An encounter with Maitreya Dadashreeji puts Prawesh S in touch with his Inner Divine
The air was laced with the sweet fragrance of incense and camphor as the sounds of the bells, conch shells, and melodious chanting seemed to transmute it into something almost tangible. With my eyes closed, just these two senses were enough to transcend me into a realm of otherworldly serenity and bliss. The cool sensation of the river gently lapping at my feet seemed to be the only tether I had to the mortal plane. I felt an overwhelming surge of a warm sensation emanating from my heart; and by the time it reached my eyes, it had transformed into warm tears rolling down my cheeks. I opened my eyes to the blazing fire of the Ganga Maha Aarti, and it took me a while to discern whether I was on the physical plane or some mystical realm.
This took place almost a decade ago, but I can still visualise the experience as though it had happened only recently. For a young professional fresh out of college, a spiritual ashram was not the ideal destination for a sojourn but, call it providence if you may, there I was.
A divine design
A dear colleague of mine had shared with me about a spiritual master who was conducting a session in Rishikesh, and he wanted me to come along. I finally conceded to his persistent pestering and decided to try it out. At the very least, I thought, it would be worthwhile to travel to a new place for the weekend.
There are moments in your life, where your path leads you to a most wondrous experience, after which your life is never the same. There are moments in your life when you discover your self; you may not even realise it, but it might have been a journey spanning countless lifetimes. My first meeting with Maitreya Dadashreeji in a two-day spiritual retreat of sorts was that culmination point.
The mind tries to grasp at the memories of this lifetime for a reference to a meeting such as this, but it’s not a mundane everyday happening to run into a divine being. Nevertheless, the heart silently knows the truth.
This meeting with Dadashreeji was not a paradigm of grandeur and flamboyance but rather an experience in simplicity. A young person with a gentle smile and kind eyes was the first thing I saw. It is said that wisdom comes with age, but looking at the young face of Dadashreeji was akin to staring at the unfathomable vastness of the sky. Yet, despite his greatness, when he spoke, it was in a language of simplicity, in a language of love. The message was Love.
Just as we are able to experience warmth and light the moment we step into the sunlight, we experience love in the presence of Dadashreeji. For us to experience the warmth of the sun, neither we nor the sun has to make an effort. The same is the effortless experience of love in the presence of Dadashreeji.
The purpose of spirituality
With myriad tools and techniques, each promising phenomenal spiritual growth, somewhere, the true meaning of spirituality seems to have fallen into an abyss. Prior to participating in this retreat, I was half-expecting a list of dos and don’ts, some techniques that I would be required to practise, as well as lifestyle changes that I would be asked to make. However, what Dadashreeji shared was a liberating experience. He shared, “Spirituality is about being natural.”
To be natural is to be in tune with your heart. This means that whatever the heart’s calling, one just needs to follow that. The heart is the abode of one’s inner Divine, so whatever comes from the heart is divine guidance. The only challenge is that, over the years, most of us have suppressed this voice to such an extent that we are unable to hear it clearly. This disconnect from the heart, or one’s inner Divine, has led us to seek clarity and guidance from others in the outside world, which is ironic as others too are in need of guidance and wise counsel.
This is especially important considering the ongoing scenario across the world. For the last few years, the events and situations around the world have become more volatile: the COVID-19 pandemic was of an unprecedented magnitude, there has been an increase in conflict and war-like situations, and natural calamities have increased around the globe. It is anticipated that the next few years too will be challenging. These turbulences have affected lives across the world, and there is a need for clarity and guidance more than ever before.
The imminent need for change
The situation in the world, as well as in our personal lives, is calling for us to change, to transform. In simple terms, transformation means a shift towards becoming a better version of ourselves. It is a continuous process, a perennial pursuit of becoming better at every aspect of life. When we experience this transformation, it may not mean that the external situations will change but that our own experience of the situation will shift towards something positive.
We want to be happy, experience love, do well in life, and be able to deal with adversities. But we are an amalgamation of the experiences we have gone through in our lives. While positive experiences bring about a positive impact, adverse experiences, on the other hand, leave imprints, which form conditionings, thoughts, behavioural patterns, and internal blocks. Due to these imprints, we are unable to experience life completely. These conditionings stop us from experiencing our true self, and we get caught up in a vicious cycle.
The need for divine intervention
We can bring about changes in our external lifestyle or habits through our own effort, but transformation is a much subtler and deeper process. It is a gradual but permanent shift in one’s being. The process needs to be initiated at the core of our being, from where it gradually percolates outwards. This inner shift then reflects through our emotions, thoughts, and then, finally, our actions and behaviour. It is not possible to bring about this transformation through one’s own effort but only through divine intervention.
Dadashreeji is the pioneer of this transformation. He connects as a true friend, as Maitreya (Divine Friend), and helps initiate this process. He says, “Make me your friend. I will walk with you at every moment to listen, guide, and support you.”
One of the ways in which He initiates this process of transformation is through ShaktiPravāh, a spiritual process of Divine Energy transfer. This energy transfer process takes place at the deepest levels of one’s spiritual layer, far beyond the body and conscious mind. This energy helps cleanse the layers of conditionings that are stopping one from experiencing one’s true self. It also helps awaken the inner Divine to an active state. Once the Divine is in an active state, one can connect, communicate, and also receive guidance from one’s inner Divine.
Don’t forget the destination
There are various spiritual practices that support one’s spiritual journey, but for the most part, the focus is on the tools and techniques. A simple truth that many seekers forget as they walk along the spiritual path is that the most important aspect is the destination, i.e., the Divine, and not the methods and techniques. It is the bond with the Divine which is of prime importance. The personal bond which one shares with the Divine (whichever deity one personally connects to) grants one the fruits of one’s sadhanas (spiritual practices). Without the bond, all tools are as futile as trying to shoot an arrow from an unstrung bow; the arrow will not reach anywhere.
By bonding with the Divine within, one is able to receive and experience unconditional love. The discord and turmoil that we experience in our everyday lives are due to the fact that we have somehow forgotten this bond. All our actions are directed towards the goal of achieving happiness and receiving love, but the experience is transient. Though it might seem difficult to accept, the search for unconditional love in the outside world is a futile pursuit; the only source is within.
Dadashreeji says, “The cause of suffering is the lack of Love.” The only thing which can emancipate us completely from the suffering that we experience is the true unconditional love of the Divine. The moment we are able to bond with our Inner Divine, love flows automatically. When we start experiencing this love within ourselves, it begins to exude from us. When we transform, all those who are connected with us automatically start experiencing this transformation. This is the wave of Transformation!
The Maha Aarti came to an end. The spectators slowly started clearing from the ghat (steps leading down to a river). As I came out of my divine reverie, I started to wonder where everyone was going. The final destination for each one of them, someday, is undoubtedly the Divine, but as of that day, everyone was going back to their own lodgings.
As for me, I slowly made my way to where my Maitreya was. It was just the beginning of the most wondrous journey—my journey of Transformation with Maitreya Dadashreeji!
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