Personal Experiences of the Knowledge
Rev. Paul Fueter is the General Secretary of the Swiss Bible Society, pastor of a Swiss church, and father of several premies.
When the first devotees came to our city to speak to us about Guru Maharaj Ji's Knowledge, I immediately felt deeply stirred. Many questions were raised in my mind, but I was struck by two facts: first, the wonderful changes taking place in the lives of these disciples, and second, the evangelical simplicity of so much that was said during their spiritual discourses.
As to the first fact, most of the young people who became the first disciples here had been desperately searching for God, and the religious instruction they had received had left them with a thirst that neither the words nor the deeds of their pastors and priests had quenched. But once they had been taught what they said were the simple techniques of meditation, they suddenly started reading the Bible with me, explaining certain key passages of the Gospels and of the Epistles in a way that revealed a new spiritual insight. I saw that they had gone through a new birth and that the spiritual world had become as real to
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them as it had become to me when I was converted thirty-seven years ago.
But these changes could have been due to a superficial enthusiasm - perhaps these young people were easily "taken in." I was therefore keen to know what was really said during satsang. I discovered that the essence of Guru Maharaj Ji's message was not "oriental religion," as many of my colleagues supposed, but the corroboration of my own discoveries as to the nature of spiritual experience.
After many years as a missionary in Africa, I had come to the conclusion that our words had become a screen, preventing the deep relationship with God experienced by the Christian saints whom we were given as examples. So when the mahatmas spoke of the Word of God as not accessible to the mind, but planted in us by God; when they described our vain search for truth and life through our intellect, I felt very much at home. Here was a message corresponding to my own intuition. As a missionary I had tried to communicate spiritual experience; but had only taught words. When Africans had really lived a new life through becoming Christians, they were telling us how God Himself had filled them with His Spirit. They were speaking of Christ in a very concrete and practical way. For them, our dogmatic statements were but shadows of a divine reality which I had also experienced many years ago. I was also impressed by those premies who had been drug addicts and whom I had met in very sore plights. Suddenly, they began to show what the Apostle Paul calls, "the fruits of the spirit, love, peace, joy, temperance." Finally, those who went to live in ashrams and dedicated their lives to meditation, satsang, and service, confirmed my first impression: they had found what Jesus called "the treasure hidden in the field" or the "precious pearl."
Many of them suggested that I too should take this Knowledge, but I hesitated. Could I accept something from the disciples of Guru Maharaj Ji, who were
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speaking of him as if he were the reincarnated Christ? Was this not denying my "living Master"? I spoke to many premies, trying to understand, and the answer was always the same: "Those who have taken this Knowledge understand what Jesus taught. But this Knowledge is practical, not theoretical. Once you see divine light, hear the divine music, taste the nectar, and live with the holy Name of God you will really be closer to God, to Christ, to the Holy Spirit."
"Do you mean that I shall be closer to Christ than I am now?" I asked. "Try it," they said. And I did, because I felt that if my devotion to Jesus was not at least as real as the devotion to Guru Maharaj Ji, I had better pack up.
Receiving Knowledge has been for me, an amazing experience. I am older than most premies: for them this was a completely new beginning. For me it was the recapture of the first love which I had experienced in my youth and which years of study and life had atrophied. I discovered that what Guru Maharaj Ji said is true: "We devote tons of energy to develop our minds and our bodies and not even five grams to develop the light which is within us and which is the source of our life."
Suddenly, meditation was not a "must" anymore, but a deep longing. Whereas before I had to pinch myself to think of God, now at any moment-in my bed, at the wheel of my car, walking through the streets-I can enjoy perfect bliss. I learned to sense aggression in myself and in others and to overcome it; my children had said that my devotion was still sealing with words, images, and not with realities, ad they had been right. How extraordinary and deep the grace of God!
I can only say that I have never been as close to Christ as now, that the Bible has become so much clearer to me. When I read the words of Saint Augustine, Luther, Teilhard de Chardin and of the other great Christians, I discovered that they experienced
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something which is accessible to all those who give first place to the Kingdom of God and to what He requires, and who do not worry so much about tomorrow.
This is what those who live in ashrams are actually putting into practice. This is what a life of meditation, satsang and service can mean to all who long for it.
I think there may be other parents who find it very difficult to begin to understand why their son or daughter has become attracted to Divine Light Mission, bowing to the feet of Guru Maharaj Ji. Some of these parents may be suffering great anxiety because, after trying to the best of their ability to give their children a good start in life, they are now at a loss to comprehend this "strange behavior" of the younger generation. Perhaps some may think, as I originally did, that something terrible and very strong is leading their loved ones away from the family and from the "normal" way of life to which we have been accustomed.
At the age of twenty-four, my son, having had a mixture of success and failure in the modern educational system, and after failing to find satisfaction in various jobs, became interested in Divine Light Mission. He left his home and job to seek Knowledge from this Indian boy. Why did he have to choose an Indian in his search for God? Why couldn't he have stuck to the Church of England, the chapel down the road or the Salvation Army-something which we knew about and could understand? What was this Indian movement all about?
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What about that note which was lying on the floor after he returned from one of his earlier weekends with his new friends - "Just a few sandwiches for your journey home. Jai Satchitanand." Who is this Jai Satchitanand? Would Jai be male or female? Would our son marry an Indian? Away went the parental mind on a nightmare trip of fears and self-pity. Why did it have to happen to our son, whom we loved so much and whom we were prepared to let live life in his own way, as long as it happened to be our way!
In those early days I just didn't want to know about Guru Maharaj Ji, who was claimed by his followers to be an incarnation of God, and although I did read a little of the magazine called And It Is Divine which my son begged me to study, I was unable to feel drawn to it, to be sympathetic towards it, and sought only to make criticisms. I just didn't want to stray from my own thoughts on religion. I didn't want to change my ideas, I didn't want to bother!
However, after four or five months I felt impelled to visit London to see my son again and to find out more about Divine Light Mission, to try to set my mind at ease. What I found was amazing.
Instead of a group of hippies and young eccentrics, I met young men and women from many walks of life who did not smoke, drink alcohol, or take drugs; all had open smiling faces and quiet voices, giving an instant impression of stability, and all were dedicated to spreading the word of peace and love throughout the world.
All doubts about this strange way of life were dispelled as I spent a day in the company of premies, visiting the Divine Sales shop, a divine jumble sale, the divine residence and finally the evening satsang program at Imperial College. At one time in my life I spent some years in the Forces and learned something about discipline, but I have never experienced a higher degree of self-discipline than that achieved by the disciples of Guru Maharaj Ji - not for material
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riches, fame, or power, but for humility and universal love.
My daughter accompanied me on this tour and each evening during the following week we recounted our experiences to my wife. I had arrived in London with a prejudice against Divine Light Mission, but now had to admit that these premies who had "dropped out" of society to live in an ashram had in fact chosen a life which demands nothing less than the highest qualities of human behavior. I was filled with admiration for these people, who, at the end of a long day's work, were grateful to Guru Maharaj Ji for the opportunity to do this service, and glowed as they sang devotional songs during the informal satsang program. This is something I would not have believed had I not experienced it myself, and although the most convenient ashram is some ninety miles from my home in Grimsby, the following weekend my wife, daughter, and I made the first of many visits to Leicester.
In between these visits we have again been to London and enjoyed the Darshan of Shri Guru Maharaj Ji and Shri Bal Bhagwan Ji. I have been so fortunate as to be able to thank Guru Maharaj Ji for bringing our small family together into the vast family of Universal Spirit. By his grace I received this Knowledge of divine light a week ago; my wife and daughter are listening to satsang in preparation for the time when Knowledge will also be theirs.
Meanwhile we carry on with our normal jobs and home life. Perhaps the image we present is little different from before, but inside ourselves doubt and anxiety are giving way to tranquility and calmness in the knowledge that God's love is supreme. My son once said that there is so much love in our family, so much love locked up, and that we should take the Knowledge which Guru Maharaj Ji is offering and release this love to the Lord so that we can share it with our brothers and sisters throughout the world. So
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he taught us something. Of love, I had only known affection and compassion; now I am learning devotion.
So to all those who are sitting in darkness or despair I would say, "Don't be afraid and pull the shutters down as I did for so long, pay a visit to Divine Light Mission with an open mind, share my experience, and return to home and industry with renewed vigor and a sense of purpose. Just open your heart."
I met Guru Maharaj Ji in India three years ago. I was travelling for four years, in search, only knowing the constant taste of discontent which made me move. I was so restless. I met many teachers and lived in many ashrams; many practices and rituals I gladly practiced, believing that those whose teachings I accepted knew what I needed to know. But when the restlessness returned, I moved on, and after some time, my heart reached a level of such grave disappointment that I began to lose all my natural optimism, and thought finally, that no one knew we were all poor seekers for some happiness that did not exist. This is called death, the death of our hope, the hope for which man has been born, without attaining which there is no reason to live.
At this time I reached Bageshwar, a village high north in the Almora district of India. I had been walking from ashram to ashram, weeping quite a lot, reading scriptures and mourning. My eyes were clearly telling me where I was heading, and rather than rejecting that black pit of nothingness as I had usually done, I finally accepted, that yes, this is where I am going. In Bageshwar, I stopped. My body was
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tired, my mind and spirit were tired, and physically I could go no farther, as I was at the Chinese border area. So I stayed in the ashram with the rituals and the chillums and wept and danced and generally waited. For the pit. Or whatever. I felt I had really had it, and there was nothing else I wanted to try, or any other place I wanted to go.
This is a testimony. But really, without exaggerating, it is a scripture, for I have been graced and the Living Lord has found me, and so my experiences with Guru Maharaj Ji are the eternal experiences written by every soul in the past and will be written by every soul in the future who meets the embodiment of truth, pure consciousness, and bliss, receives his Knowledge, and lives under his universal shelter.
So there in Bageshwar, I experienced that blessing of being ready to receive. I was truly empty. There fore I qualified. The native people accepted me as another crazy "sadhu"; thank the Lord I was in India, where spiritual bereavement is not considered at all abnormal.
Then a young sadhu came to the temple. He was very outstanding. His ankles didn't move, so he hobbled in from the northern trail carrying a large tin suitcase which was rather strange for mountain travel.
He wore the traditional two pieces of cloth, but his eyes were like a six-month-old infant, and he was followed by a large crowd. He set up his home under a tree in the ashram and began delivering a discourse in Hindi. I saw him, watched him, and then went in to my own room and wept.
That night it rained, and he came into the main room where I was also sleeping. He saw my scene of candles and incense and flowers and Bible and we began to talk. In due course I collapsed and cried for a long time, telling him in tears of all that I hoped for and was trying for and had not found. He smiled and opened his suitcase. He took out a picture of a very
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young boy and said, "Joan, if you want practical Knowledge of God, you'd better go to Dehra Dun."
This shocked me awake from a long dream. About a year before, I had met two English people coming back from India in a restaurant in Afghanistan. We spoke together for less than an hour. They told me they had met a twelve-year-old boy who had revealed to them the Name of God and shown them the divine light. They showed me his pictures and gave me his name and address in Dehra Dun. I went my way and they theirs.
Some eight months later I arrived in India, and in due course lived in Rajasthan, in the caves of Mount Abu, where I had decided to try to enter the kingdom of heaven by my own means and I was living in the forest in a very ancient split-level cave. I would visit a swami about two miles away at Lal Mundir, who was full of joy. One day he told me that I would not find what I wanted living in a cave, that I should go to Dehra Dun. I asked why. He just said I should go there. Then I went back to my cave, and in due course got very ill and was unable to move in the cave for ten days, when the villagers came and put me on a bus for Delhi.
After three days in the hospital I was released perfectly O.K. I met a friend from Afghanistan in the street and he invited me back to Afghanistan. It was then I computed everything and decided to head for Dehra Dun. There was something. And so I started in that northernly direction.
But not before hitting the Almora district, the land of the ancient temples and all the India we always read about and imagine, the wise old men, the constant chillum smoking around the sacred fire, the rites and rituals, very much like a photo essay on India, and I got into it. Walking from temple to temple, but now the emotional crisis, the weeping, the darkness and finally to Bageshwar, where the young sadhu showed me the picture of Guru Maharaj Ji.
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The young sadhu was actually a mahatma of Guru Maharaj Ji, an apostle who has been given the command to impart this Knowledge of light and Name to sincere aspirants who request it. Guru Maharaj Ji has over 2,000 mahatmas all over the world who are showing by his grace the Light of God to millions of people.
He wrote me a letter of introduction to Guru Maharaj Ji, which I only recently found out from the Holy Mother read, "This girl will die without Knowledge," and sent me to Dehra Dun on a bus.
I arrived at Guru Maharaj Ji's home, a beautiful white house with so many trees and flowers, a paradise, and I huddled on the front lawn, fearing. A car drove up and a figure came out of it. Everyone fell to the ground and prostrated. I felt it was Guru Maharaj Ji. Still I waited, and then they gave me some tea which made me feel more like a human being, I was so totally insecure. Finally, Guru Maharaj Ji came out to see me. He asked, "What do you want?" I wept for twenty minutes, and he very gently said, "O.K., O.K., you can go to your room upstairs, you can go upstairs now."
For one month he gave me so much love, and never saw the bad in me, only drew out the good and made me able to see some good again, and laugh and feel his enormous love. His divine brother, Shri Bal Bhagwan Ji, who is the incarnation of divine intelligence, and much more, spoke to me every evening on the sacred science of the soul. He answered every question of my mind, and my heart began to open up. Holy Mother and the divine brothers of Guru Maharaj Ji gave me so much love that I knew only one thing, that I had found my destination, and that I wanted only to be with them forever.
Guru Maharaj Ji is pure and perfect. We can experience this purity and this perfection only from the divine manifestation of the soul, the Perfect Master.
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When I understood that Knowledge was the way that I could be constantly connected to him, internally and externally, I begged for Knowledge. And he gave me that entrance into the kingdom of heaven.
