T-shirts from California, stationery from the Philippines, and yoga whites from India are some of the items to be found at Divine Sales during Millennium '73.
Operating 27 concession stands in the Dome, two in the Hall, tables in the charter hotels, and 133 hawkers, Divine Sales features a number of items created especially for this event. A limited edition of surfer T-shirts was produced for the festival by a designer from Artists At Large, a California outfit associated with R. Crumb, with a design approved by Shri Bal Bhagwan Ji. It is dyed in four colors. In the event that these should run out, people from Dallas and Houston are standing by, ready to produce thousands of T-shirts in another Millennium design within hours. A shoulder bag carrying the California design is also available.
Other goods available include Yoga whites imported from India, baragins, Guru Maharaj Ji stationery being produced in Florida and the Philippines, pictures of the Holy Family, Millennium pennants, buttons, and cowboy hats for those who have never been to Texas before. A number of other articles were brought over from England, such as incense, copies of the Divine Light Guru Puja Special, and copies of the Blue Aquarius single to go on sale along with the LP that the band produced here in America.
There are also a wide range of publications available, most notably the newly published book Who Is Guru Maharaj Ji? The new edition of And It Is Divine is on sale, with a new design and format, and this also acts as the program for Millennium. Divine Sales is taking orders for a cookbook soon to be published, as well as for a new space-age collapsible and adjustable baragin, which is now on the drawing board and will soon go into production.
There is only one word for this month's issue of And It Is Divine: Special.
Both Guru Maharaj Ji and Shri Bal Bhagwan Ji took a special interest in the contents and production of this magazine to insure that it be a perfectly beautiful historical record of Millennium '73, which commemorates the birthday of Shri Maharaj Ji, Guru Maharaj Ji's father and Perfect Master, and the birthday of Divine United Organization, Guru Maharaj Ji's international operation to save humanity.
This month a special hard cover binds the rarest of all Holy Family satsangs and never before published photographs of Shri Maharaj Ji and his family. Bal Bhagwan Ji suggested that the magazine and the program for Millennium be combined for financial reasons, so this issue also includes a special eight-page section outlining the events of each festival day. And the price has gone up 50e.
The program consists of a short history of the Astrodome,"A Call to Millennium" and program notes for the premiere performances of Erika Anderson's Oratorio, "In the Beginning Was the Word," "Lord Christ," (starring Michael Nouri 'and Stephen Clemens), and for the "Krishna Lila" story performed by the Divine Light Dance Ensemble. The program and a two-page "Arti" card have been printed on a heavier grain of paper than the rest of the magazine and a translucent overlay inside the front cover introduces the reader to the theme of the whole issue.
Guru Maharaj Ji wanted a "happy drawing of Shri Maharaj Ji" for the magazine's cover and he asked artist Joan Swan to do it. She set to work using photographs as her model until one day Guru Maharaj Ji visited the art room and examined the drawing. After studying it he said, "That's not Shri Maharaj Ji!" Joan entered the room at this moment and the group of premies standing around Guru Maharaj Ji parted like the Red Sea. Guru Maharaj Ji turned to Joan and handed her the one photograph to use saying, "Follow this exactly and don't blow it!" Joan worked for another week, day and night, and accompanied the drawing on the 29-hour drive to the Seattle color separator, where all Holy Family photographs are done, to do touch-ups and give last-minute instructions.
Most of the rare photographs in the magazine were brought back from India by Joan Apter and Bob Mishler on two separate occasions this year, especially for use in this Millennium issue. They were borrowed from Hans Studios in New Delhi where Mr. J.D. Sharma, who has spent over 15 years photographing the Holy Family and Mr. Om Parkash, who was taking photos of Shri Maharaj Ji in 1930, have compiled a photo library of over 4,000 pictures.
The centerfold photo was taken at Trafalgar Square where the peace parade of 8,000 people, "led by seven smiling holy men" as The Observer noted, climaxed on July 15, 1973.
The editorial, written by Mahatma Gurucharnanand, makes one thing very clear. "The aim of human life is the discovery of Truth. Without the Knowledge of Truth, life is full of darkness, confusion and frustration " He urges all not to miss the opportunity to receive true Knowledge which leads man to perfection. The Glossary page is designed to help non-premies understand some of the words we use to explain this Knowledge.
The satsangs in this issue are out of this world. After an article containing a history of the Hans Jayanti festival (which began in India in 1967 to celebrate the life force of the Perfect Master), is Guru Maharaj Ji's "Peace Bomb" satsang which he delivered to thousands of people at the 1970 Hans Jayanti in India. Guru Maharaj Ji asked that an article focusing on the crisis situation of the world today be included and so the next article is "The World Today."
Biographies of the Holy Family follow the incredible stories of Shri Maharaj Ji's search for the Perfect Master. We learn of the dream Mata Ji had when she was 13 of the man she was to marry.Portraits of the childhood natures of Shri Bal Bhagwan Ji, Shri Bhole Ji, Shri Raja Ji and Shri Guru Maharaj Ji are painted with a perspective on the divine roles each son of Shri Maharaj Ji is to play in the history of mankind.
"Little Drops of Mercy" is the title of the issue's photo essay. The text is the poetry of Guru Maharaj Ji's satsang by the sea in San Francisco on August 5, 1971.
Offerings from the typewriter manned by Charles Cameron include "Prophets of the Millennium," an article which looks at the prophecies found in various scriptures of the world and subtly points to Guru Maharaj Ji as the one that "everyone's been talking about." "So You Want This Knowledge," three stories about satsang, service and meditation are also included.
A story that so many have been waiting for, "A Doctor's View of the Knowledge," will appear in which Dr. John Horton explains exactly what the effect receiving Knowledge has on our bodies, physiologically speaking. Following this is a two-page photo story on the 1973 Guru Puja Festival held in London.
"The rivers of the world have been entering the ocean for ages, but the ocean is not yet filled, nor has the source of water been exhausted. In the same way, countless wise men, ascetics, saints, prophets and Incarnations have told the glory of God's virtues in different ways…" This is from a satsang given by Shri Maharaj Ji on August 28, 1953 appearing in its entirety.
If you have enough presence of mind to still be reading at this point, there's more. "The Unbroken Garland" is the four discourses given by Mata Ji and her sons on July 31, 1966, a few days after Shri Maharaj Ji left his body. They are the actual records of the phenomenal events that took place when the spiritual authority of one Perfect Master was transferred to the next.
One the inside back cover is a brilliantly clear color photograph of Guru Maharaj ,li speaking at the 1971 Hans Jayanti Festival in India. It faces a gentle afterword from Guru Maharaj Ji which ends the magazine reminding everyone of the only aim…"We have to find him, to whom we belong; we have io find him, and get together, and he one with him."
David Passes, Managing Editor of And It Is Divine, explains that the magazine will probably not be the same after Millennium. He said that the magazine is an "international propagational tool which will serve to bring the world together. Hopefully, because of the rapidly expanding consciousness that the world is a global village, we will look to premies from all parts of the world to help make And It Is Divine a truly international magazine."