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

Drag

 

The Gita teaches us that the same Spark resides in all things. But not all things look alike. Surely there must be a difference between me and you and the rock and the dead chicken on your sandwich?

Nope.

Any differences that can be detected – any differences which appear to us – are, at their best, the most superficial. Only fools look at the sea and think the waves at the surface are the seas’s entirety. Even sciences are now confirming that the differences you and I think we’re seeing that distinguish us from each other and from the rock and from the chicken breast on your sandwich really aren’t real.

So, if you and me and the rock and the chicken patty aren’t actually different, then what are we? We’re the Same. We’re the One. We are All There Is.

But, we’re the One as It wears different masks. In the very same way a woman might wear a certain lip color to work, but different lip color to church, and yet different lip color on a night out… The appearance and presentation changes slightly, but the Wearer is not changed. We are God’s various lip colors – we are the God in drag!

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

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