Kamesh D Patel, also known as Daaji, the fourth global guide of Heartfulness, was in Goa to speak at the recent yoga conference. NT BUZZ caught up with him and two of his followers to gain an insight into this form of meditation
CHRISTINE MACHADO | NT BUZZ
A derivative of the Raja Yoga meditation founded at the turn of the 20th century, Heartful meditation promotes holistic well-being and balance, using the technique of yogic transmission. Over the years, this form of meditation has been embraced and practiced globally. At the realm of this movement is Kamesh D Patel, also known as Daaji who is the fourth global guide of ‘heartfulness’ since 2011. Excerpts from the quick chat
- What drew you to this form of meditation?
I was always drawn to meditation and often closed my eyes for a few minutes. But I had no guidance from any guru. In 1976, a friend came to me one day just as I had finished my normal meditation, which I wasn’t so systematic about then, and told me that although he had seen me meditate, I was always on the surface. He suggested that I come meet a trainer of Heartfulness who would put me in trance right away. I agreed, and that’s how I began.
- What is this yogic transmission in heartfulness meditation?
Yogic transmission plus cleanliness are two great elements that Heartfulness uses in elevating individuals mental state or consciousness. It is difficult to describe what it is unless you experience it. But one can easily describe the effects of transmission on us. As soon as it is received by us, the inner state changes. For instance when you walk on the road under the heat of the sun, the shade of a tree is always a huge relief. Transmission is like that, when you are passing through something, you are all of a sudden engulfed by a wave which takes you to a different level of consciousness. It is food for the soul.
- What are some common misconceptions that people have about heartful meditation?
Right from my earlier days, people, including my parents who saw me meditating thought that I would be a sanyasi and leave the family. I told them then that this is not a restrictive path; instead it is about integrating and balancing the material with the spiritual life. Also, one does not have to leave your religion or belief system to practice this meditation, instead you will realise that it will help you deepen your own personal religious beliefs and give you a real picture of religion. Thirdly there is also a general fear among people that one has to pay for such meditation, but no one will ever ask for fees for heartful meditation.
An international DJ playing for events around the world, with three decades of experience, and now currently based between Czech Republic, Dubai and Hyderabad, Pierre Ravan admits that although he had tried different forms of meditation, he had always been looking for something which is truly felt in the heart. “Everything comes from the heart, be it creativity, divinity, inspiration, love etc. So I was looking to find a way that really connects with the heart without bringing any limitation or prejudice in race, culture, nationality etc,” he says. Heartfulness meditation, he says, was the only path which transcended all this. “It wasn’t like a cult and didn’t divert you from what you are. It made me feel more connected with myself and to realise what I truly am and what I ought to me,” says Ravan, who got into heartfulness in 1999.
Speaking further about spirituality, Ravan states that a lot of people wrongly believe that when they are facing a problem, they should go to a guru, who will put his hand on you and it will all be fine. “Spirituality will not solve the problem. It will give you the strength and wisdom to take the problem, accept it and grow,” he says. And it is important to enrich the soul. “When it comes to taking care of your body, you may go to the gym, stay away from sugar and carbs. The same exact care that you take for your body you should do for the soul. The soul too needs to fed in the form of divine energy and cleansed with it. Heartfulness will enable you to do this,” he says.
Interestingly this is not the first time that Ravan has come down to Goa. About 8 years ago, he visited the state to perform for a New Years Eve function. But he had one condition – he would play from midnight to early morning provided people stay back after that, sit and meditate. And this is exactly what they did. “Heartfulness is a fascinating journey for me,” he says.
Raja Amarnath, a practicing doctor was first introduced to heartful meditation back in 1996-97. “I had just completed my class 12 and was preparing for my entrance exam for medicine and was thus under a lot of stress. To help me out, a friend’s father introduced me to this meditation. My intention of course was only to score good marks at that time, but within ten days I noticed the difference. After I secured a good rank, I began to believe in this form,” he recalls.
And today too, Amarnath who is a critical care specialist handling six ICUs in Chennai, admits that heartful meditation helps ease the stress greatly. “Medically it makes great sense as the heart pumps blood to all organs. Thus, when you meditate on the heart, purified and energised blood goes to all cells in your body. Hence, you are directly touching the base which then reaches out to every cell of the body,” he says.
Speaking further on the health benefits, Amarnath informs that in a recent study, blood pressure was taken of people 20 minutes before and after heartful meditation. “The blood pressure was found to be 40 per cent less,” he states. Similarly in another study the average blood pressure was examined between common people and those who practice heartful meditation with otherwise similar demographics. “In those who practiced heartful meditation, the blood pressure level was found to be 126/70 while in others it was found to be 140/80. This means that those who don’t practice heartful meditation have 20 per cent higher likelihood of having cardiac, nervous and lung related health problems,” he says.