No. 35, January 1977

Four Aces - Prem Rawat's Speech 8 November 1976

Guru Maharaj Ji speaking in Los Angeles on 8 November 1976.

Well, I think, for you guys, it pays off to be in Los Angeles. It figures that Los Angeles premies are pretty lucky, because this is the only Hans Jayanti that I am celebrating at the right time. There's a Hans Jayanti that is happening in South Africa, but it's a little bit off date. The meaning is still there, but maybe not the right date.

Today I was printing this picture of Shri Maharaj Ji. It was an old, old picture, the negatives had been sent from India. I was printing it, and a lot came out, I saw a lot. And it was like: wow, there is a sense, there is a meaning, a very practical purpose, a very practical meaning, for us all to be here. And then there is something else besides just a practical meaning and just a practical purpose, that here I am today, his son, printing this picture on 8th November, and then in the evening

I am going to go out and give a satsang program to these premies in Los Angeles, where I first landed in the United States, and since then so much has happened. It was such a chain reaction, everything started coming out, I just started going back in time.

But it's like, let's look at us, why are we here, what is our purpose? Why are we called premies? Why did we enter that room where this Knowledge was revealed to us? And what inspired us to have the faith, to have the understanding, to have the love to be able to walk into that room and accept Guru Maharaj Ji and accept Knowledge, and accept the most beautiful experience of our life? It's interesting, it's beautiful. And now we are premies, and we have a life. We get up in the morning - some of you do meditation, some of you don't, it's quite obvious - and you go out into the whole shazam of the world, just out there. I'm pretty sure when I drive the San Diego freeway, that I can feel a lot of premies going up and down, north and south. When I'm on the Santamonica freeway I can feel this presence of premies, and soon enough, there's somebody going like this to you, and that's the way it is. But why, why has all this happened? What is the reason that we are all sitting in this hall, talking about something which is very beautiful?

We have to go back. If we have advanced, if we think we have gotten so far ahead, if we think that we are strong premies, so strong that nothing can shatter us, if we have all these concepts and all these beliefs, just this evening I would like you to forget all that. I would like you to forget how advanced the mission has gotten at this point, just forget everything. And just go back, go back with me, to the time where maybe you weren't there in India and I was. There are a few people here, I know one is Raja Ji, who were in India at that time, when propagation was very, very limited. I very distinctly remember there was this one couple from Germany that had come, and happened to be there at the right time at the right place, I guess, and they were listening to satsang. And it all just began from that point, it all started to happen. But nothing really happened much, the only thing I remember of those two German premies was that they were sitting on either side of Shri Maharaj Ji, and there was a picture taken. Then it went on and on. I very distinctly remember in the residence in Dedradun, a green van full of what you would call hippies drove in, and was parked there for two or three days. It was quite an experience, it was quite a sight. And one of the people in that van was Glen Whittaker, Peter Lee, and there was some other premies. They had driven all the way from England - drove 15 miles and the car broke down and they fixed it, and drove 15 miles more and the car broke down and they fixed it again. They had driven all the way down there, and I mean, that was it. Then there was Gary, and there was Sitanand, and there was Daniel, and there was Joan Apter - I very distinctly remember in India. But that was it.

And they were all just starting to understand what it's all about. Because life was not a concept any more for them. And for a lot of us who have gotten so deep into concepts, life isn't a concept any more, it becomes a reality. But it becomes a reality in the wrong sense, because we just go on leading a life without knowing what it's purpose is, what it's aim is. Is it even real? Or is it something that is just there, like an ash, and then the wind is going to come and just blow it away? Is it just like a sand dune in the desert, it's there overnight and by the afternoon it's gone? People get so much into their concepts that it just slowly fades out of being a concept and becomes a reality. A reality which is frightening. I mean you can call it frightening, but it's really not frightening. To me it's not frightening, to me it's just an example. It's like, wait a minute. I see people and they're busy, they're into their trip. And I see people who are in these black limosines, in a station-wagon, in the very back of it, in a wooden casket. And I see people who are just completely enjoying themselves, and then I also see little children come into this world, and grow and grow and grow. And I know that they are going to go through this crazy cycle of everything. And what is going to happen to them? Where is going to be their reality? Is it just all going to be the same fake reality that has been for us in this whole lifetime? Or are they going to have a start from a reality which is truly a reality in its own sense, and its own meaning?

