The Golden Age
Excerpts from Guru Maharaj Ji's satsang at the Latin American Conference in Lima, Peru on November 18, 1976
Well, you might be surprised, you might have been expecting a lot of things to happen in this meeting, but there is a change. There's a change happening out of a change. And as Raja Ji puts it, the changes that happened in the past were only cosmetic and totally unnecessary. It's like trying to take a cow and put lipstick on it - you can do it, but it's unnecessary in practical terms, in terms of any practical purpose.
Already these changes have severely affected the premies in America, and these changes have also brought about questions that were put to me. And these questions were nothing but mind. Mind dictating to a person. What was so different about it this time was that premies couldn't discriminate between their mind and the questions that they truly wanted to ask. The changes were intended to make the organisation more efficient. But you see, you have to look back; there's nothing like an efficient organisation. I would like you to give me an example of an efficient organisation. It just doesn't exist. Big corporations are not all that efficient. They're just not efficient, because efficiency in a system is very hard to achieve.
There's a much better chance of efficiency in our kind of organisation because we understand one basic thing. We understand one fundamental thing and that is Knowledge. So there is a good possibility of bringing efficiency, of providing maximum results from this organisation. I'm pretty sure that if you are any kind of a coordinator, that if you are interested in the progress of this Mission, then most definitely you would like to see that happen. And so many people in Denver have also wanted to see that happen. And other premies all around the world. I have looked at this sincerely and I feel that the kind of approach that was taken was wrong, that it didn't bring efficiency. Actually, it brought deficiency into the system.
Why does that happen? If you build a big hall, bigger the hall there is, what do you have to bother with? You have to bother about the support of the roof and support of the walls. So what are we looking for? We're looking for a strong roof, we're looking for a strong foundation, we're looking for fundamentals that are not visible. But people think that a strong hall is interior decoration, a lot of furniture, a lot of fixtures, and a beautiful carpet. I ask you, does that make a strong hall? Most definitely it does not. We have to go back to our fundamentals and to our basics.
You see, there is a theory. And the theory says that two things cannot exist at the same place and the same time. It's true; it can be either one or the other. In the same way, either you are going to be working on the organisation or you are going to be working on your self-development. If you are looking at your self-development, and if you are really practising Knowledge, if the premies in the community are practicing Knowledge, participating in satsang and doing service sincerely from their hearts, then you don't have to think about organisation, because organisation will come automatically. Because the organisation is based on the fundamentals of Knowledge, and when those fundamentals have been subtracted, then all you have left is a carcass. After a little while, a dead body starts to harden, but I'm pretty sure you can make its arms move even after it's stiffened up a bit. You just put your leg on the chest and crank the hand open and maybe it'll break up or some- thing, but it'll move. So it can be functional, but the heart and the purpose will be lost, and, therefore, it will not be worth it.
So what I'm driving at is that we all have a very important part to play. Now what makes it important? Is it because it's humanitarian? Is it because it's a beautiful thing that we want to give everybody Knowledge? Well, it is, but what makes it so important is that we are first in a place where we are experiencing satsang, service, and meditation for ourselves. Right now we know that we want to spread this Knowledge. We want to go from one point to another point. What is the function of the Mission? This is very important. There are three roles of this Mission, and that is Divine Light Mission, period. The first role of this organisation is to bring people to Knowledge. Now how is that accomplished? That is accomplished by going out and doing propagation. That is accomplished by Guru Maharaj Ji giving programs. So one purpose is for the Mission to facilitate matters so that this propagation can go on, so that people can be attracted.
After people have been attracted to this Knowledge, there is a whole thing that happens right there. A person looks at a poster and sees that an initiator is coming or Guru Maharaj Ji's coming, whatever. The person looks at the poster and says, "Well, what is this all about, anyway? What is happening? Is this a big rip-off, is this just something crazy or is it something that I've been really looking for?" A lot of people, if they are sarcastic, if they have read a lot of things in newspapers and gathered bad impressions, then they will say, "I know these people, they're just a bunch of rip-offs," and they will walk away. But on the other hand, some people will say, "Maybe this is what I've been looking for; maybe this is it." Somehow
they get to attend their first satsang program.
