In 1898, Morgan Robertson's novel, The Wreck of the Titan, was published by McClure's of New York. Robertson's book dealt with the sinking of a reputedly unsinkable ocean liner, the Titan, when it hit an iceberg during one of its early voyages. It also describes the death-toll that resulted because no one had taken safety precautions seriously, being certain that the ship could not sink. The story was set in April.
Fourteen years later, on April 14, 1912, the great Titanic struck an iceberg during her maiden voyage, and sank with the loss of more than 1,500 lives. She was carrying only twenty lifeboats, and her builders considered her 'unsinkable'. History imitated fiction.
Man has always been fascinated by the idea of delving into the future, and today we are witnessing a boom in all forms of prediction. The government runs computerized scenarios of events that could lead to a third World War, and calculates the chances of our surviving another few years. And on the other hand, a thousand diviners attempt to chart the future by the use of palm and crystal, star and tea stain, Tarot and yarrow stalk. So ready are people to listen to prophets at this time, that it is even possible to be a prophet with honor in one's own country.
4 Who Is Guru Maharaj Ji?
To predict the winner of the Kentucky Derby is one thing. But to announce in advance a major portion of the Divine Plan for this planet is quite another. The greatest prophets of every religion have spoken to us again and again: and always, they bring the same message. Consider this prophecy, from the Book of Isaiah:
The wolf also
shall dwell with the lamb,
and the leopard
shall lie down with the kid;
and the calf and the young lion
and the fatling together;
and a little child shall lead them.
They shall not hurt nor destroy
in all my holy mountain:
for the earth shall be full
of the Knowledge of the Lord,
as the waters cover the sea.
Or this one, from a poem by Marpa the Translator, a great Tibetan sage:
The sun and the moon dance
and blow the trumpets,
and a little child shall turn
the Wheel of the Law.
Secret of the body,
of the Word and Heart of God,
His innermost breath
is the steed of the Bodhisattvas.
Or this prediction, made by Deganawida, the prophet of the Iroquois, and passed down by word of mouth:
A great message
will come to the Indians
and make them ever so humble,
and when they became that humble,
they will be waiting
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for a young leader,
an Indian boy,
possibly in his teens,
who will be a choice Seer.
And he will be tire accepted leader.
Thrice daily, the Orthodox Jew recites the "Alenu" prayer, asking that soon this world "will be perfected under the kingdom of the Almighty, and all the children of flesh will call upon Thy Name." For he knows the Messiah will come on earth, and will establish a reign of peace in accordance with the will of God. And every Christian asks for the same, when he recites the "Our Father": "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven."
When will the Messiah come? The texts are many, and we cannot quote them all. Isaiah speaks of a time when "the Lord shall comfort Zion: He will comfort all her waste places; and He will make her wilderness like Eden, and her deserts like the garden of the Lord." And he predicts that there arise a new thing, "a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert." In the garden of Israel, these predictions are coming to pass. And for those who have never visited Israel, nor seen roses blossoming in her deserts, perhaps this text will seem to deal with familiar events:
"The cars shall rage in the streets, they shall justle one against another in the broad ways." Not a bad description of today, considering it was written by the Old Testament prophet Nahum.
Jesus himself spoke of the coming of the Messiah in a parable which he told to the people of his own time, and which was recorded in the gospels. He suggests that after the Son has been rejected and killed by men, the next step is for the Father to come. In Matthew 21:33, Mark 12:1, and Luke 209, the story is told:
There was once a man who planted a vineyard, and he built a hedge around it, and set up a winepress, and
6 Who Is Guru Maharaj Ji?
a tower, and he rented the property out to some sharecroppers, and left for foreign lands. In due season, he sent his men to the sharecroppers, to collect his share. But the tenants beat up his men unmercifully, killing some, and driving others away with stones. The owner sent in more of his trusted servants, who were similarly beaten. At last, he sent his son, thinking that he at least would instill some respect into the tenants. But they rubbed their hands together when they saw him, and said, come on, this is the old man's son and heir. If we kill him, the whole property will be completely in our hands. So they killed him. Now the question is, what will the owner do, when he comes himself? He will descend upon those tenants, and he will wipe them out, and hand the vineyard over to the people who will serve his interests better.
In other words, we would do better to look for the first coming of the Father, rather than for the Second Coming of the Son.
The blind medieval poet, Surdas, is quite certain that this time in history is the great turning point, the start of a new age. In one of his songs, he tells himself:
You'd best be patient, mind, until the middle
twentieth century resolves this riddle:
The corners of the world will catch their breath
to witness such a spate of sudden death.
Acts of God and man will hide earth's face
in mourning: then a thousand years of Grace
will start, Truth triumph, and earth bloom
with golden flowers. They shall escape this doom
alone, who follow Hans. Let Surdas say
this much. We cannot avoid His perfect Play.
He was writing from within the Indian tradition. In India, Lord Krishna's words are well known. In the Bhagavad Gita he tells his disciple Arjuna:
Whenever righteousness is in decline, and unrigh-
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teousness is in the ascendant, I come in human form. To protect the virtuous, to destroy the evildoers and to establish righteousness on a firm footing, I am born age after age.
And Buddha echoes this teaching. Buddhist scriptures tell us that shortly before the Buddha was to leave this world, he called his disciple Ananda to his side, and asked Ananda why he was weeping. Ananda replied that he was weeping because he would be plunged by the Buddha's passing back into that very darkness from which the Buddha's kindness had saved him. Buddha told Ananda to wipe away his tears and reminded him that all fleshly bodies must pass away, while the body of the excellent law endures.
