Yoga Paramparas Revealed

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Daaji’s Message from Kanha! 

Heartfulness proposes meditation on the heart with an aim of attaining subtler levels of consciousness. The heart is not merely a pump for blood circulation – its role goes far beyond that. References in ancient Indian literature on Yoga, especially that from Sages like Patanjali,…



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30 Nov 2021

Yogavani

Daaji’s Message from Kanha!
Web Exclusive

Daaji’s Message from Kanha! 

Kamlesh D. Patel, Daaji,
Member, Governing Council,
Indian Yoga Association

Heartfulness proposes meditation on the heart with an aim of attaining subtler levels of consciousness. The heart is not merely a pump for blood circulation – its role goes far beyond that. References in ancient Indian literature on Yoga, especially that from Sages like Patanjali, Ashthavakra and Lord Krishna himself mention the heart as the fundamental organ in the human system. In the Bhagavad Gita, when the warrior Arjuna asks the question of Lord Krishna after being shown the true form of Krishna in a divine vision (the Vishwaroopa Darshana), he enquires that while he was lucky enough to be shown this divine vision, what about ordinary people? How can they attain your state? To which Lord Krishna replies saying, “Look for me in your heart.”

In meditation as prescribed by Heartfulness, we gently focus our mind on the presence of the
Source of Divinity in the heart. We begin to meditate with the idea that “The Source of Divinity is already there in my heart,” and we respectfully, prayerfully wait for the experience to arise in the heart.

It is not advised to have any conditions prior to the experience – that meditation must feel in
any particular way, or that one must have the vision of any particular form of God or Divine.
Most of the forms of deities stem from human imagination. Even if one imagined Lord Krishna,
how would we know what exactly to imagine. So many people came in contact with him and saw him during his lifetime, but how many got changed by merely looking at him? There are rather few records of such profound transformation occurring just by Darshana. We observe in the Gita that even the warrior prince, Arjuna, did not achieve spiritual heights by merely looking at Lord Krishna. It is beneficial to develop an attitude of prayer in order to achieve something in this field. The urge in the heart to experience the presence of the Divine in the true sense leads to an appropriate attitude. We meditate with the idea that the Source of Divinity is in our hearts. In the Heartfulness method, there is Pranahuti or Transmission that then comes into effect.

What is this Pranahuti that is transmitted by the teacher? Just as we need food and a balanced
diet for our physical nourishment, and we need mental enrichment through education and
contemplation and interaction with like-minded people to nourish our minds, what do we need
to nourish and enrich the soul, also known as the Karan Sharir? In the Upanishads, it is stated that to support and nourish this Karan Sharir, we require Prayansa Pranaha or Pranahuti. Who
can transmit this Pranahuti? One who is merged in the Ultimate. Only One such as that can
capture it and share it with us.

Otherwise when an ordinary person like us attempts to transmit it will not work. We have a
limited source of our own. But if my Guru is connected to the Ultimate source, then I would
have the continuous flow of this Pranahuti in an uninterrupted manner. How to know that it is
flowing? Experience alone can help us to discover this for ourselves. The real authority in this matter is our own experience. We are the experimenter, the scientist; our heart is the laboratory; and we are the outcome of the experience of meditation. We need to develop trust in our own experience. What becomes of us after each meditation is the result and the product of that meditation.

We often wonder about the purpose of our existence: Why am I born? What is the use of this
life? It’s easy to say that the purpose of life is to achieve God Realization or Moksha, but it is a difficult concept to grasp or understand. Whereas, we are able to relate better to the idea of evolution.

Without this Pranahuti from a Guru, this meditation is like any other meditation. We often
struggle when we close our eyes to keep our mind still. We even forget what we are meditating
upon. Hence it is useful to have proper guidance. Pranahuti prepares our path, guides our way,
removes the dirt, complexities and obstacles from within the inner-self, so that we are able to
sink deeper into our consciousness.

We often wonder about the purpose of our existence: Why am I born? What is the use of this
life? It’s easy to say that the purpose of life is to achieve God Realization or Moksha, but it is a difficult concept to grasp or understand. Whereas, we are able to relate better to the idea of evolution.

We are constituted of three types of bodies – the physical body, the subtle bodies and the soul. Let us take the case of each of them with the perspective of evolution. The physical body
bestowed to us lasts for 70 to 80 years, on average, and we age, slowly but surely. The soul cannot evolve per se as it is perfect and immutable, so we cannot bring any changes to that perfection. So the two ends of existence, the physical and the spiritual, cannot evolve in the true sense of the word. Then what is it that we are trying to change for achieving higher consciousness? We are trying to evolve our subtle bodies – Shookshma Sharir. It is composed of four composites: Chit (Consciousness), Manas (Mind), Buddhi (Intellect), and Ahankar (Ego). We need to work to evolve these four aspects.

