Houston Hosts advent of Millenium
Houston is known as "Space City," the "Home of the Dome," and the "Switchboard of the Stars." It is here that NASA, the control center for the American space program, monitors Telstar and other satellites and controls the communications for each space shot. Houston has recently built a multi-million dollar airport, and established a complete air-port-to-city transportation network. But the spacecenter is not the reason for these elaborate transportation facilities. It is the Astrodome that is Houston's major attraction.
The great pyramids in Egypt were built to glorify the Pharaohs. The Great Wall of China was built to protect a massive civilization. But why was the Astrodome built? 3000 years from now will it be taught that the Astrodome was built so that baseball, football, basketball and boxing tournaments could take place there? Was it built so that Billie Jean King could trounce Bobby Riggs before the largest audience ever assembled for a tennis tournament?
The Astrodome stands as a symbol of America's pioneering technological spirit, yet the events which take place there seem trivial compared to the great dignity of America's vision. Now that this building has been chosen to be the actual physical platform from which the Perfect Master will explain to the world his practical plans for the establishment of global unity. America's dream and the purpose of the Astrodome can be realized.
The know-how that was needed to construct the Astrodome has been assembled through the ages from mankind's endeavors throughout 'earth. The electronics systems. communications systems, engineering and technical information are the product Of thousands of years of civilization. Yet with all this information at hand, the problem of establishing global unity has not found a solution. So the Perfect Master comes to show us the way. He brings Knowledge of our common unity and offers it freely to mankind.
Within the Astrodome on November 8, 9 and 10, Guru Maharaj Ji will present concrete proposals for the creation of the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. Actually, the building may well prove too small for this event. Yet it is the only suitable structure on earth.
The Astrodome is so huge that the nearby 18-story Shamrock Hilton Hotel could be rotated three times inside the building and not once touch the walls or dome. A massive computer keeps the 6,600 ton air-conditioning system supplying a constant 72 degree temperature year round. The Dome is totally wired for communications to the whole planet via radio, television and satellite.
Next door to the Dome is the Astrohall. It has a total floor space of 3/4 of a million square feet. It is also completely air-conditioned and has 17 rooms which can accommodate from 100 to 3000 persons. This building will host a medical clinic a model of the Divine City designed according to Guru Maharaj Ji's specifications, a spiritual display from India and a project for the World Spiritual Exposition, which will be presented at the 1974 World's Fair in Spokane.
Up till now, the magnitude of the Astrodome has been self-defeating. The energy on the playing field easily evaporates into the huge space of the Dome. But considering the energy radiated by the Lord of the Universe, and the extension of that energy manifested through his devotees, all within that contained area…the Astrodome may prove unable to hold everything in. The roof might just lift off. That Dome would make quite a far out flying saucer.
The Astrodome is billed as the "Eighth Wonder of the World." It is in this immense structure that Guru Maharaj Ji will address the whole earth and declare 1000 years of peace: the Millennium. Without the Word, the pure energy which underlies creation, all the other wonders, big or little, man-made or natural, could not have come into existence. And now the Word made flesh, the Perfect Master, is again walking on the planet.
Biggest Light Show Ever
"The Astrodome boasts magnificent light and sound equipment," commented Michael Stein, a member of the Millennium '73 technical crew, "and we plan to fully exploit these fantastic devices in order to create-the biggest light show, ever!" Michael is a slight, bespectacled fellow who has a Buckminster Fullerish quality, calling the light show an "electronic, automatic interface." The other member of the technical crew, Richard Hillisinger, is the kind of fellow who could build and operate Michael's "electronic, automatic interface." He has worked for NASA for many years.
Michael spoke about another aspect of the light show. This will involve Blue Aquarius and Bhole Ji. "This band is fantastic," said Michael, "and Bhole Ji in action is an incredible sight. The lights for their performance will be abstract, spectrally pure, and will operate as another instrument in the band. Using a high speed color wheel focused on the band we will create an effect where all the motion appears to be followed by a visual echo of rainbows," said Richard. "While Bhole Ji is singing and dancing it will appear as if there is just a blur of light directing Blue Aquarius."
Rainbows are the primary motif of the light show. Karen livingstone, coordinator of graphics and decor, explains why rainbows are being used. "Rainbows are the symbols of God's covenant with man, and Guru Maharaj Ji is a living rainbow, a living symbol of the covenant."