Ananda asked the Buddha to whom his disciples should look for teaching when the Buddha was gone, and the Buddha replied:
I am not the first Buddha who has come upon the earth, nor shall I be the last. In due time another Buddha will arise in the world, a holy One, a supremely enlightened One, endowed with wisdom, auspicious, embracing the universe, an incomparable leader of men, a ruler of angels and mortals. He will reveal to you the same eternal, truths, which I have taught you. He will establish his law, glorious in its origin, glorious at the climax and glorious at the goal in the spirit and in the letter. He will proclaim a righteous life, wholly perfect and pure, such as I now proclaim. His disciples will number many thousands while mine number hundreds.
On a more divine light-hearted note, let's mention the old tradition that King Arthur of England will someday return. Not for nothing is he called the "once and future King." Sir Richard Blakemore wrote a poem about King Arthur's return, and published it in 1695. Speaking of Arthur, he says:
8 Who Is Guru Maharaj Ji?
This great deliverer shall Europa save,
Which haughty Monarchs labour to enslave.
Then shall Religion rear her starry head,
And Light Divine through all the nation spread.
There are so many prophecies. And isn't it strange how many of them speak about a child? The Inga Indians live in one small village of thirty houses, in the heart of the Amazon River Basin, between Colombia and Brazil. Their culture is entirely concerned with a child called the Nino de Oro, the Golden Boy. According to their legend, this Golden Boy has come before, and will return again. And when he returns, it is said that all those whom he touches will never leave him, because the gift he gives them is the highest gift of all.
Who is Guru Maharaj Ji? Why do more than six million people around the world claim he is the greatest incarnation of God that ever trod the face of this planet? Why do Christian priests claim that he taught them the way to love? Why do Hindus refer to him as the Swan Avatar? Why does revolutionary Rennie Davis claim that at the age of fifteen, Guru Maharaj Ji is "already the brightest event in the history of the planet"? Why have more than two hundred eighty centers of Guru Maharaj Ji's Divine Light Mission sprung up in America in the last two years? Why was the festival held for Guru Maharaj Ji in Colorado in July 1972 described as "perfect" by the Denver Post?
How has a staff of amateurs managed to turn out the magazine And It Is Divine, making it one of the finest magazines in the country, under the supreme editorship of a fifteen-year-old boy living in India? Who is it that inspires the beautiful music of the London Anand Band? Of the American Bliss Band? Of the London Bhole Bhagwan Big Band? Of the Swiss Pranam Band? And so many other groups across the world? Who is this Guru Maharaj Ji, whose face can be seen on a thousand posters in any one of the great
10 Who Is Guru Maharaj Ji?
capital cities of the world? Who is this Guru Maharaj Ji, who has promised to bring peace to the whole world? And will he?
Guru Maharaj Ji has been opening the hearts of men with his discourse since the age of two, when he would wake up the mahatmas who lived in his father's house at four in the morning and tell them he would beat them if they did not meditate on the experience of God within. At the age of eight, be became Perfect Master, he who alone can reveal the highest human experience. Now, at the age of fifteen, his work for humanity has been applauded by civic leaders and state legislatures, not to mention the estimated six million disciples who thank him for opening their hearts to the unlimited love that was within them.
The gift which Guru Maharaj Ji makes to his disciples is revelation: he does not teach any religious formula or ritual, but rather causes the disciple to feel unmistakably within himself that very fountain of peace of which Christ, Krishna, and Buddha also spoke. His disciples experience a blinding light within - much as Saint Paul did on the road to Damascus - not a mild elevation of mood or clarity, but the direct and repeatable experience of divinity, transcending time and space. His disciples have a continual experience of inner peace available to them, and they are overwhelmed by gratitude.
Great is the gift that Maharaj Ji gives, for it allows his followers such joy that they no longer depend on circumstances for their happiness, and are thus free to work for the welfare of others without consideration of their personal likings. Their happiness is infectious, for its source is clearly known, and can be communicated. They are untiring in good works. Programs presently undertaken by disciples of Guru Maharaj Ji include the foundation of schools and hospitals, the setting up of worldwide organization to end
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poverty and hunger, and the building of a model city where pollution and suffering will not exist.
Guru Maharaj Ji was born in Hardwar, India on December 10, 1957. His father, Param Sant Satgurudev Shri Hans Ji Maharaj, was recognized by thousands of Indian devotees as Satguru: the one living master who reveals the ancient Knowledge of the inner self. Walking from village to village, he illumined the hearts of all seekers with the experience of divine Light and the holy Name of God - the essence of all religions. Yet in time this Perfect Master was to offer his full prostration to the Lotus Feet of his youngest son.
At two years of age, Guru Maharaj Ji had astonished his family by giving holy discourses, speaking simply but directly to members of his father's household about the importance of realizing God. He soon joined his mother, Shri Mata Ji, and his three elder brothers, Shri Bal Bhagwan Ji, Shri Bhole Ji, and Shri Raja Ji, at public programs where his father was addressing his disciples. Taking the microphone himself, the young Maharaj Ji began giving satsang (holy discourse), speaking in Hindi.
"When I was six," Guru Maharaj Ji said, "my Father gave me Knowledge with my brothers in the same room. I was given Knowledge and didn't realize it right away. I knew it was my duty, and l began to meditate, and in about a month I realized it." He then delivered his first English discourse, speaking for over thirty minutes with a strength and authority that moved his audience to tears. His father declared that although Guru Maharaj Ji was small in age, he was great in wisdom and enlightenment, and would one day shine over the whole world as brightly as the sun shines in the sky.
Later his father wrote a letter in Kashmir, sending it to his wife in Hardwar: "Give my blessings to Shri Bal Bhagwan Ji, Shri Bhole Ji, and Shri Raja Ji Maharaj, and give my pranams (prostration) to Shri Sant
12 Who Is Guru Maharaj Ji?
Ji Maharaj." It was his first declaration that in fact Maharaj Ji was the chosen descendent of Satguru. On July 19, 1966, after a lifetime devoted to bringing the Knowledge of God to his followers, Guru Maharaj Ji's father left his mortal, body in perfect peace.
