Recently, I came across a few research articles by the world teacher and the fourth spiritual guide in the Sahaj Marg system of Raja Yoga, Kamlesh D. Patel, also known as Daaji, on his site at http://www.daaji.org. He talks about this beautiful yogic energy called pranahuti or Yogic Transmission, which is so potent, yet so subtle, and enables us to meditate so easily.
Daaji oversees Heartfulness centers and ashrams in over 150 countries, and guides the thousands of certified Heartfulness trainers who are permitted to impart Transmission under his care. He is also an innovator and researcher in spirituality, equally at home in the inner world of spirituality and the outer world of science. His research has led him to publish a series of essays called “Evolution of Consciousness” in the Heartfulness magazine. His research into the spiritual anatomy of the human system has led to the discoveries of new yogic ‘chakras,’ and techniques of spiritual training.
The spirit and the essence of the interview are offered here to get a taste of its fragrance.
- Pranahuti Infuses the Fragrance of Divinity
I asked, “What is pranahuti and why is it important for a seeker of spirituality?”
He replied, “Many-a-time, when we are seeking Divinity, we look outside ourselves: we go to our places of worship, as a means of creating a relationship with God. With the first pranahuti offered in your first meditation, awareness of Divinity is awakened in your heart. Subsequent sessions of meditation with Transmission nourish the sprouting seed of Divinity that exists in the heart. This leads to a culmination of Yoga, an integration of the spiritual and materials aspects of our lives, and balances them.”
- Pranahuti Comes From the Infinite Source
In Sanskrit, prana means life-force and ahuti means offering, so pranahuti means ‘offering of the life-force.’
I wondered aloud: “If you go on sacrificing or transmitting from a limited source, does it not deplete?”
Daaji pointed out, “The person who is transmitting prana must be dwelling in the Infinite Source so that there is only constant rejuvenation, no depletion. A Guru of caliber is connected with this Source, the source of all Creation.”
- The Effect of Pranahuti Can Be Experienced
I asked for Daaji to explain the significance of the term Pranahuti.
“The best way to understand Yogic Transmission is to experience its effects practically,” he explained. “For many people, the experience of receiving transmission is so convincing that no further proof or understanding is necessary.”
We so often look for external validation, rather than feeling for ourselves on an inner level.
This ancient yogic technique that transforms us from inside out is available for free. I wonder how many of us in the world have really benefited.
“Pranahuti is food for the soul, and nourishes our total well-being in a subtle manner. As a result we feel the effects over a period of time, and recognize its efficacy.”
- Pranahuti Helps Our Consciousness Evolve
My next question was about meditation’s effect on the evolution of consciousness.
He put it in simple words: “Pranahuti refines and purifies the energy field of a human being, what we call the subtle bodies or vibrational bodies. These subtle bodies include the intellect, the ego, the thinking mind and consciousness. As a result, consciousness expands and evolves. The purer and simpler our personal vibrations, the more we can observe, explore and expand across the spectrum of consciousness, which includes the subconscious, conscious and superconscious mind. As we progress, our ego becomes generous instead of insecure and selfish, our intellect evolves into wisdom, and the thinking mind deepens into the world of feeling and becoming.”
- Pranahuti Enables Self-Transformation
“So does that mean we bcome wiser?” I asked.
“Yes, very much so!” was his candid answer. “When we are able to make wise choices, our everyday lives become easier to navigate. Our eperception becomes clear, so we see situations for what they are, without the impact of past prejudices and beliefs. We are able to sail through life harmoniously.”
- Pranahuti Benefits Each One According to Individual Need
I asked, “Don’t we believe that the soul is already alive? Then why do we talk of giving life to the soul?”
Daaji gives a beautiful example of the cool showers during the monsoon season, which make the trees and plants so fresh, even though they may be alive already by using ground water! He explained that meditation with pranahuti is similar — we come out of meditation fresh, like having bathed in a pristine pool of water.