We were living together as a settled family of freaks on a farm in the middle of nowhere in Wales. My last few weeks there seemed to spin around faster and faster. Like a ball on a string being spun around someone's finger, I was spiraling in and accelerating so fast that there was no time to even think about it.
I could feel a desire in my heart, in meditating alone, to grow out of the lifeless love I felt for the girl and the others with whom I lived. My friend had died. I desired to feel a love that would connect not only living souls more joyfully but even the dead as well. Life felt so continuous, but there seemed to be no way to really recognize that unbroken continuity. On the farm we had lived out the twelve month span of that fragile flower of love we so carefully tended; it was undeniably beginning to wilt.
Only a month to go before September 21st, the Autumn Equinox. I looked in Raphael's 1972 to see what was in store for the heavens for that date and I began to tremble with a fearful excitement. There was to be a full moon on that very night, when all the planets were to arrange themselves into a rare and litteral formation called the Grand Cross. There was something I already knew that was to happen on that
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date, and I automatically began to prepare - even as the swallows begin to jitter together in speckled rows upon the telegraph wires.
The time was ripe. The day of initiation into some long lost secret was at hand. On the 14th of September I was ready, knowing that I had to go alone. I carried the smallest tent and smallest bag of simply cracked wheat. The bewildered members of the family saw me off, standing together in silence and looking after me as I headed for the mountains where lay the center of an enormous and ancient holy area.
I climbed and rested and climbed under the hot afternoon sun; but whenever I thirsted, there was a trickling stream of the purest water at my feet. There was soft heather and moss underfoot. I stepped out of my shoes and left them in their tracks.
Eventually, I could climb no higher. The sun was blood-red. Little lights twinkled far below and far above. It was cool, and I gratefully slid into the tent, the sleeping-bag and sleep.
I was suddenly awake. It was dark and I remembered where I was. There was a beautiful laughing of a child in my ears singing "Lex! Lex! Lex!" My chest was tingling and something within my body that was not my body was tugging me, rippling like a blanket. My fear was soothed before it had a chance to scream. I was instantly asleep and awake as a crimson beam of sunrise pierced through the tent flaps into my eves. Below, a sea of pink mist lapped this island and others scattered around like black ships. I knew I was here, I was home. I had only to wait, to prepare, to fast and meditate for seven days.
I had not even the desire to eat; and the sampa was gradually scattered to the little finches and sparrows that gathered round when they remembered that food really was to be found up here. By the sixth day, my body was empty and light. I felt very peaceful, but a little apprehensive. I had a strong urge to gather wood for a fire I could light that night. But there
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were no trees, so I climbed up and down the mountain that day, gathering what wood I could find until a bier had been built upon the topmost rock. I bathed, drank much water and then slept.
On awakening, it was already dark; but the full moon had risen above some distant rocks like a brilliant ball. Before long, all the mountains around had become luminous with a silver light. The rocks upon which I sat with a blanket were arranged like a stairway to the sky. I suddenly felt very over-awed and small, and all the stars in the sky turned into eyes as they looked down upon me. I felt the heavy formation of that heavenly cross bearing down. I was feeling a change overcoming me and in the air all around and I became very frightened, as though I had come to challenge a power too great for me to ever dare think about. I longed to crawl into the safety of the sleeping bag, but I decided to pray instead as I meditated by this ancient circle of rocks called "Bedd Arthur" meaning Arthur's Grave. I was so alone, waiting for the feeling of dread to crawl away from my spine.
And there before me was seated a thin figure, smiling at me. I felt surprise and an overwhelming feeling of pleasure. He shone in the moonlight, radiating love and warmth which brought tears into my eyes. Then I was up in the sky, seeing the moonlit rocks and mountains below, even the little tent. And then I was shown what I always had wished to see.
Before the night was through I managed to light the bier, that it could be seen for miles around. The flames soared with light and warmth up into the heavens like my heart. I was rapturous with joy! And as the sun rose in flames I bundled up the tent and leaped from rock to rock down the mountain, singing as wildly as I could. And then I ran straight into the arms of some long-lost friends of mine over whom I spilled my joy about God, whom I knew was here. "He is!" they said. "So let us take you to Him!"
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Before long, in my tattered robes and unwashed hair and miles away from the peaceful farm in a hostile city, I was listening to satsang, the only satsang before I received the Knowledge. And a week later, a beautiful girl said to me, "Here, take my ticket for a flight to India. I went there last year, and no more seats are left with still so many wanting to go." The next day I was in India seeing my Lord at his home with three thousand others. With him was his brother Bal Bhagwan Ji. I recognized him from the mountain top. That day, the 21st of September, had been his birthday I later heard.
At school I showed a markedly practical bent. My main interests were airplanes and science. But a time came when I suddenly became aware that problems existed. Everybody seemed at some time to fall into the trap of thinking they knew the answer. We used to sit around and philosophize in the school library, because we were determined we weren't going to make the mistakes our parents had made. We weren't going to get so involved that we lost our compassion.
My interest in aerodynamics and science began to fall off, and I started figuring out some way I could be of use to humanity. I desperately wanted to find some way of improving the human situation. So I started thinking, studying books on Zen Buddhism, ordinary Buddhism, Taoism, all different kinds of religion, trying to pull it together. And in school I started to write poetry. I got into art, poetry, dope, the spirit, the quest. The search for truth didn't really leave me, though it was hidden after a while. Somewhere there was an answer I hadn't found. I thought dope was the answer, I thought acid was the answer, I saw the whole "head" scene as the answer. But eventually I realized things weren't working out.
I thought well, somebody ought to go and find
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someone who can help - maybe there's a Buddha somewhere, an enlightened soul, roaming around on the earth - somebody ought to go and find him, to go tell him that everybody's really in need of help. This went on for a while until a little voice came right back at me saying, "Well, if you keep thinking somebody ought to go, why don't you go?" So eventually I got it together and got those things I needed and started out for India.
As soon as I got there I thought I was just going to walk over the border, and some yogi was going to come straight up to me and say, "Oh great, I've been expecting you, come on," and it would all be put together. But the India I found was a gigantic continent, and every village and every town had a dozen or two saffron-clad sadhus and monks roaming about, and I realized this was a much bigger task than I thought. I asked where was the holiest man they knew. Who was the greatest guru around. I was already skeptical of popular ones that had come to the West, the Maharishi, the Hare Krishna people, and so on. I sort of felt that if there was a true guru, he would be pretty busy in India, he wouldn't have time to go running around the West till he'd turned on quite a few people in India. So I thought he'd be pretty well known in India, and then come to the West. I went to the southernmost part of India, and started to work my way back up. If I didn't find him in India, or Nepal, or Tibet, I would go to Siam, to Burma, Japan; I had a whole thing worked out. And so my disap-
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pointment got worse and worse, disappointed with all these people that I kept hanging my hopes on. I'd been given addresses, names of towns, names of gurus, I'd go and I'd look them up, I'd spend some time, weeks, trying to find them-some of them right out in the middle of the desert, and I'd go way off out in the middle of the desert trying to find this guru. And I'd stay with him, and I'd put up with all kinds of sickness, and eventually the disappointment would come, I would realize he wasn't telling me anything I hadn't already read in books. I figured that the living guru should be able to tell you more than a book can.
Just after I'd left the guru in the desert, I had a dream in which Lord Vishnu appeared. In India there are great color pictures of Vishnu in every shop. His picture was always around me, so now I was dreaming that he appeared before me. I was all in awe and amazed, I said, "I'm lost, please show me the way to Satguru." I had never heard of the word Satguru, I just wanted to find the right guru. And he just pointed at the rising sun and disappeared. Then suddenly, in a flash, I realized that the sun rises in the East, and I should go East. I had a little map, and I drew a line from where I was, East, and it went through the Hardwar-Rishikesh area. I immediately caught a train and went there.
I went to the village square and I sat there. It was a great day, it was a festival day, and there were about fifty other sadhus all gathered together. They were all sitting there in various colors of yellow and orange, and to an outsider it must have looked very holy, but I was thinking, "If I'd seen all these people together in one place a few months ago I would have thought it is so holy,"-but I wasn't impressed. I sat down with a whole lot of other people and started to beg, all these people in orange robes on the roadside, begging for pennies. I was really beginning to feel depressed actually, and I began to pray. I closed my eyes, "None of them really know God. I don't know where to go, I'm just kind of stuck here, you know, being drawn this way and that." I must have looked pretty sad because someone was tapping my shoulder, and I said, "I'm trying to meditate." He said, "I know, you look as if you're trying, but I know you aren't." This little nineteen-year-old boy was telling me that he could see that I didn't know how to meditate. And I was offended because I'd been trying for
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about three years, but when he started to tell me what meditating was, I could tell that he really knew. "What we really need is Satguru. Satguru means true revealer of light," he said, and he asked me if I'd ever been shown light, and gradually I realized what he was saying. He told me the whole story of Shri Hans Ji Maharaj and the new Perfect Master, and I was fascinated. It was an incredible story. This was the first time I had come across something that was still happening. I said, "Is the guru still here, can I find him," and he said sure, and I begged him to take me. He wasn't sure whether it would be possible, but he said he would try. I was praying.
When I got there, I was kind of clumsy, I really didn't know how to approach a Satguru. But I knew there was something perfect there, a feeling of completion, like there was no more search, no more traveling and roaming about. And I didn't even know all the intricacies of Satguru or his Knowledge, all I knew was that I'd really found somebody holy, some-body with real spiritual power. I had no idea Guru Maharaj Ji was going to give me Knowledge, I just knew that he was radiating a clarity, and a purity of consciousness, that I hadn't found anywhere else. When you look into his eyes, it's like looking down a long, long corridor. Time and distance disappear.
But by that time I had read so many books, and had so many answers to everything, intellectual answers, that they must have wondered whether I was going to take the Knowledge or not. Sooner or later, I think it was Mahatma Satyanand, who asked, "Can you tell the difference between a real papaya and a stone one?" I said yes. And he said, "How will you tell the difference?" And I said, "Well, I'd probably taste one, I'd try eating one and soon notice if it was made of stone," and he said, "Yes, but how can you tell whether this is true Knowledge or not?" And I thought, "Oh, forget all the answers, forget all the thoughts," and I just folded.
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Guru Maharaj Ji gave me satsang, but because he was getting school exams at that time, he didn't have a lot of time. Then they were going to a program. I thought it was going to be a small gathering with a few hundred people. I just couldn't believe it-there must have been several hundred thousand people. It was in Saharanpur, and I couldn't believe it, I couldn't figure out where they all came from. Everybody was like a saint, you know, I thought these must be all saints from all over India, they've all come to one place. Everybody had a shining face, I just couldn't figure out, you know, I thought, "Who are they all waiting for?" Then Guru Maharaj Ji arrived, got up on the stage, and sat on his great throne. I suddenly realized how lucky I'd been, that these people had come for miles just to see Guru Maharaj Ji from a distance, just to hear him on a microphone, and I'd been staying at his house for several days, talking to him from just a few feet away. I had no idea that it was already so propagated, that so much work had been done to spread this Knowledge. I guess then I started to see Guru Maharaj Ji in a new light. I was afraid to go see him the next day, I was really very graced.
It was a very beautiful moment one day when Guru Maharaj Ji asked me what I wanted. And I didn't even know that I should ask for Knowledge. I just said, "Well, I just want you to be my guru, and I want to be your disciple, will you accept me? Please accept me as your disciple." And he said, "Okay, okay," and I felt a stone drop out of my heart; somethink like a hand came up from underneath me and took care of me. It didn't occur to me to ask for Knowledge, I was just going to stay with him and follow him around, and work and do service. I was prepared to wait for ten years to be worthy. Eventually though, people would say, "You should ask for Knowledge, you should want Knowledge," and he said "Who told you to say that?" I said, "They told
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me to say it." He said, "No, no you should wait until you feel the desire." So I waited about three months, and when the desire really came from within, I received Knowledge.
After a while, a few other Westerners started getting Knowledge, and eventually we got the feeling that the time had come to start bringing the Knowledge to the West. We started asking Maharaj Ji to please send a mahatma to England and he would say, "Oh yes, maybe in a few years' time."
At the end of that summer, the arrangements were being made to send Mahatma Guru Charnanand. We had all kinds of problems with passports. Many times it seemed like we'd never get things together, because there were so many things to overcome, you know, passports and records; but eventually it all worked out and Mahatma Ji flew out, and I started hitchhiking. When I got back to the West, I found Mahatma Guru Charnanand staying at a very nice house. There was Mahatma Ji sitting in this little room, giving satsang. I think there were about two Western people who had taken Knowledge. So then I asked Mahatma Ji if we could do a program somewhere. I had the feeling that maybe we could do one in Chelsea, and that was our first program. I feel very graced that Guru Maharaj Ji has let me see the growth of spreading Knowledge from such a little seed …
About seven or eight people came to this program. Well, that gave us something to get us on our way. These people would come every day and sit and hear satsang. We'd just live in this tiny little ashram, a place that cost us four pounds a week. It was just one little room, very small, and we'd cook our food there, too. The Mahatma Ji and I were living in this one little room giving satsang, eating, everything went on in this room. We really wanted to get something bigger but we had no money at all. All the people who came and wanted to hear satsang were students or weren't working. We didn't want to demand anything from
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them, so we would devise all these ways to get money for food. We were just waiting and we'd say, "Guru Maharaj Ji will provide everything." We were very, very short of food. We had to wait for the first person to come to satsang. We'd wait and someone would come and we'd give him satsang and we'd say, "Well, we haven't any money for food for breakfast, could you help us?"
Gradually we started to show God. Slowly, slowly. By the end of the summer things were working out better. We had our first program and forty people came. That was unbelievable-forty people at our first public program. At the end of the summer of 1970, two vanloads of people went across land to India to the Hans Jayanti Festival. So for the first Hans Jayanti there were, maybe, twenty-five people.
