Excerpts from a letter to Francisco Arce of International Operations
Amsterdam, 26 June 1976
The visit of Guru Maharaj Ji in Holland was very successful. The total number of premies participating at the program was 216. In the beginning the setup was a little bit too big. The more we talked with each other (all the program groups had weekly meetings up to two months before Maharaj Ji came), the more we reexamined our setup. And when Maharaj Ji and everybody were actually in Amsterdam, we saw how simple it really was.
I think this mainly happens because somewhere you have this old festival idea in your head when Maharaj Ji comes to your country. But we realized that we really had to look carefully at what we were doing, and see if it was in the right proportion for a small community like Holland. The main thing we planned to do was to give Maharaj Ji a nice stay and to have a simple and mellow program with Maharaj Ji and the premies. All this worked out very well.
We learn from our mistakes and get everything more in balance, have more faith in holy name and each other. We learn to be more alert and really try to comprehend what has to be done instead of just doing a lot of activities and running around.
At first we had a hall for 400 people, because we thought a lot of people would come. But then we became aware that only 200 were actually going to come, so we had to look for another hall. This happened four weeks before Maharaj Ji came. The hall was warm, very intimate, very simple and everybody was very close to Maharaj Ji. It was a modern museum (Van Gogh).
What I experience myself now that Maharaj Ji has been here, is that I feel sometimes really quite comfortable. I'm very glad that the whole stay happened without any difficulties, but another thing that I became very much aware of is now that Maharaj Ji has gone again, only the practice of Knowledge is left. Before, there was always a festival or the visit of Maharaj Ji to concentrate on, but now I begin to have a deeper understanding of what it is to really meditate, to take the opportunity to go to satsang and try to make my life service for Maharaj Ji.
The community needed some time to digest the whole event, but already during the last community meetings we saw that the need to get a better communication with each other and to make satsang more inspiring is there. It is necessary to speak from a real experience now.
Darshan made everything very simple for everybody. Sometimes this was a shock. It meant that everything came to that point where it all depends on each person. As Maharaj Ji put in his Amsterdam satsang, "How much you put into it, that is how much you'll get out of it." So I think the time for nit-picking has to end and that we will really have to try to come together. At the same time we have to give each other space and respect, but also inspiration to practice this Knowledge.
Having Maharaj Ji in your own country makes all the difference. It has so much more impact than going to a festival. Festivals are mostly hyped up. What we want actually is a deeper understanding, not just a "big bang" for a few days. I feel the first thing happened in Holland: the program was quiet and mellow, Maharaj Ji's satsang was beautiful and everybody was very happy. And most important, the whole event and all the things that happened were quite in balance.
Thanks to everybody at IHQ for the wonderful cooperation. It was very nice working together on this program. We went through a lot of changes and learned more to love Maharaj Ji, who finally came to Holland!
Thank you and much love
from your brother,