Once there were a lot of ideas about what made a good devotee. How to eat, dress, behave and generally present your mind to other people. However, we soon discovered that no sure measure of happiness can be gained from copying anyone else. It has to come from our own deep, individual experience. So we explored our personal needs and approach to Knowledge and when Guru Maharaj Ji told us last year to get our communities together, each community developed as a reflection of its surrounding culture and an expression of our own approach to devotion.
Once we were really small. We're only a handful of people now but you can see that something is happening - a lot of children are being born, a lot of young kids need a practical education, a lot of aspirants waiting for Knowledge need the proper preparation and introduction to an already established family. We're taking on the responsibility of a mature society. That can only be handled with dedication and devotion.
So what's devotion? It's obvious that first of all we're devoted to Guru Maharaj Ji, who revealed us this Knowledge and gave us the simple instructions to practise it - service, satsang and meditation. So we give our time and energy to practising these three overlapping aspects of Knowledge and everything else follows - people become interested, the community grows.
Then what direction does our devotion take? Guru Maharaj Ji gives us agya - his direction He internationalises the Mission so that every premie can understand and receive guidance on how to set up the activities and undertakings which make our communities a good example to society. But for that to happen, it takes everybody's co-operation, to see that propagation happens only by example and the best example is a worldwide family united in love and harmony.
We can teach the world very little on an organisational and social level. In fact, we often copy its systems to streamline our community activities.
The only reason society comes apart at the seams is owing to the individual getting flustered, the endless conflict of "personality clashes", the human being unable to flow smoothly within a "perfect" system. We can only teach the world love. We can only make things happen when we work together as brothers and sisters and friends. There's only one lesson to learn.
It comes back to us being continually honest with ourselves and working from that standpoint of love. Of seeing that this community is young and delicate, and that at this time it requires the most amount of work, care and attention. For example, we can't afford and aren't experienced enough to set up a school, but we should be prepared for it. Just as we find a way for aspirants to share in our community life, we should have ready the next size of shoes for the Mission to step into as we grow.
Fortunately, most of the planning has been done for us. By working with Denver, Maharaj Ji has developed the programs and ironed out the mistakes so that we have basic blueprints on how communities can be developed. At the Hans Jayanti festival in Orlando, Florida this year, detailed conferences will present the ways which we can develop the community and further propagation. From Australia Derek Harper, the national director, and Terry MacKinnell, the finance director, will be attending the festival and bringing back with them detailed information on where our efforts have to go.
So at the moment we're waiting, before we change systems and introduce new approaches. We're in a transition period, before we know what new responsibilities Maharaj Ji has given us - before we act, we have to understand. We have to develop that consciousness that enables us to carry out new programs without confusion. We have to see that as community grows, the work load has to spread around more shoulders within the community itself.
No. 24, November, 1975
Everything can't be left to a mythical creature known as "the administration". The DLM staff can only act as channels of direction and information. DLM is premies, not an organisation and a community. It's the communnity that has to organise itself into a beautiful reflection of love.
And that love is organised and made real through the agya of Guru Maharaj Ji and co-operation amongst ourselves. So we need two things: communication from Maharaj Ji, and communication among ourselves. The real bond of communication comes through meditation, but it has to expressed in words for practical action to take place.
On a national community level, that's where The Golden Age comes in. You've noticed that it's smaller in format so that it's easy to read and hold and more illustrations can be used. But other changes are under way. As the Divine Times becomes more of an international newspaper, covering Maharaj Ji's programs and overseas events, we're going to concentrate more on local happenings so that we don't duplicate the efforts of international headquarters. You may have also noticed that the contents of the last couple of issues of The Golden Age were very similar in content to the Divine Times. We don't want our content to become dry and repetitive, so we're calling on your participation to help us make The Golden Age a real national premie newspaper.
There's a real need for communication within a small community separated by large geographical distances. We need to share everything. Does anyone in Perth know what's going on in Mullumbimby? The only way we can find out is if both of you write write to The Golden Age and tell us. What we're trying to do along with the regional DLM staffs is to establish a correspondent in each centre who can collect all information and send it to us. If you are interested in this service or in just contributing, you should contact your local director. Most of the local newsletters will be dealing more with immediate events while The Golden Age concentrates more on feature articles about the community's adventures over the past month and its plans for future propagation.
We need a lot of different material to keep the newspaper alive and growing: gems of wisdom, poetry, quotations from books and last night's satsang that struck home in your own heart. It may be serious, it may be hilarious. interesting life incidents or stories with a satsang angle. Like "How I came to Knowledge". news of all regional activities, interviews with those directing local agencies such as WWA. photographs, documentary and amusing. They don't have to be glossy ten by eights; this is our newspaper, not a fashion magazine. drawings, yours and your children. Any size, shape and colour, we'll make them fit. recipes, to water the mouth of the most dedicated premie gourmet. letters about anything, to keep the editor busy. draw your own cartoon, create your own comic strip. place an advertisement, free of charge. Place a notice about buying or selling etc. write an article, scientific, religious, or otherwise, which relates to Knowledge. tell a beautiful story.
If you can do all of this, we'll supply you with international extras, darshan stories, and a national perspective on the Mission's growth. If you have any other suggestions for newspaper contents, please write to:
The Golden Age
14 Wentworth Avenue
Sydney 2010 New South Wales
We really need your help to make a beautiful newspaper. After all, it's been said before - responsibility is the ability to respond. And if we can co-operate by sharing our love through all the means of communication at our disposal, then we will have a worthwhile response to and demonstration of our desire for a true community.