The Peace Bomb was something. Again, by Guru Maharaj Ji's grace, I was sitting right up in front, in front of his chair, and I was looking straight at him. I just never felt so much emotion-it was unbelievable. Guru Maharaj Ji really had hold of my heart, just like a father, so I started to sing praises for this father, filled with so much love, so much devotion for Guru Maharaj Ji, who is also the supreme devotee. That's why we have the Satguru. Because he is the supreme devotee of the times. He was shining like a jewel. The whole ground would shake, you could feel it. It felt like he was rearranging the molecules of the world or something. One thing he said was that we were very, very special people because we showed our souls to God.
I was considered a good doctor. I was the president of my class at medical school, and I graduated with honors. But in spite of the confidence this gave me, I knew I was missing the point. In medicine I found that sometimes I lacked compassion, I lacked a purity of love and intention; I was aware of the pride and anger within myself. Even though in my life I'd had many good experiences of love, I still wasn't feeling completely fulfilled inside.
So in the summer of 1971 I had left the beginnings of a very promising medical career and I began travelling around the Southwest, looking for a place to settle down and grow spiritually. I looked into all the so-called spiritual communes, and I met people who were high and good, people who were wise. But still none of them had anything that was really consistent. I had begun to think about going to India or the Far East, when I met a devotee of Guru Maharaj Ji. I thought he was pretty crazy! He just said, "Look, there's this God in Denver. He's just a little kid, but he shows you God and I've had the highest experience I've ever had, even after taking LSD for years." This was in New Mexico, so I figured I might as well to Denver to see what was happening there.
When I arrived at the ashram on Race Street, Guru
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Maharaj Ji wasn't there, but there was a house full of people who had recently received the Knowledge and it was impressive. As a doctor you have to be able to analyze people and size them up, and when I looked at these people, it really struck me that they all had a fundamental grasp of reality. Both their words and their feelings rang true. I just couldn't understand it; my feeling was that when you entered into spiritual development it was a long, arduous experience. I thought that if I did good works and meditation and was politically active, and if I kept up with my reading, I'd gradually grow into some realization. But this was instant. Something was happening to me. Guru Maharaj Ji was in Toronto at the time. I was trying to decide whether I should go to Toronto or go back to San Francisco, and that night I had a powerful dream, very vivid, unlike the ones I usually have. The dream was that I was lying down and incredible angelic beings were floating above me. I wanted to move towards them but I couldn't move at all. When I woke up I thought, "Wow, that's really to the point! That's my spiritual paralysis! Maybe I should go to Toronto after all."
I decided to throw the I Ching to see what it advised. I turned to it because I'd had meetings with experts in both religion and psychology, scientifically trained people who agreed that it was the irrational mind that really determines our decisions, that we had this deep unconscious which really more than our conscious thoughts determines what's happening. So I thought that even if the I Ching were not a precise oracle, at least it would provide a wiser scope of information. I asked it if I should go to Toronto, or go back to San Francisco, where I had some good opportunities ahead of me, where I was very active in the medical community and where I was probably going to do zen meditation. Usually the I Ching would give me general advice like, "Perseverance furthers," nothing too precise, so I was extremely surprised
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when it answered point blank: GO TO THE EMPTY CITY, SEE THE GREAT MAN. I went to Toronto.
When I first saw Guru Maharaj Ji, I looked at him as I would at a very good psychotherapist, or a sage. Everything he said was crystal clear and so simple; once more I was really impressed. He was precise and seemed very, very joyful. Around him was a hurricane of energy that I'd never experienced before. I'd seen spiritual leaders and so-called holy men, but the people around Guru Maharaj Ji were having all kinds of intense personal experiences. The rhetoric that surrounded him, though, really turned me off: people were saying that he's the Lord of the Universe, that he's the Messiah. Because of my training that the spiritual path is a gradually ascending one, in which one goes within oneself to discover what's there, I believed that certain people could be helpful on the path. But the whole idea of divinity was foreign to me. Yet the phenomenon was incredible enough that I stayed around for five or six days.
At that time Maharaj Ji had question and answer periods two times a day. At first I just observed, and I was astounded. Every time someone asked him a question, I saw him giving them an answer, while at the same time giving them what they were really looking for on an unconscious level. In a sense, he gave everyone a shot of love and understanding with such precision that it seemed impossible for him to be doing it consciously. It was like feeding and nourishing a whole roomful of people. That's when I began seriously thinking, "Maybe what these people are saying really is true. Maybe this is an incarnation." The more I listened, the more I began to feel that there was an experience beyond just the philosophy he was giving. When I asked him a couple of questions and he spoke to me, I felt an actual pain in my heart because I realized just how many layers of anger and depression I had built up there. Now there were moments in the room when everything was very
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quiet, when Guru Maharaj Ji had nourished and taken care of everyone and he would be free to manifest something. Those were really the high moments and in one of them he looked around and said, "All of you have many layers around your heart." Right then I felt that he knew, that he really knows us, because what he said penetrated so deeply into the essence of what I was feeling.
So I received Knowledge there, and when Guru Maharaj Ji went to New York, I followed him. Again I was impressed by the power he had to attract very sincere spiritual seekers, and it was in New York that I decided to go spend two months in India at Guru Maharaj Ji's ashram there. Still, my mind was very critical of those who were comparing him to Christ or Buddha.
When we got to India, I was so exhausted and tired that all I wanted to do was meditate. But it soon became clear that there were five hundred Westerners there and they were all getting sick and I was the only medical doctor around. The medical facilities in India were too backward to really depend on, so I was forced into service. The pace of the service was much more than I reckoned on. People were really sick and I started working twelve hours a day. There were many people freaking out because of the intensity of the spiritual experience at the ashram. Many times I felt like leaving.
It was hard and I was always thinking about going off into the mountains and meditating. When I'd go into town to get drugs, I'd see all these sadhus, all these saffroned holy men, walking along the streets and they all looked very beautiful, very mellow and lovely. Then I'd look at people in the ashram and none of the premies struck me as very together. I'd wonder, if this guy was supposed to be Satguru, then what are these freaky people doing here? Why aren't the beautiful sadhus here? I'd listen to satsang and hear that the Lord comes for the average people, for
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those who don't have it together. If that was the case, these freaky people were very important, they were his disciples. It would be a good thing to help them. Once I got to that point, I just threw myself into doing the service and really astounding things happened.
At times I would just become transported. People would come in to see me, and somehow I would just know what was wrong with them. I found that I could see exactly what it was in the person's mind that was causing the illness. Even though I'd always had a theory of psychosomatic illness, it was incredible to have this practical experience of it. It was like being elevated to a whole other level that I'd believed in intellectually but had never experienced directly before. I could exist in this state for hours, but the minute I stopped doing service and walked outside, my mind would come back and I would be totally critical. When I returned to work, I'd just experience in myself an infinite love, an intelligence. I knew 'I was really hooked up to something infinite that wasn't just myself.
After a couple of months of being in India, I talked to Guru Maharaj Ji about what I should do, because I was really in conflict about whether I should do propagation in the States or stay in India and do service as a doctor. We went to Europe and I helped in programs there, but it wasn't until we got to Switzerland that I realized that there was something missing in my relationship with him. I would go into his room, and we would talk, I would experience something, for sure, but it wasn't as deep as I wanted it to be. Then he became ill and people told me, "Guru Maharaj Ji's ill for your benefit, so that you could attend to him." Then I realized that every single person is entirely worthwhile to Guru Maharaj Ji, and that he'll do anything for his devotees. If you want to be close to him, he'll manifest a situation where your desire is fulfilled. Since he was ill, I was
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able to be with him and serve him, though I was quite aware I wasn't really doing anything for him. At one point I really felt terrible: I was happy that he was sick because he really wasn't so bad off, he was simply giving me a chance to be with him a lot. One day I stirred up all my courage and told him so. He just looked at me and said, "Well, that's very natural." It was perfect.
Shortly after that, we went back to England. I saw very, very clearly the fantastic experience I'd had in India treating all of these people in terms of their tension, their psychological problems and their emotions-the real causes of illness in most cases for Western people. The Knowledge was far, far more powerful than anything I had ever seen, and so clearly the way to bring the end of suffering to the world. When I returned to the States I just wanted to tell people about Knowledge.
Over the last year and a half he has taught me that any role that a person is in, if he is fulfilling it, people will be attracted to Guru Maharaj Ji by the energy that comes through. I'm able to be the doctor that I wanted to be; I'm able to have the patience and understanding and the ability to give a true love to the people I treat.
John Horton, M.D.
Separation leads to greater love. Pain whets the appetite for perfect joy. Beast becomes Beauty at a kiss. When a rose has stalked the truth past many thorns, it flowers its glory forth. "Seek Me, and ye shall find," is the happy ending to "I hide, that ye may seek."
Creation delights in bringing marvelous endings out of hopeless and helpless beginnings. In the marriage at Cana in Galilee, was not the best wine kept till last?
There are incidents which occur in poetry and fairy tale, which seem too good to be true. Their form is so perfect as to appear miraculous. This perfection of form, we call art. But when such events happen in an actual human life, life surpasses art. Tolkien, the father of Hobbits, writes that the life of Christ is full of incidents "peculiarly artistic, beautiful, and moving," but that "the art is here in the story itself rather than in the telling: for the author of the story was not the evangelist."
Such a poetic order of truth is commonly found in nature, where man's folly has not yet defiled it; and in imagination, if man accurately copies down the dicta-
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tions from above. But in man's fallen state, perfection is not found, but sought.
In the life Christ lived, however, poetry takes shape in actions, as it does in words. As his Father is perfect, so are his deeds. Perhaps this phrase, once uttered by a young Indian, on seeing the Pacific Ocean, may explain: "What a man could imagine to be a fairy tale, to be a magical thing, he brought it to be the natural thing."
This is the tale of a magical thing, of a goodness which came to pass.
I received a gift from my Guru Maharaj Ji. By the laying on of hands, his disciple, Mahatma Guru Charnanand showed me the clear light of self inside me, a pure and living light, calm by nature, unselfish, loving, radiant, wise. At first this light was as small as a seed in me. Now it is as small as a tiny plant.
Christ said that he who had a pure eye would find his body was filled with light. Hazrat Mohammed said that the light of the Most High was to be found in these human temples. Bhagwan Shri Krishna, by his divine touch, revealed to King Muchukunda the Knowledge and love of God. Lord Buddha gave his disciples a transmission above the scriptures, not dependent on words or language, which directly revealed the nature of the self, shining.
Guru Maharaj Ji, like all these saints before him, graces his disciple with the faculty of perfect love, in the form of a seed of light. But as those who read the Gospels know, if the field where the seed is planted is dry, the hopes of the seed are slight.
Only a perfect tree gives perfect seed. So I knew that Guru Maharaj Ji was a tree of perfection. But seed cannot grow in too shallow a heart. And I had a most dry and calculating heart.
It was fifteen years since I had cried. Fifteen dry years.
If the seed could not grow, how could I ever love? It became a matter of desperation with me, to reach
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the sower of this perfect seed, and to beg him to teach me to love.
And so I set out for India.
Six months before, I had been too absent minded even to cross London streets, and here I was, crossing Istanbul, and the Turkish desert. Desert. That was me, and so I noted my condition:
One heart on a stalk in a desert, one heart on a stalk in sand …
I knew that the seed was a perfect seed, but the heart was rock hard.
Across Persia, and across Afghanistan, where I left my favorite manuscript and my favorite person in a van on the way up the world's highest mountain pass, across Pakistan, and into India. All I wanted was the sight of the promised land.
And so, after six thousand miles, I arrived at Guru Maharaj Ji's home, and asked if I might see my Lord. When he came out, I was on my knees, and he asked me, rapid fire,
Have you received my Knowledge?
Yes, Guru Maharaj Ji. (Cannot he who made all things, see?)
What is your name?
Why have you come here?
To see you, Guru Maharaj Ji.
Why weren't you here in November?
(This completely shattered me. For years, it had been obvious to me that man followed a timetable set by providence, rather than one set by man. But then, Guru Maharaj Ji had asked his disciples to be there for the November Festival.) I am sorry, Guru Maharaj Ji. I was late.
Then you can see me in April … here, have you a pencil, I'll give you the address and date.
(It is January, and I doubt I can stay till April.
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Silence. Trembling fingers search for a pencil in my pack.)
That's all. You can stay in my ashram at Hardwar, Prem Nagar.
I was completely dumbfounded. For a start, I had felt no love. And then, I had been hoping to stay some time with Guru Maharaj Ji. But no. Would I ever learn to love? Or had Guru Maharaj Ji written me off as a hopeless case?
I had tried to escape from the house, but one of Maharaj Ji's brothers caught me. And he asks me, have I had lunch. I am not feeling so very hungry, so I say, no thanks, it's all right. Have you had lunch? No, really, it's all right. Then Guru Maharaj Ji asks, have you had lunch? No, Guru Maharaj Ji. Then go and eat.
Lunch was served to me by Guru Maharaj Ji's brother Bhole Ji. So I tried weakly to smile at him. He did not smile back.
As soon as lunch was over I tried to escape again. This time, Shri Raja Ji spoke to me. I shouldn't go that way, there's a mad dog. Tear you apart. At last, I got away from the house, and onto the road. I was going back into the town of Dehra Dun, to catch the train for Hardwar and Prem Nagar. And as I was walking, I overtook a Mahatma, who told me in Hindi something about Mata Ji and Shri Guru Maharaj Ji, while pointing back to the house.
Now either that meant that Mata Ji and Guru Maharaj Ji wanted to see me, or (and this is a very farfetched translation) they were telling me to go back past the house, and hitch hike to Prem Nagar. I could not face the idea of seeing Shri Guru Maharaj Ji again, so I chose the second translation, and walked back past the house.
It was then, by Guru Maharaj Ji's grace, that I shed the first two tears that I had shed in fifteen years. Those two tears were shouting, fantastic, two tears.
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D'you see that? Tears! I must have a heart after all. Oh, Guru Maharaj Ji, that is much the most wonderful gift you could possibly give. And then two thousand more tears were chiming in, we are here inside you too, you know, and you don't imagine your mind is going to let us all out at once, do you? Because it's not.
