An excerpt from Guru Maharaj Ji's meeting with the North American community directors at the Carlton House Hotel in Orlando, Florida, November 12, 1975.
One of the most important functions of this Divine Light Mission - especially in the United States - is the community. So, it's very, very important that all the DUO Directors understand the importance of a community. Community is your final linkup. First, there is an organization which is incredible, which is very big, and then this organization links itself up to the particular community so that it can relay information and function through the community to the outside world.
A couple of years ago, we did not exactly realize the importance of community. Premies would receive Knowledge, and then there would be one premie in Maine, and one premie in Orlando, and one premie in California, and one premie in Texas. But they could never really come together.
But now, as the prachar grew and people really did start receiving Knowledge, instead of one in Maine, one in Orlando, and one in Portland, and in all these different places, the premies really started growing together. When they did, we under-stood that we needed to be a group of people. I don't know if you are very familiar with this or even if I need to go back into it, but the whole organization was really underdeveloped. Prachar, the growth of premies, is very, very incredible, and it grows faster than the organization can keep up with.
In this organization, we have to learn, to remember, to understand, and to mature. And that's a very gradual process. On the other hand, it's very easy to give Knowledge to premies who have been listening to satsang for a long time. And then there is one more premie, and one more premie, and one more premie. It's like boom, boom, boom, and it becomes very hard for the organization to catch up with it.
Finally, we realized - of course, through grace - that we needed something like community. We needed a community, a group, an association, a bunch of people who would then participate and focus their energy. Otherwise, it would have been totally impossible for five people who received Knowledge in Los Angeles to go out separately and try to propagate this Knowledge in the right way. So we said: Okay. Why take those five people and spread 'em apart? Why don't we just take that energy and let them continue with the functions they are now doing? If they're householders, that's fine; if they run businesses, that's fine; if they are just a bunch of premies, that's fine - but let's get it together in one direction, and we'll get a lot more out of it than if those five individuals went out and did anything on their own - which would end up as a very great problem.
Now, we are a very unique organization. In America itself we are a very unique organization to start with. And the reason is that we are dealing with premies - people who have received Knowledge, who have understood Truth. To begin with, it's a very emotional problem. Everybody who receives Knowledge, who receives satsang, is full of a bursting energy and wants to go out and tell everyone, "Here it is! Here it is!"
but that would be like a madman, who will get arrested in about two minutes if he runs down the street just screaming, "I have received Knowledge, I have received …" Can you imagine that happening? It would have been happening right now if we had not had any organization.
So what we did was to bring all these premies together so that all the energy that they had just realized, that they had just focused on, would develop to a point where, instead of being like one drop of water per hose, all that pressure would be combined into one hose. What we ended up with was a very strong, powerful pressure and a very strong, powerful hose with tremendous effects.
This is what community basically is. There are so many complications involved in a community. Lou and I were discussing how to go about forming a community, what community really is, as we were discussing our agenda. It's impossible to discuss even in one whole night or one whole day the consequences of a community. Talking or writing down a word, 'community,' on paper is a very, very beautiful joke, because not very many people do know the meaning of, or how to even spell the word, 'community.' When you get down to the nitty-gritty and you really have to form a community that has to function, then your aim is not to just form a community. Your aim is to form a community and have it function to its maximum limits so that it really works. Otherwise, what good is a community?
I have a few examples right here: There are communities that are very nice, they are good-sized, there are a lot of premies who are participating in them, but there seems to be a problem. And the problem is that fifty people get together in a room and they go to sleep - and it's supposed to be a meeting. The fifty-first guy walks in and sees everybody sleeping. Or, there is a community which is nice and everybody has the consciousness to get 'em goin', get 'em goin', but it's not good enough because it's not really doing its function.
What I'm trying to talk about is that the community has functions that have to be performed. Otherwise we cannot even define it as a community. I was saying to Lou, community can be a bunch of elderly people who get together and say, "Okay. Let's make a group and let's get it together and let's go play golf and tennis." They form a little community amongst themselves, and if they are tired elderly people who have been kicked out of their houses by their sons, they go shopping for each other and whatnot. But that is not what we are talking about here. We are talking about a practical experience and a practical result from a community.
There is not very much to talk about, but the community and its function is a very important subject.
