2500 people from all along the eastern seaboard gathered in the Commodore Hotel in New York City to celebrate the sixteenth birthday of Shri Guru Maharaj Ji. A variety of dances and skits were performed to the delight of all. These included: the sawing in half of Mahatma Gurucharnanand for a double pair of prachar; a new dance by the Divine Light Dance Ensemble on the life of Buddha; Bob Mishler president of Divine Light Mission in North America, and Professor Tanden President of Divine Light Mission in India together in an international comic routine; all of which was punctuated by numerous slapstick pie throwing instances.

Guru Maharaj Ji and his entire holy family arrived shortly after the revelry had begun. He spoke briefly, beaming with joy and laughing. Bhole Ji sang two devotional songs followed by satsang from both Mata Ji and Bal Bhagwan Ji.

Whacking Stick

Guru Maharaj Ji's Childhood

As told in satsang by Mahatma Gyanbaraganand Ji, November 26, 1973, Denver. Translated by Mahatma Rajeshwaranand Ji.

Guru Maharaj Ji, the present Guru Maharaj Ji, was only 13 months old when he would wake every morning at four o'clock. This was at Dehra Dun, in the Divine Residence there. Many mahatmas and many premies and those people who are very dear to Shri Maharaj Ji were living at the Divine Residence at this time. And every morning at four AM Guru Maharaj Ji would get his stick and wake everybody up one by one, telling them to do meditation. He would quietly go to each person and get him to do meditation.

But he did not explain how to do meditation, and an idea came to my mind to ask Guru Maharaj Ji to do meditation. I wondered, how will he explain, does he know how to do meditation? So when I asked Guru Maharaj Ji how we should do meditation, he would sit in the posture of meditation and say, "Just by doing this…here, concentrate your mind here!"

When Guru Maharaj Ji was very young I used to take him for a morning walk in a baby trolley. We would go in a park, or a garden. Guru Maharaj Ji had full control. My desire had nothing to do, and every moment Guru Maharaj Ji was directing like this, "Here, take me to this side." And when I took him to one side, he would say, "No, that side." Then I would take him to that side. And when he wanted to stop, Guru Maharaj Ji would say, "Now, just stop." And when two paths crossed one another, he would give me explicit instructions how to cross over. Because the paths in the parks of India are different from those here in America. They have ruts, and when two paths cross, the ruts intersect.

The legal name of Guru Maharaj Ji is Sant Ji Maharaj, Param Hans Satgurudev Shri Sant Ji Maharaj. How did Guru Maharaj Ji acquire his name? How did he become known as Sant Ji? One day when I was taking him, or shall I say he was taking me for a walk in a garden, an aged Sikh came and prostrated at the feet of Guru Maharaj Ji. According to the Sikh religion, these people wear turbans and keep a beard and moustache. Now everyday this aged Sikh prostrated at the feet young Guru Maharaj Ji. He just fell down like a stick just falls on the ground. This surprised me, and I asked him,

contnued on page fourteen

DECEMBER 11, 1973

Guru Maharaj Ji's Childhood continued from page one

The Very Young Prem Rawat "Why do you prostrate at his feet ?" Then the Sikh said, "He is not an ordinary child, he is the supreme person." The Sikh added, "l know him, he is the incarnation of Sant Tucaram."

That Sikh would come everyday to search for Guru Maharaj Ji and Guru Maharaj Ji would look around also, to watch for that man. Then I told Shri Mata Ji about this incident, and I also told Shri Maharaj Ji. They said, "Okay, his name will be Sant, Sant Ji Maharaj, after Sant Tucaram."

I remember that before Guru Maharaj Ji could speak, if somebody came before him to see him and ask questions, then if that man was a good man, Guru Maharaj Ji would point his finger, and this meant that I should give him satsang, I should talk to him. Guru Maharaj Ji is omniscient, he knows everybody, so he could easily tell a man's heart and intentions. If a man is very ill-meaning, if he is a bad man, then Guru Maharaj Ji used to say, "No, no." He used to speak by signs.

Guru Maharaj Ji since his very childhood used to practice meditation. He was always in meditation and he was very reserved in his speech. He was not like an ordinary worldly child, he never wept and he was just very reserved in manner. On very special occasions, on a rare occasion, he would make speeches, and each one was always very meaningful, very significant and to the point.

Although Shri Bal Bhagwan Ji, Shri Bhole Nathe Ji and Shri Raja Ji are the elder brothers of Guru Maharaj Ji, they used to pranam to him. Although in the Indian culture the younger brother salutes the elder, al! the three elder brothers used to salute the youngest. In their childhood, the four brothers used to play very exceptional games. They were extremely playful, but their play was special. Shri Bal Bhagwan Ji, Bhole Ji, Shri Raja Ji Maharaj ordered the mahatmas to bring bricks, and they collected many any bricks. With these bricks they used to make a stage for Guru Maharaj Ji, a very high pedestal. Then they would make al! the arrangements and in the end Guru Maharaj Ji would come and sit on the stage. He would say, "Okay, now everybody sit, take your seats." And then Shri Bhole Ji was just very humble and with folded hands he always asked Guru Maharaj Ji, "Maharaj Ji, what should I do, what should I do, what service should I do?" From his high pedestal Guru Maharaj Ji used to give satsang and what he used to say was that, "This human body is only for meditation, so you people should do meditation." Then he himself used to demonstrate how to do meditation.

In the Divine Residence at this time about 15 or 20 people were living, many mahatmas and other people. So from the stage Guru Maharaj Ji would call out, "Okay, call everybody and everybody should stop their other work and everybody should come here and sit and hear satsang. Now I will give satsang." Then everybody came and sat together and Guru Maharaj Ji would give satsang. And while he was giving satsang, Shri Maharaj Ji, the father of Guru Maharaj Ji, came from the house and at the door, upon seeing Guru Maharaj Ji giving satsang on the throne, he would say, "Oh, Sant Ji is giving satsang and everybody is listening." Then he used to laugh and say, "Oh, a wonderful thing is taking place! " Then Guru Maharaj Ji would run to him and Shri Maharaj Ji would say, "See, he will fulfil all my tasks."

In those days only about 25 or 30 people had received Knowledge in Delhi. This was in the very beginning when Shri Maharaj Ji started propagating the Knowledge. During those days the premies would wait for days for Shri Maharaj Ji to give darshan. They would sit and sit and sit. Shri Maharaj Ji used to come at two in the morning, after midnight, to give darshan. And he used to ask the premies, "What do you think I am, who am I ? What do you think about me?" Then Shri Maharaj Ji used to say, "I have the capacity, if somebody claims that he is completely detached from this world, that he is not subjected to any illusion or maya, then I have the capacity to throw him in the debris of maya. Within one second I can throw him in the debris of maya. I can just make him completely attached to this material world. I can do it." And he said that, "If anybody says, 'No, I cannot become detached from this world, I am so sunken, so drowned in this maya, in this illusion I am completely a lost man,' then I can, within the twinkling of an eye, I can completely pick him out from the debris of maya and I can make him completely detached from this world of illusion and attachment. I have the capacity, I can do it."