On the road to find out
The following is an Australianised version of an amusing story used as an example in the international propagation handbook. The two heroes may participate in activities unknown to our community, but their path to enlightenment is a glimpse at future propagation plans for Australia.
First Public Program
I.M. Dubious and his good friend, Orville Doubtful, are strolling down the corridor of Cumberland Technical College after their night class in Marketing when they spy a poster telling about a meditation program. As Orville makes a disparaging comment about incense and asks why anyone would want to shave their head bald in this kind of climate, I.M. points out that the program is going on right then and that they might as well see what the weirdos are up to.
As Orville hunches in the back row and I.M. is fishing through the hole in his pocket for his chapstick and his roach clip, suddenly the local premie band comes out and plays some highly charged and up-tempo numbers. It is not what they expected. In fact for free it is rather far-out. Someone gives hilarious satsang likening the Holy Name to the protective qualities of a chapstick and the cosmic impact of the coincidence causes I.M. to demand, "What's this trip about anyway? to a sister at the publications table. She hands him a nice little leaflet inviting him to an Introductory Program.
Their First Satsang
I.M. Dubious is coincidentally the night janitor at the Commoncash Savings Bank in downtown Parramatta. When he notices the card that tells him Divine Light Mission is doing a program in the meeting room, it slightly "rattles his cage".
He views it as an opportunity to lean on his broom, however, and does so in the back of the room throughout the evening's presentation. At the end of the evening he puts down his broom, comes to the front and asks to see the Light, before the premies go, so he will have something interesting to do during the rest of the night's work. He is introduced to the premie coordinating the aspirant program, who invites him to come back next Thursday. Since he works there, I.M. answers, "I'll be here".
I.M. flirts with the premie responsible for the program and jovially signs the satsang attendance register. He asks that premie for a date. She invites him to nightly programs at the local ashram and lends him a copy of Who is Guru Maharaj Ji? Since the only other thing to do, after the premies have gone, is work, I.M. reads four chapters before emptying the garbage bins.
I.M. doesn't realise how much he misses satsang until the next week. The Introductory Program is held elsewhere. Telling himself he is going to "return the book", he arrives at the ashram, after back-tracking twice and taking a circuitous route to make sure he is not being followed, at precisely 7.30 pm. Naturally, he has to wait until satsang is over until he can return the book to the premie doing the aspirant program. When she is at the publications table after satsang, I.M. notices a lot of people signing the satsang attendance register. Being an achiever, he signs it too - proudly noting his three dates compared to some person's two. Then he realises he "forgot the book". Not wanting to appear stupid he tells his premie contact that he is "checking this thing out". She invites him to a Knowledge Seminar and I.M. assures her he will try to fit it into his busy schedule.
Knowledge Seminar Part I
I.M. Dubious is sitting in his flat on Saturday reading Who is Guru Maharaj Ji? but with a Perry Mason cover pasted over it so his room-mate won't know. Orville comes in and asks as he rummages in the refrigerator, "What are you reading?" I.M. answers, "The Case of the Gilded Bird". "Oh I read that", says Orville, "What part are you up to?" "The part where the little kid gives the toy to the picture" says I.M. absentmindedly, completely engrossed in the book. "What?" says Orville, worried about the mental health of his friend. I.M. notices the suspicioius look and goes out for a "breath of fresh air". For lack of anywhere else to go, he goes to the Seminar and learns in depth about Perfect Master, satsang, and the four aspects of meditation. At tea he is introduced to the leader of the motorcycle gang who is also a coordinator of satellite programs. The motorcycle gang leader, Monty, invites I.M. in no uncertain terms to a Satellite Program at his house and makes vague allusions to the state of I.M.'s future health should he fail to attend.
I.M. puts some baby oil in his hair and combs it like he did in sixth class and heads out for the Satellite Program, riding his Honda 90. It isn't much, but it's all he's got. When he arrives he finds a very amiable group of people and Monty pouring out the chamomile tea. Where the expected pyramid of beer cans used to be is only a small picture of Guru Maharaj Ji. The program is very informal and pleasant and I.M. gets completely blissed out. When he gets home, Orville asks, "What the hell happened to your hair?"
