THE FRANKFURT CONFERENCE
( … continued from page 17)
NICK SEYMOUR-JONES: I used to work full-time for the Mission, but I don't do that any longer, I have a job. Satsang seems to be really improving quite a lot. Padarthanand came through and helped a lot. We got a little bit cliquey, we had a large ashram there with 26 people in it, a very old house, and when that closed down a lot of people were disorientated, didn't know where to go and were pretty confused about it. What happened since then, we've had a regular community satsang most nights and in the surrounding houses as well and we had a community meeting once a fortnight where all the premies came together for satsang. It feels like we're beginning to shape up and really want to do something. It seems to be like an energy there to get moving. We had an election there. (Laughter). I feel I got the message about that., that it's not on.
GURU MAHARAJ JI: My feelings. Period. That's what my feeling is.
NICK: Well premies want to know. That's what we really want to know.
GURU MAHARAJ JI: My feelings are no, no. Because the whole idea - see, two ways to look at it. If you look at it one way, then it's okay to have an election, it's perfectly okay, even perfectly okay to have elections for Guru Maharaj Ji.
If you look at it the other way, it's totally nuts. If you are doing service for each other, then it's okay to have elections. Then you would like to have a choice. I would like to have this person
do this, and I would like to have this person do that, and people can get together and do this. But if you are all doing service for Guru Maharaj Ji then you can't have that. Then you just can't say, "Well, I'd rather have this person working for me, I would like to elect this person and I don't like this person." That is what we have to understand. Who are we doing service for? Are we doing service for each other, or are we all doing service for Guru Maharaj Ji?
There has been a lot of definition going into Guru Maharaj Ji, Guru Maharaj Ji's purpose; but no, we are doing service for Guru Maharaj Ji. Period. Guru Maharaj ji can then take this tool and make a tool from it, and Guru Maharaj Ji can use it for anything he wants.
And it's like, there's only one reason, there's only one purpose that he has, and that is to spread the Knowledge. To spread the word. That's his purpose. To bring humanity out of suffering. To provide them with peace, and love, and understanding that people need so bad. So it's like service to Guru Maharaj Ji. Period. And in that system you really can't do that, because you are all then one; there are no cripples, because everybody is doing everything for Guru Maharaj Ji. But if you are doing service for each other that is altogether a different story, because then maybe Deepak wouldn't like to have you do service for him, or Dimitri wouldn't like Colin's doing service for him and then you can have these kind of elections, but that is what is insinuated by elections. And I think that by putting elections you are putting too much importance on one person. The whole community is putting too much importance on one person, while in this whole conference process I'm trying to de-importantise everything. Nothing is important. Everybody is a premie. Just do satsang, service and meditation, and get back to our base. And really realise, and really, it's about time that we start helping Guru Maharaj Ji in his work, because we have to start moving, or else our batteries are going to go dead. It's like, we have had our batteries off for such a long time. We might get to a point we want to start the car back again and it might not start. And it's just like that's what I'm trying to do - opening the hood, checking the oil, changing the oil filters here and there, changing all the spark plugs; they have been giving the wrong kind of ignition to the engine and changing that wrong gap, wrong everything. I'm starting to slowly do all this and find out if we can start the car and make it as good as possible. Because our battery might not be too good and a lotta grace it will take, lotta jump starting it'll take , to fire it up. But once we get fired up it'll be really beautiful.
So I'm really glad that England is doing very well. But I'd like to see a lot more. I expect a lot, lot more, because it's a lot of energy I have put there.
DAVID LOVEJOY: The financial and legal problem is not actually finished, but all the signs are that we're on a road so that it can be concluded fairly quickly. It could even be concluded in the next few months, but if not, it's going to take maybe another year. It's like it was just wound up so tight it was just one of those things that can't finish quickly. We've got leases on buildings that we can't get rid of and we can't break, that are useless to us, that were in fact crazy un-businesslike sort of things that Ashok did. He just did so many crazy things and we still have all that and a lot of it we just can't get rid of and the premies of course have to support if from AMP. So much of the income of the Mission is to get rid of all these things. I feel like ever since I've been there that such a big priority has been selling and getting rid of …
GURU MAHARAJ JI: I know you have liquidated things at a very very fast pace, very fast pace.
DAVID: But the pressure…
GURU MAHARAJ JI: Yeah, I understand. I perfectly understand. I would like to question that but I also understand the circumstances. So it makes it odd to question. Because something has to happen.
DAVID: Yes, Maharaj Ji. I'm not so sure about you needing married people administrating the mission when a single person would do as well.
GURU MAHARAJ JI: Why do you look at it that way though; that's an odd way to look at it; that's not the way it goes, married people for this and singles for that.
DAVID: Well, I dunno, maybe I'm just thinking too much of the financial situation of England; it's a little bit more expensive than Australia.
