Guru Puja: 1970-1977
Shri Guru Maharaj Ji was in England for the first time. He had arrived on June 17, 1971. As the time of the July full moon approached, it became increasingly doubtful whether Guru Maharaj Ji would be staying in the country much longer. The ancient festival of Guru Puja, which has been celebrated year-in-year-out for many thousands of years on the night of the July full moon, had never before been celebrated in England and Guru Maharaj Ji kept on indicating that He would be flying back to India to be with the hundreds of thousands of Indian devotees who always gather together to be with Him on that day. Nevertheless, this did not stop the English disciples from persistently asking Him to stay. One premie, Sue Ratcliffe, who did more than her fair share of asking Guru Maharaj Ji to stay for the first-ever European Guru Puja, said that on one occasion He replied to her pleas, "You English premies don't even know what Guru is, so how can you know what Puja is?"
Things looked bleak. The chances of Guru Maharaj Ji staying in England seemed to get slimmer and slimmer. Then one day, Sue received a phone call from what she thought was an Indian businessman who asked her, "Will Balyogi Ji (one of the names Indians call Guru Maharaj Ji) be in London for Guru Puja? Where will Guru Puja be held?" Sue had no idea who she was talking to, but when a peal of laughter came down the phone she knew that she was talking to Guru Maharaj Ji. Before He hung the phone up, He said, "I think Guru Puja will be celebrated in London." Immediately after the call emergency preparations got underway to find a hall and to notify all the devotees in the country.
The London Guru Puja was an incredibly joyous occasion. Three or four hundred disciples who had just finished a hard day in the offices and factories of London came to the festival and were filled with the divine love which one would have thought impossible to find in this materialistic country. The singing, dancing, and atmosphere of love in that small hall pervaded everyone's heart as Guru Maharaj Ji sat smiling, watching some of His first western disciples express their gratitude for the gift of True Knowledge.
Reprinted from U.S. Divine Times, June 1, 1973.
"Whenever the Holy Master has come into the world, Guru Puja has been held in India. But this year the sequence is broken. Guru Puja is happening in London, and you are very lucky to have the opportunity. But because you've been away from Guru Puja for about 2,000 years, you don't realize this. A little boy can't speak English; he must learn slowly how to make a sentence. And so you will learn slowly and slowly the importance of Guru Puja."
-- Guru Maharaj Ji
London, England, July 9, 1971
10 Divine Times
"A time is coming soon when this world is going to see a great, strange thing happening. A really far out thing is going to be happening. The time is approaching; it's very near. And soon, maybe this world will be able to realize: who is God. Not only believe in Him, but know God exists."
-- Guru Maharaj Ji
Montrose, Colorado, July 26, 1972
1972 -- MONTROSE
The festival exploded on Tuesday afternoon, July 25th, when Guru Maharaj Ji arrived at the site.
Every evening, people wound their way to the huge area in front of the stage. After singing devotional songs and listening to the message of mahatmas, the followers were graced with the satsang of Guru Maharaj Ji. As the sun was setting, the clouds seemed to catch fire, and just as the brilliant colors began to fade, an opalescent moon made the valley shimmer. Guru Maharaj Ji touched the hearts of those present with his simple words about man, and his Lord, and how the two can get together. He said he had a way, a simple method of Knowledge and devotion to bring about the absolute fulfillment of human life. Being a devotee of the Perfect Lord is the most special thing in the whole world.
On a small rise overlooking the valley was a gazebo built by devotees. On Wednesday and Thursday afternoons, Guru Maharaj Ji came to sit. Forming a line over a mile long, devotees filed by to dedicate themselves to Him.
Guru Puja was the first festival in a movement that will grow and grow as the message of Shri Sant Ji Maharaj is broadcast to the people of the world. Guru Maharaj Ji offers life lived in fullness and vitality to a people tired of dullness. Before His sparkling eye, darkness flies away. Words are barren to describe his radiance. Only the One Word which is Himself, within the breast of every man, can give to each of us a whisper of the glory that is Balyogeshwar Paramhans Satgurudev Shri Sant Ji Maharaj.
Reprinted from Guru Puja, Magazine, Autumn, 1972.
