[TechSparks 2020] ‘Learn to be authentic and follow your heart’: Daaji Kamlesh Patel on how to unlock the power of the human potential
‘When we 'still' the mind, we allow for consciousness to take wings and soar’. This is one of Kamlesh D Patel’s famous quotes, and even as he took part in an insightful conversation with Pragya Mishra, Communication Manager, WhatsApp on how to unlock the human potential, it was clear he believed in the incredible power of a quiet mind and deep meditation.
Reverently called Daaji by his followers, Kamlesh Patel is best known as a spiritual guru and as the President and guide of the Heartfulness Institute. Heartfulness is a kind of meditation that is practised by millions of people across 162 countries worldwide, with a goal to bring peace, happiness and wisdom.
Most people may not know that Daaji has also been a successful entrepreneur and runs a pharmacy chain in New York, which he continues to oversee but most of his days are taken up by the duties of a modern-day guru. He is also the author of bestsellers like The Heartfulness Way and Designing Destiny.
The free-wheeling conversation between Pragya and Daaji brought many practical insights to the fore, on how we can deal with challenges that come our way each day and how to become better versions of ourselves over time.
“When you centre yourself and find awareness through meditation, it brings you back to the realisation of who you truly are and how you should behave and act,” said Daaji, in the virtual fireside chat, as he and Pragya went on to talk about how to handle the uncertainties of the “new normal: and why we should present our authentic self to the world every day.
On being human
“COVID-19 has been a leveller in many ways and has shown us we are equal in front of death and disease. This begs a fundamental question- what is it really to be human? How can we live with an attitude of constant evolution and growth?” asked Pragya by way of introducing the subject of the human potential.
Daaji began by defining the word ‘human’ as a person who has a ‘mind’.
“Instead of a "human", I like the word manas in Sanskrit (or in Hindi – manusya) as one who possesses a mind. We need to use the faculty of the mind (manas) in such a way that this manas or mind along with intellect helps us improve and find our consciousness to make better choices in life.”
According to Daaji, you are a different version of yourself than what you were some time ago or as recently as a few days ago, and this continues to change throughout your life.
“I like to compare thoughts with seeds and each thought leads to action and actions leads to certain fruits of our actions,” he says.
We can plant seeds according to our own choices or let it go out of control. But a good gardener would pick and choose particular seeds and plants and place them in the right place so that the whole garden can become beautiful. Life is like that.
“An unregulated mind and unregulated fulfilment of desires can come in from everywhere,” Daaji explains.
“When we meditate, we are able to filter our thoughts and selectively choose what is good for us and what can make us happier or more peaceful. It is the heart that guides us in the actions and reactions of our lives. As we focus our mind, intellect, and feelings, they will come together to create a beautiful garden in your life.”
Bring your authentic self to work
In order to understand your authentic self, you need to identify the false self.
“Our true self is always there with us but as we go through life, year after year, moment after moment, we go on building a new persona and create masks around us too. One of the greatest specialities of the Heartfulness way is learning how to unmask yourself, get rid of unwanted complexities and understand your real nature and authentic self. Eventually, authenticity allows for real, meaningful relationships.”
How to deal with the uncertainty of life
When asked about the uncertainties of life due to COVID-19, Daaji says, “Life, with or without COVID-19, has always uncertain. Can you tell me what you will do five minutes from now or what can happen to us? Life is absolutely uncertain. So, what should be our preparedness? I would say, when you are an authentic person, you don’t need any preparation.”
But we have to do what is required of us in the present pandemic and make sure we ensure our safety and those of others.
“The situation demands that you have to do certain things to protect yourself. If you don’t wear a mask, then you are either suicidal or you end up spreading this disease and you become a murderer. So, this carelessness can arise from unawareness. Your authentic self comes again and again in front of you.”
Aim for your highest potential
Amid the pandemic, many of us have a lot of free time but we need to know how to use it wisely.
“Time is the biggest commodity we have,” says Daaji. “If we don’t utilise this time properly we are not utilising our highest potential.”
Make the right choices
Daaji also offered advice on how to make the right choices in life, either by journaling, reflecting or organising our thoughts.
“Follow your heart as your heart will never misguide you Rewind your life and see where you have gone wrong. Find those moments and write them down or make a mental note of them. When your mind is disorganised and in a chaotic state no one else can fix it for you. You have to do it for yourself. The process of organising your thoughts and feelings in proper compartments is your job and you need some time to allow this to happen. You need to sit quietly for a few minutes in the morning each day and scan your life forward and see what you are going to do next and weed out whatever is unnecessary.”
The virtual chat, which was full of deep spiritual insights came to a close with Daaji taking his audience through a relaxation session and showing them what Heartfulness meditation could do for them.
It was an eloquent way to end the session as in a pandemic-ridden world as quieting the heart and calming the mind are the best ways to cope with the stress and miseries of the times.
Edited by Rekha Balakrishnan