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How can people live together in peace and happiness? Philosophers have written endless volumes, and idealistic pioneers have dedicated their lives to social experiments, yet none of their efforts has helped to answer the question.
Guru Maharaj Ji promises that his Knowledge will bring people happiness, fulfillment, and inner peace. Indeed, millions have already found that Knowledge is a practical solution to their most persistent and deep rooted problems; crippling neuroses are worked through; marriages are mended; dependence on alcohol and drugs disappears. Unemployed wanderers work enthusiastically for the first time, while those who have been limited by a boring routine are given strength to pursue the challenge of a more creative occupation.
Yet while these are incomparable gains on an individual level, the sceptic may still wonder if the Knowledge is really the means through which our social dilemmas can be solved. Can Knowledge make people unselfish and cooperative? Can people actually be shown through Knowledge how to "love thy neighbor" so that war will finally be eradicated?
The process starts when a person begins to wonder why neither material comforts, nor adventure, nor even a happy family life has been able to bring real fulfillment to his life. Perhaps feeling that he has been barred from happiness by circumstances, he may try to escape society by moving to a foreign land or seek to change it by joining reform movements or creating an alternative culture with a group of friends. But such attempts soon teach him that in the most benign society one is still oppressed by the worst tyrant of all – oneself. A resentful person sees bitterness and hatred everywhere, but to young lovers even a rush hour traffic jam seems filled with the melodies of springtime.
Efforts to deal with one's own stubborn nature – through karate or philosophy, phychotherapy and encounter groups, drugs or unusual diets – have only limited success. Neither is it possible to drown a burdensome self completely in the flood of a passionate cause, be it political or religious, making money or making war.
Finally Knowledge rescues the exhausted seeker of peace by showing that his efforts have failed because looking for the answer in the outside world is looking in the wrong direction. Peace comes when one knows his true self, within. As if he were an onion being peeled, a person finds layer after layer of his pet self-conceptions being stripped away. To the question "Who am I?" the old answers of "my occupation, my family, my car, my physical abilities" no longer suffice.
Devotees who have learned the lesson of Knowledge have gathered in many cities throughout the world to cooperate in telling everyone that Guru Maharaj Ji is here and that this true Knowledge is available to all. Their style of living evolves not from social theories or Utopian pretensions, but from the vibration of life pervading them all, which gradually dissolves the differences between them. In this discovery of their common unity, a new kind of community naturally springs: it is an outer manifestation of the inner peace of mind which Guru Maharaj Ji's Knowledge gives.
One such community creates Divine Light Mission's National Headquarters in Denver. Each day in the Headquarters office building, carpenters, executives, janitors, secretaries, and artists greet each other after a morning of service and chat together in the lunch line. That evening they will meditate together as brothers and sisters and each will listen attentively to satsang (or speaking about the experience of Truth, openly and honestly with each other). Knowledge has taught them that it is the person, not the position or label, which is important.
Devotees understand that though the work of the Mission in the world is vitally important, the organization exists primarily to facilitate each other's spiritual growth. Rigid and impersonal ways of dealing with each other would only deter from this purpose. As individuals learn to relate to each other in a variety of ways, the compartmentalization of contemporary life disappears and life is brought back into balance. Meetings or business discussions are prefaced by satsang where people forget their titles and positions in telling of the experiences Knowledge has most recently given them. The mood becomes so uplifted that afterwards agreement is quickly reached.
The "human element" is reintroduced into business life not by coffee breaks or daydreams to break the tedium, but by the understanding and mutual purpose which Knowledge instills. If someone is performing his task poorly, for example, he feels free to take off an hour or two to meditate in private. His "boss" understands, for he has found through his own meditation experience that work is most efficient when the mind is clear and calm. In fact, leadership is just another temporary role. Cooperation between a leader and those he leads becomes easy because each is constantly looking within for guidance from the literal Source of inspiration, the constant vibration inside called the Word.
Many devotees were not professionally trained for the services they render. Yet because they were not limited by preconceptions of what they could or couldn't do, devotion allowed them to acquire many new skills. Managerial talents were discovered in high school dropouts, while Ph.D.'s finally cleared away the cobwebs of bookishness by learning carpentry or driving trucks. This
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type of flexibility in individuals allows them to change their function and to adapt to new conditions easily, preventing the stagnation and inertia so typical of large organizations.
