… Whatever we need to work out, we should let Guru Maharaj Ji work it out for us. When we surrender we can get into a beautiful flow. Give everything to Guru Maharaj Ji amd we gain everything …
Interview With Mahatma Param Premanand 9th October 1975, London
Q. So how does it feel to be one of the first Western mahatmas?
A. Guru Maharaj Ji's grace is very strong in this sermice. The thing which really made me feel something was when Maharaj Ji spent three hours with us at the mahatmas' conference (in Denver, U.S., in July). He was just talking to us point blank about the techniques of meditation and the service of being a mahatma. He ended up by handing out our identification booklets. He was saying, 'Mahatma Gurucharnanand, Mahatma Jagdeo, Prakash Bai, and then he said, 'Mahatma Param Premanand' and looked over at me. I thought he was looking at someone behind me; I had no inkling that this was going to happen.
And when I opened the book and saw that it said I was going to give Knowledge, I was just completely blown out. I think that, and the fact that Maharaj Ji had put so much energy into that situation, just completely opened me up. I really felt so much love for Guru Maharaj Ji; I had never experienced such a close relationship with him before.
Q. How did it come about that you decided, or felt, that being a mahatma was where you wanted to be?
When I first received Knowledge, I used to give a lot of sat-sang, as I was one of the first American premies. And I got really blissed out, I really experienced Guru Maharaj Ji's grace giving satsang; being totally blissed out, even more than I ever experienced in meditation. For a while I really rode on the steam of satsang, but then after a while it started fizzling out a little bit and I had to get into meditation also, and find the bliss there.
I was in the Mission and in the ashram; I became a DUO Director and for a while I drove taxi cabs; I was sent to a little teeny weeny ashram in the middle of the States and then finally I was called to Denver to help Mahatma Jagdeo with the mahatma training programme. I just ended up being his aide. Then when he got sent on tour last January, they sent me on tour as well, because I was giving satsang and they knew that was my sort of flow.
After I had been on tour for about a month they got these forms for the O.T.'s. At first I didn't like the idea, because I thought, 'What is this? You have to express a desire to be a mahatma?" To me it seemed incompatible; to desire to be a mahatma seemed the very qualification that would not let you be a mahatma. That was my conception of the whole thing.
But then Maharaj Ji said, 'Well, you filled out an application to move into the ashram, you even filled out a form to receive Knowledge, so if you want to do this, if you feel that this is really something that you can do and that you could take the responsibility, then go ahead.'
I felt I could; I had always loved this service of giving sat-sang. I thought it would be a great privilege to serve Guru Maharaj Ji in this way if he wanted to choose me. I thought, 'OK, I'll just fill it out and Guru Maharaj Ji will decide something.' So I signed the paper. Two months later I got a call: 'You're a B-M.O.T.', I was told. "OK, what does that mean?' I said. I was a 'B-mahatma on training', so I continued doing the tour, giving satsang and Knowledge reviews until Maharaj Ji called all the mahatmas to Denver about four months later.
Now I find myself just realising his grace. There's nothing I'm doing, I'm just making the effort to be passive so that something active can take place. You've got to make the effort to be passive. You've got to make the effort to surrender yourself, to follow, to be obedient; then if you're making the effort you're not giving yourself the credit for what is happening; you're just a follower, that's all. And that's a really beautiful place because you don't get into your ego.
Q. I guess that for most premies in the West, the very fact that four Western mahatmas have been made feels like a big step forward.
Yes, I really feel that. Just the fact that Western premies have been given this service indicates that Maharaj Ji is really trusting us to do the job of spreading this Knowledge. Because it isn't any Indian thing; it is something that every person can really experience, something that every person really can do, wherever he is from; it isn't a cultural phenomenon.
And the fact that Guru Maharaj Ji is letting us do it ourselves, giving us all that opportunity, is so beautiful. We used to think that we were so impure, we were from this materialistic society, we had so much bad junk in our heads, we didn't come from a spiritual background, so how could we ever realise Knowledge? As if we weren't even worthy. But we are worthy; just the fact that we are human beings is an indication of our worthiness to realise Knowledge.
Q. It must be very easy to find yourself in a position where premies are idolising you?
No. I just got up there and it was beautiful because I felt such a responsibility to be clear. It's like, when you are in a situation where you have to be clear, then you become clear. If you're doing Maharaj Ji's service, and he has given you something to do - he is the one who has given it to you, not your ego - then it is his work, it's for him.
And the premies felt inspired because I have the same background, the same vocabulary; it was easier for them, it wasn't like a far off thing. It isn't like the mahatma is really far off, or Guru Maharaj J1 is really far off, or the Knowledge is really far off. No. It's just right there; it's really close. That's why there is't the idolising.