In that first satsang program they're just sitting there, they're open, they have questions because they're interested; it's enthusiasm. If I bring something here to you and put it on the table, and it looks very strange, very funny, very electronic, most definitely you will have a few questions about it. What does it do? How do you operate it? Does it need electricity? But instead of trying to answer those questions, you just look at it because you're interested. It's your enthusiasm that carries you. After you have satisfied your immediate curiousity, then your questions begin. Then your enthusiasm takes you to a different place where you start to explore. And the same thing is happening to this person who comes to satsang. And this Mission has to help that person in such a way so that he can continue very smoothly into a beautiful path, where he can receive Knowledge.
From the first stage, he enters into the second stage and the second stage is where he figures that this is it. He thinks, "Well, this is what I want. This Knowledge sounds excellent to me."
And then he hears that if you want to receive Knowledge you have to listen to a lot of satsang, and you have to do a lot of service. So the person starts to hear a lot of satsang, starts to do service around the ashram, and everything starts evolving for him. Time passes by, he hears more satsang, he becomes a part of the community, and then finally Knowledge is revealed to him. Not only does Divine Light Mission provide a facility to bring people to Knowledge, but it also helps them in the middle stage by offering them the facilities where they can do some service and hear some satsang.
Then it goes into the next stage when they actually receive Knowledge. The Mission also plays a part there. After a person has received Knowledge, it's really beautiful then he can pay his debts for whatever the Mission has provided him with until now. He was just a little child when he was coming into the whole thing and if he thinks that this has been a really beautiful experience - that the Mission has given him the shelter, the necessary treatment and the necessary facilities - then he's going to start to repay that by plugging his energy into the Mission so that it can be multiplied to help other premies.
So there is a function. There is a very important role for the organisation. If you guys have any questions about it, you might as well ask them now. I would like you to ask any questions you have concerning the organisation, because then I would like to proceed to what Maharaj Ji has to do with the Mission. Yes?
I'm not sure I caught the last part, where you said that somebody should help the Mission, and I was wondering if you could explain …
What is your service these days?
I'm a national director.
Well, that's exactly what you have done. You were not a national director before. You were just a Joe Blow on the street. Then you received Knowledge. You realised Knowledge.
You wanted to do service, and now you're trying to use your energy to help the organisation grow so that more people can be accommodated, and more people can then become premies and realise the same experience that you have. You understand what I mean? Any more? Yes?
How can premies, who aren't in that situation as national director or doing service full-time, help in that process?
What is the purpose of a jack in the car? For instance, you take a briefcase - you have a pen in it. You have papers in it. You have file folders in it. You have an inner lining in it. too. What is the purpose of the inner lining? You just need a briefcase. A briefcase has stitches in it - what is the purpose of the stitches? There's just different parts that hold that thing together. Every premie who has realised Knowledge has to do service. Why does he have to do service? It's a good question. The reason why he has to do service is because if he wants to get anywhere with the process of Knowledge, it includes satsang, service and meditation. So he has to do service. So in which way can that one premie help, who is not a coordinator, who is not the director? A lot of people have asked me that question, but the only way I can answer that is: look at it from the other point view.
Just forget that he's a coordinator. Just forget that he's a director. Just forget all that. Because as I have said in my satsang, there is no difference in service. The service of a person who cleans the Kittredge Building, or a person who sits on top of it and tries to manage - service is service, right? Everybody can do service; everybody can pitch in. It's the effort of everybody. To me, the director has a lot to do. But he's the theory maker; he's not the person in the field. He's not the person who gives people satsang. He's not the person who goes out and earns ten percent and gives it to the Mission and becomes an active member. There are different parts of service. You have to look at them in an overall vision, but they're all services.
