MOVING AHEAD
- The European Conferences -
Prem Rawat (Maharaji) When He Was Guru Maharaj Ji, The Lord Of The Universe, 1977

"Basically," Guru Maharaj Ji told the 134 premies invited to a Conference in Munich, Germany, "the purpose of this conference is to make the premies who are responsible for the interests of premies - for instance the community coordinator, national coordinator – to give them a proper insight of what is really required now."

And what is required, he told them over and over again in a number of different ways, is an understanding of our focus so that we can act on that understanding. He emphasized the need for follow-up after the programs had brought so much inspiration into the premies' lives.

"It is very, very important that all of us understand the same thing," Maharaj Ji said. He defined IHQ as the Office of Guru Maharaj Ji and said: "Each country is on its own. But one thing that we have to understand is our focus.

"Our general direction, first of all, should be straight. What are we trying to do? What are we trying to accomplish? Well … what are we trying to accomplish?" Maharaj Ji asked, just before providing the answer. "To me, clearly, one of our clear dreams is that most of the people receive Knowledge."

Munich, a city of more than a million and a half people, was the site of the first of two conferences Maharaj Ji held during the European tour. The second, held in London, was attended by about 130 premies and was designed to specifically focus on the Mission in England.

The conference, in a way, has become a standard part of Guru Maharaj Ji's special series of short-notice programs, and as Maharaj Ji reminded the premies in Munich, the conference had its beginnings in Frankfurt, which is about 200 miles north of Munich. "It was really intense," Maharaj Ji said of that first conference. "But it was really beautiful."

Maharaj Ji told the premies at the Munich conference that a premie wants to keep things simple: "Do satsang, service and meditation, and keep in touch with Guru Maharaj Ji through the premies that are there to help you."

This formula, he said, was for all premies but the premies at the conference were the ones who had to provide a service of keeping other premies in touch. Maharaj Ji had stressed in a U.S. conference after the Miami Beach program that coordinators cannot become middlemen and he emphasized the same thing in Munich.

"When there is authority," Maharaj Ji cautioned, "then there is conflict.

"It is more important that you are a premie, not a coordinator," Maharaj Ji said early in the conference. But the coordinator also has to do his job to follow-up after the programs, because a premie's "resistance to this virus called mind has to be constantly updated."

In both Munich and London, Maharaj Ji spoke about the ashram. It is "the

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center focus for inspiration," and should be able to remind premies of the potential Knowledge offers. Ashram provides premies with a controlled environment.

"You cannot grow apples in the African desert," Maharaj Ji said in London. "Why not? Because there has to be a situation provided where there can be maximum growth for that plant. And in this world, where we are at, it is obviously not the kind of a climate where it can be maximum progress for a person.

"So you make a greenhouse."

In Munich, Maharaj Ji said, "People portray different kinds of images for ashram but I don't really think it's that way at all. Ashram can be really beautiful.

"If premies want to make an ashram: make it. Move in. It has nothing to do with Divine Light Mission. You pay your own rent, your own food, find your own income tax returnes. And then, when the premies are ready, I will send an initiator."

Until the initiator arrives, "just don't call them ashrams. Halfway houses sounds pretty terrible. You can call it a premie house. That's fine."

During the Munich conference, Maharaj Ji painted a beautiful picture of ashram life as he hopes it will become. The initiator, he said, would not be a "commandant" but would be on hand to help premies with their problems with Knowledge. Each ashram would have its own resident initiator, who would also be able to serve the community the ashram exists in.

Maharaj Ji took the time to interview initiator candidates from Europe and the Far East following the Munich conference and conducted two more interview sessions after the London conference. In all, 21 candidates were interviewed.

Everything begins in our heart, Maharaj Ji said simply. "Community does not have its own reason in itself. There is a reason behind it. The meaning does not lie within itself. We have to all understand that we are premies."

In England, Maharaj Ji put it about as straight as he could: "Our foundation lies in satsang, service, and meditation. Our foundation lies in Guru Maharaj Ji."

Willow Baker, who does service as an international correspondent in the Office of Guru Maharaj Ji, said that as Guru Maharaj Ji asked the premies in Munich different questions, "it just completely amazed me how perfectly Maharaj Ji just directed his love and his attention to that person and the situation in that country just so, so perfectly."

And it seemed that everyone at the conferences pretty well understood their priority.

Early in the question and answer session in London, a premie asked if all those attending the conference could do pranam.

"Right after we finish all this jive here," Maharaj Ji answered, jokingly and lovingly.

And everyone just laughed and seemed to feel the joy of being with their Guru Maharaj Ji.

Maharaj Ji said he wants to see an equal amount of realization among all the premies "to experience Guru Maharaj Ji, to experience satsang, to experience service, to experience meditation.

"Right now, I can tell you, that's a lot to do."

And, essentially, that was the key to progress and the answer to all situations, in both Munich and London.

"Let's just keep things in their own corner, in their own square, where they belong," Maharaj Ji said in Munich while speaking to one of the premies in attendance. "Not mix agya with talk and satsang and jive and something like that. Let's keep everything straight in its own place.

"I just want everything to be as convenient, everything to be as beautiful, everything to be as nice, for premies as possible."

Prem Rawat (Maharaji) When He Was Guru Maharaj Ji, The Lord Of The Universe, 1977

16    Divine Times, June 1977