A person has a service and this service is to be in a position of respect. Because everyone understands that this is a channel for Guru Maharaj Ji and it has to be listened to, there is a respect there. Otherwise people won't listen; they just think, 'Oh, what's he got to say, why should I listen to him?' They don't even give you a chance. But when Maharaj Ji is saying, 'This is my channel, this is my mahatma', then the respect is there. But the respect isn't for the individual, it's for the service.
Q. Do you feel that the way has opened up for a lot more Western premies to start mahatma training now?
Yes. There are already ten more OT's in the States and I have no doubt that soon all the countries will have mahatmas. That will be really beautiful because then the person who is giving satsang and Knowledge will be coming from the same background as the people he is giving Knowledge and satsang to. Then there will be a clear channel through which Guru Maharaj Ji's grace can flow, a channel of really clear communication. It's really important this communication - people have to understand that they can be experiencing the bliss of this Knowledge too.
The Eastern mahatma with the shaven head who chants in sanskrit before he gives satsang - and that's his culture, that's his language; it's beautiful - may be attractive to our mind because of the mystical element in it; but that attraction can be a conceptual thing and not the real longing for truth, for peace.
Like when he made us mahatmas, Guru Maharaj Ji said that a lot of people didn't receive Knowledge because they wanted peace or liberation; they just received it out of curiosity because it was eastern, it was mystical, it was a far out trip to get into. But when you see an American guy sitting up there or an English guy, wearing the same clothes, from the same background, saying there's beautiful things going on and saying it in terms that are more common to your own background, it becomes real.
Q. You have been in America, Europe and Africa since the mahatmas' conference. What have you seen in the premies in all those different countries?
The same thing, man, just the same vibration. Q. How did the tour go in Africa?
In Africa, it's really interesting because the people are really into propagating the Knowledge there. Like, you ask people what they're going to do when they receive Knowledge and some say they're going to meditate on it, or they're going to do satsang, service and meditation. But I'd ask them in Africa and they'd say, 'I'm going to propagate this Knowledge'.
It is all older people, right in the midstream of society, very few younger people, who are coming to Knowledge there: They're like children just playing their game, but not taking it too seriously. Here, people are so serious - you know, I'm a banker' - so into it; but there they just don't get into their trips so much. They know there's more to life than that. They've seen the village life, how easy it is and how much love there is; and then they've seen the whole industrial scene and how something's missing in that. They know there's got to be that human touch to life, which isn't a mechanical thing.
Q. What do you feel is the main task of all the premies now?
It's to realise Knowledge, to spread Knowledge. It's to surrender to Guru Maharaj Ji and support his Mission and just surrender our egos and our own wills. Then Maharaj Ji will take care of everything. We surrender our own will: this is how Knowledge is propagated. People say, 'Oh, I think it should be done this way, I think it should be done that way,' but this is their own will, their own ideas and opinions. But these have no place on this spiritual path; they're completely limited. And if you still hold allegiance of your ideas and opinions, you can't even meditate; all you can do is think. You sit down for an hour and all you do is think about your ideas and opinions, because your allegiance is to them and not to Holy Name.
But Guru Maharaj Ji says, 'Surrender to me, I'll take care of everything. Do what I say'. Here, in Africa, in Spain, in America. Everywhere it's the same story.
Q. What are the main things you have learnt personally since you've been doing this service?
That you've got to meditate, otherwise you're going to freak out. Mind is there all the time. There isn't a plateau that you reach; you've got to meditate. Then it's like a vertical line, going up forever. You can hold on or, if you let go, you're just going to drop down. And this is true for any service you're doing. Because we're all premies; we just have different roles to play in this whole game. But the point of the game is this Knowledge and if you don't get the point, it's a big problem. You get totally confused - more confused than ordinary people. I've seen this happen, and I'm just begging Guru Maharaj Ji to make sure he doesn't let me go any higher than I can handle. I want to go as far as I can hold on, as long as I'm right there, I just want the one I've surrendered my life to take control of it, to correct me if I'm doing anything wrong.
I mean, what are you going to do? You're just going to die, no matter what happens. No matter what you're doing in the meantime, that's your destination. To take the world too seriously seems very foolish. When you have the possibility of really realising something internally, why stake it for some finite limited thing? It's plain stupid. When everything here is just going to end, what's the point of getting into it? The only chanc is Guru Maharaj Ji - to hold onto him tightly. That's all you can do. So I'm learning the same thing I learned before I became a mahatma; that it's just a case of surrendering.