“It is then up to the seeker to make use of it in the best way they can,” he continued. “Some of us get bored and abandon meditation after some time. Many of us continue, but are not willing to fully make use of what we are given. A few dive into their inner universe and allow the Transmission to transform them in a very profound way.”
So it would seem that each person responds to pranahuti according to the degree of one’s own interest. It is not a matter of will power — we don’t need will power to eat ice cream, when we like it. If I like the effects of meditation on me, I harness it for my growth and observe the benefits over time.
- Pranahuti Has Always Been Free
“How could such a beautiful yogic energy of transmission possibly be free?” I wondered.
“If it were not free, what would you be willing to pay for such a life-transforming gift?” asked Daaji. “If it could so easily be bought, would it really be worth seeking? All the most precious life-giving things in the world are free if you think about it – the air we breathe, the mother’s love we receive as children, sunlight. No price can ever be put on such gifts.”
“Since the rediscovery of this Transmission in the late 19th century, it has been offered free of charge to all. My spiritual guide always said that peace cannot be sold; there is no price tag on the Divinity within each of us.”
If you would like to experience Yogic Transmission for yourself, please click on one of the links below:
Take Daaji’s masterclass series for beginners,
Download the ‘Let’s Meditate’ App onto your Smartphone,
Get in touch with a trainer at a HeartSpot center near you.
The interviewer, Purnima Ramakrishnan, is an UNCA award-winning writer based in India. She is the recipient of the fellowship in Journalism by International Reporting Project, John Hopkins (SAIS). She is the Senior Editor at World Moms Network, which is a Forbes Top 100 website for women, writing from 30 countries. She is a regular contributor to Huffington Post, and in the past has contributed to the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life and also The Impatient Optimists.
Your Life Is Not Limited To One Path
- The Facts:
In life, we often get stuck telling ourselves stories about what the 'best' path in life to take is. It's often based on chasing others' or societies dreams and aspirations, without looking at our own.
- Reflect On:
Do we tell ourselves what the 'right choice' or 'wrong choice' is on our own path? What is it based on? Where does our programming come from? Can we not let go of limiting programming? Is our programming our TRUE path?
It is no secret that life can sometimes feel like a limited paved road laid out before us that we feel the need to stick to. Look at how we are brought up. Most of the time we come into the world and begin gaining our perceptions from those closest to us –our parents. As time goes on we find ourselves in school. Throughout that time we also begin watching what others do around us, what we see on TV and in movies.
What is happening is we are observing and creating an idea of how life should be; the best way to play the game. But what is ‘best?’
How many times have we heard “That’s not the best decision” or “That’s not the best decision for the whole family.” When you look at either statement you realize that “best” is subjective. What the “best” is to one person may not be the “best” to another. Even further, both of the perceptions of “best” are created from whatever belief systems each have created in their own lives. This is the key factor to realize.
We Get Trapped in Belief Systems
In either case, both scenarios have one thing in common, a belief system of what the “best” choice or decision is. When we create a belief system like this, we limit how we view things. We no longer feel what is “best,” but instead we analyze and define “best” based on a story; often a story from the past, based on entirely different times than the present moment.
Let’s take the example of a child coming out of high school today. 9 times out of 10, that child will be told, and may even believe, that the “best” decision they can make for their life is to continue their education at university or college. It does not matter that they do not know what they want to study, or that the education system will potentially cost them $100,000+, many will state that is best -and even have pride about it.
Next, they would be told to get a job so they can buy a house, as owning and buying a house is a smart decision. Should this child begin their life based on these belief systems, more often than not they will take this idea of what is “BEST” throughout the rest of their life. They will judge their decisions by this, express emotions based on this, develop self-esteem based on this and so forth. From then on, every decision they make will be based on this belief system handed down and taught to them.
Even getting specific, what to study in school, what type of job to get, what type of car to buy, how to spend and save money, what type of house to buy and so on. What is really happening with all of this? We are defining the ideal life or what’s “best” and then we limit our life to a small scope of how things should be.
