Meditation is like nothing in this world. It is a completely new experience; and it enriches the whole of life.
You might say meditation is like sun bathing … It relaxes your body, brings you a mellow, warm feeling, and eases away the cares of your mind.
or like making friends … It opens up whole new parts of yourself you never knew were there. It's an adventure, an exploration.
or like restful sleep … It refreshes you, gives you renewed energy and confidence to face the day's tasks.
or like surfing … It lifts you up on the crest of a wave. It is smooth, effortless, graceful, exciting.
Meditation is like all these things, and none of them. It cannot be described, words cannot do it justice. But the experience is yours for the asking.
Welcome to the world of meditation!
Meditation: the missing peace is a special issue of Divine Times, published by Divine Light Mission, 511 16th St., Denver, Colorado 80202. © 1975 Divine Light Mission, Inc. All rights reserved. Drawing by Weber reprinted by permission of The New Yorker Magazine, Inc. © 1975; special thanks to Alan Cunningham and The
Unsatisfied Man; cover photo: Four by Five.
1-Marshall Gaskin, 2-Virginia Patterson, 3-Bertha Trujillo, 4-Scott Glaesner, 5-Joan Boykin, 6-Arthur Evans, 7-Sunanda Rao, 8-Burkie Higgins (with granddaughter Cindy), 9-Father Lara, 10-Annie Bishop (with son Tristan).
Marshall Gaskin, Construction Worker
"Meditation isn't just an experience of peace, it's life itself; it really is life itself. It makes my everyday life just fantastic. It helps me rise above the criticism of others, and the doubts I feel about myself. It takes me beyond all that."
Virginia Patterson, Housewife
"People my age reach a point where we sort of wonder, is this the way it's going to be for the rest of our lives? There just isn't very much to look forward to. I had a job, and things were just going along, but I needed a new direction. And that's the sort of switch it was for me. The meditation just gave me a whole new world to live in."
Bertha Trujillo, Student
"Knowledge helps me to accept other people. Until you can really understand yourself, that's hard to do. As a student, I find Knowledge a useful discipline: I can concentrate on what I'm doing better, and I get a better understanding of whatever I'm studying. It helps so much in very practical ways."
Scott Glaesner, Delivery Driver
"Meditation is, for me, the best thing I've ever experienced in my life. I had 55 jobs in 2 years and thousands of girlfriends – I got sick of everything. Now, sometimes, I feel so good from doing meditation that when I walk downtown, I'll just be smiling, and then even more energy comes, and I'll just start laughing. Now I can just experience things. I don't have to be anybody or prove anything."
Joan Boykin, Designer
"As a designer, I feel meditation acts like a focusing ring on a camera. The camera is my body, and meditation allows me to focus clearly on a problem, so that it's very easy to see the solution."
Arthur Evans, Physician
"I sense no conflict between being a Quaker and meditating, since realizing this Knowledge is realizing Truth. As a scientist and as a doctor, I see great beauty in the way the Light manifests in this world. The most profound thing for me in this meditation is to experience the Creator's love for His Creation. The Creator is the perfect lover. He doesn't judge."
Sunanda Rao, Cook
"Well, I come from India, where all the meditations come from. But this Knowledge is more than the rest of them. It fits the scriptures. It shows you your true self. It's perfect."
Burkie Higgins, Career Woman
"This Knowledge is not a young people's trip, a fad of the era. I'm a college grad, a grandmother, practical nurse, professional entertainer, and scriptwriter; and I have found practicing these meditation techniques is fantastic."
Father Lara, Catholic Priest
"I don't even have this meditation, but I definitely feel the followers of Maharaj Ji are living like the first Christians. I see the light shining in their eyes, and I know there's something wonderful going on."
Annie Bishop, Singer
"When I'm writing or singing music, an inspiration will just come in, and I will know it comes from somewhere completely outside of myself; that I'm a channel. With meditation, I'm more aware of that than ever, and it's easier to get completely outside my thoughts and just let pure inspiration come in."
W. Timothy Gallwey is the author of the best selling Inner Game of Tennis, (Random House). He has coached "yoga tennis" classes at John Gardiner's Tennis Ranch and the Esalen Sports Institute, and is founder of the Inner Game Institute.
"To play the Inner Game of Tennis, we need to get our mind to a place where it is calm, concentrated and clear. We must avoid doing too much thinking, because it's when we start telling ourselves all the things we have to do, that the body tenses up. And that's when we start missing easy shots. So the idea of the Inner Game is to trust the body more, and let it take care of the game.
"In order to keep calm, we have to learn to keep the mind focussed on something that exists here and now. In tennis, the ball exists here and now. So if you keep your mind on the ball, rather than on what the score will be if you lose the next point, your mind will be much calmer. The art of the Inner Game is to keep the mind aware and focussed right now, not jumping ahead to the future, not jumping back to the past. It's a matter of real concentration – unthinking, spontaneous. And when you have that kind of concentration, you feel exhilarated, and you reach your full potential.
"Meditation's the thing that has taught me the most concentration, that has given me the greatest calm. And I have Maharaj Ji to thank for teaching me the Inner Game, both in tennis, and in the game of life."
It balances mind and body.
"The more I am able to meditate while I'm playing chess, the easier it becomes. I can look at the chessboard for just a few minutes and see clearly what the right moves are. I can use my visual imagination to look ahead as far as necessary.
"There's a tremendous concentration that develops as a result of meditation, and this carries over into my game. I've been able to eliminate more of the thoughts and distractions that keep me from playing as well as I could.
"In chess, concentration is everything. When you become concentrated, you can see the chessboard and the pieces in a much clearer way. One great player said that when he played a game, nothing else existed but him, the person sitting across the board from him, the board itself, and the pieces, because that was where his whole attention was. More and more, as I get into meditation, I find my concentration is like that.
If you can just sit at the chessboard and meditate, and not worry about anything else, it all starts to happen. I've experienced that, but it's only grace that can bring us to that clear and perfect point."
John Grefe was joint chess champion of the United States in 1973. He recently shared first place in the Australian Championships in Brisbane. For his performances in recent championships, John has been awarded the official title International Master.
A desert blossom.
Nature doesn't think. Does a tree plan at what angle to grow its next branch? Do two daisies nodding next to each other in a field quarrel? Does a rock worry about getting chilled by the coming snows? Nature doesn't intend, and nature doesn't try.
Go to the desert and sit alone on the bank of a dry riverbed with nothing protecting you but dusty mountains, and while you are sitting there, start to worry as hard as you can. Think about your bills and picture losing your job and being caught with nothing just as a depression comes. Get lonely; wonder if your friends really like you or are just using you and ask yourself if anyone ever really loved you. Worry that you are unknowingly dying of some insidious disease.
You will forget the desert. You will stare unseeing at a tuft of dry stalks and you won't notice its delicate shadow sketched on the sand. Your shoulders will be hunched and your brow furrowed. And if someone should appear and ask what you think of this world, you will say it is in a pretty sorry state.
After a while look up. In the sky one lone cloud is floating, and beneath your feet the riverbed is patterned in wavelets of sand. A bird flutters and a breeze makes dead bushes crackle. Behind the sounds is silence. The sun is shimmering everywhere. The desert is still serene.
