page Ann Arbor SUN 22 April 5-19, 1974
Some time ago the SUN published a twopart article by Steve Haines concerning his experience with the Divine Light Mission of Guru Maharah Ji in Houston, Texas. Haines concluded that the Guru’s "premies" were emotionally weak and attracted to the DLM out of insecurity. He also described the "Knowledge" session, concluding that it was, essentially, a fraud.
Steve’s articles have aroused a good deal of controversy and debate. The following letters continue this dialogue. The first comes from a representative of the Guru in Ann Arbor. The second is a response penned by one of the first Americans to receive the "Knowledge, " who has since renounced the DLM and is working with the SUN.
To the editors and readers of the SUN: Ann Arbor SUN
This letter is being written in the hopes that it will inform people about what Guru Maharaj Ji really is here to offer all of us. Steve Haines’ article in the SUN offered a great deal of insight into the crazy minds we all possess, but very little into the simple gift of a 16-year old boy from India.
Inside each of us there is something, a force, if you will, that is keeping us alive. Call it your soul, life-force, cosmic energy, Love, or God. The words do not matter. That thing is inside of all things in this universe; it is at work in all living things, but for we human beings it is especially significant. Beyond who we think we are, beyond our minds and bodies, we are this vibration of Life itself. Every person on earth seeks this vibration, this infinite Love, for their whole life, whether they know it or not. When we are infants we yearn for our parents’ love, sometimes we feel it, sometimes we don’t. As we grow older that need is always there, but it is hidden in many ways. We look for love from friends, from mates, and from the activities we do — sports, job, music, etc. We form an image of ourselves, we play a role to protect oursleves, and minimize the hurt of not being able to feel real love.
This generation is a very special time because, on a wide-spread basis, the idea of finding Love in a non-deceptive way is occurring, which is just another way of saying that human consciousness is evolving. For many of us, rock music and dope helped us along in that process — letting us feel more natural together, teaching us how to share more and be less concerned with petty hang-ups that were very evidently a problem with a previous generation. Of course, war, poverty, social injustice, and pollution aren’t just the fruits of petty hangups, but somewhere along the line I personally felt if everyone could be really high, selfishness would disappear. I was never too political-minded, but there was some of that, and many friends were and still are looking towards radicalizing consciousness in that direction. The list is very long of all those different things that are actually going on either to provide an answer to the whole affair of life or just to help people be able to start looking for an answer, or just to be: therapies of different kinds, natural diets, Liberation, Jesus, spiritual ity in any sense, or just "trying to get it together."
So, back to that vibration of Life within us all. Let us say that this is God. God is in everything, is everywhere, and can do anything, and who in fact does do everything, even if we think somebody called "I" is doing everything. But "I" did not decide to live in a human body, or when he was going to be born, or when he is going to die. "I" likes to feel good and have others think he is wonderful. But "I" also wants to get really high, because he can lose himself a little, just by not worrying about himself. He gets high by trying to experience life as it is happening in the here and now, by being with nature, by taking some acid, by getting drunk and so on. "I" is also called the ego, the mind, that role we play-act to find real Love. But the funny thing is, all the time we are sitting right on top of it. Guru Maharaj Ji can show you God if you want to see Him, if you are at the point of realizing that you need to go within to know that everlasting source of Love.
God is here now, He was always here, and He will always be here. He inventecT^J’^ rock and roll, and LSD, and politics, an_ every far-out book on Yaqui Indians. It is He who is raising our consciousness so that we can see how plastic and unreal the world of man’s ego is. He is ushering in the Aquarian age, preparing us with lots of good music about Love and all that and in general making things quite clear. Now, Guru Maharaji steps in and reveals God inside of us so that we can tune in to the whole plan. The only hitch is that "I" can’t come along, but, you see, that’s alright when you realize that "I" never really existed to begin with. Only God existed, exists and will exist.
Free of charge, Guru Maharaj Ji will show you that vibration of Life within. It is called the Word and it pulls our breath in and out every second. We can feel this Word and see it manifest as inner Light, taste it as Nectar, and hear it as celestial music. The whole experience is called Knowledge. Through living in this Knowledge we can fully realize our human potential of becoming loving and sharing and simple put, selfless. Instead of serving our ego’s endless craving for something it can never get, we serve our true self, our higher self-God. You find yourself seeing everyone as a human being with that same potential, be they policeman or "freak." Knowledge is the ultimate experience; it is infinite and takes you higher and higher and shows you that the most beautiful place or situation you could live in is right inside, permanent satisfaction. Knowledge is not a book of rules or beliefs. It is a constant meditation on life within that teaches us from within all we need to know.