Q. Do you have any advice for people who are thinking of applying for this service of being a mahatma?
They should just move into the ashram and obey the ashram rules. Follow the ashram very strictly. Make sure they're not into any sensual pleasures, they're not following their desires into this world. The mind has its job and that is to produce desires and wander around. But we have a job too, and that is to hold on to Holy Name and just dismiss the mind. Just never take the mind too seriously. Ever. Just don't get into it. Then everything will go away. It will just come and it'll go.
But if you get into it, then it turns into an action and the whole thing starts spreading out. The next thing you know, you're really into it, and you can't even do anything; you can't even do any service.
So the point is, for people who want to be mahatmas they should just do whatever they're told. And do it for the point of realising Knowledge, not for the point of becoming a mahatma. I mean, don't live under the illusion that being a mahatma is going to be salvation. Because look how many mahatmas are now totally confused. Look at Bat Bhagwan Ji. Look at the Holy Family. Totally confused. Disobeying Guru Maharaj Ji. Who knows what they're doing?
So you can see, salvation isn't any external thing. Salvation is the Knowledge. Because if you're a mahatma and you're not experiencing Knowledge, you're going to be confused. When Guru Maharaj Ji made us mahatmas, he said, 'This is the most dangerous place in the universe and the safest place in the universe to be. But just obey my agya and meditate and everything will be OK."
"All Men Are Created Equal" (but Guru Maharaj Ji is more Equal Than Others)
Guru Maharaj Ji's Address To The World Leaders For 1976
What is in store for 1976?
In America, people will be trying to rediscover the ideals of a country celebrating its bicentennial.
"That, all men are created equal, and have unalienable right, including Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. That, to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among men."
Isn't it the same for all people of the world, that we expect our governments, regardless of the systems, to secure the rights to pursue life's goal?
For this reason, I must address those who have accepted the responsibility for securing the needs of the people, the World Leaders, on the eve of this new year.
How is it possible to rationalize the contradictions of our idea: as human beings contrasted with the current world situation?
What is the importance of ideals, unless they can be realized?
How realistic is it to approach the human community as the "Three Worlds, Four Worlds, or Five Worlds" given that we are all on the same world and are all part of the same dilemna?
The leaders of this human race must not limit their perspective if they are to have the understanding necessary to meet the challenges of these difficult times.
In 1976, not only in America, but all over the world, we must call upon people to re-examine how we are to achieve our ideals.
And, most importantly, we must in the full awareness of our future life on this planet, decide what is our goal, what is the aim of life.
Dear Brothers & Sisters,
When I lived in Denmark, a brother once was giving satsang, saying how precious and beautiful this Knowledge is. Then he stopped and pointed back at the picture of Guru Maharaj Ji and said, 'Knowledge is beautiful, but He's the bonus.' Isn't this what we all want on this path, to love Guru Maharaj Ji, to recognize Him and love Him as our Lord? We're not after peace of mind anymore, we're onto devotion. That's all thats happening because its the only thing that can satisfy us now. Durga Ji once said you can't have a pert of Guru Maharaj Ji, a fraction of perfection, because that actually equals nothing in the long run, emptiness.
I've spent the greater part of my life thinking, and then thinking about my feelings. Really, a great stone man. Up until Knowledge the last time I cried was after striking out in the Little League at the age of ten. But something real is finally taking place and I can hardly believe it. But it's true and I know one thing from all of this: each one of us has to dedicate everything to this path. There is no halving it or three-quartering. We have got to conquer this mind that is always hanging out, holding back.
And why not? All our lives we've searched for something to which we could give ourselves completely, and now we have that opportunity. We have to wake up completely and seize the chance that has been given to us.
Maharaj Ji wants us to meditate all the time. And we have to believe that such a thing is possible, or it will never happen. We've got to have confidence in perfection, because it's actually ridiculous not to. We must have trust and faith in Guru Maharaj Ji, or else we'll never make the effort that's required. And without 100% effort, we will never get to that totally exhausted point where we say, 'I just can't do it anymore.' And that's where Guru Maharaj Ji is waiting. The experience of His Grace at that moment is the answer to everything. You certainly can't 'half it' and expect to get to that moment.
Guru Maharaj Ji has our entire life and we're the most fortunate people for that. We have to make Him our whole life now. We can't miss a step anymore. Because it's obviously all for us and we should do whatever we have to in order to understand that. He's the bonus, He's everything.
I love you all.