When you look at it from that sense, from that perspective, it's like: wait a minute, this is pretty crazy. Because there is a reality, there is something real. This one real thing exists in food colour, and this one real thing also exists in clear fresh water, but when you add both together something very artificial comes out. And in that very artificial thing again there is a reality. And so the reality always sustains itself at a level where it does not change its form, because it does not need to. The day reality is going to change form for us, it is not going to be reality any more, because reality is infinite, and therefore cannot change, cannot modify itself. It's just a progression. So the world does not understand what reality is. And that's why they escape reality, why they do not want to know what reality is. Because they fear reality. They fear that if at any point in their life they have to face reality, what are they going to tell reality about where they have been for the rest of their life. How are they going to answer it? What are they going to turn around and tell themselves? Where three years ago they were sitting down and saying, "Man, I'm happy," all of a sudden boom, something happens. And it's like "Wait a minute, that wasn't true happiness, this is something else." So what are you going to tell yourself? And that scares a lot of people, people are afraid of that, and simply for that reason people are not go ing to understand, or even conceive in their head for a second that maybe there is a true reality, a reality which is different from their unreal world. And it's so beautiful, because when someone does face reality, it's incredible. Things start to happen, things become real. Then that infinite progression of reality begins, personally, in our life.

And so this is what I was saying before: let's forget about everything else, and go back to the point where for us everything was real, and at the same time everything was unreal. Though we were in search of something. I very distinctly

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remember, in Premnagar there were a lot of premies who would come down to my verandah and they would be stoned. And at one point they were looking for reality, and at the other point they had found reality, in their own sense. They hadn't received Knowledge, but in their own sense, they had found reality. But still they were looking for it. And so it was such a difference, it was being caught - well, let me put it this way - in the twilight zone. I'm not referring to the horror movie, but it's just getting caught in an odd time where there is no sun, and there is no darkness. And of course you can turn around and take it in the other sense, where it's like all these things happen. If you watch Twilight Zone, all these things happen to you: people just go into all these imaginations of mind, and that's where these people were caught.

So let's understand what we are all about, let's start from scratch, let's start from the beginning. Because you know, I'm really excited because I have put a lot of things in line concerning what I would like to do, and what I would like to see manifest in this organisation for the benefit of all the premies and for the benefit of propagation. And I'm so excited about everything because it's so beautiful, because I see this is a beautiful straight road, where before it was just a big jungle. You flew over in a chopper and you looked at everything and you said, "Well, I guess we could try building a road. I don't know how straight it would be, but we can try." And then I have tried to build a road, and it's beautiful, I have built it - it's a bridge, it's it's a connection. If you have read my satsang that I was giving in the European tour, the satsang said that a person can build a bridge all the way from one corner of the world to the other corner of the world, but right in the middle of the ocean leave three feet of space undone, unfinished. You definitely will be able to drive just about from one corner of the world to the other corner of the world. It takes a lot of time, and it takes a lot of energy, but I have just completed the three feet of the missing gap for all the premies.

And it's like, a lot of premies may think, "Okay, great! Maybe that's the answer to all my confusion! Maybe that's what I've been looking for for such a long time. Maybe I didn't exactly need all those Knowledge reviews I had, but this is it." Looking back at it, I had to see, I had to feel when I wanted to drive the pilings in the sand, but I discovered I didn't need to, they were already there. So that means that the beginning of the bridge, of that gap was always there. And so if anybody really attempted, they could have always built that bridge themself. But it's that big gap of confusion, of mind, of reality and unreality which still fights amongst our hearts, which still shadows over us, that imbalance in our life. Where we come so close to reality, but we're still three feet away. And that's all that matters - three feet, three inches, three millimetres or three light-years away. But that reality is always there, that thing that we are all looking for is always there. That understanding, that love, that beautiful Knowledge that has been revealed to us, it's always there.

Now what is the difference? Why are so many premies so confused? Well, that's a good question. It's a very good question, because really there is no answer to it. Why are premies confused? Because really I don't think half the premies are confused. But somehow they want to think that they are confused. Or they think that getting confused is in vogue, so they want to be confused. Now I'm not kidding you: reading the letters that I have been getting, and just the way the reaction of premies is, is really funny. It's as if they think

"That's the way we gotta go man. Everybody's confused, we might as well be with them." It's like "Why are you confused?" "Well, Joe Blow is confused, we used to live both together in the ashram at the same time, well if he is confused, I'm confused." That's not the way it goes. This is a personal experience.