There are a lot of places that don't even have a community. To them, it's like talking to aspirants who have come for satsang, "If you don't have Knowledge, receive it, it's good for you." Then for premies who have received Knowledge, "Do meditation." Talking in those same terms, if you don't have communities, get one together with the people who will really be appropriate for the job of propagating and really materializing this Knowledge into this world. And for people who do not have communities in their area, get a community together.
Community is a friendship between premies who are dedicated to Guru Maharaj Ji. Community is made out of only those people who are dedicated to Guru Maharaj Ji, who want to serve Guru Maharaj Ji and who say, "Okay, we are going to serve Guru Maharaj Ji. We'll all get together and focus our energy at one point because we know it will be a lot stronger that way than if we all try to go out and do it alone."
The only reason I came here is because we looked at our statistical charts and everything, and we came to the point where we were saying, "All this energy is put into Denver and all this energy is put into all these places. How come what we expect doesn't manifest?" It took us a long time to trace it out. First of all, we didn't even know that we needed a valve to control our flow. So, when we finally realized that it was a valve that was required, and that would be the community, we formed communities amongst premies.
Then we said, "Well, how come the flow isn't right?" See, Divine Light Mission is like an upside-down funnel, and this is the way you have to see it. I sit on the top. And I am supposed to control the whole situation. Well, it's hard for me, so I give the responsibilities to people who I think are responsible, who can govern and follow my agya, my administration, and who will do things that I want to be done. So it's like an upside-down funnel.
We have to come to a point where Knowledge can really spread into this world, and we need to form a foundation to make that possible. We came to the conclusion that this foundation has to be the community. Because how many ashram premies can really go out and do propagation? Not a hundred percent; not as many as we require. There are a lot of ashram premies who have jobs, who do work, and support Divine Light Mission. Well, you know that. But that's where it splits up. So community is what we have to focus on, and community is what will help us form a proper funnel so that the system will work.
Lou Schwartz: Maharaj Ji, when the conference started, some of the DUO Directors talked to me about how you felt about doing public programs in America, and a little bit about the future of propagation here in the United States. Could you address yourself a little bit to that?
If they are not ready for me, then I am not going to do anything. I don't care which country it is. They have to be ready for me. I am always ready; I am always on the go, but you have to be ready too. Where do I go if you are not ready? What can I do if you are all thinking about, "How do I form the community? How do you spell that word anyway? What am I gonna do anyway?" This is exactly what I told the South African premies, and South Africa is not America. It's altogether a different country. I told them: When I come, I want you to take full advantage of me. I am going to go there, and I will give satsang, and there will be an energy focused at a certain point. So, I want you to be ready to take that energy and focus it into right channels. I want you to be able to really say, "Okay, if Guru Maharaj Ji comes here, we are ready. We can take the premies and channel their energy towards propagation after he leaves."
What if you are a very good community and you get a hundred thousand dollars together and you get a house and a beautiful car for me. And I come in and say, "Okay. Everything looks fine, just great, just beautiful." Then I go to a program and you invite the whole east coast to the program and I say, "Oh great. A lot of premies around here. Beautiful, great." I leave, and after that you go bankrupt. What good is that? We're not only talkin' about financial matters, of course, but about taking that energy and really diverting it into a position where it can be utilized later.
So if I make a public tour, then it not only becomes your responsibility to take care of the aspirants who come after they hear my satsang, but also the premies who are already there, to divert them into that real consciousness that they need to be in so that they can really, really propagate. See, propagation is the end of the line, and that's what makes it sail. That's the last part of our ship, and that's our rudder. If propagation is sloppy, what can we do? Then what good is it to us?
We have to really propagate through a proper channel. I am not saying to go out and tell people, bluff people, say, "Guru Maharaj Ji can speak thirty-four languages." I am not saying that. I am saying, tell them the right thing so that they can really come and understand and realize it for themselves, "Yeah. The guy wasn't speaking false. He was really true." Then to really plug them into the community so that when they receive Knowledge they don't have to go through the drastic change of plugging into the community. You understand? You really do?
So, do your job right. If you are devoted to me, if you are really my premies, if you are really that servant who has dedicated his life in all manners, in all respects, to Guru Maharaj Ji, then you will do whatever I tell you to do. Then you will not do a sloppy job.