Your brother in His Service
SINGLE MINDEDNESS is another name for DEVOTION
A man was angling in a lake all by himself. After a long while the float began to move. Now and then its tip touched the water. The angler was holding the rod tight in his hands, ready to pull it up, when a passer-by stopped and said, "Sir, can you tell me were M. Bannerji lives?"" There was no reply from the angler, who was just on the point of pulling up the rod. Again and again the stranger said to him in a loud voice, "Sir, can you tell me where Mr. Bannerji lives?" But the angler was unconscious of everything around him. He hands were trembling, his eyes were on the float. The stranger was annoyed and went on. When he had gone quite a way, the angler's float sank under water and with one pull of the rod he landed the fish. He wiped the sweat from his face with his towel and shouted after the stranger. "Hey! be said, "Come here! Listen!" But the man would not turn his face. After much shouting, however, he came back and said to the angler, "Why are you shouting at me?" "What did you ask me about?" said the angler. The stranger said, "I repeated the question so many times, and now you are asking me to repeat it once more!? The angler replied, "At that time my float was about to sink: so I didn't bear a word of what you said."
A man can achieve such single-mindedness in meditation that he will see nothing, hear nothing. He will not he conscious even of touch. A snake may crawl over his body, but he will not know it. Neither of them will be aware of the other.
"Today I am going to tell you a story about a great Saint. He was walking along and he saw that a scorpion was getting drowned in a lake, and he was so kind that he went and tried to secure him from that water. He took the scorpion in his hand, the scorpion took a bite. When the saint felt this pain he let the scorpion fall. But again he goes into the water and saves the scorpion. And again he bites and the saint lets him fall. And again he picks that scorpion up and again he is bitten. But he again picks up the scorpion. There was a farmer who was observing this process for a long time, and he said, 'Saint, why are you doing this? This scorpion is your enemy. He is trying to bite you, and every time he bites you, you let him go and then you again go and pick him up.' That saint said, 'Dear farmer, he is teaching me a lesson. It is his duty to bite. So thus, it is my duty to save him. He's teaching me the lesson that even when I am saving him he is not leaving his duty. Due to whatever you call it, due to love or affection, he's not forgetting his duty. He is always ready to do his duty, even when I am saving him. He is teaching me a lesson, and so how can leave my duty? My duty is to protect him.' " Guru Maharaj Ji
GURU MAHARAJ JI'S SATSANG
at the Hans Jayanti Festival
held in Orlando, Florida
8 November 1975
I wasn't scheduled tonight, because I figured I'd be very tired. But like I was saying yesterday, when that energy starts flowing through you, it's very intense and it becomes extremely hard to try to resist it. I just went ahead and had my dinner, and I didn't figure I'd be coming here, but then before I knew it, I was in the room dressing up, and we're on our way.
There is one thing that we can always tell eaoh other, and that's about that incredible experience that we have and that we understand amongst each other. It's like, today in this world, in this life that we live, there are so many things to do. And man really wants to do every one of them. If you ever read an author who has retired, the way he phrases his words is like somebody who now wants to go off and do his trip. But what we don't understand is that our trip is something elm
We always get into tripe. Like Marolyn was saying, she thought that if she would find a nice place and live in it, that's what she wanted to do. That was a trip, and she wanted to complete her trip. I don't have to guess about it, I know that at least ninety-nine and a half percent of the people who are here - and let's make that half percent little babies who don't understand about this world have got their trips, have got their opinions, and they want to go live it off, and do it.
But then again, there is one thing that always happens, and that is the Perfect Master coming into this world and really making us understand that, "GO ahead. Do your trip. But in that trip …" You see, it'e like this. There is a first, class, there is economy, and there is coach in an airplane. Now, as an advantage to coming from point A. to B, the first class passengers are going to arrive just before the coach passengers do. And the coach passengers are going to arrive just before the economy passengers do. The first class passengers are sitting in the front of the airplane, so when it enters the border of a particular state, they're the first ones to enter.
If this is why I want to ride first class, so that I'll be there a split second before the economy and the coach passengers, I think it's a pretty stupid idea to ride first class. But no. That's not the reason. The real reason is something else. But, you see, everybody kids himself about how it's gonna be great riding in first class, because in that trillionth of a second they're going to cross the border earlier than the coach and the economy passengers are going to
What Guru Maharaj Ji comes and says to us is that that is irrelevant. Go ahead, ride the airplane. Do your trip, do your thing. But in that trip, he says, in that camping trip, be sure to take water and some food in case you get stuck. He doesn't say "Don't film me anymore, and he doesn't say, "Don't take pictures anymore." He says, "Just take extra film along with you in case you run out. Then you will have extra film." This is all Guru Maharaj Ji says.
