page24a_back_cover (173K)

Sue Ratcliffe

One or two of the first four French premies had come to Lincoln Street, begging Maharaji to go to Paris. Maharaji had said he would try to go, but he was so busy in England that his visit was postponed several times. On 11 July, he said to me. "You speak French, go to Paris and prepare. I'll come in couple of days."

So I arrived at the tiny, two-roomed ashram at 17 Rue Parmentier and was taken to the even tinier fifth-floor walk-up council flat where Maharaji was to stay. It belonged to a very lovely and middle-aged lady who had lovingly filled it with stuffed birds and animals, "to please Maharaji". I knew it was dreadful but she had so much love. She had ordered a special bed which needed a crane to hoist it into the flat by the window, being installed minutes before Maharaji's arrival, and new pillows.

Maharaji was met at the airport by the Paris premies. Arriving at the flat, Maharaji came up the five lights. The little lady came out beaming to welcome him - and the wind banged the door shut behind her. So Maharaji went to the little ashram where everyone had been waiting and longing to see him, while the fire brigade opened the residence door.

Next day - 14 July was Bastille Day, with lots of drink and fireworks. The programme took place in an esoteric library next door to the Folies Berger. The library was called "L'Homme et La Connaissance" (Man and Knowledge). I tried to translate but my French was a bit rusty and as everyone looked puzzled we had to find another translator. Most unfortunately, someone forgot to switch on the tape recorder and in the slight confusion forgot to take any photographs.

Heidelberg page24b_back_cover (30K)

Lena Zieschang

I am beginning with 19 June 1971 when I received a telegram that Maharaji would arrive in Frankfurt 12.10pm. Lufthansa Flight 033 22 June.

At that moment I felt that the whole universe was concentrating on Germany, on Heidelberg, on that little apartment in Wurthtrasse 6 and this was hard for me to bear: I had never seen Maharaji before, and the premies in England seemed to know everything.

Ginnie and Dave Beales came to Heidelberg to help me with the preparations. Charnanand and Ashokanand were sending their advices and so everything came together. We rented an Opel station wagon. We rented a hall in the university for the programme on 24 June. We printed 50 leaflets to announce Maharaji's speech. We put up five posters in the city. We rented rooms in a hotel Stiftsmuhle which I knew was supposed to be best (later I found out it was not).

The cooking was planned to be at my place. Meanwhile I got the addresses of five more German premies; three of them showed up with some friends. Now the time came to pick up Maharaji at the airport and everybody was eager to welcome him there - except me. On one side I was already overwhelmed by all the preparation for Maharaji's visit and on the other side I was too shy to demand a place in the welcoming committee.

They left without even noticing me. Soon the doorbell rang and the next thing I knew Maharaji was sitting in the chair.

Suddenly I became calm and was just there. Charnanand introduced me to him. What I experienced in that moment is not to put in words. It was the first time I had experienced myself this way.

"So you are Lena," Maharaji said. "Do you know what Lena means in Hindi, Lena means to get, to receive. All premies should be receivers, because there is only one giver." I could not stop smiling and crying at the same time. I felt so close and Maharaji started to relate to me in many ways.

After dinner I was asked if Maharaji could stay in my home, because he would prefer a place where there is real love for him. I prepared my father's room and he moved in this very night. What I received and experienced within these three days kept me going with Maharaji since then.

On the 24th in the morning Charnanand gave Knowledge to one woman and after the public programme five more people received Knowledge.