PRESS INTERVIEW

Sydney Airport (International Terminal) - 21st February, 1974 - 8.35 a.m. Satpal Maharaj then known as Bal Bhagwan Ji in Australia, 1974

Q. Have you just come from America?

A. Yes, Honolulu.

Q. Have you been to Australia before?

A. This is the first time.

Q. How long do you think you'll be here for?

A. About three week

Q. Will you go to all states or stay in Sydney?

A. I think that depends on the premies.

Q. You aren't here to organise a visit for your brother?

A. No.

Q. What is the purpose of your visit to Australia?

A. It is to see all the devotees and talk about Knowledge and the inner experience of peace.

Q. When is the Guru coming to Australia? He is reported to be on His way.

A. He's doing a very big tour of America. The people are responding and very many people are coming to receive the Knowledge now.

Q. Why does everyone see your brother as a 'fat boy god' who drives around in a Rolls Royce?

A. He's very thin now, actually. (Laughter)

Q. How did he get this reputation?

A. I don't know. The people thought he was very fat because he was very jolly and anybody who's happy and joyful is fat, definitely fat. (Laughter)

Q. Your brother appears to be worth a lot of money, can you tell us how much he earns?

A. He doesn't earn anything. The devotees give him money and he just takes the money and does different works like "Inner Game of Tennis". He spends the money for the poor people. We have institutions like schools and hospitals in India that we run.

Q. Many people would look upon this as a big fraud. Is it?

A. No, it's not a big fraud. It's the reality, actually.

Q. Why do so many people try to put the Guru down?

A. Because they don't understand. If a man doesn't understand, because of ignorance and illusion he won't see see the reality in us. We have come to the West and we have no blood relation with the people here and still the Guru Maharaj Ji comes and he's only sixteen and many people don't even believe he's sixteen; they say he's like 30 or 40. They say if he's sixteen and he's bringing peace and happiness to so many people then he's superhuman.

Q. How did he get started? (in the west)

A. Rennie Davis who's supposed to be one of the Chicago Seven; he got Knowledge. And when he got Knowledge many people thought that Maharaj Ji has taken away Rennie Davis from America, that's how it started.

Q. How many followers, world-wide, would you estimate he has?

A. I estimate about five million followers.

Q. Isn't it true that many followers have given up because they've discovered that it's all a big con?

A. No, not at all. Many followers are coming back actually. They went away in this maya and they're coming back.

Q. Why did they go away in the first place?

A. Because Western society has a certain idealism, and a certain way of thinking and because of that thinking, they are deluded. There is the world and they try the world and they find it is useless so they go in LSD and different drugs and different things. Finally they come back because they have to admit that what Guru Maharaj Ji is giving is the ultimate Truth.

Q. What do you say to all the cynics?

A. They are qualifying us. If people see good in us they come to us and be a devotee. We are not charging any money, we are not giving mail-order transcendental meditation. If you want to receive Knowledge, come and we give you Knowledge. It's free of cost. But there are other people who don't understand us and they are criticising us.

Q. Many followers liken the Guru to the Second Coming, would you describe it that way?.

A. No, I think Guru Maharaj Ji is Guru Maharaj Ji. He's not Christ. We believe that Guru Maharaj Ji gives us Knowledge.

Q. Bal Bhagwan Ji, there's been a lot of interest in meditation lately, what can this meditation do for the average person?

A. This meditation is actually spiritual insight. With my consciousness I am conscious of you people, of the cameras, I'm conscious of everybody here. But with that consciousness I am not conscious of my own consciousness. By this Knowledge a man who meditates becomes conscious of his own consciousness, and thereby he visualises God. Many, many Christians believe that you cannot see God and live. Jesus Christ in the Bible says blessed are those pure in their hearts for they shall see God. When you are dead you can't see God. You can see God when you are living. In Genesis Chapter 32 verse 30 it says that you can see God face to face.

Q. Does this meditation have any effect on the outside world, on outside problems?

A. Many people have changed, actually. This meditation is spiritual. Something which is spiritual affects something that is also material.

Q. How do you see the future of man? Do you think man is going to go back to a more natural life?

A. Definitely, definitely towards spirit. That's the only thing.

Q. Is part of your visit to promote the Mission?

A. No, I'm not a revivalist, I'm not an evangelist. My thing is just to share my experience with other people. That's it.

