DUO 'An Organization of Love'
Guru Maharaj Ji named the third day of the festival, "The Founding Convention of Divine United Organization," the organization that will feed the world and provide clothing and shelter for all humanity. The dream of mankind to end suffering and bring peace will become a reality through DUO.
Millennium '73 is more than a figurehead convention for DUO. In establishing the systems to operate Millennium, the groundwork has been laid for establishing national DUO food and supply cooperatives within the next year.
Steve Ornstein, food coordinator for Millennium, has compiled a major listing of organic farmers, wholesalers and supply sources for the United States. In purchasing the food for both the Houston service community and Millennium '73, Steve has established contact with major food sources throughout the country. After Millennium, the existing DLM food co-ops will be standardized, and co-ops will be established in central areas where none now exist. Then, instead of working through a distributor, DUO will purchase directly from wholesalers in bulk and distribute directly to the co-ops.
In most cases, distribution will be coordinated regionally for such staples as beans and grains, and produce will be acquired locally. The cost to the premie community will he cost plus transport, and to the community at large, food will he offered at prices substantially below common prices. "We're getting the food as close to the source as possible," said Steve, "like getting wheat berries instead of flour, or peanuts instead of peanut butter, and making our own products." Disciples will be developing their own farms, also, providing food entirely for the cost of raising it with no extra charge for labor.
Parallel to the food co-op system, the Research and Purchas ing Department of Millennium '73 has laid the groundwork for a DUO national supply company. Scores of major manufacturers and wholesalers have been dealt with in putting on Millennium, and Divine Light Mission has received wholesale distribution rights from several major companies. "We can buy building supplies in much larger quantities than the average contractor, distribute it nationally, and build top quality housing at half the cost for materials and with free disciple labor," commented Brad Griffin, coordinator of Research and Purchasing.
Clothing outlets throughout the country can supply disciples with items at one-third cost as DUO purchases in bulk and distributes nationally itself instead of working through standard distributors, and as the Divine Sales have already proven, DUO will be able to provide inexpensive clothing to everybody who needs it in the general community through its stores. "By doing the distribution work ourself as a co-operative unit, DUO can practically clothe and feed the poorest man in America," said Brad.
Businesses will be instituted across America, such as building and painting companies. Charging less than the average company, the job can he done entirely for the cost of materials and the minimal living expenses of the workers. The disciples working on Millennium discovered practically that it takes very little to live comfortably. "With the Knowledge," commented one premie, "we have everything we desire to make us happy with the Holy Name revealed by Guru Maharaj Ji, and the rest is just frosting on the cake."
The profits from the various companies will be funneled to those who cannot provide their own food, shelter and clothing through DUO. In this way, a strong American DUO can very soon begin to feed impoverished peoples in other countries through their own DUO systems.
DUO is workable because of the Knowledge. Premies have discovered the meaning of life and find the effort of doing service brings happiness to them when they are meditating on Guru Maharaj Ji's Knowledge. Work is no longer a drudgery but a joyful service. "With this Knowledge," said Brad, "we learn how little we actually need. But more than that, we know that we are all brothers and sisters and experience that we are all really One, and so we are learning practically how to share. There is enough food in the world to feed everybody. Through DUO, we will be able to practically share what we have with each other all over the globe."
DUO is an organization of love that can bring true peace to the earth. As Millennium '73 has already shown, being presented entirely by the efforts of the Mission itself. without the aid of traditional convention agencies, the dream is entirely possible. And it has already begun.
Divine United Organization
For centuries great thinkers have formulated ways to bring an uncooperative humanity to a state of utopian harmony and peace. 2,500 years ago, Plato asserted that the purpose of the state was to bring all citizens to a higher state of consciousness. Great social scientists of this century have analyzed the material benefits accrued to society at large when its people work together. Yet no philosophy or social system has been able to promote the higher consciousness which is necessary before people are able to work together. After all these centuries, we not only have failed to solve our basic problems, but in the process have created new ones, increasingly complex and challenging to human capabilities.
