Meet Heartfulness Guide Kamlesh Patel, also known as Daaji, the fourth spiritual Guide in the Sahaj Marg system of Raja Yoga meditation who talks about the benefits of meditation in achieving the highest level of consciousness. The Heartfulness practice established by the Shri Ram Chandra Mission in 1945 offers a simple set of meditative practices and lifestyle changes designed to support contentment, inner calm and clarity of thought, as the first step towards a purposeful life. More than 5,000 Heartfulness Centres are supported by many thousands of certified volunteer trainers and millions of practitioners in 160 countries
I was reading your book ‘Designing Destiny’ and you made an interesting point that like genetics, destiny can also be changed. There are certain fixed components of genetics which have been inherited but then there are also flexible epigenetics which in the influence of your emotion, thought, environment can be harnessed the way you want to. How can one change one’s destiny?
The overall understanding of destiny is that it is a result of our karma. Not only my karma but even others’ karma such as collective karma of a family can influence my destiny.
We all have a certain conditioning and that is at the root of all our actions – the lens through which we see the world is full of biases. If you clean up the lens, you will have the right perspective but if you don’t, you will go down the trajectory of destiny. In the Sahaj Marg system, we call them samskaras which are built by two things – your cognitive memory and your emotional memory. For instance, when you are in love with someone, one thing is that you will remember the blue shirt he was wearing the first time. That is cognitive memory and the other is the feeling – recalling how your heart was pounding with love and that is emotional memory.
Now how does one remove this so that it doesn’t bother you again and again. One can remove the emotional baggage through the right understanding that he was not meant for me, he found his way and I found mine. Once you develop this level of understanding that your paths are different then you don’t torture yourself that much. Through this heartfulness cleaning, the process becomes faster and accelerated.
However, your cognitive memory will not go. That blue shirt that you saw the first time is now embedded in your cognitive brain – it will always remain there whether this relationship matures into reality or not. This fundamental memory will always be embedded in your consciousness, much like a photograph since you have been exposed to this person, even though you may marry somebody whom you love later.
That’s why people say I can forgive but I can’t forget because cognitive function does not allow one to forget.
For any layperson not doing meditation or active spiritual practice what is the one tip to start for conscious living?
There is no substitute to meditation if you really want to succeed in life. Everyone must recognize that one must take some time out for meditation on a daily basis.
In the Oxford dictionary, meditation has been defined as repeatedly thinking of one thing again and again. On a lighter note, I feel the metro people and urban dwellers are meditating all the time… constantly on something or someone. Just that the object of meditation changes when you come here.
Meditation does not often mean one thing to everyone. Everyone has their unique experience and yet everyone is united in its positive effects. How static or dynamic can the process be?
When you are playing with spirituality, your opinion or your viewpoint will continuously keep evolving. It is worse than the Corona virus which keeps mutating. When you are meditating, what you were yesterday you are not today and you will not be the same tomorrow. Your viewpoint will continuously evolve – it’s like when you are mountaineering, in the valley you have one view, you go halfway through and you get a different view and when you are on the peak of the mountain you will have a different perspective. And if you went with four friends, all four will have a different opinion from the same height, of the same place and that is what has become religions. Be it Buddha or Mahavir or Krishna – they all achieved height. But until you make their experience your experience, you will never realise them.
In a world that celebrates logic and scientific reasoning, would you agree that the power of intuition is truly underrated?
Intuition is not the same for all. Women at large have a higher intuition than males. Sometimes when you run into difficulties in the business world, and keep quiet then the mother or the sister or the wife will immediately come with a response describing the solution on which the man sat for three months.
For a man it’s a problem but for a woman through her intuition, she is able to find a solution but that is normal to her. He can also have intuition the moment he can make his heart feminine which means making it more receptive, accommodating, flexible more empathetic
Generally, our intuition is hampered by our past – by our conditioning, what sort of a religious background we have. We are always hampered by our past and all the burden we are carrying within ourselves. At heartfulness, we always like to have a new mindset, a new beginning and we strive to recreate based on that which is correct.
Our viewpoint is based on our past conditioning. So, we never have a real perspective unless and until we remove all the baggage that we carry.
How much are Indians embracing Indian culture, yoga, spirituality nowadays. Are we becoming more conscious of our heritage?
I choose to be optimistic though the world is different. India is going down the docks. If India continues like this, you will not see another India in five years. It is on its destructive path. People don’t understand what spirituality is and without understanding how you are going to carry it to the next generation. We are fooling ourselves. What makes India and its genetics is its spirituality and we cannot afford to lose it.