People say, "What can I do? There's nothing for me to do, what can I do?" A lot of people are asking this, while other people just keep on truckin', keep on doing service. It keeps on happening, and it's a good thing because they don't have time to stop, those other premies who are definitely not in any position in Divine Light Mission or in DUO. But they never have time to ask themselves the question: what am I going to do? They just keep on doing it; they find it. This is not a lottery where opportunities are going to knock on your door. You have to knock on opportunity's door and it will open for you. And as we go along in this conference, I think you will understand more of what I am trying to say.
Now we know the three functions of Divine Light Mission, and of course as we go along you're going to be a little clearer on that. But then where does Guru Maharaj Ji fit in? Well, Guru Maharaj Ji really doesn't fit in anywhere because he's all over the place. It's not a part that you can just take out and stick in another place.
No, Divine Light Mission not only has its purposes, but you have to imagine that without Guru Maharaj Ji, all of those purposes are totally -useless. And not only useless, but most impossible. It is easier to fill up the Grand Canyon. It's easier to make the Milky Way the Milky Way - to pour milk into it. It's easier to change the whole moon into cheese than it is to
The Golden Age
try to accomplish the purposes of Divine Light Mission without Guru Maharaj Ji. This is what we have to understand. Why? Would anybody like to answer that question? Yes?
What I felt was that you were just giving me part of your service. This was not my service. It's yours and you're sharing it with other people. That's what I feel personally in what I'm doing. This is just a little part of the service of Guru Maharaj Ji.
Yes, but the thing that I was asking you was, if Guru Maharaj Ji is not there, why is it impossible for the Mission to accomplish its purpose?
I feel that we are propagating your Knowledge, you are teaching the people. I have nothing to teach anybody, so if you are not with us or I am not with you, there's nothing that I can do. You are the one that is doing the thing.
You're within the area. I wouldn't say that it hit the place exactly. Okay, you can sit down. Would you like to answer?
To me, you're the only one who knows really the purpose of our lives as individuals and the purpose of humanity as a group. It's clear that all of us don't know. No one knows and that's why we need you.
Okay, that's also very close. The biggest question was, what came first: the milk or the buffalo? If you ask the question, what came first, Guru Maharaj Ji or the Mission, the answer is as clear as possible that Guru Maharaj Ji came and made the Mission. So whose Mission is this? It is Guru Maharaj Ji's Mission. What happens? How come so many people start participating?
Well, Guru Maharaj Ji invites the people who have received this Knowledge to accompany him in the adventure of revealing this Truth, revealing this Knowledge to the whole world. And that's his mission. I have invited premies to join me, to give me their love, to give me their devotion, to give me their strength so that this whole thing can be pushed through the craziness of this world. So that people can understand this Knowledge can be multiplied. Generations and generations of people have been going around in circles, and have not been given a fair opportunity to realise the simple goal of human life. So it is really important for us to understand this. If you don't understand this, then it is like a pilot who is sitting in an airplane, and he lets the airplane dictate to him, instead of actually flying the airplane. Instead of making the airplane a part of him and doing it right, the pilot just sits there for show and lets the plane do its trip, and before you know it, it will go down the hill and crash.
What are we looking at it terms of growth? We have to ask that ourselves. Do we want to buy the Supreme Court? Is that an indication of having a bigger organisation? Is that a sign of progress? No. To me, the Empire State Building means nothing. You can run your offices out of there, or you can run the whole IHQ out of this room right here. This is big enough to do it.
What is the sign of progress? It is when we hold a premie program and there's twice as many premies there as before. And they're experiencing Knowledge. They're experiencing satsang. And they're experiencing meditation. That is the only sign that we have. We sit on stage and we look down, and the more blurry the end of the line gets, the more progress we are making. And it is important that all those premies who are receiving Knowledge are sincere. That is the only sign we have to go by.
IHQ is not going to be what is has been so far. IHQ is going to be directly under me, because what is international? Knowledge, and if Knowledge is international, Guru Maharaj Ji becomes international. And what is international is all you can call International Headquarters. You can't call everything International Headquarters. So a separation has been made, a clear distinction has been made. IHQ is only around me, and the only thing that IHQ is going to provide you with is initiators. It's a centralization of all the spiritual aspects of Divine Light Mission.