Suddenly you realize that the only thing making trouble is your own thoughts; the only commotion in that vast distance between horizons comes from your own mind. Your thoughts are shouting like a blaring radio. They are disconnected and chaotic, as if someone were switching stations. They absorb your attention and blind you to the beauty around you. They make you agitated and unhappy. But you can switch off that radio anytime you want. To become calm all you have to do is ignore those thoughts and look at the way valleys are sculptured into the mountainsides, or study the color of the haze hanging down in the distant air, or look at the spiney arms of a cactus.
People are like desert flowers, created by nature. No one willed himself to be conceived nor planned how his cells would multiply until his body became big enough to be born. And no one has to remember to keep beating his heart or to continue breathing. The essence of a human being is that same natural purity which radiates from an unspoiled desert or a timber pine. But who can find in himself something as profound as an empty desert at dusk? And who looks in other people for the kind of shy beauty hidden in a leaf unfolding with the desert dawn?
A human being must be shown the nature in him nature which doesn't intend and doesn't try, and doesn't think. And even after he is shown it, he must switch off his busy tumble of thoughts in order to feel it. But once he learns this, he is free. For everywhere he goes, he carries with him, as if in a little pocket, that same solitude and grandeur, that same mysterious peace which emanates from natural places. Not only can he see it wherever he wants, but he can be in it. He can see it around him within everything. And he can make other people feel it too. Such is the potential of man.
What is meditation?
Meditation is a matter of concentrating the mind, of bringing it to a focus and holding it there. If we were given one word to explain why meditation has become so popular in recent years, we would use the word practical. No tranquilizer, no therapy, and no entertainment or recreation can claim to be so harmless, so easy to practice, inexpensive, available at all times, and, most important of all, effective – in fact, increasingly effective the longer we use it. Yet meditation not only claims all these advantages, but meditation offers us more … much more.
All of us have experienced something like meditation – when we sit in the country watching the clouds float across the sky, listen to music, or watch an exciting movie, we become absorbed, our minds become concentrated, and we feel good. Without such interludes, our busy modern lifestyle could become an impossible frenzy.
What happens to us during these experiences? Our enjoyment may seem to come from the scenery or the movie or the music, but actually the good feeling comes from inside us. For the moment, our thoughts are not wandering among the regrets, the fears, the ambitions, and the worries which usually keep our bodies in a state of stress and tension. Temporarily our minds are focused, and we can relax and let that good feeling come out.
Meditation is a way to practice concentration of mind – and reap its benefits – even if we cannot go to the country or to the movies or listen to music. Through meditation, that same relaxation is available to us in our busiest moments, when we most need to be free of tension and to think clearly.
A major league baseball pitcher once remarked that the key to good pitching is controlling the mind as well as the ball. "When I'm on," he said, "my mind isn't thinking about anything, yet it is in a state of relaxed concentration. At those times, only me, the ball and the catcher are happening. It's a fantastic feeling: and you know exactly where the ball is going to go." Most of us will never pitch in a major league baseball game, but we do have to drive safely, make important decisions, and be sensitive to the people we deal with every day. Meditation helps us to be steady, and keeps our wits about us.
Our thoughts, memory and reason are wonderful tools and essential to our existence as human beings. But they must be controlled if they are to help us. When the mind is wandering, it distracts us from what we are doing. When we lose concentration, we miss out on rich experiences that the moment is offering. And this richness is what makes a person love to be alive.
Meditation is the key which opens a door. What you first glimpse through that door is relaxation, stability and peace of mind – the well-known benefits of meditation. But after you open that door wide and step through it, you discover not just another little room to your house, but a hallway which becomes broader and broader, leading you finally to whole new vistas you never dreamed existed. And you realize that meditation actually leads us somewhere; it can deepen and change our very lives.
Meditation is the vehicle for our inward journey, an exploration of a hidden, beautiful part of ourselves most of us are not even aware we have.
A car without a driver can't go anywhere. A body without life is the same. There is something which, while it is in a body, allows the body to see, to run, to think, to rest. When that life-force leaves the body, all the body can do is fall apart like a car abandoned by the side of the road.
In other words, it is the life-force itself that brings sight to the eyes, hearing to the ears, clarity to the mind and love to the heart.
This life-force is not the body or the mind, though it powers both of them. When we are in deep sleep, our mind becomes completely immersed in this life-force. This is why we feel rested and refreshed when we wake up after a good night's sleep. In our waking hours, we experience this life-force as our consciousness – the "me" that watches us pass through the different moments of life as a child, an adult and into old age.
This is the actual energy pulse of life within the human frame. And being pure energy, it cannot be created or destroyed. It is everlasting.
This is the part of us which religions the world over call "the soul". The soul actually exists. It is the most vital life support system of all, for it is the soul which makes sure we keep on breathing even while we are asleep. And when the soul ceases to "operate" someone, like a car without a driver, he's dead.
Real meditation means consciously dipping into this same energy source within us. That is why true meditation is so peaceful and yet so full of life. That is why it relaxes us, rests us and recharges us, washing away the tensions of body and mind.
The great masters of the past taught that those who follow the spiritual path with sincerity reach their goal; those who seek perfection, find it. And those who do find it, say that it is within them, and that it is light. It is this light "which lighteth every man that cometh into the world." It is this light which illumined the Buddha, so that he was called "the Enlightened One." And those who experience this light, have found their true self.
When Socrates said "know thyself," it was this experience of inner light he was speaking of, the experience of the soul. The true self-Knowledge is not a knowledge of one's faults, but of that higher power which is capable of taking us beyond them. There is a driver in your car, and you can know it.
"There is a story which describes how shoes were invented. It seems there was once a king who lived in a beautiful palace, and who used to walk through the many rooms of his palace barefoot, enjoying the sensation of the thick carpets under his feet. One day, however, he decided to go out across his kingdom, and visit all his subjects. He gave orders to his Grand Vizier that the whole of his land should be carpeted, since he had no wish to hurt his soft feet on any sharp rocks or thorns that might exist outside his palace gates. And he declared he would set out the next day on his travels.
In vain the Vizier reminded himself that several thousand square miles of carpet could not be found overnight. The king had spoken, and the king must be obeyed. At last, in the early hours of the morning, the Vizier had an idea. He went to the king's carpet maker, and asked him to prepare two little squares of carpet, with straps attached to them. And in the morning, when the king was ready to begin his tour of the kingdom, the Vizier presented him with these first-ever carpet slippers, and explained to the king that as long as he wore them on his feet, wherever he walked, he would experience the softness of the carpet.
What is Knowledge?
Meditation has been described as "perfect concentration on a perfect thing." But what is that perfect thing? It should be natural, it should be peaceful, and yet it should be energetic. It should be available to us wherever we are, and it should be portable. It should cost nothing, and it should be worth more than anything in the world. Sounds unlikely? What you've been looking for all your life, and never found? There is something that fits all these criteria and many more the Self, the life-force which we were discussing earlier.
In much the same way as the king carried the softness of his carpet with him, those of us who meditate on an inner experience of complete fulfillment and peace, experience that peace in all our worldly activities. The pain and frustration that is so common today cannot touch us, as long as we are careful to remain immersed in that inner experience of peace. This is the secret which all the saints have taught – to meditate constantly on that very source of peace and life within us. The Chinese sage Lao Tzu, for instance, tells us that "to know others is wise, but to know the self is enlightenment." Any form of meditation or concentration will bring some change into our lives: but for the best possible effects, we should come to know our real source, and meditate on that.