The Deep Truth
Here is the absolute truth, ready? None of it has any real truth to it. It’s just all a belief system. Perception, ideas! But we often live by this and it becomes so real in our minds that we become stuck thinking this is the way to do it. Then when depression and anxiety follow, as we may believe we are stuck, we forget to look back on the belief system that is often caging us and our reality into a small tight space we often don’t deeply resonate with.
Look at our world. We often all chase the same thing, the same stuff because that is what we have been sold as the ideal life. Each area of the world has its own version of this. Who’s life are you really living? Whose dreams are you chasing and carrying out? We take on these beliefs and we begin to sacrifice ourselves, our health, and our soul desires so we can carry out someone else’s idea of “best” that we grabbed onto.
Back to the child from the example above. Now they have grown into a young man or woman and are in a job they don’t truly like. But it pays the bills and lives up to the idea of “best” that has been given to them. Most of the time, people around them will all reinforce that their decisions are the “best” because they have all been sold on the same belief system. “You have to make sacrifices, you have to work really hard to have a good life!” is what we are told. But who says what is “good?” Even when that grown up child is expressing their sadness or frustration for the reality they are in, we continue to reinforce it to protect the idea of ‘the best.’
We take this entirely expansive creative individual playing in an expansive playground called Earth and we confine them to this tiny little narrow path of what the “best” is. Instead of spending their life being able to make any choice they choose, they stay limited to what they have been sold as the “best” even if they don’t truly love it.
Then you have the even deeper part, we then look upon and judge others when they make “the wrong decisions.” Look at how we view those who change their minds about what they want to play with all the time. What do we say about those people? “They need to make up their mind and get their life on track.” What track? There is a track? Says who? “They didn’t make a smart decision with their money or their house so they are going to pay for it later.” Who says some decisions are better than others? Is it not an experience either way?
You are the creator of your life and reality. You can choose to play and create whatever type of life you choose. And guess what? If you make a decision and start creating a particular life then you realize you want to create something new, you are free to do this!
No matter what story we tell ourselves like: “it’s too late, I can’t change this now, it’s too costly” etc. know that these are all egoic illusions. You are never limited to whatever life you have created even if you have been doing it for 30 years. Remember to ask yourself: the life you are chasing, the goals you have set, who’s goals are they really? Where did you first hear of them? Are they from your heart? Or are they what you have been sold?
Look inside yourself at what YOU TRULY want and how you wish to express yourself and create. Start there, and create from that space. You will see very quickly that you can create anything you choose.
Remember, there is no right or wrong path here. It’s about looking back on what we choose, where we are at and saying “Is this where I want to be? Am I feeling peace? Expressing my deepest self? Am I inspired about where I am at?” and if you aren’t, you create a new path and see how that feels. Follow how you FEEL, not what you seek as right or wrong. Our life reflects our state of consciousness.
The Hero’s Adventure: What Movies Can Teach Us About Facing Our Shadow
- The Facts:
The Hero's Journey is a multi-staged adventure whereby the 'hero' grows to become a new version of themselves, one that is evolved and at a 'higher level' per se.
- Reflect On:
Movies can be viewed in many ways. Some see it as programming others as inspiration. How can we use what we see in movies in our own lives? To grow and evolve as people? To recognize our true callings vs those of Hollywood?
The hero’s adventure is a term popularised by Joseph Campbell based upon his 1949 work “The Hero with a Thousand Faces”. The late Campbell was an American Professor of Literature and a philosopher who described the adventure one must embark upon to fully realise who he/she is.
A simple explanation from Campbell:
“A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.”
Campbell uses the word monomyth to describe this adventure which was taken from James Joyce’s book Finnegans Wake.
According to Campbell the monomyth contains 3 stages, with 17 subsections. Not all journeys contain all sections and no two adventures are the same, yet the hero’s adventure follows a surprisingly similar pattern. The 3 stages are 1. A call to seek out some kind of adventure. 2. A trial or initiatory period where the hero must face an obstacle or series of obstacles. 3. The return back home with that which you were seeking to find. This often repeats in a number of ways, with various steps being repeated, but this is the idea.