And so, let us look at ourselves. When we first came to Knowledge, what did we have, what did we really have? We had Guru Maharaj Ji, who could offer us Knowledge, at one end. We had us, with tons of ego, and tons and tons of mind on one end. And we had everything crazy happening around us. We were desperate for reality, wanting to experience something that could really show us where the darkness was and where the fight was. Confused. Nothing was in our favour: we were confused. And then we received Knowledge. And when we received Knowledge, everything became very beautiful, everything opened up. It was like everything was so dark, pitch black, and all of a sudden in the stadium somebody went down and kicked on the light and everything lit up, every aisle, every square inch of the stadium lit up, and it was beautiful. And today what do you have? You have Guru Maharaj Ji on your side. You have Knowledge on your side. You also have your mind on your side, and the option to be confused on your side - believe me, it's an option, it's not compulsory. It's an option. What have you picked? The option that you don't want. What have you picked? Confusion. I'm not saying that all the premies have picked confusion, but some have. Of no necessary reason. Remember when we first came to Knowledge? It wasn't this way at all. We were on one corner of it, and we had our mind, we had our confusion, and we had us on one side, and on the other side was Guru Maharaj Ji with Knowledge. And that happened, and everything became beautiful, everything was really clear, and we proceeded, we just went along this path. Everything opened up and it was beautiful, it was clear. And then we go along.

It's just like this habit. A little kid starts off with fruits, and with healthy things, then somebody comes along and says, "Nah, this is junk. Have this candy," and the kid rejects them: "No, I don't want them." All of a sudden, before you know it, he picks them up and says "Yum yum, I'll have this, why not?" And before you know it the kid is eating junk. And the same thing happens to us. We're there, we're in one stage, then somebody comes along and says, "Now wait a minute. You can get out of this junk, you can get out of this confusion." And we say "No, no, it's okay." Then we get enthusiastic, we think, "Now wait a minute, maybe I do want to get out of this confusion." And we go on, we receive Knowledge, we do get out of the confusion, and back we go again. We let our mind loose. I know what happens to a lot of premies. I know a lot of premies probably sit down sometimes and they're reading my satsang and they say, "Wow! Maharaj Ji really, really insists on satsang, service and meditation. Maybe this is a little bit too much, huh? Maybe he just says this for the premie who was sitting right next to me who was a little confused, maybe it wasn't really for me." But before you know, you become that premie who was sitting right next to you who was confused. And then it just keeps on going like that.

So what I really want to say to you is let us all come together, and let us thank Knowledge, and let us thank the person who has revealed this to us, that it has given us such an opportunity,

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Prem Rawat aka Maharaji in Frankfurt, Germany, November 1976

that it has given us such an experience, that it has given us an opportunity to really bring reality into our life. Because look at it, what is reality out in this world? I mean, so far as people in California are concerned there is supposed to be San Andreas fault around the coast somewhere. So maybe you're there, maybe you're not there tomorrow. We're pretty close to the coast. That's our reality. What is a reality? A reality is: well who is going to be our next president? A reality is: who is our senator, and how long is he going to last? I know. I was watching the whole thing happen. Every media, everything was just full of it, every person was full of it, every street was full of it. People were standing with posters, banners, everything was happening. And it was to me like, wow, what are we doing this for? We sit there and we complain about ourselves to ourselves. We say "People of this world are crazy." Who are we .- some kind of creatures? But that is the reality of the world, so blind, so fake, that it is very unrealistic for me to even accept it that way, because I see it.

There is so much money, there are so many things happening. Where do you think they are going? What do you think things are happening for? I'm pretty sure that Martians aren't presiding over us all and that we have to pay a certain amount of taxes to them, so that a certain amount of the money we earn in this earth is being transferred over to Martians. It's all us. It's just a big web. And in this web live three spiders - the poor fly gets caught in the middle and gets eaten from three sides. Why does it get eaten from three sides? Because there are three spiders that live in this web. It's like, I was interested. That was okay. I wanted to know what was going on. I wanted to know who was going to be the next senator, congressman. But what surprised me was how everybody else was so involved in this, that it actually had become a part of their life. That it was them. They saw no duality between what was there for a very fake reason, and what was who they were. They saw no duality. That's getting out of hand.