There are two ways we cap know something. We can know it as a fact, or we can experience it to be true. People who have learned geography know that Ethiopia exists, in a theoretical way. But people who have been there have a deeper sort of knowledge of it. They remember the streets of Addis Abbaba, the markets, the bustle of the crowds, the music in the evening air.
In the same way, we can have two sorts of knowledge of our inner Self, of this consciousness inside us. We can be learned in the philosophy of inner experience … or we can actually experience for ourselves. For the practical man, it is the experience, and not the theory, which counts.
The soul, the life-force, actually exists. Guru Maharaj Ji suggests that we should first see this unchanging part of us, this energy source, and only then believe in it. Thus, we call his meditation "Knowledge" because through it we come to know, by practical experience, the soul and its nature. And because what we experience influences us, the experience of a pure and perfect energy within us naturally brings us closer to perfection and purity. Our happiness and sense of fulfillment that we find through this Knowledge is so great that we naturally change, opening up to the love inside us, and thus leading increasingly unselfish lives.
By "receiving" Knowledge, we can begin to experience the constant source of peace and love which is within us. Four techniques are taught that open up natural internal channels of awareness. By following these channels inside, we can see, hear, taste and feel the purest forms of energy that exist.
Life is a locked box,
Maharaj Ji teaches us to experience the energy within us by means of four simple techniques of meditation. The first of these techniques allows us to experience that energy inside us as light. Sitting in a darkened room with our eyes closed, we see a beautiful light unfold inside us. When we say "see the light," we are not speaking in metaphor. We do not mean that we have understood something, as we might when we say "it dawned on me …" We actually see a bright, shining, real light inside us. As we learn to concentrate more closely on that light, our experience of it changes; we begin to be drawn into it, and to understand that, like the sun shining above the clouds, that light is always there within us. We come to realize that we are light, that the unchanging and undying part of us is light, and that as light, we will pass through death unharmed and unchanged. Seeing this light calms the mind, and gives a clear perspective on the world around us.
"There is a glorious sun, not the sun you see in the sky, but a sun which is within ourselves which is much brighter than the sun you see in the sky. When the sun comes out, it only dispels the darkness, but when this sun comes out, it dispels the darkness and ignorance both. It is all within us." – Guru Maharaj Ji
The second technique which Maharaj Ji teaches allows us to experience the same energy as music inside us. As we sit in a quiet place, we begin to hear harmonies inside ourselves. Perhaps we identify these subtle sounds as crickets, waterfalls or drums; perhaps we catch a hint of flutes, or a choir, and as we listen more closely, the sound begins to swell and engulf us. As we listen to this inner harmony, our lives too become harmonious, as we become better attuned to the needs of each moment. "See deep enough," wrote Thomas Carlyle, "and you see musically; the heart of nature being everywhere music if you can only reach it."
"Today, the guitar is played, and you love it. Rock- and-roll is played, you love it. Classical music is played, you love it. But there is a music going on inside of us also. God plays that music, and it is such a far-out music, so symmetrical and so beautiful, that after one note, man's mind is concentrated upon it." – Guru Maharaj Ji
By means of the third technique, we can concentrate on the energy of life itself, constantly flowing inside us, twenty-four hours a day. This technique can be practiced while we are working, talking, eating, playing, even while sleeping. We perceive the energy inside us as a vibration, a pulse deep within us which both powers our breathing, and brings us a sense of deep relaxation. This vibration inside us has been known in various cultures as the Word, the Holy Name, the Tao. All the great scriptures of the world have talked about it. It is not a name that can be pronounced, not a word made of syllables, vowels and consonants. Rather, it is the force of life itself inside us. As this vibration flows within us, we can allow ourselves to be caught up in its flow, to experience it as the source of life itself.
"When you meditate on this Knowledge, an incredible experience flows into you. And you go with that wave, and it's so beautiful. You just let yourself relax into that most holy, fantastic experience that we always wanted, let that experience just make you vibrate and vibrate and vibrate. Because that's what it does." – Guru Maharaj Ji
The fourth technique allows us to experience the same energy in the form of a liquid – to taste refreshment from a hidden source of sweetness inside us. This sweet drink, called nectar, is perhaps the hardest to describe of the four ways in which this meditation is experienced. The doctors who practice this meditation speculate that nectar is a glandular secretion which gives balance to the whole endocrine system. Yet the experience itself shows that it is more than this. Nectar, when tasted, brings an immediate sense of well-being, delight and goodwill. It brings back the sensation of joy that we knew in our early childhood, and refocuses the world in such a way that we see the beauty in everything around us. It floods us with a feeling of love.
"In this Knowledge, you can get to a point where you open your eyes, and you see nothing but Light. At that time, all you hear is Music, all you can feel is the Word vibrating, all you can really drink is Nectar. It's so beautiful, because everything that is inside our body, all that energy, just comes together completely and fills us up." – Guru Maharaj Ji
full of peace and light.
The King of Hearts
There once was a princess who grew up among beautiful sisters in a perfectly lovely kingdom. But in spite of her surroundings, this little princess spent most of her time feeling out of place. She didn't feel so very lovely. She could see quite well the beauty of the kingdom, but she couldn't see herself. Thinking of how ugly she must be, the little princess kept to herself. She really couldn't enjoy anyone or anything.
One day, a prince who was on his way home from foreign lands came to the court to pay his respects to the king and the royal family. He brought rare and unique gifts for everyone: an emerald for Margaret, a clavichord for Eve, an exotic fur for Helen. For the little princess, he pulled out a sheet of glass. "Of course," she thought to herself (for she was always thinking in her loneliness), "something incredibly plain for me!"
But for some reason this one present gave the prince the greatest joy in giving. Beaming, he held it up for her to see. And what she saw was more than she could believe. It was a beautiful little girl – herself. The prince then gave her the mirror to keep. For the first time, the princess was able to see herself as she really was and she was freed from her own silly thoughts. Now she could enjoy the beauty around her, seeing it in herself and herself in it.
The little princess kept her precious mirror throughout her days, and her heart was forever thankful to the prince who freed her with his gift.
This Knowledge is a spiritual mirror through which we can see our own soul – our inner, perfect Self. Those of us who have received it have had an experience very close to that of the little princess. In seeing our own true Self, we've found the peace and joy which allows us to appreciate the beauty of life everywhere. And, like the little princess, we have come to love the one who brought us this gift and taught us its significance: Guru Maharaj Ji.
Guru Maharaj Ji is the teacher who shows us how to know for ourselves, by our own experience, the perfect energy which is keeping us alive. He is an expert in the subject, so we call him the Perfect Master. On one occasion, Guru Maharaj Ji spoke of his role this way:
"I have to tell people that I am not a prophet. I am just an ordinary human being, with two legs, two eyes, and I work, and I have voluntarily put myself here so that I can reveal this Knowledge to people, because I think people need it, because people have forgotten what this Knowledge is. So I am just teaching them perfectness and that's why they call me the Perfect Master. And as a matter of fact, I am the Perfect Master, because I can reveal this peace. I am not saying I am perfect because of this reason or that reason, but simply for one reason and that is because I can reveal this Knowledge which is perfect."
