WORDS WE USE
In the past ages the news of the Truth spread slowly. John the Baptist was a voice crying in the wilderness, Perfect Masters rode on donkeys or travelled on foot. In the Golden Age the propagation of Truth will be astonishingly rapid. Guru Maharaj Ji's message, that peace is available, has already been conveyed to millions through the media of film, television, radio and newspaper.
The Golden Age has been prophesied as the time when peace will be established on earth. But prophecies aside, we need practical proof that the Golden Age has arrived. How will this age be fully established? What is powerful enough to have man living in harmony?
To have peace on earth, each person must have peace of mind. The mind must be controlled by something greater than itself, something which gives constant satisfaction. And that is spirit or infinite energy or God or whatever label you wish to apply to that which is indescribable. Contacting that energy is meditation. Guru Maharaj Ji, through teachers called mahatmas, reveals that energy in four simple techniques which concentrate the mind on light, music, energy vibration and taste within the human body. From this meditation comes peace of mind, the inner news of the Golden Age.
Ashram: "shelter", a spiritual community of Guru Maharaj Ji's devotees who have dedicated their lives to spreading Knowledge of God.
Knowledge: the spiritual experiene gained through practising the four meditation techniques (Light, Music, Word and Nectar) revealed by Guru Maharaj Ji.
Mahatma: "great soul", a disciple of Guru Maharaj Ji empowered to reveal Knowledge.
Darshan: the physical presence of Guru Maharaj Ji.
Premie: "lover of God", a devotee of Guru Maharaj Ji.
A mahatma training program has begun in the West. While he was in Denver, the Australian DUO Director, David Lovejoy spoke to Mahatma Jagdeo, who is in charge of scheduling mahatma tours. It was decided that an Australian premie could begin to travel with Mahatma Padarthanand Ji. Julie Collet, DUO Director of Victoria, was chosen and just before she left to join Mahatma Ji in New Zealand, The Golden Age talked to Julie about her past and future
How have you seen the Mission change in your two years as DUO Director?
Well, I've seen it evolve from a handful of really keen people meeting in a small house in Carlton, coming together for satsang and doing the little house up which became the ashram, into a family or community, like a really large family with all different types of people.
Satsang has always been the main focus for everybody coming together but especially in the last year premies have started to become real brothers and sisters for each other. A real sense of being in Maharaj Ji's family has developed and this of course was greatly helped by Maharaj Ji's visit.
Now there's something that's binding us all together: Maharaj Ji's love. And that's very very strong and very very powerful and very beautiful. At satsang it's not just a bunch of individuals sitting there; we're all holding hands at Maharaj Ji's feet. Premies are starting to express what they have to give. During this year so many of us have started growing up. So many things are starting to happen. We've got medical and naturopathic clinics, Soul Foods, we've got premies visiting each other and being brothers and sisters.
How have you seen the relationship between the "organisation" and the premie community change?
There have been so many changes. Many of us who were right there to begin with and who have taken a fairly active role in Maharaj Ji's propagation have come to see how much our personalities and our way of doing things influences people coming to Knowledge.
And this comes as a bit of a shock. We have just been ourselves and tried to express Maharaj Ji's love as best we can and haven't realised that perhaps there has been some imitation of the external expressions happening. There was this imitation at first and then of course the reaction to it. As premies were able to realise what the Knowledge is, their own experience of Maharaj Ji's love inside them, they were able to become much more honest and much more open and the external things they didn't like they were able to express.
So like at times there's been a little bit of antagonism towards what have been called the "administrative premies". In this way there was some feeling of separation. But by the time I left Melbourne this was really going. It was inevitable, as we become much more of a family, that we came much more closer and started doing things together more. You know, going away for a meditation weekend where we were all on the same level. And this has been happening more and more. More projects have started and more premies are directing and leading other premies in service, so there's been much more of a levelling.
Through premies being able to express themselves more honestly, they've also been accepting those premies they've been reacting to.
What have you learnt personally from your service?
Just to see Maharaj Ji in my every brother and my every sister. The greatest thing I've learnt is just always to keep my focus to Maharaj Ji all the time and never let go of that. Just all the time looking to Maharaj Ji and doing his service. It's only when we're looking to Maharaj Ji that we can do anything. When we're not looking towards Maharaj Ji we're just catering to our little selves. It's always never never to falter, just keep hanging on to those Lotus Feet.
What was your first reaction to the news of your new service?
Well, when David rang on the telephone just to check that this was something I'd like to do, I was just spellbound, I couldn't say much at all. I was having the realisation that this was something that Maharaj Ji would have to do through me, that there would be no way that "I" could do this service. It made me feel like I was the most fortunate person in the whole of this creation. It gave me the understanding that we're all the most fortunate people in creation. Not to be realising that is to be limiting our understanding of who Guru Maharaj Ji is.
If we think Maharaj Ji is our Master, is our Father, is in our hearts, we have to accept that Maharaj Ji knows where we are and what we need. To have Maharaj Ji give us what we need makes everyone of us, wherever we are, the most fortunate person. Whatever we need is just that thing which brings us closer to Maharaj Ji. Maharaj Ji's got us all hooked and he's pulling us all in to him.
Do you think there's going to be any special advantages in having Western mahatmas, besides the obvious ones of custom and language? Do you see any change in the relationship between premies and mahatmas?
I think it's going to break many of our concepts about mahatmas. It can only give us a clearer understanding of how Maharaj Ji is working through us all and how in fact he is doing service through us. In another way, just by premies knowing that I've been asked to travel with Mahatma Ji, it has opened them up more to Maharaj Ji. It has made it a real thing that we can get there, we can make it.
The individual premie can identity with a Western mahatma in some ways that they can't identify with an Indian mahatma, in that each Western premie is the same: we've all been conditioned by Western society. Many of us had ideas that a mahatma is something else, a mahatma is this or that, … really really seeing that a mahatma … the Grace of Maharaj Ji and just … channel to link us into Maharaj Ji.
When you see different mahatmas the all seem to have their own aproach to being a mahatma. Do you feel there is any particular approach you wo have in your service?
I guess the thing that is in my heart is to just feel one with my brothers and sisters. Just to be one with them in service. I can only relate to this in terms of serving. In serving, we're just so close and that's all I want to see, us coming closer and closer and closer. All the concepts about mahatmas and DUO Directors and this and that just go so that we can see what we can receive from each other.
Through Maharaj Ji's Grace, Mahatma Padarthanand Ji has taught us all lots of lessons. What has he taught you?
How to be really still in my service. What I've learnt from Mahatma Ji, the place that he's taken me inside myself from being with him. That's into the place we all cherish so much. that's so still and loving.
So often in service as DUO Director, the pace can become really fast and sometimes it hasn't been easy to remain strongly centered in the Word. With Mahatma Ji's example, I can see so clearly that the pace can go really fast but always we can be relaxed one with Maharaj Ji, and from that point looking out and doing our service. I've just felt that so much by being with Mahatma Ji.
Mahatma Ji's quality of being equally open, equally loving to all brothers and sisters has been such a lesson. It's something that has helped to open my heart and calm my mind which sometimes likes to feel closer to this one or want to be with this one more. In being with Mahatma Ji, I've seen what it means to do selfless service. Mahatma Ji never designs his own schedule, it's done for him. I've never seen Mahatma Ji knock back a request for help; he's come to every call day or night.
And it's very easy to fall into the trap of thinking that we do selfless service. Seeing Mahatma Ji in his service is just a continual push for us all to surrender our ways of working things out and our ways of giving, so that Maharaj Ji can work through us according to whatever needs to be done.