June/July, 1978 11
1973 -- LONDON
"JOY AS THOUSANDS CHEER BOY MESSIAH"
Alexandra Palace exploded with joy this afternoon when 15-year-old boy god Guru Maharaj Ji appeared before thousands of his followers at their festival of Love and Light.
The Guru marched unannounced to his throne to a tremendous burst of noise and chanting, and sat flanked by high-ranking priests.
He gave a short sermon, but many of his followers complained they could not hear him properly because of bad acoustics.
But they said they "were unbelievably happy" that the Guru had turned up.
Outside the hall disciples hugged each other and congratulated one another on having seen the boy god. Many said it was the greatest experience of their lives.
Several of his girl followers cried with joy. And several of the men in the audience were overcome with emotion.
Said one of them, an American: "I have come all the way from California to see this. And I think I would do it all again with pleasure."
Said 18-year-old Helen Collins of Hackney: "My life has been completely changed by the Guru. I have never known such peace and love. There has never been anything like him and it is up to us all to follow his words and his thoughts."
Reprinted from The Evening News,,
London, July 13, 1973.
"Easy, slow and quick!" is what Guru Maharaj Ji told the thousands of devotees who queued for hours to prostrate themselves before Him, as He sat in front of His caravan. 'Easy' while queuing; 'slow' at His feet; and 'quick' to get up and make way for the next person. As the hours passed and the queue seemed as if it would never end, the people were made to move still faster. Guru Maharaj Ji called it, "The Grace Race."
Reprinted from London Divine Times,,
July 28, 1973.
12 Divine Times
1974 -- COPENHAGEN
"All the premies have assembled here to try to understand more and more, to realize more and more of this Knowledge, of this most beautiful blissing thing, because it really blisses everybody out. And we are now a big, beautiful family. Every person who receives Knowledge becomes a member of this family. We are now a big, beautiful family, and we are growing."
Copenhagen, Denmark, July 2, 1974
The Forum, where the actual Guru Puja took place, was beautifully decorated, the collected premies infused it with unbelievable love and elation, and the times in the evenings when Maharaj Ji Himself appeared and spoke were in reality a perfect coming together of the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth -- the Lord Himself and His beautiful bride, surrounded by great saints and faced with up to 10,000 of His loving disciples. The Perfect Master more than ever before was relating to His disciples on their level, transcending the trappings of grandeur to just be as intimate as can be. He wasn't lecturing, He wasn't even speaking, He was chatting, to an audience who loved every moment … and loved … and loved …
The same feeling came when Durga Ji spoke of Her newfound role as mother of the divine family, and came again when Maharaj Ji presented Himself before His devotees in the camp for 'personal darshan' - allowing everyone to come forward and do pranam while the band played, and He beamed on and always had the kind word and personal message for the elderly, the sick and just the fortunate ones amongst His creatures.
But most of all it happened when Maharaj Ji danced. On the last night, after the talking was over, when the band swung into a very boppy Arti swung into a very boppy Arti which turned into When the Saints come marching in, and again turned into Old MacDonald had a farm, and Maharaj Ji was beaming with joy and everyone was going mad with bliss and ecstacy, dancing and bopping all over the place, the Lord Himself couldn't resist it and swung into a little funky dance with Durga Ji. His red and gold Krishna robes flowing, before leaving the stage and a Forum-full of mahatmas and disciples lifted completely into another cosmos. We glimpsed how Maharaj Ji is going to bring peace to the planet - by the amazing power of His most infectious love, and by the Grace of Almighty Lord which showered down on everyone there.
The whole festival was more than had been or could have been expected. Don't be surprised, in the weeks and months ahead, to find yourself confronted with the most blissful people bearing an urgent message … they will be the disciples of the Living Lord telling you that Heaven is here, just waiting for you to realise it. Long Live the Lord of Love!
Reprinted from London Divine Times, July 13, 1974.
1974 - AMHERST
"This function has to do with something which is indescribable indescribable by these words. It has something to do with pure Love. It's something that is so beautiful. And that Love has been formed now, is there now, between me and the premies."