As he is regularly attending programs now, I.M. Dubious is put on the aspirant's mailing list, since I.M. wants to receive the announcements. He tries to intercept the mail each day, so that Orville won't find out how far into this "hindu trip" he really is. But one day a mailing of satsang to aspirants comes and Orville says, "Hey, somehow those Krishners got you on their mailing list!" as he rips open the letter. But, as Orville finishes the sixth page of the satsang, he exclaims, "This is incredible!" "What is?" asks I.M. peeking out from behind a Nation Review. "I think this is just what I've been looking for!" says Orville.
Knowledge Seminar Part 2
I.M. accompanies Orville to the Knowledge Seminar and pretends not to know anybody there. Orville gets completely enthusiastic as the topics of satsang, service and meditation are presented. I.M. gets enthusiastic slowly also, so that Orville won't know that actually this is his second Knowledge Seminar. I.M. whispers to the premie coordinating the Seminar that he would like his name crossed out of the satsang attendance register, so that he can sign it fresh when his friend
Orville signs; he makes it clear, however, that he wants his previous satsang credited to his account. The premies invite them both to dinner at the ashram.
I.M. and Orville sample the delights of eggplant and parmesan. "I didn't know monks could live like this!" says Orville. "It sure beats chips and Coke!" says I.M. For the first time in three years, they do the dishes together.
In Service Day
The local community undertakes to clean up a local park and at the Satellite Programs, Monty invites I.M. and Orville to participate. Although on the morning of the project Orville can think of one or two million other things he's just got to do, the timely arrival of Monty spoils all that. As they get to spearing food wrappers though, the bliss of service and united effort dawns within them. After lunch, two of Orville's friends walk by and see him furiously engaged in pulling weeds an undreamed-of activity for Orville Doubtful to be engaged in. "Are you going to smoke those, Orville?" they ask. "No, I'm going to compost most of them and make tea from the dandelions," Orville answers. They head for the local hotel without asking any more questions.
The premie coordinating the aspirant program finds out that I.M. and Orville are marketing majors at Cumberland Tech, and introduces them to Ed, an amiable member of the local Rainbow Business Boosters. There are four or five premie businessmen who get together at Fred's Fabulous Foodfair and have lunch once a month. I.M. and Orville go to the meeting and have a great time discussing the "marginal utility" of satsang. They all agree to get together again and discuss get-richquick schemes to put local DLM in the black.
I.M. and Orville accompany the local community on a weekend retreat. A special program for all of the aspirants goes on whenever the premies are involved in something aspirants can't take part in and Orville and I.M. get to know the other aspirants really well. So much so that Orville, who was a thespian in high school, works out a soft shoe routine with a chorus of aspirants in the back. As premies are meditating, the aspirants are practising with gusto:
Nothing could be finah, than to see the Light divinah, in the morrrrrning!
By the end of the weekend, I.M. and Orville feel so much a part of the family that they don't want to go home. Upon returning home, the first thing they do is clean up a little bit and hang up a picture of Maharaj Ji.
Having slowly come to the sobering realisation that cleanliness is, if not next to Godliness, at least helpful in achieving it, I.M. and Orville are faced with the prospect of cleaning up their home. They opt for moving into the aspirant shelter. To loosen their attachments they open up their house for an estate and three-floor garage sale. As people go through on the weekend, purchasing old Nation Reviews, boxes of comic books, artifacts from 1967, they ask, "Who died and left this estate?" "We did," reply Orville and I.M.
I.M. and Orville are closed out in the satsang attendance register with a star and the date.
The Active Membership Program
I.M. and Orville eagerly open their Knowledge Packet and find an information sheet on AMP. Since they have to keep their jobs and finish school, and it will only be in the Golden Age that they can find themselves in the ashram, they are overjoyed to find that there is a way to be part and parcel of Guru Maharaj Ji's Mission. And since the DLM Director made an appointment with them for the next week to talk about AMP, and they already have had an introduction, I.M. and Orville find themselves "active members" from the very start!
Orville resurrects an old pair of pyjamas and I.M. washes his purloined Western Suburbs rugby jumper for the Meditation Preparation. During the course of the afternoon they come to the realisation that sitting for an hour morning and night is going to take a little more than just sitting - which they had considered themselves good at.
The Rest of their Lives
Soon I.M. and Orville are plugging away in the heart of the premie family. The Rainbow Business Boosters make a million dollars selling pyramids which turn water into gasoline and lead into gold, and buy all the ashram residents matching socks. And all of us live happily ever after, by His Grace and in His Name.