What Knowledge means to us
Maharaji / June 2, 1988 Melbourne (Australia)
Aspirant Meeting

Prem Rawat aka Maharaji 1980sQUESTION & ANSWERS


Q: I would like to know on a personal level what are these techniques (inaudible) …

M: You know that's a good question. First of all let me begin by saying that, one, it'll do you absolutely no good. Two – it's just like asking what does it feel like to you when you eat spaghetti? I don't really know. It's just when I'm hungry it just feels really good. And when I'm not hungry I don't want to see the stuff. And yes, it has its peculiarities of eating spaghetti. Because they haven't invented a perfect instrument to eat spaghetti with. Because if you get that fork rolling too many times then it'll become a big garbled spaghetti at the end of it. And then at the - end of it you know how it's done it's little number just as you're trying to suck the last bit in. But besides that, there is another thing I can say, "I like to eat spaghetti." But my like is vague. Only you can try to relate to it but it'll never work. Because my liking, only I can experience that. If I ever told you that it feels good that's a vague statement. My good may be different to your good. If I say that I feel content then my version of contentment may be entirely different than yours.

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A real thirst

A glass of water – I must take a very simple example. A glass of water. Drinking it, is it always the same experience? It's not. When you are really thirsty it is the most incredible drink you can have and you can't get enough of it. I mean – and ask me the right temperature and so on and so forth. It's really good. You don't want anything else. It's got to be water. When you are not thirsty your holding it in your hand seems like a thing that you don't want to do. And then when you are medium thirsty, only two sips will suffice. So it's so relative. It's so incredibly relative. And I can sit here completely in my own enthusiasm. Because I am very enthusiastic about Knowledge. I like it. I can fill you up with words. All these adjectives of "Beautiful, wonderful, exquisite and dada dada …" But that'll do you no good. Because you will be looking for your wonderful thing.

See, we cannot share understanding. We cannot share the experience. We can share peripherally, very pheripheral areas of those things. Because we cannot share what it really is.

I'm not even saying that it is mandatory
that you have it. This is where things
get very really cute. If you want it, you
have to be absolutely clear in yourself
that you want it. But you have to want
it, so you have to be clear about 'you'
and 'want', and then 'it' comes.

You know, not too long ago I went to learn how to ski. And my whole family skis and so they insisted that I learn. Anyway, they have a way of doing things. They'll push you into it. They, all the kids got into it, "Dad, you'll love it, you'll love it. You'll love it." You know, I tried to convince them that maybe, I wouldn't. But they said, "No, you'll love it." So, I got out there and I saw these people going down a slope and I. looked at them and I said, "Maybe I would like it. You know, that looks pretty easy. That looks pretty fun." And then I had this instructor who was really wonderful, from Switzerland. He has Knowledge

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too. He came down from Switzerland to teach me how to ski. And I got on the skis. And the next thing you know is he got me on the skis and he's saying, "Walk sideways." And I kept looking at those guys going down the slope. And I don't see them doing this, why am I doing this?

You know what I mean? It's like, "God, this is no fun." Then after that when I had, when I was able to do this for a few steps without falling, now he stands at the bottom of the slope and he says, "Now, come to me," and he says, "Now turn." He gives me this incredible explanation about turning on skis. He says, "What you do is you go outside the turn and then you make yourself turn. And you will just feel this turn. And it's just very, very easy. Just flow with the turn and you'll be O.K." I almost killed myself. When I'd started going straight, he was standing over there and I was going and there was a raft full of skis. And I was heading for it. You know, I was, and just in the right moment he came and stopped me. And it was good. Then he kept asking me, "Do you feel it? Do you feel it?" And I kept going, "Hmmm. I feel it."

"But I don't know if it is the thing that I'm supposed to feel. I mean, I feel something. I feel scared. I feel like I'm going to fall off. I feel like I have no control over these things. And I'm not sure whether I want to continue doing this. Maybe, this is not, you know, my bag of beans. Maybe, I wasn't meant to be a skier you know, whatever it is. But I don't know if we're talking about the same thing that you're saying: 'Do you feel it?' that I feel the same thing."