"I didn't want to be Satguru. I didn't understand why it is me. I would have been satisfied to be the humblest servant of the Satguru and not to be one myself. It was not my desire. That (my father) sent his love to his oldest three sons and complete prostrations to his youngest. So they crowned me with the crown of Rama and Krishna and put the tilak on my forehead, and again the voice came: '… You are he. You must take this Knowledge out to the world.'"
This is the way Satguru Maharaj Ji describes the experience of realizing the task that was before him at the age of eight.
On the day Shri Maharaj Ji left his body, a disciple tearfully begged to speak once more with his master. The young Guru Maharaj Ji had replied, "Shri Maharaj Ji has only left his body, but his spiritual body is still here, and he will appear again after a few days." At the time, he did not fully realize that this power was within him.
"I went home (from school) and everyone was, weeping. I was just sitting there not weeping and something began to happen to me. I began to feel that I am not this body; that I could not move these lips. I always thought that the soul would leave by the mouth, but my mouth was shut. Still I felt like I was leaving my body and my soul was everywhere going out. And this voice came to me saying, 'You are he, you are the one to continue.'
"Then I puzzled over the voice. Thirteen days later, I was doing pranam to my Father's ashes and bones. You know, in India they burn the bodies and thirteen days later you go and collect the ashes. I bent
The Event 13
down to touch the ashes, the voice came: 'You are he. You are the one to go and give this to the world."'
On August 1st, Guru Maharaj Ji, eight years old, stood in front of the thousands of devotees present at his father's funeral. The voice came again, saying:
"This is the last I will tell you. You are he. You must take this Knowledge out to the world."
"For the first time," says Guru Maharaj Ji, "I did not give satsang. The satsang just came and I began to speak: Dear children of God, why are you weeping? Haven't you learned the lesson that your master taught you? The Perfect Master never dies. Maharaj Ji is here, amongst you now."
Immediately his mother, three elder brothers and all the mahatmas present, prostrated at the feet of the Perfect Master and received his blessings.
A few months later, Guru Maharaj Ji delivered his first satsang as Satguru before hundreds of thousands of people in Delhi, India. He announced: "I have not come to establish a new religion. I have come to reveal the truth, knowing which you will be free. If you come to me with a guileless heart and sincere desire, I will give you eternal peace."
In one of his early discourses, Satguru Maharaj Ji promised to spread the Knowledge of God to the entire world in his lifetime. Before a million devotees in New Delhi, he revealed his plan for a great "Peace Bomb." After weeping for some moments, he said:
"These tears are not because I am remembering my Father, but because I am feeling so much power in me. They are tears of strength. I have come so powerful. I have come for the world. Whenever the great come, the worldly oppose them. Again I have come and you are not listening. Every ear should hear that the savior of humanity has come. There should be no chance for anyone to say they haven't heard of Guru Maharaj Ji. Those who come to me are already saved. Now it's your duty to save others. Shout it on the streets. Why be shy?
14 Who Is Guru Maharaj Ji?
Give me your love, I will give you peace. Come to me, I will relieve you of your suffering. I am the source of peace in this world. All I ask of you is your love. All I ask is your trust. And what l can give you is such peace as will never die. I declare I will establish peace in this world. But what can I do unless men come to me with love in their heart and a keen wish to know peace and Truth?"
Guru Maharaj Ji hasn't only been acclaimed by his own followers, numerous civic leaders, parliamentarians, professional people and others have praised the work which he has already accomplished at so young an age.
Guru Maharaj Ji has been presented with the keys to the cities of New York, New Orleans, Oakland, and Monterey in the United States, and Kyoto in Japan. And the Mayor of Albany, New York, Erastus Coming II, wrote Guru Maharaj Ji:
While I do not have a formal Official Key to the City, your inspiration will unlock the hearts of the people of Albany so that no other key will be needed.
Mayor Yorty of Los Angeles proclaimed June 22nd to be International Meditation Day in honor of Guru Maharaj Ji's work.
In a speech given on the floor of the Connecticut General Assembly, State Representative John Fabrizio said it was "wonderful to see" Guru Maharaj Ji's Knowledge exert "such a tremendous positive influence" over so many lives. Hon. Paul Priolo, Assemblyman from Los Angeles, commended Guru Maharaj Ji for his "constructive effort to alleviate inward suffering." The General Assembly of the State of Rhode Island resolved that Guru Maharaj Ji "is imparting the true, spiritual experience and Knowledge of God … bestowing on all, secrets of truth and direct experiences of God by revealing the primordial vibrations of all life."
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The Rev. Daniel Berrigan, S.J., wrote Guru Maharaj Ji:
You are undoubtedly aware that our need of spiritual sustenance is great. Many of our young people are without direction or hope, and our own churches are able to offer very little, being themselves complicit in many of our social crimes. In the opinion of many of us, it would be a great blessing if you could at some time in the near future visit the United States.
And the press? The Toronto Star of May 2nd, 1972 writes "The Guru of the minute is unquestionably Shri Satgurudev Maharaj Ji, Savior of Mankind, Perfect Master, Lord of the Universe, revealer of Light, love, peace, unity and everything eternal. Even in photographs, He has the luminosity of a Buddha or a Christ."
Perhaps the reporter glimpsed what the Connecticut General Assembly and the Wisconsin State Legislature both call Maharaj Ji's "radiant personality."
How many times have you asked yourself, Where did I come from? Why am I here? Where will I go?' How many answers have you found?
With all the facts we've come to know, we're still in awe of the great mystery of life. There aren't that many basic questions to ask but the ones we do ask are - so universal, so timeless, that all others seem pointless in comparison. Our minds can theorize some answers, but how satisfying is a theory-especially when we're getting older every minute? We want to know, really know, and there's no reason at all why we shouldn't be able to find out.
