For a year that Maharaj Ji said he wasn't going to tour, wasn't going to give many programs, wasn't going to be the vanguard of propagation well, he's doing okay.
First was the letter he sent to Latin America (printed in the last issue): "Dear Premies, All the premies I hope are doing meditation, satsang and service. I will be coming soon to your country to spread this beautiful Knowledge. I will give you the definite date later. By the grace everything is beautiful. Blessings."
Maharaj Ji's announcement came as a total surprise to the premies there; especially Francisco Arce, the DUO Director for Latin America, who had been in the middle of a cross continental tour telling everyone the sad news that Guru Maharaj Ji wouldn't be coming to Latin America for a very long time, and certainly not this year. A week passed and the news broke: Guru Maharaj Ji and Durga Ji had decided that this year's Guru Puja Festival would be held in Latin America; most likely in Venezuela or Peru.
The event will be the first time Guru Maharaj Ji will have ever visited any of the Latin American countries, although propagation has been going on there continuously for three years. Until recently each country had been developing its own Mission, inviting mahatmas and building its own premie community - but as the world premie community has begun to come together and internationalize, Latin America has come together too. Last week, Diego, the DUO Director for Argentina, was in Denver for a brief stay. I asked him what it felt like for the Mission to be internationalizing: "Beautiful," he said, "Now all the instructions come from Denver and we feel much more connected to what Guru Maharaj Ji wants us to do. We aren't left so much to our own imagination.
After meeting with Guru Maharaj Ji and Bob Mishler in Miami, Lou Schwartz and Francisco Arce left for Venezuela and Peru to check out possible festival sites. Just before Lou left, he got a special treat: Maharaj Ji and Durga Ji went out leaving him to baby sit Premlata for the evening.
In addition to Guru Puja in Latin America, there will be at least two festivals: Guru Maharaj Ji and Durga Ji are now in India, having just attended a special Baisaki celebration organized for them by Mahatma Sampuranand. Then in August, Guru Maharaj Ji will go to Europe, probably Germany, where he has instructedthe European premies to get together for a post Guru Puja festival.
And it's not without hope that the Australian premies might get Maharaj Ji to return to the South Pacific before the end of the year.
Speaking of the end of the year, in his Holi Satsang, Guru Maharaj Ji mentioned Florida as the most probable location for this year's Hans Jayanti festival.
Next to Maharaj Ji's "non-tour", the most inspiring highlight of globe-racing this year may turn out to be Mahatma Rajeshwar's whirlwind tour of the African continent. At the end of this month Ambassador Rajeshwar will spend six days in Iran following up an invitation made last year from the Shah to Guru Maharaj Ji to visit his country. From there he will go to Cairo, Egypt, and sub-Saharan Africa. He will stay a week in Ghana, where so much of Maharaj Ji's work has been done by very devoted nonpremies. One of them, Samson William Osei (below) wrote us about his country and their Mission, hoping that we would no longer delay in sending a mahatma: "Ghana is a nation of spiritual scholars. The Ghanian, like any other person in this world has many problems both spiritual and physical … The Ghanian believes in God, but he also believes in the existence of demons, witches, juju and other forces of darkness. He is, therefore, often drawn to the leader who apart from showing him God is also able to offer a hand of protection for him and his family."
"We meet every Friday for satsang and meditation, and our next target is the preparation of typed satsang for mailing to our distant members. At present in Ghanian Divine Light Mission we have about 70 registered members. Out of that number, 80% are trying to practise meditation, about a quarter are vegetarian, and there is one known premie."
Raja Ji and Claudia recently finished a four month satsang tour of Europe which began just after Hans Jayanti in Toronto. When, after the festival, Raja Ji was unable to re-enter the United States, Guru Maharaj Ji gave him and Claudia instructions to travel through Europe to inspire the premies - urging them to come out of the shells of their individual countries and join together as one international family. The satsang the premies heard was direct. In Paris, when the atmosphere for satsang didn't quite feel right, Raja Ji instructed the premies to meditate for several minutes before he began. "We don't come to a program to enjoy ourselves," he said, "but to really experience satsang." England, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Portugal, France, Italy, Holland, and Scandinavia were all covered in the tour. In each city he stopped, Raja Ji emphasized sincerely practicing and experiencing Knowledge rather than playing games with it. And the games? He talked about three that premies all too often get caught in: 1) the game of thinking, "We have taken Knowledge; we don't have to meditate; Guru MaharajJi will help us anyway." 2) The "We can meditate at the last moment" game, and 3) the game of "The Mission is not together; maybe when it comes together we'll come and help." Everywhere he went he asked the premies to, "stop analyzing and start realizing."
With a good deal of concerted effort on the part of the international staff in Denver, Raja Ji was finally able to re-obtain an entry visa to the United States - just in timetocatch a plane to Los Angeles to witness the birth of Premlata.
Shortly after Premlata was born, Raja Ji made a short surprise visit to India to see what arrangements needed to be made for Maharaj Ji to come to Baisaki festival. He was only able to give one program - very well attended - before returning to America for Holi festival.
Latest word is that Raja Ji is now a full-fledged citizen of the United States.
It is said that the wind is the breath of God as it sweeps across the body of the earth. We may all feel comfortable while God exhales, but if - by whim or obeyance of some greater law - God chooses to reverse his trend and take a breath in, we may find all we know and consider real around us in a sudden state of disruption and chaos.
