Within a particular language, there are many different personal dialects. A person's verbal expression of his own awareness is formed by his background, his environment, and "who he thinks he is". So often he finds it hard to see beyond one framework of words. To one person the ultimate achievement may be peace of mind; to another, to get relaxation by giving up smoking.
It may be the same desire expressed in totally different terms, and the fulfilment of that desire may be achieved through the one experience.
Meditation offers that experience. Before people can realise its value, however, it has to be offered to them in the terms of their own understanding. As we are freed gradually from the idea that "I can only relate to this group of people", we discover a flexibility of behaviour and speech which enables us to present Knowledge clearly to everyone. This of course does not come from words but from meditation, from our personal example of Knowledge. Once we learn to talk in anyone's terms, we can come to a point of shared experience where the manifestation of love and sincerity is too obvious to deny. Most languages are spoken with a mind and a tongue, but love can only be spoken with an open heart.
Propagation is the major direction that Guru Maharaj Ji has given us. From our own direct experience to our words and to each person's ability to understand, there has to be a continuous flow for the message to get through. A timeless Knowledge has to be translated into twentieth century terms. Even the word "propagation" can be a barrier to people's understanding of what Guru Maharaj Ji's Mission really is. In writing a letter to my parents, I tried to explain the role of "propagation coordinator", The nearest modern equivalent seemed to be "minister for propaganda", until later I hit upon the phrase "communications director".
True communication is what man needs in his life. He learns to understand by being understood, and only love can provide an "I see what you mean" into every situation. When that love is expressed clearly and consistently to the public through a single-minded standpoint of communication, Knowledge can become a real possibility for peace of mind in everyone's lives.
For communication to be single- minded, we have to come gradually to a propagation approach which shows no contradiction of terms in the presentation of Knowledge. Of course the different people that we are will manifest like different flowers in the same garden, but the source of our life and growth should be easily seen as the one basic experience. So we come to the point of this article: what is happening to establish a consistent propagation approach?
Publications and Satsang
The best, most obvious way to generate interest, and find out what everyone thinks, is to have a meeting. The national DLM staff got together, discussed and decided on various topics of propagation. It's not much use to know only what half a dozen minds think when you've got a growing community to serve. The next step was to send out questionnaires to gain information from the regional DI ,M teams, who in turn are now asking similar questions of their communities. Most of the feedback we have received so far has been on publications and satsang.
Satsang is our most important form of communication. Recently, most of our concentration has been put into developing a simple channel of information and love through which people can be introduced to Knowledge, receive it, and practise it in a harmonious community environment.
Apart from word of mouth, the first direct point of public contact is advertising. It is our advertising which determines the theme that we present to the public in our introductory programs. So far we have concentrated on the word "meditation" itself. The introductory program acts like a funnel of concentration on the subject of Knowledge. The first speaker provides a summary of meditation and concentration in general; the two or three other speakers go into more specific detail on Guru Maharaj Ji's Knowledge, their personal experiences, meditation and community and so on, but always relate back to the main theme of meditation. Then the evening blooms into "tea and biscuits" time, where public and premies get to know each other as real people. That is the time to give the satsang of example, the three dimensional human manifestation of the benefits of bliss : ourselves.
Once someone has an outline understanding of meditation, it is our job to help them understand more. That is where publications come in. A piece of text is like a portable memory, containing not only information but carrying with it associations and impressions of the kind of people that produce the literature. If our first contact is favourable, the follow-up of a leaflet or brochure should be a diluted reminder of the joys of the "satsang vibe".
The Hansagraphics team have a large task ahead of them, designing and printing material to accompany introductory programs and to answer mail enquiries. Just off the press are two small introductory booklets:
I believe in one reality …, Guru Maharaj Ji's satsang from the Central Hall, Westminster, in 1971; and Towards True Community, a condensed version of "The Divine Society" articles published in the international Divine Times. The community booklet includes colour illustration, a real test for both Hansagraphics man and machine.
Under way as well are an introduction to DLM brochure and another meditation brochure, which will explain Knowledge in more detail than the last leaflet.
Materials are also being gathered for a folder full of brochures to be sent along with personal correspondence, to those people who make written enquiries and to those who put their names down on a mailing list which will be presented at introductory programs when the literature is ready. Likely topics for these brochures are meditation and health, meditation and science, a history of meditation (scriptural evidence) and meditation and society. Alongside this main project, Hansagraphics will be producing car stickers, posters and a WWA brochure (for social welfare work).
Preparing for Knowledge
If someone reads all the literature mailed to them, becomes friends with premies at an introductory program, attends a couple of regular satsangs, and his interest is still strong, then it is likely he will become an aspirant for Knowledge. What happens next? For most of us, it was a case of working and waiting, picking up the odd hint here and there from premies, getting further inspired at pre-Knowledge satsangs once a week, and finally stumbling into the Knowledge Session. What awaits the aspirant of the future? Well, we are preparing a Knowledge preparation course, similar to the Knowledge Seminars already operating in the United States.
Different "tutors" will be demonstrating helpful advice on diet, routine, exercise and so on, accompanied by yet another folder (!) for the budding aspirant. This folder is likely to contain brochures on preparation, Knowledge (service, satsang, meditation and darshan), Maharaj Ji's Mission (world peace, the community, AMP), the Perfect Master (biography, agya), the routine, and the importance of the Mahatma, all topics complemented in each Knowledge Seminar by appropriate satsang tapes, videotapes, photos and films.
Both introductory programs and Knowledge courses will take a lot of time, love and attention to bring to a smooth running point. They will be the major focus of Australia's propagation efforts in the coming months. We are seeing more clearly that it is not just a matter of wait and wait, receive Knowledge and there you are, in the kingdom of heaven. It is the gradual, lifelong understanding of spiritual experience, of coming together in a common consciousness and sharing love with each other. A premie is still an aspirant; he aspires to understand and serve more perfectly' each day, and as Guru Maharaj Ji himself pointed out, "We cannot do enough for the aspirant who is sincere". we cannot put enough care into seeing that each of us has the right place to breathe and grow in the Knowledge.
An Early Christmas Present
Just as all the national staff were getting these ideas straight in their heads, an early Christmas present arrived from overseas: the international propagation handbook from Denver! A masterly text, enormous in scope and detail, it was obviously born out of the bliss and sweat of practical experience, experiment, trial and error. It certainly demon* strates the advantages of an International Headquarters in producing a handbook full of information which would take a younger country perhaps two years to collect through their own research. We were even more surprised to learn that the guidelines of propagation we had prepared so far agreed with the handbook's advice. Strange co-incidence.
Owing to an already large interest in reading the propagation handbook (copies are limited) and because of its value as a satsang document, we will be producing relevant excerpts from it in following issues of The Golden Age. However, a handbook is not the beginning and end of propagation. A handbook is the product of research and feedback, coloured with premies' love. So if you have any ideas or suggestions towards propagation methods, please see your local DLM Director or phone, write or talk to:-
14 Wentworth Avenue Sydney 2010 61 4258
New South Wales
Every handful of help is welcome