That's all premies need to know. That's all that the coordinators need to know. I don't think you need to be told two plus two is four. You can buy calculators for that -there's a lot of books you can read - whatever you want to do. But the important thing is that there is an IHQ, and IHQ is going to provide you with initiators. Things have become really beautiful. Things have become really simplified. Things have become really easy.
So that's IHQ. IHQ is Guru Maharaj Ji. IHQ is initiators. They're going to deal directly with IHQ, and you run your own trip, you know. You are responsible for it. You have to make sure prachar is happening. Because till now there were a lot of excuses: "Huh, we haven't got any initiators."
Where do you send an initiator? Where there's nothing happening? But now with the whole initiator program, there's going to be an initiator in every community. There's going to be an initiator in every country. They're going to be all over the place, which will be really beautiful, because then the energy can be concentrated and prachar can go on on a much smoother basis, instead of on a ZIP! basis where all of a sudden you gather fifty people. And even that slowed down quite a bit because you have to be an aspirant and you have to attend so much satsang.
But instead of setting such guidelines, instead of setting up rules which a lot of people don't understand, I sincerely believe that if there is an initiator right there, he knows the person in the community, how he has been growing, how he has been accepting satsang, how he has been doing service, how eager he is to receive Knowledge.
And so he watches the aspirant program go right by him and doesn't call the person into a session - which has happened a lot of times - and ask him questions and then the person doesn't qualify and he says, "Well, wait." A lot of people freak out on that, because they say, "Why do we have to wait? What's the matter? Isn't this Knowledge any good for us? Aren't we any good for it?" And then of course the initiators have to sit down and give a gigantic explanation. But a lot of aspirants get confused from it. I think that can be prevented and prachar can go on on a much smoother basis if there are initiators in every community.
So there's a lot happening. I feel like touching everything at the same time, but that's going to get you more confused. Okay, I think you have got a fair picture of what we are going to be discussing today and tomorrow. Do you want to
comment on that? Yes?
You have been talking about the role of Guru Maharaj Ji in the Mission. You have been talking about the purpose of Divine Light Mission. And just now you were talking about the program of the initiators, propagation, and how it's going to be.
Close enough. Okay, would any of you like to stand up and comment on what you feel is the importance of this conference? (Long silence) Great, you guys are just great. You don't think this conference is important? Yes?
I think we premies in Latin America are realizing where we are going wrong, where we are falling back. So it's an opportunity for us to make it happen, make it real, because we don't want to slip too far. This is the opportunity to do it.
A lot of people are popping their hands up now. Yes?
Guru Maharaj Ji, I used to go back home and used to find a lot of papers and even though a lot of papers were there, I felt it was limited because we made up so many rules, and now I feel very easy because you have come close to us and you are saying that things should be more simple, and that's the important thing. I think. You came to us and you are getting close to us.
Okay, I would like to comment on that. Yes, things should be simple, but you can't make them so simple that you make a glass and don't put a bottom on it. You have to make it so that it's simple enough that it can be understood. But it should still be coordinated enough so that the ill effects of it are controlled and the good things just flow. Do you understand what I mean? I'm all for simplicity - that's why I'm doing this conference - because I think the more sophisticated we are, the bigger the show we are putting on. When I was having the staff briefing with IHQ, with my staff in Denver - well, everybody is my staff, but with those people who are going to work out of my office door - one of the premies asked what would be the best way to coordinate things, and I said that the biggest of our problems that we have with coordination is that we always put on a show. We are not simple - we are not who we are. We always put on a show.
I sincerely believe that every man who walks on the street puts on a big, fake show. He has to do a certain style of things. He has to use a certain kind of cologne. He has to use a certain kind of perfume. He has to have a certain kind of an image. People are not simple enough. It doesn't really matter if you put on a grand show or not, but inside you have to be sincere and simple. You let flow out who you really are and what you really are, instead of trying to hide it conspicuously. So I think if all the premies can be simple and if all the coordinators can be simple, we will cut our job of coordination in half.
