An Incredible Birthday
What makes a visit to see Maharaji in India so special?
Last year Maharaji spent most of his time in the West, travelling the equivalent of eight times around the World to address 220,000 people in New Zealand, Australia, America, Canada, Britain, Germany Switzerland, Greece and Israel.
And yet a three-day programme in New Delhi in December, when Maharaji spoke to more than 200,000 people, was regarded as something unique by many of the Westerners who attended.
For one thing, it was Maharaji's 31st birthday … the last time he celebrated his birthday in the country where he was born was in 1972.
And it was the first time since 1981 that Westerners had been invited to a programme in Shri Sant Yogashram — a beautiful spot thousands of Indians have created out of nothing over the last nine years.
After a long flight and the dust, noise and chaos of India many were struck by the incredible stillness on arrival at the site, an enormous tent city with a population approaching that of Christchurch.
Somehow there was a sense of having arrived …
From Editorial (Four Seasons)
'So much Simplicity, Humility and Laughter'
"I experienced for myself a world as it should be. People united in the most magical way — the common bond being love and an ardent desire to be immersed in that world of love.
"I was simply bowled over by the care that was taken of (Westerners). I felt humbled at first … and a bit guilty too," says Caroline Murray, whose overwhelming impression of India had been one of poverty, pollution, overcrowding and the alienation of people from themselves and each other.
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One night, after Maharaji had finished his address, Caroline and another Westerner found themselves following the sound of drums, to a tent in the Indian sector. "We were invited in, hugged and welcomed into the circle of dancers, where we danced till we were almost dropping."
It was a perfect expression for what she was feeling "that most precious experience expressing itself outwardly in movement, music, camaraderie and laughter."
Stuart Hogarth of Wellington arrived on site several days before the programme began and, looking around, wondered how it was ever going to happen.
"It looked like so much needed to be done and yet nobody was in a hurry to do anything.
"Probably the thing that struck me most was the number of people who were helping and the seriousness with which they took part. Not serious in a long-faced sense but serious in that it meant something to them.
"Everyone was there because they wanted to see Maharaji, because they have that connection with him through Knowledge."
Norma Wilshaw of London felt the Birthday programme was less 'businesslike' than the meetings Maharaji has in the West.
"I had not seen him in such a relaxed, intimate atmosphere for a long time," she said. "He was playing the whole time. It really touched my heart. The whole way through was just magical," she said, "The Indians absolutely blew me away. They do not get complicated, and when you see how much they have achieved it is absolutely remarkable. I was made to feel really welcome and well looked after. I felt all the time that I was his guest, this was his garden and he was inviting me to come and play in it."
Message came Alive
Something happened to Cynthia Allan of Auckland at the Birthday Programme in India that reminded her how precious life and Knowledge was to her.
"The first night had been beautiful," she said. "Starting at sunset Maharaji shared his timeless, consistent message about the beauty of Knowledge and the opportunity we have to appreciate our life more deeply.
"The programme over and with the night becoming
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colder people tried to leave the site quickly.
"The narrow leading to the tents became congested. Instantly it seemed that thousands of people became immobilised.
I saw a woman being carried down into a private garden area. Feeling concerned, I followed.
"Are you a doctor?" I was asked.
"No, but I can give mouth to mouth."
"I was ushered hurriedly to the woman's side.
"I didn't check to see if she was still breathing.
"I just started.
"It was a strange sensation. I had never given mouth to mouth before. The urgency of the situation refused to allow any feelings of awkwardness …. After a while her own breath became obvious. She opened her eyes and drank some water.
"The people kept saying thank you, thank you.
"I was engulfed in an unexplainable feeling of love for this human being, such a deep feeling for life, my life, her life, welled up inside me.
"Everything Maharaji had been sayin about the prceiousness of human life rang true.
"I know that it was the gift of Knowledge that was enabling me to have this sweetest feeling of connecting with life itself."
Nepalese Government office worker Shyam Prasad Upadaya said he had "really been lifted up" since receiving Knowledge ten years ago. Did he have any special experience of the programme? "It is all Maharaji's lila (play)."
Vonnie Brennan of Dublin, Ireland said:
"Something really special happened at the programme which you cannot analyse with your mind.
"I feel grateful and proud to have Knowledge and to be able to come to something like this."
Maharaji and Music
Fuzbee Mores, (Fuzzbee Morse) a professional guitarist, keyboard player and song writer who has played with a wide variety of some innovative musicians, says during an interview:
"Last year I got a call from Michael Wood asking me if I'd like to work on a song Maharaji had written. I was absolutely floored. Thrilled. "Yes," I said. "I'll start yesterday."
"The music that he has
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written and played for me has been quite unpredictable and made its own sense, which is very much like Maharaji himself completely unpredictable and yet always making his own sense.
"For example, in the main line of the song, "I need to feel it;" Maharaji told Kim to really feel and emphasize the need in "need" and feel in "feel", at which point the character of the vocal completely changed and the song took on such strong quality and so much more impact….
"At a certain point in the session, I felt the green light to leave all external concerns behind me and to go completely into the music. At that point, I closed my eyes and let the moment move me. I felt no need to open my eyes and look around the room, I just got way in there which is where I go at the best of times of doing music. I sailed off into this wonderfully free atmosphere.
"When that particular take was over, I opened my eyes and looked at Maharaji and it was really clear that he had enjoyed the ride himself. I don't know if I've ever been happier."
(By courtesy 'Four Seasons'
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