Maharaji's Gala AddressThank you.

Thank you very much for coming.

I would like to take this chance to express some of the evolutions that have taken place - some of the things that are happening that are giving us an opportunity to be here this evening. Most of all it has to do with our own recognition and our own understanding of what it is all about - not only what it means to be here, but to be anywhere in the whole world, whether it is India or South America or for all those people who could not be here with us this evening.

We all share a spirit, a feeling, an understanding about something that I have been talking about in every single one of the programs in North America.

On this tour alone, there were 43 programs in 48 days. I was able to reach approximately 38,000 people. This is a record for North America and in fact for the whole West. Of all the tours that I have done in the West, this has been the one in which I have been able to reach the most people.

It didn't all begin yesterday. It begins today It begins now. There is a very nice saying that goes: "Yesterday is a cancelled check, tomorrow is a promissory note, and today is the only hard cash you have. So spend it wisely."

We all share so many of the evolutions, and I must say 'evolutions,' that have taken place. Every time I have seen that something has tried to suppress Knowledge or its feeling, Knowledge has always come back, it has always fought back. I have observed this since I was a small child. It's been wonderful to see that that's something we don't need to worry about. What we need to be concerned about is that we are able to spend that "hard cash" that we have today wisely.

It's been wonderful to receive so many letters from people filled with gratitude towards having this Knowledge. Knowledge has allowed a miracle to happen in all our lives. It is therefore necessary that we feel that gratitude in our hearts as clearly and profoundly as Knowledge has brought us an experience.

I do receive some other very interesting letters from around the world. I am always astonished by people's attempts to qualify the experience that they are having. I travel a lot. I go to a lot of places. I do a lot of things. But there is nothing like Knowledge. From coast to coast, from any corner of the world to any other corner of the world. Human beings accepting, understanding, and knowing in their own hearts that the beauty of the Knowledge is the only thing that's really "radical."

It's time we started understanding the true miracles, that miracles do happen. I was explaining to someone in Boston last week who asked me about praying, "The problem isn't praying; the problem is seeing when the prayers are fulfilled." Isn't this true for us too? We pray all our lives, but sometimes we don't even know whom to pray to and what to pray about.

Somehow through it all we do manage to pray and the prayer is fulfilled.

What is the reason for us being here tonight? To me, it is simple. We are here truly in an appreciation of love, a love that has brought us together for no other reason. We certainly are not business colleagues. Nor do we frequent the same bank. Something else has brought us all together. We are here because we're alive and we have experienced and felt that aliveness in ourselves. That is rare. That is beautiful. Unique. And yet, all meant to be. The quality and the persistence of this Knowledge as it moves us is only to be observed, enjoyed, seen and admired.

The only difference between the foolish and the wise is this: both ask questions, but the wise person answers them or gets them answered. The fool just keeps asking and asking and wondering and asking. If it is true that yesterday is a cancelled check, tomorrow is a promissory note, and today is the only hard cash we have, we'd better start waking up to how beautiful life is and has been.

And what I have in my hands, this is it. Clarifying our own conviction. Not because somebody says so and not because somebody comes along and gives a half hour speech to clarify our conviction. Absolutely not. But to be in a position where we can clarify our own conviction for our own selves, for our own sake.

I am doing what I am doing because of a conviction. Something is clear to me. It is not the kind of thing that came pouring through the heavens one day. There is no mystery attached to it. The gratification I've received in this Knowledge has always been instant to be able to experience and talk about this most incredible thing. To me, that is it. That has always been it. There is not enough time in one day to thank the process that allows me to bring my own self that beautiful gratification. There are not enough words in the language to thank Knowledge for what it has allowed us to do, for what it allows us to achieve.

We truly have an opportunity to express something wonderful here tonight. Maybe it will seem like a lot of different things are being expressed but actually only one thing is truly being expressed. And what is being expressed is for people who are here and for people who are not here this evening. It is simply this that we do share a lot of love, a love that continues to grow and continues to manifest for all of us.

Thank you very much and have a wonderful evening. I hope you all enjoy yourselves.

- New York, March 1986