Any science book will tell you that energy is the source and substance of all life on this planet. That's O.K., but not very helpful-unless we can somehow tap that energy, feel it keeping us alive, grow with it, live with it, and get some peace and love out of it. Brothers and sisters, we can.
The force sustaining the entire universe is closer to you than your own breath. For proof, look at the atomic bomb. The poetry expressed in the explosion of the bomb was incredible. The message was that within every atom in the entire physical world lies a power beyond imagination.
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body is made of atoms.
The hands you're using to hold this book: atoms. The eyes you're reading with: atoms. Every object you see, feel, taste, and smell is made of atoms. Billions of atoms-hundreds of billions-and every single one contains energy greater than anything you can imagine. You are a living package of awesome energy. A walking, talking, breathing-and sometimes loving-atomic bomb. We all are.
Two more facts about energy. One: It's the only thing that's the same in every single human being. We are all composed of it; it keeps us going. Two: if you could be consciously aware of this creative energy every moment of your life, you'd have the answer to every question you ever waited to ask.
At some point you're going to have to give up your Apollos… because that's the highest point you can reach.
Guru Maharaj Ji
We've been looking around in outer space for only a decade or so, but instinctively each man has always had feelings about space and infinity and their relation to life. Somehow, watching an eclipse or shooting stars brings up feelings from deep within ourselves.
These feelings arise in us because the infinity of the universe - the energy of the entire universe - is contained within every human body. And the continuous, joyous, completely blissful experience of this truth is what the Knowledge of Guru Maharaj Ji about.
He proves to us that we can experience infinity with our bodies. He shows us how the "goal beyond all goals" - realization of God - can be reached by looking Within. His Knowledge is the ultimate understanding of the source of all life.
Guru Maharaj Ji can give you a practical way to experience the light, sound, taste, and vibration of the
18 Who Is Guru Maharaj Ji?
energy that is keeping you alive. This experience is real it's practical. It never ends. It's available to every human being on the face of the earth.
The Knowledge is completely free. No amount of money or power can buy it. It's so precious and simple that the only requirement to get it is a sincere desire to know the truth of your own personal experience-the meaning of your life.
It's not a Knowledge of the mind, but of the soul. In fact, our minds can't understand it.
And nobody will ask you to believe one word of this before experiencing it.
First you have to see, then believe. People do the opposite of that: first they believe and then see. In comics - you have seen comics? There are many, many things. But when those things come the people are disappointed. First they believed, and then they wanted to see it. First see it and then believe it.
Guru Maharaj Ji
- Guru Maharaj Ji, are you God?
- No. My Knowledge is God.
Knowledge is not a religion; it's the direct experience of God, or eternal energy, that all religions talk about. It establishes beyond a doubt the intrinsic unity between all living things.
Over thirty thousand Americans have received this experience of light and love by attending Knowledge sessions where mahatmas - highly-realized souls who are disciples of Guru Maharaj Ji - transmitted to them the same experience attained by earnest seekers of truth throughout the ages. Although four very practical meditation techniques are given, the techniques alone are incomplete, and cannot account for
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the total experience. The full meaning of the inner grace, love and overwhelming peace a person experiences when he receives Knowledge cannot be described. Does the full experience of love lie in a kiss?
People who have received Knowledge, called "premies" ("lovers of truth"), praise Guru Maharaj Ji as the greatest living soul and holiest human being on the planet, simply because he has given them the experience of Knowledge. This experience has the capacity to release every one of us from all frustration and anxiety, and return us to our natural states of being; instruments of love, compassion and understanding.
From the moment of our birth, we perceive this world through our senses. Yet in one second we can experience more than we have in all our years of sensing. Although we've been looking, we have never been taught how to see; although we've been listening, we've never been shown what to listen for. Convinced that food brings total nourishment, we've never bothered to experience the pure and simple taste that exists within our own bodies. And we even taken our breath for granted, never stopping to realize the subtle and perfect vibration that sustains it All our lives, our senses have been so conditioned to concentrate upon the world outside our bodies, that we've neglected to experience the perfect energy flowing through us and sustaining us.
Receiving Knowledge shows a person bow to meditate on the perfect life experience. The true reality. There are many different ideas about what meditation is and perhaps a vague idea that any meditation is a way to concentrate the mind. However, there's only one true meditation. In true meditation, the mind concentrates solely upon the fundamental activities of
20 Who Is Guru Maharaj Ji?
the consciousness: the four inner phenomena always present inside human beings, but so subtle and difficult to perceive without Knowledge, that they go unnoticed. It's not just a matter of looking within and experiencing a word. There's really something to see, hear, taste and feel.
There is a glorious sun, not the sun you see in the sky, but a sun which is within ourselves which is much brighter than the sun you see in the sky. When the sun comes out, it only dispels the darkness, but when this sun comes out, it dispels the darkness and ignorance both. It is much brighter than the sun that shines out. It is all within us, just within us.
Guru Maharaj Ji
That really says it all. When a devotee of Guru Maharaj Ji claims he sees the divine light of creation inside his head because his "third eye" was opened in the Knowledge session, be is not speaking in symbols. This light is a very real, very intense, and very bright. He sees it with his eyes closed, and sees it every day. A blind man can see this light.
But it's more than a "light show." The entire electromagnetic field propagates at the speed of light. Astrophysicist Kim Malville of Colorado University says: "The amount of matter in the universe is minute in comparison to the amount of light. For every particle of matter there are a billion photons of light. So, really we are still in a universe of light." This is what keeps the universe from being formless "chaos" and gives every living thing the energy to grow. Within the human body, it sustains every function of our living. It is released to us by the grace of Guru Maharaj Ji, for the purification of our mind and body. By meditating on it, we merge with the infinite, loving energy that created us. We become one with God. As
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Shri Bal Bhagwan Ji, Guru Maharaj Ji's eldest brother, says, "There are two televisions. One you purchase in a shop, and the other you have inside you. That is Tele-vision."
