No. 32, August 1976
An interview with initator Bill Patterson
Translated from the South American premie newspaper "Tempo Nuevo"
What do you understand by "understanding"?
Well, now it's the most important thing. Guru Maharaj Ji is placing a lot of emphasis on understanding.
I can see that there are many people who have Knowledge, who have something very, very precious, but they lack understanding: Knowledge is not worth anything to them just because they cannot understand it. But on the other hand, there are some people who are still aspirants, but they understand: they can understand what the aim of their life is. We have basic questions, but we think they are not important. We think that because we now have Knowledge we must go ahead and realise something more. But first we need to understand the most basic thing of all: why are we here; why do we have Knowledge; why is there a Perfect Master in this world?
Like Guru Maharaj Ji said in Sao Paulo, if a car runs down a person, it doesn't matter who that person is. It doesn't matter if he's a king or a beggar, if he's rich or poor, Indian, Chinese, American or Brazilian because whoever he is, he's going to die. And the understanding we need to come to is something universal. Maharaj Ji says it's not only service, satsang, meditation and darshan, because if we don't understand why we have to do it, we'll sit down to meditate and think, "But what's the point of this?" We might have four techniques, which may be a very profound connection, but if we don't understand that this is the experience we want, and that we really have to dedicate ourselves to that, then these techniques will have absolutely no value.
It's not that we have to practise Knowledge so that we'll understand one day. First we must have understanding and then we should receive Knowledge. Because this is a path of consciousness, and we must have this consciousness before we start travelling.
Now that there are seminars for aspirants and more preparation is needed to get Knowledge, do you think better results will be obtained?
I believe so. The preparation now is to develop roots. This is the most important thing. We don't need preparation to receive Knowledge, we need preparation to practise it, to realise it, to dedicate our whole life to Knowledge. Many people in the past were initiated without this understanding. They received the seed of the most profound experience that a human being can receive, but because it was a seed they could not understand it. We can receive a seed and eat it in order to try to taste it, but then we cannot plant it. And the preparation is only to make us aware that perhaps we are very hungry, but if we have awareness and hungei-, if we have understanding and hunger. we'll know that we have to plant that seed and help it grow. Then later we can eat it's fruits and in this way satisfy our hunger.
Maharaj Ji said that in order to propagate we must understand that that which we have to propagate is perfection; and and without realising perfection, how can we propagate it? We can only propagate our own limitations, not the pure love of Guru Maharaj Ji. Realisation is something very profound, it's not merely receiving something and talking about it - that's nothing. It's receiving something, growing in it, understanding it, obtaining the same realisation as Guru Maharaj Ji. And then in this way, with awareness and understanding, we can propagate.
Latin American premies are known to be very emotional. Do you think that this has changed now?
I heard this many times in the United States. And now I am travelling here I do detect a small difference between North and South American premies. But you can't say that it's good or bad. I feel that premies all over the world are growing and understanding. It is a process. We all have personalities, and the aim of Knowledge is not to make all human beings the same. Guru Maharaj Ji doesn't want to create a world where everyone is completely the same, he wants to reveal the experience which is the same for everyone. So that each one of us can live using his own creativity. And if South American premies are emotional, that is not good or bad, it's merely their personality, and through the practise of Knowledge this also can be very beautiful.
When Guru Maharaj Ji made his tour of South America I thought "Now I'm going to hear Maharaj Ji's satsang and it's going to be very fantastic because this satsang is for the South American premies and I'm going to find out how to communicate with them." But it wasn't like that. I experienced that Guru Maharaj Ji's message is some something eternal, something universal. It's for all the premies.
In reality I don't see any differences. I'm a South American now and I don't see any differences.