With so many countries now inviting Maharaji to attend their events, his itinerary has to be a flexible feast. A visit to India, though, is one of the few fairly fixed points on his annual schedule. It is simply too hot to hold an outdoor event between May and October; and an indoor event is not viable due to the vast numbers who wish to attend.
April and November have thus become the months when he is most likely to visit this part of the world.
The Shri Sant Yog Ashram on the outskirts of New Delhi has become a legendary venue. It has facilities for over a thousand international visitors who can fly in for a few days and hear a radio headset translation of Maharaji speaking in Hindi.
Buses bring them to and from nearby hotels to join a far greater number of visitors from all over India. These are housed and fed in an enormous tent city on the land.
The facilities are being continually expanded and improved in response to an ever increasing demand for accommodation. This April's gathering broke all previous records. Over a three-day period, over 75,000 people turned out each afternoon to sit on the lush green grass and listen in rapt pin -drop silence as Maharaji took the stage, just before sunset. Amongst these were as many as 17,000 aspirants, people keen to receive Knowledge and waiting patiently for the opportunity.
Two Knowledge sessions
There would have been even more aspirants had Maharaji not held two Knowledge sessions just prior to the event. On April 7, a record number of 3,656 people made their way to a specially built tent to be shown the techniques of Knowledge. The following day, a further 3,630 came to a second session. To grasp the enormity of this figure, look around the Convention Center today. Busy though it is, you will see fewer people than received Knowledge in the course of these two days.
A new element
One further new element was introduced to this year's giant, magical Indian event. As a response to Maharaji's suggestion that participants all over the world should synchronise their activities, a Hindi edition of the Event News containing excerpts from the previous night's address was published each day.
A small team of eastern and western writers worked closely together to meet the printer's deadline which kept creeping forward as the number of copies required went steadily up !