The General Secretary of Divine Light Mission Australia, David Lovejoy, recently arrived home from a visit to Denver, the international headquarters of the Mission. The Golden Age recorded David's satsang on his return. The theme was "internationalisation", what was the background to this new program, and what practical effect it would have on premies in Australia.
Internationalising the Mission is a very natural thing. It's the logical outcome of our desire to serve Maharaj Ji in the most effective way, to subordinate our own notions and schemes to the perfect timing of his master plan.
You see, it's like the germinating seed which begins by putting its roots down in all directions at once but which soon concentrates its strength on one main stem to push up to the light. Up to now there's been no need for detailed coordination amongst the various groups of premies living in different countries, because we were just like spores thrown out by Guru Maharaj. Ji, landing in different places and situations and propagating wherever we fell. Now all those isolated colonies of Knowledge need connecting together on the physical level. And orientated to one point, to Maharaj Ji's agya. Because again, up to now, there have been so many things happening, so many levels, so many directions that we couldn't really call ourselves an organisation, except in name of course. There were many useful agyas which Maharaj Ji didn't give because we wouldn't have been able to accomplish them, disorganised as we were. All of these first steps, establishing basic root structures, took time and patience, but now we're ready to start manifesting a little above the ground.
And this requires that we work in complete unison, absolute synchronisation. And we can do it. Knowledge puts us where we can work beyond barriers of language, nationaiity, culture or religious systems. We can work beyond political or economic systems. Most of all we can work beyond the divisions of our individual egos, so long as we are feeling that experience of love from our meditation, from the Knowledge. And the sum of all that available love-energy being generated all over the world through Guru Maharaj Ji's Knowledge is just fantastic. And the thing is that all that energy has to be harnessed effectively. It has to be orchestrated.
Maharaj Ji is just waiting for us to tune up properly and, like, turn in one direction and follow the baton. We've all been playing solo, almost as if we're competing for attention, but we've got to learn to - harmonise, do things Maharaj Ji's way, as and when he wants them done. There's only one person who knows the whole score and that's the conductor. We all think we know what should be done, and in some limited areas we may know very well what should be done, but there is only one who knows everything that needs to be done and has the perspective to see how it all fits together and evolves to that point of perfection which is total harmony. Because we should remember that it's not just what's happening in one city, or one region, or one country, it's the total picture that counts, the total harmony.
So the most important item of internationalising, the essential first step, is to get everyone into a channel of communication with Guru Maharaj Ji, so that his agya can reach us and put us into synchronisation. People practising Knowledge want to be following Maharaj Ji's agya and not their own minds. We all want to be told what to do, once we're sure it's our Father telling us. And as far as we're an organisation, we need Guru Maharaj Ji's direction in terms of the overall guidelines and perspectives, the policies of how to use our energies in his service. This is the reason he is internationalising the Mission, to direct all the activities of all the devotees that are serving him throughout the world, to have those guidelines and directions coming from one point, coming from him, through an organisation that he can depend on to communicate those directions clearly.
In this way, we can be confident that this direction we're getting is coming from Guru Maharaj Ji. And if one is serving in a position of responsibility, the premies who have to look to you for direction are going to have confidence in you because they know that the directions they're getting are coming from Guru Maharaj Ji. In this way we should be able to avoid the trap of identifying with our particular locality, with our ashram, city, state or nation, and thinking that there's some special virtue in that part of the universe our bodies inhabit. The country, the nation, we belong to is Guru Maharaj Ji's peace movement which has no frontiers, no barriers and no limits.
And really everything you can say about internationalising applies equally well to nationalising. At the same time as Guru Maharaj Ji is internationalising his movement, he is also providing the impetus to make each of its branches more thoroughly nationalised, so that his agya can reach all the way to every branch, twig and shoot. This means that just as we must avoid national chauvinism, if we are to serve Guru Maharaj Ji so we must also avoid regional chauvinism, those separative patterns of thinking that breed dissension instead of trust and cooperation. We are all utterly inter-dependent, like the parts of a body. In a perfect organisation, like the human body in perfect health, you don't get the feet for example moving in opposite directions, or having ideas above their station, or the stomach complaining that it should be informed like the brain.
Similarly, if our job is to work together to serve Guru Maharaj Ji we can't achieve anything by working independently without coordination with the rest of the "greater body" - the organisation - of Guru Maharaj Ji. Whenever we try to act independently we create a problem, like cancer cells. Usually it's with the best of intentions we say "Oh well we'll organise ourselves separately, we'll just be this little independent body, we won't be a part of DLM, we'll just be premies propagating for Guru Maharaj Ji in our own way, and avoid the Mission". But we should be aware of what Maharaj Ji himself says on this point.
"You see, there's a tree growing there, and then if a weed is growing up beside the tree, and says it's independent, that it's not affecting the growth of the tree, that's just completely wrong. The tree is the main thing that needs to grow there, and if a weed is growing beside it, it is just taking strength away from the tree. It's just sapping the energy out of the ground, that should be going to the tree."
So we're part of one organism, one family, taking our
direction from one source; and even if at this time we haven't got all our activities under one structure, or even if we find that that is not very practicable, o have everything included in one legal or corporate structure, nevertheless the important thing is that we are all devotees of Guru Maharaj Ji, and subject, and willing to be subject, to his authority, his agya, not our own whims. So there has to be some form of coordination keeping us all together and reminding us constantly that what we're doing, and the way we're doing it, our guidelines and perspectives, are coming from one point. Which means we must be partIcularly careful to make the Australian Mission an effective instrument for serving Guru Maharaj Ji.