The 17 Steps Of The Heroes Adventure:
- The call to adventure
- Refusal of the call
- Supernatural aid
- Crossing the threshold
- Belly of the whale
- The road of trials
- The meeting with the goddess
- Woman as temptress
- Atonement with the father
- The ultimate boon
- Refusal of the return
- The magic flight
- Rescue from without
- The crossing of the return threshold
- Master of two worlds
- Freedom to live
When you look to Hollywood movies and best selling fiction books they all follow the same pattern. Star Wars writer, George Lucas, was a friend of Joseph Campbell and famously said that without Campbell there would have been no Star Wars.
If you take Star Wars, it is the perfect example of the Hero’s Journey:
The Call: Luke Skywalker is living a mundane existence, and then while cleaning R2D2 he is shown a holographic recording seeking help from Princess Leia.
The Initiation: Obi-Wan becomes a mentor to Luke, and teaches him to “use the force”. Along the way he meets Han Solo, Chewbacca and other unsuspecting helpers until he completes his apprentice (which he does not know is taking place). Finally after much fighting, Luke is able to rescue Princess Leia and destroy the death star.
The Return: Then he returns home a new man where Leia awards Luke with medals for his heroism.
The Matrix is another example.
The Call: Thomas Anderson is fed up with life at a dead end job and knows there is more to his existence. He has a dream in which his computer types “follow the white rabbit” when someone comes to buy illegal computer programmes from him they ask him to join them on a night out. He declines, but when one of the group turns, she has a tattoo of a white rabbit, so he decides to follow.
The Initiation: Thomas Anderson becomes his computer alias Neo. He meets Trinity, and later Morpheus and is offered to be shown the truth in the form of the red pill (truth) or blue pill (fantasy). He opts for the truth pill and is initiated into a mysterious world where reality as he knew it is actually a computer programme. He gets to download multiple skills, thinks he is The One, but then realises he is not The One. Morpheus gets taken by the agents and he decides to save him.
The Return: Upon trying to save Morpheus he realises he is The One, saves him and defeats the agents. This is him returning with the realisation he is The One, although the return and initiation cross over a little.
This is the same structure you see in Harry Potter, The Wizard Of Oz, Alice In Wonderland, The Alchemist and just about every story based movie there is.
But how is this helpful?
This is the same story we can use as a metaphorical representation of who and where we are in our lives.
If you think life is meaningless and mundane, this means you should be on the lookout for synchronicities and clues of how to break free.
If you have just had a strong urge to go and do something very far removed from your comfort zone that has the potential to change your circumstances, then you probably should.
If you are stuck in a painful situation that seems to have no end, this means you are in an initiation. Being in an initiation does not guarantee you will pass “the test” but at some point you will be given an opportunity to break a cycle or take an opportunity.
If you have just been through an ordeal and conquered your inner (and sometimes outer) demons, bask in the glory, but remember there was 9 Star Wars movies, 4 Matrix movies and 8 Harry Potter books. Your Heroes Adventure may have many chapters, so strap in and try to enjoy the journey.
Much love, Luke.
If you would like to download my free eBook- Psychology Meets Spirituality- Secrets To A Supercharged Life You Control YOU CAN DO SO HERE
On Taking Life Too Seriously
- The Facts:
Much of the time in life, we allow ourselves to take situations VERY seriously. This will sometimes turn pain into suffering, or prolong the challenges we face for growth. It also stops us from truly finding peace in life.
- Reflect On:
Do you feel a constant sense of anxiety in your life? Underlying everything? Where do you notice you take life or situations too seriously? What do you do to begin connecting back to self, and taking life less seriously?
Do you go through life with constant angst? A feeling deep down that there is always a little bit of stress or a little bit of worry? I’ve been through this. And in some ways, I thought it would never go away. But I focused on self awareness and living in the heart enough to kiss those days goodbye.