Well, it happened. Just after about the 14th try I managed to turn and he said, "Did you feel it?" I said, "Yes, I turned. But I don't know what I have felt." And I was telling, you know, "You've got these people just zipping by me. And it's like that's what I want to do. What are we doing here just doing this stuff? Why can't we just go down the slope and I'm sure it'll work out." And then all of a sudden, yes, there was something I had control over. I could make a left turn. I could make a right turn. I could do it. And if I was asked to teach somebody how to turn on a ski, I don't think I would do it any differently than he did. But at the same time I would know that there's absolutely nothing I can tell that person that will teach him how to turn. Or give him

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my knowledge of turning.

To me the way I
look at it, is that
everybody is blessed.
The only difference
is some people know
about it. And some
people don't.

It was like aeroplanes, you know. I'm an instructor. A flight instructor. And sometimes what these flight instructors do because of commercialism, they take a fellow up and they get the aeroplane all trimmed and nice and level and you know, everything is going really well. And then they hand them the aeroplane. They're flying it there and everything is fine and you know you're on top of the world. Wow, you're flying an aeroplane! And then you ask them how do you turn it? And then they say, "Just you know, just, just turn it left. Slowly turn it." Sure enough you turn it left. Carefully. "This is easy." Turn it right. Up. Down. "Hey, this is a piece of cake." Then they come down on the ground. And there's this little contract and they're all enthusiastic and ready, ripping, rearing to go.

And they sign their name to their death certificate basically. Because the next day it's not like that. I know it's not like that. Oh no, now you have to turn and hold your altitude within, depending on what you're going for – your PPL or your ATP or whatever. But plus or minus a hundred feet, you know.

The first day you could be off 500 feet and you are feeling good about it. You know – Weeeeee – was the feeling. Now, it's not like – weeeeee "Hold it." And it's a perfect turn. On perfect turns, 90° turns I mean, amazing and then when the wind is blowing it's really something else. Because the wind is going to drift you off and you have to fly a pattern on the ground that looks just right. So to me its like how do I pass on the information?

Never the same experience!

I mean, look at a simple thing called "love". Somebody says, "I love you." What .does that mean? Love is such a thing, it involved so much that nobody could talk about it. And then the feeling of love, what the feeling of love is, you could never describe. People have tried to and nobody has done. I haven't read one simple thing that can describe the feeling of love

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that's mine. Other people's yes. And I don't know if everything will fall short. That's why rather than talking about what the experience is, we try to get you prepared so that you can receive this Knowledge and experience it for yourself and grow with it.

One thing about Knowledge is that it's never the same experience. It evolves right along with you. As you grow, it grows.

Q: You got Knowledge very young?

M: Very young.

Q: And why I asked the question is because I thought, do you feel so inspired to be alive just talking, keeping your life to part this message to others?

M: It is good.

Q: (Inaudible)

M: You can't compare it. I mean, I never do. And I've never thought of it that way. Look, to me even somehow you are inspired, you are here today and that's sufficient. We all need to be in our own understanding of what it is. And we need to be satisfied with our own understanding. We don't need to constantly look at other people's understanding and say, "Ah, mine is nothing because that person's so much more than me." That's not true. That's not true. On the same day a 747 pilot can make a flight, an experienced captain can make the biggest cock of a job of it than you can possibly imagine. And then a single engine pilot who has just got 10 hours worth of flying experience can make the same flight perfectly.

Who has got more experience? Who's really better off that day? I mean in Alaska there was this one 747 accident. It was amazing.