We are premies working with premies. There should be no problem. But if you look at yourselves as coordinators who have to put on a particular kind of show - maybe it is not your fault, maybe this is what you have been asked to do -you'll have a very difficult time explaining yourselves because then bananas will come out as apples. You mean water, it comes out Coke. You mean suit, and it comes out give-me-ahaircut. We have to be really simple, and we have to be really sincere and open. Open in terms of trying to express our experience and where we are coming from, having the purpose always in our head and working according to that purpose, instead of trying to put on this fancy, dandy show.
I'm completely fed up with the kind of cosmetic show that has been put on because it's completely unnecessary. And it makes the cow look very ugly instead of very beautiful. It's just too much lipstick and I think it looks weird. This is where I want to go back to. I want to make everything very simple. I loved it the way it was when it was natural and the premies understood what was happening.
It was all there, and there was such a flowing communication between premies. There wasn't the garbage talk that made me sick, that made other people sick, that made people lose the whole thing and get out of there. Ask ourselves is that what is supposed to happen? After all, we're here to spread peace in this world, we are not trying to run a factory. Peace is an simple as possible. Peace is us. Peace is that Knowledge. And Knowledge is what we are trying to spread. And if we get caught up in our little fights, if we get caught up on our complications, then believe me, it's a very sickening feeling.
I think the most important point in this conference is that you want us to go back to the beginning, because when I first came here, I wanted to feel peace, I didn't want to feel organization.
Yes, that's very true. That's what we are here to feel. It's like the ocean liner: it's big, it's huge, but if it loses its course and gets into bad weather, those waves can be so big that they can actually engulf the whole boat. And sometimes in those same waves, a simple little boat won't sink. Why? Because it's so adaptable. Instead of getting caught between two waves, it will just ride them. It's so light, that it will go right up on top of the waves and come right down. If you've got a huge boat, you're going to be taking water on board. The bigger you are, the more problems you have to face. The only time that it really pays off on a big boat is when you have beautiful, calm weather. And to me, that's really asking a lot: calm weather all the time. Because there isn't. Everybody changes. Everybody goes through things. Premies change, people change, countries change, mentalities change - everything. And the Mission has to be adaptable to it because the Mission was built around a certain amount of premies and it wasn't adaptable to anything. It was a solid structure which was totally unadaptable, and when premies demanded it accommodate them, that it give them more opportunity, it couldn't. The structure was so solid and so confined to itself, that it couldn't open up any other door and accommodate other people: it was the wrong kind of structure. It was an incredible trip, and I just want to break that down and I want to provide it with such an elasticity that we can accommodate any given situation at any given time. Okay?
Now we will begin with the questions that premies have been waiting so impatiently for. Let me comment about these questions. These questions couldn't answer my question more clearly that most of the premies that asked these questions are not doing satsang, service and meditation. They might be sitting down under their blankets or they might be taking a dust cloth and going like this, and they might be hearing
The Golden Age
satsang like this, but they're definitely not coming from a right place. It's like when you look inside an airplane, you see all these buttons. You see all these buttons and gauges and instruments and you go, "Wow! This guy must be so intelligent to know all this." And it's strange, because once you have experienced flying, it's a simple panel. There is one switch, there's another switch - this is fine, this is fantastic. But for other people who haven't experienced flight, who don't know how to fly, it is very hard to understand.
That is sort of the answer to the first question: what is the importance of darshan and how often should a premie have it to be able to realize Knowledge? You have darshan - what does it do to you? What happens? The purpose of darshan is only recognisable, the purpose of service is only recognisable, the purpose of meditation is only recognisable, the purpose of anything that the process of Knowledge concerns is only recognisable by the premies who have actually experienced it. And for people who are inexperienced, it will always be a mystery. It will always be a mystery that service is a part of Knowledge.
And people who have really understood and have done service once in their lifetime sincerely and truly - they know how beautiful it is and they're not going to ask that question. It is simply those premies who just like to sit down and think a lot and don't want to do anything who come up with questions like "What is service?"