Guru Maharaj Ji doesn't say, "Don't play the guitar." He just says, "Tune it up, so it sounds better." It's such a subtle difference between saying, "Don't play the guitar," and saying, "Play the guitar, but tune it so that it sounds right." In this world, in this universe, we are always mistaken. We're saying, "Hs said, 'Don't play the guitar." No. He never said that. He Just said,. "Tune it up." Because, you see, within inside every human being there is a tuning fork that's always vibrating. To be able to tune ourselves properly, you have to concentrate on that tuning fork, listen to that tuning fork, and then tune our guitars according to that tuning fork.
So premies, his is the reason why today in this world we have to understand the importance of Guru Maharaj Ji. Now, I have said why there is importance to Guru Maharaj Ji a lot of times People think he reveals the Knowledge, we do meditation, we go back to our homes, and that should be the end of the whole thing. But there's a little bit more to that. And that is that through his satsang, and through his Grace, by his Grace, we can really understand, and we can really get out of the trouble that we get into which is not only quite often, but it's just about always.
Do you think people should be despised because of their color, their job or because they are rich or poor? I tell you that with the practice of true meditation, all differences disappear. Do not think that true meditation makes everybody One. It is not possible to do this because we are already One. Through meditation, we realize this Oneness and it is our duty to come to this realization, just as it is the duty of our eyes to see and our ears to hear.
To start spreading good, we must understand Dharma, that is, righteousness. What is righteousness? Righteousness is meditating upon God. All men, regardless of caste, color or creed, should do this, for what is the use of a changeable religion, a religion which depends on such outward things as the color or your skin or where you live? We can only use something which is permanent, eternal and unchangeable, and that is the power of God. Righteousness means to realize God. This is for every living man. Every living man wants peace and happiness. Nobody can deny this. Anybody who wants peace and happiness and realization of God can take this Knowledge and attain this thing.
Once I went to the Russian Ambassador in India, and he told me that the Russian people do not believe in God. I told him that we can't 'not believe' in something which has no existence. The mere fact that we say we do not believe in God proves that God is and that we're just not accepting Him. I told him that he did not believe in God but accepted peace. He said yes, he did believe in that which is called peace. I then told him that this peace is the very thing which we call God. Our scriptures refer to Him as 'Supreme Peace' and 'Supreme Happiness'.
God is full of bliss, pure consciousness and truth. Being omnipresent He is present in every atom, in all life, and in our hearts. But in ignorance, we search for happiness outside our hearts, just as the thirsty deer, wandering in the desert in search of water, chases a mirage. The more the deer runs, the thirstier it gets, until finally, the sun sets, the mirage disappears and the deer gives up hope and dies of thirst.
A similar example is the young boy who thinks that grownups are happy. He thinks that he will be happy when he is married. He gets married and still is not happy. He then thinks that raising a family will bring happiness, or acquiring grandchildren. A man starts out with two legs. When he becomes involved with marriage, he had four legs, like crushing out the sweetness in sugar cane.
When a son comes, he has six legs. When his son is married, he has eight legs, like a spider which spins a web from within itself and gets entangled in that web. When grandchildren come, he gets thirty-two legs, like a centipede which bores in and must be removed with a hot iron or by sugar.
Thus the real happiness lies within and we will never get it by searching outside. Happiness and peace are within. God is within. His Name is within. This is reality. Just as there is a difference between a natural flower and an artificial one, there is a temple constructed by human beings and there is the natural temple.
The Name of God is indestructible. It alone is the true giver of happiness. When will you feel the happiness? You will feel this happiness when you remember the Name of God and fix your mind there. I can only taste a glass of milk if I drink it. Remembrance of the Name turns poison into nectar. Tulsidas says that Rama could save the lady of stone by touching her with his feet, but this Name, which is in the heart of everyone, is such that it gives salvation to millions.
Remembrance is reality and we can only come to know this through practice. A man who has Knowledge and does not practice, will find no advantage in it. Some people read the Gita, the Koran or the Vedas. Which is better - to read the scriptures or to fix your mind on God? The whole aim of the scriptures is that the mind be fixed on God.
In what form should our remembrance be? It should be independent of all externals. For instance, you must sit some place to read the Gita, Ramayana, Upanishads or to perform evening prayer. You must sit some place to tell a rosary. If you want to be in a religious place, you have to journey thither. But the true Name is such that its remembrance may be performed no matter where you go or how you get there.
But one thing you must relinquish before seeking this Knowledge is all form of fraud or deception. Kabir says that those persons are blind who attempt to cheat the Guru. If the Lord is angry, the Guru can intercede and forgive the offender, but if the Guru is angry, who can save a man?