And then there was my mind saying, please, be rational, both of you, one of you is very excited, and the other is far too depressed. How can you expect cars to stop, when you're giving off vibes like that?
So I arrived at Prem Nagar, and went to see my friends, who had been there some time already. I just saw Guru Maharaj Ji, and I couldn't love him at all, I said. He felt like a pocket Napoleon. (Never have I said anything that describes me so accurately.)
And all my friends said, that's all right. He's often like that the first time, so that you discover how quite unable you are to love on your own. And then he lots you fall in love, the next time you see him.
I stayed several weeks in the ashram, but still Guru Maharaj Ji did not come. I was spending a lot of time folding pamphlets in the print room, and getting very little sun, considering that I was a pale Englishman who had never been in such a favorable climate. And one day, I went for a walk. I was walking down a small path that leads to the Ganges when I saw something that made me stop:
One butterfly and flower God had made
lime yellow, both the same in shade,
another flower and butterfly sky blue,
both butterfly and flower the same in hue,
and set them out in pairs before my eyes,
two flowers, with twin butterflies.
Normally, my poems were about events in language, not events on country walks. I would write something complex, like
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Christ, a rose in Jerusalem, dies.
I mean, the point here is that a rose is also arose, so you get the resurrection as well as the crucifixion. Only, this sort of thing can only happen in the words. But this butterfly poem was about real butterflies, and it had no clever word plays in it. It was simple. I was astonished. Two days later Shri Guru Maharaj Ji turned up at the ashram, and gave satsang about automatic and manual gears in cars. Only I know nothing about cars, so the whole thing was above my head. After satsang, I decided to try to express my heart in a poem, and so I found the cleanest envelope in India, and put a letter into it which said:
My heart is open like a tulip,
still I fear my heart may close.
My heart is open like a tulip,
may it open like a rose.
My heart is open like a tulip,
please make sure that my heart grows.
I thought that was rather simple too. And I drew a rose and a tulip, in case there weren't any tulips in India, to show that a tulip wasn't as wide open as a rose.
I took my envelope up to Shri Guru Maharaj Ji, and he came out of his room, took the envelope, and scrumpled it into his pocket. And I felt scrumpled too.
At least, I thought, Guru Maharaj Ji will still be here in the morning, and I can try again.
When I woke, Guru Maharaj Ji was already in his car on the drive, ready for Dehra Dun. I ran up to the car window, and desperately pleaded, Guru Maharaj Ji, please teach me how to love!
He looked at me as if he was infinitely weary of
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giving me the same answer to the same question, and said those who truly want to love learn very quickly. But those who don't really want to learn it takes an awful long time. And then he touched the accelerator, and I was left standing in the drive, with dust in my face.
I went back to the center of the ashram like a funeral, certain now that Guru Maharaj Ji had given me up for lost. And as I got to the farm yard, I saw Shri Guru Maharaj Ji standing on top of a sand dune at the far end of the ashram grounds, down by the Ganges. He must have driven right around the perimeter. I started running. I cannot explain how I felt. Every encounter with him up until then had been the death of me: but he was beyond death, the all-attractive. I ran. I was running down the path where I had seen the butterflies, and I picked a wild flower. I found myself ahead of all the other devotees, who had now seen him also. I reached his feet, and shoved, the flower into the sand. I was trembling. It went in at ten degrees to the horizontal. I picked it up and packed it in, upright, I was quivering with fear. I could not look at Guru Maharaj Ji's feet, much less at his face. And he said, I think this flower will grow.
My heart exploded with joy. All right, mind, that's enough from you. Guru Maharaj Ji says I will be able to love. You hear me? I shall love!
Slowly, I began to realize things. That Guru Maharaj Ji had said the flower would grow, but I knew he meant my heart. That he had driven round to the very spot where I would have to take the butterfly path to reach him. That my poem had said my heart was like a flower, but he had spoken of an actual flower, and my actual heart had opened. That what I could, at best, connect prettily in words, he connected in real life, changing me from a loveless to a loving state. That he was thirteen, and had so far seen me all told for twenty-five minutes. That he had opened my heart, which I had been unable to find. That when I
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came six thousand miles overland to see him, he hid his love. That when I asked him in poetry, that he would open my heart, he held his peace. That when I begged him with my voice breaking, he turned a cold shoulder. And when at last, I could find no more words, but simply ran to him, he loved me, more than I have ever been loved.
I have had no problems since that day, about my heart. It is a fine story, particularly when one remembers that Guru Maharaj Ji has already given the gift of illumination which Lord Buddha gave, to five million people, though he is no more than fifteen years old. And that he teaches each one as personally as he taught me. One heart, on a stalk, in sand.
I find accounts of Guru Maharaj Ji's doings are usually full of the grace of wonder. They have that organic symmetry which indicates the direct hand of God. They delight in bringing joyful endings out of despairing and selfish beginnings. For he is calling us out of darkness and into his marvelous light.
Eli was strong from birth. He was born at home by natural childbirth. Before his birth a Christian mystic told my husband, Jack, and I about the baby in my womb. She said he was a boy, a very old soul, an ancient Hindu. She told me further that he would have a strong will and a gentle spirit for he had a great work to do for God.
All this happened before I met Guru Maharaj Ji and received Knowledge. I received Knowledge when Eli was eighteen months old. The first thing Eli did was give Mahatma Fakiranand a flower. Although mahatmas, Knowledge, and Divine Light Mission were new to me, Eli seemed to fit right in as if he already knew what was going on.
Guru Maharaj Ji later came to Irvington, New York, around Easter. Eli and I gathered up diapers, bottles, and Eli's favorite toy to give to Guru Maharaj Ji. We waited for what seemed like eons to give him this toy. Finally, after giving up all hope of ever seeing Him, Guru Maharaj Ji opened his door and was standing in front of us, all aglow like the noonday sun. I stood there and shook with a feeling I had never known before. Eli stood motionless and expressionless. Eli gave him the toy, and Guru Maharaj Ji
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laughed. I knew then that I always wanted to make him laugh. In a flash he was gone, but appeared again with a huge Easter basket about as big as Eli. It was stocked full of goodies and a crazy bunny. Eli ate jelly beans for weeks afterward, giving thanks each day to Maharaj Ji, remembering with a smile and wide eyes.
Since our first meeting with Guru Maharaj Ji to our most recent one in India, Eli has grown tremendously. He thinks Guru Maharaj Ji is the ultimate giver of candy, that his supply is never ending. Sometimes Eli is silent and, when asked, says he is thinking about "Raji." He loves Maharaj Ji completely, with the beautiful purity and innocence of childhood.
At Guru Puja Eli saw Maharaj Ji drive by in a jeep. Eli left his father, and ran after the jeep as fast as his little legs could take him, calling, "Raji, Raji." At the satsang program that night, Eli and I were in the front row. Maharaj Ji was seated up on the platform; Eli shouted "Raji high, Raji high." Then as the Mahatma said "Bolie Shri Satgurudev …" Eli reverently bowed three times, his hands clasped to his third eye in the attitude of prayer.
One morning after we returned home from Colorado, Eli woke up shining, fresh from his dreams. I asked him about his dreams, as I usually do, and he said he was dreaming about "Raji." I asked Eli if Maharaj Ji had given him toys and he said, "No, me give Raji toys." Then he was off like quicksilver into his room. We could hear crash, bang as his toys hit the side of his toy box. Eli came running back with his brand new wooden train that he had gotten in Colorado. He took that toy train and tried to give it to Guru Maharaj Ji's picture.
In the Bhagavad Gita it says, "Whosoever offers to Me with love a leaf, a flower, a fruit, or even water, I appear in person before that disinterested devotee of purified intellect, and delightfully partake of that article offered by him with love."
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In 1972, Eli and I were at the Ram Lila grounds in India. We were both sick, and it was very hot. Guru Maharaj Ji drove up in his car. Many premies ran to greet him but I was carrying Eli and could only walk very slowly. Eli said, "Run Mom!" But I could not. Guru Maharaj Ji was about to drive away. My heart was filled with hope, but I feared he would be gone before we got there. I gave up, but kept on walking. Just as we approached the car Guru Maharaj Ji rolled down his window and said, "Is this the boy who offered me his toy to my picture?" I said yes; he smiled at Eli and then drove on.
India was the most wonderful trip we have ever taken. All my dreams came true, all my prayers were answered. Eli was totally blissed out. He never wanted to leave Guru Maharaj Ji's side. Even after Guru Maharaj Ji left for Delhi, Eli waited by his room. I found Eli playing there and told him Guru Maharaj Ji wasn't coming back (everyone thought he was leaving India at that point), but Eli said, "Raji will be back," and sure enough he came back.
In Prem Nagar Guru Maharaj Ji's doors were always open to children. He was so playful with them and gave them loads of candy. Eli loved to pass out his stash of candy to all the waiting premies. He ate enough himself, that's for sure. He told me one night Maharaj Ji stuffed his pajamas chuck full of candy and Eli ate every piece.
Eli loved making Maharaj Ji laugh, just as everyone does. One day Eli put on a Frankenstein mask and walked into Maharaj Ji's room. There he stood, a three-foot-tall monster. Maharaj Ji loved it. And so did Eli.
Maharaj Ji has said that Eli is a very ancient devotee of the Lord, and that someday he will be giving satsang to lots of people. Since we have returned home Eli has been playing a game where he pretends to give light with his hand, saying, "Bong!" Darshan
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is a forefinger to the third eye, and when asked to give satsang about the Word he shook his leg!
Eli sings songs about Guru Maharaj Ji, does service to Maharaj Ji around the house, pranams, tries to meditate, and generally loves him with his whole heart. Eli is now two-and-a-half years old.
God is light of the soul. All of us have God or light in us. This light is energy. Energy makes flowers grow. Energy makes the sun shine. Energy gives us life. Energy is light.
This is the light of God, which is inside everything in the universe. Mahatma Rajeshwar showed me this intense light of God, and now I am a premie of Guru Maharaj Ji.
I gave satsang in school, and my friend Deirdre, who did not believe in God, now knows what God is.
And I hope everyone gets this intense light (Knowledge).
Bolie Shri Satguru Dev Maharaj Ki Jai.
Kirsten Marie Sheehy, age nine.
Anti-war, anti-draft, anti-establishment.
I used to be active politically in the Midwest with a group called the "Beaver 55". We destroyed draft files and computer tapes for Dow Chemical: in return I did fourteen months in prison before they let me out on parole. After I got out, I went to Berkeley.
I first heard about Guru Maharaj Ji about six or seven months before I received Knowledge. The people I was running with were revolutionaries, except a close friend, Jack, who was saying the most incredible thing in the world was happening: the Lord was here. I didn't take it too seriously. I was into what I was doing-living in Berkeley, working as a typesetter in a print shop we set up; a collectively-owned operation that was supposed to serve the movement and, through that, serve the world.
After Jack received Knowledge, he just glowed about it every day and became more and more mellow. He and I had been into tripping out on acid together and going off by ourselves. We'd get into trying to figure out what was going on, how we fit in, how we could plug in better, things like that. We were both becoming very frustrated with the Movement, but we were still feeling very idealistic inside about
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what should be done, about the need to find a way, and how we had to somehow establish a sense of brotherhood.
After he got Knowledge, Jack gave me satsang and told me about this vibration, this holy Word you get with Knowledge. He'd tell me about how high it was and how it changed your head, but he was very vague. Actually it was the vagueness that captured my attention more than anything, because I couldn't comprehend what he was saying. I just couldn't understand what was coming down, so I decided I should really check this out myself. My best friend couldn't tell me about it, yet he was going through changes that I really couldn't ignore.
I went to the ashram in San Francisco but as far as I was concerned, it was just a weird trip. People were bowing and taking off their shoes: it just seemed really out of the world to me, and didn't relate to anything I was into. They weren't doing anything in the world, they seemed like they were on some constant drug trip. Escapists; no better than someone who shot heroin every day.
Still, the next Sunday I was back for the pot-luck dinner, I can't explain why. I was just really looking inside and following my impulses. After all, I couldn't drop acid every day. Something kept drawing me back.
My friend kept giving me satsang. There was a time when I reached a point where I didn't want to hear any more. But Jack would keep catching me with a little bit here and a little bit there, because he loved me a lot.
Then one day I heard there was a mahatma coming to town and he was going to give a program. So I went and really got off on what he was saying. He was holding out a ray of hope that there really was an actual experience that anyone could have, that I'd always wanted to have.
After the program I decided to take the next day
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off to go and check this Knowledge out, to go get this thing and see how it was. So I told my friend, "Now I'm not going to go bowing to any pictures or say this boy is God or anything, I'm just going to check this Knowledge out because Guru Maharaj Ji says that if you come with a guileless heart you don't have to believe until you have this experience." I was using Guru Maharaj Ji's rhetoric to reinforce my own, so that I could get Knowledge without having to believe. I had worked out everything I would say to Mahatma Ji.
When we got to the ashram there was a lot of satsang. People were asking questions and waiting for Mahatma Ji to wake up. It got to be eleven o'clock and he was still asleep. The satsang still sounded good, but the room was really filling up with people. It got very hot and muggy. I took my coat off; I took my shirt off. Finally the mahatma came. A few people had to leave and there were about thirty-five of left for the Knowledge session. We sat there all day It grew hotter every minute, but I stayed and I received Knowledge. I saw light and tasted nectar right away, but I hardly heard any music, except something that sounded like crickets. It wasn't very impressive. I walked home afterwards just drained, not blown away by the experience, just very tired. I ate and went to bed.
Later I spoke with my friends, "Look, I didn't make any promises to Mahatma Ji or to Guru Maharaj Ji." I couldn't relate to either one; they weren't real in my life. The only person who was real was this friend who had brought me to Knowledge. I promised to him that I would give the meditation a chance. It was this bond of friendship between us that kept me meditating.