The guy started. He filled his aeroplane with the passengers. He started taxiing out. He realized there was a noise coming from one of the engines. He didn't want to taxi back to the terminal. So he shut the aeroplane down, called for a tug. Had the aeroplane taxied back. Disembarked back his passengers. And then he gets a telex from Japan that you better take off by this certain certain time, otherwise Norita will be closed by the time you get there. So he realizes that the noise coming from the engine wasn't really significant. It wasn't really important. He gets the passengers back in the aeroplane. Starts taxiing out. He's taxiing on the taxi way. Little narrow taxi way. And it's supper slippery. It's icy. So he says, "No, forget it. We're not going today." So he shuts the aeroplane down and calls for a tug to get tugged back to the terminal.

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Now, this beautiful thing happened. Here's this 747. One of the big ones. Not the SP. The full blown 747 sitting on this taxi way. And in Alaska the runway is like on a platform. And then on both sides it slopes down. And on one side it slopes down into a little valley where there is a highway. And then the mountains. So it's a very little valley. And here's the 747 sitting there. And the wind is other way and it starts to slide. And he can't do anything about it.

Prem Rawat aka Maharaji 1980sLove is such a
thing, it involves
so much that
nobody could
talk about it.
And then the
feeling of
love, what the
feeling of love
is, you could
never describe.

You know what I mean? He can't do anything. He can't stop it. Because the brakes won't work. And the only thing he could have had is the engines and now they are all shut down. And he can't get them started quickly enough. And the aeroplane just slid, slid, slid, slid, slid; till the tail of it touched the other side of the mountain. Nose stayed on the blowing from sideways. Pretty soon the aeroplane starts to weather vane. And he's got all his four engines shut down. All of a sudden before this guy could realize its nose is pointing sideways, its tail is pointing the taxiway and the aeroplane just cracked right down the centre. It was really a perfect good aeroplane. Now in that particular incident whose experience are you going to compare? You know what I mean?

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No comparisons necessary

Because we don't need to compare these experiences. We don't need to say, "That person is better off that way, that person is better off that way." No. Everybody has their own endeavour. Their own arena. Their own little effort that they have to make to understand Knowledge. And that's O.K. No comparisons are necessary. Absolutely not. And everybody needs to be comfortable with what they have.


Q: (Inaudible)

M: That's all right. Uncertainty is the first step to learning. If you are certain about something, can you learn? How are you going to learn? If a kid knows that he knows what Maths is all about, and the teacher says, "two plus two is four," he says, "No, it's not. It's five," can the kid learn? Kid has to say, "I don't know." And you know, sometimes we're afraid of uncertainty. Because we don't know what's on the other side of uncertainty. But if we're willing to trust, then what's on the other side of uncertainty is a lot of clarity. So, uncertainty is that fundamental step to learning. If we say, "We're certain about everything. I know everything there is to know." Well, trouble we'll have.

Like this one guy who was a mechanic on a citation jet. Brand new citation jet. This guy had never flown an aeroplane before in his life. He's started them up. Brand new aeroplane. So he gets inside the aeroplane. Closes the door, starts it and takes off. He's up in the air. Now, he can't get it down again. Never flown the aeroplane. Finally he brings it down. He crashes it. Amazingly enough he opens the door and walks out of the aeroplane unscathed. But the aeroplane is totalled. Completely totalled. And the Cessna Company that makes the aeroplane doesn't know how to take that. Whether they should advertise that fact or not advertise that fact. Because, you know, it's a wonderful act. This guy, he didn't know even how to fly it, And he can fly it. But he totalled it.

Somewhere down the line he didn't have to total it if he was willing to say, "I don't know how to fly this aeroplane." See, he thought, he did. And then he didn't have to total it. And not lose his job. And actually enjoy the whole thing. Because I'm sure once he got air borne he realized what deep waters he was into. But uncertainty could

Life Force October-December 1988 49

have led him to a much more enjoyable experience. And so uncertainty is O.K.