Once a seeker went to the Satguru of the time and said that he wished to see God with these mortal eyes. The Satguru made him understand these matters. There is one path, and however many times it is questioned or brought into ill repute by false devotees, it is still the single path to God. The seeker must receive Knowledge from the Guru and see God with his divine eye.
My World Would Be Empty Without You
Eight years ago I got married. As a wedding gift my parents gave me a decorator and a blank check to furnish our apartment. So, along with this decorator we picked out the most beautiful furniture, fabrics, drapes, carpets, and accessories. The way the decorator worked was to order everything and move it all into the apartment on a specific date. Well, the date came after we had been living in an empty apartment for two months. Five people worked on the apartment all day and at 6:00 p.m. it was complete down to the last ashtray. They all left and I stood there in this place that was my 'home' and experienced the emptiest sadest feeling I had ever felt. I was married and in complete luxury, the 'Jewish American Princess' dream and I wanted to really die.
Today I'm sitting in the freezing cold basement of this house (ashram) looking at a washer, dryer, and hot water heater and I'm full. Full of love, full of this life, full of the Grace of Guru Maharaj Ji. You know I realize so strongly (every once in a while) the power of our Guru Maharaj Ji, this life's energy. I understand sometimes that without His Grace my heart and that Love don't exist. Without His Grace I'm empty. Oh God please fill me up and keep me full. I'll do anything, anything if you'll keep my heart open.
So I try, we all try. We try to understand what this life is for and we try to be in satsang, service and meditation and we try to be sincere on this path. We try really hard because it's not easy to ignore this mind. This mind knows us better than anybody and it knows how to get to us. Where do we get the strength to ignore this mind. I'm much too weak to do that. Only, only, only can Guru Maharaj Ji help me to do that. And when I remember that, when I surrender to that, I'm in love.
So brothers and sisters, let's be kind to ourselves and to each other. Although I feel my life is determined by Guru Maharaj Ji's Grace, I know that we all have a responsibility to perform to ourselves and to each other. For ourselves, we can follow Guru Maharaj Ji's agya as closely as we can and for each other we can give satsang. There are so many times when satsang is needed and either we're afraid to ask for it or afraid to give it. We have to try. We have to take care of each other with love. We have to have faith and trust that Guru Maharaj Ji is inside us ready to come out anytime we open up.
This path is totally incredible. Everything we ever wanted in our lives is right here; love, closeness to people, fullfilledness, and peace. We're being opened up, cleansed, and filled with with love. So, be happy. I love you.
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RECIPE OF THE MONTH
Almond Eggplant Burgers (Compliments of Ten Talents Cookbook)
Steam two nice medium large eggplants whole in water until they are very solft and done. Place cold water in pot and let the eggplants are cool. In a mixing bowl, add 1 cup bread crumbs, 1/4 cup fine chopped almonds, 1/4th cup cornmeal, 1 tsp. salt, 1 Tbs. onion powder. With a knife cut eggplant in half and scrape off the skins (on a cutting board) them chop into a fine mush the insides and add to the dry mixture. Add 1 Tbs. or 2 Tbs. of soy sauce. Form into patties and bake on oiled cookie sheet for about 40 minutes turning once.
December 12, 1975
Jai Sri Sat Chit Anand Ted and My Premie Brothers and Sisters,
What a joy it is to learn something, practice it, and then find out it really does work! On November 18, 1975, I stood before Judge Fullam in Federal Court in Philadelphia and he sentenced me to 6 years in the Penitentiary at Lewisburg, Pa. As he was pronouncing the sentence upon me, I was Remembering Holy Name … I remember the Name, but I have difficulty remembering the sentencing, except that I was flashing to Hans Jayanti '75 in Orlando, where I heard satsang that went '… so go into the prisons and hospitals and offer this love, this relief to our brothers and sisters, who are not hearing satsang and finding out about what they can do with their precious human lifetimes.' Well, I thought, here we go! The judge gave me until 7:00 a.m. the next morning to surrender myself to the marshalls. All my close premie friends and aspirants came to my home that night and let me tell you, the vibration was kind of almost like Orlando … I can't find words to describe it, but you all know what I mean. The next morning, I surrendered and was driven here. I meditated all the way in the car and just trusted Maharaj Ji to see to all the details. After thanking the marshalls for the ride, I walked in and was sent immediately to Isolation - Segregation for 6 days. The cell door only opened once in those 6 days - for my one shower. I know that I could space out and I really would be in jail - or I could really just dive into the agya, as I began realizing this experience to be. I guess you all know what I decided. There was no choice really. All I can say is Bhole Shri Sat Guru Dev Maharaj Ki Jai!! At first there was no opportunity for satsang or service except to write letters which was both satsang and service! I would sit with my pen and some energy would just start moving my hand, and I was attending satsang… Then I meditated and just became empty of thought and full of love. Afterwards, satsang would come into my head and also songs. People (orderlies, guards, etc.) would drift by my cell and look in. They started giving me things and asking questions. And so it started … Soon I was released into the general population and given a regular cell. I had no money, nothing except a pen and some pictures of my Lord, Durga Ji, and Premlata. But there was one thing I had that no one could take away. And it just grew until I became secret agent 007 if they even find that out here, I'll probably get thrown out! So I better get to work fast, Ha! Ha!