The first morning I meditated I just flipped out. I saw incredible colors and when I came out of it the walls were melting; it was like being on an acid trip. I couldn't believe it. I was way off the ground, very very high. As I walked the long walk from Oakland
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to where I worked in Berkeley, I went into meditation to see if it really was something you could do constantly. I was off the ground the whole time. Every day this would happen. I began to test the Knowledge, to really check it out. At work, if a situation arose that was filled with tension, I would make sure I was in meditation to see if it was going to help me, and every time it would. The meditation became an island in my life: like a very strong rock I'd never experienced before. I would stand on it for a while to see how sturdy it was, and then I'd go back to what I was into: politics and smoking dope. Each day I would test it for a little longer and then go back, and every day it would get better.
Then came the second Cambodian invasion and the riots raged in Berkeley and I was right there with all my old political friends. From there on I could see that I was going to have to make a choice between this Knowledge, which now pretty much encompassed my whole life, and the political thing I'd been into for so many years. It was a painful choice. After I gave satsang to the people in my collective, they got together and said, "We can't trust you anymore. You're going to have to leave the collective because you believe in this Guru Maharaj Ji and that's where your loyalty is." These were people I really respected; at the time they were the only people who were manifesting something that was real. Ultimately, I got more and more into the Knowledge. I quit smoking dope but still I'd go around to the collectives in Berkeley and smoke with them. I'd get so blown away that the only thing that would come out of me would be satsang. So I got more and more alienated from them; they were just turning me out. It was my good fortune that I didn't really have to make the choice; they made it for me. They threw me out.
Since I was out in the cold, I decided to take a trip around the U.S. to tell all my friends about Guru Maharaj Ji. I was on the road when Guru Maharaj Ji
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came to Philadelphia and I went to see him. The first reaction I had was that he was a fraud and a mouthpiece for his mother who wanted to take over the world. I was still skeptical of my experiences since Knowledge, because I hadn't really grown in the Knowledge. I experienced the high that Knowledge can bring, but I was looking for something more than a high, I was looking for something practical, the practical solution to the situation that was facing the world. That was more important to me.
The program that night was very high and we were singing and dancing and generally the scene had a lot of impact. But when Guru Maharaj Ji came, it just brought me down because of where I was coming from. They say Guru Maharaj Ji is a mirror; wherever you're at will be reflected back to you. It was true. Instantly I perceived Guru Maharaj Ji as a fraud, but as I watched him, that feeling went away. The whole night was this constant mind play of in and out for me. I would sort of stand back and analyze it from a perspective of where I'd been. I wasn't really getting involved fully in the experience; I wasn't jumping into the river that was flowing by me, I was standing on the banks watching and analyzing how it relates to this river here and that stream there.
After nine days of hitch-hiking around, I returned home to Oakland, hot and tired. As far as the people in the house were concerned though, I was an agent of Divine Light Mission, and they didn't want any part of it. I was thrown out that very night. The whole scene just blew me apart. I walked out of the house with a smile on my face but then I cried, I just cried and wandered around the streets of Oakland for hours. It was crazy. So I split to Oregon. I was totally confused. I didn't have my feet in either world, or in any world for that matter. I wasn't into politics any more; I wasn't fully into Divine Light Mission. wasn't even experiencing the Knowledge. I was just wandering individual who was really confused an
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wanting to understand what was happening to me and to the world.
In Oregon I gathered up all these scriptures like the Vedas and the Upanishads and the Koran and the Bible so I could read about Guru Maharaj Ji from different points of view. The people I was living with were really fantastic; at that point they were the only people who could accept me. It was in Oregon that I realized that my whole life was preoccupied with Guru Maharaj Ji and had been for three or four months. The day I received Knowledge was the beginning of a process that got me out of politics and into a preoccupation, day in and day out, with Guru Maharaj Ji and the Knowledge. "What is it? What's happening?" As I stood outside and watched my own preoccupation it really freaked me out because I saw that there was nothing I could really do about it, I was caught up in this power. Then the whole cycle began where I thought that this power was evil and that Guru Maharaj Ji was an anti-Christ.
At this point I started to get into the Bible, but the Bible took me full circle. The more I tried to understand it, the more it showed me that the Knowledge was the right thing. I saw that my clinging to Jesus was just self-deception, that I never really knew Jesus. As I looked into other scriptures too, I saw that what the mahatma had said had been right; the Knowledge is described everywhere. So I thought, "Maybe this boy has something." Still, the important thing for me was not Guru Maharaj Ji, but the Knowledge and how it was going to manifest to help the world.
Then I started to go hang out by the ashram in Portland, doing some service. The first day I just laid out all my doubts to these people and they were really, really open. I was accepted for where I was at by other premies. Soon the mahatma came and gave a program. I went to it and still felt away from the scene. I felt I couldn't get caught up. Yet I did; I
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found myself clapping and standing up and singing. I couldn't help it. The energy would always get to me in spite of myself and my efforts to control it.
Mahatma Ji asked me, "Why aren't you going to India?" That blew me out because I didn't know how he knew me or how he knew that I wasn't going to India. He told me to make plans to go, which I did even though I was on parole from prison and shouldn't have even considered going. A day or two before I left for India I was released from parole - another "coincidence" that blew my mind.
In India I realized I wanted to become fully involved, but there was a tremendous block I had built up during my life. I never let myself become truly involved in anything. I always wanted to be in control and be responsible. Finally I was so desperate that I went up to a mahatma and asked him how I could become more involved in the Knowledge. How could I meditate better? He told me, "Oh, you must surrender." Now that sounded very good so I asked him how I could surrender. He said I should meditate. I said to him, "Wait a minute. I can't meditate, and you're saying that in order to meditate better I should surrender, but to surrender I should meditate. Now what is this?" And he went away laughing, which didn't seem like much help to me at the time. I went ahead and tried to meditate, and tried and tried and tried. It got to the point where it was so frustrating that I just cried and cried. I said, "Wow, help me. Take this from me. Let me meditate." Right after this, in a way I can't ever explain, Guru Maharaj Ji graced me with the involvement I'd been seeking. On a different level every day, in different ways, I would experience more of the Knowledge. Even when I was sick I was higher and feeling more in touch with reality and what was going on in the universe than ever in my life.
When I returned to this country, I decided to move into an ashram in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Knowl-
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edge is really the most revolutionary thing happening. It's developing into everything that all of the idealistic people in the world have been wanting to happen: to bring people together communally, economically, socially, and spiritually. In politics I realized that you couldn't change the structures of society until you changed the hearts of people. Otherwise, whatever power changes are made just lead to more oppression. At the end of every revolution people have always gotten thrown into prison. If somehow the people's hearts could be taken out and reworked and returned, they would be changed people. Of course, that's what Guru Maharaj Ji does. In this way he is creating a really strong foundation for change. Really, just look around, you see a perfect revolutionary movement. There are cadres in every town, with centers of activities working around them, coordination and lines of communications; the people are willing to be disciplined and orderly in their lives-it's perfect.
The Knowledge has given me the clarity to see myself, what I'm doing, what my imbalances are. If you can't see yourself, you can't really begin to do anything, begin to be an instrument. It is also opening my heart, which was like a rock. For the first time I'm beginning to feel love. The love that I experience now is much more refined because there are fewer times when my ego slips into it. It takes me down to the foundation of what I am and allows me to touch and communicate on that level, to manifest it by serving humanity and ending confusion.
Some people get the impression that all of Guru Maharaj Ji's disciples live in ashrams or premie houses and devote all of their time to service. Many premies are living like that, but others have found that the Knowledge allows you to be and do anything in this world. I'm the only disciple of Guru Maharaj Ji in my town, and I'm a policeman.
Many people in town don't know I'm a premie, and have no idea who Guru Maharaj Ji is. But I have experienced no trouble relating to them as a police officer and have no moral conflict when I'm called on to do something.
I'm continually coming in contact with people who have been unable to resolve certain aspects of their lives, and are in constant trouble with the law. The amazing thing about handling criminal charges is that it seems to be the same people over and over again who cannot manage to get along with their fellow human beings and the law. A person who writes bad checks never seems to learn, even if he has spent time in prison, that he should stop. The same people who get in fights every Friday and Saturday night get locked up for a day to "cool off." The same kids get picked up for possession of beer as a minor, or distur-
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bance of the peace. Obviously, being in jail is not what these people need, because it doesn't change them.
But it also makes me sad to see people who don't get in trouble with the law, and are still unable to resolve the question of "Why am I here on earth?" Their minds are preoccupied with everyday things like finding someone to lend them a pump to pump the water out of their basement, or having a garage sale to get rid of some of the outgrown baby clothes. There never seems to be enough time to sit down and try to reason through life's mysteries. It's too easy to turn on the television or go downtown for a cup of coffee.
During the month I was in India with 3,600 Western devotees of Guru Maharaj Ji, I never saw one fight, one drunk, or anything that would be considered criminal. I know that many of these premies had been involved in many ways on the wrong side of the law before they received Guru Maharaj Ji's Knowledge, but here they were, in a group almost as big as my town, with no problems. It was obviously the Knowledge which allowed these premies to live peacefully and ask the deepest questions about life. I suppose if everybody was a premie, I'd have to find another job, because there would be no need for policemen anymore.
I used to be a prisoner but now I am free.
I was arrested for burglary in 1971 and went to jail from January to November. In the beginning of July my sister smuggled in some acid for me. I didn't think I was hallucinating; the trip was just very real. As I closed my eyes, I was being given what I later came to know as satsang. I was actually hearing a voice explain all the things that I was experiencing. It got to the point where I was completely satisfied, perfectly happy. I had the thought that I could stay here forever. Then the voice spoke to me: "You are here forever. This is not religion: you will not find this in religions, but you must seek this."
I later found out that this was exactly the same time that Guru Maharaj Ji first set foot on this continent.
The next few months in jail, I was reading the Bible, the Tibetan Book of the Dead, and all the scriptures. When I got out of jail, I was very confused. I knew exactly what I wanted, but I bad no idea how to get it. So I started shooting dope like crazy. I started doing a bag a day. At that time I'd been doing junk for about five years.
A junkie will do anything for a bag of dope. He's
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very devoted because what junk gives is perfect contentment, complete satisfaction, perfect peace - but only for an instant. The drug is so strong and so potent, that it wipes out all your physical senses, and in a flash you experience a little bit of your true self, a little bit of higher consciousness, because you can't perceive any of the physical world. You perceive reality. And you experience a little bit of bliss. So the junkie gets into dope: the stronger the dope, the better the feeling.
Somebody once asked me what I think of when. I'm nodding. Well, I never had any conscious thoughts; I could never consciously remember anything when I went into a nod. I would just come back up from a nod, and it was very beautiful. After I received Knowledge, I realized that the reason I loved it was because then I could really bathe in this light. But in taking dope, I couldn't have any conscious remembrance of this. I knew I loved this state, but with dope this feeling of perfect peace lasts only for an instant. This world has nothing to offer most junkies; they see right through it. They know that there's nothing here that can satisfy them. This is the reason why dope fiends are dope fiends. This is why they're always after dope, just to get this feeling for an instant. Dope is like a false prophet that way.
I tried to trip again even though in jail the voice had told me that if I did I could never have the same experience. Of course, it was nothing close to it, but it helped to wake me up. It was like a slap in the face, saying there is more, don't get hung up here. Go out and seek it; you will find it. It was like a bucket of ice water.
I didn't want to do dope, but I wanted to be high. I loved to be high. I didn't want to be part of all the hassles I knew were waiting for humanity. When I was high, I felt completely united with everything, like when I had that trip in jail. I'd always been into bringing about brotherhood, but I could never really
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feel it, because I didn't know what it was. So I went through a crazy time, unlike I'd ever felt before. I'd feel really bad, then clean up, then get strung out on junk, clean up, then get strung out bad. I went through this about five or six times in a period between November and May. May was the last time I cleaned up and I cleaned up on my own. I'd just freaked out of a de-tox (methadone) program and I started to get strung out again, so I decided to just cut loose. By then I knew that as long as I continued to shoot dope I would never be able to even seek this state of perfection. Just as I was about to leave for a time in the mountains, my sister, who is a nun, told me to go to a house of prayer, a charismatic renewal "how to pray" sort of thing.
The people there were pretty high, but still there was something lacking, though I didn't know what. All I knew was that I had once experienced a state of perfection, and I was willing to try anything to get it back, anything at all. So I stayed there for five days, and on the fifth day the house burnt down completely in a flash fire at five o'clock in the morning. Something told me I wasn't supposed to be there.
I decided again to go up into the mountains. Just as I was about to leave this time, another person I met told me to come out to New Jersey. There was a political seminar going on, with the theme of contemplation and resistance.
I went there and stayed for most of the summer. It was a beautiful setting with a thousand acres of land and a lake in the middle. The people were pretty nice. Before I left they told me they were going to start a soup kitchen in Washington, D.C. as part of a community project for creative non-violence. They told me I could come and work there if I wanted to, but work was the furthest thing from my mind. I couldn't even think about it; all I wanted to do was to find my way back to that infinite state. So right before the end of the summer I decided to completely dedicate my-
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self to that. I was going to go up into the mountains to decide what move to make. I was thinking very seriously of moving into a Trappist monastery or something like that. I went up into the mountains planning to stay there for the rest of the summer.
I went with three other people but we were only there for a day before we got freaked out really bad. People up there were eating raw deer meat and saying how much fun it is to shoot a deer and let the blood drip down your face. I said, "Yeah, sounds like a lot of fun, see you later." So there I was, alone again.
What's happening? Everything was just falling through. About a week later, while I was at my parents' house, I got a letter from Washington asking me to come down. At that point I decided that things were pointing to Washington, so I went knowing that I wasn't going there just to work in the soup kitchen. That was an excuse for going, but there was something much stronger pulling me there. Towards the end of September I was walking my dog and I saw a poster saying that Mahatma Rajeshwar was going to be attending at the Sylvan Theatre at Monument. I thought, "That sounds pretty good, I think I'll go to that."
