To the Editor:
Tim Gallway's piece on penal institutions in your June issue will hopefully circuate widely here in Boston. where an unusually complicated and potentially dangerous situation has arisen at nearby Walpole State Prison.
While the article is certain to be appreciated by psychologists, prison staff members. general readers and prisoners themselves, another group would also surely profit - those with no police records who are perhaps on the verge of committing crimes for which, if apprehended, prison sentences would be imposed.
Those individuals are rare who, like "Richard" in the article, are capable of inner freedom and an imperviousness to threat from dehumanizing prison conditions. Rather. it would seem that first offenders would not have the fortitude to retain interior freedom. and would become rapidly ruined by corrupt fellow inmates as by cynical guards.
I can therefore think of no better deterrent to crime than a careful reading of articles such as this which give fair warning that, at least for the usual sort of person, deterioration rather than rehabilitation follows as the aftermath of conviction.
I think that Guru Maharaj Ji is doing more for peace than anyone else in the world. So I think he should be awarded the next Nobel Peace Prize. People who feel the same way should write to the Nobel Prize Committee and nominate him.
The address is:
Oslo 2. Norway.
Dear And It Is Divine,
Though I have only been acquainted with your magazine for a few months now. I would like to express my delight in every issue. There seems to be something very unique about your publication. The layout is very lush and the reporting is good. I do look forward to the recipes because I am a newly-converted vegetarian (thanks to the meat prices) and your advice in eating has shown me - with practical results - that vegetarian cooking can be exciting and creative.
Though the quality of the magazine that I like eludes me somewhat, I keep coming back to the section of the magazine where Sant Ji Maharaj, your editor in chief, sets the tone. This short letter is placed so subtly it could be missed. But I caught it and made a point of reading his article - and then those of his mother and his brother, Bal Bhagwan Ji.
All three of these people talk about a Knowledge, but I have problems understanding what this Knowledge is. Maybe in the future you could print a discourse where one of Guru Maharaj Ji's family is more specific in their description. I am very interested to know more. I am a housewife and a Presbyterian and, though I would expect otherwise, these articles are very inspiring even though they don't come from a 'Christian' source. The point of view they come from is universal and common to us all: we all need to know God. As far as I can tell, it seems this Knowledge is beneficial for anyone, regardless of religion. From your experience of it, does it conflict with the teachings of Jesus?
Thank you for publishing.
Michigan City, Indiana
The other day I picked up a copy of And It Is Divine at a newsstand to read while I was on the plane. At first I didn't notice the title, just the cover story, which intrigued me because a friend of mine said he had tried quaaludes, and I was curious about them. I found the article to be informative, but the second part of the article, the interview with the dealer, I thought was quite interesting. It is really depressing that so many of this country's youth are driven to take drugs. They seem unable to relate to anything, yet so many of them have everything. Even that quaaludes dealer could find no satisfaction in either taking drugs or in selling them to others. He even seemed to be aware, at times, that what he was doing was not bringing him any happiness.
After reading the cover story. I went back and read the whole magazine. Although I didn't particularly care for some things in the magazine. I found it a refreshing change from most popular magazines I've been used to reading. I felt that the dolphins article was excellent and the piece about Rumi was delightful. But what surprised me the most, as I look back to the experience of reading the magazine, were the articles by Guru Maharaj Ji and his brother. I've never encountered religious figures who were so knowledgeable, yet so practical. Although I would call myself an agnostic, I could not help but feel that if I had met people like them back when I was into a religious movement, I might never have given up on finding God or abandoned searching for a spiritual dimension to my life. I continue to have many reservations about what these two men wrote about this experience, called the Knowledge, but I am looking forward to reading your next issue.
Sincerely, Kenneth G. Richards Tallahassee, Fla.
P.S. How do you acquire back issues of And It Is Divine?
Dear Brothers and Sisters:
I am presently incarcerated in the Allentown Federal Prison Camp in Montgomery. Pa. I am one of those who participated in the politics of the left in the latter Sixties and early Seventies. Like many other young adults, I became politically aware after returning from the service and entering college.
Since being incarcerated I have done a considerable amount of study in religions: luckily I was able to obtain a book by a Master Teacher and the many different teachings took their proper perspective. I now realize that I was still manifesting my lower self even though my greatest desire was to create a peaceful society based on the brotherhood of man.
I think I first heard about Shri Guru Maharaj Ji in the newspapers or television and I was very cutious as to his teachings. There is a wise saying that I think is true: "When the student is ready, the teacher shall appear." I was really thirsty for more knowledge and it had seemed as if I had come to a dead-end; then a few days ago I came across a person who had the magazine And It Is Divine. Needless to say I was lucky enough to borrow a few of them and what I read I liked. I personally think its the best magazine that I have ever read; I plan to subscribe to it as soon as I am released. I also hope to one day receive Knowledge myself; this I really long for.
Thank you for your aid; I will let you know how things work out. I hope to see everyone in Houston or maybe before.
Howard C. Moore
Letters to the Editor, with writers name and address, should be sent to: And It Is Divine, 511 16th St., Denver, Colorado 80202.