GURU MAHARAJ JI: (Looking at Nick and John) Get your communities together and pour out a little more potatoes. You see, it's like - the initiator is the initiator. I can perfectly understand why the person has to be
single person because it is a full-time job. It isn't just going like this to a person and - period. "Da, da, da, da, you got Knowledge." It's not a part time job. It's a full-time job because you have to hold your horses 24 hours a day. I
don't know what people think about it; people must have a lot of concepts about it, that it's this and that it's that. I'm telling you, I'm really surprised with this initiator bunch that we have now. I'm proud of them because they really
turned out to be pretty good. I didn't think they would at all.
(Laughter). They turned out to be a pretty good bunch, you know. I don't know what happened.
Well it's like a lot of people have their concepts, I think. "Part time job, part time they can go and do the initiator service and another time they can go out and earn money and da de da de da…" That's literally impossible to do. Because you are initiating somebody. You are making a major change in their life. And if you for one second are unclear on doing that, you can ruin a person's life, which you have no right whatsoever to do. And therefore I'm not going to give this initiator service to anybody. I think I'd be very irresponsible and very incompetent if I let just anybody be an initiator.
This service is something else. Yes, it is a different kind of service. It is a service that takes a lot of dedication; it takes a lot of concentration and it takes a lot of effort. And it's like, you see these guys smiling all the time: 'Yeah, these guys are groovy guys. They get a little of this and that, all the benefits come down, and everybody respecting them and 'mahatma ji' everywhere they go. They
have a lot of direct communication with Maharaj Ji and everything." But maybe someone should look to find out how much it takes to keep 'em together. Look how much craziness they have to face up to: talking to aspirants, talking to pure mind, facing pure mind every day and being able to discriminate every possible time, right? It takes a lot. It's not a joke. It's just not a joke service.
That is why the screening process is very, very very difficult to do. The initiator has to be as strong as - stronger than - the Rock of Gibraltar. The Rock of Gibraltar's nothing, compared to how strong the initiator has to be. So people who have concepts about having a part time initiator, whatever you've got concepts about you might just as well dump 'em, because that's not the way it goes. Do you understand what I'm trying to say? Is that clear? Has anybody got any questions about that? Hmm?
That's the way it is. It's a very, very, very, very difficult service. I've discouraged more people than I've encouraged, because it's a very difficult service to do. But if you can manage, if you can pull all your horses together and come through with the whole thing, it's a very beautiful service to do, it's very enjoyable. It's just like - well, what can be more beautiful than to maybe every day bring a person to Knowledge. Even if you are only able to bring one person to Knowledge, reveal the Knowledge to one person, that one life that you have saved makes it all worthwhile, makes it all very beautiful.
So, what's happening Deepak, how're you doing?
DEEPAK: Mahatma Ji in India is very well and he has also sent a letter. He said to give it to you. It's from him and all the premies in Nepal. One problem we are having is about the initiators. Because we have about 5 mahatmas and 8 bais (a bai is a lady mahatma) and about 3 of the bais are wearing any clothes they feel like …
GURU MAHARAJ JI: With bais we have always had problems!
(Lots of laughter).
DEEPAK: We have eight of them.
All of them want that you should give them direct agya, because they don't want to listen to Mahatma Ji.
GURU MAHARAJ JI: They all need straightening out.
DEEPAK: We'd be very grateful if you could give us some direct agya.
GURU MAHARAJ JI: Well, I'll meet with you guys in personal groups. I don't think you match with any other group here; you're quite isolated, so I'll just meet with you personally. I'm going to be meeting with groups and we can
discuss that. If that's the kind of problem you're having, I don't think that's much of a problem because there is sort of a constant eye you have to keep open on the bais. Then they stay straight, but when you take the eye off, off they
go. It's hard to have that kind of supervision, obviously, from anywhere where I am. So we'll see what can be done. Maybe there are some people who would like to be mahatmas from Nepal. (Points at Deepak Laughter)
So we'll talk when we come to you. But how generally are the premies going?
DEEPAK: As a matter of fact we have been trying to do our best to help Mahatma Ji do propagation and …
GURU MAHARAJ JI: How about Sampuranand, does he give you any co-operation?
DEEPAK: Yes. And actually he sent me a telegram before I came here that I should see him before I came here. I called to him from Bangkok and he told me that please ask you that he wants to talk with you very much on the phone. Almost about every six months or so we have had a programme for Mahatma Sampuranand Ji in Katmandu. It's very good that we have satsang programmes like that. We also hope that we can have one for you very much - very, very much.
GURU MAHARAJ JI: That last programme was a little spaced out.
DEEPAK: We know that, Maharaj Ji, and we all are very spaced out if we don't have you.
GURU MAHARAJ JI: (Points to Mike Dettmers) Actually this guy was in India and went to Nepal. We have a very good possibility of doing this Hans Jayanti programme in Nepal - doing it on a huge scale. But I would like to give it two years' notice and then we'll work, work, work on it
and get everything right down to the point, give notice to the premies, have charter flights, prepare, have everything proper.
It's like in terms of a huge distillation plant, we'll have distilled water so we don't get sick, have every proper facility you could possibly reckon. We'll go into the ground and completely rake it over, and build it into a site like a world's fair, you know. We'll have satsang programmes, have halls and everything. Everything's pretty cold in Nepal, right?
