Raja Ji on tour: If you are a little lazy, propagation is the perfect thing; because it's satsang, service and meditation wrapped into one.
In the past month Raja Ji and Claudia have been on a tour of the U.S. - stopping in Denver, Houston, San Antonio, Kansas City, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Chicago, Detroit and Phoenix. Though they gave public programs at every city and appeared on television, the most visible effect of their tour has been the inspiration and satsang they shared with the premies in the eight communities they visited.
When we started this article on Raja Ji and Claudia's tour, we had available to us three hoursof longdistance telephone time on the Headquarters WATS line, a list of the cities where Raja Ji and Claudia had been, the phone numbers of the DUO offices and the names of the DUO directors in each city. With this slim beginning, we picked up the phone and began to dial.
After appearing on a local metropolitan talk show, "Denver Today," and giving a program to an audience of 1,500 Denver residents, Raja Ji and Claudia travelled to Houston, Texas, the city that has been laboring in the two year shadow of the Millennium festival. The DUO director in Houston has the amiable nickname of "Speedy," and we reached him on the first try. With a style as informal as his name, he answered the phone himself and yelled for quiet, excusing the background roar by saying that his DUO staff was practicing their own brand of verbal Tai Chi.
"I felt Raja Ji came to Houston to inspire the premies," Speedy began."We had two programs, one for the public and one for the premies. But even the public program had its best effect on the premies.
"I think the thing that impressed the premies the most was the obvious respect that Raja Ji spoke about Maharaj Ji with. To him Maharaj Ji was not his brother but his Master. It didn't come out in anything he said directly, but it was clearly there in the love that Raja Ji gave off when he was speaking about Maharaj Ji. At the premie program, he talked primarily about doing prachar and cooperating together. He said if premies are a little lazy about satsang, service and meditation, then prachar was the perfect thing for them, because it's satsang, service and meditation wrapped up into one. Raja Ji is such a good example of someone who has a very distinct personality and yet is not letting himself get caught up in that personality. He is using everything to serve Maharaj Ji."
From Houston, Raja Ji and Claudia went to San Antonio to visit the City of Love and Light (COLL). When we called the COLL DUO office, nobody was home, so we tried the Gunther Hotel where all the COLL premies live together, taking up two whole floors. We asked the operator for the DUO director's extension. "No answer there", she said, "but do you want to try the kitchen? That's where they all usually are."
A fellow who just happened to be in the kitchen answered the phone. "Is Steve there?" we said, asking for the DUO Director. "No, everybody's out for a Sunday picnic." Explaining to our new-found friend (who seemed a little anxious to get back to his mopping) that we were writing a story for Divine Times, we asked, if Steve wasn't there could we interview him? "Me?"' said in a startled voice, "but I don't know anything." But then - with a little coaxing - he began to tell all: "We had a banquet with Raja Ji and Claudia as the guests of honor, and invited all the people we do business with here in San Antonio. There were about 250 to 300 people there and believe me," he said, speaking from the kitchen perspective, "that's a lot of mouths to feed." The next day Raja Ji attended a premie tennis match while Claudia had a tea with the sisters, giving satsang for over an hour. That evening, the premies had a special showing of the movie Jonathan Livingston Seagull, and Claudia and Raja Ji both came.
By this time we had been having long distance satsang for about an hour and a half and were beginning to feel as high as a kite. An overwhelming feeling of family was beginning to flow as each new city was called; in what other group, but the devotees of Maharaj Ji, could you call up an office (or kitchen) half-way across the country, talk to anyone who answered the phone, and in a few short minutes of crackly conversation share your deepest and most profound feelings?
Ringing the Kansas City DUO office, our next call, Diane Ramey, an old friend, answered the phone. Telling us about Raja Ji and Claudia's satsang at the premie meeting, Diane said, "Claudia talked primarily about the COLL community they had just visited. She was impressed with the discipline she saw there, and she urged the KC premies to come together with the same kind of love and sense of purpose. At the public program there were a little under 200 people. "But you know," said Diane thoughtfully, "I'm glad we only have small crowds at our programs, because we can't really take care of people after their initial contact with the Knowledge. We don't have enough premies to give the kind of personal attention that people need coming to Knowledge." One afternoon during their Kansas City visit, Claudia again had a sat-sang tea with the sisters: "People felt that Claudia was someone that they could open up to, and we had really practical satsang on every subject. In fact, we were so busy talking that we didn't get around to drinking tea until after Claudia had left."
The tour then took a turn northward, from Kansas City up to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where Allen Imbarrato is the DUO Director. "The wonderful and remarkable thing," Allen said, "was that during Raja Ji's visit, something suddenly seemed to break. The premies here had been waiting and waiting for Raja Ji to come and Raja Ji wanted nothing but to be with the premies. On the day that he was scheduled to rest, he was up bright and early visiting the DUO office, going over the particulars of the community in the smallest detail; how was propagation going, how many active premies were there -every little thing."
After Minneapolis, on to Milwaukee where the public program was held in the downtown Arts Center. And in Chicago, Detroit and Phoenix, Raja Ji held much the same format for his visit. Holding first a public program and then a day of activities with the premies and a community meeting on the last night that usually brought premies from the farthest reaches of the community. Raja Ji and the community premies spent hours talking about the beautiful events and changes Maharaj Ji has wrought in all of us over the last year.