Excellent descriptions of this very experience can be found in such well known books as the Old and New Testaments, the Bhgavad-Gita, the Koran, Aquarian Gospel, and Be Here Now, to name a few. However none of these great books can let us have that experience. We must find the living Master and humbly ask for this Knowledge. Now, this Knowledge has to be RECEIVED with an open heart and sincere desire for it. That’s all Guru Maharaj Ji asks, seems that Steve Haines went to the , Millenium festival and into a Knowlege session and had a very negative experience. There are at least two people in Ann Arbor who went to a Knowledge session in Houston and found the most precious gift of their lives. Every magazine from NEWSWEEK to the SUN and personalities from Dick Cavett to Jerry Rubin have taken shots at Divine Light Mission. I say it is the only real revolution going on in our time. Won’t you brothers and sisters take the time to find out just what is going on for yourselves? It’s really so incredible; we just have to let down the walls.
Premies in this city are now organizing more and more programs; for now there is regular informal discussion about Knowledge every Wednesday night at 212 Koch Street. Also, seekers of Truth can check out the Bantam paperback, WHO IS GURU MAHARAJ JI?
See you all in Satchitanand!
Sincerely, Ron Greenspan
for Ann Arbor devotees of the Lord
* * *
To respond to a letter from "the Ann Arbor Devotees of the Lord" (otherwise known as premies of Guru Mahara Ji) the finger was pointed at me. The premies who delivered the letter said that they heard "the second American to receive Knowledge" was working for the SUN. Well, it’s true. There is some question, however, whether I was really the second American. I could be the third or even the first, but that’s not the point. I received Knowledge in London on December 1, 1969 soon after the first mahatma was sent from India to establish the mission in the West. The early recipients of the Knowledge were considered auspisious persons, who, as reincarnated saints and apostles, would lead great conversion movements throughout the world. I have turned out otherwise.
The spiritual message of a 16 year old Perfect Master from India has begun to emerge into the consciousness of the entire world. The zeal of his followers I has made this possible through a message that is simple and universal in appeal. But as it emerges into the mainstream of our collective consciousness it is necessarily being battered to shake it free, if possible, of all the unnecessary "spiritual materialism" that has followed it out of a land steeped in stagnant values and antiquated worldviews.
My main concern is to somehow take the essential message, which is the Knowledge, and present it to the modern world, i.e., the world of Western civilization. My main point of difference, and therefore my inability to become a member of the Mission, has been the whole question of importing outmoded religious beliefs and moral standards (i.e. spiritual-materialism) from a culture far removed from the context of an evolving, innovative modern world on the brink of developing a truly mature world icivilization. Having grown up in India and Nepal, I was able to observe first hand oriental culture today and the effect of modern, innovative Western culture on that way of life as it enlivened as well as disoriented its peoples. As a result I went through a time of rejecting the values of Western civilization and looked into the vastness of Eastern religion and civilization for a more stable and less violent world-view. But my Western background would not let me go. As a result I also began to scrutinize the equally vast heritage of the West. I have come to the following conclusions:
The western world has been a major innovative civilization on our planet for the past 500 years and it is through its development that the human race has come as far as it has towards a planetary civilization. This is so because it has repeatedly produced societies which stimulated the process of creative psychic growth (which Carl G. Jung called "individuation" -- not to be confused with individualism). It has also enabled the development of creative collectives comprised of such individualizing persons which have been the source of cultural and social innovations.
Societies in the eastern world have been based on a world-view which has required that all members "surrender the reins of your life" to the existing social or religious order. The stronger the total control from the top down of this social heirarchy the less room for creativity and "room to grow" as one needs to. Dharma is duty and usually requires that the individual renounce completely his or her Self-direction (creative as well as negative).
It is true that the essence of spirituality is the realization of the creative life force as it dwells within every living being and as it permeates the whole cosmos as the primordial' vibration. Through realization and union with this power of love many human beings have become great saints and enlightened beings in every age and every part of the world. The Knowledge of the source of life is not the property of any group or religion. Nor has it been handed down through the ages through an endless chain of gurus or saints. There is no one way to experience the source of love, and the diversity of spiritual practices and traditions of the world testify to that.
Your letter was sincere and there is no doubt that right now the world needs a unifying creative force. The Knowledge Guru Mahara Ji represents may serve as a simple spiritual technique of world wide value, but it is still just part of the task before us in transforming our world to match the beauty of the pictures of it taken from space. I feel Divine Light Mission needs to shake tree of its adherence to an inflexible eastern world-view which suppressed the process of individuation and fosters a collectivism based not on the interaction of creative individuals, but on authoritarian decree. As members of Divine Light Mission you might each start developing more practically applied insights, values and visions of your own. The truly creative persons in the world are those who are reaching both inward and outward enlightenment.
Richard Carl Friedericks