SPRING FESTIVAL 1990
March 22-24, 1990
Shri Sant Yogashram, New Delhi (India)
An Adventure of the Heart
I would worry, "My friends, my family. How can I share this with them?" But I would always have to stop and accept. I was the one that would have to enjoy this. Why was that so difficult? I felt a stretching inside myself, to admit how wonderful I felt and my gratitude began to overflow.
If I wrote something about this time in India, how could I express how exquisite it was? I sent no letters; the pages in my diary are blank. Time stood still, day after day, and in each day, I lived through months of experiences. Many times I found myself speechless, wanting to savor every precious moment, unwilling even to think about what was happening to me.
At other times, I would worry, "My friends, my family. How can I share this with them?" But I would always have to stop and accept. I was the one who chose to come here, I was the one that would have to enjoy this. Why was that so difficult? I felt a stretching inside myself, to admit how wonderful I felt, and my gratitude began to overflow.
This visit brought a special gift, to be able to participate and to work with many people from all over India. I felt so grateful to be able to share and learn together, and to be accepted in my longing to express my gratitude towards Maharaji in some concrete way. Working with others who have Knowledge is always so worthwhilo—sometimes sweet, sometimes difficult, but always enriching and transportational. I am amazed to see Maharaji teaching the same lessons—sometimes on the same day1—to people who are living in different places around the world. To come together and acknowledge our studentship was heartwarming and humbling.
Before I arrived, I was concerned that this program could not match the wonderful time I had on my last visit in November. But when our antique taxi roared up to the swan-gates and I saw the welcoming smiles, the charmingly decorated entrance, and inside, the inviting red road, I forgot all my worries and eagerly began living a whole new adventure of the heart.
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To be in that tranquil, pastoral place, so full of charmingly different birds and animals, and to spend each day preparing to meet the person I love the most, seemed to allow me a whole new feeling within myself, unspeakably serene, and full of joyful anticipation. Each sunrise and sunset, painted in fragile pinks and peaches, seemed the expression of a dawning feeling within me. And, to see Maharaji each day in that lovely setting, with that same unimaginable beauty reflected in his face! I felt so wonderfully prepared to come and isten to my teacher.
It is easier to speak about the little things than to approach the subject of Maharaji's program, and what it was for me. I could never describe the change it made in me. I never would want to look back to how I was before—just, to reach out and take the new understanding he made available for me, the new hope, the new humility, to pray the new prayers that are in my heart, to revel in the compassion and kindness he showed me are so much a part of my life. To long the longing he assured me was so real, and then, to bathe in the satisfaction of fulfilling it—there is nothing that could ever compare with that feeling. To see Maharaji seated high on stage, with the colored banners waving behind him in the night breeze was to feel a sense of movement towards something infinitely exciting. When he invited us to dance, I felt unready, burdened, awkward, but I tried my best. After hours of sitting on the ground, I wobbled like a new-born colt.
After the program, there was a sightseeing day-tour. In one moment, I thought, "Maybe I missed something," and I asked one lady from the far Fast, how it was. She understood English, and burst out, "Oh, I wish that I had stayed here. My heart is here!" The first time I left, in November, I left my heart behind me. It was very painful. This time, the tears kept coming again and again as I sat in the little telephone room, trying to make a reservation to leave the place where I had been so happy. At the end of the day, the tears stopped, and I finally reached the office, and confirmed a flight that night. On the plane back to London, I felt so quiet and so full. But a part of me never left, and is still living there, waiting patiently for the time that I can return.
Miami Beach, Florida (U.SA.)
People ask me, "Was it nice? Was it beautiful?" Nice is Just a word. A banana is nice, a clean shirt is nice. But for what I saw, for what I felt, I have no words I can say.
I can only say that to be here is very personal and very educating. It shows me that I have to rely on that thing called, grace, because to say, I like it—I do. But what it has done for me, I can't say. I know it's good. I know it's very good.
And I feel how much I need Maharaji. Not that he needs me, but I begin to feel
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my need, and to know how fragile I am inside myself. I feel that this Knowledge is to make me a lover, a true lover, and it can also make me a man, to stand erect in this world. I need something so that I can learn to become more human. I pray in my heart to be that student.
To be here in India, Maharaji's birthplace! I experience that this is not a country, it is a world. And to come to the Festival here in this place—people ask me, "Was it nice? Was it beautiful?" Nice is just a word. A banana is nice, a clean shirt is nice. But for what I saw, for what I felt, I have no words I can say.
Antonio Alfaia Amado
What I came away with is a deeper conscious commitment than I've ever had. The color of the world has faded still more. The attractiveness of all the things that are available to get into is less. At the same time, Maharaji is sitting, shining, on those vacated thrones. That is so precious to me.
I'm home again, exactly a week now. I'm as deep in debt as I thought I would be, as anxious about the next program as I expected to be, as frustrated in dealing with the day-to-day world as I was afraid I would be. But I spent last week mostly trying to feel what I came away from the program with.
I never did get my sleep cycle squared away. Each day at the program I was a little more tired than the day before. The last night I was dozing through most of the program. But despite that, something really beautiful happened for me.
My daily life has always been one of routines, e.g., if it's 7:45, I must be running, 8:30, I've sat down to practice Knowledge. But all last week, I deliberately didn't pick up my regular routines. I didn't want to do anything to cloud the beautiful feeling I had from the program and the renewed commitment and hope I felt. Instead, I spent a lot of time just feeling it and trying to work out a change in my life that would nurture it.
In the past, I've made Maharaji and Knowledge an important part of my life, but no more important that some other things. And I reaped that harvest; the experience was there, but I kept it on the same level as the experiences of the other things I had made important. I want that to change.
Being in India was in part like being in a time machine, traveling back to the "Old" days: prasad, charanamrit, darshan (even if handled slightly differently), arti, Holi, just the whole feeling of the program. So many things inside of me got reshuffled, re-lit, re-examined.
What I came up with was a reworking of my daily life, to put practicing Knowledge as the centrepiece. I'm also not putting so much concentration in other areas now. One of the things I've always heard—and experienced for myself—is that a person only has time and energy in a lifetime to do one thing re-
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ally well. So one should choose carefully.
I guess, what I have now—and I want to hold on to—is the faith and hope and trust to let Maharaji take care of my life. Instead of me scrabbling away, trying to scrape my pile of resources together the way I think it should be, trying to paint my own little picture, just to focus on being with Maharaji and on Knowledge. In short, I just want to do the fun stuff and let him worry about the hard stuff. I'm really tired of doing it the other way round.
Jimmy C. Diecker
New Mexico, U.S A.
(This text was excerpted and edited with the writer's permission, from a letter he sent recently to a friend.)
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