True commitment needed

So far there is somebody at least willing to say, "Right, you don't have to be uncertain all the time." And yes, I think that we are here saying that you don't have to be uncertain all the. time. And therefore, it's O.K. to even get a little fussy. I don't think there's anything wrong with that. Because till now you've been saying, "I think, it's this. I think it's this. I think, it's this. I think it's this." And now you're running out of cards. You're saying, "Well, you know, those other cards better be here." And the point is, maybe the message all along has been, this isn't a card game. You know, so maybe, you realize that this isn't a card game by putting all the cards down. And you say, "Have I won here?" No, sometimes that's what it takes, you know. And to everybody it's their own, of course. How people come to that conclusion, it's fantastic. But one thing what you need to be comfortable about – and I think all of you need to be comfortable about, is that we're here. The point is we do want to give you this Knowledge. I don't know if you have thought of it in those terms or not. We do.

There are a lot of dedicated people sitting here, I mean, these instructors. I don't know if they ever told you what it's to become an instructor. You have to be half-crazy half-good, half-sane half-insane. I mean, first of all they had received Knowledge for quite a while and then they applied to become instructors. And their applications were taken in but they weren't ever told what happened to their applications for years. And then they were told, "O.K. you have been selected. Show up in Penang for your conference. You have been selected."

But by that time they didn't even know if they should desire being an instructor or not. Because they didn't even know if they were ever going to become instructors. Then they got to Penang all excited and happy. And then the first words they heard were, "You got to be crazy to be an instructor." And I told them, "You are not going to get paid for this. You're going to work really hard. You are going to maintain an impeccable amount of quality. You cannot be a sales person. And you are not professionals. But you have to act professional."

Well, after that they went

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through one week of absolute – as close to hell as they could get without being there. Things were thrown at them from eight o'clock in the morning till eight o'clock at night. I mean, every single facet of preparing people as much as possible in theory that could be presented. Things that you ought to be aware of. Things that you ought not to do. And things really you ought not, never to do. Things like that. Very little what you really ought to do. But lot of what you ought not to do. Which can really leave you feeling good about things. (That's sarcastic).

And after that there was this 200 questions exam which sometimes was only looking for memory retention of what had been said on Sunday at 7 o'clock, you know, morning session at 5.59 p.m. to 59 minutes after the hour or something like that. And after they gave the exam, they had no idea whether they had even passed or failed. Came back. r Came back to Australia thinking, "Phew, I'm glad that's over, but I'm not so glad whether if I passed or didn't pass or what's going to happen now? Do I remember the stuff? Don't I remember the stuff?" You know, and after a long time after that the message comes

down, "O.K. you're on." And then, it's like, "Well, we're on."

So, here they are and I think that if anybody has been through a process like that, they've got to be committed and dedicated to the fact that they do want to give you Knowledge. But they only want to do it providing that you will be able to benefit from it as much as possible. And so it is in your own interest that they are actually doing it. But you're growing and there's a lot of growing pains here you know. You learn things. You learn things you like and then you learn things you don't like about your ownself.

Q: (Inaudible)

The joy of life

M: But see, all that kind of joy is conditional. You just spelt it out for me. You've had a good happy life. You've had sad times but other times have been good. And you've got no overlaps on the bad time. Yes, but the times aside, there's something else going on that's timeless. And that invariably, you have till now in one sense alwacontrol ofnd perhaps even have been in control'of your joy of life. If you can have a good family then you can be inontrol. Your teenager son

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Uncertainty is the
first step to learning.
If you are certain
about something,
can you learn?

comes up and says, "Mummy, you know, I'm going to get married and I'm leaving you." And you feel like if you could resolve that, things could go back to being normal. You know what I mean? And you do resolve it. And things go back to being normal. And so you are in control of your joy, so to say.

But then there is another joy that has inherently always been there. Even if the teenager would have gone out and would have got married. And things wouldn't have got normal and yet, there would have been a joy. Nothing to do with teenager. Nothing to do with you're married or you're not married, or you're a good person or a bad person, or a right person or a wrong person. But inherently. Because you have life, there comes this thing called the joy of life itself. Not of living it or manipulating its living. But because you exist. And that's where Knowledge tries to peak into. Connects you to.