That reality, that understanding, that truth is what we want. Howare we going to get it? By our own effort. If there are non-premies here, then how are you going to get it? Well, you have to ask for it. Ask, and it shall be given. It's as simple as that. But if you have received it already, what is your satsang. what is your answer, what is your effort? Who defines that? There are a lot of premies who write to me and say "Maharaj Ji, we don't know, we just can't quite make this decision about should we move out of the ashram, should we move into the ashram." And I just look at the letter and I say "Wow. It's crazy. Does this guy want to realise the reality in his life,

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The Golden Age

Prem Rawat aka Maharaji in Denver, Colorado, October 1976

does he want to realise Knowledge? Or does he want to realise how to make decisions, does he want to master how to make decisions? Or does he actually want to just be ashram, period?" And it's like, it's none of that. But we get caught in our mind, in our own imagination so much that we forget how beautiful everything really is, and what there is for us - what has been offered to us and what we can get out of it. It's beautiful, because it's a beautiful rhythm. It's a rhythm that just goes on and on and on. It's a never-ending, never-stopping, never-shortening rhythm, rhythm of Knowledge.

Today, meditation becomes a second priority, service becomes a second priority, satsang becomes a second priority, and everything else becomes a first priority. I mean, what are you doing? Ask yourself who you really are, what is satsang? To a lot of people it is a burden of driving for 30 minutes to a satsang hall, sitting there and going through the trip of listening to everybody. This is what satsang is to some people. Well you know, maybe there is something real about that, maybe you do have to go through 30 minutes of rush traffic and maybe you have to sit down there and hear a few people out. But believe me, you are the microphone. You have the potential in you. You can make everything happen to you. You can make yourself in such a way that what will come into your heart and what you will accept will be the craziness of this world. Or you can change it all and actually make it happen where only that experience of beauty will enter your heart. You are the control valve, you are the filtering system. Believe me, Knowledge was given to you, satsang and service and meditation are a part of Knowledge. They're a part of our life. They always have been, we just don't know. Like meditation: it's within us, it's a part of us. Maybe we were given techniques, maybe we were revealed techniques, but the experience which we realise wasn't handed from somebody's pocket, that's real. That's within us. And the same way with satsang. If there is truth in this world, well bet you there has got to be company of truth in this world. It's natural right with truth, comes company. I cannot possibly imagine something more beautiful. But it all comes from the root of meditation - that's our functional root.

And then there is service. A lot of people say, "Well, what's the meaning of service? Well, if you are doing satsang and meditation, you are going to know what the meaning of service is. Service is a part of our life: what we do every day in our lives is actually service, but we don't know it. It's just like every day, everybody goes on living in this life, not knowing what their life source really is. And it's the same thing. We just go on, we act every day, but we act for so much unreality. And what is

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No.35 January 1977

service? Service is to become natural, from unnatural to become natural. To take out a little time, to take out a little part of our lives and serve as the servant of our Lord. To be that servant, to be able to be given that opportunity to be a servant. Of whom? Or our Lord, who has given us the Knowledge and given us a chance to be in the company of truth, which is satsang. To be able to serve him, and to be able to realise this Knowledge and to be able to do meditation is the greatest opportunity, I believe, that we could have possibly been offered.

So here are your four aces. They're all laid out on the table. And it's like, you have them, you can play it either way. You can blow the whole game, you can just forget about it, you know, take your four aces and when the guy comes around and says "You want some more cards?" you can say "Yeah, give me four cards," and give four aces away and get one three of clubs, one two of clubs, one four of spades and da-da-da, just give away your aces. A lot of premies have done that in their lives. They have completely had four aces sitting right in their hand, and the mind came around and said "You want some more cards?" And that's exactly what the mind wanted: he looked at his deck, he knew he was missing four aces, and he figured that there was nobody else playing but you, so he said, "You want some more cards?" and you said "Sure, give me four more." And you gave your four cards away. And then you turn around, and somebody comes up to you, somebody who wants you to realise this Knowledge, who wants you to win in the struggle of reality and unreality, and says "But you had four aces, what did you do?" And you say, "Dah, I don't know." And it's like, what have you been doing till now? Have you been sitting in a satsang program with your fingers in your ears? What have you been doing? This is not only a question of example, but this is a question I put to you now: what have you been doing anyway? Don't answer me now, you don't have to answer me anytime in your lifetime. Answer that question to yourself: what have you been doing anyway? And it's like, what have we been doing: a lot of craziness and blowing a lot of chances and giving away a lot of aces. It's like you're playing this wild game of poker, four cards, you can just do anything you want. You get four aces and you say "What am I going to do with these four aces?" So you ask the guy "Is it okay if I give you four cards?" and he says "Sure, fine with me." And you say "No wait a minute, maybe you should shuffle the cards." So the guy shuffles the cards, plays with you as you want him to, then deals you again and you end up with four aces again: every opportunity, every day.

