thru the festival grounds in India.
In late March, after completing his most extensive tour of North America to date, Maharaji continued on to the Far East where he visited India, Malaysia, Taiwan and Japan.
INDIA - APRIL 11-14
Arriving in New Delhi two weeks before the festivities were to begin, Maharaji took some time to relax, meet with instructors and inspect the preparations for the four-day event. He drove around the festival grounds two to three times a day by jeep to the delight of many people. More than 7,000 had gathered weeks in advance to ensure that the needs of 150,000 would be met while living at the site. Roads were built, a well dug, sleeping tents erected. Kitchens which would feed 20,000 people each were set up according to regional cuisine. A main stage was built from which Maharaji would address everyone, as well as several smaller stages from which people would be able to see and interact with him at close range. Six video screens were installed on which footage of recent tours would be shown.
150,000 people arrived by air, bus, bicycle, tractor and foot. They came from all over India, as well as from Nepal, Sri Lanka and the African island of Mauritius.
While in New Delhi, Maharaji spoke seven times. According to Sampurnanand, who organized the event, Maharaji emphasized the importance of each individual realizing the preciousness of life, and that life is meant to be enjoyed.
One person who was there commented that Maharaji made people laugh, creating an open and comfortable feeling. Another was struck by the tremendous love of the people for Maharaji and by his love for them, saying that people considered it a great privilege to be there. According to Sampurnanand, on the final day of the event everyone's eyes were filled with tears.
After the program, Maharaji remarked that he had "a really wonderful time in India."
MALAYSIA, TAIWAN, JAPAN - APRIL 17-26
In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia's capital, Maharaji addressed an audience of 2,000, a cross-section of the country's Hindu, Chinese and Malay population. Later, at an impromptu meeting, he met with 300 people interested in becoming instructors. Stating his pleasure with the new approach of using part-time instructors, he encouraged them to participate in this way.
In Taipei, Taiwan's capital city, he addressed 750 people who had received Knowledge. Many there appreciate the simplicity of the inner experience that comes with Knowledge and were receptive to Maharaji's down-to-earth approach.
In two evening presentations in Tokyo and Kobe, Japan, Maharaji shared his message with approximately 800 people. In smaller morning sessions, he met with people who had received Knowledge. Despite a cultural shyness, there was much interaction and dialogue; people opened up in a tender and moving way.
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