Q: (Inaudible)

M: Well, hopefully the motivation will be commitment towards it. As human beings we don't always necessarily know what is that we should repeat. And, in fact, we don't really, really think about it, we don't really like things to change. You know what I mean? If you go to a particular food place and you order french fries. If they are a particular way, and you think that's good, when you go the next time, would you like them changed? No, you would want them to be exactly like they were at that particular moment. So, even the fact that Knowledge is a little bit different everyday, isn't really going to be the inspiring factor at all. Even though it is. It's always new. It's always wonderful. It's beautiful. Even though it's the same it's always new. But you wouldn't want it to be the same. Because that is not an inspiring factor for human beings.

When we get married we want our wife to be exactly like she was the first day we got married, you know, and then if she's changed, it's like mmmmmm. Our children, we remember them as these cuddly little things. They're the kids.

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Then they've got two bottom teeth, you know, and they can walk, barely walk. They are the cutest little things then. Then somehow, you want them to just stay that way. You know just forty years old with still two teeth. Staggering a little bit. Curly little hairs. It's O.K. if they have a family. But you know same kind of wife you know, two little teeth and. …!

It's just so cute, you know, things are just so wonderful. But having things differently is not constantly or essentially the motivating factor for us. What is beautiful is that we can just commit to it, have a commitment towards it. And this is something. I mean it depends where you are along the process. But instructors will be talking to you about committing. Being committed. That's providing you like it, so on and so forth.

But that you are committed to it.

Q: (Inaudible)

M: Partly. Partly. It's clearing the field, ploughing the field, watering the field. All that stuff. You know, not just one thing. You're making sure and allowing yourself time and space and the information to make sure that this is what you

want. Once you've decided that this is what you want and all this time not knowing what it is that you want, what it is that it is, that you want something like this, and yes, preparing you constantly so that you can be in a place where you do have it. Then you will value t. Give it a good even chance. Or better than an even chance. Because it's important, I think to me and to all other people who are involved in it. And we would just not like to see it sqaundered. •


Q: (Inaudible)

Our objective

M: Response from anyone who hasn't? Oh yeah. Oh yeah. Absolutely. No question about it. And you can pin the cause right down to the bottom where the instructor went wrong. Where the decision was not made properly. It's cause and effect. When a person is not prepared properly, yes. And it is those things.

You see, there was a time nobody cared about it: "Oh, just give it. Everybody will like it." I said, "No, that's not true." If it really is precious to us then we ought to give everybody a chance so that they can be as ready for it as possible. That's the way they're really going to

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enjoy it. And you know, yes, and I'm happy to say that that rate is a lot, lot less now, and decreasing all the time. But yes, of course there are. We have no illusion to the fact that yes, you can receive it and not enjoy it. I mean, McDonalds may have served 56 million people or whatever they say, or a billion people but that doesn't mean everybody likes McDonalds. I don't. There was a guy who used to work there, who told me that just for the fun of it. Actually it wasn't that institution but a similar institution to that. But for the fun of it, they used to have styrofoam cups in hot oil. Because they just disappear. They just, as soon as the hot styrofoam hits hot oil or styrofoam gloves, it's hot oil. It just absolutely disappears without a trace.

My kids like McDonalds but I don't. No, there is absolutely no illusions here.

Q: (Inaudible)

M: Sometimes, and sometimes no, We're dealing with human beings. If we were dealing with computers, yeah, it could be a little different. But we're dealing with human beings. And that's always going to be the case. But all I can do or all instructors can do to the best of our ability is to try to prepare people so that that will not happen. But that is not our objective by the way. Our objective is that people have a good experience. That's really what our objective is.


Q: (Inaudible)

Knowledge is not for sale

M: Yeah, they can't be sales person? – Oh no, no, they can work as a sales person. Mostly they do – but they can't try to sell you Knowledge. That's what I meant. They can't try to sell you Knowledge. And I mean, you know, to me it's like if you're not getting paid for something and you're having to work so hard at it as much as they have to as instructors – I mean, in flying that is the case too, you know. You have to be half-sane and half-crazy. Because if you're not crazy and are completely sane, you'll never go up in the air, with all the other guys flying around. Geeze, you're really taking your chances.

