The Question Of Service
Excerpts from Prem Rawat's Speech (Guru Maharaj Ji's satsang) to Community Coordinators in Denver, Colorado, February 21, 1977.
So we have quite a bit of representation here from every place. How are you guys doing over all?
A lot of changes have been brought forth into this organization. Of course, from one change we went to another one and back again. And I think that one of our major responsibilities as premies is to make sure that that spirit that has been now brought forth, does not die, does not end. Because what premies need is a lot of love and attention. Not the kind of attention that you would give to a person who is maybe insane or something like that. They need the kind of attention of satsang, service and meditation.
What we have to insure in our communities is that there is enough service for people to do. Service is a big question - a lot of people don't understand what service is. Well, it's the same kind of question as to try to figure out what does sugar taste like. Well, what does it taste like? Sweet. Well, that doesn't really express anything. If a person has not tasted sugar, then it does not express the sweet - of course, it's sweet, but it does not express it. What is sweet? You have to taste it yourself. Once you have tasted it yourself, then you can give that to other people and they can taste it. And they can experience it. Not words.
Service is an experience of surrender. As I have said a lot of times, to do service, first of all, you have to become servant. A servant. Servant of whom? Not of our mind. As a matter of fact, if we go out and financially stabilize ourselves, if we go out - do shopping, for instance, or if we go out and do something for ourselves, we feel good about it. Oh yeah, now I've set this thing for myself. Or people go out and they fall in love and then eventually they get married and they feel very good about it. That is a very limited experience of service to yourself. That is a service to your mind or service to your body.
And there is that experience of happiness. There is that experience of bliss. But of course, that is a service that you do to yourself.
It's just not what this is really all about. Because we're not here for just ourselves, for a recognition of body, a recognition of name, recognition of ego - different qualities of mind: ego, fear, hate. We are not to recognize them. This is not our purpose. This is not our reason in this world. Our purpose is to really, truly find out what are we, who are we inside.
And when we do something with true love, true understanding for Guru Maharaj Ji, for this work, for our spiritual upliftment, the pleasure we get from that - anything we do physically that is motivated towards the upliftment of Guru Maharaj Ji's purpose, upliftment of our spiritual necessity - it's the same thing: upliftment of Guru Maharaj Ji's purpose is our individual upliftment, because we are all connected.
It's like the same garland! You pick the flower on the very top, if it's in a garland, and raise it, and the whole garland would raise. If you take the other side - doesn't matter which way you do it, it's just one thing, one garland. And there is a pleasure, there is an enjoyment which is far more beyond any pleasure, any physical thing that we have to experience in this world. But still, because we do it on a physical basis with that true understanding, with that true love, with that true affection - it becomes so much. It becomes the experience of our life. And that is why satsang, service and meditation are important.
What is service? I have tried to explain that a lot of times. To a lot of people, service is work. Well, of course it's work, because you're doing it on a physical level. But to me, I mean I know there are people who can probably lift that whole pitcher of water by
just looking at it, and lift it and put it somewhere else. Okay? But to me, that's not service. Service has to be oriented within inside of us. First there has to be that feeling of surrender.
What can that feeling of surrender do to us? It can complete the purpose of our lives. That's what it can do to us. And if we really realize, or try to realize, or try to understand for even one second the purpose of this life, what is this - we have to look around for this, of course. What is this all about?
Here we have an office building, okay? And I know the way this was before, and since then it has been decorated quite a bit. There are other office buildings that are probably not as good as this, or there are office buildings that are better than this. But what gets resolved here by true love and affection - of course, it's like I'm not saying that every secretary that sits in this hall and types, or every person, or manager or whatever have you, really experiences exactly the same thing as everybody else does. What is the difference? They're both doing the same thing. It's work. Work motivated through surrender, via surrender to Guru Maharaj Ji, to our spiritual upliftment. That is what service is.
Through that, we can give. We can surrender. We can let go. We can be really servants. And there is so much work to be done. There is even a practical purpose for service, if you want to know. There's so much work to be done in this world. And it goes from cleaning an ashram, or keeping an eye on the ashram, to doing a direct service, or - I mean, it's just, it's a whole one big pot and everything is in it and everything is cooking. Everything is service. If it is coming from truly within inside of you, then it is all service.
Then you can be an initiator in this service, or you can be somebody who keeps an eye on the ashram: that can be service. You clean an ashram: that can be service. But it has to come from right here, has to come from your heart. There has to be a feeling of surrender. And through that, that feeling of surrender, it opens up so many doors to us. It opens up so many channels to us. Because then we can really see. Then we can really understand, what is it like to let go. What is it really like to let go.
You see, to me there are people who go hang gliding, and there are people who dive off these airplanes - and that's just what they're trying to experience, is the feeling of freedom, just a physical feeling of freedom. And I know it's beautiful feeling. But not all of you would venture it. Because like someone taking some flying lessons in that hang glider kite, said maybe I should try it. And I said forget it. There are so many dangers involved. There was this one guy who got airborne, he was flying over the Pacific Coast Highway and he got caught in the electric wires and he just completely got burnt.
