An Interview With Guru Maharaj Ji
John Wood of the Boston Globe conducted this interview with Guru Maharaj Ji in Newton, Massachusetts, August 3, 1973.
Wood: I hear people talking about Who is Guru Maharaj Ji? but I don't hear an answer.
Maharaj Ji: It has to be practically realized. There has to be a practical experience before somebody can realize who is really Guru. What is the definition for a sun? You can say, a ball shining, but it's really not enough, you know. You've got to see the sun. And then you can understand it.
Wood: Is the practical experience you have given the same for people here as elsewhere?
Maharaj Ji: It's just the same. Actually, this is called revealing Knowledge. Knowledge is already within inside of us all. It's already there. It has to be known.
Wood: In our discussion before you came down, this question of Who is Guru Maharaj Ji:? resolved into many other pretty large questions: what is light? why are we here? — Can these be answered?
Maharaj Ji: Answered verbally — might not be possible. But yes — there is a very practical answer to it. And that's the realization itself. Language was made for communication, a frequent communication between people. And it is so finite, it's so little, it's just not perfect to relate what is perfect within inside of us. But when we understand the energy, when we understand the source, that is the whole answer.
Wood: How do we realize it?
Maharaj Ji: Well, it's a very simple procedure: Ask and you shall be given, knock and it shall be opened unto you. That's what Jesus had to say about it. Really that is the procedure. You go to a Perfect Master. If you want to drink water you have to go a tap. You can tell someone else to bring water to you, but he has to go to the tap. The tap is the source.
Wood: Many of the things that I've read about you have incorporated quotations from the Bible or from other religious sources. What is your relationship to those? To say, Jesus.
Maharaj Ji: You see, the point is, I have realized that energy as John did.
Wood: John, the disciple?
Maharaj Ji: Right. John, a disciple of Jesus, wrote about the Word. Jesus himself revealed this Knowledge to people. I have realized that Knowledge so I know what they are talking about in the Bible, and what they are talking about in the Koran. I know what they are talking about in the Gita, I know what they are talking about in the Ramayana. Because I have known that perfect Knowledge that they are talking about.
Wood: Would your role be analogous then to John the disciple or to Jesus the Christ?
Maharaj Ji: Well, I just don't put myself in any of those. I'm just a humble servant trying to preach this Knowledge to people.
Wood: A humble servant of —
Maharaj Ji: Of God. Of this most Supreme Energy. I don't say I am a Messiah, I don't say I'm a prophet, I don't say all those things.
Wood: They are said of you …
Maharaj Ji: People say, people say … actually the most common thing they say about me is that I am a Perfect Master. And what they mean by Perfect Master is the one who can reveal perfectness. Like one who teaches you math, you call him a math master, one who teaches you science, you call him a science master, one who can teach you perfectness, you call him a Perfect Master. And I can teach them what is perfectness, so they call me Perfect Master.
Wood: How do you feel you've been received in this country in terms of people following you or in terms of the people that aren't following you?
Maharaj Ji: My followers come to the airport and they do prostration to me, they give me all these presents and they throw flowers on me; the third person, it just completely blows him right out. He can't understand what's going on.
Wood: To the third person who sees this?
Maharaj Ji: Yes. But, actually, it's very simple because this is the point: they love me and I love them. It's as straight and as simple as that.
Wood: How do you make the third person understand?
Maharaj Ji: When he realizes the same Knowledge, he also understands.
Wood: And how does he realize it?
Maharaj Ji: If he just takes seeds and throws them on the ground. He's a fool, a big fool. He has to go and take his tractor, fertilize the soil, and make sure that it is okay for these seeds. Naturally it is not going to be okay, so he makes it okay. And when he's made sure that everything is Aokay, he goes ahead and sows.
When a man comes to us he is confused, he's looking for Knowledge. He's confused and unsatisfied. We give him the introduction to this Knowledge. We tell him really what he wants. And when he understands it more and more, then it's like fertilizing and driving a tractor. And when he understands completely and perfectly, that, "yes, this is it," then he can go ahead and sow those seeds.