And I mean, in Australia there has been a rush of single engine accidents. In America there has been a rush of single engine accidents. In England, in India they don't have too many, so there hasn't been any. You'd

54 Life Force - October-December 1988

be surprised what these pilots do up there. They have no idea where they are. Absolutely none. I've heard Indian Airlines come on the radio and say, "Delhi Tower?" "Yeah, go ahead." "You know where we are?" "Geeze, I'm in the same air space, as they are. I'm too close to them! Get out of there and do something." It's absolutely amazing the things they do.

But, anyway you have the ability, you know, to put your craziness aside a little and say, "Well, I'll dare, I'll dare to get up in the air and try and have fun possibly." And for the instructors, you know, what I'm saying is that it takes a lot, and the point I was trying to make is that they have to be committed 'to want to give you this Knowledge, to the process,' otherwise they wouldn't be doing this.

But you cannot sell Knowledge to anyone.

Q: (Inaudible)

M: No, I don't think. You don't have to be dishonest to be a good salesman. In fact, I saw a salesman that I was so impressed by that I wrote a letter to his boss saying that he's really good. You know, he was really good. He didn't try to sell you the camera and yet he did a great job of selling me the camera. I bought it from him, you know. Next time I was there, in fact I was going to buy something else from him, I was looking for him. I said, "Where is he?" And he wasn't there, so I didn't buy it. But you know it's O.K. It's O.K. to be a sales person. I mean, I suppose we're all sales persons. We try to sell ourselves to our lovers, to our friends, to our kids – "By ME."


Q: (Inaudible)

M: It's O.K. But you know, don't just think of this as another mediation or another religion or this or that 'another plaque on the wall' we call it. Because this isn't.

Q: (Inaudible)

M: So, the point really is, Knowledge is about enjoying. And it should be enjoyed. But you can't just have Knowledge, for the sake of having Knowledge and not be able to enjoy it. You can't graze on Knowledge, to put it that way.


Q: (Inaudible)

About relaxation

M: Oh, to me you want to hear about my philosophy about relaxation. You ought not to be in a situation which makes you

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unrelaxed. Then you're always relaxed. You see what I mean? People out there, what they're trying to say is coming up to Johnson and Johnson and saying, "Make a bandage that'll patch heads back up, so we can put our heads on the guillotine and then you just make a bandage so that everything'll be back to normal." You can't relax like that. That's not life.

People go out there, burn themselves up and they say, "We need to learn a relaxation method." Forget it. The relaxation methods will make you more tensed than you are at your job, you know. Putting your two legs over your neck and getting in many cramps and hopping like a bunny and God knows what else they'll do. And so to me it's like, 'the key to relaxation is don't get tensed.' You can't keep putting your finger in the pencil sharpener and saying, "Now mend it."

Q: (Inaudible)

M: No, that's purely healthy. No calories. No fat, no cholestrol. Fortunately not, there's no such thing as overindulging in it (Knowledge).


Q: (Inaudible)

Perfect time ahead!

M: Don't worry you know, learn, grow. You'll be amazed how much more there is to learn. How much more there is to grow. And when it'll happen.

I can assure you it will be the absolute perfect time. Absolutely perfect time. And you will feel good about it. I will feel good about it. And the instructor will feel good about it, every thing.

One aspirant said something to me which actually, really touched me, very deeply. She's an older lady, she said, "I can't wait for this Knowledge another second. And yet, I can wait for another 100 years if I have to!" And there I saw a real understanding in three dimension of time. Understanding. And she had learnt something about it herself. So don't be nervous. Don't worry. It's O.K.

Well, thank you very much. I have enjoyed myself. I hope you have enjoyed yourselves also and learnt something, understood something, forgotten something, or really had a bad time. Either one. And I thank you and hope that you keep on progressing and finally get whatever it is that you want.

Thank you.

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