Bal Bhagwan Ji arrived in Melbourne shortly after midday on Saturday, 2nd March. Welcomed at the airport by over two hundred premies, Bal Bhagwan Ji was driven to the Divine Residence by a flower-covered Mercedes-Benz. The over-enthusiastic premies crowded round the car leaving the General Secretary to struggle with the luggage and find himself without transport as the security raced off after Bal Bhagwan Ji.
The two public programs were held at the Camberwell Civic Theatre (capacity 450) and 500 people crowded in on the Sunday night. Melbourne's first Holy Family programs were spellbinding for the breathless premies as Bal Bhagwan Ji spoke for more than half an hour on both nights. Premie Darshan, given on the grounds of a Toorak Mansion on a summer Sunday morning, seemed to have been edited straight from an overseas "Darshan" movie. Many premies in Melbourne received private Darshan and direction, though on the last day Bal Bhagwan Ji was ill and received no-one.
The highlight of his visit? If one can be isolated, perhaps it was Bal Bhagwan Ji's incredibly compassionate visit to a young premie mother-to-be who had been hospitalised for the duration of his Melbourne visit. He had I promised her husband on the first day of his Melbourne visit that he would come 'like a thief in the night'. When he hadn't arrived by the final full day of his Melbourne stay, the premie was extremely upset and despondent. He made a special detour to the hospital to see her on the way to the airport, and talked with her and the nurses for several minutes before departing for Hobart. Some premies reported that Bal Bhagwan Ji's face lit up in a strange smile when a priest entered the hospital lift as they ascended.
There is a story that I read just before receiving Knowledge, that the love of one devotee has the power to draw our Lord for Darshan. This theory had always remained an ideal until we heard the news that Shri Bal Bhagwan Ji, along with Mahatma Padarthanand and Mahatma Rajeshwaranand would Grace Tasmania with His Presence.
As there were only twenty premies at that time it seemed incredible that we were given three days of sheer bliss with our Lord. The highlight of His visit was the miraculous event of Him visiting a brother who is serving time in prison. The visit was uniquely beautiful in that it was conducted in the prison chapel and supervised by the prison chaplain.
Along with- the inspiration gained by the premies for propagation of the Lord's message, Mahatma Ji revealed Knowledge to 22 hungry souls waiting for the infinite experience of Pure Love within. The precious beauty of this moment was enhanced by the fact that 5 children under the age of fifteen received Knowledge with their parents.
The stay remained always very intimate which was a treasure for us at this early stage of the growth of the Mission in Tasmania. We are now earnestly preparing for a further visit of our Lord.
Bal Bhagwan Ji returned to Sydney on March 16 after a 2,400 mile plane trip from Perth. Both he and the Mahatmas rested that Saturday afternoon, and that evening at the Divine Residence he watched a film called "The Sweet Bliss of Ray Milly-Goon", a transcendental forties flicker starring a premie substitute for Charlie Chaplin in search of Knowledge. And on Sunday he attended the National Meeting of Divine Light Mission, Australia. He gave Darshan to premies in the evenings and on Monday spoke to a crowd of 1500 people in the Sydney Town Hall at a program featuring both the choir and an enlarged version of the Rhythm 'n Bliss Band.
On the morning of the next day he left for New Zealand with Mahatma Rajeshwaranand while Mahatma Padarthanand travelled to Fiji to prepare Bal Bhagwan Ji's programs. From Fiji, Bal Bhagwan Ji is expected to return to India, via Australia, for the Vaisaki Festival. It seems that the Mahatmas overseas have been told not to attend the festival which Guru Maharaj Ji himself will miss owing to his planned tour of South America.
The idea of a Divine Organic Village Exhibition had its origins after Millenium in the American concepts of a Divine city and secondly, a festival that was not financially and physically wasteful.
These two concepts were married in D.O.V.E. which was to he a festival on our own land, establishing resources that could be utilized afterwards in a Divine Community. The village would be a practical example to teach others of alternate means of living.
When Bal Bhagwan Ji visited the proposed site at Mullumbimby, Northern New South Wales, he said it was a beautiful area but that the money could be used more effectively on shorter term projects. Guru Maharaj Ji Ji himself had said at the Palace of Peace, London, that there was no time for gimmicks. We had to get out on the streets and tell people. Propagation came first.
So, the scheme, although good, has been left by National DLM. Any results with D.O.V.E. or other projects on the land, are being left to the Mullumbimby premies.
Ashram: "shelter", a spiritual community of Guru Maharaj Ji's devotees who have dedicated their lives to spreading Knowledge of God.
Darshan: the physical presence of Guru Maharaj Ji and/or members of his Holy Family.
Knowledge: the spiritual experience gained through practising four meditation techniques (Light, Music, Word and Nectar) revealed by Guru Maharaj Ji.
Mahatma: "great soul". A disciple of Guru Maharaj Ji empowered to reveal Knowledge.
Premie: "Lover of God". A disciple of Guru Maharaj Ji.
Satsang: "Company of Truth". Discourses about the Knowledge revealed by Guru Maharaj Ji.