Prem Rawat aka Guru Maharaj Ji aka Maharaji
Play Your Aces

Guru Maharaj Ji's Satsang in Los Angeles, California November 9, 1976

I think it pays off for you guys to be in Los Angeles. I figure that Los Angeles premies are pretty lucky, considering this is the only Hans Jayanti that I'm celebrating at the right time. There's a Hans Jayanti that is happening in South Africa, but it's a little bit off-date. The meaning is still there, but maybe not the right date.

Today I was printing a picture of Shri Maharaj Ji, an old, old picture. The negatives had been sent from India. As I was printing it, I saw that a lot came out. It was like, "Wow, there is a meaning, a very practical purpose for us all to be here, and then there is something else. Because here I am today, his son, printing this picture on the ninth of November and then in the evening I'm going to go out and give a satsang program to the premies in Los Angeles where I first landed in the United States." Since then so much has happened. It was such a chain reaction, and everything started happening. I started going back in time, and I remembered Alta Loma Terrace, where it all began. Actually, it all began from Sunset Boulevard, and after a little while it came back to Sunset Boulevard, and then it moved out of there again.

But let's look at us: why are we here? What is our purpose? Why are we called premies? Why did we enter that room where this Knowledge was revealed to us?

What inspired us to have the faith, to have the understanding, to have the love, to be able to walk into that room and accept Guru Maharaj Ji, and accept Knowledge, and accept the most beautiful experience of our life? It's interesting, it's beautiful. Now we are premies, and we have a life. Yes, we all get up in the morning; some of you do meditation, some of you don't. It's quite obvious. And you go out into the whole shazam of the world, just out there. When I drive through the San Diego Freeway I'm pretty sure that I can feel a lot of premies going up and down, north and south. When I'm going through the Santa Monica Freeway, I can feel a lot of

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Prem Rawat aka Guru Maharaj Ji aka Maharaji premies going back and forth, and wherever I am I feel the presence of premies. And soon enough, there's somebody waving to me and that's the way it is.

But why has all this happened? What is the purpose behind us sitting in this hall, talking about something which is very beautiful? It's because we have to go back. If we think we have gone so far ahead, that we are so strong that nothing can shatter us, and if we have all these concepts and beliefs, just for this evening I'd like you to forget all that. I'd like you to forget how advanced the Mission is at this point, just forget everything, and go back with me to the time when maybe you weren't there, in India. I was, and there are a few people here, one is Raja Ji, who were in India at that time, when propagation was very limited. And I remember very distinctly that there was one couple from Germany, and they were listening to satsang, and it all began from that point, it all started to happen. The only thing I remember about those two German premies was that they were sitting on either side of Guru Maharaj Ji, of Shri Maharaj Ji, and a picture was taken. Then it went on and on.

I also remember in the residence in Dehra Dun when a green van - full of "hippies" - drove in, and parked there for about two or three days. It was quite an experience, it was quite a sight. Glen Whittaker, Peter Lee, and some other premies were in it, and they had driven all the way from England. They would drive fifteen miles and the car would break down, and they would fix it again; then drive fifteen more miles, the car would break down, and they fixed it again. So they had driven all the way down there, that was it. Then there was Gary, and Sita was around, and Danielle, and Joan Apter. They were really out there, you know. Ah, but that was it. They were all starting to understand what it's all about, because life was not a concept for them anymore.

And for a lot of us who have gotten so deeply into concepts, life isn't a concept anymore; it has become a reality, but it has become a reality in the wrong sense. Because we just go on leading a life without knowing its purpose. Is it even real? Or is it something that's just ash that the wind is going to come and blow away? Is it like a sand dune in the desert, there over night, gone by the afternoon? People get so much into their concepts, that it fades out slowly from concepts and becomes a reality, a reality which is frightening. You can call it frightening.

Wait a minute. I see people, and they're busy. They're into their trip. And I see people who are in the very back of these black limousines, in wooden caskets. And I see people who are enjoying themselves completely. Then I also see little children come into this world and grow and grow, and I know that they're going to go through this crazy cycle of everything. What is going to happen to them? Where is their reality going to be? Is it all going to be the same fake reality that it has been for us our whole lives, or are they going to start from a reality which is the true reality in its own sense, in its own meaning? When you look at it from that perspective, it's like, "Wow, wait a minute, this is pretty crazy."

A True Reality

Because there is a reality, there is something real. This one real thing exists in food color, and this one real thing also exists in clear, fresh water. But when you add both together, something very artificial comes out. And in that artificial thing, again, there is a reality, and so the reality always sustains itself at a level where it does not change its form, be-

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cause it does not need to. The day that reality is going to change form for us, it is not going to be reality anymore, because reality is infinite, and therefore it cannot change, it cannot modify itself. It's just a progression that's multiplied in such a way, or divided in such a way that when you hit the calculator it goes: one divided by zero. The answer is: a big Error. It's uncomputable. It's unrationalized.

