On May 23, Maharaji attended an event in Curaçao in the Netherlands Antilles. He gave Knowledge to 102 people, including one person from Curaçao itself, and he also gave a Knowledge review. Present at this review were people who had not seen Maharaji for 15 years and more.
In his main address, to an audience of 938, Maharaji began with a witty description of the way in which we sometimes keep ourselves apart from happiness. He highlighted the tendency we have to take a simple, natural inner need and turn it into something complicated.
A joy in itself
Emphasising the fact that Knowledge is not a means to an end he suggested that instead of seeing it as a tool to accomplish something specific, we should appreciate it as a joy in itself.
Later in his address, he said: "Knowledge is not spiritual, nor is it a religion."
Expanding on a favorite theme, about how Knowledge is not something that can be understood by the intellect, he went on to make the same point about the imagination.
Declaring that Knowledge is beyond the reach of both, he said: "In my imagination, I can try to imagine the universe which is incredibly vast. In my imagination I can imagine wind blowing harder than it has ever blown. In my imagination, I can imagine myself walking on the surface of the sun…
"Someone says: 'How is that possible that you can't comprehend this with your intellect? You mean that there is a realm somewhere out there which isn't touched by this? You mean there is a domain, a dominion, where I cannot go with my imagination either? That is wild, I can't imagine a place like that.
"'What do I do? I have never been faced by anything in my life which I couldn't capture with my imagination."
A rare gift
His visit to this area was deeply appreciated by all who attended. It was, said one person in the audience, "a rare gift, and an incredible opportunity".
Also present at this event was Miguel Bolivar, the fisherman from Choroni whose story is told elsewhere in this issue of Connect. Miguel is currently planning to host video events at his home. He recently acquired a TV set and various people who live in the region are now working to help equip him with a video player.
For anyone interested in statistics consider this one: 6 per cent of the entire audience at May's Montreal event ended up receiving Knowledge the following day. Eighty people, the majority of them from Ontario and Quebec, went into a room as aspirants and came out as individuals able to practice Knowledge.
"They looked pretty happy," said Cecile Boisvert, who managed the aspirant meeting at the Knowledge selection. "I had been seeing them for weeks before the Knowledge session. Then on Sunday something about them just changed."
Whatever it was other people could sense it too. Said event manager Michael Ryercy: "You could just feel it in the air."
Cecile and Michael were among two of the 100 people working for months to help make sure that the preparations were impeccable. "We just kept asking ourselves: 'what could we do to help make it a completely suitable environment?" said Michael.
The night before Maharaji talked of ambitions: "There is an ambition that you have, that you didn't create. Now what are you going to do about it? You've got it. It's the ambition of all ambitions. It's the goal of all goals. It is the dream of all dreams. And you already have it. You have it. It will always be there whether you accept it, understand it or not. And approaching Knowledge, that's the door. That's the threshold."
As he spoke, his words were being translated into seven languages including Tamil, Serbo-Croat, and Mandarin.
Ten days later 23 people who received Knowledge from the Montreal area were immersed in a follow-up event. By then Maharaji was in Curaçao where an entirely new set of people were setting off on the adventure of receiving and practicing Knowledge.
Connect 1998 25
If 6% of the Montreal audience were the 80 aspirants who "received Knowledge" then the audience was 1334 people and the remaining 1250 of them were mainly "premies."