Guru Maharaj Ji's only mission is to reveal this Knowledge of perfection to anyone who wants it, free of charge. He is not here to establish a new religion. This is no philosophy, but an experience by which people can change themselves to live in love. And Guru Maharaj Ji is no philosopher, but a practical man with a practical solution to the inner diseases of fear and worry.
Guru Maharaj Ji was born in Hardwar, India, on December 10, 1957. As the son of Shri Hans Ji Maharaj, the previous Perfect Master, he led a spiritual life from birth. At the age of two and a half, he was already encouraging his father's disciples to "meditate and realize this beautiful Knowledge." By the time he was six, he was speaking before large audiences, explaining the value of meditation in discourses in both Hindi and English.
Shri Hans Ji Maharaj chose his youngest son from among all his disciples to serve as the next Perfect Master and to continue sharing this Knowledge with all people, around the world. Upon the death of his father in 1966, Guru Maharaj Ji began revealing the Knowledge. He was then just eight years old.
From that time on, he has traveled throughout the world, speaking on radio and television programs, and to overflowing audiences. He has received a variety of civic honors including the keys to New York City, New Orleans, and Kyoto, Japan. The mayor of Los Angeles proclaimed an International Meditation Day in his honor, and several State Legislatures have passed resolutions commending Guru Maharaj Ji for reducing drug abuse and "alleviating the inward suffering of humanity."
Guru Maharaj Ji is doing everything he can to encourage people to receive Knowledge, but his care does not end after a person begins the practice of meditation. Although he has over one million followers from many diverse cultures, he maintains a personal connection of inspiration and love with each one. It's a special relationship that is generated between Guru Maharaj Ji and his spiritual students – a relationship which might be invisible to the external eye, but which is very strong and true.
Once at an airport reception, a reporter asked Guru Maharaj Ji how he felt about all of his followers, who had come to greet him. He said, "I love them, they are as close to me as my breath." And his own expression sums up the feelings of his followers for him. He has shown us how to find the true happiness, lying right within each one of us. With this Knowledge, our whole life is filled with gratitude and love. And Guru Maharaj Ji is truly the King of our Hearts.
A newsman looks at the Knowledge.
Alan Cunningham was until recently a reporter and editorial staff member of the Denver Rocky Mountain News. This story is adapted from his article "There Is No Hope for the Un-Satsang Man," which appeared in the Summer, 1974 issue of The Unsatisfied Man, a Colorado review of journalism.
There is an axiom in the newspaper business that you can't get involved in any movement if you want to go on writing about it. The theory holds that a reporter who becomes devoted to a cause loses his "objectivity" about it.
What, then, does a conscientious reporter do when he comes up against something that he can't ignore, from the standpoint of personal involvement?
In 1973, I had occasion to write an article about Guru Maharaj Ji. Calling the guru's Divine Light Mission, I had my first exposure to a thing called "satsang." In the Mission's parlance, it derives from Hindi words meaning "in the company of truth." In more cynical terms, it means one is getting the sales pitch.
However, something strange happened to me that day. This "satsang" thing grabbed me, and I felt that the voice on the other end of the line was giving me more than the usual glib pitch. I believed it had the ring of truth. That voice was telling me things that my ears – and apparently my soul as well – were ready to hear.
For me, the events which followed were a logical part of a genuine and sincere search for truth. I heard more and more of this "satsang" stuff – even to the point where the word became a natural part of my vocabulary – and wound up a devotee of the 16-yearold Indian guru. My entire family received Knowledge.
Along the way, however, I ran into the damndest conflict I'd encountered yet, from a journalistic point of view.
Just about the time I was beginning to think about the guru and what or who he might be in real earnest, I was cast by Fred Brown of the Denver Post to portray him in a skit for the Newspaper Guild's annual Gridiron Show.
The skit was highly unflattering to Guru Maharaj Ji, whose name none of the cast could then pronounce correctly.
I actually considered backing out of the skit. What if this guy was the Lord of the Universe? What if I should become one of his followers? Would I be struck dumb or something for holding him up to ridicule?
At last, I decided to go ahead. If this kid had the power of a Jesus Christ, he would surely be as impervious to the slings and arrows of a Gridiron skit as a Sherman tank is to a peashooter. Besides, God is a loving God, I reminded myself. He'll forgive my folly.
Meanwhile, Dick Thomas, the city editor, was saying things to me like, "Why don't you go out and expose this fraud for what he really is?" I had the sense of wading into very deep water.
By the end of the year, however, I had resolved the conflict – or, to put it into my newly altered frame of reference, Something had solved it for me. And I decided to ask for Knowledge.
Shortly thereafter, I found myself transferred to the editorial page, where exposes of spiritual movements weren't part of the agenda. It gave me a freedom I badly needed at that point – a freedom to put my reportorial hat on the shelf for awhile, relating to this
"What if this guy was the Lord of the Universe?
Would I be struck dumb or something for holding him up to ridicule?"
powerful new experience on strictly human terms.
It also gave me the opportunity, while relatively free of daily deadline pressures, to rethink a good many aspects of my profession.
I pondered the fact that, like teachers or lawyers or anythings, reporters often start their careers with strong idealism, only to have it battered down steadily by all the day-to-day compromises of newspaper publishing.
Further, I had an opportunity to examine closely the strained relationship which seems to exist between the guru's organization and the press. As his devotees are acutely aware, Maharaj Ji doesn't seem to get a very good press.
Why is this? Obviously, for me, the simple allegation that he deserves it doesn't suffice. I would have to explain it more in terms of the ways in which virtually every reporter deals with this same conflict that I went through.
It's my contention that everyone who comes even faintly close to the phenomenon of this powerful spiritual master goes through this conflict, to some degree or another. This young man challenges all of us to take stock of ourselves, and a frequent response, initially, to that sort of challenge is to behave in a way
that the devotees often refer to as "freaking out."
In rethinking some of these things for myself, I have come to see the very institution that I work for in a much different light. I've begun to realize that, like most of the citizens of this dark world, my co-workers and I have been steeped in a lot of negativism. Until we find a way to clean up the act inside of ourselves, we can't help cranking a lot of those negative vibrations into the things we write.
I received the Knowledge in February, 1974. Now, after one and a half years of meditation, my view of life is as different as the day from the night. The world looks more beautiful to me now, and I have begun to appreciate with every passing breath, the simple and beautiful joy of realizing I am alive.
I like to think my spiritual experience with Guru Maharaj Ji has given me a glimpse of a new perspective which, if applied to all aspects of society today, could begin to remake this world into a better one.
In no way does all this mean I am getting ready to go up on a mountain someplace for the rest of my life. That glimpse doesn't show me people on mountains; it shows me people doing the same jobs they do now, but doing them with the benefit of that new perspective, and thus doing them far better.
That perspective, I believe, could put people back in touch with those smothered ideals. It could mean teachers would again be able to teach, lawyers to help in the pursuit of justice, and communicators to communicate worthwhile ideas. Furthermore, it might permit reporters to experience their own lives fully without hiding in press boxes.
"Satsang," you see, is a beautiful word. And when the day comes that it is a part of everyone's vocabulary, you can bet it will sell a hell of a lot of newspapers.
