Prem Rawat's Festivals
Hans Jayanti is a festival of worship for that spirit which is continuous upon the earth, the life force of the Perfect Master, It is Shri Hans Ji Maharaj, Guru Maharaj Ji's father, in whose honor the Hans Jayanti
Festival is held. It takes place each year, on November 8th, his birthday and has been a significant part of Divine Light Mission activities since it began in the West,
For Hans Jayanti in 1971 and 1972, Maharaj Ji invited his western followers to celebrate the festival in India along with the Indian devotees. In 1971, the westerners spent two months after the festival, living at the main Divine Light Mission ashram in India, doing meditation and listening to satsang. Before they left, Maharaj Ji gave them one last satsang, "Regularly do meditation," he said. When you leave me, when I am away, you will understand how significant meditation is. May Guru Maharaj Ji bless you at every moment and may you stand erect and go. My blessings are always with you and grace, too, So go along, don't be afraid of anything in the world. Don't be afraid." In 1972, the western premies again stayed in India, this time for one month after the festival,
Hans Jayanti in 1973 was celebrated in Houston, Texas and was planned so that premies from all over the world could come and hear Maharaj Ji's satsang. This was also the time when the media focused on Maharaj Ji and he was able to tell many people that he was here to bring "peace for people who want peace."
Hans Jayanti 1974 was celebrated in Toronto, Canada, for devotees in the Atlantic and Mid-Atlantic states. At this festival, Maharaj Ji made it especially evident that. Hans Jayanti is above all a time for him to gather his family of devotees together for another chance to share love.
Each year the devotees of the Perfect Master gather on the full moon of July to honor their Lord who they recognize has come to earth for the sole purpose of showing them the aim of their life. Puja means worship. As we practice the Knowledge and experience it more and more, our gratitude and love for Maharaj Ji grows. Guru Puja is a special time for us to celebrate that devotion.
The first Guru Puja in the West was celebrated with 200 devotees in England in July of 1971, less than one month after Maharaj Ji's first trip to the West. The premies' devotion was expressed spontaneously by dancing and playing music on bamboo flutes for Maharaj Ji, He later told the devotees to be happy because he was "very, very, very happy to be with them."
On Guru Puja the following July, 5,000 devotees spent three days on a farm outside Montrose. Colorado. The programs each evening were highlighted by the satsang of Maharaj Ji. In the evening many of the local townspeople attended the programs and Maharaj Ji would gear his satsang for them. One night he compared a human being to a carburetor. "You have two screws, a material screw and a spiritual screw. When you get out of tune you have to take yourself to the guy who knows how to fix that."
Guru Puja 1973, "A summer celebration of love and light," was held in London's Alexandra Palace, affectionately knows as 'Ally Pally." The majority of the devotees camped out during the festival about twenty miles from the hall. Early one morning Maharaj Ji drove his car onto the grounds and began beeping his horn to 'wake everyone up." At the evening programs, Maharaj Ji's brother Bhole Ji conducted a 42 piece band which rocked the audience with devotional music that included When the Saints Go Marching In" and "Jumping Jack Flash." On the final day of the festival, Maharaj Ji sat for several hours as thousands of devotees filed past him to receive darshan and Holy Breath. This darshan line is in the "Who Is Guru Maharaj Ji?" film.
In 1974, Guru Puja was held in many parts of the world, and Guru Maharaj Ji attended the celebrations in Copenhagen and Amherst, Massachusetts.
"If a devotee has a Guru, then
puja is his life, understood?"
— Guru Maharaj Ji