This Knowledge was only given to those disciples of Jesus who came to him. He couldn't give it to Pilate. He couldn't give it to all those soldiers. Otherwise, that would have been the best thing for him to do and they would have understood that he was the Lord and the Messiah of the time. But if you take that small seed and try to sow it in a rock, it'll never grow.
It's mind which is causing freak out. We tell people to control the mind. Instead of telling them to slow down the car, we tell them to leave the accelerator. And that does slow down the car.
Wood: What is the purpose of the mind?
Maharaj Ji: There is a definite purpose of a mind, but really we can't understand it till we have understood the aim of our human life.
It is there to put selection into our lives. It is there like a, like a judge. When you go somewhere, you can test through it. It's like your tongue, a tongue of perception in this world. But the point is, you have to understand the main purpose in your life.
Wood: What do you see as the role of other religions now in the world?
Maharaj Ji: Well, this is a question that people ask me, "What do you think about this?" but really, I don't have to. I don't have anything to say about these religions, because I have not tried them. I think it they know what they are doing, then they might be right in what they're doing.
Wood: Do you think that there is only one Perfect Master?
Maharaj Ji: You see — here I want to be very frank — people come to me and ask me about this, and they say, "What's your
opinion about a Perfect Master? Is there one, is there two?" I tell them my opinion, that there is only one Perfect Master. Because perfectness is one, not two, not three. So, there is one Perfect Master in this world. And because he is perfect, that's it. He is perfect. You just can't divide perfect. I think it's funny saying that; it's just as funny as saying that the car had tires on top, and car had tires on the bottom. That's just like saying there are two Perfect Masters. You are just dividing perfectness into two — you can't do that. There has to be one Perfect Master, because perfectness is infinite, you just can't divide it. It has to be one.
Wood: What happens after the Perfect Master dies or leaves?
Maharaj Ji: See, to us Perfect Master dies, but Perfect Master never really dies. This is one of the things that every Christian says, "Christ left his body; Christ died for us." And the one thing I have not been able to understand is this: if Christ was son of God, how could he die? When the body disintegrates, the elements dissolve. They go back where they belong. But that energy can never die. I don't see what died in Jesus.
Wood: So that energy is still alive.
Maharaj Ji: What we think is dead, never dies, if we can realize what that is. People who have realized Jesus — for him he is always there, he can never die. It's as if we have a picture, and the frame breaks, we don't say the picture broke, do we? Do we say that?
Maharaj Ji: See, because the picture is the main thing, not the frame, and the frame broke, let it break. The picture is the main thing that we are concerned with. Because I have realized that picture within, I know that what you are is not you, but something behind you, inside you, that is you. And that is how I relate to it.
Wood: And that can be realized?
Maharaj Ji: By this Knowledge.
Wood: The Knowledge can be realized through that spirit?
Maharaj Ji: No. It has to be revealed. By a Perfect Master.
Wood: By a living Perfect Master?
Maharaj Ji: By a living Perfect Master. I was going to give you an example of Kennedy and Johnson. When Kennedy left his body, they didn't say all right, Kennedy is still going to be President. They put Johnson in.
Wood: I've never understood what you are in India. Your father was also Perfect Master —
Maharaj Ji: Yes, he was Perfect Master, and then, when he left his body he commanded me to continue his job.
Wood: But didn't your father have a following before there was a Divine Light Mission?
Maharaj Ji: Before there was a Divine Light Mission, there was a Guru to my father also.
Wood: Then there has been a steady succession of Perfect Masters —
Maharaj Ji: There have always been Perfect Masters coming into this world.
Wood: Will there be another one?
Maharaj Ji: Yes. After me.
Wood: The people who have picked up on this movement in this country seem to be the younger generation. Why is that?