A doctor's view of Knowledge.
"The Knowledge Guru Maharaj Ji reveals brings a healthy balance to life. As a doctor, I have been able to observe positive changes in myself and others who have received this Knowledge. The Knowledge is intensely practical, helping people in every area of their daily lives. It is an experience of spiritual awakening which brings a new vitality and fresh outlook on life."
If perfection is a state every human being can attain, it must have some inner biological pattern to back it up. If, as the scriptures say, communion with God is the most natural path for each man to follow, it must proceed from the physical structures common to all humanity. Just as we can clearly study the process by which the caterpillar becomes a butterfly, we should be able to identify within man's body, the means by which he undergoes transformation to a higher state of consciousness.
This is why the great Masters have always taught that perfection lies within us. Today, science is beginning to see that all the equipment for such a transformation is present within the human body, in very real, recognizable structures.
Physicists know that man's true nature is energy. The Knowledge of Guru Maharaj Ji is the revelation of this basic energy within our bodies.
One of the ways that we can experience this energy is as light. Not a symbolic light or "feeling" of clarity, but an actual light that can be seen, beautiful beyond imagination, which soothes away the accumulated tensions of body and mind. To see this light is called "enlightenment."
When we receive the Knowledge which Guru Maharaj Ji gives, our pineal gland is activated by the experience of inner light. This experience tunes us in to subtle vibrations of energy which cannot be perceived by our sense organs or by any machine we have built. And by experiencing this perfect energy of creation, the entire bodily system begins to undergo a gentle set of hormonal changes which re-direct our desires, perceptions and behavior, into the most natural and flowing directions.
By meditating upon inner light, we begin to experience firsthand the source of all life – of our life.
We feel immense joy and a true understanding of the unity of all living things. Just as a bulb will light only when an electrical current passes through the connecting wires, so when the current of real life is turned on within us, we begin to glow with the perfection of our Creator. Those who meditate upon the light experience profound changes in behavior: most of them find no more need for drugs, alcohol and cigarettes, and begin to rise above the drive for ego-fulfillment. They find peace in this experience of light.
This is why people who experience this Knowledge find the most profound meaning of life in their daily work. Each action they take expresses the joy and universal love which they are experiencing. And each action performed in this love does indeed increase the quality of all human life.
This Knowledge is not artificial, indeed it is the natural basis of life itself. Meditating on this Knowledge leads to vitality and alertness. It has nothing in common with daydreams, hypnosis or auto-suggestion. The structure of this Knowledge is built into the natural biology of the human organism. It is the key to man's further evolution, the evolution of humanity into personal and social peace and harmony.
Marriage and the Knowledge.
We were married in 1973. When I think about the vows we took, I realize that neither of us understood what was really happening.
Of course we had been told about the sacred act of marriage. Its meaning had been planted within us as we grew up – Linda in the north of England, I in a wilder country called Brooklyn. And I suppose the purpose of marriage lived somewhere within our genes; it is not much younger than rocks, water or human breath.
We had even read "The Prophet," like all bonafide searchers, and learned we had "… been born together, and together you shall be forevermore … Aye, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God."
So we had been prepared, but we weren't taking it too seriously. The idea of two individuals promising themselves to each other until death do them part seems both scary and funny when we identify ourselves solely as individuals. We are, in fact, unique. But there's more to each of us than our individuality, and this is the beauty in the Prophet's wedding song.
Linda had received Knowledge shortly before our marriage and was struggling to understand how it fit into her life situation. I wasn't a premie and was rather verbal about her "ripoff" Guru. Whenever she told me about Knowledge I came down heavy, and the lines were being drawn.
Like so many couples, we had perfected the fine art of the dependency relationship, looking to each other for completion and approval. At the same time, we fought to maintain our separate identities. It was Fritz Perls' theory of "you do your thing and I'll do mine," but we had no idea each one's truest "thing" was the same.
Linda did come to know this when she received Knowledge, but I wasn't listening. In time she stopped trying to tell me; if a baby tries to take his first steps and gets shoved back to the floor every time, he'll settle for crawling in another's company.
A short time later there were two new disciples two infants on the spiritual path. Maharaj Ji has a way of pushing you to your limits until that subtle click in consciousness comes and you're forced to check yourself out. In a story too long to tell here, the events of my own life brought me to Knowledge.
So we began that unique walking lesson known only to couples: you step out on your own, because Knowledge is completely personal, but you're holding hands at the same time, pulling the other to his feet when the weight starts to sag, then sagging yourself and being pulled up. And no matter how far you walk, how great the distance becomes, your palms are still together because you're going to the same place.
Because we were young, all of us, there were some strange concepts among the premies about being married on this infinite path. More than once we heard that the only way to realize Knowledge was to give up all attachments, and we thought this meant each other. But concepts will disappear if they're treated to a heavy dose of reality. The more we meditated, the more we began to realize who we were and why we were together. I think the heart of the matter lies in those words, "… together in the silent memory of God." That's quite a memory. Hibernating somewhere inside me, in a place that cannot speak, is the understanding that Linda and I have been, are, and always will be in union, as if it would take two of us to complete the bow before our Creator.
I stand alone in this Knowledge, as Linda does. We are separate entities. I have no doubt we can walk this path alone, unmarried. But we choose not to, because adding to the joy within the spirit of each is a part of the other.
We're finding that we must first give ourselves privately and completely to practicing Knowledge, so we may know who we are. Only then can we experience the total love between us and still have full respect for each other as individuals, to the point where dependency upon one another plays little part in our lives. Any time we try to define our roles by looking to each other for total happiness, we're granted a fast illusion of well-being. Soon it collapses, and we see the mirage. Knowledge teaches us to be dependent only upon God, the security that knows no change of mood, no personal longing, no trip to Las Vegas for a quickie divorce.
In all appearances we are a typically married couple. I work and Linda is resting, preparing for the child who will come any time now. We live together in our own apartment and we care about the way it looks. We enjoy shopping for bargains. On weekends we may drive to the mountains, and in the quiet moments between us we share intimacies that belong only to us.
But we are not "typical" – not at this point in time. We are, in a sense, undercover agents of Divine love. I say this not to boast about our state of awareness, but to tell other married couples that Knowledge will change your relationship in a way you can never imagine. It will make you aware of the love within each other and yourselves, with feelings totally new and profoundly natural. This happens slowly, with meditation, but there is not one moment in any day when you are not being taught, not one breath you take that does not contain a lesson. Our responsibility as husband and wife is to remind each other of the truth within each of us and between both of us. And when this is fulfilled, we know where to deliver our thanks for the gift of each other.
The Perfect Master Plan
Let's say that you learn these four techniques of meditation. You're able to see light within yourself as tangibly as the sun on a brilliant August day, and hear sounds somehow resounding within yourself, soothing your mind. That elusive energy which has been sustaining your breath since birth is uncovered, no longer a mystery. You've even been shown an exact method to drink from within yourself the liquid called "nectar"… But how can you live with these things?
After all, up 'til now we've had to put most of our energy into fulfilling the responsibilities we already have in life: our job, our family, just getting the food we need to live. Trying to remember which bus line runs over to Fred's house could well overshadow our first attempts at "remembering the Word". In short, it's as easy as we've heard to do meditation, but it's often hard to remember that we should.
