The following interview was published in the June edition of Miami Magazine, following the relocation of the Office of Guru Maharaj Ji to the Miami area. Miami Magazine prefaced the interview with a short article on Guru Maharaj Ji and the growth of Divine Light Mission in North America.
"As an information service to readers, the following is a verbatim transcript of Maharaj Ji's responses to Miami Magazine's questions."
MM: Guru Maharaj Ji, in your recent newspaper announcements, you are quoted as saying, "I declare I will establish peace in this world." The dictionary defines "peace" as "the absence of war." Is that what you mean?
A: No. To me, peace is really the inner contentment. War is only a by-product of man not being content within one's self. When I say peace, I mean the peace which is within us and which comes when man is in harmony with his Creator, the Almighty Lord God. When one has experienced inner peace, then and only then can absence of war really manifest.
How will you establish peace in this world?
Through Knowledge, which is the experience of one's real self and harmony with the ultimate, which is inside of all of us. When one can really understand the purpose of existence, then there is no doubt. All pain and suffering from one's self disappears and hence the Kingdom of Heaven is established. It is tranquil and peaceful.
What is knowledge, and how does receiving knowledge change a person's life?
Knowledge is the true realization of one's self. Knowledge is knowing the energy which has created us and sustains us, which is primordial and infinite. This Knowledge doesn't bring about any physical change but just the inner contentment - the peace within one's self.
After knowledge is revealed to a person, what part does Guru Maharaj Ji play in that person's life?
After Knowledge has been revealed to a person, Guru Maharaj Ji is there to help in one's life. Without the help of a true
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teacher, it is very hard to learn, and without learning, the experience of this true Knowledge cannot manifest in a person's life. For a person who wants the experience of peace, the teacher's aid to him is very important and necessary.
Is knowledge a "new" or "cult" religion - or a religion at all?
Knowledge is neither new, religion, nor cult. Knowledge is the primordial source which sustains us. Knowledge is life, knowledge is truth and knowledge is what our heart wants to know. Knowledge is the true experience of one's self, which is neither new, cult nor religion. That experience has been there since time immemorial.
You refer to yourself as 'Perfect Master'. What does that mean?
It is really quite simple. Separate 'Perfect' and 'Master'. A math teacher may be referred to as math master. In the same way, one who teaches perfection may be referred to as Perfect Master.
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The connotation of 'Perfect Master' may appear to some people as meaning physically perfect. Because the body has a beginning and an end, the body itself cannot be perfect. But the Knowledge that a Perfect Master reveals is Perfect, and therefore he is known as Perfect Master.
Why do people need a Perfect Master in the first place? If God is within, can't people experience God without the help of someone else?
God being within is one thing, and experiencing God is another. Just like having water in front of you in one thing, and drinking is another. God is within you. God is omnipresent. But, without the help, without the assistance, without the guidance of the true Living Master, the experience of God is not only very, very hard, but impossible. For the true teacher can make that experience manifest.
Most people think of a Guru as someone who has renounced all worldly things and sits on top of a mountain. What does "Guru" actually mean?
The word "Guru" is a very simple word and has a very simple meaning. It derives from Sanskrit and means, 'One who can take us from the darkness and bring us to the light.' 'Gu' meaning darkness; 'Ru' meaning light. The word 'Guru' is in some circumstances misused. Guru is that embodiment, that human being who can take us from darkness, bring us to light, show us the perfection within, show us the experience of God within, and bring us the inner contentment.
If a Guru isolates himself by being on top of a mountain then how do you think he can reveal to the people of this world the satisfaction within that be is here for?
Recent articles in The Miami Herald have presented a very negative point of view about you and your mission. Does publicity, positive or negative, have any effect upon your work in the world?
My work in this world comes from my understanding of its necessity. It comes from my commitment to establish peace in this world. Maybe in some circumstances, to some people, positive or negative publicity may have an effect, but my commitment is above that. Due to a certain lack of understanding, some people may not see what this work is all about. And therefore, out of ignorance, present a negative view. And yet, for the millions of followers who have seen and experienced for themselves, it is quite obvious for they can clearly see how much this mankind needs that experience of that peace.
Why did you move the headquarters of Divine Light Mission to Miami?
It was the decision of the members and Board of Directors of Divine Light Mission to move the headquarters to Miami.
For over five years, the meetings of Divine Light Mission have been held in Miami. For the sake of the convenience of the members, and because of the hospitality from the cities of Miami and Miami Beach, it was a logical decision to move here. It has been quite suitable for us to hold our meetings here in Miami year 'round. And, it provides convenient access to our growing membership in this and neighboring countries.
What message would you like to give to the readers of this magazine?
The message that I would like to give is not only to the readers of this magazine, but for the entire human race: to understand the purpose of this life; to really experience the place within; to be, in the real sense of it, happy.
This life is too precious and more meaningful than we can possibly understand. This life is such a precious gift, and so far as I have understood, it is the crown of Creation. To be here, to be alive, is such a grace, such a gift, from that Almighty Lord God. And that is all the more reason why we have to realise Him, recognize Him and experience Him within.
The struggle in this world to exist goes on more and more day to day. And yet it is so obvious that the Creator, Who created us, and Who sustains us, has not created us or the Creation for discontent, anger, hate and darkness. The threat of war grows every day. We don't have to choose war when we can choose the love of God and the Peace of the Kingdom of Heaven within. Undoubtedly, to me, that is what we should experience.
I feel I have something through which you can experience the Peace and the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of Heaven, within and thus experience that love of our Creator, the Almighty who has created us all.
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