Divine Times - Volume 5, Number 6 September 1976
A Letter to Premies From Guru Maharaj Ji
I would like to point out and remind you of a few things. First of all, we are all brothers and sisters, existing under the great umbrella of the Almighty, and we commonly share the experience of that which is sustaining us. Secondly, that to be able to grow more and more in the path of Knowledge, we have to surrender, not the worldly possessions but that which is the thorn on the path of realization. Also, in not knowing which way to proceed, you heed to the direction of the Master, so that he may be able to guide you through -- so that we may be able to realize the aim of human life.
Enjoy the Experience You're Having Excerpts from Guru Maharaj Ji's Satsang in Denver, Colorado on July 11, 1976
So a lot of people took it upon themselves to define the way everything is, or is going to be, or was. The reason for that is because sometimes premies didn't exactly get the right picture. I mean, they got a very weird, a very untrue picture of what this Knowledge really was. When this Knowledge was just starting to be spread, a lot of people were trying to preach the doctrine of devotion, not trying to just have devotion. See, if you are devotees, then you have a certain amount of devotion in you. Of course, if you are not devotees, then forget about it. But it's completely illogical to preach a way to be a devotee.
"As you know, people don't have the right consciousness about Divine Light Mission. They think it's a cult or a religion. But what do we really teach you? Still, those things confuse people, because there are some similarities to be found. But anything that's becoming a burden in the path of Knowledge, I'm just going to eliminate that." - Guru Maharaj Ji, 25 January 1976
In the beginning of June, regular donations to DLM began to fall off sharply. Because the Mission has always relied almost completely upon such donations, the effect was felt immediately. … When, through July and August, those donations continued to fall, from a high level of $111,000 per month in the first quarter of 1976 to a low of $70,000 in August, it became apparent that something was going to have to change. Coupled with the drop in donations, is a trend over the past few months for many ashram residents who are working at full-time paying jobs to leave the ashram. … the number of people that have decided to leave the ashram in the past few months has been so high that the corresponding drop in ashram income is severe. In January, there were close to 600 ashram residents in the U.S. As of this writing, there are 395. The resulting drop in income is $16,000 per month, or approximately 20%. Yet costs cannot be reduced as quickly. For example, the leases on housing for all those people must still be paid.
The results of a questionnaire sent out by IHQ to DUO administrations, aspirants and new initiates around the world confirmed the need for a careful review of the aspirant seminars, concepts and expectations centered around initiation into Knowledge, and integration of new initiates into communities. The role of the initiator itself was also under scrutiny, in particular the ineffectiveness of hurried, fatiguing tour schedules, interaction with administrators and unclear definition of the extent of the initiator's responsibilities.