There is music going on inside of yourselves, and God plays that music. It is so symmetrical so beautiful, that on the first strike, man's mind is concentrated.
Guru Maharaj Ji
As there is light in everything, so there is music that plays throughout creation. It is the sound of life moving through otherwise lifeless matter, rustling the "deadness" in its path. Unlike ordinary music that is dependent upon an instrument to be played and heard, the divine music is always playing, and always in perfect harmony. The only tuning that is required is the tuning of the heart. The music heard in meditation is incredibly more beautiful and subtle than the greatest pieces of music composed by man, because it is given by the composer of man.
"I think you see different green in every leaf on a free?"
"Yes, Mahatma Ji"
"By Guru Maharaj Ji's grace I am able to hear, from each leaf, a different musical note. You understand me? But I do not listen much to the trees. I prefer that divine harmony."
Again; these are not metaphors. In the Knowledge session, we are shown how to turn our hearing sense inward to experience an actual music, the essence of every sound in the universe.
The music is analogous to the light in that it is an interior sound which is not perceived through the ears. A deaf man can hear this interior harmony. By concentrating their minds on initial sounds, premies
22 Who Is Guru Maharaj Ji?
grow to hear sounds which can resemble thunder, waterfalls, or "rushing waters", gongs, flutes, choirs, bells, and so on to infinity.
People drink wine and they say 'cheers'. When you share this divine wine, this divine nectar, it is really a cheer.
Guru Maharaj Ji
Sociologists are astounded by the statistics: Drug users and abusers, smokers and drinkers from all walks of life are giving up their habits at an amazing and unparalleled rate. More than one premie, when questioned, has laughed and told the interviewer about nectar.
Nectar is a spiritual experience yet it defies all conceptions of a "spiritual experience." The taste of nectar is so delightful that it surpasses all other attempts to satisfy the senses. Old habits and even addictions lose their appeal once the nectar flows. In the Knowledge session, we are shown how to taste this real, purifying fluid from the brain, which flows to the throat. It has been described by premies as having a honey taste … but this is an injustice. Nectar is the "ambrosia" or "Fountain of Youth" explorers have traveled to find, not knowing it lay right inside them. It has a strong cleansing and nourishing effect upon the body. Advanced saints and yogis can live on nectar alone, as Jesus did during his forty days in the wilderness.
The world thinks, people think, God is a man. People think God has ears, nose, teeth, and he rises early in the morning, brushes his teeth, washes out his mouth and he is an old man so he brushes out his
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beard also. But no, God is energy. God is perfect and pure energy, and that is why scientists say that energy cannot be created and cannot be destroyed … This is the Word. This is God.
Guru Maharaj Ji
The Word moves. It is the simplest and most poetic movement in the universe. For in moving through a living being, the miracle of life takes place. The Word is the primordial vibration that underlies everything in existence. It is not a word we can speak, for it existed before language, before man, before life as we know it.
When scientists speak of energy that can neither be created nor destroyed, they're using different terms. When this vibration is given the term "the Word", it does not change the actual meaning. It is the source and foundation of the entire universe. It is not "energy," the Word," "the Name," or "the holy breath, or any of the thousands of other terms which have been used to describe it. In and of itself this one Word is the one reality, the illogical yet undeniable "first cause" of the universe. The universe itself.
And although the Word is far subtler than the entire perceived universe, it may be experienced: an experience of the fact that we are alive. The striking realization that we can feel, "Yes, I am alive!" every minute, every second, is the great gift of the Knowledge session. From the moment the Word is revealed, every breath a person takes has the potential of being the happiest moment of his life. The "happiest" moment can be achieved again and again, because the Word is infinite.
Devotees are advised to meditate upon the light, harmony, nectar, and holy Word in a quiet place for an hour in the evening and an hour in the morning. More important, since this vibration of the Word is always present in one's body, even while sleeping, we are instructed to focus the mind upon it at all times,
24 Who Is Guru Maharaj Ji?
during any and every activity. While working reading, eating, driving a car, even talking, we can be consciously aware of the Word. In this way, we experience a constant merging with that perfect and pure energy which is God. The result is a complete feeling of inner peace all day every day, no matter what we do, where we go, or who we're with. Guru Maharaj Ji has led us home, where everything is in perfect order.
Of all things received when a person takes Knowledge, grace is considered the most important. It is the grace behind the four experiences described above that brings complete inner peace. When the Knowledge is one day "exposed," and the techniques are "revealed" on the evening news, grace is the one secret that won't be lost. The deep inner feeling that makes a human being unflinchingly devoted to ending all selfishness and hypocrisy that exists in the world is the effect of grace. Like all manifestations of the Knowledge of Guru Maharaj Ji, it can only be experienced, not fully described. Grace comes to us from the infinite mercy of God, revealed only by Satguru. Those who receive Knowledge are truly, supremely, eternally blessed.
Who was Jesus? For two thousand years people have called themselves his followers, but how many of them could answer that question? People have fought crusades on behalf of one who taught men to turn the other cheek, and set themselves up as inquisitors on behalf of one who said, "Judge not, that ye be not judged." Isn't it the ultimate folly that Northern Ireland is now ravaged by a battle between Catholics and Protestants, two religions which grew from different interpretations of a Lord whose only commandment was love?
There are lots of people who think that the answer to Jesus' identity is preserved between the covers of the Bible. Yet hundreds and hundreds of Christian splinter groups have formed, all basing their beliefs on the same Bible, even though that very Bible declares, "There is one body, and one Spirit, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all." (Ephesians 4:4-6.)
Did Jesus ever mean us to understand him through words? It's more than a little eye-opening to realize that he didn't write anything. But what's even more revealing
26 Who Is Guru Maharaj Ji?
is what Jesus himself says about the scriptures:
Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.
