By Bill McCormick
The darshan of Guru Maharaj Ji touched a very deep, delicate and personal place inside me … Now, as I walk downstairs from the balcony of the Auditorium Arena with a tape recorder in hand, I am about to ask other brothers and sisters if they would share their experience of darshan with me.
I feel some awkwardness and a little hesitation. Can I participate in this without intruding on someone else's heart-space?
With a mixture of trepidation and darshan afterglow, I approach a sister in the hallway. I find a simpleness and sincerity being pulled from me as I ask the question.
As the slow and halting reply comes, I feel the after-glow of darshan in my heart being fanned into flames again.
And so it goes from one premie to the next, some finding words, some having none, and me feeling an increase in love for my brothers and sisters. The stream of premies coming from our Lord's feet continues, passing by in wave after wave of wonder.
"What happened to me during darshan was really simple. I just realized that there is no doubt in my mind at all that Guru Maharaj Ji is my Guru. It's very clear that I'm not in control of anything. All I can do is be sincere and follow the agya and take what comes my way. There's no way I can control the results of anything. All I can do is just follow and be open to any experience that comes my way."
Brett, San Francisco
"It's really good to be here. I'm realizing that Knowledge is an individual experience. I can either be one with God or not one with God. Every time I separate myself from that relationship, I separate myself from myself. Maharaj Ji's showing me that when I see him, most of all I have to respect myself. Then it's beautiful communication. But it isn't sending-out communication; it's a knowing communication."
"I felt that if Maharaj Ji wanted to kick me in the head, it would have been beautiful. He didn't and it was still beautiful."
Randy, San Francisco
"It's almost impossible to describe it with words. It hasn't been like fireworks or landslides or big explosions for me, but something inside of me is happening. Something started purring. It's just a lot of love."
"What I'm experiencing is just what a really incredible family we have here. I don't think there is any other group of people that could be called on such short notice and experience so much together."
Dave Boykin, Denver
"So many times, I've gone off a darshan line crying and laughing and holding a baby in my arms. Today is the first time in a while that I haven't carried my kid through the darshan line. I've just been on my own and I've had so much time to concentrate. I really feel treated this time. I've come a long way and I really feel that private thing right now."
Margaret Muso, New Jersey
"Darshan was the culmination of a period of real confusion, not the culmination of confusion but the culmination that all confusion must come to, which is clarity. I thank Maharaj Ji for the clarity and I pray that he'll let me keep it going. I got a feeling that together we're going to do it."
Steve Lloyd, Denver
"This is probably the smoothest experience I've ever had with Guru Maharaj Ji. Soft, sweet, simple."
Jerry Shustrin, Denver
"It's very hard to say what you've experienced in darshan. What you experience when you go through it is just a little part of what it does to you. After hearing Maharaj Ji's satsang in Portland about the "unsmiling smile", I no longer wonder why he sometimes doesn't smile at us. In darshan, I realized that there's so much more than the physical smile that I was wanting. Every time I've gone through darshan, I was always wanting Maharaj Ji to fill me up, not realizing that I was there to give Maharaj Ji my love. Just by giving him my love, then he can give me something."
Jan McKann, Houston
"One of the things I've noticed doesn't have to do with me, but has to do with my 2-year-old daughter. She cried the whole way through until we got about 10 feet away from Maharaj Ji. Then she just started swaying with the music. How often does that happen? It shows me over and over what Maharaj Ji does on the inside. I don't think I can put in words what it does to me. More and more, I just want to open my heart and let the love flow out. I have a real 'hard time doing that, but it seems that each time I see him, I'm a little more open."
Julie Ferraro, Denver
"After I came out, Simon and Garfunkle were singing "Bridge Over Troubled Water." They said, "You're time has come to shine." And it had. That was it. That was the ultimo time."
Scott Harrison, Denver
"It was very beautiful to see Maharaj Ji and be so close to him. When I touched him with my lips, it was just such a beautiful feeling to be able to be so close to him and to experience him inside of me too."
Karen King, Denver
"I was just meditating this darshan. I was much more calm and I was much more happy. I wasn't scared. I just feel generally mellow. I'd like to sit down and meditate for a while."
Jeff Stohl, San Francisco
"I can't say anything. (laughs) I'm experiencing the most indescribable experience ever. Guru Maharaj Ji puts me in the moment. I don't even realize until I see him how much I love him. It's more than I even thought."
Carol, Athens, Ohio
"Mostly, I just experienced surrender, after surrender, after surrender. It wasn't a really heavy thing. It was just beautiful. I just got on the train and a lot of things happened. We didn't run according to schedule, but we ended up here even before we expected to. It was just obvious that Maharaj Ji was in charge of the whole thing. It felt really good coming here and knowing why I was coming … to see Maharaj Ji. There's no one else I would do this for: travel on trains for two days and then travel back. With Portland, it was like, "Should I get the money together?" But with this one, there was no question."