If people are learning to see beyond occupational position to a person's real nature, they are also seeing beyond personalities. For quirks of behavior or unconscious habits cannot obscure the beautiful light which devotees begin to recognize. beyond everything else, in all people. For this reason conversation among them is relatively free of gossip and criticism, and life flows without the continual tension of rivalries, jealousies, and petty scandals. If differences do develop, satsang reestablishes contact on a more fundamental level.
The cooperative spirit makes devotees from all over eager to work together. Frequent satsang programs. fund-raising bake sales, picnics. and concerts bring people from every part of a city, whether they live in the mission or as householders, and whether they work in full-time service or in outside jobs. And food cooperatives, mutual services such as car repair, tailoring and childcare tie the community together on a practical basis. As entire pioneer settlements used to flock together for a neighbor's barn-raising, so people will gather to help paint someone's house, prepare the ashram for a mahatma's visit, or raise funds for contribution to the work of Divine Light Mission.
In many cities and in a large variety of endeavors, the Mission retains its homogeneity because every devotee is guided from within by the same vibration of life. For though rigid dogmas may become difficult to follow as they are exposed to new situations, meditation gives an infinitely adaptable kind of guidance because it is alive, organically suited to the realities of the moment. Its central role in the everyday life of devotees stops the usual pendulum of fads and saves them the need of always seeking assurance from each other for every decision.
Guidance front meditation on the Knowledge subtly brings about a change in the individual's values. Money, comforts and power begin to seem less satisfying because they are accompanied by worries and the secret fear that someday all one has gained might disappear, whereas the serenity gained from a life of meditation and service constantly deepens. Many old habits even begin to be distasteful because they lack the vital inspiration found in satsang and service. Instead of reaching for an aspirin bottle or turning to the television, someone with a headache will say, "What I really need is to hear satsang." The spiritual pleasure of inner peace thus motivates devotees to drop selfish concerns and begin to lead a more pure and devoted life. Some devotees give up their old lifestyle entirely and all their possessions to move into ashrams, while others find their lives gradually simplified as they lose interest in those possessions and activities which were serving simply as substitutes for the enjoyment of inner peace.
Guru Maharaj Ji's Knowledge teaches us how to meditate on the source of peace and love inside us. It is not the sort of knowledge we can find in libraries, for it is a direct experience of something within us, not a theory. That is why Guru Maharaj brother. Shri Bal Bhagwan Ji, said. "this is the Knowledge you can't get in college." Guru Maharaj Ji literally shows us how to see the soul, how to bathe in its purifying and health-giving light. The Knowledge is shown to people by close disciples of Guru Maharaj Ji known as mahatmas. It is revealed free of charge to those who come with an open heart. For further information, call your local Divine Light Mission chapter. or write:
And It Is Divine
Denver, Colorado, 80202
Thus, Knowledge solves the age old problem of greed and shows that man's wants can be limited not by painful coercion, social pressure, or rigid moralities, but by practice of the Knowledge. As Guru Maharaj Ji has observed:
"…today, if we just give a house to someone, he will need a car tomorrow, and then the second day he will need air conditioning in the car, then next he will need headrests in the car. then he will just need everything. But before the point can he reached where his desires become endless, before that point will be able to be reached, there will be a stop to it. by the Knowledge, because Knowledge will he revealed to them, and their desires will he under their control."
More and more, we are beginning to realize that Knowledge is a very practical tool which can bring trust and mutual understanding. For meditation stops the fear that causes people to see each other as threatening. and it clears our mind to treat others as the fellow human beings they arc. The famous adage. "When you point one finger at someone else. three others are pointing back at you." shows a devotee that the faults he sees in others are in himself as well. The more he meditates, the fewer faults he will see in others. and the fewer faults he sees in others, the easier it will he for him to cooperate with them in a spirit of brotherhood. Ideals such as "turning the other cheek" become practical. because loving understanding usually so deflates another's anger that even if that person appears to have won an argument. he feels as if he lost it.
If individuals can form peaceful human relationships because of this Knowledge. then the basis for a world community is established. for there are many millions of people throughout the world who are already practicing this Knowledge. There will he no need for nations to resort to war with one another for all will have the same interests and goals.
At a huge rally in London's Trafalgar Square during the 1973 Guru Puja festival. the world saw the first manifestation of this dream. An Arab, an Israeli, an Irish Catholic and an Irish Protestant each in turn described in glowing terms how the Knowledge had transformed their lives. Through the different languages and accents one truth shone through: each had found by meditating on the true essence within that all are really "one in the spirit, and one in the Lord." The first step is to know practically what that spirit is and then without a doubt, "our unity will one day he restored."