Today the world doesn't understand what reality is. That's why they want to escape reality. They do not want to know what reality is because they fear it. They are afraid that if at any point in their lives they have to face reality, what are they going to tell reality about where they have been for their whole lives? What are they going to turn around and tell themselves? Where three years ago they were sitting down and saying, "Man, I'm happy," then all of a sudden "Boom!" something happens, and it's like, "Wait a minute. That wasn't true happiness. That was something else." So what are you going to tell yourself? That scares a lot of people. Simply for that reason, people are not going to understand or even conceive in their heads for a second that maybe there is a true reality, a reality which is different from their unreal world. And it's so beautiful, because when that happens, it's incredible. Things start to happen. Things become real. And then that infinite progression of reality begins, personally, in our lives.

And so let's forget about everything else. Let's go back to the point where everything was real for us. And at the same time, everything was unreal. In Prem Nagar there were a lot of premies who would come down to one corner of my veranda, and they would be stoned. And at one point, they were looking for reality, and at another point, they had found reality in their own sense. They hadn't received Knowledge, and in their own sense, they had found reality; but still, they were looking for it. It was like being caught in the twilight zone. I'm not referring to the horror movie, but it's like getting caught in an odd time where there is no sun, and there is no darkness. And it's also like watching that program where all these things happen to you, where people go into all these imaginations of mind; that's where those people were caught.

Let's Start From Scratch

So let's understand what we are all about, let's start from scratch. I am really excited because I have put a lot of things in line with what I'd like to do and what I would like to see manifest in this organization, for the benefit of all the premies and for the benefit of prachar. I'm so excited about everything because it's so beautiful. I see that wow, this is a really beautiful, straight road. Before, it was just a big jungle. If you flew over in a chopper, and looked at everything, you said, "Well, I guess we could try building a road. I don't know how straight it would be, but we can try." And I have tried to build a road, and it's beautiful. I have built it. It's a bridge, it's a connection.

Say a person built a bridge all the way from one corner of the world to the other corner of the world, but right in the middle of the ocean, left three feet of space undone, unfinished. You will be able to drive just about from one corner of the world to the other corner of the world. It took a lot of time, and it took a lot of energy, but I have just completed the three feet of the missing gap for all the premies, and to a lot of premies it's like, "Okay, great. Maybe that's the answer to all my confusion. Maybe that's it. That's what I've been lookin' for for such a long time. Maybe I didn't exactly need all those Knowledge reviews I had, but this is it."

Looking back at it, I see that when I wanted to drive the pilings into the water, into the sand, I discovered that I didn't need to. They were already there. So that means that the beginning of the bridging of that gap was already there. If anybody really attempted it, they could have built that bridge for themselves. It's that big gap of confusion, of mind, of reality and unreality which still fights in our hearts. We come so close to reality, and we're three feet away. That's all that matters: it's three feet, three inches, three millimeters, or three threads away. That thing that we are all looking for is always there. That understanding, that love, that beautiful, beautiful Knowledge that has been revealed to us, is always there.

Now what is the difference? Why are so many premies confused? Well, that's a good question. It's a very good question, because really there is no answer to it. Why are premies confused? I don't think half the premies are confused, but somehow they want to think that they're confused, or they think that getting confused is in vogue, so they want to be confused. No, I'm not kidding you. Sometimes premies think, "Well, that's the way we gotta go, man. Everybody's confused, we might as well be with them." It's like, "Why are you confused?" "Well, Joe Blow is confused. We used to live together in the ashram, so if he's confused, I'm confused." That's not the way it goes. This is a personal experience.

When we first came to Knowledge, what did we have? What did we really have? We had Guru Maharaj Ji, who could offer us Knowledge, on one hand; and we had ourselves, with tons of ego, and tons and tons of mind, on the other hand. And while everything crazy was happening around us, we were desperate for reality, wanting to experience something that could really show us where the darkness was and where the light was. We were confused. Nothing was in our favor. Then when we received Knowledge, and when we received Knowledge, everything became very beautiful. Everything opened LIP. It was just like we were in the Olympic stadium and everything was so dark, pitch black, and then all of a sudden, somebody turned on the lights, and everything lit up; every aisle, every square inch of the stadium lit up, and it was beautiful.