For this reason, Guru Maharaj Ji recommends a way of approaching life to make it easier to keep this calm inner feeling in the foreground. It begins with meditation, but encompasses every aspect of our life.
In examing (sic)our own lives, it's interesting to notice that with any new skill we'd like to acquire, or new subject we'd like to pursue, we create – perhaps unconsciously – certain habits to support the learning process. As an example, let's look in on Fred, who has decided he wants to learn how to play tennis.
Fred has been looking for some leisure activity to get into as a diversion from his work and daily routine, something to relax his mind and let him enjoy himself and other people more. Many of his friends have taken up tennis lately and they seem to really enjoy it. So, first off, he has a real motivation from within himself to pursue this sport. He begins by checking around to find the best pro he can to teach him the game. In checking out the pro, he also keeps his eye on the students themselves, because they are the products of the teacher's ability. He makes his decision and signs up for the lessons.
During those initial six weeks of tennis, Fred gives himself over to his pro because he really wants to learn. He attends each class and practices regularly. Not only that, he makes a point to get over to the club as often as he can at other times just to sharpen his game and perfect what he's learning. He finds himself stopping in at the tennis shop more often, learning about different racquets and a new brand of tennis shoes that came in. Gradually, tennis experiences and techniques creep into hiseveryday conversation – he is even having his teacher and his doubles partners over for dinner. Instead of watching "All in the Family" on television, Fred switches over to the Wimbleton finals – and little by little his game is improving and the relaxation he was looking for is coming into his life. The more he is putting into the experience, the more he is getting out of it. Learning to play tennis started with beginner's lessons on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, but gradually and automatically went beyond that as daily habits were built up to help him in the learning process.
The problem with using tennis to relax is that it's a parttime involvement. After the game, we have to leave the court and return to the responsibilities of our lives. When we decide to give Knowledge a thorough trial in our life, we also have some tools at our disposal to help build the habits which will in turn help us in the learning process. But in the case of Knowledge, the tools can be with us all day, while we are taking care of cur ongoing responsibilities. These tools are called meditation, satsang and service. By taking advantage of all three of these things, we can be in the restful place of Knowledge all the time – and giving ourselves with love in our day-to-day lives.
Meditation makes us happy. The meditation which Guru Maharaj Ji is offering is different from all others because it actually tunes us into the energy within us which keeps us alive. Because the experience is internal, we can't lose it. It's always there.
Meditation on the Word is so simple and easy that it can be practiced with great enjoyment during any physical or mental activity – walking, talking, eating, driving a car, balancing the books … In fact, meditation improves the experience of life to such a degree that once we start meditating, we never want to stop. We always want to feel connected to the deep well of love and peace that is within us.
Sitting quietly and doing nothing but meditating is also very good. Guru Maharaj Ji recommends that we sit quietly in meditation at least one hour in the morning and an hour in the evening. This quiet time is like a workshop in self-awareness. Here, we learn fine tuning – locating the exact connection within ourself that allows us to have a good feeling inside us throughout the day.
It's a really amazing thing when we first experience the life energy within us through this meditation. But it shouldn't end there; our consciousness can stay in that place as long as we are making an effort to keep it there. Meditation is the key to this fulfilling experience; and our desire to stay in that experience is the key to meditation. Practice, as they say, makes perfect.
Meditation is not like instant coffee, where we just add water and there it is. This takes a little time and love and what we reap from it is more than we could ever imagine.
Smiles are contagious. When someone who is really happy walks into the room, it often makes us feel happy too. "Satsang" is a way to communicate the joy that meditation brings. Whenever we are trying to share our experiences in Knowledge, we call it satsang. And we hope that our joy will be shared from heart to heart, because this love is just waiting to be discovered within each one of us.
It is this true joy which comes from within ourselves that we want to experience, and satsang is to enjoy the company of it. Literally translated, that's just what "satsang" means, "to be in the company of truth." When we are in satsang and open to the love which is being expressed, we begin to understand that this love is in us, is in the speaker, and is in everyone, naturally.
Satsang, in a sense, is the first step for all of us. At some point we realize that there's more to life than what we think. And in satsang, in whatever way we first encounter it, we can begin to understand that the love and peace which we've touched on somewhere in our life is readily available to be experienced at every moment. Questions about how to capture that experience are answered in satsang, clearing up our doubts, expanding our joy, encouraging us to make an even greater effort to be who we truly are, by learning and practicing this meditation.
People come together for millions of different reasons, engaging in one activity or another. Satsang is unique because it is the one thing everyone can share, as its purpose is to magnify our love.
Love is a seed given to each one of us. We can keep it to ourselves, and probably it will turn to dust pretty soon. Or we can plant it in our actions and it will blossom for the benefit of everyone. As Guru Maharaj Ji once said, "To spread this peace into this world, to bring that love, to bring that joy that we all have been waiting for, to work in that direction is called service." Over and over Maharaj Ji encourages everyone to come together in cooperation and loving action – and surely our world will be transformed. The key to service is knowing the root of love through meditation.
The special thing about service is that it not only brings this beauty more into other people's lives, but it brings more of it into our own. By giving of ourselves, we learn to be more giving. And the more we give, the more apparent it becomes to us that the well of love within us is inexhaustible.
Knowledge is practical. Meditation, satsang and service do not define specific and regimented activities, but rather they are ways to approach whatever it is we do. With Knowledge we can experience and express peace chopping carrots, writing novels, being a politician, businessman or anything else. Meditation, satsang and service allow us the opportunity to deepen our awareness of this peace at any time.
It doesn't really matter where we do meditation, satsang, and service – as long as we do all three. Guru Maharaj Ji doesn't dictate any sort of lifestyle as a necessary factor for having peace; but whatever manner of life we lead, we need these three things for our practice of Knowledge. They are like the three legs of a stool: only when they are all together do they make a balanced place for us to stand.
When we first see that meditation is something we'd like to learn, as in anything else, we need to investigate and find an expert teacher who can really help us. Like Fred in his tennis lessons, we need to be able to trust that teacher and follow his advice. Additionally, there is the constant practice time to be put in "on the court" – in meditation. To take advantage of more experienced "players" and soak up what they've learned – through satsang – is very inspiring, as is the joy we have in sharing what we're learning, too. The experience becomes complete when we are on our own feet and willing to help others learn what we're learning of this peace – through service.
how do I learn to meditate?
For the best results, meditation is something that has to be practiced throughout your life. Understanding this is an important prerequisite to learning the actual techniques of this meditation. Being taught the techniques could turn out to be a useless pasttime if we aren't aware that their real value lies in using them.
The process involved in learning these four meditation techniques is actually very simple. If there is some interest awakening in your heart, find some people who have been practicing Knowledge and ask them to explain it further. Then, just listen. By listening more and more to people talk about their experience, you can deepen your own understanding of what it is you really want out of your life. Ask your questions, voice your doubts, and open up to new insights. Really investigate this Knowledge, and you'll find yourself investigating many things about yourself. When you come to fully understand that the experience of Knowledge is what you want, and if, inside of you, you find a deep commitment to practicing the meditation, then go ahead and ask to have it shown to you.