Maharaj Ji: Well, not really — there are other people, too. But there are many youngsters because young people have gone through a desperate search. They have gone to everything — drugs and anything you want to say, you know? They've just gone through the whole trip. And still they have not perfectly realized what that Knowledge is, see? So when they come here, they realize this Knowledge, that it's what they have been searching for. They have to cling to it, and they realize what it was they wanted. Understand?
Wood: Yes, I think so. You have more experience with Knowledge than your disciples do, but do you have the knowledge of how to reach other people with it?
Maharaj Ji: Sure, because I have reached more people than they have, more people than they have even seen in their life — six million people. That's the last counting.
Wood: You were saying before, that you expect to see peace on earth in your lifetime.
Maharaj i: You will be able to see peace in this world on people's faces. This is one thing a London newspaper wrote, that if you see a well—dressed man who has got a glow on his face, if he's really shining, it means he's from Divine Light Mission. They have realized peace, and peace can't hide itself. It just comes out. And when everybody is going to realize it, it's going to be —
Wood: Will everybody realize this then?
Maharaj Ji: It's not a hard job. For sure to the people who see this world and see us, it might seem a hard job because they only see five or six people around me. But that's not it. There's six million people reaching at least. It's not hard for one man to reach two people a day — you understand? And six million people are reaching two people a day — how much does that count to? That's it. That's how we are growing so fast.
Wood: Is there any usefulness in attacking what seems to be the concrete problems of the earth such as poverty and hunger?
Maharaj Ji: See today people are not satisfied, and they want more and more for themselves. And that has stopped the communication for poor people to be reached. That has just stopped up all the holes. I have been busier propagating this Knowledge, actually, than studying. This country seems to be doing fine, as a matter of fact, but still people are not satisfied, so —
Wood: I'm interested in whether the poverty issue is an important question to answer or not.
Maharaj Ji: Poverty has to be released from the world. You can't give an answer to it, and you can't have a question to it. If you know poverty is there, you must get it out of there. That's the way I see it.
Wood: How do you get it out of there?
Maharaj Ji: That's what I'm working on — by giving everybody two legs to walk on.
Wood: Once one has the Knowledge, what should one do then?
Maharaj Ji: He should meditate upon it, he should concentrate upon the Knowledge. And then he has peace. But really it's very hard to explain it, because this is practical, it's like trying to explain to someone the experience of a pinch. You can't tell somebody the experience of a pinch until you pinch them.
Wood: In the reading that I've done about you, two things that seem to interest people and that seem odd to people are, first, that you are fifteen years old and, second, that you are so playful.
Maharaj Ji: People think that when a Guru
comes into the world that he is going to be as serious as a stone, that he is never going to laugh. But one who has found happiness, if he is not going to be happy, then who is going to be happy? Not the guy who is sad.
And people take the idea of age — if somebody wears red glasses and tries to figure out the world, everything seems red to him. See? People have limited themselves in age, people have limited themselves in time, and that's why they see age in me. I don't see anything in me — I don't see age.
See, the point is, we need this Knowledge. Man does not need gold to survive. He can live without gold. Man cannot drink water twenty—four hours a day, man cannot eat food twenty—four hours a day. What does he need? All the time he is longing for satisfaction. And that he needs.
Wood: Why is it so hard to look for internal satisfaction?
Maharaj Ji: Because we are just not looking the right way.
Wood: But why do we always look in the wrong way?
Maharaj Ji: Because we are so ignorant. And that's why there is a Perfect Master on top of our heads to tell us that we're looking the wrong way, and to turn us around. That's what Jesus did. He went to people and told them about this Knowledge, he told them what was right and what was wrong.
Wood: What do people think that a Guru will be?
Maharaj Ji: (laughing) Everybody has a different image of a Guru. That you will have a beard, or you will wear white robes.