And today, what do you have? You have Guru Maharaj Ji on your side, you have Knowledge on your side, and you also have your mind and the option to be confused on your side. Believe me, it's an option; it's not compulsory, it's an option. What have you picked? The option that you don't want? What have you picked? Confusion. Now, I'm not saying that all the premies have picked confusion, but some have, for no necessary reason. Remember when we first came to Knowledge, it wasn't this way at all. Everything became beautiful, and everything was like, "Wow, this is really clear." And as we proceeded we just went along in this path, everything opened up; it was beautiful, it was clear. But then we go along, and it's just like there's this habit.

It's like a little kid starts off eating fruit and healthy things. Then somebody comes along and says, "Nah, this is junk. Have these candies." And the kid rejects them, "No, I don't want them." But before you know, he picks them up and says, "Oh! Num num. I'll have this. Why not?" I'm sure you know the kid is eating Junk, and the same thing happens to us. Somebody comes along and says, "No, wait a minute. You can get out of this junk. You can get out of this thing, this confusion." So we go on and receive Knowledge. Then we do get out of the confusion. But back we go again, and we let our minds loose.

I know a lot of premies probably sit down sometimes and say, "Wow."

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They're reading my satsang, and they say, "Maharaj Ji really, really insists on satsang, service and meditation. Maybe this is a little bit too much, huh? Maybe he just says this for the premie who was sitting right next to me who was a little confused. Maybe it wasn't really for me." But before you know, you become that premie who was sitting right next to you who was confused, and then it keeps on going like that. So what I really want to say is, let us all come together and thank Knowledge, and let us thank the person who has given us an opportunity to bring reality into our lives.

The Greatest Opportunity

Today a lot of premies write to me and say, "Maharaj Ji, we just can't quite make this decision about moving out of the ashram or moving into the ashram." I just look at the letter and say, "Wow, it's crazy. Does this guy want to realize the reality in his life, does he want to realize Knowledge? Or does he want to realize how to make decisions?" We get so caught in our mind that we forget how beautiful everything really is, and what there is for us. It's a beautiful rhythm that just goes on and on and on. And it's a never-ending, never-stopping, never-shortening rhythm, the rhythm of Knowledge.

Today meditation becomes a second priority, service becomes a second priority, satsang becomes a second priority, and everything else becomes a first priority. I mean, what are you doing here, ask yourself who you really are. What is satsang? To a lot of people it is the burden of driving for thirty minutes to a satsang hall, sitting there, and going through the trip of listening to everybody. Well, maybe there is something real to that. Maybe you have to go through thirty minutes of rush traffic, and maybe you have to sit down there and listen to a few people, but believe me, you are the microphone. You have the potential in yourself to make everything happen. You can accept into your heart all the craziness of this world, or you can change it so only the experience of beauty will enter your heart. You are the control valve. You are the filtering system. Believe me.

Knowledge was given to you. satsang, service and meditation are a part of Knowledge. They are a part of our lives. Maybe techniques were revealed to us, but the experience which we realized wasn't handed to us from somebody's pocket. That's real. That's within us. It's the same way with satsang. If there is truth in this world, there's got to be the company of truth in this world. With truth comes company. I cannot possibly imagine something more beautiful than to come together in one place to discuss the joy and the beauty of this experience that we have realized, that we have understood. It is heart-opening, and most of all, it's eye-opening. It shows you that it's really beautiful. But it all begins from the root of meditation. That's our functional root.

And then there's service. A lot of people say, "Well, what's the meaning of service?" If you are doing satsang and meditation, you're going to know what the meaning of service is. Service is a part of our lives. What we do in our lives every day is actually service, but we don't know it. Every day everybody goes on, living this life, not knowing what the life source really is. We go on, we act every day, but we act for so much unreality. So, what is service? Service is to become natural, from unnatural to natural. To take out a little time, to take out a little part of our lives and serve as a servant of our Lord. To be able to be given that opportunity to be a servant. Of whom? Of our Lord, who has given us the Knowledge, and who has given us a chance to be in the company of Truth. To be able to serve him, and to be able to realize this Knowledge, and to be able to do meditation is the greatest opportunity that we could ever have been offered.

The Four Aces

So here are your four aces, and they're all laid out on the table. You have them. You can play it either way. You can blow the whole game. You can just forget about it, you know? You can take your four aces, and when the guy comes around and says, "You want some more cards?" you can say, "Yeah, give me four cards." You can give away your four aces, and get one three of clubs, one two of clubs, one four of spades, - just give away your aces, and a lot of premies have done that in their lives. They've had four aces sitting right in their hands. Then the mind came around and said. "You want some more cards?" Because that's exactly what mind wanted. He looked at his deck and he knew he was missing four aces. He figured there was nobody else playing. so it must be you, so he said. "You want some more cards?" And you said. "Sure. Give me four more." and you gave your four cards away. Then when somebody comes up to you, somebody who wants you to realize this Knowledge, who wants you to win in this struggle between reality and unreality, and he says, "But you had four aces, what did you do?" You say, "Duh. I don't know."