The way to do this is becoming clearer. In Denver, Guru Maharaj Ji himself told us Secretaries, "You have to really try to understand that our major point is we spread this Knowledge. You know this is our most important goal. But if we are trying to accomplish that goal, we have a bunch of things to complete as we are proceeding towards that goal". If you are transporting some heavy load across a rough terrain, that may mean that you have to build a road to do it, but it doesn't mean that your main purpose is to build a road. Maharaj Ji's declared purpose is to establish peace in this world, and all his actions are dedicated to that goal. But spreading Knowledge is not enough, if there is no way for people to be helped to realise Knowledge.
Service, satsang and meditation are the guidelines, but what if we don't have the organisation or follow-through to provide people with service and satsang, after they begin to meditate? Satsang's not hard to organise on a regular basis, but when it comes to service, well, sweeping floors and stamping leaflets won't keep anyone occupied for long, and so we're right in the area of building an alternative community straightaway. And that's just what Maharaj Ji is telling us to do. What is the point of giving Knowledge to so many people, he is saying, If they just fall away? Before we can reach the vast majority of people in this world, we have to show them something. And the first thing is a sound and viable community of people who have already taken this Knowledge, a community which will help themselves and others realise it. Otherwise, it's like a farmer who sows ten acres with seeds and then only bothers to cultivate one of them; what was the point of sowing the other nine? So step one is to spread Knowledge (which is still a vital service), and step two is to build a community which can practise and realise it.
THE DUO COMMUNITY
Now it's that second step which is coming into focus. In the past, in that root-growing process, it had to be ashram residents, for example, who did full time service in DLM, as they were the only premies who could demonstrate a constancy, a reliability in their lives. But our structure must be expanded to provide a matrix through which all the devotees of Guru Maharaj Ji of all circumstances and lifestyles can be coordinated in service. Now that DUO is going to be introduced here, after extensive trials in America, we will have the organisational structure to try to include everyone who sincerely wishes to do service for Guru Maharaj Ji. Our Lord has a definite DUO community alternative or extension, to the ashram system, details of which we will be receiving from Denver soon.
In the meantime as we begin to make a shift in emphasis of propagation from telling people about Knowledge to showing them, a few changes in familiar Mission terms will reflect our changing consciousness. For example our Regional Secretaries will henceforth be known as local DUO Directors, and our "public relations" will become the far less emotive "public information". Many other changes are evolving and many incidental advantages to us, as premies, accrue from the general principle of centralisation and internationalisation. For example, publications, photographs, tapes and films which were previously difficult to obtain or to produce in large enough numbers to guarantee cheapness, will over a period of time, all become much more readily available.
But the most important step in bringing everyone into the community we can all take straightaway. So often we've tried to run before we can even crawl, and initiated ambitious programs with insufficient support. Usually what has wavered has been financial or personal involvement. The fact is that meditation has to be constant, an every-moment experience if possible, an every-day commitment at the least. If Holy Name wasn't constant in us we would no longer exist in this form. But in order to make meditation a constant thing we have to live a certain way. Not in an ashram or a household, or under any particular set of external circumstances, but we have to live a life of dedication. And dedication is not occasional or sporadic, it is constant thing.
A LIFE OF DEDICATION
When we think of this great work of Guru Maharaj Ji, and ask, "Where do I fit in, what can I do?" the first thing that we can do to involve ourselves on a basic level is to support the Mission financially. Whatever our own situation or the service opportunities open to us at the moment, our first responsibility if we wish to be active premies is to dedicate on a regular basis at least one tenth of our income. That's a minimum amount of involvement we can all make. Once we are doing that then dedication is already in our lives; we are part of the Mission, we will want to support it in other ways, we will want to give satsang and find other service opportunities. A minimum regular ten per cent dedication will give each individual a means of doing service, even if family or business duties prevent him from ever doing more specific forms of service. But ordinarily we can expect those who are dedicating ten per cent of their income to this cause, to gradually dedicate more and more of their time and energy in service to Guru Maharaj Ji. And this will provide the sort of constant financial base for the Mission to enable it to undertake more ambitious projects, such as we all want to see and be involved in. So now is the time for dedication and cooperation. Maharaj Ji is bringing together all the strange and exotic blooms which the explosive spread of Knowledge has engendered. He is pruning some, encouraging others, loving all. Most importantly, it is he who is directing everything, teasing out channels for his Grace to come into our lives, and organising the structures which will carry his agya to us, and our requests to him. And this period is critical. As he said at that meeting of Secretaries:
"The thing is, it's like organising is a very important part. If we mishandle it now - and as a matter of fact, this is the most important part, the most important role that the Mission is playing right now, it's crossing through one of the most critical stages - if we start to mishandle our organising part, it would be a very bad thing for the Mission in the future. Because it's at a stage where it has to go completely perfect. That is why I want to internationalise. I want that every nation should be synched properly. Once we internationalise this Mission, and this is what you have to understand, the most important part, of it, that once we internationalise, then all the countries can be in synch. The energy, the manpower the financial power, and the Mahatmas which are needed everywhere, won't just be concentrated only at one place: we'll all be able to share. Every country will be able to grow at the proper rate."