Those who instruct a person in the Knowledge techniques are known as mahatmas, and are people who have been specifically chosen by Guru Maharaj Ji to perform this service. It is their duty to select those people whom they feel have a clear understanding of Knowledge and a keen desire to practice it, and then to carefully teach the techniques of meditation to them.
As with all of the programs sponsored by Divine Light Mission, the session with the mahatma is free of charge. But if you want to experience the Knowledge, you have to ask. It's up to you.
Peace on earth begins within you
When the first pictures of earth taken from space were published in magazines, people did a little reflecting. From a distance, the earth looks like an ideal place for peace – swirls of clouds over blue oceans, touches of green, mountain ranges. But if we take a closer look, we can see that right in our own countries things are far from perfect. We are faced with many complex problems at this time. Some people have even resigned themselves to believing that these problems are unsolvable. They insist that "as long as there are two people on earth, there's going to be fighting … there'll always be wars." But now we're saying peace on earth is possible. And not just in the distant future, but beginning now – with each individual person.
When you go to make peace on earth, first you have to identify what the problems are. It seems that most problems in the world could be solved by thoughtful use of the earth's natural resources, application of existing technology, and a more humane approach to government. But our past failure to open our hearts to one another has prevented these solutions from being utilized. We can produce food in abundance, but if our leaders cannot cooperate with each other enough to distribute it across national borders, that food will never reach hungry mouths. Legislation can be written to make it illegal for people to buy guns, but while anger remains uncontrolled, wars will continue.
So the thing we need is a tool which can actually go right inside the human heart, and adjust it in such a way that it begins to give out love, patience and unselfishness. We know of such a tool, and we've used it to work on our own hearts. And if it works for us (which it does), it can work for everybody. This tool is Knowledge, the meditation Guru Maharaj Ji is teaching. Practicing this meditation gives us a bright new outlook about ourselves and about the world. And as this feeling spreads out into every part of our lives, we begin to feel – perhaps for the first time in years – relaxed, confident and hopeful about the future. And more than this, we want to take steps to translate this inner feeling of peace into a better environment in which to live.
Divine Light Mission (DLM) is an organization of people practicing Knowledge. Its purpose is to spread peace by informing people about the benefits of the meditation that Guru Maharaj Ji offers, and by making the meditation easily available for people to learn. In order to do this, DLM sponsors introductory programs on meditation that are held nightly in nearly every major city around the world. Seminars are also held to prepare interested people for the practice of Knowledge itself. All of the Mission's programs, including instruction in meditation, are free of charge.
Throughout the world the many sorts of people who are reaping the benefits of the meditation's practice have been gathering together to form communities, to share the love they are feeling on a practical level. DLM is now represented in 55 countries on six continents. The reverence for life and increased sensitivity to human needs which members of DLM are experiencing has inspired many to become involved in numerous social service projects and community activities in whatever country they live. These activities are coordinated by a division of DLM called Divine United Organization (DUO), whose purpose is to act as the administrative arm of Divine Light Mission and to practically implement different programs to help make peace on earth a reality.
DLM and DUO have their International Headquarters in Denver, Colorado, where a staff of 150 full-time volunteers coordinate the efforts of the Mission members around the world, working to create what Guru Maharaj Ji calls "an exemplary alternative" way of life. At the end of 1972, when DUO was formed, Guru Maharaj Ji spoke about his vision for this new organization: "I challenge this to the whole world, that by Divine United Organization, by the Grace of Almighty Lord, and the power and bliss of the Knowledge, again peace in this world can be established in the same way people have dreamed of. The kingdom of heaven on this earth is possible …"
Described here is a sampling of some different projects begun by DUO in its first three years:
Responding to the need for low-cost, high quality foods, Rainbow Grocery was started. In the United States, there are 34 Rainbow Grocery stores, financially and legally distinct from DLM. They all run on a "cooperative" principle, which encourages everyone to share in the service of running the stores as well as sharing in the benefits of shopping in them. The members of cooperatives feel that food should be provided as a service, not as a profit-making business.
Unity School, located in Denver, Colorado, is an experimental educational facility, founded and staffed by teachers who are practicing Knowledge. Its approach is to develop the fullest potential of each student, using maximum sensitivity and a low teacher-student ratio. Unity School makes every effort to help its students maintain the loving spirit and natural inquisitiveness which will help the children to learn throughout their lives.
In the area of physical and mental health, DUO medical professionals are staffing clinics in Denver, Colorado, and Washington, D.C., with a focus on preventive medicine. The doctors in these clinics approach each patient as a total individual and prescribe a program that is tailor-made for his needs, often including practical diet and exercise for health maintenance. For instance, the Institute for Health Awareness, in Denver, in addition to their comprehensive health services, offers mothers a complete program of health care and preparation for natural childbirth. They also offer a stress-management program and are conducting research into the relationship of meditation and health.
The World Welfare Association is the social service arm of DUO. WWA volunteers are active all over the world, seeking to improve the physical condition of people so they can better experience the joy of living. Building from a relationship of trust and friendship, it becomes easier to understand the root cause of loneliness, despair and suffering. With this understanding, people can find the solution to their own problems. There are WWA volunteers serving in prisons, homes for the elderly, mental hospitals, drug clinics, and in many neighborhood projects.
DUO encourages theatre companies and musical troupes to participate in WWA to bring light-hearted entertainment into people's lives. Through Performers of the Living Arts, or PLA, professional and amateur entertainers use their talents to open people to the real beauty of life.
Divine Light Mission, DUO, and WWA are young organizations, and when contrasted with the size of the world's population their contributions may seem small. But this is just the beginning of something, and the power of love is great. Peace on earth is possible. It begins within you, slowly reaching out to touch and change everything and everyone around you. ^
Back a good long time ago there was a remote little island that stuck up out of a grey, hostile sea. Not much happened on the island because there wasn't much that could happen. No town hall, no Sunday, and no fire department. Rude little huts sheltered the people from the eternal wind. There wasn't much to eat on the island, so everybody fished. It rained a whole lot, too.
Every morning the fishing boats went out into the cold, grey sea, and when they came back, everybody would stand around in the rain and wind and squabble over the meager catch. And at home at night, they would grumble about the weather and the catch and say, "There's gotta be more to life than this."
One day when the weather was too miserable even for fishing, and everybody was down on the beach caulking boats and mending nets, they saw two figures coming toward them. One was a man. The other was … something else.
"What the hell is that thing?" somebody asked. "It's a cow!" the stranger replied.
"A cow, huh?" one of the fishermen grumbled. "Can it catch fish? Can it fix a roof? Or forecast the weather?"
"No, but …"
"Just what we need – another useless mouth to feed! Now you and your scrawny thingee get off our beach." And all the fishermen began to shout and swear and throw rocks at the cow.
In desperation, the stranger seized a teat and squirted a warm white stream of milk directly into the nearest shouter's mouth.
"Now do you see?" he asked quietly.
The man who'd tasted the milk stood transfixed,
and then, for the first time in years, a smile lit his face. "Hey, do that again!" he breathed in wonder.
Quickly, the stranger produced a bucket from his belongings and began to milk the cow. "Gather around," he said. "There's plenty here for everybody."
One by one the islanders tasted the sweet, frothy milk. "Fantastic!" they exclaimed.
"And that's not all," said the stranger, and digging in his pack, he produced cheese, yogurt, and butter! "The cow gives three buckets of milk every day," the stranger said. "And all the cow asks in return is your love, a rude shelter and a bit of grass to eat."