So there's all these risks we can take. There's all these physical things we can do. But the feeling of let-go' - we work, we do so many things in our life. We have to have a purpose behind it. We walk somewhere. We talk to somebody. We do this. We do that. There's always a purpose behind it. And what that purpose is, is of course very self- motivated. It isn't like an incredible thing; it is very, very specifically self-motivated.
So does that mean that when you do a service that is not self-motivated is that service? If it is coming via surrender to Guru Maharaj Ji through Knowledge, through agya, through Grace - then it is. But those are the requirements. Don't forget that. Those are the requirements: to let go. To let go to whom? To ourselves? That's what we do every day. But we have to let go by doing service, having that surrender manifest in our lives, even for just two minutes, three minutes, or hours. It's a beautiful experience.
That is why when we sit down, we start getting into something, it becomes work for us. And then it just - it's completely absurd. It's like wow, I don't want to do this, this is a hassle. This is why I know - you know, a lot of people come up to me and say, Maharaj Ji, I would like to have a change of service. Or, this service doesn't quite suit me. Or, maybe I should get into this.
I say, "What are you trying to do? This is not service. Service is unquestioned. You do it by agya. Because that's one of the requirements. That is the position that you have been given. That is the position that you have been sent."
And you do that service. And you take interest in that service. And it becomes more and more beautiful. It opens more and more channels for you. When people start coming up to me and say, well Maharaj Ji, I really don't like this service. Yeah, because you're doing it from up here (head). You're not doing it from in here (heart).
When Krishna went to his Guru, they used to go out and chop wood. Now you would have to imagine how come. Krishna had great power. Always did. As a little child he would go and defeat all these people. But still, there was meaning of service. There's a meaning of service in everyone's - every person has a meaning of service in their life, and it is surrender. Surrender to that ultimate, ultimate thing. And of course, it's a chain reaction: more you can understand Knowledge, more you can understand Guru Maharaj Ji. More you can understand Guru Maharaj Ji, more you can listen to satsang. More you can listen to satsang, more you can do some service. But anywhere in the line, if there's a block you've had it! That's it. It'll stop. It'll freeze for you.
So premies, now we have an opportunity that's a little bit different. We are at the point where we have incredible potential. We are not tied down by bureaucracy. That was the whole reason of decentralization. That was the whole reason of bringing you closer, having you have the understanding. This is why every three programs that I have given - that is 19 days exactly, this program, from Portland. We had a conference in Portland. We had a conference in Atlantic City. We're having a conference here. And we'll have some more. (I was just sitting down trying to figure out where we should have the next one - 19 days apart.)
But we all have this way now. We all have this thing that we have been looking for, a channel, a gap. And it's all clear now. There's no more strings tied. There is no more bureaucracy. And this is what I'm working for. Our purpose is not to become diplomats. Our purpose is not to become bureaucratic. Our purpose is to spread Knowledge. What has that got to do with becoming huge bureaucrats? What has that got to do with falling so much into your ego? When you come back from your work, and you are a coordinator and you've got three mile high piles of paper sitting on your desk, then you go 'oofph, look at all the work I have to do.' No, I'm not kidding you. There's a lot of - this is really, people are really into it.
There was a lot of housemothers, and nothing personal, if anyone of you was a housemother or a housefather, but the point is, after a little while, it got into such a position: man, I just can't get into this. The people are spaced out. This has to happen and that has to happen. And I just work too much and I'm not getting anywhere. So on and so forth.
Well, what are you doing wrong? All of a sudden the pilot goes in the cabin and he sits down and he says, I'm not flying. Well, maybe you should look around a little bit. You should look at things. Like, he hasn't started his engines yet. He has not attained a speed to take off. He's not going anywhere. He's just sitting. His engine is shut. And he's just sitting there. It's not going to fly that way.
So in our lives, when things like that happen to us, we have to look. We have to measure: where are we at. What is happening?
It's just like that one question: when we want to go buy an ice cream, or we see an ice cream truck or something around our corner, all we do is, we go like this (reaches for pocket). We go like this: have you got any money? If you've got some - we just, no questions asked, nothing said - we just walk over and do it. Okay? Nobody, nothing happens. Nobody asks you: maybe you shouldn't do that? No. Very simple, very straight.
But when we get into Knowledge, just sit down and try to experience Knowledge - to
Prem Rawat aka Maharaji aka Guru Maharaj Ji the Master of the Possibility Of Peace
Denver, Feb. 21, 1977
sit down and try to do service - to sit down and try to experience meditation - then, how come all these questions come up? Why should you? I mean, we just go around, get into all this stuff. And there's no questions asked whatsoever. And then all of a sudden we get into this experience of Knowledge and every question comes up. Maybe this isn't it. Maybe that's it. Just everything.