The next day I went to the program, and everybody was telling me about this very blissful thing I could get, a very blissful experience. Then a sister got up and gave satsang: "This is not a religion, you will not find this in religion." And that just completely blew me away because right away I was reminded of my incredible jail experience and I had this feeling rush over me like I was going home.
The next day I went to receive Knowledge, but Mahatma Ji didn't give Knowledge that day. The day after that I went to receive Knowledge, and Mahatma Ji told me to get my hair cut. So I went and got my hair cut. By then Mahatma Ji had gone to Virginia, so I waited for him to come back. Finally when he got back I received Knowledge.
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Since then, I've been very, very happy. Very happy. The scene has changed so much since then. I've come to know that I don't want anything else in the world. There is nothing else in the whole universe. This Knowledge bathes you in such clarity, and this is what everybody wants, whether they're conscious of it or not; it's guaranteed to fulfill every desire, every single thirst. All I can say is, it's been taken and tested and proved. And it's beautiful.
People should take this Knowledge so they can know who they really are. So they can know permanent peace, so they can know permanent happiness. Most people get very happy for a while, they then get very down for a while, then they get very happy for a while, then they get very depressed. Drugs are just an amplified state of everyday life: high and low, high and low. People get happy, they get sad, they get happy, they get sad. The only way I see that we can be happy, is to hook up to the source which is the essence of happiness and the essence of joy. This is what everybody wants, but nobody can seem to find.
This is what Guru Maharaj Ji gives.
Mary is England's oldest premie; she is 86.
For so many years I looked for truth. I tried everything: the Theosophical Society, Rudolph Steiner, New Thought, and anything else that was going on. They all gave the promise of Knowledge, but nobody could give it. So I was very discontented and felt that in my old age I would have to die without anything. It was terrible.
I first heard about Guru Maharaj Ji when someone came to me and said that there are meetings with a young rishi in Brighton. When I first went, I thought, "Aren't they young? How wonderful!" There they were, all young people, all singing, and I thought, "How gorgeous!" They looked so happy and so calm. Everyone said something and it was quite spontaneous. I was especially struck by the way each one spoke, and when another started speaking, he was listened to just as eagerly. It wasn't like when people prepare a speech and say, "Go on, your turn." It was so brotherly; each one was absorbed with what the other was saying. It was lovely, so smooth.
So I went to meetings three times a week to get "well soaked" about this Knowledge. Everybody gave
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me satsang, and filled me up all they could. I was promised Knowledge, but it didn't come right away. All the time I felt it was too good for words, it'll pass me by, it can't be possible. But it didn't pass me by. Suddenly, I ended up going to London. It was so tremendous.
We went for Guru Maharaj Ji's birthday celebration-it was December, 1972. The next day, I received Knowledge from Mahatma Prakash Bai. I saw the light straight away, which was a magnificent experience because I didn't know what I was going to see. I didn't hear the music at first, but I tasted the nectar, and that was wonderful. I'd been waiting for this so long. I thought I should never, never, never get this Knowledge.
As I was returning home by car that night, I thought, "Yes, I've received Knowledge. I mustn't forget that." And I've gone on ever since. Instead of looking around and being dismayed and sad and preoccupied with nothing at all, I'm full of calm and joy and I can look forward to my meditation. It's made a wonderful difference in my life. I'm just beginning, but I know I can keep on with it.
Why so few people of my generation have taken this opportunity is puzzling. I think they've gone crusty; they've surrounded themselves with such barriers. Perhaps they're contented, perhaps they can't be bothered. They think, "We've tried so much, we don't want anything more." But once it gets going, it'll gather momentum even among my generation because inwardly people are searching for the truth. They want something, but they've been disappointed. Once they know that other people of their age are taking Knowledge and making progress, it'll get going.
I think people of my generation are very, very lucky to have the Knowledge, because I don't think we deserve it. We brought the world to what it is now. It is my generation who is responsible. This is the century where everything happened. I remember
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when the first motor car was going on the road; when we had those gramophones with horns so huge; when electricity was first in the houses. Yes, I remember all that. There has been great progress, but we've overdone it. We're in such a rush. It's the rush of the century that is pushing people, and they overdo it; they think they want everything quickly-and more and more and more of it. So when you receive Knowledge, it's priceless, especially for anyone of my age.
Of course, all the promises were true. This isn't just something that you advertise: you might be the lucky one, and then you might not. It's for everyone the same. And after receiving Knowledge, it's up to the person to keep on and do meditation, and then you'll accelerate the power given to you. This is a new life for me.
I am personal secretary to the president of a manufacturing corporation. Throughout my life, I have been searching for one person to give my life to. I imagined him as a small boy, and I used to dream that I might find him.
When I first heard about Guru Maharaj Ji, I was eighteen. A friend had just met a mahatma on the street, and came to tell me about the Guru. I asked my friend what the Guru's name was, and he said "Guru Maharaj Ji." When he said this name something happened inside. It was as if my whole being was filled with love and my heart felt as if it was about to overflow. Suddenly I said, "This is him."
I left to receive Knowledge right away. I knew nothing about it at all, only that he was to reveal an experience that most people call "God." When I got there I found out that a Knowledge session was already going on and that I would have to come back another day. A few days later I received the Knowledge of Guru Maharaj Ji.
One day as I was meditating, I found myself thinking about my childhood and an experience I had had in a hospital. All of a sudden I got a glimpse of what I had experienced when I was born. I realized that
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the light I had been meditating on, the light of Guru Maharaj Ji's Knowledge, was the same light I had experienced before birth.
I remembered a bright white light in my mother's womb. There was music playing and a vibration that was so strong it vibrated my whole being. As I started to come out of the womb, I felt different. Things started to change and that beautiful white light started to fade and become more and more distant.
I don't remember what happened after that, until I was going down the hospital corridor. It seemed as if we were moving down the corridor at a fast pace. It was as if someone were walking fast, or as if I was in a wheel chair with someone holding me in their arms. I was feeling a very subtle vibration. I knew what everything was and what I was doing in this situation. I saw two nuns crossing the hall and both had gold crosses hanging from their clothes. I knew that they were nuns even though I did not associate their image with the word "nun" because at that time I did not know that such a word existed.
I had not experienced the full intensity of this light since but I knew that this light was the reality I had been desperately trying to get back to my whole life. When I realized that I was now able to see that same light, I knew I had found the true path that would eventually lead me back to that state beyond birth I had always been so thirsty for.
Actually my life was very, very happy. Even though my parents had split up and there was a lot of chaos inside the family, my life was always very good. I had friends and I always had money and everything was wonderful. But when I graduated from high school, in 1968, I felt the need to go somewhere, and I started traveling. I went to Australia, the South Pacific islands, New Zealand, and traveled around and everything was very beautiful. Everywhere I went people liked me, I had jobs, I had money. I could have stayed anywhere, but there was something inside of me that wouldn't let me stop. I'd go into a place and I'd like it and then one day I'd say, "Well I think I'll go to another place." In this way, I just started traveling and traveling until I got very tired and I didn't want to travel. So then I came back to America and got involved in some drugs and all kinds of insane things. And then again I started traveling and I went around the world. I went to Japan, Hong Kong, India, and Europe.
When I was in India it was really wonderful. For some reason I felt very comfortable there. Somehow when I got back to the States again I decided that I would go back to India.
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This was in 1970. At that time India hadn't really been invaded by western people, and the hippie European scene hadn't really begun. So many Indian people would come and it was really friendly. But still there was something inside saying, "Go," telling me to move on.
So I went to another place, where I got involved in drugs, and I was trafficking, dealing drugs. When I came back to America I had all this money, I had made a lot of money, really thousands and thousands of dollars, maybe hundreds of thousands of dollars. In fact, maybe all together, a million dollars in the many years of doing this. I had a car, and a place in the mountains, and there were some good people around and I always had a stash of something to smoke. But still, there was something inside, telling me to go.
I remember I used to sit outside on this porch and overlook this whole redwood forest and say to myself, "Wow, here I have this whole forest and all these things, but it's not satisfying me. I think I'll go somewhere else." So again I left everything, I left the car, the cabin, the money, everything. I said, "Well, there's only one thing to do and that's to completely get away." I thought I would renounce the world.
So there I was in India again, and I was traveling around on foot and going here and there. And I ran into a friend and we started traveling together. We were both fed up with this world, we had experienced so much, we'd experienced working in factories, we'd experienced being with younger people, being with older people, being involved in a big money making circuit, in the underground world and in traveling and in all different kinds. of situations throughout the world. We had seen Denmark, Afghanistan, Japan, Hong Kong, Australia, Bali, Singapore, South America, North America, everywhere. So we figured we'd just walk 'till we came together because we weren't
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being good people in this world, we didn't have any understanding of what was happening. Sometimes we could give really good advice to other people, but we could never give good advice to ourselves.
So we were just walking in India, just walking and walking. We'd walk in a certain direction and then some guy would point in another direction, or we'd come to a fork in the road and decide that the road we were supposed to take didn't look good.
One day we were walking on this road and we were on our way to this big festival where all these sadhus and holy men were supposed to go. We were never religious-minded, but we wanted to do the right thing, go by the good book, and become very beautiful people. We figured if we walked in India and spent a lot of time with Indian people, we'd eventually get to the place where we could come back to the West and turn everybody on to being beautiful. But we had to be beautiful first. We had this concept of how to be beautiful; and according to our concept we'd try to act beautiful. It was very unsuccessful. We were having a fantastic time though, many people were coming, thinking we were saints because we had long hair and beards and were walking in India with no suitcases and no money. People always took care of us, and treated us like kings.
One day, while we were walking to this festival, we stopped at this place where the people offered us some tea, so we said okay and they started making it. It took such a long time and though we weren't really getting impatient we knew we had a long ways to go. So as soon as we had the tea, we got up to leave. They said, "No, we just made food for you." And it was the kind of thing where if you don't do it they get really upset. So thinking that we had to do this, we just waited and waited while they made food. As I was waiting, I saw this sadhu come along. He was very strange, and seeing me, he came over. When I
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asked him if he wanted to sit down, he just shook his head, and I didn't think anything of it. He just walked around and checked us out. It was pretty strange. So when my friend woke up I said, "There's this really weird character who just came over here." Then this sadhu made a motion with his hand and somebody gave him a pen, and then he made another motion, and someone gave him a piece of paper. And then he started writing. He wrote three questions down in English in the middle of nowhere, in a place where there were no English speaking people at all, only sugar cane farms and villages.
The first question he wrote was, "What is the aim of your wandering?" And we stood there and we couldn't believe it. We said we're just wandering around on our way to the festival, and even though we might have said more we were so blown out we couldn't speak. Then he said, "How you came and stay here?" We told him we walked there. And then he wrote, "Have you eager to go ahead?" And we said yes, but we really didn't know what he meant. So He wrote, "Okay, eat you food.", and he just watched us while we ate. Then he motioned to come with him. So we walked across the road to this sugar cane juice that they extract from sugar cane stalks before they make brown sugar out of it. Then he wrote one thing: "You must stay here tonight, then leave in the morning." So we said okay. Then he wrote: "Go now and pray to God or go now and perform your prayers." So we walked around and we said to ourselves, "What's going on? What about this guy? Isn't he strange? He doesn't talk at all. He knows English."
The next morning, as we were taking food, he started writing in the dirt. He started writing things like: "Have you peace?" And we said, "Of course, of course we have peace, what do you mean?" Then he'd start in the middle of things, "Why did you leave America?" We said, "Well, you know America's re-
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ally a bad place and we didn't really like America, we didn't like the West."
Then he started to give us satsang in writing, asking us, "Is peace God?" And we said, "Of course, God is love and love is God." He wrote, "Then why did you leave America? Peace is there as much as peace is here."
"Well, but…" We had nothing to say.
Then every once in a while, he would write, "Have you seen divine light?" We said, "Of course, of course we've seen divine light. Hasn't everyone seen divine light?" So he writes: "What is divine light?" We said, "Divine light is that light of complete understanding." So we'd just go on and on, and he would call all the people from the village, and we would give them discourses, and tell them about how God is one and how man is one, and how we have to love God, and we have to love each other. Then, when people would leave, he would write: "How do you know this? How do you know these things? How do you know God is one?"
He would write all these things and we would say, "Well, everybody knows that" And he would write: "What has been your experience?" And we would just freak out.
Every morning for a week, we'd get up, roll up our bags, get ready to go, and then we'd start having satsang. He would write things like: "Why did America kill Kennedy? Why America makes bombs? Why did people kill Jesus Christ? Why did people kill Rama, Krishna?" And he would write all the time, "The mind is the tool of the devil." But we never understood.
After about two or three weeks with him, we were feeling pretty strange. We couldn't leave because we really felt that he had something. He was so blissful. We used to roll in the dirt and play. It was really strange.
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One morning he pointed to a part in the scriptures, in the Bhagavad Gita, and I read, "Attain this Knowledge by all means. Prostrate yourself at the feet of the wise. Render them all forms of service. Question them with a guileless heart again and again. And when those wise seers of truth are pleased with your actions then they will reveal this Knowledge to you."
All of a sudden, we thought, "Wow, we've really stumbled upon something incredible." We thought he was the saint, that we would go and prostrate to him and he would give us the Knowledge. We went to him and said, "Please give us this Knowledge, tell us about this secret." And then he wrote: "I can't." Then we said, "Aren't you a guru?" And he wrote: "Even a guru has a guru. There is one pair of Lotus Feet that stand on my head. I am completely controlled by the Satguru."
"Who is Satguru?"
"Balyogeshwar Paramhans Satgurudev Shri Sant Ji Maharaj."
And even though we had heard Maharaj Ji's name many times before in India we never connected it.