GURU MAHARAJ JI: So we'll build it just like the world's fair - build everything under canopies with little halls and little domes to hold the programme in for 4 days, 5 days; instead of 3 days - that's ridiculous, to hold a 3-day
programme - we'll hold it for 5 or 6 days.
(Laughter, applause and cheering).
You come and you leave and it's too fast. It's like, in 3 days everything is so official, so tight, so it just doesn't happen. But to have a 6-day programme everybody is just relaxed, you know, and can get acclimatised to the whole thing, recover from the flight, listen to some satsang, relax. It'd be nice.
I was thinking of holding the programme in the Bahamas, the Hans Jayanti programme, some programme, in a nice place, where it's nice and hot, by the beach. We could get a boat, put a stage on the boat … but anyway, we are still looking at it; I still keep on thinking about it, because I think it is a very good possibility … 1978 would be a very good year.
DEEPAK: If we could get a date fixed now, I know … (lots of laughter).
GURU MAHARAJ JI: 1978, that'll be a nice year, right? It'd be no problem. It might be something worthwhile; it's a nice place. Of course, we'll have to send the WPC there to clean out the hash (roars of laughter) and
cut all the bhang leaves out and then when the other premies go there, they won't find anything. (laughter). We would design it in a certain way; we would have park facilities and every facility - parks, shops, roads,
everything from one complex. Premies come in, close the gate (laughter), that's it! We could have big towers where premies stand with binoculars (laughter). Well the point is, you come from such a place, it
takes a lot of energy to get together to pull off a programme like that; and you have this premie who is completely out of his head stoned, trying to listen to satsang and doesn't understand anything, just wastes his time - there's no
point in that. No, that's a very, very good possibility if we look into it more. A little more to straighten out, look into the chartering, how many premies, do your statistics.
Next year, yeah, look into it.
PREMIE: Without the co-operation of other countries?
GURU MAHARAJ JI: Oh yeah, every country will have to co-operate.
PREMIE: On which level - financial only, or other levels?
GURU MAHARAJ JI: Every level. Maybe it will give you premies something to look forward to. I think maybe there's two planes that can take enough premies, if two planes want to go. You get one plane full of volunteers, chartered, send it over there, to take money, to take effort, to build the whole thing. If you want to do it, that's where the different countries come in; they have their own comforts. You don't want to cook food in pans the size of this room and have bug juice and dust juice (laughter) and every juice. Everything will be very sanitary and you cook in smaller amounts, and in more individual and more covered areas, somewhere where it's very sanitary. Co-operation financially, co-operation in every way will have to be provided internationally.
I got to go back and see what's happening, but if there's going to be a programme there we would start talking about it very soon, getting your co-operation down, how much you can get together. I think it would be very beautiful.
Very nice time of year there. We could have a race there, who can get to Mount Everest.
How about Hong Kong?
PO MING: The Hong Kong community is very small. About 13 premies. And the growth externally and internally is very slow.
GURU MAHARAJ JI: You've got to climb all those stairs in the ashram. How many storeys was it?
PO MING: It's a different ashram now, a different place.
GURU MAHARAJ JI: The first ashram must have affected it. (laughter). How many storeys did you have to climb to get to the ashram?
PO MING: Oh, one hundred and twenty. (Laughter).
GURU MAHARAJ JI: When the aspirant comes the mahatma doesn't have to screen him any more. Just gives him Knowledge. (Laughter).
PO MING: At the moment we only have thirty steps to climb.
GURU MAHARAJ JI: Well, that's not that bad. Hong Kong is a place where we should have massive scale satsang, because people come from all over the place. It wouldn't do Hong Kong any bad. You'd find premies all over the place Red China, everywhere. There are a lot of tourists. Really, really a lot of people in the world.
PO MING: For sometime we had quite a lot of people travelling in the Hong Kong Mission. But, recently, mainly Chinese come. I don't know why.
GURU MAHARAJ JI: How is it? Is it a conflict? That's interesting. I just know this friend of Raja Ji's from Los Angeles. Really interesting. They're really locked in the traditions; they have customs and they have religions; it's very close to India. It's interesting. How do they accept satsang?
PO MING: Well, it varies, because we have public
programmes and sometimes they really argue with us; they really say things that they read from Buddhist scriptures; and sometimes they are all for us. We don't really know why. But the aspirants we are very close friends with; it's a very close community, it's like a family. We don't have big organisation problems. It's just a group of friends, more or less, and the people who come back are the ones we know, the friends of ours - not so much from public programmes.
GURU MAHARAJ JI: It must be nice. Yeah, when I came out of India, Hong Kong was the best place I had ever seen. (Laughter). It was just like something else. Because India is very, very crazy, very, very, very crazy. It's really crazy in India. There was such a feeling, you know, just as soon as the tyres left the runway (Laughter). When I came to Hong Kong it was totally different. It was like, wow; it was fantastic. But I don't think I'd like to go there now. (Laughter). How's John Chan doing?
PO MING: Oh, He's pretty well. He didn't feel it was the right time for him to come.
GURU MAHARAJ JI: What did he do? Did he look in his ouija board?
