Some three weeks have passed since the last paper went out to everyone, and here we are fervently working on a new one. Over the last couple of months, we've noticed a big change among the many Maharaj Ji has been giving us: we're starting to hear from you. April's "It's Your Paper" replies now number in the hundreds, with more coming in every day; we've got people interested in becoming correspondents (though we could use more) from all over the country, and premies have started sending in articles from all over the world; and last but not least, this week's mail brought three letters to the editor in the same delivery. Thanks alot, family, keep it up.
Jai Satchitanand, dear brother!
I would really be happy to be your correspondent in Kenya, although I have recently taken over as General Secretary of the Mission here and I have other duties to attend to. Anyway, you can rest assured that I will definitely send you something each month for your paper along with my monthly report.
In preparation now is an article on Mahatma Rajeshwar's recent visit to Kenya, and later of his mysterious "non-appearance" in Nairobi while flying back urgently to India.
Now concerning your April issue of Divine Times:
I particularly enjoyed "Knowledge in Action" as I constantly experience its power in my service.
"Inside Out" was really food for thoughts from which satsang and understanding of this Knowledge originates. I've written similar stuff myself. The idea of a potpourri of quotes from various sources is far more interesting than the old "What the Scriptures Say" column of Divine Times.
"Maharaj Ji's Proverb" is the kind of story I'd like to read more often. We who are not in direct physical contact with our Lord always miss out on all the little odd things he says and does, and which are seldom reported. The worldly press and magazines are constantly reporting on the doings of celebrities. Isn't our Lord the greatest celebrity? So tell us more personal stories about Maharaj Ji, Durga Ji, Premlata, Raja Ji and Claudia as well. We are so far away from the darshan of our Lord and his family and we really long to know them on a more intimate level.
What about anecdotes from Maharaj Ji's childhood reminiscences? We know nothing about Mom except that she's a San Diego American who was once a stewardess and the Perfect Master's secretary: please tell us more about our Mother. To know her is to love her.
Those pictures of Mom Durga Ji and our perfect sister Premlata were so beautiful! How about some more pictures of Mom and Sis in everyday life situations? What better way is there of helping us share in the life of our Divine Family? "International News" is a must to bind us all together not only in the Word, but also with the printed word. Try and internationalize the articles as much as possible so that there's something for someone everywhere. Sorry I can't cut up my only copy of Divine Times to fill in your paper poll. In any case I would tick "Yes" to all the types of articles listed (and whatever more you have to offer!). But don't give us what we're expecting: give us surprises, so that we'll all be dying to subscribe to your paper! After all, the worldly press is full of the grimmer aspects of Kali Yuga. We want a paper that's fun to read, is published bimonthly and gets us blissed out for hours on your words.
Your brother in the Ocean of His Word,
DLM, Nairobi, Kenya
Dear Editorial brethren,
I'm very glad to see the Times becoming interested in (actually more demanding feedback from) us premies in Whereversville. I really hope you commit yourself to make this a newspaper that does reflect the premies 'in the field.'
One thing – I would really like to have just straight, one pointed satsang in the Times. The special interest stuff is great but alot of times it inspires the mind, too. I'd really like some clear, purpose-of-human-life, remember-the-Word satsang.
Dear Brothers and Sisters
at Divine Times,
I am sitting in bed throbbing from having two wisdom teeth pulled and blissing out on your latest issue!
How can I put it? The newspaper literally exudes the Knowledge! It's the kind of newspaper I've always longed to write for.
I was the founding publisher and editor of the Washington Free Press in 1966 (the country's third "underground" newspaper). Later I was a reporter for the Des Moines Register in Iowa. In both cases I found nothing but frustration and tears. The Free Press loved to bait its enemies and flaunt its piece of the truth. The Register only regarded crisis and pain as news.
Now I'm trying a little magazine free-lancing. Still frustration and tears. They only seem interested in the fruits of the mind.
So I would dearly love to be a Divine Times correspondent here in Washington, D.C. (I am zilch with a camera, I'm afraid.) At last I would have a chance to write from my heart in the Knowledge.
A couple of observations:
1) The paper's layout seems extremely linear and high-schoolish. The one clear contribution of the underground press was creative layout. At the Free Press, we came to see that an important part of an article's impact is how it's laid out.
The paper's layout has a certain simplicity, but it also has lots of rough edges (literally). Lots more graphics flowing from the articles' contents would soften and sharpen the paper's impact at the same time.
Of course it's easy to get into your mind, with cosmic layout schemes. But somewhere there's a middle path.
2) I would suggest that Divine Times be written for premies only, to keep its focus clear.
But, once every 3 months (or so), do an issue for the public exclusively, for us to give away (or sell) at public programs. These issues could have lots of impact in clearing up confusion and inspiring people to seek Knowledge. And It Is Divine never inspired me a bit until I received Knowledge. It's too devotional for most non-premies.
In closing, please keep doing Divine Times. We all love it and him very much!
Peace and Love to you all,
I never write letters to the editor, but I'm taking a minute now to say something about a piece I just read in the March DT. I don't know who wrote the piece about The Year Inside, but for me the beginning of 1974 wasn't at all "vague and dim … the Millennium blaze … dying and worrying about the debt." I met and became friends with a premie a couple weeks after Millennium. At first I was really negative about any mention of Guru Maharaj Ji, but by the middle of January he had really opened my heart and the first time I really listened to satsang I knew Knowledge was what I wanted. So after that a fire started to blaze and I received Knowledge when Guru Maharaj Ji was in Boston and for a birthday present received personal darshan. It was just loving Guru Maharaj Ji more and trying to do satsang, service, and meditation. I guess I experience "grey" periods, but even then, such is Guru Maharaj Ji's grace. I still know that beautiful Light inside, and the fire that burns in my heart for him.
Very much love, JSCA.
East Haven, Connecticut
And It Is Divine goes international!
The first editions of AHD in foreign languages are now coming off the press. Latin American premies will get a chance to see the new magazine at the upcoming Caracas Guru Puja, and the French and German are planned to be released in time for the post-Guru Puja festival in Essen, Germany.