In other words, sure, look into the scriptures, find out what they're saying. They're telling you that everyone needs a living Master. And that the best a scripture can hope to do is to point the way to one. If I'm on my way to Boston, and I come across a sign that says, "Boston," I don't throw down my luggage and say, "Well, I've made it to Boston." The scriptures can lead the way to eternal life, but they don't give that life itself; only the living Master can do that.
According to the Essene Gospel, Jesus said, "Seek not the law in your scriptures, for the law is life, whereas the scripture is dead. I tell you truly, Moses did not receive his laws from God in writing, but through the living Word The law is living Word of living God to living prophets for living men."
Even while Jesus was alive, people who hadn't received the "Mysteries of the Kingdom" couldn't understand him:
And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?
He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.
Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
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Our whole ability to grasp what Jesus was depends upon our knowing those "Mysteries of the Kingdom." But what are they? We all know that pie is supposed to be in the sky, and angels are supposed to live on clouds, but Jesus never told anyone that heaven was somewhere up there. Instead, he taught his disciples that "the kingdom of God is within you." (Luke 17:21.) How do we get in?
"This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all." I John 1:5.
Guru Maharaj Ji's Knowledge is the Knowledge of divine Light.
The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.
Guru Maharaj Ji can open this inner eye, and anyone who takes Knowledge has the vision of what shines inside. But if we don't look with the single eye, how can we know God, who is light?
And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps.
Guru Maharaj Ji's Knowledge is the Knowledge of celestial music. By bathing in its perfect harmonies, the static of our restless mind is cleansed away. Can we fully know the peace of God without having heard that inner music?
Jesus told the woman of Samaria:
28 Who Is Guru Maharaj Ji?
Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst, but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
Guru Maharaj Ji's Knowledge is the Knowledge of divine nectar. He can show us the well inside us, overflowing with milk and honey. Can we claim to know the sweetness of God if we've never tasted that nectar?
In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1.
Many interpret this Word to mean the gospels; but how could they exist before Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John were ever born? And how could the Bible be God Himself? So this Word must be something else, through which we can be:
born again, not of corruptible seed, but of the incorruptible, by the Word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
I Peter 1:23.
The Bible tells us to call upon the name of the Lord for salvation (Rom. 10:13.), but is that name "J-e-s-u-s?" Hadn't Jesus made it known that
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven …
What is the Lord's Name? "His name is called the Word of God," (Revelation 19:13). It's the same Word which was in the beginning. Only with this Word can we pray without ceasing. Only with this Word can we worship the Father in spirit and in truth. Only with this Word can we be saved. Guru Maharaj Ji's Knowledge is the Knowledge of that Word.
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Without that constant lifeline to our Father, without constantly feeling the power of God moving within us, without bowing the eternal Vitality that is this Word, how can we know God?
As long as I am in the world…
Many claim that Jesus is the only way to salvation, but look at this statement St. Augustine once made. (Later he felt obliged to withdraw it)
The thing itself which is now called the Christian religion was with the ancients, and it was with the human race from the beginning to the time when Christ appeared in the flesh: from then on the true religion which already existed began to be called Christian.
And Meister Eckhardt, the Christian mystic of medieval Germany, wrote:
Everything that the Holy Scriptures say about Christ is equally true of every good and divine man.
Jesus said, "As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world." (John 9:5.) But only as long as he was in the world. He promised that when he left, he would send a comforter, and that comforter would be the Holy Spirit. (John 14:26.)
Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the spirit of God dwelleth in you?
I Corinthians 3:16.
Guru Maharaj Ji gives his disciples direct intimacy with the in-dwelling spirit
When Jesus came, the Pharisees refused to accept him. Their scriptures had promised them a king and they found only a carpenter's son. They found fault with his eating habits, with the company he kept.
30 Who Is Guru Maharaj Ji?
They couldn't see that the real king was the one who ruled the soul, that the real concern was with what we are fed from the spirit, that the best company was the company of those who know God. And so, for all their talk about God, they missed the chance to know Him. If we allow our preconceptions to keep us from Guru Maharaj Ji's gift of Knowledge, aren't we running the same risk?
When you take Knowledge, you won't be losing your Christianity. When you see divine light, hear celestial music, taste divine nectar, and keep the Word, you'll know the core of the Bible. You'll possess that "mustard seed" which opens into the kingdom of heaven. And then grace and peace will be multiplied unto you through the Knowledge of God," (II Peter 1:2.), the same Knowledge that was given by Jesus.
Will you take what he gave?
Whereas, the one universal belief all people hold to be true, is the belief in life itself; and yet due to ignorance of the aim of human life, the world continues to be filled with misery; and
Whereas, even with the advancements of the technologically expanding twentieth century, humanity has continually failed in all efforts to find a solution to misery and suffering; and
Whereas, Knowledge of the aim of human life is being revealed to all people of the world by the living Perfect Master and spiritual head of Divine Light Mission, Paramhans Satgurudev Shri Sant Ji Maharaj, thus eliminating the cause of ignorance and misery,
Therefore, the people who have experienced the Knowledge of Shri Sant Ji Maharaj, with full awareness of the difficulties of living without knowing the aim of human life, are compelled to reach out to the rest of the struggling humanity to spread the solution to strife and suffering by a commitment to work in all fields of endeavor for the elevation of humanity, manifesting an exemplary alternative to be known as the Divine United Organization or D.U.O.
Guru Maharaj Ji
Joan Apter, one of Guru Maharaj Ji's first American disciples, recalls the early days of Divine Light Mission:
The Divine Light Mission in America was born in Los Angeles, in a small house atop a fine Spanish colony in Alta Loma Terrace, right next to the Hollywood Bowl. Gary and Will staked the claim, and I joined them a few days after they had moved in. From the window of Guru Maharaj Ji's room we could see a cross on a hill, lit at night with a statue of Christ blessing the city.
