This is the story of Guru Maharaj Ji's European tour in May and June of this year. In the fifteen minutes before a mailing deadline, a questionnaire was put together and sent to the countries which participated in the tour. The questionnaire enquired after the history of the local community, preparations for Guru Maharaj Ji's visit, pre-program workshops, Guru Maharaj Ji's program, and commentaries on the whole event.
To gather this information, local correspondents taped interviews with national staff, program teams, and community members. Cassettes were then sent to international headquarters, where they were transcribed, in some cases translated, and worked into stories.
We offer many thanks to everyone who participated in the European programs, and especially to those who compiled cassettes for And It Is Divine at such short notice. We also hope you will forgive us lapses in spelling and the inevitable inaccuracy in translated meanings. Time and space did not allow for the full and colorful retelling of the story, but perhaps we have captured some of the original atmosphere surrounding Maharaj Ji's travels throughout Europe.
Europe has been the setting for many festivals and programs, but none seemed to have been as "real" as this recent tour. That is, it was real in the sense of the audience living and enjoying Guru Maharaj Ji's message of service, satsang and meditation, rather than experiencing only the emotional glamour of a large gathering.
As you will discover in the following pages, the European communities, along with the rest of us, are looking more to Knowledge as a practical, growing experience and to the understanding of Guru Maharaj Ji's importance in their lives as a practical, growing relationship. At the same time, they are discovering that more real does not mean less magical, and that the simple appreciation of life is a profound journey in itself, without the props of "big" events.
So, bon voyage and we hope you enjoy this issue of And It Is Divine. Any feedback that you can provide will be most welcome.
- Michael McDonald, editor