It's because they haven't surrendered. If you can surrender, then you can be a servant. If you can be a servant, then you can do service. And service to whom? Service to the ultimate goal of our life. So what other questions do you want to ask?
Personally, I don't have any question, but this is a question from some premies. The question is why, even though a premie is practising Knowledge, does he sometimes feel unsatisfied?
Let me read that to you because the answer is right there with the question. Okay, why is it that sometimes even though the premie's practicing Knowledge, he is still not experiencing it and is feeling unsatisfied? The reason is because he is unsatisfied, that is why he is not experiencing it. It's just letting your mind run like wild horses all the time and not making the proper effort to plow through. I think I've got a pretty good picture of how premies sit down sometimes and do meditation. And I think I'm not all that off the wall by saying this, because a lot of premies sit down and close their eyes and think about something completely different. That is what some premies do. A lot of premies do meditation and you can see practical results happening in their life. Now while that doesn't quite happen to other premies, the reason is because they don't make the proper effort.
It was one of the things that I was talking to Bill Patterson about. We have a time that says at least one hour for meditation. It says that: at least. Now how many hours do premies actually sit down and do meditation? Well, half of them do exactly one hour, and it says the least. You know what I'm trying to say? It says at least you should do it for one hour, and premies sit down and do exactly one hour - the least they can do.
That's not saying very much for them, because when a person sits down to do meditation, it takes him a little time to settle down properly, before he can experience anything. And if takes fifteen to twenty minutes for a person to settle down, he's only got forty-five minutes of meditation time left, in the last fifteen minutes of which he's going to keep thinking, "Is the hour over, is the hour over?" So fifteen you take off here, and fifteen you take off there, and you've only got half an hour of meditation, so you're not even meeting the least requirements.
A lot of premies are not really satisfied because they have built their dreamboats. They think that Knowledge is going this certain way. They think that when they practice Knowledge, "Zap!" this is going to happen to them, or - I can't even go into it because premies have such imaginations. So look, the thing is, to try to get that best effort going and to try sincerely from your heart and you'll experience it because it's there.
Okay. Let me go through these questions here, let us finish the area of Guru Maharaj Ji and these questions. I will ask the questions and I'll answer them. Is Guru Maharaj Ji learning with us how to operate in this world and how to solve the problems that confront us?
I most definitely try to figure out how things tick in terms of electricity and stuff, because I like to duplicate them sometimes. I see a stereo system and I say, "Wow, we can build this stereo system - why pay so much money for it on the market? All we need is schematics for them." But it doesn't quite identify what it really means by learning along with us. If it is as far as Knowledge is concerned Maharaj Ji is not learning along with you. Because he's quite ahead of you in that field, and he's helping you to learn more and more. In this world of solving the problems we have to confront, nobody can learn how to confront problems. There is no way you learn how to confront problems because every problem is new. It's just simple. I don't try to work that way, I have a totally different way of working. I rely on Grace and I also make my personal effort, which is quite a bet - betting all that money on all the numbers, you're bound to win somewhere.
The problems in this world are nothing, because these problems come from our mind. And if we can take care of our mind, then there will be no problems. Then it's really easy. It's simple, because then you can have the insight, then you can have the proper understanding, to continue on and on. And that's beautiful.
Then the next question is: Does involvement with Guru Maharaj Ji in person help develop a deeper spiritual connection? The only way that is possible is if you get satsang, service, meditation, and darshan. This is what Guru Maharaj Ji has to offer; he can give you darshan. That's all he can do to a premie who has realized Knowledge. He can give them advice when they need it, but this can be done without always being with Guru Maharaj Ji. And as far as involvement with Guru Maharaj Ji helping develop a deeper spiritual connection is concerned, well, you already have an involvement with Guru Maharaj Ji in person, because Guru Maharaj Ji is in person, and just by you receiving Knowledge, and you being a devotee and him being Guru Maharaj Ji, there's already a very personal communication. There's already a very personal, spiritual connection. The strongest spiritual connection that is possible. So that's that.