PO MING: No, he was tied up in his new job.
GURU MAHARAJ JI: Well, just, you know, don't feel bad; you're not in competition. You don't have to be - nobody's in competition.
What's their progress?
RAJA JI: It's one of the best.
GURU MAHARAJ JI: You have a 100 per cent rating. Hong Kong is 10 premies; there are 10 premies in Hong Kong and all 10 of them are active premies. That's the best rating there is. (Laughter). I'm not kidding; look at the U.K. There are 6,000 premies, and there's only 3,325 active premies. Hong Kong has 10 premies and all 10 of them are active. 100 per cent.
PO MING: Some only attended satsang once and then they received Knowledge and those people who never come back are the ones who come back continuously.
GURU MAHARAJ JI: That's good. Actually, if you were to be in competition, statistically, you would be way ahead of any mission in the whole world. OK.
(To Buschi, National Director in Germany). What's happening?
BUSCHI: I think we've got a bit of everything we've heard already. We've moved into a kind of process where we found the way we were working, the way we were set up, wasn't efficient. We weren't really communicating with premies, so we tried to change it, and while we were getting into changing, into getting more people into taking responsibility, they also got into this change of ashram and all that. So what happened, more or less, was that it started developing itself, and in a way it got out of control, because some community directors, they just left and left their communities alone. So it seems we were very disturbed for the last two and a half months and now for about one month, we have been getting back into forming a new base for new structures and also a new kind of organisation structure for communication. This means we have new representatives and in some cases they- are appointed by people where people can represent the communities, and in some they have elections. And so I think we're getting back into a sort of base, like in our legal structure and our organisational system. There's also a stronger demand from the premies to get back into doing propagation, getting outside I although it is unclear to most of them with what kind of approach, because the kind of approach that came over the last year - well in some areas we had good experience, in others we didn't. So it seems like the question is open if the approach comes from the understanding of the community, or if there is an overall approach coming from you, if we want to move in that direction. But still at the moment, many premies have lost all their trust and faith.
GURU MAHARAJ JI: In the administration?
BUSCHI: Yuh. They are waiting; if we manage to set up and if we can also manage to answer some of their questions, then I think we'll have at least participation.
GURU MAHARAJ JI: Is there any community representation here?
PREMIE FROM HAMBURG: Yuh, there is some.
GURU MAHARAJ JI: What is happening in your community?
PREMIE: In Hamburg we have many groups and we have a beautiful satsang hall; we invested a lot of money and a lot of service and it's really beautiful, large and really elegant, and ten premies come often, and the others have groups there. They do things like Gurdjieff, or Zen and things like that, or they are very similar. And they do something like opposition against those who come to satsang; some say, "If I come there, we don't come there," or things like that.
But I have a feeling of hope that will push us there, because when we said, who can come to the programme here - because for example they said, nine people can come from Hamburg - so we phoned all the groups and said, come, please come, because we have to elect those nine. And then 22 want to come; so we said, who will be the nine. We must find a system to find out. And then at first all 22 said, I want to go. And then after a short time of talking about it, one said, well, if you go I feel that you can represent me, and so after a while there were only nine left. And so nine came, and that is the way it works.
GURU MAHARAJ JI: Yeah, but this is really bad that the community has such a difference between each other. This is not such a hot idea. I think something should be done about this.
You are representing Hamburg as well?
PREMIE: Stuttgart. I can only tell a few things because I have only been there for about 3 months, since I got back from Taiwan. I probably know more about Taiwan than about Stuttgart. But there's one thing I remember; there's one premie girl who said she would be really happy if she could have a more personal type of contact, connection, with you; she said it's so hard for her to get enough inspiration and it's been very hard to get enough tapes and satsangs.
GURU MAHARAJ JI: That's one of the things that I.H.Q. is going to provide you with - lots of tapes, lots of film, lots of other stuff You know, it's like that one film that was a free enterprise film that was done in Australia. What was it called? Power of Love. That was the best film that we ever did. That was because the script writer wasn't taken from the fourth floor, then it was put together on the sixth floor. It wasn't bounced out of the window from the seventh to the fifth (laughter) sixth, eighth, fourth. You know a message was really conveyed and it was really beautiful. I'm going to try and put this one together myself, so there'll be a lot more communication, a lot more tapes, a lot more understanding. Try to do our things we can do the best.
PREMIE FROM STUTTGART: Yes, I think that it will help make a friendship among the communities, among the premies. And so that's the bond, I think, that's the state, compared to all the other changes. Those people who like each other before they get back to fight among themselves. But I think it needs an awful lot of work to be done, a lot of it, especially feeling that there can be a more direct input.
