Waterloo Daily Courier, Waterloo Iowa July 21, 1972
Colorado Hosts Guru Puja
Four Waterloo and Cedar Falls people will join 30 others scattered through Iowa to attend a Guru Puja to be held near Montrose, Colo., next Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. All are adherents of the Divine Light Mission which began a year ago in the United States and now has approximately 20,000 members.
Guru Maharaj Ji, 14-year-old Perfect Master, will be in the Western Hemisphere for the first time. The Guru Puja has been celebrated, usually in India, for thousands of years on the same date. Through the travels of Guru Maharaj Ji the devotees now number over five million.
Guru Maharaj Ji became the Perfect Master when he was eight years old. He regards his mission as the spiritual opening of the "third eye" through which believers can experience the divine light within themselves.
At the age of two and a half Guru Maharaj Ji began to deliver spiritual discourses on God realization. At this time his father, Yogi Raj Param Sant Satgurudev Shri Hans Ji Maharaj, was the perfect enlightened soul of the era. It was he who founded Divine Light Mission in 1960. When Guru Maharaj Ji Ji was six he spoke for over 30 minutes in English with such strength and authority that "people in the crowd were moved to tears of joy." He became Guru when his father died.
When anyone expresses an interest in receiving the "Knowledge" which the Guru Maharaj Ji has to impart, he first listens to satsang, or holy discourse, in order to answer questions. He then goes to a mahatma, a close disciple of Guru Maharaj Ji, and asks to receive knowledge. If he is sufficiently prepared, he is allowed to enter a knowledge session which usually lasts from eight to 12 hours. It is then that the aspirant's "third eye" is opened and he experiences Divine Light within. From then on, the devotee practices the techniques and through his meditations grows closer and closer to Guru Maharaj Ji.
Admission to the conference is open and free. Facilities have been prepared to accommodate 20,000 people. Rules of the conference prohibit any sort of drug use, smoking, drinking of alcholic beverages, or nudity. The conference will be made up of dedicated devotees, friends and relatives of devotees, and sincere seekers of truth, according to the local people attending.