Every morning that sun comes up, there is an opportunity knocking at your door to open up, to become beautiful, to open up to this Knowledge. I'm defining this for you now. I'm not saying just "open up". No. Open up to Knowledge, open up to the experience which this life has to offer to you, now. It's so beautiful, because I look at it and I have seen so much happen in front of me and I have seen so much happen behind me. Shri Maharaj Ji came in this world and he revealed Knowledge to people. Today we have it very easy, sincerely it's very easy. But he himself used to eat dried chapatti, salt and drink water and sleep on the railway benches. But what was the motive? The motive, the purpose, him and his purpose made the chapattis into a hundred thousand dishes for him. That salt wasn't just salt any more - it unfolded into a hundred thousand dishes. And that water that he was drinking wasn't just water any more, but it was pure nectar, because of what he was and what his purpose was. But where did this all become effective? Yes, a perfect master is always there. But what happened, where is the relationship, where is the contract? And the contract is where the premies are. When premies start to show the understanding, the love and start to open up to the experience of Knowledge - that's where the contract comes in. That's where you can see how beautifully it's all matched, how beautifully it's all planned, it's all thought out, how beautifully it's really there, together.

And so now it's up to us. All I'm saying is right now in your hand you hold four aces. Very soon, like you have been before, you're going to be tricked. You're probably going to be tricked again and again and again. And that doesn't mean you're stupid, that doesn't mean you are dumb, it just means that you fall for tricks easy. That's all. That's all it simply means. And that's maybe common human nature to do that. But all I'm saying is: this time, whatever you do, don't get rid of your aces. Don't do that: it's already been done too many times, and it's not worth it. Because it takes too long for one premie to get confused and' plug back in, it takes too long to ask the mind to shuffle the cards again - and for you to end up with four aces again is very, very chancy. It's extremely chancy: the odds are just about nothing to nothing. You might get it, you might not get it.

The opportunity is always there though. We are there - that is the greatest opportunity and there cannot be any more opportunity after that. And there's the fact that we are provided with a Guru Maharaj Ji; and the fact that we have been provided with Knowledge by Guru Maharaj Ji. Top of the line. You can't match that. Because what comes with it is a long explanation: graces comes with it, love comes with it, joy comes with it, opportunity comes with it, so many things come standard. This is the top of the line: you can't beat it. But it's like there is a trade: you have to trade your love, you have to trade your sincerity, your understanding that yes, I want this Knowledge. You know, I say give me love and I'll give you peace. What do you think I do with love? Do you think I make subji out of it, or make dessert out of it, put it in the juicer and juice it? No. It's to be able to channel it back, back to you, so that you can grow more, so it can all really happen. Let me remind you, I'm doing perfectly okay in Knowledge. I mean, it doesn't even hit me that maybe I should do a little better: I'm doing fantastic, I'm doing great. It's you I'm concerned about, not myself. And this is the reason why I came here tonight. I'm very excited to be here, I'm very happy to be here and the reason is simply because you're premies, you have Knowledge, and it's just so nice to be able to tell you that you have four aces in your hand and you can win the whole game. And bet on it, bet on it as much as you can. You'll take it all, double it. It's just so nice.

And I know there are some people here who have seen their cards, and this is the fourth time around and they see a little bit of difference between the last set of cards they had and this set of cards they have. They don't exactly have things saying "ace" on them. None of the cards. And those are the premies that are disappointed, they don't know, they are confused, and they don't really feel any perspective just to keep on going. What I'm saying is, okay, if you can't play the game, don't play the game. Forget it: don't bet, don't do anything, just fold, just forget about it - you still have Knowledge and you can still keep on truckin'. Maybe you won't be truckin', maybe you'll be tuggin' along, but at least you'll be tuggin' along.

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Prem Rawat aka Maharaji in Denver, Colorado, October 1976

That's pretty good in itself, if people can do that.