What becomes of my Manas at the pinnacle of its evolution? In order to apprehend that, we need to understand the role of Manas first. It is to think. The mind primarily helps in discriminating between what is right and wrong. It helps determine what is beneficial and what is not. It helps to discriminate between what is the cause and what is the effect. Say we are doing a particular action at this time – is it the effect of something I did in my past or is it the cause of something to come? The mind needs to be able to discriminate. In order to effectively discriminate for oneself, we need to be able to feel and go beyond mere thinking. The mind has to evolve to the extent that instantaneously we can relate to the feeling without thinking. We waste much time in thinking over things, in general. Take the example of being stuck with a problem at work. In my own experience, I have brooded over a particular problem for weeks together and not found a solution. Yet, at times, when my spouse or my mother at home watches my brooding and asks, “What is the matter?”, I spill out the problem and she abruptly comes up with a solution. Why? I have often observed that women are wired differently from men. They use the heart more often than not, and feelings are predominant in their constitution. When it comes to such matters of feelings they are far ahead of men in general. Thus we find that Manas needs to evolve from merely thinking to feeling.

In people with an active left-brained function, logic predominates, whereas right-brained people will be instantly able to feel and give you a decision without dissecting things logically. They come to the conclusion about the right way of doing things guided by their hearts. In this sense, the evolved Manas gives freedom to the heart. The heart gets increasingly involved in the function of the Manas and this can be defined as the evolution of the Manas.

Likewise, Ahankar and Buddhi also evolve to the next level, and the overall evolution of Chit
occurs because of the evolution of these three components. So we move towards evolution from a quasi-inert state of evolution onwards. Just as wood or metal may have a certain configuration that is dense, we realize that water has some level of consciousness, that bacteria have a more vibrant level, and then plants, and then animals, and so forth. Everything has degrees and levels of consciousness. Among human beings, there is a whole spectrum of consciousness, that is infinite. So working on our Manas (Mind), Buddhi (Intellect) and Ahankar (Ego), we now can influence our Chit (Consciousness). That is the purpose of Yoga.

We do Asanas and Pranayama practices for the purpose of maintaining health. Unfortunately,
most Yoga Gurus instruct and remain fixated on the physical aspects of these practices.
Sage Patanjali begins his treatise on Yoga by stating the purpose of his book in the first sutra, followed by his definition of the word Yoga in his second sutra:[27]

योगश्चित्तवृत्तिनिरोधः ॥२॥

yogaś citta-vṛtti-nirodhaḥ

Yoga Sutras 1.2

This terse definition hinges on the meaning of three Sanskrit terms. Swami Vivekananda translates the sutra as “Yoga is restraining the mind-stuff (Citta) from taking various forms (Vrittis).”

Our perception fixes the vritti. Say that I have a fight with someone, an argument. It leaves a
certain impression of that person on my mind. I need to then make a decision, whether I
continue to associate with that person or not. It will depend on my experience with that person
and my perception based on my past experience. When I consider that the person may change,
it may shift my hold on the past impression I have held so far.

If our future holds on to the past perceptions, then our consciousness will be coloured. Our
vrittis or samskaras will be tainted and will simply misguide our Chit. So I have to restrain the force of this Chit. The force of the choices I make, based on my past impressions, needs to loosen its hold in my present moment. I must free myself from it. Only then the Yoga state can be arrived at. Yoga means union with the higher level of consciousness. This, in brief, is our
approach in Heartfulness.

We indulge in a process called cleaning which is totally different. It is a revolution in Yoga. How to get rid of these impressions from the past? No one teaches you how to do that effectively. How to prevent the past from reshaping my present and future? How to prevent us from forming these samskaras or impressions?

Many people recommend this process in their own sansthas. We need to evaluate the efficacy of the process proposed by them according to the outcome. Are we able to feel that certain
impressions have gone away from our inner system? Are we freed from slavery to certain habits? Because habits are the product of samskaras or impressions. Have we been able to redeem ourselves of unwelcome habits, at all, even after years of yogic practices? If not, then our Yoga practice is useless. We have not achieved anything at all.

And ultimately if our behaviour has not changed, then the yogic practice we are following needs to change. If we go on having an attitude of accumulation, wanting more and more of anything, be it money, be it pleasures, be it fame, then our yogic practice is lacking something fundamental. Even wanting the growth of my organization, however noble the cause, we are still struggling. It cannot be defined as Yoga. Yogic practice, correctly done, takes us beyond all this.

I consider it my duty to introduce the knowledge of this yogic practice of Heartfulness to
everyone. Whether they become accomplished yogis or not, whether they give something in
return to us or not, is not my concern. We should not go after money or recompense. I have
noticed that there will be many good-hearted people who will come our way and contribute
selflessly to society’s greater good, without even being asked for the same. And together we can all work for the betterment of our society. But we must never become beggars. We have God’s
support with us. Why ask people for anything? When one Guru says, “I have to charge money,
be it one lakh or twenty thousand or five lakh rupees,” they say that if they don’t charge for their programs, people will enrol into the program but not take the program seriously. Partially it is true. So if that is the reason they take money, and a student does study seriously and take all the knowledge given, would they be ready to return the money in the end?

That exposes their gurudom. And it is very painful. Even Baba Ramdev shared with us, with so
much of pride, and so much of pain, too, that while there are those gurus who serve humanity
with a lot of love and absolute selflessness, yet there are many gurus under the name of Yoga,
who have made it into a Udhyoga (business). An industry. They are Yoga merchants. They are
selling it. It’s not nice. Rather it is a stain on our culture. Any contribution should be always voluntary. It should not be enforced.

This is my humble request to all of us: That the Indian Yoga Association raise its standards, by offering Yoga as our ancient tradition and heritage, which has been bequeathed to us for our
future generations, as it should be.

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