Divine United Organization is different from any previous social organization, in that its motivation comes from an understanding of the aim of human life and the Knowledge of life itself. People who comprise this effort to alleviate the suffering of humanity are already realizing that common consciousness which allows people to cooperate, unhampered by individual desires and opinions. It has put them in touch with a common plan of action and a common aim in life, which they experience as the aim of life for all humanity: to know and to serve God.
Divine United Organization is thus a practical example of what scientists call synergy. Experiments reveal that 100 watts of electric power added to 100 watts results in 250 watts, rather than an arithmetic sum of 200. We see how in nature a tree will have all it needs to survive, and still will provide a surplus in the form of its fruit. When was the last time you had to pay trees for their apples? DUO is the practical way to provide people with whatever they need, without charge, because it is the birthright of everyone to enjoy life.
Channel for Love
Yes, Divine United Organization will feed and clothe the world. It will save humanity. Yet its success will not depend upon an external system of organization, but rather to the extent that it acts as a practical channel for that one thing which can save humanity: love.
Following is a recent interview with Robert Mishler, Executive Director of Divine Light Mission in the United States, concerning the Divine United Organization and its evolution in America.
Divine Times: When did Guru Maharaj Ji first start talking about Divine United Organization?
Mishler: It was just after Hans Jayanti in 1972 in India, after all the disciples had gone back to America. Maharaj Ji started talking about how we needed to change the Mission so that it could be more effective, and that the way to do this was to start Divine United Organization. So it was in November and December of 1972 that Guru Maharaj Ji began to meet with Gary Girard and me daily, and go over the points, the reasons why we needed DUO, what DUO would do, how we would begin to initiate the program and so on. And then of course, he dictated this information to us, and had us take it all down and write it up.
When I left India at the end of January, 1973, I came back and began to prepare the way for DUO, as Guru Maharaj Ji had told me to do. This entailed removing the service functions, the mundane functions, out of the ashrams and into the communities where we could reach more people, and also in that way uplift the ashrams. The procedure of preparing the way continued over these months, between January and October, to the point where at this time DUO is pretty well established in the United States. The foundations are laid, and after Hans Jayanti this year, Guru Maharaj Ji says we're going to really get DUO going. We'll really put a lot of concentration on making the entire community a part of this movement to save humanity - which is the whole idea, the whole purpose of Divine United Organization.
At the same time, now that the foundation work has been laid in the United States, we're beginning to start preparing the way for DUO in some of the other countries as well, in England and in France, and some of the other European countries, as well as other places around the world.
Divine Times: You say that the foundations are laid. What does this mean practically here in the United States, in the various communities throughout America?
Mishler: It means that people understand that the aim of human life is to serve God by serving humanity. Maharaj Ji has given the example many times that you can go to a store and buy a pair of shoes, and I can go to the same store and buy the same pair of shoes. I can walk in my shoes and go to satsang to uplift and improve the quality of human life. I can use them to minister to the needs of people and help to bring some joy, some light into people's lives. And you could use the same pair of shoes and do all kinds of corruption - go out into prostitute houses and all kinds of things that just continue to perpetuate suffering in this world. You could go out and cheat and steal and rob and lie in that same pair of shoes. And so in many ways, the pair of shoes is just a way to symbolize what this human body is, because this human body is just an opportunity to be in this world and do something. Once we recognize the importance of having this human life, the difference is that we use our life to do some good work for humanity. Divine United Organization, as Guru Maharaj Ji has explained to all those people who have received this Knowledge, is that opportunity to work together, to be able to accomplish these things, because
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one person on their own can't accomplish a great deal. But when we work together we find that actually we multiply the effectiveness of our service.
In the beginning, it was very difficult for people to do service in Divine Light Mission. Most people had to just live in the world, do whatever they were doing, and just make contributions or come once in a while when there was a program for an opportunity to do service for Guru Maharaj Ji, because the ashrams were pretty much geared to people who had no financial or social or physical liabilities; in other words, no family obligations.
Service for all
Essentially that meant young, single people who were not tied down, who could immediately dedicate everything - all their life, time, and energy - to working to spread this Knowledge; whereas the other people who had various external limitations weren't able to do service. But if we're going to provide an example for the rest of the world as to what human beings should be like if they all live together in peace and harmony, with a Knowledge of the source and aim of life, we have to create and exemplary society, a society that is humanistic, that manifests all of these ideals, that doesn't just hold them to be true, but actually puts them into practice in everyday life.