So the people built a magnificent cow shed, gathered a huge pile of sweet, fresh grass and invented Sunday, a special day when all the people would gather by the cow shed to dance and rejoice and sing songs to the cow.
The islanders grew fat and pink and healthy and happy. The fishermen only fished on the calm, sunny days and the rest of the time they visited from but to but and helped each other and invented new recipes, like strawberry yogurt and fish sauteed in butter and grilled cheese sandwiches. They had time, too, to look around them and to enjoy their island home for the first time. "You know," they'd tell each other, "I never had time to notice it before, but this is a really groovy little island! Listen to the songs of the sea birds – and see how beautiful the sunset is. I just knew there had to be more to life, I knew there had to be … something else."
But then one day, the cow, who had grown quite old, just couldn't seem to get to its feet. "I am afraid," said the cowherd, "that the time is near."
Three days the people sat silently by the cow shed. And on the morning of the fourth day the cow breathed no more.
"The cow is gone," one of the elders told the people, "but we still have much of what the cow gave us. We've learned friendship, we've learned to see beauty in ordinary things. We've seen that wonderful things, beautiful things can happen when we least expect them. Let's never forget these things."
Well, it didn't take many years for life to revert to pretty much what it had been before – a life of fishing and grumbling and being cold and wet most of the time. But every Sunday the people would gather by the cow shed and tell stories about the cow.
As the years passed, the elders decided that the memory of the cow should be passed on forever, so they made a law that required everybody to go to the cow shed for cow stories on Sunday.
"It was a most fantastic cow," they'd say. "It had four ivory horns and blazing golden eyes that shone in the dark, and each day, seven brimming buckets of cream would flow from its seven udders!"
Then one Sunday a few hundred years after the cow had died, the elders made an announcement. "We are going to build a statue of the cow. It'll be just like the cow was in life – two hundred feet high, with a hundred blazing horns and a thousand diamond eyes that can be seen a hundred miles out to sea!"
One day about three generations after the colossal statue was finished, the people were all down on the beach grumbling to each other. "Fish, mend nets, get rained on, worship the cow – there's got to be more to life than this," one remarked.
"Hey," said another. "Who's that?" Everybody looked … and saw that a strange boat had landed far up the beach. And two figures approached – a man, and something that wasn't a man.
"Whadaya call that thing?" somebody asked.
"It's a cow!" said the stranger.
"A cow!?" said the elder. "That's not a cow! Now that," he said, pointing to the monstrous statue, "that's a cow."
"Beware of false cowherds leading false cows," the elder quoted. "You, sir, are a blasphemer! A heretic!"
"But this cow can give you milk," the stranger protested.
"Allegories!" shouted the elder. "See, he defiles the memory of the cow! Stone him! Cast him into the …"
The stream of warm, sweet milk arched into the elder's open mouth and he stopped yelling abruptly. His expression changed from anger … to amazement … to joy.
And the people on the little grey island knew, then, that the cow had come to them again.
A couple of quick quizzes.
Throughout this magazine we've been describing an experience which we say is beautiful and liberating. Not I only that, we say it is within everyone, it always has been, and that there have been many teachers throughout history who have made this same Knowledge available.
If this is true, we should expect to find startling similarities between what we have begun to describe to you here and the various scriptures of the world …
Just for fun, try these two brain teasers and see what you come up with. And then consider finding out for yourself the possibilities of this experience today.
A Quick Quiz About the Internal Light
See if you can tell which of the following quotations comes from which of the great world religions. One was written by a Jewish prophet, two come from Hindu scriptures, one comes from the Christian Book of Revelation, two were written by Muslim poets, and one comes from a sermon by the Buddha. Can you match them to their sources? (See below for the answers.)
1. Neither sun, moon, nor fire shine there. Those who go thither never come back. For that is My Celestial Home.
2. There the sun shines not, nor the moon, nor the stars, lightnings shine not there, much less earthly fire. For by His light, all these give light, and His radiance illumines all creation.
3. He is a mighty Emperor. His Light is not as the light of the moon and the sun, in the presence of which a thing abides in its place. When His Light shines forth unveiled, neither heaven remains nor earth, nor sun nor moon; nothing remains but that King.
4. The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory.
5. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.
6. What a secret splendour is there, in the mansion of the sky! There no mention is made of the rising and the setting of the sun.
7. The Sun shines by day, the Moon illuminates the night; a warrior with armour shines, a wise man shines in meditation.
A Quick Quiz About the Blind Receiving Sight
One of these sayings was written by a Jewish prophet, another by one of the four evangelists of Christianity, one was spoken by a poet who grew up in the Islamic faith, one by a Tibetan Buddhist, one by a Hindu, and one by the founder of the Ba'hai Faith. The thing is, can you tell which one comes from which religion? Or does it look as though each of these wise men was talking about the same thing? (See below for the answers.)
1. Blind people get back their sight, and the lame walk.
2. I have learned from my Teacher how to walk without feet, to see without eyes, to hear without ears, and to drink without a mouth.
3. Listen, you deaf people, and look, you blind men, so you may see.
4. Dumb, he speaks, blind, he sees. Deaf, he hears, and crippled, he can run.
5. A cripple climbs up to heaven and drinks. A deaf man is overjoyed to hear music. A blind man is very happy to see the light. It takes a wise man to understand this riddle.
6. Blind your eyes, so you may behold My beauty. Stop up your ears, so you may hear the sweet melody of My voice, empty your self of all learning, so you may partake of My Knowledge.
Answers to the first quiz: 1. Krishna, in the Bhagavad Gita, a Hindu scripture; 2. The Katha Upanishad, also of Hindu origin; 3. Rumi, an Islamic poet, commonly known as the Shakespeare of Persia; 4. The Old Testament prophet Isaiah; 5. The Book of Revelation; 6. The Muslim poet Kabir; 7. The Buddha, in the Dhammapada. Answers to the second quiz: 1. The Gospel of St. Matthew; 2. the Muslim poet Kabir; 3. The Old Testament prophet Isaiah; 4. Marpa the Translator, a Tibetan saint and poet; 5. Brahmanand, a Hindu saint; 6. Baha'u'- Ilah, the prophet of the Ba'hai Faith.
As varied as the sources of these quotes are, the experience being described of internal light seen even by the blind is obviously a common one. And, the fact is, it is an experience which all of us can become aware of through the meditation called Knowledge.
This Knowledge is very simple, very human and very helpful. Whether we are rich or poor, whether we think of ourselves as religious or not, whether our tastes are very different in how we dress, eat, speak and live – we are all alive. Knowing that power of life which is common to everyone, we can come together and we can learn how to love. Guru Maharaj Ji is making this Knowledge available for anyone who wants it.
The missing peace.
We hope that through this magazine we have been able to give you some indication where this missing peace lies. And then, of course, it's up to you to put the puzzle together …
We have tried to present some of the beauty of the experience of meditation as well as the simple facts.
We've seen that together, sharing what we know of life, we can learn to live in complete peace. If you would like to find out more about this Knowledge, just contact the nearest Divine Light Mission information center, or write us at Divine Light Mission, P.O. Box 532, Denver, Colorado 80201, (303) 623-8280.