Because really, look, every second that we gamble away, for what? I mean every second, we just sit there - in our living room, in our car, in our offices. We just gamble away every precious second of our life, for what? What do we get out of it? You want to answer yourself, finally death? Nobody wants to answer themselves that. Why not? That's what's going to happen to you, you know. Face it, there's no point denying it. It's flatter than the table. And we gamble away every second of this precious life. You know I've seen people come in this world: like Hans' birth, it was so beautiful. There was no holding him upside down, or swatting him or anything, just all of a sudden went "Ha, huh," and was breathing. It's like he came right in front of me and there was nothing happening, he wasn't breathing and all of a sudden a life began, right there, just like that, automatically. Nothing happened, but a life began. A life which has so much to give, a life that can accept so much, so much love can be put there, so much can happen. And there it was. It just showed me: wait a minute, this is too much, and it's too simple to get out of this world. It's just simple, you don't have to try at all. There Hansie was trying, there was something happening, and there he was: a life began. And it's too simple just to kick the bucket. That's about all it is, you just kick the bucket. It's too simple - you don't have to do anything, people just go, people just leave. And just for that one experience that we have in our life, once, that we don't even remember. I'm pretty sure Hans is not going to remember, I know Premlata doesn't remember, I know I don't remember and I'm pretty sure people don't remember. That one experience of our life where magic began, which the fantasy of Fantasia is worth nothing compared to. It all began and it all can be dumped, just like that. That is completely unbelievable. We come in this world and we go out of this world and every second, we just gamble away, we just lose it.t. And all I want to say is, it's just not worth it. It's just not worth it to have that magic happen once, and let it go away so simply. No, it shouldn't happen that way. That magic happened to us, and let it be a magic every day of our life. Let it be the fantasy which is super-fantastic.

You know, I took all the kids from the Unity School to see Fantasia in Denver and there were some people sitting behind me and they were just completely amazed. They were watching this movie like "Wow, this is fantastic! How do they ever do this?" I just felt like turning around to them and saying "Forget it, man. There was somebody who imagined this fantasy, who drew up this fantasy. What about the person who put that imagination, to be made into an imagination, as an imagination, into that person's head? And not only that. Also, in his fantasy, brought life, life so precious and made it real. While this is all fake: it begins at a certain time and ends. There's no reality to it, it's an animation." A person whose fantasy can be made into life, imagine what kind of power that is, what kind of fantasy that is, where there is no fantasy. Fantasy is just an imagination. Where every imagination is brought to true life, that is the power of Knowledge, that is who we are and that's what Knowledge does to us. We're all just a fragment of somebody's imagination, and we have life, and here we are. And this imagination can be passed by, can be shown on a piece of screen and everybody will clap, and say what a fantastic fantasy. Or it can become real for us, and not a fantasy for everybody else.

And so it's up to us now premies, it's really, really up to us.

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No. 35, January 1977

And believe me, it has always been up to us. This is nothing new. I'm not saying it's from the 1st November, 1976 that it's all up to us. No, it's always been up to us to open up, to open up to this chance. There's a lot of people who just say, "Maybe I should get out of the ashram." There's a lot of people who say "Maybe I should move into the ashram." And it's so clear that people just sit there and think, because they're too used to it, they like thinking. I know, people love thinking. If they can't think, then they are going to take their car and drive it, thinking. Why are they driving there? Because they want to think, to think some things out. And it's like, hang on just a second, it's so clear: you want that attention, you want that hospitality of premies, you want that little surrounding in which you can prosper, or don't you? Who determines that? You do. Where are you at, how fantastic are you doing? Are you doing fantastic, do you think you're doing fantastic - again you have to be careful. Because this time you might think you have four aces, and you might not look at your cards at all and you might gamble away, and that's bad too. So if you are strong in Knowledge, I don't think you're going to have problems making the decision whether you should be in an ashram or whether you should get out of the ashram. If you're not strong in Knowledge, then you're gong to say "Gee, maybe I should stay out of the ashram or maybe I should get into the ashram, I can't make up my mind so I'm going to write a letter to Guru Maharaj Ji. Guru Maharaj Ji doesn't quite reply to my letters, somebody else does for him, so maybe I'll go turn around and make an appointment with him." That's not going to do you any good, you know. The point is become strong in Knowledge. What do you think ashram provides, what is the ashram there for? To become strong in Knowledge. So you can do satsang, service and meditation and become strong in Knowledge. If you're strong in Knowledge then you can go into an ashram. And then if you're not strong in Knowledge you can go into an ashram and it'll be crazy for you, like it has been for a lot of people. Totally upset with ashram, you know.

