MORE & MORE LOVE
by Alan Cunningham
Abruptly, you leave the stage. No goodbyes. Our hearts feel a yank, but there is no sense of separation, no feeling that you have left us. The electricity, the magic of your presence, remains in the air.
Now the Holi band is playing "You Make Me Feel Brand New," and we are here. Happy to wait forever in this joy. knowing your love will explode again inside us, but just not knowing exactly how the explosion will come.
Suddenly you are with us again. Still in the Krishna outfit, but - what is it? - somehow gloriously different this time.
There are gasps, shouts. Bholie Shris resound. People jump up. Some even fall off their chairs. In the balcony, premies strain to see what it is that is different about you.
Garlands of flowers. No jacket. A golden shirt, perhaps, beneath the flowered garlands?
At last, when we yank our unbelieving eyes away from you long enough to glance at the big TV monitor, we understand.
That is no shirt. That is your golden skin.
* * *
Guru Maharaj Ji had filled us all with so much Love in Tucson that one might have expected to see us all float away like heart-shaped balloons, never to touch down again on the hard terra firma.
Ah, but this mind, the tricky villain of this ongoing drama. saw another chance to get in some more licks.
Premies, their hearts ripped wide open with love, jumped into cars and buses and airplanes and pretended they were going someplace called "home." Forgetting that home is where the heart is, that heart is where Maharaj Ji is, that the one who sat on that Guru Puja stage, smiling inside us, had told us again and again we didn't ever have to leave him.
We opened up and up and up and then we came back to those other places and - whoosh - Mister Mind put some new wax on his curly mustache and rushed back in with a vengeance.
Pranam, Lord. We let down our guard but you were never fooled for a second. Without you, we wouldn't have a chance in this melodrama.
SATURDAY, August 12-
Bill Patterson is talking to communities all over the country on a phone feed. He says it's mostly a test, to see if premies can hook it up fast, through the Denver switchboard, so Maharaj Ji can call any time he wants to, on short notice.
Just a test tonight. But Maharaj Ji doesn't waste any time. He comes on the line the very next night and drops one more divine bombshell in our hearts.
SUNDAY, August 13-
With infinite patience, he explains it to us:
"It was just like, as soon as the program ended, and everybody walked away, a certain amount of that experience just got left … it got absorbed by something. By the mind."
The more we get of that love, the more vulnerable we seem to be when we let go of you, Maharaj Ji. Good thing you're here, keeping an eye on us all the time.
"Hans Jayanti," he said. "That's a long, long time to wait to be able to have a program. Because this mind is a strong thing."
It is strong and we are weak, but your love is so much stronger. We need it, all the time, more and more. We can't even walk away from something as beautiful as Guru Puja without letting our guard down, letting the villain, that absence with the black hat, come roaring back into our lives.
So he tells us, in his teasing way, that he's getting ready to bring us back to him again, to scrub us clean, to wash our latest wounds.
There MIGHT be a program in Philadelphia on the 25th, 26th and 27th. It seems that I MIGHT be coming. Get there, somehow. IF you make it, IF there is a program, IF I come, I will see you, hopefully, by Guru Maharaj Ji's grace.
The festival is 12 days away. It's name is - what else? - More and More Love.
We have sung Arti to you, glorious in your Krishna outfit and that shining golden crown.
4 DIVINE TIMES
LOVE MORE & MORE LOVE MORE
FRIDAY, August 25-
No ifs, ands or buts swim in our heads as some of us scramble off a big, yellow jet at the Philadelphia airport, just before dawn.
Nobody remembers ifs now. Only the part about "Guru Maharaj Ji's grace."' And the fact that our Lord has chosen to shower us with More and More of his precious Love.
We are in a place called Philadelphia. Or are we? In the hazy gray of a sunless morning, a day when the fog and smog seem a permanent part of the exterior landscape. we find ourselves checking into yet another hotel room, unpacking the baragons and the darshan clothes and the special photo which shows only his feet.
Then we wander across a funky university campus with old, ivy walls and sterile, new concrete and signs that say something about Benjamin Franklin. We step through a door, queue up to buy a little piece of cardboard with a beautiful photograph and a quote:
"Now Guru Maharaj Ji is giving us the chance to be able to come back home."
Whoosh! We're safe again, in His World. Wrapped snug in a Love which never had a beginning and never, ever knows an end.
World without end, pranam. We're here, in it, gazing at a stage which appears to be straight out of the Arabian Knights. A wonderful stage- but only because our Master is going to come soon and shine as its smiling centerpiece.
Now he is here and we are shouting our Bhole Shris. It is a night for joy, a night for tears. Maharaj Ji speaks to our hearts, shows us he knows every step we've taken since we saw him last. He speaks of every game we've played, every trap we've fallen into in those few short weeks.
It seems there have been many.
Maharaj Ji talks about the difference between fantasy and reality. Reality is what's happening now, here, in this hall. But even the hall, even the stage is an illusion. The Truth goes so much deeper.
He talks about people living their lives as if they were in an airplane pilot's simulator. And, again and again, he brings up the word "fantasy." His words stab at something in us which has played with those ghostly wisps of unreality for so many years, which still flirts with them, even now.
His satsang stabs and prods at us, trying to wake up that part which knows there is so much more, so much more, deep inside. Tears glisten in our eyes.
And he tells us surrender is not a joke. He gives us one of those incredible images which seem as if they ought to be engraved somewhere on stone:
When surrender comes, he says, "not only will you laugh, you will dance. And not only will you laugh and dance, you will laugh and cry at the same time. You wouldn't know whether you are going to cry or going to laugh or you're going to sit down or you're going to dance, you're going to fly or you're going to just swim. You wouldn't know."