We went to Prem Nagar ashram. After about two or three weeks there, after doing service and realizing more and more what was happening, we received Knowledge from Guru Maharaj Ji on February 9, 1971. At that time, all traveling inside stopped. There was no need to travel, or go anywhere, or do anything. The most natural thing for us to do was to prostrate at the Lotus Feet of Guru Maharaj Ji and say, "Now, what have you in store for us?" We had to serve Guru Maharaj Ji because this Knowledge was so fantastic. People were saying, "You're going to receive Knowledge. You're going to see the light," but when we actually received Knowledge, it was as if we were reborn. We just felt like babies. We were completely ready to do whatever we had to do. Having lived in the world, we still knew how to live in this
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world and how to talk to people, do things, and handle ourselves. Only now, our consciousness, our minds, were reborn. There was a whole new thing taking place.
We came to Guru Maharaj Ji and we prostrated, and I said to Guru Maharaj Ji, "I'd like to dedicate my whole life to you." He said, "Go away from me. First go away and realize something, meditate and realize something."
We decided to go away for a month, until a festival called Holi. I went down to Calcutta for about three weeks and my friend went to Rajasthan.
When I got there, I met all these people, and even though I was giving them satsang, I was still in the world. I was susceptible to whatever they were doing. If people were smoking, I was smoking. If people were eating, I was eating. I had no desire of my own to eat at those times of the day, or smoke, but I was just very susceptible to the people. Whatever they wanted to do, whatever they were doing, I would do it too. One day I was walking down the street and I said, "Why am I doing all these things?" And as I was about to say to myself, "Because I have nothing better to do," I suddenly discovered that I did have something better to do, and that was to meditate. That's when I realized I had Knowledge, that I had received Knowledge, because then I knew. I actually knew, I was very aware of the fact that I had something that was the best thing to do, and I wasn't doing it.
I came back to Prem Nagar ashram for Holi and it was at that time that we came and prostrated ourselves to Guru Maharaj Ji and said, "Guru Maharaj Ji, we want to dedicate our lives to you. We are ready to do anything you say but you must give us agya, you must give us your command, your instructions."
Maharaj Ji said, "I think you'd better go back to the West." This was the one thing that we really
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weren't prepared to do because this is where we had run from, this is where all the obstacles and aches were for us. And all during this time I had been thinking about Mauni Baba, the silent sadhu, because it was through him that I had come to Maharaj Ji.
One day we had walked from sun-up to sundown and although he never spoke, on this day he never even wrote anything. As we walked around, he pointed with his cane at everything. He'd point down at a certain plant growing out of the ground, in a field, and I'd look at it. And as we walked he'd point at a bird, he'd point at the sky, flowers, barbed-wire fences, sugar cane, insects, all these things. And we walked all day non-stop, not eating or anything. And then as we were sitting on a hill as the sun was setting he went like this with his cane: he moved it all the way around in a circle, and as he did this with his stick, he indicated with his finger the figure one. And it was very clear to me that all things are one, that's what he was trying to say. All day he was pointing this out, that I should look at this and this, and I was becoming so aware of everything, and he was saying that all things are one.
Remembering that really gave me confidence. Yes, I must do what Guru Maharaj Ji says. And Maharaj Ji gave us his blessings. Maharaj Ji said, "I'll come in a couple of years. Go and give satsang, inspire people to receive Knowledge." So we said, "Wow, only a couple of years!" and we took off, and went back to America.
We started giving satsang, we started telling people about Guru Maharaj Ji, but then people would say, "Well, how do I receive Knowledge?" We were in a real dilemma, because there were no mahatmas here. So it was really strange.
Then all of a sudden we got a phone call from Mahatma Ashokanand, in London, saying Guru Maharaj Ji was arriving in London in two weeks. And then we said, "Wow, this is our chance, our chance to bring
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him to America!" And from that point on there were three of us working day and night to prepare; to get tickets, to get visas, to prepare the people, the press, and everything; to publicize, and arrange programs for Guru Maharaj Ji. And then Guru Maharaj Ji came to America.
As the daughter of a high-ranking official in the U.S. State Department, I have always had to be sure that everything I did and said was right. I was representing the United States and was brought up knowing that in a very small way I was affecting the relations between my home country and the country I was living in. So, when at age one, I was placed in the arms of a foreign official and my mother forgot to put rubber pants on me, I simply had to restrain myself. Diplomatic language was the language of our household. My father taught me that there is even a diplomatic answer to, "Have you brushed your teeth this morning?" A lesson particularly useful when you have not. And even more useful later on, when it was, "what time did you get in last night," after your date. At home we knew that my father's career was dependent on how we, his family, behaved.
I quickly learned that diplomacy is an art. There are no ABC books written on how to be diplomatic, even for five-year-olds, because true diplomacy can only grow out of an understanding of the purpose behind guarding actions and words. My purpose was simple: to keep from getting damaged. I learned to weasel my way out of anything. My first great test
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was at age five. I fed a mothball to my younger sister to find out if such things were really poisonous. Facts from others never did satisfy me. And when it came time to explain my action to my mother, I coolly said, "Oh, Mary ate a mothball." As if I had had nothing to do with it. But the classified information concerning the truth leaked through a hole in my sister's mouth which had been made somewhat larger by her just having had her stomach pumped out.
When I think about it, my life was really somewhat strange. My family was constantly moving from one place to another. From continent to continent, not just country to country. Every three years or so everything I had built up for myself in the outside world started all over again. New friends, new school, often a new language. It was with our arrival in France at age six that I developed the technique of being diplomatic about the fact that you don't know more than two words of your neighbor's language. And those two words are "Yes" and "No." I would have long conversations with the plumber or the coal man in which my sister and I would simply arbitrarily nod and shake our heads, "Non," and "Oui," at any appropriate moment, having absolutely no idea what we were saying yes or no about.
It was just as I would be settling in to one place that we would be off again in a cloud of suitcases and diapers. Each move was like riding in a time tunnel and getting off at a different stop. In my U.S. history book I had read about the thatched roofed houses the pilgrims lived in: I lived in one in England. I read about the horse and cart transportation in the old West: I saw such carts in Iran. I read about the steam engine, coal-fed trains of the nineteenth century, and watched them roll past in India, people popping out of the windows and sitting on the tops for a free ride. I would fly from the super highway and supermarket of supermodern America, and the next day arrive in the delightful French countryside. My young mind
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had trouble keeping up with my body. Many times I would wake up in the night thinking myself to be in the city I had last left behind; thinking the bathroom to be where the closet was, I would search at length in the dark to find the toilet in it.
So reality was not what my mind thought it to be, and neither was time. Very early I had to throw out the nice, neat little belief that your mind knows what is happening and is in control. I was forced against my will to realize that my mind did not, and never would, have the answers for me; that it was not always to be believed.
My family had been living in India for six years when the tension that had been building up between India and Pakistan found its limit. We knew the Indians and they knew us, but one day at the breakfast table I discovered that our relations were not very warm anymore. In fact, we even had war ships just off the Indian coast. Really, I was very lucky. I certainly had a wonderful overview of the situation in the world. It gave me no answers, but I knew that my first responsibility to help shape the world was to shape up myself.
In college, I had been an intellectual observer during the years of the radical, rebellious students. I had a wonderful time watching demonstrations on television, seeing Rennie Davis stir up the crowds of long hairs, and really wishing that I was in there, too, with my blue jeans and denim jacket. But I couldn't because I kept saying to myself that all the demonstrations weren't going to change anything. I was a psychology major, which made things a lot worse. I decided to do a long study on apathy, to develop a definition for it and use various kinds of research techniques to find out just who is and who isn't apathetic and why. Really, all that I wanted to know was why was I not able to get out there and demonstrate, like all the other college students. I knew that man didn't need to be in the situation he was in, but I just
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couldn't figure out the way that he could get out of it. Skinner had his way, and the Utopians theirs, and even an MIT professor or two, but they just didn't look realistic to me. Through explosion of my own tightly-controlled feelings as a diplomat's daughter, I had learned that what man is on the inside he will be on the outside.
By the time I first heard about Guru Maharaj Ji, I had already begun to do some meditation. It just seemed like the only thing I hadn't tried and it made sense to try to gain control of my mind-it would at least help me to be apathetic more efficiently. When I first heard about him, about his age, I pushed him aside as being much too fantastic. But then I ran into a follower who told me a little about the sort of things Guru Maharaj Ji could do for people. And I thought that the least I could do was to find out a little bit more about him, investigate the whole situation in the way that any proper scientist should. And also, some where in my mind, was the desire to make a big breakthrough in psychology by finding out about new ways that man can find peace through spiritual development.
When I did investigate more, I was very amazed by the people around Maharaj Ji. I could relate to them as I did to my closest friends. I could feel a complete openness from them. Their eyes didn't have dark shades rolled down over them so that no one could see what they had inside.
I received Knowledge very quickly, really before I had much understanding of what it was all about, but I knew that if I didn't receive it now, it would just be a question of time before I did. And certainly I was, as always, diplomatic about it. I had carefully looked under my foot, around it, and investigated the direction in which I wanted to go to make sure that I was aimed correctly before I had taken the step.
It didn't take long before all of the diplomats in New Delhi knew that the daughter of the charge d'af-
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faires was into some young guru. An Italian told me, "Everyone knows about Diana." And even the ambassador from Mongolia indicated to me in passing one day that he had been keeping up to date on my activities. It showed that their intelligence officers were in good working order.
As I practiced the Knowledge more and more, it became visibly clear to me that this was the way I would be able to answer all the questions I had been living with for so long. I was learning what in fact was the one reality, what was the right role for my mind to play, what kind of action would be the best for my body if I wanted to use it to its fullest potentiality. And most important, I learned how the poor tired leaders all over the world could stop playing their games of chess with us.
My parents were asked about me, and they stated what they saw: that this organization had put on a very impressive festival in New Delhi, well-controlled by respectable young people from around the world calling themselves the World Peace Corps, and were very impressed by the dedication, energy, love, and joy of Maharaj Ji's followers.
Now I am again being diplomatic, but the job has been immensely simplified, because all I have to do is to be honest. Diplomacy is now to open doors rather than shut them, to speak the language that people can understand, so that the fine world of devotion, of trust and openness, can become a home for humanity.
On February 11, 1973, I received Knowledge in New York from Mahatma Rajeswaranand. Two months before, I had heard of Guru Maharaj Ji from a young patient of mine in primal-type therapy. He told me that his best friend had been "blissed out" by Guru Maharaj Ji at a meeting held at Hunter College and then had gone on to India. My patient was critical and hurt by his friend's actions and said that what he really needed was primal therapy instead of this "self-hypnosis." He wanted me to agree with this characterization, but I merely shrugged my shoulders and said, "I don't know."
My answer was an honest one. I was going through certain experiences which were hitting hard at my "rational" and atheistic convictions and putting me a more open frame of mind. I was involved in Arica, a program that promised to bring higher levels consciousness. I had also read Castaneda's account of his extraordinary experiences with the Yaqui Indian sorcerer, Don Juan. John Lilly's description of high levels of consciousness in Center of the Cyclone also made an impression on me, as did my readings in parapsychology and of Edgar Cayce. As a result, I had come to the conclusion that phenomena existed
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for which the rational mind had as yet no answers, and I felt that at my age (66) I could not afford to close my mind to any experiences, as unusual as they might seem.
About a month later, my wife and I went to a meeting at which Mahatma Rajeswaranand spoke. I listened very carefully; what impressed me most was his statement that the Knowledge was something that one can actually experience. I felt that only by experiencing God could I let go of my atheistic beliefs. I needed the experience of knowing that I could identify my individual self with the cosmic self. I needed to actually visualize the divine light within.
I had been an atheist as long as I could remember. Forty-five years ago, as a young man of twenty-one, I embraced the Marxist doctrine of which atheism was an essential part. Marxism rested on supposedly scientific and rational grounds. In the sphere of religion, it concluded that it was only out of ignorance and fear of the world around him that man turned to the invention of gods and God. Trotsky, in whose movement I spent over fifteen years and whom I knew personally, wrote with pride shortly before his death that he still held unwaveringly to the beliefs and hopes of his lifetime and that he would die an atheist. When, in my personal evolution, I went from Trotskyism to psychotherapy, I noted that Freud, too, believed that man, out of his own neurotic needs, invented a God to believe in. It seemed to me self-evident at the time that these were true thoughts.
Yet, it was my observation through the years that people who believed in God seemed happier and more at peace with themselves than those who did not. As a psychotherapist, I noted that those patients who believed that they were in control, and who were unable to let go and to trust a high power, made the least progress in therapy because what they held on to desperately was their own neurosis. In that connection, I remember Dr. Jacob S. List, one of the
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great therapists in his time, telling his patients that could work with them successfully only if they believed in God. I believe I understood what he meant translated in therapeutic terms but, try as I would, I was not able to come to a belief in God by any logical means. I always felt that people who really believe had either received this belief from loving parents had or had some profound religious experience which led to peace.
I had tried to find this peace for myself in political, social, psychological, and personal solutions. It was 1928 that I first became interested in communism. The Russian Revolution, the event that was to change our world, was then only 11 years old. What big hopes we held at that time! Capitalism, the citadel of exploitation of man by man, had been breached. Nothing less than world revolution was on the agenda.
My role in the movement was largely journalistic. I wrote regularly for their publications, Labor Action and The New International. It was in that capacity that I went to Spain when the revolution there broke out in the summer of 1936. But involvements gave me a first-hand and painful realization that the supposed carriers of ideals were so imperfect, so attached to power, to egotism and privilege-in short so up to their necks in materialism, that they could only twist these ideals into their opposites. Trotsky, for all his great gifts and brilliance as a thinker and man of a action, was also imperfect. He was a human being capable of great feeling, sensitivity, and consideration, yet he was so enamored of the power of his idea, you could be close to him only if you agreed with him.