So it's up to us: it's us, individually. A lot of premies assemble in one room, they have group meditation and they think "All of us being in the same room must have something to do with what I feel in group meditation." No. It's beautiful to do group meditation. Why is it beautiful to do group meditation? Because you're not sitting in somebody's living room where half the people have come to discuss law and business with the guy, half the people have come to clean up the guy's living room, half the people are there just to enjoy themselves and you're the poor person who is sitting in the middle of the room trying to do meditation. It's beautiful to have group meditation, because everybody is sitting down in one area, one circumstance and everybody is there to do meditation. And that's beautiful. But if you think that somehow in group meditation you're going to link up to each other and you're going to share each other's experiences, believe me you're very mistaken. Because that's not exactly the way things happen. This is an individual experience, you know. It's like a mother going into hospital and saying, "Maybe I should go into a hospital where they have 55% boys and 45% girls, so maybe if it all is shared, if I go and give birth in that hospital, maybe somehow I will have a boy too." So absurd, so crazy. Yes, it is. Completely nonsense. But that's what it's like saying. That's not the way it happens: it's an individual experience, it's an individual thing. You sit down in a group meditation, you sit down by yourself in your nice place, if you sit down with 10,000 people, 20,000 people, 40,000 people, it's still an individual experience. It's beautiful that it is an individual experience. Because what if everybody was going cuckoo all of a sudden, where would you be left? So it is really beautiful that it is individual. And let us experience it individually. Let us really understand this.

I guess we used to talk about this a long long time ago, that maybe there's not going to be that many darshan programs any more and maybe there are not going to be that many satsang programs any more. Well it apparently seems to have been all the correct prophecy, but it's all the same though, still. It's not changed. It's not like "No there is not going to be " No, there is going to be a lot more satsangs. And there is actually going to be a lot more darshan programs. But also you have to consider that it has to be distributed equally among how many premies there are now.

And so it's really beautiful and it's really growing and it's really, really incredible. But it's also very, very beautiful just to come down to the bare basics and to cut Knowledge flat on the table in our life. Just to discuss nothing like where IHQ is going to be, but to discuss Knowledge, and us, and Guru Maharaj Ji. Because Guru Maharaj Ji has an important part to play. He is the one who is responsible for this Knowledge. He is the one who is the ambassador, he is the one who bears the news. And therefore he is the one who is going to give you the news. He's also the person who bears all the answers to the questions concerning the news. And so Guru Maharaj Ji is really important. But Guru Maharaj Ji is here, and we are here, so we can just keep on going on and on and on. And it's marvelous, it's great, most definitely. Sometimes when you're running, you don't feel it, but when you slow down you feel something pulling you up. You say "What is that?" and you turn around and it's grace, it's grace just nudging you through everything. If you have a big hole in your sail, you're going to go nowhere. And it's beautiful, it's all there, it's all laid out, as simple as ABCD. It's all us now. And we can do it, we can make everything happen, we can make everything possible. Yes, let me say this - by the grace. But believe me, grace is there in tons, and tons and tons. If you can measure and weight something which is infinite, then you will know what the size of grace is, because grace is infinite. It's us: we have to open ourselves up to it and let it flow through us and let it happen to us.

You're my premies, and I love you, and there's such a beautiful communication that can happen, that is happening. And if I come, we have satsang and it's beautiful. Always when I walk out of a satsang program, it's gorgeous. When everybody walks out of a satsang program it's beautiful. But let us not forget what makes it so beautiful: this Knowledge. Because I cannot think of another subject which would be as beautiful as Knowledge to discuss. It's very beautiful, very incredible, very gracious and very pleasant to talk about. And so this is really beautiful that we can all come together and celebrate the birthday of Shri Maharaj Ji, because he has laid so many tracks and so many roads for us to walk on, so many mountains for us to climb on and so much inspiration that I'm pretty sure we will never never run out. And all we can be is thankful. And all I want to say is just remember, it's all up to us. Everything is there: remember, there are 52 cards in a deck, but there are also four aces hiding somewhere. They are there, and it's all there, it's just us maybe that is missing. That have to put ourself back where we belong, and let it happen. Thank you.

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