Later, Joe Anctil (who accompanied Raja Ji on the tour) told us what he felt the main focus of the tour was. "There's no question." he said, "Though it was a public speaking tour, the largest impact was with the premies. Having Raja Ji come around really seemed to show that Maharaj Ji is serious about each of us actively doing propagation - not just sitting around talking about it."
Raja Ji's Satsang
at a Program at the City of Love and Light in San Antonio, Texas 26 September 1975
The only thing we can do is achieve the basic reason why we came to Maharaj Ji, and that is to realize him. It's not very easy to realize him. It has to be a very constant thing. It's like Claudia said just now, we have to realize MaharajJi constantly-all the time, with all the concentration we can get. We have to concentrate all our concentration on that perfect Knowledge, on that perfect energy. If one percent of that concentration is missing, if point one percent of this concentration is missing, we have blown it; we can't do it.
It's like, you get up in the morning, and you say, "Okay, I am going to meditate." But you have something in your head, like, you probably didn't do all the work you are supposed to, or you forgot to make a flute, or you forgot to polish your car.
So you sit in meditation, and that's what is running in your head - car, flute, car, flute. Whatever the case is, that thing is going through your head, and you can't really meditate. You are thinking about when the meditation will be over and you can go and take care of those things. it's very difficult.
So, I thinkthe most important thing is to be disciplined, to make meditation a habit, a part of you.
We have to make Knowledge part of us, so it's nothing abnormal to us. I think for a lot of people it's natural to brush their teeth in the morning. That's how natural we have to make this meditation. We have to make it a part of us, so it's just normal to get up in the morning, meditate and do service.
Then, after we have achieved that, we have to really concentrate all
the energy and completely try to do meditation constantly. You know what concentration is. You know you have to concentrate completely to really experience meditation. You can't worry about the work you're doing, you can't worry about anything at all. Only that thing. And it's very difficult - I think for everybody, because Maharaj Ji has made it difficult. He really wants people to go through the mill and realizewhatthey really have - and realize the value of it,
Maharaj Ji wants us to realize the value of this Holy Name, the value of this Knowledge, the value of this meditation. It has done a lot of good for a lot of people, and he wants us to benefit from it, too. But we can't benefit from it if we start spacing out, like a lot of premies did. That's why he wants to make everything a bit difficult - just so we can realize the value of it, and how important it is.
Maharaj Ji wants us to make that small effort of realizing him, of taking that one step towards him. If we take that one step towards him, everything is A-OK, because he is there to take care of us. But a lot of people come to him with questions, and he says these people are not really meditating. We have to really meditate constantly.
What is meditation? It's not sitting under a blanket. At least not for me. You keep a watch before you, you meditate for five minutes, "What's the time?" No, it's not that. I mean, you might take your baragon, put your blanket on your head, and go to sleep. That's not meditation. Meditation is without even the blanket. It's where, without someone telling you to do the meditation, you are already there and trying to achieve it. That's the point we have to go to.
Without devotion, the meditation is no good. And without meditation, devotion is no good. Both have to be there to enjoy Maharaj Ji's love. Both have to be there simultaneously, alongside each other. Only then can we really experience this grace, this beautiful Knowledge of Maharaj Ji. After that, everything will be okay, becausethen MaharajJi can show us that source. He has shown us that source, but it's for us to dig in there, for usto open it, and for us to make that f irst step to give our mind to him. And, the only way you can do that is to have so much love for Maharaj Ji. I am sure all of you do, but you have to increase that love.
For me, being a devotee is a bit difficult. Really it is. But, you know, you can't say, "I don't dig it, I am going to drop out.'" moment you drop out, there is nothingforyou any-more. So we have to play the game, and still love him. Sometimes there are hardships, sometimes we have problems. Of course. Everyone has them. / go through hell sometimes. For me - honestly speaking -sometimes things become really difficult. I go, "Oh, come on, I've got a headache," and I put Tiger Balm on my head, I take a couple of aspirins, or I take a drive.
But if we realize he is the one who is running us, how can we get away from him? We can go anywhere in the world, but if he is running us, he will still be there. It's like we are trying to escape from our own self. You know, Raja Ji is not afraid to face Dharmapal Singh Rawat, who is a part of him. I have to face both my sides.
And that's why we have to realize that Maharaj Ji is within us. He is helping us, and he will help us. So what is there to worry about? If you have problems, go to someone and ask for satsang, because Maharaj Ji is in each of us, and he will always help us somehow. He'll help the other person to be clear; he'll come through the other person, and that person might tell us something good. And then it will be okay.
All I have to say is just keep on trucking, and just meditate. And if you have any problems go to each other, and help each other out. Just really meditate. Because meditation is the root of everything.
One lesson we have to learn is to be humble. That's what all the saints say - to realize that Lord we have to go towards being humble. Once we get humble, he'll take us himself and make us higher. But humbleness is one lesson we all have to learn.
If we are humble, we can realize and we can be in lovewith him. Being humble means our mind is not there, and that's the state we have to be in to be in love with Maharaj Ji.
I think that's all I have to say. Thank you very much.