GURU MAHARAJ JI: Well, it's possible, but it would have to be like a long term span programme, where I come to Germany, I visit Europe, say, for an extremely long period of time; then I do small community functions, small, very small scale. Definitely it's possible. Maybe that's something worth looking into. You see, it's like, when your systems are simpler there is much more demand for it, there's a lot more happening at the same time, and there's a lot less frustration, there's a lot less confusion. And when things are really sophisticated, you know, like really everything; all the businesses being run by co-ordinators - the community co-ordinators or the national co-ordinators - there's no free enterprise system, then it becomes 'Clash! Clash! Clash! '. Then the communities start to separate. But if there's a communal system where you just provide the guidelines for the community to do service, for the communities to grow, then it is really beautiful, because then you help the communities and communities like that. Then they can see that, well, here is a person who gives us the guidelines, who has the understanding of all the policies, who provides us the guidelines from Guru Maharaj Ji, who is appointed by Guru Maharaj Ji. And it's really beautiful, because here we have a person who we can say to and he will carry our voice to Guru Maharaj Ji; Just basic understanding is all he has to carry, and it's really beautiful, it's simple and it's nice.
You are representing other places? What kind of problems does your community have?
PREMIE FROM FRANKFURT: A lot.
GURU MAHARAJ JI: A lot?
PREMIE: Yes, because I think premies here, they lost all their faith in officials and in the Mission. Now they won't accept anything from anyone who was official or is official and they want to get the direction from you; even then, they had the possibility of nine people to come from Frankfurt to this meeting, but from I think, 60 AMP members, there came only 26 to choose. It's a question for me that they don't want to be motivated from anybody who is coming from Divine Light Mission or anything like that. They say they always were motivated to do things they never wanted to do, and they want to find their own motivation - they want to ask you what you tell them to do.
GURU MAHARAJ JI: Well, I think I can understand what you are saying and I can also under-stand the problems of those people, because if there's a lot of craziness amongst the Mission, automatically there's a rejection. I would tell them to do a lot of satsang, service and meditation, but besides that fact let's not shut ourselves so bad that by slamming our own doors we hurt ourselves. You understand what I mean? This is my Mission; this is my organisation; this is also one of my little fingers. You close that off and the reason, the benefits that I want to provide you, then you can't have them. You see what I mean?
GURU MAHARAJ JI: And as you can see, you can go back and tend your community, but I am taking the initiative to make sure everything is O.K. so that they don't have to shut it off. The motivation has to be from them. Divine Light Mission is not going to provide the motivation; they have to just give their energy to Divine Light Mission, you know, so that this propagation can happen. And that's it. Tell them not to fret, not to shut themselves off so much, because that is unhuman. What other representation do you have?
GURU MAHARAJ JI: What problems do you have in Bonn?
PREMIE: It came to a point that we wanted to come more together, and we thought that formal satsang is not the only way which we can come together and so we try to make some-thing like group dynamics…
GURU MAHARAJ JI: What?
PREMIE: Group Dynamics. To help us become more together and more friends.
GURU MAHARAJ JI: You mean workshops.
PREMIE: Something like that, yes.
GURU MAHARAJ JI: And when you all came together, what did you talk about?
PREMIE: There was a development; first, we make satsang, then we saw, okay, there is no more inspiration in this formal satsang, and then we talk about what is happening in the community or something like that …
GURU MAHARAJ JI: … What kind of satsang did you start with? What kind of satsang did you have?
PREMIE: I don't understand your question.
GURU MAHARAJ JI: What kind of satsang? You have said that first you would come and have satsang. What kind of satsang?
PREMIE: Everybody talked about his experience in practising Knowledge or in his life.
GURU MAHARAJ JI: How many premies do you think really sincerely practise meditation, and do service, real service, within the community … Real, real not the people who sit down like this, but real …?
PREMIE: I think that most premies have a problem with meditation and also service because there is not much service to do.
GURU MAHARAJ JI: I can understand your point about having a hard time with meditation, because maybe they don't have the two other things. You have to have satsang, service and meditation to really realise the whole process of Knowledge. But so far, there is an area of concern, when you say there is no service to do. That is very difficult for me to understand … I mean, literally I understand. Because there's always a service opportunity. I think there has to be more inspiration in the community; instead of having a lot of chit-chat. Other communities besides Bonn, in other places, even in Germany, started with a lot of satsang, then went to a lot of chit-chat and then went back to satsang again.
I don't see a lot of point for the Bonn community to start off with satsang, to go into chit-chat and after a little while to realise that, you know, this is crazy, this is not what we want, because we really want to understand what knowledge is. I also think that an initiator here in the community, to pull people together, is necessary.
PREMIE: I think all premies want to make a real experience of satsang, but we came to the point that in formal satsang having someone sitting at the front giving satsang, was not the form we can make this experience. So we tried to make this experience of satsang an individual talk or something.