Of course, if it's for all humanity, then it's got to be for all people regardless of their age, their occupation, whether they're single or married, male or female, and so on. Now the time is approaching when the entire community will he involved directly in this effort to save humanity.
In April Guru Maharaj Ji made the DUO film, which was his statement to the premies of what the opportunity of Divine United Organization held for the world. In fact, he declared that by the Divine United Organization, and by the Grace of Almighty Lord and the power of this Knowledge, peace would be established on this earth, if we work together in the way that he explained in Divine United Organization.
Divine Times: On the third day of Millennium '73, we'll be having what some people are calling the founding convention of DUO. Will there be any specifics discussed on that day which you can mention at this time?
Mishler: Maharaj Ji will go into that much more in depth, but just basically what we've done is to set up support systems that are capable of sustaining the whole community. This is the basic foundation work for being able to provide that exemplary alternative that Guru Maharaj Ji mentioned in the DUO proclamation. Guru Maharaj Ji has said many times that if a person sees something beautiful, he doesn't need any explanation. You can go on telling and telling and telling about how our lives should be and how this and how that, but then you're always in "Should be"; you're not in "doing it." In doing it, if you just do it and you create something beautiful, people don't need any explanation and they know they want it, because they can experience it. So in the same way that they say you can recognize a tree by its fruits, a lot of people will understand this Knowledge by the way they see it utilized in the lives of the people who have it. When they sec a transformation that takes place in the lives of people who have received this Knowledge, then they'll understand that they also want Knowledge, so that they can have the same transforming effect on the quality of their own life, their own human life experience.
Now we've set up a national transport system, thereby we can move things back and forth across the country and, because we work together, we found that our purchasing can be done as a group rather than as individuals. Ina time when inflation is taking the prices of consumer products very high and especially the average family is experiencing a tremendous rise in their food budget, we found that in spite of all these rising costs of living, our cost of living was actually going down. Particularly in the area of food, the cost of feeding people in Divine United Organization is going way down. At the same time, the quality of our food is going up, whereas it's just the reverse for the ordinary consumer. This is done because, working together, we have so much energy; everyone doesn't have to go out and do his own shopping, and so consequently we can shop on a much broader scale. We don't have to go to supermarkets, we can go directly to farmers.
And we're not limited to one because we have a transport system which can move food all the way across the country and back. So we can go right to where the products are grown, and buy them directly from the producers, and then we can distribute them to our community. A lot of people find it remarkable that, even with this transport and food system not being in full swing yet, we feed the average person in our community on 75c to one dollar per day. That's remarkably low for having a well-balanced, good quality diet.
We are working in the same way with all of the other basic essential needs besides food, principally clothing and shelter. All of the savings that we make by this cooperation within our own community we're able to use in the service of humanity, we're able to put back into the primary aim of Divine Light Mission, which Divine United Organization supports, and that aim is to spread this Knowledge, so people who don't happen to know the aim of human life, who haven't had the experience of the source of their life, can also have this Knowledge and can realize joy, meaning, and value in their own life. So that's our primary aim.
At this time, we are maintaining exemplary communities in every major city from San Fran-
Angeles to Atlanta, in Chicago and Columbus and Denver and others. In these communities the people are living together in a society that's based on love. And they are dedicating all of their energies to their aim, which is to serve God by serving humanity, and thereby uplift the quality of human life for all people of this world.
But after Millennium, in order to also provide a very dramatic way of illustrating this to the whole world, so that they can see that beautiful thing, we're starting a project we call the Divine City Project. We're looking for a suitable location in the United States at this time, to be able to actually build a city which will use all of the advantages of modern technology, alongside of the wisdom and the Knowledge which Guru Maharaj Ji reveals about the way that human beings should live together, in a modern, urban, civilized way, and actually be civilized, actually be humane, actually experience the joy of life continuously.
We can show people that it is possible to enjoy life continuously, and that all the problems facing this highly technological and sprawling urban society that we have here in the world today can be solved without all the dehumanization which goes on in our big cities. This project, we feel, is very important, because people learn by example, particularly if it's isolated and they can see it.