Darwin, the capital of the Northern Territory of Australia, had a population of 45,000 in 1974. It was a growing metropolis whose influx of people and money staggered its city planners. When the people began to discover just how rich the land was around the city - especially in minerals and uranium - land prices began to soar and the cost of living in Darwin became one of the highest in all Australia.
Then, last Christmas, God breathed in, and Darwin collapsed. Cyclone Tracy swooped down on Darwin from the Northwest coast causing one of the greatest natural disasters in Australia's history. When its surviving residents came out of their cellars on Christmas morning, the entire city lay flattened in the storm's wake. Nearly 20,000 people were left homeless as winds of over 200 m.p.h. lashed the city, overturning cars, uprooting trees and collapsing and carrying off houses like matchboxes. When the news began to arrive in Sydney counting the extent of the disaster, the papers were calling it the "town that was."
For most of the people of Darwin, cyclone Tracy was a total disaster all they owned had been destroyed in a matter of hours. In their eyes the event was incomprehensible; nature had gone mad. Yet, throughout it all some mysterious force had kept them alive. Their houses had been shattered beyond recognition, and they, somehow, huddled in their
A person may spend his life searching the whole world over for something which will give him peace. Yet hewill die in despair if he fails to understand that the source of peace and truth is to be found right inside himself. Guru Maharaj Ji's Knowledge teaches us how to meditate on the source of peace and love inside us. It is not the sort of knowledge we can find in libraries, for it is a direct experience of something within us, not a theory. This meditation is shown to people by close disciples of Guru Maharaj Ji known as mahatmas. It is revealed free of charge to those who come with an open heart. For further information, call your local Divine Light Mission chapter, or write:
Box 532, 511 1 6th Street
Denver, Colorado 80201
Australian premie bands put on benefit concert for Darwin victims.
basement or corner of their bathroom, were sheltered from its destruction.
Some even knew what the mysterious force was, and who it was giving them shelter amid the chaos: in the center of Darwin, in line with the main path of the cyclone, lived three members of the Darwin Divine Light Mission. It was in this time being so close to death, that the premies there experienced something of the grace of Guru Maharaj Ji. Barbara Woolley, the housemother, later wrote an account of her experience that night. It is, to say the least, beautiful satsang:
"At the moment I am sitting in a little office just off the hospital kitchen. I've been provided with a stretcher to sleep on and a tetanus shot in the arm and backside. It's a little difficult to sleep for my mind is full of whirring thoughts. So this letter is satsang for me so I shall empty my mind to you.
"Christmas Eve everybody was excited and happy. A cyclone Tracy was expected but there was little apprehension owing to the minor attack of the previous one. We stored a few things and shut all the windows but that was all. The rain was heavy and the wind was strong enough to keep us awake most of the night. Approximately 2:30 there was a crash of glass. Whether or not it was this that made me get up, get dressed and take the torch to check around I don't know but it was Amazing Grace. As soon as I walked into the office I saw that the roof was lifting off. The warnings that had been broadcast over the radio earlier in the evening said the safest place during a cyclone was in the bathroom. I shouted for the boys and we just managed to retreat safely into the bathroom when the office windows exploded. It was frightening, as you can imagine. By this time the wind was really strong. Everything was crashing around us, the walls were vibrating, the roof was completely off except for the little piece over our heads and we were hanging onto that Word for all we were worth. Prayer comes natural when death is close. It was interesting to observe the mind proclaiming to never forget the Word, please Maharaj Ji make it stop. Please Maharaj Ji hear us, help us. Nothing was worth anything except that vibration. We stayed huddled in such a state watching the lightning above and feeling the rain trickling down our faces and bodies, and that Word brothers and sisters …
… how precious this Knowledge is. About six the wind died down and we dared to open the bathroom door. Nothing was standing. The whole house had blown down. Oh Maharaj Ji, thank you, thank you for letting us live. How precious this life is, how beautiful a gift we just don't know. It was all so unreal, everywhere we looked houses were flattened, telegraph poles were bent to the ground,trees were snapped or completely uprooted. There was corregated iron twisted around trees and lamp-posts like pieces of paper. It was obvious that there was millions of dollars worth of damage."
Maharaj Ji's Proverb
In Italy, before Copenhagen, Maharaj Ji had a dream one night. Here comes another of those dreams … it was really beautiful. He said that, "In this dream I made up a proverb." And it was so beautiful, I'd like to tell you that proverb now.
Guru Maharaj Ji said that that which comes into the heart softly and lovingly, that is what not to think about. But that which comes into the heart quickly and hard, that is what to think about before taking action. So try to understand, try to understand this thing, that things come into our heart - if it's on impulse, if it's just like, "Wow! I gotta do this, and, I just feel like this is Guru Maharaj Ji's Grace and this is what I should do and this is right!" Be careful. Beware. That is what you should think about. That is what you should put some question to. But that which comes in slowly, softly, that which nurtures in the heart, that which comes through meditation, and through time and patience, that is what we never have to think about. That is always correct.
Now, how are we going to know if it's coming in that way or not? Through meditation, that's the only way. That's the only way we can understand anything without our minds.
And you know, there's one definition, as it was told to me, of good and bad. And this seems to be a very controversial subject - good and bad, and it was told to me as it was written in the Vedas - good is that which promotes the growth of the soul. OK? Good is that which promotes the growth of the soul. And bad is that which demotes, not only doesn't promote, but demotes the growth of the soul. So, if we have Knowledge, if we know what soul is, if we can understand that energy, then anything that is going to promote the growth of that has got to be good. And anything that is not going to promote it, and furthermore, demote it, that is bad. And that discrimination comes through meditation on the Holy Name.