GURU MAHARAJ JI: That's crazy. I do not understand. Satsang is satsang. That is what one premie said to me in South Africa and this is what I had to reply to them. There was a big question going on in South Africa, about satsang, because people didn't know how they should have satsang; should they sit on the floor, should they sit on the chair, should they sit on the ceiling … which was should they have satsang? I said, have satsang. PERIOD. Which way should you have satsang? Sit on the ceiling? Sit on each others' shoulders! Try to understand what is being said, but not get so lost into mind, saying, "This is not satsang," or "This is satsang" or "You really cannot have satsang this way, but you have to have satsang this way… " It's like, you have to grow, a lot has to happen. Communities are weak, you have to pull them together, strengthen them. People have to understand what the meaning of everything is; it's not a matter of proper
definition; it's a matter of clearly, in their own area, in their own sense. I think everybody is confused, because everybody has got this opinion, that opinion, and when everybody comes together, they do this, they do that, they do this, they do that - the same old whirlpool that everybody gets caught in. And I do a conference to try to see and identify the whirlpool, to try and pull a person out of the whirlpool; you turn your head around and back he is in there; you turn around and pull him out of the whirlpool, and you turn around and back he is in there. It's happening like a repeated process. So it's like, you know, you just have to be really clear, in satsang, service and meditation. I think lot of premies try to do the satsang and come together and try to do it. Sometimes they get confused, and that simply can be resolved by an initiator being there and maybe co-ordinating the satsang a couple of times just to see what it's like.
Are you representing Frankfurt?
PREMIE: Yes, many premies don't have trust any more …
GURU MAHARAJ JI: But generally how is your community?
PREMIE: The community is doing fairly well, because we have satsang twice a week, and most of them come, and we share satsang, we try to share satsang. It goes up and down, but many of us do make a real effort to experience satsang. Like in Bonn, there is not so many service opportunities but they are also kind of lazy….
GURU MAHARAJ JI: I don't accept the idea 'there is no service'. There's always some service. It seems different in Germany. It seems very systematic, very systematic, everybody tries to go on in a very squared-off way; everybody wants to see it first, nobody wants to just let it flow or anything like that, it has to be very exact before it's good for anybody, at least that's what I think (laughter). You'll have to tell your community the same thing. Have trust in Guru Maharaj Ji. Things are changing.
Which community do you represent?
PREMIE: Heidelburg. My feeling is that the premies are really coming together. The only thing is they don't trust in the administration any more. They wonder what happens with the money. They are willing to support you and to support the administration, if they know what's happening.
GURU MAHARAJ JI: We can discuss more things in detail tomorrow when we have a group session. We can discuss the problems much better. Switzerland?
PREMIE FROM SWITZERLAND: What happened was that after your programme, which was very nice, premies asked all kinds of questions. Why do we do this? Why do we do that? Back in July we had this meeting with Jos which was strange. The result of that meeting was … no more ashrams or national director. So the community directors, who were at that meeting went back to their communities and spoke like this to the premies, and that was the time when things exploded and so it was very hard to keep things together. Now the situation is that premies are waiting for your direction about how we should organise ourselves.
GURU MAHARAJ JI: What is your experience of Knowledge like?
PREMIE: After trying to keep things still, to get them going the way it used to be, at least for satsang, service and meditation in our communities, it was pretty hard for me to stay concentrated in meditation.
GURU MAHARAJ JI: You have to be strong, you know, otherwise you can't do your service. You have to be strong in your experience. That's what the communities are waiting for now. The direction? Well I hope you get something cleared up with the communities in Switzerland.
GURU MAHARAJ JI: Who's Guy Polak? You're not from Warsaw are you?
GUY POLLOCK: No, I am from London.
(Guru Maharaj Ji laughs)
GURU MAHARAJ JI: Well I just remembered your name. I saw it in the application form. It's Pollock, I thought it was Polak. It's awfully close.
I think you would make an interesting initiator!
(To Gary Ockenden from Canada)
Who are you? You are what? The national co-ordinator? You were there after Hans Jayanti?
GARY: No that person was Willy; he went to Denver and I came afterwards - Michael Williams.
GURU MAHARAJ JI: So everything is pretty strong it looks like in Canada.
GARY: It's getting better. Definitely the focus was lost for a while but I feel good about it now.
GURU MAHARAJ JI: What about yourself?
GARY: I feel good about myself.
GURU MAHARAJ JI: All confused!
GARY: No I feel pretty good about myself.
GURU MAHARAJ JI: Yeah?
(To Colin Spears) You are representing the community?
COLIN: Sort of representing Toronto.
GURU MAHARAJ JI: Where are your national headquarters?
GURU MAHARAJ JI: How many active premies do you have?
GARY: There are about a thousand to twelve hundred active premies.
GURU MAHARAJ JI: How many aspirants?
GARY: I would say there are about 100 right now, but quite a few have received Knowledge in the last month.
GURU MAHARAJ JI: Canada, Canada, Canada … There is a fantastic non-premie acceptance. Isn't there? I mean people are really interested in Knowledge.
GARY: Yes, especially in certain parts.
GURU MAHARAJ JI: Yes, yes, yes. I remember that place. In Toronto we had a fabulous programme a long, long time ago. We had that really beautiful hall, that opera hall you hired. That was a famous place. I think there should be more concentration on that kind of thing.
GARY: We can have another programme maybe.
GURU MAHARAJ JI: You need a French-speaking mahatma?
GARY: Yeah, hopefully. One part of Canada is basically French-speaking.
GURU MAHARAJ JI: Do you speak French?
GARY: I speak a little.
GURU MAHARAJ JI: Like this guy, huh? (Pointing at Arthur Brigham). He tells me he speaks French - I could have done better than him just in sign language.