One night, Maharaj Ji revealed to me how a pump works. First energy is applied which impels water out from the pump. This creates a vacuum which automatically sucks in more water immediately and fills the pump, which continues and causes a flow … so the desire to help plus determination is the energy, our spiritual heart is the pump, giving love to whoever wants and needs it. A vacuum is created which impels our Lord to refill it because it was done in His Name, and Zap! you are full again - but now a flow of Love between humans exists where stagnant pools of self pity were before. Just find somebody, anybody, and do something for them - it would be the simplest thing - and we break the inertia of sadness and cause a flow of happiness.
Now, I am in an easy situation, because there are few distractions and plenty of say folks to help, but this rule works anywhere. I am really fortunate to have a path of devotion layed out for me so perfectly. I don't really do anything - Maharaj Ji gives me everything I need just in time to pass it on … I have better things to do, really than to B.S. you haven't had a moment of pain since I've been here. People get attracted to the vibrations like a bear to honey.
Already one person is really wanting to receive Knowledge and several more are interested …many more are beginning to listen. So please supply me with any information you have from experiences before mine … on how to do Maharaj Ji's work in prison.
Jai Sat Chit Anand,
Your loving brother In-The-Light, Mark
Sometimes we must wait patiently to have the Gift bestowed upon us, but we must understand what is it that we are receiving. If you are to receive an enemy you stand with weapon in hand; if you are to receive a stranger you wait in the shadows, hiding in nervous anticipation; if you are to receive a friend, you anxiously await him with open arms; but when you are to receive your Lord into your presence you must wait with humility and watchful attention.
Humility is a reflection of understanding, for one who is truly humble not only realizes his own shortcomings, but he also realizes his complete dependence on the superior power, our Guru Maharaj Ji. When one experiences this state of pure acceptance, his life is full of bliss because there is no more search, no more questions to ask. When a person is filled with Knowledge, the only real answer, then there can be no room for questions which arise from confusion and lead to misery and suffering.
To be separate is the most terrifying experience for a human being. This is why man is constantly seeking out acceptence from others, to feel a part, but all man ever really experiences is feeling apart from others. Knowledge is the true union, the only connection to reality and love. To have that connection severed is the greatest separation one can ever encounter. This is why it is so important to recognize what this precious gift is that Guru Maharaj Ji is reavealling to us. Before one can rise he must be standing under, and before one can understand he must look up and recognize his destination while simultaneously being aware of his present position. Then if one truly understands he will immediately act to reach his goal, perservering through all trials, focusing only on his destination.
This is why we must watch with patient attention. You never know when the Lord will come to you, for His approaching footsteps are as silent as the wind. But those who are always watchful, listening so carefully for His slightest motion, lie prostrate on the ground with their ear bent low to the earth and they hear Him treading lightly down the path. Then, as He draws closer, slight tremors are felt rising up from within the earth and each tremor sends a streak of bliss through the body of he who listens. As the Lord comes closer, the tremors become more intense and the bliss goes deeper and deeper until finally the joy becomes practically unbearable, the earth is quaking with shattering intensity. Holding on firmly, the person rides tremor after tremor until suddenly he sees the Feet of his Master, standing there before him, and the world again becomes silent, perfectly still and full of peace. Be patiently attentive, He's coming your way.
Be in His Shelter,
The following was taken from a newspaper column written by Sydney Harris.
One of the questions most frequently asked me, especially by college students, is 'What do you do when you don't feel like writing a column?"
The answer, of course, is 'I write a column.' If I waited for the "feeling" my house would be foreclosed and my children out selling pencils on the street.
What young people often do not discover until it is nearly too late is that if you do something often enough you are able to do it even when you don't particularly feel like it.
We speak of 'bad habits', but rarely of 'good habits'. A bad habit is one we find it hard to break - biting nails, smoking too much, staying up too late. After a few years, these habits have us in their grip.
