The Golden Age
Maharaj Ji in Europe
The second half of Guru Maharaj Ji's nine-country European tour took him to Hamburg, Stockholm, Amsterdam, Paris, and Leicester (England). The programs ranged from the very intimate atmosphere in Amsterdam, where two hundred people attended, to the largest gathering of the tour which was 4,300 people in England.
Everywhere he went, Maharaj Ji continued to remind premies that the way to really experience truth and to fulfil the purpose of your life is to be strong in satsang, service, and meditation. He talked about realising Knowledge as a complete way of life, that it is continuous and infinite.
The greatest effect of the tour was simply the reuniting of Guru Maharaj Ji and his European premies. Many premies felt that it had been a long time since they'd gotten much attention from Maharaj Ji and Maharaj Ji seemed to feel the same way, saying that it was too long since he had given satsang.
Although there was no prearranged theme for the tour, an impromptu theme emerged around a premie's relationship to Guru Maharaj Ji and to his guidance. At the day-long conferences held before each satsang program, discussion often centered around trying to really under- stand what is the value of Guru Maharaj Ji in our lives and how each of us sees our relationship to him. For many places, it was the first time all the premies had gotten together in their individual countries and everyone wanted to make their time together as focused and worthwhile as possible.
As a result, the level of concentration reached by the time Maharaj Ji came to speak was very high. The small size of the programs and the lack of extraneous side attractions also contributed to everyone's ability to listen closely to what Guru Maharaj Ji had to say.
Where the programs were small, as in Holland, a very warm and close relationship was generated between the audience and Maharaj Ji and Maharaj Ji's satsang tended to become more open and his direction more specific. But still, his main emphasis was on the understanding each premie has about his own life and his relationship to Knowledge. Guru Maharaj Ji's continued one-pointedness and the love with which his guidance is given helped everyone appreciate more deeply than perhaps they had done before, the real role of Guru Maharaj Ji in their lives.
The re-discovery of how wonderful it is to be with someone you love so much was nowhere stronger than in the darshan lines. Guru Maharaj Ji conducted his own experiments during the tour. It is becoming increasingly
No. 31, July 1976
obvious that as the number of premies grows, the old method will become unworkable. In many countries, old-style darshan lines also greatly hinders the ability of people who have not received Knowledge to clearly understand the real function of Guru Maharaj Ji. So in Barcelona, a system of simply passing by Maharaj Ji without kissing his feet was tried. However that immense connection between Guru Maharaj Ji and each premie was not made, and so Maharaj Ji allowed the premies to go through a second time and kiss his feet. in Portugal, the first method was again tried and this time it worked very well. The change from the hectic pace to one in which each premie has the time to look at Maharaj Ji and silently express the love he has for him, seemed more moving and real. There was a lot of visual contact between Maharaj Ji and the premies, and the experience turned out to be very deeply touching for everyone.
… in Denver
Following his tour in Europe, Maharaj Ji met with Mission directors at IHQ. In the initial meeting, the directors drew up an agenda that focused broadly upon membership development. The area of concern was the role of the organisation in Guru Maharaj Ji's work.
Issues were identified for meetings that have been scheduled for the end of June and the first half of July, between tour stops. Among the areas itemised on the agendas for these meetings are Knowledge as a process and the development of the Mission's membership in general, the purpose of the ashram, Guru Maharaj Ji's function and image, the function of IHQ, and possible tours over the rest of 1976.
As DLM President Bob Mishler stated, there are a considerable number of specific issues to be reviewed and Maharaj Ji has emphasised that decisions about specific concerns can happen only after a thorough evaluation of their current context and status, and of the effect that changes will have on DLM's overall development.
Ira in Malaysia
In late May, after a short stop-over at North Sydney national ashram, Ira Woods flew to Malaysia. This report of his visit was sent to the Golden Age by the Malaysian premies.
In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the midnight arrival of initiator Ira Woods was an auspicious moment for the six premies and one aspirant who were on hand to receive him. This was the first time Malaysian premies had encountered a Western initiator. And it wasn't long before we felt the benefits in terms of inspiration: in the car leaving the airport Ira energetically gave satsang despite the long journey from Fiji. He spent the first night in a premie's house in Kuala Lumpur, and left the next morning for Teluk Anson, where the National Headquarters of DLM Malaysia are located.
The following two evenings Ira gave public programs, each attended by 200-300 people. On the third evening two films were screened to the 400 in attendance. These programs produced a response from the public unparalleled by that during former initiator visits. During the day, question and answer sessions were held at the ashram.
Later in the week, programs were geared towards aspirants and premies. We had three programs completely directed towards enhancing premies' understanding. During these programs Ira spoke about the importance of community and AMP. Two Knowledge reviews were held, and about fifty aspirants took part in Knowledge Seminars.
Ira decided to reveal Knowledge to eight people - five Chinese and three Indians. To date, most Malaysian premies have been of Indian descent, but over the last few months, many of the Chinese community have become interested in Knowledge.
Everyone greatly benefitted from Ira's visit. Many doubts and concepts were cleared away. Amongst other realisations catalysed by his visit, we became aware of some holes in our aspirant program. In the past we were preparing aspirants to receive Knowledge, rather than preparing them to live with Knowledge.
Ira left Teluk Anson on the morning of the 27th May, and that night attended a program at a premie's house in Kuala Lumpur. Although not many people attended, the effect on those who did was huge. Ira gave concise and beautiful satsang that filled everyone with a message that was very clear and comprehensible. In fact, many of the newcomers who attended began asking for Knowledge, hoping that Ira would bestow it on the spot! And of course, it was explained to them why waiting is beautiful.
The next day Ira left for Hong Kong, leaving us with the message that whatever he'd said to us should be made practical.
With Maharaj Ji holding so many programs lately, we are finding it impossible to publish all the satsang transcripts we are receiving from America in The Golden Age. To overcome this problem, the NHQ Productions department has decided to release an 8-page satsang brochure each month, midway between Age publication dates. The first issue, featuring Maharaj Ji at the Sydney Opera House, has already been released; the second, with a transcript of the questions and answers from the Development '76 conference held in Denver early this year, will be out within two weeks. Future issues will, in conjunction with the Age, cover Maharaj Ji's recent satsangs as they come to hand, and so will allow us to get them out quickly.