- Guru Maharaj Ji
Amherst, Massachusetts, July 6, 1974
This year Guru Maharaj Ji has attended two Guru Pujas. In both, a common theme emerged as the guideline for our service in the coming year. It can be summed up as: bring it down to earth and make it real. We have Knowledge, we must learn how to apply it. Say what we know, be what we are. Satsang must become an every-moment event, an all-levels activity, "here five minutes spent getting food into a beggar is not rated any less than a two hour harangue in the town hall. The whole western world now knows something about Guru Maharaj Ji. It is watching to see what he, through us, is going to do. Then if that proves acceptable and attractive, nothing will be able to stem the stampede to the Lotus Feet.
Reprinted from The Golden Age,
Australia's premie newspaper,
June/July, 1978 13
1975 -- CARACAS
"You see, maybe I have been graced to experience this Knowledge all the time, and graced to have this agya to continue giving this Knowledge to people. It's so beautiful; it's just very blissful. I have got every Grace; I have got everything. And to some people, I am their Perfect Master; I am their Lord. But still, premies are my hands. Every time I have to do something, I have to go through premies. One poet says, 'What is Guru Maharaj Ji's world? What is the Perfect Master's world? His premies. His devotees are his world. He lives with them, he plays with them, he comes for them, and it's them. That's his world.'"
-- Guru Maharaj Ji
Caracas, Venezuela, July 25, 1975
GURU PUJA CELEBRATED IN CARACAS
Nearly all of the premies at the Caracas Guru Puja, including even those who had been meditating and doing service for 3 or 4 years -- had up until now never even seen Maharaj Ji. It was rare to even know someone who had.
"The festival was explosive," said one premie who went. "We've never even seen anything like it -- such an intense release of so much stored up love. It showed us just how much love can manifest between Guru Maharaj Ji and the premies; much more than we ever thought possible."
That the festival happened as smoothly as it did was incredible considering the financial, legal, political and even geographical difficulties which had to be overcome. For example, two Quichua Indians from the Equadorean Andes left their mountain home for the first time to travel many, many miles to see their Lord.
After it was over, premies were seen drifting around in that feeling of love that being with Maharaj Ji together induces. The festival was officially over, but the love just wouldn't leave.
Reprinted from Canadian Divine Times,,
July 28, 1973.
14 Divine Times
1975 -- ESSEN
"When the festival first began, it felt like we were all premies, but there wasn't that feeling of real, positive unity that was there when we all left," said one premie afterwards. "As the days' programs went on I felt like we all grew a million miles closer to each other -- until we were not just close, but one inseparable whole. We weren't just a bunch of premies, and then Guru Maharaj Ji - it felt as if there was just one being called love, all looking out through the same eyes, yelling through the same mouth, and crying the same tears of joy. I left with only one feeling: that this same love, this same utter experience of oneness and joy is possible; and that it must be possible all the time."
Reprinted from U.S. Divine Times,,
"Along comes Guru Maharaj Ji. He comes and he showers his Grace upon us. He not only lets us dip and merge into that energy, but forever and ever. He makes it a channel through us. And that Love, the most beautiful thing, that Knowledge, the Grace, he showers upon us. And there is no limit to how much we can thank him."
-- Guru Maharaj Ji
Essen, Germany, August 30, 1975
DIVINE UNITED ORGANIZATION
17 August 1975
1975 -- SYDNEY
If you could pick out a feeling to sum up the first Pacific Guru Puja, it would be one of individuals and communities alike realising and joining themselves to a greater consciousness of a family unfettered by nations and cultures. If you could pick out a unique sensation, it would be the flow of time from the Capitol Theatre to the Opera House, which seemed to reflect the stretch of awareness from the first days in Australia up until now. If you could hold onto a beautiful truth, it would be all our efforts to catch planes, organise festivals and attend programs realised as unimportant alongside of the river of his Grace which awaits on the other side of the mountain. It happens all the time.
Reprinted from The Golden Age,,
Australia's premie newspaper,
"The Perfect Master knows, because he is at a point which is so clear, which is so beautiful, which is so perfect. And this is why we call him Perfect Master, the Master of perfectness, who is one with it; who has accomplished, who has mastered that subject, that art, that beauty; who is the complete one; who can show us how incomplete we are, and who can show us the path to perfectness."