Good habits work the same way, with chains that are just as strong. Does the pianist always feel like giving a concert on the scheduled night? Does the ball player always feel like striding up to the plate? Does the actor, fretting about his falling hair and faithless wife, want to perform the same silly love scene on the stage every performance?
These people are properly called "professionals'. And the chief difference between an amateur and a professional is not so much talent or fame as it is attitude based on habit.
The main characteristic of the amateur, in any field, is that he participates when he 'feels like it'. He is a creature of impulse and inspiration and mood. This is why his performances are so wildly erratic, swinging from the superb one day to the miserable the next.
The professional always exceeds the amateur not so much because of his superior skill as beause of his consistency. As an example, the records show that one-half of one percent of bridge tournament players win 99 percent of the tournaments. They do not win on brilliance or subtlety or anything else except consistency; they play the same all the time.
This is based on habit, exactly the same kind that makes one chew one's nails without being aware of it. It is automatic, and proceeds out of the unconscious. And nothing that is consciously done is an expert as that which is unconsciously done - it is only when the pianist stops thinking about the notes and the instrument that he can make music.
We know that the mind can be trained, and body can be trained; what we forget is that the feelings can be trained as well. And unless the feelings are properly trained - so that a Heifetz will willingly practice eight hours a day even after 40 years of concert fame - the mind and the body will not respond, day after day, in a consistently professional manner. I may not feel like writing a column every day, but I'd feel much worse if I didn't.
There is a common example often given in reference to what understanding is. Understanding means standing under. This is all very nice, but I had heard it so many times I let it become a commonplace phrase to me (in other words a concept). At one of the workshops we were working on defining understanding as a means of sharing satsang and increasing our growth in Knowledge.
Paul Williams proceeded to give the example of standing under, but at this point I was open and so an image of a starving beggar standing under a rich man eating some food flashed through my head. After the momentary flash I continued to concentrate on satsang. At one point Paul was trying to speak and his eyes were all lit up and his face was glowing, but the words just weren't happening. Immediately everyone in the group broke into laughter, but it was more than just laughter for the power behind the laughter brought all of the barriers down and suddenly we were sharing such a beautiful common experience of that company of Truth.
After the laughter died, I found myself relating the vision of the beggar standing under the man eating. Suddenly the little vision expanded into a beautiful analogy. When a person is starving, his condition will override his pride and he will prostrate himself at another's feet just to receive a few crumbs. But someone who feels full would never do this.
This is how we are at satsang. When we are really thirsty, we prostrate ourselves at the feet of the person through which sat-sang is flowing and we catch every word (crumb) that falls from his mouth. But if we come in full of concepts, we don't concentrate at all, it's a big bore we have heard before.
So it is like sitting at the Feet of Guru Maharaj Ji who is eating this huge banquet. As long as we remain surrendered He keeps throwing more than enough of His delicious meal to keep us completely satisfied. But if we forget who is feeding us we start thinking we can take care of ourselves. We then find ourselves sitting at our own banquet table next to Guru Maharaj Ji with this wonderful spread of fruits and nuts and so on. The only problem is they are all plastic. As long as we are just looking at them they are great, but as soon as we take a bite we realize the are plastic and have no taste or nutritional value. So we again have to surrender and let Guru Maharaj Ji keep us lavishly fed. Again, the plastic fruit is our concepts and as soon as we put any real weight on our concepts we find they are tasteless and worth nothing. So then we surrender and open up again to the company of Truth Guru
Maharaj Ji is providing us. I guess you could say then, that satsang is a beggar's banquet.
And that's the whole key - giving that love back. - Durga Ji
This whole world is perishable; it's going to perish one day. What do we expect - to live forever? But somewhere in back of our brain, nobody sits down and really tries to imagine that, 'What are we doing in this world anyway?' that, 'Here we have a human body, so perfect, so intricate, so divine. And we have this earth all to ourselves, so beautifully engineered,' I mean it beats anybody else's engineering. We have everything, we enjoy everything, and we use everything every day. But do we ever in our lifetime just pause for one second, turn around, and say, "What are we doing here?" There are very few people who do that. You see?
So premies, there is a lot more to come, there's a lot more to happen. And there is so much to do. I mean, for all the premies. And if you have nothing to do, just sit down and do meditation. Because that's everything to do; that's the one reason you come in this world for.
It's so beautiful that we have all - young, small, big, old, all of us - paused for a second and understood that there is a purpose to being alive, that there is a reason why we should be here, there is definitely a reason.
Guru Maharaj Ji, Essen, Germany, August 1975