You go through this whole process, and this process, of course, people get into their heads about it, and say, yeah, maybe I should really think it out. Maybe I should think it out. But the amount of price you are paying to have that process happening in your life, after you have received Knowledge, after you have experienced Knowledge, is way too much. Because you know what you are spending? You are spending time, which is irreplaceable by any amount of money, by any amount of price, by any amount of cost. Because we have this lifetime. It's not always going to be here.
Now we have to get into Knowledge. We just can't sit and joke around with ourselves. We just can't sit and ask all these idiotic questions and get so lost into these idiotic questions and get completely spaced out and just jump around from one top of the hill to the other top of the hill and get no conclusion, nowhere. Not while we have this Knowledge. And if we can, in our lives, just make that permanent decision: "Well, I'm gonna get into it, period." And then just go into it. And it just opens up. It really comes together.
So, we have an opportunity. I want you to be as clear as possible, to go back in your communities and really try to make people understand what are we trying to do here, what this is all about. People have forgotten. People have gotten so much into everything else, that they have forgotten their basic reason. What is this all about? Well, this is all about spreading this beautiful Knowledge that we have received by the Grace of Guru Maharaj Ji. That's the purpose and that's what we have to do: we have to spread this Knowledge and be strong. So this is what we have to get into. Any questions?
Guru Maharaj Ji? Pranam, Maharaj Ji. Your last statement was spread this Knowledge - and I'd just like to know, do you mean to, like, activate prachar? And in what form?
Yeah. But you see, the word is 'launch the rocket.' Or, the word is 'let's go to the moon.' That's what it is. The word is: let's go to the moon. And you have to look at what's involved in going to the moon. And it's a huge operation. It's not as simple as just: pop! You go to the moon. There's a lot of ground work that has to be gotten together. The premies that are in your communities: this is the groundwork that you have to prepare.
I'll come out with the strategy of prachar. This is why I have these initiators. I'll come out with a strategy of how to do prachar. I'll come up with different suggestions. I'll come up with different strategies.
But you have to first do the groundwork. You have to make those premies clear. You have to make those premies really strong in the experience of meditation. You have to really pull those premies together and let them experience that love. Not because you tell them to. Not because you told them to go out and give satsang to these people. But it just flows in their heart whenever they're given that opportunity. Whenever they're told, okay, now you should go out and these are your leaflets, these are this, this is that. Go out and have some propagation. We have a mahatma coming. Because it's quite possible that we might not go back to that system. We might not quite go back to the outrageous system of these people - you know, the poster bit, the leaflet bit. Going in there and just giving this person a jive about this and getting him more confused than he needs to be confused.
But what I'm talking about is even if it might be just as simple as initiators coming to your town. People look at each other: oh, you are responsible for that. Oh, you do this. Or you do that. No. It should be a joint cooperation. People have to understand. You are a premie, too. How do you make them
Prem Rawat aka Maharaji aka Guru Maharaj Ji the Master of the Possibility Of Peace
But really - you see, this is the thing. There was once an article printed in Denver. It's like, if you want to know one of the Guru's devotees, just see a nice man with a nice haircut, nice suit and a smiling face. And that's Guru Maharaj Ji's devotee. Because at that time, it was really flowing out of people. There had to be no sign of anything. It was just like so incredible. It was just so gorgeous. That is the groundwork. First, that has to be completed.
You see, first of all, it's so clear that Active Membership Program is slowly just starting to pick back up again. Where we're slowly starting to move again. Now, we need that.
So we have a lot of groundwork to do. We have to get the whole system ready to go. Maybe we even might launch few test flights on it. And then we'll shoot it off - that's it. Leave it to Grace. We'll just let it go. Whatever we can do best, we have to do. Get the premies together. Get the premies clear. Have them come to satsang. Just open up to all that.
What is the significance - you know a lot of people say what is the significance of coming to satsang. What is the significance of your life? It's the same significance, because your life was made to understand who you really are. And here is a process through which you can understand. If you ignore that process, then you're ignoring your life. And satsang, service and meditation is a process through which we can really understand, you know.
It's like, there's an incredible strength in the premies. If you were to set it down on a piece of paper and talk about it - no, it wouldn't come out the way it has. But look at it: we had 2400 premies in Portland - very, very short notice. We had 5000 premies here on a very, very short notice. So it's like it's all there.
It's like, in Japan, when they hit the energy crisis, all these companies said, all right, you're laid off until we get some kind of award from our bosses, anything. You're just laid off, and here is your salary. So they would take the salary. But they wouldn't go out and take a vacation with it. They would come to that factory every day, as if it was their work hour, and clean the machines, clean the factory, repaint it, re-do it - completely just get into it. And whatever is happening, we have to have that kind of a dedication. That was because of some person's concept of that and because he earns money from it. But it has to be a lot more within inside of us, just that true dedication, true love, true surrender.
Okay. Just let us really try to come together. Because it's so beautiful to come together - that's the thing. It's so beautiful to experience that sharing of this experience of Knowledge.