How Close Am I?
Durga Ji's satsang at the Holi Festival, Miami Beach, Florida on Sunday, 9 April, 1978.
Pranam, Maharaj Ji.
Jai Satchitanand, everyone. It's really so kind of Maharaj Ji to once again give me this beautiful experience of satsang. It's just so exciting. Just minutes before I knew that I was coming before you to share an experience that I'm having with you, it was just so beautiful, because my heart just started pounding and pounding and pounding and pounding, and I felt such an excitement, such a thrill that's so glorious, that's so beautiful, that there's nothing in this world that could give me that feeling. And it's like trembling from the inside with just excitement, with just waiting for the experience that Guru Maharaj Ji's going to give me, going to give us, right now.
And he's giving us this incredible experience of satsang. I mean, he's been giving it to us all day. Just allowing us to completely empty ourselves, so that we can be filled up with his Truth, with satsang. Just constantly keeping in that company. And it is such a beautiful feeling. It is such a beautiful, high experience to just let go of the things that we seem to hold on to in our daily lives, and just let it all go, and just empty ourselves completely, and feel that feeling of being filled up.
We've been listening to the satsang at the residence, because we have a big video, and audio. And we can see the initiators giving satsang. And I just feel glued to the video, because it's such a wonderful thing that's happening. And all the premies in the residence are just sitting in front of the video, just sharing what you're sharing here.
And I know several of the premies who were giving satsang said, "Maharaj Ji fills us up, but we have to make sure that we don't have any leaks, that the bottom doesn't fall out." Because he's giving, but it's our responsibiity to make sure that we're open to receive. We have to be open from the top to receive, and yet we have to be closed from the bottom so that it doesn't come out. We just can't let Maharaj Ji's Grace come in and just leave! Just fills us, and then tomorrow: "Where did it go? What was it? I don't feel anything now." We have to be able to contain what he's giving us.
And if we can contain it, and be open to the top, Maharaj Ji's Grace, Maharaj Ji's Love, Maharaj Ji's satsang, the experience of Guru Maharaj Ji, will fill us. And yet we will keep growing. And so the more that we grow, the more that Maharaj Ji can fill us. Because really, we have an infinite capacity as long as we keep growing. And Guru Maharaj Ji has infinite supply. And that's so beautiful, because that supply is infinite. Maharaj Ji will never run out of what he's giving, and by his Grace, we can just keep growing in that experience.
But as we've said over and over and over and over, it's up to each one of us. Because we can just be in a place where everyone really is trying to concentrate, everyone is trying to focus, and yet, obviously, there are premies in here that are not concentrating, that are not focusing. And so, what we have to do is just make sure that we, individually, are doing our best to concentrate on Guru Maharaj Ji, to focus on Guru Maharaj Ji. Because no one else can do it for us. Maybe we get a little inspiration from different people, but really, we're the ones that have to be really concentrated.
And it is very beautiful to concentrate on this Holy Name. And yet, it is very easy to let it slip. Because mind is always there trying to take us away from Holy Name, from the experience of Holy Name that we can experience with every breath. But if we really just put Guru Maharaj Ji first, really just put Guru Maharaj Ji first, then, by his Grace, he allows us to experience him. He allows us to experience that meditation. Because we're putting him first. Like Maharaj Ji says, we have the priority right.
Like what Guru Maharaj Ji said, when he received Knowledge: Was it Guru Maharaj Ji first and then Knowledge, or was it Knowledge and then Guru Maharaj Ji? And it's Guru Maharaj Ji first. Because Guru Maharaj Ji initiated it. Guru Maharaj Ji gave it to him. And what is Knowledge? Knowledge is Guru Maharaj Ji. And it plugged him right back into Guru Maharaj Ji.
When we do put Guru Maharaj Ji right
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on top, then we don't have to think about service. We don't have to think about service. Because I know we think about service so much, like: "What's my service? What would be the best service? Am I doing service right?" I mean, we think so much about service, instead of really just experiencing service. Maharaj Ji never thinks about service!
And if we put Guru Maharaj Ji first, we wouldn't have to think about satsang, think about: "How many times should I go? Am I listening to enough? If I give satsang, what should I say? What do I think about this person's satsang? What do I think about that person's satsang?" We don't have to think about satsang. We would experience satsang. We would experience satsang all the time.
And we wouldn't have to think about meditation. "How much should I meditate? I'm not meditating enough. I should meditate more. Should I meditate now? Should I meditate later?" Because we are putting Guru Maharaj Ji first. And then, that meditation, that satsang and that service just happens. That experience happens.
