA, that is very apparent – and something about which we’re in deep denial. Regardless of the context – whether political, religious, sexual, economic, you name it – we do nothing but label and categorize things and experiences and then find ourselves caught because we’re so buried in self-created madness that we lose the right ability of discernment.

The first thing shared with us about how the heart speaks is that which is really common sense, but which most people gloss over: When we do what we ought to the heart is at peace and is silent, but when the opposite is true the heart protests! All of this hinges on simplicity and being in tune with Nature – relating back directly to the Ten Maxims.

The heart and mind, Daaji says, are always interconnected and when mindfulness and heartfulness are in perfect synchronicity they function as one and purpose in life is experienced and realized.

In closing we focus on integration – what Sahaj Marg and Heartfulness are really all about. Daaji mentions the need for observing “inner weather” – not too far off from the many times I’ve mentioned here about tending to one’s inner landscape or inner garden. We learn to still the mind, connect with and through the heart and find ourselves evolving and as Daaji pointed out, “… we steer through life wisely, steadfastly, sans regrets.”

Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha | Aum Shri Gurubhyo Namaha |Aum Shanti