Wood: People seem to have trouble believing that a Guru or a Perfect Master exists now —
Maharaj Ji: History is a pendulum, it goes and comes back again. Jesus was there, and people were seeing him. Some people said, "Oh, we believe he is a Perfect Master." Others said, "He just can't be a Perfect Master," and other people said, "I don't know. I just don't want to get confused." And the same thing is happening right now, it's just a larger amount of people than at that time. But, when the sun shines, it does not need proof. When the Perfect Master comes and reveals himself, that's it.
Wood: Have you given thought to your being so contemporary? You seem to be troublesome to some people, I'm sure.
Maharaj Ji: Again, it's like this that they wear these red glasses, and say, "Wow! Wow! He's so red!" What do you say to those people? You aren't red, you see, but they see you as red. They see me riding in a car, but the point is, that car has been given to me by Divine Light Mission for a useful purpose. If Jesus comes today, they are not going to give him a donkey. Nobody is going to do that. They waste more than a couple of billion dollars probably on a church. I don't know how much they are going to waste when he comes into this world.
If a child is lost, and it comes back to its mother, the first thing they are going to do is embrace, you know? Because love's right there. They were lost, and they found what they wanted. And the mother has realized this in her son, and son has realized this in his mother. People have realized who I am, but it's really nothing, it's nothing for me you know. It's all for this Knowledge, and all for the world. But people look at it with a completely different view. It's very hard to convince them. But I don't think it's a problem, because they will understand. No problem.
Wood: Do you have an individual character?
Maharaj Ji: I do try to follow something. I live a certain way.
Wood: How do you try to live?
Maharaj Ji: Neat and clean. Do meditation and live happily. But, I don't see myself as an individual character.
Wood: How do you see yourself?
Maharaj Ji: I don't even see myself till I go to a mirror. I don't have any opinions about me. I understand who I am, that's it.
Wood: Who are you?
Maharaj Ji: Well, what is inside of me, what I really am, not talking in terms of body, is that most supreme energy, which is within inside of you also. But you do not know, it has to be revealed.
This subject is really interesting, it's really far out, this Knowledge, and to understand what is within inside of us, it's just beautiful, it's just fantastic.
Wood: Does the Knowledge affect the activities of the world?
Maharaj Ji: Yes, it does affect activities. Because when we realize Knowledge we are at peace. We are running such a big organization, and if we hadn't received Knowledge, we would have been up to something miserable in this world.
Now just imagine; I have a following of six million people, and whatever I tell them, they are going to do that. And among those six million people, there are millions of people who are criminals. They have murdered people, they have committed many crimes. They have been to jail and they know what it's all like. And if I tell them now, they would do it. They would murder anyone off the street. We could. be hijacking planes, and stealing cars off the roads, and killing people and doing other things. But we have realized that Knowledge, and so the whole movement is completely different.
Wood: Would your followers do whatever you told them to do?
Maharaj Ji: They would be most pleased to.
Wood: What if you told them to do something that was against their Knowledge?
Maharaj Ji: I wouldn't. I wouldn't. I can tell somebody to jump out of the window, he will do that. But I won't tell him to do it. Because I have also realized Knowledge.
Wood: So you wouldn't tell him that.
Maharaj Ji: We understand, you know, what his ability is. I'll just tell him to do what is appropriate for him.
Wood: How do you give the Knowledge?
Maharaj Ji: It's the whole thing, you know. It's like trying to ask the whole thing which is impossible for me to explain in words, because it's a most practical thing that has to be done.
Wood: Can I ask what is done?
Maharaj Ji: You can realize it yourself, you know. I can't just describe in words what is done. Knowledge is Knowledge. You ask for it and it shall be given to you. That's probably the nearest you can talk about Knowledge right there, about getting Knowledge.
Wood: What should I write in a newspaper about you? What is important to write?
Maharaj Ji: About this Knowledge. About this peace. You can write a whole big article about my life and it is going to help nobody — nobody at all. But if you talk about Knowledge, it sure is going to help many thousands of people.
Wood: Okay. Thank you very much.