And then we don't even have to think about darshan. Because I know we even think about darshan! "What's it going to be like this time? Oh, I wonder if I'm going to really be empty. Oh, I wonder if I'm really going to get filled up." I mean, we just go through this whole thing!
And then, because we're thinking about darshan, maybe we don't even experience what Guru Maharaj Ji's just wanting us to experience by giving us his darshan. Because if we're really putting Guru Maharaj Ji first, then darshan will happen; that experience when we meet Guru Maharaj Ji, when we meet out Lord and we're able to come that close to him, that experience will happen in a way that we can't even think about. Because you can't think about it. It's beyond what we could ever even think about!
And so by Guru Maharaj Ji's Grace, he's allowed us to really grow. Because I know just even two years ago when Guru Maharaj Ji made the tour of America, and he had the program first in Florida, in Gainesville, and then we went and did the four other cities. To me, Maharaj Ji's patience was so - I mean, it's just incredible. Because at that time, I guess, all of us - maybe not all of us, but I think probably most of us - were kind of spacing out. Something was happening, and we were doubting so much, and we were analysing so much, and we were critical of so much. And we were: "Why is it like this? And why is this person doing that?" I mean, it was a critical point. And Maharaj Ji, in all of his satsangs, is just so kind. He would just say, premies, you're doing really good. Really. You're doing really good. Just keep it up. And just keep doing satsang, and keep doing service, and keep doing meditation." He didn't get up there and say, "Yeah, you guys are blowing it! Why are you doing this? Why are you doing…" He never does that. Maharaj Ji never does that.
I know for myself, you know - Raja Ji said he's pretty crazy. Well, I'm pretty crazy, too! We all are pretty crazy. And by Maharaj Ji's Grace, he allows to be his devotees. But I tell you, sometimes I just do really stupid things, or I think a certain way, or I have a really stupid concept. And then I'll come to Maharaj Ji, I'm really confused and I just say, "Oh, Maharaj Ji, I just don't know what to do about this!" And I'll ask him, and he just says, "It's alright. It's okay. It's alright."
It's never like, "Boy, are you dumb! You're so dumb!" And really, it's true. could say that. But he never does. And that's what gets me. That's what's beautiful. Because actually I don't really expect him to do that. I expect him to say, "You stupid! How many times have you been through this?" And the whole thing. But he never does. It's just like,
bringing us so
close to him.
some of us feel
like we're not so
close, or some of
us feel like
maybe we should be
"It's okay. It's fine. That's alright. Just keep going and … And then I realise it really is okay. It really is fine. There really is no problem.
Maharaj Ji never really fights that mind. Because I know all the premies that are around Maharaj Ji - at one point or another, we always project mind on Guru Maharaj Ji. And sometimes it's very painful, because I do it, and not only do I do it but I see other premies doing it. And it's like (gasp) "Oh, God!" And yet Maharaj Ji, in his most beautiful, humble way, completely accepts it.
You know how we are when we confront someone with heavy mind, sometimes. And we disagree, and it's just like: Khhhh! There's this clash. But never is it like that with Maharaj Ji. So beautiful. And then there is no fight, because it takes two to fight. Mind comes up to Maharaj Ji and says, "Okay, man, put 'em up." And Maharaj Ji's just so beautiful. He never goes - puuuuuu! - like he could. He really could! But maybe that would just devastate that premie completely. And I've seen the incredible mercy that Maharaj Ji has constantly. And that's just what I've been feeling in this program so much.
Every time I see a darshan line I think, "Oh man, this is just the most beautiful thing that I could ever witness." And this program, I thought, "This is the most beautiful darshan line I've ever seen." Because I saw so many of us just really, really wanting Guru Maharaj Ji to take us; just really, really experiencing Maharaj Ji. And I just felt like, what mercy Guru Maharaj Ji has for us to allow us to experience him like that. What incredible mercy he has. And how kind he is.
And I just have to stop sometimes and just really experience that. Because I can't even say how kind Maharaj Ji is. I experience that kindness and it just keeps going. I mean, it's boundless. Guru Maharaj Ji is the embodiment of kindness, of mercy. We have no idea what kindness and mercy are, really. But I know that Guru Maharaj Ji is that embodiment of it, just as he is the embodiment of Love.