By 1946 I had become thoroughly disillusioned, as were many of us who had been in the Trotsky movement. Everybody went their separate ways, and I realized that we had never formed close personal relationships. My concern for brotherhood and humanity had been an abstraction. All at once, New
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York City became a constricting, lonely, and banal place to be. I left, making the first of several long trips to Europe. After the last of these, years later, I returned to the States with plenty of evidence of personal failure all along the line. My plan to live abroad and to be economically independent and secure had collapsed. I had failed as a husband and a father. I was faced with a second divorce and could no longer live in the same apartment as my children. I also had to return to an occupation that I had no interest nor heart for. I soon fell into a depression such as I had never before experienced in my life. When I was in one of those moods, my son, who was then only three years old, looked at me with such love and need for me that I decided that I must get help and get well. I entered psychotherapy, where I found encouragement to go back to college to get my liberal arts degree. Several years-and jobs-later, I began doing professional psychotherapy, and finally heard the name, Guru Maharaj Ji, from my young patient.
My experience as a psychotherapist is that it is not an end in itself. It can lead to greater openness and self-understanding. It can make one a more feeling person and put him in touch with his great need for love, but it cannot provide that love. I believe that in order for one to be truly complete and self-realized and at peace with himself, he must satisfy the spiritual part of himself. It is the part that sees the divine light within and that feels the primordial vibrations connecting one to the cosmic vibration of God. I have found such an experience to be possible. It has been only the Knowledge of Guru Maharaj Ji, the direct experience of that primordial vibration, which has enabled me to shed my egotism and material attachments and find a peaceful end to the path that covered so many years, so many personal, political and professional involvements.
In early September of this year, I was living in Santa Cruz, California as a monk, the president of the Santa Cruz-Monterey chapter of a large, very well known yoga society. Most of my days were spent in a purificatory life style of mantra chanting, rising before sunrise, studying the Vedas and preaching the eternal truths. We would also distribute various scriptures which our guru had translated from Sanskrit and hold vegetarian feasts. I had a simple, fulfilling life-style, enjoyed some respect from my peers and was living in a beautiful, wooded community with a lovely climate in southern California.
Santa Cruz is an area filled with many young people who have rejected certain aspects of the materialistic society. Our philosophy interested them enough to attend our meetings in large groups on Sundays. We would all chant and get high. In the course of our street preachings, we began to meet more and more young people who said they were premies and followed a fourteen-year-old spiritual master called Guru Maharaj Ji. This seemed foolish to us; we had an old, wise guru with a weatherbeaten face lined with age. He even carried a cane and had translated
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many books and started many temples. "How could a little boy be a guru?" we asked.
But the premies who followed this boy had good vibrations (a nice friendly attitude), so we went to their meetings and expounded our philosophy. We explained we were all parts of God, but the Godhead was beyond the white light and lived on a lotus flower planet where He played His flute and danced. We thought that we could eventually see Him if we chanted this mantra we had been given. (By inclination I am a mystical sort of person and I had a few visions while I was chanting this mantra, so I was always trying to get people to chant this mantra because I thought it brought their minds out of illusion.)
When Mahatma Rajeshwaranand Ji came to Santa Cruz, we went to a meeting to "put him straight" on a few things. Our main point of conflict was that he gave the impression you could merge with God, and our guru said the soul was an eternal individual.
We had gone to a house on the beach for this pro gram, and while I was waiting to talk to this mahatma, who was lecturing in the next room, I had a vision of Krishna and Arjuna standing by a chariot. (Krishna was an incarnation of God who appeared many years ago and Arjuna was his disciple.) This impressed me very much and I could feel the high vibrations around.
The mahatma came and I still had preconceived ideas in my mind, so we got into an argument on how to experience God and the nature of the soul, and the soul's position after liberation. By this time another monk arrived, John, and he got furious at the mahatma for saying that God wasn't in this statue that we worshipped, and for saying that chanting wouldn't get us anywhere. So we yelled back and forth at the mahatma and we felt we had to maintain our position, our own ideology. We started to walk out in a huff but the mahatma called us back to listen to some chanting he had on tape about Krishna's flute.
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We stayed around for the lecture and did a little philosophical dueling with our Bhagavad Gitas against his meditation experiences. We began to be impressed with his energy, and the premies were talking about things they had experienced in their meditation which were in our scriptures. After I left the mahatma I felt a drop in energy; I felt I had left the spiritual flow and I had to go and give my own lectures about how God was in this picture we worshipped. I just didn't feel right, I didn't believe it anymore. My brother, John, decided to follow the mahatma north to Oakland and in a few days he came back. He had taken Knowledge. He was so impressed that he immediately told me, "Take the Knowledge. Guru Maharaj Ji is Satguru. He has come."
I was still suspicious, but I was attracted to the Guru and to the energy that was flowing around his devotees. So I stayed at the Carmel ashram where the mahatma was speaking, then followed him to Los Angeles, where I received Knowledge. After meditating on the Knowledge I can see how this common experience of God can unite all men and bring peace on earth. Guru Maharaj Ji will awaken your sleeping soul and give you peace. Many prophets have come, and by their fruits you should judge them. I became a disciple of Guru Maharaj Ji because I know he has the power of God behind him. Since he opened my third eye I have access to eternal peace and can see into the world of the living Master. The time is coming very shortly when the ways of ignorance and darkness, the way of industrial militarism, will be swept away like dust under the feet of the Satguru.
Before I met Guru Maharaj Ji, I already had my own advertising agency, an import boutique, a good steady income, and loyal employees. Fortune has been on my side most of my life as far as worldly pleasures are involved, having given me a loving family, fine children, success in business, decent looks, the right car, choice of male companionship from an enviable list of 'eligibles' on my terms, and adequate money. If there was a basic emptiness in my life, I was far too busy building the business and working to provide for my children to afford the luxury of seeking fulfillment. That meant either spiritually on a mountain top, or psychologically on a psychiatrist's couch.
Yet the observant person could see that four packs of Parliaments a day, extra dry vodka martinis to excess, and a frenetic race to obliterate thought did not point to a satisfied, happy person. I've been asked countless times, "What is it you're looking for in life, Gaie?" "What do you really enjoy?"
My want was so basic I'd never dare ask out loud, never dared risk ridicule from "with it" friends to see their snickering skepticism if I replied, "A reason for
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living." A reason far more justifying than to be provider and tutor (even a wolf was able to do that).
But a trap had been laid-the perfect trap for game like me. And I stepped right in. I'd received a request to help on an advertising campaign from a young man who appeared to be caught up in some far Eastern religious movement. Their target audience was the world.
That's right, without batting any one of his "three" sets of eyelids-you see, among other things he'd been given a "third eye"-he announced in a very steady voice that their market encompassed every living man, woman, and child.
Apparently they also had a "Knowledge" which was "universally relevant," and there was all the more immediacy to their message because of the "darkness of our age." But this group didn't just have the answers to the scriptures, hadn't just found the way … they had a means for practical realization of God! Yes, and a fifteen-year-old Indian boy was the Perfect Master who had shown them!
Well, the communications industry is all-encompassing, and kooks, wild claims, and creative geniuses are an every day part of business life. The role of an agency is not to judge, but to test. Without testing there is no assurance of finding the most expeditious means of matching clients' product to proper market.
Therein lay the noose: I tested the product.
The clean-cut young man who came into my office that day for a program of outdoor advertising has since become my brother. I've met and recognized the perfection of this age's Perfect Master; see the universal relevance to his Knowledge, it's potential for bringing light and peace to our world, and have been blessed with the practical awareness of God.
This Knowledge, to an adult life, is as ammonia to a grease and nicotine coated glass pane. It cuts through that dulling coat of grime which stifles our
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awareness, opens the windows to light and meaning for our souls to once again breathe.
My two boys and I have never experienced such a sense of unity, of closeness. In fact we've even been blessed with the addition of a feminine touch to the family, the ten year old daughter of a friend separated from his wife. Without any prompting, all three children are dying for the next mahatma to arrive so they can receive Knowledge. Our family has suddenly become part of a very large, warm family with many brothers and sisters full of love and light; and Grace Advertising has the most graced account in the universe.
I am twenty-three years old and have been blind for twenty years. Being blind hasn't been that frustrating. It's an inconvenience at times, but it was never the preoccupation of my life. I always felt that there were more important things than eyesight, something more than just seeing the physical world.
There was a lot of uncertainty about my life, but I knew that everyone else was that way, too. I never thought that it was because I was blind that I was searching. I almost never felt that I would gain real peace of mind and contentment by regaining my eyesight.
In the middle of August, 1972, I heard that there was a fourteen-year-old boy from India who could show me a light shining between my eyes. It sounded like something worth checking out, but I was afraid that I would find just one more group of religious fanatics who felt that if I had the faith that they had, I could have my eyesight restored. However, a few months and a number of strange coincidences later, I found myself hearing satsang for the first time. I knew after those first two hours that this was what I had been searching for all along. I could feel a little of that "energy flow" that the premies were talking
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about and I wanted to experience for myself just what Knowledge was all about.
When I went to receive Knowledge, I didn't want to receive it to get my sight back. I wanted to try to make some order out of the complication that was in my head. The point that impressed me when I was first told about the Knowledge was that I would see something that was infinite. It was going to be something better than eyesight; I was going to see light. But I was feeling exactly the same way about seeing light as I was about hearing music-no more, no less.
The sight that I now have is every bit of sight anyone would ever want to receive. I have been shown the meaning of true sight by Guru Maharaj Ji and now I see exactly what Jesus was showing people in his time. This is sight. The brightness of this light is incredible.
Blind people, like everybody else, need this Knowledge. It is something which is the same for everybody. If you don't want things that pass overnight, if you want things that last forever, then you should receive Knowledge. My experience as a blind person completely confirms that Guru Maharaj Ji is doing in this time what Jesus Christ was doing when he was alive. Now that I've seen, I believe.
I was blind from birth, and with the exception of some visions, I didn't see anything till Guru Maharaj Ji gave me Knowledge. Since then I have enjoyed continual experiences of the divine sight inside me.
Soon after receiving Knowledge, I had a flashback to the time when I was in my mother's womb. I was almost like total light then, and I was hearing incredible music. It's something I can't describe, because I only had this experience for about a minute, and then I broke out crying, it was so intense. It was just enough to let me know that I was definitely once in that state of existence.
I want to say that the wonderful thing about this inner light which Maharaj Ji showed me, is that it comes from the very source of love inside me. I never knew this until Guru Maharaj Ji gave me Knowledge.
One night I was working in a grocery store and this guy came in. I had never seen him before and he asked me for some assistance in the back of the store. I went to help him and he stuck an eight-inch blade in my back.
Now the neighborhood I worked in was a very peaceful neighborhood, and to experience something like that completely caught me off guard. For just a brief instant I freaked out, but the Knowledge of Guru Maharaj Ji brought me right down. I took the knife out of my back, then collapsed. I realized then that I was in serious trouble. And I had better start getting into the Word that Guru Maharaj Ji gave me.
He gave me Knowledge a month before, so I had this gift. Now I got into this gift because I knew that it was the only thing that could save me. It was the only thing that could make me understand what was happening at that time, instead of totally freaking out. I just closed my eyes and started experiencing the Word, and when I closed my eyes I saw this beautiful, beautiful light - the light that I see in meditation. And the Word was so forceful, so forceful that it just took me right out of this place, out of this world, out of this environment, and out of that situation. And
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the music I was experiencing was so beautiful that I could focus all my attention on this Word and on the music and on the light. I was oblivious to the situation that was happening.
I made my way toward the telephone to call for assistance, to get somebody to take care of this body that was in such a helpless state. I got to the telephone and the next thing I heard was a voice in back of me saying to lay down, that everything was all right. The police came right away, then the ambulance. All the time I was experiencing the Word. The police came and did their thing and the ambulance came and did their thing, but I had no idea what they were doing. I knew that they were there but they really weren't there. They were just carrying my body away, you know, just doing their thing with my body, and my consciousness was in a completely different place; it was looking at this whole thing very objectively and I knew that I was dying.
It was a very, very strange thing to look at yourself dying from an objective point of view, set yourself completely away in a "third person" and see yourself die. They took me to the hospital, and when I got there I knew what was happening inside the room. I heard all these voices and I heard the doctors freaking out, I heard all the people in there hustling and telling everybody that they needed more blood, they didn't have as much in the hospital as they thought they did. All these weird things were happening, and I was just completely oblivious to it all. I still didn't know what they were so upset about, because I knew where I was and I knew that what I was experiencing was home. I was experiencing the same thing that I experienced in meditation; I was totally home, I had nothing to worry about, because everything was being taken care of for me. The mother of a friend came to give blood for me. While she was waiting in line, she was asked to sit down. Later a doctor notified her that she had a coronary disease and that if she had
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waited any longer she would have died within a couple of weeks. We can never know the full effect on others of the games that Guru Maharaj Ji plays with us.
They finally got me down for the operation and by Guru Maharaj Ji's grace there was another premie who had just started working at the hospital two weeks before. He knew all the things that were happening there and he was very objective, able to understand the doctor's plights and to know that their minds were freaking out. All the knowledge that they had built up in their years of being doctors was being put to a test. And Guru Maharaj Ji was guiding these skilled surgeons, using them as a tool to save this body. They operated on me for eight hours, and the Knowledge kept me from going into shock. And if I had gone into shock, it would have been fatal.
I don't know why Guru Maharaj Ji was trying to save this body, but I woke up after surgery and I was completely in another world. I was in the world of my meditation, a world that was so beautiful, just so beautiful. I didn't have to use the formal techniques of meditation to understand that Word, to see that Light, and to listen to the music.
And Guru Maharaj Ji showed me what death was; he showed me that when I leave this body there is something so much more beautiful, so much more powerful, and that this world really doesn't exist. It really doesn't exist. We all know this world is an illusion, but he showed me for a fact because he showed me the same thing that I experience every night when I meditate. And it wasn't any more powerful, it wasn't anything out of the ordinary. It was just that beautiful, beautiful thing: that when we need Guru Maharaj Ji's assistance, he's there, willing to give it to us. All we have to do is ask him for it. And Guru Maharaj Ji will give it to us, he'll give it to us with all the love of the universe, 'cause he saved my life with this Knowledge and he brought me back to give this message
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and to do service. But mostly he showed me that I'm nothing without Guru Maharaj Ji and allowed me to devote my whole life to him.