The place was small, but full of grace. Every night people came to hear satsang and to sing with us. There was Guru Maharaj Ji's presence there, so though people could not understand the means through which we expressed our love, they felt the feeling of truth being expressed and came closer to be warmed by it.
We knew nothing of what to do. We were dressed in Eastern dress, Gary and Will with dhotis; Will had long hair and a beard. I wore a sari, and we all painted red dots on our foreheads. But the grace was so strong, and Guru Maharaj Ji's vibration so new and fresh, that no one paid too much attention to our appearance.
One time Gary and Will gave satsang at a university in Los Angeles. They spoke for hours - and finally, when the satsang was over and the feeling was high, they asked the audience if there were any questions. A boy raised his hand and said, "What are you talking about?" Everyone had stayed and listened, no one had left his seat, but nobody knew exactly what Gary was saying.
But Guru Maharaj Ji was entering people's hearts. A feeling had been re-captured, and now their souls were stirring again because at last in America the message of the Perfect Lord was being delivered. No one ever understands; the soul only feels that at last, my time has come.
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We had dinners at the ashram to attract people and raise money. We had no money at all, but Guru Maharaj Ji always provided for us. We gave satsang and did service, and others would always provide vegetables and money, cars and helping hands. Sometimes our food ran out, sometimes we wondered how we would pay the rent, but we never worried. We lived in the feeling of Guru Maharaj Ji's presence. Sometimes we would enter another world, when Gary would sing and play guitar and I would play harmonium - we entered Guru Maharaj Ji and knew such bliss. When there were problems between us, we would sit down together and talk. We knew we had to work together perfectly, that the ashram must be pure and perfect, and we were always aware of how Guru Maharaj Ji was showing us the way, teaching us how to behave.
We gave satsang everywhere - but more and more people were coming to the ashram now, and satsang was 24 hours a day. I was always in contact with Mahatma Ashokanand in England and writing to the Holy Family in India and all the devotees there I loved and felt so close to.
One day Mahatma Ji phoned me with the news. Guru Maharaj Ji would arrive in London in June. There is no way to explain how we felt. He had said that he would not be coming for many years, and now it was only a matter of weeks. How we longed for him to come here! We determined to prepare for Guru Maharaj Ji and then request from our hearts that he come to us.
The next month passed in a flurry of excitement. We got Alan Watts to sponsor Guru Maharaj Ji, and he gave us a thousand dollars for preparations. We Wrote all the societies and organizations to tell them of Guru Maharaj Ji and his arrival in the West. We made visa preparations. It was difficult to get Guru Maharaj Ji's visa. Gary and I were going to the officer every day to see how things were going. Our minds
34 Who Is Guru Maharaj Ji?
were fixed that nothing would stand in the way of his arrival, and soon even the visa officer was helping us.
Guru Maharaj Ji was to arrive in London on June 17, 1971. That night Gary typed, I paced up and down. I typed, Gary paced up and down. Sleep was impossible. Our hearts were in London. I sent a telegram to England welcoming him and begging him to come. It was so funny to hear the telegram operator repeat the message. She said at the end, "Oh, that's wonderful!" Everyone felt the divine love, the pun desire of the devotee wanting to be near his physical presence. We phoned Mahatma Ji in London who by now was completely out of his body with anticipation. Sandy and Ron also comforted us, saying "Guru Maharaj Ji will come to you and then we will be the ones who will weep."
The night wore on and we were still pacing. Then at 4 a.m. the phone rang. Gary picked it up, saying "Divine Light Mission." Then his face went white and he handed me the phone open-mouthed. I didn't know what was going on. We didn't know what time it was or where we were. There was just this phone call. I picked up the phone and said, "Divine Light Mission." It was Guru Maharaj Ji. He said loudly, "Joan, when are you coming to London?"
It was too much for my heart to handle. The whole week I had been thinking of flying there, scheming of how I could escape to greet him. I had stayed only because there was so much work to be done in Los Angeles. And now he asked me this! I burst into tears and said over and over, "Oh, Guru Maharaj Ji, I am here. We are trying to prepare for you. What should I do?" And Guru Maharaj Ji said, "I will come there," and hung up the phone.
Gary and I left the world. We jumped, screamed, laughed, cried, over and over. As it turned out, we had only one month before Guru Maharaj Ji came to Los Angeles. Things started happening very quickly. Three more premies came - Suzy, Arthur, John - and
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Sharon Keller, who didn't have Knowledge yet, dropped everything and came from Philadelphia. It was so blissful. We arranged programs. We made leaflets, brochures, pamphlets, posters. We rented the Wilshire Ebell Theater, arranged press conferences, fought the time barriers and won Guru Maharaj Ji's visa.
And finally that day came. July 17, 1971. Newsweek printed a story of his arrival. All the television cameras were there. Hundreds flocked to see him at the airport. There were so many flowers everywhere. Children, incense, bells, reporters, cameras, tape recorders, songs. The Lard had come.
Divine Light Mission began in India in 1960. The organization flourished until, in 1966, the membership numbered several million. And when Guru Maharaj Ji's father left his body on July 19, 1966, the leadership of the Mission passed to his youngest son, the new Perfect Master.
The eight-year-old Guru Maharaj Ji acted with the wisdom and discretion of a man far beyond his years. He provided clear insight for all his devotees, and Divine Light Mission grew by leaps and bounds. Under his direction, a hospital and school were opened to provide for the health and education of his followers. The World Peace Corps was organized to care for the sick and the needy, especially in times of national disaster.
When Guru Maharaj Ji was eleven, the first Western travelers found their way to Prem Nagar, the City of Love built by devotees on the banks of the river Ganges. They were caught by that omnipresent love; they had little resistance - and when at last they received Knowledge, Guru Maharaj Ji began speaking to them of how the West, like the East urgently needed a solution for the problem of human suffering.
Mahatma Guru Charnanand was the first disciple
36 Who Is Guru Maharaj Ji?
sent by Guru Maharaj Ji to give Knowledge outside India; he arrived in London in October 1969. The Western devotees returned home as they were ready.