Directly above Guru Maharaj Ji's four story high throne will he a 15-story high theatrical scrim.
"The lights on this scrim," said Michael, "will be an aurora borealis; there will be thousands and thousands of shimmering rainbows, dancing upwards for hundreds of feet in the air. 6000 watt light bulbs will be necessary to cast enough light onto the scrim to give the rainbows the proper intensity and clarity."
The rainbow lights on the scrim will also symbolize the energy coming from Guru Maharaj Ji and radiating through the universe. Massive lines of color and patterns will seem to generate from Maharaj Ji's throne.
"In a way," says Donna Vilicich, Astrolite coordinator, "what we are doing with the equipment here is what we will be doing all over the world in the near future. We look at something created, and with the consciousness of the new age, we transform it into a reflection of global unity, of beauty, and of peace. We are realizing the divine purpose of even the toys of our technology." Donna is working with the 85-foot square Astrolite, located directly opposite homeplate, and just below the American flag.
The Astrolite is composed of four-inch square lightbulbs, activated by a light-sensitive photocell- panel on which slides or films are projected. The animation, transferred from the film to the Astrolite, can be augmented by messages relayed through a keyboard along the borders of the screen.
The Astrolite will be used throughout the three days to keep the flow of the program running smoothly. "Through the use of the Astrolite," said Donna, "we will share whatever we are feeling. The Light will reflect the beautiful ex, periences we will be going through at the festival." An original cartoon character, Premi Ji and his pet Dove, will be the main attraction on the Astrolite. Each day Premi Ji and Dove will appear in a number of short, animated sequences.
To provide information, the Astrodome's gigantic scoreboards will be put into use. The right field board, designed for simple animation, lights up in red, green and yellow; the left field board uses white light only. Above the scoreboard, a huge curving backdrop houses an electronic fireworks display, traced out in colored lightbulbs on the black surface.
Each scoreboard will be used to print out information; key phrases, names and titles, song lyrics and announcements will be flashed on the scoreboard whenever needed. The fireworks display will be used selectively during the festival: "We've got no use for their smoke-snorting bull," said Jim Conlin, who is in charge of the scoreboard during the festival, "but we may be able to use some of the subtler effects."
Most Unique Stage
Award winning architect Larry Bernstein and the staff at the Millennium Art Department in Houston have designed and built a stage that is completely novel in concept, form and function: nothing like this has ever been attempted in the history of mankind! Because there never has been a time when such as unbelievable stage was needed. After all, when was the last time the living Lord addressed the world and proclaimed 1000 years of peace?
"Just imagine," Larry explained, "we are having to devise a whole new approach to stagery, just as there will be a whole new approach to everything in the Millennium. This stage is going to go into architectural guides and graphics manuals. Since it is the physical platform from which the Perfect Master will address the world, it has to be the most fantastic structure ever created!"
The stage will be as large as four buildings put together. At the very pinnacle, towering four stories above the floor of the Astrodome, there will he, Guru Maharaj Ji's flame-shaped throne. It will be made of a translucent material, and will he glowing with self-effulgent white light. The thrones for the four members of the Holy Family, to either side of Guru Maharaj Ji, will crown a rectangular, translucent white tower glowing with its own inner light. When Blue Aquarius is performing, this immense tower will he backlit with a brilliant rainbow patterned light show. Two large videoscreens will provide close-up views of the speakers and function like enormous binoculars.
Towering a full 15 stories over the stage will he a theatrical scrim on which will be projected a light show composed of radiating patterns of multi-colored light. This light show is specifically designed so that it will emphasize Guru Maharaj Ji, sitting in, his throne at the apex of the stage. The light show on this huge scrim will reflect the power coming from the throne. A constant flow of rainbows and colors in lines and patterns and chakras of energy will flow from the base of the scrim, and spread inwards for 120 feet in the air! "All of these lights are just arrows pointing to where the real Light of the World will be sitting," said Richard.
Below this waterfall there will be a large bandstand (large enough to accommodate the 50 members of Blue Aquarius and 100 members of the choir) from which Bhole Ji will lead Blue Aquarius, acting as the musical master of ceremonies. Seven feet above the floor of the Astrodome, the large circular performance stage is surrounded by a lotus pool.