I was very surprised, I was very impressed with the public acceptance in Canada.
GARY: The French-speaking part of Canada is also very good.
GURU MAHARAJ JI: Yeah, Montreal. That's very nice. The worst public acceptance is in France. I had to have my pyjamas washed and there was mess all over the place! How do you think the situation is now?
DIMITRI: What, regarding the public? Well, if we get things cooled down a little bit … there has been for a long time this sect thing going on, and the mission was quite involved in it. We should change a few things like the name if it's possible and things like this.
GURU MAHARAJ JI: Be staunch! Carry the flag all the way!
DIMITRI: The thing is, maybe we can try and get better conditions. You know, sometimes there aren't many people.
GURU MAHARAJ JI: You see, you have to look at what does society permit. Both pros and cons about what does this society, the local society permit. So you look at it and of course in France there is a sect thing going on. And what does society permit? Very limited. But something like in America, Canada, England, society permits exclusive exercise of religion, where it's like Catholic, you know, and rosaries, monasteries, monks, social affairs done by churches and schools, hospitals, very exclusive exercises. That's really in America a lot, and in England and Canada.
There is really no problem.. Of course if there is a lot of bad publicity about the mission, then that is the way people are going to look at it. But then when people actually come and they start becoming frequently premies and then start to go back into society, they are accepted very well. It turns out that they are less weird than people think they are. Because there is a much greater freedom of religion, and of the exclusive practices, than people actually think. I mean, whatever people look at us as - you know, pranams and arti and using a few hippie terms, that's nothing compared to what even the Catholic religion exercises. Everything. So it's like it's really interesting; I was looking at that. And in France and those countries where that isn't so, it is very hard for the mission.
DIMITRI: But Maharaj Ji, I wanted to say that in Switzerland something happened, something called Divine Light Centrum. And in France all the papers spoke about it. And you know they had guns and poisoned sweets they were giving people and other things also - make up for ladies, poisoned, and things like this …
GURU MAHARAJ JI: Divine Light Centrum?
DIMITRI: Yeah, Centrum
GURU MAHARAJ JI: Who was it?
BUSCHI: Swami Paramananda.
GURU MAHARAJ JI: It wasn't us? !
BUSCHI: No! It was a special sect led by a Swami There were certain things going wrong there and there was much publicity against them. And everybody knows Divine Light as a name there, everybody who hears Divine Light thinks they are them.
DIMITRI: Also the name Divine Light sounds really religious to people, and so at the moment, you know, people don't want to …
GURU MAHARAJ JI: I know. I know.
Going back to U.K., I hope you guys aren't getting bored! Ramesh, what is happening in your community?
RAMESH: After you have been it has been very fine. Everything is going on alright.
GURU MAHARAJ JI: Do the premies think that they need some special kind of attention? Like an initiator?
GURU MAHARAJ JI: Uh-huh, O.K. We did bring that subject up and we would like to discuss that more. Changing the name is really no problem, you know, so long as you don't go around to the other extreme of practically changing the object, changing the Knowledge, changing this, changing that. So long as it is done superficially for that purpose only, it's O.K.
What about Yugoslavia? What is happening there? Is it very small?
YUGOSLAV PREMIE: Well there are 65 premies all over the country, and the mission is in four places, in ashrams. Some premies are living in some other places so that is altogether about seven places. And there are three different languages in the country, and more than half the premies are not practising. This is one big group from Mohani Bai. Everything is kind of in the beginning.
GURU MAHARAJ JI: (To Arthur) Have you been to Yugoslavia?
ARTHUR: I think it has grown a lot; the first time I came it was really like so under-developed, I didn't feel people were really into Knowledge too much. But the second time it was a lot better. It improved a lot.
GURU MAHARAJ JI: What sort of country is it?
YUGOSLAV PREMIE: Socialist. It's heavily into communism, that is where it's future is going; and it is very difficult to stress anything because there is Divine Light Mission - even though we are all your children - coming from America. And that is a very negative point. So it would be very suitable for us to have maybe European help or to have some contact.
GURU MAHARAJ JI: No problem, no problem. Do you want to have a regional co-ordinator for Europe?
PREMIE: Well, I don't know. There are only maybe 10 or 15 people who are active, and they are spread all over the country, and we are unable to bring them together because of financial problems. I think that a local initiator in the ashram could solve the situation quite nicely. So that we could get a kind of backbone in the country to which people would be going, where Knowledge could really be practised.
GURU MAHARAJ JI: You don't have to bother! Little babies. You got to grow up a little and then start crawling around, get a little more premies there! No problem. It's nice! Nice and small. A little bit too small.
BASIL O'FEE: Maharaj Ji, I'd like to tell you about Belfast, Northern Ireland.
GURU MAHARAJ JI: Yes. There's a lot of action happening there, huh?
BASIL: It's a small community; there's about 130 active premies out of 180 received Knowledge. It's spread out all over, just satsangs in different houses round about, but there's no real focal point at the minute. There was an ashram until about 2 months ago, and the house finished. The lease ended, so we just sort of split up a bit and now there's 5 of us living outside the city.