-- Guru Maharaj Ji
Sydney, Australia, October 19, 1975
This has been a most wonderful year for propagation. Premies all over the world have had an opportunity to receive Darshan. We have just celebrated a most beautiful Guru Puja festival in South America and are preparing for another festival in Germany. Plans for a huge Hans Jayanti celebration in Orlando, Florida are already underway.
Because these festivals are such a beautiful experience for everyone, I have decided to hold a Guru Puja festival in Sydney, Australia this October, instead of doing a tour of the South Pacific. This will be a most wonderful opportunity for all premies of Fiji, New Zealand and Australia to join together for satsang and Darshan in a true experience of Grace and love which we are all realizing.
I would like all premies to make every effort to attend, and to cooperate in every way possible in making our first festival ever to be held in this region a most successful event.
My blessings to you all.
Guru Maharaj Ji
June/July, 1978 15
1976 -- SUMMER TOUR
Gainesville, Providence, Indianapolis, Denver, San Francisco
"Instead of holding Guru Puja just in one place, it has been divided so that really all the premies in their communities, in their areas, could participate. I'm going around, and I really think that this tour is important for all of us. Because I'm not here today to tell you how negative everything is; I'm here to tell you how positive everything is, how beautiful everything is. Because we have this Knowledge, and we have been practicing."
"I just pray that we all can really understand, and really get rid of our confusions, instead of just sit and think about things that really are going to make us negative, the things that we really don't need to think about. So just to understand, and put that faith and trust and Love in Guru Maharaj Ji, and to just be able from there on to really have that dedication, have that devotion, and really keep on going."
-- Guru Maharaj Ji
Denver, Colorado, July 11, 1976
MAHARAJ JI'S SUMMER TOUR
When Guru Maharaj Ji gave satsang he set off a kind of instinctive, unavoidable soul searching. Everything he was saying was gelling something, and at the same time dislodging a lot of junk that had been coexisting in some queasy state along with the reality of my experience. And it was a jolting, disquieting thing.
Reprinted from U.S. Divine Times,,
There is something about Maharaj Ji. He lives for his premies and he is special for each of us in our hearts. Yet he is alone. He comes from a place the rest of us do not know about. He comes to tell us something. In both Denver and San Francisco the most poignant moment, for me, was at the end of his satsang when, to tumultuous applause, he walked from his chair to the wings, a small figure in stockinged feet. Alone. Bearing the burden and responsibility that is only his.
Reprinted from Premies,,
published in England,
16 Divine Times
1977 -- MIAMI BEACH
It just feels now that Guru Maharaj Ji is really taking over in the lives of many premies, and just really taking over this whole deal. At Miami He did so much for us personally, Himself -- it was really His festival, He organised it all Himself. And being the perfect devotee as well as the Perfect Master, He really knew what would delight the hearts of His premies. He designed the stage Himself -- covered with flowers, really simple and beautiful -- and supervised the building of it. He personally saw to it that every premie in that huge convention centre would be able to see Him by checking out all the sightlines in the hall Himself, and at the last moment raising the stage another five feet. Durga Ji and the kids, and Raja Ji and Claudia were sort of 'inside' the stage, where they could see Him, but we couldn't see them, so we could focus completely on Maharaj Ji. Above His head was a huge video screen, upon which His face could be seen in colour as He spoke, so that everyone could catch His complete expression. The premies were so glued to it, we didn't miss a thing -- the most subtle glance or smile or fleeting expression, and everybody just blissed out -- all eleven thousand of us! I don't know why the Perfect Master is physically so irresistible, so radiant, has so much power just to transfix His devotees, but He sure does.
Reprinted from New Zealand's
National Gazette for premies,,
"To desire something else, to be able to not desire, to be able to get what you want without wanting it, is to just surrender to Guru Maharaj Ji. By surrendering to him, he will fulfill that desire that you don't want to desire to be able to fulfill it! And besides the fact that it's a very complicated story, premies, I hope I didn't get you confused. And if I did, just surrender and it will be okay!"
-- Guru Maharaj Ji
Miami Beach, Florida, July 29, 1977