I just feel that I'm very, very fortunate. And I know we all feel that. And I think that's something that we really can't lose track of. I know I probably say that every time, and it's probably been said over and over and over and over. But this is something that we really need to keep remembering: how fortunate, how graced we really are that Maharaj Ji is doing everything he's doing.
Just looking at what's happened, and is
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happening, I just feel like,"Maharaj Ji, I really don't know what you're doing. But I just pray that you keep doing it, and just keep doing it, and keep allowing it to happen." Because I feel that Guru Maharaj Ji's bringing us so close to him. I just felt it so much today.
And I was remembering something that happened. It's like, how close am I to Guru Maharaj Ji? Maybe we should all ask ourselves that question: "How close am I to Guru Maharaj Ji?" Because maybe some of us feel like we're not so close, or some of us feel like maybe we should be closer. Some of us feel different things. Maybe all of us probably feel some-thing completely different. I don't know. But I was just feeling, how close am to Guru Maharaj Ji? And I know sometimes I feel differently, how close I am.
But I was just remembering, when I was about, maybe ten, nine or ten, I went to this big bay and I was swimming. And there were these big, huge rafts. I mean, they were really huge. They would fit like 30 people on them. Just big, flat, black rafts. And they had them out in the middle of the bay. And all the kids would go on them. And some people would just lie on them, and they would jump off them. And they were really big, like much bigger than this stage area. Or maybe just about as big as it, each one of them. And they were all tied down, they were like anchored there. And people would swim out to them and do whatever they wanted to do.
And so I swam out to it, and of course it was pretty deep water, probably 15 feet deep or so. And I wasn't that good of a swimmer; I was learning to swim. And I saw other kids diving off and coming back up, so I dove off. And I came back up, and everything was fine. And so I dove off again. Only this time I didn't come up the right way. I swam too far underwater, and I came up right under the raft. And it was really freaky for me.
And I swam a little bit more and I came up right under the raft again! And I couldn't hold my breath for very long. And so I swam a little bit more and I came up under the raft again. And by that time I was really starting to panic, because I was running out of air. And so I swam in, and I kept hitting the top of raft with my head! And at that point it was critical for me, because I didn't have any more oxygen. I didn't have any more air! And my lungs were just like beating, because I was swimming, I was using energy. And I came up under the raft again, and it's like, that was it. And I remember just experiencing, "Oh, Help me!" And I remember I started going down. And it was like: "I'm going to have to go (inhale)," and I knew I was going to take in water. It was incredible. It was an incredible experience.
- Durga Ji"
I just remembered today how precious that breath was to me at that point. I needed it for my life! And I came up one more time, and by Guru Maharaj Ji's Grace, I hit the edge of the raft. And I remember I just hung and I just started crying. It was so intense for me. And I believed, I knew God had saved me. But I just recalled today how precious that breath of life was at that point, and is now.
We forget who's giving us that breath. At that breath - I tell you, if we all go through something like that, we would be very aware of that breath. And very aware of who's giving us that breath. But in this world today we forget. And we just go on, and we do whatever. And then I just flashed: if each of us could just imagine, that we were drowning, and swallowing water, taking in water, and all of a sudden we lose consciousness, and we're dragged up on the beach. And we open our eyes. And it's. Guru Maharaj Ji's eyes looking into our eyes, giving us mouth-to-mouth artificial respiration, bringing our life back into us. How many of us would be spacing out at that point? I don't think any of us would. Because we would be realising that Guru Maharaj Ji is giving us our very life, our very breath. And yet, isn't Guru Maharaj Ji giving us our very life, our very breath, at this very moment? At every single breath we take?
This is how close we are to Guru Maharaj Ji. How close are we? How could we be any closer than that? Really I don't think we could be any closer than that. So how close are we? Really, we're one. We're really one with Guru Maharaj Ji. Because when that exchange is going on, that's one. It's one thing happening.
And this is just what we have to realise: like Maharaj Ji said, going beyond just knowing it, but actually realising it, seeing the real reality of this life, and just knowing that that Giver and that Sustainer of our life is the embodiment of mercy, is the embodiment of kindness, is the embodiment of Love, is the embodiment of Grace, is the embodiment of Truth, is Guru Maharaj Ji. Our Father. Our Lord.
And really, we have nothing to fear. Because then we see that really it is his life. He has given us soul. He is soul. And soul only wants what soul should have. Like Maharaj Ji said in his satsang, give love - physical love of mind or whatever
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- to people who have mind. But give soul to soul. Give that real Love, that true Love, back to true Love. Because it's his. He put it in us, and He wants it back. That's why we're so precious. Because he put himself in us, and now he lets us give it back to him. But we experience everything because of that.
