The Perfect Master in the early 1900s was named Swami Sarupanand Ji. One day a political reformer, a member of the anti-guru Arya Samaj, came to debate with him and expose him as a fraud. Before the conversation was over, the newcomer was asking for Knowledge. It was an unusual situation, but the next day, after some questioning, Swami Sarupanand Ji consented and gave the young man Knowledge.
That man, Shri Hans Ji Maharaj, became Swami Sarupanand Ji's closest disciple. He worked tirelessly to serve the Perfect Master and gave his life over completely to the Satguru's care. Several years later as the time of Swami Sarupanand Ji's death approached, he told Shri Hans Ji Maharaj that he would become the next Perfect Master. After Swami Sarupanand Ji's death, however, fighting broke out among the disciples, each claiming the Satguru's title as well as his property. Shri Hans Ji Maharaj left the confusion behind, and began to propagate Knowledge by himself, as his Satguru had directed him.
Walking throughout India on foot, eating only when food was available, Shri Maharaj Ji tried to tell the people of India about Knowledge. In 1930, Shri Maharaj Ji came to Delhi and began giving satsang to the workers in the Delhi textile mills. Their lives had been fragmented between the new industrialization and ancient Hinduism, and they were ready for something more real than either.
Shri Maharaj Ji's disciples grew rapidly in Delhi and soon established ashrams in order to live together, help each other practice Knowledge, and serve their Perfect Master. They wanted Shri Maharaj Ji to live there, too, but he refused saying that he had to leave them in order to spread Knowledge throughout India.
For over three decades, Shri Maharaj Ji continued to work patiently and arduously, laying the groundwork for the future. Everywhere he went, he gathered disciples and tried to make them understand the importance of Knowledge. In 1957, Prempal (now Guru Maharaj Ji) was born and three years later Divya Sandesh Parishad, or Divine Light Mission, was established in Delhi.
For nearly six more years Shri Maharaj Ji looked after Divine Light Mission, through its beginning stages, meanwhile caring for the child he would choose to succeed him. Finally, the groundwork had successfully been laid. When Shri Maharaj Ji died, on July 19, 1966, Prempal took up the service his father had given him of spreading Knowledge throughout the world.
Satsang of Shri Hans Ji Maharaj
delivered at Prem Nagar Ashram, June 1961
There cannot be any liberation in a state of duality. The state of complete oneness with God is the only goal to be aspired to, and it is towards that goal alone that all of creation is slowly moving.
Happiness is dependent on peace, and peace comes from steadiness of mind. This is only achieved through devotion, and devotion is achieved by merging the mind into the divine light within oneself and by constant meditation on the Holy Name of God. That Name, which is incapable of being either written or spoken, provides life-force to everything in creation. Realization of this self-existent divine light and Knowledge of the Holy Name brings love for God, and from love for God will come selfless service to Him and obedience to His commands. So the requirements for devotion are, first, God-realization, then supreme love for Him, and lastly merging the mind into His Name, which automatically leads to selfless service and complete obedience.
Merging the mind into divine light, obedience and service to the Satguru, supreme love for him, and dedication of body, mind, and all activities to him — all these together constitute devotion. Such devotion ensures perpetual peace, eternal bliss, and salvation within this lifetime. There is absolutely no other way to achieve them. This is universally upheld and experienced by every saint no matter where and when he lived. It is written in the scriptures, "One who desires to have happiness without devotion is a great fool. To reach real happiness by other means is like trying to cross the ocean without a boat. Devotion is a most precious diamond. One who has this diamond in his heart does not know even the slightest misery."
Lord Krishna also said, "He whose mind is detached from external enjoyment achieves through meditation that pure joy that is the natural quality of the soul. Such a man who has realized God within himself, and has completely identified himself with the divine, enjoys eternal bliss."
Supreme devotion comes from complete faith and confidence in the Satguru of the time, and it must be clearly understood that only he who can bestow the vision of God instantaneously within oneself is the Satguru, and no-one else. It is impossible to have unflinching confidence without personal experience of this divine light. All scriptures and all saints proclaim that God is satchitanand — ever-existing life-force and absolute bliss. He is existent as divine light in all beings, and realization of this creates absolute confidence in the Satguru, without whose kindness and help it is never realized.
Therefore, to realize the divine light through the kindness of the Satguru is absolutely indispensable. At this time only does it become possible to dedicate body, mind, speech, and all one's actions to the Satguru. This will then give rise to devotion, the source of all happiness and peace. So it is like a circle. First, humility and service to the Satguru will obtain his pleasure, and only then will he bestow the vision of God, which is the realization of divine light. And after God-realization, faith and confidence in the Satguru will lead to service, dedication, and devotion. In this way is achieved eternal happiness and salvation which is the ultimate goal of human life.
The birthday of Shri Maharaj Ji is celebrated every year on the ninth of November. Guru Maharaj Ji once said of his father, "When Shri Maharaj Ji was here what did he do? He spread Knowledge to everyone and such work he did that it will never end. Everyone kept taking from his endless treasure." We take from that treasure, too, as we practice Knowledge and enjoy the darshan of our Guru Maharaj Ji. So let's just come together now, get happy, and experience our lives becoming stronger in this Knowledge.
Without exception, every festival that Guru Maharaj Ji gives us is higher than the last. Each year at Hans Jayanti the growth we've gone through as premies and the deepening of our love for Maharaj Ji over the past year is amazingly evident.
It's been over a year and a half since Guru Maharaj Ji and Durga Ji were married and premies everywhere really began coming together as a family. And already our family is united internationally. In this past year, Guru Maharaj Ji talked to the premies in India, Hong Kong, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, South America, Europe, England, and of course, here in North America, bringing all of us to the same understanding of the importance of practicing Knowledge.
So this year's Hans Jayanti is more than ever a re-union of one small part of our family, a time to see how much we've grown inside and a time to experience Knowledge together at the feet of our father. Each day of the festival has a theme. Friday's theme is "Making Connections". This is where hugging those people you haven't hugged in ages comes in. A day to experience the bond that Guru Maharaj Ji's given to human beings. And a day to connect solidly inside to make our time together a product of our meditation. Saturday's theme is "Getting Happy". What else but darshan. Finally, Sunday's program is centered around "Giving". The fruit of our meditation and darshan is to give back our love to Guru Maharaj Ji in service and to help spread the Knowledge. In line with this, we will host Guru Maharaj Ji's first program for the public since early 1974.
So relax and have a good time. This festival's been planned for us, to help us share our love and grow.
Divine Light Mission International Headquarters
P.O. Box 532, Denver, Colorado 80201
© 1975 Divine Light Mission, Inc.