At 6:20 p.m. on April 4th, 1975, National Airlines flight #2 left Miami airport for London. Nine hours later, six of its passengers changed planes at Heathrow airport and boarded a British Airways flight to Bombay. Guru Maharaj Ji, after being gone for almost two years, was returning to India.
"It's so hard to know that something fantastic is going to happen and not be able to tell anyone about it," wrote Lyle Groome in the last issue of the English Premies magazine. "It's devastating when two such events happen just four days apart.
"By now everyone must know what I'm referring to: that Saturday morning (April 5th) Guru Maharaj Ji stopped for four hours in London airport on his way to India, and the following Wednesday, DurgaJi and Premlata did the same. I wish everyone could have seen them, but Maharaj Ji gave strict instructions to keep it confidential."
Lou Schwartz sat up late one night writing a letter for the weekly report that was waiting to go around the country the minute he was through. He was inspired. He'd just finished a whirlwind tour of South America. He'd spent the better part of a week with Maharaj Ji and Durga Ji before they left for India, and he was experiencing a side of Maharaj Ji, of the meditation, that he'd never experienced before. "He has given his command," he wrote in his letter, "Maharaj Ji, Raja Ji and four other premies have gone to India followed by Durga Ji and the infant Premlata. It has been 22 months since the Perfect Master has been in India a country whose heritage is filled with stories of Perfect Master after Perfect Master. Where now the Perfect Master is reaching out far beyond the boundaries of India and winds up returning there to assume control of his Mission.
"Yet how much do any of us realize who Guru Maharaj Ji is? It struck me so much last week in Miami that, in our few short years of having Knowledge, Guru Maharaj Ji has put us through incredible spiritual growth …
"We have experienced Father in our lives. The grace of Guru Maharaj Ji has elevated us to such a point that we can actually see how close we have grown to God; how much beauty lies in dedicating our lives to our father's work. And when I see my life in this way, I reverently bow my head at the feet of my Master, because I realized I'm saved."
Maharaj Ji's visit to India marks a turning point in Maharaj Ji's own life. Each time there is a change in the head of our family, it naturally reflects in each of our own lives. There is a lesson here for each and every one of us.
Back in November, when Maharaj Ji met with the Mission directors, he told them to make 1975 a "year of propagation". But Guru Maharaj Ji wasn't going to do any massive campaigns, tours or programs. It was going to be up to the premies. He had his family, and this year, he said, he was going to concentrate on being a father.
Then Premlata was born. "Guru Maharaj Ji," as Denver's Rocky Mountain News noted, "spiritual father to six million followers around the world, became the worldly father of a bouncing eight pound-eight ounce girl."
Maharaj Ji looked at Holi festival as a chance to take a little break. It would actually be his first opportunity to be alone with his family and rest from the flurry of activity at the Los Angeles residence. But the events in Miami were to turn the course of 1975 in a whole different direction.
"I don't know when it happened," remarked Lou, "but somewhere along the line, Guru Maharaj Ji's whole outlook seemed to change. It sounds strange to speak of Maharaj Ji changing, but that is exactly what happened."
Premlata could not remain just Guru Maharaj Ji's child. At Holi, Durga Ji gave her to the premies: "I just want to thank all of you, all over the world, for the love that you've given your new sister. Because it's our baby; it's all of our baby. She's the vine of love, and she'll reach out to you and pull you closer to Guru Maharaj Ji. That I know, because she already has."
From the moment she was born, she became a living symbol of Guru Maharaj Ji's love for all his premies, for all mankind, and for his dedication to bringing truth into the world.
The premies that were with Maharaj Ji that week in Miami saw the gears shift right in front of their eyes. As Maharaj Ji gave them satsang, he would often hold Premlata in his arms. Occasionally he would turn to her and say something: "I'm going to make this world so beautiful for you," he would say, "the power of Guru Maharaj Ji's love is so great that when you grow up the world is going to be completely different." And then he'd look up and continue giving satsang.
