Our age is turning over. What we see beginning is so unlike what we've been through that it is truly the sunrise after a night of bad dreams. In the past, politicians have stirred up rallies, priests have led crusades, admirals have launched fleets, and astronauts have kicked up moon dust, yet no one could lift the burden of sickness, war, old age and death from the weary race of men.

Buddha, Krishna, and Mohammed all came and went; the world was still a hell. The Renaissance flowered; men still groped in the dark. The Industrial Revolution promised freedom; it brought first the sweat shop, then dull stagnation of suburban tract houses with two cars in every garage and a mind in every television set. But now all that is past.

On July 25, 26, 27, 1972, the first Guru Puja Festival ever to take place in the West was celebrated by the American disciples of Guru Maharaj Ji. They leased a farm six miles from the town of Montrose, Colorado, and begged their Lord to be with them. Guru Maharaj Ji and His eldest brother, Shri Bal Bhagwan Ji, came and touched the hearts of 6,000 seekers of Truth.

To a disciple of the Satguru, there is no other day as special as Guru Puja. A disciple has seen that without the shelter of his Perfect Master he is like a rudderless boat on windy seas. The disciple is tired of living an individualistic life. He wants only the path of truth: the path back to the One, away from the many. Guru Maharaj Ji's disciples know Him to be the dispeller of darkness, the revealer of light. They seek to dedicate themselves to Him exclusively. Only singleminded devotion is powerful enough to burn away the desires and attachments to limited things which bind men to the cycle ofbirth and death. Guru is Lord; "puja" means worship. A devotee's whole life is puja. Once a year, however, on the full moon in July, a day has been set aside by the devotees of the Perfect Master to express their devotion to Him who has released them from the world.

Guru Puja 1972

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Can anyone raised from birth on city water understand that water from a mountain spring actually tastes sweet, if he has never bent his head to drink from one? A worldly man pondering the word "love", cannot understand the disciple's emphasis on "devotion". To the devotee, however, there is no reality other than being the humble servant of the Guru. In a world of difficult roles, and wild actors, the devotee's part is natural and easy. "My yoke is easy and my burden is light," said the Guru of an earlier age. "Come to me, I will give you such peace as will never die," says Guru Maharaj Ji. And He does.