To begin his birthday celebrations on December 10, 1976, Guru Maharaj Ji took a helicopter ride. While he was cruising above the Malibu coastline, premies assembled a huge box on the grounds of his residence and decorated its sides with birthday cards and its roof with a sign reading "Happy Birthday, Lord". Maharaj Ji saw it on his return, and opened up the box to discover the surprise gift of an Aston Martin car, bought from birthday money sent by individual premies throughout the United States. Later on in the day, when 1,000 premies had taken the shuttle bus up the residence hill to a party featuring balloons, clowns, music, jugglers, and Hans Pal popping out of a cardboard birthday cake, Guru Maharaj Ji thanked everyone for his present and gave the following satsang throughout the afternoon:
There seemed to be no time at all between the news and the actual event: Julie's arrival in Sydney followed hot on the heels of the phone call informing us that she was on her way homeward, and as a fully-fledged initiator. The much-heralded Denver initiator development program had become a two-week stay at Malibu with Guru Maharaj Ji. And so with barely time to exchange a "Did you hear the news? Isn't it far out?" premies in Sydney found themselves basking in five days of Julie's satsang.
Here are some excerpts from Bill Patterson's satsang to the national headquarters staff in Denver, given on 7 January 1977. Bill, who became an initiator in 1975, was recently appointed coordinator of DLM in North America.
From Kari Kristiansen, who recently spent four post-university exam weeks in Fiji with three other Melbourne premies.
Lima was Maharaj Ji's first port of call on his lightning world tour at the end of last year. He spent six hours there answering questions and giving satsang in conference with the national coordinators from Latin America, as well as personally interviewing the initiator candidates and selecting five of them for the upcoming program. Francisco Arce, the regional coordinator for Latin America, likened the conference to a "feast" of satsang, meditation and music. Maharaj Ji also held a program with the local Lima community; this is the satsang he gave.
Guru Maharaj Ji speaking in Lima, Peru on 19 November 1976.
From Alan Cunningham in Denver
And keep smiling, because smiles are truly amazing.
- Margaret Petherick
On November 15, 1976 five minutes before the bus ride home, a familiar voice came over the paging system at DLM international headquarters, Denver. It was a remarkable sight; people dropped their work and stood in silent groups around the P.A. speakers. This is what they heard:
from Jayatri Fernando, National Co-ordinator, Sri Lanka. & A Melbourne premie.
Julie Collet speaking at 63 William Street, Sydney, on 22 January 1977, two days after her return from America.