We can sure take life too seriously at times can’t we? I mean it’s fair. We have stresses in life that we get caught up in, we go, go, go, go, and often forget to take a moment to breathe. In Western culture, it’s all about obsessing over goals and getting there and telling ourselves sotries about what life will be like when we do finally get there… but what often happens to us when we live this way? We step into unconsciousness. We stop taking time to FEEL.
I want to help us remember to be STILL with this.
Various experiences and events have taken place in my life that have challenged some of my deepest ideals, belief systems and concepts that I felt were a part of me. This has gone on and occurred in my entire 11 year journey of truly changing myself. Whether it had to do with the work I do, friends, the world, relationships or big decisions in life, many things were challenged. It has truly been an incredible ride.
We sometimes might think “when will all the change and ‘chaos’ end?” A good question indeed, but isn’t this what we are here for at this time? To truly look at ourselves, look at all that we hold onto and all that we define our reality with. Literally everything! If you are feeling like you are the only one out there going through this stuff and feel like everything is backwards -that things are constantly being challenged, know that what you are experiencing is perfect, and we must remember to have fun with it!
Not Just A Human Experience
We are not here at this time to simply have ‘a human experience,’ we are here to evolve the human experience. It’s different! Stop looking at the past to tell us what to do, how we should move forward, and what ‘the greats’ did in our past to figure things out. We are not in that time, and the zeitgeist of our time now is not to simply exist but to be present as we deeply evolve the way of life on this planet.
We hear a lot “but we’re human, just embrace that!” That’s all fine, but what does that mean? What is a human? How should we be? Does being human mean accepting the world as it is? Are we capable of more? Can we redefine what it means to be human and what life should look like? Why do we give up so easily on dreaming big about these things?
I used to accept MANY limitations about myself and what I could do. But eventually, I was faced with the chance to let all that go, and reimagine what was possible. Even when everyone told me I was crazy and I couldn’t do what I was trying to do, I used my connection to self and consciousness to create it. Because I believed I was capable of more, and so is everyone else. This is how Collective Evolution, the site your on, came to be.
After experiencing the many deep questions and challenges I have thus far, overcoming them and moving forward, I have one very special thing that I have reminded myself about over and over and truly understand to a deep level. We are here to play and evolve! None of what we are experiencing is as serious as we think!!
The mind and ego can make things very real, very dramatic, very frightening. I know! But the highest aspect of who we are is always clear, always neutral, and always sharing with us exactly what we need to hear because IT IS US! We are not the mind or the stories it creates that makes things so serious. They are there because that is our challenge. To go beyond the mind and the stories it creates -so we can experience this sensorial world and remember who we truly are (click to listen to my podcast on this topic.)
So let’s remember, whether it’s life choices, relationships, friends, work, family, sports, or everyday events, know that it’s just an experience! We can spend our whole lives always caught up in the drama and the intensity, saying “oh my gosh things are so tough, the world is so crazy, my life is upside down, and I’m so busy!” but where does this lead us? This is a question we must ask ourselves.
If we remain caught up in these perceptions, repetitive patterns of mind, we will continue to miss out on the entire journey we are on because we are lost and caught up in the mind. We perpetuate our so called “suffering” when we make things serious and make them a big deal. When we can see it for what it is, we allow the emotions to subside, allow back in our full potential and know how to take action forward. This is called finding true peace.
I’m not talking about simply accepting things and saying “well get over it” or “that’s how it is, so deal with it.” No. I’m talking about truly seeing things for what they are. Seeing why we color something in a particular way. Seeing the belief system behind why something is good or bad or right or wrong or even why it’s serious!
I promise you, behind every strong emotion, every serious situation, there is a belief system that makes it that way. One that is held in the mind and made real by the mind. But the mind is not YOU! See the story! Let it go and just play! You will find much peace and joy in flowing through your experience in this way.
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