Our hearts, right now, are crying, laughing. dancing, swimming. Tomorrow - "tentatively, maybe," with a "lot of grace"- there will be darshan.
SATURDAY, August 26-
Another Philadelphia morning, still gloomy - if you look at the illusory world outside. Another walk across the funky campus, through ivy and concrete, then swallowed up again in that world that's so-much-more-real.
Again, we forget about words like "maybe" or "tentatively," remembering only the part about "lot of grace."
Again, we sit with eyes closed. Shoes, forgotten. beneath a seat. Sliding silently now through corridors. down stairs, around corridors, prodded to move ahead because we forgot where we were, floating now out of an old, dingy auditorium that lies hidden beneath layers of love.
Floating somewhere, floating, waiting patiently, slipping ahead. Now in the Magic Tunnel, getting a first glimpse of his immense and loving
& MORE LOVE MORE & MORE LOVE
presence. Closer now, closer, at last looking at him, almost fearful to look yet even more fearful to miss a bit of the experience of seeing him up close. Wanting desperately never to look at anything else, ever again.
Wafted now into that eternal milli-second at his feet, touching him now, glancing up. lifted along. Floating again, away but not really away, just floating. Silently. Only Breath inside of us, exploding silently, eternally, floating us into a room with spotless altar and giant picture.
And tears come forth as we pranam before that altar for a long, long time. Somewhere inside of us there is music.
Last night. after the program. Maharaj Ji pointed out some things that hadn't been done right this time. If service was conscious in Tucson. there has been a letdown here.
Have we slipped that much in such a short time? Maharaj Ji explained it in that telephone call when he announced the program: "It's not like Guru Maharaj Ji appears and disappears. What does appear and disappear is us."
So it is that, even when you speak to us with anger, your words still come from a place of mercy and compassion. Maybe, tentatively, by a lot of grace, you'll step down from the darshan stage this evening and walk to the Arabian Knights stage and speak again to us all.
He reminds us: Mind drives us cuckoo, but Guru Maharaj Ji can drive us UN-cuckoo. Tomorrow, he says, will be what Bill Patterson always calls "The Last Day."
6 DIVINE TIMES
MORE & MORE LOVE MORE
Maharaj Ji laughs and says: "I don't know why he thinks it's the last day."
Certainly, there is no first day, no last day. Only here and now in this world where we find ourselves. It certainly isn't a place called Philadelphia.
SUNDAY, August 27-
A big banner, draped from one side of the balcony, takes note of Maharaj Ji's upcoming trip to Europe. It says "Bon Voyage, Lord!"
Rain fell during the night in that place that tries to be a City of Brotherly Love. Here, in Maharaj Ji's Universe of Fatherly Love, there is no rain to be found.
"Early program tomorrow," he told us. It means many hours of satsang, and that tug-of-war with the villain, who already can't wait to get his mitts on us the second we step out the door.
We know that 1,000 lifetimes can be lived as those hours pass and that tug-of-war goes on. It is a day when we can easily slip into a melancholy, feeling we fall so short of the thing that he is asking of us. Some of the satsang seems to reflect this.
Now the light is flashing and the music resounds: "He's come again, He's here. The only one I've ever really loved, all these years. He's come to take me home, I'm going with him this time, He's here."
Down, perhaps, to 999 lifetimes.
Even Raja Ji. Durga Ji and Claudia seem to join in that sense of melancholy as each talks about how sad it is when we see how little we listen to him, how much we test his patience.
Yet Maharaj Ji, at last, steps on the big Arabian Knights stage and, instantly, his universe forgets about its melancholy. There is only joy and lightness and love once again. Oh Lord, how could I have forgotten, so quickly, how good it feels to see you?
He laughs at the "Bon Voyage" banner. That's just what the mind wants, he says. To say "Bon Voyage, Lord," so it can have a field day.
He jokes about where Hans Jayanti will be. (We won't know until October that it's going to be in Kissimmee, near Orlando.)
North Pole, maybe. No. There wouldn't be anyone but "me and a walrus."
A premie calls out: "I am the walrus." Maharaj Ji tells that brother to go the North Pole, but quickly warns him not to.
"You'll freeze to death. And then, maybe, in the next lifetime, you WILL become a walrus."
Maharaj Ji is having a wonderful time. And so are we.
* * *
And now Maharaj Ji sits before us in that outrageous, gorgeous, amazing, flowered mala outfit. And in his incredible way, he seems almost shy as he once more takes the microphone.
There are whoops, hollers. and One Foundation bursts into the strains of a song we haven't heard for several festivals:
"The Lord of the Universe has come to us this day…"
Indeed. he has. Such a Lord. Such a Light. And such Love. Pouring out more and more of his love. carrying it across the sea, for two more festivals in Europe over the next five weekends, where he wears the wonderful flower outfit twice more for "Last Day" Arti. Finally, back to North American shores for Hans Jayanti and maybe even somewhere else before that.
And everywhere. Forever.
"Thank you, Maharaj Ji, for satsang. Thank you for meditation. Thank you for service. Thank you for you, your darshan. Thank you for letting me surrender to you."
- Durga Ji
"He's that perfect thing that can show us everything. He's that one perfection. And he's here for us."
- Raja Ji
"I've no idea what love is, and all that I can do us just, by his Grace, try to completely, completely focus on him, on nothing else."