Q. Part of the reason for your brother's bad image is his weight.

A. See, I don't understand 'image' as what you people understand 'image' to be. If you talk about image, there are so many million followers who believe Guru Maharaj Ji to be God. What about that? Few mouths are criticising him while a hundred mouths sing his glory. You can weigh that against this. You have to accept that these devotees of Guru Maharaj Ji have got something and that's why they are believing him.

Bal Bhagwan Ji being interview in Sydney Airport, 1974Q. What sort of works do you spend your money on, the contributions that come in?

A. Satsang. Satsang, meditation and propagation.

Q. How is this done?

A. We do not tell people we want your money. Somebody says OK Guru Maharaj Ji I have some money and I want to give this money to you. Maharaj Ji says give it to this fund, you see Maharaj Ji doesn't even look into it. The money maybe goes to India for charity and feeds many mouths, actually. Poor people and different things.

Q. I understand that you're described as the business side of the family.

A. Do you think that's so? Do I look like that? Come on, tell me; tell me. Do I look like that? Be frank.

Q. Yes, a little.

A. No, not at all. (laughter) Maybe you can describe me as God's salesman, you see, at the most.

Q. I believe your brothers do the same work as you. Is that right?

A. No, Bhole Ji is my second brother and he is conducting a band and they did a prison tour. They played free music for many prisoners in America and they got a very good response.

Q. You mention you weren't concerned about image but why is it necessary for him to be driven round in a Rolls Royce?

A. He only owns one car, and that is a Mini-Cooper. A small Mini-Cooper. You see, he is sixteen years and he is allowed to do everything. He can have toys, water pistols, everything. Time magazine said that Maharaj Ji eats Baskins and Robbins (ice-cream). Every American eats Baskins and Robbins. You cannot live in America and not eat Baskins and Robbins.

Q. Don't you think that he has a spiritual image, a holy image and one doesn't expect him to be a normal person?

A. It was the same problem when Jesus Christ came. People said he's supposed to be a king; he should have a Rolls Royce of that time; he should have diamonds and everything and he wasn't like that. See, we have to accept that reality. We can't say OK we have one particular image, and we'll try to fit that real thing into that image. It's very wrong.

Q. Are you saying he's just an ordinary 16 year-old boy?

A. Yes, for the people. For the devotees, he's something extraordinary. Many people think we worship the body. Actually, we worship the spirit.

Q. A leader of the Hare Krishna movement uttered a rather unecumenical remark that Guru Maharaj Ji is a dwarf.

A. In Indian mythology, God came as Wavan Avatar means a dwarf. He came as an incarnation of a dwarf.

Q. Who did?

A. Lord Vishnu. He was called Wavan Avatar. It's very strange, you see. We are again connected with the body and we say OK he's white, he's black and this and that. We're not talking about the Spirit, the Knowledge that he gives. He's giving something that's satisfying so many people. Many people's lives were totally ruined. I've seen people who were prostitutes. Totally run down, their lives were not worthy of living. Guru Maharaj Ji gave them Knowledge and their lives have totally changed. Even Rennie was a radical, he wanted to completely smash the government and then he received Knowledge and he's like a saint now. So, Maharaj Ji is doing something good and we have to praise that thing. Every fool can see something bad but it's a vise man who sees virtue in others. In Australia maybe there are pubs here and different bad things are going on. You cannot exploit them, you have to talk about something good. You have to be a positive thinker. If you have positive thinking you actually change the world. And we all contribute to change the world.

Q. Bal Bhagwan Ji, you often express things in scientific terms. Do you see any relationship between science and religion?

A. Science is like a husband, and religion is like a wife, and we have to have a marriage of science and religion. Otherwise we cannot exist in this world. Even astronauts who are going to the moon and are coming back like Edgar Mitchell. He came back and finally he is a psychic now. He talks about psychic things, he's doing psychic research. So, finally after so many billion dollars what came out was a psychic experience. They completely took a man, transformed him, and he is talking about psychic things. The result of those billions and billions of dollars is psychic research.

Q. Would you say your brother had a magnetic personality?

A. Could be. Maybe that's why he's attracting so many people.

Q. Why should he be the one chosen and not you? Have you ever thought about that?

A. Not at all. It's just a controversy between John the Baptist and Jesus Christ. Why wasn't he chosen? He was baptising many people.

5