In London, devotees opened Divine Light Mission's first Western branch in a tiny city apartment.
In November 1970, one-and-a-half million people - the largest number ever gathered for a purpose other than war - assembled at India Gate in New Delhi to pay homage to the Perfect Master. Speaking before them, Guru Maharaj Ji exploded the Peace Bomb: "I declare that I will establish peace in this world." Six months later he left India at last, for Great Britain, Canada, and the United States.
Everywhere he went, thousands flocked to hear him. Hundreds stayed to receive his Knowledge. In Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver, Boulder, Washington D.C., Toronto, and New York, Divine Light Mission centers sprang up. The Mission, newly incorporated as a non-profit spiritual, religious, educational, and charitable organization, chartered a jumbo jet so that five hundred devotees might return with their Perfect Master to India for the Hans Jayanti Festival that November.
Guru Maharaj Ji returned to the United States in 1972 for a second summer tour, the highlight of which was the Guru Puja Festival held in Montrose, Colorado that July. Six thousand persons attended, and the normally august Denver Post celebrated the event with a full-page article headlined, "Guru's Festival 'Perfect'." And it had been perfect - no drinking, drugs, tobacco, sex, rioting, scalpers or nudity. Divine Light Mission was becoming organized - it had 45 centers, 15,000 members, and a national headquarters in Denver.
By now, Guru Maharaj Ji had traveled throughout all the non-Communist world. His World Peace Tour of 1972 climaxed when eight 747 jumbo jets were chartered to ferry all the western pilgrims to Hans
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Jayanti. The Americans alone filled five planes. It was a first in aviation history.
June of 1973: Divine Light Mission paused to take stock of itself. There were 480 centers now operating in 38 countries - including nearly all of western Europe; the United States and Canada; the West Indies, Colombia, and Peru; Kenya and South Africa; Yugoslavia, Lebanon, and Israel; India and Ceylon; Australia, Hong Kong, and Japan. Its membership in the United States alone was 35,000, where it operated 284 centers linked by Telex and united as a family. Divine Light Mission had become far more: a divine civilization in its infancy.
Shri Hans Productions was Divine Light Mission's first subsidiary in America. Its focus is on the media, to communicate Guru Maharaj Ji's message of peace. Shri Hans Films has produced two color documentary films, Lord of the Universe and Satguru Has Come, and will soon release several more, including the story of Hans Jayanti '72 and a feature entitled Who Is Guru Maharaj Ji? Shri Hans Records has released two stereo records, including the LP album The Lord of the Universe.
Shri Hans Publications produces a newspaper, The Divine Times, and a full-color monthly magazine called And It Is Divine with a current circulation of more than 130,000. The magazine, which features articles on politics, science, religion, industry, and the arts, has won worldwide acclaim; it is supervised - and frequently edited - by Guru Maharaj Ji himself.
The doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, nutritionists and other specialists of Shri Hans Humanitarian Services have made prevention their top priority. Spurred by the understanding that physical illness is Closely linked to the mental, emotional, and spiritual needs of people in modern society, their treatment and prevention is based on love and understanding.
38 Who Is Guru Maharaj Ji?
Meditation on the Knowledge gives each physician a profound sense Of the bond between doctor and patient; he is able to devote his efforts selflessly, taking enough time with each patient to respond to all his needs. These professionals, who volunteer their services full-time, operate a fully staffed clinic in New York City and a farm retreat in Rhode Island.
Recognizing that Western education is unable to prepare our children for real life, Guru Maharaj Ji directed the teachers of Shri Hans Educational to find a solution as soon as possible. Since then the teachers have been rediscovering how a child can receive a balanced and completely human education, rather than suffering a spiritless and deadening routine. Their efforts will bear fruit this fall when their first school opens in Denver.
Divine Sales International takes from the rich and gives to the poor - but everything it sells is donated rather than stolen. Visitors are astonished to see working television sets on sale for a few dollars, shirts and pants going for twenty-five cents. The first American branch opened in New York in the fall of 1972; by now, branches have been opened in the largest American cities. All profits return to Divine Light Mission to pay for the solutions to the problems of mankind. Premies and non-premies work side by side far into the night, repairing damaged merchandise, sorting gifts and making every store as beautiful as possible. Working for divine business isn't a job - it's a privilege and even a delight.
Divine Services offers painting, carpentry, plumbing, housecleaning, lawn care, auto repair, and many other services throughout the country. As the newest branch of the divine economy, its prices have made it so popular that it cannot keep up with demand. A Divine Food Co-op Service may soon be on the way.
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That's only the beginning. There's also Shri Hans Aviation, a divine airline; Divine Travel Services and Divine Travel International, organized to ferry devotees by the tens of thousands to festivals and special projects throughout the world; Shri Hans Engineering and Divine Electronics, wholesale marketers of electronics equipment and designers of everything from inventions to new cities. The Players of the Living Arts are the musicians, actors, dancers, artists and singers of the new age.
Guru Maharaj Ji knew this would happen from the start. In December, 1972, and January, 1973, he designed the Divine United Organization, or DUO, as a master plan for the rediscovery of humanity, an organization capable of meeting global needs with total solutions. DUO coordinates the entire divine community, and under the guidance of Guru Maharaj Ji works through purely constructive means to remold this world as a humanistic society where people base their lives upon service rather than selfishness. For the members of DUO, work is worship.
The stated purpose of DUO might seem like an idle dream except for the incredible growth of Divine Light Mission. The Mission is different from all other organizations in that all of its members have received Knowledge. They have scrapped every ulterior motive and rededicated their lives. They are well on their way to total selflessness. Taking only what they need, giving all of themselves to the task, they are tackling the most massive job that men have ever faced - out of love for their Perfect Master, Guru Maharaj Ji.