GURU MAHARAJ JI: What is happening in Belfast? Nobody has been able to settle all that bombing and everything that's going on there?
BASIL: There's a lot of history, and we don't seem to be able to get out of it. There are two sides.
GURU MAHARAJ JI: Do you know something? You might get blown up. You might be entering your car, and they blow you up.
I think that's really good. I got a lot of information that is going to help me a lot. I think besides anything, that all the directors should go back to their communities, and so on and so forth. I think you should start a programme in Europe - get a bunch of strong premies together, get a bunch of initiators together, and start a programme so that these people could visit the countries that are really, really small where there is not much happening. Provide proper aid, proper assistance to the countries, so that propagation can grow. So that it can really happen on a bigger scale.
Just a bunch of premies come together and they will go for instance to Norway, and help the premies out in Norway. There will be initiators, there will be active members - just to get them started at a little faster pace so that they can pick up then on their own. I think we can use a couple of programmes where there can be initiators.
I sincerely think now I have heard a little bit of information about it that maybe people have an idea not to have a regional director for the whole of Europe. Is that true? What do people feel about the regional director for Europe?
ROBIN: Good idea.
GURU MAHARAJ JI: Anybody say no?
DAVID LOVEJOY: I'm not so sure, Maharaj Ji. It might make a little bit more of a bureaucracy; because it's a difficulty with I.H.Q. for example, and then it also needs to be supported and, as you have heard, most of the European countries at the moment are having a little bit of difficulty with the organisational side.
GURU MAHARAJ JI: But so far as the bureaucratic end of that is concerned that is what I am making sure of - that bureaucracy doesn't happen. Because I myself got hit by that bureaucratic red tape once in a while and that really hurt bad. And that is what I am saying, that I cannot possibly bear the expense of this organisation going down because of this bureaucratic idiocy that people possess. So I don't think that will happen. And in any case, if that did start happening I think that would be prevented.
I think that there is such a massive spread out of Europe. There's Norway, and there's Sweden and there's Copenhagen and there's Denmark. It's just like there's such a vast spread-out, no sequence; but in such an important way that I think we need somebody to keep together the information and that will be the only function of the regional co-ordinator. That will be just collecting information and giving it back. And he is not going to be organising; he is just going to be a person, so you can have an address to send a letter to: the I.H.Q. c/o de da de da. Because, you see, then the person would sit down and compile the report from all the letters, give the references from all the letters that come in and would bring to my attention the proper decisions to be taken, so that there can be more representation. And then, of course, when you really feel - whenever - a community director, or a DUO director, I mean co-ordinator - really feels that the representation is not proper, they have a straight voice to I.H.Q.
I'm trying to stop the whole bureaucratic system. That is not the intention; it is not my intention; it is no good. You are trying to get a system together where Guru Maharaj Ji can be best shared by all the premies, and that is the kind of system that we are trying to generate, so that input from Maharaj Ji can be correctly given to all the premies. And all the premies will know exactly what is going on, and keep in touch with people too. And we can move at a much faster pace, and a much steadier pace, and the same thing with propagation. It's quite late now, and I will see you tomorrow, and work it all out and we will be divided in groups. Then I will talk to the groups individually and for the last session I will make another general presentation.
ALL: Thank you very much !
JOHN SHERIDAN: It was beginning to be a bit unnerving, and then he left. That evening it was very amazing, everybody was very freaked out. Everyone was talking about it. Me, I felt so exposed, it was just like being brought out in front of a light and just having everything that's not so nice inside brought out, laid in front of you and inspected. And I was seeing it as well, he was just talking such a lot about dedication, about the work he was trying to do in this world, and the dedication he required from everybody.
That evening everyone was looking at their own situation. I felt two-dimensional. When I went I had felt 3-dimensional. I was looking at myself thinking 'Well, what am I doing, how much am I doing? O.K., big deal, so maybe we've got few aspirants in London, maybe satsang's reasonably O.K.. but me personally, I could be doing a lot more. I knew that there was no way I could get out of facing it. So Maharaj Ji really exposed it.
GUY POLLOCK: Well, the most immediate effect was on some of the married guys, or guys who were thinking of getting married, who put themselves forward to be initiators. Because that was how we saw it in the U.K., we could maybe have married initiators, and Maharaj Ji didn't see that at all. Really, I think the whole thing that he defined that service so completely as being a total 24 hours, complete lifetime, dedication to him, really started some changes in me; it just knocked the ideas I had completely away, and just left a space where I couldn't really relate to anything that was happening. In that space that was there, Maharaj Ji just started to fill that with His love, you know; he had so much compassion for all of us.
Q: Do you think everybody - I know John was talking about this - was experiencing a similar thing of being freaked out and blissed out at the same time; was that the space that you were talking about ?
GUY: Sure, I think so, yeah.
Q: You felt that yourself?
GUY: Yeah, I did. Sort of like a bardo state, where everything you think to be real, my approach, my motivation, everything, was suddenly drawn out in front of me. Maharaj Ji brought the whole thing out and he also presented me with what he really wants, which is my dedication and my love; the thing that he wants in every single premie.