The pyramid stage at Glastonbury's free festival. Maharaji arrives to speak on it with Charnanand and Ron Geaves
Andrew Kerr, who was the organizer and prime mover behind the festival, remembers the events of that summer solstice. Two years later, almost to the day, he received Knowledge.
At the midsummer of 1971, Glastonbury Fayre took place at Worthy Farm, in Pilton, Somerset. The aim of that event was to seek a spiritual awakening in a time when many people were turning away from materialism and losing faith with both politicians and the churches. It was free, that is to say, that all the contributors gave their services for free, and came from far and wide at their own expense. There was no gate, and any money needed was supplied from private sources.
I went down to the pyramid stage to see one of my favorite bands at the time. I had been listening at the side of the stage for about 10 minutes, when they were suddenly cut short and hurried off by some very enthusiastic people, some of whom had adopted eastern dress. Maharaji had arrived and was going to speak.
Having apologised to members of the band, I turned to leave. In the shadows at the back of the stage in the centre of a group of followers stood a 13-year-old boy about whom I knew very little. He was wearing a very light white suit which, in the gloom, seemed to surround him in a golden glow. I went down to ground level and walked back up the hill.
As I made my way through the crowd, Maharaji was speaking. I thought I heard him say something about the end of sex. (He had in fact said 'sects.') At the time the whole episode seemed to me to be quite out of order. Not a very auspicious beginning to something that was to completely alter my life. I was blind and disdainful.
After the festival was over, my partner and I went and settled on a remote peninsula on the north-west coast of Scotland to live out an earthy ideal. Quite a few friends came to visit, and some had received Knowledge from Maharaji. I regret that my resistance was very high and I was unable to accept their pleadings, Knowledge - definitely not
But some of them had left copies of And It Is Divine and the Divine Times. The contents began to have an effect on me. Finally, a friend arrived from Wales saying that there was to be a Knowledge session in Aberdeen 180 miles away. He was going and we must go to. Our daughter was only three months old and we had animals to look after. My excuses did not hold up as this friend who had Knowledge volunteered to stay.
We got to Aberdeen in the evening and went to a hall at the university to hear an instructor talk about Maharaji and the Knowledge. We spent the night at the ashram and in the morning I did the washing-up by way of
bright white suit which
in the gloom seemed to
surround him in a
service. The Knowledge session lasted for five hours. The date was 23 June 1973 - almost two years to the very day that I had first seen him.
That night we returned to the west coast. At about 1am we were near home and the road came to the top of the watershed revealing the northern sky. In the west was the orange afterglow of dusk and in the east the pink light of dawn. For the not first time in my relationship with Maharaji the tears welled up in my eyes. He has had that effect on me ever since. He changed my attitude. He continues to teach me what my life is about and how to enjoy it. I just love him to bits and thank him from my heart.