So how kind is Guru Maharaj Ji that he should do that for us; that he should make us so precious to him. Because he put perfection, he put himself, in us. That's really too kind.
It's like the darshan line. Maharaj Ji sitting there. Why? Why will he sit there for so long and allow us to come? Because he loves us so much! And because he wants us to really love him. That's all really Guru Maharaj Ji wants. Because we are his. I remember I said in Spain, we have to remember we are his. We're nobody else's. There's nothing in this world that can hold us.
Yes, we have a physical body that's in time. And yes, this hall is here now. Was it here 50 years ago? I doubt it. And will it be here 50 years from now? I don't know. Because it's just in time; it's just changing. If you saw it in fast motion it would be here, boom, gone. But what's happening right now, what we're experiencing right now, is something that is real, that is not in time, that is the reality.
And so as far as really thanking Guru Maharaj Ji, I guess we all know, it's impossible. We can say, "Thank you." Of course we can say, "Thank you." But to try to do anything to thank him, the only thing we can do is to just practise Knowledge. And that's so simple. And that's so beautiful. And that's so beautiful for us (laughs).
Maharaj Ji's so sweet. He's so sweet! He's really too cute. He's only about six feet away from me, right there, you see.
Bolie Shri Satgurudev Maharaj Ki Jai! He's so kind because he thinks I have a good voice, and he just whispered, "Sing a song." And I just - "Oh!" (applause) Well, if Maharaj Ji asked me to sing a song, I should sing a song. But I already sang the one he just asked me to sing. And I was listening to what Mahatma Padarthanand Ji was saying, and he said, "We always sing this song. We sing it, we sing it, we sing it." So I will sing it if my Guru Maharaj Ji wants me to sing it. I would love to sing it.
I would love to sing something so beautiful for Maharaj Ji. Sometimes I just dream about, "Well, maybe some day, I'll learn to play the piano, or I'll learn how to play the guitar really well, and then I can read music, and I'll write the most beautiful song."
But I don't know if that will ever happen. And sometimes I'm sure we maybe make up little songs to Maharaj Ji. I know I've made up a couple, but I don't know if I could ever sing them. But there's a lot to sing to Guru Maharaj Ji. It's something that we all want to do, because there's really nothing better. I mean, satsang is singing the praises of Guru Maharaj Ji. And if we just speak it, as I'm speaking it, or if we carry it in a melody - just somehow trying to love Guru Maharaj Ji and praise his Holy Name - (to Maharaj Ji), you want me to sing that one? I don't know any other.
I don't know hardly any songs at all (laughs). I wish I did. I know one that Maharaj Ji likes, too. I could sing that one. The problem is, I don't know the words; I only know a few words. Maybe I'll sing that one. Actually I just heard it in the darshan tape, and it goes:
I can't smile without you, can't smile without you. I can't live, and I can't …
I'm making - what? (laughs) I'll have make up the words. I should sing that one? Okay.
Our Father has come to lead us along the path of perfection.
He's come to make us understand why we're alive.
He's pure and his Love is deeper than the ocean.
He is taking control, and making us all one.
Oh, Maharaj Ji, please, please, please teach me devotion.
Oh, Maharaj Ji, please show me, I'm ready to start.
Ican see that your Love is deeper than the ocean.
Come and take control, and make us all one.
So now, that's something we should really, really beg in our hearts. Yes, it's wonderful to sing it, but even more wonderful to really, really, really - more than anything else, just putting everything else, the things that we kind of want to do, the things that we really want to do, the things that we would love to do, that we want, that we desire - just putting them all aside, and just really: "Please, Maharaj Ji, please! Can I please feel devotion? Can I please learn devotion? And only you can teach me."
Because I really feel we've come to that point where there is nothing else that can even attract us anymore; that we've experienced too much of Guru Maharaj Ji to just even get distracted by anything else. That we now have come to the .point where we've realised that devotion to Guru Maharaj ii is just everything. It's it! It's the highest thing that we can feel. It just carries us along in such a way that - it's perfect! It's perfect that I should feel devotion for my Guru Maharaj Ji.
And yet I don't know how. I can't by myself. Maharaj Ji must show me, teach me, allow me. And by his Grace, then I will. Because that's what he wants, too. He wants that we want. He wants that we should want him. And there's nothing more beautiful, more divine, to want, than Guru Maharaj Ji.
So thank you, Maharaj Ji. And thank you.
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