Maharaj Ji said that when he looked at Premlata he remembered the promise he made to his father. Shri Maharaj Ji gave his whole life - often going without food or shelter - walking along the dusty roads of East Pakistan and India in his unswerving dedication to spread truth. When Shri Maharaj Ji died, his instructions to Guru Maharaj Ji were to continue his work and take Knowledge to the whole world.
Each day Premlata grew, Maharaj Ji's sense of urgency to fulfill his aim increased. He could no longer wait. At the evening program of Holi he announced his change of plans: "From now on there are going to be a lot of satsang programs. I'll be taking a big tour, comin' up pretty soon." He turned from his November statement to the DUO directors that he would only do four programs this year. He now planned to hold at least 25 major programs including his tour of India, a visit to Australia, a possible visit to Japan and Hong Kong, Guru Puja in Caracas, Venezuela, a mid-summer festival in Essen, Germany, and a massive international Hans Jayanti festival this November in Orlando, Florida to "garland the year's propagation effort."
"You know," said Durga Ji in Miami, "it's so beautiful to see Maharaj Ji play with Premlata, to see how much joy he has for his daughter. And the thing that he keeps saying, over and over again, is 'look how precious she is; she's just so, so precious.'
"But you see, when Maharaj Ji says, 'see how precious she is,' what he is really referring to is the fact that all his premies are so very precious to him, because he is more than a physical father to Premlata, he is the spiritual father to all of us. I prepare Premlata by feeding her, caring for her, by making her ready. When she is all ready, then I give her to Guru Maharaj Ji. And in the same way, it's as if this earth is our mother, and she prepares us for our father. As we leave this world, our mother, we enter into the Kingdom of our father."
Guru Maharaj Ji arrived Lucknow, from Bombay. He was met at airport by small group of devotees.
Large public program scheduled for a center-of-the-city park was cancelled due to difficulties with local officials. Guru Maharaj Ji held a press conference at the Carlton Hotel in the afternoon. That evening he gave darshan to approximately 1,000 premies at a local religious hostel. The same evening he held a very short satsang at a hall where the premies were staying (approximately 8-10,000 heard him), and said, 'that there had been a lot of confusion and false reports but not to worry now that he had come to India to make everything clear and to do meditation' and then he gave his blessings and left. 30,000 premies had come to Lucknow yet only less than half ever saw Guru Maharaj Ji.
Left Lucknow for Jhumri Talanja, Bihar (large, rural ashram), via Patna.
Really the first time he spoke to the Indians. About 3,000 had arrived in Bihar by that time.
Guru Maharaj Ji and Durga Ji were remarried in a Hindu ceremony, along with Raja Ji and Claudia.
The ceremony lasted from the evening of the 16th well into the morning of the 17th. Approximately 6,000 devotees were there.
Guru Maharaj Ji gave darshan to several thousand more premies who had arrived during the night.
Guru Maharaj Ji gave darshan and a satsang program was held that evening. Guru Maharaj Ji didn't speak. Durga Ji gave satsang for the first time in India. Her words were translated by Raja Ji.
Another program. Both Guru Maharaj Ji and Durga Ji gave satsang. Guru Maharaj Ji told premies he was leaving for Nepal.
To Calcutta for visas.
Program in Calcutta.
To Bombay for programs.
On to Katmandu, for programs scheduled 2, 3 May. From Nepal, Guru Maharaj Ji and Durga Ji return to Jaipur.
To Jaipur for a week of programs (Ron writes: "Dad's been giving darshan in the streets for the past 2 days. It's really beautiful).
To Delhi for more programs and business.
And this memo was given to us just before we went to press:
"Due to very poor communications between India and America, it has been difficult to contact Bob Mishler. Today however Bob called to say everything was going fine. Bob confirmed that the legal actions given coverage here in the press were merely civil cases brought against Guru Maharaj Ji by Bal Bhagwan Ji in an effort to disrupt Guru Maharaj Ji's tour of India, which is nonetheless proving very successful."
There is no word yet on when Maharaj Ji will return to the U.S. except that it will be before Guru Puja in Latin America. More details in the next issue.
Inspiration by the Grace of Sant Ji Maharaj
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