So what have you been doing until now? Have you been sitting in a satsang program with your fingers in your ears? What have you been doing? This is not only a question of example, but this is a question I put to you now: What have you been doing. anyway? Don't answer me now, you don't have to answer me at any time in your lifetime; ask that question to yourself: What have you been doing. anyway?

What have we been doing? A lot of craziness. Blowing a lot of chances, and giving away a lot of aces. It's like a game. You were playing this wild game of poker. You can do anything you want. You get four aces, so you say, "Geez, what am I going to do with these four aces?" So you ask the guy, "Is it okay if I give you four cards?" And he says, "Sure. Fine with me." So you give him four cards and say, "No, wait a minute. Maybe you should shuffle the cards." So the guy shuffles the cards, plays with you like you want him to, then deals you again, and you end up with four aces again; every day another opportunity. Every morning the sun comes up, there is an opportunity knocking at your door to open up, to become beautiful, to open up to this Knowledge. I'm defining this for you now. I'm not saying just open up. No. Open up to Knowledge, open up to the experience which this life has to offer you now.

It's beautiful because I have seen so much happen in front of me. And I have seen so much happen behind me. Shri Maharaj Ji came into this world, and he revealed Knowledge to people. Today we have it very, very easy. But he himself used to eat dried chapatis and salt, drink water, and sleep on the railway benches. But what was his motive? He and his motive, his purpose, made those chapatis into a hundred thousand dishes. That salt wasn't just salt anymore. It unfolded into a hundred thousand dishes, and that water he was drinking wasn't just water anymore, but it became pure nectar, because of what he was, and what his purpose was. But how did this all happen' Yes, a Perfect Master is always there. But what happens? Where is the relationship? Where is the contrast? The contrast is where the premies are. When premies start to show the understanding, the love, and start to open up to the experience of Knowledge, that's where the contrast comes in, that's where you

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can see how beautifully it's all matched, how beautifully it's all planned out, all thought out.

And so now it's up to us. All I'm saying is that right now you hold four aces in your hands. Very soon, you're going to be tricked. You're probably going to be tricked again and again and again, and that doesn't mean you're stupid. That doesn't mean you're dumb. That just means that you fall for tricks easy, that's all. Maybe that's just human nature, but all I'm saying is this time, whatever you do: Don't get rid of your aces. It's already been done too many times, and it's not worth it, because it takes too long when one premie gets confused, and then plugs back in. It takes too long to ask the mind to shuffle the cards again and for you to end up with four aces again.

The fact that we are provided with a Guru Maharaj Ji, and the fact that we have been provided with Knowledge by Guru Maharaj Ji: that's the top of the line. You can't match that, because what comes with it is a long explanation: grace comes with it, love comes with it, joy comes with it, opportunity comes with it; there's so many things that come standard. This is the top of the line, you can't beat it, but it's a trade. You have to trade your love, you have to trade your sincerity, your understanding that yes, you want this Knowledge.

When I say, "Give me love, and I'll give you peace," what do you think I do with that love? You think I make subji out of it, or dessert out of it? You think I put it in the juicer and juice it? No! I channel it back - back to you, so that you can grow more, so it can all really happen. Let me remind you. I'm doing perfectly okay in Knowledge, you know? It doesn't even hit me that maybe I should do a little bit better. I'm doing fantastic, I'm doing great! It's you I'm concerned about, not myself. This is the reason that I came here tonight. I'm very excited to be here, I'm very happy to be here. The reason is because you're premies, and you have Knowledge, and it's just so nice to be able to tell you that you have four aces in your hand and you can win the whole game.

I mean every second that we just sit there in our living room, in our cars, in our offices, we just gamble away each precious second of our lives - for what?

What do we get out of it? You want to answer yourself - finally, death? Nobody wants to tell themselves that. Why not? That's what's going to happen to you, you know. Face it. There's no point in hiding it, you know? And we gamble away every second of this precious life.

Magic Every Day

It all began, and it all can be dumped, just like that - and it's completely unbelievable. We come into this world and we go out of this world, and we just gamble away every second, we just lose it. All I want to say is it's not worth it. It's just not worth it to have that magic happen once, and then it goes away so simply. No, it shouldn't happen that way. That magic happened to us, and let it be magic every day of our life. Let it be the fantasy which is super-fantastic.

All I want to say is remember, it's all up to us. Everything is there, remember there are fifty two cards in a deck, but there are also four aces hiding somewhere. Let us put ourselves back where we belong, and let it happen. Thank you very much.

Prem Rawat aka Guru Maharaj Ji aka Maharaji

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