Jane Zimmerman, Boston
"This is the first time I've received darshan. I feel a lot. I don't know quite what to do with it right now, but I know it's a lot. It's very strong. I'm an aspirant. I haven't received Knowledge yet."
Brian, Los Angeles
continued on page 13
DARSHAN continued …
"I was just sitting here and I felt really beautiful, just sitting and meditating and feeling so much love, being so filled up. Then I went up there and I kissed his feet and walked away. It wasn't like any incredible thing happened or anything. It was just the same experience, like a constant flow of Maharaj Ji. I feel really good right now. I feel like he didn't even leave me."
Donna Schneiderman, East Orange, N.J.
"Darshan is a necessity. It's as integral a part of Knowledge as satsang, service and meditation. I used to consider it as the "honoring" of Guru Maharaj Ji for giving us satsang, service and meditation. How funny we grow!"
Jude Barvin, Eugene, Or.
"When I walked up for darshan, I had a beautiful anticipation feeling inside of me. He glanced at me and I got a little excited. But when I was in front of him, he looked at me and I was reminded of all the things I should be doing. I was a little sorrowful that I wasn't keeping up my end of the promise as much as I should have. I know I'm not sad that I didn't get high or anything, but it was just really what I needed."
Fred McGillicuddy, Milwaukee
"I went up in the line and Maharaj Ji kept looking at me, real quick glances. When I got close, he just stared right in my eyes for about five seconds. I felt like his message was, "I know what you're doing. I know where you're at. Just understand that there's a really incredible power available and here I am." (laughs) And then it was completely beautiful to just do pranam."
Laura Davis, Denver
"I have absolutely no problems whatsoever. I've just been in the darshan line and it feels wonderful."
Diane, Santa Barbara
"It was so incredible, so amazing for me that I almost feel a hesitation in speaking of it because it was so divine (to use an old but beautiful word). As I rounded the corner to do pranam to Guru Maharaj Ji, I looked up and he was smiling at me like I've never seen before. It was like I was in the court of the King and I'd been away for centuries. He was extremely happy that I was back. A couple of weeks ago, I was going through a thing of being very tired of Knowledge, not through lack of faith or experience in Knowledge itself, but just in my own laziness. Yet Guru Maharaj Ji kept me there. And when I saw him, it was so wonderful. He was just beaming."
John Lloyd, Denver
"I am getting into such an incredible, beautiful place inside, which is the darshan of my Lord, that I really don't notice much difference when I am confronted by the physical body of this 19 year old boy. I get darshan all the time from him just being close to all my brothers and sisters. I'm getting darshan right now, thinking about it, talking about it."
Charlie Brown, Denver
"I really experienced a connection with Guru Maharaj Ji, just a real, mellow, peaceful time where I could just be with him for a little while and lay my life at his feet.
Kim Shelar-Slansky, Denver
"It was very natural for me. Being with Guru Maharaj Ji was a completely natural experience. I felt completely myself. I walked up there and I just kissed Maharai Ji's feet and darted off. I could feel his love filling me and centering me and putting me back in that place that I always wanted to be."
Jon Vandeven, Denver
"I just came here and wanted to make a commitment. That's just what happened. I tried to do a lot of service, a lot of meditation, a lot of satsang. When I saw Maharaj Ji, it took me completely to a place where I started crying and crying and crying."
"Guru Maharaj Ji just looked at me coming through the line, O.K., you're taking a step, now come on, keep right on coming. By his Grace, I completely smothered my face at his feet and of course was completely stunned afterwards. I sat there for about an hour with my face vibrating. I've never experienced anything like that before. I couldn't speak, couldn't do anything. The whole essence of it was, he was saying, "Okay, come on, you're getting closer now. Come on. You can do it."
Bill Chiricos, Denver
"It was just really secure. I really knew Guru Maharaj Ji in my life. I didn't get the top blown off my head but I really experienced deep meditation before going to darshan. Maharaj Ji seems to do that, to really allow me to go deep whenever I'm around him."
David Mankoff, Denver
"One thing I'm experiencing is that there is really nothing to think about and nothing to talk about, just something to feel. The thing to feel is just so simple that it's even hard to put words on it. The only thing I can do is laugh."
Jeanette Strong, Laramie, Wyoming
"Darshan for me was just to come to the feet of my Master. I came to feel much bliss and love. It's very natural. I don't have the words to explain it. When I came here, I felt more of this bliss. this love, this peace. It's so beautIful."
Alfredo Sanchez, Mexico
"There's no way I can talk about such an experience. It's too close to my heart. It is my heart. It's the fulfillment of my life. It's the perfect center of all life, the perfect stillness."